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Can't decide between a laptop and a tablet? Your answer is here

por Sherry Tuckfield (2019-08-22)

id="article-body" class="row" section="article-body"> Two-in-ones -- also known as convertible laptops -- are continuing to grow in popularity, and with back-to-school shopping under way, you can expect to see some deep discounts in the wake of Amazon Prime Day. With the premium models featured here, you'll get portability and higher-end design touches, along with extraordinary battery life, speed and excellent everyday performance and specs. You just have to be willing to pay for it, with models typically starting around $1,000. However, a few of these have been around awhile, and their prices are starting to come down. 

Less-expensive options are available, too, like the Lenovo Yoga 730, and if you're getting a Chromebook to save money I recommended a couple of those below. But for the best functionality in the lightest, smallest body as well as power to get you through a a long flight or full day of work, it's generally going to cost you more money. 

All of the picks below of the best 2-in-1 laptops are devices that convert into tablet mode using 360-degree hinges, allowing their screens to fold back. If you want a tablet PC that pulls apart from its keyboard for easy typing -- frequently called a detachable two-in-one -- our top pick is Microsoft's Surface Pro 6. 

Read more: Microsoft Surface Pro 6 review

And if you're only thinking of it as a tablet and a laptop, here are five other ways to easily use a two-in-one device that you might not have considered. Also, note that CNET may get a share of revenue from the sale of products featured on this page.

Lenovo Yoga C930
Best overall premium two-in-one
Sarah Tew/CNET Three updates to Yoga's top two-in-one helped push it to the top of our list. First, the company swapped its watchband hinge for a sleek hinge that acts as a 360-degree soundbar. The change makes it a hair thicker, but users get much better audio in return. 

Lenovo also built in a charging garage for the included active pen, so you always have it ready when you need it, and it put in a privacy shutter for the webcam to make you feel better about any potential prying eyes. Add in powerful performance and long battery performance and you've got a convertible laptop that's tough to beat. 

See at Lenovo Read Lenovo Yoga C930 review Now playing: Watch this: Lenovo's Yoga C930 is the ultraportable 2-in-1 we've... 2:06 HP Spectre x360 13
Best battery life
Sarah Tew/CNET Like the Yoga, HP used design to improve the Spectre x360's usability. It put both the power button and a Thunderbolt 3 port used for charging (along with a headphone / mic combo jack) on the rear left and right corners, simultaneously keeping them in reach and out of the way. 

HP offers several configurations and three display options. The low-power full-HD touchscreen we tested helped it run for more than 13 hours on our streaming-video battery test. 

$1,160 at HP Read HP Spectre x360 (13-inch, 2019) review LG Gram 2-in-1 14
Best travel weight
Sarah Tew/CNET Two-in-one designs typically weigh more than their clamshell counterparts, but LG kept the Gram to only 2.5 pounds (1.1 kg). By comparison, 2018's LG Gram 15 laptop is also 2.5 pounds, while the 14-inch Lenovo Yoga C930 two-in-one is a touch more than 3 pounds (1.4 kg). Samsung's redesigned Notebook 9 Pro two-in-one falls in between the LG and Lenovo at 2.8 pounds. 

Battery life is another big advantage of the Gram 14 2-in-1. On our video streaming test, it ran for 12 hours, 35 minutes. 

See at Best Buy Read the LG Gram 2-in-1 14 review Samsung Notebook 9 Pro
Best all-around 13-inch two-in-one
Sarah Tew/CNET Samsung's little two-in-one deserves consideration for being so well rounded in performance, features and design. One of the cons is that it doesn't excel in any one area like the Lenovo, HP and LG do. However, it looks nice and is well built, has good components and features for its price, and has a long battery life, lasting for 12 hours, 30 minutes on CNET's streaming video test. Its performance is right up there with the rest in this category, too, so if you like the look of the Notebook 9, definitely put it on your shopping list. 

See at Best Buy Read Samsung Notebook 9 Pro review Asus ZenBook Flip 14
Best ultraportable two-in-one with discrete graphics
Sarah Tew/CNET Ultraportables typically have integrated graphics processors that are more power efficient, run cooler and cost less than a standalone discrete graphics processor. They also eat into your system memory and storage and can't handle more demanding graphics tasks such as photo and video editing or gaming. 

Asus somehow got an entry-level Nvidia GeForce MX150 into the Flip 14's slim body. It's not a full-fledged gaming laptop or a graphics workstation, but games are smoother and faster, and it can make quicker work of tasks you wouldn't even consider doing on other thin-and-light convertibles. 

See at Amazon Read the Asus ZenBook Flip 14 review Lenovo Yoga Chromebook C630
Best 15.6-inch Chrome two-in-one
Sarah Tew/CNET With a 4K UHD 15.6-inch display, solid components and a sturdy, tasteful aluminum chassis, you're not missing out on anything by going with the C630 -- except maybe the higher price of a Windows system.  

See at Amazon Read the Lenovo Yoga Chromebook C630 review Samsung Chromebook Plus V2
Best pen-enabled Chrome two-in-one
Sarah Tew/CNET Despite its age, this is still a top-notch Chromebook for the money. The 12.3-inch screen is a great size for everything from watching videos to getting work done to playing games. And it has a garaged Samsung S Pen for drawing and writing on the screen. 

$464 at Amazon Read Samsung Chromebook Plus (V2) review Also read

Best laptops for college students in 2019

Best laptop deals 2019: Windows and Chromebooks for under $500

Best cheap gaming laptops under $1,000 to get in 2019

Best MacBook Air alternatives for 2019
Dell XPS 15 2-in-1
Best 15.6-inch two-in-one for creatives
Sarah Tew/CNET Although 13.3- and 14-inch models are typically what you'll find for two-in-ones, there are a handful of bigger models like Dell's excellent XPS 15 2-in-1. It's the smallest and thinnest in the category, with strong performance from its hybrid Intel/AMD chip. It's not cheap and it's not exactly light at 4.4 pounds (2 kg), but if you want a big, 홍삼정 color-accurate, pen-enabled display for graphics work, get this Dell. (At least until we can get our hands on the OLED version of the HP Spectre x360 15.)  

$2,899 at Amazon Read Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 (2018) review