Windows Ink And Digital Pen
Even though some laptops and convertibles have touch screens and support Windows Ink through use of a digital pen, there’s no better experience than that on a 2-in-1.
When you’re using a pen, you don’t need the keyboard to be around at all. Handwriting, drawing, marking up documents, it’s all an incredibly natural experience and there’s no need for a bulky keyboard, even if you can fold it right around.
The Surface Pro is the gold standard, but it’s not the only one. The pen is back, and 2-in-1s are where it’s at its best.
Surface Laptop Studio Review: Ports
Ports are scarce despite how thick this machine is.
At least Microsoft isn’t scared to use Thunderbolt anymore, equipping the left side of the Surface Laptop Studio with two Thunderbolt 4 ports. These can be used for rapidly charging accessories or connecting to multiple 4K monitors.
On the right edge of the Studio is a headphone jack along with a Surface Connect port for charging the notebook.
Best Overall: Dell Xps 13
The Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 is a wonderful machine that knows how to do both tablet and laptop computing very well. Its 360-degree hinge makes it super easy to flip around and use as a tablet, or flipped back into a laptop for when you need to get some real work done. It’s rocking a 13.4-inch 1080p or 4K display with 11th Gen Intel Core i3, i5, or i7 processor options.
For the best Windows 10 convertible, check out the Dell XPS 13 2-in-1.
For RAM, you can get it configured with 8GB or 16GB of RAM if you need the extra memory for multitasking and intensive tasks. In regard to storage, the XPS 13 2-in-1 is available with a 256GB or 512GB PCIe NVMe SSD drive. These will offer great read and write speeds.
The display is Dolby Vision and HDR 4000 certified, with a 90% DCI P3 color gamut, and even has support for Dell’s Premium Active Pen, making it an excellent choice for artists looking to draw on the go. The display is available in both 1080p and 4K resolutions, with touch being standard on all models. We absolutely love this thing.
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Dell Inspiron 14 5406 2 In 1 Convertible Laptop
The Inspiron 14 5406 is 14 inches laptop with a full touchscreen and an optical drive, so it can be converted from a laptop to a tablet. It has an Intel Core i3 processor, 4GB of RAM, and a 500GB hard drive. It also has a roomy 14-inch screen with 1366 x 768 pixels and an ample 2.3 megapixels rear camera. The laptop runs Windows 8.1 and it has a USB 3.0 port for fast data transfers and a USB 2.0 port, and an SD card slot for other accessories.
Dells Inspiron 14 5406 2-in-1 laptop is a great choice for anyone that wants a laptop that is both a laptop and a tablet in one. The image on the right shows what the computer looks like with the screen closed: the keyboard is protected, and the touch screen sits flush with the rest of the computer. This is a big plus for anyone that travels regularly, as the tablet wont get damaged if the computer gets jostled around in your luggage. The big, 14 touch screen is bright and responsive, and the computer has a fairly long battery life, so you can enjoy it wherever you go.
Dell Inspiron 14 5406 vs HP Pavilion x360
Dell Inspiron 14 5406 vs HP Envy x360
Best Windows On Arm 2
OS Windows 10 | CPU Qualcomm Snapdragon 8cx Gen 2 5G Compute Platform | GPU Qualcomm Adreno GPU | RAM up to 16GB | Storage up to 512GB | Screen 13.5in. 1920 x 1280 Edge-to-Edge Glass, 10-point multi-touch | Wireless Bluetooth LE 5.0, 802.11ax , 4G LTE and 5G mobile broadband | Ports and slots 2x USB-C 3.2, Nano SIM | Camera HD IR + hybrid Y2.2mm HD webcam | Audio 2x front-facing mics, 4x stereo speakers, 3.5mm headphone/mic combo jack | Battery up to 24.5h of local video playback | Dimensions 299mm x 230mm x 15.9mm | Weight 1.3kg | Price from $1,419
HP’s Elite Folio is a 13.5-inch 2-in-1 whose touch screen folds forward by stages — first to cover the keyboard leaving the touchpad accessible, then to lie flat on the keyboard, enabling tablet-mode operation.
It’s based on Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 8cx Gen2 platform, which includes both 4G LTE and 5G modems, along with Wi-Fi 6 . The message is that this ultraportable 2-in-1 is ‘always on, always connected’, with claimed battery life of up to 24.5 hours of ‘local video playback’. With optional Sure View privacy for the touch screen, an Elite Slim Active Pen , a well-specified audio-video subsystem and fanless operation, this will be a sought-after laptop for the well-heeled mobile professional.
