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.
News and Updates (August 2018)
- We’ve reviewed the Surface Go, Microsoft’s budget detachable. It has an excellent display and sleek design, but there’s one major flaw.
- Samsung unveiled the Galaxy Tab S4, which has a larger screen than its predecessor and supports an optional keyboard. The $649 Android tablet will be available on August 10.
- Dell’s Chilean branch accidentally leaked details on an 8th Gen XPS 13 2-in-1, which will feature Intel’s upcoming Amber Lake Y-series chips.
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
Lenovo Yoga 920 Review »
Best Value: Lenovo Flex 6 11
For less than $350, the Lenovo Flex 6 11 is one of the least expensive laptops to offer a flexible 2-in-1 design and responsive touchscreen. It also has a generous Intel Celeron N4000 processor that performed admirably in our tests. The Flex 6 11 delivers in a big way when it comes to battery life, lasting more than 9 hours on a charge. Housing just 2GB of RAM and 64GB of eMMC storage, the Flex 6 11 won’t break any speed records, but it makes for a great travel laptop or tablet replacement.
Pros: Excellent battery life; Flexible 2-in-1 design; Adequate performance; Good keyboard; Low price
Cons: Muted, low-resolution display; Poor speakers
Key specs: 11-inch 2-in-1 touchscreen display; Intel Celeron N4000 processor; USB Type-C port; 2.7 pounds
Lenovo Flex 6 11 Review »
Best Detachable Under $500: Microsoft Surface Go
The Microsoft Surface Go has a fantastic 1800 x 1200 display that punches above its $400 price. It’s not only the pixel count that has us impressed, the Surface Go’s display also has outstanding qualities. It can reproduce 129.2 percent of the sRGB color gamut and its maximum display brightness tops out at 415 nits, well above the 245 nit average for a budget laptop.
The display is our favorite part of the Surface Go, but it’s not the only thing this detachable 2-in-1 has going for it. At a lightweight 1.1 pounds, the Surface Go is easy to carry around your house or take on a trip. It also has a comfortable optional keyboard with a touchpad, and its Windows Hello support makes logging in a breeze. While we wished it lasted longer on a charge, the Surface Go is an enticing 2-in-1 with a top-notch display.
Pros: Colorful and bright display; Lightweight design; Comfortable keyboard with touchpad; Windows Hello login
Cons: Below-average battery life; Chunky bezels; Keyboard and pen not included
Key Specs: Weighs 1.1 pounds, Detachable 2-in-1 design, 1800 x 1200 resolution display, Intel Pentium Gold 4415Y processor, up to 8GB of RAM, up to 256 GB of storage, Surface Connect port
Microsoft Surface Go Review »
Best Chromebook 2-in-1: Asus Chromebook Flip C302CA
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.
Pros: Strong performance; Light design; Good battery life
Cons: No USB Type-A ports.
Key Specs: 12.5-inch screen, 1920 x 1080 resolution; USB Type-C charging; 4GB of RAM; 64GB of storage
Chromebook Flip C302CA Review »
Best Detachable 2-in-1: Microsoft Surface Pro
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
Surface Pro Review »
Best 15-inch 2-in-1: Dell XPS 15 2-in-1
Dell’s bendback convertible looks a like the the clamshell version of the XPS 15 2-in-1, but its thinner than ever before. You still get the carbon fiber deck and InfinityEdge display, and the screen is bright and vivid. We also love the maglev keyboard, which is one of the best low-profile typing experiences we’ve ever tried.
Pros: Strong performance; Excellent screen; Fantastic low-travel keyboard
Cons: Below-average battery life; Webcam still looks up your nose
Key Specs: 15-inch, up to 4K display; Intel Kaby Lake G CPU;
Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 Review »
Best Design: HP Spectre x360 (2018, 15-inch, Kaby Lake G)
The Kaby Lake G series version of the HP Spectre x360 retains its predecessors’ good looks. The relatively thin and lightweight 15-inch convertible has a striking copper-on-black color scheme that helps it stand out from the competition. Its aluminum build and unique edges also give it an undeniably premium appearance that is sure to turn some heads.
Pros: Gorgeous design; Colorful display; Very good performance; Keyboard now has a number pad
Cons: Poor battery life; Loud fans
Key Specs: Intel Core i7-8705G processor; AMD Radeon RX Vega GPU; 4K display; 512GB M.2 NVMe PCle SSD
HP Spectre x360 (2018, 15-inch, Kaby Lake G) »
Best Business 2-in-1: Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Tablet
With a detachable screen and military-grade durability, the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Tablet offers both flexibility and peace of mind. Additionally, its lightweight 2.6-pound body and slender size (12 x 8.9 x 0.6 inches) make it a great travel companion for those days away from the office. Perfect for video conferencing, the X1 Tablet’s surprisingly good 2MP camera makes it one of the few laptops that don’t desperately need an external webcam. Add a stunning display, great keyboard and stylus and good performance, and it’s easy to see why the ThinkPad X1 tablet is our business 2-in-1 pick.
Pros: Rugged yet elegant design; Bright, detailed cameras; Beautiful display; Comfortable keyboard; Good performance
Cons: Battery won’t make it through a full day; Useless stylus slot; Weak speakers
Key Specs: 3,000 x 2,000 resolution display; 512GB SSD; two Thunderbolt 3.0 ports; military-grade durability
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Tablet Review »
Best 2-in-1 for Kids: Asus Chromebook Flip C213SA
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
Chromebook Flip C213SA Review »
Best Splurge: Microsoft Surface Book 2
The 15-inch version of Microsoft’s Surface Book 2 is a stunning technical achievement that packs a powerful, Nvidia GTX 1060 GPU into the base of a detachable 2-in-1. With that kind of graphics might, you can edit 4K videos or create professional 3D animations while you are connected to the keyboard and then pop the screen off for some drawing or note-taking. The Surface Book 2 also features a brilliant PixelSense display, a powerful Intel 8th-Gen Core i7 CPU and over 12 hours of battery life.
Pros: Vivid display; Best 2-in-1 graphics performance; Versatile detachable design; Long battery life
Cons: Expensive; No Thunderbolt 3
Key Specs: 15.6-inch, 3240 x 2160 screen; Intel Core i7-8550U CPU; Nvidia GTX 1060 graphics; 4.18 pounds
Surface Book 2 Review »
Best Rugged 2-in-1: Dell Latitude 7212
If you need a computer to take with you to a construction site, an oil rig or another place where drops and spills are likely, the Latitude 7212 is your best choice. In our tests, the Latitude survived 4-foot drops, without getting so much as a scratch. A super bright screen and nearly 10 hours of battery life (with dual batteries) round out this impressive package.
Pros: Survives 4-foot drops; Bright screen; Good battery life
Cons: Expensive; Fuzzy texture on screen
Key Specs: 11.6-inch, 1920 x 1080 screen; 2.6 to 5 pounds (depending on configuration); Up to 9:44 battery life
Dell Latitude 7212 Review »