If you're looking for a portable productivity device, a laptop is probably your best bet. If watching videos or mobile gaming is your top priority, opt for a tablet. But what if you want a device that does all these things and much more?
That's where a 2-in-1 device comes in. In recent years, devices that can operate as both a laptop and a tablet have become increasingly popular. However, a word of warning: you'll be hard-pressed to find a device that excels at both.
Samsung's Galaxy Book Flex 2 or the iPad Pro with Magic Keyboard arguably have the fewest compromises, but they're also very expensive. For the price of either of these, you could buy both a laptop and tablet and still have change left over. That's especially once you factor in pricey accessories, but the convenience of a single device may be a big enough appeal.
There's a range of options here, encompassing a range different designs and price points. If you're interested in a particular product, it's worth clicking through to our full review of each to learn more about its strengths and weaknesses. Below the chart, you'll also find in-depth buying advice detailing what to look for in a 2-in-1 laptop.
Microsoft Surface Pro 8 - Best Overall
- Excellent 120Hz screen
- Updated modern design
- Great performance
- Solid battery life
- Limited ports
- Keyboard covers still sold separately
After several years of minor updates to its flagship 2-in-1, Microsoft delivered some serious upgrades on the Surface Pro 8.
That includes a more modern design, with slimmer bezels allowing for a larger 13in screen within almost the same footprint. Display has always been a strength of the Surface Pro line, but adding a 120Hz refresh rate takes it to the next level.
Microsoft has also upgraded both the front and rear cameras, with the former one part of an excellent video calling setup. Dual studio mics and impressive quad speakers complete the set.
You also get improved battery life and the customary processor upgrade (now from Intel's 12th-gen), although it'd have been nice to see more ports.
But it's the keyboard cover that transforms the Surface Pro 8 into a 2-in-1. The latest iteration is the most convincing yet, bundling a new-and-improved Slim Pen 2 stylus in the cost.
However, this is an expensive add-on to a device that's already gone up in price. If you can justify spending this sort of money, you'll probably want to make it your main computer. In that scenario, it's closer to replacing a laptop than ever before.
Read our full Microsoft Surface Pro 8 review
Samsung Galaxy Book Pro 360 - Best Convertible
- Solid performance
- Great battery life
- 5G & S-Pen support
- Relatively expensive
- Dim display
Samsung's Galaxy Book Pro 360 is the pick of the bunch when it comes to 2-in-1 devices. The fusion of great design with powerful internals and attractive screen make it the convertible to beat, especially as it's priced in line with other premium laptops.
A combination of 11th-gen Intel chips and Iris Xe integrated graphics deliver solid all-round performance, even if there's no discrete GPU. Battery life is also excellent, rivalling some of the longest-lasting laptops you can buy. Elsewhere, the display provides a rich, vivid viewing experience, even with the resolution capped at 1920x1080.
However, the 360-degree hinge is the big selling point here. It can be adjusted to any angle from regular laptop to tablet, alongside an S-Pen that magnetically attaches to the back of the display. There's also the option for 5G support, but the competitively-priced 4G will offer everything most people are looking for in a 2-in-1 laptop. This slight extra affordability gives the Pro 360 the edge over other options in this list, most notably Samsung's own Galaxy Book Flex 2.
Read our full Samsung Galaxy Book Pro 360 (2021) review
Apple iPad Pro (12.9in 2021) - Best iPad
- Superb performance
- Stunning display
- Great cameras and battery life
- Expensive accessories
- iPadOS doesn't make full use of M1 chip
Apple doesn’t make MacBooks with a touchscreen, let alone a 360-degree design. However, the iPad Pro is the closest the company has got to a laptop replacement, especially using the new M1 chip.
Performance is predictably excellent, while the gorgeous 120Hz display is another real highlight. It can also comfortably last 10 hours on a single charge, provided you're not carrying out demanding tasks.
Cameras are also the best you'll find on any tablet, while the iPad Pro retains the ultra-premium design and build we've come to expect from the line.
