Do you need a piece of technology that can do everything? Would you be able to work during the day and stream at night on the same device in a perfect world? It’s possible — you need a 2-in-1 laptop. These touchscreen devices are the latest in laptop innovation and are the most versatile pieces to add to your technology kit.
Apple has not yet introduced a 2-in-1 laptop, but there are plenty of other brands and models to choose between. If you’re a college student or someone who is always on the go, a 2-in-1 laptop gives you the best of both worlds.
Not all 2-in-1 laptops are made equal. You’ll have options to choose between ChromeOS or Windows 10, but you’ll have to wait on an Apple version for at least another few years. When you’re looking for a 2-in-1 laptop, there are some essential aspects to consider.
You want to make sure that you choose a 2-in-1 laptop with an operating system that you’re familiar with or are comfortable using. You’ll have to choose from Windows 10 or ChromeOS.
Windows 10 is the best choice for hardcore gamers or anyone looking to run extensive programs on their 2-in-1 laptop. ChromeOS operates on Chromebooks. It’s a browser-based system that relies on Google Suite. If you’re someone who relies on Gmail or Google Drive, this might be the perfect operating system for you.
What makes your 2-in-1 laptop versatile? Some models have a foldable configuration that has a keyboard on the back of the touchscreen. These 2-in-1 laptops work similarly to a tablet. Most laptops convert into a “tent” configuration where the edge of the screen rests against the keyboard’s surface. Other models have a swiveling hinge that hides the keyboard behind the screen.
You want to consider the size and weight of a 2-in-1 laptop, which impacts its functionality. The size of your laptop will determine the dimensions of the screen. Most 2-in-1 laptops have a 15-inch screen or smaller.
Your laptop is full of personal information that you want to prevent falling into the wrong hands. You want a 2-in-1 laptop that offers more than just password protection. You’ll find some models that have additional security functions. Fingerprint scanners are an easy way to log into your computer quickly, and facial recognition offers similar functionality.
If you plan to use your laptop for work or sensitive projects, look out for encrypted drives that allow access only with an encryption key. You may not find these additional security features on a Chromebook, but most 2-in-1 laptops have two-step verification.
Remote working is more popular than ever. You’ll need a 2-in-1 laptop with a decent quality camera and microphone for online video calls, whether it’s for work or to get in touch with friends. Most 2-in-1 computers have a camera, and some 2-in-1 laptops even offer both front and rear-facing cameras, similar to a tablet.
A 2-in-1 laptop is an investment that can range anywhere from $200-$2,000. The price tag will depend on the size and processing power of the laptop. If you’re looking for a budget-friendly laptop with touchscreen capability, you can expect to pay between $200-$500 for a basic Chromebook.
Faster 2-in-1 laptops often include SSD storage and are more versatile for everyday tasks. You can expect to find these with a price tag of $500-$1,000. If you’re a professional artist or designer who wants a high-resolution screen and high-quality CPUs, you can expect to pay between $1,000-$2,000 for a suitable 2-in-1 laptop.
A. Just like a traditional laptop, you can expect your 2-in-1 laptop to last for around four years. One thing to consider is that rapid advancements in technology move devices toward irrelevance faster than ever — meaning you may want to upgrade your 2-in-1 laptop in a few years.
A. This feature will depend on the model that you choose. If it flips backward, you can turn off the keyboard.
What you need to know: One of the most attractive and stylish options from Samsung.
What you’ll love: It has a durable aluminum body with a QLED display for a stylish 2-in-1 laptop look. It has a long-lasting battery and fast processor to deliver consistent performance. The efficient stylus is easy to use.
What you should consider: The audio system could use some improvement.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
What you need to know: It boots up within seconds and uses a versatile Chrome OS, giving you all the storage and memory capacity you need for everyday use.
What you’ll love: This 360-degree convertible 2-in-1 laptop is less than 1-inch thick and weighs as much as a hardback book with an 11-inch touchscreen display.
What you should consider: As it’s a Chromebook, you can’t download apps directly from the Google App store.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
What you need to know: While this sleek 2-in-1 laptop comes with a mid-tier price tag, it offers virtually every feature that you will ever need.
What you’ll love: This 2-in-1 laptop works with a 360-degree hinge that allows you to work at any angle. It has a fast processor that allows for visual design, streaming, and web browsing. It’s lightweight and ideal for traveling.
What you should consider: The noise of the fan can be irritating.
Where to buy: Sold by HP
Sign up here to receive the BestReviews weekly newsletter for useful advice on new products and noteworthy deals.
David Heiling writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.