Laptops forum

General discussion

Is a convertible laptop something you would consider buying?

by Lee Koo (ADMIN) CNET staff/forum admin / May 3, 2013 9:14 AM PDT
Post a reply
Discussion is locked
You are posting a reply to: Is a convertible laptop something you would consider buying?
The posting of advertisements, profanity, or personal attacks is prohibited. Please refer to our CNET Forums policies for details. All submitted content is subject to our Terms of Use.
Track this discussion and email me when there are updates

If you're asking for technical help, please be sure to include all your system info, including operating system, model number, and any other specifics related to the problem. Also please exercise your best judgment when posting in the forums--revealing personal information such as your e-mail address, telephone number, and address is not recommended.

You are reporting the following post: Is a convertible laptop something you would consider buying?
This post has been flagged and will be reviewed by our staff. Thank you for helping us maintain CNET's great community.
Sorry, there was a problem flagging this post. Please try again now or at a later time.
If you believe this post is offensive or violates the CNET Forums' Usage policies, you can report it below (this will not automatically remove the post). Once reported, our moderators will be notified and the post will be reviewed.
Collapse -
I have a Lenovo Thinkpad Twist Convertible Ultrabook
by RDAnys / May 3, 2013 11:45 AM PDT

While the Windows 8 environment is pretty sparse as far as sophisticated apps goes (more about that later) the beauty and the brilliance of the Windows 8 Pro for Intel operating system is that it is also an exact duplicate of the Windows 7 environment. All of my Windows 7 programs and data files and records are fully usable and the only difference is that those applications also now take swipe gestures. So I can use my old Windows Office word processing files, my excel files, powerpoint, database, etc. just as if I was still on my old Windows 7 computer. Except they all function a LOT faster.
All I had to do was add a START button to the 'desktop' (the Windows 7 look-alike environment) and I might think I was using my old computer. When I want to try a Windows 8 app I just click the Windows 8 icon and I'm in a flick and swipe world. This gives me what I need to be productive, while the Windows 8 applications 'catch up' to the market place.
About that lack of sophistication in Windows 8 apps. It's not that Windows 8 is lacking; it's that the producers of the apps haven't gotten up to speed yet to fill the market with fully functioning Windows 8 apps. Here's an example:
I was using the app to search for something I wanted to buy. When I thought I'd found it I wanted to compare it to what I had bought previously. So I clicked the "history" link. Woah!!!! Obviously the designers of the Amazon app haven't gotten around to programming that yet, because I was jumped out of the Windows 8 environment, into the Windows 7 desktop environment, then my Windows 7 Chrome browser opened up, and it went to the website, opened my account, and went to my purchase history page. All of that happened transparently, but it was only done because the Windows 8 app hasn't been finished yet. Sort of like a Beta 1.5 version. You know; the 1.2 "we fixed the bugs!" version is out, now we're gonna work on all those other little nasty's we haven't finished yet version.
Some applications are really, really sad and woefully inadequate. Take Skype for instance. Using the Windows 7 version we have a fully functioning application with tweaking options for video enhancement, audio testing, nice little avatars for our friends pictures, etc. Use the Windows 8 version and you basically have a white screen with blank tiles with your friends names (no pics), no audio settings, no video settings, no way to edit your profile, etc. This version is not only a "not ready for primetime" version, it's not even worthy of being called a beta version.
But all that is up to the marketplace to catchup with the apps. The Windows 8 operating system is solid, fast, and fully functional.
One other thing that I have found most people don't realize, and even the question posed in this forum doesn't clarify, is that there are 3 different Windows 8 operating systems: Windows 8 for the Microsoft Surface tablets; Windows 8 RT for the tablets with Atom processors, and Windows 8 Pro for laptops, netbooks, and desktops running Intel chips. The first 2 are strictly tablet "consumption device" operating systems. Forget about doing productivity applications on those. The Windows 8 Pro is a wonderful full operating system that smoothly and fluidly grandfathers all the old applications and software, into a new future looking operating system that will handle what the designers throw at it. When they get "up to speed". This is the time to get on board to get familiar with the system and be prepared when that time comes.

Collapse -
Not just "no" but "hell no".
by sbill / May 3, 2013 1:44 PM PDT

I would NEVER buy, own, or accept as a gift any computer with Windows 8, and certainly not some gimmicky toy such as a low-powered touchscreen netbook masquerading as an actual laptop. For one thing, I tried Windows 8, and can't stand the UI. For another thing, I do not need or want touch capability, because I am accustomed to using a keyboard and mouse, and don't wish to change. Finally, I *CANNOT* stand glossy screens, and all of the touch-capable models have glossy/glare screens. I only use laptops with anti-glare screens, and those are business models, which by definition don't come with Windows 8, since no rational business would use that ill-conceived OS.

