5 Best 2 in 1 Tablet Computers

Posted by Adrian Green on

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Gone are the days where the choice was a laptop or tablet, now consumers can have it all in one multitasking device courtesy of the hybrid.

This 2-in1 market has seen major developments in recent years with all the big names fighting it out for a slice of the pie, so let's take a look at the hybrid world and who currently makes the top five on that list.

2-in-1s

Led by innovative new additions like last year's Surface Book, the 2-in-1market comprises laptops with an edge to their resumé. Boasting screens that can be detached or converted via swiveling or folding back, their aim is to pack the power and operating capability of a laptop but with the mobility and portability of a tablet.

For the purposes of this article, we've narrowed the selection to classify 2-in-1s as devices which are laptop first, tablets second, and don't require the purchase of additional keyboards to operate.

Although it's a hotly contested market, here's the expert's general consensus as to who makes the grade.

Surface Book (Detachable)

surface book

Recently upgraded to include a performance base with additional battery life and extra speed, Microsoft Surface Book packs a whole lot into a user-friendly package, but it doesn't come cheap.

Retailing from AU$2299 for the original and AU$3799 for the performance base version, the Surface Book features three configurations courtesy of its oh so grandly titled "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 around to engage "creative canvas".

The benefits include two sets of batteries, with 25% housed in the clipboard and 75% in the base, and a Surface Pen comes included. With 12 hours battery life, the Surface Book runs Windows Pro and has a 13.5-inch screen.

Lenovo Yoga 900 (convertible)

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 "presentation" mode where the keyboard acts as stand, or tent mode.

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. The base model starts with a Core i5 processor, 8GB RAM and 256GB hard drive for AU$1799.

HP Spectre 360° (Convertible)

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.

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.

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 i5 processor, 4GB RAM and 128GB hard drive available for AU$1899.

Dell Inspiron 13-7000 (Convertible)

Dell Inspiron 13-7000

Receiving four stars from Tech Radar, the Dell Inspiron 13-7000 is another laptop that folds back on itself to resemble a tablet, and like its competitors it doesn't come cheap. Kicking off at AU$1698.99, it features a Core i5 processor, 8GB RAM and 256GB storage.

What you get for that price tag is "a well-constructed piece of kit that looks sharp and performs well," according to Tech Radar, but they note its battery falls a little short at five hours usage, compared to Dell's advertised nine.

Asus Transformer Book T300 Chi (Detachable)

Asus Transformer Book T300 Chi

Touted as smooth, slim, and sophisticated but "tough at heart" the Asus T300 is a detachable 2-in-1 operating in either notebook or tablet mode.

Running Windows 10, it features 12.5-inch screen, Intel Core M Processor and either 4GB or 8GB RAM. The storage options are 128GB or 256GB with additional Micro USB, Micro HDMI and SD card reader. It's available for around AU$1100.

More widely available in Australia is the T300's smaller cousin the T100, which features a 10.5-inch screen and retails for only $447.

The final word

As the line between laptops with 2-in1 capabilities, and tablets with increasingly competent keyboards begins to blur, consumers are spoiled for choice when it comes to selecting a device that will do everything, and often quite well. For now selecting comes down to what you want your device to do most of the time and how much money you wish to spend to do it.

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