What's the best 2 in 1 laptop tablet you can buy?
If you don't want to carry around both a laptop and a tablet then a convertible 2-in-1 device might be the answer. Usually there are some compromises and very few devices offer the best of both worlds, though. These devices are also known as hybrids.
The Surface Book arguably has the fewest compromises, but it's also very expensive: you could buy a laptop and tablet separately and still have change left over compared to buying a one. If nothing here takes your fancy, then do check out our other guides for the Best Laptops and Best Tablets.
Although many run Windows 10, which makes sense, this chart may include alternative operating system such as Android. Then there's the iPad Pro which will be a legitimate option for some running iOS.
The iPad Pro might not seem like an obvious 2-in-1 but the Smart Keyboard (and plenty of third party options) creates a surprisingly workable machine. Combine that with the Apple Pencil and some decent mobile app versions of things like Adobe Lightroom and you might have the perfect portable partner.
1. Microsoft Surface Pro 6
If you're looking for a Windows 10 tablet you could do a lot worse than the Surface Pro 6. The necessary Type Cover still isn't included in the price, so budget for this as well as the Surface Pen if you need them.
Now in matt black, the Pro 6 is a powerful and versatile Windows tablet that is a great portable option if you want a tablet that is as good as a laptop with full Windows 10. It's a shame there's no USB-C port, as can be found on the Surface Pro 7, but otherwise we can fully recommend it.
Read our full Microsoft Surface Pro 6 review
2. HP Spectre Folio
The HP Spectre Folio isn't for those looking for a powerful machine. Instead, the focus here is on style and versatility.
In those areas, the Folio excels with its gorgeous and well-made combination of metal and leather and the various ways in which you can use the device - both like a laptop and a tablet.
Highlights include the excellent screen and amazing battery life. Downsides include a lack of power for any advanced tasks and a shallow keyboard.
Read our full HP Spectre Folio review
3. Microsoft Surface Book 2 13.5in
The Surface Book 2 is a stunning piece of work from Microsoft once again. It's a great example of a premium laptop with top-level design, performance and features. We only have a few minor quibbles such as the lack of Thunderbolt.
It might be one of the best laptops you can buy but not everyone should rush out and get one. The price means that it's only justifiable for those who will really make use of its modes, features and performance. For the average Joe, a cheaper rival will suffice such as the Surface Laptop 2 or 3.
If you want you can also opt for the 15in version - reviewed here.
Read our full Microsoft Surface Book 2 13.5in review
4. Microsoft Surface Go
If you want a new Windows laptop you should seriously consider the Surface Go. It's more portable and lightweight than the Surface Pro and thanks to its size you can actually use it on your lap.
We recommend the more expensive version with 8GB RAM but if you are a light user than the base model is fine for email, word processing and Netflix. The build quality is excellent but you will have to pay for the not-included Type Cover.
Overall the Surface Go is a triumph and a genuine option over similarly priced, cumbersome laptops.
Read our full Microsoft Surface Go review
5. Apple iPad Pro 11in (2018)
The 11in iPad Pro is the best Pro yet, and probably the best iPad ever but it comes at a price. And unless you really need the features afforded by the Smart Keyboard and 120Hz display then you'd be better off with the regular iPad.
But for creatives or those who want to use the iPad Pro as a laptop then this is the best option, it just comes at a high price. It has Face ID, amazing build quality, great battery life and a new Apple Pencil that's better than ever.
You can also opt for the 12.9in model, reviewed here.
Read our full Apple iPad Pro 11in (2018) review
6. Microsoft Surface Pro (2017)
The 2017 Surface Pro is a superb 2-in-1 despite the newer Pro 6. It’s beautifully built and performs well. The screen is excellent and even the speakers sound good. However, it’s very expensive, especially when you add the cost of the Type Cover and – if you need one – the Surface Pen.
Few should opt for the base model, and you’ll pay a heck of a lot more for a Core i7. Ultimately, while a fantastic device, it’s hard to recommend the Surface Pro unless money is no object.
Read our full Microsoft Surface Pro (2017) review
7. Lenovo Yoga C630 WOS
The C630 is an impressive convertible in a number of ways. Build quality is good and the laptop is extremely portable thanks to it's thin and lightweight design.
Great battery life means it will make for an excellent travelling companion, but only if you're needs a basic such as word processing, watching video and web browsing.
The Snapdragon ARM arcitechture means that there are various limitations and restrictions you won't find on various rivals. If you need to do anything more advanced than the above, you're still better off going with Intel or AMD.
Read our full Lenovo Yoga C630 WOS review
8. HP Spectre x360 13 (2018)
The HP Spectre x360 13 is a charming laptop that looks great and has enough power for most productivity jobs, thanks to the use of Intel’s impressive 8th Gen CPUs. Among its peers the main draw is the 4K-as-standard screen.
