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The best 2-in-1 laptops

The 2-in-1 form factor has certainly come into its own over the last several years. There's really no reason to limit yourself to a clamshell — there's a 2-in-1 that will meet the needs of all but the most demanding users in terms of sheer performance.

We've reviewed every great 2-in-1 you can buy, including Chromebooks, convertibles, and powerful 15-inch versions. The best 2-in-1 at the moment is the Microsoft Surface Pro 8, with its fantastic keyboard that's easy to remove as it is to type on and its 120Hz display and haptic-enabled pen. It's almost as good a laptop as it is a tablet, which is what makes it the best overall 2-in-1.

Microsoft Surface Pro 8-13" Touchscreen - Intel® Evo Platform Core™ i7-16GB Memory - 512GB SSD

Microsoft Surface Pro 8

The best 2-in-1
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Lenovo Yoga 9i 14 Gen 7

Lenovo Yoga 9i Gen 7

The best convertible 2-in-1
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Lenovo IdeaPad Duet 2020

Lenovo IdeaPad Duet

The best 2-in-1 Chromebook
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iPad Pro 11-inch (2021)

iPad Pro

The best 2-in-1 for tablet use
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Microsoft Surface Go 3

Microsoft Surface Go 3

The best small 2-in-1
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Surface Laptop Studio – 14.4” – Intel Core i7 -16GB Memory – 512GB SSD - Platinum

Surface Laptop Studio

The most powerful 2-in-1
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ThinkPad X1 Titanium Yoga

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Titanium Yoga

The best business 2-in-1
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microsoft surface pro 8 review 10

Microsoft Surface Pro 8

The best 2-in-1

Pros
  • Gorgeous, 120Hz screen
  • Impressive performance
  • Has two powerful Thunderbolt 4 ports
  • SSD is easily accessible
  • The Surface Slim Pen 2 is exceptional
Cons
  • More expensive
  • Still lacks mobile apps

Why you should buy this: It's the best 2-in-1 you can buy.

Who it's for: Anyone who just can’t decide between a tablet and a traditional notebook.

Why we picked the Microsoft Surface Pro 8:

The Microsoft Surface Pro 8 was more than just a simple iteration. While the Surface Pro 7 was almost identical to the version before it, which was true for the previous six years as well, the Surface Pro 8 made much more significant changes that elevated its position among detachable tablet 2-in-1s.

It maintains the same iconic Surface Pro kickstand and Type Cover, and so without setting it next to its predecessor you might not notice the differences. But it's now made of aluminum rather than magnesium, it has smaller display bezels surrounding a larger 13-inch display (up from 12.3 inches), and it's edges are more rounded. It's a more elegant and modern design that we like a lot.

Inside, it's powered by 11th-gen Intel CPUs and incorporates USB-C with Thunderbolt 4, an important update that makes the tablet compatible with external GPU enclosures. And the display has been upgraded as well, now supporting 120Hz and the haptic feedback offered by the Surface Slim 2 Pen that more closely mimics writing on a piece of paper. The Surface Pro 8 is the first Windows tablet that can take on the iPad Pro, and it's the best 2-in-1 you can buy.

Microsoft Surface Pro 8-13" Touchscreen - Intel® Evo Platform Core™ i7-16GB Memory - 512GB SSD

Microsoft Surface Pro 8

The best 2-in-1
lenovo yoga 9i 14 gen 7 review
Mark Coppock/Digital Trends

Lenovo Yoga 9i Gen 7

The best convertible 2-in-1

Pros
  • Excellent performance
  • Beautiful OLED display
  • Gorgeous design
  • Useful security and privacy features
  • 1080p webcam
Cons
  • Keyboard is only okay
  • Average battery life

Why you should buy this: It’s the best convertible laptop.

Who it's for: Anyone looking for a 2-in-1 that works best as a laptop.

Why we picked the Lenovo Yoga 9i Gen 7:

The Lenovo Yoga 9i Gen 7 marks a major upgrade for the series with a new rounded chassis and a spectacular OLED panel. It offers a compelling combination of performance, battery life, and price, and it's very comfortable to hold and use as a tablet.

The Yoga 9i Gen 7 uses Intel's 12th-gen 12-core (4 Performance and 8 Efficient), 28-watt Core i7-1260P, which significantly increases performance over the previous generation CPU. The OLED display is excellent and the taller 16:10 panel allows for a larger palm rest and touchpad. Like all of today’s 360-degree convertible 2-in-1s, the Yoga 9i Gen 7 works well as a traditional clamshell notebook while still offering the flexibility of media, tent, and tablet modes.

The Microsoft Surface Pro 8 might be a better tablet replacement, but the Yoga 9i Gen 7 is excellent in every other respect.

Lenovo Yoga 9i 14 Gen 7

Lenovo Yoga 9i Gen 7

The best convertible 2-in-1
lenovo ideapad duet review 06

Lenovo IdeaPad Duet

The best 2-in-1 Chromebook

Pros
  • Excellent build quality
  • Lighter than the iPad
  • Tremendous value
  • Long battery life
Cons
  • Cramped keyboard layout
  • Entire package is a bit chunky
  • Mediocre performance

Why you should buy this: It's the best 2-in-1 Chromebook.

