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Best 2-in-1 laptop 2021: The finest laptop/tablet hybrids you can buy


Our definitive list of the best 2-in-1 laptops you can buy in 2021, from budget options to luxurious delights

The best 2-in-1 laptops take everything that’s great about laptops and tablets and combine them into one neat package.

Advancements to low-powered mobile processors have helped lightweight, über-portable 2-in-1 designs flourish into a fantastic sub-category of laptops, with plenty of excellent offerings to choose from.

Indeed, there are so many great systems to sift through that you might find it daunting to try and pick one. Fear not: we’ve reviewed a wide range of 2-in-1 laptops and compiled a list documenting the very best of them.

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Every 2-in-1 laptop on the list has undergone rigorous testing by one of our reviewers. These tests cover everything from battery life to CPU performance and the colour accuracy of a display. If you’re interested in a specific device’s test results, they can be found in our full review of the product, links to which are provided in each of the entries below.

Before jumping into the entries, you’ll find a handy buying guide that will arm you with all the information you require to decide whether a 2-in-1 laptop is right for you and help you select the best 2-in-1 laptop for your needs.

Best 2-in-1 laptop: At a glance

How to choose the best 2-in-1 laptop for you

What is a 2-in-1 laptop?

A 2-in-1 laptop is a device that can split or fold into tablet format at a moment’s notice. It’s a versatile and cost-effective way of getting the best of both worlds.

There are two main types of 2-in-1 laptop. Detachable or hybrid 2-in-1 laptops such as the Microsoft Surface Book 3 look like typical clamshell laptops, hinge and all, but can be detached from the keyboard to be used as a tablet. Tablets themselves can serve a similar purpose once connected to a detachable keyboard, which is why you’ll find some of the best tablets around on this list.

Convertibles such as the Dell Inspiron 15 7000 don’t allow you to detach the keyboard from the display but instead feature a hinge design capable of being rotated through 360 degrees. They’re sometimes referred to as reversible laptops due to their design, which enables them to be positioned in a few different ways. You can rotate the keyboard and place it face down to view the screen vertically, prop up the device on its edges to use it in what is often referred to as “tent” mode or simply use it as you would a standard laptop.

The style you choose will depend on what you intend on using the 2-in-1 laptop for. If you know you’re going to always need a keyboard with you, then a convertible 2-in-1 laptop is likely the better choice.

What can I do with a 2-in-1 laptop?

All sorts of things! If you’re not sure whether to spend your hard-earned money on a tablet or a conventional laptop, a 2-in-1 laptop is a perfect choice. You can doodle with a stylus, work or watch movies on the go and curl up in bed with it to watch the latest episode of your favourite Netflix show. They do have their limitations, however, which we’ll discuss in the disadvantages section below.

What are the advantages of 2-in-1 laptops?

Buying a 2-in-1 laptop rather than a laptop and tablet separately is generally going to save you a bit of cash, which is always nice.

Aside from that obvious economic benefit, the big selling point of 2-in-1 laptops is their flexibility. Being able to switch from laptop mode to tablet mode in seconds is useful in all manner of situations. Once you’ve finished working on an important document in laptop mode you can quickly detach or flip the keyboard and enjoy your favourite Disney Plus show in tablet mode. That’s just one example of how handy their transformative properties can be.

What are the disadvantages of 2-in-1 laptops?

2-in-1 laptops typically can’t match the processing power of standard laptops due to compromises made to ensure they remain slim and portable and don’t overheat. They also tend to have integrated graphics rather than discrete graphics chips. These factors mean a 2-in-1 laptop isn’t the best choice if you’re planning on running lots of demanding applications, such as video-editing software, or harbour hopes of playing the latest AAA gaming titles on your portable device.

What features do I need to look for when buying a 2-in-1 laptop?

There are a few key things to consider when making your 2-in-1 laptop purchase, both in terms of the device’s internal components and external appearance.

Processor: Some 2-in-1 laptops are so slim that they require fanless, low-powered mobile processors, which means they aren’t quite so performance-heavy as their regular laptop counterparts. That said, you’ll still find plenty of 2-in-1 laptops housing shiny new processors. Intel processors are the most widely used CPUs in the industry and you’ll find newer 2-in-1 laptops housing Intel’s latest 11th-gen Tiger Lake silicon. AMD is Intel’s main rival in the CPU space and 2-in-1s incorporating its Ryzen processors typically cost less than their Intel counterparts.

