While a few of the budget laptops have included touchscreen technology, it's now time to sing along to Diana Ross' 'Touch me in the Morning' and get those screens all smeary with a look at the best of the laptop-tablet hybrids.

8. Lenovo IdeaPad Z500 Touch

About AU$813

Lenovo IdeaPad Z500 Touch

If you're looking for a 15.6-inch touchscreen laptop and like to play the odd game, then the Z500 could be a contender.

Even without the latest Core i7, the Z500 still performs well as an all-rounder. But the biggest surprise is that it has discrete graphics, which paired with a low-resolution screen means the Z500 Touch could be in our gaming section, too. For example, we found that it manages a very solid 36fps in Bioshock Infinite on Medium settings.

This is no ultraportable though, it's a little too chunky to be carried everywhere, and the performance comes at the cost of battery life, which averages about three hours.

There a better gaming machines, but they cost more and there are lighter laptops but they don't offer as much performance or, indeed, as much storage. A well-designed machine from Lenovo, then, which probably explains why the company is doing so well.

9. Lenovo Yoga 11S

About AU$1,017

Lenovo Yoga 11S

The Lenovo Yoga 11S is quite versatile, we admit the clue was in the name. It's extremely portable and its solid hinge quickly turns it into a slate for browsing the web from the sofa or a tablet with kickstand for checking recipes while you're in the kitchen.

The Intel Core i7 processor and solid state drive ensure a quick and responsive Windows 8, but we'd have liked Lenovo to include the latest generation of Core i7, Haswell, for preference. We also can't understand why at least one USB 3.0 port wasn't included.

You can easily tuck this system into a carry bag and aside from more than casual gaming, it'll bend over backwards (sic) to do most things you'd ask of it. Very versatile and worth considering.

10. Microsoft Surface Pro 2


Microsoft Surface Pro 2

First, lets not get confused about which Surface this is. The Surface Pro 2 is actually packing closer to laptop specs. It comes with the full Windows 8.1 OS and not the 'optimised' Windows 8.1 RT that limits you to Windows Store apps. It's also powered by the latest generation of Intel Core i5 processor and not a Tegra 4, which you'd normally associate with smartphones and tablets.

In fact, the main selling point of the Surface Pro 2 is that it has improved across the board: from a more vibrant display and better performance and graphics to seven hours of battery life. With these increases, the Surface Pro 2 does find itself sitting in an awkward halfway house between laptop and tablet, particularly as its gained weight and chunkiness that doesn't compare favourably with other tablets. It's also still expensive at £719 without the keyboard.

In design terms, the Surface Pro 2 is a celebration of what Microsoft can do when it's cornered and needs to come out fighting, and it's a form factor that may just fit your needs perfectly and with no small amount of style.

11. Asus Transformer Book TX300


Asus Transformer Book TX300

Asus sees this 13-inch model as a showcase for what the company can achieve in design and performance terms, and there's a lot to like about this stylish brushed aluminium hybrid.

True to it's name this powerful laptop can be turned into a tablet quickly by unclipping the keyboard.

Although it's Intel Core i7 (3rd gen, not Haswell) and 4GB RAM offer a snappy Windows 8, this isn't where the TX300 stands out. It's features like the lush screen which supports full HD playback, the dual batteries (in base and tablet) and dual-storage of a 500GB drive and 128GB SSD respectively, which distinguish it from the crowd.

There are few caveats, no HDMI, for instance, only USB 3.0 ports on the keyboard but not on screen and the fact it weighs 2kg. That weight also doesn't reflect that it's a graphics gaming powerhouse and battery life isn't sparkling at around 5 hours, but then you are getting a gorgeous screen for your movies.

The Asus Transformer Book TX300 may not beat an iPad or a Apple MacBook Pro but it may well be the most comfortable compromise between laptop and tablet that we've seen.