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Convertible Laptops - Everything You Need To Know

What is a convertible laptop?

A convertible laptop, also known as a 2in1 laptop, is designed to function as both a laptop and a tablet, with an adaptable design that has the lightness and flexibility of a tablet but the efficiency and power of a computer.

Key Features:

  • Touchscreen - so that the device can be used without the keyboard
  • Detachable keyboard - can be completely removed leaving you with just a touchscreen device
  • Flexible hinges - can allow the keyboard to fold away from the screen or spin / swivel to act as a tablet stand

Types of convertible laptop


A detachable convertible laptop is where the keyboard and screen can be completely separated from one another so that the touchscreen becomes exclusively a tablet.

Convertible hybrid

A hybrid convertible laptop has a hinge that can either flip the keyboard behind the screen or rotate the keyboard 360 degrees so that the laptop can stand in a number of positions as a tablet.

Convertible laptops vs. Convertible tablets

Some convertible laptops are more tablet than laptop and they are often called a convertible tablet rather than a convertible laptop, however these names are often used interchangeably when referring to a convertible laptop.

A convertible laptop and a convertible tablet can be differentiated by:

The size of the processor

Convertible tablets often have smaller processors, like an Intel Atom, meaning they can't handle quite work as fast as a convertible laptop, which can have up to an i7 processor

Storage space

A convertible laptop will almost always have more internal storage space available. However many convertible tablets can have their storage increased via a micro SD card

RAM size

Convertible laptops usually have more RAM built in meaning they can multi-task more effectively than a convertible tablet.

Overall size

Convertible laptops are usually larger than tablets in size and weight which is why they often have superior technical spec with convertible tablets having more of a portable focus

Keyboard size

Convertible tablets usually have thinner keyboards to match their smaller design

The Benefits of a Convertible Laptop

Its more transportable

A convertible laptop is usually a lot lighter and thinner than a regular laptop and being that it acts as two devices in one that means no more carrying a separate tablet and laptop. This makes it easier to pack, lighter to carry and you have the benefit of both devices to hand

Impressive presentation

No we don't mean how they look, although that can often be impressive too! If you give presentations frequently a convertible laptop can be a convenient way of presenting, as you could have the screen facing the audience and the keyboard facing you, or you can detach the keyboard so the tablet can be passed around for a more interactive presentation.

Flexible for day to day life

A convertible laptop allows you to separate the business and pleasure parts of your day. Keep the keyboard connected if you need to work on an essay or report and flip the keyboard or unclip it when you want to relax and watch a movie or play a game.

Saving you money

If you’re not in a position to buy both a laptop and a tablet, then a convertible laptop is the perfect solution. It can adapt to be two different devices but you only pay the price of one device rather than two

Who is a convertible laptop suitable for?

Business Travellers and Commuters

The flexibility of convertible laptops make them ideal for working on-the-go. Tray tables on airplanes and trains are usually too small for laptops, but with a convertible you can detach the keyboard or fold it to make a stand that fits so you can work more comfortably. Use the keyboard to add the finishing touches to that presentation on the way to work and then switch easily to a tablet for games and videos on the relaxing journey home

University Students

If you’re a student, you may not always have access to a TV or other entertainment devices. A convertible laptop has the power of a laptop so that you can do assignments and projects, but with a quick switch you have a touchscreen tablet allowing you to enjoy films, music and games.

Frequent Travellers

A convertible laptop will be much easier to take around with you in a rucksack or suitcase and it will fit comfortably on train and airplane tray tables when travelling. It may also come in handy if you need a keyboard to reply to emails or book tickets whilst on holiday, without the hassle of bringing a bulkier computer.

What is the average price range of a convertible laptop?

Just like laptops and tablets, convertible laptops have low and high end models. Prices range between £200 and £1000 + and the storage space, memory, processor size and other tech spec will mainly determine the price. If you’re on a budget then you can get a great condition refurbished convertible laptop for much less than when buying new.

Things to consider

How powerful do you need it to be?

If you’re going to be working on your laptop, consider a convertible laptop rather than a convertible tablet because they tend to be more powerful and have more storage. Convertible laptops usually have more memory (RAM) too which means they can multitask better than the tablet alternative. This is useful if you plan on researching, writing and listening to music all at once for example.

Does size matter?

Although convertible tablets are less powerful, they are smaller and more convenient to carry around than a convertible laptop which may matter to you if you commute daily or travel frequently. Want to be agile whilst walking through the crowed train station? Consider a convertible tablet.

Do you want 3G/4G?

Do you want 3G/4G? If you want to access the internet from wherever you are, there are convertible tablets with 3G/4G connectivity. Although this confines you to convertible tablets, they come with operating systems, Intel processors, memory (RAM) and storage space as well as an optional keyboard attachment so you can still get the best of both worlds.

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