Ultrabook reviews, guides and comparisons

Best 25 2-in-1 laptops – ultrabook convertibles and tablet hybrids

By Andrei Girbea - @ andreigirbea , updated on February 2, 2016

Convertibles, or 2-in-1 laptops as they are also called, are not necessarily a new breed of portable computers. Tablet PCs have been used in business environments since the 1990’s, but they’ve become a lot more popular among regular users in the later years, as their price has gone down and more form-factors were introduced to the market.

We’re going to talk about the best 2-in-1s available today in this post. But first, let’s see what you should expect from such a device. First of all, convertible ultrabooks need to be slim and light, while able to deliver solid-everyday performance and long battery life, and second, they need to include some sort of convertible or detachable touchscreen. This is what makes them more than just as a regular laptop, as it allows us to use them as tablets, stands or tents as well, or in other words transforms the laptop as we knew it in the past in a more versatile and adaptable computer.

Convertibles come in many shapes and form factors right now, with a variety of different features and price tags. We’ll split the post into two main sections, one that addresses the premium 2-in-1 ultrabooks and another for the more affordable hybrids, and I’ll tell you a few words about my favorite options in each camp.

By the end of the article, you’ll have a pretty good idea which one of these notebooks best fits your needs and budget. And even if you still haven’t made up your mind, don’t despair, get in touch in the comments section and I’ll do my best to help you out.

Premium 2-in-1 ultrabooks and convertibles

If you want the best hybrid laptops available in stores right now, you’ll find them in this section. Just don’t expect them to come cheap.

HP Spectre x360

If you’re willing to spend around $1000 for a 2-in-1 laptop, the HP Spectre x360 should be at the top of your list.

HP did a great job with this machine. They built it from metal, so it’s both beautiful and strong, and they bundled it with a good backlit keyboard and excellent displays. There are a couple of options for you to choose from, and even the base model, with a 1920 x 1080 px resolution and an IPS panel, is very good. They include a digitizer and active-pen support, so the Spectre is well suited for inking and sketching as well. Keep in mind that a pen is not included in the pack, so you’ll have to buy it on the side.

Pairing the display with fast Broadwell or Skylake hardware, up to 8 GB of RAM and M.2 SSD storage, the Spectre flies in everyday use and offers 6-8 hours of battery life on a single charge. That’s something most other 2-in-1s cannot match.

On the other hand, the sturdy aluminum build does take its toll on the laptop’s overall weight of over 3.2 lbs, while some of the other modern 2-in-1s are lighter. And since we’re mentioning the shortcomings, HP could have done a better job with the oleophobic glass on top of the screen and with the WiFi, which occasionally fails to connect to certain networks after the computer resumes from sleep.

The Spectre’s price could steer some of you towards something else though, as the most affordable options start at $899 and a decent configuration with 8 GB of RAM and 256 GB of storage goes for around $1000.

Follow the links below for our full review of the Spectre x360 and the latest deals on this convertible.

The HP Spectre gets the looks and the features

The HP Spectre x360 offer both the looks and the features for under $1000

Surface Pro 3

The Surface Pro 3 in a different kind of hybrid, as it is actually a Windows tablet that can be paired with a keyboard-folio in order to get the laptop-like experience. That makes it more compact and lighter than the other 2-in-1s, but also better suited for life on a desk or other flat surfaces than for life on the road or in your lap.

The Surface Pro has a few distinct particularities, like the 3:2 high-resolution screen with narrow bezels and digitizer support (N-Trig, and a pen is included), the multi-angle adjustable kickstand on the back, the durable magnesium body, the quiet cooling system (yes, this device is fan cooled) or the rather limited IO.

On top of that, the Surface Pro 3 is powered by Intel Haswell U hardware, but a Surface Pro 4 update with Skylake on board is scheduled for the end of 2015, and we’ll update this section once it’s launched.

The Surface Pro 3 is far more compact and light than all the other 2-in-1s, but the form factor makes it difficult to use for practical tasks

The Surface Pro 3 is more compact and lighter than the other 2-in-1s, but the form factor makes it difficult to use for practical tasks

All in all, while the Surface Pro 3 is Microsoft’s best computer to date, it’s not necessarily the laptop-replacement the PR guys want you to believe it is. It lacks the comfortable clam-shell form factor that makes laptops so easy to use on the lap, it lacks the IO and the keyboard/touchpad experience, to name just some of the aspects that set the Surface Pro 3 apart from an actual ultrabook.

That doesn’t mean that the Surface Pro 3 can’t be the right pick for you, especially if you plan to use it as a tablet most of the time, and not primarily as a notebook. It does not come cheap though. The base configuration, with an Intel Core i3 processor, 4 GB of RAM and 64 GB of storage space starts at $699, and higher-tier configurations will quickly go over the 1G milestone. Keep in mind the Keyboard Folio is not included and will set you back some extra 130 bucks.

Some of the available configurations are available discounted online. Check out this link for offers and potential deals.

Lenovo Yoga 900, and the Yoga 3 Pro

These are Lenovo’s best convertible ultraportables designed for consumers, and while the name might suggest similarities between them, they are actually different in many ways.

The Yoga 900 is Lenovo’s latest offer, built on Skylake-U hardware and launched in 2015 and the Yoga 3 Pro is built on Broadwell Core M hardware and was released in 2014.The two are 4-in-1 convertibles designed to work as regular laptops, tablets, stands or tents. They share a similar form factor, with the screen able to fold back 360-degrees on the back.

The Yoga 900 is an evolution of its predecessors. As a result, it is a sleek machine (weighs 2.85 lbs and is very thin) with an awesome high-resolution display, a backlit keyboard and the latest Core i5 and i7 Skylake processors inside, plus a large 66 Wh battery. The Core i7 models with 8 GB of RAM and 256 GB of storage have a MSRP of $1199, while the Core i5 versions sell for less. Follow this link for the latest configurations, prices and potential discounts.

You should also check out our analysis of the Yoga 900 series and comparison with the Yoga 3 Pro, but also find out how it fares against its arch-rival, the HP Spectre x360, from this post.

On the outside the Lenovo Yoga 2 Pro (left) and the Yoga 3 pro (right) are very similar, on the inside though they are completely different

On the outside the Lenovo Yoga 2 Pro (left) and the Yoga 3 pro (right) are very similar, on the inside though they are completely different

The Yoga 3 Pro is an even thinner computer with an aluminum shell, that only weighs 2.6 lbs, but has a large footprint, as you can tell by the hinges around its 13.3 inch display. It also packs a fairly shallow keyboard.

Hardware wise, the Yoga 3 Pro is powered by Intel Core-M processors with up to 8 GB of RAM and up to 512 GB SSDs, and there’s only enough room inside for a 44 Wh battery. The Core M processors offer limited performance and are not very efficient either (expect around 5 hours of life from this machine). On top of these, the initial Yoga 3 Pro variants were not fanless, unlike most of the other Core M powered machines, so make sure you get the newer Intel Core-M 5Y71 configuration and not the older Core-M 5Y70 models, if you’re interested in one of these Yogas.

My in-depth experience with the Yoga 3 Pro will tell you what to expect from this laptop, and if you’re interested in a list of fanless ultraportables, this article will definitely help.

The Yoga 2 Pro is thicker (by about 0.2 of an inch) and heavier (by about 0.5 lbs) than the Y3P, while it offers a similar form factor and a similar 13.3 inch display (with some documented colors issues though, make sure you research this topic). It’s also significantly faster, especially if you opt for the Core i7 Haswell U processors, while it doesn’t fall short in terms of battery life (again, expect roughly 5 hours on a charge). I’ve reviewed the Y2P here, if you’re interested in all the aspects you should know about this 2-in-1.

When it comes pricing, the Yoga 3 Pro starts at around $1100 these days, but you can actually find it cheaper online. That kind of money will get you the Core M-5Y71 / 8 GB of RAM / 256 GB SSD configuration.

The Yoga 2 Pro on the other hand starts at as low as $900 for a Core i5 / 8 GB of RAM /256 GB SSD configuration and Core i7 models go for just under $1000. That if you can still find it in stock anywhere. Follow this link for up to date prices and potential discounts.

