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The 5 Best Windows Convertibles

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When Microsoft’s partners began shipping devices with the Windows 8 operating system, hardware choices came down to two different configurations. The first widely available configuration was laptops with touch screens. Windows OEMs literally placed touchscreens inside of devices they’d already had on store shelves and then loaded Windows 8 on them. There were also a few tablets with Windows 8 preinstalled. Unfortunately users  had to rely on add-on keyboards or keyboard attachments that only added to the device’s cost and bulk.

Now, more than a year after Windows 8’s release, there are a ton of new convertibles that meet the requirements of Windows users searching for a convertible device that bridges the gap between both of types devices. Here are the best 5 best Windows convertibles already in stores or arriving before the close of the holiday season.

 

XPS 12 Ultrabook with Convertible Touch

dell xps 12

Modeled on Dell’s best-selling XPS 13, the XPS 12 features the entire physical design of that notebook but adds a very creative hinge that allows its touch display to completely reverse direction. This way users can close the laptop’s lid and use it as a tablet with a spacious display. It’s a little pricey at $1099.99 but it does include an Intel Core i5 Processor, 4GB of memory and a 128GB SSD.  [Buy the Dell XPS 12 from Dell for $1099]

 

Lenovo Yoga 2 Pro

Yoga 2 Pro

While the XPS 12 allows users to flip its screen, Lenovo’s Yoga 2 Pro includes hinges that allow users to flip the entire display onto the rear of the computer. This approach does expose the device’s keyboard, however it also gives the Yoga 2 Pro tablet features backed by an Intel Core i7 processor, a 9 hour battery and a 13.3 QHD+ multitouch display. [Buy the Yoga 2 Pro from Lenovo for $929]

 

Sony VAIO Duo 13 Convertible Ultrabook

vaio duo 13

Even more different is the Sony’s entry into the convertible PC space. The VAIO Duo 13 Convertible Ultrabook’s display slides up from the device’s base to reveal an island-style keyboard. Internals start with an Intel Core i5 processor, 4GB of RAM and a 128GB hard drive. Users even have their choice of a black or white body. Unfortunately that kind of customizability doesn’t come cheap. The Sony VAIO DUO 13 Convertible Ultrabook costs $1,399. [Buy the VAIO Duo 13 Convertible Ultrabook from Sony for $1,399]

 

ATIV Tab 3

samsung ativ ativ tab 3

Strictly speaking the Samsung ATIV Tab 3 isn’t exactly a convertible. Really it’s a tablet with a 10.1-inch display an Intel ATOM processor and 2GB of RAM. However, Samsung ships the ATIV Tab 3 with a keyboard accessory that makes it just as versatile as other devices in this round-up. Samsung also includes a stylus that allows users to take handwritten notes in Microsoft’s OneNote application. The ATIV Tab 3 comes with 64GB of storage space for $729.99 [Buy the Samsung ATIV Tab 3 from Samsung for $729.99]

 

Dell XPS 11

Two XPS 11 Notebooks

While it isn’t available yet — Dell said users should expect it to begin shipping sometime this year — the upcoming Dell XPS 11 borrows heavily from many of the convertibles that are already on store shelves. The device looks identical to the XPS 12 and XPS 13, however it borrows the suicide hinge of the Lenovo Yoga 2 Pro to allow users to fold the screen back and use it as a tablet. When it isn’t in tablet mode users get work done with a non-mechanical keyboard that doesn’t have individual keys. Each key is built into the device’s very slim base.  Should the concept work, users could be on the cusp of having one of the slimmest convertibles around. Dell hasn’t discussed pricing yet.

Read: Dell’s New XPS 11 Convertible Ultrabook takes on Lenovo’s Yoga

 

Regardless of your decision, Windows convertibles are great for users looking for a tablet experience with the versatility of a Windows PC. 

Travis Pope is a Reporter-at-large for GottaBeMobile. He's currently enjoying a romp in the dangerous quicksand that is Microsoft's Windows 8, Windows Phone 8, and Xbox ecosystem.

5 Comments

  1. Rob Brawders

    11/08/2013 at 10:41 am

    Only two of the machines on this list have pen input. A Convertible without a pen input is missing an essential features that make this type of machine truly great and useful. This post does show some interesting machines, for sure, but it doesn’t hit the bar set by the title, and reads more like “here are some consumer-grade machines that feature touch input and have been promoted with the most marketing dollars”.

  2. twospirits

    11/08/2013 at 12:56 pm

    The Sony Flip 13a, 14a or 15a are also missing from this list. Being a true convertible and offering pen support. Any one of the Flips could easily replace any of the non-pen units in the list.

  3. Dante Perrotta

    11/10/2013 at 7:57 am

    The XPS 12 is outdated at this point, and the hinge design is awful.

    The ASUS TX300 has been universally lauded and blows most of these out of the water. Also considering Dell won’t commit on a release date for the XPS 11, but announced it months ago, it shouldn’t be considered a real device.

    Also missing: devices under $600.

  4. andreaskroell

    11/10/2013 at 11:56 am

    Lenovo Helix is definitely missing – best form factor and quality I’ve seen in the windows tablet pc/convertible market (using tablet PCs sice 2004), even if a bit premium for the wallet. This one definitely stand out for me! Full pen support, full i5/i7 , 4/8GB RAM and 128/256GB SSD is worth it (and still less pricy than my former HP Elitebook 2760p an TC4400!)

  5. diane

    12/15/2013 at 1:47 pm

    I purchased the Thinkpad Helix which 11.6″ screen stylus and removable dock. It has a 256GB SSD, 8GB RAM and Win8 Pro, not Win8 RX. I waited to get the new generation of the Intel i7 processor so blazing fast.

    It is a full laptop with the same specs but built-in durability and quality of a ThinkPad.

    The larger screen allows for expanded utility for work, documents, spreadsheets but can be docked or used like any other laptop. I installed Microsoft Office so have mail coming thru Outlook and it was easy to set-up and the tablet is lightweight and very nice in your hand.

    I will travel with the table and carry it to work where I have a bluetooth keyboard.

    This is the hybrid I have been waiting for and found that I rarely touch the iPad or iPad mini which I now keep on the nightstand and use it as a eReader instead.

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