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These are the best 2-in-1s that are more than just a laptop or a tablet

by Rich Barth (2020-07-28)

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Two-in-ones -- also known as convertible laptops -- not only continue to grow in popularity but are getting less expensive, making them as affordable as their clamshell laptop counterparts. Premium models will still offer the best functionality in the lightest, smallest bodies and with double-digit battery life typically start around $1,000. However, the feature gap between these and mainstream two-in-ones from Dell, HP, and others is now much smaller, with some starting at . The higher-end ones, though, have features that a traditional laptop typically doesn't, like a touchscreen.And if you're only thinking of it as a tablet and a laptop, here are five other uses for a two-in-one device or convertible laptop that you might not have considered.  

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While most of the best two-in-ones are also a convertible laptop -- those with 360-degree hinges where the keyboard rotates around to the back of the display -- there are two-in-ones with a detachable keyboard and tablet mode here, too. A touchscreen hybrid laptop with a keyboard dock is more tablet PC than laptop, though. That said, they're still good in laptop mode, and we've included models like the new Surface Go 2 and Lenovo IdeaPad Duet Chromebook. We'll update this list as we review new products.Read more: Best laptop backpack for 2020

Best premium 13-inch 2-in-1

HP Spectre x360 13 (late 2019)

Joshua Goldman/CNET

Dec 2019

HP's fourth-gen X360 13 impressed us with its performance, battery life and classy design. For its fifth-gen version, HP kept everything we liked about the last one and tweaked the design to eliminate almost all of the top and bottom bezels around the display, shrinking the overall footprint. Add in its 10th-gen Intel Core I processor with 8GB of RAM noticeably boosting its performance, as well as a 256GB solid-state drive and a handful of new helpful and handy features, and there's little not to like about the 13.3-inch Spectre x360.

Read our HP Spectre x360 13 (late 2019) review.

$830 at HP

A close second

Dell XPS 13 2-in-1

If for some reason the HP Spectre x360 doesn't meet your needs, consider the newest XPS two-in-one, which ranks a close second to the Spectre. Like HP did, Dell trimmed every last bit of chassis it could so that the 13.4-inch convertible is basically a screen, keyboard and touchpad. The 10th-gen Intel Core i7 processor and Iris Pro graphics I tested outperformed their eighth- and ninth-gen counterparts while still getting more than 10 hours of battery life, which definitely qualifies this as one of the best two-in-one laptops. The Spectre comes out ahead based on a handful of extra features and options, and a debatably better keyboard.

Read our Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 7390 review.

$1,000 at Dell

Best if you want more screen

Lenovo Yoga C940

Sarah Tew/CNET

Mar 2020

Whether you go with the 14- or 15.6-inch model, you're getting the best features Lenovo offers in a consumer two-in-one. That includes things like a 4K UHD HDR display; speakers that you'll actually want to use; Thunderbolt 3 for power, speedy data transfers and external display support; faster integrated graphics and the option for discrete graphics on the 15.6-inch; and an included active pen stored in the laptop. And it's all still wrapped up in a sturdy but lightweight metal body.

Read our Lenovo Yoga C940 (14-inch) review.

$1,300 at Best Buy

$1,329 at Walmart

Best detachable 2-in-1

Microsoft Surface Pro 7

Sarah Tew/CNET

Microsoft still makes the best tablet PC on the market. The latest Surface Pro doesn't make any radical design changes from its predecessor, but a good performance jump with Intel's 10th-gen processors and better battery life make this detachable laptop a more viable mainstream laptop replacement. The Surface Pro's sleek detachable keyboard cover and stylus still cost you extra, but there's usually some good bundle pricing available, especially around the holiday shopping season. Plus, the Surface Pro 6 will remain available and was our top pick before the Pro 7 arrived.

Read more about the Microsoft Surface Pro 7.

$699 at Best Buy

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Best midrange 2-in-1

Lenovo Yoga C740

Sarah Tew/CNET

Regularly available for less than $750, this thin, 3-pound convertible is a solid choice for anyone who needs a laptop for office or schoolwork. The all-metal chassis gives it a premium look and feel and it has a comfortable keyboard and responsive, smooth precision touchpad. Though it's light on extra features compared with its premium linemate, the C940, it does have one of Lenovo's sliding shutters for its webcam to give you privacy when you want it. And it has long battery life to boot.

