Watch CBS News

The 6 best 2-in-1 laptop hybrids for 2024

The 6 best 2-in-1 laptop hybrid for 2024

If you can't decide between a laptop computer or tablet, there's a third option that gives you the capabilities of both in a single device -- one that also runs either Windows 11 or ChromeOS. These are two-in-one hybrids that come from brands like Acer, Dell, HP, Lenovo and Microsoft. All offer a large and vibrant touchscreen and either a flippable or detachable keyboard.

Two-in-one hybrids are the ultimate in mobile computing

Our in-house team of consumer technology experts has curated this roundup of the best two-in-one hybrid devices. These amazing gadgets can serve as either a full-featured laptop or tablet, based on the type of applications you're using and how you position the device. If you're a Windows user, you'll use same version of Windows 11 and all of the same software you're already accustomed to. You can also choose a lower-priced ChromeOS two-in-one device that gives you easy access to all Google services and Android apps (as well as all popular cloud services).

Best 2-in-1 hybrid overall: Lenovo Yoga 9i 

Lenovo Yoga 9i 2-in-1 Laptop

Operating system: Windows 11 Pro | Display size: 14 inches | Display type: OLED touchscreen | Resolution: 2,880 x 1,800 pixels | Refresh rate: 90Hz | RAM: 16GB | Storage: 512GB | Battery life: Up to 7.3 hours | Stylus included: Yes | Fixed or detachable keyboard: Fixed | Dimensions: 11.8 x 8 x 0.6 inches | Weight: 2.95 pounds | Processor: 13th Gen Intel Core i7-1360P (CPU), Intel Iris Xe Graphics (GPU)

With its 14-inch OLED touchscreen, the Lenovo Yoga 9i showcases stellar graphics, animations and video, along with clear text. This makes it extremely versatile. The computer has enough processing power to handle tasks like photo editing and comes with features like a 1080p webcam and fingerprint scanner for security.

The Yoga 9i also comes with a pen-shaped stylus. As its name suggests, it's easy to adjust this device in a variety of positions to use as a laptop computer -- with its built-in, backlit keyboard -- as a tablet, or as a presentation tool.

While its battery life could be better, the Yoga 9i's biggest strength is its vibrant OLED display with 90Hz refresh rate. This, combined with the power of the 13th Gen Intel Core i701360P processor, give it plenty of oomph. And for audio, the built in speakers support Dolby Atmos. Also built in are two Thunderbolt 4, a USB Type-C 3.2 and a USB Type-A 3.2 port. When folded, the device is a mere 0.6 inches thick. At the time of purchase, you can upgrade the storage capacity of the SSD from 512GB to 1TB, 2TB or 4TB.

Best budget Windows 2-in-1 hybrid: HP Envy x360 14t

HP Envy x360 2-in-1 Laptop 14t

Operating system: Windows 11 Home | Display size: 14 inches | Display type: FHD IPS | Resolution: 1,920 x 1080 pixels | Refresh rate: 60Hz | RAM: 8GB | Storage: 512GB | Battery life: Up to 9.5 hours | Stylus included: Yes | Fixed or detachable keyboard: Fixed | Dimensions: 12.34 x 8.62 x 0.67 inches | Weight: 3.08 pounds | Processor: Intel Core i5-13335U (CPU), Intel Iris Xe Graphics (GPU)

For everyday computing, the HP Envy x360 14t is a versatile two-in-one hybrid that runs Windows 11 Home. It comes with a stylus and has a keyboard built in, so it's ready to perform as a laptop or tablet based on how you position it. The maximum brightness of the display is just 300 nits, however. Built into the device is a 5MP webcam, a backlit keyboard and several ports -- including multiple USB ports, a DisplayPort and a Thunderbolt 4 port.

The base configuration is more than adequate for the average user, but at the time of purchase, you can upgrade to Windows 11 Pro ($70), upgrade to an Intel Core i7-1355U processor ($190) and increase the storage capacity of the SSD up to 1TB ($90). For wireless connectivity, you get a RealTek Wi-Fi 6E and Bluetooth 5.3 wireless card, but this too can be upgraded to an Intel Wi-Fi 6E AX211 (2x2) and Bluetooth 5.3 wireless card ($10). While the Envy x360 can be used for gaming, it's best suited to a casual player looking for a well-rounded device that handles basic or mid-range computing.