RAM: Like any laptop, the amount of RAM (random access memory) a 2-in-1 laptop has will affect its performance. Having more RAM is always of benefit, but will raise the price of your device. 8GB is a sweet spot in terms of cost and performance for most people.

Storage: When it comes to storage, it’s important to note both the type and amount on offer. A 2-in-1 laptop with SSD (solid state drive) storage is preferable to one with a mechanical hard disk or eMMC storage, as these are generally slower than SSDs.

With people relying more and more on cloud storage, the need for lots of storage space built into your 2-in-1 laptop isn’t quite as important as it used to be. However, if you plan on downloading lots of large applications and saving large files to your device you’ll want at least 256GB of SSD storage to avoid having to regularly delete stuff.

Display: Display quality is crucial – after all, you’ll be gawking at the screen the entire time you’re using it. A Full HD display with a decent contrast ratio and solid brightness is a must. Some 2-in-1 laptops now incorporate 4K UHD displays, which provide the best picture quality going but raise the price of a device significantly.

Size and weight: 2-in-1 laptops are generally designed to be carried around all day, so it’s best to get something light but sturdy. The size of the display obviously goes a long way to deciding how portable your 2-in-1 laptop is – if you want a big screen, be prepared to carry around a heavier device.

Keyboard and touchpad: A good keyboard and touchpad will separate a middling device from an excellent one. It’s also important to check whether the price includes a keyboard or stylus. Microsoft’s Surface devices, for instance, are typically sold without the Type Cover or pen accessories.

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The best 2-in-1 laptops to buy

1. Microsoft Surface Book 3: A true hybrid laptop

Price: From £1,599 | Buy now from Amazon

The Surface Book 3 is a high-quality laptop that can be transformed into a tablet by simply detaching the keyboard. The base model we’ve linked to here comes with a tenth-gen Intel Core i5 processor, Intel Plus graphics, 8GB of RAM and a 256GB SSD. Paying a few hundred pounds extra will net you a faster Core i7 CPU in addition to an Nvidia graphics chip.

The performance of the base model will be good enough for most users, however, and the 13.5in screen is lovely, with peak brightness that allows for viewing in pretty much any conditions, 90% coverage of the sRGB colour gamut and excellent colour accuracy. Audio is far clearer on the Surface Book 3 than it was on its predecessor, while the front-facing webcam has also been improved and is now capable of producing discernible detail.

If you’re seeking a true hybrid laptop and have a decent budget, there are very few devices capable of competing with the Surface Book 3.

Read our Microsoft Surface Book 3 review for more details

Key specs – Processor: Quad-core Intel Core i5-1035G7; RAM: 8GB; Storage: 256GB SSD; Screen resolution: 3,000 x 2,000; Weight: 1.6kg

2. Dell Inspiron 15 7000: The best mid-range 2-in-1 laptop

Price: From £729 | Buy now from Dell

The Dell Inspiron 15 7000 is a great choice for those wanting a larger screen at an affordable price. We reviewed one of the models housing an 11th-generation Intel Core i5-1135G7 processor but there are also Core i7 models available, one of which has an Ultra HD display, if you can stretch your budget to £1,300.

The Intel Core i5 model gave previous-generation Core i7 laptops a run for their money in our 4K media benchmark test and held up well when gaming, achieving a steady 40fps while running Doom at 1,280 x 720px. Both RAM and the SSD can be upgraded, which is always a plus for those that like to indulge in a bit of laptop DIY, and the device itself is smart, stylish and well made.

Crucially, the two reversible hinges that allow the Inspiron 15 7000 to be converted into a tablet are solid and squeak-free, while the connections on offer cover all the important bases. There’s a full-sized HDMI 2.0 output, two USB-A 3.2 ports, a Power Delivery and DisplayPort, a 3.5mm audio jack, SD card reader and, best of all, a USB-C connector that supports Thunderbolt 4.

Though there’s room for improvement when it comes to the trackpad and keyboard, the Dell Inspiron 15 7000 strikes an impressive balance between power, convenience, style and affordability, making it one of the most attractive 2-in-1 laptops around.

Read our Dell Inspiron 15 7000 review for more details

Key specs – Processor: Intel Core i5-1135G7 or i7-1165G7; RAM: 12GB/16GB; Storage: 512GB SSD plus 32GB Intel Optane Memory; Screen resolution: 1,920 x 1,080px or 3,840 x 2,160px; Weight: 1.95kg

Buy now from Dell

3. Acer Chromebook Spin 713: The best-value 2-in-1 Chromebook

Price: £599 | Buy now from Acer

Good-looking, versatile and with a brilliant display, the Acer Spin 713 is a 2-in-1 Chromebook that fully justifies its reasonable asking price. The metal chassis is sturdy and well put together, while the 13in display works superbly well across clamshell, tablet and tent modes thanks to its 3:2 aspect ratio.