Who it's for: Anyone looking for a Chromebook 2-in-1 that's both a great tablet and a laptop.

Why we picked the Lenovo IdeaPad Duet:

The Lenovo IdeaPad Duet is a Chromebook for people who like tablet designs and really like Chromebook prices, but are still looking for the right 2-in-1 PC.

The slim Duet offers a 10.1-inch HD screen, a MediaTek Helio P60T processor, and 4GB of RAM. Since it's a Chromebook, storage space really isn't a focus, but it's nice to see 64GB for those who need it for Android apps and Linux desktop software. Ports are limited to a USB-C connection that also charges the tablet.

While it's nice that the keypad includes a small touchpad for those who want it, it's still a little cramped for our taste. However, we rarely see similar specs made available at such a low price (and you can always choose a different keypad if you want to). The battery is rated for up to 10 hours.

If you're looking for more like this, we've also gathered a list of the best Chromebooks.

Lenovo IdeaPad Duet 2020

Lenovo IdeaPad Duet

The best 2-in-1 Chromebook
apple ipad pro review 2021 2

iPad Pro

The best 2-in-1 for tablet use

Pros
  • Incredible performance
  • Beautiful display on 12.9-inch model
  • Stunning design
  • Center Stage works great
  • USB 4/Thunderbolt 3 port
Cons
  • Nearly MacBook priced
  • No Mini-LED on 11-inch model

Why you should buy this: It's the best 2-in-1 for tablet use.

Who it's for: Anyone who wants a tablet first, with laptop functionality a convenient add-on.

Why we picked the Apple iPad Pro:

Apple's iPad started the tablet revolution, at least as far as the best tablets go. Today, the iPad Pro is the thinnest, lightest, and purest tablet experience you can buy, thanks in large part to a massive library of apps that are optimized for tablet usage.

The iPad Pro model that we reviewed is expensive, sure, but it's also surprisingly powerful thanks to its Apple-produced ARM-based A12Z Bionic processor with octa-core graphics. Surprisingly, the iPad Pro is as fast as modern laptops at many tasks, meaning that you're no longer giving up performance to enjoy a legitimate tablet format.

The iPad Pro's display is also sublime, with a 120Hz refresh rate, 2388 x 1668 resolution (not quite 4K but still luscious), 600 nits of brightness, and True Tone color support. The Apple Pencil active pen makes for an excellent drawing tool, and the Magic Keyboard gives the tablet laptop-like functionality including touchpad support in the last versions of iPad OS.

iPad Pro 11-inch (2021)

iPad Pro

The best 2-in-1 for tablet use
microsoft surface go 3 review  1
Mark Coppock/Digital Trends

Microsoft Surface Go 3

The best small 2-in-1

Pros
  • Excellent build quality
  • Superior display for a budget machine
  • Great Active Pen support
  • Small and light
  • Surprisingly good real-world performance
Cons
  • Can get expensive
  • Mediocre battery life
  • Keyboard and touchpad are cramped

Why you should buy this: It's the best small 2-in-1.

Who it's for: Anyone who wants a tablet that can plug in a keyboard in a pinch — and doesn't want to spend a ton of cash.

Why we picked the Microsoft Surface Go 3:

Affordable and slim, the Surface Go 3 gives you a classic tablet experience with Windows 11. It's also a notable upgrade to the first Surface Go, which was a very portable tablet but not that great on heavy workloads.

The newer model picks up the Surface Go 2's design and slims down the bezels while increasing the screen size to 10.5 inches. It also significantly improves performance using new processor options. Our pick uses an Intel Pentium 6500Y or Core i3 chip complemented by 8GB of RAM. The fast 128GB SSD makes it easier to handle work tasks.

The Surface Go 3 has ports for USB-C, a hidden microSD card slot to expand storage, and a headphone jack. The battery is rated for 10 hours, an improvement on the first Go's battery life, but still doesn't impress compared to other picks on our list.

Microsoft Surface Go 3

Microsoft Surface Go 3

The best small 2-in-1
microsoft surface laptop studio review 13 stage mode

Surface Laptop Studio

The most powerful 2-in-1

Pros
  • Most powerful Surface PC
  • Gorgeous, 120Hz screen
  • Fun 2-in-1 design
  • Wonderful haptic touchpad
  • Excellent build quality
Cons
  • CPU holds back performance

Why you should buy this: It’s the most powerful 2-in-1.

Who it's for: Business and creative professionals with money to spend on the best.

Why we picked the Microsoft Surface Laptop Studio:

The Surface Laptop Studio is an innovative pull-forward 2-in-1 design in an all-metal chassis and with powerful components inside. It's not a direct replacement for the Surface Book 3, but it's taken its place at the top of Microsoft's Surface lineup.

It equips 35-watt Intel H-series Core CPUs along with an optional Nvidia GeForce RTX 3050 Ti, making it the most powerful 2-in-1 in our lineup. It can handle demanding productivity workflows while managing less demanding creative tasks as well. It can also do some gaming in a pinch.

