For years, laptops have been the standard way by which most users get things done. They were the answer to everything modern computer users needed last decade. Though they featured a subset of the computing power users could harness with a full-size desktop computer, laptops and notebooks managed to shrink computing power into a package that could be used comfortably anywhere.
We now find ourselves on the cusp of another revolution. Notebooks are slowly becoming that thing by which we only get work done. Meanwhile tablets have become the go-to solution for entertainment focused users. Because of these realities, perspective buyers are likely wondering which device they should invest in this holiday season. I suggest that you purchase neither.
Instead, it’s best if you invest in a 2-in-1. 2-in-1 or convertibles, whatever you call them, they are devices that can adapt to the user’s situation. Bolstered by the duality of Microsoft’s own Windows 8 and Windows 8.1, convertibles allow users to browse the internet or their social feeds in a proto-tablet form. Later, users can fold the screen backwards, or attach the device to a dockable keyboard for added productivity.
This approach to mobile and tablet computing leaves owners of 2-in-1s without the issues users of multiple devices face. There’s no transferring information back and forth between two different devices. Users don’t need to hope that whatever mobile device they choose will have the productivity apps they require in a emergency.
Windows 2-in-1s can run whatever application you throw at them, whether they be traditional apps like iTunes or Windows Store apps like Xbox Music. Really, there are only two major issues with Windows 2-in-1s: size and pricing. Luckily, manufacturers have finally begun to address the former issue in the past year. Devices like the Lenovo Yoga 11S are as slim as most tablets. Dell’s XPS 12 delivers both power and a swiveling touch screen that turns the computer into a tablet when people need it. The XPS 11 takes the 2-in-1 concept even further. In order to slim the device down Dell removed the traditional mechanical keyboard and replaced it with keys that provide users with enough tactile feedback to still be considered a decent laptop.
Whether they’re considered 2-in-1s or not, Windows tablets with add-on keyboards have hit very low prices. Dell’s Venue 8 Pro starts at $299.99. Users may have to add a keyboard to it for an extra fee, but that tablet runs a full version of Windows, making it just as useful inside the office as it is on a couch.
The bottom-line is this. If you’re in the market for a Windows laptop, take a look at convertibles and not buying laptops with touchscreens or tablets with mobile operating systems. You may not need it today, but at some point in the future you’ll want that extra power, and you’ll likely crave the convenience that only a converged device can provide. If you don’t, you’ll regret the decision, and this is coming from a guy who purchased Dell’s more traditional XPS 13 laptop only six months ago is now ready to trade up.