Not just sharp, it’s colourful and provides excellent contrast.
You need to decide whether you’d prefer to have a super-sharp screen or killer battery life. The Lenovo Yoga 920 lasts hours longer than the HP, and performs better in benchmarks and games with the same CPU (although if this is thanks to the Meltdown vulnerability, the playing field is effectively levelled).
For our use, which would boil down to at least 80% work, we’d likely pick the Yoga 920. However, those who will appreciate the HP’s rich 4K screen may well be swayed in this laptop’s direction.
Read our full HP Spectre x360 13 (2018) review
9. Dell XPS 15 2-in-1
The XPS 15 2-in-1 takes 2017's XPS 15 and crams it into a surprisingly slim convertible form factor with the help of two major innovations: Intel and AMD's collaborative CPU/GPU chips, and Dell's own MagLev keyboard design.
The new chip is a clear-cut winner, packing the power of a standalone GPU into the size of a regular Intel chip, making for one of the best power-to-size ratios we've ever seen in a laptop - especially one that can also flip round to serve as a touchscreen tablet.
Unfortunately the MagLev keyboard is more of a compromise. Using opposing magnets to feel deeper than the 0.7mm travel should allow, the result is similar to Apple's controversial butterfly keys, and a far cry from the flawless keyboard you'll find in Dell's own XPS 13.
Still, the trade-off for space is probably worth it, as this is about as lightweight as you could ever ask a 15in convertible to be (which is to say, still 2kg+), while packing enough power for demanding creative work or even gaming.
Read our full Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 review
10. Lenovo Yoga 530
The model reviewed is difficult to recommend compared to rivals as we'd expect better build, display tech and battery life for the price.
However, the Yoga 530 is a solid convertible laptop if you opt for one of the other configurations. going with an Intel Pentium will bag you it for under £500 and the Core i3 and i5 models look to be good value, too.
If you are looking at around £1,000 then check out Lenovo's own Yoga 920 and the Asus ZenBook Flip S.
Read our full Lenovo Yoga 530 review
Your buying guide to the best 2-in-1 laptops and tablets
What is a 2-in-1 laptop tablet?
Although they've been around for a while, these devices vary quite a lot and are called different things such as 'convertibles', 'hybrids' and '2-in-1s'. They all mean the same thing in essence – a device which is trying to be both a laptop and a tablet.
As we'll explain, there are essentially two different types here and we're going to round up the best of them all in one place.
Tablet or laptop first?
As we said, there is inevitably some compromise with these devices. Typically they will be better at being a laptop or a tablet but some do manage to sit somewhere in the middle.
Some are even designed first and foremost as a laptop, while others are first a tablet, a laptop second. So it depends on your priority as to which type will suit you best.
Which one is right for you depends hugely on what you want to do with it. Do you mainly want a laptop on which to do regular work but can also shapeshift into a tablet for the odd task? Or do you want a tablet which you can also do a bit of typing on when the need arises?
A convertible laptop will usually have a non-removable screen which flips almost 360 degrees in order to change it into a tablet. This style (shown below) also means you can use it in other 'modes' such as tent or display.
Lenovo's Yoga range is possibly the best known convertible laptop and has been the inspiration for many rivals. Microsoft Surface Book is also laptop first, but still has a removable screen.
Meanwhile, a convertible tablet (below) is more like a regular tablet but either has a keyboard which attaches magnetically or a fancy case which creates a laptop-like experience. The keyboard may connect over Bluetooth in some cases.
There's a new wave of devices incoming that run Windows but on Qualcomm's Snapdragon 835, a processor normally found in smartphones. Two of which, the HP Enxy x2 and Lenovo Miix 630, are tablet first design. Meanwhile, the Asus NovaGo is on the laptop side.
What specs should I look for?
Much of what you need to look for in a convertible laptop / tablet is the same as for a regular laptop and tablet.
You'll want to get the best specifications for your money including the latest processor, amount of memory and storage plus a good-quality screen. Make sure you read our reviews to find out more about each device, including benchmark results.
The design, though, is going to be a big part of your buying decision and you need to choose a device which fits your needs best. A laptop-first design is likely to be bigger and heavier but is likely to offer longer battery life (there's more space for a bigger battery).
This type should also provide a better typing experience and there's normally more physical ports, including USBs and video outputs.
Although a convertible tablet might not have many physical ports (some still have full-size USB though), they are smaller and lighter than a hybrid laptop making them great for travelling. The trade-off is that using it as a laptop is often fiddly and awkward. Look for one with a clever design and proper keys. A trackpad is also a boon, despite touchscreens, but not all feature one.