The touchpad is near impossible to fault, picking up fast movements and gestures brilliantly well, and although the keyboard isn’t the best we’ve seen on a Chromebook at this kind of price, it’s not far off. Image quality on the QHD+ display is superb, with the only downside being how reflective it is – with bright lights behind you, you’ll probably struggle to see what’s on the screen.

Performance-wise, the Intel Core i3 CPU backed by 8GB of RAM in the model we tested held up well, with the laptop only slowing down when running several demanding applications or handling multiple Chrome tabs. If you do require a bit more muscle, you’ll want to consider the more expensive Core i5 and i7-models.

Read our full Acer Chromebook Spin 713 review for more details

Key specs – Processor: Intel Core i3-10110U; RAM: 8GB; Storage: 128GB eMMC; Screen resolution: 2,256 x 1,504; Weight: 1.5kg

Buy now from Acer

4. Lenovo Yoga 9i (14in): The best 2-in-1 laptop for audio quality

Price: From £999 | Buy now from Lenovo

This 2-in-1 from Lenovo is a multi-talented laptop packing some serious power under the hood. The base model houses an 11th-generation Intel Core i5 processor with 8GB of RAM, a 512GB SSD and Full HD display, while the “Shadow Black” model we tested packs a 1TB SSD and comes with a leather lid cover. It may not be quite as attractive as the HP Spectre below, but the Yoga 9i feels very solid and isn’t too unwieldy at 1.34kg.

Performance-wise, the Yoga 9i achieved impressive scores in both our in-house 4K media benchmark test and the Geekbench 5 single- and multi-core tests. That’s to be expected given it’s packing 11th-gen silicon, but the Yoga 9i also remained cool when operating at full capacity and returned a very solid battery run-down test result of 11hrs 35mins.

The main issues preventing the Yoga 9i from being best in class relate to its touchpad and fingerprint scanner. Because the entire palm rest is made from one piece of tempered glass, it’s tricky to make out the boundaries of the trackpad, and locating the scanner can be a pain. The haptic action trackpad on the Shadow Black variant won’t be for everyone either, but other models offer more conventional touchpads.

Read our Lenovo Yoga 9i review for more details

Key specs – Processor: Quad-core Intel Core i7-1185G7; RAM: 8GB; Storage: 512GB SSD; Screen resolution: 1,920 x 1,080; Weight: 1.34kg

Buy now from Lenovo

5. HP Elite Folio: The best 2-in-1 for battery life

Price: £1,199 | Buy now from HP

Some 2-in-1 laptops attempt to cater for both work and play but the HP Elite Folio is unashamedly designed for business people requiring an ultraportable device with plenty of stamina. It focuses on delivering the features most important to on-the-go workers and does so with great success. The keyboard and audio system are exceptional, there's a stylus included in the package and even a handy slot located above the keyboard to store it in.

But what really sets it apart from the competition is its "pull-forward" convertible design. At first glance, it looks like a regular laptop but on closer inspection, you'll notice the screen is hinged on a support midway up each side. Pull the screen forward and you can rest it in a position reminiscent of a 2-in-1's tent mode or tilt the display all the way back to use the Folio as a tablet. Everything is held in position by magnets and the structure feels impressively sturdy and built to last.

The other unusual aspect of the Elite Folio is that it runs on the ARM-based Qualcomm Snapdragon 8cx chip. This does result in compatibility issues with certain Windows apps (though HP says the Folio can run 94% of said apps without any problems) but the upside is that battery life is outstanding as a result. The Elite Folio managed a frankly staggering 17h23m during our battery rundown test so you'll never have to worry about running out of juice on even the longest of working days.

Read our HP Elite Folio review for more details

Key specs – Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 8cx Gen2; RAM: 8GB; Storage: 256GB SSD; Screen resolution: 1,920 x 1,080; Weight: 1.32kg

Buy now from HP

6. Apple M1 iPad Pro (2021): A superb laptop alternative with a stunning display

Price: From £749 (without keyboard) | Buy now from Currys

With every new iteration, Apple’s iPad Pro becomes more of a laptop alternative than a tablet, and the 2021 upgrade sees its biggest step forward yet thanks to the incorporation of the M1 chip. Apple’s new silicon helps the iPad Pro blow the 2020 model out of the water in terms of processing and graphical performance, and it outstripped the M1 MacBook Air in a number of our benchmark tests.

