UPDATED POST FOR 2014: Top Convertible Ultrabooks 2014
Laptop manufacturers have been working for a long time on merging a laptop and a tablet into one new gadget. The result of these tablet laptops is the new convertible Ultrabook category powered by Windows 8. This may be pointing out the obvious, but the new Windows 8 equipped machines are touchscreen Ultrabooks that can also be used as tablets. All of these Ultrabooks convert to tablets by either flipping the touchscreen all the way around or by simply removing the tablet touchscreen.
With Windows 8 being released now, the operating system performs perfectly on both keyboard equipped laptops and tablets with the full gesture control features. Not only does Windows 8 make great use of touchscreens, but there are many other new features that greatly improve operating on PC’s, tablets and even smartphones. Check out this post for more about Windows 8 Ultrabooks.
Top 5 Convertible Ultrabooks
Listed below is a line-up of the best Windows 8 Ultrabook convertibles that are either out or coming out soon.
Windows 8 Convertibles Available Now
Lenovo ThinkPad Helix
Lenovo released their new convertible Ultrabook, the ThinkPad Helix, which has a detachable screen whichs acts as a tablet when removed. It is pretty expensive with a starting price of $1,679 but it’s a great choice for business users looking for an excellent tablet hybrid. The tablet itself weighs 1.8 pounds and the Helix weighs 3.7 pounds when all together, and only .8 inch thick.
The display is very bright and the keyboard is excellent, of course the Lenovo ThinkPads are known for their best-in-class keyboards. It’s one of the best convertibles out right now, but only for those with a large enough budget.
Check Prices: Lenovo ThinkPad Helix 36984SU
|$1,679||11.6″ 1080p||Core i5-3427U||128GB SSD||3.7 Lbs. (1.68kg)||0.8 Inch (21mm)|
Asus Transformer Book
Next is the Asus Transformer Book which also has a detachable tablet display and is also quite expensive at $1,499. This 13.3 inch hybrid is equipped with the fast Intel Core i7 and 128GB SSD storage in the tablet along with a large 500GB hard drive and second battery in the keyboard dock. At 4.2 pounds when altogether, this convertible is pretty heavy, but still very thin at .27 to .94 inch thick.
The 1080p IPS display is beautiful and the Core i7 makes this ASUS perform extremely fast. The battery life is also very strong thanks to both pieces having their own batteries. The back of the tablet does heat up pretty easily when using demanding applications.
Check Prices: ASUS Transformer Book TX300CA-DH71
|$1,499||13.3″ 1080p||Core i7-3517U||128GB SSD + 500GB HDD||4.2 Lbs. (1.9kg)||0.27-0.94″ (7-24mm)|
Samsung ATIV Smart PC Pro 700T
Next is the Samsung ATIV Smart PC Pro 700T, also with a detachable tablet, but this one is much more affordable at $1,079. It has an attractive design and is lighter than the first two convertibles at 3.5 pounds all together and is also very thin at only 0.5 inch thick.
The ATIV also comes with a very cool and accurate S-Pen stylus as well as Samsung software ported over from their Galaxy mobile device line. The performance is excellent and the price is better than some other equivilent convertible Ultrabooks.
Check Prices: Samsung ATIV XE700T1C-A01US Smart PC Pro 700T
|$1,099||11.6″ 1080p||Core i5-3317U||128GB SSD||3.5 Lbs. (1.6kg)||.5 Inch (12.7mm)|
Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga 13
The IdeaPad Yoga from Lenovo has been a pretty popular topic since it was announced. Like the name implies, the Yoga is a flexible Ultrabook. The lid opens up like any laptop would, but the hinges allow the Yoga’s screen to keep flipping back 360 degrees until its flat against the bottom side turning it into a tablet. You can also flip it just enough to put it in ‘Tent Mode’ so it can stand up for easy viewing.
The Lenovo Yoga is probably the most flexible convertible available right now and very simple to use. It is also the most affordable, full powered Ultrabook convertible in this current list, but it has upgraded models for those who want that powerful Intel i7 processor or more random access memory.
Like the other convertibles, it is still a little heavy for regular tablet use weighing at 3.3 pounds. Though it is twice as heavy as an iPad for tablet use, it has so much more potential. You get a full power PC with the new Windows 8 and a keyboard when you need it with a simple flip of the touchscreen.
Check Out: Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga Review
|$999||13.3″ (1600×900)||Core i3-3217U||128GB SSD||
3.4 Lbs. (1.5kg)
|0.67 Inch (17mm)|
Lenovo ThinkPad Twist
The ThinkPad Twist has all the quality aspects you would expect from a major laptop manufacturer like Lenovo. The keyboard is amazing (though we don’t know why it isn’t back-lit), has the signature red pointer, and the touchpad is very gesture friendly.
