There remains no doubt — the introduction of the iPad popularized the tablet computer like never before. While the iPad Air 2 and similarly powerful Android tablets, like the Samsung Galaxy Tab and Kindle Fire HDX, still dominate the market, a new category of laptop tablet hybrids also emerged, with Microsoft’s Surface Pro 3 serving as a somewhat expensive example. Considering Windows 8 itself is essentially a hybrid of desktop and mobile operating systems with differing interfaces as well, most hybrids run Windows.

These hybrids also combine the power and typing ease of a laptop with the touchscreen user interface improvements ushered in by tablets. You’ll get the power for video streaming, so make sure your ISP offers enough bandwidth. What follows is a look at the best laptop tablet hybrids that make sense on your Holiday shopping list.

The best laptop tablet hybrids feature great pricing, features, and innovation

The ASUS Transformer Book T100 – An Inexpensive Hybrid Option

ASUS’s Transformer Book T100 continues to garner accolades as an inexpensive hybrid option powered by Windows 8.1. With a retail price starting around $350, the T100 sports an easily detachable 10.1-inch touchscreen that functions perfectly as a Windows tablet. The design leverages Intel’s low-power Atom processor that promises desktop-level power with enhanced battery life.

The T100 features 2 GB of RAM, and either 32 GB or 64 GB of storage capacity; the 64 GB model retails for $399. In addition to Windows 8.1, Microsoft Office Home and Student also comes pre-installed. The included keyboard dock adds little to the T100’s weight and width when in use.

The Dell Inspiron 11 3000 features a Useful Rotating Hinge

Dell’s Inspiron 11 3000 is priced slightly higher than the ASUS hybrid (anywhere from $400 to $500 depending on options), and its unique rotating hinge gives you a ton of flexibility when using your hybrid. A tablet, a laptop, or even as a small video screen — the possibilities are nearly endless with the Inspiron’s 11.6-inch touchscreen.

The $479 Inspiron model sports an Intel Quad Core N3530 processor and 4 GB of RAM. An actual 500 GB hard drive offers you a better storage option than the limited solid state memory in the ASUS T100. The $399 model still offers the same RAM and hard drive, but its Dual Core processor is weaker than the N3530.


The Microsoft Surface Pro 3 works as a Premium Hybrid Solution

Microsoft’s own Surface Pro 3 is a robust option, possibly one of the the best laptop tablet hybrids, but one with a much more expensive price point compared to the Dell and ASUS models. The price of the Surface Pro 3 ranges from around $800 (a version without a keyboard) to nearly $2,000 depending primarily on the included processor and on-board storage. In fact, a version powered by an Intel i7 processor with 512 GB of storage and a detachable keyboard costs $2,099.

For that price, however, you’ll get desktop level performance with the convenience of a 12-inch touchscreen and a keyboard. Considering that the ASUS T100 comes with Office pre-installed, Microsoft might have considered offering more software on their flagship hybrid. Windows 8.1 is pre-installed, but Office is extra on the Surface Pro 3.

If you are looking for the convenience of a tablet with the power of a laptop, a hybrid is probably your best bet. Models from ASUS and Dell give you the benefits of a hybrid while still leaving you some leftover budget room for the others on your shopping list.