Best 2-in-1 laptops
Updated: The HP Spectre x360 15 has joined the ranks of our best 2-in-1 hybrid laptops
2-in-1s laptops, or hybrids, are devices that are able to serve as both a laptop and a tablet, either in a detachable design that sees the touchscreen doubling as a tablet, or a convertible approach in which the notebook’s hinge rotates 360 degrees for a similar effect.
Hybrid laptops are generally priced in a range between $700 (about £450, AU$800) and $2,000 (around £1,169, AU$2,131). However, some manufacturers, like Acer, make budget hybrids, and there are even 2-in-1s designed specifically for the business user, like the Dell Venue 7000 series.
Now that Microsoft has released Windows 10, expect an even greater selection of these devices to pop up, like the incredible Microsoft Surface Book, and the stellar Microsoft Surface Pro 4, the Dell XPS 12 and the first 4K resolution 2-in-1 the Toshiba Satellite Radius 12.
With that, here are the best 2-in-1 laptops that we’ve reviewed:
1. Lenovo Yoga 900
A thoughtfully refined 2-in-1 convertible
CPU: 2.5GHz Intel Core i7-6500U | Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 520 | RAM: 16GB | Screen: 13.3-inch QHD+ 3,200 x 1,800 IPS display | Storage: 512GB SSD
Gorgeous display Slim design Shallow keyboard Display drivers issues
Whereas the Lenovo Yoga Pro 3 had a winning design and underwhelming performance, the Yoga 900 is the full package. By integrating more powerful Intel Core I processors and a larger battery, Lenovo’s latest flagship convertible can stand toe-to-toe with most Ultrabooks and even Microsoft’s latest Surface Book. All this extra power has only made the Yoga 900 slightly thicker and heavier, however, it still largely retains a very thin and flexible frame that folds back into tablet mode.
2. Microsoft Surface Book
The ultimate Windows 10 hybrid laptop
CPU: 2.4GHz Intel Core i5-6300U | Graphics: Intel HD graphics 520; Nvidia GeForce graphics | RAM: 8GB | Screen: 13.5-inch, 3,000 x 2,000 PixelSense Display | Storage: 256GB PCIe3.0 SSD
Futuristic design Seamless tablet separation Battery life falls well below promises Major updates are still in tow
Microsoft knocked it out of the park with its first ever laptop, the Surface Book. Though it has a peculiar 3:2 aspect ratio and 13.5-inch screen that’s outside of the norm for most Ultrabooks, it’s one of the best designed convertible laptops ever created. As a standalone tablet, otherwise known as the Clipboard, it’s the most powerful and thinnest Windows 10 computers in the world, then docking it into the keyboard base affords it even more performance by way of its discrete GPU.
3. HP Spectre x360
CPU: 2.2GHz Intel Core i5-5200 (dual-core, 3MB cache, up to 2.7GHz with Turbo Boost) | Graphics:Intel HD Graphics 5500 | RAM: 8GB DDR3 (1600Mhz) | Screen: 13.3-inch, 1,920 x 1,080 FHD Radiance LED-backlit touchscreen | Storage: 256GB SSD | Connectivity: 802.11ac (2×2) and Bluetooth 4.0 combo | Camera: HP TrueVision Full HD WVA Webcam (front-facing) | Weight: 3.26 pounds | Dimensions: 12.79 x 8.6 x 0.63 inches (W x D x H)
Superbly thinVibrant, bright displayExcellent performance and battery lifeToo heavy to use as a tabletWeird, wide trackpad
Buy the HP Spectre x360. It easily comes as one of my most recommended machines, with an excellent 1080p screen, solid performance, good battery life, and sturdy build quality; all for an excellent deal at $999 (£899, AU$1,899).
If it weren’t for a few missteps with the trackpad and being too hefty for tablet use, this laptop would have easily stood amongst the most highly rated laptops TechRadar has ever reviewed. Despite its flaws, though, the Spectre x360 is one of the best-looking and powerful devices HP has ever produced and well worth a look over many, many other 2-in-1 laptops.
4. Toshiba Satellite Radius 12
A stylish 4K convertible Ultrabook
CPU: 2.5GHz Intel Core i7-6500U | Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 520 | RAM: 8GB | Screen: 12.5-inch, 4K Ultra HD (3,840 x 2,160) TruBrite LED backlit touchscreen | Storage: 256GB SSD | Connectivity: Intel Dual-Band Wireless-AC 7265; Bluetooth 4.0 | Camera: HD webcam | Weight: 2.9 pounds | Dimensions: 11.8 x 8.2 x 0.61 inches
Smart design and ergonomics Incredibly colorful screen Strange keyboard layout Dismal battery life
Boasting one of the best looking 4K screens on the market, the Toshiba Radius 12 is a spectacular machine both inside and out. This sharp 2-in-1 laptop was designed to be held as a tablet just as much as it was meant to be used on your lap. Thanks to its lightweight and ergonomically designed chassis, this is one transformable notebook you’ll actually want to hold in your hand.
5. HP Pavilion x2
The most affordable Windows 10 convertible
CPU: 1.33GHz Intel Atom Z3736F | Graphics: Intel HD graphics | RAM: 2GB| Screen: 10.1-inch, 1,280 x 800 WXGA WLED IPS touchscreen display | Storage: 32GB eMMC | Connectivity: 802.11b WLAN and Bluetooth | Camera: HP TrueVision HD webcam | Weight: 2.61 pounds | Dimensions: 0.39 x 6.81 x 0.78 inches
Long battery life Absurdly affordable 32-bit Windows 10 Limited storage and memory
Getting into the world of Windows 10 convertible’s isn’t cheap unless we’re talking about the Pavilion x2. This 10-inch hybrid comes packing a surprising amount of goods considering its small size. It comes packed with a HD screen and more than enough power to get you through a simple day of web browsing and even image editing. When you’re ready kick back with some streaming media, you can pop off the 10-inch works as a great little tablet. And if you’re looking for something with a bit more screen real estate there’s the 12-inch HP Pavilion x2.
