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The best 2-in-1 laptops for 2021

The best 2-in-1 laptops for 2021Today we will try to answer the question: Which are the best 2-in-1 laptops for 2021?

When it comes to 2-in-1 laptops, Microsoft’s Surface Pro 7 currently takes the crown. It’s light and powerful, with great design choices throughout and some serious upgrades to its performance.

It’s not the only best laptop currently available, however. We’ve reviewed every great 2-in-1 you can buy, including Chromebooks, convertibles, and powerful 15-inch versions. Even if you’re not a Surface fan, you’ll find some great options for 2-in-1s below.

The Best 2-in-1 Laptops at a Glance

The best 2-in-1: Microsoft Surface Pro 7

Sale
Microsoft Surface Pro 7 – 12.3' Touch-Screen - 10th Gen Intel Core i5 - 8GB Memory - 256GB SSD (Latest Model) – Matte Black with Black Type Cover, Model: QWV-00007
2,321 Reviews
Microsoft Surface Pro 7 – 12.3" Touch-Screen - 10th Gen Intel Core i5 - 8GB Memory - 256GB SSD (Latest Model) – Matte Black with Black Type Cover, Model: QWV-00007
  • Next gen, best in class laptop with the versatility of a studio and tablet, so you can type, touch, draw, write, work, and play more naturally
  • Faster than surface pro 6, with a 10th gen intel core processor – redefining what’s possible in a thin and light computer. Display Resolution - 2736 x 1824 (267 PPI)
  • More ways to connect, with both USB c and USB a ports for connecting to displays, docking stations and more, as well as accessory charging
  • Standout design that won’t weigh you down — ultra slim and light surface pro 7 starts at just 1.70 pounds
  • All day battery life up to 10.5 hours, plus the ability to go from empty to full faster — about 80 percent in just over an hour

Why should you buy this: It’s a great 2-in-1 due to its thin and light design and offers outstanding performance for real productivity.

Who’s it for: Anyone who just can’t decide between a tablet and a traditional notebook.

Why we picked the Microsoft Surface Pro 7:

The Surface Pro 7 has a similar basic design to its predecessors, with the choice of platinum or black colors.
However, the Surface Pro 7 has some real advantages on the inside.

The first is an update to Intel’s 10th-generation quad-core “Ice Lake” Core-U processors, which offer a significant performance improvement (particularly in graphics) but a slight reduction in battery life.

These CPUs provide significantly improved performance over previous eighth-generation processors, particularly when using the faster Iris Plus graphics in the high-end Core i7.

The battery life is a little shorter than the previous generation, so keep that in mind.

However, all of this strength and comfort does not come cheap.

While the Surface Pro 7 begins at a fair $750, it does not include the Signature Type Cover ($160) or the Surface Pen ($75), all of which are needed for complete functionality.
That also applies to the most basic version, which includes an Intel Core i3 processor, 4GB of RAM, and a 128GB solid-state drive (SSD).
With the Core i7, 16GB of RAM, and a 1TB SSD, the Surface Pro 7 costs a whopping $2,300.

