If until now the best Windows 8 convertible laptop was a desire for many now it’s a reality, an entire trend was set and every manufacturer is trying to attract as much percentage of the interested parties. The term means that a laptop can be instantly and without effort transformed into a tablet and vice versa whenever the user desires making it a convertible Ultrabook or a so called hybrid. The definition sounds wonderful and exciting plus you can run Windows 8 or the new 8.1 update from Microsoft on these devices.
However, there are people who dismiss the idea of a convertible laptop from the beginning arguing that this is no innovation and no step forward. It can be argued that existing tablets can be transformed into laptops by attaching a keyboard. And voilà there it is. But that’s not entirely true because a laptop means much more than a portable device, it means taking advantage of the same applications and software that can be run on a non-portable device, meaning a desktop/PC/computer, however you want to call it.
So when I am talking about finding the best convertible laptop tablet I am actually starting the quest of finding Ultrabooks that offer all the advantages of non-convertible ones plus the convertibility features.
In consequence, the top convertible Ultrabook has to incorporate:
- hardware that has as output raw power for running the entire range of software and applications,
- touch display as a defining characteristic for tablets,
- portability and light weight,
- thin design,
- long battery life another reason for which we absolutely love tablets,
- and, I hope, affordable price. Or at least to fit into a price range that is logical and that stems from its technical specifications, features, and innovative components.
I am going to eliminate from the start those convertible Ultrabooks that run on Windows RT because that is more of a tablet, when it should be the other way around. I find that Windows RT is strictly an OS dedicated to tablet PCs because it doesn’t allow the running of the entire range of applications. To sum it up, it’s restrictive. That leaves me Windows 8.
Windows 8 might stir a lot of controversy but there is one undeniable fact about this Operating System – it has determined the entire industry to create products that revolve around it, that take advantage of its primary feature: touch. And this is how the idea of finding which is the best convertible laptop has appeared and my reason for writing this review. I hope it will end well with some impressive products as it should.
Some of the best convertible laptops were on the market even before Windows 8 but they weren’t too popular enough without this important factor. So this latest operating system was one determinant factor for expanding and improving this range of products. The second one was the hinge. It’s a simple but crucial component that can be also encountered in all in one desktops, like Sony Vaio Tap 20 and Asus ET2300INTI. A hinge enables these two models to be transformed into large non-portable tablets with great touch display.
And the third factor is that Ultrabooks are now convertible and not laptops in their general meaning. An Ultrabook was already incredibly thin and light which makes it more pertinent for being the candidate to be transformed into a tablet whenever users want.
Top 7 Choices for the Best Windows 8 Convertible Laptop
Click on each product’s name if you want to read a detailed review and discover which model will best suit your needs.
Asus Taichi 21 starts at $1,300 and can increase up to $1,600 but it’s a complete Windows 8 convertible from slim, thin design to technical specifications, connectors range, front and rear camera and much more. The novelty is represented by the two 11.6-inch displays, a non-touch one for Ultrabook mode and a multi-touch one for tablet mode so no hinge stands at the basis of the two modes. I really like this model even though it’s a little expensive but it’s definitely rightly included on this list.
Dell XPS 12 starts at $1,200 and goes as high as $1,700. It features just one 12-inch 1080p display, metallic hinge, similar specs to the above model with the mention that it doesn’t incorporate a SD card reader, only a DisplayPort, no HDMI port included, and only one camera incorporated.
Sony Vaio Duo 11 brings a minimalist design with an 11.6-inch touch display. The display is supported and it slides easily and in an instant appears a tablet. The degree angle at which the screen is inclined cannot be modified. The price range starts, just as in the case of the above models, at $1,200 and the technical features are very similar, the range of connectors is covered completely, and it also incorporates 2 cameras 2.4MP 1080p resolution. Check price at Amazon
Toshiba Satellite U925t has captivated my attention firstly with the price. This is one of the most affordable convertible laptops. However, the resolution is 1,366x768p and not Full HD as in all the other 3 models from Asus, Dell, and Sony. Besides that, the hardware is pretty much the same but the battery life is better.
Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga 13 is just such an amazing and affordable model considering the price range at which the above models are sold. You can get a wonderful experience, a strongly built hinge system, 8 hours on battery, and ultra-portability combined with top hardware and specs. Check price at Amazon
Lenovo ThinkPad Twist is a 12.5-inch notebook that’s definitely the most affordable one from this list if you stick to specs like i3 CPU and 500GB HDD 5400RPM. Potential customers can upgrade these features and turn them into an i7 Processor, 8GB RAM, and 128GB SSD but that will exceed the $1,000 price tag. For some it might look like a compromise in terms of hybrid devices and for others this Lenovo model will be just what they are looking for, it all depends on the allocated budget. Check price at Amazon
Microsoft Surface Pro has a pretty good starting price of $900 for the 64GB version ($1,000 for the 128GB option) and due to the running on Windows 8 this Ultrabook/tablet can handle any software and application. There are many common features and specs with the above models. The only difference is that this hybrid to be launched in January 2013 uses a detachable keyboard.