15 great Windows 8 hybrid notebooks and tablets

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With Microsoft's Windows 8 launch moments away, new device announcements are coming so fast you need a scorecard to keep up. One of the big themes with this touch-centric Windows release is touchscreens on everything including Ultrabooks, tablets with keyboard docks, or new all-in-one convertible PCs. Some critics aren't buying the hybrid device craze that Windows 8 is inspiring, but if you ever wanted to a touch-enabled laptop, there's never been a better time to buy.

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IdeaPad Yoga 11

Similar to its larger counterpart, the IdeaPad Yoga 11 can fold backwards from a standard laptop clamshell into a tablet. But unlike the original Yoga announced in January, the Yoga 11 runs Windows RT, the version of Windows designed for ARM processors. The tablet features an 11.6-inch screen with 1366-by-768 resolution, Nvidia Tegra 3 processor, up to 2GB RAM and 64GB SSD storage.

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Samsung Series 5 Slate

One of the many upcoming tablets running Intel's 1.5GHz Atom Z2760 “Clover Trail” processor. This 11.6-inch device (also known as the Ativ Smart PC) comes loaded with Windows 8, 64GB SSD, 2GB DDR3 RAM, 802.11a/b/g/n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0, micro HDMI and USB 2.0. An optional keyboard dock is also available.

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Dell XPS 12

As long as you trust that the XPS 12's flip-hinge will hold up to punishment for at least three years, this convertible laptop could be a fun little laptop to own. The XPS 12 base specs include a 12.5-inch touch screen, 1.7GHz Intel Core i5 processor, 4GB DDR3 RAM, and 128GB SSD.

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Acer M5-481PT

This 14-inch laptop features an edge-to-edge multi-touch display, an Ivy Bridge Core i5 processor, 500GB hard drive and a 20GB SSD, two USB 3.0 ports, and HDMI out. This isn't really a hybrid device, but it is an example of how computer manufacturers will start to integrate touch screens into even standard clamshell laptops.

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Sony Tap 20

For those times the 9.7-inch iPad just isn't big enough, you can operate this “tablet” with a close friend. The Sony Tap 20 is a small-sized all-in-one PC that can fold down into a tablet. The device features a 20-inch IPS display with 1600-by-900 resolution, 1.7GHz Intel Ivy Bridge Core i5 processor, 4GB RAM, Intel HD4000 integrated graphics, 750GB hard drive, Bluetooth 4.0 and 802.11n Wi-Fi.

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Asus Vivo Tab RT

Another tablet available for pre-order at Staples, the Asus Vivo Tab features a 10.1-inch IPS display with 1280-by-800 resolution, 1.3 GHz quad-core Nvidia Tegra 3 processor, 32GB storage, 2GB RAM, front- and rear-facing cameras, Bluetooth 4.0, 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi, and Windows RT. You can also get a keyboard dock for the Vivo Tab.

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Sony Duo 11 Ultrabook

This tablet features a sliding keyboard attached to its underside for those times you need a laptop. The device features an 11.6-inch IPS touchscreen with 1920-by-1080 resolution, 1.7 GHz Intel Core i5 processor, 128GB SSD, and 6GB RAM. The Duo 11 weighs 2 pounds 13 ounces and is less than an inch thick.

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Asus Taichi

The Asus Taichi is a prototypical Ultrabook except that it has a display on the backside of the screen where you usually see the company's branding. The double-sided Taichi will feature 11.6-inch screens with 1920-by-1080 resolution, Ivy Bride Core i5 or i7 processor, up to 256 GB SSD storage, and 802.11n Wi-Fi. A 13.3-inch version is also in the works, the 11.6-inch device is available for pre-order now at Amazon, Newegg, and other retailers.

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Lenovo ThinkPad Twist

Based on the ThinkPad design, the Twist features a 12.5-inch display, Intel Ivy Bridge Core processors, your choice of HDD or SSD storage, USB 3.0, min DisplayPort, and mini HDMI. The device weighs 3.48 pounds and is 0.78-inches thick. The Twist also features a ThinkPad-style keyboard similar to the X220 or X230, but appears to be a little flatter to allow the screen to twist and fold over.

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Lenovo IdeaTab Lynx

Packed with an Intel Atom Clover Trail processor (presumably the Z2760), the Lynx tablet features an 11.6-inch display and weighs 1.41 pounds. The Lynx will connect to a keyboard dock. Many of the specs have yet to be announced.

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Hewlett-Packard Envy x2

The X2 tablet-laptop hybrid features an 11.6-inch touch display with 1366-by-768 resolution, 1.8GHz Intel Atom Z2760 Clover Trail processor, 64GB SSD, SD card slot, USB ports, HDMI, front- and rear-facing camera, and optional stylus.

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Microsoft Surface RT

You can't talk about upcoming Windows 8 devices without discussing Microsoft's Surface. Although this device is officially a 10.6-inch tablet you can pair it with a Touch Cover that doubles as a tablet cover and a keyboard. This is a unique “kinda, sorta” hybrid device.

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Acer Iconia W510

This 10.1-inch touch tablet comes with a keyboard dock in this configuration (there is also a pure tablet version) and features a 1366-by-768 resolution, Intel Clover Trail processor, 2GB RAM, front- and rear-facing cameras, 64GB storage, microSD card slot, and keyboard dock.

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Toshiba U925t

Toshiba's Ultrabook features a 12.5-inch IPS touch display, Intel Core i5 Ivy Bridge processor, 128GB SSD, Bluetooth 4.0, 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi, 2 x USB 3.0, and HDMI.

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MSI Slider S20

An interesting 11.6-inch slider laptop featuring Intel Ivy Bride processors, USB 3.0, Bluetooth 4.0, and HDMI. MSI has yet to release the full specs, pricing, or release date for this device since showing it off at Computex in June. But the Slider S20's throwback look to an over-sized UMPC makes this an interesting Ultrabook slider to check out.

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