Best Convertible Notebooks: Buying Guide

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Joel Fulleda
@joelfulleda
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What are convertible notebooks

Before explaining in detail what the best convertible notebooks, I think you may be interested in learning more about this type of laptop.

Well, the main peculiar feature of these devices is the presence of a touch-screen display, or sensitive to touch. Put simply, it is possible to perform the classic activities by means of gods tap, just like in a municipality smartphone / tablet. Despite this, the design remains faithful to the world of notebook and therefore convertibles are in effect gods portable.



An important aspect, relating to this type of notebook, is that of dimensions, which are often contained to make the trasporto of the handset. Put simply, we can define convertibles as a kind of middle way between a common notebook and a tablet.

However, it is not over here: it is in fact of fundamental importance distinction between convertible and detachable (convertible). A notebook convertible it "simply" has one touch-screen screen what can be rotated 360 degrees. In this way, the keyboard is “hidden” on the back and the user can use the laptop as if it were a tablet.

Un detachableinstead, allows physically detach the screen part from the notebook and use it on its own, like a real tablet. The detachables are therefore closer to the world of mobile devices than to that of laptops, since the connection between screen e keyboard It takes place through Bluetooth. In some cases, this also involves the two components they cannot be far apart between them, since thehardware it could be under the keyboard.



In certain contexts, such as in major online stores, both convertibles and detachables are indicated with the term "2-in-1", as technically they are both capable of doing both from notebook that tablet. However, as you have surely guessed by now, it is good pay attention to this important difference.

Best convertible notebooks: screen size

When choosing a convertible notebook, the screen size are of fundamental importance. In fact, a larger screen can be useful for those who have to carry out precision work, while a smaller display can be convenient during transport.

Usually the dimensions of the panels touch screen convertible notebooks vary from 10 to 15 inches (in rare cases it can even go up to 17 inches) . Here it is good to point out that clearly there could be exceptions and that the resolution of the screen is not always related to its width. In fact, a certain diagonal can correspond to quite different resolutions, which in most cases range from HD (1366 × 768 or 1280 × 720 pixels) to the Ultra HD 4K (3840 × 2160 pixels), passing through the most classic Full HD (1920 × 1080 pixels). My advice is to stick with the latter, as it is the most balanced and is good for most people.

  • 10 to 12 inches: Most popular convertibles have diagonals of this type. The reason is soon to be said: portability is excellent and often many users don't need top-of-the-line hardware, preferring the comfort to "brute power".
  • 13 to 14 inches: if you are looking for a trade-off between performance and portability, you should take a look at devices with screens of this size. In fact, often these convertibles have a slightly larger body than the "classic" ones and this allows manufacturers to insert more performing hardware components.
  • 15 inches: convertibles with this diagonal come close to traditional notebooks and are suitable for those who need a touch-screen large enough to be able to work, and maybe even play, as it should. On the other hand, many people have become accustomed to laptops of this size and therefore portability no longer becomes a problem.

Hardware components



As with any self-respecting technological purchase, the internal components it is a parameter of fundamental importance to understand the goodness of a convertible. In fact, the technical provides indications as to what the speed of running apps, not to mention the useful information relating to ports available, in the eventual presence of memory card readers, webcam and whatnot and toautonomy. Below I show you which are the main components on which you should base your choice.

  • CPU (processor): we could define it as the computer brain. It performs all the calculations and processes the data through computation units called cores. Typically today's notebooks have a multi-core processor, for example Quad-Core (hence an SoC that has 4 calculation unit). The most common CPUs, besides the Quad-Core ones, are Octa-Core and Six-Core. The computing units operate a frequencies, expressed in GHz, which are usually the same. However, there are some exceptions where this is not the case. For example, an Octa-Core processor might have compute units operating at different frequencies. These frequencies represent the brute power of each individual processor unit, while a higher core count usually implies a greater ability to work with multiple tasks at the same time. Typically, processors are manufactured by Intel o AMD and are divided into various families: here are some examples.

