PC Gear Lab

5 Best 2 in 1 Laptops for College Students in 2020

If you are looking for a new laptop and you want to roll in style, then convertible laptops are an excellent option.

This article is dedicated to the the best 2 in 1 laptops for college students. There is good and bad news when it comes to these laptops. The good news is that most of them have a great performance and they look plain gorgeous with their touchscreen, the bad news is that they you can rarely find them in budget specs.

Therefore, if you are looking for the most economical laptop for college, then 2 in 1 laptops may not be the right option for you.

However, if you are a bit flexible with your budget, then what you can get here is a machine that is pure beauty and adds several dimensions to how you can use it.

List of Best 2 in 1 Laptops for College Students in 2020

The following were chosen based upon their reviews and performance / dollar value.

  1. Lenovo Flex 5 81X20005US – 14″ – Recommended 2 in 1 Laptop for College Students
  2. HP Envy X360 – 15.6″ – Large Screen Convertible Laptops for College
  3. Microsoft Surface Go – Affordable Windows Option
  4. HP Pavilion x360 – Popular Intel Based Laptop
  5. Samsung Chromebook 4 – Most Economical Option

1. Lenovo Flex 5 81X20005US – 14″ – Recommended 2 in 1 Laptop for College Students

First up we have the most recommended 2 in 1 laptop in this list. We seriously cannot get enough of this. If you need a laptop that sets a precedent for others to follow this year, then this is best 2 in 1 laptop for college students.

The performance / dollar value that you get with this is simply extraordinary.

For starters, this laptop features the latest AMD Ryzen 5 4500U processor. The latest 4th Gen Ryzen processors have drastically improved over their previous gen counter parts.

Hence, the Ryzen 4500U is 50% better in performance as compared to the the Ryzen 5 3500U. This is a truly remarkable feat as successive generations rarely give such a high performance boost.

AMD 4500U vs AMD 3500U
AMD 4500U (Left) vs AMD 3500U (Right). Source: CPU. Userbenchmark.com

Other than that, this laptop offers a good 16 GB of RAM making it more than suitable for professional levels of editing and rendering job. Basically, it is far more than enough for an average college student.

It also offers a 256 GB of SSD. While this may seem lacking, SSDs are generally expensive but they are very fast. If you need to expand, then we recommend investing in an external HDD.

As far as the screen is concerned, this offers a 14″ screen with FHD resolution, touch capable and comes with a Digital Pen.

14″ screen is generally perceived as the right size for convertible laptops as it bridges the gap of screen comfort of a 15.6″ screen laptop and portability of a 13.3″ screen.

Of course, the best part here is the sheer value it gives. It has the performance of a high end laptop but the price tag of a mid range one.

Hence, if you want the most valuable option, then we this is one of the best 2 in 1 laptops for college students.

2. HP Envy X360 – 15.6″ – Large Screen Convertible Laptops for College

Here we have another 2 in 1 laptop with an amazing hardware configuration on hand. Plus, the HP envy series really needs no introduction. As far as aesthetics go, these are some of the most beautiful machines.

Like the previous laptop, this too features a good AMD Ryzen 5 4500U processor. Again, this processor is far more sufficient than mere simple college tasks. You can literally perform intermediate levels for editing and designing jobs on this processor.

The way it separates itself from the previous laptop is in the screen size department. This is a larger 15.6″ laptop. A larger screen means better working comfort.

Hence, if you are particularly looking for a large screen convertible laptop, then this the best 2 in 1 laptop for college students because it has an amazing processor that too at an amazing price tag.

Ofcourse, the downside here is that a larger laptop is generally less portable.

The base model with 8 GB of RAM and 256 GB of SSD is quite affordable and falls perfectly in the mid range. You can find variant of this laptop with higher RAM and SSD capacity should you require.

Like most 2 in 1 laptops, this too offers a very long battery life of 13 hours. Hence it should easily last you the entire span of your time at college without needing a power source.

3. Microsoft Surface Go – Affordable Windows Option

Microsoft Surface Go is a different kind of 2 in 1 laptop. While the rest of the convertible laptops here have a hinge rotate mechanism, this laptop is basically a detachable 2 in 1 model.

It is detachable in the sense that its hardware is located behind its screen instead of underneath its keyboard. Hence, this is primarily a tablet than a laptop. You can combine this with the keyboard to operate it as a conventional laptop.

We have chosen this because it is highly affordable. That is because of two reason. Firstly, it offers a weaker hardware compared to the laptops above and secondly, it is slightly older.

Nevertheless, aesthetically speaking, popularity wise and performance wise, this still tops the chart for its price category.

This Microsoft Surface Go utilizes a weak entry level Intel Gold Processor. While still in the entry level range, it is faster than a Celeron processor. Hence for basic tasks and study, this is more than sufficient.

Other than that, it comes with an ample 8GB of RAM and 128 GB of SSD for its price.

You must note that the Stylus and the keyboard are to be bought separately but even with that, the overall price comes out to be quite economical.

Another important point to note is that this is highly portable thanks to its 10″ screen size and weight measurement of mere 1.3 lbs.