Long story short, the Yoga 2 Pro has always been, at least in my opinion, a better buy than the Yoga 3 Pro. The newer version looks somewhat better and is lighter, but the loss in performance and usability (fewer ports, shallower keyboard) are hard to justify, especially when you have to pay premium for the Y3P. It’s also worth noting that both the Yoga 2 and 3 Pro lines lack a digitizer and proper pen support.

The Lenovo ThinkPad Yoga line

Lenovo merged the Yoga 2-in-1 factor with the high standards of their business ThinkPad lines, and the fruits of this merger are the ThinkPad Yogas. There are three different models available in stores at the time of this update, with 12.5-inch, 14-inch and 15.6-inch screens.

I’ve reviewed the 12.5 inch version a while ago here on the site and it’s a fairly good device. The latest generation is built on Intel Broadwell U hardware, but is otherwise identical to the version we reviewed. The 12.5 inch FHD low-glare screen is a part of it, with digitizer support. A pen is included (with most versions, with some you’ll have to buy it separately) and you can easily tuck it away in its dedicated slot inside the laptop.

Besides these, you do get a proper selection of ports, an ergonomic keyboard and a few extra-features when compared to the Yoga Pro lines. The keys are mechanically locked when the device leaves the laptop mode, so they are not as exposed as on the other Yogas, and the ThinkPad Yoga is overall a stronger built machine, meant to survive the hassle of corporate environments. The battery life on the other hand is average at best, around 5 hours on a charge, which is not enough for whole day’s work.

Now, all these do make the ThinkPad Yoga 12 somewhat bulky and heavy for a 12.5 incher, but if you do need what it has to offer you’ll be just fine with its 3.5 pounds and 0.75-inch body.

The ThinkPad Yoga starts at around $900 these days, for the base versions with Intel Core i5 Broadwell processors, 4 GB of RAM and SSD storage. There’s a fair chance you’ll find those slightly discounted online, while previous gen models with Haswell hardware should be even cheaper, if you can still find them in stock.

The ThinkPad Yoga 14 is a slightly different beast. It’s built on the same convertible form-factor, but lacks a pen or digitizer support, which are instead replaced by dedicated graphics. The TPY14 comes with a 14-inch IPS touchscreen, Broadwell or Skylake hardware, up to 8 GB of RAM, various types of storage and Nvidia 840M or 940M graphics, all tucked inside a sturdy 4.2 lbs body.

These specs make the ThinkPad Yoga a solid all-rounder that can cope with everyday tasks, multimedia content and some games. It’s not as portable as the Zenbook UX303LN, which bundles a similar configuration, but it’s a convertible, just as fast and somewhat cheaper, as the base version starts at around $1000 and you should find it discounted online.

The ThinkPad Yoga 15 is a full-size computer with a 15.6 inch display and it’s actually one of the very few convertibles of this size. It’s built on Broadwell hardware and weighs close to 5.1 lbs, but also offers up to 16 GB of RAM, dedicated graphics, a NumPad keyboard and several different storage options. This model has an MSRP of $899 and up, based on configuration.

thinkpad-yoga-14-15

The larger ThinkPad Yoga 14 and 15 offer dedicated graphics, more ports and larger batteries, but keep the same form factor and solid construction

Acer Aspire R13

Acer’s Aspire R13 is a rather odd convertible. It offers a 13.3-inch touchscreen that swivels inside its bezel, which is a design that does not expose the keyboard in tablet mode, but also leads to a larger footprint than on most other computers with a similarly sized display.

Check-out my Aspire R13 detailed review for the in-depth impressions on this machine.

Once you get past the aesthetics, the R13 proves to be a worthy convertible. It weighs 3.3 pounds, it packs a good quality high-resolution display with pen support (works with Acer’s optional Active Pen that sells for $50 and is not included in the pack) and bundles either Haswell, Broadwell or Skylake U hardware, with up to 8 GB of RAM and various amounts of SSD storage. The keyboard is rather cramped on the Skylake model and actually lacks the row of Function keys on the older versions, so you’ll need some time to get used to it.

Last but definitely not least, the solid price makes this laptop a great buy, as the base model MSRPs for $999 and includes a Core i5 processor, 8 GB of RAM and a 256 GB SSD, while upper configurations sell for a few hundred dollars extra. I expect the prices to drop in the following months, which should make the Aspire R13 an even more interesting option. Follow this link for more details and up-to-date prices at the time you’re reading this post.

The Acer Aspire R 13 is one of the most interesting 13 inch convertibles available right now in stores

The Acer Aspire R 13 is one of the most interesting 13 inch convertibles available right now in stores

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon 3rd gen

If I’d have an unlimited budget at my disposal, this would be the 2-in-1 I would personally get.

The Lenovo Thinkpad X1 Carbon has now reached its third generation and has evolved with each model (here’s how the 2nd gen X1 Carbon did in our tests). This latest version offers the simple, yet elegant design that ThinkPad users love, the build quality expected from a device created to endure the harsh life of corporate environments, the convertible Yoga-like form factor, and a keyboard and trackpad (with physical click buttons) unrivaled by most other Windows laptops out there.

These are bundled with a high-resolution 14.0 inch touchscreen (options for FHD matte panels are also available) and Intel’s Broadwell-U hardware platforms, paired with up to 8 GB of RAM and 256 GB SSDs, plus a 50 Wh battery. And they are all tucked inside a slim and light magnesium body that only weighs 3.1 lbs.

So on paper, this ThinkPad X1 Carbon is close to perfection. In practice, you’ll first have to deal with the ludicrous prices, as the most basic model sell for around $1200, while a Core i7 configuration with 8 GB of RAM and a 256 GB SSD gets dangerously close to the 2G mark.

And even if you can look past that, you’ll probably expect this computer to behave flawlessly, but that’s not always the case, as the hardware tends to throttle under serious load, while the 6 hours of battery life you can expect to get on a charge isn’t exactly top in its class. But no laptop is absolutely perfect, not even one as expensive as this ThinkPad X1 Carbon.

Premium Core M options: Dell Latitude 13 7000 and Toshiba Portege Z20t

The Latitude 13 7000 is a 13-inch detachable built on a fanless Core M platform.

The stand-alone slate weighs only 1.9 lbs and includes a 13.3 inch FHD IPS touchscreen with support for Wacom pens, although a pen is not included in the pack. A keyboard dock is though, and when latched together the two parts make up for 3.7 lbs laptop. Part of the weight is due to the extra 20Wh battery inside the dock, on top of the 30 Wh one tucked inside the tablet itself.

The Latitude 13 7000 is motorized by either Core M 5Y10 or 5Y71 processors with up to 8 GB of RAM and 512 GB SSDs and these should make it good enough for everyday activities. Dell markets the device primarily for corporate users and thus it offers vPro enabled configurations and a large suite of compatible accessories.

All these don’t come cheap and neither does the tablet, as the base version has an MSRP of $1199, which makes it pricier than most other devices in this list, including the Lenovo Yoga 3 Pro or the Microsoft Surface Pro 3. That’s why the Latitude 7000 might not appeal to everyone, but is nonetheless a 2-in-1 worth at least a look.

Dell's Latitude 7000 is marketed as a business 2-in-1

Dell’s Latitude 7000 is marketed as a business 2-in-1

The Toshiba Portege Z20t is another Core M powered tablet with an attachable dock. It is a bit more compact though, as it only offers a 12.5 inch display, and as a result it is slightly lighter then the Dell as well (3.3 lbs for the tablet + dock). The 1080p touchscreen gets a non-glare treatment and includes a digitizer with pen support. On top of that, a secondary Wacom digitizer is bundled in the pack, if you require more precise pen recognition.

The docking unit includes a great keyboard, solid IO and a 36 Wh battery, alongside the other 36 Wh battery inside the tablet, and combined the two will easily offer 10+ hours of everyday use on a charge.

Tshiba’s Portege Z20T doesn’t come cheap though, with the base model selling for $1399 and up, but if you need a capable and long-lasting business device, this one should be on your list.

