Even after a year of experimentation, Windows 8 notebook makers are still struggling to combine touch screens with traditional laptop designs. Take the Lenovo Flex (starting at $569), which flips around from laptop to stand mode — and that’s it. If you want to use your hybrid as a tablet, you’d have to step up to the $849 Yoga 13. To us, the premium is worth it, because you can flip the display all the way around to use the device as a slate.
Sony’s VAIO Flip (Fit 14A) is a better take on the convertible in that you can use the machine as a notebook or tablet, but the hinge mechanism is awkward. You have to unlock a latch before flipping the display. That’s not exactly seamless or intuitive.