If you’re looking for a great alternative to lightweight laptops and ultrabooks, then a 2-in-1 laptop is what you need. They’re ideal for people who want a small, travel-friendly device and don’t need a very powerful computer. Those of us who want a tablet to draw or take notes with a smart pen will also find 2-in-1 laptops very useful.

It’s therefore no wonder that they have become increasingly popular, with new models released very frequently. This means that you have many options at your disposal when choosing a 2-in-1 laptop. It can be difficult to navigate through this wide-ranging offer, which is why we’ve designed this comprehensive guide to help you make the right purchase.

Key Facts

  • 2-in-1 laptops allow you to enjoy the advantages of traditional computers and tablets. You will have a touch screen as easily operated as a tablet, but with the features, software, and handy keyboard of a laptop.
  • There are two main types of 2-in-1 computers: models with a 360-degree rotating hinge, and those with a chiclet keyboard. The former are particularly suitable for people who will often use them as laptops. The latter, on the other hand, are ideal for traveling.
  • The wide variety of models offer very different features within a broad price range. Many manufacturers even offer devices with various configurations to suit specific user needs and budgets.

Ranking: The best 2-in-1 laptops on the U.S. market

In the following section, you will discover our very own selection of the five best 2-in-1 laptops currently available on the American market. We did our best to include products that offered different features, while always opting for models from leading brands with very good value for money.

No. 1: HP Pavilion X360

HP is an American brand famous for its high-quality, reliable computers, particularly when it comes to smaller models. So it’s not a surprise to see its HP Pavilion X360 top our ranking. In fact, this model is also Amazon’s Choice in the 2-in-1 category, and it has received excellent reviews from past users. It stands out for its overall performance and value for money, offering great technical specs.

The 15.6-inch touch screen displays Full HD images thanks to the Intel Core i3 processor — which can be upgraded to an i7 if needed. With a total of 20GB of internal memory and 1TB of storage space, the Pavilion X360 is a great choice if you need a truly efficient device. The 360-degree allows you to turn it from a laptop to a tablet in a hurry. This product comes with an HP Digital Pen.

No. 2: Acer Spin 3

Acer has been in the electronics game for decades now, and its Spin line of 2-in-1 laptops has become extremely popular. It’s another Amazon’s Choice, and it’s easy to see why. It comes with 16GB of RAM to power your computer through any task, and the 512GB SSD will give you all the space you need to store your media, work, and personal files.

The Spin 3 comes with a rechargeable Active Stylus, which is ideal if you use the tablet for graphic design purposes. The battery offers up to 12 hours of life, while the 14-inch screen has a Full HD resolution. This model features the very powerful Intel Core i7 Family. Connectivity-wise, it includes two USB ports (one of which is 3.0), and an HDMI port.

No. 3: Lenovo Chromebook C330

Chinese company Lenovo recently entered the 2-in-1 laptop market with great success. This model, however, is a little different from others, in the sense that it is a Chromebook convertible model. Running on the Chrome operating system, its rotating hinge allows you to use it as both a notebook and a tablet. It offers up to 10 hours of battery life.

Along with an 11.6-inch screen that makes it ideal for traveling, the C330 integrates 4GB of RAM and a 64GB hard drive to store your data and applications. It also features USB-C and USB 3.0 ports, as well as Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connectivity. While you cannot have the standard Microsoft Office programs, you can install the apps on your Chromebook.

No. 4: ASUS C302

Taiwan multinational ASUS is a force to be reckoned with in the computer industry, and a brand you’re probably familiar with. This model is actually Amazon’s Best Seller for 2-in-1 laptops, and it’s another product running on Chrome OS. You can choose whether you want an Intel Core m3 or M5 depending on how performing you need your device to be.

Either way, it will be delivered with 4GB of RAM and a 64GB storage disk. Its 12.5-inch screen displays images in Full HD resolution, and its rotating hinge allows you to use it as you please. While it doesn’t feature a USB 3.0 port, you can make the most of its USB-C port and MicroSD reader. The C302 is lightweight, too, and great for when you’re on the go.