The best convertible laptop: HP Spectre x360 13

HP Spectre x360 GEM Cut 13.3' FHD Touch Laptop, Intel i7-1065G7, 16GB RAM, 512GB SSD, Bang & Olufsen, Fingerprint Reader, HP Stylus, Nightfall Black, Win 10 Pro, 64GB TechWarehouse Flash Drive
85 Reviews
HP Spectre x360 GEM Cut 13.3" FHD Touch Laptop, Intel i7-1065G7, 16GB RAM, 512GB SSD, Bang & Olufsen, Fingerprint Reader, HP Stylus, Nightfall Black, Win 10 Pro, 64GB TechWarehouse Flash Drive
  • Newly Launched HP Spectre x360 13T Cutting Edge GEM CUT Design - 10TH GENERATION QUAD CORE CPU: Intel Core i7-1065G7 (1.3 GHz, up to 3.9 GHz, 8 MB cache, 4 cores) four-way processing 1.30 GHz to 3.9 GHz with 8 MB SmartCache, high-efficiency performance with Intel Turbo Boost Technology WINDOWS 10 PRO 64 BIT PRE INSTALLED BY HP, NEW Features - Web Cam Kill Switch, Mic Mute Key, Fingerprint reader
  • UNMATCHED AUDIO PERFORMANCE with QUAD Bang & Olufsen speakers: The partnership between Bang & Olufsen and HP brings premium sound to your personal computing device. With HP Quad Speakers, HP Audio Boost, and custom tuning by the experts at Bang & Olufsen, entertainment comes to life with sound you can feel.
  • SUPERIOR SPEED and NETWORKING: Fast Data Access with 512 GB PCIe NVMe M.2 SSD Intel Wi-Fi 6 AX 201 (2x2) and Bluetooth 5 Combo. Security management Mic Mute key; Webcam kill switch, 1 headphone/microphone combo; 1 USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type-A (HP Sleep and Charge); 2 USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type-C with Thunderbolt 3 (40 Gb/s signaling rate, Power Delivery 3.0, DisplayPort 1.4, HP Sleep and Charge)
  • IMPRESSIVE HD PANEL with HD Active Stylus Pen and Thunderbolt Support: Experience exceptional colors and clarity with 13.3" Full HD touch screen (Resolution: 1920 x 1080) for hands-on control and IPS technology for wide viewing angles. 13.3" diagonal FHD IPS micro-edge WLED-backlit touch screen with NBT, HP Active Stylus Pen, USB-C port, Thunderbolt support & SD card reader
  • 16GB SDRAM(ONBAORD), Bang & Olufsen Quad Speakers, HP Audio Boost, Fingerprint Reader, ALSO includes a Super Sleek, Super cool, 64GB ULTRA SLIM Tech Warehouse LLC USB Flash drive. A speedy little performer with a great look! Please see picture illustrations for more information

Why should you buy this: It’s fast, has great battery life, offers a lovely display, and swivels around into multiple modes.

Who’s it for: Anyone looking for a 2-in-1 that works best as a laptop.

Why we picked the HP Spectre x360 13:

In a crowded area, we choose the HP Spectre x360 13 because it offers the best combination of efficiency, battery life, display quality, and price.
For the last few years, we’ve ranked the Spectre x360 13 as one of the best laptops you can find, but the new “gem-cut” models are much more beautiful and practical.

The Spectre x360 we chose for this roundup is equipped with Intel’s eighth-generation quad-core “Whiskey Lake” CPUs, which are both powerful and reliable. HP also makes use of Intel’s low-power display, which provides long battery life for media consumption and efficient activities. In our trial of a new Spectre x360 13, it looped a local video for a whopping 17.5 hours. Thermals are also strengthened with a much heavier chassis.

The Spectre x360 13 is the latest example of how today’s 360-degree convertible 2-in-1s perform just as well as conventional clamshell notebooks.
While the Surface Pro is a superior tablet substitute, the Spectre x360 comes close.

HP’s newer Spectre x360 13 has smaller bezels and supports both Intel’s 10th and 11th generation CPUs, as well as an OLED display feature.
That’s everything to consider before taking advantage of the previous generation’s low costs.

The best 2-in-1 Chromebook: Lenovo IdeaPad Duet

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Lenovo Chromebook Duet, 2-in-1, 10.1' WUXGA (1920 x 1200) Display, MediaTek Helio P60T, 4GB LPDDR4X RAM, 64GB eMCP SSD, Integrated ARM G72 MP3 Graphics, Chrome OS, ZA6F0031US, Ice Blue + Iron Grey
599 Reviews
Lenovo Chromebook Duet, 2-in-1, 10.1" WUXGA (1920 x 1200) Display, MediaTek Helio P60T, 4GB LPDDR4X RAM, 64GB eMCP SSD, Integrated ARM G72 MP3 Graphics, Chrome OS, ZA6F0031US, Ice Blue + Iron Grey
  • This ultraportable 2-in-1 Chromebook includes a fast and stable plug-and-play detachable keyboard enabled with 5-point pogo pin and magnet design
  • Take it with you everywhere. Thin and lightweight the Chromebook Duet offers up to 10 hours of battery life (2)
  • The unique dual-tone design with aluminum alloy on the tablet is a standout design with sophisticated fabric texture on the stand cover you'll be stylish productive and practical
  • Fast secure and easy to use: This touchscreen Chromebook boots up quickly with just your Google login to give you access to all of your cloud-based documents email and more
  • With the 10 1" FHD (1920 x 1200) IPS display and stunning colorful details you won't sacrifice for great visuals; The 10-point multi-touch touchscreen is also USI pen compatible (pen sold separately)
Why should you buy this: If you’re a Chrome OS fan and like tablet functionality, the Duet is made for you.

