The Best 2 in 1 Laptop Buying Guide

Author: Luke Adkins  Date Posted: 27 February 2024 

2 in 1 laptop

Just like all tech, computers are constantly evolving not only in terms of performance and power, but also their portability. One of the most innovative design solutions that has emerged in recent years is the 2 in 1 laptop, which offers incredible versatility and combines the productivity of a standard laptop with the ultra-portable nature of a tablet.

However, with so many 2 in 1 laptops to choose from, finding the right brand and model that offers you the performance you need in line with your available budget can be tricky ground to tread. So, to help make things easier, we've put together this ultimate 2 in 1 laptop buying guide.

What is a 2 in 1 Laptop?

2in1 laptop

In case you've never heard of a 2 in 1 laptop, let's take a moment to explain what it is. Also known as convertible laptops or hybrid laptops, 2 in 1 laptops feature a touchscreen display that can be flipped or detached from a keyboard base.

This dual mode design essentially means that you have a detachable tablet that can switch between laptop and tablet mode seamlessly, providing you with the versatility to use a traditional laptop when needed, along with the convenience of a tablet for web browsing, media consumption, and creative work using a stylus or touch input.

In case you've never heard of a 2 in 1 laptop, let's take a moment to explain what it is. Also known as convertible laptops or hybrid laptops, 2 in 1 laptops feature a touchscreen display that can be flipped or detached from a keyboard base.

This dual mode design essentially means that you have a detachable tablet that can switch between laptop and tablet mode seamlessly, providing you with the versatility to use a traditional laptop when needed, along with the convenience of a tablet for web browsing, media consumption, and creative work using a stylus or touch input.

What is the Difference Between 2 in 1 Laptops and Standard Laptops?

The main difference between 2 in 1 laptops and standard laptops is their design. A 2 in 1 laptop allows you to transform them from laptop mode to tablet mode, offering versatility for different tasks in the process, whereas a standard laptop maintains a fixed clamshell laptop design.

This difference in design means that 2 in 1 laptops prioritise adaptability, versatility, and portability, while traditional clamshell laptops offer a smaller level of portability and don't boast any transformation features.

Are 2 in 1 Laptops Better Than Standard Laptops?

This entirely depends on your own specific needs, preferences, and usage. 2 in 1 laptops offer more versatility than standard laptops as they combine the functionality of both a laptop and tablet, providing flexibility for various tasks in the process.

2 in 1 laptops are particularly good for anyone who needs to prioritise portability, wants touchscreen interaction, and the ability to switch between laptop mode and tablet mode seamlessly.

Standard laptops, on the other hand, maintain a traditional laptop design with a fixed keyboard and, in most cases, no touchscreen display. This is often better suited for those who want that laptop experience they are familiar with, need consistent keyboard input, and want to create a dedicated workspace.

Why Do People Use 2-in-1 Laptops?

One of the biggest reasons why people use 2 in 1 laptops is because they offer a huge amount of versatility and flexibility by allowing you to switch between a traditional laptop and a tablet mode. This versatility means that you don't have to change devices based on what you're doing, and whether you're casually browsing the web, watching movies, or carrying out productive tasks, you only need one laptop for all of your needs.

Another reason many people have made the switch to 2 in 1 laptops is because they offer better portability and convenience than standard laptops, which are often heavier and bulkier in comparison. This makes them really popular with anyone who works on the go and needs a versatile laptop that doesn't weigh them down.

Key Factors to Consider When Buying a 2 in 1 Laptop

Laptops lined up on a bench

Just as you would when buying traditional laptops, there are certain things you need to consider when you're purchasing a 2 in 1 laptop, and knowing what these are will help you find the best laptop for your needs.

Convertible Design

All 2 in 1 laptops are convertible, but there are some little things you need to look into to make sure you get a model that offers exactly what you want. Look at how easy it is to convert the laptop between modes, how smoothly the display rotates, and whether detaching the tablet from the keyboard seems difficult.


