What’s the best 2-in-1 laptop you can buy?
If you don’t want to carry around both a laptop and a tablet then a convertible 2-in-1 device might be the answer. Usually, there are some compromises and very few devices offer the best of both worlds, though.
The Surface Book 3 or Galaxy Book Flex 2 arguably have the fewest compromises, but they’re also very expensive: you could buy a laptop and tablet separately and still have change left over compared to buying one, but they will take up twice the space. If nothing here takes your fancy, then do check out our other guides for the best laptops and best tablets.
Although many run Windows 10, which makes sense, this chart includes alternative operating systems such as Chromebooks running Chrome OS and the iPad Pro which has iOS. We may also include Android tablets if they are good enough.
There’s a range of options here with different designs and prices and you can click through to full reviews of each device to read more in-depth advice. Also read our buying advice below, after the chart for what to look out for in a 2-in-1 laptop.
Best 2-in-1 laptops and tablets
Samsung Galaxy Book Flex 2 – Best Overall
Solid everyday performance
The first-gen Galaxy Book Flex sat top of this chart following our review in 2020, but its successor takes things to the next level.
While the 13.3in AMOLED display and 69.7Wh battery remain unchanged, this is anything but an iterative update. Key upgrades here include the move to 11th-gen Intel chips (which yield a big improvement in battery life), a secondary 13Mp camera and 5G support.
Convertible functionality comes in the form of a 360-degree hinge, which is now much sturdier and more robust. It means the device can be used as a laptop, tablet or in ‘tent mode’ for hands-free viewing.
There’s also the built-in Bluetooth S-Pen, which has shifted to the front of the device to make way for a newly expanded port selection. One of the three USB-C ports dropped in favour of a USB-A port and full-size HDMI.
However, it’s not all good news. The screen is still only Full HD (1920×1080), while the trackpad is fiddly enough to make a mouse necessary for long-term use.
Then there’s the price, with the Flex 2 starting at £1,649 in the UK. It’s the most complete convertible laptop on the market, but you’ll pay for the privilege.
Read our full Samsung Galaxy Book Flex 2 review
Apple iPad Pro (2020) – Best 2-in-1 Tablet
iPadOS can’t run all desktop apps
Apple doesn’t make MacBooks with a touchscreen, let alone a 360-degree design. However, the iPad Pro is the closest the company has got to a laptop replacement.
The tablet is better than ever with very impressive design and specs. Performance is excellent and the 120Hz display is stunning, available in the 12.9in size we’ve tested here or 11in.
The iPad Pro is a little expensive and even more so when you add the cost of accessories. However, with the Magic Keyboard and the Apple Pencil, you’ve got yourself a great portable office.
Read our full iPad Pro 12.9in (2020) review
Microsoft Surface Pro 7+ – Best Windows 2-in-1 Tablet
Solid battery life
The Surface Pro has popularised the tablet with detachable keyboard form factor since it was first introduced, and the Pro 7+ is the best version yet.
Despite being aimed at business and education customers, the device delivers a compelling experience for consumers too. Key upgrades over the regular Pro 7 include a move to Intel’s 11th-gen processors, which combine with Iris Xe integrated graphics and up to 32GB of RAM for excellent performance.
Connectivity options are just as good, with Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5 support joined by 4G LTE on some models. There’s also a decent port selection and much-improved battery life.
However, five years after its introduction, the design is starting to look a bit tired. It’s also significantly more expensive (especially once you buy the Type Cover separately), so consumers may want to hold out until the Surface Pro 8 arrives.
Read our full Microsoft Surface Pro 7+ review
Microsoft Surface Book 3 – Best Hybrid Design
Lots of ports
Patchy high-end performance
It might not have got the best score in the context of the wider laptop market and the lack of upgrades over the previous generation, but the Surface Book 3 really is the ultimate hybrid machine.
Microsoft’s innovative fulcrum hinge allows the screen to fully detach from the keyboard, yet still offers a very secure fit when in laptop mode. As such, it’s really the only device out there that’s truly a laptop and a tablet.There’s plenty more to like about this device, including a stunning display and one of the best keyboards on the market. You also get a choice between 13.5in and 15in screen sizes.
The Book 3 is expensive and isn’t as good for gaming as advertised. But if money is no object and you don’t already own a Surface Book, it’s one of the best 2-in-1s out there.
Read our full Microsoft Surface Book 3 review
Acer Chromebook Spin 713 – Best 2-in-1 Chromebook
Solid battery life
Fan can get loud
You’re not limited to Windows when buying a convertible, as plenty of Chromebooks now have a 360-degree design.
As the name suggests, the Acer Chromebook Spin 713 is one of them, and it’s a stunner. There’s an excellent design and build quality here, headlined by a gorgeous QHD touchscreen with a 3:2 aspect ratio.
You also get some impressive internals, with an Intel Core i5 processor and 8GB of RAM. Given ChromeOS’ emphasis on the cloud, the 128GB SSD should be plenty, too.
All this is available for a surprisingly low price, so if the software provides enough for your needs, this could be a great option.
Read our full Acer Chromebook Spin 713 review
Asus ZenBook Flip S – Best 2-in-1 Display
4K OLED display
Thunderbolt 4 support
Some performance throttling
No fingerprint sensor
The ZenBook Flip S might ditch the headphone jack from its predecessor, but it still establishes itself as the go-to premium convertible.
