Are the best 2-in-1 laptops the future of portables? Although there are still quite a few laptops out there that haven’t quite made the transition from their traditional form – MacBooks and gaming laptops are the prime culprits – more and more laptops are adopting this versatile form factor. And, that’s a great thing.
The best 2-in-1 laptops not just give you that versatility of being able to go from being productive to being creative to binge-watching your favorite shows or reading an ebook in one fell swoop. More importantly, they’re ensuring that you’re keeping your expenses and carbon footprint low by giving you several devices in one. And, many of them are fitted with the best processors, the best graphics cards, and speedy RAM as well, they’ll see you through demanding tasks without breaking a sweat.
The best 2-in-1 laptops will let you effortlessly go from doing your work using the traditional laptop form to taking down notes or planning your week in tablet form to watching Disney+ or Netflix in tent mode. With HP, Lenovo and Dell laptops sitting at the top of the pile, and options that range from the best Windows laptops to the best Chromebooks, here are our top picks.
The HP Spectre x360 is among the best laptops in the world, and the latest addition in this flagship line doesn’t fall far from the tree. The HP Spectre x360 (2021) continues the tradition of pairing elegance and premium design with the latest in specs for a 2-in-1 laptop that’s as much substance as it is style. This gorgeous Windows laptop comes with the new 11th-gen Intel CPU, latest integrated Intel graphics, and enough battery life – almost hitting the 13 hour mark – to get you through a long day at work. That’s while being slightly more affordable than its rivals like the Dell XPS 2-in-1.
Don’t get us wrong; you won’t likely find it in a budget laptops list anytime soon. However, it is very affordable considering its build, power and features. Just bear in mind that it tends to be bulky in tablet mode and can get loud.
Read the full review: HP Spectre x360 (2021)
If you want a high-performance 2-in-1 laptop that will keep going long after its rivals have given up, the Intel Evo-certified Lenovo Yoga 9i is the best 2-in-1 laptop for you. The price of entry here isn’t what you would categorize as cheap, but given the power, battery life, and premium features, it’s actually quite reasonably priced. This means that you’re getting a lot of value for paying just a bit more. Among those noteworthy features are the rechargeable Lenovo Active Pen, its reasonably-quick pen charging dock built-in on the laptop, and its great sound.
Of course, its performance is phenomenal. It’s capable of handling just about anything you can throw at it thanks to the 11th-gen Intel Core processors and the Intel Iris Xe integrated graphics powering it. Its display’s 16:9 aspect ratio may be a bit of an acquired taste and give you less room to work with, but it’s not a big deal-breaker.
Read the full review: Lenovo Yoga 9i
Is it a Chromebook or is it a tablet? Well, luckily, you won’t have to decide. True to its name, the Lenovo IdeaPad Duet Chromebook delivers two form factors in one while keeping the price unbelievably low. In fact, if you’re looking for a budget option, this is the best 2-in-1 laptop for you. This Chromebook utilizes the versatility of the Chrome OS while you back much less than many of the top Windows tablets out there.
Of course, true to its Chromebook nature, its battery packs an incredibly long life of almost 22 hours – you could pull an all-nighter, work through the day and mid-afternoon, and you’ll still pass out before it runs out of juice. For this price, sacrifices have to be made, naturally – the keyboard is tiny, the trackpad isn’t as reliable, and the charger and headphones share one port. However, if budget is your top priority, this has to be your top choice.
Read the full review: Lenovo IdeaPad Duet Chromebook
The Dell XPS line has been upping the ante in the world of portables since its launch, and that hasn’t changed years later. It has now penetrated the premium game, forcing its budget-conscious fans to look for cheaper alternatives, but that higher price tag is more than justified considering this laptop’s build, features, and prowess. The Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 (2020) remains to be among the best laptops right now, touting more versatility thanks to its hybrid design. We love this laptop so much, we’d get it just for the pleasure of using it. But, if that price is holding you back, let us assure you: this is worth paying extra for.
Its absolutely stellar battery life, Wi-Fi 6 connectivity, plenty of storage, and quiet operation are among the most noteworthy features here. As is its bright and vibrant display that’s just a pleasure to use in tablet mode as it is in traditional laptop mode.
Read the full review: Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 (2020)
A great feature set definitely adds a lot of value, and if you’re looking for the best 2-in-1 laptops, that’s one thing to keep an eye out for. It’s that kind of feature set combined with its affordability that makes the Acer Spin 5 (2020) a terrific candidate. This 2-in-1 laptop isn’t just versatile due to its form factors and fantastic battery life. It also comes with a 3:2 display and a feature-rich stylus that together give it that extra advantage for students and professionals over its rivals: an easy and seamless note-taking experience. If you’re one of those folks who have a contempt for typing up notes in class, this old-school approach might just seal the deal.
Of course, that just-under-12-hours battery life is a bonus, and the fast stylus charging that gives you about 90 minutes of use for 15 or 20 seconds of charging is a boon. Finally, that stellar performance is impressive considering its affordable price.
Read the full review: Acer Spin 5 (2020)
Lenovo’s latest release, the ThinkBook 14S Yoga, is a solid and affordable convertible that comes with some great features and terrific performance. Even though admittedly, it isn’t perfect, there’s a lot to love here, starting with its great price-to-performance ratio. You’ll appreciate the specs behind that power – that 11th-gen Intel Core chip and Intel Iris Xe graphics inside will ensure that it’ll see you through even arduous tasks. And, although that coveted 2-in-1 design may come standard on every hybrid, for example, its garaged pen is not, making it a boon to those who tend to lose small peripherals. Plus, its webcam shutter is there to protect your privacy.
Sadly, that battery life is no match to the competition. It falls just shy of the nine hour mark, which means that you should take your charger with you if you’re clocking in a full work or school day. Still, for the price you’re paying, this is among the best 2-in-1 laptops out there.
Read the full review: Lenovo Thinkpad 14S Yoga
The HP Envy x360 15 (2021) is nearly in a class in its own right, a 2-in-1 laptop that combines impressive CPU and GPU power with an elegant yet robust design, a stunning display, and outstanding battery life – all for an incredible price. In fact, if you don’t want to spend a fortune, you'll be hard-pressed to find a better value for a 2-in-1. Especially when you’re already getting best-in-class performance. Its huge collection of ports make it an even better value. If you have a few peripherals in your arsenal, you won’t find its connectivity options lacking.
It’s not the most comfortable to use as a tablet, however. Because it’s on the heavier side, it doesn’t offer the best tablet mode experience. However, the positives far outweigh these points for us, especially because even the most premium contenders on this list aren’t perfect, so it’s easy to forgive this laptop for that.
Read the full review: HP Envy x360 15 (2021)
In many ways, the Surface Book 3 is an example of just how far the best laptops have come in just a few short years. It has an extremely premium piece of kit, starting with its display, which is one of the best displays we’ve used in a laptop. That PixelSense display looks amazing and vibrant, with a 3:2 aspect ratio is a godsend for working. Other features worth mentioning here are a keyboard that will put the MacBook Pro’s new Magic Keyboards to shame, and a hybrid design with a removable screen.
This follow-up to the outstanding Surface Book 2 is truly one of the best 2-in-1 laptops 2021 has to offer. Unfortunately, it’s somewhat held back by a weaker processor (next to its rivals), lacklust speakers and a high price tag. Also, you’ll have to take that charger with you everywhere. Still, it’s an excellent portable, if you’ve got the money for it.
Read the full review: Microsoft Surface Book 3
Gabe Carey and Bill Thomas have also contributed to this article
Images Credit: TechRadar