The 12.9in version also gets a new Liquid Retina XDR display that uses mini-LED technology, and the results are astounding. It’s the brightest display of any portable computer we’ve tested and its colour accuracy across both the Standard Dynamic Range and HDR10 is highly impressive. The 11in model doesn’t get the mini-LED treatment, so if you want the best tablet screen around, be prepared to raid the bank.

That brings us on to one of the iPad Pro’s few drawbacks: its price. Once you’ve factored in a keyboard – we recommend going for one of Apple’s official offerings – you’re looking at a spend of around £1,000 for the base 11in model and significantly more for the lowest-spec 12.9in version. That’s a lot to pay, but the iPad Pro is undoubtedly worth it – it’s the best tablet money can buy and an excellent 2-in-1 laptop when paired with a keyboard.

Read our Apple M1 iPad Pro review for more details

Key specs – Processor: Apple M1; RAM: 8GB on 128/256/512GB models, 16GB on 1TB and 2TB models; Storage: 128GB–2TB SSD; Screen resolution: 11in – 2,388 x 1,688px 12.9in – 2,732 x 2048px; Weight: 11in – 466g, 12.9in – 682g

Buy now from Currys

7. Lenovo IdeaPad Duet: The best budget 2-in-1 Chromebook

Price: £280 | Buy now from Amazon

The IdeaPad Duet is first and foremost a tablet, but it comes bundled with a rear cover that can function as a stand along with a magnetic clip-on keyboard that enables it to be used as a miniature laptop. Its housing is plastic yet reasonably robust, and the removable keyboard is surprisingly good, despite lying completely flat on the surface you place it on. The keyboard is understandably on the small side but is great to type on, with inputs feeling tight yet springy.

The display is highly impressive too, particularly by budget Chromebook standards, covering 99.6% of the sRGB colour gamut with decent accuracy. Its diminutive size makes it a little tricky to work with multiple windows open on the desktop, but for basic tasks it works brilliantly.

The main compromise you’ll be making with the Duet is in the performance department. The MediaTek processor works perfectly well when browsing the net, watching videos and writing documents, but struggles somewhat when running single-core heavy web-based apps.

Read our full Lenovo IdeaPad Duet review for more details

Key specs – Processor: MediaTek Helio P60T; RAM: 4GB; Storage: 64GB eMPC; Screen resolution: 1,920 x 1,080; Weight: 0.92kg

8. Asus Chromebook Flip C436FA: A powerful 2-in-1 Chromebook with a great screen

Price: £749 | Buy now from Amazon

The Asus Flip C436FA is among the fastest Chromebooks we’ve ever tested, and packs specifications and usability to match many of the best Windows 10 2-in-1 laptops around. It houses a tenth-gen Intel Core i5 processor and is quick and responsive – it didn’t break into a sweat even with tens of tabs open in the Chrome browser.

A 360-degree reversible hinge is what gives the Flip its name, allowing you to transform the C436FA from a laptop into a tablet and back again in seconds. There’s no play in the hinge and the process of changing modes is an extremely smooth one, which isn’t always the case with reversible devices. At just 1.2kg, this 2-in-1 is wonderfully portable and its on-the-go credentials are helped by decent battery life – it achieved over ten hours in our battery rundown test so will see you through a working day with ease.

Coupled with those impressive characteristics, the Flip C436FA has a decent keyboard, effective touchpad, delightful FHD touchscreen display and even comes with a stylus. With all that going for it, it more than earns its title as the best 2-in-1 Chromebook on the market right now.

Read our full Asus Chromebook Flip C436FA review for more details

Key specs – Processor: Intel Core i5-10210U; RAM: 8GB; Storage: 256GB SSD; Screen resolution: 1,920 x 1,080; Weight: 1.2kg

9. MSI Summit E13 Flip Evo: Gorgeous, flexible and well-connected

Price: £1,385 | Buy now from eBuyer

The Summit E13 Flip Evo may not be the catchiest of product names, but this reversible laptop is an excellent ultraportable debut from Taiwanese manufacturer MSI. It's a powerful performer and remains extremely quiet during general use, which isn't always the case with laptops sporting a slim chassis.

The 13in FHD screen is another standout feature, with a high contrast ratio of 1,500:1 and exceptional colour accuracy when reproducing colours across the sRGB colour gamut. We were also extremely impressed by the Flip Evo's battery life, which clocked it at over 12 hours, and its selection of connection options, which include two Thunderbolt 4 ports and a USB-A port.

