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Top 10 Windows 8 hybrid devices

Tue Jan 01 2013, 11:39

5. Samsung Ativ Smart PC Pro

Samsung ATIV Smart PC Pro laptop-tablet hybridSamsung failed to set the market alight with its range of Series 5 Hybrid devices this year, but we think the Ativ Smart PC Pro, announced at IFA in August, might just have what it takes to take on the likes of Microsoft, Lenovo and Asus in 2013.

Boasting a Full HD 11.6in display and running on a choice of Intel Core i5 or i7 processors, the Samsung Smart PC Pro is one of the more powerful contenders on our list with a price to reflect this, starting from £900.

Though the Smart PC is at the premium end of the market, the tablet itself is constructed from a plastic material to keep its weight down, and because the power of the device is handled in the tablet alone, this weighs 884g.

However with the dock, the Ativ has a combined weight of 1.65kg, which some will feel is too heavy for a portable device with an 11in screen. Nevertheless, the Ativ is super sleek and partnered with such brilliant specs it is certainly going to catch the eye of those in the market for a hybrid device right now.

Placed right in the middle of our top 10 at number 5, the Samsung Ativ Smart PC Pro could go either way in terms of sales depending on how consumers recognise its potential. Something that could restrict its success is that it has no unique selling point in design when compared to other hybrid devices on the market, such as a 360 degree hinge or sliding mechanism.

4. Sony Vaio Duo 11

Sony Vaio Duo 11 ultrabook and tabletSony released its first convertible device alongside Windows 8 this year, flaunting a unique "Slide Surfer" design that means it transforms from a tablet to a laptop via an 11.6in HD display that slides up to reveal a full size keyboard hidden underneath.

This distinctive design alongside the well esteemed Sony branding is bound to turn heads in retail shop floors, and as a result will probably be enough to attract a decent customer base.

As a notebook, the Vaio Duo 11 performs brilliantly due to its Intel Core CPU with the maximum configuration of up to 8GB RAM. Sliding the screen down and into a tablet, it can feel a little too cumbersome, but the HD screen is of very high quality, being very clear and enjoyable to use with Windows 8.

The small keyboard is quite an issue here, but if you can live without a track pad, you will most probably just get used to its more compact design.

In our review we weren't as impressed with the Vaio Duo 11 as we were with the Lenovo Ideapad Yoga, but it's still an excellent hybrid device with a premium feel and stylish design. And starting at £849 for the least powerful configuration, it comes much cheaper than a lot of other hybrid devices that pack the same performance capabilities.


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