The line between laptop and tablet is becoming increasingly blurred. But which are the best laptop/tablet combos and do they really provide the best of both worlds?
The line between laptop and tablet is becoming increasingly blurred, whether it’s tablets with keyboards or laptops aping tablets. The launch of Windows 8 / Windows RT, Microsoft’s new operating systems designed for touch input, has only accelerated this trend – read our in-depth guide to Windows 8 for more details.
Below we’ve rounded-up five of the best laptop tablet combos we’ve seen thus far, including ones we’ve reviewed and others we’ll be testing soon.
And if you’re looking for a new laptop or tablet, don’t forget to read out our free guide to how to buy the best laptop buyers guide and the free tablet buyers’ guide to help you choose the right one for you.
Microsoft Surface RT with keyboard cover
Microsoft’s first tablet comes with the stripped back version of Windows, called Windows RT. This means you are restricted to using apps available through Microsoft’s app store, but it has Microsoft Office pre-installed so you can edit Word docs, create presentations in PowerPoint and work on Excel spreadsheets just like on your PC or laptop.
Two optional keyboard covers – £99.99 for the Touch cover and £109.99 for the Type cover (pictured) – make it easier to do this and give the Surface RT its laptop tablet hybrid credentials.
Is the Surface RT right for you? Try Which? for £1 to find out how it performed in our rigorous lab tests, including how its battery life and screen compare to the iPad, in our full Microsoft Surface RT review.
Asus Eee Pad Transformer Prime
Another tablet with an attachable keyboard, the Transformer Prime is the follow up to the original Asus Transformer. This dock provides a proper keyboard so typing should be easy, as well as an additional battery so it will last longer, though does double the weight to over 1kg in the process.
Running on the Android operating system, it might not have the same access to professional software and the Surface RT, but Android has more apps than Windows at present so there’s probably an app for what you need somewhere.
Sony Vaio Duo 11
An ultrabook that can convert into a tablet, the Sony Vaio Duo 11 is much more powerful than most tablets and is a serious product with a serious £1,000 price tag to match. It uses the slider method of swapping between laptop and tablet and comes running the Windows 8 operating system.
We first got to grips with this laptop tablet combo back at IFA 2012l. For more information and to watch our video review, head over to our Sony Vaio Duo 11 first look.
Dell XPS Duo 12
The Dell XPS Duo 12 might share a bit of its name with the Sony laptop/tablet combo above, but it’s a very different product. Dell has gone for a flipping screen style of hybrid that looks impressive, although our lab has yet to to see how it performs in real life.
Find out more in our Dell XPS Duo 12 first look from IFA 2012.
Toshiba Satellite U920T
Like the Sony above, the U920T uses the slider method for swapping between tablet and laptop, although unlike some of its rivals this movement feels robust, which is a nice change. The Toshiba also impresses when it comes to specifications, with the latest Intel processors and a solid state drive for fast access to your files.
We saw the laptop tablet combo back at IFA 2012, read our Toshiba Satellite U920T first look for our impressions of the product.