Last updated: August 10, 2021
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Convertible notebooks are so-called 2-in-1 laptops. They combine the functions of a laptop with those of a tablet. With just a few simple steps, you can convert your convertible notebook into a laptop or tablet. All models are equipped with a touchscreen.

Most convertibles have a fixed keyboard that can be rotated 360°. This allows you to position the screen as you wish. With some convertibles, you can remove the keyboard completely and reattach it as needed.

In our convertible notebook test 2022 we have presented various models, compared them with each other and weighed up their pros and cons. If you are considering buying a convertible notebook but don't know exactly what to look for in the hardware, you can find all the information you need to help you make your decision in our article.




Summary

  • Convertible notebooks combine the most important functions of a laptop with those of a tablet. The hardware is characterised by a fast processor and the touchscreen makes it easier to use.
  • A distinction is made between notebooks with detachable and built-in keyboards. Both variants allow the keyboard to be rotated 360° so that the orientation of the screen can be adjusted as desired.
  • Especially for students and teachers, convertible notebooks provide everything necessary to work efficiently and flexibly. With the help of an independently available screen pen, a convertible notebook is a very helpful work tool for graphic designers or, for example, employees in the media sector who often have to edit videos or pictures.

The Best Convertible Notebook: Our Picks

Convertible notebooks: buying and evaluation criteria

The wide range of convertible notebooks may be overwhelming for you at first. In the following, we would like to present you with some buying criteria that will help you choose the right notebook.

The criteria we have worked out are:

Size

When choosing the size, it depends on the purpose for which you want to use the convertible notebook. A distinction is made between the smaller models, which are usually in the 11 to 13 inch range, and the somewhat larger notebooks. The latter includes everything from 14 inches upwards.

If you carry your notebook in your bag as a constant travel companion, we recommend a smaller model. These are compact, space-saving and easy to store.

If you mainly keep your notebook indoors and rarely take it outside, a larger model is the right choice. A larger screen is great for watching movies or playing a video game every now and then.

Weight

As with choosing the right size, the weight of your convertible notebook depends on the intended use.

Laptops are very popular because of their light weight. Convertible notebooks are often available without a fixed keyboard, which reduces the weight even further.

The lighter the notebook, the better it is to handle while travelling or during everyday commuting by bus or train.

A lightweight notebook is easy to take anywhere. So make sure the notebook is the right weight for your personal needs.

Battery life

The most common problem with old notebooks and laptops is damage to the battery. This results in a low battery life. When buying a convertible notebook, make sure you check the stated battery capacity. Some manufacturers have integrated a quick-charge function into their device.

As mentioned above, the problem only occurs with longer periods of use. Therefore, read as many reviews as possible in advance. The battery life is often criticised or praised there.

A long battery life is particularly useful and necessary if you have to get by for longer periods without a power outlet. The battery life of different models and manufacturers can often vary greatly. Find out exactly what the specifications are and watch independent test videos if necessary. There, the convertible notebooks are tested for battery life, among other things.

Working memory

Random access memory (RAM) is where all the running processes and applications of a computer are stored. If you open many programmes at the same time, a lot of RAM is used. If the RAM is heavily used, this will affect the speed of your computer.

Note that a large amount of memory also means an increase in price.

If a convertible notebook has a lot of memory, your notebook will run faster and smoother. Many more processes can be cached at the same time. You can see the current load via the task manager.

A notebook usually has between 4 and 16 gigabytes of RAM. As the amount of memory increases, so does the price of the notebook. So you should weigh up price and memory when making your choice.

Screen resolution

Great colours, a high resolution and as little reflection as possible are three of the most important criteria when buying a convertible notebook. It is especially important that you can see everything on the screen even in sunlight. To make this possible, the screen of a high-quality notebook is completely non-reflective.

In our opinion, a good notebook should have a screen resolution of at least 1920X1080 pixels. This corresponds to a full HD resolution. If that's not enough and you want to enjoy the full visual potential of your favourite movie, we recommend a convertible notebook with a 4K resolution.

Note, however, that the higher the resolution, the higher the price of the notebook. For normal day-to-day use, Full HD is perfectly adequate.

