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The best 2-in-1 laptops you can buy in Australia
Flexible 2-in-1 laptops have exploded in popularity over the last year.
In the decade or so since Apple shook up the computer market with the iPad, dozens of convertible and detachable 2-in-1s laptops have emerged to try and walk the line between the portability of a tablet and the productivity of a conventional clamshell laptop.
Demand for this balance of flexibility and performance became especially prominent during the pandemic, with IDC reporting that “notebooks and Detachables recorded an unprecedented growth in the pandemic situation as digitisation, mobility and flexibility are key drivers in the market, and consequently, the already declining desktop category saw a further decline.”
These days, every major PC manufacturer includes some sort of 2-in-1 PC in their lineup. As with other segments of the wider laptop market, there’s a lot of overlap here in terms of the internal components but a surprising amount of differentiation when it comes to extra features.
If you’re feeling a little overwhelmed by the amount of options, here are our picks for the best 2-in-1 laptop PCs you can buy right now:
- : Best 2-in-1 PC laptop overall
- : Best cheap 2-in-1 PC laptop
- : Best 2-in-1 PC laptop below $500
- : Best Microsoft 2-in-1 PC laptop
- : Best Acer 2-in-1 PC laptop
- : Best Dell 2-in-1 PC laptop
Best overall 2-in-1 laptop PC
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Best cheap 2-in-1 laptop PC
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Best budget 2-in-1 laptop PC
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Best Microsoft 2-in-1 laptop PC
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Best Acer 2-in-1 laptop PC
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Best Dell 2-in-1 laptop PC
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Lenovo Yoga 9i
Best 2-in-1 PC laptop overall
Under the hood, the Lenovo Yoga 9i comes armed with all the specs you’d want for a device of its price. Intel’s latest 11th-Gen Core processors, up to 16 GB in RAM and 512 GB of M.2 NVMe SSD storage. While the 14-inch screen might be smaller than some would like, every other part of the package here delivers bang for the buck.
Lenovo’s Yoga 9i eschews many of the typical compromises and caveats that you get with a 2-in-1 PC while also finding the time to put a unique spin on the formula through inclusions like a hinge with a mini-soundbar and an all-glass trackpad that sits flush with the rest of the design. It’s rare to find a laptop that has it all but, when it comes to 2-in-1 PCs, the Yoga 9i feels as close to that ideal as you can get.
Lenovo Yoga 9i
Up to 11th Gen Intel Core i7-1185G7
Integrated Intel Iris Xe Graphics
Up to 14.0-inch UHD
Up to 512 GB SSD M.2 2280 PCIe NVMe
What’s the difference between 2-in-1 PCs, laptops and tablets?
Laptop or tablet? Why not both?
VivoBook Flip 14
Best cheap 2-in-1 laptop
ASUS has been steadily gaining ground in the wider laptop ecosystem for a few years now, and the Vivobook Flip 14 is a great example of why. It’s got a spec-sheet that promises compelling performance and a price tag that puts it well below most of the competition.
If you’re looking for a great 2-in-1 laptop on a budget, the VivoBook Flip 14 will fit the bill without feeling like too much of a compromise. It doesn’t feature too many extras or unique spins on the formula, but when you get the fundamentals right it’s hard to complain too much.
ASUS Vivobook Flip 14
Up to 11th Gen Intel Core i7 processor
Intel Iris Xe Max graphics
Up to 16GB of RAM
Up to 14.0-inch FHD
Up to 1TB of M.2 NVMe PCIe SSD storage
Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 3i
Best budget 2-in-1 laptop
If you’re going to spend $500 on a 2-in-1 laptop and don’t want to be saddled with an experience that feels compromised, a 2-in-1 Chromebook is the best way to go. Even if it doesn't run on Windows, you can still get a lot of work done with the Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 3i.
Chrome OS tends to provide a snappy and smooth user experience on even modest or under powered hardware, and the Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 3i is a great showcase for what Google’s operating system can do. It even supports Android apps as - which increases the scope of what you can do here by a pretty significant margin.
The Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 3i isn’t the best 2-in-1 on the market, nor is it the best Chromebook. However, for the asking price, it’s got all the right parts and plenty of bang for buck.
Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 3i
Intel Celeron N4020
Integrated Intel UHD Graphics 600
4GB Soldered LPDDR4-2400
Up to 64GB
Microsoft Surface Pro 8
Best Microsoft Surface 2-in-1 laptop
The flagship Microsoft Surface Pro 8 isn’t the most powerful 2-in-1 PC that Microsoft makes, nor is it the most portable. However, for overall value, it’s hard to beat. The design-work here is stellar, with the Surface aesthetic standing out amongst the crowd and the iconic kickstand keeping things practical in almost any kind of work environment.
