Thursday, October 8, 2015

Pros And Cons Of 2-In-1 Laptops!

What Are 2-In-1 Laptops and How to Pick the Best One?

Ever since Windows 8 pushed hard to be a good tablet operating system, the humble laptop has really evolved over the last few years. A new kind of notebook — the beloved 2-in-1 — even combines the features of both laptops and tablets, but can it really give you the best of both worlds?
We know that a Windows 8 tablet cannot fully replace a PC, so a tablet-cum-laptop is a better solution. But it’s still difficult to figure out which 2-in-1 you should buy because the answer isn’t simple. The hardware differs wildly, and different form factors make it a subjective decision.
Basically, what’s right for your friend might not be right for you. Knowing a few things can help you make the best purchase for your needs, so here’s what you need to pay attention to.

Two Types of 2-in-1 Laptops

Broadly speaking, 2-in-1 laptops can be categorized into two types: hybrids and convertibles. These aren’t actually the category names used across the industry, but I’m borrowing these terms from CNET since they make it easier to explain the two concepts.
Hybrids: A hybrid is a laptop where the screen can be completely detached from the keyboard base and serve as a standalone touchscreen tablet. The base is a proper keyboard, complete with USB ports and its own battery source.
Convertibles: A convertible is a laptop where the screen can be flipped back or swiveled to be used as a tablet. The screen and the keyboard never detach, but it’s a touchscreen so you can use it like you would a tablet.

The Pros and Cons of Hybrids

Pro: Better Battery Life — Generally, both the tablet base and the docked keyboard have a built-in battery. What this means is that you get two batteries, thus lengthening the overall battery life of the combined device. As a rule of thumb, you’ll get better battery life on hybrids than convertibles in the same price range.
Plus, several of these hybrids support Android phone-like microUSB cables, which is super convenient while we wait for USB Type C to become the standard.
Pro: A Proper Tablet — The tablet functions as a proper tablet regardless of whether you want to use the keyboard or not. We’ve seen that Windows 10 is pretty good on a tablet, so if you’re on a work trip, you can save yourself the trouble of carrying an iPad along with your laptop.
Pro: Value for Money — Buying a full-fledged Windows laptop and a full-fledged Android tablet or iPad would set you back several hundred dollars more than these hybrids. So if you’re trying to be as economical as possible, you’ll save some big bucks going with a hybrid.
Latitude 13 7000 Series 2 in 1 Notebook
Cons: Underpowered — Hybrids are powered by the mobile-friendly Intel Atom series or the Intel Core M processor since they have to be light and battery-efficient without heating up. These processors are good for basic tasks (e.g. browsing the Internet, working on Office) but not for heavy-duty tasks (e.g. major multi-tasking, image editing, gaming).
Cons: Jack of All Trades — Being a tablet and a laptop usually results in these hybrids being the proverbial jacks-of-all-trades and masters of none. The big sell here is the convenience of a full-fledged desktop operating system running on a single device that serves as both laptop and tablet depending on your needs, but it will never be a fantastic tablet experience nor a fantastic laptop experience.
Cons: Lack of Tablet Apps — The proper tablet experience of Windows 10 fails on one front: apps. Compared to Android or iOS, Windows lacks several major apps and games. You can still use it well for reading, watching movies, or browsing, but you might feel left out when all your friends have an app on Android or iPad that you can’t get.

The Pros and Cons of Convertibles

Pro: Great Laptop Hardware — Unlike hybrids, convertibles can follow the standard laptop ideals of stuffing good hardware in the keyboard base. So in terms of actual performance, you get Intel’s powerful laptop processors instead of low-powered mobile-friendly processors.
Pro: Great Build Quality — Convertibles can still be thin and elegant, since the screen doesn’t need to pack any hardware. In fact, you will find many convertibles that follow the aesthetics of an ultrabook, even boasting of full aluminum bodies.
Cons: Heavy As Tablets — A convertible is cumbersome to use as a tablet. While it offers that functionality, you won’t find yourself relying on it often. Convertibles are far too heavy and bulky to compete with the convenience of a proper tablet.

What Should You Buy?

