Thinking about Buying a 2-in-1 Laptop? (Read this first)

2-in-1 laptops are versatile machines that can take the form of both a laptop and a tablet. However, their added features and sometimes high price tag can often scare off potential buyers asking if it’s even worth it to buy one.

Who are 2-in-1 laptops good for? It’s a decent question but it depends on the work you do. Students may find the 2-in-1 useful for classes while professionals may find it useful for working on the go. PC gamers may find the 2-in-1 lacking in performance while tablet gamers may find a tablet and a laptop in one as a powerful upgrade.

Something to remember when purchasing a hybrid or convertible laptop is that they come in all shapes and sizes and prices. 

Some can fetch a price as low as $175 while others can command prices at over $1500. Some have little to no storage space, memory, or graphics capability while others have as much as standard laptops and desktops.

Those that have those higher prices often are the ones that have the best hardware available, thus you get what you pay for. A 2-in-1 is going to be worth the money you are willing to put into it.

Students

Student

Pros

  • Tablet for lecture notes
  • Laptop for essay writing and research
  • Decent battery life

Cons

  • Some can have small storage
  • Some can be expensive

..Hybrids are popular choices among students for their versatility in the classroom and at home…

Hybrids are popular choices among students for their versatility in the classroom and at home. The tablet mode makes for a great note taking surface if you prefer to write your notes rather than type them but still want an easy way to review and edit later on. 

The laptop mode obviously makes essay writing and homework assignments that much less challenging. With the right 2-in-1, a student won’t need to make any compromises in power or performance.

Some convertibles can be on the expensive side depending on what quality hardware you want inside. Low end machines have small storage capacities, low memory, and poor graphics cards but generally have decent processing and rely on cloud based services like OneDrive and Google Drive to make up for the lack of storage. 

These 2-in-1s can be anywhere from $150-$600 and can fit nicely into the often meager budgets of students.

If you do want more power out of your 2-in-1 to do more strenuous processing, you can opt for higher end models in the $750-$1200 range. These laptops have more storage capacity, more RAM, and better, beefier processors. Some even have high end graphics cards for those art and media majors out there.

Overall, a 2-in-1 is a great laptop choice for a student and dependent on your needs, can definitely be a worthwhile investment.

Professionals

Pros

  • Tablet for meetings notes
  • Laptop for spreadsheets, documents, etc.
  • Decent battery life
  • Ultraportable

Cons

  • Some may lack processing power for large spreadsheets

For professionals, the 2-in-1 offers many of the same advantages as it does to the students. An ultraportable machine that can be used as a tablet during meetings and a laptop for every day work. 

These laptops have often stellar battery life which allows you to be off the charger all day and avoid hugging a wall outlet.

As mentioned above, low end models will lack storage, RAM, and processing power. Dependent on the work you do, this may be fine; however, if you are working with large spreadsheets and multiple large documents, opting for a higher end model will likely benefit you the most. 

It’s even better if your company pays for it but if you’re burdened with the cost, a decent high end 2-in-1 will be a great choice for business professionals.

PC Gamers

PC-Gamer

Pros

  • Some have power to play AAA games

Cons

  • Most are not equipped for PC gaming
  • Small storage capacity for gaming
  • Small memory for gaming
  • Expensive for gamers

Gamers who are used to playing on laptops may find some hybrids lacking in power. To put it very simply, invest in a high end 2-in-1 or not at all if you are planning to use it mainly for gaming.

Low end hybrids are not going to have the performance or power to run large games. Period. The high end models are still going to cost less than your average gaming laptops and will come with enough storage, RAM, and processing for the casual gamer.

If you are using your 2-in-1 for school or work as well and using if for gaming in your downtime, a high end 2-in-1 like an HP Spectre or a Lenovo Yoga are great for light gaming, coupled with work or school.

As hybrids continue to flood the market, they will become more and more powerful computers, however, for the hardcore gamer, there simply isn’t a 2-in-1 model out there right now that can replace an Alien or MSI or ASUS ROG laptop for gaming. They’re getting close, just not there yet.

If you have your heart set on a 2-in-1 for harder-core gaming, the best 2-in-1 out there today that has the power and storage suitable for gaming is the Microsoft Surface Book 2

As mentioned above, be willing to pay for all that power as this clocks in at over $3000 at the time of writing for 1TB of storage and 16GB RAM (other, smaller customizations are available).

Tablet Gamers

Pros

  • Powerful tablet for gaming
  • Bonus laptop if you’re used to just a tablet
  • Potential to branch into PC gaming
  • Portable

Cons

  • More expensive than a standard tablet

Tablet gaming is another growing market in the gaming community. What used to be a sparse playing field (quite literally) has now become a major market for all kinds of gamers and developers. 

A 2-in-1 laptop is going to give you a great surface to play your favorite games on while also offering you the ease and versatility of a laptop. 

As a tablet, high end models are going to be top of the line but much more expensive than your average tablet (save maybe the iPad Pro). You likely won’t have any issues playing your favorite games or new games as they hit your chosen play store. These are powerful gaming tablets suitable for the avid tablet gamer.

This would be a suitable upgrade for the established tablet gamer.

Photo/Video Editors and Artists

Pros

  • Growing number of options available
  • Ultraportable for work on the go
  • Can have powerful enough processing

Cons

  • Some lack the storage capacity needed
  • Expensive for possibly lacking necessary features

For photo/video editing specifically, I would once again suggest the Microsoft Surface Book 2. Currently the best 2-in-1 on the market, it is customizable enough that you can find the one with the processing power to fit your needs. 

1TB of storage space may be a fine for some photo/video editors and may be lacking for others but is currently the largest amount of storage space available for the model.

Lower end models will simply not have the processing power to edit at the speed and ease you may be used to on other laptops or computers. In this case, you will need to be prepared to spend quite a lot to get the 2-in-1 that is best for you and your work.

..you can draw right on the tablet screen wherever you are…

They are versatile machines that will allow you to work on the go. Some come with digital pens so you can draw right on the tablet screen wherever you are. 

With all day battery life, you should be able to get a decent session in off the charger but with the power necessary to edit photos and videos and run programs such as Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator, you may not be able to take full advantage of the all day battery.

As more powerful models hit the market, the 2-in-1 continues to rise on the list of viable laptops for photo/video editing as well as for artists.

Hybrids are versatile and useful machines that can serve a wide variety of people from all occupations and hobbies. With such a large variety to choose from, there is likely one out there for anyone of any budget.

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