(Pocket-lint) - The 2-in-1 laptop market gets more crowded all the time - or should that be the 2-in-1 tablet market? Either way, unless you've got your eye on an exact product, it can tough knowing which to go for when you start looking for a new computer. Are you hoping to back a portable machine that's perfect for writing on? Or perhaps a lightweight one that's ideal for watching movies and TV in bed with?
Tablets and laptops have often felt like they've had a divide between them, one being for practical concerns and work, and the other for more lighthearted recreation and play. The good news is that those days are increasingly looking over.
There are now loads of brilliant devices that marry the best of both worlds, giving you fully rotating or detaching touchscreens so that you can watch movies or play games however you like, while their keyboards also mean that you can get work done, whether that's emailing, writing or whatever else you need to do.
We've rounded up some of the very best options on the market right now, for you to have a look at — you might just find your next computer right here.
Dell XPS 13 2-in-1
Dell's presence on this list should be a hint that pretty much all of the big PC manufacturers are fully on board the 2-in-1 train. The XPS 13 2-in-1 is one of the most impressive machines we've got for you here (with a price to match).
Now with Intel's 10th generation Core processors, it's a complete one-stop-shop for all but the most onerous tasks.
Frankly, the XPS 13 2-in-1 is so powerful that it's likely to be overkill unless you're an on-the-go creative professional — if you're keen on using the tablet function with a stylus for design work, or need it for collaborative work, it's perfect.
Microsoft Surface Pro 7
Microsoft's Surface line has slowly but surely been putting out better and better machines down the years, and the Surface Pro 7 is a superb example of what makes them so great. This is a premium 2-in-1, which would make a great standalone laptop or tablet, the true test of the machine in many ways.
It's got superb build quality, with nice materials used throughout, and an extremely crisp display that Microsoft has labelled PixelSense.
It's packing 2,736 x 1,824 pixels and looks great. The only downside is that you do have to buy the keyboard attachment yourself, but once you do you've got a superb package on your hands. The Surface Pro 7 is an absolute delight to use, which sees it top out this list.
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga
If Microsoft went the tablet-first route for the Surface Pro, Lenovo has taken the opposite approach for the ThinkPad X1 Yoga, and shown that it's just as valid a way forward.
The 2-in-1 side of things comes into play because the laptop's hinges are completely flexible, letting you fold it all the way back until it's one flat shape. That makes it a bit of a thick tablet when folded back, but you won't mind since it's got the processing power to make up for it. Plus, because it's a ThinkPad, the keyboard is really great to use, and you get that all-important TrackPoint pointer in the middle of it, which is iconic for a reason.
It's got a premium price tag, but if you're looking for a reliable machine that's more work than play, the ThinkPad X1 Yoga won't let you down.
Microsoft Surface Book 3
Another of Microsoft's 2-in-1s and another stormer of a machine, the Surface Book 2 is more powerful than the Surface Pro lineup. It's a striking machine with a unique hinge design that will draw the eye, and a fully detachable tablet section if you need it. A beautiful PixelSense screen is luscious and boasts great options, but the design is where this device really shines, for us.
That said, this is a pricey machine, breaking into higher quadruple figures at full price. Still, when you detach the screen unit and find yourself with a large tablet, with a great screen and good specs, you'll wonder why everyone isn't using 2-in-1s.
Asus Chromebook Flip C434TA
The Chromebook Flip from Asus proves that 2-in-1 designs don't have to warrant big price tags — it does some really impressive things on a smaller budget. The main proviso is that you'll have to get used to using Google's OS.
The two keys to Asus' success here are a great screen and a great keyboard — if you nail those two things, you're well on your way to a top 2-in-1. The Chromebook Flip C434TA succeeds on both, fronts, with 360-degree hinge to let you orientate it however you like. Battery life is solid, but the only real issue is that Chrome OS does have some limitations in terms of compatibility, which will limit what you can do with the device somewhat.
Lenovo Yoga C930
Battery life is an essential part of any portable machine, and while all of the devices we've featured on this list have solid or good performance, the Lenovo Yoga C930 takes the crown easily. We've regularly eked fully 14 hours of use from the 2-in-1, nearly two working days without a charge, which you don't see very often nowadays.
The screen is also frankly stunning, and processing power is good enough to get you through most tasks. It's not a cheap option, but if you particularly like the striking design of the C930 it's a great pic. With a fully rotating hinge, it's great in tablet mode too.
Asus Zenbook Flip
There's something immediately eye-catching about the Zenbook Flip 15, and to be honest it's nothing to do with its hinge or touchscreen. It's got Asus' ScreenPad 2.0, a touchpad that actually doubles as a small touchscreen. It's an interesting idea that doesn't really revolutionise much about how you'll use the computer.
It's just as well that the rest of the Flip 15 is so impressive, packing great specs into a reasonable price for what you're getting, with a lush 4K screen that actually seems to be managed well on the battery front. It's also got a full selection of ports, and a great keyboard, making it a real powerhouse on the working front.
Plus, its hinge and great screen mean that it's also a force to be reckoned with for media viewing and relaxation, making it a great option if you've got a decent budget to leverage.