That’s because Windows 8 opens up a new possibility – the convertible. Convertible ultrabooks are ultrabooks that can be turned into tablets and vice versa on the fly, and come with touchscreens and compact Laptop Keyboard . Because Windows 8 can be used in desktop mode (which is just like Windows 7) or with the new Windows 8 apps, Windows 8 is uniquely made to be ideal for laptops and tablets alike. At home, you can use your Ultrabook in desktop mode, then turn it into a tablet and run apps on the go, all while running the same operating system.
The Samsung Series 5 ( Samsung Keyboard )Touch Convertible’s touchscreen folds back 360 degrees.
While the Acer Aspire S7 (seen above) lays flat, folding back at 180 degrees.
The Asus Taichi ( Asus Keyboard )does the trick by featuring two screens – one on the front and one on the back of the lid. The one on the back of the lid is the touchscreen – close your laptop, and suddenly you have a tablet. The thinness of these ultrabooks makes using them as tablets viable.
Others have gotten even more creative. The Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga ( Lenovo Keyboard )has a reinforced hinge, so the screen can be folded back up to 360 degrees, and can hold its shape, even when put on a table in sort of a tent configuration.
The Dell XPS 12 ( Dell Keyboard )has a touchscreen that rotates within a frame, like one of those old chalkboards that you can spin around. That way, you can close it with the screen face up, to use as a tablet.
Still others have eschewed the clamshell form factor altogether – clamshell referring to the action of closing your screen face down on the keyboard when you’re done using your laptop, which has defined the laptop since day one.
The HP Envy x2 will feature a screen that completely detaches from the HP Keyboard , and can act as a tablet independently.
Other ultrabooks, like the Asus Zenbook Prime, have not gone the convertible route. The new Zenbook Prime will have a touchscreen, but will otherwise function exactly like a standard clamshell laptop, with no way of turning it into a tablet.
So, where do you turn for a new Ultrabook? If you like your laptop computing experience just the way it is, the standard clamshell Zenbook Prime looks ideal. But, if you’re on the go a lot and would rather have just one unified device that can be your laptop and your tablet, convertibles are the way to go. Which one you get is up to your own personal preference, although it’s hard not to recommend the Asus Taichi and Dell XPS 12, which solve the problem of 360 degree rotating ultrabooks (the exposed keyboard on the underside) without resorting to becoming sliders (which have smaller, narrower keyboards and lose out on some real estate because of the design).