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Detachables: The Best Detachable Laptops for 2017

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Laptop/tablet 2-in-1 devices are great for users who want mobility, power, ease-of-use and functionality in a versatile and attractive package.

You may frequently hear the terms ‘detachable’ and ‘convertible’ used interchangeably for devices that accommodate switching between keyboard-use and tablet modes, but there’s a key difference.

Detachable PCs can be – you guessed it – detached from their keyboard, which enables the user to have a sealed tablet unit or a laptop PC with the smallest clunk and clip. Convertible laptops, meanwhile, have the keyboard as a permanent fixture. The keyboard does not detach from the computer, it hinges and hides behind the screen to create a tablet environment.

Versatility will be your number one motive for one of these natty gadgets. Their ability to smoothly transform between fully functioning laptop with keyboard and a simple lightweight tablet mean they are an all-in-one solution for folk who want to flit between work and play, whether at home or at the office.

A perfect traveling partner, the detachable is the step-up you need from a smartphone. Windows 10 is particularly adapted to detachables and convertibles alike – you might start a document on your laptop, change to tablet mode then sync those files seamlessly with your Windows phone.

Larger screens and powerful processors actually enable you to get real work done if you’re on a plane or train, while they also serve as great entertainment hubs.

Three of the best

Fresh models on the market bring a host of entry level devices for below £200, while home office and premium models take price and performance on a rapid northwards hike. Here’s a quick glance at some of the market’s most attractive options.

Economy: DELL Inspiron 11 3000 11.6″ Touchscreen 2 in 1 – Blue (£209.99 Curry’s PC World)

This entry level hybrid delivers solid performance at an affordable price. While screen quality and battery life aren’t its strongest attributes, its 360-degree hinge enables use in tablet, tent and standard modes, bringing an invaluable element of versatility.

HDMI and USB 3.0 ports, an SD card reader and dual USB 2.0 ports combine to offer great connectivity options. Under the hood an Intel Core m3-6Y30 processor and 4GB of RAM bring enough speed for multitasking, while the Inspiron 11’s 500GB, 5,400-rpm hard drive offers data transfer rates to keep up with industry competitors. The 32 GB of on-board storage plus options to access cloud storage make it simple to save all of your important files, music, photos and videos.

The Dell Inspiron 11 3000 2-in-1 is both attractive in price and appearance. Available in ‘Bali Blue’, ‘Tango Red’, ‘Alpine White’ and ‘Foggy Night Grey’, it’s a stylish choice for users who want entertainment and the ability to get light work chores done on the go.

Mid-range: Dell Inspiron 17 7000 2-in-1 (£899 Dell)

This artful multimedia computer melds superb visuals, vivid sound and a robust spec-roster into a top-range hybrid that’s as good for work as it is for movies and music.

The punches are swung by a 2.5-GHz Intel Core i-7-6500U CPU, 12GB of RAM, 1TB and 5,400-rpm HDD, while the Nvidia GeForce 940MX graphics card with 2GB of VRAM makes the unit satisfactorily heavyweight for gaming.

Whether in tablet or standard laptop mode, the strong battery life enables extended usage while the 17.3-inch, 1080p touch screen set into the brushed aluminium makes for an enviably stylish portable cinematic experience. The new Ghostbusters film is a real showcase for the Inspiron, but prepare to be suitably alarmed by the phosphorescent brilliance of the many ghouls and ghosts.

This hybrid comes equipped with a range of ports that support legacy as well as newest standard connections, including a USB Type-C connector that facilitates DisplayPort and power delivery, a USB 3.0 port, HDMI output, a USB 2.0 port and SD card slot, among others.

Premium: Dell XPS 12 (£1,000 + John Lewis)

One of the more forward-thinking Windows 2-in-1s in recent years, the beautiful Dell XPS 12 breaks away from the usual place-mat keyboard, loses the hinge and instead enables the 12-inch tablet to dock with a rigid keyboard base to meld on-the-go versatility with an executive-grade laptop experience.

Used without the keyboard, the thin and light XPS 12 becomes a sophisticated tablet, serving up a full-fat Windows 10 that can run Lightroom, Final Cut and other heavyweight applications. Use the generous keys of the premium keyboard for a tactile typing experience, or revert to the silky smoothness of the glass touchpad if needed. Both are constructed from magnesium alloy, which appears cold but has a warm, soft-touch finish.

The small stature of the XPS 12 belies its capability; it’s speedier than most laptops and launches apps in no time at all. Equipped for the big port-switch, Dell also includes two USB Type-C ports with Thunderbolt 3.

 

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