Many of the ultraportable laptops available these days in stores are 2-in-1s, or convertibles, which mean they include a rotating/detachable touchscreen and can be used as regular notebooks, as tablets, or something in between.
In 2016, the most popular 2-in-1 laptops are not only slim and light, but they are also powerful enough to handle daily chores, can last for 6-10 hours of use on a single charge and usually sell for under $1000, with a few exceptions.
This post gathers the best 2-in-1 ultraportables you can find right now (new entries are constantly added), and since the offer is vast, the article is split into three main sections:
- a quick summary of the best three options available right now;
- a detailed section on the premium 2-in-1 ultrabooks, options for those of you looking for the best features and traits;
- and another on the more affordable hybrids, options suited for the budget-oriented buyers among you.
The best 2-in-1 ultraportables
First choice – After testing most of the options available in stores, we conclude that THE BEST 2-in-1 portable laptop you can buy these days is the HP Spectre x360 13.
It’s a little heavy, weighing around 3.3 lbs, but this aspect and the lack of a Thunderbolt 3 port are pretty much my only complains on this latest Spectre x360 version. And that’s because it is sturdily built, looks amazing, packs a good keyboard and an excellent display with digitizer and support for Active Pens, is built on the latest Intel Skylake Core U hardware platform and can go for 7-10 hours on a charge.
The Spectre X360 13 starts at around $900, while a best-buy configuration with a Core i5 processor, 8 GB of RAM and 256 GB of storage sells for around $1000. Follow this link for more details and updated prices. You’ll also find more about it in our detailed review.
Second choice – if you don’t have $1000 to spend on an ultraportable 2-in-1, then you should look at the Asus Zenbook UX360CA instead.
This one is sleek and well built, weighs 2.9 lbs, gets a nice keyboard (not backlit though) and a very solid hardware configuration for the price, with a Core m Skylake processor, 8 GB of RAM, 512 GB of SSD storage space and a 54 Wh battery.
There are a few things you must known about the Core m platform though. First, it’s fanless, so there’s no fan inside this computer which means it’s going to run dead quiet. And second, while it’s fast enough for daily use and some multitasking, is not as snappy as the Core i5 and i7 processors found on most other ultraportables. So you should only pick one of these Zenbooks if you’re an average user with average demands.
I saved the best part about the Zenbook UX360CA for last: the configuration mentioned above is available for just $799, and you can actually find models with a 256 GB SSD for less. Follow this link for more details, user reviews and the latest deals on this product.
Third Choice – If you’re looking for a more portable option and expect to use the device often as a tablet, the Microsoft Surface Pro 4 is the one for you.
This one is a tablet, with the hardware and battery tucked behind the screen. It weighs about 1.75 lbs and is just 0.33″ thick, so it’s a lot more portable than some of the other options out there.
The Surface Pro 4 is built on an Intel Skylake Core U hardware platform, just like the HP Spectre X360 and most other ultrabooks, it can go for about 7-8 hours of use on a charge and offers a splendid 12.3-inch display with digitizer and pen support. The Surface Pro 4 can also be a pretty decent laptop. In order to get the laptop-like experience you need to hook the slate up to the keyboard folio, with backlit keys and a decent trackpad. It types well and the Surface does well in this form as long as you keep it on a flat surface, but it lacks the lapability and the IO of a regular laptop.
On top of that, the Surface Pro 4 is rather pricey, with the basic Core i3 configuration starting at $999 for the tablet alone, without the keyboard folio, which will set you back another $130. A fanless Core m3 configuration is also available in you’re looking to save an extra $100. Follow this link for more details and updated prices and configurations.
Bang-for-the-buck Choice – If you’d rather get a full-size multimedia computer with a 15-inch convertible screen, solid specs and an affordable price tag, the Asus Vivobook Flip TP501UB / Q553UB is the one for you.
