Weekly Deals
Enjoy great savings on select products.
Plus, get FREE shipping storewide.


Exploring today's technology for tomorrow's possibilities
How to Get the Most Out of Your Laptop-Tablet Hybrid (2-in-1)

How to Get the Most Out of Your Laptop-Tablet Hybrid (2-in-1)

Dwight Pavlovic
Reading time: 8 minutes
Inspired by the expanding world of mobile computing, a laptop-tablet hybrid offers the performance of a traditional laptop with the convenience and functionality of a tablet. Also known as a 2-in-1 convertible, these devices provide greater flexibility for users.
The 2-in-1 hybrid design is especially great for anyone who regularly needs to operate outside of a stationary workspace or simply wants the freedom to work however they choose. This type of laptop is a comfortable, high-functioning substitute for a variety of devices, with constantly improving prices and features.
In this article, we’ll talk more about the laptop-tablet hybrid, how you can get the most out of this unique device, and the best products available from HP®.

What is a 2-in-1 convertible laptop?

A 2-in-1 convertible is a device that users can easily convert from a traditional laptop into a tablet configuration. You simply fold back the keyboard, secure it to the back of the display, and, viola, your laptop has transformed into a tablet.
When your keyboard is deployed, a 2-in-1 hybrid convertible works essentially like any other laptop. It has a display, keyboard, and trackpad in addition to support for accessories such as a mouse or external display.

Benefits of a convertible laptop

1. Use yours in whatever way you prefer

The biggest advantage of a convertible is revealed right in the name, because it grants you full laptop and tablet functionality. Use the laptop mode at your workspace, then switch into tablet mode when you need to get things done on-the-go.
It’s both more convenient and more comfortable when you want to work differently from just about anywhere. Instead of squeezing a normal laptop into situations like a cramped commuter train or plane seat, it’s easier to work with a tablet-style device that still provides all the PC performance you expect.

2. Cheaper and easier to maintain than two different devices

Another major advantage is cost. Instead of purchasing and maintaining two separate devices, you can enjoy the same features as both a tablet and a laptop while only paying for a single device. This means money and time saved, with less stuff to manage for travel and work. You’ll only need one travel pack, one set of peripherals and cords, and so forth.

3. Lighter and slimmer than most laptops

Thanks to their emphasis on portability, laptop-tablet hybrids generally weigh less and have slimmer measurements compared to traditional laptops. Most of these devices weigh 4 lbs or less while measuring not much more than a half-inch thick.
Because they’re so light, they’re easy to carry in your preferred bag or case. But because they’re also super thin, you can easily slip one into a sleeve whenever the need arises. The difference can be minimal for some, but a 2-in-1 will be a welcome relief if you’re accustomed to bulkier rigs.

4. Better performance compared to a standalone tablet

For users who want performance and portability, the 2-in-1 convertible offers an unparalleled advantage when compared to standalone tablets. Some 2-in-1s may sacrifice performance to reduce cost or size, but they still beat out the majority of tablets for specs and hardware.
In the past, devoted gamers would probably have wanted to avoid the format altogether. Fortunately, these days you’ll find options with dedicated graphics cards and high-resolution displays alongside efficient components like quiet-running solid-state drives (SSD). Your needs will no doubt vary, but everyone benefits from a more versatile device with greater portability and functionality than past iterations.

What’s the difference between a convertible and detachable laptop?

Detachable laptops and 2-in-1 convertible laptops are similar in many ways. Both offer a similar form of dual functionality by molding a tablet and a laptop into a single device. However, they achieve this in different ways.

Detachable detaches

Rather than converting from one mode to the other, the keyboard in a detachable laptop is completely removed when you want to enter tablet mode. You separate the display from the keyboard at the hinge, which allows you to use it independently as a tablet. This helps make the detached laptop lighter than a convertible’s tablet mode, but there are disadvantages along with the advantages to this form factor.

Convertible folds

With a 2-in-1 convertible, you’re never at risk of misplacing your keyboard or not having access to it when you need it. Plus, your laptop has more room for built-in components because they aren’t confined to the display portion only. This means you can typically expect superior performance from convertible designs.

Portability and flexibility in both form factors

Both designs have their own advantages for lots of different reasons, but they maintain a shared focus: portability and flexibility. It’s up to you to decide which best suits your needs, but if simplicity is key, a 2-in-1 convertible laptop is often easier to manage and maintain.

