The best laptop 2018: our pick of the best laptops you can buy this year.
Once you’ve experienced one of the best 2-in-1 laptops, you won’t want to go back. It’d even be difficult to go back to a normal, old non-convertible laptop. And, judging by a recent patent filed by Microsoft, smartphones could soon follow in the footsteps of these versatile machines with their flexible hinges.
These days, there are many different kinds of devices to choose from that you’ll be proud to display on your desk. And, gone are the days where you’d have to settle for mediocre performance – as the best 2-in-1 laptops are just as fast as any conventional laptop. And, now that we’ve started seeing the new U-series 8th-generation Coffee Lake CPUs, the best 2-in-1 laptops are only going to get faster and more efficient. Sure, the MacBook Pro might be tempting, but it doesn’t have an 8th-generation Intel processor or a 4K display. However, the best 2-in-1 laptops totally do. And, they’re a lot more fun to use, thanks to their awesome touchscreens.
Most of the best 2-in-1 laptops are convertible, meaning the bottom half swings around behind the screen lid, so you’ll accidentally touch the keyboard a lot
when they’re in tablet mode. A slim few are detachable, like the Surface Book 2, whose high-resolution PixelSense display is held up by sheer magnetic force. Either way a lot of these choices are compatible with styluses, though they’re often sold separately. As such, we’ve been sure to mention the pros and cons of each device as follows.
1. Samsung Notebook 9 Pro
Hands down, the best 2-in-1 laptop there is
CPU: Intel Core i7 | Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 620 – AMD Radeon 540 Graphics (2GB GDDR5) | RAM: 8GB – 16GB | Screen: 13.3-inch – 15.6-inch FHD (1,920 x 1,080) LED display with Touch Screen Panel | Storage: 256GB SSD
The Samsung Notebook 9 Pro can go head-to-head with the 15-inch MacBook Pro, and for a substantially lower cost. Though it’s limited to only one configuration, albeit across two different sizes, the Samsung Notebook 9 Pro is as powerful as it is pragmatic. Defined in part by its inclusion of the S-Pen, this
heavy-hitting hybrid is every bit as capable as Microsoft’s Surface Book and without the need to recharge its stylus.
2. Google Pixelbook
Making good on its Android promises
CPU: Intel Core i5 – i7 | Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 615 | RAM: 8GB – 16GB | Screen: 12.3 inch QHD (2,400 x 1,600) LCD touchscreen | Storage: 128GB – 512GB SSD
Google’s new Pixelbook does something that we couldn’t have seen coming. It takes the Chromebook platform and shoots it straight into the stratosphere, competing with premium products from Apple and Microsoft. It’s able to accomplish this herculean task by beefing up the internals and, more importantly, by including full Android app support. This means that this device tears down the barriers that would prevent macOS or Windows users from jumping on the Chromebook bandwagon. It might cost a lot more than other Chromebooks on the market, but the Pixelbook is truly the future of the platform.
3. Asus Chromebook Flip
A 2-in-1 Chromebook Android users won’t refuse
CPU: Intel Pentium – Core m7 | Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 510 – 515 | RAM: 4GB – 8GB | Screen: 12.5-inch FHD (1,920 x 1,080) LED backlit anti-glare display | Storage: 32GB – 128GB eMMC
We get it, the Pixelbook is enticing, but it’s also out of your price range. In that case, the Asus Chromebook Flip C302 is a choice alternative. Having introduced a touchscreen and convertible design to Google’s cloud-based Chrome OS, the Asus Chromebook Flip is made better by its compatibility with Android apps. That’s right, just like the Pixelbook, you can use the Asus Chromebook Flip for Google Play apps, albeit after installing an out-of-the-box update
4. Dell XPS 15 2-in-1
A convertible that doesn’t compromise
CPU: Intel Core i5-i7 | Graphics: Radeon RX Vega M GL Graphics with 4GB HMB2 Graphics Memory | RAM: 8GB | Storage: 512GB PCIe SSD
If you’ve been in the market for one of the best 2-in-1 laptops, but you also kind of wanted to get one of the best gaming laptops instead, you’re in luck. The Dell XPS 15, already a fantastic laptop, has been transformed into a 2-in-1 – and was given discrete-class Radeon RX Vega graphics in the process. What this means is that you can get a beautiful convertible laptop, but you don’t have to give up any power. And, while that means that it’s a little expensive and the fans get a bit loud – it’s worth it in our book.