Specs aside, the Microsoft Surface Pro 8 differs from the previous models by ditching the Mini DisplayPort in favor of an USB C port. Otherwise, the two detachables have mostly identical form-factors and actually identical screens.
Even if that screen is a little smaller than the average 2-in-1 laptop, the portability and price leave the Surface Pro 8 looking good. Thanks to a robust kickstand and a nifty spec bump, the latest addition to the Surface Pro line continues to set the bar for detachable 2-in-1 PC experiences.
Surface Pro 8
|Up to 11th Gen Intel Core i7-1185G7 processor|
Intel Iris Xe Graphics
Up to 32GB of RAM
|13-inch PixelSense Flow Display|
Up to 1TB
Acer Spin 5
Best Acer 2-in-1 laptop
Acer’s Spin hardware has been a consistent highlight of the 2-in-1 laptop market, and the latest iteration comes kitted out with either Intel’s 10th Gen Core processors or AMD’s 4000-series Ryzen Mobile processors. You also get a boatload of SSD storage and practical perks like a stylus that can be housed inside the device when not in use.
Compared to the Acer Spin 3, the Acer Spin 5 has a slightly smaller screen with slightly greater resolution. You also get additional storage, a slightly larger trackpad, an additional Thunderbolt port, a (narrowly) more-lightweight design and Iris Plus graphics rather than Intel UHD. For all that the Acer Spin 3 and Acer Spin 5 have in common, it’s the little things that give the latter the edge.
Acer Spin 5
Up to Intel Core i7-1065G7
Up to 11th Generation Intel Core i7-1165G7 Processor
Up to Intel Iris Xe Graphics
Up to 16 GB
Up to 512GB SSD
Dell XPS 13 2-in-1
Best Dell 2-in-1 laptop
While opting for Dell’s revamped Inspiron 2-in-1 can save you a decent sum, those looking for Dell’s top-of-the-line convertible need look no further than the Dell XPS 13 2-in-1.
Like the mainline XPS 13, the XPS 13 2-in-1 features solid specs and plenty of premium thrills like a HDR 400 certified display that supports Dolby Vision content and a sleek edge-to-edge keyboard. You can even bump the display up to 4K if you have the cash and will to do so.
Even if it’s not terribly different to Dell’s flagship thin and light laptop, the Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 provides plenty of additional flexibility without compromising on performance.
Dell XPS 13
Up to Intel Core i7-1065G7
Intel Iris Plus Graphics
Up to 16GB
Up to 1TB SSD
2-in-1 laptop PC buying guide
The things that make a good 2-in-1 laptop PC aren't all that different to the things that make a good traditional laptop PC. Given the overlap in the things you tend to with either category, that shouldn't be a huge surprise.
When we evaluate and compare 2-in-1 laptop PCs like the Lenovo Yoga 9i, we consider factors and questions like the following:
- What kind of performance does the processor inside this machine deliver? Is it competitive with what a regular laptop might deliver?
- How many tabs in Chrome does it take to slow down the performance of this machine?
- How does the amount of RAM and storage space included with this device compare to competitors?
- How visible is the screen in different lighting environments?
- Are the built-in speakers generally good or are they only useful in select situations?
- Does the built-in microphone cut if for video calls over software like Zoom?
In addition, we also weigh up a number of more 2-in-1 specific characteristics such as :
- Does a more flexible or mobile form-factor come with compromises to performance?
- Is the hardware here as well suited for consuming content as it is creating it or does it favor one over the other?
- What style of 2-in-1 is this and how does the implementation or execution of the form factor compare to category-leading efforts seen elsewhere?
2-in-1 laptop PC FAQs
A laptop that's marketed as a 2-in-1 typically features a design that allows it to be used as a tablet. It's both a tablet and a laptop, hence the name.
Sometimes, this form-factor is achieved via a detachable keyboard. In other instances, the screen on the device is attached via a flexible hinge that allows it to be pulled back a full 360-degrees.
Our current pick for the best 2-in-1 laptop brand is Lenovo, who are responsible both our best overall pick and best budget pick.
You can learn more about the Lenovo Yoga 9i by reading our review of the machine.
If you're looking to buy a 2-in-1 laptop PC in 2022, you probably don't want to settle for anything less than 8GB of RAM. 16GB is ideal, but more is always better.
The details might vary, but the biggest difference between laptops and 2-in-1s is that the former typically can't be used as a tablet.