Graphics card

All convertible notebooks have an internal graphics card as standard, which is intended for everyday use. However, if you want to do performance-intensive tasks with your notebook, such as video or photo editing, you have the option of installing an additional graphics card in the notebook.

We also recommend upgrading your notebook for various video games.

Installing a graphics card can sometimes be difficult, as convertible notebooks are usually not easy to open. Seek advice from a specialist dealer or watch tutorials on the internet.

When choosing a graphics card, think about what you need the notebook for. For surfing the internet, streaming films or working with the usual office applications, the integrated graphics card is most likely sufficient.

Convertible notebooks: frequently asked questions and answers

We answer the most frequently asked questions about convertible notebooks below. At the end of the section, you will know exactly what types of different convertible notebooks there are and which one is right for you.

What is a convertible notebook?

The term "convertible" may need a precise definition. Loosely translated from English, "convertible" means convertible or convertible. This refers to the feature that you can use the notebook either as a laptop or as a tablet in just a few steps. A convertible notebook is therefore a combination of both.

A convertible notebook combines the advantages of a laptop with those of a tablet.

The computing power of a normal laptop is combined with the ease of use and practical mobility of a tablet. All convertible notebooks have a touch screen. They are more powerful than a tablet and more handy than a laptop.

Convertible notebooks are also easy to use with a keyboard and mouse. After you fold the keyboard back, the notebook can be used like a tablet. The umbrella term for hybrid notebooks is 2-in-1 laptops. In the next section, we explain what types of 2-in-1s there are and how they differ.

What types of convertible notebooks are there?

When choosing a suitable convertible notebook, you have to decide between two basic types. First, there are convertible notebooks with a built-in keyboard. This cannot be removed. On the other hand, the keyboard of a detachable notebook can be easily removed. Below we have listed some specific advantages and disadvantages of the two types.

Type Advantages Disadvantages
Convertible notebook Laptop keyboard makes writing easier, 360° keyboard rotation possible Higher weight, limited flexibility
Detachable notebook Flexibility, easy to stow away Usually small and unwieldy keyboard, keyboard often has to be purchased separately

The biggest advantage of both devices is that they combine the functions of a laptop with those of a tablet. The built-in laptop keyboard of a convertible notebook makes it easier for you to type, but increases the weight of the device.

On the other hand, a detachable notebook has a rather small and unwieldy keyboard. However, because you can easily attach and detach it, a detachable notebook is much more flexible and easier to store and transport.

Convertible Notebook

With just a few simple steps, you can either remove the keyboard completely or fold it back. You can then use your convertible notebook as a tablet. (Image source: RF._.Studio / pexels)

If the use of the notebook is mainly limited to your sofa or bed, we recommend a detachable notebook, as they are much lighter in handling and weight than a convertible notebook with a fixed keyboard.

For use at work, school or university, we think the convertible notebook stands out.

Be clear whether a laptop-like keyboard is important to you or whether you prefer to use the notebook for media consumption. It makes sense to buy a convertible notebook especially for studying or office work.

What does a convertible notebook cost?

Depending on the features you want in your convertible notebook, the price can vary greatly. In addition to the brand, the most important factor is the features. If you would rather have an ultra-HD resolution, you will quickly have to pay over 200€ more.

Price segment Available products
Low (300-400€) 4-8GB RAM, Full-HD, rarely SSD, up to 256GB storage, mostly with operating system
Medium (400-1000€) rarely 16GB RAM, Full-HD, 500GB storage, mostly SSD, mostly with operating system
High (from 1000€) mostly 8 or 16GB RAM, rarely UHD, up to 1TB storage, mostly anti-reflective screen, always SSD, often AMD or NVIDIA graphics card

As already mentioned, the price of a convertible notebook depends very much on the features. All notebooks have a touchscreen as standard and an operating system is usually included in the price.

SSD hard drives (Solid State Drive) are a must nowadays. Unlike older hard drives, SSDs are much faster. Your notebook is ready for use in seconds and programmes and files open up to four times faster. SSDs differ in the size of the storage space.

