If you want a laptop with the most versatility, a 2-in-1 that either bends back or detaches to switch into tablet mode is your best choice. We’ve listed our favorite 2-in-1s below and here are three quick things you need to keep in mind when shopping.
- Bendback or Detachable?: Bendback 2-in-1s, which have screens that flip back 360 degrees, work far better in laptop mode and usually have greater endurance, a better keyboard and more ports. Detachable 2-in-1s, which have screens that pop off, provide a better best tablet experience.
- Screen Resolution: While some cheaper models will have 1366 x 768 resolutions, try to get at least a 1920 x 1080 display.
- Size: For the best balance between portability and usability, consider a 2-in-1 with a 12 or 13-inch display and a weight less than 3.5 pounds. Smaller laptops are great for kids while 15 and 17-inch models provide lots of real estate for drawing or media viewing.
Best Overall: Lenovo Yoga 920
It’s hard to decide which is more stunning: the Yoga 920’s vibrant, 13.9-inch display or its gorgeous bronze-colored chassis. But Lenovo’s flagship consumer 2-in-1 is more than just a feast for the eyes. This 3-pound convertible offers exceptional performance, thanks to its quad-core, Intel 8th Gen Core i7 CPU and speedy PCIe SSD.
Artists and note-takers will appreciate the bundled Active Stylus 2, which supports up to 4,096 levels of pressure. Everyone will love the 12 hours of battery life and the combination of Thunderbolt 3 and standard USB 3.0 ports.
Pros: Long battery life; Bright, colorful display; Attractive design; Stylus included
Cons: Shallow keyboard
Key Specs: 13.9-inch 1080p / 4K screen; Core i7-8550U CPU; 12+ hours of battery life; 3.05 pounds
Best Detachable 2-in-1: Microsoft Surface Pro – From $799.00
After five years, the company that popularized the category is still the one that makes the best detachable on the market. And after dropping the numbered naming scheme, the Surface Pro is better than ever before. Battery life has gone up by 1.5 hours, the new Surface Pen features more than 4,000 levels of pressure sensitivity and tilt recognition and the kickstand bends back even further to 165 degrees. And in case you forgot, the Surface Pro still boasts an awesome detachable keyboard around and one of the brightest and most accurate LCD screens we’ve ever seen.
Pros: Brilliant, high-res screen; Elegant design; Snappy keyboard; Strong performance
Cons: Mediocre battery life; No USB-C; Surface Pen and Type Cover cost extra;
Key Specs: 12.3-inch, 2736 x 1824 screen; Up to Core i7-7660U CPU; 1.73 pounds / 2.39 pounds with Type Cover
Best Design: Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 – From $979.00
Dell’s bendback hybrid takes its design cues from the XPS 13 clamshell, with a super-svelte profile, a luxurious carbon fibre deck and a nearly bezel-free InfinityEdge display. The content on the screen looks as good as the narrow frame around it, thanks to wide color gamut and strong brightness. This attractive 2-in-1 also has a snappy keyboard, a fanless design that makes it completely silent and over 8 hours of battery life.
Pros: Compact, attractive design; Vibrant screen; Comfortable keyboard
Cons: Battery life less than competitors; Slower performance than average 2-in-1
Key Specs: 13-inch, up to 3200 x 1800 display; Intel Core i5 Y Series processor;
Best Chromebook 2-in-1: Asus Chromebook Flip C302CA – From $429.00
Now that Chromebooks can run Android apps, you need a 2-in-1 to take full advantage of all the additional functionality. The Chromebook Flip C302CA packs enough performance to run Android apps on its bend-back, touch-screen display. Add to that a premium aluminum design, a bright 1080p panel and long battery life, and you’ve got the ultimate Chromebook 2-in-1.
Best Value: Dell Inspiron 13 7000 2-in-1 (2017) – From $879.00
Sure, you can get a 2-in-1 for under $400, but to get a model with premium features such as an SSD and an all-metal body, you normally have to cough up at least a grand. Starting at under $900 with both an 8th Gen Core processor and a 256GB SSD, the 13-inch Dell Inspiron 13 7000 2-in-1 offers a sleek design with a brushed metal lid and deck you usually don’t see in this price range. It has also got a comfortable keyboard that’s great for typing and strong speakers for listening to music.
Pros: Affordable price; Sleek design; Loud audio; Good performance
Cons: Short battery life; Runs warm
Key Specs: 13.3-inch, 1920 x 1080 screen; Up to Core i7-8550U CPU; 3.4 pounds
Best 15-inch 2-in-1: Lenovo Yoga 720 (15-inch) – From $949.00
With the exception of the upcoming Surface Book 2, which features a detachable display, you won’t find many 2-in-1s with powerful discrete graphics. However, Lenovo has managed to squeeze a strong, Nvidia GTX 1050 GPU into its 15-inch Lenovo Yoga 720. That kind of graphics muscle makes it ready for gaming as well as intensive processes in creative apps like Photoshop and Premiere. It runs for a long 8 hours and 59 minutes and its display is nothing short of stunning.
Pros: Vivid display; Great performance; Long battery life
Cons: Heavier than some competitors; Bland design
Key Specs: 15.6-inch, up to 4K display; Intel Core i7-7700HQ CPU; Optional Nvidia GTX 1050 graphics; 4.55 pounds
Best Business 2-in-1: HP EliteBook x360 G2
Sure, the 13.3-inch EliteBook x360 is meant for business, but we wouldn’t blame you for using it at home. The keyboard is clicky and responsive, and you’ll get a solid 9 hours of battery life. It also comes with a stylus in the box, which is perfect for using Windows Ink when you flip this convertible around into a tablet.
Pros: Gorgeous design; Long battery life; Great keyboard
Cons: Dimmer-than-average display
Key Specs: 13.3-inch up to 4K display; Privacy Screen; Up to Core i7-7600U CPU; 2.8 pounds
Best 2-in-1 for Kids: Asus Chromebook Flip C213SA – From $344.00
Chromebooks are great for kids, because they’re easy-to-use and hard to infect with malware. However, little hands often contain butter fingers that can drop an expensive laptop onto a concrete floor.
Fortunately, the Chromebook Flip C213SA convertible is nearly indestructible, surviving drops of up to 3.9 feet onto concrete over and over again. Better still, this 2-in-1 features a highly-tactile keyboard, runs Android apps within Chrome OS and lasts over 11 hours on a charge.
Pros: Durable design; Long battery life; Touch screen display; Good sound
Cons: Average performance; Mediocre cameras
Key Specs: 11.6-inch, 1366 x 768 screen; Intel Celeron N3350 processor; 4GB of RAM; 2.81 pounds