7 exceptional Windows hybrids ready for Windows 10

Windows 10 is on the horizon with improved desktop and touch operation, and these 2-in-1 systems are ready to take advantage of it as both laptops and tablets.
Written by James Kendrick, Contributor

7 good Windows hybrids gallery

Windows 10 is evolving nicely in the preview. It is shaping up to be a great platform to handle both tablets, laptops, and desktops.

Hybrids, or 2-in-1s, offer decent mobility as laptops and tablets, and are reasonable candidates to take advantage of the features in Windows 10. They are good options for those wanting very portable notebook computers that can operate as tablets when that best fits the situation. Some hybrids use a display that rotates under the keyboard to form the tablet, while others have a detachable screen that operates independently from the laptop dock.

The eight hybrids in this collection come in various shapes and sizes. There are devices at the top of the price range, and others more budget-friendly. Most in the hunt for a good hybrid that should run Windows 10 well should find one that fits their needs.

These hybrids ship with Windows 8.1, but should easily upgrade to Windows 10 when it rolls out. They are presented in no particular order of preference.

Surface Pro 3

Microsoft's Surface Pro 3 is sold as a tablet, but the optional keyboard cover turns it into a hybrid. The hardware is the Cadillac of Windows tablets, and it is a solid option for many.

The 12-inch display is suitable for work as both a laptop and a tablet. The high resolution is a good fit for Windows and multi-tasking. The Surface Pro 3 works well with the pen, fully supporting handwriting on the screen and using it as a pointer with precise control.

  • CPU: Intel Core i3, i5, i7
  • Memory/storage: 4GB - 8GB/ 64GB - 512GB
  • Display: 12-inch, 2160 x 1440
  • Starting price: $799

When it comes to a hybrid, you can't go wrong choosing the Surface Pro 3. Those concerned about the price should keep an eye out as Microsoft occasionally offers reduced pricing. There is currently an offer of $150 off the regular price.

See the Surface Pro 3 review on ZDNet.

Asus Transformer Book T300 Chi

Asus made the first hybrid for Android and quickly released models for Windows when Windows 8 appeared. The Transformer Book T300 is the result of earlier Windows models and the evolution makes this a good option.

The 12.5-inch display is detachable from the laptop dock, and is very thin and light. It features satisfying resolution (2560 x 1440) that displays Windows nicely. The screen attaches to the keyboard dock easily using magnets to align and hold it in place.

The T300 Chi has an Intel Core M processor, the same in the recently announced new MacBook. It's not as powerful as a Core ix processor, but in other devices using it we've found it to be good enough for running Windows.

  • CPU: Intel Core M 5Y71
  • Memory/storage: 4GB - 8GB/ 128GB - 256GB
  • Display: 12.5-inch, 2560 x 1440
  • Starting price: $539

Experience with earlier hybrids in the Asus Transformer Book line have impressed us, and this one looks to be the best one yet.

See the review of the Asus Transformer Book T300 Chi on CNET.

HP Envy 13 x2

HP makes outstanding laptops, and the Envy 13 x2 looks to continue the tradition. It is a full hybrid with a detachable display that is a true tablet. The laptop dock turns it into a notebook computer without compromise.

The HP Envy 13 x2 is bigger than many hybrids with a 13.3-inch display. While this may be a bigger tablet than some prefer, the size makes it an excellent option for heavy laptop users. Most will want the HD option (1920 x 1080) for the big screen.

The laptop dock turns the tablet into a full notebook system. The large tablet is somewhat heavy (2.81lbs) and more so when attached to the dock (4.05lbs).

The Envy 13 x2 uses the Intel Core M processor which is starting to appear in several laptops.

  • CPU: Intel Core M
  • Memory/storage: 4GB - 8GB/ 128GB - 512GB
  • Display: 13.3-inch, 1366 x 768; 1920 x 1080
  • Starting price: $799.99

The HP Envy 13 x2 pricing is typical for Windows hybrids, starting at around $800.

Asus Transformer Book T200

This hybrid is an older model in the Transformer Book line from Asus, and is ideal for those on a budget. It features a quad-core Bay Trail Atom processor that yields decent battery life for the mobile professional.

The 11.6-inch screen worls well for use as a tablet, and the laptop dock turns it into a very portable laptop. The weight of the tablet and laptop dock combined is a reasonable 3.6lbs.

There are ports for connecting peripherals on both the tablet and laptop dock. Combined, these ports are as plentiful as those found on more expensive laptops.

  • CPU: Intel Bay Trail Atom
  • Memory/storage: 4GB/ 64GB
  • Display: 11.6-inch, 1366 x 768
  • Starting price: $450

Dell Venue 11 Pro 7000

The Venue 11 Pro is a great tablet due to the 10.8-inch display with a reasonable resolution (1920 x 1080) for the size. It doesn't come with a laptop dock but one is available at additional cost ($159.99). Those preferring a keyboard cover like the one for the Surface Pro 3 can get the optional Slim Cover ($69.99). There is also a desktop dock for turning the Dell into a full PC on the desk.

With all of the accessories mentioned, the Dell is one of the most versatile hybrids available. The ability to easily go from tablet to laptop to desktop is compelling.

The Dell Venue 11 Pro 7000 has an Intel Core M processor that is fanless and thus silent. The processor offers a good balance between performance and battery life.

  • CPU: Intel Core M
  • Memory/storage: 4GB/ 64GB - 128GB
  • Display: 10.8-inch, 1920 x 1080
  • Starting price: $699

The Dell Venue 11 Pro 7000 is a true tablet that stands in as a reasonable laptop when needed. The option of a full laptop dock or a keyboard cover gives buyers choice to fit their preferences.

Lenovo Yoga 3 Pro

The Yoga 3 Pro from Lenovo is a laptop with a rotating screen that can be used as a tablet. It is aimed at consumers but also works for the enterprise.

The 13.3-inch screen makes this somewhat big for tablet use, which is done by rotating the display under the keyboard. The resolution of the display (3200 x 1800) is very high and perfect for tablet work. The 360 degree screen rotation allows using the Yoga 3 Pro in four configurations.

The Yoga 3 Pro has a fifth-generation Intel Core M processor. The Core M processor runs Windows 8.1 nicely and should do the same for Windows 10.

  • CPU: Intel Core M
  • Memory/storage: 4GB - 8GB/ 128GB - 512GB
  • Display: 13.3-inch, 3200 x 1800
  • Starting price: $1199.99

The Yoga 3 Pro is not the cheapest hybrid but offers a lot of value for the price. Read our full review of the Lenovo Yoga 3 Pro here.

HP Envy 15 x2

Those wanting a premium, large hybrid (15.6-inch) with a keyboard cover like that on the Surface Pro 3 should check out the HP Envy 15 x2. It is a large tablet with an integrated kickstand that becomes a decent laptop when used with the keyboard. The Bluetooth keyboard can be used attached to the tablet or while detached, unlike the Surface.

The HP uses an Intel Core M processor, and is unusual in that it has a 500GB hybrid hard drive in the tablet. While flash memory is easier on battery life, those needing lots of storage may find this an economical alternative.

The tablet is heavy (4.04lbs) due to the 15.6-inch size, and especially so with the keyboard (5.42lbs). This makes it a better fit for those who only go mobile occasionally.

  • CPU: Intel Core M
  • Memory/storage: 4GB - 8GB/ 500GB hybrid hard drive
  • Display: 13.3-inch, 3200 x 1800
  • Starting price: $749.99

The big HP Envy 15 x2 is geared toward those who will use it primarily as a laptop in the office, but who need a tablet to use remotely from time to time.

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