Collapse -
3 Days isnt enough
by eqw75x / May 4, 2013 3:01 AM PDT

I don't think you have Windows 8 a fair enough trial and I think your information on versions is incorrect as well.
There is Windows RT for Atom processors but some Atom processors will also run full windows 8 as well.
I for example run full Windows 8 and Office 2013 on a Samsung 500t Atom based tablet and it runs Office perfectly adequately, I did consider the 700 which run on a an intel i5. the reason for my choice was battery usage. The Atom will give about 14 hours continuous usage where as the i5 will only give 2-3 hours.
I run some fairly in depth web apps and detailed spreadsheets and the Samsung hasn't let me down yet, with 64gb on board and a 64gb micro sd in the slot and the ability to utilise the USB ports ( I carry a 320gb external drive with my plus all the cloud storage available ( I love Sky Drive)
Office 2013 is very touch enabled and allows you to make use of the Samsun S Pen which is also a pleasure to use.

Don't write these and Windows 8 off without giving them a fair trial. When I first used the pre-release versions of W8 I thought I would never use it but the more you use it the more you learn and I do have to say that I think Microsoft have got a lot right with it not least the ability to sync across my main computer, the Samsung and my Nokia 920. So unless you want to play games or do a lot of video editing W8 on an Atom is perfectly acceptable.

I have to say that I haven't experienced the same problems as yourself, the only problem I cam across was run Java Apps when I had to regress to Java 6 and run it from the desktop although I have a tile that boots into it from the start screen.

I do agree that these are 1st generation machines and they will only get better but I would say that when you can't find something in W8 and have to use the excellent search facility, when you look where it is you actually think, "That makes more sense to have that there than where it was before", its a learning curve but not a steep one.

Collapse -
What do they have to compare them to?
by billd888 / May 3, 2013 11:45 AM PDT

It seems to me that all of these convertibles are lacking in capability, and because they are first generation products, they are likely being compared to earlier tablet computers. Those devices were heavy in comparison, but generally had lots of connectivity options, unlike these convertibles. I used a Motion Computing tablet for 4 years, finally dumped it when I got fed up with having to restore it about every6-9 months. A touch interface is not at all useful in our business, so I had little interest in us converting to Win8, but I did my due diligence in trying it out. Without default access to the desktop, this would be too confusing to our staff, plus our primary software application has given that will write any new UI that would take advantage of the touch interface.

Like a lot of others I told MS that abandoning the Start menu was a bad idea.

Collapse -
by jschneir / May 3, 2013 11:57 AM PDT

If it had Windows 7 or XP I might be interested. I had Windows 8 on a laptop with a touch screen for 3 days and have never been so unhappy with any purchase i have ever made.

Collapse -
Convertible Laptop Purchase?

I don't think that I would be interested in anything like that for my uses. Right now, they are probably priced pretty high. I just hope my W7 computers last several more years and W9 will be out by then. Like a lot of other XP, Vista, and W7 users, I am not the least impressed by W8 in any format. The way that I do my computing now is faster and easier than it would be with W8. When even the manufacturers complain about it, you know that it is not too widely accepted. We have the option of staying with W7 or converting to W8, and we are exercising that option by staying where we are. A lot of users even have problems with W7, and going to W8 for them would be an exercise in futility. They want to use a computer, and not LEARN how to use a computer. I hate to use this analogy, but maybe W8 has a STINK on it!!!

Collapse -
Too much of a compromise.

I would consider these options, good tries. They are first generation an therefor, not excellent products yet.

1) Windows 8 needs some polish. My customers are forgetting how to use it and some terrible glitches are still present.
"How do I turn it off? What is that charms bar, and how do I get it again?" Those are common questions.
I install the Classic Shell Start button, all the time now.

2) All convertibles are compromises.

3) Price.

Collapse -
Convertible laptop?
by KLMCats / May 3, 2013 1:13 PM PDT

- I have an Acer Netbook that I love... enough DISK SPACE & extended battery to spend the day working databases while at trade shows. I do miss the lack of a CD drive/need for external device to install software.
- I also own an iPad... tablet is nice, but I miss a *real* keyboard & Windows OS w/ *real* office suites.
- Would I buy a convertible? YES, provided it has enough disk space for serious computing. I do not always have internet access - so no interest in OFFICE 365 or Cloud computing.

Still uncertain re: Win8, only the most recent commercials portray it as OS for something more than just social networking & budding artists.

Collapse -
Maybe!!! I'm still considering and very hesitant

I use a Ipad every day for reading my mails and surfing the Net, but when it comes to word processing and spreadsheets I go back to my old laptop which is running W8. This laptop which I bought in 2009 was running W7 and when the upgrade to W8 came at 40$ I jumped the wagon. At first I must admit I was a lost not having the start button (I have read this might change with the next update) but then I got round this difficulty, my only frustration is not having a touch screen, so I am considering buying a convertible laptop or a slate with W8 (not W8RT it is useless to me as I have specific aviation programs). I love the portability of a slate but there limited memory capacity is a concern for me and no DVD reader (It might seem old school but I get the updates of my prgs. by post on a DVD) - Therefore I have a question has anybody out there tried to hook up an external DVD writer/player to a W8 slate? I've asked this question to many computer vendors but none gave me a formal answer. If the answer is to vague, I'll have to go for a convertible laptop with a DVD player...ehhh are they any ?

