Top 5 Windows 8 computers

Windows 8 is finally upon us, bringing a host of new kit. But which computer is best for you? I pick out five great options.

Enticed by Windows 8 's big, colourful tiles but don't know what computer will best your needs? Step this way, chief. There are plenty of options worth consideration, so it's likely the array will seem overwhelmingly mind-boggling if you haven't been carefully studying every new launch like an excited child looking at toys before Christmas.

It's possible to split all new Windows 8-specific devices into three categories: touchscreen laptops, detachable hybrids and convertible hybrids. They all pack touchscreens to navigate around the colourful interface. I've put together five examples that show off what the different categories can offer.

Sony Vaio Duo 11

The Vaio Duo is a convertible hybrid. When closed, it looks like a big tablet, but lift it up at the back and it folds into something resembling a laptop. It gives you both touchscreen functions and the comfort of typing on a keyboard. It also offers a Full HD screen and some great specifications.

Samsung Ativ Smart PC Pro

The Ativ Smart PC Pro is a detachable hybrid, so you can use it as a regular tablet, or clip on the keyboard dock when you need to get down to some serious work. It's packing some powerful chips inside that you'd normally find inside your laptop, meaning you can run standard desktop software, as well as stuff from the Windows 8 app store.

Microsoft Surface RT

Microsoft's own Surface is primarily a tablet. Rather than offer a clip-on keyboard dock, it offers a smart cover that you can also type on. It's not as easy to use as a proper physical keyboard, but it's a step up from using touchscreen keys and it keeps it very portable. The RT version uses a more basic version of Windows so don't expect to be able to install your desktop software on it.

Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga

The Yoga is an unusual beast. Open it up and it looks like a normal laptop, but the screen can continue to open until it folds back on itself. You can then use the touchscreen as you would a regular tablet or prop it open to watch video more comfortably.

Dell XPS One 27

If you want a more classic desktop experience then the Dell XPS One 27 might be more your thing. It's an enormous 27-inch all-in-one desktop , packing some powerful components and, on the new model, a touchscreen for Windows 8. You can swipe around the colourful tiles all you want, or use the mouse and keyboard if you prefer a more traditional Windows experience.

There are plenty more dedicated Windows 8 machines out there so make sure to have a good browse before you splash any cash. Let me know what you think of these machines and Windows 8 in general in the comments below or on our Facebook page.

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About the author

Andrew is a senior editor at CNET and has always been fascinated by tech. When not getting up close and personal with the latest phones, he can normally be found with his camera in hand, behind his drums or eating his stash of home-cooked food. Sometimes all at once.

 

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