Not long ago, the choice of a portable computer was restricted to a traditional laptop. However, as time went by, powerful operating systems and mobile processors were introduced into the market. This widened the choice for end users to include tablets as convenient alternatives.

Due to the limited functionality of tablets and the inconvenience of a laptop, manufacturers saw the opportunity of merging the two devices to create 2-in-1 laptops.

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A 2-in-1 refers to a detachable hybrid tablet or convertible hybrid laptop that comes with both a keyboard and a touchscreen. This flexibility allows you to seamlessly flip between the laptop and tablet modes.

Much like their traditional counterparts, the best 2-in-1 laptops come with an operating system which is either Windows or Chrome OS. To understand 2-in-1 devices better, you have to group them into two categories: detachable hybrid tablets and convertible laptops.

Detachable Hybrid Tablets

This is a slate tablet with a keyboard dock or case. For stability, the keyboard dock is preferred to the keyboard case. If you desire optimal mobility and portability, you can leave the keyboard part behind and operate with the tablet alone.

It is not uncommon to find best detachable laptops weighing less than 3 pounds, together with the keyboard dock. Apart from the extra functionality keyboard docks provide, they may also include USB ports and extra battery cells to give you more power to work off-plug.

Convertible Hybrid Laptops

Instead of detaching the keypad, this type of 2-in-1 laptops uses a folding design to transform from tablet to laptop and vice versa. If you are a frequent user of the keyboard for input, this is the best type for you.

Thanks to the folding mechanism and the range of motion it gives, you can opt for different modes based on use. For instance, you can share your display with other participants in a meeting by using a stand mode. You can also prop it up in tent mode if you do not have much space. The flexibility of this 2-in-1 laptop type is unbeatable.

The motherboard and battery system are located at the base much like in a conventional laptop. This gives the device stability when typing on a platform such as tabletop or lap. The relatively larger room for batteries provides enhanced battery life.

How to Choose The Best 2-in-1 Laptop

Generally, 2-in-1 laptops use mobile processors which are relatively less powerful compared to traditional laptops of the same size. The mobile processors are specifically designed to allow for quiet, cool operation instead of blazing speeds.

Display

Chances are high that you will be working on your laptop for longer hours. Because of this, it is imperative that eyes stay comfortable and stress-free. The element that takes care of this in your laptop is the display. It should be clear, with the right amount of brightness and minimal flicker to allow you to stay productive for longer.

Performance

In the spirit of mobile workforce productivity, your 2-in-1 laptop must intuitively blend portability and performance. The key elements for maximum performance include immersive graphics, powerful processors, long battery life, adequate RAM, and a larger display.

Look at the number of cells in the battery system and whether the laptop allows you to incorporate external swappable batteries. This will give you extended hours of battery life. Check the charge option the laptop comes with. Some of the modern 2-in-1 laptops have a rapid charge option that lets you charge your laptop in a much shorter time.

Durability

The build of your laptop determines its durability. Due to the nature of their assignments, 2-in-1 laptops should withstand everyday drops and bumps as well as survive the vagaries of remote working such as temperature differentials.

Some 2-in-1 laptops use a top cover consisting of a carbon fiber foam sandwiched between two carbon fiber layers. This gives you a lighter, stronger, and much thinner device. To minimize the failure rate and allow for better cooling, your device should provide an increased air flow.

As with anything else, shopping for 2-in-1 laptops involves compromises and trade-offs. Our reviews below will help you decide the laptop that best suits your needs.

8 Best 2-in-1 Laptops to Buy in 2020

Microsoft Surface Book 3

50% Faster for Increased Efficiency

Microsoft Surface Book 3

If multi-tasking is your middle name, then this is the model that may catch your attention. With the possibility to switch it to laptop, studio, and tablet mode, this gadget allows you to complete projects of all sorts, no matter how demanding they are.

With next-gen powerful components, you can rest at ease knowing that a robust device will be your reliable associate. Equipped with dual far-field Studio Mics as well as best in class Dolby Atmos, this model comes with fantastic sound, for the most demanding consumers. Thanks to GTX GeForce GPU, it delivers the fastest graphics.

In case you need to tackle some urgent assignment and you’ve forgotten the charger, worry not- it comes with more than 15 hours of battery life. In addition to this, it has improved standby mode, which adds more to balanced energy consumption.

With USB-A, USB-C, and full-size SD card slot, you will be given a wealth of choice for connectivity. Plus, you can easily transform it into the desktop workstation and use it with a palette of other accessories such as a mouse, keyboard, and more.

