Why buy a laptop and a tablet separately when you can have them in one machine? With the best 2-in-1 laptops, you get the best of both worlds: the joy of typing on a traditional keyboard and the intuitive touchscreen browsing of a tablet.
What is a 2-in-1 Laptop?
As the name suggests, a 2-in-1 laptop is actually a fusion of two devices: a tablet and a traditional laptop. It can sometimes be referred to as a convertible or hybrid laptop.
There are lots of different types of 2-in-1 touchscreen laptops available on the market today. Some have detachable keyboards, while others can only be folded behind the screen. Some have stylus pens, while others don’t. Prices range from several hundred dollars to almost $2,000.
Best Overall 2-in-1 Touchscreen Laptop
The following convertible laptops come with premium features. They are great for business or for users that want to run software with heavy graphics.
HP Spectre x360
The HP Spectre x360 is one good-looking machine, with its edge-to-edge glass screen and “gem cut” design. But don’t let the charming chassis fool you, though, this hybrid laptop is quite a beast. The base model has an Intel i7 CPU and a 512GB SSD, which means it’s powerful enough to run almost any software. It also has 16BG of RAM, which means it’s fast enough to handle multiple browser tabs open at the same time.
The keyboard is the perfect size for efficient typing, and its touchscreen features are topnotch as well. The stylus is certainly useful for annotating or for digital drawing. The HP Spectre x360 also comes with other high-end features, such as a fingerprint reader, quad speakers, Thunderbolt USB support, USB-C ports, and a HP TrueVision FHD IR Camera with a digital microphone. It has four Bang & Olufsen speakers that are sure to make listening to your favorite Spotify playlists twice as delightful. Shop: Amazon
Microsoft Surface Book 2
The Microsoft Surface Book 2 comes in a 13.5-inch and a 15-inch model. The larger model is a lot heavier at 4.2 pounds, but it packs a punch when it comes to features. This laptop-tablet has a clear and vibrant PixelSense display with multi-touch support. The display is detachable, too, which adds to its portability function.
You can choose between an Intel i5 and an i7 processor. If you like gaming and need to work on demanding programs, we suggest going for the 8th Gen Intel i7. It should be powerful enough for working on 3D animations or editing 4K videos, especially when combined with the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 GPU.
On top of the strong processor, this hybrid laptop has lots of ports, including three USB ports, two Surface Connect ports, an SDXC card reader, and a 3.5mm headphone jack. And, just like your typical portable tablet, the Surface Book 2 comes with both front and rear-facing cameras. Shop: Microsoft | Amazon
Best 2-in 1-Laptops Under $500
Now let’s take a look at some cheaper options, which are perfect for students.
Microsoft Surface Go
The Microsoft Surface Go, in its very essence, is a powerful tablet device. But you can attach it to a keyboard, and easily transform it into a hybrid laptop. While it doesn’t come with a powerful processor, it’s perfect for showing presentations, basic graphic work, playing games, and browsing the web at decent speeds.
As for connectivity, you will enjoy one USB-C port, a 3.5mm headphone jack, and one Surface Connect Port. It’s also got a card reader, so transferring files shouldn’t be a problem.
Stated prices typically refer only to the tablet. The keyboard and pen are sold separately. Shop: Microsoft | Amazon
Lenovo Flex 14
If you want a 2-in-1 laptop that’s more powerful than your phone, but more portable than a standard laptop, the Lenovo Flex 14 has it all. The screen is not detachable, so you can’t use it as a tablet, but it has a great touchscreen display that you can draw on directly.
Apart from being able to handle creative tasks, the Lenovo Flex 14 also comes with a fingerprint reader, a webcam shutter for security, a backlit keyboard, and Dolby Audio speakers.
The pen is sold separately. Shop: Lenovo | Amazon
Best 2-in-1 Laptops With a Stylus
Want a 2-in-1 laptop that comes with a stylus pen for easy writing and drawing? Take a look at the choices below:
Samsung Notebook 9 Pro
Designed for creativity and speedy performance, the Samsung Notebook 9 Pro is ideal for university students who want a reliable laptop, and creatives who need to use graphic programs.
What makes the Samsung Notebook 9 Pro a good investment is the Active Pen. The pen can detect thousands of levels of pressure, making it the perfect tool for digital drawing. And, unlike other 2-in-1 laptops, the Active Pen is actually included with every Notebook 9 Pro purchase.
The Notebook 9 allows you to seamlessly transfer files to and from your smartphone wirelessly by using the Samsung Flow app. You also get improved privacy options, two Thunderbolt ports, a MicroSD card reader, and a spill-resistant backlit keyboard. Shop: Samsung | Amazon
Lenovo Yoga Book C930
The Lenovo Yoga Book C930 is several hundred dollars cheaper than the Samsung Notebook 9 Pro, but it comes with lots of great features to use the stylus pen.
One of the most impressive features of this 2-in-1 laptop is the keyboard. The E-Ink panel is actually a second screen that can be converted into a digital keyboard (in any language), or it can be used to write or draw on with the stylus pen. It is the same kind of screen used in digital e-readers, so it looks just like a piece of paper. The Lenovo Yoga Book C930 makes taking notes, drawing from a reference, or enjoying a movie while sketching so much easier.
The LTE connectivity comes with two USB Type C ports, a microSD card reader, and Dolby Atmos speakers. Shop: Lenovo | Amazon
Best 2-in-1 Chromebook Laptops
Powered by the Chrome operating system, these 2-in-1 laptops can run Android apps as well as Linux-based software. Here are our recommendations:
Asus Chromebook Flip C434
Complete with a sleek aluminum chassis and thin display bezels, the Asus Chromebook Flip C434 is a beautiful hybrid laptop. It’s quite pricey if you compare it to other Chromebooks, but it does come chock full of great features. These include a 10-hour battery life, two USB ports, a microSD card slot, and a 360-degree hinge. Shop: Asus | Amazon
A workhorse of a machine, complete with the seamless performance of Chrome OS, the Google Pixelbook is a top choice among hybrid laptops. One thing to love about this device is the size. With a 12.3 inch screen, it’s small enough to be portable, but it’s still big enough for touchscreen or pen use.
The Google Pixelbook comes with an aluminum body, a stylus pen, and a built-in Google Assistant. It can be used in the default laptop setting, or in the tent, tablet, or entertainment mode. Shop: Google | Amazon
If you’re looking for a way to play games on the go, we suggest taking a look at our list of the best gaming laptops this year.