Convertible laptops combine the power of a traditional computer with the convenience of a tablet. This type of setup is particularly handy for college students and anyone else who needs a mobile device that can be used as a laptop or tablet. If you’ve been to a coffee shop or cafe recently, you may have seen a laptop being used in a tent or stand mode. This type of versatility allows the screen to remain visible while keeping the keyboard out of the way. Many convertible laptops have hinges that rotate between 180 and 360 degrees for added convenience.
In terms of budget, you’ll find options on this list from $300 to over $1,000. Spending more money will generally get you a better processor, more storage space, and a higher-resolution display. However, not everyone needs these features. If you’re looking for a basic convertible laptop that can handle word processing and other basic programs, you can probably stick with a less expensive option.
When shopping for a convertible laptop, budget is just one of the considerations. Most computers come with a standard Intel Core i5 processor, although you’ll also find some with Intel Core i3 and Intel Core i7 processor. While Intel Core i3 processors are ideal for basic demands, you’ll want to consider an Intel Core i7 processor if you plan to use the laptop for heavy gaming, professional-level video editing, or similar tasks.
Many of today’s laptops also feature a SSD, or Solid State Drive. One of the main advantages of a SSD versus a typical hard drive is a faster boot time. In fact, many SSDs have a boot time of less than one minute, and in some cases merely seconds, according to this PC Mag article. There’s also typically less maintenance over time as there are no moving parts, as it uses a flash memory to store data. However, SSDs also tend to be pricier. Many laptops have a 500 GB SSD, although you’ll find ones as low as 128 GB and as high as 1 TB. Heavy media users typically require more space and power.
If you’re sure that a convertible laptop is the right choice for you, take a look at our top picks in the list below. Want more options? There are many more convertible laptops for sale on Amazon.
1. HP x360 Convertible Laptop
If you’re searching for a convertible laptop with a screen that’s large enough to comfortably see and take notes, you’ll appreciate the 15.6-inch screen on this HP laptop. You can also rotate the backlit display 360 degrees as needed. The Intel Core i5-7200U processor offers plenty of power and performance for most college students. This convertible laptop comes with a 1 TB 5400 RPM hard drive along with an SD card reader. There’s also Bluetooth 4.0 technology, USB and HDMI ports, and an HD webcam. Features such as its slender design, prolonged battery life, and eye-catching display help the computer earn a near-perfect rating in this Laptop Mag review.
A smaller 11.6-inch version is also available.
- Generous 15.6 inch display
- Screen rotates 360 degrees
- Intel Core i5-7200U processor
- Only comes with trial Microsoft Office
- Keyboard isn’t backlit
- Doesn’t have a CD/DVD burner
2. Lenovo Flex 5 Laptop
The Lenovo Flex 5 isn’t the cheapest convertible laptop on the market, but it’s packed with plenty of power, performance, and features for the price. The 14-inch screen is just large enough to be comfortable on the eyes, yet compact enough to carry to class or work. Features such as a fingerprint reader and 128 GB Pie SSD make this laptop a practical choice for college students. There’s also a USB 3.0 port that stays on even when the laptop is off, allowing you to charge devices at any time. Base model specs include 8 GB RAM and a 2.5 GHz processor, although you can upgrade to a 16 GM RAM and 2.7 GHz processor model.
A more affordable Lenovo convertible laptop is also available.
Price: $649.99 (7 percent off MSRP)
- Fingerprint reader allows users to log in instantly
- USB 3.0 port remains on even when computer is off
- Convenient 14-inch screen size
- Some find the keyboard spacing a bit awkward
- Case can be tough to open due to its slim design
3. Dell 5000 Convertible Laptop
A 500 GB HDD provides plenty of storage space for thousands of photos and songs, as well as multiple hours of HD video. From taking notes to watching movies with friends, any college student will appreciate the 15.6-inch full HD screen with wide viewing angles. The screen is also backlit and features a touch display. The 4 GB of system memory is plenty for tasks such as basic photo editing, browsing the web, video conferencing, and more. Other features include USB 3.0 and USB 2.0 ports, along with an SD card reader. With its ability to convert into four modes, including laptop, tent, pad, and display, this laptop is truly convertible for just about any task.
Price: $449.00 (48 percent off MSRP)
- 500 GB HDD
- Converts into four modes
- Full HD screen with wide viewing angles
- Doesn’t have a backlit keyboard
- Relatively weak Intel Core i3 processor
- A bit heavy
4. ASUS ZenBook Flip UX360UA Convertible Laptop
If the ASUS ZenBook Flip UX360UA isn’t too much of a budget stretch, take a look at what you’ll get for the money. For starters, there’s a fast and powerful 7th generation Intel Core i7-7500U 2.7 GHz Processor with Turbo up to 3.5 GHz. Add in a 512 GB SSD, and this laptop also promises a quick boost time. College students who find themselves taking notes in subpar lighting, or working late at night to finish a paper, will appreciate the standard backlit keyboard. There’s also a 13.3-inch QHD display. In case you’re not familiar, QHD, or quad high definition, displays have four times the amount of pixels as a standard 720p HD panel. While the images aren’t quite as sharp as 4K Ultra HD displays, your favorite movies and photos will still look clear and sharp. Other student-oriented features include a fingerprint reader, USB 3.1 and 3.0 ports, and a display that rotates 360 degrees. A high-capacity lithium-polymer battery can deliver up to 12 hours of battery life per charge.
- Powerful 7th generation Intel Core i7 processor
- Standard backlit keyboard
- QHD display
- Can’t be charged via the USB-C port
- Relatively small 13.3-inch screen
5. Lenovo Thinkpad Yoga 11E-G3 Convertible
With its compact 11.6-inch screen and affordable price tag, the Lenovo Thinkpad Yoga is a solid choice for shoppers on a budget. While the 128 GB SSD may not be enough to handle extreme use, such as heavy gaming and professional-level video editing, it should be plenty for the average consumer. The battery is designed to last up to nearly 12 hours on a single charge, making it a practical option for any student or professional. A rubber bumper on the top and stronger corners make this a durable laptop that can withstand going to and from class or your daily commute to work. The computer, which doubles as a laptop and tablet, comes with a LED-backlit touchscreen display.
Price: $342.99 (38 percent off MSRP)
- Impressive battery life
- Rubber bumper and reinforced corners
- Slow processor
- Some may need more than a 128 GB SSD
- A handful complain of touchpad lag
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