Pros:
  • 10th Gen i7
  • Multiple connectivity options
  • Switchable to 3 modes
  • Enhanced sound
  • Reliable battery life
Cons:
  • Occasional issues with touch screen

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Acer Spin 5

Next-gen Machine, Engineered For Convertible Efficiency

Acer Spin 5

The options for a portable writing gadget are almost endless, yet carrying around tablets and iPads can feel like a chore, especially when they require a laptop to function. This amazing hybrid takes the best of both worlds and mixes it into a product that flies through different projects seamlessly with style and elegance to boot.

Utmost care has been implemented to ensure high-grade specs. With the help of the Intel Core i7-1065G7 and Iris Plus Graphics, Intel’s famed portable graphics powerhouse, you are ensured to have a universal machine at your fingertips.
The noteworthy aspect of this product is the design that encompasses demanding long-term usage that hinges on the impressive 16GB of Onboard Memory.

The 13.5” IPS display is stunningly beautiful and lifelike, further enhanced with exclusive Corning Gorilla Glass protection, providing you with a 2k resolution that has been tested to withstand potential damage inflicted on it and still provides a clear-cut and force-resistant screen that ensures quality.

This easily foldable and lightweight tech marvel relies on the 360° Dual-Torque Hinge system to easily transform into four different products while still delivering on the promise of both a superb drawing system and an office-quality workhorse of a laptop.

Pros:
  • Long battery life
  • Stylus with Wacom AES
  • Excellent connectivity
  • Fantastic specs
  • Thunderbolt 3 ports included
  • Study and lightweight
Cons:
  • Pricey
  • The touchpad is sometimes not sensitive to the touch

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Lenovo Flex 14

Excellent Flex Laptop with Windows 10 included

lenovo flex 14

Lenovo Flex 14 offers an excellent 1920 x 1080p FHD display and comes with AMD Ryzen 5 series 3500U processor, which is mobile. Along with that comes Radeon Vega 8, which allows you to edit videos, photos and stream with great ease and without any stutter. Furthermore, Lenovo Flex 4 has USB-C, HDMI and USB 3.1 ports.

With Lenovo Flex 14, your data and personal info will be completely safe because it has built-in protection, which comes with already installed Windows 10.

Another very small, but nice feature Lenovo Flex 14 has, is webcam shutter, allowing you to close your camera when you are not using it.

Very cool additional equipment is an active pen, which can be used to write or draw on the screen, which is both useful and interesting.

And to support all that, there is a pretty decent battery, which can last for 10 hours. Along with that comes special recharge technology, which can power your laptop’s battery to 80% in less than one hour.

Pros:
  • Excellent battery
  • Built-in protection
  • Camera privacy shutter
  • Comes with Radeon Vega 8
  • Active pen included
Cons:
  • Gloss screen instead matte paper-like screen

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Acer Chromebook Spin 311

Unlimited Rotation Options with 360° Hinge

Acer Chromebook Spin 311

If you are a fan of truly saturated colors and perfectly crispy details, the HD display empowered with IPS technology will bring them to you. Equipped with antimicrobial Corning Gorilla Glass touchscreen, it allows you to scroll, swipe, or surf in the most convenient way.

Guaranteeing the maximum level of adjustability, the model can be converted into four different modes. With laptop mode, a fully functional keyboard is available, while tablet mode allows you to surf the Internet even smoother. Plus, it can be switched to display and tent mode, ensuring top-level of flexibility.

Speaking of flexibility, the same is seen in connectivity options, as the device comes with the reversible USB 3.1 Type-C connector.

Moreover, it bolsters a couple of USB 3.1 Type-C slots, along with a couple of USB 3.0 Type-A ports. In addition to this, there’s a microSD port that provides additional storage.

This way the device is capable of handling several different wireless gadgets at the same time, performing faster than ever. With up to 10 hours of battery life, be sure that no task will be left undone, even while out and about. On top of it, the product is very lightweight and compact, so carrying it around all day won’t be a heavy burden for you.

Pros:
  • Intel Gigabit Wi-Fi 5
  • Wide-angle view webcam
  • Convertible to 4 different modes
  • Flexible connectivity
Cons:
  • Narrow aspect ratios of usable screen space
  • No stylus support

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HP Pavilion x360 14-dh2011nr

Lightweight and Powerful, Ideal for Dynamic People

HP Pavilion x360 14-dh2011nr

Convertible to multiple modes, this device can make any of your projects become reality in a matter of seconds. Transform it the way it caters to YOUR needs- it can be a laptop or tablet, positioned in both stand and tent mode, whichever feels more natural to you. It comes with a 360-degree hinge, making sure the practical aspect of the device is particularly highlighted.

Those looking for cutting-edge sound will be glad to hear that this gadget comes with the richest audio components. Dual speakers combined with HP Audio Boost is just what can satisfy the most demanding clients.

