The world of portable computing has expanded rapidly in recent years, both in terms of popularity and viability. The growing 2-in-1 category offers up some of the best features of the notebook and the tablet in the one schmick package, but it can be hard to compare them when the category is so fresh.
What defines a 2-in-1 is its ability to morph from a notebook as you know it – complete with keyboard and trackpad – to a tablet with a touch interface. Some products, like Microsoft’s Surface Book range, allow for the keybed to detach completely, while others simply flip it around the back of the device.
Generally, a device in this category will have compatibility with a stylus, making it an ideal companion for creatives and professionals on-the-go, although not all of them will include a stylus by default.
Here, we’ve gathered all our knowledge from extensive reviews, benchmarks and field tests, and put together a list of the most worthwhile 2-in-1s on the Australian market today.
Can’t decide what type of laptop to get? Watch our buying guide below:
1. Asus ZenBook Flip S UX370
A lightweight convertible that deftly balances power and price
CPU: Intel Core i5 – i7 | Graphics: Intel UHD Graphics 620 | RAM: 8 – 16GB | Screen: 13.3-inch FHD (1,920 x 1,080) LED backlit 60Hz display | Storage: 256GB – 512GB PCIe
Super thin and light
Powerful core components
Not the cheapest convertible
Middling battery life
After Intel released its new Kaby Lake R 8th-generation processors late last year, Taiwanese laptop-maker Asus felt the need to squeeze them into its product lines. And we’re glad it did, as the ZenBook Flip S UX370 is a machine that has plenty of performance to spare, packing ultrabook specs into a 2-in-1 form factor without letting the price skyrocket out of control.
Read the full review: Asus ZenBook Flip S UX370
2. Dell XPS 15 2-in-1
A convertible that doesn’t compromise
CPU: Intel Core i5 – i7 | Graphics: Radeon RX Vega M GL Graphics with 4GB HMB2 Graphics Memory | RAM: 8GB | Storage: 512GB PCIe SSD
Kind of expensive
Already established as a fantastic gaming-capable laptop, the Dell XPS 15 has been transformed into a very capable 2-in-1 with a discrete-class Radeon RX Vega GPU. What this means is that you can get a beautiful convertible laptop, but you don’t have to give up any power. And, while that means that it’s a little more expensive than some others (and the fans get a bit loud at times), it’s worth it in our book.
Read the full review: Dell XPS 15 2-in-1
3. Asus Chromebook Flip C302
A 2-in-1 Chromebook that Android users won’t refuse
CPU: Intel Pentium – Core m7 | Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 510 – 515 | RAM: 4GB-8GB | Screen: 12.5-inch FHD (1,920 x 1,080) LED backlit anti-glare display | Storage: 32GB-128GB eMMC
Elegant tablet mode
Gorgeous, vivid screen
No out-of-box Android support
Having introduced a touchscreen and convertible design to Google’s cloud-based Chrome OS, the Asus Chromebook Flip C302 is made better by its compatibility with Android apps. That’s right, just like the Pixelbook (which unfortunately, you can’t officially get your mitts on Down Under), you can use the Asus Chromebook Flip for Google Play apps, albeit only after installing an out-of-the-box update.
Read the full review: Asus Chromebook Flip
4. Microsoft Surface Book 2 (13-inch)
A hole in one for 2-in-1s
CPU: Intel Core i5 – i7 | Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 620 – Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 (2GB GDDR5) | RAM: 8GB – 16GB | Screen: 13.5-inch, 3,000 x 2,000 PixelSense display | Storage: 256GB – 1TB
Very good battery life
No Surface Pen included
We already loved the 13-inch Surface Book, so when we first heard that a 13-inch Surface Book 2 was on the way, our expectations shot into the sky. Microsoft’s second 2-in-1 laptop isn’t perfect, but it’s an impressive device held back by a handful of concessions. The Surface Book 2 does feature both a cutting-edge 8th-generation Intel processor and an Nvidia 10-series graphics chip, making it suitable for gamers and creative types alike. When you take that power and pair it with its nifty convertibility, it’s easy to see why it’s a winner.
Read the full review: Microsoft Surface Book 2 (13-inch)
5. Lenovo Yoga 920
Multi-faceted dexterity that stomps the competition
CPU: Intel Core i5 – i7 | Graphics: Intel UHD Graphics 620 | RAM: 8 – 16GB | Screen: 13.9-inch FHD (1,920 x 1,080) – UHD (3,840 x 2,160) multitouch IPS with integrated camera | Storage: 256GB – 1TB PCIe SSD
Lacks graphical power
Keyboard still annoys in tablet form
While it doesn’t offer the same level of graphics performance, the Lenovo Yoga 920 is a much more affordable alternative to the Surface Book 2. For anyone who’s looking for value rather than a fully-detachable screen, the Lenovo Yoga 920 has a lot to offer. The design, for example, is less pronounced and has the subtlety of a more traditional Ultrabook, and that slighter figure doesn’t come with too much of a power sacrifice, either.