Who’s it for: Anyone looking for a Chromebook 2-in-1 that’s both a great tablet and a laptop.

Why we picked the Lenovo IdeaPad Duet:

The Lenovo IdeaPad Duet is a Chromebook for those who like tablet designs and low Chromebook prices but are also searching for the perfect 2-in-1 PC.

The Duet is a compact tablet with a 10.1-inch HD display, a MediaTek Helio P60T CPU, and 4GB of RAM. Disk space isn’t a big deal on a Chromebook, but 64GB is good for those who use it for Android apps and Linux desktop devices. Only a USB-C port is available, which can also be used to charge the tablet.

Although it’s cool that the keypad has a little touchpad for those who like it, we find it a little cramped for our taste. However, comparable specifications are rarely made available at such a low cost (and you can always choose a different keypad if you want to). The battery has a 10-hour capacity.

The best touchscreen laptop: Dell XPS 13

Dell XPS 13 (9310), 13.4- inch FHD+ Touch Laptop - Intel Core i7-1185G7, 16GB 4267MHz LPDDR4x RAM, 512GB SSD, Iris Xe Graphics, Windows 10 Pro - Platinum Silver with Black Palmrest (Latest Model)
87 Reviews
Dell XPS 13 (9310), 13.4- inch FHD+ Touch Laptop - Intel Core i7-1185G7, 16GB 4267MHz LPDDR4x RAM, 512GB SSD, Iris Xe Graphics, Windows 10 Pro - Platinum Silver with Black Palmrest (Latest Model)
  • 13.4" FHD+ (1920 x 1200) InfinityEdge Touch Anti-Reflective 500-Nit Display
  • 11th Generation, Intel Core i7-1185G7 Processor (12MB Cache, up to 4.8 GHz)
  • 16GB 4267MHz LPDDR4x Memory Onboard, 512GB M.2 PCIe NVMe SSD
  • Intel Iris Xe Graphics with shared graphics memory
  • Killer Wi-Fi 6 AX1650 (2 x 2) and Bluetooth 5.1
Why should you buy this: It doesn’t swivel or snap off, but it’s small enough that the touch display makes it feel a bit like a tablet.

Who’s it for: Everyone who wants to tap and prod the display but doesn’t need a stand-alone slate.

Why we picked the Dell XPS 13:

The Dell XPS 13 has been our top laptop for a long time, and the 2019 edition has fixed our only concern about the weird webcam location. Dell upgraded the 2021 model to Intel’s 11th-generation Tiger Lake processors and a 13.4-inch screen with a 16:10 aspect ratio that looks more square.

With the larger screen, Dell slimmed down the bottom bezel to match the already-thin edges. The lowered barrel hinge sits just below the surface of the keyboard section, making the bottom bezel appear thinner than it is. The top-mounted 720p camera replaces the nose cam that was previously pulled into the keyboard deck.

Both the keyboard and touchpad are large and comfortable to use. Dell has managed to cram in ample battery power to go with reliable parts, ensuring that battery life is not compromised. The laptop can work without throttling due to excessive heat thanks to some clever thermal control technologies.

The Dell XPS 13 is a luxury laptop, at least when completely configured, but it starts at a reasonable $1,100 for a basic setup that’s still very available. We included this laptop despite its clamshell configuration because it is so slim and compact that it looks like a tablet.

