A question of semantics

Yesterday you all went to the polls to vote on one of the most important questions of our time: what's the difference between a 2-in-1 and a convertible, or is there a difference at all? It was a contentious vote that's pitted businesses against consumers and driven a wedge between friends and families. But it was a question that could go unresolved no longer.

Today, the votes are in and the answer is resounding: there is a stark difference between a 2-in-1 and a convertible.

Our poll asked you to identify what category of portable computer you would slot four distinctly different devices under. While the question was about the sort of laptop-style devices that turn into tablets and tablet-style devices that masquerade as laptops, we thought it best to bookend with easily defined devices: the touchscreen laptop Dell XPS 13 and the keyboard-free Dell Venue 8 Pro tablet.

With 1,482 ballots cast, here's how things shook out:

The full results, in case you're interested.

Unsurprisingly, the XPS 13 was identified by an overwhelming majority as a laptop: 85% (some 11% said it was a convertible and 3% a 2-in-1). Similarly, the Venue 8 Pro was pegged as a tablet by 99% of voters (with 16 total who branded it a as a 2-in-1, convertible, or a laptop).

But let's get to the meat of the debate: 2-in-1 or convertible.

The Lenovo Yoga 910, which is takes a traditional-style laptop and throws in a 360° hinge so the screen can fold all the way around into a tablet mode, was identified by 72% of voters as a convertible and only 17% as a 2-in-1.

The Microsoft Surface Pro 4, a slate-style device with a built-in kickstand and a removable keyboard cover, was pegged by 65% as a 2-in-1 device. 19% said it was a tablet and fewer still (13%) said it was a convertible.

So there you have it, according to this entirely non-scientific one-day poll of a contentious but ultimately semantical debate.

  • Convertible laptop: A notebook-style device with a stiff 360° hinge
  • 2-in-1 tablet: A slate-style device with a detachable keyboard

Let it be known far and wide that this is the mandate of the people.