The Best 2-In-1 Laptops That Might Replace Tablets in 2023

asus-s13-flip-up5302-12thgen-positions

A 2-in-1 laptop is a mobile computer designed to convert between a traditional laptop and a tablet simply by turning the keyboards to 360 degrees.

In laptop mode, the keyboard serves two purposes

  • As the primary input device
  • As a stand to support the flip-up display

In tablet mode, the touchscreen is the input device, while the keyboard serves as a stand:

  • The Tent position will require a flat surface or table, and it is also the preferred method to minimize contact for the keyboard when used on a dirty table. The disadvantage is that the footprint increases as the angle of the display decrease, so a larger table space is required.
  • The Stand position is helpful if you have a small table, such as the mini-table on the plane. Using the keyboard as the stand, the footprint is the same regardless of the display’s tilting angle.
  • Finally, the display can fold 360 degrees as a handheld tablet. The weight of the computer becomes an important design criterion, especially if this is the primary mode of usage.

2-in-1-Laptop-Conversion

2-in-1 Laptop Conversion

It is noteworthy that, in some designs, the touchscreen display includes the computing unit, which allows it to function as a standalone tablet when detached from the keyboard. There are three issues with the detachable tablet design:

a) Both the tablet and keyboard should have their battery, which adds to the weight of the combined unit.
b) The hinge for the detachable 2-in-1 has to be stronger as it needs to hold a heavier display that is also a standalone tablet.
c) For stability, the keyboard needs to be heavy enough to lower the centre of gravity so that the tablet display does not cause the entire unit to tip over.

We predict that 2-in-1 laptops, being the best of both worlds, should overtake the sales of standalone notebooks and tablets soon. That vision could be realized only if equal or better system performance and features match the weight reduction.

In the following review, we will only focus on the lightest and smallest 2-in-1 laptops that could be the best alternative to tablets like the iPad.

 

Asus Zenbook S13 Flip OLED UP5302

asus-s13-flip-up5302-12thgen

PROSCONS
Lightweight at 1.1kgNot Intel Evo certified
Numpad on TouchpadThe stylus does not have magnetic charging and storage on the laptop
Impressive OLED screenNo physical shutter or switch for the webcam
US MIL-STD 810H military-grade standard
No accelerometer, gyroscope, etc, sensors commonly found on tablets.

Lightweight

The Asus S13 Flip UP5302 is a Red Dot Design Award winner and is one of the lightest convertible laptops at only 1.1kg. This is close to the weight of an iPad 12.9 with a separate keyboard and cover stand. However, the Asus S13 Flip is a convertible laptop that is more powerful and versatile for productive office work and play.

Innovative Numpad

Besides the lightweight advantage, the Asus S13 Flip UP5302 has an innovative Touchpad that also serves as a Numpad. This solves the common issue with 13 or 14-inch laptops, which generally exclude the Numpad.

Stylus Issue

The stylus does not have any storage slot on the laptop; the only way to charge it is to use a USB-C cable. This reminds us of the first-generation Apple Pencil, which is rather inconvenient as it has the same problem: lack of storage and cable charging. For an “award-winning” laptop, the future stylus design should incorporate a storage slot with magnetic charging.

Good Displays and RGB Sensors

Asus Splendid is a feature that switches the display mode between sRGB, Adobe RGB, and  100% DCI-P3 for creative work or movies. An RGB sensor can adjust the display colour temperature to match the ambient lighting conditions. While we like these features, the design omitted the sensors commonly found on tablets, such as the accelerometer, gyroscope, and compass.

Not Intel Evo Certified

We are surprised that an award-winning laptop at a premium price is not Intel Evo-certified. Evo certification by Intel means that the computer has met stringent design requirements regarding responsiveness, performance, connectivity, battery life, etc.

Exhaust Direction

We prefer the exhaust at the back where the display hinge is located for the typical laptop so that the sides are freed up for other ports.

For a 2-in-1 laptop, it would make sense to have the exhaust located on the left side instead of the back, like the Asus S13 Flip UP5302. If the exhaust is located at the back, it will be turned around to face you in the “stand” mode.

