Laptop or tablet? It’s the frequent traveller’s eternal dilemma. A laptop is clearly best for work, but a tablet makes relaxation much more, well, relaxing. Packing both would be nice but suddenly you are carrying a huge weight of tech that all needs charging. Is there an option?

There is, and it is where the 2-in-1 or convertible laptop, which can transform from a laptop to a tablet by folding or detaching the keyboard, and offers unique features that make it an attractive choice for people on the move.

One of the most significant advantages of a 2-in-1 convertible laptop is its versatility. When you need to type extensively or perform tasks that require precision and multiple windows, you can use it in laptop mode with the physical keyboard. When you want to read, watch video, play games or make a presentation you can switch to tablet mode. This flexibility makes a 2-in-1 an excellent choice for professionals and creatives who need a device that can adapt to various tasks.

2-in-1 convertible laptops often come with features that enhance productivity, such as touchscreens with stylus support. The stylus is particularly useful for note-taking, drawing, and editing documents or images. This feature is a significant advantage over regular laptops, which typically lack touchscreen capabilities, and over tablets, which often lack the processing power and software compatibility needed for more intensive tasks, such as graphics and photo and video editing. With a 2-in-1, you can easily annotate documents, create digital art, or quickly jot down ideas, all of which can boost productivity and creativity.

While regular laptops can be bulky and tablets sometimes lack the functionality needed for work, 2-in-1 convertibles strike a balance between these extremes. Many are designed to be lightweight and portable, making them easy to carry around, and despite their compact size, do not compromise on performance, offering powerful processors and ample storage.

Also, a 2-in-1 convertible laptop can be more cost-effective than buying a separate laptop and tablet. By consolidating your devices into one, you save on the cost of buying and maintaining two separate pieces of equipment. Additionally, a single device means you don’t have to worry about synching data across devices or dealing with compatibility issues.

Operating systems
An important benefit of convertible laptops is that they run full desktop operating systems, such as Windows or ChromeOS, unlike most tablets that use mobile platforms like iOS or Android. Full desktop operating systems offer greater software compatibility and functionality, allowing you to run professional-grade applications like Adobe Creative Suite, Microsoft Office, and various development tools that are often not available or are limited on mobile platforms.

The desire for a tablet that runs a ‘proper’ operating system has fuelled the remarkable success of Microsoft’s Surface range of tablets, which run on Windows and come with a number of cleverly-designed keyboards and styluses that enable them to work smoothly in either laptop or tablet mode.

Unfortunately for MacOS users, Apple does not offer any convertibles, but the new iPads are clearly intended for work as well as play, with their stylish keyboard stands and the remarkable new Apple Pencil.

Using a 2-in-1 convertible laptop can be more ergonomic than using a tablet or a regular laptop. The ability to switch between different modes allows you to find the most comfortable position for your task. For instance, you can use tent mode for watching videos, stand mode for presentations, and laptop mode for typing. This flexibility can help reduce strain on your neck, back, and wrists, promoting better posture and comfort during extended use.

2-in-1 convertibles generally offer better connectivity options compared to tablets. They come with multiple ports, such as USB-A, USB-C, HDMI, and SD card readers, which are often absent or limited on tablets. This array of ports allows you to connect various peripherals and accessories, enhancing the functionality of your device. Whether you need to connect to an external monitor, transfer files from a USB drive, or use an external keyboard and mouse, a 2-in-1 convertible laptop provides the necessary connectivity options.

Many 2-in-1 convertible laptops are built with durability in mind, often featuring robust construction and high-quality materials. They are designed to withstand the rigours of daily use, whether it’s being tossed into a backpack or used in various environments. Additionally, these devices tend to receive regular software updates and support from manufacturers, ensuring they remain secure and functional for years to come.

Words: Chris Partridge

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