Source: Windows Central
A 2-in-1 laptop is a device that can act as a tablet or standard notebook thanks to a keyboard and touchpad portion that’s entirely removable. There’s also the similar convertible build, which features 360-degree hinges that allow a laptop’s display to rotate around to essentially become a tablet. These devices contribute to our overall collection of the best Windows laptops, and in some cases they’ll make a great choice for your student headed back to college. Let’s explore the reasons why.
A 2-in-1 is portable and compact
For example, Microsoft’s 10.5-inch Surface Go 2, which starts at just 1.2 pounds (544g) and just 0.33 inches (8.3mm) thin, will easily ride around in a backpack or under an arm between lectures and will hardly take up any space on a desk. It might not be the most powerful PC out there and those who deal with specialized design and development work will want something with superior hardware, but if you’re taking notes, writing essays, and browsing the web, it might just be all you need at a very attractive price.
Nothing Else Like It
A knockout combination of size and power
Microsoft’s most affordable Surface is the Go 2, and it delivers a high-quality computing experience that is perfect for lightweight college use.
You’re also going to see far better performance compared to something like the Surface Go 2, with up to a 10th Gen Intel Core i7-1065G7 processor (CPU), 2TB PCIe M.2 solid-state drive (SSD), and 16GB of LPDDR4 RAM. The battery will last through your lectures without needing a charge, there are plenty of ports available for accessories, and it’s all wrapped up in a gorgeous chassis that weighs in at just 2.88 pounds (1.3kg).
For something similar but at a lesser price, there is also HP’s ENVY x360 13 powered by AMD Ryzen CPUs.
Lightweight Convertible Notebook
A lot of convertible PC for the price
The Spectre x360 shows HP can do jaw-dropping convertible hardware, and it offers a perfect mix of portability, performance, and features for your college student.
A 2-in-1 is extremely versatile
In the case of the Surface Pro 7, another one of our favorite overall laptops, you’re essentially getting a powerful Ultrabook that can be broken down into two separate pieces. A Type Cover provides a comfortable keyboard and Precision touchpad for times when productivity is key, yet if you only want to carry around a tablet for a day, just remove the cover and head out. A Surface Pen allows precise input for note-taking and hardly takes up any extra space in your bag.
The Pro 7 is significantly more powerful than something like the Surface Go 2, allowing you to tackle more work at once without any friction. Thanks to the built-in kickstand on the rear chassis, it can easily act as a classic notebook with Type Cover attached. During downtime, the tablet alone is also a stellar way to watch a movie or TV show.
Premium build and powerful hardware
The versatile Surface Pro 7 is a premium 2-in-1 for anyone who likes a knockout display, pen support, and the performance to handle a day’s work.
A 2-in-1 can still be a performer
Source: Daniel Rubino / Windows Central
A 2-in-1 doesn’t necessarily mean a lack of performance hardware.
Alongside the knockout touch display with 3:2 aspect ratio and 3240×2160 resolution compatible with the Surface Pen, it’s packed with up to a 10th Gen Intel Core i7-1065G7 CPU, 32GB of RAM, and up to a NVIDIA GTX 1660 Ti discrete graphics card (GPU) with 6GB of VRAM or NVIDIA Quadro RTX 3000 GPU for specialized work.
With the base portion attached to the tablet, you have access to all hardware, making the Book 3 an excellent choice for those studying a field with specialized work, or for the student who can’t get by without some gaming in the evening. Take the tablet and pen to a lecture for notes to save space in your backpack, and put everything back together in the evening to take advantage of the Book 3’s full potential.
A desktop PC packed with one of our picks for best graphics cards is still going to deliver better performance, but to save space and to get the added benefit of the 2-in-1 form factor, the Book 3 should make a good choice.
Plenty Of Power
A great pick for some extra performance
The Surface Book 3 brings a premium mix of performance and design, including a detachable touch display, dedicated GPU, and comfortable keyboard and touchpad.
Configure a model with up to a 9th Gen Intel Core i9-9880H CPU, 16GB of DDR4 RAM, a 2TB M.2 PCIe SSD, and a NVIDIA GTX 1650 dedicated GPU with 4GB of VRAM. That’s enough performance to dabble in specialized work as well as some gaming after hours. The 15.6-inch touch display comes in FHD or UHD, both with VESA-certified DisplayHDR 400 and Dolby Vision.
It’s all topped off with a wide hinge that doubles as a rotating soundbar. It pumps out excellent audio no matter if you’re using the Yoga C940 as a tablet or notebook, and it’s a great feature for watching TV or movies after hours.
Great Multipurpose Convertible
Impressive display and audio
The combination of convertible design, 4K display, and soundbar convertible hinge make the Yoga C940 a winner.
Some 2-in-1s can stay connected everywhere
Microsoft’s Surface Pro X makes a case for a 2-in-1 thanks to its sleek, streamlined design, beautiful 13-inch display with 2880×1920 resolution, and Microsoft SQ1 CPU and supporting hardware. It is ARM-based so it’s not the perfect laptop for everyone; performance equals out to about an Intel Core i5 CPU and there are some limitations around app compatibility. However, long battery life, great audio and typing, and inking support should make it a great multipurpose option for anyone who will focus on productivity work. With a proper wireless plan, there’s no need for a Wi-Fi connection to keep in touch.
Windows 10 on ARM
Add LTE to your Surface Pro
Those who need a light, thin, LTE-enabled productivity laptop, the Surface Pro X offers a unique set of features not found anywhere else.
Should you buy a 2-in-1 laptop for your college student?
Source: Windows Central
However, in most other cases, a 2-in-1 or convertible laptop makes a great choice for a college student. Active pen support makes for natural and easy note-taking, the tablet is ideal for watching movies and TV when some escape is needed, and it will still work as a standard notebook when maximum productivity is required. If you’re seriously considering a new laptop for your student, be sure to have a look at our roundup of the overall best Windows laptops for many more options.
Cheap PC accessories we love
Take a gander at these awesome PC accessories, all of which will enhance your Windows experience.
Anker 4 port USB 3.0 hub ($10 at Amazon)
Whether on a desktop or laptop PC, you always need more ports to connect things to. This hub gives you an additional four USB 3.0 Type A ports.
Ikea Fixa Cable Management System ($11 at Amazon)
This IKEA cable management kit is your ticket to a clean setup. It’s simple and functional.
NZXT Puck ($20 at Amazon)
This clever little accessory has powerful magnets on the rear to make it stick to any of the metal panels on your PC case or anything else. It’s great for hanging accessories like headsets.
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