Collapse -
Win 8 laptop

I bought a laptop with win 8 installed on it, and i hate it, im in two minds about installing windows 7 on it, there are so many problems with it, and no one knows how to sort them out, pages freeze for no reason, some of the errors i get are..

Refresh not working in internet explorer 10 windows 8

If I leave the computer for any length of time I come back to find the page not responding so I hit the refresh button and nothing happens, it looks like its going to work in the window, but that's it, I have to shut down the window and open up another one.

Im also getting this problem a lot as well.

Internet Explorer 10 has stopped working (IE10)
A problem caused the program to stop working correctly.
Windows will close the program and notify you if a solution is available....What solution,?, there is never a solution!!!!

A problem with this webpage caused internet Explorer to close and reopen

Its only when im online, im using a brand new computer and have only installed programs that I use, so at the moment im at a loss as to what is going on, would appreciate any help someone can give me to sort these problems out......................

Toshiba laptop SATELLITE (WIN Cool

AMD A8-4500M APU with Radeon (tm)HD Graphics 1.90 GHz

Installed memory (RAM) 8.00 GB (7.46 GB usable

64-bit operating system, x64 based processer

Collapse -
Surface Pro
by hanko925 / May 3, 2013 11:21 PM PDT

Already have one.

I travel a great deal, both in the US and some limited international travel. The Surface Pro is small enough that TSA doesn't even make me take it out of my carryon, yet it's powerful enough for all the work I need to get done once I hit my destination. Windows 8 hasn't presented any significant problems once you learn a few of the new intricacies and develop a few required habits. I did have some trepidation to switching to the new design ... I tend to be a creature of habit (you might call it a rut), so the thought of the change wasn't inviting! Now that I've gotten somewhat used to it, I like it.

Collapse -
HP Envy X2 with windows 8

I know you had specific computers but I'm leaving mine on the subject computer. As for Windows 8, not a big deal to switch to what you are accustomed to by using the windows and d key simultaneously. So for me, Windows 8 is okay as I believe it is a merging of mobile and your computer desktop which is not a bad idea. As for the quirks, I've had many issues with updates pushed to the computer which seem to lock up the computer and or the mouse. I believe Microsoft and HP are responsible for this problem and it could be eliminated if they designed the updates to transpire at power down vs any time they want to. HP has some problems with this computer such as the power switch not working when you try to power up (it doesn't). You have to keep mashing the power button until it finally powers up. They also optimize power on the computer so much that they sacrifice the computer's ability to get a good wifi signal strength. Computer key strokes are also repeated when you type fast. If Microsoft and HP addressed updates and HP addresses the multiple problems with the hardware people are experiencing, they would have a great product to offer. I believe they are both behind the power curve and many customers are venting on sites such as this forum to get the message back to them. Please Microsoft and HP wake up and address these issues if you want to survive in the marketplace.

Collapse -
Convertible laptop
by Krain / May 4, 2013 12:10 AM PDT

Though they are very pricey now, I would consider buying a convertible laptop once the prices go down. It really makes the most sense. I would use the tablet feature most of the time for reading emails and getting on-line but would use the laptop feature when I don't want to risk a wireless connection and I want to save documents and media objects. I like using 100% solid state computers because of their speed and I like touch screens. Ideally, the operating system would be something other than Windows but I guess I could cope with it. After using tablets, I find the slowness of dedicated laptops extremely frustrating. A convertible unit with a solid state drive just seems to make the most sense.

Collapse -
Returned it
by roadbase / May 4, 2013 12:25 AM PDT

Bought a new laptop with windows 8, found it to be useless and frustrating. Found nothing good. Found a lot of programs offering to make it work like XP. Spent more time trying to undo miscues that spent doing useful functions. I took it back for a refund. I'll live with XP as long as it works and then switch to another O.S.
If they would have put the effort into fine tuning XP all would have been well with the world.

Collapse -
Love the convertible laptop with Windows 7

I have a Fujitsu Lifebook with Windows 7. It is my second Fujitsu convertible. I don't know why everyone doesn't have one. I have the screen interface when I need it, and the keyboard for more intense text entry.

Popular Forums
Computer Help 49,613 discussions
Computer Newbies 10,349 discussions
Laptops 19,436 discussions
Security 30,426 discussions
TVs & Home Theaters 20,308 discussions
Windows 10 360 discussions
Phones 15,802 discussions
Windows 7 7,351 discussions
Networking & Wireless 14,641 discussions


Big screens for the big game

Still looking for the best TV deals ahead of Sunday's game? Here are our top three big screen picks.