Best hybrid laptop

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Acer Aspire R7

The Acer Aspire R7 is a convertible laptop with a flexible hinge that allows its 15.6-inch touchscreen to assume four different positions. Fold the screen down and the R7 becomes an oversized tablet. Pull the screen towards you and you can access the touchscreen comfortably and use the keyboard.

It functions well as a workhorse because of its Nvidia graphics and Intel Core i7 processor. The laptop has surprising stamina - it kept going for more than seven hours in Digital Life's battery life test.

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Asus Transformer Book Trio

One of the more unusual hybrids in the market, the 11.6-inch Asus Transformer Book Trio has two distinct processors. One chip resides in the tablet; the other, inside the keyboard dock. This means it can be used as a tablet, a laptop or even a desktop PC when connected to an external display.

The Book Trio comes with two operating systems - Android and Windows. Switching between them is as simple as pressing a button.

Asus has put in effort to make it easy to share data between the two platforms.

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Dell XPS 11

Dell's latest convertible has a hinge like the Lenovo Yoga's, which allows the device to be used four ways.

But unlike its rival, it also has a touch keyboard, minus the mechanical keys. This makes for a better grip when the XPS 11 is used as a tablet.

The screen is excellent, with a 2,560 x 1,440-pixel resolution. Viewing angles are great as this is an in-plane switching display. With its carbon fibre and aluminium chassis, it is both compact and lightweight.

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Sony Vaio Duo 13

The new Sony Vaio Duo 13 weighs about the same as last year's 11-inch model, despite having a 13-inch touchscreen. This is due to a carbon fibre body, which keeps the weight at a manageable 1.3kg.

This hybrid converts from tablet to laptop when the screen is slid up to reveal the keyboard.

It comes with a digitiser stylus and supports note-taking with the pre-loaded app. Battery life is much improved over that of its predecessor.

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Sony Vaio Fit 13A

At the heart of this Windows 8 convertible is a ''multi-flip'' hinge that allows it to be used in three modes. Besides the usual laptop and tablet modes, it can also be used in a viewer mode.

From laptop mode, the screen can be flipped around to face the opposite direction. You can watch movies and play games without having the keyboard in the way.

Inside this hybrid is the kind of hardware you would expect from the latest ultrabook, including an Intel Haswell processor, a solid-state drive and a full high-definition display.

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