5. Microsoft Surface Book 2 (13-inch)
A hole in one for 2-in-1s
CPU: Intel Core i5 – i7 | Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 620 – Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 (2GB GDDR5) | RAM: 8GB – 16GB | Screen: 13.5-inch, 3,000 x 2,000 PixelSense display | Storage: 256GB – 1TB
Though many heads will be turned to the 15-inch model this time around, as Microsoft recently debuted a large-sized laptop for the first time ever, the 13.5-inch rendition of the Surface Book 2 deserves your attention nonetheless. To start, it comes with a 7th- or 8th-generation Intel Core i5 or i7 processor, respectively, depending on your needs. But, per usual with the Surface devices, the draw isn’t what it can do on the inside, but rather, how it can transform on the outside. Not only can its screen be detached from its keyboard, but it’ll last longer too.
6. Lenovo Yoga 920
Multi-faceted dexterity that stomps the competition
Gamers ought to look elsewhere, but for everyone else, the Lenovo Yoga 920 is a passable alternative to the ludicrously expensive Surface Book 2. For those who value, well… value over a screen that can be detached completely from its keyboard, the Lenovo Yoga 920 has a lot of good to offer. The design, for instance, is less pronounced and has the subtlety of a more traditional Ultrabook. Meanwhile, it’s thin and powerful all the same.
7. Microsoft Surface Book 2 (15-inch)
Two inches closer to perfection
CPU: Intel Core Core i5 – i7 | Graphics: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 (6GB GDDR5) | RAM: 16GB | Screen: 15-inch, 3,240 x 2,160 PixelSense display | Storage: 256GB – 1TB PCIe SSD
To be fair, we loved the 13-inch Surface Book already, so when we first caught word that a 15-inch Surface Book 2 was in the works, our expectations were amplified. In the end, Microsoft’s second 2-in-1 laptop isn’t perfect, but it is an impressive feat held back by a handful of (frankly necessary) concessions. For starters, this machine features cutting-edge 8th-generation Intel processors and Nvidia 10-series graphics for gamers and creative types alike. Pair that with its nifty convertibility, and we have ourselves a winner.
8. HP Spectre x360
A 2-in-1 with an affinity for high fashion
CPU: Intel Core i5 – i7 | Graphics: Intel UHD Graphics 620 | RAM: 8GB – 16GB | Screen: 13.3-inch FHD (1,920 x 1,080) – UHD (3,840 x 2,160) IPS touch panel | Storage: 256GB – 1TB
A handsome 2-in-1 with a strikingly thin frame, the HP Spectre x360 now brandishes the might of Intel’s 8th-generation Kaby Lake Refresh architecture. So, despite its slim chassis and weighing only 2.78 pounds (1.26kg), this version of the Hewlett-Packard flagship is ready not only to stream 4K video, but to run your favorite games at 720p using integrated graphics tech. Otherwise, if you’re a creative type, it comes with the HP Pen, unlike some stylus-less hybrids.
9. Asus ZenBook Flip S
Perfect style with power to back it up
CPU: Intel Core i7 | Graphics: Intel UHD Graphics 620 | RAM: 8GB/16GB | Storage: 256GB/512GB/1TB SSD
Inspired heavily by Apple’s seminal MacBook, the Asus ZenBook Flip S brings an attention to detail that’s often lost with Windows laptops. Thinner and lighter than most of the best 2-in-1 laptops, this gorgeous device brings the power of an Intel Core i7 CPU in a package you won’t be afraid to bring out in public. And, because it’s rocking a 1080p display with a powerful processor, you don’t have to worry about running out of juice – it will last through all but the longest plane rides.
10. Samsung Notebook 7 Spin
A half-hearted effort that surprisingly pays off
CPU: Intel Core i5 | Graphics: Intel UHD Graphics 620 | RAM: 8GB | Storage: 256GB SSD
While other laptop makers are adding discrete graphics and increasing their screen sizes, Samsung has decided it’s best to lay low with the Samsung Notebook 7 Spin this year. It works, but seemingly unintentionally so. Because it scraps the Nvidia chip, the 13-inch Samsung Notebook 7 Spin can be used for up to 7 hours at a time without charge. It also has a better keyboard than you would expect, although we are disappointed in the lack of a bundled stylus.