Be sure that fans of crispy visuals won’t be left empty-handed as the device is equipped with a 3-way micro-edge touchscreen display. Also, it comes with a 60Hz refresh rate, allowing you to scroll, browse, or draw smoothly.

With Alexa as your faithful assistant, you will be able to multitask without any problems, thanks to hands-free access. During mixed use, it can provide more than 9 hours of battery life. Moreover, it can be charged rapidly in case you have some extra tasks to complete – up to 50% in less than an hour.

Pros:
  • 10th Gen i5
  • 360-degree hinge
  • BIOS recovery and protection
  • Convertible to 4 different modes
Cons:
  • Battery empties very quickly

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Lenovo Flex 5

More Flexibility for More Freedom and Enhanced Productivity

Lenovo Flex 5

Lightweight but also practical, this product is made to improve overall user experience. Thanks to a 360-degree hinge, you can convert it to up to four different modes. Be it some everyday duties, some idea you want to illustrate, or enjoy several episodes of action-packed series, no problem. It changes smoothly to tablet, laptop, tent, or stand mode, plus it comes with a stylus.

Catering to the needs of the most demanding clients looking for ultimate visuals, it is designed with 4-side narrow bezels. Plus, it hosts a top-performing processor with Radeon graphics, allowing you to complete assignments, play games, or anything else that’s on your mind.

Ensuring a high level of privacy, the manufacturer enhanced the webcam with a physical shutter, so you don’t have to worry about privacy. The simplest solution for a complex problem is how the team decided to tackle this widely present issue.

With more than 10 hours of battery life during combined use, it won’t let you down in the middle of your favorite song or an important project. On top of that, within just one hour you can boost it up to 80%, which gives you plenty of extra energy for various new activities.

Pros:
  • AMD Ryzen 5 Processor
  • Narrow bezels on four sides
  • 360-degree hinge
  • Up to 10 hours of battery life
  • Pen included
Cons:
  • Occasional sleep issues
  • Fairly slow startup times

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Microsoft Surface Go 2

Better Performance with Multiple Adjustability Options

Microsoft Surface Go 2

Whatever seems to be occupying your thoughts – something to sketch, write, or simply enjoy watching or listening to something, this device serves to make that happen for you. Switchable to three different modes, you can transform it into either laptop or tablet, or use it in studio mode to start expressing yourself this instant.

Security issues are practically non-existent, all thanks to several useful options to enhance this sector. There are not only content filtering possibilities but parent-managed screen time limits, so you will be able to share this gadget with your family members, without compromising anyone’s safety, security, and privacy.

Equipped with front and rear-facing cams, it allows you to make all sorts of crisp visuals, and exchange pics with your beloved ones. To keep you connected, there’s a USB-C slot along with a headphone jack, so the fun is wherever you are.

Thanks to PixelSense Display with touchscreen, you will able to read books, surf the web or watch your favorite shows, enjoying the comfort provided by the bigger screen. Being extremely lightweight, it’s easy to carry around, so you can have it by your side while on the move.

Pros:
  • Front- and rear-facing cameras
  • Lightweight and portable
  • PixelSense Display with touchscreen
  • Convertible to 3 modes
Cons:
  • Battery life not as advertised

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Asus Chromebook Flip C434

Very Light 2-in-1 Chromebook

asus chromebook flip c434

Asus Chromebook Flip C434 has full HD 14” display with NanoEdge technology and super narrow bezels that are 5mm thin, which allows this 14” screen to be used in a 13” footprint. Along with that comes the option to rotate the display for 360 degrees, which means you can change between stand, tent and even tablet mode.

This Chromebook uses m3-8100y processor, which can go up to 3.4GHz and allows for a good-enough performance. Along with that comes 4GB LPDDR3 RAM memory and 64GB of eMMC storage space, as well as three USB ports, two of which are Type-C and one Type-A.

Asus Chromebook Flip C434 is very durable, completely made of aluminum. However, it is still very light, weighing only 3 lbs.

C434 comes with pre-installed Chrome operating system, which includes all necessary apps from Google that you may need, such as Google Docs and Sheets.

Pros:
  • Excellent FHD display with NanoEdge technology
  • Ability to rotate the screen for 360 degrees
  • Powerful m3-8100y processor
  • Durable, aluminum design
  • Very light, just 3 lbs
Cons:
  • Low RAM memory can cause stutters occasionally

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Conclusion

Generally, 2-in-1 laptops are designed to give you the flexibility of a traditional laptop and the convenience of a tablet. Whether you go for the detachable or convertible laptop, you will find similarities in processor speeds, storage, builds, and other aspects.

The best point to begin your search for the best 2-in-1 laptops is to analyze what you want to achieve with the machine and your budget. In this way, you will know the specifications to look out for and the range in terms of price.