The speed at which technology is advancing is pretty amazing. When it comes to computers, things have pretty much revolutionized off late. We started off with computers, then came laptops and now tablets. It seems that people these days are more inclined to a combination of tablet and laptop – known as hybrid laptops. These generally contain a removable screen which turns the device into a tablet when separated. Don’t confuse hybrid laptops with tablets that come with keyboards built into the removable screen cover. If you think technically, those are nothing but tablets with keyboards and those cannot be named as hybrid laptops.
With the advent of the New Year, some high-end hybrid laptops are already out to cater to the need of the technology freaks. In the coming year, some new ones are expected to come out as well. Let’s take a look at some of them and see how they are faring:
#1. Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga 2 Pro (13.3-inch Hybrid Laptop)
Lenovo has always effortlessly made wonderful hybrid laptops and Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga 2 Pro coming out the same stable is not an exception in anyway. This comes in two models: 11.6 inches and 13.3 inches. The latter has pretty high resolution at 3,200×1,800.
It’s pretty simple design wise, yet functionalities are many. The lid should be tilt back and you’ll have a full size, scrabble-tile keyboard. The touchpad doesn’t have any button though. Typing on this hybrid laptop is pretty comfortable as well.
It comes with 256GB SSD, RAM of 4GB and a 1.6GHz Intel Core i5-4200 CPU. Performance wise, this works pretty well and boot timing is pretty solid too. It comes for around $1,300. The only drawback that can be said about Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga 2 Pro is that the high-DPI display doesn’t work pretty well.
Companies are sure to fire more innovative and technically advanced hybrid laptops by 2014 ends. However, for the time being, these 5 look to be winning the race.
#2. Asus Taichi 21 (11.6” Tablet Hybrid)
Asus Taichi 21 has the conventional design of an ultrabook. Add a touch screen display onto the lid for this hybrid laptop. It functions as a secondary display when it is open. Otherwise, the device acts as a tablet.
It weighs only 2.8 grams and the keyboard is pretty easy to type in. Dual screen is a feature that’s hardly available in other hybrid laptops and this feature alone gives it advantage over most of its competitors. There are a couple of USB 3.0 ports, a mini VGA and one micro HDMI port. There are lots of wireless connectivity options available such as Bluetooth 4.0, 802.11n dual-band Wi-Fi, WiDi 2.0 etc. There are adapters to convert Mini VGA to full size of USB to Ethernet as well. Asus Taichi 21 has some sensors which are not pretty common in hybrid laptops such as ambient light sensor, e-compass, accelerometer and gyroscope.
Battery life is something where Asus Taichi 21 lags behind. It’s pretty pricey at $1,599 as well. The design is pretty innovative though and if you are fan of high end hybrid laptops, this one may turn out to be the best option for you.
#3. Sony VAIO Duo 13 (13.3” convertible ultrabook)
This hybrid laptop is available in both Carbon Black and White colors. You may find the button placements to be a bit awkward, however the design on a whole is lightweight and aesthetic. The screen is of 13.3 inches and when you are not using the stylus slide, it attaches itself to the right side. The CPU is a 1.8 GHz Intel Core i7-4500U and comes with an Intel HD 4000 Graphics, 256GB SSD and 8 GB of RAM. This hybrid laptop has got a couple of USB 3.0 ports, an SD card reader, power port and an HDMI output. You’ll also find an NFC radio port at the bottom portion of the device.
On a whole, Sony VAIO Duo 13 has lots of positive factors such as epic battery life, a gorgeous screen with pen support and lightweight design. It’s a bit pricey for some ($1,399 to start and after configuration comes at $1,899) and there are scopes of improvement when it comes to the navigation and typing experience.
#4. Dell XPS 12 (12.5-inch convertible ultrabook)
If you look for comfort while typing, Dell XPS 12 is one hybrid laptop that you must try out. Not only the keyboard, but touch screen works smoothly, as well as the track pad. The battery life is something for which Dell XPS 12 can take pride. The processor is a 4th generation Intel Core i5-4200U. The system has 4GB of memory, 128 GB of SSD Hard Drive and Intel HD Graphics 4400. It is constructed of Carbon Fiber.
Without charging the device for once, it can continuously run for more than 8 hours. It weighs in 3.24 Pounds and comes with Gorilla Glass – making it pretty tough nut to break. There are associated downsides though. First of all, some function keys require two consecutive presses. Port selection is pretty limited with this hybrid laptop as well.
Switching screen may turn out to be bothersome for a few users, however at a price of $1,199, Dell XPS 12 is a good deal for sure.
#5. Microsoft Surface Pro 2 (10.6” convertible tablet PC)
As it says – this hybrid laptop has got body of a tablet, but, heart of a laptop. You can get it for a price of $899. Its processing power easily matches up to that of a desktop. The operating system memory is pretty amazing helping the performance. The keyboard is much improved in comparison with the previous version as well. Microsoft Surface Pro 2 has a 10.6 inch screen and the resolution is amazing at 1920×1080 pixels (Full HD and pretty crisp & sharp). Pro 2 has the Haswell Core i5 processor of Intel and this has improved the booting time incredibly. The battery life is a high point of this hybrid laptop and you can expect it to run for 7 hours continuously without charging.
Microsoft Surface Pro 2 works pretty well and is a fine update to its predecessor which was doing nicely anyway.