A detachable laptop, also widely known as a hybrid laptop or convertible laptop, as its name suggests, is basically two devices in one form, where the laptop can also be used as a tablet. With this product, since you are buying both a laptop and a tablet as a combined device, the amount you would otherwise have to spend purchasing both individually gets saved.
The best detachable laptops are an effective mix of mobility and functionality, enabling you to perform a variety of tasks you would usually perform using different devices. For instance, you can finish off any pending office work on an Excel sheet using the laptop mode and instantly switch over to read an eBook in tablet mode.
Since these devices do come packed with great processing power, they are able to deliver amazing performance, enabling you to get a wide range of tasks done even when you are on the go, thereby not having your productivity hindered.
However, since the best detachable laptops more often than not are slim and sleek, there is a constant doubt lingering around pertinent to their performance capabilities, due to the obvious fact that they have much lesser space to accommodate top-of-the-line components.
To alleviate such doubts, our reviews come with pros and cons of each of the devices on our list, so you can have a clear idea of what you get.
Top 6 Best Detachable Laptops 2020
|Model||Check Latest Price||Screen Size||Processor||RAM|
|Microsoft Surface Pro 6||12.3"||8th Gen i5/i7||8-16GB|
|HP Elite x2 1013 G3||13"||Intel Core i5-8350U||8GB|
|ASUS Transformer Mini T102 Laptop||10.1"||Intel Atom x5-Z8350||4GB|
|Winnovo Tabook 3 Laptop||13.3"||Intel Pentium N4200||4GB|
|XIDU PhilPad Detachable Laptop||13.3"||Intel E3950||6GB|
|HP Pavilion x2||10.1"||Intel Atom x5-Z8300||2GB|
Microsoft Surface Pro 6 Laptop
As a company that is relatively new to making computer hardware, it has to be mentioned that Microsoft has managed to produce some of the better-looking machines on the market, which is proved yet again with the Surface Pro 6.
Equipped with Intel’s quad core processor, and along with a variety of other excellent features, this detachable laptop scores high easily. On the outset, the Surface Pro 6 is quite similar to its predecessor, including in terms of its weight and dimensions and screen size.
But, when it comes to its aesthetics, this model is really gorgeous to look at, thanks to the slightly textured yet smooth finish, and is available in platinum and the all new matte black. The device itself weighs just 1.74 pounds and has a slim form factor, something you would expect from a detachable laptop.
The display you get with the device is a 12.3-inch PixelSense Display with resolution 2736 x 1824. The display is able to deliver crisp and clear pictures, with decent contrast. However, you are likely to experience at least some level of reflection when using the device under bright lighting or even outdoors.
When it comes to the processor, you get to choose between Intel Core 8th Generation i5-8250U and i7-8650U, and between 8 GB and 16 GB RAM for memory. As far as storage goes, you again get the option to choose from 128 GB, 256 GB, 512 GB, or 1 TB SSD. With these specs, the device works well for office use and also for streaming media content.
With Intel UHD Graphics 620, you can expect to play some light gaming on the device. The lack of Thunderbolt 3 or USB-C connectivity slots is another drawback of this detachable laptop. In terms of battery life, the laptop is capable of lasting around 12 hours on a single charge.
HP Elite x2 1013 G3 - Best Detachable Laptop
When you think about best detachable laptops, one of the first brands that is most likely to come to your mind is HP. HP has long been a strong competition in the convertible notebooks category, and the company’s Elite lineup of laptops, as the name suggests, are their high end business laptop models, which now includes the Elite x2 1013 G3.
This is one nicely equipped detachable laptop, which comes with a whole lot of upgrades and improvements when compared to its predecessor. In terms of design, the model is identical to its predecessor, looking sleek and really attractive, with amazing build quality. The kickstand looks and feels very sturdy and reliable.
In terms of display, you get a 13-inch diagonal IPS LED-backlit touchscreen display with resolution 3000 x 2000. While the display itself is able to deliver sharp and bright visuals, perhaps the most highlighting factor would be the thin bezels. This particular model weighs 2.59 pounds, which can be a bit relatively heavier, but certainly not too much, thereby not affecting the device’s portability.
The processor powering up the HP Elite x2 1013 G3 is the Intel Quad Core i5-8350U Vpro, which can reach up to 3.6 GHz in clock speeds. Combined with the 8 GB RAM and 256 GB SSD, the processor enables the device to deliver good performance, more than adequate for your regular office work, browsing, streaming, etc.
Since the device comes with Integrated Intel UHD Graphics 620, you can play some less graphics intensive games, at their low settings. The battery on this device is able to work for around 10 hours with regular usage, and around 8 hours with streaming and other power consuming tasks.
Also Read: Best 13-Inch Laptops
ASUS Transformer Mini T102 Laptop
If you are in search of the best detachable laptop that you can use as your secondary device, the Transformer Mini T102 could be the right choice, mainly due to its affordable pricing and decent performance.
