The 2-in-1 laptop is a flexible format that can work as a standard clamshell machine while offering optional (or primary) tablet functionality. Although not typically targeted at gaming, there are some 2-in-1s that do a good job of it, so if you want to game in your off hours, or want a portable laptop and tablet that can also play games, then buying the best 2-in-1 for gaming will set you up nicely.
There are a few types of 2-in-1s to pick from, including the detachable tablet, the 360-degree convertible, and the pull-forward design, but regardless of the type, the result is a laptop that doesn't constrain. Here are some 2-in-1 laptops that are great for gaming, as well as everything else.
Asus ROG Flow Z13
A tablet that's literally made for gaming
- Bright, beautiful screen
- Amazing portability
- Ingenious design
- Surprisingly good performance
- Comfortable keyboard and touchpad
- Poor battery life
- Dorky aesthetic
- Mediocre webcam, no Windows Hello
Crazily enough, there's a 14-core (six Performance and eight Efficient) and 20-thread 12th-gen Intel Core i9-12900H crammed inside the Asus ROG Flow Z13, a detachable tablet that was literally made for gaming. It's the first of its kind, and that's an insane amount of CPU power to find in a standard slate. The ROG Flow Z13 can also be configured with an Nvidia GeForce RTX 3050 Ti, the fastest discrete GPU we could find in a 2-in-1, and while it's an entry-level GPU it still provides solid gaming at 1200p and medium graphics.
We're concerned most here about gaming performance, but a quick note on general performance. This is by far the fastest tablet for creative tasks, as the Core i9 powered its way to the kind of CPU performance you normally find on 15-inch laptops and larger. Its only competitor in the 2-in-1 space is the Asus ROG Flow X13 with its AMD Ryzen 9 5900HS (another insanely powerful CPU to find in a 2-in-1), which we'll cover below. You can use the ROG Flow Z13 for creative tasks that most 13- and 14-inch clamshell laptops will choke on.
Moving back to gaming, we found that the ROG Flow Z13 provided playable 60 frame rates per second (fps) results at 1200p and medium graphics in games like Fortnite and Halo Infinite. You'll drop down below 60 fps in titles like Assassin's Creed Valhalla and Cyberpunk 2077, but those are still fast enough to play in a pinch. And you can plug in the Asus XG Mobile that houses up to an Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 that can provide 1440p and higher gaming as long as you're willing to keep the tablet stuck in one place.
The ROG Flow Z13 is heavier and thicker than the typical detachable tablet, and it has a true gamer's aesthetic especially around back, where you'll find vents and branding that screams gaming. A window is cut into the very Surface Pro 8-like kickstand that shows off a view into the internals, complete with RGB lighting. This isn't a tablet that you'll necessarily want to carry with you into a boardroom. Lest we forget, there's also a Full HD+ (1,920 x 1,200) IPS display available that runs at 120Hz, a frame rate the tablet isn't likely to require for gaming but it does make Windows 11 run more smoothly.
Asus ROG Flow X13
A smaller convertible 2-in-1 for gamers
- Amazing portability
- Good performance for its size
- Comfortable keyboard and touchpad
- XG Mobile is a good option
- 120Hz refresh rate
- Mediocre battery life
- Screen could be brighter
- Expensive for performance
The Asus ROG Flow X13 is the company's successful attempt at creating a convertible 2-in-1 that can game. Like the ROG Flow Z13, it packs in a very powerful processor for a 13.4-inch 2-in-1, the eight-core/16-thread 35-watt AMD Ryzen 9 5900HS that's typically found in thicker and heavier machines. Like the ROG Flow Z13, the ROG Flow X13 can churn through incredibly demanding productivity workflows while tackling some creative tasks as well.
As a gaming laptop, the ROG Flow X13 performs around the same as its tablet sibling. It, too, hit 60+ fps in Fortnite at 1200p and high graphics (which is the game's medium graphics setting), and it couldn't keep up with more demanding titles like Assassin's Creed Valhalla. But even so, it's an admirable entry-level gaming laptop in a tiny convertible 2-in-1 chassis. Plug in the XG Mobile and you'll have a stationary gaming workstation that can play modern titles at 1440p or even higher.
