Consumer Reports: Tablet-laptop combos

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Tablets have been one of the fastest growing consumer electronics. (WPVI)

Tablets have been one of the fastest growing consumer electronics. But sales are starting to level off. And the laptop market has been declining for some time. Now there's an emerging class of computers called detachables that combines a laptop and a tablet.

Detachables work like a laptop with more memory, storage, and power than a tablet. Then they can be converted into a tablet when you need something lightweight and easy to carry along. Consumer Reports has been checking out several detachables, and so far its testers haven't been overly impressed.

The problem is detachables don't do either task particularly well. As a laptop, they're not as fast or as powerful as you would like. As a tablet, they tend to be a little bit heavy.

There are other concerns, too. On the Lenovo model, you can't adjust the viewing angle of the screen like you could on a standard laptop. And on the Asus model, you get only 2GB of memory. Most laptops come with at least 4GB.

The only detachable that Consumer Reports recommends as both a tablet and a laptop is the Microsoft Surface Pro 3. It has a great display and great battery life. And at 12 inches, its screen is larger than most other tablets. The Surface Pro 3 comes equipped with a Surface Pen, camera, and memory card reader, and starts at $800. The keyboard is sold separately for $130.

Consumer Reports says that more and more detachables are coming on the market, and it hopes to see lighter, more powerful models soon.

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