What makes this ThinkPad different is the ability to twist the touchscreen around on the hinge to convert this Ultrabook into tablet form when closed. The Twist is an excellent machine for the price it’s at, but you can notice a few things that came out of the budget friendly price tag.
One sad mention is the 1,366 x 768 pixel resolution display. Other convertible Ultrabooks go up to a full 1080p display and even the Yoga has 1600×900 pixels. Another thing, with a weight of 3.48 pounds, it is a little heavier than standard Ultrabooks and won’t be very friendly for long use as a tablet.
Check Prices: Lenovo Thinkpad Twist
|$829||12.5″ (1366×768)||Core i3-3217U||320GB HDD||3.48 lbs. (1.6kg)||0.8 Inch (20mm)|
Dell XPS 12
Like the Lenovo Yoga, the Dell XPS 12 is able to adjust the touchscreen into many positions. The difference with the XPS is that instead of flipping the screen 360 degrees, the screen rotates inside the outside of the lid. It sill opens like any laptop, but after you rotate the touchscreen you can close the lid again to get it in tablet mode. The display also detects the viewing angle and flips automatically right side up when in tablet use or when you are flipping the touchscreen.
The XPS 12 works wonderfully as an Ultrabook, with a very comfortable island style back-lit keyboard and accurate touchpad. The performance is great, what you would expect from Dell. Everything is well designed and the Dell XPS 12 itself is a sexy machine that shows off the new Windows 8 very well. I’ve said this about every other convertible Ultrabook on the list so far, but the XPS 12 is also a little heavy to use comfortably as a tablet weighing at 3.35 pounds.
I’ll just say that even when using convertibles in tablet mode, it’s still convenient to have full PC options readily available. If you just need something for reading or simple web browsing though, regular tablets would be much more comfortable for long usage.
Check Prices: Dell XPS 12
|$1,199||12.5″ 1080p||Core i5-3317U||128GB SSD||3.35 lbs. (1.5kg)||
0.59-0.87 Inch (15-22mm)
HP ENVY x2
This hybrid from HP was highly anticipated when it was first announced, with it’s ability to disconnect the touchscreen display from the bottom half with the keyboard to form a standalone tablet. With the more affordable CPU, the Atom processor, it’s not as powerful as other Ultrabooks. It does have an incredibly long battery life, with both halves of the x2 having their own batteries.
Check Prices: HP Envy x2
|$699||11.6″ (1366×768)||Dual Intel Atom||64GB SSD||3.11 lbs. (As One)||0.66-.076 Inch|
Sony VAIO Duo 11
The Sony VAIO Duo 11 is a nice convertible Ultrabook with a nice set of features and decent specs. Inside the small laptop, you can choose your processor from the 3rd gen Intel Core i3, i5 or the powerful i7 processor which makes it perform great. The 11 inch screen fits a whole 1080p resolution display that looks beautiful. Sony’s Surf Slider is used to slide the touchscreen back and upward to reveal the keyboard, turning the tablet into an Ultrabook.
It is a little bit difficult to convert the Duo and new users may not know how to do it before being shown. Though the Sony VAIO Duo 11 is a very good machine, the design isn’t too good looking. Even with it having an 11 inch display, the body is still about as big and heavy as 13 inch Ultrabooks. This machine does a good job at showing off good performance with Windows 8, but is too heavy to be comfortably used as a tablet since it is bulky and heavy.
Check Out: Sony VAIO Duo 11 Review
|$1,099||11.6″ 1080p IPS||Core i5-3317U||128GB SSD||2.87 lbs.||0.71 Inch|
Toshiba Satellite U920t
The first noticeable aspect of Toshiba’s U920t convertible Ultrabook is the low resolution. The Sony and Dell convertibles have full 1080p displays, but the Satellite U920t has even less then the now standard resolution of 1600×900 pixels. The touchscreen slides up into Ultrabook mode in the same style as Sony’s VAIO Duo does and also uses Gorilla Glass to protect the display.
The U920t is also the bulkiest out of the current available convertible Ultrabooks and is one of the heaviest at 3.35 pounds. The performance is good though, and it did a nice job of showing off Windows 8 touch features, but there are better options out there that even have better prices.
Check Prices: Toshiba Satellite U925T
|$1,149 (Sale $785)||12.5″ (1366×768)||Core i5-3317U||128GB SSD||3.35 lbs.||0.8 Inch|
What do you think about the new Windows 8 convertible Ultrabooks being released? Share your thoughts and opinions!