At 1.4kg, it may prove a little too heavy to use as a tablet for some people and, surprisingly, there's nowhere to store the stylus that's included in the box. But the Flip Evo ticks numerous other boxes and works particularly well in tent mode, making it a premium 2-in-1 laptop worth considering.

Read our full MSI Summit E13 Flip Evo review for more details

Key specs – Processor: Intel Core i7-1185G7; RAM: 16GB; Storage: 1TB SSD; Screen resolution: 1,920 x 1,080; Weight: 1.4kg

Buy now from eBuyer

10. Microsoft Surface Pro 7: A stylish hybrid now with USB-C

Price: From £700 | Buy now from Amazon

Microsoft first embraced the 2-in-1 concept when it designed Windows 8, and it’s been working ever since to perfect the design. The Surface Pro 7 is a wonderfully put together machine, but it’s not cheap and the Surface Pen stylus and Type Cover keyboard still aren’t included.

Not too much has changed from the impressive Microsoft Surface Pro 6 in terms of design, with its standout feature – the integrated kickstand that allows you to position the screen at any angle – still present. Microsoft has, however, added a USB-C port to its latest version, which is a long-overdue and very welcome addition.

The internals have been updated, too, with all configurations of the Surface Pro 7 housing tenth-generation Intel processors. We tested an Intel Core i7 model with Iris Plus graphics, 16GB of RAM and a 256GB SSD inside, and it outstripped an Intel Core i5 Surface Pro 6 in terms of graphical performance. It also proved perfectly responsive, but cooling did seem an issue, suggesting you may be better off going with a lowered-powered processor that’s less of a burden on the Surface Pro 7’s slimline chassis.

Read our Microsoft Surface Pro 7 review for more details

Key specs – Processor: Quad-core 1.3GHz Intel Core i7-1065G7; RAM: 16GB; Storage: 256GB SSD; Screen resolution: 1,920 x 1,080; Weight: 775g (without keyboard); 1.1kg (with keyboard)

11. Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 Plus: The best 2-in-1 laptop running Android OS

Price: £799 | Buy now from Amazon

Samsung’s latest flagship tablet has more than enough muscle to double up as a laptop. The Qualcomm processor driving it provides the power to handle pretty much anything you throw at it, and its multi-core processing proved twice as fast as a 2016 MacBook Pro.

You’ll need to purchase the Book Cover keyboard separately to use it as a laptop, but with that connected, the S7 Plus offers a truly impressive desktop-like experience. This is in part down to DeX mode: an interface designed to work with both a mouse and keyboard that gives you the ability to open multiple windows at once, drag and drop, and right-click for context-sensitive options.

The Galaxy Tab S7 Plus’ display is top-notch, too, with the 12.4in AMOLED panel boasting a 120Hz refresh rate and a resolution of 2,800 x 1,753. Throw in 5G connectivity on the more expensive model and you’ve got a very capable 2-in-1 that’s great for everything from work tasks to streaming your favourite films on Netflix.

Read our Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 Plus review for more details

Key specs – Processor: Octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 Plus; RAM: 6GB; Storage: 128GB; Screen resolution: 2,800 x 1,753; Weight: 575g

12. Microsoft Surface Go 2: A gorgeous companion device

Price: From £399 | Buy now from Microsoft

While it’s not the most powerful 2-in-1, the Microsoft Surface Go 2 is certainly one of the best looking. It’s essentially a miniaturised version of the Surface Pro you’ll find elsewhere on this list and features a handy built-in kickstand, though the tiny keyboard needs to be bought separately.

The Surface Go 2 now includes a Windows Hello-compatible webcam above the screen and improved microphones for better performance during video calls. The screen has also been made half an inch bigger (now 10.5in) and is perfectly sharp at 1,920 x 1,080px in resolution. Performance of the Intel Core m3-8100Y CPU in the version we tested was up from the original Surface Go, but power is certainly not the Surface Go 2’s strong point. It proved capable at simple, office-based tasks, but anything more demanding slowed things down dramatically.

This lack of performance prevents it from being a true laptop replacement, but if you’re after a superbly designed portable device for occasional tasks, the Surface Go 2 is an undeniably attractive option.

Read our Microsoft Surface Go 2 review for more details

Key specs – Processor: Intel Core m3-8100Y or Pentium Gold 4425Y; RAM: 4GB/8GB; Storage: 64GB/128GB; Screen resolution: 1,920 x 1,280; Weight: 540g

Buy now from Microsoft

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