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2-in-1 laptop tablets are hybrid devices that combine the form-factor of a laptop and its keyboard, with a usually detachable tablet. This design gives them a good deal of flexibility and portability for travelers and students, while still letting them be used for productivity. The best ones should have a good design that allows for easy portability, a long-lasting battery, and a nice screen both for watching videos and getting work done. We researched and reviewed a mix of devices from brands like Microsoft, HP, Asus, Samsung, and others.
No Thunderbolt 3
Type Cover not included
Middling battery life
When it comes to 2-in-1 laptop tablets, it doesn’t get much better than the Microsoft Surface Pro 7. The Surface Pro 7, much like previous models, is a versatile, light, and well-built Windows 10 tablet that becomes so much more when you buy the Surface Pro Type Cover, an attachable keyboard that basically turns this tablet into a laptop. The Pro 7 has a 12.3-inch screen that is bright and vivid (2,736 x 1,824 pixels).
The Surface Pro 7 comes in a wide variety of configurations. You can choose either 4GB, 8GB, or 16GB of RAM to help you speed through all your work and play, choose an Intel Core i3, i5, or i7 processor depending on your power needs, and choose 128GB, 256GB, 512GB, or 1TB of storage depending on how many photos, videos, etc. you need on your computer. The cheapest configuration will run you $599, while the most expensive version you can buy runs $1,899. It’s a tad expensive overall, but generally worth it if you want the best 2-in-1 laptop tablet on the market. Our tester said, "If you were in the market for a Surface Pro 6, but held off on your purchase, the Pro 7 will be an easy, logical recommendation without any real asterisks attached."
"The Surface Pro 7 transitions effortlessly from productivity to creativity to entertainment in a way that’s hard to replicate on any other device." — Jonno Hill, Product Tester
Courtesy of Best Buy
Plenty of ports
Featuring a 10-inch, 1800x1200-pixel display and weighing barely over a pound, the Microsoft Surface Go is the perfect portable 2-in-1 device. It's well-suited to everyday tasks like browsing the Internet or streaming videos, and the clip-on Type Cover (sold separately) has a keyboard and trackpad to give you full 2-in-1 functionality. Our reviewer noted that the cramped screen tends to be a bit of a productivity killer though.
The Go's 1.6Hz Intel Pentium Gold 4415Y processor isn’t as powerful as the Core i-series Intel CPUs found in other Windows products — this won’t be your new gaming device — but its small size makes it perfect when you need something efficient and portable. However, bear in mind that while it’s intended for nine hours of battery life, depending on what you’re doing, you could be looking at between four to five hours before needing a charger.
Thanks to the hinged stand on the back, the Microsoft Go feels sturdy when it's propped up, and the shrunken keyboard is comfortable to type on: you might even forget you’re not using a full-sized laptop. Two versions of the machine are available: the smaller has 64GB of storage and 4GB of RAM, while the other has 128GB of storage and 8GB of RAM. Choose from one of four colors for the attachable Type Cover.
"If you are the kind of person who takes photos with a tablet, this one has HDR and can capture delightful photos on the go, but it won’t impress more serious photographers." — Jordan Oloman, Product Tester
Striking angular design
Noisy when fans are running
Hot under load
The HP Spectre x360 is an outstanding 15.6-inch 2-in-1 hybrid computer that’s souped up with the new Intel Kaby Lake Core i7 processor. The addition of 16GB of RAM and 512GB of memory offers no shortage of both power and space for downloads, gaming on-the-go or multimedia tasks such as video or photo editing. The 4K 3840 x 2160 15.6-inch display offers an outstanding viewing experience for both multimedia and gaming courtesy of the NVIDIA GeForce 940MX graphics card. All this power comes with a battery that’s capable of running up to 12 hours with everyday usage and up to nine hours of video playback.
"Instead of flat edges and square angles, the edges of this beauty are cut to reveal shining metal surfaces that catch the light and draw the eye." — Jeremy Laukkonen, Product Tester
Great build quality
Includes useful accessories
Good connectivity options
Somewhat small screen
The Asus T102HA Transformer Mini 10.1-inch 2-in-1 hybrid computer is powered by an Intel Atom quad-core x5 processor, 4GB of RAM and 128GB EMMC storage. Fortunately, its 1.7-pound, .6-inch frame with the keyboard is superbly manufactured for an ideal build quality that feels sturdy despite the wallet-friendly price tag.
Unlike some of its Microsoft-made competition, the Asus Transformer comes right out of the box with a pen, keyboard and fingerprint reader, which eliminates the need for additional purchases afterward. The keyboard attaches via magnet, but offers up to 170 degrees of movement with the kickstand for easy use on a lap or desk in laptop mode and quickly detaches for jumping right into tablet functionality. Additionally, the small size hides its big connectivity options with a full spread of USB, micro USB, micro HDMI and microSD ports.
Portable size options
On the higher end of price
The Samsung Notebook 9 Pro offers the power of a 15-inch Macbook, with the portability (and touchability) of a Surface Pro, plus the magic of Samsung’s S-pen. The laptop comes in two sizes, but this 13-inch model employs a screen with a 1920 x 1080 pixel resolution, a 3.5 GHz processor, 8GB of RAM and an ADM Radeon 540 graphics card. Suffice it to say this little powerhouse is the perfect machine for the price, because at just under $1000, it’s one of the best values in the game.