No. 5: Lenovo Flex 14

Our last product is another Lenovo model, which has become Amazon’s Choice for $500-700 2-in-1 laptops. What’s very attractive about this model is that you can seriously change its configuration upon purchase. You can choose between 8 and 12GB of RAM in case you want that extra kick, as well as between a 128GB and 256GB SSD to store all your data.

The Flex 14 runs on Windows 10, meaning you will have access to full versions of software like the Microsoft Suite. It comes with an Active Pen so you can truly make the most of its 14-inch touch screen. With a USB-C, USB 3.1 and HDMI ports, you can connect all your accessories to your laptop. This Lenovo model offers up to 8 hours of battery life.

Shopping Guide: Everything you should know about 2-in-1 laptops

There is a series of key aspects that you will need to be familiar with when the time comes to buy your own 2-in-1 laptop. Keep in mind that the models available on the market come with different technical specifications. This is why we’ve answered the most frequently asked questions by past customers in the section below.

The processors of these devices are much more powerful than those of traditional tablets.
(Source: Antonio Guillem: 80684036/ 123rf.com)

What is a 2-in-1 laptop exactly?

This device is a computer halfway between a laptop and a tablet. It offers most of the perks of both. These include a touch screen, the smoothness of a tablet, and the power and ergonomics of regular laptops. As you probably know, these devices also come with a built-in keyboard.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of 2-in-1 laptops?

These hybrid computers offer the functionality, capacity, and performance of a regular laptop, as well as the comfort and versatility of a touch-screen tablet. Their extreme light weight also means you can take them with you virtually anywhere.

On the downside, these laptops tend to offer little storage space since they often integrate SSDs. You should also be careful with models featuring hinges because excessive use will deteriorate your laptop:

Advantages
  • These devices are very versatile and adapt to very different situations
  • They tend to be very light with compact dimensions that make them easily transportable
  • These laptops feature a touch screen and keyboard
  • They offer more power than tablets
  • You can use the same software you use on a standard computer
  • They have great value for money
  • The operating system loads faster thanks to their SSD storage units
Disadvantages
  • Excessive use of the hinge can end up breaking or deteriorating them
  • They have a fairly low storage capacity

Is it worth buying a 2-in-1 laptop?

This is naturally an interesting option to consider because of the various benefits we’ve mentioned so far. Getting one of these devices will also help you save money since you’re buying two for the price of one. In fact, this is probably the main reason why its popularity keeps growing, along with the number of units sold.

For whom are 2-in-1 laptops designed?

These compact computers are particularly useful for people who travel a lot or have to often work with laptops. In that regard, traditional computers aren’t very comfortable to use. This is why there are certain circumstances in which you will find the ability to turn your laptop into a tablet very helpful.

What types of 2-in-1 laptops are there?

As we mentioned earlier, there are two main types on the market: those with 360-degree rotating hinges, and those with chiclet keyboards. The first are more suitable for people who most often use them as standard laptops. These models can be used in various ways, since the keyboard also doubles as a support.

The second, on the other hand, is more tailored for mobility and use as a tablet, since the keyboard also acts as a carrying case. Either way, both types are great for productivity tasks. In the table below, we’ve listed more characteristics for each model to help you make your decision:

Features With 360-degree hinge With chiclet or removable keyboard
Design Their screen can be opened or folded to become tablets. The keyboard is completely separated and can be used as a carrying case.
Features They offer better features. These models generally integrate more powerful processors and have more RAM memory. Their performance tends to be inferior, limited by the presence of the components on the screen.
Dimensions They are generally larger and heavier. Their smaller dimensions offer functionality similar to that of tablets. In addition, they are lighter.
Connections They offer more USB and HDMI ports, as well as expansion slots. Since they have very limited space, some only feature a USB port and a video connection.

Shopping Criteria

As you know, there are various key aspects that you should take into consideration when the time comes time to buy your own 2-in-1 laptop. We want to make this selection process as easy as possible for you, which is why we’ve detailed some of these criteria in the following section. If you use them as a guide, you’ll be satisfied with your purchase and get the best possible value for money.