It's also worth considering the 11in version, but this 12.9in variant comes much closer to replacing your laptop. You will need to pair it with a pricey Magic Keyboard, though, and the iPad Pro is still held back by the limitations of iPadOS.
Read our full iPad Pro 12.9in (2021, M1) review
Huawei MateBook E (2022) - Best Value For Money
- Impressive OLED display
- Great cameras
- Keyboard case included
- Decent i5 performance
- Poor battery life
- Frustrating fingerprint sensor
- Only one port
Huawei has dabbled in 2-in-1 devices in the past, but the latest MateBook E is its best effort yet.
The device isn't dissimilar to the Surface Pro 8 in design - high praise considering it's significantly more affordable. However, that entry-level model has just an 11th-gen Core i3 model under the hood - most people will probably want to step up to i5, where you'll find solid all-round performance.
A 12.6in display is slightly smaller than some rivals and only 60Hz, but opting for OLED makes up for it. Huawei has maintained slim bezels around the edge of the display, which house a solid webcam.
There's also an impressive webcam for video calls, but no Windows Hello face unlock. That means you'll need to rely on an underwhelming fingerprint sensor built into the power button. There's also only one USB-C port.
The included keyboard cover (with built-in stand) and stylus sold separately are both superb, but battery life is another key weakness.
There may be one too many compromises here for most people, but it remains a compelling option and very good value for money.
You'll find Performance on the entry-level Intel Core i4
Read our full Huawei MateBook E (2022) review
Microsoft Surface Laptop Studio - Most Versatile
- 3-in-1 functionality
- Great performance
- Excellent battery life
- Limited ports
With the Surface Laptop Studio, Microsoft has solved one of the Surface Book's key design drawbacks: needing to house many of its components under the screen.
Ditching the detachable display for a new flexible hinge design achieves this, although you're now limited to just three fixed positions. But the Laptop Studio excels as a traditional laptop, while there are credible use cases for the other two modes - with the display pulled forward or laid flat.
The high-res 120Hz panel itself is a joy to use, while video calling features remain a highlight. The keyboard and trackpad take some getting used to, but deliver a convincing experience. With great battery life and solid performance (thanks to 11th-gen Intel CPUs and optional RTX 3050 Ti GPU), there's a lot to like here.
But whether you buy the Surface Laptop Studio will likely come down to two things: whether the design works for you and if you can afford the high asking price. If your answer to both is yes, you won't be disappointed.
Read our full Microsoft Surface Laptop Studio review
Samsung Galaxy Book Flex 2 - Best Premium
- Gorgeous display
- Solid everyday performance
- Built-in S-Pen
- Fiddly trackpad
The first-gen Galaxy Book Flex remains an extremely impressive 2-in-1 in 2021, but its successor takes things to the next level.
While the 13.3in AMOLED display and 69.7Wh battery remain unchanged, this is anything but an iterative update. Key upgrades here include the move to 11th-gen Intel chips (which yield a big improvement in battery life), a secondary 13Mp camera and 5G support.
Convertible functionality comes in the form of a 360-degree hinge, which is now much sturdier and more robust. It means the device can be used as a laptop, tablet or in 'tent mode' for hands-free viewing.
There's also the built-in Bluetooth S-Pen, which has shifted to the front of the device to make way for a newly expanded port selection. One of the three USB-C ports dropped in favour of a USB-A port and full-size HDMI.
However, it’s not all good news. The screen is still only Full HD (1920x1080), while the trackpad is fiddly enough to make a mouse necessary for long-term use.
Then there’s the price, with the Flex 2 starting at £1,649 in the UK. It's one of the most complete convertible laptops on the market, but you'll pay for the privilege.
Read our full Samsung Galaxy Book Flex 2 review
Asus ROG Flow Z13 - Best For Gaming
- AAA gaming on a tablet
- Excellent XG Mobile GPU performance
- Impressive 120Hz display
- Too heavy for most people
- Poor battery life
Gaming on a PC usually requires a permanent desktop or bulky laptop, but Asus has proven that doesn't need to be the case.
