Best 2 in 1 Tablet Laptops

Posted by Andrea Baker on

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For the past few years the world of hybrid laptops has been rapidly evolving with these nifty mobile computers working tirelessly to also embrace the tablet realm.

Whether they attempt this with detachable screens, or convert contortionist style to operate like a tablet, 2-in-1s are designed to offer versatility to a market constantly seeking more power, more mobility, more entertainment capability, yet day-to-day functionality, all in a neat little package.

As we near the end of 2016, let's see who's up there with the best in the hybrid realm and what they have to offer.

The hybrid

Unlike tablets that can be attached to keyboards, hybrids are first and foremost laptops, with the additional power and work functionality the laptop has perfected in the past 30 years.

Led by stellar performers like Microsoft's Surface Book, they're increasingly catering to a market demanding more from their PC.

For the purposes of this article we've defined hybrids as laptops that can be used like a tablet via detachable or convertible methods. That means you won't find some other great names like the Surface Pro 4 and iPad Pro. We'll class them as tablets with some great available keyboards and deal with them separately another time.

The best detachables

1. Microsoft Surface Book

Arguably the Surface Book is the leader in the hybrid class, boasting an innovative design and serious attention to detail. A key component is it includes two sets of batteries with 25 per cent of the power housed in the clipboard and 75 per cent in the base.

>surface book

Recently upgraded to include a performance base with additional battery life and extra speed, Microsoft Surface Book features three configurations courtesy of its "dynamic fulcrum hinge”. The hinge allows the device to operate as a laptop, detach the screen to become a tablet, or turn the screen around to engage "creative canvas".

But all this versatility doesn't come cheap. The original will set you back US$1499 while the performance base model takes it to US$2399.

For that price a Surface Pen comes included. With 12 hours battery life, the Surface Book runs Windows Pro and has a 13.5-inch screen.

2. Asus Transformer 3 Pro

Asus loves a good 2-in-1 with their transformer range boasting detachable and convertible versions alike. Their new Transformer 3 Pro falls into the detachable class and, according to ASUS is "designed with one purpose in mind: to give you performance you never thought possible in a 2-in-1".

Asus Transformer 3 Pro

That performance includes up to a Core i7 CPU, 16GB RAM and between 128GB and 1TB storage. Running Windows 10 or Pro, it features 12.6-inch screen, and a variety of ports including SD card reader, USB 3, HDMI and Thunderbolt.

The battery is touted to last all day, with fast charging in 60 minutes. The i7, 512GB configuration is available for US$1299.

The best convertibles

1. Lenovo Yoga 900

Lenovo fares well in the hybrid market with a few options to choose from, but by far the most acclaimed is the Yoga 900. With its watchband- style hinge, the Yoga 900 sits like a laptop or flips back to become a tablet. It can also be used in tent mode or "presentation" mode where the keyboard acts as stand.

Lenovo Yoga 900

These days there are a few hybrids offering this fold-back design, but the Yoga started it and Lenovo has honed it well. The keyboard automatically deactivates once the screen is folded back and the hinge has received widespread praise for its "cool" factor alone.

The screen is 13.3 inches putting it in the larger category along with the Surface Book, and it runs the Windows 10 operating system. At present you can find the Core i7 processor with 8GB RAM and 256GB hard drive for US$699.

2. HP Spectre 360°

As its name suggests the Spectre features a 360-degree hinge that allows the device to be angled in any position. Fold it back to act like a tablet, use the keyboard as a stand to watch movies, position it like a tent for presentations or use it as a notebook for everyday work.

HP Spectre 360°

Available in a number of sizes, including 13-inch, the HP Spectre 360° is "everything you love about both tablets and traditional laptops with none of the downsides', according to Laptop Mag.

Running Windows Home or Pro, the HP Spectre 360° boasts 12.5 hours battery life and comes in a number of configurations, with the Intel i7 processor, 8GB RAM and 256GB hard drive available for US$1149.99.

3. Samsung Notebook 7 Spin

Receiving 4.5 stars from the crew at Tech Radar and currently retailing for US$699 the 13.3-inch Samsung Notebook 7 Spin packs some serious value into a neat little package.

Available out of the box with a Core i5 processor, 1TB storage and 8GB hard drive, it embraces Samsung's push to recapture the middle ground of the laptop world.

Samsung Notebook 7 Spin°

Like the Yoga and the HP, this is not a detachable hybrid, but a convertible where the screen folds back up to 360 degrees to operate in a number of configurations including tablet, display, notebook and tent.

Running for up to 7 hours, the fast charging battery can also be swiftly recharged in two hours, and the Notebook 7 runs the Windows 10 operating system.

The final word

The world of hybrids and traditional tablets is becoming increasingly blurred as the technology that powers these portable devices improves each year. The result is an array of choice that just comes down to what you want to do with your device for the majority of the time, and how much you wish to pay.

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