The best 2-in-1 laptop 2017: the best convertible laptops ranked

It’s busy season here at TechRadar, which could only mean one thing: Black Friday is almost here. So, if you’re anything like us, you’ve already started formulating your ultimate wishlist of steep discounts. Of course, being the ‘it’ trend that they are, it’s essential to keep your eyes peeled for the best 2-in-1 laptops you can buy this holiday shopping season.

For those uninitiated, a 2-in-1 laptop is a notebook that can serve as both a tablet and a laptop. Think Microsoft’s Surface Pro, but usually in 13- or 15-inch sizes. Oftentimes, they double as Ultrabooks, or thin, light and mobile clamshell computers that boast long-lasting battery life. In other instances, the best 2-in-1 laptops are composed of screens that detach from their keyboard bases.

Whatever piques your interest about the best 2-in-1 laptops around, you can bet that we’ve covered one that suits your needs. Be it the Samsung Notebook 9 Pro, which beats out its Apple-made rival in terms of specs and versatility, or the Google Pixelbook (a.k.a. the best Chromebook ever made), we’ve tested all of the following entries comprehensively before including them in our recommendations.

1. Samsung Notebook 9 Pro

Hands down, the best 2-in-1 laptop there is

CPU: Intel Core i7 | Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 620 – AMD Radeon 540 Graphics (2GB GDDR5) | RAM: 8GB – 16GB | Screen: 13.3-inch – 15.6-inch FHD (1,920 x 1,080) LED display with Touch Screen Panel | Storage: 256GB SSD

Uses S-Pen to great effect
Excellent look and feel
Inconsistent battery life
Downward-firing speakers

The Samsung Notebook 9 Pro can go head-to-head with the 15-inch MacBook Pro, and for a substantially lower cost. Though it’s limited to only one configuration, albeit across two different sizes, the Samsung Notebook 9 Pro is as powerful as it is pragmatic. Defined in part by its inclusion of the S-Pen, this heavy-hitting hybrid is every bit as capable as Microsoft’s Surface Book and without the need to recharge its stylus.

Read the full review: Samsung Notebook 9 Pro

  • This product is only available in the US as of this writing. UK and AU readers: check out a fine alternative in the HP Spectre x360 15.

2. Google Pixelbook

Making good on its Android promises

CPU: Intel Core i5 – i7 | Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 615 | RAM: 8GB – 16GB | Screen: 12.3 inch QHD (2,400 x 1,600) LCD touchscreen | Storage: 128GB – 512GB SSD

Gorgeous design
Vibrant, responsive display
Android app support
Expensive
Pixelbook Pen sold separately
No biometric login

Google’s new Pixelbook does something that we couldn’t have seen coming. It takes the Chromebook platform and shoots it straight into the stratosphere, competing with premium products from Apple and Microsoft. It’s able to accomplish this herculean task by beefing up the internals and, more importantly, by including full Android app support. This means that this device tears down the barriers that would prevent macOS or Windows users from jumping on the Chromebook bandwagon. It might cost a lot more than other Chromebooks on the market, but the Pixelbook is truly the future of the platform.

Read the full review: Google Pixelbook

  • This product is only available in the US and UK as of this writing. Australian readers: check out a fine alternative in the Asus Chromebook Flip.

3. Asus Chromebook Flip

A 2-in-1 Chromebook Android users won’t refuse

CPU: Intel Pentium – Core m7 | Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 510 – 515 | RAM: 4GB – 8GB | Screen: 12.5-inch FHD (1,920 x 1,080) LED backlit anti-glare display | Storage: 32GB – 128GB eMMC

Elegant tablet mode
Gorgeous, vivid screen
No out-of-box Android support
Middling speakers

We get it, the Pixelbook is enticing, but it’s also out of your price range. In that case, the Asus Chromebook Flip C302 is a choice alternative. Having introduced a touchscreen and convertible design to Google’s cloud-based Chrome OS, the Asus Chromebook Flip is made better by its compatibility with Android apps. That’s right, just like the Pixelbook, you can use the Asus Chromebook Flip for Google Play apps, albeit after installing an out-of-the-box update.

Read the full review: Asus Chromebook Flip

4. Microsoft Surface Book 2

Microsoft's first laptop, modernized

CPU: Intel Core Core i5 – i7 | Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 620 – Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 (6GB GDDR5) | RAM: 8GB – 16GB | Screen: 13.5-inch, 3,000 x 2,000 – 15-inch, 3,240 x 2,160 PixelSense display | Storage: 256GB – 1TB PCIe SSD

Crazy long battery life
Massively powerful
No up-firing base speakers
Small trackpad

The original Surface Book blew us away when it came out in 2015. As Microsoft’s first laptop, though, it was hard to tell whether it was a one-time novelty we were appreciating or a sneak preview of what was to come. As it turns out, it was kind of both. Every bit as impressive as the first, the Surface Book 2 retains many of the same qualities of its predecessor, the main difference being its more contemporary choice of 8th-gen Intel processors and the option of Nvidia 10-series graphics. Otherwise, there’s also a powerful 15-inch version in the mix now.

