The advances in technology are increasingly surprising, and this has been demonstrated again with hybrid devices. Nowadays, we have the possibility of buying a 2-in-1 laptop, that is, a laptop that is also a tablet. But… is it worth it?
A 2-in-1 laptop is a very practical, versatile, and comfortable device that offers satisfactory performance, excellent connectivity and can be taken anywhere. In addition, it is sometimes cheaper than buying two devices separately, although there are some aspects that have to be analyzed.
In this article, we will cover all the details related to hybrid laptops so you can identify if it will be the right purchase for you.
What is a 2-in-1 laptop?
A 2-in-1 laptop is a device that can be used as both a laptop and a tablet. Therefore, it has the shape of an ordinary laptop, but it is also possible to close it in reverse, that is, with the screen exposed to the outside. Some models also look more like a tablet with detachable keyboards, while having the same power as a laptop computer.
In this way, it gives you the opportunity to use the interface of the operating system through touch technology, just like with conventional tablets. At the time of its launch, they were not widely accepted, but over the years they have been gaining the approval of users, especially when seeing all the improvements that have been made to these devices.
With a 2-in-1 laptop, you can do exactly the same as with a normal computer, with the difference that it is also touch-enabled and does not necessarily require a keyboard and a mouse.
10 Advantages of a 2-in-1 laptop
If we think about it, the benefits of a laptop or a tablet depend on the quality of its components. Therefore, the first thing you should do is to choose a computer that meets your expectations, because otherwise, it will not be of use to you.
Once you choose a laptop/tablet that meets your needs, you can enjoy the following benefits:
1. Versatility and hybridity
As its name indicates, you can have two devices in one, which comes in handy for all kinds of activities. If you need to write documents, edit videos and graphical media, prepare presentations, or play mid-range games, you can use a 2-in-1 laptop like a conventional laptop.
On the other hand, if you want to surf the Internet more easily, watch movies, use social networks, make phone calls and text messages, or read books, it is much more practical to use its touch function. In general, it is a device that adapts to practically any kind of task.
Also, isn’t it also interesting that when in laptop mode, you can also use this same device in a desktop-like setup? If the 2-in-1 laptop has a provision for external displays or monitors, then you can grab your external monitor, keyboard, and mouse, put them at the top of a table, and use this device as a desktop computer.
Or, even without an external monitor, you can just tilt your laptop in a tent-like position, use an external keyboard and mouse, and have the ambiance of working with a desktop computer. Brilliant! That makes some 2-in-1 laptops physically 3-in-1.
2. Excellent connectivity
One of the most common shortcomings of tablets is that their connectivity is limited to Wi-Fi, at least most of the time. This is not the case with hybrid laptops because it has the same connections as a conventional laptop, that is, USB ports, HDMI, LAN, among others.
Additionally, 4G/5G telephone band networks have been incorporated, which allow you to surf the internet without having a Wi-Fi connection and even make calls.
3. Windows applications
Another of the most important features of these tablets is that they work with the Windows operating system. Therefore, you can install almost any application that is compatible with this system, which is not the case with tablets that only have Android.
Such software, programs, and apps are the Microsoft Office suite, Edge, and many more in desktop mode, which are very useful to most users. You are not limited to the apps from a specific online store because you can install any software and application from any website through a web browser as long as they are compatible with the specs of the device.
4. Large screen
These devices have screen sizes ranging from 14 to 17 inches, which are very practical sizes for a laptop, but much more for a tablet. Just imagine using a touch device with these dimensions, greatly facilitating interaction with the activities you do.
5. A lot of comfort
In keeping with the versatility we mentioned earlier, hybrid laptops are extremely comfortable given that they can adapt to different circumstances. For this reason, they are ideal for students, workers, and even for basic domestic use.
6. Great hardware power
Many of the conventional tablets do not have a very powerful hardware configuration. However, there are hybrid models available with high processing power, lots of RAM, and even 4K resolution, which has not yet been seen on a conventional tablet.
We have experienced using a flip-screen Windows hybrid laptop with 16GB of RAM and a good GPU with a full touch-screen option. And it was a fantastic experience!
7. Slimmer and lightweight
Many 2-in-1 laptop models are slim and light so that users may feel it is a tablet when used in tablet mode, and slim lightweight laptops are the trend in these past few years. This makes hybrid laptops attractive for mobility, rather than carrying a conventional laptop and a conventional tablet together.
8. Long battery life
Many hybrid laptop-tablet models have longer battery life compared to conventional laptops. Some even have a battery life as long as conventional tablets. Long battery life is very attractive for laptop users plus it caters to the usually long battery life of conventional tablets.
9. Detachable and flip-screen options
Another good thing with 2-in-1 laptops is their configuration options. You can find at least the most common two from many models in the market. There are those with detachable screens so that you can really feel these hybrid laptops being used as tablets.
