- The best 2-in-1 laptops offer the performance of a laptop and the versatility of a tablet.
- So far in 2020, the Lenovo Yoga C940 came out on top as the best 2-in-1 laptop for its brilliant balance between power and versatile style.
It’s not a laptop; it’s not a tablet, either. It’s both! The 2-in-1 laptop has grown a whole lot better over the past few years, to a point where – in many cases – it’s a no-brainer for some buyers over traditional laptops.
The two main types of 2-in-1 laptops are the detachable 2-in-1 and the convertible 2-in-1. With a detachable, you can completely remove the screen from the keyboard – usually a keyboard screen cover of sorts – to turn your laptop into a real tablet. The convertible, on the other hand, allows you to turn the display completely around the device on a hinge, so that the keyboard is at the bottom when using the device as a tablet.
When shopping for a 2-in-1 computer, you should look out for most of the same hardware and features you’d want in a normal laptop. When it comes to operating system (OS), most 2-in-1 laptops run Windows 10, but some use Google’s Chrome OS, which revolves around Google’s Chrome browser and can run many Android apps. Currently, there aren’t any 2-in-1 devices that run Apple’s macOS.
Of course, what’s under the hood still matters – a lot. Things like the processor (CPU), storage, and memory (RAM) all impact how well a computer performs. Whereas the CPU dictates pure speed at any given task, memory decides how many concurrent tasks can be handled at once, while storage is simply the available space for your various files.
Last but not least, you’ll also want to think about any extra features. Many people buy 2-in-1 laptops for creative reasons. Many 2-in-1 laptops come with a stylus that can be useful for illustration and graphic design. Other 2-in-1 laptops also have features like a fingerprint sensor and enhanced speakers for video watching.
To find the best 2-in-1 laptops you can buy, we’ve tested several devices and read up on all the expert reviews.
Here are the best 2-in-1 laptops:
- Best 2-in-1 laptop overall: Lenovo Yoga C940
- Best detachable 2-in-1 laptop: Microsoft Surface Pro 7
- Best 15-inch 2-in-1 laptop: Microsoft Surface Book 2
- Best 2-in-1 Chromebook: Google Pixelbook
- Best budget 2-in-1 laptop: Microsoft Surface Go
Updated on 02/11/2020 by Joe Osborne: Added several new product picks and updated formatting.
The best 2-in-1 laptop overall
The Lenovo Yoga C940 strikes a sublime balance between performance and a sharp, intentional design, producing a 2-in-1 laptop that can go toe-to-toe with most.
We have the newest Lenovo Yoga C940 topping our list of the best 2-in-1 laptops because it strikes an elegant balance between power and panache, not to mention included features. Now the third time around topping our list, the Yoga C940 simply doubles down on an effective, versatile, and intentional design.
Everything about this laptop was designed knowing full well its varied use cases. The C940’s primary speakers sit in the 360-degree hinge of the laptop, tuned by Dolby with its Atmos simulated surround sound. The laptop comes with a stylus not only in the box, but stowed away in the device itself for easier portability and charging.
We also appreciate the exquisite, 13.9-inch Full HD (1,920 x 1,080) touchscreen with its 400 nits of brightness and 100% sRGB color gamut coverage. All told, these features come together to produce the most multimedia-ready 2-in-1 laptop to date, whether you’re simply consuming it or creating it, that can last up to 15 hours on a charge.
The Lenovo Yoga C940 starts at $1,099.99, which nets you the aforementioned features powered by the latest, 10-nanometer (nm) 10th-generation Intel Core i5 CPU with integrated Intel Iris Plus graphics, 8GB of RAM, and a 256GB solid-state drive (SSD). There are several upgrade options from there, including a 4K display, up to Core i7 processing, as much as 16GB of RAM and a 2TB SSD. There’s even a 15-inch option available with dedicated Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650 graphics inside. All told, the Lenovo Yoga C940 is the current 2-in-1 laptop to beat in 2020.
Pros: Clever design, excellent display, classically solid keyboard, improved speakers
Cons: A little dense and hefty, fingerprint sensor placement
The best detachable 2-in-1 laptop
Microsoft’s seventh Surface Pro tablet finally brings out USB-C and 10th-gen Intel power, making it the most powerful and versatile Surface to date, and it’s still a standard bearer for all 2-in-1 devices.
While we wouldn’t say that the Microsoft Surface Pro 7 is a mind-blowing 2-in-1 tablet, it’s most definitely the best of the bunch. Sure, Microsoft may be resting on its laurels a bit when it comes to the Surface Pro design and hardware, but it’s sitting on a standard that it set for the rest of the market years ago.
The Surface Pro 7 is nearly identical to the one that came before it save for one small design change: This model now features a USB-C port for both faster data transfers and more versatile connectivity options. This makes it much easier to connect the Surface Pro 7 to a monitor, for instance.
Of course, Microsoft has improved the Surface Pro’s internals with the seventh model, introducing it to the 10th-gen Intel Core CPU lineup. This makes the Surface Pro 7 the most powerful model yet, and one of the best-performing detachable 2-in-1 tablets to date. The tablet is also equipped with Wi-Fi 6 capabilities, making it ready for the future of wireless as well.