Read review: HP Elite Folio review
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Surface Laptop Studio Review: Performance
With an Intel Core i7-11370H CPU and 32GB of RAM, our generously equipped Surface Laptop Studio had no problems running a demanding workload. Thirty Google Chrome tabs and a dozen Edge windows loaded instantly and I didn’t detect even a hint of lag when I streamed videos and played music in the background. I even edited the photos for this review in Affinity Photos and only ran into some slight hesitation while uploading a large batch of full-res images from my Nikon Z6.
I do need to point out some fine print. Yes, this is a Core i7, and yes, it belongs in Intel’s high-performance H-series, but the Core i7-11370H in the Laptop Studio is not as powerful as the chips found within most laptops in this class. Those processors, like the Core i7-11800H, pack eight cores and 16 threads whereas this one has only four cores and eight threads. So if you need the absolute fastest speeds, you won’t find them here.
With that said, the Surface Laptop Studio did a decent job on the Geekbench 5 overall performance test, posting a 5,820 multi-core score. That puts it ahead of the Spectre x360 14 and the category average , but far behind the XPS 15 and the ThinkPad X1 Extreme . The M1 MacBook is ahead of the Surface but behind the other two.
Microsoft Surface Book 3
Why should you buy this: Its the most powerful 2-in-1.
Whos it for: Business and creative professionals with money to spend on the best.
Why we picked the Surface Book 3:
The Surface Book 3 is a welcome improvement from the Book 2 and an excellent option for those who want more powerful specs in a 2-in-1 PC. It comes with a 10th-gen Intel Core processor , up to 32GB of RAM, and up to a 1660 Ti Geforce GPU. For storage, you have several options between 256GB and 1TB on a single SSD.
Theres also an option between a smaller 13.5-inch touchscreen and a larger 15-inch version. Not all the top-line specs are available on the 13.5-inch model, but its a nice way to go if you want this laptop to be more portable or if youre looking for something that can act as a desktop replacement. Battery life is also impressive, with up to 17.5 hours on the larger Book 3 model.
The primary downside to all this power is the price. Youll have to pay to equip the Book 3 with top-tier features, which can easily make it the most expensive choice on our list.
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Samsung Galaxy Book Pro 360 Review: Games
- No discrete GPU means middling performance at best in most 3D games
- But you can still play Fortnite, as well as plenty of less demanding PC games
Without a discrete GPU the Samsung Galaxy Book Pro 360 will have a hard time running the most demanding games, but you can still have some fun with it. I was able to play a less demanding 3D game like Fortnite at 15-30 frames per second on high graphics settings, or 30-60 if I dialed the graphics down to low.
Less demanding games like Civilization 6, Crusader Kings 3, and Into the Breach also all run quite well on the laptop. We put it to the test running the 1080p graphics benchmark test for Civilization 6: Gathering Storm, and the Galaxy Book Pro 360 was able to deliver 26.9 frames per second, which is better than the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Nano but not quite as good as the M1-equipped MacBook Pro .
Microsoft Surface Go 3
Why should you buy this: Its the best small 2-in-1.
Whos it for: Anyone who wants a tablet that can plug in a keyboard in a pinch and doesnt want to spend a ton of cash.
Why we picked the Microsoft Surface Go 3:
Affordable and slim, the Surface Go 3 gives you a classic tablet experience with Windows 11. Its also a notable upgrade to the first Surface Go, which was a very portable tablet but not that great on heavy workloads.
The newer model picks up the Surface Go 2s design and slims down the bezels while increasing the screen size to 10.5 inches. It also significantly improves performance using new processor options. Our pick uses an Intel Pentium 6500Y or Core i3 chip complemented by 8GB of RAM. The fast 128GB SSD makes it easier to handle work tasks.
The Surface Go 3 has ports for USB-C, a hidden microSD card slot to expand storage, and a headphone jack. The battery is rated for 10 hours, an improvement on the first Gos battery life, but still doesnt impress compared to other picks on our list.
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Hp Elite Dragonfly G2
One of the best laptops weve tested
Reasons to avoid
HPs impressive business laptop is back with its smart design, great battery life, and 2-in-1 prowess. The HP Elite Dragonfly was among the best HP laptops, and its successor is following in its footsteps. Of course, being a follow-up, its more powerful now than its predecessor. Now, the line is touting 11th-gen Intel Core chips, Intel Iris Xe graphics, and now a 4K display, upgrading from its previous Full HD models.
