The Best Convertible Laptops [August 2019]
When the tablet came along, personal tech changed forever. Steve Jobs’ vision of creating a middle ground gadget that brought together the minimalist beauty of an iPad but the power of a more traditional laptop led to not only iPad domination, but also a slew of copycat technologies that offered the same type of functionality at a lower price.
But tech consumers are notoriously greedy people, and they soon clamored for more. Why, they asked, must they be forced to settle on buying either a laptop or a tablet? Or why couldn’t they simply have both at once? This selfish scramble led to the invention of the convertible laptop (also known as a 2-in-1 laptop), which effortlessly allows users to switch almost instantly between a traditional laptop configuration and a tablet—all on the same device simply by flipping the screen.
The convertible laptop revolution was slow to take hold. Users were undeniably skeptical of a Transformer-like piece of technology, having been routinely duped by companies no less respected than Apple in the past. (Remember the Apple Newton fiasco?) But thanks to a roaring field of competition and an eagerness to please on behalf of tech companies, the technology quickly improved, and reliable convertible tablets started to become more accessible to the general public.
Of course one stubborn problem still remained: The only good ones were still too expensive to make them practical for the everyday consumer. But thankfully those days are over, and it’s now completely possible to land a truly top-notch convertible laptop without breaking the bank. So enjoy our list of some of the best 2-in-1 laptops that money can buy.
One of the more difficult tasks that convertible laptop manufactures have is figuring out just how to market them. Convertible laptops seem to appeal to a wide range of consumers—ranging from students on a budget to business professionals who want to travel light to creatives who love a good stylus.
This isn’t necessarily a bad thing if you’re in the market for a great convertible laptop, but it can make things a bit tricky when you’re trying to find one the best suits your individual needs. That’s why we’ve tried to only include convertible laptops on this list that can do it all—without giving overt preference to those that are only primarily suited to a particular task.
This Lenovo Flex laptop seems to embody the best of multiple worlds, and it’s available for a price that’s likely affordable to most aspiring and established professionals along with students.
Featuring a truly brilliant 14-inch touch screen and an AMD Ryzen 5 3500U Processor, this laptop comes preloaded with 8GB of super-fast RAM along with 256GB of solid-state storage (more than many of the other convertibles on the market at similar price points).
You get the latest version of Windows 10 along with a stylus pen that can be used to do everything from write emails to paint pictures, and eight hours of battery life means that you’ll be able to stay creative on the go without having to constantly scramble for a power outlet.
You also get comprehensive protection against everything from viruses and malware to ransomeware and beyond built right in, and you’ll be able to use TrueBlock technology in order physically and automatically close your webcam when you’re not using it—keeping you and your environment free from prying eyes.
It also comes loaded with an HDMI port, a USB-C port, and USB 3.1 inputs for added functionality, along with a fingerprint reader for added security.
We were also impressed with the overall build of this laptop, which is thin enough to pop in your bag at a moment’s notice but durable enough to withstand the occasional drop or bump.
We know that at first glance, this may not look like a traditional convertible laptop, but of course therein lies the beauty of this HP machine.
HP has more than earned its reputation for making quality, affordable pieces of gear that both get the job done and last a lifetime, and this sleek and stylish laptop is no exception to that rule.
It comes loaded with a fast Intel Core i5-7200U processor that runs at 3.10 GHz along with 8GB of DDR4 RAM and a whopping 1TB HDD—meaning that if you’re one of those people who despises working in the cloud, you may want to forgo the laptops with lower capacities in favor of this behemoth.
The screen on this laptop, although not quite as bright as the screen on our number-one pick, is still great, and it’s a bit larger as well—coming in at 15.6 inches.
There’s plenty of RAM to multitask on pro-level apps without overwhelming your system, and you’ll be able to connect a virtually limitless number of peripherals thanks to a wide range of inputs ranging from HDMI to USB.
You also get Windows 10 and all of the great apps and bug-prevention tools that come with it.
The only downside to this computer is that the speakers aren’t that great, although we don’t think this will be much of an issue for a growing number of people who listen to their music through headphones instead of laptop speakers.
We’re the first to admit that Acer didn’t begin as one of the world’s most reliable technology companies, but those days are over, and right now they’re at the forefront of some of the most important and affordable pieces of gear on the market.
This convertible laptop is a testament to just how far the company has come since its more than humble inception, since it offers an incredible amount of power and functionality in a compact and stylish package.
The only reason this machine didn’t rank higher on our list is because it costs it bit more than most, but if you have the extra cash to spend you’ll enjoy a blazing 8th generation Intel Core i7 processor that can run at speeds of up to 4.6GHz, along with a beautiful 14-inch screen that features exceptional backlighting and multi-touch functionality.
This laptop also comes preloaded with 16GB of DDR4 RAM along with a 512GB hard drive that should provide more than enough storage to keep everything from media files to eBooks away from the cloud if needed.
Your order even comes with a very responsive and rechargeable active stylus that’s great for creative professionals.
Alright, we know that this pick is more along the lines of a tablet with an external keyboard than a convertible laptop in its truest form, but we have to include it because it’s making waves in the creative world—and with good reason.
TheSurface Pro has become one of the most ubiquitous and respected personal computers in the world of creative professionals in no small part due to its incredibly vibrant and vivid screen, but you get so much more than that as well.
This model comes loaded with the latest and greatest 8th generation Intel Core processor, along with a new design that features an even slimmer body.
You also get an insane 13.5-hour battery life (making this machine ideal for frequent travelers who may find themselves away from power outlets on a regular basis), along with a “studio mode” configuration that allows you to lower the kickstand to achieve the perfect 15-degree writing and drawing angle that many artists crave.
Your order even comes with both a Surface Pen and a Surface Arc Mouse, the latter of which is designed to perfectly conform to your hand and snaps flat to fit easily in your bag. It’s also Bluetooth-enabled so you won’t have to worry about cumbersome and unsightly wires.
Unless you’ve been living under a very large rock recently, you’ve doubtlessly heard of the Google Chromebook—those simple-yet-mighty machines that allow you to get through your day’s computer tasks without having to invest an exorbitant amount of money in a MacBook Pro.
As its name implies, this is a convertible version of the famed Chromebook, and although it doesn’t necessarily come with as many bells and whistles as some of the other laptops on our list, it has plenty of processing power and a more-than-decent screen to get you through the day.
You get an 11.6-inch HD touchscreen, along with a surprisingly fast Intel Celeron processor that can run at speeds of up to 2.48GHz.
This machine also comes loaded with 4GB of RAM and 32GB of SSD storage—which is typical of Chromebooks since they appeal to users who store virtually everything on the cloud.
You also get an HDMI-out in case you want to work on a bigger screen, and the latest Chrome OS means that you’ll be able to work with and download a wide range of awesome apps from the Google Play store.
If you thought we’d end a list like this without including a Dell machine, you’re be crazy. This Dell Inspiron takes a classic design and converts it into a convertible thanks to a full swivel along with a 14-inch touchscreen that’s surprisingly responsive.
You get an 8th generation Intel Core i3 processor along with 4GB of DDR4 RAM, and 128GB of storage means that you’ll have more than enough room to store the essentials right on the machine itself without reverting to the cloud.
It comes preloaded with Windows 10 (which means you’ll automatically get all the latest security features that Windows users enjoy, and the design seems supremely durable yet lightweight—making this an ideal travel computer for the frequent commuter.