Best 2-in-1 hybrid with detachable keyboard: Microsoft Surface Pro 9 

Microsoft Surface Pro 9 (2022)

Operating system: Windows 11 | Display size: 13 inches | Display type: LCD IPS (PixelSense touchscreen) | Resolution: 2,880x 1,920 pixels | Refresh rate: Up to 120Hz | RAM: 8GB | Storage: 256GB | Battery life: Up to 15.5 hours | Stylus included: No | Fixed or detachable keyboard: Detachable Surface Pro Signature Keyboard (sold separately) | Dimensions: 11.3 x 8.2 x 0.37 inches  | Weight: 1.9 pounds | Processor: 12th Gen Intel Core i5 (CPU), Intel Iris Xe Graphics (GPU) 

Microsoft defines a "two-in-one" device a bit differently. The Microsoft Surface Pro 9 onto itself is a full-featured tablet with an 11-inch touchscreen that runs the same version of Windows as any other machine that supports this operating system. 

But instead of offering an attached keyboard, this device has an optional detachable keyboard and optional pen-shaped stylus. 

Based on where you purchase it, you can upgrade the processor, amount of RAM and the SSD storage capacity. Also choose between four casing colors -- platinum, sapphire, forest or graphite.

As soon as you connect the optional Surface Pro Signature keyboard (or pair it with any Bluetooth keyboard), the Surface Pro 9 takes on the full functionality of a laptop computer. Or, when you use it with a stylus, you can handwrite, draw or annotate on the screen. On the back of the Surface Pro 9 is an adjustable kickstand, so you can position it on a table at the optimal viewing angle. 

Why are we recommending it if it doesn't come with a keyboard? That's easy. It's one of the only tablets that runs a full version of Windows, as well as Windows apps. The two built-in stereo speakers support Dolby Atmos. For wireless connectivity, you get support for Wi-Fi 6E and Bluetooth 5.1. Two USB Type-C (Thunderbolt 4) ports are also built into the unit, although the optional keyboard attaches using the magnetic Surface Type Cover port.

Best 2-in-1 ChromeOS hybrid: Asus Chromebook Vibe CX34 Flip


Operating system: ChromeOS | Display size: 14 inches | Display type: WUXGA touchscreen | Resolution: 1920 x 1200 pixels | Refresh rate: Up to 144Hz | RAM: 8GB | Storage: 256GB | Battery life: Up to 10 hours | Stylus included: Yes | Fixed or detachable keyboard: Fixed | Dimensions: 12.58 x 9.25 x 0.82 inches | Weight: 3.99 pounds | Processor: 12th Gen Intel Core i5-1235U (CPU), Intel Iris Xe Graphics (GPU)

People love Chromebooks because they're typically far less expensive than Windows laptops or an Apple MacBook. They also come with all Google apps and services preinstalled, and they run Android apps. However, all Chromebooks rely heavily on cloud apps and storage, which is why their hardware configuration is often less robust than most Windows laptops.

While the Vibe CX34 Flip offers all of the functionality of a ChromeOS laptop, it's two-in-one design takes advantage of a touchscreen display that flips 360 degrees. You'll find this computer has enough power to run most cloud-based games and virtually all popular cloud applications. It comes with Nvidia GeForce Now and Xbox Cloud Gaming preinstalled, but a subscription is required to access the combined total of more than 1,000 games offered by these services.

What we like about this device's display is that it offers a 100% sRGB color gamut, along with a 1920 x 1200 pixel resolution and 16:10 aspect ratio. The up to 144Hz refresh rate ensures minimal motion blur from games and videos. Compared to other two-in-one devices, this unit is a tad larger, but considerably heavier. This takes away from the appeal of using it as a tablet.