You might struggle to find this machine, since it sells under different names in various regions (TP501UB in Europe , Q553UB in the US), but it might be worth digging one up, as $999 will get you a Core i7 Skylake processor, Nvidia 940M dedicated graphics, 12 GB of RAM and a FHD IPS 15.6-inch convertible display. The Vivobook Flip is also available without dedicated graphics, and in a few different color schemes.
You’ll sacrifice on portability (it weighs 5.1 lbs), on battery life and the looks or build quality, which are alright, but not on par with the premium options mentioned above. Still, this Vivobook is an overall well made computer with excellent specs, so I’d expect many of you will look past these inconveniences knowing what you’re getting inside the case. Follow this link for more details and updated prices and configurations.
Read on for more options. We’ll cover in depth the premium 2-in-1 convertibles first, and then we’ll focus on the more affordable hybrids in the second part of this article, including those already mentioned above.
Premium 2-in-1 ultrabooks and convertibles
This section gathers the best hybrid laptops available in stores right now. Beefy specs, splendid screens, large batteries, premium materials and solid craftsmanship are some of their selling points, just don’t expect them to come cheap.
HP Spectre x360 13 and 15
If you’re willing to spend at least $1000 for a 2-in-1 laptop, the HP Spectre x360s, which are available with a 13 or a 15.6-inch display, should be at the top of your list.
Metal is used for the entire case of the 13-inch model, in a silver or copper finishing, so the device is both beautiful and very well built. An excellent backlit keyboard and wide trackpad are part of the mix, as well as some solid screen options, all with digitizers and Active Pen support. Inside the frame there’s Skylake U hardware, up to 16 GB of RAM and M.2 PCIe SSD storage, so the laptop flies in everyday use, while the 56 Wh battery ensures 6-10 hours of battery life on a single charge.
On the other hand, the sturdy aluminum build does take its toll on the laptop’s overall weight of 3.26 lbs, while many 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 screens and the occasionally buggy WiFi connection.
All in all, we are big fans of the Spectre x360s, as you can actually tell from our in-depth review of the 13-inch model. The prices have come down a fair amount lately as well, as the base model starts at $899 and a decent configuration with a Core i5 processor, 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 Spectre X360 is also available in a larger variant, with a 15.6-inch display. This version is sold as the Spectre x360 15t and shares most traits with the 13-inch model, like the keyboard, metallic case and solid construction. It also gets a 360-degrees convertible screen, available with either FHD or UHD IPS panels.
However, the 15-inch model packs a larger 64.5 Wh battery, a set of four speakers flanking the keyboard and pushing sound upwards, is heavier (4.1 lbs) and more expensive, with the base version starting at $1149.
Samsung ATIV Book 9 Spin
Samsung makes great laptops, too bad they only sell them on select markets. For those of you in the US though, the ATIV Book 9 Spin is an option you must have on your shortlist if you’re after a 13-inch convertible.
This one comes with a 360-degrees foldable display, and is very well built, thanks to its aluminum case and chassis, but lighter than the Spectre (weighs just shy of 2.9 lbs), slimmer (0.59″) and with a smaller footprint, as you can tell from the narrower bezel around the screen. Speaking of that, Samsung went with a nice IPS panel with QHD+ resolution, which however lacks a digitizer and pen support.
Historically, all the previous Samsung ultraportables scored high when it came to looks and build quality, but somewhat sacrificed the keyboard experience and the IO. That’s not necessarily the case here. The Spin types well, although the keys’ travel is short, and the only thing you will miss on the sides is a Thunderbolt 3 connector. Another side-effect of the sleek design though is the small battery squeezed inside this machine, with a capacity of 39 Wh, only enough for 5-7 hours of daily use on a charge. That’s not bad, but most other Skylake convertibles will outlast it.
As for the hardware inside, the ATIV Book 9 Spin is built on an Intel Skylake U platform, but only supports M.2 SATA storage and up to 8 GB of RAM, while the competitors can take up to 16 GB of RAM and PCIe SSDs.