Like I said at the beginning, there is no one-size-fits-all recommendation here. You should buy based on your personal requirements.
Hybrids are great for travelling executives or those looking to get both a tablet and a Windows laptop on a budget. The use-case scenario you are looking at is 60% laptop, 40% tablet.
Dell Latitude 13 7000 7350 Ultrabook/Tablet - 13.3" - In-plane Switching (IPS) Technology - Wireless LAN - Intel Core M 462-9518 
Screen Size:13.3"
Price: $900.00
ASUS Transformer Book Chi T300CHI-DSM2T-CA Touchscreen Laptop/Tablet (12.5-inch WQHD, Core M-5Y10, 8GB LPDDR3, 128GB SSD, Windows 8.1, Dark Blue) 
Intel® CoreTM M 5Y10 Processor
Price: $638.00
ASUS T100 2 in 1 10.1 Inch Laptop (Intel Atom, 2 GB, 64GB SSD, Gray) - Free Upgrade to Windows 10
Intel Bay Trail-T Z3735F 1.33GHz (Turbo up to 1.83GHz)
Price: Too low to display
Convertibles are great for professionals who need more horsepower to get work done on laptops, but want the convenience of a tablet once in a while. The split would be about 85% laptop, 15% tablet.
Popular examples of convertibles: Lenovo Yoga 3 Pro (read our review of the earlier Lenovo Ideapad Yoga), Acer Aspire R13Asus Flip
Lenovo Yoga 3 Pro 80HE000LUS 13.3-Inch 8GB Soldered Convertible Ultrabook Tablet Touchscreen, Intel HD 5300 Graphics, Windows 8.1 Professional, Light Silver 
Intel Core M 5Y70 Broadwell Processor (2.60 GHz Turbo, 1.10GHz Base 1600MHz 4MB)
Price: $1,349.00
Acer Aspire R 13 R7-371T-57SN 13.3-Inch Full HD Convertible 2 in 1 Touchscreen Laptop 
Intel Core i5-4210U 1.7 GHz (3 MB Cache)
Price: $749.99
Asus 13.3 Inch Flip Convertible 2 in 1 Laptop with HD Touchscreen Display, Core i3-4030U Processor,6GB DDR3,500GB HDD,Windows 8(Certified Refurbished) 
This Certified Refurbished product is manufacturer refurbished, shows limited or no wear, and includes all original accessories plus a 90-day warranty.
Price: $429.00
There are also what CNET calls “Hybrid Lites” like the Microsoft Surface Pro 3, which is basically a tablet with a soft keyboard. It’s not a proper hybrid laptop though, since the keyboard dock doesn’t have its own battery or extra connectivity ports, and it’s not stable enough to prop up the device to be used on your lap safely.
Yup, can’t call it a laptop then, right?

Beyond Windows…

Since you don’t have to worry about Windows Pro and Windows RT anymore, Windows is obviously the big drawing point of these 2-in-1 devices. But hybrids and convertibles aren’t limited to Windows alone.
The Asus Transformer Pad Infinity, for instance, is a hybrid that runs Android. Check out our review of it to see if it’s good for you — a pretty solid choice if you mainly want an Android tablet which you can use as a laptop. In such cases of an Android-based hybrid, the use-case ratio would be 70% tablet, 30% laptop.
ASUS Transformer Pad Infinity TF700T 10.1" 32GB Full HD Android 4.0 (upgradable to 4.1) Tablet Gray - Includes 2 Year 50GB free Asus Web Cloud Storage 
ASUS Transformer Pad Infinity TF700T Transform to FHD. Infinite entertainment awaits
Price: $249.99
Similarly, on the convertible front, there is the Asus Chromebook Flip (check our review of this one, too) which is a pretty capable computer. There’s a compelling case to switch to Chromebook and never look back, especially when you consider that it can now run Android apps.
ASUS Chromebook Flip 10.1-Inch Convertible 2 in 1 Touchscreen (Rockchip, 2 GB, 16GB SSD, Silver) 
Rockchip 1.8 GHz Processor
Price: $217.98
And of course, you can consider “hybrid lites” here too, like the iPad Pro (which isn’t just a bigger iPad) and the newly announced Google Pixel C.

2-in-1 vs. Dedicated: Have Your Say

Given a choice, what would you buy: a 2-in-1 Windows device or a dedicated laptop and a dedicated tablet? With Android tablet prices dropping, getting a proper Windows laptop and an Android tablet sounds like a tempting option, don’t you think?


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