The 8 Best 2-in-1 Laptop Tablets to Buy in 2017

Why choose between a laptop and tablet when you can have both?

In the never-ending quest for the perfect computer, most of today’s buyers agree that one important thing they want is portability. Whether it’s spending time away from an outlet, using it on a plane or for reading a book in the evening, the 2-in-1 hybrid notebook is all the rage. The advent of this new type of computer has all but eliminated the choice of carrying around either a laptop or tablet or both. Regardless of your use-case, our selection of the best hybrids will definitely give you the best of both worlds.

One of the best pieces of computer equipment Microsoft has produced in years, the Surface Book is a true crowd pleaser. Up to 131 percent more powerful than its 2015 iteration, this hybrid is a true do-it-all machine. Powered by an Intel Core i5 processor, 128GB of storage, 8GB of RAM and up to 12 hours of video playback, there’s no shortage of available muscle to get your work done. Working on the 13.5-inch PixelSense display is nothing short of fantastic and it gets even better when you use the Surface Pen (sold separately) for writing directly on the display.

Other features include Windows Ink for naturally writing notes on the screen, as well as meticulously built hardware that’s both durable and lightweight. Weighing just 3.34 pounds, the detachable display offers more than six million pixels to rival real life colors. Removing the display from the Surface Book keyboard allows you to enter right into tablet mode, but you can also flip the display 180 degrees and reattach it for presentation mode, which is an ideal angle for viewing multimedia.

Running Windows 10, Microsoft’s Surface Pro 4 is an equally outstanding 2-in-1 hybrid computer that offers the best of both laptop and tablet worlds. Powered by an Intel Core i5 processor, 8GB of RAM and a 256GB hard drive, there’s enough horsepower for everyday tasks with room (and battery life) to spare for Netflix binging at the end of the day. The 12.3-inch PixelSense display offers similar features to the Surface Book and includes the Surface Pen for a natural way to capture notes. The Type Cover keyboard offers a refreshed design that has a vastly improved typing experience, as well as a two-button trackpad for more precise click controls. With a design that’s specific to the Surface, the keyboard easily clicks into place and adjusts from tablet to laptop and back again in an instant.

The Asus T102HA Transformer Mini 10.1-inch 2-in-1 hybrid computer is powered by an Intel Atom quad-core x5 processor, 4GB of RAM and 128GB EMMC storage. Fortunately, its 1.7-pound, .6-inch frame with the keyboard is superbly manufactured for an ideal build quality that feels sturdy despite the wallet-friendly price tag.

Unlike some of its Microsoft-made competition, the Asus Transformer comes right out of the box with a pen, keyboard and fingerprint reader, which eliminates the need for additional purchases afterward. The keyboard attaches via magnet, but offers up to 170 degrees of movement with the kickstand for easy use on a lap or desk in laptop mode and quickly detaches for jumping right into tablet functionality. Additionally, the small size hides its big connectivity options with a full spread of USB, micro USB, micro HDMI and microSD ports.

Acer’s 12-inch Switch Alpha features a 6th generation Intel Core i3 2.3GHz processor, 4GB of RAM and a 128GB drive. Add in Windows 10 Home, as well as up to eight hours of battery life and the 2.76-pound Switch Alpha is an ideal scenario for travelers looking for something that’s a terrific combination of power and portability. The full-size keyboard attachment connects via a magnetic hinge offering a backlit spread of keys for easy use on a plane or in a dark room at night with 165 degrees of tilt for handily finding the exact angle you need. The “fan-less” CPU helps keep the Switch Alpha cool to the touch and it’s the lack of one that helps introduce MU-MIMO 802.11ac connectivity for up to 3x faster WiFi performance. 

The Huawei MateBook 2-in-1 hybrid weighs just 1.5 pounds and is powered by a 6th generation Intel Core m5 processor, 4GB of RAM and a 128GB hard drive. The 12.3-inch display shines with 2160 x 1440 resolution and 160 degrees of wide-viewing angles. Compatible with the Huawei MatePen for notetaking and drawing right on the display, the unibody design belies its .27-inch frame. Business travelers and road warriors will love the lightweight look and feel, but they’ll rave about the side fingerprint sensor that accesses a file system Huawei claims is one of the “most secure in the industry.” Beyond security, the Huawei offers upgrades to 8GB of RAM and a larger hard drive at 256GB of storage for even more power and portability without any additional weight.

If there’s an ideal combination of price and performance in the 2-in-1 hybrid market, it resides with the Lenovo Yoga 710. It is run by a 7th generation Intel Core i7 processor, 8GB of RAM and a 256GB drive that’s paired with a 14-inch display. The 1920 x 1080 ten-point multi-touch IPS display offers Full HD viewing, but doesn’t stand out in any way. Additionally, the eight hours of battery life hits right in the middle of the pack, but it’s this slightly-above-average performance that makes the Yoga 710 such a great value. The 360-degree flip-and-fold design offers a slew of connectivity options, including 802.11ac WiFi, USB 3.0 and microHDMI.

Unlike most of its 2-in-1 competitors, the Yoga 710 doesn’t offer a detachable keyboard, but instead has a full 360-degree flip-and-fold design that simulates tablet mode all without removing the keyboard. Fortunately, this design still feels very lightweight and weighs 3.42 pounds, which is right on the money for today’s larger ultrabooks.

The HP Spectre x360 is an outstanding 15.6-inch 2-in-1 hybrid computer that’s souped up with the new Intel Kaby Lake Core i7 processor. The addition of 16GB of RAM and 512GB of memory offers no shortage of both power and space for downloads, gaming on-the-go or multimedia tasks such as video or photo editing. The 4K 3840 x 2160 15.6-inch display offers an outstanding viewing experience for both multimedia and gaming courtesy of the NVIDIA GeForce 940MX graphics card. All this power comes with a battery that’s capable of running up to 12 hours with everyday usage and up to nine hours of video playback.

The lone 2015 release on this list, the Sony Vaio Z is an ideal gaming 2-in-1 in today's computer market. It's packed with an Intel Core i7 processor, 8GB of RAM and a 256GB hard drive, but it’s the dedicated Intel Iris Pro Graphics 5200 GPU that’s truly pushing the Vaio into gaming territory. The 12.3-inch 2560 x 1704 IPS display doesn’t offer as much space for gaming as a dedicated gaming laptop would, but for on-the-go gaming in a small package, the Vaio Z can’t be beat.

Add in standard hybrid options such as a stylus, detachable full-size keyboard and a supremely durable aluminum cut body and you’ve found the Holy Grail of portable 2-in-1 gaming. You can expect around nine hours of battery life under average use conditions.


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