The Toshiba Portege Z20t is compact and packs two big batteries, but its high price might steer anyone who's not a banker away

The Toshiba Portege Z20t is compact and packs two big batteries, but its high price might steer anyone who’s not a banker away

HP EliteBook Revolve 810 G3

This is the Broadwell update of the EliteBook Revolve series 810, a tabletPC with powerful hardware and plenty of features.

The Revolve is a rather compact device, with an 11.6 inch IPS display (unfortunately only a 1366 x 768 px panel is available) that integrates a digitizer, thus pen support. It works with HP’s Executive Tablet Pen, an optional accessory not included in most bundles.

Despite being small, HP put Broadwell Core i3 to i7 processors inside, up to 12 GB of RAM and up to 512 GB SSDs, thus this little fellow is a beast when it comes to performance. There’s also a 44 Wh battery tucked inside, so endurance is not going to be a problem either. All these features are tucked inside a magnesium chassis designed to pass MIL tests, thus the Revolve is also one of the sturdiest and most reliable devices out there, making it suitable for corporate wear.

In fact, the only important aspect that could steer you away from the Revolve 810 G3 is the price: $1299 and up.

This is the HP Elitebook Revolve G3

This is the HP Elitebook Revolve G3

Fujitsu Lifebook T935 and Stylistic Q775

These are Fujitsu’s updated 13-inch lines of Broadwell powered ultraportables. The Lifebook T935 is a tablet PC with a swivable display, while the Stylistic Q775 is a detachable, or a stand-alone tablet with a matching keyboard dock.

Both are powered by Broadwell U processors and both offer 13.3-inch displays with pen and digitizer support. The Lifebook gets a WQHD IGZO panel, an integrated fingerprint-reader or 4G modem, and a 17 mm aluminum and magnesium body that weighs 3.25 lbs. The Stylistic settles for only a FHD IPS panel, a more limited IO and a smaller battery, but still gets the optional 4G/LTE module in a 2.2 lbs body (that’s for the slate alone, without the dock).

As expected, neither of these laptops are very affordable and since they are mostly targeted towards enterprise users, regular consumers might actually struggle to find them in stores. But if you do need all those business features, you should at least have these on your short-list.

The Fujitsu T935 (left, middle) and Q775 (right) offer features you're not going to find on most other convertibles, but are mostly targeted at corporate use

The Fujitsu T935 (left, middle) and Q775 (right) offer features you’re not going to find on most other convertibles, but are mostly targeted at corporate use

Affordable hybrids and convertibles

This section is reserved for more budget-friendly devices, that sell for under $1000. We’ll start with a few words on the really affordable options (with MSRPs under $500) and we’ll continue with more standard options further down (13 and even 15-inch everyday laptops).

The basic 2-in-1 mini-laptops

If you only have $500 or less to spend for a portable 2-in-1, you should peruse the devices in this section. If your budget allows you to get something better, scroll down to the next chapter.

These are mainly built on Intel low-power hardware platforms (Arom, Pentium or Celeron), so they won’t excel in terms of performance or multitasking capabilities, but still pack enough firepower to handle fine the standard everyday activities, like browsing, editing texts, checking out emails, listening to music, watching movies and so on, as long as you don’t try to do all these things at the same time. On the other hand, what they loose in performance they gain in battery life, as most of these devices can easily go for 6+ hours of use on a charge.

The Dell Inspiron 11 3000 is an 11.6-inch ultraportable with a Yoga-like form factor (360-degree foldable display). It’s available in a few hardware options, as it is powered by either Bay-Trail Celeron processors, Haswell Pentium CPUs or a Core i3. The latter option should definitely give it a bit more punch when dealing with multiple applications at once.

On top of that, the Inspiron 11 does offers a full-size and fairly comfortable keyboard, a solid set of ports and a 43 Wh battery that can push it for about 6 hours on a charge, all these inside a 0.8 inch thick, 3.1 pounds body.

Last but not least, Dell went really aggressive with the pricing for the Inspiron 11 3000 series, as it starts just under $350 for the Atom versions, while the Pentium configurations will sell for around $400. Follow this link for up-to-date prices and user reviews.

Cheap 2-in-1s you can get for under $500: Asus Transformer Pad T100 (left), Acer Aspire Switch 10 (middle) and the Dell Inspiron 11 3000 (right)

Cheap 2-in-1s you can get for under $500: Asus Transformer Pad T100 (left), Acer Aspire Switch 10 (middle) and the Dell Inspiron 11 3000 (right)

HP have a very similar device in stores, the Pavilion x360, another convertible 11-incher available in a multitude on hardware options. You can find it in a few different colors and bundled with Intel’s latest generation Core i3s or Celeron/Atom CPUs. But the Pavilion gets a smaller battery than the Dell and it’s also a bit pricier. Follow this link for more details.

Then there’s the Lenovo Flex 3 11, an even cheaper 11-inch 2-in-1 that sells for as little as $300 for a Celeron configuration, which makes it more affordable than all the other options in its class.

And last but not least there’s the Acer Aspire R 11, which we reviewed here on the site a few weeks ago. It sells for $249 and up and it’s available in a few different hardware configurations. All are bundled with a huge 50 Wh battery (enough for 8 hours of use between charges), but if you plan to go for this machine you’ll have to live with its poor TN display and its rather heavy 3.5 lbs body.

The HP Pavilion X360 is a colorful and affordable 11-inch 2-in-1

The HP Pavilion X360 is a colorful and affordable 11-inch 2-in-1

The Asus Transformer Pad T100 series consists of 10-inch tablets with docking units. There have been several different T100 models out there, from the initial T100TA (review) to the updated T100TAM (review) and up to the more recent T100HA (review), and all of them were met with great success.

Most options retail for under $300 (potential discounts are available here), but that alone would not be enough to attract users. The Transformer Pads T100 are also nicely built devices capable of delivering a good-everyday experience thanks to the Intel Atom Bay-Trail and Cherry-Trail processors inside, plus a battery life of roughly 8 hours on a single charge.

The Asus Transformer Pad Chi T100 is revamped 10-inch slate with a sleeker metallic construction and digitizer support. It does sacrifice the IO for portability and looks, and with an MSRP of $400, it might not be the ideal pick for most buyers, but it’s an option worth considering. Check out my detailed review or follow this link for potential discounts.

The Asus Transformer Pad T200 is a slightly larger and more powerful device. It sells for between $350 and $500 based on configuration and offers an 11.6 inch IPS display, a larger trackpad and keyboard, more ports and the ability to put a HDD inside the dock in order to increase storage space. It’s available with up to 4 GB of RAM and 64 GB of storage. Check out my detailed review for extra info or follow this link for a list of up-to-date configurations and potential discounts.

The Acer Aspire Switch 10 and 10E are Acer’s iteration of the exact same concept: Atom powered 10-inch tablets with a latchable keyboard dock. The Switch 10 is available in two different options, a base model called the Switch 10 E with a slower processor, a 1366 x 768 px display and a plastic body and a more premium option with a glass-covered case and a FullHD IPS display with digitizer and pen support.

I’ve reviewed the Switch 10 E over here and for the money it is a solid option, especially if you want a colorful exterior and long battery life. It retails for $279 and up, while the Switch 10 has an MSRP of $400 and will compete with the likes of the Asus Transformer Book Chi T100 mentioned above. Follow this link for updated configurations and prices on both models.

The everyday affordable 2-in-1s

You’ll find 13 to 15-inch convertibles in this section, all selling for between $500 to $1000 and the time of this update.

Dell Inspiron 13 and 15 7000 2-in-1 series

The Inspiron 13 7000 is one of the best affordable 13-inch 2-in-1s out there, and you’ll see why from my detailed review posted here on the site.

It offers a 13.3-inch IPS convertible touchscreen, a nice backlit keyboard, plenty of ports and a sturdily built case, with a silver rubbery finishing. Dell equips this model with either Haswell, Broadwell or Skylake Core iX processors, up to 8 GB of RAM and various types of storage, and both the memory and the storage are user upgradeable. There’s only a 43 Wh battery inside though, while most similar devices offer a larger one, and as a result the Inspiron 13 7000 falls a bit short in terms of battery life.