So in fewer words, the Samsung ATIV Book 9 Spin is not the most advanced premium 2-in-1 out there, the fastest or the longest lasting. It’s also pricier than the HP Spectre x360 or the Lenovo Yoga 900, as the cheapest model sells for around $1300, yet it does come with a Core i7 processor, 8 GB of RAM and a 256 GB SSD, while other manufacturers push lower-end specs on their base configurations, hence they are more affordable. But if you’re after a highly portable and well built machine for daily use, chances are you’ll fall in love with this one. We did, as you can read from our reviews, and we’re not alone, judging by the splendid feedback this laptop scores with buyers on Amazon, Best Buy or the forums.
Lenovo Yoga 900
The Yoga 900 is Lenovo’s top-tier consumer 2-in-1 at the time of this post and one of the better 13-inch hybrids, next to the HP and Samsung units mentioned before.
Just like those two, the Yoga 900 gets a 360-degrees convertible screen and is built on Intel Skylake hardware. But there are a few minor details that set it apart, with its biggest selling point being its more affordable price. A Core i7 configuration with 8 GB of RAM and 256 GB of storage for instance sells for $100 to $200 less than a similarly configured ATIV Spin 9 Spin or Spectre x360.
But is there a catch? Well, you’re not going to notice any from the specs or the pictures, as the Yoga 900 looks great, especially on the orange finishing, is thin and light (2.9 lbs), packs solid hardware with support for PCIe storage and 16 GB of RAM, gets a 66 Wh battery and a QHD+ display, with now support for Active Pens.
In daily use though, the Yoga 900 feels somewhat cheap and not as well built as the other two, and the fact that its case and body are made out of plastic, not metal, gets the blame for that. Then there’s the typing experience, which is somewhat lacking due to the keyboard being mushy. And on top of these, users on the forums and the reviews on Amazon, Best Buy or Microsoft Store complain about some quality control issues, ranging from slow performance out of the box and occasional freezes/display driver crashes, to glitchy Wi-Fi and a defective trackpad.
Keep in mind that many of those issues have been addressed by software updates, that’s why this laptop is present here. Just make sure you buy from a reliable trader that will accept returns and replacements, just in case you end up drawing the short stick.
Check out our analysis of the Yoga 900 series and comparison with the Yoga 3 Pro, or find out how it fares against the HP Spectre x360 from this post.
Microsoft Surface Pro 4 and Surface Book
The Microsoft Surface Pro 4 is primarily a Windows tablet, with a secondary laptop form, unlike most other convertibles out there.
This approach makes the Surface Pro more compact and much lighter than most other 2-in-1s (1.76 lbs for the slate alone), and as a result a superior tablet. As a laptop, it can do fine on flat surface with the keyboard folio attached, but it’s not very comfortable to use on your lap.
The Surface Pro has a few distinct particularities, like the 3:2 high-resolution screen with narrow bezels and digitizer (a pen is included), the multi-angle adjustable kickstand on the back, the durable magnesium body, the quiet cooling system and the rather limited IO. On top of that, the Surface Pro 4 is powered by Intel Skylake U hardware, so performance wise it is on par par with the other premium ultraportables available these days, and can even squeeze up to 8 hours of battery life on a charge, despite packing a small battery.
Overall, the Surface Pro 4 is an excellent device, but it’s up to you to decide whether it’s the right one for you or not. Its high price tag might be an important factor as well, as the base version starts at $899 for a Core m3 configuration, while the Core i5 models start at $999 and can get quite expensive once you add more RAM and at least 256 GB of storage. Oh, and you’ll have to pay $130 extra for the keyboard folio, which is not included by default.
Still, some of the available configurations are discounted online, check out this link for more details and potential deals.
The Microsoft Surface Book is an unique 2-in-1. At its roots it’s still a tablet with a dock, but unlike the Surface Pro 4, it’s actually primarily a laptop.
In few words, the Surface Book looks and feels like a laptop. It gets a 13.5-inch 3:2 touchscreen with pen support, and excellent keyboard and trackpad, plus quite a few ports on the sides. It also gets Skylake hardware, up to 16 GB of RAM, fast storage and potent graphics.
