The Best Touch Screen Laptop for Your Money – New in 2014

With the advent of Windows 8x and 9 looming on the horizon, everyone’s attention has been on touch-sensitive devices that combine the power of a portable computer with the palpability of a tablet, those that enable the user to communicate with the operating system directly via the screen, separately from the keyboard and the touchpad. With so many arrivals flooding the market, picking the best touch screen laptop can be a difficult decision if you don’t know where to start.

There are four main types of touch screen laptops: convertible, dockable, slider and standard touch. Each category presents its own features, with own major advantages and drawbacks, so we’ll take a look into them separately and, in order to facilitate your choice of an ideal laptop, a few models by several major brands will be discussed and compared.

Convertibles – Not Your Childhood Toy Transformers

Convertible laptops allow the screen to fold over the keyboard, facilitating the use of the screen as a tablet, and products offered within this class of laptops can differ greatly.

The IdeaPad Yoga 2 Pro by Lenovo offers a Core i5 or i7 processor, a 13.3” screen, ten hours of battery life, Windows 8.1.64 and sports a street price starting at approximately $1100.

For those seriously into graphics or multimedia, “the world’s highest resolution 15-inch laptop”, the Dell XPS 15 offers a larger screen than the Lenovo, a similar choice between the i5 and i7 processors, a bigger keyboard and not surprisingly a shorter battery life of about five hours, as well as a significantly heftier price tag of upwards $2000 dollars.

If shelling out two grand for a laptop is not your forte, then at roughly 800 bucks, the Acer Aspire R7 can fit the bill nicely. It also comes with a 15.6” screen, an Intel Core I5 processor, and a keyboard similar to the one offered by Dell. It, however, features a rather peculiar design. The touchpad is located behind the keyboard, not in front of it as usual. Some might like that, but we find it somewhat awkward.

The choice of the best touch screen laptop in this category will heavily depend on your needs. The Dell has all the bells and whistles, but is expensive, and its battery life is lower. The Asus offers similar characteristics, but its innovative rear-positioned touchpad may be difficult on the wrist, making it uncomfortable for some users.  The Lenovo offers a smaller screen, which helps the battery to last longer, but to benefit from a faster processor, you’ll have to spend quite a bit more than the base price.

Dockables – No Docking Stations Allowed

Dockable laptops, which are in fact, rather tablets more so than laptops, allow for detaching the screen from the keyboard, so you can have an independent tablet or a whole laptop as you please. The screen is connected to the keyboard by a docking mechanism, and the display contains most of the hardware and electronics.

The Asus Vivo Tab RT comes with Windows RT, a 1.3GHz quad-core Nvidia Tegra 3 Quad-core CPU, a ten inch display and ten hours of battery life. It costs just a tad over six hundred dollars.

The HP Envy x2 offers a ten inch screen; operates under Windows 8, has a Dual-Core Atom processor and allows for eleven hours of battery operation. The cost is also very similar to that of the Asus Vivo Tab.

The Lenovo Think Pad Helix kicks it up a notch with Windows 8, 11.6” screen and the Intel-Core i7 processor lasting a surprising twelve hours of battery life. With a clearly superior processor, the price is also a surprise. The Helix costs approximately $1600 dollars.

The major advantage of these devices is the detachment system that enables the user to transport the screen without carrying any extra weight. The main drawback is their screen size, less capable processors, and since the screen is small, the keyboard can also be a little uncomfortable.

The decision of what suits you best in this category will also depend on you needs; while the Lenovo Helix offers a faster processor, larger screen and longer battery life, and comes with Windows 8, which, unlike Windows RT, is compatible with older versions of Windows, its high price tag may be quite the deal breaker for most of us.

Sliders – Are they Mobile Devices or Computers? Neither and Both.

A slider is a laptop with the keyboard hidden under the screen. If you need to use the keyboard you simply slide it from the back of the screen and fix the screen at a set angle. Currently, there are only a few notable models available.

The Toshiba Satellite U920t offers a twelve and a half inches screen, an Intel-Core dual processor which operates with Windows 8. Depending on the store or retailer, you can get if for an average of 2000 USD.

The Sony Vaio Duo 11 is equipped with an eleven point six inches screen, with an Intel-Core i3 processor, operates with Windows 8, and priced at around 1000 USD, it is definitely an option to consider if you are on a budget. However, there is a major drawback: It does not have a touchpad so you’ll need a mouse around.

It is worth noting that sliders do have something that could be considered a drawback for some: you can’t modify the screen’s angle. If your work consists mostly on typing, the slider might not be the best choice for you due to this reason.

Standard Touch – If Frugal Is Your Game

Last but not least, there is one final option. A regular laptop with a non-removable touch screen. Not exactly breakthrough, but a lot cheaper than our other alternatives.

An example of this type of laptops is the Asus VivoBook S550CA, which comes with a fifteen point six inches screen, an Intel-Core i5 processor, operates with Windows 8 and costs approximately 750 USD (again, it always depends on where you decide to buy).

These types of computers are not very practical to carry around, mainly because of their size and weight. They are ideal to work with on a desk or table, and not so much to be used in the bus or subway for example.

With all the info presented, it could be that you are still pondering which would be the best touchscreen laptop for you. If after reading this your head is overloaded with prices numbers, Windows this and that, processor names and what not, then we suggest that you make it simple: do you want your equipment to be more like a laptop or tablet? Sometimes going with your gut first is the best aid for your logic to kick in and help you get a clear answer.

Conclusion – It all comes down to your individual needs and tastes

Summing up, it all comes down to your particular tastes and needs. If you need to be able to use the keyboard anywhere, and you do not mind carrying a little extra weight, or if you spend a lot of time typing, the choice will be between the convertible laptops and the standard touch laptops. The standard touch laptop is cheaper, but it does not offer the possibility of using the computer as a tablet. For a little more money, it seems more practical to purchase one of the convertible models if you can afford it and think this added functionality will be of help to you. If, on the other hand, your idea of a perfect computer resembles more to that of an Ipad or tablet, or if, for example, you travel a lot and use that time to work, it would make more sense to go either with dockable or slider. Sliders present the major disadvantage of having a nonadjustable angle when converted in laptops. Dockables are more versatile in that aspect.

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