It used to be that "convertible" only meant one thing: a laptop whose display could swivel around and fold down into tablet mode, at which point you could interact with it using either your fingers or a pen. While that form factor has hardly disappeared, the word "convertible" is now more of an umbrella term than anything else, a category encompassing all sorts of miscellaneous form factors -- everything from sliders to dual-screened notebooks. Suffice to say, though, not all of these designs are created equal. Though we made an effort to pick three items for each category, we only named two for convertibles. That's because we couldn't think of any more that we'd actually recommend. Sliders tend to offer a compromised typing experience, we find, and we've had a disappointing experience with other contenders, like the ASUS TAICHI and MSI Slidebook S20. We expect we'll see some fresh second-gen models arrive just in time for Haswell, but in the meantime, here are the two best machines you can buy today.
Take Lenovo's high-end performance Y series, lower the screen resolution, downgrade the graphics, and you've got a much more affordable (but still very capable) machine fit for families and students alike. Like some of the company's more premium machines the IdeaPad Y580 has Intel's Wireless Display technology, along with up to 8GB of RAM and 1TB of storage, plus an optional Blu-ray drive. We're also fans of the design, which includes a fingerprint-resistant metal lid and the same sturdy, well-spaced AccuType keyboard you'll find on some other Lenovo machines.