On a budget? These affordable 2-in-1 laptops give you tons of features without the high price tag.
Combine the power of a laptop with the portability of a tablet at an affordable price.
For those of us who don’t want to lug around a big and heavy laptop, tablets are a good option. But what if those tablets don’t run the programs we need the way our laptop can? The hybrid laptop or can fix that. The power of a laptop all wrapped up in the convenience of a lightweight tablet makes technology portable without sacrificing quality.
What’s the difference between a laptop, tablet, and 2-in-1?
A is typically a bit heavier, has a powerful processor, and, as long as it’s not a Chromebook, which is a whole other situation, can run intense programs like Photoshop. Sure, a laptop can complete your day-to-day tasks, but it really shines in the heavy-duty applications department. All laptops include a keyboard, of course, and there are a lot of lightweight options.
are more lightweight than laptops, in both the literal and figurative sense. Unless your job is drawing, a tablet isn’t typically a primary office work device. But they’re uber-portable, convenient, and feature a touchscreen interface that you can use to take hand-written notes or to draw with a stylus. Many come with a detachable keyboard, portfolio cover accessories, and a stylus. Some of these may be sold separately or as a bundle.
A 2-in-1 hybrid combines the best of these two devices. A 2-in-1 can be used like a laptop in a lot of cases, but is lighter, smaller, and compact. They usually also have the power to run heavier programs than most tablets. A 2-in-1 convertible laptop is perfect for people on the go, working remotely, or for those who commute via plane or train. The best hybrid laptops will flip, transform, and bend your device into flexible states, like portrait mode for drawing. Many also offer touchscreen capabilities, and are great for presentations. If you’re wondering why anyone buys a laptop when 2-in-1s exist, though, it’s probably because only laptops (and desktops) tend to have the processing power and speed to perform heavy work tasks (or gaming tasks, for that matter).
How “budget” is budget?
For this roundup, we’ve selected 2-in-1 hybrid laptops that are under $700. You get what you pay for, more or less, and if you want more processing power or quality graphics, then the price of a hybrid laptop will increase. That being said, these laptops are good options for students, people just starting their careers, or those who want an affordable tablet/laptop hybrid.
What should I look for in a 2-in-1?
It all comes down to your needs and preferences. If you’re looking to complete your schoolwork online with basic programs, a standard-sized and powered hybrid is your best bet to throw into your backpack. If you’re an artist who’s looking to run some heavy motion graphic programs on your laptop, then look for a hybrid with a powerful processor and a compatible stylus pen. Some people prefer a detachable keyboard to offset the weight of a hybrid.
Whatever your profession or lifestyle, a hybrid laptop should be a good mix of portability and usability. It should fulfill your computing needs while still being lightweight or compact. To narrow down your search, here are some of the best affordable 2-in-1 devices that can suit a variety of needs.
Lightweight • Long battery life • High-res PixelSense display
Speed will lag under a heavy workload • Stylus and keyboard sold separately
Compact and lightweight, the updated Surface Go 2 is the best value for its price.
Microsoft Surface Go 2A small and light laptop/tablet hybrid that’ll adapt to on-the-go lifestyles with no gimmicks.
PixelSense display, USB Type C, fast-charging Surface Connect, microSDXC, 3.5 mm headphone jack, front- and rear-facing cameras, Intel Pentium Gold 4415Y processor
If you’re looking for a no-frills, getting the job done laptop, look no further. The Surface Go 2 combines the power of a laptop with the convenience of a convertible touchscreen. This hybrid has a sleek design at an astounding 1.2-1.8 lbs. The expanded 10.5-inch display boasts a crisp, vivid resolution ideal for scrolling through documents, as well as binge-watching your favorite shows or editing photos. The high-resolution touchscreen is also customizable to your scale preferences if you want larger icons. This budget tablet is also compact enough for conducting on-the-go business, ideal for someone who commutes through the airport or whose average daily routine is unpredictable.
With 11 hours of battery life, Microsoft’s iconic 2-in-1 detachable laptop and tablet combo packs a punch with Windows 10, two cameras, and a 1.6 GHz Pentium processor. You’ll also get faster everyday performance than previous iterations thanks to the Core m3-8100Y CPU and 8GB of RAM. The Surface Go 2 has the basic ports you need: USB-C input, a standard headphone jack, and a Surface Connect port (for charging and docking).
The Surface Go 2’s clean lines make it the best design for the price, and it is customizable for storage and memory capabilities, accessory add-ons, and LTE options for connectivity on the go. However, its built-in kickstand is more fitting on a tabletop than your thighs. An optional folio cover and attachable keyboard may remedy that issue, but it’ll take some getting used to.
Long battery life • Basic accessories included (keyboard and cover) • Android phone integration
Cramped keyboard • Fewer ports • No headphone jack
The Chromebook Duet provides all-inclusive necessities at an affordable price.
Lenovo Chromebook DuetA compact, bare-necessities laptop-tablet hybrid at an affordable price.
Chrome OS, Bluetooth, integrated graphics, 10.1″ FHD IPS display, USB Type C, front- and rear-facing cameras, MediaTek™ Helio P60T Processor
This sleek, 2-in-1 laptop/tablet hybrid is the epitome of “you get what you paid for.” With a colorful 10.1-inch display, the Chromebook Duet has a surprisingly clear resolution and long-lasting battery life of near 13 hours. Rather than paying extra for accessories, this steal of a deal already comes equipped with a detachable keyboard, albeit a bit cramped.
