We check out the laptops, convertibles, and hybrid PCs that combine Windows 8 with touch displays.
Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga 13
The usual excellent Lenovo keyboard and large touch pad are there, and the top hinge opens up like on any other laptop. However, in the case of the Yoga, it keeps bending all the way around. There's no swivel or detachable design, just that all-the-way-around 360-degree hinge. What that means is that the 13-inch screen can flip all the way around and fold flat on the back, turning the laptop into a tablet. Or, it can stand up on its front edges like a tent.
If you're in the market for a new PC this holiday season, you'll want to take a close look at Windows 8 machines. Microsoft's newest operating system makes great use of touch-screen technology, opening the door for some clever new hardware. Here we show you the best laptops, convertibles, and hybrid PCs that combine Windows 8 with touch displays.
The new Dell XPS 12 is both a clamshell laptop and a tablet -- a combination we usually refer to as a hybrid or convertible laptop. The screen is hinged in the center of the far left and right sides, allowing it to swivel vertically, encased in a thin outer frame. Flip the screen 180 degrees, and it ends up pointing out from the back of the lid, allowing you to close the clamshell and leave the screen exposed, but keep the keyboard and the touch pad covered. In a sea of me-too convertibles, it's at least very unique.
This is one of the thinnest, slickest-looking ultrabooks I've seen, highlighted by a white minimalist chassis and a lid covered with Gorilla Glass. Rather than ditch the keyboard and touch pad as with a tablet, the Aspire S7 keeps those traditional input methods, but also adds touch on the 13.3-inch 1,920x1,080-pixel display.
A new entry in Hewlett-Packard's highest-end laptop line, this slim 15-incher looks very slick and capable, and would even if you didn't know it had a touch screen. The body is all brushed metal, about 18 millimeters thick and weighing 4.7 pounds, and the screen has edge-to-edge glass covering it, with a full 1,920x1,080-pixel resolution. It's also an IPS display, which means viewing angles should be excellent.
Sony is selling the Vaio Duo 11 as being the best of both worlds: a full-HD laptop and touch-screen tablet in one. And it is both of those things -- sort of. It has a full-HD 11.6-inch display, and the display is a touch screen, so the Duo can be used as a tablet and, thanks to Sony's Surf Slider design, the screen can be lifted and slid back to reveal a keyboard. In practice, it takes a little getting used to and has a few compromises (small keys, no touch pad), so it's not going to appeal to everyone, although the design and build quality is great.
Like other slider convertibles, the Toshiba Satellite U925t is an engineering marvel, with a carefully constructed chassis that pulls open and rotates into place, giving you a final form that's closer to an iPad sitting in a keyboard case than a traditional clamshell laptop. It's an acquired taste, but a fun deviation from the norm.