The standard size is 256GB. Note that the operating system alone requires up to 50GB. If you store a lot of pictures and videos on your notebook, we recommend at least 500GB of storage space.

In the high price segment, some convertible notebooks even offer 1TB of storage space. In our opinion, 500GB is more than enough for everyday use. When making your choice, be aware that a slightly better configuration can make a big difference to the price.

What are the alternatives to a convertible notebook?

Convertible notebooks are a hybrid between a laptop and a tablet. Accordingly, the devices are usually somewhat more expensive. In the following, we present some alternatives to convertible notebooks and describe some of their features.

Alternative Description
Laptop The conventional laptop does not have a touchscreen or a rotating keyboard. However, the high weight limits the flexibility.
Tablet A tablet impresses with its low weight and touchscreen. However, the lack of a keyboard makes it difficult to work for long periods.
Laptop with touchscreen A laptop with a touchscreen can be very useful in some situations. In contrast to the convertible notebook, the keyboard cannot be folded back completely.

The standard models impress with their specific advantages. A laptop has more power due to its features and you can work faster with it than with a tablet. A tablet, on the other hand, is lighter and more flexible to use.

If you want a fast device that is also flexible and light in weight, we recommend that you spend a little more money and opt for a convertible notebook.

What are the advantages over a laptop or tablet?

A convertible notebook is both a laptop and a tablet in one. You have a fast processor and a large hard drive paired with a touchscreen and the possibility to fold the keyboard back if necessary.

Convertible Notebook-1

A high-quality convertible notebook has an anti-reflective screen. This allows you to use it outdoors. (Image source: StockSnap / pixabay)

With a detachable notebook, you can even remove the keyboard completely and take your notebook with you on your travels as a tablet. All these aspects make a convertible notebook much more flexible and user-friendly than a normal laptop or tablet.

Many manufacturers offer the option of purchasing a drawing pen for your notebook, with which you can easily create sketches and make full use of the tablet functions of the convertible notebook.

Another advantage over a tablet is that a convertible notebook can be used with a common operating system such as Windows. In addition, you can install many different apps on the notebook that make it easier for you to use.

How is the keyboard removed and reinstalled?

With a detachable notebook, the keyboard can be removed in just a few steps and you can then use the notebook as a tablet. There are different ways to remove and reinstall the keyboard on different models.

With some models, you have to press a button to remove the keyboard without any problems. Then there is a signal on the screen telling you that you can now safely remove the keyboard.

To then reconnect the notebook to the keyboard, simply use a plug-in mechanism to reconnect the device to the keyboard. The procedure may differ depending on the manufacturer. If you have any difficulties, we recommend that you contact the manufacturer or seller.

It is also possible to re-install the keyboard upside down on some convertibles. This allows you to change the orientation of the screen. This makes it easy to use the notebook as a drawing board and makes it easier to use the touchscreen.

How do I clean a convertible notebook?

Over time, a lot of dust can accumulate on the keyboard or screen of your convertible notebook. It is often sufficient to wipe the keyboard with a simple dust cloth. The coarsest dust particles can be removed without much trouble.

When cleaning the screen, it is important that you use a cloth that is gentle on the screen. Cheap dusters can leave unwanted scratches on the screen. If necessary, also use a cleaning fluid.

You may find that crumbs or the like accumulate under the keyboard keys. It is very difficult to get under the keys with a cloth. We recommend using a compressed air spray. You spray this under the keys. This blows the particles away without leaving any residue. When cleaning, it is important that your notebook is shut down and cooled down.

Conclusion

A convertible notebook combines the most important functions of a laptop with those of a tablet. It is a so-called 2-in-1 device. Unlike an ordinary laptop or tablet, you can benefit from a touchscreen, a fast processor and a good screen resolution.

This type of notebook is particularly suitable for students, graphic designers or even teachers. In addition, a convertible notebook is a great alternative for anyone who likes to prepare something on the laptop and then process it on the tablet.

Convertibles are unbeatable, especially for video editing or image processing. The notebooks are real lightweights. As a constant travel companion, they impress with their flexibility and ergonomics.

Image source: Popov / 123rf

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