Read the full review: Microsoft Surface Book 2

Best 2 in 1 laptop

5. HP Spectre x360

Thin, light and handsome

CPU: Intel Core i5 – i7 | Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 620 | RAM: 4GB – 16GB | Screen: 13.3-inch, FHD (1,920 x 1,080) – UHD (3,840 x 2,160) IPS UWVA-backlit multi-touch | Storage: 256GB – 1TB SSD

Ultra thin and light styling
Snappy keyboard
Lacks SD card reader
Especially thick bottom bezel

With Kaby Lake now ruling the roost in terms of CPUs, HP decided it’s high time to flip the switch on its Spectre 2-in-1. With an overhauled keyboard and suave new logo, the HP Spectre x360 holds its own against anything Apple can show. At the same time, none of this stifles the battery life, which exceeds 8 hours of straight use. What’s more, the HP Spectre x360 can now be configured with a 4K screen and 1TB of SSD storage, too.

Read the full review: HP Spectre x360

Best 2 in 1 laptop

6. Samsung Notebook 7 Spin

Capable, versatile and affordable to boot

CPU: 2.5GHz Intel Core i7-6500U | Graphics: Nvidia GeForce 940MX; Intel HD Graphics 520 | RAM: 12GB – 16GB | Screen: 15.6-inch FHD (1,920 x 1,080) LED with touch panel | Storage: 1 TB HDD – 1TB HDD + 128GB SSD

Excellent value
HDR display
Hefty weight
Graphic narrowly miss the mark

Equipped with a Skylake i7 CPU and discrete Nvidia graphics, the Samsung Notebook 7 Spin is nearly as fashionable and powerful as a 2016 MacBook Pro, but for roughly half the cost. With all the trackpad real estate in the world paired with a snazzy, full-size keyboard, the Samsung Notebook 7 is a real treat even without accounting for the fact that it’s a 2-in-1. You’ll flip once you realize that your laptop does too – and with an HDR-capable screen at that.

Read the full review: Samsung Notebook 7 Spin 

  • This product is only available in the US and UK as of this writing. Australian readers: check out a fine alternative in the Asus ZenBook Flip UX360.  

7. Lenovo Yoga 720 (15-inch)

MacBook Pro hydraulics in a Windows 10 hybrid

CPU: Intel Core i5 – i7 | Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 630 – Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 | RAM: 8GB – 16GB | Screen: 15.6-inch, Full HD (1,920 x 1,080) – Ultra HD (3,840 x 2,160) IPS LED multitouch | Storage: 256GB – 1TB PCIe SSD

Unparalleled 2-in-1 performance
Competitive battery life
No HDMI or SD card slot
Down-firing speakers

If the 13-inch Lenovo Yoga 720 is a caterpillar, the 15-inch model is a majestic butterfly, freshly hatched from its snug cocoon. Outfitted with the choice between only the best HQ series Core i5 and i7 processors, this 2-in-1 is competitive spec-wise with the 15-inch MacBook Pro while remaining but a fraction of the cost of Apple’s flagship machine. What’s more, it even has the ports you know and love in addition to the still-blossoming USB Type-C interface.

Read the full review: Lenovo Yoga 720 (15-inch)

Best 2 in 1 laptop

8. HP Spectre x360 15

This 15-inch hybrid is more portable than you think

CPU: Intel Core i7 | Graphics: Nvidia GeForce 940MX; Intel HD Graphics 620 | RAM: 8GB – 16GB | Screen: 15.6-inch, Ultra HD (3,840 x 2,160) UWVA eDP BrightView | Storage: 256GB – 1TB PCIe SSD

Flawless keyboard
Spectacular design
Less than stellar battery life
Trackpad gets in the way of typing

More than just a basic hardware refresh, the HP Spectre x360 is as easy on the eyes as it is to use. Because the keyboard feels natural to the touch, there’s no debate as to whether this 2-in-1 is better as a laptop or as a tablet; it comes equally recommended as both. If it made a peep, what with its silent fans and subdued chiclet keys, the HP Spectre x360 15 may even garner a few jealous stares.

Read the full review: HP Spectre x360 15

  • This product is only available in the US and UK as of this time. Australian readers: check out a fine alternative in the Microsoft Surface Book 2.

9. Lenovo Yoga 720 (13-inch)

A future-proof convertible rocking all the essentials

CPU: Intel Core i7 | Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 630 | RAM: 8GB – 16GB | Screen: 13.3-inch, FHD (1,920 x 1,080) IPS anti-glare display | Storage: 256GB – 1TB PCIe SSD

Sturdy hinge
Responsive keyboard and trackpad
The cooling fans run a lot
Only one standard USB port

As homely as a laptop as it is a tablet, the Lenovo Yoga 720’s screen may be tethered by a hinge to its cushy keyboard, but its modest pricing and formidable design choices make it come easily recommended. Although you’ll be in search of the proper adapters if you need a second standard USB port, an SD card slot or HDMI, this laptop’s crystal clear display and hearty build quality make it a winner in our eyes. 

Read the full review: Lenovo Yoga 720

Best 2 in 1 laptop

10. Lenovo Yoga 910

A svelte spin on a working 2-in-1 design

CPU: Intel Core i7-7500U | Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 620 | RAM: 8GB – 16GB | Screen: 13.3-inch FHD 1,920 x 1,080 – UHD 3,840 | Storage: 256GB – 1TB SSD

Substantially larger screen
Rocking speakers
Heats up (and gets loud) fast
Disappointing battery life

If the 13-inch Yoga 720 is too small and the 15 incher is too big, the Lenovo Yoga 910 brings a happy medium to the table. Miraculously fitting a 14-inch frame into a 13-inch body, this notebook boasts a ritzy, all-aluminum finish with a watchband hinge that’s impossible to ignore. Add a 4K screen and stunning built-in audio to the mix and it’s no wonder we’re in love with Lenovo’s flagship 2-in-1.

Read the full review: Lenovo Yoga 910

Gabe Carey has also contributed to this article