With many laptops now sporting touch screens and 2-in-1 designs being more popular than ever, the question of whether to buy a laptop or a tablet has never been more relevant. After all, you can choose a hybrid device that gives you the best of both worlds: a tablet for media consumption and a laptop for typing emails, browsing the web, and working on documents. In fact, many of the convertible notebooks available today have longer battery life than most tablets. But what should you look for when shopping for a 2-in-1 laptop?
I would like to highlight some factors you can consider in order to narrow down your research for the best 2 in 1 convertible laptops for your needs. But first, let’s have a look at the most popular options on the market.
Our recommended 2 in 1 convertible laptops:
Last update on 2021-02-24 at 18:58 / Affiliate Links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
Things to consider when looking for the best 2 in 1 convertible laptops for you:
For years, 2 in 1 convertible laptops were a niche product that was only a dream for consumers. Now very few laptops are not 2 in 1s. They offer versatility that consumers find very useful. The display can be flipped around backward so you can use the screen as a tablet. This way, the keyboard can be hidden away so that you can use the touch screen as your only input device. Most of these devices can be used as a laptop or a tablet, depending on your needs. They’re a great choice for students who don’t want to invest in a new computer too much.
Several manufacturers have joined the game, and the market is full of 2-in-1 laptops for every budget. They sound attractive, but can they replace your laptop and tablet? The short answer is no if you need a powerful computer. But if you are looking for something portable and compact, they are your best bet.
The processor your devices are equipped with is essential in order to complete your daily tasks efficiently. You can consider it as the brain of your device, so it is vital that it can handle applications you need to run for your daily routine without worries.
Games and applications like Photoshop for photo editing or Premiere for editing videos are far more CPU heavy than browsing on the web, checking your emails, or writing a document. For more challenging your apps, the better CPU you have to get, and unfortunately, this comes at a price. Not only they cost more, but they are power-hungry, lowering your battery life. You will see that there are two companies making CPUs, Intel, which are referred to as i3, i5, or i7, and AMD, which are referred to as Ryzen.
When it comes to processor options, as you might have guessed, i3 are cheaper, less power-hungry but also less powerful than the i7 processor. While Intel used to be the leader when it comes to gaming performance, Ryzen has gained a lot of traction last years, especially for multithreaded applications. It’s up to you to decide, but I would encourage you to invest in an i5 or i7 if you are planning to use it for editing photos or videos. Opt for an i3 if you want absolutely the best battery life for performance you can get. I ended up going with the latest AMD Ryzen as I got a great deal during Black Friday, so keep your eyes open.
The memory size is a vital part of your computer, as it is a temporary memory to use as long as you work on your tasks. The more the memory, the more tasks you can handle at the same time essentially. There are applications that use a lot of memory, Adobe After Effects come to mind, while for example while gaming you won’t experience any difference if you go above 16GB. For browsing and office work 4GB can be enough but I would suggest going for at least 8GB. The more tabs you open, the more memory you need while browsing, so if you like to multitask, 8GB is your safe bet.
The main problem when it comes to cheap 2 in 1 laptop is that their memory can not be expanded. It would be nice if you get a model that has upgradable memory, as you can upgrade it with such a minimal cost if needed. The cheapest models don’t offer this option as their memory is fixed, so you will be able to go for up to 8GB at most.
For most users, it won’t make a difference, but for heavy users, it is advisable to go straight to a model with 16GB or find an upgradable one. The bad news is that in most cases manufacturers avoid disclosing if their memory chips are soldered in place, thus not upgradable, so you need to dig deeper in tech forums to find the answer for every model you look for.
The capacity of the Hard Disk determines how much data you can store, for example documents, videos, images and presentations. The applications and games you will install also takes up space, along with the operating system. So make sure you get enough storage space for your needs. If you plan to edit videos or photos, you will need the biggest hard disks you can afford. On the other hand, presentations and documents take up way less valuable space.
Another aspect you need to consider is the speed of the hard disk as it plays a vital role how fast you access your files. For games, a fast HDD will help you get faster loading times, while for editing videos the fastest hard disks are a must. Look for models that have an SDD hard disk with enough storage space for your needs. A model with 1TB SSD is a safe bet for most people, while you can opt for a little less if you need to save money.
