Top 10 Reasons To Choose A 2 In 1 Laptop/Tablet

2 in 1 laptops that flip into tablet mode aren't just a novelty — they offer a flexibility that standalone devices can't match. Here are 10 useful things you can do with a 2 in 1.

What Is A 2 In 1, Anyway?

The easiest way to understand what a 2 in 1 is, is to think of a laptop — a full-power laptop, with a keyboard and Microsoft Windows and all the versatility you should expect — and then add the ability for it to transform into a touchscreen tablet. 2 in 1s let you move between laptop or tablet whenever you need, so you don’t have to stay tied to a desk when you want to travel, but you can still get as much work, email or Web browsing done as you want to.

Various 2 in 1s transform between laptop and tablet mode in different ways. In general, though, you can split 2 in 1s into a few key categories. You can find those that function like a laptop normally, but have a 360-degree hinge that lets the screen flip around to become a tablet. You can find laptops with a detachable keyboard (turning the screen into a tablet), some of which have an extra internal battery to boost power. You can also find sliders: 2 in 1s that have a keyboard hidden away inside their chassis. And, of course, there are designs that take an entirely unique approach to converting.

For a full overview of 2 in 1 models currently available in Australia, check out Gizmodo's comprehensive roundup.

10 Reasons To Choose A 2 in 1

1. Transform from type to touch

When you have to bust out a report in a hurry or do detailed spreadsheet work, there's nothing to beat a conventional physical keyboard. But when you want to laze on the couch and surf Facebook, a tablet's easier to use. With a 2 in 1, changing from one mode to the other doesn't require any more than detaching the keyboard, or twisting it around to the back.


2. Travel with fewer chargers and less junk

When travelling for business, many people take a laptop and a tablet. That's two devices to lug around, plus all the associated chargers. Switch to a 2 in 1 and you've halved the clutter and improved the odds you'll get away with nothing but hand luggage. Bonus: if your machine uses a standard micro-USB port (found, for instance, on the Acer Aspire Switch 10), you may even be able to use the same charger that you need for your phone.


3. Choose the computing platform that's right for you

Convertible devices are available in both Windows 8.1 and Android flavours — choose the approach that works best for you. If you can't decide, some models (such as the Asus Transformer Book Trio) allow you to switch between Windows and Android on the same device.


4. Lose the keyboard for space efficiency

Stuck in a crowded train carriage, or minimal elbow room on the plane? Just lose the keyboard and keep on trucking. That's simply not possible with a standard laptop.


5. Use a stylus for easy note-taking

If you don't want the distraction of a keyboard while taking notes in a meeting, switch to tablet mode for your note-taking. For even more efficient (but silent) note-taking, add a stylus (or choose a model which has one built in, like the Surface Pro 3).


6. Score a cheap copy of Microsoft Office

Unlike the majority of tablet devices, many 2 in 1s come with a bundled Microsoft Office licence, so you can maximise your productivity without blowing out your budget. (Case in point: the Asus T100.)


7. Be the ultimate e-reader with a keyboard

When you're simply reading an ebook, a touch-screen is all you need — but when you want to search down interesting titles or make annotations, typing makes the process easier. Even if you're always in tablet made, the ClearType technology built into Windows will give you a better resolution than any conventional e-reader.


8. Maximise battery performance in a way that suits you

Battery life is a constant challenge when you're working on the go. 2 in 1s generally offer good battery life, as well as sensible options for improving it. You can tweak your settings and apps in Windows, or opt for a model where the keyboard offers extra battery capacity.


9. Work in a variety of angles and formats

The kickstand on many 2 in 1s is flexible, so you can vary the perfect working angle depending on whether you're at your desk, on your couch, or crammed onto a plane. Some models offer even more options: the Lenovo Yoga Pro 3 can be used in "tent" mode, which is great for presenting (or resting on your stomach in bed).


10. Enjoy every style of gaming on offer

Some games (Star Citizen) demand a keyboard. Some (Crossy Road) only offer up their genius on a touch screen. With a 2 in 1, neither is out of bounds. Set mode; enjoy!


Have your own reason to favour a 2 in 1? Share it in the comments.

Laptop picture from Shutterstock


Comments

    I've been using them for over 12 years - hardly a novelty. Sadly Australian resellers have been ultra slow to make them available here.

      Sadly Australian resellers have been ultra slow to make them available here.

