The Differences between Hybrid and Convertible Laptops

Convertible laptop

With so many different types of laptop computers on the market, you may be confused about the differences between hybrid and convertible laptop computers and you’re not alone. The terms “hybrid and “convertible” are often used synonymously but they are unique in one main way.

Most laptops on the market today are not only slim and light, but feature either a rotating or a detachable touchscreen that can be used as a tablet, a notebook or something in between. For 2016, the most popular models are powerful enough to handle all kinds of jobs, give you from 6 to ten hours of battery life on a single charge and the majority of them sell for under $1,000.

Hybrid Laptop

Hybrid computer is a slang term used to describe a portable 2-in-1 PC. The hybrid is a combination laptop and tablet featuring the corresponding functionality of both. It’s also called a “detachable” or “2 in-1.” A hybrid laptop has a removable screen that morphs into a tablet when separated from the keyboard.

In fact, the keyboard is more of an afterthought as the computer components are built right into the screen, which is why it can be completely detached from the keyboard and used as a tablet. The stand-alone tablet weighs in at only one or two pounds.

While 2-in-1 laptops have been around since the early 90’s, the latest hardware improvements have allowed manufacturers to create designs that appeal to most consumers and they can also be easily afforded by most.

Another configuration of a hybrid computer houses the batteries and ports in the keyboard base, making the computer more versatile but bulkier. You may prefer a simple keyboard base that’s lighter and good for extended periods of typing however, you may not get the benefit of an extra battery that way.

Hybrid computers combine both digital and analog components. The analog workings of the computer traditionally handle intricate mathematical computations, while the digital components take care of logical and numerical operations in addition to serving as the system’s controller. This makes a hybrid computer a cost effective way to perform complex simulations.

A tablet that comes with a keyboard built into the removable screen cover is not a hybrid; it’s simply a tablet with a keyboard.

Convertible Laptop

With a convertible laptop, the screen can’t be removed but remains attached to the unit. It is essentially a laptop computer that folds into a tablet. Convertibles are shape-shifters with contortionist-like flexibility, which is their distinguishing feature. The pivoting screen turns around and folds back onto the unit, turning the machine into a rectangular slate. But whether the screen simply swivels around or folds back on its lid, you can have the best of both worlds; a laptop and a tablet.

In tablet mode, a convertible is necessarily heavier and thicker than a regular tablet.

Types of Convertible Laptops

The different types of convertible laptop computers are as follows:

Flip laptops can transform from the standard laptop mode of clamshell, into two convenient shapes. It can stand with the keyboard facing down and the screen right side up facing you or it can be put into a tent-like position with the keyboard facing up to form a tent with the screen, facing you. Both setups are great for watching videos but the first position is best when using the touchscreen.

Pivot/Swivel laptops, as the name suggests, lets the screen pivot or swivel 180 degrees. Pivoting devices allow the laptop to transform into a tablet or stand. The keyboard never faces the surface you place your laptop on but always points up. This minimizes the risk of damage to the keyboard.  

Slide convertibles are more appropriately defined as tablet-first laptops. The screen is made to slide up, revealing the keyboard underneath. In this way, the keyboard is always protected when not in use and can’t be left behind or lost somewhere, since it’s permanently attached to the screen. Slide convertibles are a good middle ground for the best of both worlds, providing a tablet-like interface when you’re standing and a standard laptop mode when you’re at a desk.

More Popular Than Traditional Laptops

Convertible and Hybrid laptops are now so popular that they outsell traditional laptops. The reasons are simple. They’re easily portable when travelling and the features are being constantly improved. Besides having wide, touch screen displays and fast performance, these laptops also look great; sleek and stylish.

Questions to Ask Before Buying

  • Q. Do you want a hybrid or a convertible?
  • A. See above.
  • Q. Do laptops perform well?
  • A. The best ones are as good as any laptop
  • Q. What’s the weight of the model you’re looking at?
  • A. Some detachable screens can weigh more than a typical tablet but they may also have larger displays than other tablets.
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Tuesday, July 12, 2016