There are also those with 360-degree flip screen configuration so that you can use the device at an angled position while in tablet mode, or just simply a monitor-like appearance while using an external keyboard and mouse. The flip-screen option is also good for movie watchers as you can tilt your screen at any angle and without the obscurity of the keyboard in your view.
10. Better technology for stylus provisions
Most mid-range and exclusive conventional tablets, despite being known as touchscreen devices, lack the technology for stylus provisions. Some conventional tablets are well optimized for stylus technology, however, they are insanely expensive, especially those with touch-pressure capability like the iPad pro.
Some models of hybrid laptops have good stylus provisions, especially for animators who need pressure-capable touchscreen function. Such hybrid laptops can be more practical compared to buying a separate conventional tablet and a laptop. Added to this is that you can further enhance your hand-crafted animations and drawings using a desktop version of Adobe Photoshop.
8 Disadvantages of a 2-in-1 Laptop
As with any tech product, hybrid laptops are not perfect. They have some disadvantages that can make you consider if the purchase is convenient or if you have to think of another practical option.
Of course, these inconveniences are relative because they depend a lot on the model, the brand, and the benefits for each specific user.
1. A little more robust
While it is true that these devices are very versatile and can be taken just about anywhere, many models are thicker and heavier, especially when compared to a regular laptop or tablet. The performance robustness of some models may require a bigger compartment in order to facilitate the different hardware needed for both high-performing laptop and tablet hardware.
This can sometimes make the tablet mode of hybrid laptops inefficient to some users due to the lack of tablet ambiance and discomfort. Although all hybrid laptops are touchscreen capable, it does not necessarily mean that the device is tablet friendly in terms of ambiance and physical appropriation.
2. Higher price
It is also true that it is cheaper to buy a 2-in-1 laptop than both devices separately. However, if you only need one of the two, that is, a tablet or a laptop, it is more expensive to invest in a hybrid laptop, although it is a criterion that depends on the hardware features of the device.
3. Less ventilation
Everything must be made very compact in order to give 2-in-1 laptops the versatility, and to some extent, the sleekness of the aesthetic design. As a consequence, there is a tendency to sacrifice the size of the fans that cool the components of the computer. This can have overheating issues that in long term, could affect and deteriorate the performance.
4. Fragile structure
This is probably the main problem. 2-in-1 laptops can be more delicate devices than any of the individual models. Also, if the mechanism that separates the screen breaks, the laptop may become unusable.
Some models may also have weaker durability for different hand-touch pressures. This can make the touch-capable screen deteriorate faster until it becomes unfunctional. Worse, it can crack the screen caused by hard-touch users as some hybrid laptop models are not designed to be consistently touch-screened or have less touchscreen lifespan.
Also, for unintentional falls of screen-detachable models, the keyboard or the mechanism that separates/joins the keyboard & screen might break easily. For 360° tiltable models, it could easily break the keyboard and screen apart which could make the entire unit unrepairable and unusable.
5. Complicated hardware maintenance
Maintaining both the external and internal hardware of a 2-in-1 laptop is more complicated than doing the same for a conventional laptop and tablet. Also, when asking for technical support, it is rather more complicated to explain the hardware issues of 2-in-1 laptops. This also makes DIY repairs almost impossible. The internal components of 2-in-1 laptops available commercially are also scarce.
6. Unoptimized desktop apps for touchscreen
Many users bought 2-in-1 laptops because they were curious what it would feel like to use the traditional desktop programs using the touchscreen instead of a mouse or the trackpad. They thought it could be more efficient but were shocked to realize that there are various desktop programs not suitable for touchscreen. Later on, they realized that buying a touch-enabled laptop is kind of useless for the programs they usually need and use.
7. Small built-in keyboard
Many 2-in-1 laptop models have either small or thin keyboards, which are not friendly to fast-typing users. This is a common issue, especially for screen-detachable versions. Even if you are not a fast-typing user, using such keyboards for lengthy word processing is inconvenient and uncomfortable.
8. Pricey technical support and repair
Since 2-in-1 laptops are new technology, there are fewer electronic shops willing to technically support such devices. This makes users limited to manufacturer-specific technical support, repair, and maintenance, which could be very costly. Added to that is the more complicated design of 2-in-1 laptops, which require more professional handling that costs more.
Is it a good idea to buy a 2-in-1 laptop?
2-in-1 laptops have come to revolutionize one of the market sectors and have become very practical devices for many users. You have to evaluate what your needs are, the type of software that you need to run and establish the budget to define if it is a good alternative.
If your budget allows it, a 2-in-1 laptop can offer you great versatility, excellent connectivity, and good hardware power. This is a great alternative compared to buying a separate laptop and tablet which would cost more. However, keep in mind that they tend to be more fragile devices, complicated to maintain, and more expensive compared to buying either a conventional tablet or a laptop.