Read our Lenovo Yoga C740 (14-inch) review.

$700 at Lenovo

$900 at Lenovo

Best for frequent flyers

LG Gram 14 2-in-1

Sarah Tew/CNET

Two-in-one designs typically weigh more than their clamshell counterparts, but LG kept the lightweight Gram to only 2.5 pounds (1.1 kg). Battery life is another big advantage of the Gram 14 2-in-1, giving it a leg up in our list of the best two-in-one laptops. In our video streaming test, this convertible laptop ran for an amazing 16 hours, 3 minutes.

Read our LG Gram 14 2-in-1 review.

$1,600 at Best Buy

$1,597 at B&H Photo-Video

$1,597 at Adorama

Best ultraportable 2-in-1 with discrete graphics

Asus ZenBook Flip 14

Sarah Tew/CNET

Ultraportables typically have integrated graphics processors that are a bit more power-efficient, run cooler and cost less than a stand-alone discrete graphics processor. They also eat into your system memory and storage space and can't handle more demanding graphics tasks such as photo and video editing or gaming. Asus somehow got an entry-level Nvidia GeForce MX150 into the Flip 14's slim body. It's not  or a graphics workstation, but games are smoother and faster, and it can make quicker work of tasks you wouldn't even consider doing on other thin-and-light convertible laptops. It also has excellent battery life, several USB ports, a backlit keyboard and other creature comforts you don't necessarily find in this type of device. And we didn't even mention the excellent battery life.

Read our Asus ZenBook Flip 14 review.

$1,999 at Amazon

Best ultraportable Chrome 2-in-1

Asus Chromebook Flip C436

Sarah Tew/CNET

This update to Asus' excellent Chromebook Flip C434 steps up its performance thanks to new 10th-gen Intel Core i3 and i5 processors, faster NVMe SSD storage and speedy Wi-Fi 6. It's pricey starting at $800, but if you already know the value of Google's lightweight operating system, the C436 is built to deliver the best Chrome experience in an ultraportable two-in-one design.

Read our Asus Chromebook Flip C436FA review.

$800 at Amazon

$800 at ASUS

Best Google Pixel Slate alternative

HP Chromebook x2

Sarah Tew/CNET

Dec 2018

This detachable two-in-one Chromebook tablet is thin and lightweight with peppy performance, and comes with a pen and keyboard cover -- something its competition can't claim. Battery life is acceptable but integrated storage is limited.

Read our HP Chromebook x2 review.

$459 at Amazon

Best 15.6-inch 2-in-1 for creatives

Dell XPS 15 2-in-1

Sarah Tew/CNET

Although 13.3-inch and 14-inch models are typically what you'll find for two-in-ones, there are a handful of bigger models like Dell's excellent XPS 15 2-in-1. It's the smallest and thinnest in the category, with powerful performance from its hybrid Intel/AMD processor. It's not cheap and it's not exactly light at 4.4 pounds, but if you want a big, color-accurate, pen-enabled display for graphics work, get this Dell.

Read our Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 (2018) review.

$5,162 at eBay

Best detachable 2-in-1 for creatives

HP ZBook x2 G4

Sarah Tew/CNET

The pen-enabled detachable delivers accurate color and smooth sketching with workstation credibility. It's powerful for its size and relatively full-featured, and the detachable keyboard with Bluetooth is comfortable for typing in either mode.

Read our HP ZBook x2 review.

$3,556 at Walmart

Best 15.6-inch Chrome 2-in-1

Lenovo Yoga Chromebook C630

Sarah Tew/CNET

With a 4K UHD 15.6-inch touchscreen display, solid components and a sturdy, tasteful aluminum chassis, you're not missing out on anything by going with the C630 -- except maybe the higher price of a Windows system. This Chromebook keeps webpages loading fast and apps zipping along.

Read our Lenovo Yoga Chromebook C630 review.

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