Best 2-in-1 Laptops

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

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LG Gram 16 (Core i7) Laptop and the MSI SUME1412017 Laptop Photo: Consumer Reports

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 wrap up an Excel spreadsheet at your kitchen table and moments later be lying in bed watching your favorite video streaming service on what is essentially a nice big screen.

“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: convertibles and detachables.

With convertibles, the keyboard swings 360 degrees on hinges and folds flat against the back of the display. You can also use a convertible in what’s sometimes referred to as “tent mode” in which you bend the keyboard back about halfway and flip the device over, making it easy to share your screen with people nearby.

In the case of detachables, the keyboard can be completely disconnected from the display. There are far fewer detachables than convertibles in our ratings, and all are made by Microsoft. 

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

Either way—convertible or detachable—you have a touch screen, which comes in handy when you want to pause a movie or scroll through social media.

A full one-quarter of the 152 laptops in our ratings are either a convertible or detachable, which means you have plenty of options to choose from. CR members can see a list of recommended models, organized by decreasing screen size, below.

There’s just one 17-inch 2-in-1 laptop in our ratings, but it’s a good one—a convertible with an Intel Core i7 processor, 8 gigabytes of memory, and 256GB of solid state storage. Those are solid specs. The Core i7 may be overkill for day-to-day tasks, but it allows you to tackle more demanding fare like video-editing, too.

Our testers praise the laptop’s strong performance, battery life that lasts as long as 13 hours for web browsing and other ordinary tasks, and the big, bright display that accurately represents colors. (The last thing you want is a washed-out picture when you’re watching the latest nature documentary on Netflix.)

You’ll also find a good selection of built-in ports, including several USB ports, one Thunderbolt port (which can accept USB-C connections), and an HDMI port for connecting to a nearby TV. WiFi 6, the latest WiFi standard, is supported out of the box.

This ships with Windows 10, but you can upgrade to Windows 11 at no extra cost.

Most of the LG Gram models in our ratings are traditional notebooks, but this one is a convertible with all the benefits—from top-shelf specs to ease of portability—you expect to find in its less-flexible siblings. It’s hard to beat such a powerful laptop, especially given that it weighs barely 3 pounds.

The specs include an Intel Core i7 processor, 16 gigabytes of memory, and 2 terabytes of solid state storage. With muscle like that, the only things that might be out of reach are certain high-end games.

Beyond that, you’ll find a battery that lasts as long as 20 hours under light loads like web browsing, a bevy of ports including two USB-C and one older USB-A (though there’s no HDMI port), and support for WiFi 6.

The model ships with Windows 11, so no need to spend time upgrading from Windows 10.

You might also consider the 15.6-inch Samsung Galaxy Book2 Pro, a convertible that scores almost as well but sells for a couple hundred dollars less.

Want a more modest-sized 2-in-1? Consider this 14-inch convertible from the gaming specialists at MSI. It has an Intel Core i5, 16 gigabytes of memory, and 512GB of solid state storage. 

It’s more of an entry-level gaming laptop, what with the Core i5 and use of integrated graphics, but it should be able to handle today’s games, as long as you turn the settings for resolution or texture quality down just a smidge.

Performance, display quality, and versatility all get top marks from our testers. With more than 15 hours of battery life at a lighter, nongaming load, the model can easily go a workday or two without needing to be plugged in, too.

There’s a healthy assortment of ports (two USB-C, one USB-A, and one HDMI) and even support for WiFi 6E, an extension to the current WiFi 6 standard that should improve performance in densely populated areas like apartment buildings. The model ships with Windows 11 Pro, which adds features not found on the consumer version of Windows 11. Think support for virtualization, which you can use to run separate operating systems on the same computer.

This is a high-end 13.3-inch convertible with an Intel Core i7 processor, 16 gigabytes of memory, and 512GB of solid state storage. With those specs, you shouldn’t have any problem tackling most tasks.

The real star of the show here, however, is the AMOLED display, which our testers say produces bright and accurate colors and doesn’t wash out when viewed at an angle. If you’re going to cozy up on the couch with a convertible, it helps to have a display that’s ready to do its part.

And with more than 20 hours of battery life for web browsing (or about half as much for watching hi-res video), you won’t have to worry a great deal about carrying the power cord with you every time you go to Starbucks.

For a different spin on the 2-in-1 experience, you might consider the detachable 13-inch Surface Pro. We don’t yet have the Surface Pro 8 in our ratings, but the Pro 7 performed well in our labs a few years ago.


Headshot image of Electronics editor Nicholas Deleon

Nicholas De Leon

I've been covering consumer electronics for more than 10 years for publications like TechCrunch, The Daily (R.I.P.), and Motherboard. When I'm not researching or writing about laptops or headphones I can likely be found obsessively consuming news about FC Barcelona, replaying old Super Nintendo games for the hundredth time, or chasing my pet corgi Winston to put his harness on so we can go for a walk. Follow me on Twitter (@nicholasadeleon).