  • Intel Core i3 / i5 and AMD Series A: the most popular CPUs regarding i mid-range convertibles. They are considered a very good compromise, as they are able to deliver good performance compared to a energy consumption not too high. Intel Core i3 processors are cheaper than Core i5s, but the latter offer better performance.



  • Intel Core i7 and AMD Ryzen: if you really want to aim for the top, go to high end of the market, the processors of these series offer everything you could want in terms of brute power. There is obviously no general rule for choosing between one processor and another, but Intel SoCs are usually recommended for speed and power consumption, while AMD's processors are cheaper for the same performance.

  • Intel Celeron / Pentium and AMD E Series: If you are on a relatively small budget, you will probably come across convertibles that have a processor belonging to these families. These are CPUs they offer lower than average performance, but which can still satisfy those who simply have to use the notebook to surf the Web and carry out not too expensive actions in terms of resources.

  • Intel Atom or AMD Micro: These processors are designed with the energy saving. In fact, theautonomy It's important for a convertible, and betting on laptops that have these CPUs can make sense if you don't often have a power outlet available during the day.

  • Intel Core m: if you need a compromise between performance and autonomy, these processors are for you. In fact, these are CPUs that consume even less than the Intel Atom and which, in terms of performance, are found halfway between the latter and the Core family processors.

  • But by the full GPU acceleration tech: the visual processor, that is the component that is used to make all the graphic processing. Usually, in convertibles the GPUs are integrate in the same package as the processor, but if you are a gamer you should aim for one instead dedicated video card (with its own RAM memory). In fact, the latter solution usually offers more power, while an integrated GPU consumes less and is on average cheaper.

  • RAM: the volatile memory where the data of the applications that the computer uses at a certain moment are temporarily “stored”. Essentially, the more RAM you have, the more simultaneous applications they are able to run simultaneously without collapsing performance. Clearly, having a lot of memory of this type is not enough to get a performing convertible, since you must still have a CPU can handle the load of work. If you want some advice, it would usually be good not to go below 4 GB of RAM, so as not to have unpleasant surprises during use.

  • storage: computer storage devices, non-volatile memories, those where data remains saved even after the laptop is turned off. They can be of different types.

  • SSD: if you want to bet on speed, you absolutely must buy a convertible with a 'solid state drive. Do you think that many people use this component to give new "life blood" to their old PCs, given that the improvements in loading the operating system and programs they can be large compared to a common hard drive. Furthermore, SSDs are silent and they have one higher impact resistance. The only "flaw" consists in the fact that they cost much more, with the same capacity, compared to mechanical discs. Note the fact that there are different types of SSDs: i PCIe (often in M.2 format) are the fastest, while i SATA III they are slower, although their performance is still pretty good.

  • eMMC: the flash memories, or the same that we find in USB sticks and SD cards. They are usually found in entry-level convertibles, that is the cheapest ones. Performance is low to medium, lower than those of SSDs. However, they can be a good compromise given the low cost.

  • hard disk: the classics mechanical discs, those usually referred to by the term "hard disk". They are slower than solid state drives but their main advantage is the rather cheap price. There are obviously myriads of models and in this case a specific one to keep an eye on is the speed of rotation of the discs, which can usually vary from about 4000 up to 7200 rpm. The higher this value, the higher the values reading and writing speed. This means that, for example, with a 7200 rpm hard disk, program loads could be faster than those guaranteed by a 5400 rpm hard disk (the latter is a rather common value for the PC market).

  • Battery: allows you to use the laptop even when it is not connected to the power outlet. It is classified according to the number of milliampere machine (mAh) and celle available. The autonomy also depends on the hardware and software optimization of the device, so it is not certain that the same battery lasts the same time in all convertibles. In any case, the higher the number of mAh, the higher the duration of a system. In certain contexts, battery specifications are expressed in Wh and V. To go back to the mAh, divide the Wh by the Volts and multiply the result by 1000.

