If you want to use a stylus or your fingers for hand-written notes or drawings, then your best bet is to buy a 2-in-1 laptop with a touch screen. These convertible laptops give you more control than a touchpad when you're letting your creative juices flow. We've listed the best 2-in-1 laptops below, including bendback laptops with lids that flip 360 degrees and detachables, or tablets that attach to a keyboard.
We've included only the cream of the crop on this list, but upcoming devices threaten to dethrone today's best 2-in-1 laptops. For example, the new HP Spectre x360 15 and the Galaxy Book Flex α are two promising convertibles set to launch later this year.
For the best balance between portability and usability, consider a 2-in-1 laptop featured on our best 13-inch laptops page. Smaller laptops and those on our best laptops under $500 page are great for kids and college students while these best 15-inch laptops provide lots of real estate for drawing or media viewing.
What are the best 2-in-1 laptops?
The best 2-in-1 laptop available today is the HP Spectre x360 13. We can't get over its luxurious chassis, which features chamfered edges and faceted corners. If it sounds like I'm describing a diamond, it's because the Spectre practically is one. Beyond the design, the Spectre offers a bright and colorful display, fast performance and epic battery life.
If the Spectre x360 13 isn't for you, consider the Lenovo Yoga C940 or Dell XPS 13 2-in-1. These competing 2-in-1 laptops are direct rivals to the Spectre x360 and might be a better option for you depending on your needs and preferences. Business users should consider the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga, which is essentially a more flexible version of the X1 Carbon.
But laptops that convert into tablets aren't the only devices that fall under the "2-in-1" umbrella. Tablets with detachable keyboards are another option for those who want something more portable. If you're in that group, Microsoft has you covered with the Surface Go and Surface Pro 7.
The best 2-in-1 laptops you can buy today
1. HP Spectre x360 (Late 2019)
2. Lenovo Yoga C940
3. Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 (2019)
4. Microsoft Surface Go
5. Asus Chromebook Flip C434
6. Microsoft Surface Pro 7
7. HP Spectre x360 15
8. HP Spectre Folio
9. Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga (4th Gen, 2019)
10. HP ZBook Studio x360 G5
11. Microsoft Surface Book 2
12. HP Elite Dragonfly
The best 2-in-1 laptop
CPU: Core i5/Core i7 | GPU: Intel Iris Plus | RAM: 8GB/16GB | Storage: 256GB/512GB/1TB | Display: 13.3-inch, 1080p or 4K | Size: 12.1 x 7.7 x 0.7 inches | Weight: 2.7 pounds
The Spectre x360 13 is the best 2-in-1 laptop ever. Updated with a 10th Gen CPU and a more modern design, the Spectre x360 13 is improved in almost every way over its excellent predecessor. Highlights of this laptop include a stunning design that flaunts faceted edges and chamfered corners. Those precision-cut details make the Spectre look more like jewelry than a gadget.
Along with that stunning design is a bright 1080p display, epic 13+ hour battery life, and fast overall performance. There is practically nothing the Spectre x360 13 doesn't do well, although the speakers could use some tuning.
We put the Spectre x360 13 up against some of our other favorite 2-in-1 laptops, including the Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 and Lenovo Yoga C940, but neither of these fantastic competitors could dethrone the HP.
The best 14-inch laptop
CPU: Up to Intel Core i7-1065G7 | GPU: Intel Iris Plus | RAM: Up to 16GB | Storage: Up to 2TB | Display: 14-inch, 1080p or 4K | Size: 12.6 x 8.5 x 0.6 inches | Weight: 3.1 pounds
With the Yoga C940, Lenovo took a proven formula and refined it. Subtle design improvements, longer battery life (up to 11:46) and refreshed 10th Gen Intel processors make the Yoga C940 a worthy successor to last year's excellent Yoga C930.
As you'd expect from a Yoga-series laptop, the C940 has a premium, ultra-portable chassis and a unique hinge that doubles as a soundbar speaker. As a 2-in-1, that hinge can rotate 360-degrees to convert the Yoga C940 into a proper tablet. When it comes to viewing content, the Yoga C940's 1080p and 4K displays are crisp, vibrant and bright -- just beware, the UHD display drains the battery.
For all the basics it gets right, my favorite things about the Yoga C940 are its extra features. Those include a webcam cover (no more need to buy tape), a slot for the included stylus and a fingerprint sensor.
See our Lenovo Yoga C940 (14-inch) review.
Another fantastic alternative
CPU: Intel Core i3/Core i5/Core i7 | GPU: Intel Iris Plus | RAM: 8GB/16GB/32GB | Storage: 256GB/512GB/1TB | Display: 13.4-inch, 1920 x 1200 or 4K | Size: 11.7 x 8.2 x 0.5 inches | Weight: 2.9 pounds
The new XPS 13 2-in-1 is one of the best 2-in-1 laptops around right now. It’s ridiculously sleek, boasts strong performance thanks to its 10th Gen Intel Core processor, and it has a gorgeous 16:10 display, emitting over 500 nits of brightness.
