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- Lenovo/Business Insider
- A great 2-in-1 offers the best of a laptop and the best of a tablet.
- In our testing, the Lenovo Yoga C930 came out on top as the best 2-in-1 laptop for people who want the power of a PC and the portability of a tablet.
It’s not just a laptop, but it’s not just a tablet, either. It’s both! The 2-in-1 laptop has gotten a whole lot better over the past few years, to a point where in many cases, these devices represent a more flexible take on the laptop.
The two main types of 2-in-1 laptops include the detachable 2-in-1 and the convertible 2-in-1. With a detachable, you can completely remove the screen from the keyboard to turn your laptop into a real tablet. The convertible, on the other hand, allows you to turn the display completely around the device, so that the keyboard is at the bottom and the touchscreen is easy to use as a tablet.
When shopping for a 2-in-1, you should look out for most of the same specifications and features you’d want in a normal laptop. When it comes to operating system, most 2-in-1 devices run Windows, but some use Google’s Chrome OS, which is largely web-based and can run many Android apps. Currently, there aren’t any 2-in-1 devices that run Apple’s MacOS.
Apart from that, you’ll also want to think about the specs under the hood. Things like the processor, storage, and RAM all impact how a computer runs. We’re not going to dive into what they all do now, but if you want to, Lifewire has a good guide on how they all work.
Last but not least, you’ll also want to think about any extra features. Many people buy 2-in-1 devices for artistic reasons – Some devices come with a stylus that can be useful for graphic design. Other 2-in-1 laptops also have things like a fingerprint sensor and other interesting and modern features.
To find the best 2-in-1 laptops you can buy, we tested several devices and read up on all the expert reviews and buyer comments.
Here are the best 2-in-1 laptops you can buy in 2019:
- Best 2-in-1 overall: Lenovo Yoga C930
- Best detachable 2-in-1: Microsoft Surface Pro 6
- Best 15-inch 2-in-1 laptop: Microsoft Surface Book 2
- Best 2-in-1 Chromebook: Google Pixelbook
- Best 2-in-1 laptop for graphics: Asus ZenBook Flip 14
Updated on 03/18/2019 by Christian de Looper: Updated prices, added two new picks, and updated formatting.
Read on in the slides below to check out our top picks.
The best 2-in-1 laptop overall
Why you’ll love it: The Lenovo Yoga C930 features a beautiful design, powerful specs, and a convertible design.
In 2018, the Lenovo Yoga 920 was considered one of the best 2-in-1 laptops, and the new Lenovo Yoga C930 continues that tradition by being the best 2-in-1 of 2019. The laptop takes many of the best things about the Yoga 920 and adds better internal specs, a slightly more refined design, and other great features to make the 930 an even better buy than the previous laptop.
The laptop has an impressive unique design that’s both functional and attractive. Lenovo has redesigned the hinge to include a built-in speaker, which helps cut down on the thickness of the laptop’s body a little. The device is very thin, too, coming in at 0.57-inches thick. When it comes to ports, you’ll get two Thunderbolt 3 ports, a USB 3.1 port, and a headphone jack, which isn’t a bad selection at all.
Spec-wise the computer is very powerful, too. The base model of the computer has an Intel Core i5 processor coupled with 8GB of RAM and 256GB of storage, but you can upgrade the laptop to include an Intel Core i7 processor, 16GB of RAM, and up to a 1TB hard drive.
The 13..9-inch screen has a Full HD 1,920 x 1,080 pixel resolution, and you can use it in tablet mode or in laptop mode, thanks to the 360-degree rotating hinge.
So what are the downsides to the device? Well, there’s really only one: It’s a little pricey. Still, if you can afford the Lenovo Yoga C930, we recommend it.
Pros: Great design, powerful specs, good port selection
Cons: A little expensive
The best detachable 2-in-1 laptop
Why you’ll love it: The Microsoft Surface Pro 6 is slim and portable, plus it’s got plenty of power under the hood.
The Microsoft Surface Pro series has long been considered an excellent option for those looking for a versatile and portable computer, and the Microsoft Surface Pro 6 is no exception to that rule. The device is sleek, stylish, and powerful. Plus, it works great as a laptop and as a tablet.
Let’s start with the design. The 2-in-1 comes in at only 0.33-inches thick and has a 12.3-inch display with a resolution of 2,736 x 1,824 pixels. Around the edges, you’ll get a decent selection of ports, too, including a USB 3.0 port, a headphone jack, a MicroSD card slot, and a Mini DisplayPort. We would have liked to see a USB-C port or two, largely to ensure that the device stays relevant into the future, but it’s not a huge loss.
Under the hood, the Microsoft Surface Pro 6 is pretty powerful. The base model of the device comes with an 8th-gen Intel Core i5 processor, 8GB of RAM, and 128GB of storage, but you can upgrade the device to include up to an Intel Core i7 processor, 16GB of RAM, and up to 1TB of storage. The battery on the Surface Pro 6 provides 13.5 hours of video playback, which translates to at least a good day of standard use.
Plenty of reviewers love the Microsoft Surface Pro 6, too. TechRadar gave the device 4/5 stars, while The Verge gave it an equally impressive 8/10. The only downsides? A lack of USB-C ports, and a design that could stand an update.