  • doors: at the level of connectivity, laptops can be very different from each other. Usually, the doors that are almost never missing are those USB, often present in the standard format (USB A, that of the keys to be clear) or in other more compact formats (microUSB, miniUSB or USB Type-C, similar to what happens for smartphones). Depending on the standards, USB ports can guarantee a different maximum data transfer rate: for example, ports USB 3.1 Generation II can transfer data up to 1250 MB / sec, while the doors USB 2.0 can transfer data up to 60MB / sec. In short, it is also good to pay attention to these specifications. Other ports found on different laptop models are the port Ethernet (100 Mbps Fast Ethernet or 1 Gbps Gigabit Ethernet, although they are rarely found on convertibles, given their small size) for connection to a cable network, and HDMI and / or DisplayPort, designed for connecting to a external monitor. And don't forget the door too Thunderbolt which more and more often is placed in the most expensive devices for a higher data transmission speed. Speaking instead of connectivity wireless, that is, connecting to a wireless network, support a is required Wi-Fi 802.11 (no ac, also dual band with support for 2.5 and 5GHz frequencies) e Bluetooth.

  • Other components: when choosing a notebook, you shouldn't underestimate the keyboard, since it can have buttons ad isola, meccanici (mainly suitable for gaming) oa membrane and it can be with or without backlight. Another aspect to consider is the presence of webcam, useful camera, for example, to make video calls. The possible presence of a card reader for reading and writing SD cards.

  • Materials: the constructive solidity is underestimated by many. Instead, this is a very important aspect, given that you have a heavy duty convertible can avoid unpleasant inconveniences (such as having to buy a new notebook). Laptops may use different materials for the shell and display shell. Generally speaking, the models entry-level they usually make use of the polycarbonate, less resistant and unpleasant to the touch than thealuminum or alle metal alloys which are used to build the higher-end convertibles.

Operating System

Il operating system, that is the software that interfaces with the hardware to make the computer work correctly, is one of the aspects that must be taken into consideration most when choosing a convertible. In fact, much of theuser experience it depends on the operating system, as the internal components would be useless without it. Among the myriad of tasks performed by the OS, there is also the driver management to exploit the peripherals. The operating systems on the market are quite different from each other and allow you to access unique applications. Clearly, all OSes have things in common, such as the support for certain "standard" files (e.g. JPGs for photos or AVIs for videos), but generally speaking the differences are several. Below you will find the main operating systems available on the market.

  • Windows: the most popular operating system on the market. Usually those who bet on a convertible choose a device with the Microsoft OS. It is compatible with essentially all popular third party applications and games. The latest version, as well as the one you will almost certainly find pre-installed in many laptops, is Windows 10. It should be emphasized that the edition S mode of the Microsoft operating system allows you to run only applications downloaded from the Microsoft Store.
  • ChromeOS: the operating system of Chromebook, based on the cloud and on the fleet of applications and services offered by Google. It is an OS that is in some ways closer to Android than to Windows, resulting in a sort of middle ground. Be careful and know what you can do through ChromeOS before buying a convertible of this type.
  • Android: designed with the smartphone world in mind, the green robot operating system has also been brought to tablets and convertible systems thanks to customizations made by manufacturers. In this case, the compatible applications are mainly those available on the Play Store, just like with smartphones. I invite you to inform yourself properly about the availability of the applications you need before proceeding with the purchase.

In addition to the classic solutions mentioned, you may also come across convertibles that are reported as FreeDOS. Although it is quite rare to find products of this type, you must know that this wording means that no type of operating system is installed inside the notebook. In this case, you will then have to proceed manually with the installation of the OS and my advice is to aim for these products only if you have already performed similar operations in the past or if you think you are experienced enough to be able to complete them. Finally, I emphasize that at the moment there are no Mac convertibles, then equip with macOS.