By far the cheapest option for a combo out there, the Chromebook Duet performs adequately for an inexpensive gadget, and it fulfills the need to get work done and reward yourself after with a video or song thanks to the built-in Dolby speakers. Bluetooth connectivity also allows you to sync up your headphones, considering the tablet itself doesn’t house a headphone jack. Only one USB-C port allows for charging and data transfer, although Lenovo does include a USB-C-to-3.5 mm headphone jack adapter in the box. The Chromebook Duet also houses a front and rear-facing camera.
Starting as low as $201.47, Lenovo’s Chromebook Duet offers customizable storage and memory capabilities, increasing the price. Considering the budget-friendly price for this laptop/tablet hybrid, it is a good option for those home-schooled tots looking to get their work done. Their little hands will undoubtedly get used to the smaller keyboard and satisfy their after-school TV time. Outperforming other Chromebooks at this price point, The Duet provides all-inclusive necessities at an affordable cost.
Sturdy and durable • Rapid performance • Long battery life
Heavier than an average 2-in-1 • Shallow keyboard • Taller screen may skew the average video ratio
High-powered Chromebook performance in a durable yet sleek design.
Acer Chromebook Spin 713The Chromebook Spin 713 gives you high-powered 2-in-1 performance in a durable design.
10th Gen Intel Core i5-10210U processor, 1.6 GHz processor speed, Chrome OS, Wi-Fi 6, Corning Gorilla Glass touchscreen and trackpad, HDMI port, dual USB-C ports, Backlit keyboard
This 2-in-1 convertible hybrid laptop combines hard-hitting processing power, app store compatibility, and durability in perfect execution. The sleek, steel gray exterior with metallic accents makes this gadget stylish, yet the durability comes from its 100% aluminum framework and antimicrobial Gorilla Glass screen and touchpad. Its rigorous, military-certified testing includes impact-resistance drops, extreme temperatures, moisture resistance, and more. The “spin” is true to the Spin 713: it configures every which way on a sturdy 360-degree hinge, making it easy for users to convert among laptop, easel, tent, and tablet modes.
The squarish, 13.5-inch, 3:2 aspect ratio allows for more vertical screen space, ideal for writing or browsing documents. The QHD pixel display makes vibrant colors pop even more on a crisp and clear screen, and the brightness levels outshine standard tablets, making it great for outdoor viewing. To top it off, the antimicrobial touchpad is seamlessly responsive, and the touchscreen display has no lag as you reorient between modes and multi-finger gestures — this means no stylus is needed. The tablet also includes two USB-C ports on either side of the device, a USB-A port, an audio jack, one HDMI port, and a microSD card slot. The Spin 713’s speed is backed up by Wi-Fi 6 (Gig+), which is up to three times faster than the standard.
Starting as low as $607, the Acer Chromebook Spin 713 offers customizable storage and memory capabilities. For all its pros, the Spin 713 does have some drawbacks. The webcam is nothing special, almost grainy. And although the speakers are clear even at loud volumes, the bassline is nonexistent; however, if you’re using decent headphones, this shouldn’t be a problem. Overall, the near 12-hour battery life, reliable longevity, and powerhouse processing make this durable 2-in-1 tablet a perfect budget option (compared to similar hybrid tablets in the thousands range) for those working in perilous on-site conditions, as first responders, or emergency services.
Compatible with most graphic design programs • Powerful Processor • Android phone synchronization
Stylus sold separately • External memory preferred • No detachable keyboard
Powerful processing is the backbone of this tablet for artists and creatives.
Dell Inspiron 14 2-in-1 LaptopAn affordable 2-in-1 for artists with beautiful graphics that can handle powerful programs.
11th Generation Intel® Core™ i5-1135G7 Processor, 4.7 GHz processor speed, Windows 10, Intel® Wi-Fi 6 2×2 (Gig+) and Bluetooth 5.1, HDMI port, dual USB-C ports, LED-Backlit touch display, Microsoft Office bundle subscription options
It was tough scouring the internet for a 2-in-1 under $700 for artists, graphic designers, or creatives, and really, it boils down to how much you want to splurge — including accessories. My pick is the Dell Inspiron 14 2-in-1 Laptop. For the price, it includes a powerful 11th Generation Intel® Core™ i5-1135G7 Processor, which should be able to handle heavy programs for advanced photoshop work, motion design, and video editing, as well as normal daily graphic design tasks. The hybrid also operates on Windows 10, which should be compatible with most graphic design programs.
At this price point, the Inspiron offers a dazzling HD display (Dune) or FHD display (Titan Grey) that is encased in narrow borders resulting in an expansive screen-to-body ratio and a delightful viewing experience. You can also purchase a stylus separately, but it’s only compatible with the FHD display.
The tablet isn’t detachable from the keyboard, but it can be configured into different modes. Ports and slots include an SD card reader, USB-A port, USB-C port, Headphone jack, HDMI, a power jack, and a wedge-shaped lock slot.
The Inspiron also comes with integrated graphics Intel® Iris® Xe Graphics, which makes the display decent for drawings and renderings at this value. For your reference, you want to look for something with a separate, dedicated graphics processing unit, but of course, expect an increase in price.