Windows 10 has reached its first birthday, and it’s safe to say that Microsoft’s latest operating system has made a great impression in that time. Through frequent patches and new builds, culminating with the release of Microsoft’s Anniversary Update on August 2, Windows 10 now offers a solid experience whether used on a laptop or tablet.
Convertibles – essentially tablets that convert into laptops using keyboard attachments – occupy the middle ground between the two, and there’s been some stonking hybrids launched in the past 12 months that offer the best of both worlds. Whether you’re looking for a lithe and luxurious 2-in-1 to take on the move or are hunting down a convertible laptop to double up as a makeshift telly, we’ve picked out the best options out there.
We’re mainly focusing on laptops that can be used as tablets (by folding the keyboard over) or tablets that can be used as laptops (by adding on a keyboard accessory). Check out our best laptop and best Chromebook buying guides for more conventional laptop offerings.
Microsoft Surface Pro 4
Still one of the best hybrids around
CPU: 2.4GHz Intel Core i5-6300U (dual-core, 3MB cache, up to 3GHz with Turbo Boost) | Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 520 | RAM: 8GB LPDDR3 | Screen: 12.3-inch, 2735 x 1,824 PixelSense Display (Contrast ratio: 1,300:1, 100% sRGB color 10-point multi-touch, 3:2 aspect ratio | Storage: 256GB SSD (PCIe 3.0)
After years in the doldrums, Microsoft’s versatile tablet is finally being taken seriously, The Surface Pro 4 is the company’s best tablet yet, partly thanks to its bright and clear display, slim dimensions and Intel Core-series processors under the hood. Microsoft has finally paired it with a decent keyboard cover that helps, rather than hinders typing, and the Surface Pen feels smoother and more accurate to use than ever before. If you're after a lightweight tablet that converts into a laptop, the Surface Pro 4 is the best-designed device out there.
Read the full review: Microsoft Surface Pro 4
Lenovo Yoga 900S
Lightweight and beautiful, with a twist
CPU: 1.1GHz Intel Core m5-6Y54 (dual core, 4MB cache, up to 2.7GHz with Turbo Boost) | Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 515 | RAM: 4GB LPDDR3 (1600 MHz) | Screen: 12.5-inch, 1,920 x 1,080 FHD IPS LED glossy multi-touch display | Storage: 128GB PCIe SSD
Convertible laptops have a reputation for being unwieldy and bulky when used in tablet mode, which is why Lenovo’s Yoga 900S stands out from the crowd. Weighing it at a svelte 2.2 pounds, this 12.5-inch laptop is manageable however you hold it and is a comfortable companion when kicking back on the couch. In terms of design, the Yoga 900S borrows the Yoga 3 Pro’s stylish watchband hinge without charging jewellry shop prices. It’s thinner too, while bringing the same pixel-packed 2,560 x 1,440 pixel-resolution display along for the ride.
Read the full review: Lenovo Yoga 900S
Skinny tablet has a screen that impresses
CPU: 1.1GHz Intel Core m5-6Y54 (dual core, 4MB cache, up to 2.7GHz with Turbo Boost) | Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 515 | RAM: 8GB LPDDR3 | Screen: 12-inch, 2,160 x 1440 IPS TFT touchscreen | Storage: 128GB SSD
Huawei's first Windows 10 tablet is like a delicate flower - beautiful to look at, yet a little flimsy at the same time. You won't be wanting to use its keyboard cover for bashing out your next novel, but it's more than up to the task of light web browsing, social media and typing up the occasional document. If you can put up with it, you'll reap the benefits of the MateBook's gorgeous 12-inch 2,160 x 1,440 IPS display, which boasts vivid colors and great viewing angles. The display's contents are accentuated by its thin bezel, and at 6.9mm thick, the MateBook is the thinnest Windows tablet around. Not a frontrunner, then, but certainly a device with a few unique qualities.
Read the full review: Huawei MateBook
Acer Switch Alpha 12
A convertible tablet that's cool in more ways than one
CPU: 2.3GHz Intel Core i5-6200U | Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 520 | RAM: 8GB | Screen: 12-inch 16:9 (2,160 x 1,440) | Storage: 128GB or 256GB SSD
Acer Switch Alpha 12
Acer's Switch Alpha 12 has clearly been influenced by Microsoft's Surface Pro 4, but its wireframe kickstand more closely echoes HP's Spectre x2. It boasts a trick that neither of those devices can: liquid cooling. That's right, the Alpha 12 is the first tablet that pumps a coolant solution around the inside to keep it running cool and quiet. It's an innovative device that is offered at a surprisingly acceptable price, especially considering that its decent keyboard dock is included in the bundle. Silver, shiny, tough and smart, the Switch Alpha 12 has more than a few tricks up its sleeve.
