Delcorians Debate So You Can Decide
Desktops and conventional laptops no longer rule the business world. In the last few years, weve seen three alternatives make headway in the traditional laptop market.
- Laptop with touchscreenthe keyboard is attached like a regular laptop but the screen is enabled for touch.
- 2-in-1 convertible laptopthe detachable or hinged keyboard is inactive when its in tablet mode.
- Surface tabletMicrosofts iPad competitor, designed to replace your laptop.
If youre in the market for a new laptop or laptop replacement, listen in on a conversation I had with three DelCorians about the pros and cons of these devices.
- Leigh Andreasen is a hardware acquisition specialist.
- Diane Stoner, PMP, is testing a hybrid laptop.
- David DeLorenzo, CAE, is using his Surface as a laptop replacement.
What About The Cons Of 2
- They dont have enough ports, usually just two mini USB ports, so you need to carry around adapters for USB, HDMI, and VGA.
- The hybrids kickstand is less stable than a laptop when youre working on your lap. Youll need a different type of case to add stability.
- Maybe its just this model, but it takes a few tries to get the power to turn on.
- And the hybrid screen can uncomfortably heat up.
Leigh: Id add that with all the moving parts, particularly the retractable keyboard, there are a number of failure points and wear issues. Also, super users may not like the decreased compute power. Convertibles and tablets are made with a different chip model than current laptops and desktops. Some models are limited to 8GB memory totaland it cant be upgraded.
How To Choose The Size Of Your Laptop
While all laptops are designed to be mobile, youll have to decide whether you want something smaller and more portable or bigger and more powerful. Most laptops are categorized by screen size, a measurement of a screens diagonal length normally between 13 inches and 17 inches. Keep in mind that those measurements only apply to the screen itself, so theres a bit of wiggle room in terms of the laptops actual size.
Recommended Reading: How Do You Record On A Laptop
Surface Pro 8 Design And Features
Pictures of the Surface Pro 8 reportedly leaked online as the devices were being certified in South Korea. Twitter user cozyplanes says images of devices showed them certified under the model numbers 1950 and 1960 , which matched the model numbers uncovered by Windows Central.;
The bad news? The two devices look identical to the previous versions, suggesting the Surface Pro 8 will be a minor generational update. The interesting news? Windows Central suggests Microsoft could simply name them “the new Surface Pro” and “the new Surface Laptop.”;
Among the newest rumors from Windows Latest is that the Surface Pro 8 will have design improvements but not be a major overhaul. We hope this at least means the upcoming tablet will have thinner bezels to align with the looks of more modern competitors.;
Previously, a pair of Microsoft patents was getting people excited about the Surface Pro 8. Before I go on, I should advise you that patents rarely turn into tangible products and the ones I’m about to describe are pretty far out there.;
Still, it’s fun to see what’s going on in the minds of Microsoft’s inventors on the off chance these bizarre ideas move ahead.;
The first patent describes a Surface Pro tablet with solar panels embedded in the kickstand for extended battery life. One photo shows a Surface Pro with an attached keyboard being charged by four solar panels mounted to the back of its kickstand. Another method described in the patent would charge the Surface device directly.
Will You Be Using It To Give Presentations
Giving presentations as part of your degree? A 2-in-1 laptop can be a great tool to give your work that wow factor.
Want lightweight portability but with the latest tech? Look no further than the Microsoft Surface Book 2. Its part of our Achieve range, which has the latest tech to help you develop your ideas and work at your best.
Its super powerful processor can handle all your demanding software. Need to present in 3D? No problem make your work stand out with beautifully rendered 3D graphics and visuals. Plus, with Windows Ink, you can sketch out ideas on the screen to make your seminar group green with envy.
Recommended Reading: How To Connect Pixma Printer To Laptop
Advantages Of 2 In 1 Laptops
Users with no desire for tablet functionality are likely to buy a regular laptop, all else being equal. This means that the primary competition to the 2 in 1 in today’s PC marketplace is the stand-alone tablet.
So what are some advantages of 2 in 1s compared to tablets?
Traditional office computing: 2 in 1s that run regular PC operating systems and software — and have physical keyboards for easier typing — will operate more like traditional home/business laptops. This makes a 2 in 1 superior to a tablet for most everyday office uses.
Multiple usage scenarios: The tablet in a 2 in 1 makes it a useful tool for combination office/industrial settings or wherever a touch screen interface might be productive.
Additional creative space: Many users find the tablet/drawing interface in a 2 in 1 to be an ideal enhancement to a regular laptop, whether for office work or home entertainment .
Less is more: For many buyers, the 2 in 1 gets the nod simply because it means one less device to pack up and carry. If you like the standard computing experience of a laptop and prefer surfing the web and watching streaming movies on a tablet, then a 2 in 1 can provide the best of both worlds.
Trying to choose between a tablet and a 2 in 1? We present some factors to consider in another article, Tablet vs. 2 in 1 : Which is right for me?
Or if youâre ready to start shopping the best 2 in 1 laptop deals at Lenovo, head on over to our 2 in 1 Laptop Sale.