The ROG Flow Z13 offers incredible power within a thin and light design, with a choice between top-spec Intel or AMD CPUs and a discrete RTX 3050 Ti graphics card. Performance drops slightly when running on battery power, but connecting the optional XG Mobile helps deliver desktop-level gaming.
Elsewhere, the large 13.4in Mini-LED display delivers an immersive gaming experience. You get a choice between Full HD or 4K, with both offering a silky-smooth 120Hz refresh rate.
A built-in kickstand and detachable keyboard (included in the price) makes the Flow Z13 impressively versatile, although you might be disappointed by the lack of ports. It'd also have been nice to see some better speakers too, but most gamers will be connecting headphones anyway.
But battery life is a key weakness, with less than 90 minutes of AAA gaming on a single charge. The situation is much better in general use, but at around five hours, it's still worse than most rivals.
Ultimately, the Flow Z13's high price tag will put people off. But it's an exciting first step into the world of gaming 2-in-1s.
Read our full Asus ROG Flow Z13 review
HP Chromebook x360 14c - Best 2-in-1 Chromebook
- Decent performance
- Excellent audio
- Premium internals
- Reflective display
- Occasional glitches
It's not all about Windows devices and iPads where 2-in-1s are concerned though - there are plenty of options if you're looking for a Chrome OS device.
HP's Chromebook x360 is our top pick, combining super-fast performance with a great design and excellent keyboard & trackpad. The Full HD display is another highlight, even if it doesn't get very bright, while the Bang & Olufsen speakers deliver an excellent audio experience.
Elsewhere, you also get a great port selection and impressive battery life, all for a price that won't break the bank.
If you can look beyond poor outdoor visibility and some occasional bugs, the x360 14c could be a great option for you. Just make sure you're content with the limitations of Chrome OS.
Read our full HP Chromebook x360 14c review
Asus ZenBook Flip S - Best 2-in-1 Display
- 4K OLED display
- Lightweight design
- Thunderbolt 4 support
- Some performance throttling
- No fingerprint sensor
The ZenBook Flip S might ditch the headphone jack from its predecessor, but it still establishes itself as the go-to premium convertible.
Among the highlights is a gorgeous 4K OLED display, which offers a rich, colour accurate viewing experience. There's also Thunderbolt 4 support and a bumper 1TB SSD, all within an extremely thin and light body.
Unfortunately, that sleek design does impact performance from the 11th-gen Intel chips, with some throttling issues. You also miss out on a fingerprint sensor.
These may be dealbreakers considering the high asking price, but if money is no object and you're looking for a premium portable device, the Flip S is a great choice.
Read our full Asus ZenBook Flip S UX371 review
Microsoft Surface Go 3 - Best Budget 2-in-1
- Lightweight and portable
- Solid Intel Core i3 performance
- Great for video calls
- Poor battery life
- Dated design
- Type Cover still costs extra
If you don't have much money to spend, the Surface Go 3 is an excellent option. It's one of the smallest devices to run a full version of Windows 11, making the OS more portable than ever.
There aren't many upgrades here compared to the Surface Go 2. In fact, the only change of note is the introduction of new processors, but impressive performance from the Intel Core i3 chip justifies this move. However, this is likely to take a significant hit on cheaper models.
The 10.5in touchscreen display is excellent, and the video calling experience is very good. But the Go 3 does suffer from poor battery life, while chunky bezels give the impression of an older device. You'll also need to buy a Type Cover separately to make the most of it.
Nonetheless, if you want a solid tablet experience that avoids the limitations of Android and iOS, the Go 3 is a solid bet.
Read our full Microsoft Surface Go 3 review
Your buying guide for the best 2-in-1 laptops and tablets
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 so has a more advanced hybrid system. However, 2020's Book 3 will be the last entry in that product line. It's been replaced by the Surface Laptop Studio, which has three fixed positions.
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 really aren't many around these days with Microsoft's Surface range being the most obvious. Samsung's Galaxy Tab S7+ is another option but won't be the right option for many with it running on Android. The limitations of iOS (or iPadOS, as it's officially known) also hold back the iPad Pro with Magic Keyboard, but it's a credible alternative.
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.