Call it as convertible, hybrid or a 2-in-1 laptops, the manufacturers lately have focused on giving the clamshell design of laptops a much-awaited makeover – thanks to the touch-optimized display screens. Use it as a traditional laptop, or flip the screen 360-degrees to use it as a tablet. Usability, convinience and practicality are key factors that drive the adoption of any new features or designs. With the 2-in-1 laptops becoming a new popular product category, and manufacturers beelining to launch their innovations in this category, should you also opt for one such laptop is what we will delve into in this article.
With work-from-office resuming and business travels becoming normal again, a laptop and a tablet will be your go-to companions for all business work and trips. How often have you wondered to cut down on carry-on luggage weight, but you cannot leave either of these two on business travels. A laptop is your office on the move – an irreplaceable device, while a tablet is convenient as a handout presentation in personal meetings or to browse news and to reads books in leisure while waiting at the airport lounges. What if the benefits of these two devices are clubbed in one, you’ve a 2-in-1 laptop!
What’s a 2-in1 laptop?
Term it as a convertible, hybrid or 2-in-1 laptop, it is actually a laptop with a touch-optimized display screen. This screen can either be detached or flipped 360-degrees to don the role of a tablet. As long as you need the keypad for typing you can use it as a standard laptop, and when you just want to relax and read an e-book or browse the news or watch a movie then you just need to detach or flip the screen to use it an a tablet. A tablet mode gives you the convenience to relax and lie down comfortably, rather than to sit in an upright position while using a laptop. Getting benefits of both tablet and a laptop in one device surely has its advantages, but it all depends on how much you are going to use a tablet for.
Still, there are many circumstances where a 2-in-1 laptop has advantages over a traditional laptop. For instance, a touchscreen gives you the ability to point and select accurately and quickly compared to a trackpad or a mouse. Even Steve Jobs while unveiling the iPhone had said, “Who needs a stylus when every human has the best pointing device in the world – fingers.” Though, his reference was in context of a smartphone, but even with laptops its stays true. You can just tap and select on the screen faster than doing so through a trackpad. Though, Steve Jobs dissed stylus, the same is not being referred for a trackpad as it is an essential pointing device in a laptop. However, with Windows 10 and 11 having a tighter touch integration that offers a smoother touch experience and touch-friendly features, a user’s hand now intuitively move towards the touchscreen for faster interaction. Hence, it can be said that with 2-in-1 laptops we can have both productivity and entertainment with one device. Now if you have made up your mind for 2-in-1 laptop, then which type should you go for?
Which type of 2-in1 laptop, a Detachable or Flippable?
As manufacturers are combining the usage of traditional laptop with a tablet, there are couple of innovative changes brought to the clamshell design of the laptop. One type is of laptops that have a detachable keyboard that can be used as a tablet by detaching out the screen. This gives convenience as you can use it as a regular laptop for office productivity and when you have to use it for reading, browsing or entertainment you can just pull out the display screen from keyboard dock to be used as a tablet. The downside of this design is compromising on performance, as all primary computing components and power source (batteries) are built into the display side of the laptop. That’s why the detachable 2-in-1 laptops are top-heavy, as the bottom portion is essentially a dock for connecting the keyboard. If you feel that your usage is more titled towards using the display-screen as a tablet, then you can opt for a detachable 2-in-1 laptop.
While the other type of a 2-in-1 laptop is one where the display screen is attached to keyboard with hinges and it is able to do a full 360-degree turn, i.e. the screen is completely filppable. This allows you to use the laptop in various modes. You can flip the screen and have it flat with the keyboard, so that while you type/edit/work on keyboard other standing near you can see the changes made. Or, if you are watching a movie, you can keep it as an A-frame or in a tent-card mode on the table. Or, you can completely flip back the screen and use it in a tablet mode. This type of flexibility is unmatched even with a detachable 2-in-1 or any clamshell laptop. Windows 10 and 11 have made it more seamless to switch between regular laptop and tablet modes. It automatically disables keyboard and trackpad inputs when the screen is flipped full 360-degrees for a tablet functionality.
In flippable type 2-in-1 laptops, the main computing components and battery is housed underneath the keyboard, just as in traditional laptops. So, it well-balanced when being used on a lap or on a desk. Above that, the form-factor allows for a higher configuration of computing components and battery, which results in better performance and improved battery life. Though, the downside of this flippable screen laptop will be that while using in a tablet mode, the device will be bulkier to handle as along with screen one would have to carry the attached keyboard portion too. However, it is the advantage of versatility and flexibility that outweights this downside.