Shopping Criteria For 2
As you know, there are various key aspects to take into consideration when the time comes to buy a 2-in-1 laptop. We want to make this selection process as easy as possible for you, which is why weve detailed some criteria to note. If you use them as a guide, youll be satisfied with your purchase and get the best possible value for money.
- Personal use
Don’t Miss: Can I Buy A Laptop With Afterpay
Surface Pro 8 Price And Availability
We will learn the official pricing and availability of the Surface Pro 8 in a few weeks.
We expected Microsoft to launch a Surface Pro 8 earlier this year, barring any further delays . However, October 2020 came and went without any signs of a Surface Pro 8, and instead, we got the Pro 7+ for business users.;
We will almost certainly see the Surface Pro 8 debut at Microsoft’s September 22 event before becoming available later in the year. If we had to guess, Microsoft will start shipping the Surface Pro 8 with Windows 11 after the OS launches on October 5.;
We feel pretty confident guessing the price of the Surface Pro 8, even though we’re so far from its release. Microsoft keeps the price of its Surface Pro tablets pretty consistent, so it can target the same audience each year.;
With that in mind, let’s look at the Surface Pro 7 for hints. The latest model starts at $749 for a Core i3 version and shoots up to $2,299 for a Core i7 config with a 1TB SSD. For us, the sweet spot is somewhere in the middle, at around $1,199 . Of course, the Signature Type Cover is extra and so is the Surface Pen .;
We expect the Surface Pro 8 will land at around the same $749 starting price and go to or beyond $2,000 when maxed out. A lower starting price seems unlikely and it’d take a serious overhaul and some futuristic features, like 5G , to get this tablet to cost much more than two grand.;
Convertible Laptops: Twisting Into Multiple Modes
The convertible laptop can transform from laptop to tablet and back again, with most systems featuring a hinge design that allows for rotating the keyboard portion through 360 degrees, out of the way back behind the screen. This type of 2-in-1 is the best choice if you’re planning on using the keyboard;a lot, as you’re guaranteed to always have it with you.
Because of the motion that a convertible laptop’s hinge enables, you are often able to use these systems in a variety of modes. If you want to be able to share the display with everyone in a meeting, you can place the keyboard portion face down on the desk and have the screen showing up front, kiosk-style. Or, you can prop it up on its leading edges , which takes up less space than the other modes. For flexibility, it’s difficult to beat this kind of 2-in-1.
In a convertible machine, the battery and motherboard are usually located in the base , so it’s balanced for use on a lap or a tabletop. The stable bottom lid of the clamshell is also a better typing platform than the sometimes-flimsy panel of a detachable keyboard case. There’s also more room for batteries in a laptop form factor , which results in improved battery life.
Also Check: Are Alienware Laptops Touch Screen
Why Are 2 In 1s Great For Students
Forget having to buy and carry around two separate machines. A 2-in-1 laptop gives you the functionality that youd get with both, minus the cost of buying a second device.
Use it in laptop mode for writing essays, preparing presentations, creating spreadsheets and taking notes during lectures. Then switch to use it as a tablet for watching catch-up TV, giving presentations, online shopping, reading news articles and scrolling through Instagram.
Here are 5 things to consider when choosing a 2-in-1 laptop for uni
Budget Pick: Surface Go 2
The 10.5-inch touch display on the Surface Go 2 has is 1920×1280, and there’s a front-facing webcam tucked in at the top that’s great for video calls. Inside, get an Intel Pentium Gold Processor 4425Y with 4GB or 8GB RAM with 64GB or 128GB storage. Or, upgrade to an Intel Core m3 processor with 8GB RAM and 128GB or 256GB storage, with optional LTE.
The Surface Go 2 is perfect for students and businesses looking to get work done when out and about. Its small form factor makes it super convenient to carry around, in or out of a bag. Plus, it’s cheap, starting at just $399. For that price, you’re getting the same premium design found on the Surface Pro, including the same kickstand and Type Cover setup.
It has Windows Hello and excellent webcams. It features a USB-C port, Surface Connect, and a microSD card slot as well for expandable storage. We love the Surface Go, and think it’s the best $400 Windows PC you can buy.
Also Check: How Much Does A Hp Laptop Weigh
Surface Go 2 Performance
The Surface Go 2s performance is a mixed bag. Equipped with an outdated Intel Core m3-8100Y CPU and 8GB of RAM, the Surface Go 2 is fine for everyday tasks but it will buckle under the weight of a heavy workload. I ran into some minor delays while loading two dozen tabs in the new Microsoft Edge browser. The last few pages took a split longer to appear, and graphics and photos needed an extra few seconds to render.;
Despite those occasional slowdowns, I proceeded to livestream the Microsoft Build 2020 virtual event without running into any lag or buffering, even with two other 1080p videos and a pair of Twitch streams running in the background.