When you're looking at the design, take a moment to consider how portable you feel the laptop is, too. Feel the weight, thickness, and overall build quality to determine whether it feels comfortable enough to take with you all day long or if you think it might be a little too heavy.

Display Quality

You'll also need to think about the quality of the display, so look into the resolution, size, and touchscreen display responsiveness. This will give you a better idea of how both usability and visuals will be in both laptop and tablet modes.


Consider the CPU performance of your potential new 2 in 1 laptop as well, ensuring it has both the power and graphics performance you need to carry out productivity tasks, creative work, gaming, and anything else you might be intending to use your laptop for.

Battery Life

The battery life is one of the most important things to look into when buying a 2 in 1 laptop, especially if you're planning to use it on the go all day long. Make sure a single charge lasts long enough to meet your needs, and look into the reliability of energy-efficient batteries used by some brands.

Keyboard and Trackpad

Even if you don't plan on using the laptop mode very regularly, it's still important to evaluate the quality of the trackpad and make sure you feel the laptop has a comfortable keyboard. This won't only ensure you have that satisfying typing feel, but will also make sure you're able to navigate smoothly when you aren't using the touchscreen display.

Stylus Support

Many people use a stylus pen for easier note-taking, drawing, or creative tasks, and if this is something you feel you'd benefit from, make sure that your chosen 2 in 1 laptop is compatible with your preferred stylus.

Operating System

When buying a 2 in 1 laptop, you'll also be faced with choosing between different operating systems as well, mainly Windows, MacOS, and Chrome OS. It's best to choose something you're familiar with here, as this will make navigating your laptop much easier and also ensures connectivity between different devices.

Connectivity Options

While 2 in 1 laptops are inherently versatile, you can increase their versatility even more by choosing a model with certain connectivity options, such as USB-C and HDMI ports. These will allow you to connect external peripherals, like a mouse or external display, essentially turning your laptop into a Cerebro for other devices.

How Many CPU Cores Do You Really Need in a 2 in 1 Laptop?

Laptop processor

Understanding CPUs can be difficult, especially for anyone who isn't familiar with certain computer terminology. But, just like all aspects of buying a 2 in 1 laptop, the number of CPU cores you need ultimately depends on your usage requirements and the tasks you'll be performing.

For example, if you're planning to use your 2 in 1 laptop for basic productivity tasks like web browsing, emails, and word processing, a dual-core or quad-core CPU would usually be enough.

However, if you plan to run more demanding applications, like photo and video editing, programming, or gaming, it would be better to choose a 2 in 1 laptop with a quad-core or higher CPU with multithreading capabilities that can provide better performance and multitasking capabilities.

What Kind of Graphics Card Should a 2 in 1 Laptop Have?

Laptop graphics card

So, you know that the more demanding tasks you'll be performing, the higher the number of CPU cores you need. But what about the graphics card? This can also be confusing, but you'll essentially be choosing between an integrated graphics and a dedicated graphics processor.

An integrated graphics processor (GPU) is built into the same chip as the central processing unit (CPU), and offers good performance for everyday tasks, such as multimedia consumption and light gaming. This type of GPU is also energy efficient and takes up less space, which means you'll likely find them in slimmer, more portable 2 in 1 laptops.

A dedicated GPU is a separate graphics card with its own dedicated memory and processing power. This allows them to offer higher performance, especially for demanding games or other tasks, such as video editing or 3D rendering, but they also consume more power and add more bulk to the laptop's design in the process.

Considering the above, the GPU that you need will, again, depend on what you intend to use your 2 in 1 laptop for. Integrated graphics are better for lighter, everyday use, while dedicated graphics offer better performance across more demanding tasks.

Which Processor and RAM Should a 2 in 1 Laptop Have?

Laptop Memory (RAM)

But what about the Processor and RAM? As always, you'll need to think about how you're planning to use your 2 in 1 laptop when considering these components.

