These tablets transform into laptops with a flip, swivel or slide-out keyboard – so you can conveniently work and play on the same gadget.

They’re light, compact and portable but have less internal storage space than regular laptops. Get one if you like the idea of having a detachable keyboard with your tablet.

Review: Convertible tablet laptops

Editor’s Rave: Asus VivoTab RT  

$1,049, from Best Denki, Challenger, Courts and Harvey Norman in Singapore

How It Transforms The slate piece can be used as a tablet or slotted into a keyboard dock to act as a netbook.

Size And Weight The tablet, with its 10.1-inch screen, weighs just 525g on its own, and 1kg with the keyboard. Scrolling through web pages is a breeze as they load smoothly.  

Specifications Has 32GB of storage space and takes 30 seconds to start up. The battery life is impressive – nine hours for the tablet and 16 hours when attached to the keyboard dock. Comes with one USB port.

Keyboard The keys seem a tad small but are still easy to type on. Comes with a touchpad.

Verdict 7.5. The lightest of the lot – perfect as a tablet on the go. It’s not the fastest, but graphics are clear and load seamlessly.

Review: Convertible tablet laptops

Acer Iconia W510

$1,198, from Best Denki, Challenger, Courts, Harvey Norman and Giant in Singapore

How It Transforms Fit the slate piece into the keyboard dock to use as a laptop, or detach it to use as a tablet.

Size And Weight The slate piece weighs 580g by itself, and 1.26kg with the keyboard – light enough to carry around. Pages on the 10.1-inch screen do not load as smoothly as on the other machines.   

Specifications 64GB of storage space. Starts up in 12 seconds. Has the longest battery life – nine hours for the tablet, and up to 18 hours as a laptop. Comes with a USB port.

Keyboard The keyboard is small but the keys are spaced out just enough to type accurately. Comes with a touchpad.

Verdict 6.5. This lightweight machine has a long battery life, but that doesn’t make up for the jerky graphics.



They perform as well as any ultrabook, but their weight and non-detachable screens make them less practical as tablets. Get one if you’ll use it mostly as a laptop but want the flexibility of turning it into a tablet to surf the web or watch videos.

Review: Convertible tablet laptops

Editor’s Rave: Sony Vaio Duo 11

$2,699, from Sony Store and Sony Centre in Singapore

How It Transforms It looks like a large tablet; the non-detachable touch screen slides upward to reveal a keyboard.

Size And Weight The 1.3kg machine isn’t bulky, and its 11.6-inch screen is larger than the usual tablet – nice as a laptop but slightly awkward as a tablet.

Specifications It has 256GB of storage space and starts up in only 10 seconds. But the battery lasts only up to four hours. Comes with one USB port.

Keyboard Narrow, but the keys are well-spaced and big enough to type comfortably. It’s the only convertible without a touchpad, but I find the touch screen sufficient for navigation.

Verdict 8. Powerful, not too heavy; overall, the best marriage of tablet and laptop.

Review: Convertible tablet laptops

Toshiba Satellite U920t Ultrabook Convertible

$2,099, from Shoptoshiba and authorised dealers in Singapore

How It Transforms Functions as a tablet in its compact state. Slide the non- detachable screen out 180 degrees to reveal the keyboard, then tilt it up to use as a laptop.

Size And Weight The 12.5-inch screen is one of the largest in the lineup. But at 1.45kg, it’s too heavy to hold up as a tablet on the train journey to work. 

Specifications It has 128GB of storage space and starts up in just 10 seconds. Battery life is about six hours. Comes with two USB ports.

Keyboard Very comfortable to use, thanks to the wide and well-spaced keys. Comes with a touchpad.

Verdict 7. Performs well as a laptop, but too heavy as a tablet if you don’t have a surface to rest it on.

Review: Convertible tablet laptops

Lenovo Thinkpad Twist S230u

$1,699, from Addon, Juzz1, and Newstead in Singapore

How It Transforms It opens up like a laptop, but the non-detachable touch screen can be swivelled round and folded back over the keyboard to function as a tablet.

Size And Weight The large 12.5-inch screen is great but the gadget is the heaviest at 1.58kg – I can’t hold it for long as a tablet.

Specifications 500GB of storage space – the largest – and the battery lasts up to seven hours. It takes 28 seconds to start up, one of the longest; it comes with two USB ports.

Keyboard The keys are sized and spaced like those on a standard keyboard, so it’s easy to use. The touchpad also responds to shortcuts, like two-finger zoom; swipe horizontally to show the start menu and switch between apps.

Verdict 6. Too bulky and heavy as a tablet, and the screen is slow to orientate itself when I swivel it between tablet and ultrabook modes.


All shops are in Singapore. This article was originally published in Simply Her February 2013.

All product and pricing information was correct at the time of the magazine’s publication. We advise readers to check with the store for the latest availability and pricing information.