Since this doesn’t belong to the premium category or price range, this detachable laptop looks quite thick in design and also has thick display bezels, while almost all the other models on our list are slim and sleek. However, it weighs just 1.7 pounds, making it portable, thanks to its magnesium alloy body, which also make it sturdy.
The display here is a 10.1-inch LCD screen with 1280 x 800 pixels in screen resolution. In addition to being small, the display also has relatively low screen resolution, which means you cannot expect crystal clear pictures or visuals.
Moving on to the processor, the ASUS Transformer Mini T102 comes with the Intel Atom Quad Core x5-Z8350 processor, with 4 GB RAM and 128 GB eMMC memory. With this combination, you cannot expect to do much with the laptop, but for some basic tasks like sending emails, browsing the net, etc.
And of course, with the Intel HD Graphics, the device is not suitable for gaming either. However, when it comes to battery life, this machine really excels, lasting for about 12 hours and a bit more on a single full charge.
Also Read: Best 11-Inch Laptops
Winnovo Tabook 3 Laptop
Though not a well-known name in the laptop market, this particular 2-in-1 detachable laptop model from Winnovo, the Tabook 3, is certainly a solid option available to you, carrying a mid-range price tag for a compact laptop.
The Tabook 3 looks quite decent in terms of its aesthetics; it comes in a smooth grey finish and is quite stylish. However, this is not the slimmest or the most lightweight detachable laptop around, and weighing almost 3 pounds, its portability also gets affected.
The display you get with the device is a 13.3-inch Full HD IPS LCD display, where the screen resolution is 1920 x 1080 pixels. You can expect to enjoy decent visuals from the screen, with sufficient brightness and proper viewing angles, which means using the device outdoors or even in bright lighting wouldn’t be a problem at all.
However, the presence of thick display bezels happens to be really distracting, and this is a huge drawback, considering the fact that many other products in this category come with ultra slim bezels.
The Winnovo Tabook 3 2-in-1 laptop is powered by the Intel Pentium N4200 chipset, which is basically a quad core processor that is known to consume less power and can reach maximum clock speeds of 2.5 GHz. With this processor and a 4 GB RAM and 64 GB memory, the device can be used to perform regular everyday tasks and some level of multitasking.
The Intel HD Graphics 505 lets you play basic games on the device and nothing more. The fingerprint reader included in the keyboard is fast, accurate, and works really well. On a single full charge, the device is capable of running for up to 9 hours.
XIDU PhilPad Detachable Laptop
When it comes to the best detachable laptops or 2-in-1 laptops, it is no surprise that Microsoft Surface is the most preferred one out there. However, if you cannot afford the same, but wish to have something really similar to it without compromising on the main aspects like performance and specs, the XIDU PhilPad 2-in-1 Tablet could just be the one.
In terms of its aesthetics, what you will see is rather a large tablet that comes with a detachable keyboard. This is certainly not the most stylish detachable model you will come across in the price range; however, it isn’t too bad either. The device weighs 2.25 pounds, which makes it relatively heavy.
The display here is a 13.3-inch IPS Full HD display, with resolution 1920 x 1080. The Full HD resolution of the screen is able to deliver sharp, clear, detailed, and vivid pictures and visuals, which is something not all laptops with a similar display are able to do.
The viewing angles of this IPS display are also decent, and the overall visual output is nothing to be concerned about. If there is one thing that could put you off in terms of display, it might be the thick bezels, which certainly don’t look attractive.
Powering up the XIDU PhilPad 2-in-1 Tablet is the Intel E3950 quad core processor, which along with the 12 GB RAM and 128 GB ROM provides better processing power and great overall performance.
The graphics option you get with this device is the Intel 9th HD Graphics, which will allow you to play some basic games in their low or moderate settings. As far as its battery capacity goes, the device can last for around 8 hours on a single full charge.
HP Pavilion x2 Detachable Laptop
As we have already mentioned, HP is one of the go-to brands when it comes to finding the best detachable laptop, and the Pavilion x2 from the company is one sturdy device that not only looks great, but performs well as well.
Starting with the looks, the device is one of the good-looking detachables you will come across in the price range, thanks to the very inviting and sleek design and compact footprint. However, not many users would be a fan of the matte white finish of the laptop; but, in general, the color and overall design make the device look clean.
While the machine itself feels very durable and sturdy, the use of plastic, however, does give it a cheap look and feel, especially when touching it. And weighing 2.4 pounds, this is yet another heavier device that could compromise portability.
The HP 2018 Pavilion x2 Detachable 2-in-1 Laptop Tablet comes with a 10.1-inch diagonal WXGA IPS eDP anti-glare WLED-backlit display, with resolution 1280 x 800. While the edge-to-edge display makes the screen look big in general, the low resolution makes the overall visual output look very average.