For basic tasks, such as browsing the internet or editing documents, a 2 in 1 laptop with a mid-range processor and at least 4GB of RAM will likely be enough. However, if you require more power for multitasking, creative work, or gaming, you should choose a higher-end processor with a minimum of 8GB of RAM or more.

Essentially, you'll need to choose a processor and RAM combination that balances your performance requirements with your budget, as this will ensure you get a responsive and efficient system.

How Much Storage Should My 2 in 1 Laptop Have?


Laptop Hard Drives

RAM isn't enough on its own to handle the storage space you need in a 2 in 1 laptop, and you'll also need to consider how much additional storage you need. You'll have two choices here: SSD and HDD, and each comes with its own advantages, depending on your intended use.

Solid State Drives (SSDs) offer faster boot times, application loading, and overall system responsiveness due to their flash memory-based storage technology. This makes them ideal for anyone who needs to prioritise speed and performance, especially for multitasking, content creation, or gaming.

The downside to SSDs, however, is that they offer lower storage capacities and are generally more expensive per gigabyte compared to HDDs.

With a Hard Disk Drive (HDD), you'll be offered a larger storage capacity at a lower cost. However, they are a bit slower in terms of read/write speeds, and this can impact overall system performance.

Put simply, if speed isn't as important to you as available storage space, it would be best to choose a 2 in 1 laptop with HDD storage. Or, if you aren't overly fussed about having loads of storage but want to ensure speedy operation, go for an SSD.

What Display Should a 2 in 1 Laptop Have?

Drawing on a 2 in 1 laptop with a stylus pen

You're going to need a really clear view of everything you're doing on your 2 in 1 laptop, so it's super important to consider the display, too. This isn't simply a case of size, though, and there are a few things you need to keep in mind.

Screen Size and Resolution

Both screen size and resolution play vital roles in the usability and performance of a 2 in 1 laptop. A larger screen provides more real estate for multitasking and content creation but can also compromise portability. Conversely, a smaller screen makes the laptop much more portable but may limit productivity.

When it comes to resolution, higher screen resolution offers sharper visuals and better viewing experiences that are ideal for multimedia consumption and creative work. Screens with a lower resolution are fine for everyday tasks but won't give you the same detail when watching videos or looking at photographs.

Touchscreen Sensitivity

The sensitivity of your touchscreen display is also another important thing to consider, especially for artists and designers reliant on precise touch input. High touchscreen sensitivity ensures accurate pen or stylus pen input, facilitating detailed sketches, digital illustrations, and precise design work.

A highly responsive touchscreen also allows you to achieve fluid strokes, intricate details, and precise control when creating digital art, whether in laptop or tablet mode, enhancing your productivity and artistic output.

Stylus Compatibility

Whether you're buying a 2 in 1 laptop to create digital art or to make note taking much easier, one of the things you'll need to look into is each model's stylus compatibility. Those that support active styluses with pressure sensitivity and precision are best, as they'll enhance the accuracy of the stylus and give you a more natural feel when writing or drawing.

What Should You Look for in a 2 in 1 Laptop Keyboard and Trackpad?

Using a laptop touchpad

The whole point of a 2 in 1 laptop is to switch between tablet and standard laptop mode, and while touchscreen sensitivity is incredibly important, you also need to ensure that the keyboard and trackpad work well, too.

The laptop's keyboard should offer a comfortable typing experience with good key travel and spacing, as this will ensure efficient typing across long periods of time. Some 2 in 1 laptops have backlit displays, and these are especially good for working in low light conditions.

Similarly, the trackpad should be responsive, precise, and capable of supporting multitouch gestures for smooth navigation. Trackpads with smooth surfaces are the best, as this provides accurate tracking while keeping the user experience as comfortable as possible.