Still, this machine is a solid pick for the money. The base models start at a little under $600 and most configurations are available discounted online.

Dell recently released a larger variant of this laptop, the Inspiron 15 7000 2-in-1, which sells for $600 and up as well (follow this link for the latest configurations and prices), but packs a 15.6-inch IPS display. It weighs 4.8 lbs and, surprisingly, bundles the same 43 Wh battery, so it won’t impress with its battery life either.

Lenovo Yoga 3 and Yoga 700 series

The original Yoga was released in 2013 and Lenovo worked on a couple of successor series since then, the Yoga 2, a Haswell equipped version that hit the stores in 2014, the Yoga 3, a Broadwell powered line that was launched in early 2015 and the Yoga 700 that followed up in late 2015 with Skylake hardware.

The Yoga 3 series consists of an 11 and a 14-inch model. The Yoga 3 11 includes a FHD 11.6-inch display, a light body (2.4 lbs) and Core M hardware. The 2015 model is fanless, but also somewhat faster and longer lasting than the Yoga 2 11. It also runs hotter and sells for more though, with an MSRP of $799 at launch, which will however get more affordable as time goes by.

The 13-inch  Yoga 2 13 was replaced by the Yoga 3 14 (later rebranded as the Yoga 700), now with a 14-inch FHD IPS display. Lenovo claim they’ve put a 14 inch screen inside a 13 inch body, but in reality the new model has gained a few mms here and there, as well as a few ounces. The other big changes are on the inside, as the Yoga 700 is powered by Intel Core i3, i5 or i7 processors, gets a faster AC wireless module and an option for dedicated Nvidia 940M graphics on some of the higher-end models. Not much has changed otherwise, except for the more generous IO, since there’s now more room for ports on the edges.

On the other hand the Yoga 700 is rather expensive, with the base versions selling for around $850, which makes it pricier than the Dell Inspiron 13 7000 or the Acer Transformer Book Flip TP300, which the Yoga 2 13 managed to tackle closely in the past.

Follow this link for up-to-date info on prices and configurations, as well as user reviews and watch the video below for a few details and differences between the the Yoga 3 models.

Asus Transformer Book Flip TP300 and TP500

There are several models included in this series and the 13-inch and the 15-inch versions are the ones that caught my attention.

I’ve reviewed the Transformer Book Flip TP300 here on the site and you should check out the article for my detailed impressions. It’s also known as the Q302 in the US and bundles Haswell, Broadwell or Skylake hardware, up to 8 GB of RAM, HDD or SSD storage, a 13.3-inch FHD IPS convertible touchscreen and a 50 Wh battery. On top of these, you can get some models with Nvidia dedicated graphics (the TP300LDs) or some without (the TP300LAs).

Just like the other affordable 13 inchers in this list, the TP300 is fairly bulky and heavy (3.85 bls), but that’s mostly because of its Macbook-like metallic case, while devices like the Dell Inspiron 13 7000 or the Lenovo Yoga 3 14 rely on plastic shells. The aluminum covered body will probably make a difference for at least some of you, and the price will as well, as the Asus Transformer Book Flip is usually $50 to $100 cheaper than a similarly configured Dell, HP or Lenovo unit, although that might vary from region to region. Follow this link for more details and up to date prices.

With its Macbook like body and affordable prices, the Transformer Book Flip TP300 is one of the best mid-range convertibles out there

With its Macbook like body and affordable prices, the Transformer Book Flip TP300 is one of the best mid-range convertibles out there

I’ve also reviewed the larger member of the Flip family, the TP500, a 2-in-1 with a 15-inch display, and you can read all about it in this post.

It’s overall not as impressive as the TP300, but it’s cheaper, with some configurations starting at around $500. Follow this link for more details and up-to-date prices. It keeps the touchscreen, the form-factor and the metallic body and adds a NumPad keyboard, more ports and options for Nvidia 840M graphics, but also only bundles a slightly smaller 48 Wh battery.

 Asus Transformer Books T300 Chi and T300FA

The Transformer Books are Windows tablets that you can use as standalone devices, or connected to the multi-functional docking-stations included in the packs, which bundle a keyboard, trackpad and in some cases other features like ports or an extra battery.

The Transformer Book T300FA and the T300 Chi are the more recent entries in this series, built on Intel’s Core M hardware, and I reviewed the T300FA model a while ago, as well as the T300 Chi a few weeks later.

They provide a completely fanless experience, enough power for a casual everyday activities and roughly 6 hours of battery life. Both offer 12.5-inch IPS displays, but while the T300FA gets an HD or FHD IPS panel, the T300 Chi gets a higher resolution 2560 x 1440 px screen. Both offer support for Asus’s Active pen.

These aside, the T300 Chi is the skinnier, lighter and more premium built version of the two. It does sacrifice the dock’s functionality though, which in this case is merely a Bluetooth keyboard, while on the T300FA the dock is physically connected to the tablet and includes ports and space for a 2.5″ storage unit inside.

Both units had an initial MSRP of roughly $700 and up, but both are greatly discounted these days. The T300 Chi is more widely available and sells for under $500 at the time of this update. And while there are reasons for this price drop, as you can see from the review, that Chi T300 can still be a great buy if you know exactly what to expect from it. Follow this link for up-to-date configurations and prices at the time you’re reading this post.

The Asus Transformer Books: a stand alone Windows tablet with a multifunctional dock

The Asus Transformer Books are stand alone Windows tablets with a multi-functional dock

Lenovo Yoga 500 (Flex 2/3 14 and 15) lines

These are Lenovo’s lines of affordable ultrabooks.

The Flex 2 series is avialable in a 14 and a 15.6 inch variant, starting at around $500 (and going for even less online), with decent specs, plenty of ports and a screen that flips on the back, like on the Yogas but only to about 270 degrees. And that means than unlike the Transformers above, the Flexes cannot be used as tablets, but only in Laptop, Tend and Presentation modes.

The Flex 2 15 gets a 32 Wh battery, weighs 5.1 lbs (which translates in about 4-5 hours of everyday use for a mid-level Core i5 configuration) and a 1366 x 768 px TN touchscreen, which can’t really stand next to the IPS displays on the Asus line. On the other hand, the Lenovo Flex 2 15s are about $150 to $200 cheaper than a similarly equipped Transformer Book TP500.

The 14 inch version of the Flex 2 is identical to its larger kin, just slightly more compact (weighs 4.2 pounds) and even more affordable, as the Core i5-4210U CPU/ 4GB RAM / 500 GB HDD configuration sells for under $500 these days.

The Lenovo Flex 2 series - you'll hardly find anything similar for the money

The Lenovo Flex 2 series – you’ll hardly find anything similar for the money

The Flex 3 series actually improves most of the areas where its predecessors felt short. First, they are powered by Intel Broadwell hardware. Second, they now get optional FHD IPS panels that can actually convert all the way to 360 degrees, just like on the Yogas, although the base versions are still offered with TN HD screens. Third, they are a bit more compact and lighter than before and they can get optional Nvidia dedicated graphics.

Despite all these things, the Flex 3 laptops are still very affordable, with the 14-inch model starting at $549 and the 15.6 inch version at $579.

Lenovo also introduced a smaller Flex 3 11 (also known as the Yoga 300) convertible that sells for $299 an up and is still a fully convertible device, but only settles for Celeron hardware and an 11.6 inch 1366 x 768 px display. Even so, it should be a decent competitor for the Dell Inspiron 11 3000 and the HP Pavilion 11 X360.

The FLex 3 series includes an 11.6, a 14.0 and a 15.6 inch model

The Flex 3 series includes an 11.6, a 14.0 and a 15.6 inch model

Wrap up

These are the best convertible ultrabooks you can find in stores right now. More are going to become available in the next months, so stay tuned, I’m constantly updating the list, adding new products as they hit the stores.

In the meantime, if you’re interested in a highly portable laptop, you should also check out my list of the best ultrabooks of the moment, my selection of highly recommended Chromebooks and maybe this other list of more affordable ultrabook alternatives.