Among the highlights is a gorgeous 4K OLED display, which offers a rich, colour accurate viewing experience. There’s also Thunderbolt 4 support and a bumper 1TB SSD, all within an extremely thin and light body.
Unfortunately, that sleek design does impact performance from the 11th-gen Intel chips, with some throttling issues. You also miss out on a fingerprint sensor.
These may be dealbreakers considering the high asking price, but if money is no object and you’re looking for a premium portable device, the Flip S is a great choice.
Read our full Asus ZenBook Flip S UX371 review
Lenovo Yoga Slim 9i – Best 2-in-1 Audio
Lightweight yet sturdy
Not the cheapest
The audio experience is often overlooked on modern laptops, but the excellent speakers on Lenovo’s Yoga Slim 7i deserve special attention. A total of four speakers combine to deliver detailed, rich sound.
Along with the stunning 4K display, it makes the Slim 7i a superb device for content consumption. Tent mode allows for hands-free viewing, but a 360° hinge means it can also be used as a regular laptop or tablet.
The device features 11th-gen Intel processors, which combines with Iris Xe integrated graphics and up to 16GB of RAM for solid performance. There’s also a decent port selection (including Thunderbolt 4 support) and impressive battery life, all within a lightweight, robust design.
If you can look beyond the slightly frustrating keyboard, the Slim 9i is a great 2-in-1 option.
Read our full Lenovo Yoga Slim 9i review
Microsoft Surface Pro 7 – Best Value for Money
Type Cover sold separately
Those wanting a tablet first design should consider the Surface Pro 7. There’s very little competition in the Windows tablet market so it’s perhaps no surprise that Microsoft itself makes the best ones.
Microsoft hasn’t changed the formula here so it’s more of the same. We’d like smaller bezels but the Surface Pro 7 does the job it’s designed to do.
Not including the Type Cover is a pain but the Pro 7 has an excellent 12.3in PixelSense display and powerful components.
Microsoft has since released the Surface Pro 7+, but that’s currently only available to business and education customers. The regular model’s age does mean it’s regularly discounted, too.
Read our full Microsoft Surface Pro 7 review
Asus ZenBook Flip 15 – Best 2-in-1 for Creatives
Stylus included in box
ScreenPad prone to issues
Poor speaker placement
Those with enough cash to splash won’t be disappointed with the ZenBook Flip 15.
Asus has taken its popular ZenBook design and flipped it, literally – the device’s hinges fully rotate. It’s also got an impressive range of specs and gorgeous design.
While it could be a great option for anyone, the ZenBook Flip is primarily aimed at designers. You get a stunning 4K touchscreen here, along with Asus’ signature ScreenPad, a trackpad that doubles as a secondary display. There’s also a stylus included in the box, great for digital artists or people who want more granular control over their work.
Read our full Asus ZenBook Flip 15 (UX563FD) review
Microsoft Surface Go 2 – Best Budget 2-in-1 Windows Tablet
Poor entry-level performance
Type Cover sold separately
If you’re simply looking for a cheap Windows tablet, then the Surface Go 2 is the one you need. Essentially, it’s a more affordable version of the Surface Pro.
It’s compact and now features a larger 10.5in display, and the lightweight design with a kickstand makes it one of the most portable Windows machines ever.
Just note that while the Surface Go 2 is cheap, the Type Cover is not included and internal specs are on the basic side, starting with a Pentium Gold processor.
Read our full Microsoft Surface Go 2 review
Your buying guide to the best 2-in-1 laptops and tablets
Although they’ve been around for a while, these devices vary quite a lot and are called different things such as ‘convertibles’, ‘hybrids’ and ‘2-in-1s’. They all mean the same thing in essence – a device which is trying to be both a laptop and a tablet.
As we’ll explain, there are essentially two different types here and we’re going to round up the best of them all in one place.
Tablet or laptop first?
As we said, there is inevitably some compromise with these devices. Typically they will be better at being a laptop or a tablet but some do manage to sit somewhere in the middle.
Some are even designed first and foremost as a laptop, while others are first a tablet, a laptop second. So it depends on your priority as to which type will suit you best.
Which one is right for you depends hugely on what you want to do with it. Do you mainly want a laptop on which to do regular work but can also shapeshift into a tablet for the odd task? Or do you want a tablet which you can also do a bit of typing on when the need arises?
A convertible laptop will usually have a non-removable screen which flips almost 360 degrees in order to change it into a tablet. This style (shown below) also means you can use it in other ‘modes’ such as ‘tent’ or ‘display’.
Lenovo’s Yoga range is possibly the best known convertible laptop and has been the inspiration for many rivals. Microsoft Surface Book is also laptop first but still has a removable screen so has a more advanced hybrid system.
Meanwhile, a convertible tablet (below) is more like a regular tablet but either has a keyboard which attaches magnetically or a fancy case which creates a laptop-like experience. The keyboard may connect over Bluetooth in some cases.
There really aren’t many around these days with Microsoft’s Surface range being the most obvious. Samsung’s Galaxy Tab S7+ is another option but won’t be the right option for many with it running on Android.
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 (there’s more space for a bigger battery).
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 (some still have full-size USB though), 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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