You'll appreciate the 14.4-inch 3:2 display at a high 2,400 x 1,600 resolution and 120Hz refresh rate, and the panel supports the Microsoft Surface Slim 2 Pen's haptic feedback. With up to 32GB of RAM and a 2TB SSD, the Surface Laptop Studio is a portable workstation in a 2-in-1 form factor.

Surface Laptop Studio – 14.4” – Intel Core i7 -16GB Memory – 512GB SSD - Platinum

Surface Laptop Studio

The most powerful 2-in-1
lenovo thinkpad x1 titanium yoga review
Mark Coppock/Digital Trends

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Titanium Yoga

The best business 2-in-1

Pros
  • Attractive and innovative chassis
  • Insanely thin and light
  • Solid performance
  • Excellent battery life
  • Great display for productivity users
Cons
  • Touchpad is too small
  • Expensive

Why you should buy this: It's the best 2-in-1 for business.

Who it's for: Anyone who wants a tablet that can plug in a keyboard in a pinch — and doesn't want to spend a ton of cash.

Why we picked the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Titanium Yoga:

A laptop made in part from titanium is pretty cool, and that's exactly the metal you'll find reinforcing the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Titanium Yoga's lid. It's a robust laptop, like all ThinkPads, but it's unique in the line in terms of its modern yet conservative design that looks nothing like the usual black-on-black ThinkPad. And that's a good thing.

It's also a very thin 2-in-1 at just 0.45 inches thick, making it unusually comfortable in tablet mode. The included active pen attaches magnetically to the right side of the display and works well. Performance good for productivity tasks, and battery life is exceptional.

Add in the ThinkPad security features and optional service coverage and the ThinkPad X1 Titanium Yoga is a 2-in-1 that businesspeople would love to own.

ThinkPad X1 Titanium Yoga

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Titanium Yoga

The best business 2-in-1

Frequently Asked Questions

What's a 2-in-1 laptop?

A convertible 2-in-1 laptop can convert from a traditional clamshell laptop to a tablet. In some cases, it's a bit of a misnomer — 360-degree convertible laptops like the HP Spectre x360 13 can also be used in tent and media modes. The keyboard is not removable.

A detachable 2-in-1 laptop is a tablet-based device with a detachable keyboard accessory. In most cases, the keyboard is an additional cost, as seen with the Surface Pro family. You can keep the keyboard attached and flip it around so you can use the screen as a tablet.

The main advantage of a detachable 2-in-1 is portability — tablets are extremely thin, light, and easy to carry around — while they also work the best for drawing and taking notes on the pen-enabled display. On the flip side, they tend to have less powerful hardware than convertibles.

The 360-degree convertible 2-in-1, on the other hand, isn't quite as handy as a detachable, but it tends to work better in clamshell laptop mode — especially when using it on the lap, where it's more stable than most detachable 2-in-1s. The hardware tends to be better due to the lack of space constraints seen with thin tablets.

Should I get a 2-in-1 or a traditional laptop?

Recent 360-degree convertibles like our favorite Lenovo Yoga 9i Gen 7 make for great clamshells — in fact, it's a great competitor to the Dell XPS 13 even if you never end up flipping the display around. Modern 2-in-1s are fast, have long battery life, and often enjoy even better displays than the typical clamshell laptop.

If you need the fastest gaming laptop or professional workstation that uses the most powerful CPUs and GPUs, then a 2-in-1 PC isn't for you. As we mention below, 2-in-1s tend to be thinner and lighter because they can be used as slates. That creates some limitations in just how fast a 2-in-1 can perform compared to traditional laptops.

Does Apple make a 2-in-1 laptop?

Technically, no, Apple doesn't offer the traditional 2-in-1 laptop. Its MacBooks are clamshell-only.

However, Apple advertises its iPad Pro as a detachable 2-in-1, although it uses the mobile iPadOS instead of MacOS for desktops and laptops. Like Microsoft's Surface Pro, the keyboard is an accessory, which adds to the base price. And because the iPad Pro uses a mobile operating system, you can't install traditional desktop software — which is where Microsoft trumps Apple with the Surface Pro 7, for example.

Still, Apple is improving how well the iPad works as a laptop by enabling mouse support and improved file system support in the new iPadOS.

Can a 2-in-1 laptop be used for gaming?

A big disappointment for dedicated gamers is that many 2-in-1s lack the capacity for super-advanced CPUs and GPUs. You can use a 2-in-1 for gaming, but you won’t get the same high-quality graphics or frame rate that you’re used to on a real clamshell laptop.

The Microsoft Surface Laptop Studio has an Nvidia GeForce RTX 3050 Ti GPU that makes it more than fast enough for modern games at 1080p and moderately-high graphics settings. Another choice is the HP Spectre x360 16, which can have a 35-watt 11th-gen Intel Core i7 CPU paired with an Nvidia GeForce RTX 3050. You can play a range of PC games at 1080p and still get decent graphics quality, but it’s still limited compared to a gaming laptop.

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