On top of having a sequential hinge, it also features a variable torque that allows the lid to be lifted open without the machine wobbling or moving. Combine that with its 0.3~0.5-inch thin chassis, the XPS 13 2-in-1 is easily one of the best 2-in-1 laptops you can buy.
See our full Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 review.
The best value
CPU: Intel Pentium Gold 4415Y | GPU: Intel HD 615 | RAM: 4GB/8GB | Storage: 64GB/128GB | Display: 10-inch, 1800 x 1200-pixel | Size: 9.7 x 6.9 x 0.3 inches | Weight: 1.2 pounds
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.
See our full Microsoft Surface Go review.
The best 2-in-1 Chromebook
CPU: Intel Core m3 | GPU: Intel HD 615 | RAM: 4GB | Storage: 64GB | Display: 14-inch, 1080p | Size: 12.6 x 8 x 0.6 inches | Weight: 3.1 pounds
Asus regained its throne atop our Best Chromebook rankings with the new Chromebook Flip C434. New to this year's model is a larger 14-inch display, slimmer display bezels and improved performance thanks to a Core m3-8100Y CPU. This convertible doesn't just impress on paper, either.
The 1080p display is plenty vivid and we got more than a day of battery life during our real-world testing. Sure, the $569 Flip C434 is a bit pricey for a Chromebook, but there is currently no better option on the market.
See our full Asus Chromebook Flip C434 review.
The best detachable 2-in-1 laptop
CPU: 10th Gen Intel Core i5/Core i7 | GPU: Intel Iris Plus | RAM: 4GB/8GB/16GB | Storage: 128GB/256GB/512GB/1TB | Display: 12.3-inch, 2736 x 1824-pixel | Size: 11.5 x 7.9 x 0.3 inches | Weight: 1.7 pounds/2.4 pounds (with keyboard)
The Surface Pro 7 takes an excellent laptop in last year's Surface Pro 6 and gives it a power boost. While battery life takes a hit, the new 10th Gen CPUs provide outstanding performance.
The design hasn't changed at all, but the Surface Pro 7 now has a USB-C port for charging and connecting peripherals. Microsoft still sells the comfortable Alcantara-clad Type Cover and the super-responsive Surface Pen, which makes it easy to draw or take notes on this tablet's vivid and bright 12.3-inch display.
See our full Microsoft Surface Pro 7 review.
The best 15-inch laptop
CPU: Intel Core i7 | GPU: GeForce GTX 1050 Ti | RAM: 8GB/16GB | Storage: 256GB/512GB/1TB/2TB | Display: 15.6-inch, 4K | Size: 14.2 x 9.8 x 0.8 inches | Weight: 4.6 pounds
Our favorite 15-inch 2-in-1 of 2019 (so far), HP's Spectre x360 offers a powerful Core i7-8565U CPU and GeForce GTX 1050Ti graphics in a slim and sexy aluminum chassis. With gem-cut edges and chamfered corners, there is no mistaking the Spectre x360 for anything but a premium machine.
But there's a lot more to the Spectre x360 than its looks, including an extremely comfortable keyboard, long battery life (more than 8 hours) and a vivid 4K panel.
See our full HP Spectre x360 (15-inch) review.
The best design
CPU: Intel Core i5/Core i7 (Y-series) | GPU: Intel UHD 615 | RAM: 8GB/16GB | Storage: 256GB/512GB/1TB/2TB | Display: 13.3-inch/1080p or 4K | Size: 12.6 x 9.2 x 0.6 inches | Weight: 3.4 pounds
The HP Spectre Folio distracts from its middling performance with a stunning genuine leather chassis and innovative mechanism for transforming from a laptop into a tablet. Despite its small size, the Folio has a comfortable keyboard, and its Y-series CPU ensures a long battery life at more than 10 hours.
There isn't any laptop on the market like the Spectre Folio, so we hope HP updates it soon with 10th Gen processors. Regardless, it remains a great option for artists and designers.
See our full HP Spectre Folio review.
The best business 2-in-1 laptop
CPU: Intel Core i5/Core i7 | GPU: Intel UHD 620 | RAM: 8GB/16GB | Storage: 256GB/512GB/1TB | Display: 14-inch, 1080p or 4K | Size: 12 x 8.5 x 0.6 inches | Weight: 3 pounds
Lenovo took a chance with the ThinkPad X1 Yoga, the first metal ThinkPad, and it paid off. While we still love the signature matte-black carbon-fiber found on most ThinkPads, the aluminum and magnesium ThinkPad X1 Yoga is a gorgeous change of pace.
Not only does it have a slim design, but this convertible 2-in-1 flaunts a bright display and offers a best-in-class keyboard and long battery life. You also get loads of extra goodies, like a built-in stylus slot and webcam cover. There is simply no better business convertible than the ThinkPad X1 Yoga apart from HP's gorgeous new Elite Dragonfly.
