However, if you'd rather have a keyboard for writing emails, and then a touchscreen for a natural way to surf the web and browse your photos, then a laptop could be a much more sensible purchase.
There are plenty of great touchscreen laptops on the market, and there's a model to suit every need. From swivel screens on tiny netbooks, to full size laptops with touch capability, we take you through the best touchscreen laptop options.
1. Samsung NB30 – £268
Samsung's netbook range has always impressed us, and the NB30, boasting tactile touchscreen technology is no exception. It's easy to carry, and the touchscreen gives it a near tablet feel, although the screen doesn't twist around to give the true form factor.
The 10.1-inch screen has a 1,024 x 600-pixel resolution, and it's sharp and bright, and there's no shiny Super-TFT screen coating causing irritating reflections in bright light. What's more, this is the cheapest touchscreen PC you're likely to find.
2. Vye V-91015 Touch Screen Netbook – £379
There are a number of twistable tablet-style netbooks on the market featuring multi-touch screens but, at under £400, the Vye V-91015 is one of the cheapest around. The 10-inch screen rotates from the standard laptop form, to enable it to be carried like a tablet, which is where the multi-touch display comes into its own.
It compromises on specs a little, and there's only 1GB of RAM and a 160GB hard drive at your disposal, but you do get a decent touchscreen netbook that weighs only 1.3kg.
3. Asus EeePC Netbook T101MT – £442
If you're looking for a true tablet feel, but with the convenience of a laptop, then the Eee PC T101MT is a fantastic choice. The 10.1-inch touchscreen is tactile, and Asus's built in software helps you get the most from your touchscreen netbook.
ASUS Eee PCs are a pedigree of netbook, with fantastic build quality backed up with supreme portability. The Intel Atom N450 is adequate for most basic web surfing and YouTube video watching, and the 320 GB hard drive is one of the biggest you'll find on any netbook.
4. Asus T91MT – £459
If you've been bitten by the tablet bug, but don't want to do without a keyboard and mouse, then Asus' smaller netbook offering, complete with multi-touch screen will be right up your street.
The T91MT has a petite 8.9-inch screen, which is no bigger than most of the Android tablets that are swamping the market this Christmas. However, instead of Android, you get Windows 7 and a full keyboard. The multi-touch is fantastic, enabling you to fold the screen back and use a range of gestures, as well as using the supplied stylus.
5. Packard Bell Butterfly Touch LX.BL502.011 – £529.95
Continuing the run of touchscreen laptops to arrive on the scene in the first half of this year, Packard Bell has released the Butterfly Touch, which offers full touchscreen usability and up to a claimed eight hours of battery life in a convertible-tablet, clamshell design.
Weighing 1.6kg and featuring an 11.6-inch WXGA screen, it promises to provide ample mobility for frequent travel use. Operating as a standard clamshell laptop when opened, the screen can then be turned 180 degrees and folded down over the keyboard for full tablet use.
6. Toshiba Satellite U500-1EX – £584.97
Toshiba's Satellite U500 Series is aimed at mobile professionals and previous models have impressed us with their blend of style, comfort and quality. The Satellite U500-1EX comes with an impressive range of features and only a couple of flaws that hold it back.
The U500's impressive touchscreen usability and strong range of features lifts it above other laptops of a similar calibre, with the touch-sensitive screen and media bar offering a great means of control. Touch control is responsive and great for simply viewing documents or playing basic games.
7. Acer Aspire 5738PG-644G32Mn – £644.93
The Acer Aspire 5738PG-644G32Mn boasts a 15.6-inch screen that features touch functionality and is designed to make using the laptop as intuitive as possible.
Acer has succeeded admirably in implementing this with the Windows 7 operating system and, while it's obviously early days for the technology on laptops – rather than tablet PCs – this machine is certainly a step in the right direction.
We like the Acer Aspire 5738PG-644G32Mn a lot and while, realistically, you'll be using the keyboard and touchpad as much as you did before, the touchscreen technology is well implemented and very intuitive to use.
8. Acer 1825PT – £679
The new 1825PT is an 11.6-inch netbook with a swivel-style screen that enables you to convert it into a tablet-style device in a jiffy. The Aspire's swivel-screen multitouch panel features up to 1,366 x 768 resolution, and the machine packs in up to 8GB of RAM, a 1.3GHz Intel Core 2 Duo SU7300 processor, and a 250GB or 320GB hard drive.
The 1825PT also has a 6-cell battery to give you eight hours of work and play time, so you can spend more time getting touchy feely with your laptop.
9. HP Touchsmart TM2-1010ea – £863.53
The HP TouchSmart tm2-1010ea is another laptop with a swiveling screen that converts into a tablet PC, much like many in our round up.
The touchscreen is well supported by a host of software. Artists can create finger-painted masterpieces with Corel Paint It! Touch, while Magic Desktop provides children with a cartoon-based interface and access to various games and child-friendly applications.
With a strong range of touch software installed as standard, the HP TouchSmart tm2-1010ea has a sharp and well-supported touchscreen display. Its solid build, incredible portability and impressive features round off this strong contender.
10. Fujitsu Lifebook T4410 – £1115.99
Like the HP TouchSmart tm2-1010ea, this laptop features a screen which twists 180 degrees to convert into a tablet PC. In this form you can hold the machine in one hand while manipulating the touchscreen with your other.
The sharp 12.1-inch screen is quite small in comparison to some other touchscreen laptops, but to counter this, Fujitsu has included a stylus that tucks neatly into the chassis for storage. This can be used instead of your fingers for more accurate interaction, while a pair of configurable buttons on the side can be set up to simulate mouse-button clicks.
The display is extremely sensitive and registers the stylus tip hovering over an inch from the screen, although this does show where you're about to press and helps to minimise mistakes.
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