What Is A 2 In 1 Laptop? (Definition, Pros & Cons)

Updated on November 12, 2022
What Is A 2-in-1 Laptop? (Definition, Pros & Cons)

A laptop is a computer that is far more portable than a desktop computer but lesser in terms of performance. It was invented for people who need to travel to places while using the computer. But as people travel more and more each year, portability becomes also more and more of an issue. So, if you are one of those who are constantly on the move, a 2-in-1 laptop might be for you.

So what is a 2-in-1 laptop? A 2-in-1 laptop is a laptop that could be converted to a tablet for more portability. It has a complete set of laptop parts but also has the touch screen capability of a tablet and could completely detach or flip its keyboard to make it smaller.

It is designed for the people who greatly need portability. However, even though you need portability, you could not deny the fact that performance is also a necessity. Different 2-in-1 laptops have different levels of performance, weight, and design and it is crucial to know what you really need. In this article, we will explore the different types of 2-in-1 laptops, which are the detachable and convertible laptops. We would also show how to choose and what to consider before buying them.

Detachable Laptops

The first one is detachable laptops or hybrid laptops. These are laptops wherein the keyboard could be completely detached from the screen and is used for maximum portability. You will notice that detachable laptops are much lighter in the lower half than a normal laptop. It is because there are no important parts located in there because it could be detached. The upper part or the part where the screen lies is much heavier because all the necessary parts like the CPU, RAM, battery, and others alike are located and compressed there.

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(Image credit: Dell)

These laptops either have a keyboard case or dock which has different advantages against each other. The advantage of a keyboard case is that it is much thinner than keyboard docks which is generally a path you would want for the best portability. Keyboard docks, on the other hand, offer extra baggage because it is heavier but its advantage is that it sometimes contains extra battery cells which gives you extra time to use your laptop remotely. Aside from these, keyboard docks hold the keyboard better so this would probably be better if you use the keyboard more often.

These types of 2-in-1 laptops are the ones being used for extreme portability. A laptop that can be fully converted into a tablet is what you would need if you are extremely mobile and you need to hold your laptop in one hand. If you really need a true tablet instead of a 2-in-1 laptop-tablet combination, you may want to check our research about the best tablets in 2020.

Convertible Laptops

Convertible laptops are laptops wherein the keyboard could be flipped by up to 360 degrees, from the front of the screen up to its back. It can’t be completely detached so it will surely pack more weight and take a toll on space consumption. But why would you want a convertible laptop instead of a detachable one? 

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(Image credit: Lenovo)

Since convertible laptops can’t have the keyboard detached, the extra space gives the laptop more room to house more powerful parts in the lower half of your laptop. Your laptop’s performance and battery life would greatly improve. On top of that, you can place the keyboard face down to use it as a stand or pitch it like a tent for watching a movie or doing a presentation.

This could be better for people who have heavier applications being used like photo editing or just someone who doesn’t really need that extreme portability but would have a benefit having that flexibility of doing more tasks.

Tips in Choosing A 2-In-1 Laptop

Knowing the two types of laptops is a good start but knowing how to choose is better. When you go straight to a computer or a laptop store, you will hear terms like power, portability, processor, and many more. It is better to understand a few things from these to give you a better grasp and would make you have the best chance of choosing the right 2-in-1 laptop for you. So here are a few tips:

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  1. Stay Away from Lower-End Processors

Having a 2-in-1 laptop means that you have more background processes than a normal laptop. Your touch screen capability and your ability to connect and disconnect keyboards add an additional task to be processed by your laptop. We will not recommend a specific processor because it greatly depends on your budget. But a good start would be to not buy the lower-end Intel Celeron processors.

  1. Consider Screen Size and Resolution

You will be using a laptop where you will also draw, write, or navigate through the screen. The screen size and resolution are some of the most important aspects that you should consider. Greater screen size gives you more room for navigation and higher screen resolution gives a better visual aid. However, you should also consider that the larger the screen size and resolution, the higher its battery consumption.

  1. The Weight of the Laptop

This is one of the reasons why you want to buy a 2-in-1 laptop in the first place. You wouldn’t want to forget to gauge its weight compared to its size.

  1. Hinge Mechanism

Different 2-in-1 laptops have different hinge mechanisms. And like the weight, you have to gauge its comfortability while flipping it back and forth. Does it feel like it will break? How many degrees do you want your laptop to be bent? All of these questions should be good to you before deciding on what to buy.

What Is The Difference With A Touch Screen Laptop And A 2-In-1 Laptop?

Basically, both a touch screen laptop and a 2-in-1 laptop is a touch screen device. The difference is that not all touch screen laptops have a detachable or a bendable keyboard like a 2-in-1 laptop.

So when to choose a touch screen laptop? Choose it if you really don’t need that extra bendable feature a convertible laptop offers but still needs that touch screen capability. You may use it if you like taking notes on screen or do creative things like drawing. It may even be necessary for some fields of work.


Well, a 2-in-1 laptop has its own field of use where it has its own advantages and disadvantages against a laptop. To summarize here are its advantages and disadvantages:

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  • Flexibility: 2-in-1 laptops can be used in more distinct situations because of its capability to be used as a touch screen device or a keyboard-connected device. It is also much smaller which is why you can also easily use it in cramped spaces.
  • Portability: With the lightweight these laptops have, it is surely a hassle-free computing device that you could bring anywhere. You could work anywhere you want.


  • Performance: This is the main disadvantage of 2-in-1 laptops. These laptops have a much smaller physical size so less powerful and smaller electronic parts are used.
  • Battery Life: The more power you need to store, the larger battery size you need. The more portable the devices are, the less battery life it has. So you really need to consider the time you intend to use your laptop without charging.
Article by:
Kenny Trinh
While he’s not editing articles on the latest tech trends, he likes to discuss business and entrepreneur. His writing has been featured in national publications such as Forbes, RD, Yahoo Finance, HackerNoon among others.

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