But there’s a catch: the screen is detachable and works as a stand-alone tablet. The processor, memory, storage and a small battery are tucked behind this screen, and the slate is light, thin and easy to hold in hand. It lacks a kickstand though, it doesn’t have ports and can only go for about 2-3 hours on a charge, so usefulness when detached is rather limited. Hooked up to the dock, the ensemble gets the keyboard, the IO, an extra battery and an optional discrete Nvidia GPU, so overall the Surface Book is really compelling as a notebook. The only complain would probably be the weight of around 3.4 lbs, but that’s something I can live with.
However, what’s going to steer many from the Surface Book is the price. The cheapest version goes for $1499, and that’s merely for a Core i5 processor with 8 GB of RAM and 128 GB of storage. If you want more storage or the discrete GPU, you’ll need to pay around $2000, and the prices go up to $3000 for the top-tier configs.
Still, I did notice that most models sells for less online. Follow this link for more details and discounts.
Asus Transformer 3 series
This one is an alternative to the Microsoft Surface Pro 4, with whom it actually shares most traits and even design lines.
The Transformer 3 Pro is also a tablet with a keyboard folio, built on Skylake U hardware and with a 3:2 touchscreen with pen support. However, its screen is a little larger and among the features that it includes and the Surface Pro 4 doesn’t are a Thunderbolt 3 port and support for fast NVMe storage. The former might make it especially interesting for creative professionals.
The Transformer 3 Pro is scheduled to sell for $999 later this this year, and the keyboard folio might be included. You can read more about it in this dedicated post, where you’ll also find details on the more portable and affordable Transformer 3 T305CA, a fanless slate built on Kabylake hardware.
The Lenovo ThinkPad Yoga business 2-in-1s
Lenovo mixed the 2-in-1 form factor with the high standards of their business lines, and the fruits of this merger are the ThinkPad Yogas, the X1 Yoga and the P40 Yoga at the time of this post.
The Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga is a high-end ultraportable derived from the ThinkPad X1 Carbon series. It gets sleek aesthetics, a carbon fiber and magnesium case that only weighs 3 lbs, a 14-inch high-resolution touchscreen with a non-glare finishing and Wacom AES digitizer, Skylake Core U hardware and a 52 Wh battery. It also gets Lenovo’s iconic AccuType keyboard, a large trackpad with a Clickpoint and dedicated click button, and a solid set of ports on the sides.
Reviews speak well about this laptop, but you should know that it gets rather hot under load and it’s not going to last longer than 5-6 hours of daily use.
Overall, the Lenovo X1 Yoga is a competent business convertible, but you will have to pay a pretty penny to get it. A Core i5 configuration with 8 GB of RAM and 256 GB of storage sells for around $1400, while a Core i7 processor and a 512 GB SSD will cost around $300 extra.
If you don’t want the sleekest ultraportable out there and would rather pay less for your device, yet still get the solid construction, the Lenovo keyboard and a screen with pen support, than the ThinkPad Yogas might be for you.
There’s a 14-inch model available, the ThinkPad Yoga 460, which weighs 3.9 lbs and gets a 14-inch FHD touchscreen, Skylake U processors and optional Nvidia 940M graphics, plus a 53 Wh battery. These specs make it a solid all-rounder that can cope with everyday tasks, multimedia content and some games. Is not very portable, but it’s a convertible with a large screen and has a fair price, as the base versions start at around $950 and you should find them even cheaper online.
The ThinkPad Yoga 260 is the smaller version, with a 12.5-inch FHD display. The latest Yoga 260 weighs 2.9 lbs, gets the standard keyboard, trackpad and trackpoint, gets Skylake U hardware and a 44 Wh battery, enough for around 5-6 hours of daily use. The CPU tends to throttle at high loads though and the fan is quite noisy, according to the existing reviews, but that aside, it’s a really good compact convertible.