      Well that's simply because there wasn't much of a market for them due to their high costs and not-so-great build qualities compared to regular laptops. Not to mention they were never marketed as consumer products either until recently.

        Not in Australia maybe but my first (bought in US) and second (bought in UK) were definitely great units, which are still in good nick years later. Costs were about the same as high end laptop, and for something that had pen interface and tablet mode, that was pretty awesome for doing all sorts of consumer things like editing images and music with desktop power, and blogging, mapping stuff on the road.

        The Australian resellers I saw had staff who had no clue about the units, and often didn't even label them as tablet/pen devices.

      You had a tablet in 2002? What was the battery life?

        About 4 hours - pretty good for a device with a 12.1" screen running WinXP Pro.

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-xxDJqBu3Ow

    #6 - just use OpenOffice and Google docs instead.

      Not always an option if it's for business - company policies and all that.

    I use my tablet and laptop for very different things — often at the same time. Makes the 2-in-1 idea significantly less attractive.

    Totally unconvinced. Tablet+keyboard = laptop. The only extra ability this has is being able to transform into a tablet, but I own separate tablet and laptop already anyway.

    Do people seriously travel with laptop and tablet and phone? Seems ridiculous. I travel with my laptop and phone if I'm working. Phones are pushing 6 inches these days anyway, so the need for tablets is less than it used to be...

      Last time I travelled I took a travel laptop (11" HP) and a phone. The laptop has a touch screen and I had no desire to have a tablet with me.

      When I next travel (thanks to jetstar's ridiculous new carry on limits) I'll be taking a HDMI dongle (turns any TV with a HDMI port into a PC) and my phone. Probably won't even bother with the laptop and a HDMI dongle + keyboard weighs about 10% of what my travel laptop would.

      I have a Android dongle (which I prefer, considering 90% of what I want it for is streaming video) but you can now get the Meego T01 which dual boots Windows 8.1 and Android 4.4.

      Yes I could just mirror the phone display to a TV through chromecast or other miracast dongle, but if your overseas you can't use a VPN (back to Australia) and chromecast at the same time.

      I experimented with taking just an Android tablet and phone on my last trip, but the paucity of decent wifi meant that I couldn't do very much processing on my tablet as I struggled to get files off and on it at useful speed. I'll go back to travelling with my Lenovo tablet in future so I can do everything independent of wireless connections.

    I take it that this "story" is a paid placement by Intel. If Lifehacker wants to keep any shred of integrity at all it needs to be totally upfront with its' readers about what is editorial and what is advertorial.

    Using Microsoft Office on a 16:9 screen that's 10" or smaller sucks.

    If the tablet you think of is an iPad then think: IO.
    That's Input/Output, as in (multiple) USB ports, Ethernet port, maybe a micro SD card reader.

    Note to others: 90% of technical support & repair is one equipment that is 10+ years old, and no longer officially supported. When I travel to remote sites, repairing equipment, much of the tech I work on pre-dates Windows 95. So my laptop MUST be able to act as a dumb terminal (typically VT100). That means - Serial Port. Lately, I've had to settle for a USB version.

      Like win95 rs232 is becoming a thing of the past.

        I'll tell the mining sites, running caterpillar diesel generators (CAT equipment management), that they need to rip out the control wiring just "to keep up with the times". Replace the engine sensor boards, and all the wiring leading to the power station control panels. Replace their air conditioning control system, too.
        Thousands of dolars, in man-hours work and productivity downtime. To replace something that, in their eyes, is working fine
        Oh yes, I can see that happening.

        Of course , if it DID happen, I'd still need a laptop - with an Ethernet port. The last thing you need is an idiot with a grudge, hacking the WiFi control system that powers your operation.

        Last edited 01/01/15 11:28 am

          Over react much?

            I see you seem to have a preference for sweeping generalisations.
            Now that the attacks have become personal, it's time to disengage.

            Never feed a troll.

    The Surface Pro 3 was the best purchase I made this year. I use it everywhere. The battery life is great. It's got pretty solid power for the size and weight. Build quality is great. Support is great. It's just a fantastic device.

    If I had to find a problem with it, I'd say it gets hot. Of course, what I mean is it gets hot when I'm playing Fallout New Vegas or Civ5, which is understandable.

    i didn't read it but they forgot to add extra productivity of all the work to pay for one, HaHA Efn Ha

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