Horrible Electronic Hybrids

Dell XPS Duo Convertible Ultrabook

There’s always been considerable inbreeding in the electronics department, but recently smart devices have been taking it to a whole new level. 2012 has seen the rise of “phablets” – weird hybrids too small to be tablets but rather large for phones.  Also gaining in popularity are so-called “convertibles” – laptops that morph into tablets and back.  (I affectionately call these “laplets”.)

These new hybrid devices are touted as being versatile, the best of both worlds.  But for every offspring that gets only the good genes, there are bound to be some that get the worst of the worlds – especially if one or both parents brings some baggage. Here are eight hypothetical hybrids that probably won’t fly off the Black Friday shelves:

  • Wartphone (watch/smartphone): Too small to really use apps, but has an excellent alarm setting.  Will beep obnoxiously at you from between couch cushions, under your car seat, or wherever you accidentally lose the tiny thing.
  • Terriblet (BlackBerry/tablet): All the worst parts of the BlackBerry have now migrated to your favorite tablet!  What?  What’s the problem?
  • Poddle (iPod/Kindle): Also known as trying to read a novel on your iPod touch. Swiping through the pages with your finger is known as “poddling.”
  • Tabvee (tablet/TV): Causes inadvertent hypnosis since you have to be within arm’s reach of your 52″ flatscreen in order to operate it.  Not recommended for more than one user at a time.
  • eRager (eReader/pager): The most frustrating electronic reading experience available.  Only displays ten characters at a time, and keeps beeping at you.
  • Blacktop (BlackBerry/laptop): One huge flat panel containing both screen and keyboard. Also named for the place where it is often tossed after trying to use it.
  • Snook (smartphone/Nook): Developed on the Jersey Shore.  No one’s really sure why it’s so popular or what it’s actually supposed to do.

Dilbert Strip: Market Niche