In most cases, you can replace the HDD in the future, if you need more space, but this is not always the case, so double-check. The recent advancement in technology has lead to cheap storage space in the form of M.2 hard disks, so if you are in need of fast storage space, this is a great choice as it is quite durable too, compared to mechanical drives. You can also use a card reader, built-in many 2-in-1 to expand your capacity if needed.
This was the main concern for me as my previous laptop lasted up to 60 minutes on a single charge. I had a hard time with it, as I spent wait more time with it connected to an outlet that out in the wild. I wanted to change this with my new 2 in 1 laptop, so I make sure I got one that could last for 4-5 hours on a single charge. I advise you to double-check with the manufacturer manuals regarding the expected battery life of the models you are looking after. Look for models that can provide at least 4 hours as this will allow you to complete many of your daily tasks before you reach for an outlet.
There are ways to extend your battery life, adjusting your screen’s brightness, disabling unwanted devices, and throttling your CPU. I would advise you to buy an i3 CPU if you are concerned about battery life and don’t look for a spectacular performance. The i5 CPU is the most balanced option as you can imagine, while the Intel Core i7 will get you the most performance for each charge but don’t expect uptime. If you are not sure which one to go for, the i5 is probably your best bet until you understand your needs better. I got an i5 2 in1 laptop for a friend and didn’t regret it for completing daily tasks, like watching movies, writing, and browsing.
Keyboard – Touchpad
My previous laptop didn’t have a backlit keyboard and I found it a nightmare to work at night. A backlit keyboard will allow you to type in the dark and reduce your frustration. I wanted to be comfortable to work any time of day and night, so when I got my 2 in1 I made sure to pick one with a backlit keyboard. I wouldn’t look back, but it’s not a deal-breaker for most users.
Audio/Video In & Out
Many of these clamshell notebooks will allow you to connect to external monitors or TVs. If you are anything like me, you need to get one that will allow you to connect at least one HDMI output. I wanted to be able to connect the laptop with my projector for presentations and playing movies in my home cinema, so the HDMI output was vital. In the same way, I can connect to a TV if I need to play some video games or watch a tv show at home. My old laptop had VGA output, an older connection will way less resolution, so I made sure my new one had HDMI and I advise you to do the same.
In most cases, you will be able to connect headphones and microphones to the onboard sound card. If you need to connect your wireless headphones or microphone via Bluetooth, you need to make sure that you get a Bluetooth-enabled device. While most devices will allow you to connect Bluetooth devices, it is vital to pick a model that has the latest Bluetooth Technology as older versions may result in incompatibility or lag.
A wireless adapter is vital nowadays as most users will want to connect wirelessly to the internet. Most models will offer WIFI connectivity, but you need to make sure you pick one that is compatible with your router. This will allow for fast browsing speeds and great coverage. I have seen 2 in 1 model that didn’t feature an Ethernet port, in which cases you can only connect wirelessly, so make sure you can achieve the best speed possible for a worry-free experience.
Screen Size and Resolution
You will find out that there are plenty of screen sizes to choose from, so make sure you have a closer look while researching. The smaller ones, 13 and 14 inches are ideal for students, or artists on the go. If you value portability, this is your best bet as they are very easy to carry around. The larger-sized 17 or 15 2-in-1 alternatives are ideal for business-oriented tasks, where the larger real estate can help you be more productive. This of course comes at the expense of limited mobility and extra weight.
It’s up to you to decide, but I must tell you that the 14 inches offer enough real estate for most applications without compromises. The screens also come at different resolutions to choose from, reaching up to 4K which can be overkill for common viewing distance. No matter which display options you opt for, you can expect crisp clear images from most models on the market. Keep in mind that the technology behind the screens affects their viewing angle, how well you can see the display from its sides without alterations. If you the desk color representation, you should look for IPS panels, which usually come at a higher cost.
What is the point of a 2 in 1 laptop?
In order to meet the needs of almost anyone trying to use a portable device with both a keyboard and a touchscreen, these 2 in 1 solution are the ideal choice. While many have opted to get a keyboard for their tablet, the convenient design of a 2in1 laptop is hard to beat. You flip the screen thanks to their hinge mechanisms, and you are ready, no connectivity issues, no worries. Another great reason to opt for a 2in1 laptop is to use a stylus with the screen for your workflow. There are many applications where a stylus can be convenient, especially for artists and retouchers. Plus you can keep handwritten notes if you like. The good news is that there plenty of different models to choose from. Bad news: Not all 2-in-1 laptops are created equal.
