In our consumer society, we have about a million options for every single product we might be looking for. Whether you’re looking for toilet paper at Wal-Mart, or sifting through hundreds of digital cameras online, you’re pretty much guaranteed to have more options than you can reasonably consider.
When it comes to making an informed decision on a big-ticket purchase, like a computer, it’s important to do more than compare looks and prices.
The quality of your processor, the amount of RAM, the screen resolution, and the programs available on your new computer are critical. And with all those choices out there, deciding which one you should purchase can take dozens of hours of research.
To make this a little easier for you, we’ve brought together some reviews to inform your decisions, including tips for choosing the right 2 in 1 laptop, and a list of the best 2 in 1 laptops under 600 dollars.
What is a 2 in 1 Laptop?
Simply put, a 2 in 1 laptop is a laptop computer that also offers the features of a tablet computer.
2 in 1 laptops are a type of hybrid computer. They still have the features of a full computer, including full processing systems, ergonomic keyboard function, a full-featured desktop OS, and USB and other ports. 2-in-1s can either be convertible, or detachable.
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Tips for Choosing the Right Laptop
1. Choose the Right Operating System
The place to start with deciding on the right operating system, or OS, is going to be found in your purposes for the computer. What will you primarily be doing with it?
The project goals of the laptop may help you determine which operating system will most effectively meet your needs.
For a 2 in 1 laptop, you’re primarily looking at a Chrome operating system or a Windows 10 operating system.
Windows 10 is considered the most flexible of operating systems for computers. It appears on more makes and models than the other systems, and has more applications and tools designed for it.
The Chrome operating system is the lightweight in the OS world. This operating system cannot do as much as the Windows 10 or Mac systems, but if you generally just surf the web and check email, you can save yourself some time and pain on these lighter weight laptop models.
2. Decide On a 2 in 1 Versus Standard Laptop
2 in 1 computers are more versatile than a standard laptop. They are reasonably priced, sometimes at lower costs than standard laptops, and usually lighter weight.
3. Choose the Size of 2 in 1 Computer You Want
The size of your new 2 in 1 computer will primarily be based on the needs your computer must meet.
Do you want a bigger screen that’s great for watching YouTube in bed? Do you need something that’s super transportable for going from class to library to home? Or do you need something that’s easier for giving presentations with?
The sizes you’ll find in the best 2 in 1 laptops under 600 dollars will include:
The 2 in 1 laptops will vary in weight and thickness, as well. You can get one as light as two pounds, or weighing up to four pounds.
4. Decide: Detachable or Rotating Hinge?
The best 2 in 1 laptops under 600 dollars will either have a rotating hinge – these are the convertible laptops – or have a detachable option. If you don’t typically do a lot of typing and expect to use your tablet feature heftily, you’re probably going to go with a detachable 2 in 1.
If, however, your primary function for your computer is word processing, or you use the touchpad a lot instead of the touchscreen feature, the rotating hinge 2 in 1 is your best bet.
5. Figure Out Your Budget
One of the key factors in finding the right 2 in 1 laptop is going to be your budget. We’re looking specifically at 2 in 1s under 600 dollars, but that range can drop as low as $240.
This low cost may be tempting, especially if you’re on a super tight budget, but you will sacrifice things like functionality, screen resolution, and features if you aim this low.
A lot of great machines run between $400 and $600, and we’d recommend shooting for this price range, if possible.
6. Make Sure You’re Getting Sufficient RAM and Processing
We’d recommend doing some research on the type of processor you need before purchasing a computer of any kind, but especially when purchasing a 2 in 1.
These models often scrimp on processing features on the lower budget models, and you could wind up with something that doesn’t get the job done for you.
RAM is a little easier to figure out. 4 GIG RAM is typical for your average 2 in 1, but if you can get a model with the 8 GIG RAM, we’d recommend that. You’re not likely to need anything higher than that unless you do major work with video editing with multiple programs running at once.
The Best 2 in 1 Laptops Under 600 Dollars
Top Low Budget 2 in 1 Laptop
The Lenovo Ideapad Miix 310 is one of those great low budget 2 in 1 laptops that’s got reasonable screen resolution and the basics you’re going to need for standard computing needs. The machine has great battery life, which makes it exceptionally functional for someone who’s on the go a lot.
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The Lenovo Ideapad Miix 310 is a compact model, at 9.7 inches by 6.8 inches. With the keyboard attached, the Lenovo Ideapad is only 2.4 pounds as well, which makes it super transportable, and it’s got a 10.1-inch screen size. When the keyboard is detached, the tablet part of the 2 in 1 is only 1.3 pounds.
