Could Your Next Business Laptop Be A Hybrid?
We thought we'd take a look at the revolution taking place with laptop/tablet hybrids and whether your next business laptop could be a hybrid?
With the BBC reporting that millions of pounds will be spent on improving Wi-Fi provision for rail customers we thought we'd take a look at the revolution taking place with laptop/tablet hybrids and whether your next business laptop could be a hybrid?
If you use your 15" or 17" laptop on the train and you've ever shared a railway carriage table with four other people trying to do the same thing you'll know it can be a tight squeeze. Plus it can feel like overkill for sending a few simple emails or checking the latest financial news.
You could buy a tablet and use that but this can be equally frustrating if you want to put the finishing touches to a presentation or report. Tablets are great for checking emails, surfing the web or watching a movie but you wouldn't want to be typing or editing a document on one for any period of time. Plus you will end up carrying two or more devices with you wherever you go. So ideally you need something slimline, lightweight and with a keyboard that can act as a tablet or a full laptop depending on the circumstances or the work you have to do.
This is where hybrids come into play, attempting to offer the best of both worlds and there are some very impressive machines already on the market. We've decided to highlight three hybrids you might want to consider.
Lenovo Yoga Pro 2
Lenovo (the company that acquired IBM's personal computer business in 2005) were one of the first companies to kick start the hybrid market.
The Yoga Pro 2 model has the keyboard permanently attached but it flips and twists into four distinct modes of operation. These are laptop, stand, tablet and tent and all can be useful for different ways of working or for entertainment. The Yoga Pro boasts some impressive specs including a choice of 4th Generation Intel i3 or i7 processors and a super-high-resolution QHD+ (3200 x 1800) 10-point multi-touch display.
Weighing in at just 1.39kg and being a mere 15.5mm thick it is ultra-portable whilst retaining the build quality that Lenovo owners have come to expect from their machines.
Microsoft Surface Pro 3
The Surface Pro 3 has the keyboard included in the tablet cover. This means that it weighs even less than the Lenovo Yoga at 799g and is also thinner, just 9.1mm deep. Although the cover is not what purists would call a 'proper keyboard' there is no real compromise when using it. Microsoft has worked hard to make sure that the typing experience on the Surface is as close to a full laptop keyboard as possible and the latest Surface Pro 3 model also uses a magnet to give the keyboard a natural and comfortable slope.
As with the Lenovo Yoga the processor in the Surface Pro 3 are Intel's i3, i5 and i7 and the machine also incorporates two 5 megapixel cameras and up to 512GB of on-board storage.
Acer Aspire Switch 10
The Switch 10 is the latest hybrid offering from this Taiwanese electronics manufacturer and is priced to offer consumers an 'entry level' hybrid machine when compared with the Yoga and the Surface. The detachable keyboard clips into place with magnets and, like the Yoga it can be positioned in laptop, stand, tablet and tent 'modes'.
Of course with the more keenly priced (around the £300 mark in the UK) Acer there are some compromises to be made. The screen doesn't have as high a resolution as the other two nor does it boast the same Intel processors, opting instead for a cheaper Intel Atom Z3745 processor, but it can happily run Windows 8.1 32-bit Operating System and any apps you might want to install. There is also a solitary front-facing camera but this is fine for Skype although it does mean you won't really be snapping too many pictures in tablet mode.
All in all the prospect of having your cake and eating it in terms of a device that performs well as a tablet or laptop is a good one. In this modern world of portability and 'business on the go' you can have one device that does it all and - depending on your requirements and budget - there are plenty of devices to choose from and new ones hitting the market all the time. That said, if you are ditching your huge laptop bag in favour of a hybrid device then there's always the consideration of where you might keep your sandwiches...