Best 2-in-1s 2018 (Laptop/Tablet Hybrids)
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 (May 2018)
- The Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 is the first laptop that we've reviewed with Intel's Kaby Lake-G 8th Gen CPU.
- We recently reviewed the Samsung Notebook 9 Pen, Samsung's premium convertible. While we liked the active stylus, laptop's short battery life makes it a hard sell.
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 Value: Acer Spin 1
For under $350, the Spin 1 provides some features you usually see in laptops that cost closer to $1,000. Clad in a snazzy all-aluminum chassis, this 11.6-inch convertible has one of the most colorful and brightest 1080p screens on the market, giving it a better viewing experience than many systems three times its price. It also comes standard with an active stylus that supports 1,024 levels of pressure. With a Celeron processor and 32GB of storage, the Spin 1 probably won't replace your primary PC, but it makes a great secondary device and is a fantastic choice for kids.
Pros: Bright, vibrant full HD display; Sleek aluminum chassis; Snappy keyboard
Cons: So-so battery life
Key Specs: 11.6-inch, 1080p IPS screen; 4GB of RAM, 32GB eMMC Storage, Intel Celeron N3350 CPU; 2.65 pounds
Best Splurge: Microsoft Surface Book 2 (13-inch)
With a starting price of $1,999 for a model with discrete graphics ($1,499 for a base model few people want), the Surface Book 2 doesn't come cheap. However, it provides an unprecedented amount of performance for a 3.5-pound, detachable device. The laptop combines the power of an Intel 8th Gen Core i7 CPU with the speed of Nvidia GTX 1050 graphics and the beauty of its high-res, PixelSense display.
Unlike its little brother, the Surface Pro, the Surface Book 2 has a solid keyboard which allows it to balance on your lap, provides a great typing experience and holds a slew of ports, including a USB Type-C connection. The Surface Book 2 lasts an impressive 13 hours on a charge and has one of the best inking experiences you'll find anywhere.
Pros: Innovative design; Gorgeous display; Long battery life; Great stylus
Cons: Expensive; No Thunderbolt 3
Key Specs: 13.5-inch, 3000 x 2000 screen; Up to Intel Core i7-8550U CPU; Optional Nvidia GTX 1050 GPU; 3.56 pounds
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
Best 15-inch 2-in-1: 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
Best Design: 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;
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
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
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
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