2 in 1 Laptop Build Quality and Design 

Drawing art on a 2 in 1 laptop

Looking at what's going on inside your 2 in 1 laptop is obviously very important, but it's equally as important to look at the overall design and build quality, and there are a few things to keep in mind here.

Weight and Dimensions

These are often overlooked in the excitement of the features offered by a 2 in 1 laptop, but considering weight and dimensions are crucial as these will ultimately dictate how portable it is.

Compact, lightweight designs are the best option for anyone who wants easy handling and the ability to place their laptop in a bag and carry it with them for on-the-go use. They also tend to have more of an aesthetic design, which is always an added bonus.

Build Quality

You also want to ensure your chosen 2 in 1 laptop lasts as long as possible, so be sure to look at the overall build quality, including the materials it is made from. High-quality materials, like aluminium and magnesium alloy, are among the best as these ensure durability without adding extra weight to the laptop.

Check out the hinges and chassis as well, making sure they feel sturdy and durable enough to withstand regular flipping from laptop to tablet mode.

Battery Life and Charging Options

Battery life is another very important consideration, especially if you're planning to use your laptop all day without connecting to a power source. While many brands advertise that their batteries offer impressive performance, in reality, usage will vary depending on screen brightness, CPU usage, and background applications.

As such, you need to align your expectations with typical usage scenarios. This means you shouldn't focus solely on long battery life but also on the charging speed and power-saving features on offer, offering you efficient performance and uninterrupted productivity.

Additional 2 in 1 Laptop Considerations

Using a 2 in 1 laptop

While all of the above are essential things you need to consider when buying a 2 in 1 laptop, there are also some other things you'll need to keep in mind to ensure you find the best laptop for your personal needs.


Take a moment to look at the connectivity options offered by your potential new 2 in 1 laptop. Ideally, it should offer plenty of ports (such as HDMI and USB-C ports) that will allow you to attach peripherals and enhance your overall experience.

Bluetooth connectivity is another excellent feature to look out for, as this will allow you to attach certain peripherals wirelessly, such as a mouse or headphones.

Sound Quality

Video calling, gaming, and watching videos all need great sound quality behind them, so make sure you look at the sound quality of the laptop as well.

Front-facing speakers are always best as they'll deliver clear and balanced sound, while some 2 in 1 laptops take sound quality to another level by incorporating premium audio features, such as Dolby Atmos.

Operating System

It's also a good idea to choose a 2 in 1 laptop with an operating system you're familiar with, as this won't only make it easier to navigate but also means you'll be able to use certain software.

For example, Windows laptops are compatible with a huge range of software and are generally very easy to navigate. However, you may find the regular update a little annoying, and there can be compatibility issues with your other non-Windows devices.

MacOS provides a seamless ecosystem integration with other Apple devices but lacks the ability to support software you may be more familiar with, such as Word, Excel, or PowerPoint.

You can also choose Chrome OS, and this is a good option if you're planning on spending more time web browsing than anything else or if you work exclusively with Google Drive. It's also very easy to navigate and offers certain security features that Windows and Apple do not.

Camera Quality

The quality of the laptop's camera is also an important thing to think about, especially if you're planning to use it for video calls or creating online content. Look for a camera with the highest number of megapixels within your budget, as this will ensure you get clear, crisp video.

Some 2 in 1 laptops also have excellent additional camera features, like autofocus and low-light enhancement, which improve camera performance even further. Again, this is essential for those looking to use their laptop's camera regularly.

How Much Do You Want to Spend on a 2 in 1 Laptop?

Using a 2 in 1 laptop

By now, it's pretty clear that the 2 in 1 laptop you should choose will be determined by what you're planning to use it for. The same goes for your budget, and you'll need to find a fine balance between what your laptop can do and what you can afford.

Below, you'll find a list of recommendations for different uses, each of which has different budget considerations.

Best 2 in 1 Laptops for Students

These laptops offer features that are ideal for student use and are also lightweight and durable enough to withstand being taken between classes throughout an entire day.