The best small 2-in-1: Microsoft Surface Go 2

New Microsoft Surface Go 2 - 10.5' Touch-Screen - Intel Pentium - 4GB Memory - 64GB - Wifi - Platinum (Latest Model)
1,016 Reviews
New Microsoft Surface Go 2 - 10.5" Touch-Screen - Intel Pentium - 4GB Memory - 64GB - Wifi - Platinum (Latest Model)
  • Starting at just 1.2 pounds (not including Type Cover), with new 10.5” touchscreen.
  • Battery life up to 10 hours. Perfect for browsing, shopping, emails, and homework
  • Tablet portability, performance and laptop versatility with adjustable Kickstand and Signature Type Cover.
  • Stay connected with included USB-C port and headphone jack. Full HD front- and rear-facing cameras let you make crisp, clear calls to friends and family, or take and share great photos.
  • Hi-res touchscreen is perfect for browsing, playing, and binge watching.

Why should you buy this: It provides the same ability to morph into a tablet as its bigger sibling, but it’s also more comfortable in its primary role as a tablet.

Who’s it for: Anyone who wants a tablet that can plug in a keyboard in a pinch — and doesn’t want to spend a ton of cash.

Why we picked the Microsoft Surface Go 2:

The Surface Go 2 is a compact and affordable tablet that runs Windows 10 and offers a classic tablet experience. It’s also a significant improvement from the original Surface Go, which was a great lightweight tablet but struggled with high workloads.

The newer model has slimmer bezels and a larger 10.5-inch screen. Using modern processor options also increases performance dramatically. Our selection comes with an Intel Pentium Gold 4425Y Core m3 processor and 8GB of RAM. Job activities are made simpler by the fast 128GB SSD.

The Surface Go 2 has USB-C connectors, a discreet MicroSD card slot for storage expansion, and a headphone socket. The battery life is capped at 10 hours, which is an upgrade over the first Go’s battery life, but it also falls short of the other options on our list.

The Best Detachable Laptop: Microsoft Surface Book 3

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NEW Microsoft Surface Book 3 - 13.5' Touch-Screen - 10th Gen Intel Core i7 - 16GB Memory - 256GB SSD (Latest Model) - Platinum
100 Reviews
NEW Microsoft Surface Book 3 - 13.5" Touch-Screen - 10th Gen Intel Core i7 - 16GB Memory - 256GB SSD (Latest Model) - Platinum
  • Most powerful Surface laptop yet, with quad-core powered, 10th Gen Intel Core processors. More than 50% faster than Surface Book 2 13.5”.
  • Fastest graphics on Surface, powered by NVIDIA GTX GeForce GPU. 40% more graphics performance than Surface Book 2 13.5".
  • Power when you need it. Up to 15.5 hours battery life[1] — plus improved standby that extends battery life when you’re away.
  • Robust laptop, powerful tablet, and portable studio in one.
  • The connections you need, including USB-A, USB-C, and full-size SD card slot.
Why should you buy this: It’s a solid performer for just about any productivity task, and it converts to a tablet for on-the-go use.

Who’s 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 significant upgrade from the Book 2 and an ideal option for those looking for more powerful specs in a 2-in-1 computer. It has a 10th-generation Intel Core processor (i5 or i7), up to 32GB of RAM, and a Geforce GTX 1660 Ti GPU. On a single SSD, you have multiple storage options ranging from 256GB to 1TB.

A smaller 13.5-inch touchscreen and a larger 15-inch touchscreen are also available. The 13.5-inch model doesn’t have any of the top-line features, so it’s a good way to decide if you want this machine to be more compact or whether you want to use it as a desktop replacement. The battery life on the larger Book 3 variant is also excellent, lasting up to 17.5 hours.

The cost of all this electricity is the main disadvantage. You’ll have to spend more to get Book 3’s top-tier functionality, making it the most expensive choice on our list.

Should You Buy Now or Wait?

There has never been a better time to invest in a 2-in-1 than now. There are many excellent solutions on the market, and we are certain that all of the machines listed here will serve you well for many years. Performance, battery life, display quality, and networking are all excellent, and these adaptable devices can handle every task you throw at them now and in the future.

Intel’s 10th-generation Core processors were released in 2019, followed by 11th-generation devices in 2020. In January, the company released still more 11th-gen smartphone CPUs, but these are better suited for games. It’s unlikely the mainstream 2-in-1s will get a redesign until later this year. As a result, you should see some pretty good discounts on laptops with older CPUs, which will give you excellent results at an even better price.