Which convertible notebook to buy

After having explained to you in detail what are the main parameters to take into consideration when looking for a good convertible notebook, I would say that you are ready to learn about my choices regarding the best devices on the market. Clearly, here we are talking about personal tastes and needs, so don't forget the directions I gave you earlier. I have divided the products according to the price range, so that you can find the model that suits your budget.

Best budget convertible notebook (under 500 euros)

The low end of the market can be interesting for those without a large budget e it does not have many claims in terms of performance and build quality. There are not many valid products in this market segment, but you can still find interesting models, like the ones below.

HP Chromebook X360 12b

In this guide on convertibles I want to start immediately with a product that is increasingly appreciated due to the presence of an operating system that is minimal but at the same time capable. I'm talking about ChromeOS being integrated into this HP Chromebook X360 12b-ca0010nf where you will find the convenience of a full keyboard, backlit and with a large touchpad but also the possibility of interacting with the screen since the latter is touch and the operating system allows it. Features in hand here you will find a 12-inch panel with HD resolution (1366 x 912 pixels) that certainly make it very portable but also equally comfortable in displaying any type of content especially because it has an IPS LCD matrix. The SoC is a not too powerful Intel Celeron N4020 processor but we know that it is not really necessary here since these products are more popular with novice students or those who just want to use it to browse the internet or create some documents. In fact, there are 4 GB of RAM and the memory is 32 GB of the eMMC type with the possibility of expanding it without problems. And then there's also a capacious battery that won't let you walk for at least 13 hours straight on a single charge.

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Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 5 Chromebook

Still a Chromebook but this time a Lenovo laptop. I'm talking about the Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 5 Chromebook which does not differ very aesthetically from that of HP since it is proposed with a polycarbonate chassis but beautifully sturdy, therefore a double hinge capable of rotating the screen and making it unique in its kind, that is a real tablet for every type of vision of content. The keyboard is comfortable and is also backlit and this will allow you to use it at any time of the day. The panel here is nice big from 13.3 inches and is a Full HD that is with a resolution equal to 1920 x 1080 pixels clearly capacitive to be used also with the fingers. Internally there is an Intel Celeron 5205U processor clocked at up to 1,9GHz which is aided by 4GB of RAM. For storage, on the other hand, there is a 64 GB eMMC memory that can still be expanded with the insertion of the simple MicroSD. In short, a really comfortable and useful convertible notebook for those who do not want to spend too much.

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BMAX Y13 Power

BMax Y13 Power it is a product that I want to recommend because on its side it has an aspect that makes it very similar to an Apple MacBook even if with a completely touch panel that can be folded on itself in order to make it a kind of tablet. Its technical characteristics are not exciting but the price is really competitive and therefore for those looking for a compromise between performance and quality certainly cannot fail to consider it. The display is a 13.3-inch panel with a classic Full HD resolution which will therefore allow you to view any type of content and above all without having to give up anything. The processor in this case is an Intel Core M7 6Y75 with 8 GB of RAM and a 256 GB SSD and this therefore makes it a full-fledged notebook especially with the presence of Windows 10 on board. Don't forget that you will also find the latest generation USB-C ports, a nice wide trackpad for operating system operations via gestures and then again a clearly Dual Band Wi-Fi and a well-made keyboard with backlight.

BMAX Y13

Always of BMAX there is also the BMax Y13 which always maintains the same aesthetic characteristics seen with the previous Power and therefore a line similar to the Apple MacBook but with a double hinge capable of making it become a real tablet if necessary. Here there is always a 13.3-inch display with Full HD resolution (1920 x 1080 pixels) then an Intel Gemini Lake N4120 processor which is aided in the classic 8 GB RAM operations. While for data storage there are 256 GB of SSD. There is clearly everything you need to work as with a real notebook and therefore I'm talking about a full backlit keyboard, latest generation USB-C ports and then again a really light weight of only 1,25kg that will allow you to take it really anywhere.

