Help Me, Laptop: What is the Best 2-in-1 For College Students?

There isn't a more important time in life to own a good laptop than the four years that you're in college. That's because K-12 schools lend Chromebooks to students, and most people will use a business laptop once they graduate and find a job.

But in college, you're on your own, and on a student's budget, so you probably have only one chance to pick the right machine. It's no wonder so many people default to buying Apple — a company with a straightforward catalog of reliable products.

But what if you want a Windows machine, and more specifically, a 2-in-1 for easy note-taking and content viewing? Laptop Mag reader jnormanza wants to buy the best laptop for their college-bound son. Jnormanza narrowed the search down to the Asus ZenBook Flip 14 and the Lenovo Yoga 720. Both are very good machines, but there are a couple of other laptops that are also worth considering.

The device that first comes to mind is the Lenovo Yoga C930 ($1,399). This 13.9-inch 2-in-1 has a sleek, lightweight chassis that is perfect for carrying around campus, and its long battery life is great for those times when you're cramming for an exam in your campus library. The laptop's powerful speakers are a great tool for jamming in your dorm room, and you don't have to worry about losing the garaged pen when your mind is focused on coursework.

If their son has an eye for fashion, we recommend taking a look at the HP Spectre Folio. While it isn't the most powerful laptop, this unique device is bonded in 100-percent genuine leather. Along with its sophisticated looks, the Folio has an innovative design that makes it a breeze to flip between tablet and laptop mode. It also gets long battery life and has a comfortable keyboard.

MORE: Best Back-to-School Laptops: Top Picks for College Students

Between the ZenBook Flip 14 and the Yoga 720, I would go with the Asus. The ZenBook Flip 14 offers good performance in a stylish design.  And its beautiful display and discrete graphics are great for college students who want to unwind with a quick gaming session. Not only is the Yoga 720 almost a year old (we aren't fond of its successor), its shallow keyboard isn't great for students taking notes or writing papers.

If budget isn't an issue, then our reader should buy a
Surface Book 2 ($2,499). This beastly machine may cost a fortune, but it gets you a true tablet and laptop experience and epic battery life. A more practical choice might be the Surface Pro 6 ($899), a tablet that transforms into a laptop via its Type Cover keyboard. If the tablet's 12.3-inch display isn't too small, then you'll be rewarded with long battery life, fast performance and a comfortable keyboard.

Each of these laptops will give a college student the tools they need to ace their exams and graduate at the top of their class. The rest is up to them.

Credit: Laptop Mag

Phillip Tracy

Phillip Tracy is the assistant managing editor at Laptop Mag where he reviews laptops, phones and other gadgets while covering the latest industry news. After graduating with a journalism degree from the University of Texas at Austin, Phillip became a tech reporter at the Daily Dot. There, he wrote reviews for a range of gadgets and covered everything from social media trends to cybersecurity. Prior to that, he wrote for RCR Wireless News covering 5G and IoT. When he's not tinkering with devices, you can find Phillip playing video games, reading, traveling or watching soccer.