People value flexibility, and that preference definitely extends to their devices. That’s why two-in-one laptops have been having a moment, and why this particular technology is growing and becoming more and more sophisticated. The best two-in-one laptops help you do more than a traditional laptop without a significant increase in size, weight or price. They are typically designed for mobility and productivity (you wouldn’t want to use one as a gaming laptop, for example), and there’s a lot to like about them. Laptop mode lets you get work done, while tablet mode lets you binge-watch Netflix or even doodle and take notes since many are pen-enabled.
Most of the best two-in-ones are convertible laptops, with 360-degree hinges where the keyboard and trackpad rotate around to the back of the display. They likely come with a Windows or Chrome operating system. There are some excellent two-in-ones that are essentially Windows 10 or Chrome OS tablets with a detachable keyboard. They work better as tablets, but are still good in laptop mode, and we’ve included models like Microsoft’s incredibly portable Surface Pro 7 and the Lenovo IdeaPad Duet Chromebook. Both styles of two-in-one feature touchscreens and typically support pen input. Most also include a headphone jack.
And if you’re only thinking of a hybrid device as a detachable tablet and a laptop, here are five other uses for a two-in-one that you might not have considered.
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This Dell XPS 13.4-inch convertible laptop is basically a screen, keyboard and touchpad, available with Intel Core i7 or Intel Core i3 processor options. The 11th-gen Intel Core i7 processor and Iris Xe graphics I tested outperformed their ninth- and 10th-gen counterparts while still getting more than 10 hours of battery life, which definitely qualifies this Dell XPS as one of the best two-in-one laptops.
Read our Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 review.
Co-engineered with Intel for its Evo platform, the Spectre x360 14 we tested had zippy performance and more than 14 hours of battery life. Along with an assortment of privacy features, it has a bright 1,920×1,280-pixel-resolution, 13.5-inch touchscreen with a 3:2 screen ratio that is roughly the same as a standard A4 sheet of paper and has about 20% more vertical viewing space than a 16:9 display. That means you do less scrolling when you’re working. It also makes it more comfortable to use as a tablet, especially with the included active pen.
Read our HP Spectre x360 14 review.
Whether you go with the 14- or 15.6-inch touch screen laptop model, you’re getting the best features Lenovo offers in a consumer two-in-one. That includes things like a 4K UHD HDR display; speakers that you’ll actually want to use; Thunderbolt 4 for power (on the 14-inch), speedy data transfers and external display support; faster integrated graphics and the option for discrete graphics on the 15.6-inch; and an included active pen stored in the laptop. And this convertible laptop is still wrapped up in a sturdy but lightweight metal body that can be used in laptop or tablet mode.
Read our 14-inch Lenovo Yoga 9i review.
Available in 13- and 15-inch sizes, the Galaxy Book Pro 360 is a great premium convertible laptop regardless of what phone you keep in your pocket. However, if you’re deep into the Galaxy ecosystem, you’ll especially want to consider this PC. With help from Intel and Microsoft, Samsung developed a unified experience so out of the box you’ll be able to do more with one of these laptops when combined with your Galaxy phone, Galaxy Buds, Galaxy Tab S7 or other Samsung device.
Read our review of the Samsung Galaxy Book Pro 360.
The HP Envy x360 13 is a great pick for an older high school or college student or anyone looking for a great two-i-one laptop that’s small, stylish and easy to travel with. It’s light at just less than 3 pounds (1.3 kg) and battery life is long despite the size. It’s also available with a choice of AMD Ryzen 5-4500U or Intel 11th-gen Core processor. The Envy x360 13 is a speedy little two-in-one that’s ready for working from home or remote learning, but is also ready for your backpack.
Read our HP Envy x360 13 (2020) review.
Microsoft still makes the best tablet PC on the market. The latest Surface Pro doesn’t show any radical design changes from its hybrid laptop tablet predecessor, but a good performance jump from Intel’s 10th-gen processors and better battery life make this detachable laptop a more viable regular laptop replacement. The Surface Pro’s sleek detachable keyboard cover and stylus still cost you extra, but there’s usually some good bundle pricing available if you’re looking for a good budget laptop that can also be used in a tablet mode.
Read our Microsoft Surface Pro 7 review.
This is essentially a Chromebook version of the first Microsoft Surface Go. Like the Go, the Chromebook Duet is a 10-inch tablet with a detachable keyboard and touchscreen. Unlike Microsoft, though, Lenovo includes the keyboard. It also costs much less than the Go (including the new Go 2), with laptop deals starting at $279 for a 64GB version or $299 for one with 128GB of storage. This device is essentially a smaller, albeit less powerful, Pixel Slate that makes more sense for more people with a price that’s more in line with what people expect a Chromebook to cost.
Read our Lenovo Chromebook Duet review.
Tired of trying to work on documents or spreadsheets on a small widescreen display? The Acer Chromebook Spin 713 uses one of Acer’s bright VertiView displays, a 13.5-inch 2,256×1,504-pixel touchscreen with a 3:2 aspect ratio. As the name implies, it gives you more vertical room to work, but it still has the width of a typical 13.3-inch laptop with a 16:9 ratio. Between that and its battery life that lasted nearly 13 hours in our tests, you’ll be able to get more work done in a day and it’s still thin and light enough for an everyday carry.
The latest version of this Chromebook is the first to receive Intel’s Evo verification, which means you’ll be getting the best possible mobile experience with this model. It’s also the first with Thunderbolt 4 support letting you connect to multiple external displays as well as giving you fast data speeds and networking.
Read our Acer Chromebook Spin 713 review.