Convertible Laptops vs. Tablets

The release of Windows 8 was accompanied by the introduction of a number of convertible laptops — computers that shape-shift from a laptop to a tablet and vice-versa. Although these are not new (see Transformer Pad Infinity), convertible laptops offer something unique that current tablets do not. If you are to choose, which one should you buy? Let us help you decide.

Convertible Laptops Pros

The first advantage for convertible laptops would be Windows 8 itself. Android and iOS has improved so much but there still nothing like working on a Windows computer. You don’t need to learn new word processors, spreadsheet, presentation or other essential applications because the Microsoft Office Suite is still there. The Windows 8 UI is also good-looking and easy enough to navigate. It wouldn’t take days to get used to the new touch interface. Learn more about Windows 8 here.

The next advantage would be the keyboard. We discussed the difference between the typing on a physical keyboard and typing on a tablet on our laptop vs. ipad post. But it’s not only the typing that the keyboard brings as convertibles gain extra battery life from their docks. This brings us to another advantage of the convertible. Take the ASUS Vivo Tab as an example: it lasts 9 hours without dock and 15 hours with the dock.

 

Great Convertible Laptops

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AmazonWindows RT Surface 32 GB Tablet

Surface to Windows RT is supported by the ARM processor and NVIDIA Tegra is confirmed by three quad-core processors. Has a size of 10.6 inch HD

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used from: 558.99

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AmazonASUS VivoTab RT TF600T-B1-GR 10.1-Inch 32 GB Tablet (Gray)

(VIVO RT) TF600T-B1-GR, Grey, 10.1" HD (1366x768) Super IPS+, OGS Touch Panel, Outdoor Readable Mode, NVIDIA Tegra 3 (1.3GHz), 2GB DDR3, NVIDIA Tegra

$249.00


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AmazonHP ENVY x2 11t-g000

HP ENVY x2 11t-g000

$629.00

used from: $1270.69

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AmazonIdeaPad Yoga 13

The larger Yoga has a 13.3-inch IPS display (1600 x 900) and weighs 3.4 lbs. It is a mere .67 inches thick making it a true thin and light laptop

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Samsung ATIV

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AmazonSamsung ATIV Smart PC 500T

It’s not just an ultra-thin tablet. It’s also a fully functioning PC. The Samsung ATIV Smart PC 500T runs the programs you

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Tablet Pros

Convertible are new and we believe their prices will go down in time. But right now, they are a bit too pricey compared to tablets. The 32 GB Windows Surface RT costs around $600+, two hundred bucks  more than the Nexus 10 tablet. They are even more expensive than the iPad which starts at $499. Some, like the Dell XPS 12 even reaches a thousand dollars!

Another disadvantage of convertible laptops being new or Windows 8 in general is the “immaturity” of its ecosystem. Although there are thousands of Windows programs, there are only a few that takes advantage of the touch interface. One of the reasons why you would want a convertible because of the new interface. But how can you enjoy it if the apps aren’t there? You’ll end up like owning a traditional laptop. Android and iOS, being older, have already gathered hundreds of thousands of apps in their respective stores.

 

Top Tablets

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AmazonASUS TF700T-B1-GR 10.1-Inch Tablet (Gray)

$274.99

used from: $368.25

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AmazonKindle Fire HD 7", Dolby Audio, Dual-Band Wi-Fi, 16 GB - Includes Special Offers

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AmazonGoogle Nexus 7 Tablet (16 GB)

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used from: 192.99

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AmazonApple iPad MC705LL/A (16GB, Wi-Fi, Black)

$499.95

used from: $385.00

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AmazonSamsung Galaxy Note 10.1 (16GB, Deep Grey)

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used from: 440.00

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Who Wins?

Tablets win, at least for now. Although Windows 8 is a great operating system, it’s not practical to spend hundreds of dollars to buy a convertible laptop that already comes with it out of the box. Upgrading to Windows 8 would only cost you $40 in the first place. And then there’s the issue of its young ecosystem which is another reason why you should wait before getting a convertible laptop.

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