How We Test

We spend a lot of time analyzing notebooks of all shapes and sizes — which is saying a lot these days, given how many different shapes, sizes, and configurations are available. We live with the machines for a while and use them in our reviews to ensure that we can judge how they’ll function with actual people. This ensures that our opinions have real value to our readers.

However, there is a method behind our madness when it comes to doing these reviews, and you can read about it in separate posts. Hopefully, it would be clear that our reviews are true labors of love — or hate, depending on the notebook — and that you can at least appreciate that we don’t come to our conclusions lightly.

Research and Buying Tips

What’s a 2-in-1 Laptop?

A convertible 2-in-1 laptop can be used as a notebook or as a standard clamshell laptop. 360-degree convertible notebooks, such as the HP Spectre x360 13, can also be found in tent and media modes, which is a bit of a misnomer in some ways. The keyboard cannot be removed.

A tablet-based computer with a detachable keyboard adapter is known as a detachable 2-in-1 laptop. In certain cases, such as with the Surface Pro family, the keyboard is an extra expense. You should leave the keyboard connected and turn the phone around and use it as a smartphone.

The biggest benefit of a detachable 2-in-1 is portability — tablets are incredibly slim, compact, and simple to take around — while the pen-enabled display still works well for drawing and taking notes. On the other hand, they are less efficient than convertibles in terms of hardware.

The 360-degree convertible 2-in-1, on the other hand, isn’t just as convenient as a detachable, but it works better in clamshell laptop mode — particularly on the lap, where it’s more comfortable than most detachable 2-in-1s. Since thin tablets have fewer space limitations, the hardware appears to be higher.

Should I get a 2-in-1 or a Traditional Laptop?

Recent 360-degree convertibles, such as our favorite HP Spectre x360 13, make excellent clamshells — in fact, even if you never turn the show over, it’s a strong competitor to the Dell XPS 13. Modern 2-in-1 laptops are fast, have good battery life, and often have better displays than clamshell laptops.

A 2-in-1 PC isn’t for you if you need the fastest gaming laptop or advanced workstation with the most powerful CPUs and GPUs. Since they can also be used as slates, 2-in-1s are often smaller and lighter. As a result, when compared to standard laptops, the performance of a 2-in-1 is limited.

Does Apple Make a 2-in-1 Laptop?

In terms of technology, Apple does not sell a standard 2-in-1 laptop. It just sells clamshell MacBooks.

Apple, on the other hand, markets the iPad Pro as a detachable 2-in-1, despite the fact that it runs on the handheld iPadOS rather than the MacOS for desktops and notebooks. The keyboard, like the Surface Pro, is an add-on item that raises the base price. Since the iPad Pro runs on a handheld operating system, you won’t be able to install conventional desktop applications, which is where Microsoft’s Surface Pro 7 shines.

Apple is also enhancing the iPad’s ability to function as a laptop. This is done by adding cursor support and increased file system support with the latest iPadOS.

Can a 2-in-1 Laptop Be Used For Gaming?

Many 2-in-1s lack the ability for super-advanced CPUs and GPUs, which is a major disappointment for devoted gamers. You can play games on a 2-in-1, but you won’t get the same high-resolution graphics or frame rate as you will on a traditional clamshell laptop.

The Nvidia GeForce GTX 1660 Ti GPU in the Microsoft Surface Book 3 15 is more than fast enough for modern gaming at 1080p and medium-high graphics settings. Though it’s still adequate for light gaming, it’s limited by power and thermal constraints, as it uses a quad-core, 15-watt, 10th-generation processor.

The HP Spectre x360 15 is another choice, with a 10th-generation Intel Core i7 six-core CPU and an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650 Ti graphics card. You can play a variety of PC games at 1080p with acceptable graphics output, but it’s still constrained as opposed to a gaming laptop.