See our full Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga (4th Gen, 2019) review.
The best performing laptop
CPU: Intel Core i5/Core i7/Core i9/Xeon | GPU: Intel UHD 630/Quadro P1000/Quadro P2000 | RAM: 8GB/16GB/32GB/64GB | Storage: Up to 4TB | Display: 15.6-inch, 1080p or 4K | Size: 14.2 x 9.7 x 0.8 inches | Weight: 4.9 pounds
The ZBook Studio x360 G5 armed with a powerful Intel Xeon processor and a Quadro P1000 GPU all packed into a slim 0.8-inch thick frame that can perform all the 360 degree flips.
It has a gorgeous aluminum hood, a vivid 4K display, and 9-hour battery life. It also comes with an optional ZBook Pen, which features 4,096 levels of pressure sensitivity as well as tilt controls and three customizable buttons.
See our full ZBook Studio x360 G5 review.
The one to splurge on
CPU: Intel Core i7 | GPU: GeForce GTX 1060 (6GB VRAM) | RAM: 16GB | Storage: 256GB/512GB/1TB | Display: 15-inch, 3240 x 2160-pixel | Size: 13.5 x 9.9 x 0.9 inches | Weight: 4.2 pounds
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.
See our full Microsoft Surface Book 2 review.
Business features in a breathtaking chassis
CPU: Intel Core i3/i5/i7 | GPU: Intel UHD 620 | RAM: 8GB/16GB | Storage: Up to 2TB | Display: 13.3-inch, 1080p or 4K | Size: 12 x 7.8 x 0.6 inches | Weight: 2.2 pounds
HP's Elite Dragonfly redefined what it means to be a business laptop. This stunning laptop has a breathtakingly gorgeous chassis that flaunts a unique dark-blue finish.
The design is as practical as it is attractive; The Elite Dragonfly has flexible hinges that convert the laptop into a tablet, and at 2.2 pounds, it's one of the most portable 13-inch laptops around.
You'll somehow need to take your eyes off the Elite Dragonfly's aluminum body to appreciate its bright and vivid 13.3-inch display. But the Elite Dragonfly's greatness doesn't stop there. The laptop also has a surprisingly comfortable keyboard, fast performance and a host of security features, including an IR camera, a fingerprint sensor and MIL-SPEC-810 rated durability.
See our full HP Elite Dragonfly review
How to choose the best 2-in-1 laptop for you
You first need to decide what type of 2-in-1 laptop is right for you. If you want a primary computing device for home and work, you should probably go with a laptop that can convert into a tablet, or what we call a bendback 2-in-1. These include the HP Spectre x360 13, Dell XPS 13 and Lenovo Yoga C940.
If you want something more portable or just need a nice display for content viewing, consider buying a tablet that converts into a tablet via a detachable keyboard. In this category are the Microsoft Surface devices and Apple's iPad Pro. Tablets are also great for artists or designers because they typically support a stylus input and aren't as unwieldy as convertible laptops.
Once you've made a choice between tablet or laptop, decide how much power you need. When it comes to specs, we recommend buying a laptop with an Intel U-series or H-series Core i5 CPU, at least 8GB of RAM (16GB is great) and a minimum of 256GB of storage. AMD is coming in hot with its 4000-series chips, so keep an eye out for those.
Battery life is another key component of any good 2-in-1 laptop. If you plan to take the notebook to class or the library, don't count on there being an outlet! Consider a laptop that gets at least 9 hours of battery life, which should be enough to get you through a couple of classes with enough juice for studies.
How we test laptops
We put 2-in-1 laptops through extensive benchmark testing — both synthetic and real-world — before they end up in the hands of our reviewers. We evaluate each aspect of the laptop, including its performance, battery life, display, speakers and heat management.
In our benchmark testing, we use a Klein K10 colorimeter to detect the brightness and sRGB color gamut of the laptop's display. For performance testing, we run the laptop through a gauntlet of benchmarks, including Geekbench 4.3 and 5.0 and 3DMark professional graphics tests.
To determine real-world performance, we task the laptop to convert a 4K video to 1080p resolution and to duplicate a 4.97GB multimedia file. Our real-world graphics test is the Dirt 3 benchmark with medium settings at 1080p resolution. Gaming laptops go through an entire library of games at high settings to see how their discrete GPUs keep up.
We also run heat tests by playing a 15-minute full-screen video and measuring temperatures in different areas of the laptop. Last but not least, our battery test consists of continuous web surfing over Wi-Fi at 150 nits of brightness. For MacBooks and premium Windows 10 laptops, a runtime of over 9 hours is considered a good result whereas gaming laptops and workstations that can stay powered for longer than 5 hours deserve praise.
These tests are complemented with extensive hands-on testing from our reviewers who critique everything from the laptop's materials to the feel of its touchpad.