I recently found myself struggling between getting a tablet or netbook for those moments when I want something more mobile than my 15″ laptop.
As a writer, the netbook makes a lot of sense (although the keyboard can be a little cramped), but I’ve also seen how happy my wife is with her Acer Iconia Tab.
The idea of relaxing in bed while holding on to a tablet for reading books and watching movies sounds pretty nice, to be honest.
My solution? I have begun seeking a convertible tablet to beg my wife for this summer when my birthday rolls around. Unfortunately, most convertible netbooks I’ve ran in to are of the x86 variety, which means they run Windows 7.
Even though Windows 7 is not the best choice for touchscreen activity, I figure that if I get one of these bad boys this summer I can snag a copy of the BETA until the final commercial version becomes avaliable.
So this post is about weighing options when it comes to these ‘convertible netbooks’. For those that aren’t aware, there are convertible netbooks and notebook computers that work both as a traditional laptop but can flip the screen around for touch-mode as well.
The downside to these kind of convertibles? You can often buy a tablet AND a netbook for the same price, but I guess the reason for getting a convertible isn’t about saving money and it’s more about having wider functionality.
You could argue that a portfolio case with a bluetooth keyboard could almost do the same thing, but for those of you that feel that a convertible netbook could be right for you, I’ve narrowed down three models that I’ve personally considered.
Keep in mind that there are others out there, these are just three that I’ve considered.
Gigabyte Netbook Gn-T1000x-Cf1 10.10-inch Convertible
Gigabyte’s Netbook features an Intel Atom 1.66GHz processor, 10.1″ single touch 1366×768 LED screen, 1GB DDR2 RAM, and a 250GB HDD. Gigabyte’s option is listed at $495, not a horrible price for the features at hand but again you could almost get a tablet and netbook for such a price.
The Lenovo Ideapad also makes use of a 1.66GHz Intel Atom processor and a 250GB HDD. The biggest differences are that it uses 1GB DDR3 and instead has a 10.1-inch screen that runs at a 1024×600 resolution. In reality there are little differences in specs between most of these convertible tablets.
The Ideapad is the most expensive model I’ve looked at, listed for $599. Lenovo is one of my favorite brands and the DDR3 RAM is a nice touch, but I admit the price difference is pretty large considering the minor differences in the model.
Asus T101MT-EU37-BK Touch-Enabled Eee PC Tablet
Asus’ model runs on an Intel Atom Dual Core N570 CPU, has 1GB of DDR2 RAM, a 250GB HDD, and a touch-screen. This is the cheapest of the models that I’ve looked at, listing at only $447.99.
For those that have found the following machines interesting, there might be a few other choices out there but these are some of the netbook convertibles that have appeal personally to me. So are they really worth it over a tablet or a netbook (or buying both)?
I guess that depends on who you are and what you are looking for. Is now a good time to get them?
Maybe? I’m not sure if these Windows 7 machines will receive a huge slash-down when Windows 8 arrives or not. Since they are more netbooks than tablets, in many ways, I wouldn’t expect a huge cut.
So if you buy Windows 8 and one of these models you are talking $600-$700 easy. This might be too pricey for some.
What do you think of convertible netbooks? Are they worth the purchase or should users instead just a get a traditional netbook and a tablet? Share your thoughts below!