The ROG Flow X13 is more conservatively designed than the ROG Flow Z13, without any obvious gaming elements. It's a convertible 2-in-1 that you can use in any setting and in four different modes, including clamshell, tent, media, and tablet. It also offers a Full HD+ display running at 120Hz, giving you plenty of gaming headroom and a smoother Windows 11 experience.
Microsoft Surface Laptop Studio
The Microsoft Surface for gamers
- Most powerful Surface PC
- Gorgeous, 120Hz screen
- Fun 2-in-1 design
- Wonderful haptic touchpad
- Excellent build quality
- CPU holds back performance
From here on out, we'll be looking at 2-in-1s that weren't made for gaming but can nevertheless provide a decent entry-level gaming experience. Perhaps the most striking example is Microsoft's 14.4-inch Surface Laptop Studio, which was designed for creators who want the flexibility of a 2-in-1 with excellent active pen support and good enough performance for creative tasks.
The Surface Laptop Studio stands out on this list as the only pull-forward design, where the display splits in the rear and can be pulled forward into a media mode (which Microsoft calls "Stage" mode) and even further into an almost-flat tablet mode. It's a different take on the 2-in-1 that Microsoft pulls off well, particularly given the solid metal chassis that's robust and modern. Like the convertible 2-in-1, it works as well on a lap as any standard clamshell laptop, but it's not as comfortable as a tablet compared to true slates like the ROG Flow Z13 and the Surface Pro 8.
Its gaming performance is solid, thanks to an RTX 3050 Ti and great thermal design. It's a bit faster than the ROG Flow machines at 1200p and medium graphics in titles like Fortnite, and it too can play higher-end titles at 1200p if you keep the graphics settings at a reasonable level. It's not as fast as a productivity or creator's laptop as the Asus machines, but it's fast enough to get some creative tasks done while churning through demanding productivity workflows.
MSI Summit E16 Flip
A convertible 2-in-1 that can game
- Solid build quality
- Attractive aesthetic
- Strong productivity performance
- Excellent IPS display with 120Hz refresh rate
- Very good keyboard
- Too expensive
- Battery life is mediocre
- Small touchpad
So far we've focused on smaller 2-in-1s, but you can find larger machines if that's what you're looking for. The MSI Summit E16 Flip is one such laptop, a 16-inch convertible 2-in-1 that's way too large to use as a traditional tablet unless you prop it up on a surface. But it makes for a great clamshell machine and media-consumption device, along with providing some competent entry-level gaming.
The Summit E16 Flip is a little CPU-challenged compared to the rest of our list, with a four-core/eight-thread 11th-gen Intel Core i7-1195G7 in our review unit. That's mated with an RTX 3050, and it managed to roughly match the Surface Laptop Studio in gaming performance. It hit 70+ fps in Fortnite at 1200p and high (medium) graphics, while promising the same level of performance in more demanding titles. Again, it's a solid entry-level gaming machine, but it can't keep up with the others in creative tasks.
It's also a large laptop, with a 16-inch display running at 120Hz. It offers a full-size keyboard but a surprisingly small touchpad, and it's solidly built. If you want a larger convertible 2-in-1 that can use for occasional gaming, then the Summit E16 Flip is a solid choice.
HP Spectre x360 16
A refined 2-in-1 with some gaming chops
- Solid productivity performance
- Excellent build quality
- Spectacular OLED display
- Outstanding keyboard and touchpad
- Elegant good looks
- Creative performance is lacking
- Large and heavy in tablet mode
The final 2-in-1 on our list is the HP Spectre x360 16, an incredibly elegant laptop with a stunning OLED display that's the best machine on this list for productivity tasks and media consumption. It's not as fast as a gaming laptop, but it's still speedy enough to qualify for entry-level gaming.
It's built around the 35-watt four-core/eight-thread Core i7-11390H and an RTX 3050. That CPU didn't perform as well as we'd hoped for creative tasks, but it's a solid productivity performer. Its gaming fell slightly behind the Summit E16 Flip in all of our benchmark titles, but it can still run Fortnight at 60+ fps at 1200p and medium graphics and play more modern titles with the graphics turned down.
It remains on this list, though, because it's such a great convertible 2-in-1 in other ways. It has the best keyboard and touchpad (except for the Surface Laptop Studio's haptic version), the most colorful display with OLED's inky blacks, and it has a more refined design. It's the laptop you want if productivity is your most important function and gaming takes a backseat — but remains important to you.
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