The base versions with Intel Core i5 processors, 4 GB of RAM and SSD storage sell for around $900, and there’s a fair chance you’ll find those slightly discounted online, while previous gen models with Broadwell hardware should be even cheaper, if you can still find them in stock.
We’re also going to mention the Lenovo ThinkPad P40 Yoga, a workstation with a convertible screen. Lenovo advertises it as a computer meant for engineers, desginers and graphic artists, thanks to the powerful hardware inside with Skylake Core U processors and Nvidia Quadro M500M graphics, and to the 14-inch touchscreen with an integrated Wacom AES digitizer. Reviews are really bad for this product though.
Affordable hybrids and convertibles
This section is reserved for more budget-friendly devices, that sell for well under $1000. We’ll start with a few words on the really affordable options (with MSRPs under $500) and we’ll continue with 13 and 15-inch everyday laptops further down.
The sub $500 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. On the other hand, if your budget allows you to get something better, jumps down to the next chapter.
These are mainly built on Intel low-power hardware platforms (Atom, 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 do lose 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 360-degree foldable display and a nice case available in a few different colors. There are also a few hardware options to choose from, with either Celeron, Pentium or Core m3 Skylake CPUs, and the gives it a fair amount of punch when dealing with multiple applications at once.
On top of these, the Inspiron 11 offers a full-size and fairly comfortable keyboard, a solid set of ports and a 32 Wh battery that can push it for about 6 hours on a charge, all tucked inside a 0.8 inch thick, 3.1 pounds body. Too bad the screen only gets a TN panel though, I would have expected an IPS upgrade by this time.
The Inspiron 11 3000 series is affordable though, with prices starting at around $250 for the Celeron versions and going to around $450 for the Core m3 configurations. Follow this link for up-to-date prices and user reviews.
HP have a very similar device in stores, the Pavilion x360 11, another convertible 11-incher available in a multitude of color schemes.
The Pavilion gets two major selling points over the Inspiron: an IPS display and a larger battery (35 or 43 Wh options). On the other hand, you can only configure it with Celeron and Pentium processors, so there’s no option for faster hardware, plus you will have to pay a little extra than you’d pay for a similarly configured Inspiron, but that’s normal considering the benefits. The Pavilion x360 11 convertible sells for between $280 and $380, and you will probably find it cheaper online. Follow this link for more details.
Other options in the same 11-inch segment are the Lenovo Flex 3 11 (with a 30Wh battery, TN display and Celeron configuration selling for around $350) and the Acer Aspire R 11, which we reviewed here on the site a while ago. This one starts at $249 for a Celeron configuration and gets a large 50 Wh battery, but potential buyers will have to accept its TN display and its rather heavy 3.5 lbs body.
A more detailed list of compact convertibles is available in this dedicated post, including small units with 10-inch screens like the Asus Transformer Pad or the Acer Aspire Switch series. You could also consider the available Chromebooks, like the Acer Chromebook R11 or the Asus Chromebook Flip, mentioned in this article.
And last but not least, in case you want an affordable notebook with a larger screen, I’d suggest taking a look at the Toshiba Satellite Fusion L55W, which offers a full-size keyboard with NumPad, Core i3 or i5 processors, a 45 Wh battery and a 15.6-inch TN HD touchscreen. As a 15-inch notebook, there’s no surprise this unit weighs around 5 lbs and its TN screen isn’t great by today’s standards, but overall the Satelitte Fusion is well appreciated and affordable, with Core i3 configuration going for under $500.
The everyday affordable 2-in-1s
In this section you’ll find 13 to 15-inch convertibles that sell for between $500 to $1000 and the time of this update.
Asus Zenbook Flip UX360CA and UX360UA
Compared to most other mid-range convertibles, the Zenbook Flips are completely new designs, that’s why they feel and look spectacular in comparison. Metal is used for most of their bodies, the hinges are small, yet strong and smooth, and the weight was kept down, despite the fact that these pack powerful hardware and large batteries.
