If you can’t decide between a laptop and a tablet, consider a two-in-one, otherwise known as a convertible or hybrid laptop. These devices combine the best of both worlds: the convenience and portability of a tablet with the power of a laptop.
Unlike regular tablets, two-in-one laptops have full operating systems, just like personal computers. With rapid advancements in mobile components and display technology, convertible laptops are now slimmer and lighter than ever, with efficient batteries and vivid displays.
What makes two-in-one laptops different from the rest?
Convertible laptops differ from laptops and tablets in significant ways, according to Fazal Imam, founder of servicing and repair company, Dubai Repairs, whose team has years of experience dealing with hybrid laptops. Imam explained: “Convertible laptops come with touch-sensitive screens, allowing you to interact with the device using gestures, stylus pens, or fingers. They also typically have a hinge mechanism that allows the screen to rotate 360 degrees, enabling various usage modes, such as laptop, tablet, tent, or stand.”
The stylus support, in particular, is especially useful if your work involves tasks that require precise input, like note-taking, drawing, or graphic design.
With so many moving parts, though, a concern many customers have, is whether hybrid laptops are sturdy enough for everyday use.
Imam said: “In general, convertible laptops are not inherently more fragile than regular laptops. Nevertheless, the inclusion of hinges and touchscreens in their design introduces extra elements that may become more vulnerable to harm if not treated with care. It's essential to exercise caution when transitioning between different modes (laptop, tablet, tent, and so on) to avoid placing undue stress on the hinges or screen.”
It’s always a good idea to add a protective case or sleeve when using such laptops.
When buying one, it’s worth considering whether you’d like a design that rotates between notebook or slate modes via 360-degree hinges, or whether you’d prefer a detachable model that lets you remove the keyboard entirely.
We did the research for you, and curated several options based on our expert’s recommendations, and top-rated reviews. Pick the one that best suits your requirements and budget, and get it as early as tomorrow with Amazon Prime, at discounts of up to 20 per cent.
1. Best Overall: Lenovo Yoga 9i
- Excellent performance
- Lots of useful features
- Good battery life
- Robust port selection
A 14-inch laptop in a light, elegant frame, Lenovo’s Yoga 9i is both durable and full of high-quality specifications. You can use it as a laptop, tablet, tent or stand – the Yoga detects what form factor you’re using and switches modes automatically, often recommending apps and settings for each position. In its convertible hinge is a powerful Dolby Atmos speaker system, which complements a vibrant, full HD multitouch screen. Reviewers like that the laptop has a diverse selection of ports, which is rare in a two-in-one device. The 11th Gen Intel Core i7 processor is powerful enough to handle anything you throw at it. Imam recommends this laptop since it “offers sturdy construction, good performance, and a range of features suitable for different users”. The device includes an Active Pen, a backlit keyboard, fingerprint reader and an HD webcam with a privacy shutter.
Bonus: Buy with 0% installments and pay Dh786.67 for 12 months with select banks.
2. Best Detachable Laptop: Microsoft Surface Pro 9
- Extremely slim
- Impressive performance
- Strong battery life
- Good port selection
- Built-in kickstand
- Essential accessories are not included
- Headphone jack removed in the new version
If you’re looking for a tablet-first device for work, entertainment and on-the-go note-taking, then this is it. The Surface Pro 9 offers an edge-to-edge, 13-inch touchscreen display with a built-in kickstand. Reviewers appreciate the tablet’s responsive, tactile digital inking system – it’s ideal for people who love working with a stylus. The device is ultra-thin and lightweight, combining the flexibility of a tablet with the power and performance of a laptop, thanks to Intel Evo (12th Generation). A Windows 11 processing system provides faster multitasking, clear video calls and excellent speed. The battery life on this device stretches out to a whopping 15.5 hours, but do note, you’ll have to buy all its accessories – from the keyboard to the Surface Slim Pen 2 stylus – separately.
Bonus: Buy with 0% installments and pay Dh278.25 for 12 months with select banks. You can also get up to Dh4,000 for your old device when you trade it in.
Warranty: The seller provides 1-year warranty on the UAE version of this laptop.
3. Best Value: Dell Inspiron 14
- Slim, lightweight
- Excellent performance
- Good variety of ports
- Includes media card reader
- Stylus not included
- Battery life is mediocre
A steady performer in all areas, Dell Inspiron 14 is a sleek two-in-one laptop with a 360-degree hinge that supports all four form factors. Its 14-inch FHD display is a touchscreen and is backed by a responsive and speedy Intel Core i5 processor and Windows 11 operating system. Reviewers say they’ve run multiple programs on the device simultaneously, with no issues, but do note that the battery depletes quickly and doesn’t usually last for a full eight hours. The device comes with a good variety of ports, including an HDMI port, a headphone jack port and a media card reader for easy photo transfers. Don’t forget to pick up a Dell Active Pen stylus to enjoy all this device has to offer.
Bonus: Buy with 0% installments and pay Dh249.92 for 12 months with select banks. You can also get up to Dh4,000 for your old device when you trade it in.
4. Best Budget: Acer Spin 514
- Excellent processor performance
- Sturdy, premium design
- Long battery life
- Slightly heavier than the rest
Powered by AMD Ryzen 3 technology, Acer’s Spin 514 offers a whole lot of value, with its speedy processor and durable build. The device uses Chromebook’s ecosystem, so it has thousands of apps, built-in protection and cloud back-ups. Its 14-inch touchscreen is a bright, full HD IPS (in-plane switching) panel with anti-glare coating – so it’s ideal for both students and professionals who need to work on the go. Bloggers in the comments rave about how easy it is to write and edit photographs on this device, despite it being bulky for a two-in-one (it weighs about 1.5kg). With an average battery life of 12 hours, and a decent price tag, it’s an excellent contender in the convertible laptop category.
Bonus: Buy with 0% installments and pay Dh786.67 for 12 months with select banks. You can also get up to Dh4,000 for your old device when you trade it in.
5. Best Business Laptop: HP Spectre x360
- Responsive touch display
- Slim, beautiful design
- Powerful processor
- Versatile form factor
- Hinges can get hot with use
- Modest battery life
HP’s 13.5-inch convertible Spectre x360 is a thing of beauty. Imam highly recommends it for its durability: “HP Spectre x360 models are popular and well-regarded for their build quality, performance, and reliability. They offer a range of configurations to suit different needs and come with durable construction.” The Spectre x360 is as versatile as it is capable, since it transitions from a full laptop to a tablet seamlessly, and can also adapt to tent and full-flat forms. The OLED (organic light-emitting diode) touch display offers excellent visuals, and touch integration is seamless. You can use a stylus, the HP MPP 2.0 Tilt Pen (bought separately), to write or draw, which is useful for people in creative fields, or those who are always on the go. While the laptop will need to be recharged halfway through a work day, reviewers do note that they can stretch it out to 10 hours when they reduce brightness levels by half.
Bonus: Buy with 0% installments and pay Dh396.58 for 12 months with select banks.
Our recommendations are independently chosen by Gulf News editors. If you decide to shop through links on our website, we may earn an affiliate commission, as we are part of Amazon Services LLC Associates Program.