Drawing the line on these 2-in-1 laptops, it’s hard to say some models are better than the others, as they are different and address different needs. Some are overall more interesting than the other though. For instance, the HP Spectre X360 is a great all-rounder, if you have around $1000 to spend, the Microsoft Surface offers unrivaled performance in a compact and light shell, the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon and the HP Elitebook Revolve 810 G3 are great business options, while the Dell Inspiron 11 3000 or the Asus Transformer Book Chi T300 are great buys if you’re on a very limited budget.

At the end of the day though, you know exactly what you want from your next computer and how much you’re planing to spend on it, that’s why the final decision is all yours. If you need more help deciding though, if you spot any new product that’s not included in here or if you just have something to ask or add to this list, don’t hesitate to use the comments section below. I’m around and I’ll reply as soon as possible.

And before you go, keep in mind that such posts take countless hours of work, so if you appreciate the result, make sure to show this link to your friends and stay around for future updates.

Andrei Girbea, aka Mike, Editor-in-Chief and a huge fan of mobile computers. Since 2007, I've only owned smaller than 12.5" laptops and I've been testing tens, if not hundreds of mini laptops. You'll find mostly reviews and guides written by me here on the site.

547 Comments

  1. Nana O

    September 19, 2015 at 4:35 am

    I’m torn. I love the look of the HP Spectre x360. The 8gb version isn’t available in the UK. At least not widely available. While I love the look and feel if it, the digitiser would be a great feature for me. However, I’m uncertain about the effects of settling for 4gb version.

    Will the Spectre x360 I can get be enough for a lot of browser usage, streaming and word processing? Will it be good for a few years?

    If not, what ultrabook(s) would you recommend instead?

    • Andrei Girbea

      September 19, 2015 at 2:19 pm

      As someone who uses a laptop with only 4 GB of RAM right now, I’d say get something with 8 GB. 4GB are not enough today and definitely won’t be enough in a few years.

  2. Yves

    September 20, 2015 at 7:48 am

    The Yoga 900 was not announced by Lenovo at IFA and I have not been able to find new information about it since it was leaked in August. Do yo know when it should be released?

    • Andrei Girbea

      September 20, 2015 at 8:57 am

      NO, not for the time being. I’m sure it will be available by the end of the year though.

      • Yves

        September 26, 2015 at 7:30 am

        Thank you very much Andrei, The Lenovo 900 is now said to be available from 27 October 2015 with very interesting new specs (winfuture.de/news,89070.html). I look forward to your hands on review.

        • Andrei Girbea

          September 26, 2015 at 9:30 am

          Yep, looking forward to that one as well, although the price is prohibitive…

          OH, an I noticed there are two fans on that one, according to your source. This might lead to fair amount of noise.

  3. Chris

    September 20, 2015 at 10:11 pm

    I thought I’d struck gold when I read your review of the ThinkPad Yoga 15. Then I realised it only had a dual core processor (i5-5200U or i7-5500U) and for my line of work, I really need a quad core processor.

    Are there any 2-in-1s similar to the Yoga 15 with quad core processors and dedicated graphics?

    • Andrei Girbea

      September 21, 2015 at 12:14 pm

      Not that I know off. 2-in-1s are supposed to be as thin and light as possible, and that’s why dual-core U Serires processors are found inside them. Plus, the pool of available 15-inch 2-in-1s is really limited.

  4. adir haziz

    September 21, 2015 at 6:27 am

    hey, i am looking for a new laptop and hope you could help me find the right one for me in attractive price.
    the new laptop will be used mostly for school needs, and i will take him with me to school.
    allso i will use him for watching movies, programing in visual studio, editing in photoshop and maby light games.
    i think what i need in the laptop is:
    – good battery
    – 14-13 inch screen
    – not very heavy
    – run the softwares i need for programing and editing.
    – can connect hdmi
    – around 250 gb storage

    i prefer 2 in 1 laptop but if there is better one for my needs that not 2 in 1 its ok

    my budget is 800-550$

    thank you for your time!

  5. Marco

    September 23, 2015 at 6:34 pm

    But the sony vaio tap 11??

  6. Patrick

    October 9, 2015 at 1:58 am

    Looking at the Toshiba Z20t 8Gb & 256 SSD
    mainly MS Office use and wondering about its stylus and is this a enough memory for the next 2-3 years

    with thanks

    • Andrei Girbea

      October 9, 2015 at 10:48 am

      I’d say yes. I’ve only spent about an hours with this device at a presentation, haven’t reviewed it, but the Pen experience was alright. Still, you might want to ask others, preferably those who actually own one. The RAM and the amount of storage should suffice for everyday use.

  7. Carlos

    October 13, 2015 at 6:23 am

    Hi! Which should I get for heavy Photoshop work (with some Premier at times)? A Dell XPS 13 2015 (FHD, 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD) or a 2015 MBP 13 256GB? They’re both about $1,500 and I’m wondering on which I’d get more value from. Thanks!

    • Andrei Girbea

      October 13, 2015 at 9:10 am

      I’d get the macbook, it bundles faster hardware. Is that a MBP with a Retina screen?

      • Carlos

        October 13, 2015 at 9:14 am

        Yes, w/ Retina display. Thank you!!

        • Andrei Girbea

          October 13, 2015 at 1:48 pm

          Well, I’d get that one. The XPS 13 is smaller and lighter, but the rMBP is much faster.

          • Carlos

            October 14, 2015 at 3:22 am

            Okay! Thank you so much!! :)

  8. Aadith

    October 17, 2015 at 11:56 am

    Hi Andrei,
    First of all, thanks a lot for replying to all my previous queries so quickly and appropriately.
    Could you please tell me the cheapest convertible I can get with Nvidia 940m or better and with skylake if possible. I want the cheapest one as I’m running short on money and skylake is not mandatory but 940m or better is required.
    Thanks in advance and please keep up the good work as you are doing an awesome thing.
    Aadith

  9. Yogita

    October 19, 2015 at 9:28 am

    Hello Andrei,

    Thanks for the details on 2-in-1s.

    1. I am looking for a portable laptop and prefer a 2-in-1 because am not a multi-gadget person.

    2. My main use is working with multiple Excel files and PPTs.

    3. Also, I keep my machine for a few years, say about 5 years.

    There are so many options that am confused, more so because anywhere close to $2000 seems steep to me (especially as I earn in a country that has weak currency value :) )

    Would appreciate if you can share a few options basis my need.

    Thanks,
    Y

    • Andrei Girbea

      October 19, 2015 at 10:02 pm

      Hi, you haven’t mentioned anything about screen size, but $2000 will definitely get you some of the best 2-in-1s out there, like the HP Spectre X360, the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon , the Micrososft Surface Pro 4 or even the Surface Book.

      • MJ Carly

        October 24, 2015 at 8:05 am

        I guess its because the date of this article is before the surface book got launched.

  10. Lori Florida

    October 22, 2015 at 3:36 pm

    I would love your advice about the best fit for me. I’m headed to Ethiopia as a blogger for a non profit. I will be on the road with my laptop and camera taking notes and pictures that I turn into blog posts on the road and at the guesthouse at night. Lightweight and battery life is important to me as well as being able to run Photoshop Elements. I was hoping to spend between $600-800 but want to make sure I get the right thing. Thanks for your advice.

  11. dee

    October 26, 2015 at 9:05 pm

    hello there , i have been struggling to finalise on a convertible laptop .
    -i am an architect , so will be running some heavy soft ware (3d softwares)
    – multitasking
    – touch screen with digitizer and pen .( to sketch)
    i need the system to do the heavy duty stuff , cause i am not a multigadget person either .

    i was thinking about the lenovo think pad or yoga series .i initially started with a limited budget , but have decided that spending the extra , will make my life easier in many ways. but at the same , i wanna know its worth the money i spend . i would serious appreciate your help .

    • Andrei Girbea

      October 27, 2015 at 8:11 am

      The ThinkPad Yoga 14 or the ThinkPad Carbon X1 would be my first picks as well. HP and Dell have some units of their own, but are generally more expensive than the Lenovos.

      The Microsoft Surface Pro 4 could be an option as well, if you appreciate something smaller, but you’ll be loosing on the laptop experience

      • John DeMay

        April 11, 2016 at 6:22 pm

        Those don’t have digitizers do they?