How to get the most out of your convertible laptop

We’ve already talked about some of the main benefits of a convertible laptop, so let’s now get into the ways you can really take advantage of your new 2-in-1 device.

1. Take advantage of longer battery life

With a streamlined build and efficient components, most convertible laptops provide a serious power advantage compared to standard laptops and even standalone tablets. These days, you can expect to find many convertible models with great energy efficiency and long-lasting battery life.
HP Spectre x360 13 5 2-in-1 Laptop
Most HP 2-in-1 laptops have battery life estimates above and beyond the typical workday. For example, some configurations of the convertible HP Spectre Folio deliver up to a whopping 16 hours of battery life.

2. Great for children and families

Convertible laptops are a great option for children and families. The built-in touch screen display and more manageable tablet orientation make them great tools for entertainment, education, and much more.
HP Chromebook x360
The touch screen is particularly impactful as younger generations become accustomed to the idea of touch functionality existing on most, if not all, of their devices. This feature alone makes lighter, cloud-computing models like the HP Chromebook x360 a great choice.

3. Ideal for travel

Maybe you’re tired of traveling with a bulky laptop that takes up too much space. Or maybe you don’t want to carry around a separate tablet and laptop. If either applies to you, a convertible is your ideal travel buddy. It’s also easy to pass around in the car or on a long plane trip, and you can enjoy the same level of functionality without crowding compact areas.

4. Use other modes for specific tasks

We may have focused on the laptop and tablet modes, but there is a range of intermediate configurations as well. You can adjust the hinge to find the ideal tent and standing mode setups for your use. These in-between settings are useful if you’re getting hands-on, like trying out a new recipe in the kitchen or working on a project in the garage. Tent mode is also great when you want to keep your PC handy, but out of the way.

5. Get creative

For artists and users focused on creative tasks, a 2-in-1 convertible offers the flexibility you need to work beyond the conventional workspace. Take your hybrid device out into the world for seasonal activities and draw directly onto your device from wherever you set up shop.
Or use it to keep up with your routine when you’re passing through spaces that may not be ideal for a typical laptop. Stuck at the airport? Waiting in a long line? Bust out your convertible in tablet mode and pass the time like a champ.

6. Better multimedia options

As the technology and market for laptop-tablet hybrids grows, convertibles are also becoming the go-to platform for entertainment such as playing music and streaming video. Several options from HP® feature premium, high resolution displays bolstered by superior audio and tuning by B&O PLAY to guarantee impressive playback.

7. Shop for the right peripherals

Most laptop-tablet hybrids sacrifice legacy ports and optical drives, but you can supplement features through peripheral devices when needed. That’s great for those who may prefer the versatility of a 2-in-1 at home, but like to use an external keyboard and mouse at the office.
Fortunately, the introduction of versatile Thunderbolt™ 3 technology also makes peripherals easier to manage. With increased adoption, it’s easier than ever to find a device that can support a variety of inputs without devoting extra space for dedicated ports.
Make sure to check out the specs and compare with your routine when you shop. If easy access to older accessories is a priority, you may need to look into port hubs and similar devices.

Best convertible laptops from HP

HP ENVY x360 Convertible Laptop
HP® has a wide variety of prices and performance levels from their selection of convertible laptop-tablet hybrids and they’re easy to find thanks to the “x360” in the product name. You’ll find dozens of options across multiple lines, including the HP Chromebook and HP ENVY series.
HP Spectre x360 2-in-1 Laptop
Looking for some of the best HP 2-in-1 laptops for business? The HP Spectre line is a great place to start, and it offers a robust baseline with performance components and a durable build. For a premium model with equally strong specs and boosted battery life, consider the HP Spectre Folio and its distinctive all-leather build.
HP ZBook Studio
For the highest level of performance available, the convertible HP ZBook family is the way to go. Stemming from the larger HP Z family of workstations, this convertible laptop has great specs and a lot of room to customize. HP ZBooks can easily rival many desktop PCs for performance thanks to their dedicated graphics cards and high ceiling for RAM.
If you’d like to learn more about the best options from HP, check out our list of the top 2-in-1 laptops on the market.

About the Author

Dwight Pavlovic is a contributing writer for HP® Tech Takes. Dwight is a music and technology writer based out of West Virginia.

Disclosure: Our site may get a share of revenue from the sale of the products featured on this page.