Image: IDG / Matthew Smith
2-in-1 laptops are awesome devices for business or creative professionals because they’re portable and versatile. These devices either have detachable keyboards or a 360-degree hinge, allowing you to swing the screen all the way around, to use in tablet or tent mode. Some of them even feature touchscreens, which is perfect for doodling or marking up documents. If you’re not sure where to begin your search, don’t worry about it. We’re here to help. The team at PCWorld assembled a list of the best 2-in-1 laptops available today. Not only are these picks great for professionals and students, but we also have hands-on experience with each one. Read on to learn more.
[Looking for something else? Check out our roundup of he best laptops for video editing]
Updated 02/28/2023: To include the Samsung Galaxy Book 3 Pro 360 as our new pick for best overall 2-in-1. Read more about this excellent laptop below.
Samsung Galaxy Book3 Pro 360 – Best 2-in-1 overall
- Stunning OLED upgrade in resolution, performance, more
- One of the first 13th-gen Core laptops
- Top-notch battery life
- Solid inking
- 1080p webcam and very good audio
- Good, not great, performance
- Webcam effects are iffy
With its premium design, stunning OLED display, and strong performance, the Samsung Galaxy Book3 Pro 360 is a fantastic option for most people. It features a 13th-gen Core i7 processor, Intel Iris Xe integrated graphics, and marathon-length battery life. It also comes with great audio—a rarity in laptops—and has a great 1080p webcam. It brings a ton of great features to the table, to say the least.
While you might look at the price tag and think that the Pro 360 is expensive, for all of the best-of-class features and substantial upgrades over the previous versions that you’re getting, it’s honestly a steal. It offers significant value across a variety of fronts and you’ll find that it can perform just as well at home as it does in the office.
Read our full
Samsung Galaxy Book3 Pro 360 review
Acer Chromebook Spin 713 – Best budget option
- Strong performance
- Good build quality
- Nice selection of ports
- Beautiful display
- Solid battery life
- No privacy shutter on the webcam
- Boring design
- Fan noise is a bit loud
The Acer Chromebook Spin 713 is a good option for the budget-conscious. This machine impressed us with its reasonable price point, vivid display, all-day battery life, and wide array of ports. It’s rocking an Intel Core i5-1135G7 CPU, Intel Iris Xe graphics, 8GB of RAM, and 256GB of PCIe SSD storage. It’s fast enough for general use tasks like checking e-email, browsing the web, watching Netflix, and so on. The build is also fairly robust, as the tester didn’t notice much flex in the keyboard tray. While the design is a little boring and fan noise can be a bit loud, the pros definitely outweigh the cons. It’s a solid convertible laptop that’s affordable and performs well. You can’t ask for much more than that.
HP Spectre x360 14 – Best for business
- Stellar OLED display
- Unique and rugged design
- IR and fingerprint biometrics
- 1080p webcam with physical shutter
- Battery life not as long as last year’s model
- A bit heavy at three pounds
There is a lot to like about the HP Spectre x360 14. Not only does it maintain the solid build quality of models past, but it has an updated design that looks as attractive as ever. It also sports a crystal clear OLED display that, once you get used to, you’ll never want to go back. Admittedly, it did lose a bit in terms of battery life with the latest model, but it will still last longer than many other 2-in-1s. Additionally, with its U-series processor and Intel Iris Xe integrated graphics, the Spectre x360 14 is perfectly suited for office and productivity tasks.
Read our full
HP Spectre x360 14 review
Lenovo Yoga 9i 14 (2022) – Best display
- Thin, attractive design
- Supports USB-C 4 with all the extras
- Vivid, rich OLED display
- Excellent sound quality
- Fast, especially for its size
- Relies heavily on USB-C
- Fan noise can be annoying
If you’re looking for a 2-in-1 laptop with an awesome screen, the Lenovo Yoga 9i is well worth considering. The 14-inch OLED display has a resolution of 3840×2400, an aspect ratio of 16: 10, and is touch-enabled. According to our tester, the “text clarity is excellent” and a “wide color gamut spanning up to 99% of DCI-P3.” In other words, it’s a phenomenal screen for creative work. As for the internal components, the Intel Core i7-1260P processor “packs four performance cores and eight efficiency cores.” It should be able to chew through any resource-heavy tasks. This 2-in-1 also has Intel Iris Xe graphics, 16GB of RAM, and 1TB of SSD storage. There’s even a 1080p webcam, which is nice because most laptop webcams top out at 720p.
Read our full
Lenovo Yoga 9i 14 (2022) review
Dell Inspiron 16 – Best battery life
- Roomy 16-inch 16: 10 display
- Long battery life
- Competitive application performance
- Comfortable keyboard and huge touchpad
- Quad speakers pump up the jams
- Lone GPU upgrade is lackluster
- Can’t go bigger than 512GB SSD
- Large screen can feel awkward in tablet mode
Need a 2-in-1 laptop that’ll keep on going and going? Look no further than the Dell Inspiron 16. When we ran our battery benchmark, which cycles through a series of tasks and videos until the laptop dies, the Inspiron 16 lasted a marathon 16.5 hours on a single charge. That’s almost two full work days—or one really long day if you burn the midnight oil. That large battery does make it weigh a hefty 4.7 pounds, which is a bit more than other similar laptops. Under the hood, you’ll find an Intel Core i7-1260P CPU, Intel Iris Xe graphics, 16GB of RAM, and 512GB of SSD storage. That’s powerful enough for multitasking, media editing, and so on. The 16-inch display has a resolution of 1920×1080 and it also comes with a surprisingly robust quad speaker system. For ports, you’re getting two USB Type-C, one USB-A 3.2 Gen 1, 1 HDMI, one SD card reader, and one 3.5mm audio jack.