  12. Lawrence

    October 27, 2015 at 3:47 pm

    The Lenovo ideapad z400, what can you say about it. Do you think it’s gonna be a reasonable buy as against this touchpad you have mentioned there. As regards price and performance what do you think?

  13. Prateek Mittal

    November 4, 2015 at 9:44 am

    Hello Andrei
    I m willing to buy a convertible laptop with 4gb ram, hybrid storage of 500gb hdd and 128ssd, i5 processor with longer battery backup. Also any screen size would be OK. I wana use this laptop for at least 5 years and my usage is browsing, running programming apps and video calling.
    I have many of urs articles bur m confused with many options available. So plz suggest me the best laptop. Also u can manipulate the configuration according to the use I mentioned. But also keep in mind that I will be using it for atleast 5 years.
    Thank you in advance.

  14. Sergiu Petean

    November 6, 2015 at 9:48 am

    Salut Andrei,

    I’m looking for a freelancer laptop, meaning powerful programming laptop with i7 quad core, min. 16 Gb, min 512 SSD. Price can go up to 2000 euro. Any recommendations?

    Thanks.

    Ps: great work. Thank you for your effort and very pertinent analyzes.

  15. Aaron Pieper

    November 10, 2015 at 10:01 pm

    Hey Andrei!

    Right now i’m lost in the convertible land :D my 5 years old acer aspire needs to be replaced!
    i’m looking for a convertible with pen support and a good gpu! i’m a student and want to take notes on it and need a geforce gpu for professional CAD modelling!
    I want at least 13″ screen size. An SSD is a must have and 8 GB of RAM should be doing their job. I would like to have a skylake prozessor, but its more a nice-to-have. The surface book looks really nice, but that wouldnt fit into my budget, which is around 1500€! a decent battery would be great too…

    On my list are the Lenovo ThinkPad Yoga 15/14, HP Spectre 360x, …! but it is really hard to find the most fitting one, since everytime i almost choose one, i am reading about another one :D

    Or would u suggest me a tablet with great pen support[like a surface 3 etc] and a real ultrabook with the same stats exept the convertible and pen support part? So it will be around the same money and wheight…

    thanks for ur support

  16. Jeremy

    November 18, 2015 at 9:02 pm

    What budget laptops on this list are best for pen integration?

    I love the utility of my Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 2014 Edition tablet; it allows me to quickly put up virtual handwritten sticky notes and handwrite over PDFs, for example. Maybe even more importantly, the handwriting is crisp and feels natural.

    The only reason I still use my laptop is for typing and for features that tablets don’t have (the IO, flash, etc). I would like to replace both devices with one that has both comparable pen features to my Note 10.1 and the functionality of typical laptop.

    The laptop specs themselves aren’t as important (beyond simply being reliable with simple tasks) as the functionality and form factor.

    Any suggestions?

    Thank you!

  17. Rachael

    November 19, 2015 at 7:22 pm

    Hello, I am trying to decide on the best 2 in 1 for my 11 & 8 year old son’s. My price range would be around $400 each max. They currently have kindle fires which up until now have done the job. Was considering iPad Mini, your thoughts on these? Typical use is videos (watching & making), games and now the ability to do and store homework documents. Long battery life is important as well as size, not too big, around 10 inch ideal. So many choices on the market any advice would be appreciated. Thanks, Rachael

    • Andrei Girbea

      November 20, 2015 at 8:25 pm

      Those are tablets, not 2-in-1s. If you need a tablet, the iPad mini 2 or the ipad air 1st gen should be good picks within your budget. If you want a 2-in-1 with Windows, I’d look at the HP Stream 2-in-1 and the Dell Inspiron 11 3000. They might not be as suitable for games, as there are fewer titles in the WIndows store than on Apple Store, but are more suitable for the kind of tasks one does with Windows

  18. Ken Thompson

    November 19, 2015 at 8:57 pm

    Hello all! I do a lot of forex trading. I have a desktop at home and need to leave it on all day during the week. I do not want to carry a laptop around with me. I’d like to get a > 11 inch table to allow me to connect to my desktop and perform my trades remotely. Any ideas? Thx.

    • Andrei Girbea

      November 20, 2015 at 8:26 pm

      Budget? And do you want a tablet or a 2-in-1 (convertible laptop, tablet + dock)?

  19. Elaine

    November 23, 2015 at 2:14 am

    I am looking for a good, easy to use, budget 2-in-1 for my husband for Christmas. He will use it mostly for browsing the internet and e-mail. He is in the early stages of dementia, so it needs to be easy to use. I also want a close to full-size keyboard, as he will use it as a laptop when sending emails. With this information in mind, which of the budget options do you recommend?

  20. Meredith

    November 24, 2015 at 4:34 am

    I’m looking for a 2 in 1 for very basic computer needs (word, email, internet), photo viewing and storage, and traveling. So being as light weight as possible is important to me. What would you narrow my search down too? I’m unconcerned about budget at this point. Thank you so very much! -M

  21. JIm W

    November 24, 2015 at 2:23 pm

    Don’t buy any Lenovo if your serious about security. Lenovo is now a Chinese company. I had to dump my Lenovo because I work around a government environment and they don’t want those computers around. Not to mention you may be putting yourself at serious risk for Chinese hacking.

  22. Mike Gantos

    November 24, 2015 at 4:12 pm

    I just want to say thank you such great informative articles. I had on the t100ta by Asus and was frustrated with the long battery charging and frequent freeze ups or unit not functioning properly. However I have cracked at screen and need to replace that unit. I am in commercial real estate and do a lot of work with email MLS searching spreadsheets weird bags and graphic flyer creation. I also run my brokerage accounting QuickBooks off this device. I loved the simplicity and ease of use of the 100 ta as well as its affordable price I am considering the 200 with the extra hard drive 4 gig and the 60 for SSD that’s upgradeable but I wanted your opinion if I should spend the $400 on that unit or spend a few extra bucks and get something that might be more of a true laptop. I love the ability to have a tablet as well as the laptop keyboard so it’s definitely a functional thing for me as I take the device with me to a lot of client appointments and meetings. I am going to be using some form of a CRM either with Salesforce or something else to keep track of all my opportunities and development projects construction management property management etc.

    I would appreciate your recommendation and opinion as to what units I should look at I’m not opposed to spending more money however I think I should be able to get what I need for under $700 and then upgrade in one to two years as needed for better machines or as technology changes.

    I look forward to hearing your thoughts.

    • Andrei Girbea

      November 25, 2015 at 8:46 pm

      personally, I find 2-in-1s more comfortable to use. Something like the the Dell Inspiron 11 3000 or the HP Stream 11 2-in-1 are worth a look. You’re not going to get the same kind of battery life as on the Asus T100 or the T200 though, which are built on lower-power platforms.

      If you’re willing to spend $700 you could also consider the Lenovo Yoga 3 11. Enve faster, slimmer, but again, battery life isn’t stellar.

      • Mike Gantos

        November 28, 2015 at 12:34 am

        OK thanks for the advice. Do you like the YOGA 2 or YOGA 3 better? Is this better than the Dell 3000 or HP Stream? Dell seems to have 3000 on sale now for about 350, but I am concerned about which is going to give me the longest useful life and speed with my CRM, spreadsheets, multi tasking and email/web surfing.

        Thanks again, Mike

        • Andrei Girbea

          November 28, 2015 at 6:41 pm

          The Yoga 2 is an older model. The Yoga 3 11 is overall a nicer pick than the Dell, but significantly more expensive. Out of the three, the Dell is the best buy for the money imo. What’ the configuration of the $350 Dell?

          • Mike Gantos

            November 29, 2015 at 7:55 pm

            4gig ram 500 gig hard drive and I believe the I3 quad core. Normal screen. For 429 I can processor and 128gig SSD

            That was why I thought about the Asus TP500. It had I7 15.6inch screen, 8gb RAM and a 1TB hard drive. yes more money but I believe I can get for about 500-599 and I was looking for speed and usefulness at least 2 years.

            I am ok with spending 50-70% more if I can get value, speed, and better quality. I definitely will get some form of warranty for spills and breakage too.

