10 new Windows 8 tablet/laptop convertibles

It's a tablet! No, it's a laptop! The introduction of Microsoft Windows 8 has spawned a variety of new and exciting devices -- including a group of tablets that turn into laptops, and vice versa. Here are 10 new and upcoming convertibles that were built especially to accommodate the new operating system.

Acer Iconia W510

Like the form factor of the dockable tablet/notebooks, but don't like their prices? The Acer Iconia W510 might be an alternative, if you don't mind a slightly less beefy system featuring an Intel Atom processor and only 32GB to 64GB of SSD storage.

At 1.27 lb. (minus the dock), with a 10.1-in. 1366 x 768 display that supports ten-point touch and a vaunted nine hours of battery life -- up to 18 with the keyboard dock—it's clearly been built for road-trip longevity. Its larger cousin, the W700, bumps the display to 11.6-in. full HD.

Price: Starts at $549.99 (keyboard dock costs $150 extra)
Shipping: Now

Asus Taichi 21-DH51

The Asus Taichi 21 has a unique solution to the problem of how to handle the display on a convertible notebook. Instead of making you twist the lid around, the Taichi has two 11.6-in. or 13.3-in. full HD touch displays -- one on the inside for conventional notebook PC use, and one on the outside for tablet use.

The extra display comes at a premium price -- the Taichi starts at $1,299 for the Intel Core i5 model and goes up to $1,599 for the Core i7 -- but it might be worth it if you need two displays at once. (Asus also has single-display tablets that dock with keyboards, the Transfomer Book and Tablet 810.)

Price: Starts at $1,299
Shipping: Mid-November 2012

Dell XPS 12

The 12.5-in 1080p HD display of the Dell XPS 12 flips around in its frame to transform this 3.35-lb. ultrabook into a tablet with ten-finger touch support. The display, which is made of Gorilla Glass, offers a 160-degree viewing angle. Available with 128GB or 256GB SSD storage, a choice of Core i5 or i7 processors, and 4GB or 8GB of RAM, it's a creative compromise between the notebook and tablet form factors.

Nicest touch: The button on the side lights up an external LED battery meter, so you can tell how much power you've got left without even cracking it open.

Price: Starts at $1,199.99
Available: November 30, 2012

Fujitsu Stylistic Q702 Hybrid Tablet PC

The Stylistic Q702 Hybrid Tablet PC is another detachable-screen convertible, sporting either a Core i3 or i5 processor, 4GB of RAM, and anywhere from 64GB to 256GB of SSD storage. The 11.6-in., 1366 x 768 display weighs 1.9 lb. by itself, with the display plus keyboard weighing in at 3.9 lb. The keyboard is sold by default as an extra; the base $1,099 price doesn't include it.

What's interesting is how the keyboard dock can also serve as an optional power supply via Fujitsu's "Slice Battery," which bumps up runtime from an estimated 5 hours to 11 hours.

Price: Starts at $1,099 ($1,368 with keyboard)
Shipping: Now

HP Envy x2

The whole point of a tablet is that the keyboard is optional -- and the HP Envy x2  lineup takes this philosophy to heart. The screen is the actual PC; dock and undock it from its keyboard dock to use it as a full-blown laptop (3.1 lb. when docked) or as a standalone tablet (1.5 lb.). The Envy sports a 1.8GHz dual-core Intel Atom processor and 64GB of SSD storage, with an 11.6-in., 1366 x 768 display that includes a stylus for writing or drawing.

Other goodies include Beats Audio, NFC support, and dual webcams: a front-facing camera with 1080p HD video and an 8-megapixel rear-facing camera.

Price: $849
Shipping: December 2012

Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga 13

The Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga 13 is a wholly fitting name for a 13.3-in., 3.4-lb. Ultrabook that can flex through four different orientation modes -- laptop, tablet, tent and display stand. This is courtesy of a ten-finger multitouch display that flips a full 360 degrees.

And if touching isn't your thing, the integrated webcam can use Lenovo's Motion Control software to drive the system via Kinect-like gestures. One (literal) downside, though: The keyboard and touchpad are exposed (but disabled) when they are on the bottom of the unit -- in other words, when the Yoga 13 is in tablet or display-stand mode. It also includes 4GB RAM and a 256GB SSD.

Price: Starts at $999 
Shipping: Now

Lenovo ThinkPad Twist

If you like the idea of the IdeaPad Yoga, but don't like the idea of your keyboard being on the bottom when using it in tablet mode, consider the 3.5-lb. Lenovo ThinkPad Twist. It has the same four-position screen with a 12.5-in. display, but uses a single hinge that allows 180-degree rotation so that the display sits on top of the keyboard.

The Twist also sports features in line with ThinkPad's business orientation: a Trusted Platform Module (TPM), up to 500GB of HDD storage or a 128GB SSD, and a removable battery instead of the Yoga's sealed-in model.

Price: Starts at $829
Shipping: Now

Samsung ATIV Smart PC Pro 700T

The Samsung ATIV Smart PC follows in the same footsteps as the HP Envy x2 (or is it the other way around?). Pop loose the 11.6-in., full HD display from its keyboard base and you've got an Intel Core i5-powered, 4GB RAM tablet with 128GB SSD storage.

The 700T also includes Samsung's S Pen for on-screen note-taking and annotations. Dock the screen back into the keyboard for access to USB-connected devices, and external monitors via Micro HDMI. The smaller 500T is only $749 but uses a 32-bit Intel Atom processor, stores 64GB and lowers the screen resolution to 1366 x 768.

Price: $1,199 
Shipping: Now

Sony Vaio Duo 11

The 2.8-lb. Vaio Duo 11 switches back and forth between tablet mode and laptop mode via Sony's "Surf Slider" mechanism. The screen slides back and tilts up to reveal the back-illuminated keyboard, in much the same manner as the Android-powered Asus Eee Pad Slider, but the touchpad has been done away with to save space -- the Duo 11 instead uses a keyboard-embedded pointing stick.

Sony's also playing up the creative aspect of the Duo 11, as it includes a AAAA-powered stylus with a selection of soft-to-firm pen tips for working with the 11.6-in., full-HD touchscreen.

Price: Starts at $1,099.99
Shipping: Now

Toshiba Satellite U925T

At 3.2 lb. and sporting a 12.5-in., 1366 x 768 screen, the Toshiba Satellite U925t swaps between tablet and ultrabook mode via a sliding display mechanism that's a cousin to the one on the Vaio Duo 11. Packed with 128GB storage, 4GB RAM and a Core i5 processor, it also sports a slew of sensors for mobile use: three-axis gyroscope and accelerometer, GPS and NFC.

Front and back webcams, Intel Wireless Display and an HDMI port round things out. Note that the three-cell 38Wh battery is sealed in to keep the unit a slender 0.78 inches.

Price: Starts at $1,149.99
Shipping: Now

Copyright © 2012 IDG Communications, Inc.