The reason behind their popularity is hardly a surprise: they combine the performance of a laptop with the convenience of a tablet.
A 2-in-1 is essentially a touch-based convertible laptop that also offers a physical keyboard.
Lately, many manufacturers have designed hybrid devices that bundle in full-purpose features like backlit keyboards, multiple USB ports, and even discrete graphics cards.
Most of these devices follow a hinge-based design, essentially allowing users to switch across usage modes like tablet, tent or stand.
The 360-degree hinge lets you rotate the keyboard all the way behind the display. This way, while you can enjoy the comfort of a tablet, the keyboard will always be available – a suitable design for those who need the keyboard frequently.
Some others convertibles, especially the Microsoft ones, have detachable keyboards. Such keyboards tend to be light and are elementary to attach.
However, this design does make things top-heavy because that is where all the essential system components are. You will have to take a call based on your usage pattern to decide which model to bring home.
- Power plus Flexibility: Picking the Best 2-in-1
- Our Picks: 10 Best 2-in-1 Laptops 2021
- 1. Lenovo Flex 5 14″ 2-in-1 Laptop
- 2. Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 Laptop
- 3. HP Spectre x360 13 Convertible Laptop
- 4. Lenovo Yoga 6 2-in-1 Laptop
- 5. LG Gram 14T90P 2-in-1 Lightweight Laptop
- 6. ASUS ZenBook Flip S UX371 4K OLED 2-in-a Laptop
- 7. Microsoft Surface Pro 7+ Business 2-in-1 Laptop
- 8. HP Envy x360 15 Convertible Laptop
- 9. Acer ConceptD 3 Ezel Convertible Creator Laptop
- 10. Microsoft Surface Book 3 2-in-1 Detachable Laptop
Power plus Flexibility: Picking the Best 2-in-1
As a rule of thumb, pick a laptop that runs on an Intel Core i3 or above, although you can also choose an AMD equivalent to cut your costs.
If you are purchasing a device for CPU-draining tasks like software development, gaming or content editing, you should look for an eleventh-gen CPU, 16GB of RAM, and a minimum of 256GB of storage.
Visual clarity and color precision are crucial requirements in a 2-in-1, mainly because you are likely to use your device for bingeing Netflix, looking at presentations, or working on multimedia content creation.
While a bright FHD display is a given, you can also look for Pantone validation, 4K UHD panels, and blue-light reduction. A narrow-bezel design with an IPS panel is great to minimize external interference and view comfortably across positions.
Getting a discrete graphics card – while excellent for multimedia pursuits – depends upon your needs and budget.
Long-lasting battery capacity is another vital requirement in convertibles since they facilitate free, on-the-go use. A good ballpark is 10 hours and above; you will find many devices offering almost 15-hour unplugged usage.
One key component of 2-in-1 devices is security – a need underscored by the collaborative, portable usage they support. It is wise to look for security provisions such as a fingerprint reader, a privacy screen, or facial login. If your needs warrant enterprise-grade security, some convertibles like the Microsoft Surface provide TPM chips.
While selecting a 2-in-1, be mindful of the overall design and construction. A lightweight build should not come at the cost of durability, and additional features should not bulk things up so much that tablet-mode usage becomes difficult.
Most convertibles weigh in the range of 2-4lbs and have thin profiles measuring less than 1” to let you slip them into backpacks.
Our Picks: 10 Best 2-in-1 Laptops 2021
The rising demand for flexible computing devices has pushed leading manufacturers towards 2-in-1s. Convertibles and hybrids now come with full-purpose keyboards, powerful processors, and impressive audio-visuals.
They also offer security solutions and easy connections to keep you plugged in and working without the threat of a data breach or loss of privacy.
Today, you can choose a 2-in-1 from top brands like HP, Lenovo, Microsoft, Dell, Acer and ASUS. In the list below, we have recommended some of the best options available in the market today. They start at a budget-friendly $500 and go upwards of $1500.
1. Lenovo Flex 5 14″ 2-in-1 Laptop
With a 360-degree hinge for multi-mode use and a powerful AMD Ryzen 5 4500U processor, the Lenovo Flex 5 14″ 2-in-1 laptop is an excellent 2-in-1.
The standard laptop mode is perfect for day-to-day activities; you can employ the tent and the stand modes for sharing and bingeing multimedia content.
The tablet mode is intuitive to use, since this computer includes a digital pen.
This $600 convertible comes with 16GB of RAM, a 256GB SSD, and up to 10 hours of (quick-charging) battery capacity to power your endeavors at work.
The FHD panel with AMD Radeon graphics and a narrow-bezel design offers plenty of immersive entertainment and doubles up as essential armory for creative professionals.
Portability comes naturally to this convertible because of its light and sleek build: 3.64lbs and 0.82″. The durable paint adds to the user experience, while the physical shutter on the webcam keeps you free of anxiety.
2. Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 Laptop
A premium convertible perfectly usable as a full-purpose computer, the Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 laptop is a sensible option, particularly for those in creative businesses.
It is priced at a rather steep $1,149.99, but the specs are worth the price. Sample this: an eleventh-gen Intel Core i5-1135G7 CPU, 8GB of RAM, a 256GB SSD, and an optional 4K Ultra display with HDR 400 certification.
You can also get a 90% DCI P3 color gamut, 500 nits of brightness, Dolby Vision, and Waves MaxxAudio sound.
This system, lightweight and stylish at 2.9lbs and 0.56″, consists of two Thunderbolt 4 ports and is compatible with Wi-Fi 6. You can keep your work confidential with facial recognition and a fingerprint reader.
On one charge, this 2-in-1 can run for 14 hours on the Full HD+ model and about 8 hours on the 4K+ version. This device keeps itself cool with an effective combination of dual fans, hidden exhaust venting, and a vapor chamber.
3. HP Spectre x360 13 Convertible Laptop
Convertibles thrive on intuitive use – something that the HP Spectre x360 13 convertible laptop understands well.
Boasting a screen-to-body ratio of 90%, the Spectre uses a bent design for better views. This compact 2-in-1, perfect for busy professionals, has several build innovations setting it apart.
Among these are a lasting hinge for long-term use, a 2.2mm webcam to maximize your real estate, and a gem-cut aluminum design.
Performance-wise, the eleventh-gen Intel Core CPU, 16GB of RAM, and up to a 2TB SSD ensure that you get everything done fast. It has a stunning display: a 4K OLED panel, True Black HDR, and minimal reflection.
HP has prioritized continuous use with increased battery capacity: around 16.5 hours even if you are streaming HD video. Add to that the provision for 5G connectivity, USB Type-C, and USB Type-A ports, and you can stay connected wherever you go.
4. Lenovo Yoga 6 2-in-1 Laptop
Contemporary and stylish with an abyss-blue, stain-resistant fabric cover, the 13.3 Lenovo Yoga 6 2-in-1 laptop is a great companion for modern life.
It runs on a speedy AMD Ryzen 5 5500U CPU, 8GB of RAM, and a 512GB SSD – adequate for everyday computing tasks like wireless streaming or working on presentations.
The smooth 360-degree hinge makes it easy to transition between the tablet and the laptop modes.
This 2-in-1, costing $849.99, is built to fit travel-intensive lifestyles. It weighs only 2.91lbs and includes Amazon Alexa to simplify your life on the run.
Moreover, the efficient heat dissipation gives it long-lasting battery juice of up to 18 hours. The bright FHD screen and stereo speakers with Dolby Atmos enhance your multimedia experience.
Among the security features are a privacy shutter for the webcam and a fingerprint reader for safe, quick login.
5. LG Gram 14T90P 2-in-1 Lightweight Laptop
If you are looking for a high-performing 2-in-1, then the LG Gram 14T90P 2-in-1 lightweight laptop at $1,699.99 is a great choice.
The sleek body (2.8lbs) of this device belies its power. An Intel Core i7 1165G7 CPU drives the performance; you get excellent RAM and memory to the tune of 16GB and a 1TB SSD.
A 360-degree display swiftly converts into tablet mode to let you work intuitively from anywhere.
If you frequently need to work on the go, this sturdily built device (MIL-STD-810G) is one of your best choices.
It offers tremendous battery backup of 24.5 hours and comfortable, flat keypads for quick typing. Thunderbolt 4 ports, Alexa, and an HD webcam keep you connected as you travel.
A note on the visuals: they get rendered with beautiful clarity and colors with Intel Xe Graphics and DCI-P3 99% color. Superior sound is another bonus of this computer, realized with DTS:X Ultra for 3D rendering.
6. ASUS ZenBook Flip S UX371 4K OLED 2-in-a Laptop
This one is rather steeply-priced at almost $1500, but the 13.3” ASUS ZenBook Flip S UX371 4K OLED 2-in-a laptop does justice to its cost.
It provides extraordinary imagery with its 4K UHD OLED touch screen and 100% DCI-P3 color gamut.
The blue-light reduction of up to 70% minimizes eye strain. Driving the performance is an Intel Core i7-1165G7 processor, supported by 16GB of RAM and a 1TB SSD.
Combined with up to 15 hours of battery backup, the processing configuration gives your device the capacity to work uninterrupted for long hours.
This convertible, with its jade-black build and red diamond-cut edges, has an uber-stylish appeal. A 360-degree hinge permits you to switch across modes conveniently. At 2.87lbs and just 0.55″, the build agrees perfectly with professionals, students, travelers, etc.
If you plan on using your system for light gaming or other multimedia activities, you will benefit from the response time of 0.2 ms. It makes transitions smoother and also helps the details come alive.
