A 2-in-1, hybrid or convertible laptop is essentially a Laptop PC that can convert into a tablet, usually by detaching from a keyboard dock. Essentially this gives the user all the benefits and versatility of a tablet and a laptop in a single device.
A tablet is ideal for casual surfing of the internet, watching streamed movies online, giving dynamic presentations, demonstrating products to clients and a host of other unique tasks.
However when it comes to typing, word processing and other more practical tasks the touch screen interface can be a hindrance. This may change in the future as developers find more inventive ways to use the tablet interface but for now a keyboard and touchpad are much more efficient for these tasks.
One of the core advantages a 2-in-1 laptop has over simply purchasing a tablet with a peripheral keyboard is that the detachable keyboard dock of a 2-in-1 typically provides additional battery power, storage and other benefits.
Here are four of our favourite 2-in-1 laptops.
Asus Transformer Book
The Asus Transformer is a highly portable, notebook style 2-in-1 laptop. With a screen size of 11.6 inches it provides a compact tablet experience when detached from its keyboard. A wide viewing angle with bright HD screen makes it ideal for watching movies on the go. Attached, the additional battery life of the Transformer keyboard turns it into a portable office. Hi-res front and back cameras mean it can be used just as well for conferencing as staying in touch with family and friends.
Acer Aspire Switch
The Acer switch attaches to its docking base magnetically allowing it to be flipped. Reversed, the keyboard acts as a versatile tablet stand. Its display is designed to reduce glare and reflections while optimising colour levels depending on brightness making the Acer Switch great for using outdoors, particularly in the summer.
HP Envy x 360
The Envy x 360 does not detach from its keyboard like the Transformer or the Switch. Instead it combines a touch screen with a double hinge so the screen can be folded back flat against the base. Its light weight and slimline construction gives it the versatility of a tablet with out having to carry the keyboard dock separately.
Lenovo Thinkpad Yoga
Like the Envy x 360 the Thinkpad Yoga remains attached to its base and folds back with a double hinge. It is a larger form factor, comparable to an Ultrabook, designed more for heavier processing work with the convenience of an accessible touch screen display.
The Thinkpad Yoga automatically detects how it is oriented giving the user four different positions in which to use it. It also supports a digital stylus that writes fluidly and naturally on the tablet surface. With this you can quickly take notes, email sketches and annotate presentations.