What if you can have a device that does it all, a singular device that can replace your desktop, laptop and tablet and yet weights no more than an ultrabook and has the same footprint as a notepad.
It is a no brainer, if you had to choose only one gadget, you would pick one of these, 2-in-1 hybrids. These new generation do it all convertible tablets or detachable laptops depending on how you see it, packs enough punch to be a desktop replacement yet it is sleek in design, lightweight and small enough to carry around all day.
Yes, gone are the days of bulky Windows tablet, almost brick like and thick enough to house a full size stylus in a built-in ejector silo, if you still remember. These days, Windows tablets are so thin, light and sleek, they outshine even Apple’s iPad Pro 12.9-inch tablet. Not that we care to compare Apples and Pears but impressive for PCs nonetheless.
Another advantage of going with one of these hybrids than say a laptop with a 360 hinge or an ultra portable is the ability to make the most of Windows 10. Features like Tablet Mode, Notes, Cortana and Windows Hello are best applied on a tablet.
As it stands 3 out of 5 of our best hybrids come with or have an optional stylus instead of just a touch screen to take notes, sketch or navigate around your tablet. All of the devices have a detachable keyboard to turn the device into a true tablet for a real touch interface experience.
These tablets also come with a microphone array ready to take commands and questions using Cortana, your personal digital assistant. More advanced features such as front infrared camera that recognises your face allowing you to login to your machine instantly and securely are already available on more recent machines.
When you had enough, snap-on the keyboard and turn your tablet into a laptop with a full size keyboard and track pad that lets you get on with work. These devices are just so versatile.
Top 5 Best Windows 2-in-1 PCs
So here of five of the best and amazing 2-in-1 hybrid PCs worthy of your attention:
- Microsoft Surface Pro 4 – STYLUS, KEYBOARD OPTIONAL
- ASUS Transformer 3 Pro T303UA 2-in-1 Hybrid – STYLUS AND KEYBOARD OPTIONAL
- Samsung Galaxy TabPro S 2-in-1 Hybrid Tablet – KEYBOARD INCLUDED
- Huawei Matebook Signature Edition 2-in-1 PC – KEYBOARD INCLUDED
- HP Spectre X2 12-a001na Detachable Laptop – KEYBOARD & STYLUS INCLUDED
1. Microsoft Surface Pro 4 – STYLUS
With Microsoft’s reference tablet unit, now in its 4th iteration, the Surface Pro 4 comes with Surface Pen but type cover or keyboard is sold separately. The tablet has been very successful since launch and it is the very tablet that won back the heads and hearts of Windows users.
The 12.3-inch tablet is available in a variety of configurations from Intel Core m3 to Intel Core i7. Memory configurations can go up to 16GB while storage up to 256GB with front and rear facing cameras and useful ports. Even with all that, it is still a nice little package at 8.45mm thin and weighing up to 786 grams depending on the configuration.
- Display: : 12.3-inch PixelSense display, Resolution: 2736 x 1824 (267 PPI), Aspect Ratio: 3:2, Touch: 10 point multi-touch
- Processor: 6th Gen Intel Core m3, i5, or i7 – MORE PROCESSOR OPTIONS
- Memory & Storage: 4GB, 8GB or 16GB RAM and 128GB or 256GB SSD Storage – MORE MEMORY OPTIONS
- Dimensions & Weight: 11.50 x 7.93 x .33 in (292.10 x 201.42 x 8.45 mm), i5/i7: 1.73lbs (786grams), m3 1.69lbs (766grams) – LIGHTER*
- Graphics: m3 Intel HD graphics 515 or i5 Intel HD graphics 520 or i7 Intel Iris graphics
- Battery & Power: 9-12 hours of video playback depending on configuration
- Cameras: 5.0MP front facing HD camera, 8.0MP rear facing autofocus camera with 1080p HD video recording
Surface Pen, Microsoft’s stylus is included while the keyboard is optional.
2. ASUS Transformer 3 Pro T303UA 2-in-1 Hybrid – STYLUS OPTIONAL
At first glance, the Transformer 3 Pro looks very much like the Surface Pro 4, those square edges, the kick stand and magnetic keyboard. But it does not only look the part, the 2-in-1 hybrid from ASUS means business. It comes packed with a lot of fire power, with sixth generation Intel Core i7 processor and PCIex4 Gen 3 SSD storage with SATA3 super fast storage.
You can even connect an optional ROG XG Station 2 for gaming grade graphics or Audio Pod for better audio with quad speakers, 360° surround sound and 5.1 channel virtual surround.
The body is made from premium-grade metal, a far cry from plastic Transformer tablets we are use to. After all, this here is a Pro, and a Pro deserves aluminium-magnesium alloy goodness. Given the bulk, it is still wights only 800 grams and measures 8.35mm thin. The integrated metal kickstand has a 155° step less hinge and can go up to 170° angle.
What really makes the Transformer 3 Pro stands out from the rest is the 3K display, packing 2880 x 1920 pixels with an extra-wide colour gamut of 121% sRGB and 85% NTSC for more vivid and accurate colours.
It also aces on connectivity with USB-C with data rate up to 10Gbps and Thunderbolt 3 port with data rate up to 40Gbps. For good measure, Asus has also thrown in a full size HDMI port. While optional, ASUS Pen offers high-precision 1024 levels jotter for all those notes and ideas. And, instead of a finger print scanner, it can take advantage of Windows Hello using the front infrared camera for facial recognition and instant login.
