Best 2 in 1 Laptops of 2016 Ranked! Top Convertible Laptops

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Looking for a 2 in 1 laptop? While tablet sales have been on a decline lately, the same can’t be said for 2 in 1 laptops, also known as convertible laptops, tablet laptops, or laptop hybrids. These devices differ from conventional laptops because either the screen is detachable or the screen can be flipped around to create a tablet form factor.

The appeal of these devices is simple. Buyers want the couch surfing capability of a tablet, plus the productivity and power of a conventional laptop PC. Buyers don’t want carry multiple devices and power cables around. Buyers also don’t want to manage keeping files and bookmarks on multiple devices.

That’s where 2 in 1 laptops come in!

There are plenty of 2 in 1 laptops to chose from but only a few should be on your shopping list. In this article, I list the best 2 in 1 laptops available in 2016. In a future update I will provide some tips on how to choose the best 2 in 1 laptop for you, in case you want something not on this list.

Best 2 in 1 Laptop Over $1000

Best 2 in 1 Laptops - Convertilbe Laptop Tablets - Microsoft Surface Book - Tech Ranker

Microsoft Surface Book

If price is no object, consider going for the best laptop tablet combo available, the Microsoft Surface Book. This 2 in 1 features Intel Core processors, a great screen, and a very nice detachable keyboard. Want a laptop with a stylus pen? The Surface Book got you covered there as well.

The thing I like most about this device is that some models include dedicated graphics. This will allow you to use the Surface Book as a gaming laptop or video editing laptop. The included GPU can also help with encoding media files if your software supports GPU acceleration.

Note that the Surface Book was plagued with some driver issues early on that have since been resolved. Like any Windows 10 device these days, after you purchase the Surface Book, make sure you repeatedly run Windows Update until it says there are no more updates.

Surface Book starts at $1499 for the non-GPU model and 1899.00 for the GPU model (get the GPU model if it’s in your budget!).

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Best 2 in 1 Laptop Under $1000

Best 2 in 1 Laptops - Convertilbe Laptop Tablets - HP Spectre x360 13 - Tech Ranker

HP Spectre x360 13

If the Surface Book is too rich for your blood but you still have $1000 to spend, consider the HP Spectre x360 13. It features Intel Core processing power, a beautiful screen, good keyboard and trackpad, plus awesome battery life. Its most compelling feature is the ability to flip the screen 360 degrees (hence the name, x360), allowing you to use the device as a tablet. The HP Spectre x360 13 is an awesome looking device to boot.

I rate the HP Spectre x360 13 only slightly behind the Surface Book, primarily because I prefer the Surface Book’s GPU option. If you don’t need dedicated graphics, put the x360 13 at the top of your shopping list of 2 in 1 laptops.

Of note, there appear to have been some quality issues related to the x360 devices when they were released. A colleague of mine purchased one recently, based on my recommendation, and hasn’t had any issues so far. Hopefully HP has the quality issues ironed out.

The HP Spectre x360 13 2 in 1 laptop starts at $750.

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Best 2 in 1 Laptop for the Money

Best 2 in 1 Laptops - Convertilbe Laptop Tablets - Microsoft Surface Pro 3 - Tech Ranker

Microsoft Surface Pro 3

This is the device I own and have grown to love it over time. It has a brilliant screen, Intel Core processing power, a clever kickstand, and a nifty keyboard cover.

Be aware that this device is more tablet than laptop. I included it in this list because I think it’s a compelling device for those who might consider something more tablet centric. I use it on the couch, on the treadmill at the gym, and even at the garage while waiting for an oil change. When I need to get work done, I can quickly whip out the type cover keyboard, which, while not as good as a real keyboard, it works well enough.

Why did I suggest this and not the Surface 4 Pro? The Surface Pro 3 is a few hundred dollars less and most people won’t find the Surface 4 Pro as much of an upgrade. The money you save on getting the Pro 3 can be used to buy the type cover keyboard or the docking station. I think most people would appreciate the value the Pro 3 provides over the slightly bigger and faster Pro 4.

A Surface Pro 3 can be had for under $600 as of this writing. You can get a refurbished Surface Pro 3 and save even more money. Get one before they are sold out!

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Best Budget 2 in 1 Laptop

Best 2 in 1 Laptops - Convertilbe Laptop Tablets - Asus Transformer Book T100HA - Tech Ranker

Asus Transformer Book T100HA

Looking for a cheap Windows tablet convertible? Take a look at the Asus Transformer Book T100HA. It features an Intel Atom processor, 10″ screen, a pretty decent keyboard, and 12 hours of battery life.

I have owned several Asus Transformer Book convertible laptops in the past. They are known for providing a great amount of value. The T100HA in particular won’t win any performance contests. However, for shoppers that want a cheap 2 in 1 laptop with all day battery life, this device is worthy of consideration.

The Asus Transformer Book T100HA is available for $300.

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2 in 1 Laptops with a Stylus, Digitizer Pen Support

Looking for a laptop with stylus pen support? Both the Surface Book and the Surface Pro 3 include a stylus. The HP Spectre x360 doesn’t include a stylus but it does support an active digitizer pen.

Which 2 in 1 Laptop will you Choose?

Do you know which 2 in 1laptop you will buy?  Will you opt for a regular laptop or tablet instead?  Please share you thoughts and buy experience in the comments section below.

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3 Comments

  1. G Lewis says

    Where does the Lenovo Yoga fit in your comparisons? I’m looking for a laptop first, active digitizer second, convertible third machine, and the only models I’ve been able to find are the SP4, Yoga, and Spectre x360 (no stylus). Are there other, lesser-known options?

    1. Quentin Moore says

      I haven’t examined the recent Yogas. If I remember, their past devices had questionable battery life, flex in the keyboard, and not a great keyboard experience. I could be wrong. I’ll look at the Yogas when I update the page within a couple weeks.

      For laptops, I recommend the Dell XPS 13 or XPS 15. I own the XPS 13.

      If I really wanted to use a pen, I would get a Microsoft Surface Book, SP3, or SP4. Note that I own the SP3 and barely use the pen. Good luck with your decision!

  2. Laurie says

    I love the concept of a 2 in 1 laptop – where you can have a tablet when you want and a laptop when you want. I have seen the Microsoft and HP options but haven’t seen the one from Asus. Thank you for sharing!

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