It is also crucial for the exhaust to be on the left side because the right side is where the hand is holding the mouse for a right-hander.

Verdict

We like the Asus S13 Flip UP5302 for its lightweight, innovative Numpad and perhaps the best display in this design review. However, it has none of those sensors commonly found on tablets and mobile phones. We hope future versions will have Intel Evo certification and an improved stylus design with storage inside the laptop. Nonetheless, we still feel this is one of the best laptops in this review to replace the tablet.

SpecificationsAsus Zenbook S13 Flip 
Model ReviewedUP5302ZA-LX195W
ProcessorIntel® Core™ i7 12th Generation
Form Factor360 Degree Flip. Non-detachable screen
Casing MaterialMagnesium-Aluminium Alloy Unibody
Intel Evo certifiedNo
Size296.3 x 209.7 x 14.9mm
Weight1.10 kg (2.43 lbs)
GraphicsIntel® Iris® Xᵉ Graphics
Display13.3in 2880×1800 OLED, Touchscreen
Display Features100% DCI-P3,
133% sRGB
Pantone Validated
1.07 billion colours
0.2ms response time
70% reduced blue light
Up to 550 nits peak brightness
Contrast Ratio 1,000,000:1
DisplayHDR™ True Black 500 certified
89% screen-to-body ratio
Storage1TB M.2 NVMe™ PCIe® 4.0 SSD
Memory16GB LPDDR5
Power SupplyUSB-Type C, 65W (20V, 3.25A)
ConnectivityWi-Fi 6E(802.11ax) (Dual band) 2*2 + Bluetooth 5
I/O Ports1x USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-C support display & PD
2 x Thunderbolt 4 support display & PD
1 x 3.5mm Combo Audio Jack
1 x MicroSD card reader
Battery67 Whrs, 4S1P, 4-cell Li-Ion
Battery LifeUp to 10 hours (user-tested)
KeyboardBacklit Chiclet Keyboard, 1.4mm travel.
TouchpadErgosense multi-touch gesture
Asus Numpad 2.0
StylusActive stylus SA200H-MPP1.51
4096 pressure levels
USB-C Rechargeable, 30mins charging for 140 hours of usage
4 interchangeable pen tips
Camera2MP FHD IR camera
AudioHarmon Kardon speaker
Dolby Atmos
Smart AMP 350% louder, zero distortion
4-microphone array with Cortana and Alexa voice recognition
AI noise cancellation
SensorsFingerprint sensors
Ambient light sensor (to adjust display brightness)
RBG light sensor (to adjust display colour temperature)
ToF sensor (senses the user’s presence)
Special FeaturesUS MIL-STD 810H military-grade standard
Anti-bacterial Guard
WarrantyTwo years international

 

HP Spectre x360 2-in-1 Laptop 14-ef0056TU
hp-spectre-x360-2-in-1-laptop-14-ef0056tu

PROSCONS
Intel Evo certified1.36kg is heavy
The stylus has a magnetic catchThe stylus does not have magnetic charging and storage on the laptop
Webcam privacy shutterExpensive
Tablet features such as gyroscope, accelerometer, gorilla glassLacks US MIL-STD 810H military-grade standard

Intel Evo Certified

We are not surprised that the HP Spectre x360 2-in-1 Laptop (model: 14-ef0056TU) is Intel Evo certified, considering that it is the “High-Tech” version of its sibling, the HP Envy series.

Heavy

The HP Spectre x360 2-in-1 Laptop 14 weighs 1.36kg, which is almost 25% heavier than the Asus S13 Flip or nearly twice the weight of the iPad. Even though the weight is considerably lighter when compared to high-performance laptops, it is too heavy for a 2-in-1 laptop when used as a tablet. The iPad 12.9in weighs only 685 grams without any cover or accessories. So, how would anyone like to hold the HP Spectre x360, which is almost twice the weight?

Heating and Battery Life

There are reports of heating issues and shortened battery life in the HP store reviews. Heating issues could be possible, especially for Intel i7 processors; however, we would not expect such a problem for an Intel Evo-certified notebook.