If you’re aiming to keep to a low budget, the Lenovo Ideapad Miix 310 really is one of the best options out there. You can easily surf the web, do minor office work, stream video, and other basic functions for a computer.
If you go overboard with your tabs and programs, though, you will find this model a bit sluggish. If you find that’s a problem, we’d recommend using a program like CCleaner to clear up the cache and history to restore the speed.
If you need something more advanced, you should keep looking at other models. These other models will run you more than the Lenovo Ideapad.
Top Premium 2 in 1 Laptop
The Asus Chromebook Flip is one of our top picks for sure. It’s considered a premium computer, and there’s a definite reason for that. The tactile screen, classy design, and overall attractiveness make this easy to use 2 in 1 as comfortable to use as a standard, classic laptop. That’s a huge thing in a 2 in 1.
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The rotating hinge is a 360 hinge that lets the Asus Chromebook Flip completely flip, which is, of course, where it gets its name.
The Asus Chromebook Flip has a 12.5 inch screen and weighs only 2.6 pounds.
Some review sites have rated this affordable 2 in 1 as one of the best possible laptops you can buy. Obviously, this rating is dependent on the user’s needs.
The Chromebook Flip has an all-aluminum chassis, and an anodized finish, rather than the brushed texture of former and similar models.
The lightweight nature of it, the high-resolution screen, and the great hinge, make the Asus Chromebook Flip a 2-in-1 that’s actually comfortable and easy to use in tablet mode. The magnetic clasp that pulls the screen lid tight to the underside of the notebook makes this 2 in 1 all the easier to use as a tablet.
Top Durable 2 in 1 Laptop
The Acer Chromebook Spin 11 is a moderately priced 2 in 1 laptop with a kind of rugged look. The touch panel on the screen is made of antimicrobial Corning Gorilla Glass, and is designed to withstand bumps and scratches.
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The nature of the design of this particular 2 in 1 makes it perfect for kids and younger students who might be a bit less cautious with caring for their electronics. The antimicrobial screen also makes this 2 in 1 great for people who work in groups that would the tablet/laptop around quite a bit.
The Acer Chromebook Spin 11 is 11.7 inches by 8.1 inches, with a thickness of 0.82 inches. The machine weighs 3.09 pounds. All said, the Acer Chromebook Spin 11 is a fairly lightweight, easy to manage model.
The Acer Chromebook Spin folds and flips through:
These different modes make the Acer Chromebook Spin one of the most versatile 2 in 1 laptops on the market. The Chromebook Spin comes with a Wacom stylus for sketching and scribbling on the screen when you’re working in Tablet mode.
The Chromebook Spin has an Intel Celeron N3350, 1.1 GHz dual-core processor, with 4 GIG RAM and 32 GIG eMMC flash storage. Reviewers could open ten browser tabs, including YouTube videos and Android apps without a noticeable slow down of the computer’s working.
The Chromebook Spin has great battery life of nearly 13 hours. You can even view downloaded video with reasonably high screen brightness without running down the battery.
The Chromebook Spin is a hardy machine that can really endure a lot of abuse. Testers actually dropped the Acer Chromebook Spin 11 from their desks at least a half dozen times, and splashed water on the keyboard, and were able to continue working without issue.
Best Typist’s 2 in 1 Laptop
If you do a lot of word processing, the Acer Switch 3 is probably the best 2 in 1 laptop under 600 dollars that you’ll find. The Acer Switch is a detachable hybrid that runs significantly lower than the comparable Microsoft Surface Pro.
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The keyboard is full-size on this machine. The Acer Switch 3 is 11.6 by 7.9 inches, which makes it one of the best hybrids available for people who type a lot on their 2 in 1s.
The Acer Switch 3 has all of the basic functions you need for computing, and is more convenient than your typical laptop, since it’s convertible to a tablet.
Choosing the Best 2 in 1 Laptop on Your Budget
If you’re buying your new 2 in 1 laptop online, be sure to read a large number of reviews before purchasing anything. While we think the four options we suggested are great, you may find something more suitable through the reviews on Amazon, Best Buy, or another site.
Verify the information matches across the reviews, and don’t be afraid to ask questions in forums like the one at Notebook Review. Getting professional and consumer input can help to guarantee you’ll get a great deal.
If you’re purchasing your new 2 in 1 laptop in a store, don’t be afraid to ask questions of the staff there.
While not everyone is an expert, they will have some strong understandings of how things work, who buys what for various tasks, and how to stretch your budget through sales and other deals.
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