What Is A 2-in-1 Laptop? – Everything You Need To Know

In simple terms, a two-in-1 laptop combines the functionalities of a laptop and a tablet into one device. As a result, you have a device that you can use both as a laptop and as a tablet.

However, things are not so simple when it comes to the details. Many people are confused about the true meaning of a 2-in-1 laptop and what can be classified in this category.

This article will explore everything you need to know about these laptops. There are many names for a two-in-one laptop and we will be discussing what differentiates one from the other.

If you are planning on purchasing a 2-in-1 laptop, then you must get familiar with their types, features, advantages, and disadvantages.

Also Read: Best 2-in-1 Laptops in 2024

Types of 2-in-1 Laptops – Convertible and Detachable

Generally, there are two main types of 2-in-1 laptops. They are known as convertible laptops and detachable laptops.

Both of them are generally known as two-in-one as both can be used as tablets and laptops simultaneously.

However, they do come with their distinctions. Let’s discuss them in a bit more detail.

Convertible Laptops

These laptops come with an attached keyboard and are 360-degree convertible. You can flip the display to the back side and use these laptops as tablets.

However, you cannot detach the keyboard in these laptops. The keyboard isn’t just the keyboard but the whole system includes motherboard, CPU, GPU, and all the performance components including RAM and storage.

There are several further classifications and the most common type is hinge convertible laptops, which are usually called 360-degree convertible.

Although less common, other types of convertible laptops also exist which are known as swivel convertible and slide convertible laptops.

These laptops come with their own set of pros and cons and are generally considered better for professional use.


  • All-in-One Design
  • Stable and Sturdy Construction
  • More Durable
  • Generally Better Suited for Professionals
  • Multiple Usage Modes
  • Permanent Keyboard Offers Better Typing
  • Available With High-End Specs


  • Slightly Heavier and Bulkier
  • Less Preferred By Users Who Want Standalone Tablet

Also Read: How To Rotate A Laptop Screen?

Detachable Laptops

These laptops are also classified under the two-in-one category but they come with a major difference. You can detach the keyboard from the display and use the display directly as a tablet device.

This feature makes them more portable and also better suited for the term 2-in-1. It’s like using a keyboard with a tablet.

Modern tablets also support this functionality, as they can be attached to a keyboard mat and used as a laptop.

Even in detachable laptops, there are two further classifications. First are the detachable laptops that come with a keyboard mat. In these laptops, the keyboard mat usually acts as a protective cover for the tablet when not in use.

All the necessary components of a system are installed directly in the laptop including storage, battery, and ports. Hence, you won’t have to rely on the detachable keyboard for anything other than typing.

However, there is also another kind of detachable laptop which is known as detachable-convertible laptops.

In these laptops, the keyboard component contains additional storage, ports, a docking station, eGPU, and other features that can be attached to the tablet to enhance its functionality.


  • Better Portability & Flexibility
  • Tablet Can Be Used Independently
  • Versatile Functionality
  • Some Models Offer Additional Features
  • Easier Cleaning and Maintenance


  • Limited Upgradability Options
  • Potential for Loss or Damage

Also Read: How To Connect Two Monitors To A Laptop?

Touchscreen Laptops VS 2-in-1 Laptops

One of the common misconceptions about 2-in-1 laptops is that touchscreen laptops are often considered to be in this category. However, just because a laptop comes with touchscreen functionality doesn’t mean it can be classified in this category.

You have to understand the meaning of 2-in-1 laptops. A laptop that provides the functionality of both tablet and laptop.

Unless a touchscreen laptop comes with a 360-degree convertible screen, it cannot be classified as a 2-in-1 laptop.

So, not all touchscreen laptops can be considered in this category, but all 2-in-1 laptops do come with a touchscreen.

Tablets VS 2-in-1 Laptops

As I have mentioned above, modern tablets can be attached to a detachable keyboard. However, they are not considered two-in-one laptops.

A laptop usually provides you the ability to install Windows or Linux OS. It has higher specs and features as compared to general tablets.

So, just because a tablet can be attached to a keyboard, you cannot call it a convertible, detachable, or a two-in-one laptop.

Also Read: Best Laptops Under $300

Frequently Asked Questions

What are some of the disadvantages of 2-in-1 laptops?

While convertible and detachable laptops are certainly beneficial to some, they come with their own set of disadvantages. They are considered bulkier than normal tablets and also the screen is smaller in size compared to conventional laptops.

What is the difference between a touchscreen laptop and a 2-in-1 laptop?

A laptop that comes with touchscreen functionality but is not convertible or detachable is considered simply a touchscreen laptop and not a 2-in-1 laptop. However, the latter provides you with the functionality of both tablet and laptop in one device.

Are 2-in-1 laptops better than conventional laptops?

In many ways, yes but not for everyone. As I have mentioned above, these laptops do come with their own set of disadvantages. Hence, they cannot be considered an ideal choice for everyone.

Wrapping Up!

Summing it all up, a laptop that provides the functionality of both a tablet and a laptop in one device is called a 2-in-1 laptop.

The classification is broad and diverse as there are many types of these laptops and each comes with its own set of pros and cons.

The above guide discusses some of the most prominent types of 2-in-1 laptops along with their set of advantages and disadvantages.

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