If there were a few takeaways at CES 2017 last week, it would be that cars are the new darlings of the tech industry, that Amazon Alexa is taking over the world, and that laptops are becoming tablets or tablets are becoming laptops – laptops and tablets are becoming one.
Whichever angle you look at it, the lines separating these two forms of portable computing have become even more muddled, with detachables and convertibles sporting pens and tablets sporting keyboards.
As it seems to be a growing trend, we take a look at three of the most popular laptop/tablet hybrids, the Microsoft Surface Pro 3, the 9.7-inch Apple iPad Pro, and the new Lenovo Yoga Book, to see how they fare against each other in the “tablet that can replace your laptop” category.
Laying down the ground rules
Laptops are already portable, but for one to be even considered “close enough” to be being a tablet as well, it must not be an extra large paperweight on your desk. As such, portability is the biggest criteria in this face off, sometimes even at the expense of a bit of power.
That said, tablet that wants to replace your laptop should still have enough muscle to perform those duties as well. A quick note on some of the device choices. The Surface Pro 3 is hardly the latest model and the Surface Pro 4 is definitely lighter, thinner, and more powerful.
But much of the Surface Pro 3’s points as well as its faults apply to the more recent model as well. As for the 12.9-inch iPad Pro, that’s even bigger than the Surface Pro 3, which is why it didn’t make the cut.
By happy coincidence, all three below happen to have pressure sensitive styluses. And none of them have any mechanism to conveniently stow away those pens so you won’t lose them. So as much as we want to, we can’t grade, or fail, them for that.