Read the full review: Lenovo Yoga 920
6. HP Envy x360 13 (2018)
AMD’s processor and GPU beef up the Envy
CPU: AMD Ryzen 5 2500U | Graphics: AMD Radeon Vega 8 | RAM: 8GB | Screen: 13.3-inch 1,920 x 1,080 IPS display | Storage: 256GB PCIe SSD
Solid performance courtesy of Ryzen
Sturdy and stylish
On the heavier side
Battery life could be better
The inclusion of AMD’s new Ryzen mobile processors and integrated Radeon graphics make for an improvement over HP’s previous Envy x360 efforts and even bring it closer to a gaming-capable unit. While the battery life could be better and the chassis is a little on the bulkier side, the performance is just as sturdy as the stylish enclosure and presents a decent option for those looking for a powerful, portable solution.
7. Microsoft Surface Book 2 (15-inch)
Two inches closer to perfection
CPU: Intel Core Core i5 – i7 | Graphics: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 (6GB GDDR5) | RAM: 16GB | Screen: 15-inch, 3,240 x 2,160 PixelSense display | Storage: 256GB – 1TB PCIe SSD
Crazy long battery life
No up-firing base speakers
To be fair, we loved the 13-inch Surface Book 2 already, so when we first caught word that a 15-inch Surface Book 2 was in the works, our expectations were amplified. In the end, Microsoft’s second 2-in-1 laptop isn’t perfect, but it is an impressive feat held back by a handful of (frankly necessary) concessions. For starters, this machine features cutting-edge 8th-generation Intel processors and Nvidia 10-series graphics, making it a neat option for gamers and creatives. Pair that with its nifty convertibility, and we have ourselves a winner.
Read the full review: Microsoft Surface Book 2 (15-inch)
8. Acer Spin 5
Excellent value for an efficient, long-lasting 2-in-1
CPU: Intel Core i5-8250U | Graphics: Intel HD 620 | RAM: 8GB | Screen: 13.3-inch, 1,920 x 1,080 IPS display | Storage: 256GB SATA SSD
Decent battery efficiency
Slightly less vibrant display
Although the Acer Spin 5 doesn’t opt for a 4K screen, 16GB of RAM, a bigger SSD or other upper tier specs, its middling innards actually make for a surprisingly good-value 2-in-1. The combination of its well-optimised Core i5 CPU with 8GB RAM and a 1080p display make for a machine that handles its power efficiently, lasting longer on battery and not causing excess heat or noise. Throw in the affordable price tag and the Acer Spin 5 is definitely worth considering.
9. HP Spectre x360
A 2-in-1 with an affinity for high fashion
CPU: Intel Core i5 – i7 | Graphics: Intel UHD Graphics 620 | RAM: 8GB – 16GB | Screen: 13.3-inch FHD (1,920 x 1,080) – UHD (3,840 x 2,160) IPS touch panel | Storage: 256GB – 1TB
Annoying keyboard layout
A beautiful 2-in-1 with a strikingly thin frame, the HP Spectre x360 now brandishes the sheer power that Intel’s 8th-generation Kaby Lake R processors allow. So, despite its slim chassis and weighing only 1.26kg, this version of the Hewlett-Packard flagship is ready not just to stream 4K video, but to run your favourite games at 720p using integrated graphics tech. And, if you’re a creative, it comes with the HP Pen, unlike some stylus-less hybrids.
Read the full review: HP Spectre x360
10. HP Spectre x360 15 (2018)
CPU: Intel Core i7-8550U | Graphics: Nvidia GeForce MX150 | RAM: 16GB | Screen: 15.6 inch UHD (3,160 x 2,140) LCD touchscreen | Storage: 512GB SSD
A bit hefty
For years, HP’s Spectre line of Ultrabooks and 2-in-1s has been all about elegance and performance, and the 2018 HP Spectre x360 15 is no different. Packed with an 8th-generation Intel Core i7 CPU, Nvidia MX 150 graphics and 16GB of RAM, you’re going to be able to do anything your work day throws at you – even up to some light gaming. However, the Spectre x360 is a bit heavy for a 2-in-1, so you likely won’t be using it in tablet mode very often, instead putting it in tent mode to watch some movies on its gorgeous 4K panel.
Read the full review: HP Spectre x360 15 2018