When we benchmarked the Surface Go 2, the results were all over the place. The tablet did great on the Geekbench 4.1 overall performance test, landing a 6,815 compared with the base Surface Gos 3,735 . The iPad Air and the category average scored much higher on this test.;
Storage speeds are a problem. The 128GB PCIe SSD inside the Surface Go 2 needed 28 seconds to duplicate 5GB of multimedia files, which equates to a sluggish transfer rate of 180.5 megabytes per second. The category average crushes that mark , as does the budget Acer Aspire 5 laptop.;
Our video transcoding test proved difficult for the Go 2, which needed 48 minutes and 14 seconds to convert a 4K video to 1080p resolution using the Handbrake app. For comparison, the Aspire 5 took 32 minutes and 53 seconds and even it didnt beat the mainstream average .;
Detachable Tablets: Two Devices In One
A detachable-tablet 2-in-1 is essentially a slate with a keyboard case or a keyboard dock. The dock option is a bit more stable than the keyboard case, but the general idea is the same: You can remove the keyboard portion of the tablet and leave it behind when you desire maximum portability. Microsoft’s various Surface detachables are the vanguard models of this kind.
Windows 10 slate tablets tend to weigh less than 2 pounds on their own, and adding the keyboard case or dock can double the system’s total weight. A tablet with a well-designed keyboard dock attached is functionally indistinguishable from a clamshell laptop, and some detachable docks contain extra battery cells that can greatly extend the amount of time you’re able to work off-plug. Simpler keyboard cases usually lack niceties such as extra battery cells or USB ports, and most will be noticeably physically flexible. But if a keyboard is just an occasional need for you, chances are you won’t mind that much.
The benefit of the keyboard case is that it is thinner and lighter overall than the usual lower half of a laptop or convertible. Detachable-hybrid tablets, however, tend to be top-heavy, because all of the system’s components and batteries, and hence their weight, are necessarily localized in the screen. You’ll want to examine your usage patterns to determine whether holding the PC in your hands and interacting with the touch screen is really right for you.
Also Check: How To Secure Laptop From Hackers
How Does The Touch Screen Work
Most of us are accustomed to mouse-operated laptops, but touch screens have their place, particularly with tablets. Although theyre fairly straightforward, there are several variables to keep in mind when evaluating a touch screen. If youre outside in cold weather, will it respond to your fingers while youre wearing gloves? Also, moist fingers wont activate some screens, which might be frustrating if youre in a wet situation and cant immediately dry them.
Certain laptop activities require a mouse, but with Windows and Google both supporting touch screens, theyre not just for tablets anymore. A responsive touch screen is an especially important 2-in-1 laptop feature if young children will be using it since their fingers tend to be stickier than most. Smudges left by their fingerprints may not be your only touch screen issue. Some apps, like File Explorer, were designed with a keyboard and mouse in mind, so they might not be as user-friendly when you access them in tablet mode.
If you go for a brand that allows you to use a stylus to input information, youll want to be sure it has palm-rejection technology. With that feature, the 2-in-1 will respond only to the stylus and not another part of your hand thats touching the screen.
Best touch screen on a 2-in-1 laptop: Dell New XPS 13
Best Under $: Hp Chromebook 14 2
HPs Chromebook x360 is an outstanding value at under $500. Boasting an Intel i3-10110U, 8GB of RAM and 64GB of storage space, its a budget-priced convertible laptop. Because it runs Chrome OS, the x360 Chromebook doesnt need a beefy processor to handle everyday use.;
The 14-inch screen looks good. Punching well above its weight class, HP even throws in touches such as a camera privacy switch. Construction is sturdy with a Gorilla Glass screen and a well-built chassis.;
Since the HP x360 Chromebook runs Chrome OS, you can install Linux and Android apps. An SD card slot allows for storage expansion. Connectivity is superb with a pair of USB Type-C ports, a USB host and a headphone jack. Ultimately, HPs x360 Chromebook is a good choice that wont break the bank yet doesnt skimp on quality.
Recommended Reading: What Is The Best Budget Friendly Laptop
Surprising Benefits Of A 2 In 1 Device
With 2 in 1 devices you combine the portability of a tablet and the productivity of a powerful laptop. Here are a few more reasons why 2 in 1s are your best bet.
1. Theyre Light As A Feather and Stiff As a Board;
Your shoulders and back will thank you because gone are the days where you need to lug around your big, bulky laptop. Thanks to the Intel® Core M processor, new 2 in 1 devices are lighter and thinner than ever before. Intel-powered 2 in 1s are by their nature easier to carry and move around, and most are up to half the weight of other comparable laptops. On top of that, theyre sturdy. Theyll put up with heavy wear and tear without making too much of a ruckus!
2. You Can Do It All;
Laptops may be portable, but 2 in 1 devices allow for an unequalled level of mobility mixed with functionality by allowing users to compress their many devices into one. Type out the rest of a work memo, sit back and read an e-book, pick up where you left off in a fun app game, or stream a movie all in one device without having to switch things up.;
3. ;They Help Your Computers Help You
A 2 in 1 device equipped with Intel® RealSense technology can help take your work or play to the next level. Apps like Personify use RealSense to make your video chats more productive .;
4. You Can Take Your Work With You;
5. They Have Power;
6. They Give You More Free Time;
7. Edit Like a Pro;
8.; Their Sound Is Amazing
9. Theyll Save You Money;
10. Gaming is Great Again;
11. You Can Take Your Fun With You;