Strong specs and dedicated GPU
Solid battery life
Can't handle more demanding games
Finding a 2-in-1 laptop that can handle the rigors of gaming isn’t easy, but the Dell Inspiron 15 Premium Convertible 2-in-1 can get the job done. It has an 8th-generation Intel Core i7 quad-core processor which pairs with 32GB of RAM and a 1TB SSD for storage. Intel’s integrated UHD 620 graphics card won’t offer the same performance as a dedicated GPU, but it does well for all but the most demanding games. It’s an easy trade-off for hardware that’s both beautiful and powerful.
Available in a variety of combinations, RAM options range from 8GB to 32GB and storage options range from 512GB to 2TB depending on your needs and how much you want to spend. Either way, the Dell does incredibly well even beyond gaming. The 15-inch display has 1920 x 1080 resolution for beautiful visuals, and there’s more than enough room to multitask across multiple windows. Battery life should last six to seven hours of regular use, though that number is likely to drop during continuous gameplay.
There are well-designed laptops, and then there’s the HP Spectre Folio. HP’s beautiful convertible laptop looks like nothing else currently on the market: both the keyboard and screen are wrapped in a leather cover. And no, it's not a case or a removable sleeve — these premium materials are actually built into the computer's design. This unique configuration not only looks amazing but also allows the computer to easily transform from a laptop to a tablet and vice versa. A durable hinge ensures that docking and detaching the laptop are equally seamless.
HP has also outfitted this computer with top-notch performance specs. The Intel Core i7 dual-core processor, 8GB of RAM, and 256GB of storage makes day-to-day computing a snap. Browse, stream, and work at the same time, if you want. And the whole computer is only 0.6 inches thin and weighs just over three pounds, so its still ultra-portable.
Very light and thin
Lackluster battery life
The 14-inch LG gram 2-in-1 might not be quite as portable in tablet mode as dedicated tablets or detachable 2-in-1s, but it’s about as close as you can get with a convertible laptop. Its 2.5-pound weight is lighter than other convertibles with 14- or even 13-inch screens. Adding in its excellent battery life (listed at 21 hours, but could be closer to 12 with heavier usage), it’s a portable and effective tablet that can also serve as a high-performance laptop.
Solidly built with two 360-degree hinges, it's smooth and effortless to switch between the LG gram’s laptop, tablet, stand, and tent modes. Its 1920 x 1080 resolution touchscreen display looks great, and the included LG Stylus Pen offers a precise and convenient writing or drawing experience.
In terms of hardware, LG packs an 8th-generation Intel Core i7 quad-core processor, 16GB of RAM, and 512GB of storage into the 0.7-inch thick ultraportable. This adds up to a 2-in-1 laptop that's versatile enough to handle most business or personal use and portable enough to carry around and last you all day.
Faster than average Chromebook
Crisp touchscreen display
Google Assistant key for voice commands
Productivity limited by Chrome OS
The Google Pixelbook has far more power than the average Chromebook, which makes it the most robust and premium 2-in-1 running Chrome OS today. Google calls it a 4-in-1, though, as it has laptop, tablet, tent, and entertainment modes. The Pixelbook features a 7th-generation Intel Core i5 processor, 8GB of RAM, and a 128GB SSD. It even has a Google Assistant key that quickly lets you ask questions with voice commands.
The Pixelbook’s impressive hardware makes it the fastest and most versatile Chromebook on the market. It boots in seconds and can run for 10 hours on a single charge. On top of stellar performance, the Pixelbook also looks and feels great to use. The 12.3-inch Quad HD LCD touchscreen boasts 2400x1600 resolution at 235 PPI (pixels per inch). Protected by Corning Gorilla Glass, the display is scratch-resistant. The aluminum body is thin and super lightweight, making it perfect for travel.
If you're a traveler, student, or just someone that wants a light and portable device to carry with you for productivity and web browsing, the Microsoft Surface Pro 6 is one of the best 2-in-1 laptop tablets you can buy. Also worthy of mention is the smaller Surface Go, it won't be as good for productivity, but its affordable price and compact size makes it perfect for taking on a trip. For those with a bigger budget, the HP Spectre x360 will give you a powerful processor and dedicated graphics for both productivity and gaming.
Jeremy Laukkonen is a tech writer who's spent years working on major trade publications. He's covered a wide range of products for Lifewire, including laptops, dekstops, Chromebooks, audio equipment, and other devices. He personally uses the HP Specture x360 himself when he wants to get real work done, and he has an Asus VivoBook Flip 14 for when he's on the road.
Jordan Oloman has written for Lifewire since 2019. He's previously been published on sites like Kotaku, IGN, and GamesRadar, and he's reviewed a wide range of products from external hard drives to laptops.
David Beren is a tech writer with more than a decade of experience. He's previously written about the telecom industry, covering T-Mobile, Sprint, and TracFone Wireless. He's also the founder of his own tech website.
Performance - While some 2-in-1 devices excel mainly as a way to consume media, others can also serve as powerful creation machines. When selecting a 2-in-1 hybrid for your lifestyle, be sure that it has enough of what you need to get work done — like a powerful CPU, loads of RAM, and a fast GPU.
Form factor - Most 2-in-1s will either allow you to fold the keyboard behind the screen or completely remove it when you want to use the device as a tablet. Consider the pros and cons of each: While a removable keyboard makes your device much lighter in tablet mode, you’ll need to keep track of it. Conversely, a flip-back keyboard will result in a bulkier machine, but you’ll always have it on hand when you need it.
Battery life - Make sure your new 2-in-1’s battery life is up to par. You wouldn’t want to buy a new device just to learn that it can't make it through a Netflix binge or your favorite movie.