It’s been 25 years since the release of the Compaq Concerto, the first device of many to occupy the 2-in-1 laptops space. Times have changed since 1993. No longer is Windows 3.1 the only means of accomplishing productivity tasks. Now computers have to compete with the smartphones in our pockets in addition to tablets marketed to those who don’t know what a computer is to begin with.
The 2-in-1 laptops we know today are mainly equipped with Windows 10, with a plethora of companies like HP, Lenovo, Asus, etc., jumping aboard to release their take on the concept. Apple has increased pressure to release its own hybrid notebook, in contempt of Tim Cook’s own words that you can’t combine a ‘toaster and a refrigerator’ because it ‘doesn’t please anyone.’
Here at TechRadar, we beg to differ with Mr. Cook, and based on the sales numbers of convertible laptops, clearly so do you. Whereas just a few years ago, owning both an iPad and a laptop would suffice, in 2018, you don’t need both. Instead, you can take solace in the fact that one device truly can do it all. And, after hours upon hours of arduous testing, we’ve made a list of 5 devices that effortlessly fit that criteria below.
- The best laptops aren't limited to the convertible kind
- Lenovo Yoga 920
- HP Spectre x360
- Microsoft Surface Book i7
- Lenovo Yoga 720 (15-inch)
- Asus ZenBook Flip UX360
1. Lenovo Yoga 920
Multi-faceted dexterity that stomps the competition
CPU: Intel Core i5 – i7 | Graphics: Intel UHD Graphics 620 | RAM: 8 – 16GB | Screen: 13.9-inch FHD (1,920 x 1,080) – UHD (3,840 x 2,160) multitouch IPS with integrated camera | Storage: 256GB – 1TB PCIe SSD
Gamers ought to look elsewhere, but for everyone else, the Lenovo Yoga 920 is a passable alternative to the ludicrously expensive Surface Book 2. For those who value, well... value over a screen that can be detached completely from its keyboard, the Lenovo Yoga 920 has a lot of good to offer. The design, for instance, is less pronounced and has the subtlety of a more traditional Ultrabook. Meanwhile, it’s thin and powerful all the same.
Read the full review: Lenovo Yoga 920
2. 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
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
3. Microsoft Surface Book i7
Same Surface Book design, new Surface Book benchmarks
CPU: 2.6GHz Intel Core i7-6600U | Graphics: Nvidia GeForce GTX 965M; Intel HD Graphics 520 | RAM: 8GB – 16GB | Screen: 13.5-inch 3,000 x 2,000 PixelSense Display | Storage: 256GB – 1TB SSD
Toting the same design as the original Surface Book, the Surface Book i7 hasn’t done away with the controversial fulcrum hinge, but it does boast 131% better graphics and a 20% improved battery life. For creative professionals with an artistic side, this is tempting. So long as it’s necessary for your workflow, it may be worth the lofty price of admission, too, even if you’re getting the short end of the stick in memory and SSD space.
Read the full review: Surface Book i7
4. 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
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)
5. Asus ZenBook Flip UX360
A convertible that doesn't need to be
CPU: Intel Core m3 | Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 515 | RAM: 8GB | Screen: 13.3-inch, 1,920 x 1,080 FHD IPS touchscreen | Storage: 256GB – 512GB SSD
Unlike the Asus ZenBook Flip UX305 before it, the ZenBook Flip UX360 ditches the MacBook Air doppelgänger approach in favor of a hybrid design with a vast array of ports. Everything from USB-A to USB-C is present, along with micro HDMI and a microSD card reader. At the same time, it doesn't neglect the wholly aluminum chassis of yesteryear, ultimately making the ZenBook Flip UX360 an excellent value.
Read the full review: Asus ZenBook Flip UX360