The Zenbook Flip is available in two variants: the UX360CA is fanless, built on Intel Core m hardware, while the UX360UA is running Intel Core i processors and thus gets a fan. There are some slight differences between the two, but most traits and designs lines are the same.
Still, among the differences, the Zenbook UX360UA gets a backlit keyboard, while the UX360CA does not. It also gets a full-size HDMI port, an exhaust grill on the left-side and a slightly different design of the lower body and hinges, plus a larger 57 Wh battery compared to the 54 Wh battery on the fanless model.
The similarities include the screen options, with either FHD or a QHD+ IPS panels, the keyboard layouts, the trackpads and the speakers placed on the belly, towards the front.
The Zenbook Flip UX360CA is available in stores at the time of this update, with prices starting at $699 for a configuration with a Core m3 processor, 8 GB of RAM and 256 GB of SSD storage.
The Zenbook Flip UX360UA will be released in the next couple of weeks, and I’d expect it to sell for closer to $$900-$1000 with a Core i5 processor and decent specs. I’ll update this section once we know more.
Dell Inspiron 7000 and 5000 2-in-1 series
The Inspiron 13 7000 is one of the most popular 13-inch 2-in-1s out there, and it’s been around in one form or another for a few years now, with slight redesigns and changes along the way.
It offers a 13.3-inch IPS FHD convertible touchscreen, a nice backlit keyboard, plenty of ports and a sturdily built case, with a silver metallic finishing. Dell equips the latest model with Skylake U processors, up to 8 GB of RAM and various types of storage. There’s only a 42 Wh battery inside though, while most similar devices offer a larger one, and as a result the Inspiron 13 7000 falls short in terms of battery life.
Still, this machine is a solid pick for the money. The base models start at around $650 for a Core i5 processor with 8 GB of RAM and 256 GB of SSD storage, and most configurations are available discounted online.
Dell also offers 15 and 17-inch versions of the Inspiron 7000. The former is just an oversized replica of the 13-incher, with the same hardware, battery size and keyboard, but a 15.6-inch convertible display and an overall weight of around 4.9 lbs. It even sells for the same price, with the base versions starting at $650. Follow this link for more details.
The 17-inch model keeps the same design lines, but it doesn’t just get a 17.3-inch display, but also a different keyboard with a NumPad section, two RAM slots, space for a 2.5-inch storage drive aside from the M.2 slot included on the smaller versions, plus a 56 Wh battery. The Inspiron 17 7000 starts at $899 for a Core i5 configuration with HDD storage, and is actually one of the very few convertibles with a 17-inch display available out there. Follow this link for more details.
Dell also offers 13 and 15-inch version of Inspiron 5000 2-in-1s, with bulkier plastic cases, lower end specs, a non backlit keyboard and more affordable prices. In fact, on the outside the Inspiron 13 5000 is very similar to the previous generation Inspiron 13 7347 which we reviewed a while ago, so the Inspiron 5000s are follow-ups of the older Dell convertibles, while the higher end Inspiron 7000s have received a redesign and a slight hardware overhaul.
You can find more about the Inspiron 5000 convertibles by following these links: the 13-inch model and the larger 15-inch variant, which is an oversized version of the smaller unit with the same traits and specs, just like on the superior range.
HP Envy and Pavilion x360 lines
Asus Transformer Book Flip series
There are several models included in this series, with several 13-inch and 15-inch versions. Naming for the Book Flip series is extremely confusing though, so I won’t even get into details.
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 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 (model names finish in TD, LT or UB) or some without (modle names finish in LA or UA).
Like many other affordable 13 inchers in this list, the Transformer Book Flips are fairly bulky and heavy, and a fair amount is due to their bodies being made mostly out of aluminum, which will probably make a difference for at least some of you. The excellent price tags will as well, as the Asus Transformer Book Flips are usually $50 to $100 cheaper than similarly configured Dell or HP units, although this will vary from region to region. Follow this link for more details and up to date prices.
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.
Lenovo 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.
Lenovo Yoga Flex 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 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.
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.
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.
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.