Laptop designs haven’t changed much from their start; however, with 2-in-1 laptop/tablet hybrid systems, your rectangle, while still the same, can now do a little bit more. There are two types of 2-in-1s: the detachable, which has a removable keyboard, and the convertible that has a screen, which folds up to 360 degress (on select models). Depending on your needs, one might be a better fit, but both are great in the workplace, especially if you’re constantly on the go and sharing ideas with others. If you’re not using one yet, read on for a few reasons why a 2-in-1 might be right for you.
Whether you’re a frequent traveler hopping from one airport to the next, or even coffee shop to coffee shop, lugging things around gets tedious. You’ve got piles of documents, a laptop with its charging brick and accessories, a tablet, a few sample units and, of course, a cup of coffee in the other hand. To help reduce the bulk, why not trade your devices in for a detachable 2-in-1? Unlike its convertible sibling, the detachable 2-in-1 system tends to be much thinner, lighter, and overall more portable. Both are essentially laptops at heart, but the detachable likes to masquerade around as a tablet, hence its design.
The obvious benefit of 2-in-1s is its flexibility. Need a tablet for the day? Then leave the keyboard at home (or fold it behind the screen). The system’s display supports touch inputs and provides you with a virtual keyboard anyway, so you’re set. And when it’s time to work, simply clip the keyboard on or fold it back into laptop mode to type as you usually would. Moreover, with a 360-degree hinge, the convertible has multiple viewing modes that you can adjust to fit your current application. Some systems may come with a stylus and have a built-in holder for them, which is great for taking notes and drawing. One of the advantages a convertible has over a detachable is that the keyboard is included and impossible to lose. Many detachable models don’t come with a keyboard, so you’ll have to factor that into its cost.
Collaboration and Presentation
Regardless of which 2-in-1 laptop we’re talking about (detachable or convertible), both are great for sharing your ideas. With a detachable 2-in-1, it’s super easy to remove the display and pass it around for everyone to share. And on the flip side, certain convertibles can fold up to 360-degrees to double as a tablet, albeit a thick one. As for ones that only have a 180-degree hinge, their display folds flat so people around you can take look. It’s important to note that if you’re going with this choice, you’ll want to consider picking a system with an IPS (In-Plane Switching) display for better viewing angles.
If you’re not comfortable passing around your laptop or need a larger display for a bigger audience, you can connect an external display using your system’s video-out ports. Usually detachable 2-in-1s have limited connectivity options, mainly to save space, but you shouldn’t underestimate the power of USB Type-C and Thunderbolt™ 3 connectivity, which supports up to 40 Gb/s and can be daisy-chained. For convertible 2-in-1s, you basically have a laptop, so you should be set with whatever ports are on there: HDMI, mini DisplayPort, etc.
Performance and Power
Generally due to the size constraints of detachable 2-in-1s, they tend to utilize lighter hardware designed for more portable devices; however, power users should be happy to know that’s not always the case. For example, the Microsoft Surface Book 2 sports an Intel® Core™ i7 processor and an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 graphics card, which is plenty capable. As for convertibles, they’re not as space-limited, so you should be able to find models that fit your performance requirements without too much trouble. Another key benefit that 2-in-1s have over a tablet is that they can run full versions of operating systems and software, thanks to their increased performance and processing power.
All in all, 2-in-1s are the jack of all trades, adapting to fit the task at hand. They might not meet a specific requirement or excel in a certain task; however, they are still plenty capable. For detachable 2-in-1s like the Microsoft Surface, click here. If you want a convertible 2-in-1 such as the Lenovo Flex 5, click here.
What do you think about 2-in-1s? Do you have one? If so, join the conversation and let us know how you’re using them in the Comments section, below.