Even the colors on the display look pretty washed out, and this could be a real problem when you want to create, edit, or view media content using the laptop. Some of the positives that have to be mentioned pertinent to the device’s display are: the viewing angles are good, and so is the responsiveness of the touchscreen.
The Pavilion x2 detachable laptop is powered by the Intel Atom x5-Z8300, which is basically a quad core processor. For memory and storage, you get a 2 GB RAM and 32 GB eMMC SSD, both of which are very basic, and all of these specs together will enable you to perform only some basic everyday tasks using the device.
With the Intel HD Graphics 400, there really isn’t much you can do in terms of gaming. What this means is that, you can rather use the HP Pavilion x2 as your secondary device for carrying out basic jobs like, creating Word documents, sending emails, browsing, etc. One of the best aspects of this device would perhaps be its battery life, with the machine lasting for up to 12 hours on a single charge.
What to Look for in a Detachable Laptop?
While there are a lot of benefits you can reap from using one of the best detachable laptops, you should also understand the fact that not all of these devices are created equal. Even with so many leading brands offering products in this segment, there are still certain aspects you should look for in a detachable laptop:
The size of the device is one obvious factor to consider in this respect. While some of you may prefer having an extremely lightweight and portable model for easy traveling, others may need a device with a large screen to make your media screening experience better.
Fortunately, with detachable laptops, you will be able to find screen sizes starting from as low as 10 inches and going all the way up to 15 inches. Therefore, the choice basically depends on your needs and the purpose of the device.
When it comes to the performance of a detachable laptop, the one most important aspect you should look at is its processor. Intel’s processors happen to be the most widely preferred choice even in detachable laptops, and most other processors are often considered to be much less efficient in managing highly complex or computing-heavy tasks.
Therefore, when it comes to selecting a processor, make sure that the detachable device you choose has at least an Atom processor, or even better, a Core processor. This choice of yours will be based on your budget and the laptop’s purpose.
A detachable laptop, also known as a 2-in-1 or hybrid laptop, will never fall into this category if it doesn’t come with a touch screen. The touch screen feature in any detachable laptop is an essential feature to consider because, in order to be able to use the screen as a tablet, you need the feature to be efficient. It should be highly responsive to your touch and gestures, giving you the confidence that you have indeed made a viable investment.
As far as screen resolution goes in the best detachable laptops, you will be able to see devices with low end HD resolutions (1366 x 768 pixels) to even those with much higher resolutions, as much as ultra HD screens with 3840 x 2160 pixels; however, the latter is available only with a few top end, highly priced detachable laptop models.
In between these resolutions, you might also find those with full HD and quad HD screens, with pixels 1920 x 1080 and 2560 x 1440 respectively. However, even if you have the budget to go with a high resolution display model, know that those devices often consume more power, which means the battery life gets affected.
If battery life is not really a concern for you, you shouldn’t have any issues choosing a high resolution device.
Almost all best detachable laptops come with a physical keyboard. With a detachable model, unlike the keyboard in a convertible laptop, the keyboard can be detached from the device, which gives you the ability to use the touchscreen display as a standalone tablet.
When choosing your device, depending on your intended purpose, make sure than the keyboard is big enough and has the keys spaced right to serve you best. Having a backlit keyboard is always a plus.
Pricing is likely one of the most important aspects of consideration for many buyers. With detachable laptops being offered by several manufacturers in the market, the range of their pricing is very large, from as low as $150 going all the way up to a couple thousand dollars.
What this signifies is that, regardless of your budget and needs, you are very much likely to find a decent model that falls within your budget, equipped with the features you are looking for, without compromising much on crucial aspects. And yes, it goes without saying that the pricing of a detachable laptop increases in proportion to its specs; for instance, models with bigger screen sizes, powerful processors and/or discrete graphics tend to cost way higher than those with low- to mid-range specs.
Detachable laptops would be a great addition to your electronic device arsenal for a variety of reasons: first and foremost, most of these laptops are light in weight and have a compact form factor, thereby being highly portable; their 2-in-1 design enables you to use them either as a laptop or as a tablet, rather than investing in both separately; and since these devices operate on regular processors and operating systems, they will be suitable even for everyday office use.
While these beneficial factors make them an ideal choice for almost every user category, from students to office workers, and more, they do come with certain downfalls, like below par display features and pretty basic graphics not supporting advanced gaming. Nevertheless, their benefits definitely seem to outweigh their downfalls, and investing in one such device is something you should consider as a user.
Each of the six top detachable laptop models that we have reviewed above have their unique set of features, specs, and characteristics, thus catering to the varied needs of different types of users. Whether you need a secondary device for basic use, or something simple yet efficient to use as a student, you will find one of these to be suitable.