Hybrid Laptops: Is a 2 in 1 Laptop Worth it?

We all know laptops are amazing, they have mobilized the workplace and made working away from home and making presentations easy, but sometimes they can be bulky.

Then you have some excellent tablets. their compact size offers convenience when traveling that regular laptops find hard to beat, but they are hard to write on for long periods of time.

So is it possible to get both in one convenient package? Of course, it is. So let’s take a closer look at answering what is a two in one laptop and is 2 in 1 laptop worth it and would they be recommended among the best travel laptops?

Introducing the 2 in 1 laptop

Also called a hybrid laptop, 2 in 1’s are the new, trending, portable laptop that can be used either as a laptop or a tablet. The basic design is that of a laptop, but the hybrid design is changeable to offer something great for every user. But what are the benefits?

First, it is important to know that there are 2 types of hybrids, there is the detachable 2 in 1 and then there is the convertible.

What is a detachable 2 in 1 laptop?

These come in two pieces and are essentially a tablet with a detachable keyboard. These make the most of the portability that a tablet has while easing many of the restrictions.

The main advantage of using this type of hybrid laptop is that you need not carry two devices and there is the obvious advantage of the ease of portability on offer making them great for travel bloggers. However, there are some drawbacks. Generally, the detachable type is less powerful due to needing to pack all of the processing power and battery into what is essentially a tablet. Also, you will be missing some connection ports such as HDMI outputs and USB ports.

This can be circumnavigated by adaptors or mirroring software, but the idea of traveling light also means traveling with less.

One other quirk of the super portable model is that kind of ironically, it can actually be really tricky to use on your lap. The hinge connection isn’t stiff enough to support the screen meaning it can be difficult to find a comfortable position.

Finally, when it comes to detachable, I have a little worry about their longevity. Even though the pieces are designed to be removable, wear and tear become a concern, so it would certainly be worth investing in a decent case.

A great example of a detachable 2 in 1 laptop is this PhilPad Windows 2 in 1.

XIDU PhilPad Windows 2 in 1 Tablet, 13.3-inch 2K (2560x1440) Touchscreen Laptop, Intel E3950 Quad-Core Processor, 6GB RAM 128GB ROM, Dual Band WIFI, Type C, Detachable Keyboard and Stylus Pen Included

Pros and cons of a detachable 2 in 1

  • Super Portable
  • Lightweight
  • Very quick start-up
  • Great for presenting to small groups
  • Not very comfortable to type for long periods of time
  • Not as powerful as convertibles
  • Lacks connectivity options built into the hardware

Convertible 2 in 1 laptops

Convertible laptops have been around for a little longer than their detachable cousins.

The design here is more like a traditional laptop but includes a swivel function. The featured touch screen is a hinged top so the screen can flip or swivel 360 degrees. When opened to it’s fullest it will fold back on itself and behave like a tablet. Due to the laptop design, these models will generally be a little bulkier but have more processing power and plenty of ports.

One thing I love about these is that you can pretty much get the screen at any angle, including a tent shape which is ideal for watching movies.

The main drawback is its size. Convertible laptops are often larger because it includes the keyboard and peripheral ports are required for laptop design. This type of laptop appeals to those that travel a lot, so the size aspect is certainly something to consider, but more about that in a moment.

A great example of a convertible laptop is the Lenovo Yoga Ideapad.

New 2018 Lenovo Yoga 730 2-in-1 15.6" FHD IPS Touch-Screen Laptop, Intel i5-8250U, 8GB DDR4 RAM, 256GB PCIe SSD, Thunderbolt, Fingerprint Reader, Backlit Keyboard, Built for Windows Ink, Win10

Pros and cons of a convertible 2 in 1

  • Powerful
  • Cable connectivity options
  • Touchscreen great on airplanes
  • Larger than detachables
  • Heavier
  • Prone to wear and tear on the hinges

So what should you choose?

Both options combine the tablet and the laptop-style to create a great little portable machine while still offering plenty of power. While I wouldn’t have a detachable 2 in 1 as my only device, I would want a more powerful computer at home for between travels, a good quality convertible can comfortably serve as your main device.

As usual with these decisions, take a look at what you use want to use your new laptop for and decide.

If you find yourself doing a lot of word processing and processor hungry spreadsheets on the go, I would certainly look at the convertible over the detachable. This will give you the benefits of a touchscreen (fantastic when crammed into an airline seat) and a keyboard that is comfortable for long term use.

Also, if you are using for presentations and meetings, I would always prefer a wired connection. I have been embarrassed by failing mirroring software too many times to rely on it.

However, if you are on the go a lot and writing short passages at a time, then maybe the detachable would be preferred.

I think this would suit a travel blogger who wants to make notes on the go but may want to construct a fuller blog post when back at their hotel or hostel.

Final thoughts on 2 in 1 laptops

Overall I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend a hybrid laptop to regular travelers. They are fantastic portable machines that can be the perfect second device or, in the case of converables, a main computer.

Be sure to take a look at our 2 in 1 store page where we have selected the best performing hybrid laptops available on Amazon for you to take a look at.

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