- 12.6-inch (16:9) LED backlit WQHD+ (2880 x 1920) 60Hz Glare Touchscreen with 85% NTSC – BIGGEST, HIGHEST RESOLUTION
- Intel® Core™ i5 6200U Processor or Intel® Core™ i7 6500U Processor
- 4GB / 8GB LPDDR3 2133MHz SDRAM Onboard Memory and 256GB/512GB SATA3 M.2 SSD storage with multi-format card ready
- 2MP front facing IR camera and 13MP rear camera
- Integrated 802.11AC, Bluetooth 4.1, combo audio jack, 1 x USB 3.1 (Type C), 1 x USB 3.0, 1 x HDMI and 1 x Thunderbolt 3 port.
- Built-in stereo 2W speakers and array microphone with Harman Kardon technology and ASUS SonicMaster Premium
- 39 Whrs Polymer Battery with quick charge 60% in 60 minutes.
- 298.8 x 210.1 x 8.35 mm (WxDxH), 800g
3. Samsung Galaxy TabPro S 12-inch 2-in-1 Hybrid Tablet – KEYBOARD INCLUDED
The Samsung Galaxy TabPro S uses the same 6th generation Intel Core m processor as the Surface Pro 4. It is also a tablet first with a stylish body coming in at a mere 1.5 pounds (693 grams) and a slight 0.25 inches (6.3 mm) thin. Like the Huawei Matebook, the Samsung Galaxy TabPro represents a new generation of Windows tablets that are both thinner and lighter and with build quality to rival even the iPad Pro 12.9. For reference, the iPad Pro 12.9 measures 6.9mm thin and weighs 713 grams.
The Full HD+ display uses Super AMOLED technology that takes viewing to an elevated level with strikingly clear videos and pixel-perfect images. Samsung Galaxy TabPro S includes a very impressive detachable full size keyboard with integrated precision touchpad but no sign of a stylus.
- 12-inch sAMOLED FullHD+ 2160 x 1140 pixel resolution (216ppi) touchscreen
- Intel® Core™ m3-6Y30 Processor Dual-core 900 MHz / 2.2 GHz with Turbo Boost 4 MB cache
- 4GB RAM + 128GB SSD or 4GB RAM + 256GB SSD
- 5MP Front Facing Camera and 5MP Auto Focus main Rear Facing Camera
- 5,200mAh (39.5Wh, 7.6V) up to 10.5hrs / Fast Charging
- 290.3 x 198.8 x 6.3mm, 693g
Huawei Matebook Signature Edition 2-in-1 PC – KEYBOARD INCLUDED
Huawei has been making waves in the smartphone market and now tablets. The Matebook comes with its own portfolio backlit keyboard, one less thing to fork out for but does not support a pen input device. You do get a choice of processors, an Intel Core m3 or the faster Intel Core m5.
The 12-inch touch screen is super sharp pumping out bright colours at 2K resolution (2160 x 1440) offering plenty of details. There is also a built-in fingerprint scanner for quick login. It also has the same thinness of the iPad Pro at 6.9mm and given its slightly smaller display, weighs lighter at 639grams. Unfortunately, it does not come with a stylus nor does it have a stylus as an optional purchase.
- 12-inch Full HD IPS touchscreen (2160 x 1440), 10-finger multi-touch support
- Core m3 or m5: Intel Core m3-6Y30 900MHz (2.2GHz with Turbo Boost) or Intel Core m5-6Y54 1.10 GHz with Turbo Boost Technology up to 2.70 GHz
- 4GB or 8GB RAM memory with 128GB, 256GB or 512GB SSD storage
- Battery & Power: 33.7WHr, 4430mAh (up to 9 hours)
- 5MP web cam
- Dimensions & Weight: 10.97 x 7.64 x 0.27 in (278.80 x 194.10 x 6.90 mm), 1.41 lbs (639.56 grams)
HP Spectre X2 12-a001na Detachable Laptop – KEYBOARD & STYLUS INCLUDED
The premium 2-in-1 tablet with stylus and keyboard included is another strong contender. While the screen is only Full HD, it is powered by the 6th generation Intel Core M7-6Y75, an efficient yet powerful processor.
It has an innovative U shaped stainless steel kickstand that rotates to 150° for various angles. The super strong body is made from a single piece aluminium and like the Surface Pro 4, it has rear camera with Intel RealSeanse 3D and two USB-C ports.
Did we say that the HP Spectre X2’s backlit keyboard and stylus are included.
- 12-inch diagonal WUXGA UWVA BrightView WLED-backlit (1920 x 1280)
- Intel® Core™ M3-6Y30 with Intel® HD Graphics 515 (900 MHz, up to 2.2 GHz, 4 MB cache, 2 cores)
- 4GB DDR3L SDRAM (onboard) memory, 256GB M.2 SSD storage, 1 multi-format SD media card reader
- 5MP HP TrueVision Full HD Webcam (front facing) with integrated dual digital microphones and Intel RealSense 3D Camera with dual digital microphone (rear facing)
- 802.11a/b/g/n/ac (2×2) and Bluetooth® 4.0 combo (Miracast compatible), 1 headphone/microphone combo, 2 USB 3.0 (Type-C)
- Bang & Olufsen Quad Speakers, Full size island style backlit keyboard with touchpad that supports multi-touch gesture, Stylus
- 3-cell, 42 Wh Li-ion polymer
- Dimensions & Weight:30.3 x 20.9 x 0.8 cm & 0.82kg (tablet). 30.3 x 20.9 x 1.31 cm & 1.19kg (tablet and base)