Pros: Thin and sleek, good battery life, relatively powerful
Cons: No USB-C ports, design could be updated
The best 15-inch 2-in-1 laptop
Why you’ll love it: The Microsoft Surface Book 2 may be pricey, but it has incredible specs for a laptop and a pretty sweet design, too.
Microsoft has improved its hardware in leaps and bounds over the past few years, and among the best of its current lineup is the Microsoft Surface Book 2. The new Surface Book has a lot to offer – it’s super powerful, reasonably designed, and offers an excellent battery life.
Let’s start with the design. The computer really looks like a laptop. It’s not until you actually detach it from the base that you believe that it can really be done. Part of that has to do with the fact that the laptop is pretty bulky, weighing in at 4.2 pounds.
It’s clear that the device is built to be both a laptop and a tablet. The headphone jack can be found on the top right of the display, which is a little awkward in laptop mode but works fine in tablet mode. The device also features a nice, big trackpad, and a pretty good-feeling keyboard.
Under the hood, the Microsoft Surface Book 2 is a beast. The base model, with a 13.5-inch display, boasts an Intel Core i5 dual-core processor with 8GB of RAM and 256GB of storage. It can be configured, however, to up to an Intel Core i7 quad-core processor with 16GB of RAM and 1TB of storage. The top-tier model also comes with an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 discrete GPU, which is very impressive for a 2-in-1 device. On top of that, Microsoft says the computer will last 17-hours on a charge.
The downsides? Well, the biggest and most important one is the price. Even the cheapest model comes in at a pricey $1,499, at least officially, with the more powerful model costing $3,299. That’s not cheap.
Pros: Well-designed, long battery life, ultra-powerful, great screen
The best 2-in-1 Chromebook
Why you’ll love it: The Google Pixelbook is well-designed, runs Google’s lightweight Chrome OS, and has some pretty decent specs.
Most of the 2-in-1 laptops run Windows, but Windows computers aren’t the only 2-in-1 devices out there. In fact, Google’s new Pixelbook is our favorite non-Windows 2-in-1 because it runs ChromeOS and Android apps.
The Google Pixelbook is arguably the best Chromebook on the planet. It’s well-designed, super light, relatively powerful, and the keyboard feels amazing. I think it’s the best-feeling keyboard I’ve ever used on a laptop. It’s clicky, tactile, and works like a charm.
Under the hood, the laptop features some pretty nice specs – especially for a laptop running the relatively light Chrome OS. The base model has a 7th-gen Intel Core i5 processor, coupled with 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage. The Pixelbook can be upgraded to boast an Intel Core i7, 16GB of RAM, and a 512GB hard drive.
One of the best things about Chromebooks is that they can run many Android apps, opening them up to a range of functionality. Sure, the operating system isn’t as versatile as Windows, but for those plugged into Google’s ecosystem and who use Google apps a lot, it should do just fine. The device also works pretty well with the pen, which is unfortunately sold separately.
So what are the downsides? Well, there aren’t many. The audio performance of the laptop isn’t the best, though, and there’s no fingerprint sensor or facial recognition for login. Still, most agree that it’s well worth it. CNET gave it 4/5, while TechRadar actually gave it a 5/5.
Pros: Beautifully designed, excellent keyboard, powerful for a Chromebook
Cons: Audio isn’t the best, expensive for a Chromebook
The best 2-in-1 laptop for graphics
Why you’ll love it: The Asus ZenBook Flip features the latest-gen processor, a nice design, and it’s one of the few 2-in-1s to boast discrete graphics from Nvidia.
If you need high-quality graphics, then you know that a desktop computer is probably the best way for you to get the best performance, but sometimes you need a machine that you can carry around for work, editing videos, and playing games. If that’s you, then we think the best option is the Asus ZenBook Flip 14.
There are a few things that make this such a great computer. For starters, it features a very nice design. It’s sleek and slim, has a fingerprint sensor in the trackpad, and it’s super powerful under the hood.
Not only can you customize it to feature up to an 8th-generation Intel Core i7 processor, up to 16GB of RAM, and 512GB of storage, but it also comes with discrete graphics, thanks to the Nvidia GeForce MX150 graphics card.
The MX series is Nvidia’s first major push into graphics for ultrabooks and 2-in-1 computers, and while it’s not as powerful as Nvidia’s desktop series of graphics cards, it still has a lot to offer, both when it comes to gaming and when it comes to productivity. It’s important not to expect the same level of high frame-rate action and ultra-immersive gaming experiences that you’d get with a desktop computer, but for a 2-in-1 laptop, it’s mighty powerful.
When it comes to ports, the ZenBook Flip 14 has two USB-A ports, one HDMI output, a USB-C port, and a MicroSD card slot.
Of course, there are some downsides to this laptop. The 2-in-1 doesn’t offer any storage for the included pen and it’s expensive. Still, most reviewers agree that this is a great device. CNET gave it 8.2/10, while Laptop Mag gave it 4/5 stars.
Pros: Well-designed, discrete graphics are nice, powerful
Cons: 4K display option would be nice, discrete graphics aren’t good for high-intensity games