            I do like the 2 in 1’s, but I definitely need some laptop like performance. Especially since I am going to try and utilize cloud for file storage, sharing, photos and etc. I have a microsoft exchange in cloud now for email.

            Thanks again appreciate the assistance.

            Mike

  23. MCX

    November 30, 2015 at 6:40 am

    I’m looking for a 15 inch convertible, and have pretty much decided on a Lenovo (the only real competitor seems to be Toshiba, which are more expensive for the same specs – unless I’ve missed something?). I’m trying to work out what the difference is between a Thinkpad Yoga 15 and a Flex 3 15, when they both have similar specs in terms of processor, RAM and hard drive – but the Flex is cheaper. Is there a difference in weight, screen quality, battery life or something else? I’m able to pay the extra for the Yoga if it’s worth it but I don’t want to waste money. I can’t find much info on the Flex 3 15.
    Thanks so much for your work on this site, it’s really useful.

    • Andrei Girbea

      December 1, 2015 at 1:52 pm

      The Yoga is a much better built device, has a better keyboard/trackpad, better screen, and possibly larger battery

  24. Jose

    December 1, 2015 at 11:07 pm

    Very helpful article. In my case having a stylus is mandatory – most of the times finding whether laptops have or not a stylus (Wacom or N-Trig) is hard, even in the manufacturers’ sites. In addition I am looking also for a disk of at least 500Gb in order to replace directly my old TabletPC – this is harder to find than I thought as in most cases large disks imply laptops not equipped to use the stylus. In this aspect Microsoft Surface Pro 4, or Book, seems to be expensive but also almost unique at providing both things, together with a reasonable screen size for reading and annotating a full text page.

  25. Hasan Abbas

    December 2, 2015 at 3:23 am

    Which 2 in 1 will be better for me between Lenovo Yoga 300 and Dell Inspirin 11 3000.
    Also tell me whether 2 in 1 will be ok for 5 years use ?

    • Andrei Girbea

      December 2, 2015 at 7:47 am

      I’d get the Inspiron, larger battery, better screen (the IPS option), better keyboard.

  26. Amy Marsh

    December 3, 2015 at 7:46 pm

    I am wanting to buy a 2 in 1 for my daughter going to college next year. She will need to be able to run Microsoft Office (Excel, Word, Powerpoint). I need light weight as she may be carrying it to class to take notes. I was looking at the Surface Pro 3, but it just seems so expensive, for what you get.

    My price range would be less than $800 (including a keyboard if I go with a Surface Pro). She isn’t big into games, but would like to be able to watch movies on it.

    Thank you

    • Andrei Girbea

      December 4, 2015 at 5:57 pm

      Something like an Asus UX305LA would be a nice pick. It’s a proper laptop, lacks a tougscreen or backlit keys though.

      There’s also the lenovo yoga 3 11, small, light, fanless, but not very powerful

  27. George

    December 5, 2015 at 8:44 pm

    Hello,

    This is a great article. I see that you give also great recommendations in the comments :) Would you please help me decide what should I buy. I’m looking for a tablet/laptop/2 in 1 that has a good stylus integration (would like it to be more precise – i’m currently using a wacom tablet). I would buy a Surface Pro 3/4 but strangely they do not sell them here. The only places that I can get them is from some websites that are way overpriced ( 1500$ starting price :X ) even the new iPad Pro is cheaper but sadly the OS is the one from previous tablets. Screen size between 12 and 14 would do just fine. I want it to handle photoshop for medium use.

    Thank you in advance.

    • Andrei Girbea

      December 10, 2015 at 6:31 am

      The hp spectre x360 gets a digitizer and pen support, you should look it up. I’m not entirely sure it’s as accurate as you want, but you can find more details on the forums on notebookreview.com

      The Lenovo thinkpad 260 is another option

  28. Mahi

    December 16, 2015 at 2:35 pm

    Hi,

    I am interested in buying 2 in 1 laptop(light weight) in budget within 500$.
    I am thinking lenovo flex 2 14 as I was looking on to some websites and got an idea of flex 3 from this post.
    Not having much knowledge about specs on that one I ll have a look although.
    Can you suggest me some good design models on both flex 2 & 3. I am buying lenovo product for the first time am HP user. So if you have any suggestion on lenovo products that would be very helpful.

    Thanks
    M

  29. Donna White

    January 3, 2016 at 11:05 pm

    Hi, Andrei. Thank you for all the hard work that goes in to these articles. Please know that they help ALOT of people and we appreciate it. I recently bought a Dell Inspiron 13 7000. It is a bit bulkier and heavier than expected. I love that it is a lot like a laptop. But I really wish it was detachable so I could read a book while on the treadmill. I can still return it for a full refund, so are there any other 2-in-1’s out there that are slightly smaller, lighter and detachable? It would have to have a back-lit keyboard, have usb ports, and bluetooth capable for my wireless headphones. I paid $700 with shipping, so that is how much I would have to spend. If I could find a decent one for less that would be great, but I tend to hold on to my laptops for quite some time. 5 years or more before I replace (I have 6 kids that are constantly needing things!) But we have started a Real Estate Investment Company and I need a more portable option than my Dell Inspiron laptop. Thanks for any help you can give. Whatever decision I make on my own is always the wrong one, it’s alot of money to not be completely happy with, but I have no idea what is better or not, so I am calling in the expert!

    • Andrei Girbea

      January 4, 2016 at 10:33 am

      Hi Donna. I can’t think of a detachable that would meet all your requirements. There’s the Asus T300 Chi, which is close, but lacks a backlit keyboard, has fairly short battery life and a few other flaws (still, Something to consider, as it sells these days for under $500). Not sure what you plan to run on this computer though. If it’s daily use, than it should be OK, but if you want it to work fast for that long, well, probably not your best bet.

      Another option would be the Microsoft Surface Pro 3 + the new Keyboard Folio. Might squeeze it inside your budget if you’re comfortable to buy it used. It does really well as a tablet, not that much as a laptop, due to the form factor.

      So what I’m saying is your expectations are a bit unrealistic. You would either have to up your budget or cut some of the features of the list. the Inspiron 13 7000 is a good buy for what it is, you can’t expect to get much more than that for the same kind of money, at least not for the time being.

      • Donna White

        January 4, 2016 at 2:16 pm

        Thanks so much, Andrei! I almost made the wrong decision yet again, as I am known to do. I will hold on to my Dell for awhile. Maybe once I can afford the new Surface Pro, I will snag me one of those. Appreciate it!

  30. Keith

    January 3, 2016 at 11:30 pm

    Hi Andrei,

    I was wondering if you could provide some help with my laptop decision. I am a teacher, so I mainly deal with word processing, powerpoints, and spreadsheets (typical MS office stuff), but I am also looking for a laptop that can handle some light gaming as I love to play video games in my spare time. I have been looking at two 2-in-1s in particular, an ASUS Q503 2-in-1 and the HP Envy x360. They both the exact specifications, so it really comes down to brand reliability. I asked at Best Buy about brand reliability and none of the sales people seemed to know much about which company is known for being more reliable. My budget is maxed out at around $800 as I definitely want to add a warranty *just in case* anything happens so I am not SOL if I get a lemon. Do you have any idea which brand/computer would be better to go with? Or do you have a different suggestion with similar specs or better for the money that could handle gaming, MS office, videos?

    Thanks!

    • Andrei Girbea

      January 4, 2016 at 10:47 am

      First of all, a computer with a Core i5 Processor (preferably Skylake, Core i5-6200U, which has better graphics than the i5-5200U) and 8 GB of RAM should be what you need. Nor sure what you mean by light gaming, so I can’t tell if you would need dedicated graphics or not.

      As for brand reliability, it’s impossible to tell if one brand is more reliable than others and it’s not a fair comparison either. Most OEMs build computers ranging from $200 to $2000. The cheaper ones will probably fail more often, due to having poorer components, poorer craftsmanship, etc. Does that make a brand like Asus less reliable than one like Mac? Well, not really. The comparison would be fair only if you compare certain laptops within the same price range, but no one provides hard data on this matter .