The HP Spectre x360 has essential features that are usually found on iPad and other handheld devices:

a) Gorilla glass for strong screen crack resistant
b) Sensors for handheld devices such as accelerometer, gyroscope, compass, etc
c) Magnetic catch for a stylus for writing or drawing on the move in handheld mode.

This allows the convertible laptop to perform equally well as standalone tablets.

Verdict

The HP Spectre x360 would be a good lightweight laptop, but it will be too heavy as a handheld tablet. Even though it has robust tablet features, it would be too cumbersome.

SpecificationsHP Spectre x360 13.5 2-in-1 Laptop 14
Model ReviewedEF0056TU
ProcessorIntel® Core™ i7 12th Generation
Form Factor360 Degree Flip. Non-detachable screen
Casing MaterialAluminium alloy (recycled) and ocean-bound plastics
Intel Evo certifiedYes
Size298 x 220.4 x 16.9mm
Weight1.36 kg (3 lbs)
GraphicsIntel® Iris® Xᵉ Graphics
Display13.5in 3000×2000 OLED, Multi-Touch
Display Features100% DCI-P3
Low blue light
SDR 400 nits, HDR 500 nits
Anti-reflection Corning® Gorilla® Glass NBT™
Storage1 TB PCIe® NVMe™ TLC M.2 SSD
Memory16GB LPDDR4-4266MHz
Power SupplyUSB-Type C, 65W (20V, 3.25A)
ConnectivityIntel® Wi-Fi 6E AX211 + Bluetooth 5.2
I/O Ports1 x USB Type-A Superspeed 10Gbps
2 x Thunderbolt 4 USB4 Type-C 40Gbps
1 x 3.5mm Combo Audio Jack
1 x MicroSD card reader
Battery66 Whrs, 4-cell Li-Ion, 275grams
Battery LifeUp to 11.5 hours
KeyboardFull-size, backlit, nightfall black keyboard
TouchpadHP Imagepad with multi-touch gesture support
StylusMPP 2.0 Tilt Pen
Magnetic catch
4096 pressure levels
USB-C charging
CameraHP True Vision 5MP IR camera with camera shutter
Temporal noise reduction
Integrated dual-array digital microphones
AudioAudio by Bang & Olufsen Quad speaker
HP Audio Boost
AI noise cancellation
SensorsFingerprint sensor
Accelerometer
eCompass
Colour temperature light sensor
Gyroscope
IR thermal sensor
Special FeaturesNA
WarrantyTwo years onsite

 

MSI Summit E13 Flip Evo 2022 

msi-msi-summit-e13-flip-evo-2022

PROSCONS
Intel Evo certified1.35kg is heavy
US MIL-STD 810H military-grade standardThe stylus does not have magnetic charging and storage on the laptop
Tablet features such as gyroscope, accelerometer, magnetometerThe exhaust is located at the display hinge
No shutter for the webcam

Like the HP Spectre and Lenovo Yoga Gen7, the MSI Summit is considered “heavy” at 1.35kg, which exceeds our target range of around 1.1kg. Another issue is that the current specifications only have 512GB SSD, but we believe this can be changed or easily upgraded.

After reviewing the specifications and user reviews, we concluded that the only reason to buy the MSI Summit over the HP Spectre is probably if you need a rugged laptop that is tested to MIL-STD 810H.

Compared to the Asus Zenbook S13 Flip, the MSI Summit E13 Flip loses out on the weight issue and exhaust location. Both machines do not have a shutter for the webcam or storage for the stylus.

