Enter: the hybrid laptop (or just “2-in-1 laptop”). It’s a device that you can convert from tablet to laptop and back again with ease.
Why would I want a 2-in-1 laptop?
Simply put, a 2-in-1 laptop allows you to have the best of both devices at your fingertips. You can use the tablet to draw and take hand-written notes with a stylus, or you can use its touch-screen and gesture features for your day-to-day activities. But when you need more control or need to type something up, you can switch into laptop and keyboard mode. Best of all, these machines feature the computing power to run full-sized applications like Adobe Photoshop and more.
What size laptop should you get?
This really comes down to two things: Personal preference and lifestyle. If you’re traveling often and usually have your computer on your back, you’re going to want to go with something more light and compact (thin, 11-inch models will most likely be the best). But, if you’re a huge movie buff who doesn’t normally take their tech on the road with them, spring for a 15-inch screen with a bulky construction so you can have better Netflix and chill sessions.
Are cheap laptops worth it?
You know the old saying: You get what you pay for. But thanks to the technology boom of the last few decades, a cheap laptop can actually take you pretty far and won’t break down immediately. It’s all about knowing which one to select. Depending on what you use your laptop for the most, staying stingy might be your best option. (You can also check out our roundups for the cheap laptops that we think are actually worth it — here are our favorite laptops under $500, and the best laptops under $300.)
What should you look for in a 2-in-1 laptop?
Regardless of what you intend to use your hybrid machine for, a good one should strike a great balance between portability and usability. In other words, you’ll want something that can do what you need it to without being too bulky, difficult to convert, or heavy.
There are a lot of really good 2-in-1 laptops out there, but some of them have vastly different capabilities for different kinds of people. If you’re an artist or a designer, you’ll likely want a 2-in-1 laptop with a large screen for drawing or media viewing. If you’re on the go a lot, or if you’re a student, you might want something a little smaller that can easily fit in your backpack. If you’re a big writer or use your device for work, you’ll likely want something that feels more like a laptop. But if you’re going to use the tablet more than a keyboard, maybe a tablet with a detachable keyboard is a better option for you.
To help narrow down your search, we gathered up the very best 2-in-1 devices that can suit a variety of needs. Read on to check out our top picks, from budget models to high-powered machines.