7. Microsoft Surface Pro 7+ Business 2-in-1 Laptop
Combining trusted security solutions and convenient connectivity for business is the 12.3″ Microsoft Surface Pro 7+ business 2-in-1 laptop.
An eleventh-gen Intel Core i3-1115G4 CPU powers this convertible, although you can choose up to i7, 32GB of RAM, and up to 1TB storage, based on your budget (starting at $899.99).
With the optional LTE Advanced, you get to enjoy high-speed connectivity for calling, business meetings, etc. This Microsoft Surface provides up to 15 hours of unplugged usage.
Business people will find many useful features for daily operations, such as the Microsoft Whiteboard application that allows you to take notes, sketch, etc.
An HD camera (8.0 MP) makes it simple to scan documents quickly and share them with your team. This 0.33″ device is equipped with dynamic security as well, such as the TPM 2.0 chip and facial sign-in via Windows Hello.
8. HP Envy x360 15 Convertible Laptop
This 2-in-1 works well for those looking for an affordable but reliable computer. The 15.6” HP Envy x360 15 convertible laptop costs $849.99 and runs on an AMD Ryzen 5 5500U processor.
The specifications are adequate for everyday computing tasks: 8GB of RAM, a 512GB SSD, and AMD Radeon graphics. A 360-degree hinge lets you change to tablet mode and interact with your device closely. HP has also included a fingerprint reader for password-free, quick login.
Build-wise, this laptop is a tad heavier and thicker than some others on this list: 4.42lbs and 0.74″. However, it does offer extended battery usage of 11.5 hours to keep you un-tethered during the day.
The FHD touch display has a micro-edge design with IPS support, enabling you to enjoy engaging multimedia content. Enhancing your experience manifold is the Bang & Olufsen audio.
9. Acer ConceptD 3 Ezel Convertible Creator Laptop
If you are a creative professional or fine-arts student, look no further than the Acer ConceptD 3 Ezel convertible creator laptop, priced at $1379.
This convertible is excellent for artists, photographers and the like, thanks to the Intel i7-10750H CPU, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 graphics, 16GB of RAM, and a 512GB SSD.
It has a stunning display with Pantone validation, a 100% sRGB color gamut (Delta E <2), and Corning Gorilla Glass for screen protection.
Acer has keenly worked on sustainability since multimedia pursuits tend to be CPU-intensive. This 2-in-1 employs a two-fan system with vortex flow for heat dissipation, keeping the noise levels under 40dBA.
Sustainable but lightweight design is a laudable win of this 2-in-1. It has a sturdy magnesium-aluminum body and uses Micro-Arc Oxidation (MAO) for ceramic hardness. With a weight of 3.7lbs, a profile thickness of 0.94″, and a battery capacity of up to 14.5 hours, it manages to be quite portable.
10. Microsoft Surface Book 3 2-in-1 Detachable Laptop
Here is a good pick if you are looking for a detach-flip-use model: the Microsoft Surface Book 3 2-in-1 detachable laptop available in 13.5” or 15” form factors.
The keyboard detaches and transforms the computer into a stand-alone tablet, offering you immense flexibility, especially when on the move.
The starting price is $1599.99; this convertible provides plenty of customization options.
For instance, if you are a developer or a content creator, you can choose an Intel Core i5/i7 CPU with up to 32GB RAM and as much as 2TB of storage.
This Surface Book 3 lets you choose a discrete graphics card (up to NVIDIA GeForce 1660 Ti) which is terrific for gamers and multimedia enthusiasts. The 3.38lbs device also offers Dolby Atmos sound.
True to the promise of portability intrinsic to a 2-in-1, this one can last up to 17.5 hours on one charge. It consists of several ports, including USB-C, USB-A, and an SD card reader.
If you follow a travel-centric life or need to lug your computer along throughout the day, convertibles can be a blessing for you. There is something remarkably intuitive and liberating about using a stylus/pen on a tablet to create, switching to laptop mode to edit or run CPU-intensive applications.
Hinge-based models also give you the choice of tent or stand mode for sharing and watching content. However, selecting the right 2-in-1 should be a considered decision since one size will not fit all.
Your overarching priority is a good decision-making tool for selecting the best pick: bingeing television shows, coding, or light gaming.
For instance, the Acer ConceptD 3 Ezel laptop is an excellent choice for people in the creative business. It offers features that can match some desktops in this category. The Lenovo Flex 5 14″ 2-in-1, on the other hand, is an intelligent choice for those watching their budget.
If you are you are thinking of buying a detachable, Microsoft rules the game with reliable, stylish devices that also provide good battery backup and adequate processing compartments.
Considering the fast-paced world of today and how significant freedom can be for productivity, getting a convertible is a well-timed decision. With the abundance of choices in the marketplace, it just comes down to listing your priorities and finding the perfect match.