Read our full
Dell Inspiron 16 2-in-1 review
Surface Pro 8 – Best detachable
- Superior screen: larger, higher-res, higher refresh rate
- Inking is a pleasure
- Good audio, with louder speakers
- New optional Type Cover integrates pen well
- Webcam might need some tweaking
- Pen and keyboard still cost extra
- Still pricey
Microsoft’s Surface 8 is an excellent pick for students or business professionals. This device is truly featherlight, as it weighs a little under two pounds. It’s a detachable 2-in-1, which means you can remove the keyboard from the tablet. Fortunately, Microsoft’s Signature Keyboard “provides a lightweight, comfortable typing experience.” That’s not always the case with detachable 2-in-1’s. That said, the keyboard and pen are additional purchases. The extra cost is a buzzkill, that’s for sure. However, it’s not all that surprising. Let’s take a quick peek under the hood, shall we?
The Surface 8 features an Intel Core i7-1185G7 CPU, Iris Xe graphics, 16GB of RAM, and 256GB of removable SSD storage. That’s powerful enough to handle productivity and general use tasks. For ports, it has two USB-C, one Surface Connect port, one Surface Type Cover port, and one 3.5mm jack. The 13-inch PixelSense Flow display is rather spacious when compared to previous iterations and has a resolution of 2880×1920, making for a rather bright and vivid picture.
This is an awesome value, especially given the gorgeous screen and competitive price.
Read our full
Surface Pro 8 review
How we tested
The PCWorld team puts each and every Windows laptop through a series of benchmarks that test processing and graphics performance, battery life, and so on. Basically, here at PCWorld we push the laptop to its limits and then compare it against similar machines we’ve tested. Chromebooks, on the other hand, go through a series of web-based tests due to the fact that they’re Chrome OS-based machines. Below, you’ll find a straightforward breakdown of each test and the reasons why we run them.
- PCMark 10: PCMark 10 is how we determine how well the laptop handles lighter tasks like web browsing, word processing, spreadsheets, and so on.
- HandBrake: HandBrake is more intensive than PCMark 10. It basically measures how long a laptop’s CPU takes to encode a beefy 30GB file.
- Cinebench: Cinebench is a brief stress test of the CPU cores. It does this by rendering a 2D scene over a short period of time.
- 3DMark: 3DMark checks if 3D performance remains consistent over time by running graphic-intensive clips.
- Video rundown test: To gauge battery life, we loop a 4K video using Windows 10’s Movies & TV app until the laptop dies.
- CrXPRT 2: The CrXPRT 2 benchmark tests a Chromebook’s battery life.
- Speedometer 2.0: This test determines a Chromebook’s web browser performance. It simulates this by adding, completing, and removing a to-do list.
- Basemark Web 3.0: This benchmark gauges how well a Chromebook can handle web-based applications.
2-in-1 laptops Q&A
2-in-1 laptops are great devices for remote workers, creative professionals, and students. It combines the portability of a tablet with the functionality of a traditional clamshell. You can flip it around and use it like a tablet or prop it up like a painter’s easel for sharing information. If you’re not sure if a 2-in-1 is right for you, don’t sweat it. In the section below, we’ll go over a couple of key points like specifications and battery life.
Why should I chose a 2-in-1 over a traditional clamshell?
If portability is at the top of your priority list, then you may want to consider a 2-in-1 laptop, as they’re generally compact and lightweight. They also tend to have excellent battery life due to the power-efficient components inside. 2-in-1 laptops often have 360-degree hinges, which allows you to swing the screen all the way around. This hinge allows you to prop it up like a tent for watching movies. Other 2-in-1’s have detachable keyboards. This lets you ditch the keyboard and use the laptop like a handheld tablet.
How much power do I need?
We’d recommend a 12th-Gen Intel Core i5 processor, 8GB of RAM, and 512GB of SSD storage. That’s enough power for working on spreadsheets, media editing, and so on. Need more oomph? we’d suggest springing for an 12-Gen Intel Core i7 processor, 16GB of RAM, and 1TB of SSD storage. Most of the laptops on the list above have integrated graphics, which is fine for some casual gaming but not for anything hardcore. A laptop with a discrete graphics card is better for gaming, but it will be heavier and more bulky as a result.
What about battery life?
If you travel a lot for work, a laptop with good battery life is absolutely vital. A laptop that lasts anywhere from 10 to 12 hours on a single charge is a good baseline. Fortunately, 2-in-1’s are known for having phenomenal battery life, as they’re comprised of power-efficient parts.