Therefore, if portability is the main factor that you are after, then this is one of the best 2 in 1 laptops for college students in our opinion. The other critical reason being that it is quite affordable.

4. HP Pavilion x360 dh2011nr – Popular Intel Based Laptop

HP Pavilion x360 dh2011nr is another contender for the mid range convertible laptop for college students.

We have chosen this laptop for its popularity, competitive pricing and of course, the Intel based system.

Unlike the Lenovo Flex 5 81X20005US above, this laptop features the Intel Core i5-1035G1 Quad Core processor. Unfortunately though, compared to the Ryzen 5 4500U processor, this is weaker.

Intel Core i5-1035G1 vs AMD Ryzen 4500U
Intel Core i5-1035G1 (Left) vs AMD Ryzen 4500U (Right). Source: CPU. UserBenchmark.com

Hence, if performance is what you are after, then we recommend you stick with the Lenovo Flex 5 above.

It also has a lower amount of RAM at 8 GB. The only positive aspect of this laptop in terms of core hardware is that this features a higher of SSD storage i.e 512 GB.

Plus, some of you may simply be fan of the design this offers.

5. Samsung Chromebook 4 – Most Economical Option

Here we have something different. Samsung Chromebook 4 is, well, a Chromebook and hence it does things in a completely different fashion as compared to Windows and Mac based systems.

For starters, this is a very compact and a small laptop at 11.6″ screen size. Therefore, it is highly recommended if portability is your #1 priority.

On top of that, it is highly affordable, far more affordable than any other laptop in this list.

You may have noticed that this machine offers a very weak hardware configuration with an entry level Intel Celeron 4000 processor, a mere 4 GB of RAM and only 32 GB of RAM.

That is is because, Chromebooks are designed primarily to utilize the cloud computing as the way to work.

Therefore, instead of installing software on the machine and utilizing the processing power of the machine itself, you are encouraged to use online applications.

When using online applications, all you need is a fast and a stable internet connection. Hence you basically utilize the resources of the servers instead of the built in components.

This Chromebook features an exceptional battery life of 12.5 hrs and if you combine that with its already portable profile, you literally get a model that is a perfect companion for walking around in college.

All in all, if you are looking for a portable and an affordable model and you don’t mind a Chromebook, then this is one of the best 2 in 1 laptops for college students.

FAQ

How to Choose the Right Convertible Laptops for College Students?

best 2 in 1 laptop for college students

College is an exciting period where the disposition of an average student varies drastically.

You will find that a certain set of students are very technologically inclined. These students tend to have knack for learning and trying out newer software ranging from photo editing to video editing etc.

Moreover, you will find others indulging themselves in complex programming and simulation software. Other still may be gamers looking for the top of the line specs.

And then you have the vast majority of college students who just need a machine good enough for basic college work and studies such as performing research and word processing.

Hence the hardware that you choose must reflect your needs and intentions.

Processor

best 2 in 1 laptops for college students
Pay particular attention to the processor. The more heavier tasks and software it can handle.

As mentioned earlier, the hardware depends entirely upon your needs and the type of tasks you wish to perform.

An average notebook for college does not have to be a high end machine. In fact, for tasks like researching, internet surfing, multimedia usage, even an entry level processor would suffice.

However, as you may have seen above, an entry level processor is hard to find in a convertible laptop.

Hence, you are more or less limited to mid range processors most of the times.

A good performance based mid range convertible laptop should feature an AMD Ryzen 5 or an Intel Core i5 processor from the latest gen from the respective brands.

Note that for low key tasks, these processors are an overkill. They are good enough for heavier tasks like photo editing, video editing etc.

You can find entry level processors but for 2 in 1 laptops an entry level configuration is bit rare these days.

Graphics Card

Certain few college students most certainly need a dedicated graphics card. Gamers and enthusiasts require a dedicated graphics card.

Unfortunately, finding a dedicated graphics card on a 2 in 1 laptop is tough feat.

Hence, if you are looking for a gaming grade convertible laptop, then you may be disappointed.

RAM

RAM is again quite subjective. A college student who would use their laptop primarily for studies would not need anything higher than an 8 GB of RAM.

In fact, if you are on a budget then even 4 GB of RAM would do fine.

If you plan to seriously work on professional levels of designing and editing software then you can look into 12 or 16 GB of RAM.

Storage

If you want to experience the most visible and tangible performance difference, then we recommend getting a 2 in 1 notebook with an SSD.

Unfortunately though, SSDs are expensive therefore you should not expect a high storage capacity. If you have a huge media files to store, then an HDD is a better option.

In our personal opinion, having an SSD internal drive for the laptop with an external HDD combination for archiving large files works best.

Final Words

In this article we looked at some of the best 2 in 1 laptops for college students. We looked at affordable, small and large notebooks.

It must be noted again that most 2 in 1 laptops lack a graphics card and hence if you are a gamer or work on software that require GPU acceleration than these may not be the right option for you.

However, if you are into designing, photo editing or if you simply need a device that can add another layer to how you interact with it, then convertible notebooks are great for you as a college student.

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