Specs to consider in 2-in-1 laptops
For 2-in-1 laptops, just like the regular laptops, higher the specs the better will be performance. However, with higher specs the weight will also tend to increase for the laptop. Therefore, solely on your primary usage you should select the specification for your device. So, in case of a 2-in-1 laptop, it is established that you’re going to use and are comfortable with the touch function of the display screen. Therefore, now if your usage will be primarily of presentations, office work and document handling, browsing and consuming media entertainment then a fanless Intel Core i3 or i5 processor based laptop will be optimal for you, which will be light-weight and offer good performance and battery life. However, if your usage is more graphics intensive involving media editing, or if you’re a heavy multi-tasker then a system with Intel Core i5 or i7 with a discrete GPU will be better suited for your demands.
Adapt to bring the change
Eventually, it all comes down to a user’s openness to a change. The flexibility of different usage modes and ease of convenience are the factors that will help in enhancing one’s productivity from 2-in-1 laptops. If you’re a business laptop user and are considering a laptop upgrade, you should definitely go for a 2-in-1 laptop. Its practicality and your use-case for various modes of usage will help in improving your productivity, and will also be lighter on your shoulder as you will carry just one device instead of two in your carry-on bag. With its subtle advantages, you will not go back to a regular clamshell laptop. The 2-in-1 laptops are not a game changer in the market, but they will definitely drive the consumer’s behaviour change for touch usage in the laptops.
Here’s a glimpse of some 2-in-1 laptops available in India:
ASUS ZenBook 14 Flip OLED
ASUS Zenbook 14 Flip OLED is world’s first 14” 2.8K OLED HDR display convertible laptop. Powered by the latest AMD Ryzen™ 9 5900HX processor, the ZenBook 14 Flip OLED is slim, light, and comes with a gorgeous 16:10 2.8K OLED HDR NanoEdge touchscreen. The exclusive 360° ErgoLift hinge design allows the display to be flipped to any position, according to the user’s requirement. The edge-to-edge full-sized, backlit keyboard offers an ultimate typing experience.
The ZenBook 14 Flip OLED series is equipped with a 63 Whr battery which can provide long battery life — more than enough to cover a day of work or play unplugged. When you do need to charge, the included 100W Type-C fast-charger will quickly refuel the laptop. The product pricing starts from INR 91,990
Dell 14 (2021) i3-1125G4 2in1 Touch Screen Laptop
The Dell Inspiron 5410 D560563WIN9S 2in1 is powered by the 11th Gen Intel Core i3-1125G4 and Integrated with Intel UHD Graphics Xe G4 48EUs. Other key specs include 8GB of RAM and 256GB SSD. The Display here is a 14 Inch FHD (1920 x 1080) Panel. Dell Inspiron 5410 D560563WIN9S 2in1 has a Plastic chassis but feels quite solid in terms of build quality and doesn’t feel cheap. The bottom here lifts up when opening up the device for better airflow and with its thin bezels the device feels quite modern. In terms of weight, it is on the liger side weighing in at 1.46 Kg. The port selection here is nothing out of the ordinary the device lacks support for thunderbolt which would have been a welcome addition. otherwise, it has all the essential ports that one may need.
Lenovo Yoga 7 AMD Ryzen 7 5800U 14″
Meet the Lenovo Yoga Slim 7, a stylish 14” laptop engineered with the advanced mobile performance of the latest AMD Ryzen 7 processor. Power through anything with up to 14 hours of battery life; enjoy Full HD clarity, and streamline your day with smart, time-saving features. The new Lenovo Yoga Slim 7 Carbon uses the magnesium-aluminum alloy material on the body, while the display shell got an aerospace-grade carbon fiber texture. Not only that, but the latest Webcore 2.0 Aerospace-Grade Fiber Weaving technology has also been used to make the entire carbon fiber slightly fragile. The main advantage of using carbon fiber on the display’s shell is that it has a lower weight (compared with Magnesium Aluminum Alloy) and plays an important role in the reduction of the notebook’s weight. Moreover, it also eases the screen opening and closing experience.
Microsoft Surface Laptop 4 AMD Ryzen
Stand out on HD video calls backed by Studio Mics. Capture ideas on the vibrant PixelSense touchscreen. Surround yourself with immersive, theater-like Dolby Atmos audio6. Do it all with a perfect balance of sleek, ultra-thin design, and more speed, now up to 70% faster – with significantly longer battery life than before. Looks extremely elegant, very sleek and light weight and performance is excellent for day to day office work, light gaming and streaming. The touch screen is a plus and very helpful while scrolling through a lengthy documents or navigating around on youtube. Will definitely recommend this machine for someone looking for a premium looking machine with powerful windows OS performance.