Editors Choice:

Sale
NEW Microsoft Surface Book 3 - 13.5' Touch-Screen - 10th Gen Intel Core i7 - 16GB Memory - 256GB SSD (Latest Model) - Platinum
100 Reviews
NEW Microsoft Surface Book 3 - 13.5" Touch-Screen - 10th Gen Intel Core i7 - 16GB Memory - 256GB SSD (Latest Model) - Platinum
  • Most powerful Surface laptop yet, with quad-core powered, 10th Gen Intel Core processors. More than 50% faster than Surface Book 2 13.5”.
  • Fastest graphics on Surface, powered by NVIDIA GTX GeForce GPU. 40% more graphics performance than Surface Book 2 13.5".
  • Power when you need it. Up to 15.5 hours battery life[1] — plus improved standby that extends battery life when you’re away.
  • Robust laptop, powerful tablet, and portable studio in one.
  • The connections you need, including USB-A, USB-C, and full-size SD card slot.
New Microsoft Surface Go 2 - 10.5' Touch-Screen - Intel Pentium - 4GB Memory - 64GB - Wifi - Platinum (Latest Model)
1,016 Reviews
New Microsoft Surface Go 2 - 10.5" Touch-Screen - Intel Pentium - 4GB Memory - 64GB - Wifi - Platinum (Latest Model)
  • Starting at just 1.2 pounds (not including Type Cover), with new 10.5” touchscreen.
  • Battery life up to 10 hours. Perfect for browsing, shopping, emails, and homework
  • Tablet portability, performance and laptop versatility with adjustable Kickstand and Signature Type Cover.
  • Stay connected with included USB-C port and headphone jack. Full HD front- and rear-facing cameras let you make crisp, clear calls to friends and family, or take and share great photos.
  • Hi-res touchscreen is perfect for browsing, playing, and binge watching.
HP Spectre x360 GEM Cut 13.3' FHD Touch Laptop, Intel i7-1065G7, 16GB RAM, 512GB SSD, Bang & Olufsen, Fingerprint Reader, HP Stylus, Nightfall Black, Win 10 Pro, 64GB TechWarehouse Flash Drive
85 Reviews
HP Spectre x360 GEM Cut 13.3" FHD Touch Laptop, Intel i7-1065G7, 16GB RAM, 512GB SSD, Bang & Olufsen, Fingerprint Reader, HP Stylus, Nightfall Black, Win 10 Pro, 64GB TechWarehouse Flash Drive
  • Newly Launched HP Spectre x360 13T Cutting Edge GEM CUT Design - 10TH GENERATION QUAD CORE CPU: Intel Core i7-1065G7 (1.3 GHz, up to 3.9 GHz, 8 MB cache, 4 cores) four-way processing 1.30 GHz to 3.9 GHz with 8 MB SmartCache, high-efficiency performance with Intel Turbo Boost Technology WINDOWS 10 PRO 64 BIT PRE INSTALLED BY HP, NEW Features - Web Cam Kill Switch, Mic Mute Key, Fingerprint reader
  • UNMATCHED AUDIO PERFORMANCE with QUAD Bang & Olufsen speakers: The partnership between Bang & Olufsen and HP brings premium sound to your personal computing device. With HP Quad Speakers, HP Audio Boost, and custom tuning by the experts at Bang & Olufsen, entertainment comes to life with sound you can feel.
  • SUPERIOR SPEED and NETWORKING: Fast Data Access with 512 GB PCIe NVMe M.2 SSD Intel Wi-Fi 6 AX 201 (2x2) and Bluetooth 5 Combo. Security management Mic Mute key; Webcam kill switch, 1 headphone/microphone combo; 1 USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type-A (HP Sleep and Charge); 2 USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type-C with Thunderbolt 3 (40 Gb/s signaling rate, Power Delivery 3.0, DisplayPort 1.4, HP Sleep and Charge)
  • IMPRESSIVE HD PANEL with HD Active Stylus Pen and Thunderbolt Support: Experience exceptional colors and clarity with 13.3" Full HD touch screen (Resolution: 1920 x 1080) for hands-on control and IPS technology for wide viewing angles. 13.3" diagonal FHD IPS micro-edge WLED-backlit touch screen with NBT, HP Active Stylus Pen, USB-C port, Thunderbolt support & SD card reader
  • 16GB SDRAM(ONBAORD), Bang & Olufsen Quad Speakers, HP Audio Boost, Fingerprint Reader, ALSO includes a Super Sleek, Super cool, 64GB ULTRA SLIM Tech Warehouse LLC USB Flash drive. A speedy little performer with a great look! Please see picture illustrations for more information