While phones have gone from flipping open to solid slabs of electronics, laptops are doing just the opposite. In the past, it was standard for a laptop to open 90 degrees and no more- but those days are quickly fading. Now its extremely common to have a convertible laptop- one that can flip open 360 degrees to become a tablet. There are lots of benefits to this new style, and a lot of different options, so let’s dive into it!
- Best Chromebook: Lenovo Flex 14″ 2-in-1 Convertible Laptop – This Chromebook looks sleek, and packs in important features like a 10 hours battery life, USB C, USB A, and HDMI.
- Best Windows: HP Spectre x360 13″ Laptop – The Spectre is a high-end HP laptop that comes with a pen and features impressive specs such as 16GB of RAM, an i7 processor, and 512GB of SSD storage.
- Best Budget Windows: Lenovo Flex 14″ 2-in-1 Convertible Laptop – With lots of connectivity, adequate storage & power, and an included pen, this model from Lenovo hits all the important marks for a convertible laptop.
Who Should Get This
We apologize, MacBook enthusiasts, but Apple doesn’t make a convertible laptop. However, for all the Windows, Linux, or ChromeOS users out there, there are lots of reasons to switch to a convertible.
Whether you’re a parent who wants to be able to work but also entertains a child in a tight spot or a design student who wants to be able to sketch on your laptop screen, convertibles are versatile and easy to use. They’re just as sturdy as regular laptops and can make something as every day as watching Netflix in bed more convenient.
Many convertibles also come with a stylus, and some people may find the touchscreen more convenient than using the trackpad. Plus if you’re unsure, you can also drop into your local computer store, which is bound to have a few different models on display you can try out.
Best Convertible Laptop: What to Consider in 2020
The number one thing to consider when buying a laptop is how powerful you need it to be. Future-proof laptops should have at least 8gb of RAM, but the processor you pick may vary. For instance, if you only plan on web browsing, you’ll be fine with something cheaper, whereas someone who wants to use the laptop for video gaming should look for newer models with a higher Hz rating.
Laptop Size & Weight
Laptops were designed to be portable, but that means different things to different people. If your daily bag is already heavy, you might notice a bulky laptop more than the next guy. On the other hand, if you don’t plan to take it many places, this may be less important. You should check weight and screen size- the former will definitely be noticeable when you carry it around, and the latter is important for the comfort of your eyes and workflow.
As mentioned before, Apple doesn’t make convertible laptops. However, that still leaves chromeOS, Windows, and Linux to decide between. Windows is the best choice for most users because it is versatile and easy to use, while chromeOS is a good choice for education settings or light users. If you want to run Linux, it generally easy to install it on a Chromebook or Windows laptop, so you have the most options!
Best Convertible Laptop: Our Top Picks for 2020
This convertible Chromebook offers many important features while maintaining a sleek appearance. With a USB-C port, USB-A port, and HDMI, it offers more connectivity than similar Chromebooks, and the 11.6″ screen exceeds the standard 1080p resolution. Although it only has 4GB of RAM, this is generally sufficient for a Chromebook (which doesn’t require as much processing power as standard Windows laptops).
- Clean, sleek design.
- Very small laptop, so it’s great for portability.
- 10-hour battery life.
- Only has 32GB of storage space, which is normal for Chromebooks but minimal overall.
The Spectre line of laptops are some of HP’s fancier models, and you can tell by looking at it. The case is dark metal with rose trim, not plastic, and it comes with the HP Active Stylus. It also has some great specifications- with 16GB of RAM and an 8th generation i7 chip, it is very powerful. Ports are limited but versatile, such as including USB-C with Thunderbolt 3, but not an HDMI.
- 512GB of SSD storage is fast and plentiful.
- 16 GB of RAM and i7 processor are great specifications, especially on a 13″ laptop.
- USB C port supports thunderbolt 3.
- Comes with a stylus.
- Appears limited on ports. You’ll either want a Thunderbolt 3 docking station, or peripherals that use modern standards (i.e. USB C monitor vs HDMI).
If the Spectre doesn’t fit your budget, the convertible Lenovo flex might be a better choice. It offers many similar features, such as an included pen, but without the flagship price. This laptop uses an AMD Ryzen processor with 8GB of RAM and 256 GB of storage. It has a physical webcam blocker and includes an HMDI port in addition to USB C and USB A.
- 8 hours of battery life and quick charging
- Physically secure your privacy with the webcam blocker
- Includes a stylus and fingerprint reader
- 256 GB of storage is on the smaller side but should be okay if you utilize cloud storage programs like Google Drive.
Tips & Tricks
Once you have your laptop, it’s important to take care of, like making sure to clean it regularly to prevent buildup on the screen or keys. You can follow a guide like this one from Digital Trends, but the important part is using the right type of cloth and never spraying anything directly on your computer. Screens and electronics are delicate- you don’t want to damage them accidentally!
Whether you want something powerful enough to replace a laptop and a tablet, or just a laptop with a little extra convenience, a convertible model is a great choice. From taking notes as a student to modifying spreadsheets at your job, tasks are simpler when you can write on the screen or adjust the angle to your exact preference.
Got a suggestion for a laptop you think we should have included? Let us know in the comments below!
Jessica is the co-founder and content manager. She has been fascinated by the startup culture in Silicon Valley and she loves building things from zero to one. When she is not writing, she loves getting close to nature and shoot photos with her iPhone and Canon EOS 80D.