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Touchscreen ultrabooks more ergonomic

A tablet computer coupled with an external keyboard sounds like a way to get the best of both worlds: easy to watch and web-surf, and easy to type a document.

But an old-style ultrabook with a touchscreen might be the better option, according to testers at German computer magazine c’t.

After testing 11 devices – six tablet/keyboard combinations, two hybrids with a fold-out keyboard and three ultrabooks – the magazine pointed out that a single ultrabook weighs less than two devices do.

A tablet is also difficult to stand up at the right angle when you are sitting in a car or a plane and are using your hands to type. It is likely to come with either a non-adjustable base, or one with such limited range that the tablet topples over when the car rocks.

Looking at the display from a sub-optimal angle can be wearing on the eyes. With an ultrabook it is a cinch to get the angle right.

Where tablet computers win out is that they often come with a stylus. Users can write with one directly on the touchscreen.

All machines were rated fast enough for basic computing. However, booting up could take as long as 10 seconds in some cases.

There were also differences in battery life. Using wi-fi and with mid-level display brightness, average devices could last five to six hours without a recharge. A few could hold out for seven to nine hours, while flunkers only lasted four.

There were wide degrees of variation here, both among the ultrabooks and tablets with keyboards.(dpa)