  • Acer Spin 5: Featuring a responsive touchscreen and long battery life, the Acer Spin 5 offers an easy-to-use interface and can last long enough to get through the school day.

  • Dell Inspiron 14: With features specifically designed for note-taking, research, and multimedia consumption, the Dell Inspiron 14 is another excellent choice for students. It's also super compact, making it easy to carry around all day.

  • Lenovo IdeaPad Flex: Super lightweight and compact, the Lenovo IdeaPad Flex is perfect for students. It also has stylus support for easy note-taking and creative drawing and a super responsive touchscreen display.

Best 2 in 1 Laptops for Professionals

Each of these laptops boasts features that are perfect for working, whether you need to host regular video calls or need the ability to work as creatively as possible.

  • Lenovo Yoga 9i Gen: Featuring an Intel Core processor and a premium build quality, the Lenovo Yoga 9i Gen offers excellent performance and durability. It also has features tailored for productivity, including a comfortable keyboard, precise trackpad, and stylus support.

  • Microsoft Surface Pro 9: With features including a detachable tablet, Surface Pen support, and Windows 11 compatibility, the Microsoft Surface Pro 9 offers seamless productivity and creativity, all in a sleek, portable package.

  • HP Spectre x360: The HP Spectre x360 has a high-resolution touchscreen display, robust processors, and dedicated productivity features that offer a powerful performance for work, creativity, and more.

Best 2 in 1 Laptops for Casual Users

Not fussed about work or study needs? These laptops are perfect for casual use, such as web browsing, streaming, and light gaming.

  • Acer Chromebook Spin 714: This 2 in 1 laptop offers you access to a huge array of Android apps, along with a responsive touchscreen display and long battery life, making it perfect for casual use.

  • Asus Zenbook 14 Flip OLED: One of the standout features offered by the Asus Zenbook 14 Flip OLED is its namesake OLED display, which provides the incredible colour reproduction accuracy essential for watching videos and playing games. It also has a long battery life and a sleek convertible design, making it ideal for travel use.

  • Microsoft Surface Laptop Studio 2: Another 2 in 1 laptop with a high-resolution touchscreen display, the Microsoft Surface Laptop Studio 2 offers powerful performance for everyday tasks, entertainment, and creativity.

General 2 in 1 Laptop FAQ's

Are all 2 in 1 laptops touch screen?

Not all 2 in 1 laptops have a touch screen but many have this function as a key feature, as it offers better performance and user-friendliness when switching between laptop and tablet modes.

Which 2 in 1 laptop brand is best?

There isn't a single "best" brand for 2 in 1 laptops, and the option you go for will ultimately be determined by your needs. However, some popular brands and models include Microsoft, Dell XPS, HP Spectre, Lenovo Yoga, and Asus ZenBook Flip.

What is the best 2 in 1 laptop?

Again, this depends on what you want to use your 2 in 1 laptop for. We've outlined some of the best 2 in 1 laptops for students, professionals, and casual use above to give you a better idea of your options.

Are 2 in 1 laptops Worth it?

2 in 1 laptops are definitely worth buying if you're looking for a device that offers versatility, flexibility, and the option of switching between a traditional laptop set up and a tablet.

How much is a 2 in 1 laptop?

The prices of 2 in 1 laptops can vary quite significantly, depending on the brand, specifications, and features. For example, an entry-level model with less powerful performance will be much cheaper than a high-end model.

Do 2 in 1 laptops break easily?

While most 2 in 1 laptops are designed to be as durable as possible, they can still be prone to breakage due to their convertible design and moving parts. As such, you should ensure you always handle them with care as this will minimise the risk of damage.

Can you connect a 2 in 1 laptop to a monitor?

Yes! Many 2 in 1 laptops support connecting to a monitor through various methods, such as USB-C and HDMI ports. Some also support screen casting, meaning you can display your screen on a monitor without the need for any cables.

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