Best value 2-in-1 hybrid: Lenovo IdeaPad 5i

Lenovo IdeaPad 5i

Operating system: Windows 11 Home | Display size: 14 inches | Display type: WUXGA touchscreen | Resolution: 1,920 x 1,2000 pixels | Refresh rate: 60Hz | RAM: 8GB | Storage: 512GB | Battery life: Up to 16 hours | Stylus included: Yes | Fixed or detachable keyboard: Fixed | Dimensions: 12.3 x 8.9 x 0.78 inches | Weight: 3.5 pounds | Processor: Intel Core 3 100U (CPU with integrated graphics)

The Lenovo ideaPad 5i is one of the newest models in the company's ThinkPad lineup. It's an entry-level, two-in-one device that runs Windows 11 Home and that's rather affordable based on its hardware configuration.

The 14-inch touchscreen offers a 60Hz refresh rate, but a maximum brightness of just 300 nits. The device runs using an Intel Core 3 100U processor with a maximum speed of 4.7 GHz.

At the time of purchase, you can upgrade the processor, upgrade to Windows 11 Pro and increase the SSD's storage capacity to 1TB, but each of these upgrades cost extra. Included are two speakers that support Dolby audio (not Dolby Atmos). Average battery life is up to 16 hours, which is respectable, but this will vary greatly based on how the computer is used.

This two-in-one device offers a decent collection of ports and a 1080p resolution webcam. For everyday mobile computing, the IdeaPad 5i is nicely equipped and ready to be a trusty travel companion that supports Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5.2 wireless connectivity.

Best 2-in-1 hybrid for all you do: Dell Latitude 9450 2-in-1


Operating system: Windows 11 Pro | Display size: 14 inches | Display type: QHD+ LCD IPS | Resolution: 2,560 x 1,600 pixels | Refresh rate: 60Hz | RAM: 16GB | Storage: 256GB | Battery life: Varies | Stylus included: No | Fixed or detachable keyboard: Fixed | Dimensions: 12.2 x 8.47 x 0.64 inches | Weight: 3.38 pounds | Processor: Intel Core Ultra 5 125U (CPU), Intel Arc iGPU (GPU)

The Dell Latitude 9450 is one of the company's newest and most powerful two-in-one hybrids. It's powerful enough to handle your work- or school-related needs and then serve as a feature-packed entertainment device when you're ready to chill. This is also one of the first two-in-one devices to incorporate AI into everyday computing -- from Zoom calls and photo editing and beyond.

One feature we love is the Infinity Edge touchscreen display (which means there's basically no bezel). This 14-inch touchscreen offers a 16:10 aspect ratio, a maximum brightness of 500 nits and a 60Hz refresh rate. There's an an attached, zero-lattice, backlit keyboard, a four-speaker sound system and two microphones. It's also one of the first two-in-one devices to support Wi-Fi 7, but also offer 5G cellular connectivity as an option.

Plenty of ports are built into the Latitude 9450, which, when closed, has a thickness of just 0.64 inches. At the time of purchase, you can upgrade the procesor (up to an Intel Core Ultra 7 165U), the amount of RAM (up to 64GB) and the storage capacity of the SSD (up to 1TB).

Is there an Apple 2-in-1 hybrid laptop?

Nope. You can choose between an Apple MacBook Air or MacBook Pro, but these are traditional laptop computers that do not have a touchscreen. Thus, they can't be used with a stylus. And then there are the Apple iPad, iPad Air, or iPad Pro tablets -- any of which can connect with an optional and detachable keyboard and be used with an Apple Pencil stylus. However, all iPads run iPadOS, which is not the same as the MacOS operating system that runs on all MacBooks and iMacs. 

When it comes to apps like Microsoft Word or Microsoft Excel on an iPad, you're getting a scaled-down version compared with what's offered on a Mac. Alternatively, when you use a two-in-one Windows or ChromeOS device, you run the same operating system and same exact applications that run on their laptop or desktop computer counterparts.

Ultimately, when you connect an iPad tablet with an optional keyboard, you're simply getting a tablet with a keyboard, not a full-featured laptop. If you need help deciding which version of the iPad is right for you, be sure to read our comprehensive iPad buyer's guide.

For even more advice on choosing the best tabletAndroid tabletApple iPadtablet for kidsdesktop computerlaptop computerbudget-friendly laptop computerChromebookAndroid smartphone or cell phone, be sure to check out our extensive and continuously updated tech coverage.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.