Best mid-range convertible notebook (under $ 1.000)

Mid-range convertibles are believed by many to be like an excellent compromise, given that they have performances able to satisfy a good part of the users and maintain a not too high cost. Below you will find my choices for less than 1.000 euros.

HP PC Pavilion X360 14-dw0004nl

For this second price range I start immediately with a convertible that certainly cannot fail to whet the desire to buy it both for its technical specifications and because it still has an excellent aesthetic appearance, beautiful to look at and in line with those that are the times of the moment for notebooks. Meanwhile, the display of this HP PC Pavilion X360 14-dw0004nl it is particularly wide because I am talking about a 14-inch diagonal but with an IPS matrix panel and Full HD resolution. Ample the right also to optimize portability. The processor that integrates instead is an Intel i5-1035G1 with a memory equal to 8 GB of RAM and a 256 GG SSD. Not particularly powerful but multitasking activities as well as heavier jobs you can do them easily thanks to the optimization of HP. And then? Still a full keyboard, with touchpad and backlight, then B&O audio and a battery that guarantees at least 8 hours on a single charge. Moreover, the recharge is of the rapid ones that will allow you to have 50% in just 45 minutes.

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Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 5

Il Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 5 it is an excellent companion for work as well as for leisure. The reason? Meanwhile, it has a design capable of making it both elegant and at the same time a little more youthful and also suitable for a less demanding public from this point of view. And then? The guarantee of a Lenovo in the construction and use of fine materials. Here, moreover, the particularity of the convertible allows you to not only have a classic notebook with keyboard and touchpad but also to be able to use a fully touch display that folds on itself if necessary, becomes touch and can also be used with the pen. capacitive. Great for more creative jobs. The data sheet speaks of a convertible notebook with a 14-inch display at FUll HD resolution (as mentioned touch) therefore maximum brightness at 250nits but also an IPS matrix. Inside, on the other hand, there is an Intel Core i5-1135G7 processor that is the latest generation with 8 GB of RAM and 512 GB of fast SSD. Then there is an integrated Intel Iris Xe Graphics graphics card and still Windows 10 in addition to all the latest generation connectivity and a beautiful Graphite Gray color that is very dark and very elegant.

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Il Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 5 it is also proposed with a processor different from the Intel one of the previous version. In this case, the one that has an AMD Ryzen 7 4700U processor is also excellent, also assisted in this case by 8 GB of RAM and with a 512 GB SSD for storage. The rest is always the same product with a 14-inch Full HD resolution fully touch display and therefore also usable with the Lenovo Digital Pen, so Windows 10 in addition to all the latest generation connectivity and the beautiful Graphite Gray color.

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Best high-end convertible notebook (over $ 1.000)

If you want to really aim for the top and budget is not an issue, you definitely have to take into consideration the convertible notebook models I'm about to tell you about.

HP Spectre x360

Let's get started right away with this convertible notebook from HP. Yes why HP Spectre x360 certainly it is enhanced for its truly unique and particular lines but also for the characterization of a prestigious technical data sheet or at least capable of making you work without problems, however, having the foresight of a backlit keyboard, a pen and therefore a capacitive display that all if necessary, you can overturn and make it look like a tablet. But you are wondering what technical characteristics it possesses. I'll tell you right away because this HP has in the meantime a 13.3-inch screen of the IPC type and Full HD resolution. Frames not too narrow but certainly the added value is being capacitive and therefore allowing you to use it on the move without problems. The processor is an Intel Core i5-1035G4 but also 8 GB of RAM and a 256 GB SSD with the integrated Intel UHD 620 graphics card. And then what? There is still everything for connectivity with the latest generation USB-C ports but also HDMI and classic USB-A. And then also the battery, important in such a product, can help you work for over 11 hours. And don't forget the 4 B&O speakers with Audio Boost 2.0.

