Best 2-in-1 Laptops

These versatile computers could make you forget all about needing a dedicated tablet

The Dell XPS 13 convertible is one of the best 2-in-1 laptops

Why buy two devices when one will do the job?

That’s the allure of a 2-in-1 laptop, a clever innovation that’s one part traditional notebook and one part touch-screen tablet. With a 2-in-1, you can put the finishing touches on an Excel spreadsheet at your kitchen table and moments later be lying in bed watching Netflix.

“The primary appeal of a 2-in-1 is the flexibility,” says Antonette Asedillo, who oversees computer testing for Consumer Reports. “If you don’t need the keyboard, you can tuck it away, change the configuration so it functions as a stand, or possibly detach it altogether.”

There are two approaches to 2-in-1 design.

In the case of detachables, the keyboard can be completely disconnected from the display. With convertibles, the keyboard swings 360 degrees on hinges and folds flat against the back of the display.

“Detachables are good when you want to be more mobile, maybe to play a game or browse the web using just the screen,” Asedillo says. “Convertibles are good for presentations, times when you need to quickly show videos and slideshows. It gets the keyboard out of the way and holds the display upright.”

The touch screen, Asedillo says, comes in really handy here, for pausing a movie or scrolling through slides with simple taps and swipes.

Of the almost 100 laptops in our ratings, roughly one-third are of the 2-in-1 variety, which shows how much consumers have warmed to the idea of these hybrids. CR members can see a list of recommended models with their test results, organized by increasing screen size, below.