SpecificationsMSI Summit E13 Flip Evo 2022
Model ReviewedA12MT
ProcessorIntel® Core™ i7 12th Generation
Memory16GB LPDDR5-4800Mhz
Storage512GB NVMe PCIe Gen3x4 SSD
Form Factor360 Degree Flip. Non-detachable screen
Casing MaterialAluminium alloy
Intel Evo certifiedYes
Size300.2 x 222.25 x 14.9 mm
Weight1.35kg
GraphicsIntel® Iris® Xᵉ Graphics
Display13.4in FHD+ 1920×1200, 16:10, IPS-Level
Touchscreen
Display Features120Hz display
100% DCI-P3
100% sRGB
ConnectivityIntel® Killer™ AX Wi-Fi 6E + Bluetooth 5.2
I/O Ports1 x USB Type-A 5 Gbps Gen1 5Gbps
2 x Thunderbolt 4 (display & PD)
1 x 3.5mm Combo Audio Jack
1 x MicroSD card reader
1x HDMI™ (4K @ 60Hz)
KeyboardBacklit Keyboard
TouchpadYes
StylusSupport the latest Microsoft MPP 2.0 technology
4096 pressure level
Support tilt
266 report rate
Up to 8-10 mm hover
USB-C recharge connect
1.3mm pen tip
13.5g weight
Productivity up to 65 hours battery life
Camera2MP FHD IR camera
Webcam Lock Switch
Audio2x2W Speaker
AI noise cancellation
SensorsFingerprint sensor
Accelerometer
Magnetometer (i.e. compass)
Gyroscope
Power SupplyUSB-Type C, 65W (20V, 3.25A)
Battery70 Whrs, 4-cell
Battery LifeUp to 10 hours
Special FeaturesUS MIL-STD 810G military-grade standard
WarrantyTwo years

 

ThinkPad X1 Yoga Gen 7

thinkpad-x1-yoga-gen-7

PROSCONS
Intel Evo certified1.38kg is heavy
The stylus can be stored inside laptopThe exhaust is located at the display hinge
US MIL-STD 810H military-grade standard (20 tests)No physical shutter or switch for the webcam
No accelerometer, gyroscope, etc, sensors commonly found on tablets.

The ThinkPad X1 Yoga Gen 7 is the worst in this review at 1.38kg, and comes with all the negative points found on other models. The only design feature worth mentioning is that the laptop has a slot that can store the stylus; however, it only benefits those who need to walk and write using the stylus frequently. If you can forego this feature, then Asus Zenbook S13 Flip would be a better choice due to the lighter weight and exhaust location.

You should also be aware that the warranty for the X1 Yoga is only 1 year, while the other models in this review come with 2 years warranty.

SpecificationsThinkPad X1 Yoga Gen 7
Model ReviewedCustom
ProcessorIntel® Core™ i7 12th Generation
Memory16GB LPDDR5-6400Mhz (Soldered)
Storage1 TB SSD M.2 2280 PCIe® TLC Opal
Form Factor360 Degree Flip. Non-detachable screen
Casing MaterialAluminium alloy
Intel Evo certifiedYes
Size314.4×222.3×15.53 mm
Weight1.38kg
GraphicsIntel® Iris® Xᵉ Graphics
Display14″ WUXGS (3840×2400), OLED, AR/AS, Touchsceen
Display FeaturesHDR 400
100% DCI-P3
500 nits
Low blue light
Contrast Ratio 1,000:1
ConnectivityWi-Fi 6E 11AX (2×2) & Bluetooth® 5.0
Fibocom FM350-GL 5G SUB6 Modem (optional mobile broadband module)
I/O Ports2 x USB Type-A 5 Gbps Gen1 5Gbps
2 x Thunderbolt 4 (display & PD)
1 x 3.5mm Combo Audio Jack
1 x MicroSD card reader
1x HDMI™ 2.0b (4K @ 60Hz)
KeyboardBacklit Chiclet Keyboard, 1.5mm travel.
TouchpadYes
StylusLenovo Integrated Pen
Can store on laptop
Camera2MP FHD IR camera with microphone
AudioFour integrated AI-based noise-cancelling mics with Dolby Voice® and four speakers with Dolby Atmos® up the ante on collaboration.
SensorsFingerprint sensor
NFC
Power SupplyUSB-Type C, 65W (20V, 3.25A)
Battery57 Whrs, 4-cell
Battery LifeUp to 14.9 hours @250 nits (claimed)
Special FeaturesUS MIL-STD 810H military-grade standard (20 tests)
WarrantyOne year

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