6. Dell Inspiron 13 7000
An attractive, versatile package
CPU: 2.4GHz Intel Core i7-5500 (dual-core, 4MB cache, up to 2.9GHz with Turbo Boost) | Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 5500 | RAM: 8GB DDR3L (1,600MHz) | Screen: 13.3-inch, 1,920 x 1,080 FHD IPS touchscreen | Storage: 256GB SSD | Connectivity: 802.11ac (2×2) and Bluetooth 4.0 | Camera: 720p front-facing webcam; built-in dual digital microphones | Weight: 3.68 pounds (1.67kg) | Dimensions: 12.99 x 8.74 x 0.75 inches (W x D x H; 330 x 222 x 19mm)
Attractive design Sturdy construction Lackluster battery life A little hefty
This notebook features excellent build quality and overall system performance. It’s fast, it’s slick, and it is ideal for students who need to bang out papers and general users who want a fast, compact notebook to tote around.
7. Toshiba Satellite Radius 15
A sharp 4K laptop
CPU: 2.4GHz Intel Core i7-5500U (dual-core, 4MB cache up to 3GHz with Turbo Boost) | Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 5500 | RAM: 12GB DDR3L (1600MHz) | Screen: 15.6-inch, 4K Ultra HD (3,840 x 2,160) TruBrite, LED backlit, IPS touchscreen | Storage: 512GB mSATA SSD | Connectivity: Intel Dual-Band Wireless-AC 7265, Bluetooth 4.0 | Camera: 720p HD webcam | Weight: 4.96 pounds | Dimensions: 14.9 x 9.6 x 0.79 inches (W x D x H)
4K screen 12GB of RAM Heavy Short battery life
Thanks to the combination of a great price and stacked hardware, the Radius 15 is one of the few successful UHD laptops. It joins a small pantheon of 4K laptops, with the Asus ZenBook Pro UX501 being its closest exemplar. In some ways, the Radius 15 is a better overall system with a more vibrant screen, a sharper design that’s also thinner and smaller to boot.
The Dell Inspiron 15 7000 is still one of the 15-inch best laptops we’ve ever reviewed and an incredible deal if you’re on a budget. But if you’re ready to make the resolution jump into 4K, you can’t go wrong with the Toshiba Satellite Radius 15.
8. Asus Transformer Book T300 Chi
Asus’ thin and gorgeous 2-in-1 laptop
CPU: 1.2GHz Intel Core M 5Y71 | Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 5300 | RAM: 8GB | Screen: 12.5-inch, 2,560 x 1,440 (WQHD) capacitive multi-touch IPS display | Storage: 128GB SSD | Connectivity: Intel Dual Band Wireless-N 7265 + Bluetooth 4.0 LE | Camera: 2MP 720p webcam | Weight: 3.14 pounds | Dimensions: 12.5 x 7.5 x 0.65 inches
Flexible and versatile Thin and light design Micro-sized ports Unimpressive battery life
If you’re looking for a 2-in-1 machine that’s much more portable, there aren’t many devices that beat the Asus Transformer Book T300 Chi. This 12.5-inch convertible is among one of the thinnest in its class and taking the screen off the keyboard base turns the T300 Chi into a true Windows tablet. Though this device is powered by a low-wattage processor, it packs enough punch to drive a 4K display and get you through all your daily tasks. Sadly battery life is a little on the short side, but otherwise this is an excellent and affordable hybrid.
9. HP Spectre x360 15
This 15-inch hybird is more portable than you think
CPU: 2.3GHz Intel Core i5-6200U | Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 520 | RAM: 8GB | Screen: 15.6-inch, 1,920 x 1,080 Full HD, WLED-backlit, IPS touchscreen | Storage: 256GB Flash SSD | Connectivity: Intel 802.11ac WLAN and Bluetooth | Camera: HP TrueVision Full HD webcam with dual digital microphones | Weight: 4.02 pounds | Dimensions: 14.8 x 9.75 x 0.63 inches
Contrast-rich screen Long battery life for its size Poor ergonomics Weak speakers for their size
The Spectre x360 15 is an excellent 2-in-1 laptop that stands out with its thin, all-metal body. It features an excellent 15-inch IPS touch panel and it only gets better if you add on the affordable 4K screen. The biggest characteristics that will help you get through a day is the Spectre x360 15’s lightweight body and long battery life.
10. Lenovo ThinkPad Yoga 12
A versatile hybrid ideal for those who work as hard as they play
CPU: 2.3GHz Intel Core i5-5300U | Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 5500 | RAM: 8GB | Screen: 12.5″ FHD (1,920×1,080) anti-glare multi-touch display | Storage: 128GB SSD | Connectivity: Intel Dual-Band Wireless AC 7265 + Bluetooth 4.0 | Camera: HD webcam | Weight: 3.48 pounds | Dimensions: 12..44 x 8.70 x 0.74 inches
Solid performance Versatile design Slightly heavy No ethernet port
The Yoga 12 is a versatile bulldog of a device. You can use it as your work laptop and then you can flip it back into a tablet for play. It won’t be the best pick for either of these tasks, but it still a solid solution anyway you spin it. At 3.4 pounds and 0.74 inches thick, it’s just light and slim enough to be portable. With more than seven hours of video playback, battery life is long enough to get through a workday, and it’s affordable price is just one of its most attractive aspects.
Juan Martinez and Joe Osborne has also contributed to this article