HP Elite Dragonfly

The new 2-in-1 convertible from HP is beautiful and very powerful: HP Elite Dragonfly. Here as for the Specter, HP wanted to propose a notebook a little different from its usual aesthetic canons and enriched it with a very particular color but above all with a robust and high quality chassis. Meanwhile, there is a 13.3-inch panel with a 33,7-centimeter diagonal clearly Full HD and with a superior quality even in being completely touch and therefore ready to receive finger touches or writing with the pens suitable for this purpose. Among its other technical specifications is a really powerful although not brand new Intel Core i7-8565U processor which is also associated with 16 GB of RAM and a 1 TB SSD. Then there are ports of all kinds with an HDMI 1.4, USB-C 3-1 but also the possibility of inserting a SIM and connecting directly remotely. In short, a convertible with incredible qualities.

Lenovo Yoga 6

Again a Lenovo and this time from the Yoga line. I'm talking about the Lenovo Yoga 6 which certainly cannot fail to interest you not only for its quality convertible notebook aspect but also for a technical data sheet that certainly cannot leave you on your feet even on important jobs. Meanwhile, I start by telling you that the display in this convertible is 13.3 inches with a Full HD resolution and with an IPS panel for maximum viewing of the contents. And then? There is an AMD Ryzen 7 4700U processor with 16 GB of DDR4 RAM and an amount of SSD equal to 1 TB. There is the Lenovo Digital Pen that is a pen with which you can take notes directly on the touch screen of the notebook or even write all your notes directly with features created ad hoc by Lenovo. There is clearly Windows 10 and particular is the Abyss Blue coloring which makes it undoubtedly one of a kind.

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Samsung Galaxy Book Flex

I would not underestimate the convertible at all Samsung Galaxy Book Flex which not only has an Intel SoC but also a build quality unmatched by others of its kind. Meanwhile, the convertible notebook is proposed with all the quality of Samsung in the realization of the displays: here there is immediately a difference with the opponents because the 13.3 "Full HD QLED display is of a very high quality. Clearly it is a 2-in-1 and this does nothing but enrich the usability of the Galaxy not only with the fingers but also with the use of the S Pen which is completely integrated into the aluminum chassis of the convertible unlike other brands. And then? There is an Intel processor Core i7 of the tenth generation with 16 GB of RAM in its maximum expression but also 512 GB of NVMe SSD memory. The battery life will surprise you since Samsung even speaks of over 20 hours with the possibility of recharging the smartphone by simply placing it on the touchpad The dimensions are incredibly small: 30,2 x 20,3 x 1,3 centimeters with a featherweight of just 1,16 kg.

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Microsoft Surface Book 3

Among the convertibles, the beautiful and technologically advanced could clearly not be missing Microsoft Surface Book 3. Here you will clearly find a superior quality product (and you will also see it in the price) but with absolutely unique novelties of its kind. Meanwhile, it is a convertible notebook in all respects since the display is completely touch but above all it can be rotated 360 degrees to make it comfortable in viewing the contents by placing it or even to hold it like a real tablet. Moreover, a button is enough to detach the display and use it just like a real tablet. At the level of the technical data sheet we can really find the best of Microsoft: meanwhile, the display can be chosen in two dimensions. There is the smaller 1.35-inch (with a resolution of 3000 x 2000 pixels) or the 15-inch one (with a resolution of 3240 x 2160 pixels). There are also differences when it comes to processors because you can really choose all of them with the Intel Core i5-1035G7, Intel Core i7-1065G7 and Intel Core i7-1065G7. Finally, the RAM and SSD memory cuts that vary between 8 GB, 16 GB and 32 GB and the SSDs that can go up to 1 TB for maximum storage. There is no shortage of the latest generation connectivity with USB-A 3.1 ports, USB-C but also 3.5 jack, for headphones and the SDXC card reader. The battery is good with the ability to work on a single charge for at least 10 hours.

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