The Surface Pro 7 starts the pricing at $749.99, which features an Intel Core i3 CPU with integrated Intel graphics, backed by 4GB of RAM and a 128GB SSD. This is all behind the same vibrant, sharp 2,736 x 1,824-pixel touchscreen as before. From there, you can upgrade everything but the display before checkout, and we’d suggest springing for the Core i5 option to make the most of the powerful, new 10nm Intel technology. It’s still a bummer that the Type Cover keyboard costs an additional $129.99, since it’s basically essential to the device, but the Surface Pro 7 remains the detachable 2-in-1 tablet to beat regardless.
Pros: USB-C finally, new Intel power
Cons: Worse battery life than before, no other design changes, accessories sold separately
The best 15-inch 2-in-1 laptop
Microsoft’s Surface Book 2 may still be pricey, but it’s still the most intelligently designed 15-inch 2-in-1 and a boon for creators.
Microsoft has iterated upon its Surface hardware for years, but perhaps the longest in the tooth is its Surface Book 2. Regardless, the Surface Book 2 remains plenty powerful, intelligently designed, and equipped with excellent battery life.
It’s clear that this whoppingly 4.2-pound device is built to be both a laptop and a tablet. The Surface Book 2 is a detachable 2-in-1 laptop, but operates a bit differently from most in that category. Rather than use a detachable keyboard cover, the keyboard on this device acts as the base of the laptop, containing a massive battery and dedicated graphics inside. It helps that this base also features an excellent keyboard albeit a relatively small trackpad.
Starting at $1,999.99 list price, the Microsoft Surface Book 2 is still a beast. With a 15-inch, 3,240 x 2,160-pixel touch display, the device boasts an 8th-generation, Intel Core i5 dual-core CPU with 8GB of RAM and 256GB of storage. That can be configured to up to a Core i7 quad-core CPU with 16GB of RAM and 1TB of storage.
This top-tier model also comes with discrete Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 graphics, which should still hold up for content creation. The Surface Pen stylus also happens to be among the best we’ve used, which should make digital illustration and media editing easier. On top of that, Microsoft says the Surface Book 2 will last 17 hours on a charge – that is, of course, in laptop mode. We’ve seen the tablet on its own last about half as long.
Pros: Well-designed, long battery life, powerful, sharp screen
Cons: Expensive, could use more ports
The best 2-in-1 Chromebook
The original Google Pixelbook all but epitomizes what an ideal 2-in-1 Chromebook should be. While expensive, this is the most comfortable and enjoyable 2-in-1 Chromebook experience to date.
It may be a bit of an oldie – and a tad pricey – but the original Google Pixelbook offers the best experience in a 2-in-1 convertible Chromebook that we’ve had the pleasure to enjoy. While the laptop doesn’t feature a stowaway stylus or biometric login – things we see in most other 2-in-1 laptops – it offers one of the best keyboards around, paired with a gorgeous display and attractive styling.
The laptop comes in a silver aluminum shell bedecked with glossy white plastic on its lid and a rubberized white palm rest on the backlit keyboard deck. This gorgeous frame houses one of the best keyboards we’ve ever tested for sound, comfort, and accuracy. The chassis also is home to a fantastic 12.3-inch, 2,400 x 1,600-pixel display at 400 nits of brightness that can shine for up to 10 hours on a charge.
This frame is able to bend 360-degrees backward for tablet-like use via the Chromebook’s super-smooth touchscreen (hence the term convertible or 2-in-1). While sold separately – and must be stored separately as well – Google’s Pixelbook Pen stylus is a robust accessory with the ability to trigger Google Assistant information cards on things you circle and highlight using the stylus.
Ultimately, we love the Pixelbook for its versatility and premium, flagship experience compared against every 2-in-1 Chromebook out there today. While the starting model comes with 8GB of RAM, an Intel Core i5 CPU, and a 128GB SSD, a maxed-out version – with an Intel Core i7 CPU, 16GB of RAM and a 512GB SSD – costs a bit much for a Chromebook, honestly.
Pros: Amazing keyboard, excellent display, clever design
Cons: Expensive, pricey upgrades
The best budget 2-in-1 laptop
Microsoft’s miniaturized Surface Go is the best budget 2-in-1 tablet because it boils down the essentials of a Surface device into its most approachable form yet.
When Microsoft took the Surface Pro concept and miniaturized it for budget-strapped customers with the Surface Go, we were admittedly excited to see it. Once it arrived in our hands for testing, it was easy to see that this is the best budget 2-in-1 laptop even still.
The Microsoft Surface Go is essentially a shrunken-down version of the Surface Pro higher up in this list, and with much of the extra features chopped off. However, Microsoft took great pains to keep the essential nuts and bolts of the Surface experience for those seeking even more portability or a lighter load on their bank accounts.
Microsoft kept it simple here: a 10.1-inch, 1,800 x 1,200-pixel touchscreen, support for a smaller version the Type Cover and the standard Surface Pen, and Windows Hello biometric login via an infrared, 1080p webcam. These are the essentials to a Surface tablet experience, and this one nails it. Oh, and a USB-C port is included for wider device interconnectivity.
For this boiled-down Surface experience, Microsoft wants $399.00 to start, which gets you an Intel Pentium Gold CPU, 4GB of RAM, and 64GB of flash storage. For $549.00, the RAM doubles to 8GB while the storage upgrades to a 128GB SSD. If you want an ultra-portable daily driver that can double as your e-reader and doodle pad, the Microsoft Surface Go is it.
Pros: Excellent miniaturized design, high-resolution webcam, Windows Hello, affordable
Cons: Not very powerful, accessories sold separately