  • Personal use
  • Screen
  • RAM memory
  • Microprocessor
  • Storage capacity
  • Connectivity
  • Autonomy

Personal use

The first question you should ask yourself is naturally how you plan on using your laptop. This is very important, because you won’t need the same model for home use or for taking with you on all your trips. In the same vein, you will want to opt for a more or less powerful device depending on the tasks you will perform with it.

A low-end model will be more than enough if you simply want to browse the Internet, watch videos and check your email or social media. If you’re going to use it for more demanding tasks, on the other hand, it’s important that you opt for a 2-in-1 laptop with better features. In that regard, consider choosing more powerful processors and RAM.

Mike NashVice President of Product Management at HP

“Today’s consumers demand mobile products that fit their personal style and allow them to work and play wherever they are.”

Screen

The most important aspect regarding the screen is obviously its size. These devices generally feature screens measuring around 14 inches. Regardless of this, an 11-inch model will be plenty enough to watch videos and work with Microsoft Office. You could even opt for an 11-inch screen, but we don’t advise going for anything smaller.

The resolution is another key criterion that fundamentally influences the quality of the image you’ll be able to enjoy. Currently, the options available are HD (High Definition), Full HD and 4K. While it is true that there is still little content available in 4K, this standard will most likely take over in the coming years.

RAM memory

Random Access Memory (RAM) is what computers use as their working memory. This is why this component is so vital for the performance of your laptop computer. The RAM stores all the information treated by the processor and all the data managed by the different programs running on your computer.

This is one of the components where more is better. Most low-end 2-in-1 laptops offer 2GB of RAM, although we encourage you to choose a model with at least 4GB if your budget allows it. In addition, you should check which type of RAM it integrates.

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The most common standards are currently DDR3L and DDR4.

Microprocessor

The processors of 2-in-1 laptops are much more powerful than those of standard tablets. Low-end processors are generally dual-core Atom or Celeron, while high-end processors use more powerful Intel Core i3, Core i5, or even Core i7.

Models like the Lenovo Yoga 910, 920 and 730 therefore include the Core i7 processor, which offers great features. Keep in mind that manufacturers often propose different configuration options on their models. This is the case of Microsoft Surface Pro, which can be found with the Intel Core i3, Core i5, or Core i7 processors.

Storage capacity

As we mentioned earlier, these devices typically don’t offer large storage drives or hard disks. This limitation is a consequence of the need to reduce their weight and to design very thin 2-in-1 laptops. However, most models integrate SSDs, allowing the operating system to start much faster.

Many of these laptops generally have 128GB or 256GB storage drives. In high-end models, you can find configurations with higher capacities that can reach 512GB or even 1TB. If you need to work around this issue, you can use portable hard disks to store your heaviest multimedia files.

Connectivity

Our world is becoming increasingly connected, which means that the connectivity options available on your computer are another aspect to think about. In that sense, some laptops have certain limitations regarding the number of USB ports they offer. The ideal would be to have at least three of these, although the reality is that many 2-in-1 laptops only have two.

You also want to have Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity. An HDMI input will also be useful if you want to play high definition video and connect your laptop to a Smart TV or projector. Unfortunately, this is not a very common feature for 2-in-1 laptops. Finally, having a microSD card reader can always be handy.

Autonomy

One great aspect of these laptops is that their batteries often last longer than most traditional computers. In that regard, you can purchase devices with autonomies of 8 to 10 hours. This greater autonomy is made possible by the use of low-power processors. Some models also have fast-charging systems, which are particularly useful when you’re on the go.

Summary

2-in-1 laptops allow you to enjoy the productivity of computers and the versatility of tablets in a single device. Nowadays, some of these devices offer truly amazing performance. This is the reason why more and more people are opting for them.

The use you’ll make of your laptop is the very first aspect you need to look into when purchasing your own model. This will strongly influence your final decision. You might be fine with a low-end model, or have to opt for a high-range one that offers much better perks. In the same vein, you will also have to decide which type of 2-in-1 laptop you want — either one with a 360-degree rotating hinge, or a model with a chiclet keyboard.

We hope that the information found in our shopping guide was useful to you. If that’s the case, feel free to share our article on your social media. You can also leave us a comment in the section below!

(Source of featured image: Andriy Popov: 94253088/ 123rf.com)

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