Microsoft Surface Book
At last, a Windows convertible with MacBook Pro quality
CPU: 2.4GHz Intel Core i5-6300U (dual-core, 3MB cache, up to 3GHz with Turbo Boost) | Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 520; Nvidia GeForce graphics (1GB GDDR5) | RAM: 8GB | Screen: 13-inch, 3,000 x 2,000 (267ppi) | Storage: 256GB PCIe 3.0 SSD
Microsoft broke its laptop duck with the 13.3-inch Surface Book, a fully-fledged notebook featuring a detachable display. It’s one of the most desirable machines around thanks to its MacBook-like chassis, which is machined out of two solid chunks of metal. When not using it like a laptop, pressing a button on the Surface Book's keyboard releases its lightweight 3:2 display which you can draw on using the Surface Pen or use as a tablet. Its Nvidia GTX 940M is good enough for light gaming, and its 3:2 display and comfortable keyboard make it a great laptop for doing productivity work. Just check its price tag first, as the top-end model doesn’t come cheap.
Read the full review: Microsoft Surface Book
Asus ZenBook Flip UX360CA
Asus flips out for the first time
CPU: Intel Core M 6Y30 | RAM: 4GB LPDDR3 1866MHz SDRAM Onboard Memory (up to 8GB) | Screen: 13.3-inch (16:9) LED backlit QHD+ (3,200 x 1,800) | Storage: 512GB SATA 3 M.2SSD
Asus has impressed in the laptop department with its UX305 and UX303 models in recent years, but a convertible has been sorely missing from its inventory. That's now changed with the UX360CA, which converts by folding the display all the way around to make it into a tablet. Measuring just 13.9mm, it's a fairly thin offering with an all-aluminum chassis that weighs a reassuring 2.9 pounds. Going the whole hog and opting for a QHD+ display fetches the best experience, allowing you to stand the laptop in a 'tent' shape and use it like a TV to stream online video. Packing a highly responsive trackpad and a USB-C port, there's numerous little bonuses to be font.
Read the full review: Asus ZenBook Flip UX360CA
Acer Chromebook R11
A Chromebook that converts
CPU: 1.6GHz Intel Braswell Quad-Core Celeron N3150 | Graphics: Intel HD Graphics | RAM: 4GB DDR3L | Screen: 11.6” 16:9 HD (1,366 x 768) | Storage: 32GB | Connectivity: Dual-band 802.ac; Bluetooth 4.0 | Camera: HD Web Camera | Weight: 2.76 lbs | Dimensions: 11.57 x 8.03 x 0.76 inches (WxDxH)
It took a while for Chromebooks to become as flexible as their Windows counterparts, but it’s been worth the wait. The Acer Chromebook R11 is the first Chromebook that flips 360-degrees to convert into a tablet. Whether you’re watching a movie, reading websites or catching up with online TV, the added flexibility makes it a more comfortable and convenient Chromebook compared to its rivals. Acer’s model also has the big advantage of being one of just three Chromebooks that currently support Android apps (though you’ll have to switch over to developer mode to give them a spin). On the flip side (pun very intended), the Chromebook R11 only has a HD, rather than a Full HD display, which on the plus side this helps its battery life reach into the double figures.
Read the full review: Acer Chromebook R11
HP Spectre x360 15
Fifteen inches of converting power
CPU: 2.3GHz Intel Core i5-6200U (dual-core, 3MB cache, up to 2.8GHz with Turbo Boost) | Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 520 | RAM: 8GB| Screen: 15.6-inch (1,920 x 1,080 Full HD, WLED-backlit, IPS touchscreen) | Storage: 256GB Flash SSD |
HP's 13-inch Spectre x360 was one of the best convertibles when it launched, and its bigger 15-inch cousin offers more to love. Its metal body feels premium to touch, and its bigger screen means that you can rotate its display to stream video, play games or read websites without having to zoom out. This flipping great device has surprisingly good battery life considering its size, and it doesn't even suffer too much if you opt for a 4K display configuration.
Read the full review: HP Spectre x360 15
Samsung Galaxy Tab Pro S
A great media tablet
CPU: 900MHz Intel Core M3-6Y30 (dual-core, 4MB cache, 2.2GHz with Turbo Boost) | Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 515 | RAM: 4GB | Screen: 12-inch Super AMOLED Full HD + (2,160 x 1,440) | Storage: 128GB SSD
Samsung is known for its color-rich Super AMOLED displays on its smartphones, which it has now brought to its eye-popping Galaxy Tab Pro S. The display on this device usurps the Surface Pro 4 as the most eye-catching one we've seen, and the Tab Pro S's svelte dimensions only make it more alluring. Its speakers pack a surprising punch considering its catwalk-thin build, making it a great option whether you're reading websites, watching videos or playing music in the car.
Read the full review: Samsung Galaxy Tab Pro S
Lenovo IdeaPad Miix 700
A Surface Pro 4-me-too!
CPU: 1.2GHz Intel Core m7-6Y75 (1866MHz 4MB) | Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 515 | RAM: 8GB Onboard LPDDR3 1866MHz | Screen: 12.0-inch FHD+ IPS LED MultiTouch (2,160 x 1,440) | Storage: 256GB SSD SATA III
Read the full review: Lenovo IdeaPad Miix 700