Of course, theres a whole lot more to love here. It might just be as close to being the perfect business laptop as any manufacturer can get, but its also stylish enough to appeal to the more casual users. That is, if they can afford it as this laptop is as expensive as its always been. However, as it is meant for professionals, its definitely worth the investment. Plus, that 2-in-1 form factor, touchscreen functionality and included stylus makes it a better value than its rivals.
Read the full review: HP Elite Dragonfly G2
Reasons to avoid
Reasons to avoid
Dont get us wrong you wont 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
Laptop Specs: 1080p / Core I5 / 8gb Are Best Bets
You can spend a lot of time delving into specs, but here are the key components to think about. If you just want really good mainstream performance, go for a Core i5 CPU, 8GB of RAM, a 256GB SSD and a 1080p screen.
- Screen Resolution: Unfortunately, 66 percent of consumer laptops and 51 percent of business systems have low-res screens. If at all possible, get a display with a 1920 x 1080 or higher resolution.
- CPU: An Intel Core i5 provides good mainstream performance. Some budget systems will come with Core i3, Celeron or Pentium CPUs, which are good for basic tasks, but not heavy multitasking. Get a Core i7 or a quad core processor for gaming or high-end productivity tasks such as video editing and 3D modeling.
- RAM: 8GB is ideal for most users. 4GB is acceptable for budget systems. Secondary laptops and Chromebooks may have less.
- Storage: Unless you’re a gamer or a power user, 256GB of internal storage is probably enough. If at all possible, get an SSD rather than a hard drive, because it’s going to make your computer a lot faster.
- Graphics Chip: Gamers and creative professionals need to do some research and figure out which discrete GPU is good enough to run their favorite software. Everyone else will be happy with the built-in Intel HD Graphics that come with the CPU.
If you want to learn more about buying a laptop, check out our full laptop buying guide. Gamers should read our gaming laptop buying guide and list of best gaming laptops.
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Laptop Vendors: Should You Stick To The ‘usual Suspects’ Or Seek Out Lesser
Generally speaking, the leading PC vendors have the broadest range of offerings and the best-documented track records in terms of product development and customer relations.
So in the absence of a specialised use case or budgetary constraint, you’re usually going to be looking at the likes of Lenovo, HP, Dell, Apple, Acer and Asus — which currently lead the PC market in terms of shipments — plus a handful of other well-known brands, including Microsoft.
What Specs Should I Look For
Much of what you need to look for in a convertible laptop/tablet is the same as for a regular laptop and tablet.
You’ll want to get the best specifications for your money including the latest processor, amount of memory and storage plus a good-quality screen. Make sure you read our reviews to find out more about each device, including benchmark results.
The design, though, is going to be a big part of your buying decision and you need to choose a device which fits your needs best. A laptop-first design is likely to be bigger and heavier but is likely to offer longer battery life .
This type should also provide a better typing experience and there’s normally more physical ports, including USBs and video outputs.
Although a convertible tablet might not have many physical ports , they are smaller and lighter than a hybrid laptop making them great for travelling. The trade-off is that using it as a laptop is often fiddly and awkward. Look for one with a clever design and proper keys. A trackpad is also a boon, despite touchscreens, but not all feature one.
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Lenovo Thinkbook 14s Yoga
Lenovos 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 isnt perfect, theres a lot to love here, starting with its great price-to-performance ratio. Youll appreciate the specs behind that power that 11th-gen Intel Core chip and Intel Iris Xe graphics inside will ensure that itll 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 youre clocking in a full work or school day. Still, for the price youre paying, this is among the best 2-in-1 laptops out there.
Read the full review: Lenovo Thinkpad 14S Yoga
Lenovo Ideapad Duet Chromebook
Is it a Chromebook or is it a tablet? Well, luckily, you wont 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 youre 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 youll still pass out before it runs out of juice. For this price, sacrifices have to be made, naturally the keyboard is tiny, the trackpad isnt 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
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Lenovo Thinkpad X12 Detachable
Business laptops are a dime a dozen, but once in a while, you get one thats just a little more special than the others. As far as such portables go, the Lenovo ThinkPad X12 Detachable is a more versatile option. It boasts a detachable, portfolio-style keyboard that allows its users to seamlessly go from full traditional laptop to that more convenient tablet mode in seconds, minus the bulk. Dont worry, though. As it is still a business laptop, it still boasts a host of excellent business-centric features, like robust security features that matter a lot to business customers and surprisingly long battery life of around 10 hours per full charge .
Of course, theres plenty of power behind all that as well, with 11th-gen Intel Core chips and Intels integrated graphics. Although if youre looking for a business laptop with more robust graphics, you should consider other options as theres no way to configure it with discrete graphics.
Read the full review: Lenovo ThinkPad X12 Detachable