Does having a touchscreen on your laptop worth it?
The main problem with touchscreens was the lack of a stylus, but nowadays you get one and can buy replacements. Using your finger on a computer screen might not be familiar, but you’ll get used to it rapidly. Once you get a laptop with a touchscreen, there is no turning back. I vouch for them, give them a try as a nearby shop and see for yourself. Working with your finger or a stylus is a different experience, and in some applications, they feel more intuitive and easier to use. After all, these 2 in1 solutions don’t cost a lot more compared to traditional business laptops.
What is the cheapest 2-in-1 Laptop?
The market of 2 in 1 laptop exploded onto the scene once the Microsoft Surface was introduced. We got models ranging in price from $200 to $2000, with plenty of worthy candidates in between. There are many budget-friendly options on the market, from reputable companies like HP, Acer, Dell, and Lenovo, so I would advise you to look at these ones first.
You can a 2 in 1 laptop for under $300 but I would advise you to look for one that offers the various features you need for your tasks. The lower-priced options have shortcomings but if you don’t require high-end features you can get reasonably priced options from the above-mentioned companies. Long story short, don’t go for the cheapest model you can find, go for the one that has the features you need.
Before you invest your hard earned money, take into consideration the following: Does it have enough RAM for your needs? How about its processor? Is it fast enough for your daily tasks? Would you go for one with less power in order to extend your battery life? These 2in1 laptops are perfect for busy people who are always on the move, but everyone has different needs.
Is it worth buying a second-hand 2in1 laptop?
Buying a second hand laptop can help you save some money, but keep in mind that there might be drawbacks too. The first thing to consider is that you most likely get an electric device that comes with no warranty. This can be a nightmare when it comes to laptop, plus you don’t have customer service support to turn to. Moreover, if the laptop had more than one owner you don’t actually know what you are getting into. If you need to save some cash, it might be worth considering but you need to do your research first. I got some great deals from local market places before, but I’m a little skeptical when it comes to electronic devices. If you can have a look in person, and ensure that it works as intended, you might grab a deal, otherwise just pass. It’s up to you to decide, but If I were you I would save aa few months and get a brand new with along lasting warranty.
Is a 13-14 inch screen too small?
It seems odd for a laptop to have a 13-inch screen. For a long time, laptops were 15-inch screens, and consumers got used to having 15-inch screens for their portable computers. But, tablets used to come with 10″ screens, so if you look at it from a tablet user perspective you get a nice size upgrade. To be honest, I was skeptical about how practical a smaller screen can be. I think a 14-inch screen is a perfect size for a 2-in-1 laptop after all.
I tried the larger 15-inch model, and while it works well as a laptop, it feels cumbersome to use as a tablet. I like the portability of these 14″ models so I opted for one, but if you plan to spend more time on your desk than outdoors check the larger models too. I was trying to replace a 10″ tablet and a 15.6″ laptop, so for me, it works wonders. If I was coming from a 17″ laptop I would have got a larger 2in1 but your mileage may vary.
I believe that it comes down to portability and weight after all. The one I got is far more lightweight and portable than my old laptop, a nice trade-off while remaining very powerful. If you are like me, wondering whether you should go for a laptop or tablet, you will be surprised how many tasks you can complete in their 2in1 devices.
I have used it for watching movies, playing games, browsing, and even video editing. It won’t replace my video editing workstation, but it gets the work done while outdoors, for such a small investment. If I’m on my desk, I want to work on three 32″ screens of my desktop computer, but when I’m outdoors I can live with the 14 inch model for my needs.
Can you game on a 2 in 1 laptop?
There are many products on the market that can provide high performance for such a small investment, but the answer is more complicated. Today’s models have way better performance than their predecessors. But their graphics cards are a great determining factor. I would say that in most cases, you won’t face any problem as far as memory and CPU usage is concerned. When it comes to gaming, you should opt for the best graphics card you can fit in your budget. E-sports games like LoL or Fortnite are optimized to run on way less powerful devices so that you won’t face any problems. It’s the AAA titles that need the latest technology when it comes to GPU. I couldn’t get used to the integrated touchpad and keyboard, so I when for a keyboard/mouse set to play comfortably.