      Bottom point, computers can fail, whether it’s a $200 Asus or a $2000 Mac. That’s why I advise getting extended warranty, if it’s not overpriced. What you could do is research for specific faults of a given model. the Asus Q503 for instance it’s identical to the Asus TP500, so you can Google for “Asus Tp500 problems, Asus Q503 problems” and see what comes in. Again, be aware that every computer has issues.

      As a personal preference, I think HP have a slightly better customer support in the US. However, if you buy laptops from BestBuy, you should ask who handles the service: them or the manufacturer. If you would just have to return the unit to them in case something goes wrong, then just forget about this thing. Hope this helps.

  31. Dario

    January 17, 2016 at 8:51 am

    Hi, I’m thinking about buying a convertible. My price range is pretty low, but I was told I should get an i processor. I mainly need it for school and some games like Minecraft pc. What would you recommend?

  32. Karen

    February 3, 2016 at 7:41 pm

    Hi Andrei, Still not sure what to do after reading these articles. I want to pen books on a tablet that convert to Word docs, possibly use Excel (MS Office 2016), email, watch movies (no gaming), use keyboard to blog, charge phone & camera, easily transfer photos, and send ebay/amazon shipping labels to printer. Need IE to remote in to work desktop. Under $1,000 – preferably closer to $500. Writing with pen in bed is #1 requirement.

    • Andrei Girbea

      February 4, 2016 at 10:33 pm

      I’d go for something like the Microsoft Surface 3 or the 3 Pro refurbished. These are tablets though, so not that comfortable to use on lap. Check them out and see if you find them good matches for your needs.

  33. ahmad

    February 3, 2016 at 10:59 pm

    hello sir
    i am a civil engineer from egypt . i want to buy my first laptop for my future work with software like autocad sab and safe and also for gaming like fifa 16 and other sport games . i would like if you can help me with your great recommendations to buy my new laptop .
    i wouldnt mind a touchscreen with good performance
    my budget is around 1000 or 1100 max
    no problem if it is heavy
    but i dont want it to get hot and melting quickly because i will use it for a long time
    so i need a large battery and dont get hot quickly
    if it has a big screen like a 15 inch or more i wouldnt mind because it will also help me putting information
    so conclusion
    large battery
    dont get hot quickly
    durable and can work so long
    good performance with engineering software i might use 3d software
    gaming
    bigger screen
    under 1000 $
    ……………………….
    thank you for your appreciated help

    • Andrei Girbea

      February 4, 2016 at 10:36 pm

      Hi, I’d probably go for a computer with a Core i7-6700HQ processor and somewhere along the lines of Nvidia 950M or 960M graphics. You will have to sacrifice battery life (3-4 hours of daily use, a bit more for video), but the hardware will help in CAD, other demanding apps and in games. I’d look at the Asus N552, Asus GL552, MSI GE62, Acer V15 Nitro or maybe some of the older models like the Asus N551.

      • ahmad

        February 5, 2016 at 2:29 pm

        i need a laptop so that i can take it to college and also to work . i am saving money to buy a laptop instead of upgrading my pc so that i can work on the laptop home or at college or at work .so i need a laptop which could fit my use . i hope you can help me choose the best one . thank you for your help and i hope i can help you with anything related to civil engineering :)

        • ahmad

          February 10, 2016 at 9:38 am

          hello sir
          recently many people recommended to me to buy
          lenovo z 700
          lenovo z 5170
          dell 15 5559
          and everyone agreed not to buy any HP or any other other laptop outside dell and lenovo
          due to the less quality we have in the egyption market
          i hope you can help me choose one . a laptop good for my work and gaming with a broadwell processor . at last the dollar price is increasing in the market so i better get one quickly or everything will be doubled .
          thank you sir

          • Andrei Girbea

            February 10, 2016 at 10:16 am

            I’d probably get the Dell 15 5559 out of these three, but I’m not that familiar with those Lenovo models, so I don’t have a documented opinion on them

          • ahmad

            March 11, 2016 at 10:35 pm

            hello mr andrei
            i wanted to ask you a few questions please . if you dont mind . whats your opinion about nividia geforce 920m vega card ? i also found dell 5558 here in the egyption market but i couldn’t buy it because its no longer in stock and i have to wait but they advised me in the store to buy lenovo y 50-70 with 4th gen processor HQ instead of dell . what is your opinion about that should i wait or go and get the lenovo . another thing . what about HP envy . is it good or bad ? . thank you very much in advance

  34. ybnrmalatall

    February 6, 2016 at 7:56 pm

    You guys are pathetic. The surface? No wonder laptops are in the sorry state they are in right now.

    Lenovo and their broken keyboard design.

    I want an x220 which is 12 inches but I want it in 11 inches, the latest Intel HD graphics, an IPS panel display, the old Lenovo keyboard and 1080p.

    Anything higher on 0″-19″ is just fucking autistic.

  35. Martin

    February 7, 2016 at 12:48 am

    Hi, Andrei. You never mention the Toshiba Satellite i5 – 8gb – 15″. How is that computer compared with a Lenovo ThinkPad Carbon X1 3rd? I go frm one place to another and work a lor with excel and ppt.
    What is the best option?
    Thanks

    • Andrei Girbea

      February 7, 2016 at 4:00 pm

      Hmmm, which Toshiba Satellite are you talking of, exactly?

  36. Nilesh

    February 8, 2016 at 7:33 pm

    Hi Friend,
    I am searching for a 14″ slickest laptop with 1 TB hard disk and i3 (4th generation) processor.
    I am carrying a 15.4″ laptop weighing around 2.7 kg which is too heavy and suffering from severe back pain as I carry back-pack.
    Since, I am using 15.4″ to show presentation to my client in pdf. I am not able to even imagine to use 13″ so pls advice me 14″ lightest lappy with 4/8GB RAM and 1 TB hard disk.

  37. Stephanie

    February 22, 2016 at 4:32 am

    I’m looking for a 15″ 2 in 1 (because I need a number pad) that uses a digital pen. Help me find my magical unicorn? Preferably under $1k..

    • Andrei Girbea

      February 22, 2016 at 2:21 pm

      The Acer R7 2nd gen should is a 15-incher that supports active pens from what I know and there are no other options coming to mind right now. You’d have more options if you could go for a 14-incher.

  38. Dan

    March 1, 2016 at 12:22 am

    Hi Andrei,
    Great article. I’m currently seeking a 2 in 1 that will have basic uses as a laptop (word docs, mail, internet) and be used a tablet to watch movies on the go….so screen resolution is pretty important. I’m hoping to grab a bargain around $500. Any help would be great!

  39. Dania

    March 3, 2016 at 5:46 am

    Hello,

    I would like to seek your advice, as I’m in the market for a laptop or 2 in 1 device. I’m hoping to use it for programming, as I hope to teach myself Python,.Net, big data and SQL work. I’d also be able to use it to watch movies and surf the Net. It would be great if it travels well. I’m looking to stay within the $1K price range. Could you please give me your wise recommendations? Thanks in advance!

  40. David

    March 4, 2016 at 4:50 am

    Is the Samsung ATIV 9 Spin not good enough to be on this list?

    • Andrei Girbea

      March 4, 2016 at 12:37 pm

      It is, will be added in the next major update.

      • David

        March 9, 2016 at 5:16 pm

        Thanks for the reply

  41. Eddie

    March 11, 2016 at 1:49 pm

    Thanks for this informative review……I was wondering how these ultrabooks stood up to something like the Dell XPS 13. Yes, I know the XPS is a bit pricy, the one i’m looking at being almost $1400(base) but I’m drawn to the durability and performance i have gotten in years past from my original Dell XPS M1330. It now being time for an upgrade, i’m trying to find something I know I’ll love…..Thanks for your help

    • Andrei Girbea

      March 13, 2016 at 3:54 pm

      The XPS 13 9550 is one of my favorite ultraportables, but it’s not a 2-in-1, hence not in this list.

  42. Ghada Akl

    March 21, 2016 at 2:19 pm

    I am totally confused between buying asus t300 chi and hp PAV X2 ,12 inch , they are avialable wirh the same price , also which is better according to the cooling system ?? I wish you would help me

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