A detachable laptop really gives us the best of both worlds. You can get your work done throughout the daytime, and in the evening, you can detach your laptop and just use its screen to browse the internet, watch Netflix or whatever else you want to do.
It essentially gets rid of the need for a separate tablet and laptop, so for many people, they’re a good idea to invest in. You might have also heard detachable laptops referred to as 2-in-1 laptops, or even convertible laptops – this really depends on their manufacturer.
Different brands of laptop will have their own name for this style. However, these laptops are not always “detachable”, and may only have the ability to flip the keyboard back behind the screen. We’re only going to be looking at laptops that allow you to completely detach the display from the keyboard.
So which detachable laptops are worth looking at, and which of them aren’t really up to scratch? Well, we’re going to take a look at some of the best options available now.
Best Detachable Laptops
|Product||Image||Screen Size||Specs||Get More Info|
|Microsoft Surface Pro 7||12.3 inch||8GB RAM||Check Price at Amazon|
|Microsoft Surface Book 3||13.5 inch||8GB RAM||Check Price at Amazon|
|Lenovo IdeaPad Duet Chromebook||10.1 inch||4GB RAM||Check Price at Amazon|
|Acer Aspire Switch Alpha 12 SA5-271||12 inch||4GB RAM||Check Price at Amazon|
|Acer Switch 5 SW512-52||12 inch||8GB RAM||Check Price at Amazon|
|Acer One 10 S1003||10.1 Inch||2GB RAM||Check Price at Amazon|
Operating System: Windows | Screen size: 12.3 inch | RAM: 8GB | Storage: 128GB SSD | Processor: Intel i5 | Average Battery Life: 8 hours
When you’re talking about detachable laptops, one of the first models that springs to mind is the Microsoft Surface Pro. With the Surface Pro 7 being released more recently, it’s a definite improvement on previous models.
This model comes with more than enough power for most casual users, combining an 15 processor with 8GB of RAM. It also has 128GB of storage space, which isn’t a great deal, but it should be enough for the average user.
As well as this, it has an impressively long battery life, so if you’re tired of your device running out in the evenings, then this should last you a full day. It’s the perfect model for artists, as you can also pick up the Surface pen. This can give you the ability to draw and write on its touchscreen.
Although some touchscreens aren’t of the best quality, this is well designed and also resilient enough that you don’t need to worry about damaging it. It’s also responsive enough for drawing on too. The Surface Pro 7 comes in two different colours to choose from.
So for those looking for a good sized screen that is somewhere between tablet and laptop, then the Surface Pro 7 is a good pick.
It’s more reliable than many other 2-in-1 laptops out there, and it has all the power of a laptop wrapped up into the form of a tablet. All you need to do is prop it up with the keyboard and you’re good to go.
Verdict: Although it is expensive, it is still one of the best 2-in-1 laptops on the market.
Operating System: Windows | Screen size: 13.5 inch | RAM: 8GB | Storage: 256GB SSD | Processor: Intel i5 | Average Battery Life: 7.5 hours
The truth is that when it comes to fully detachable laptops, Microsoft have the best options around. The gap where Apple don’t really want to tread – they want to keep their iPad line and Macbook line separate – leaves a real gap in the market for Microsoft to fill.
And the Surface Book 3 is a pretty impressive device in its own right. For gamers, it’s going to be one that stands out as you can easily use it with your Xbox controller. This means that if you want to set it up and play some games on it too, then it’s simple to do so.
There have been a few subtle improvements to this laptop over the previous Surface Book 2. It has a better battery life (but still not great), as well as improved processors – both the GPU and CPU in the updated Surface Book 3 are a little better than before.
It is really easy to use this laptop both for work, but also switch into tablet mode when you need to as well. So, it only makes sense that it’s an addition to the list, although it will likely be too expensive for most looking for a simple touchscreen laptop.
Verdict: This isn’t a budget 2-in-1 laptop, but if you’re looking for a high end design and strong performance, it’s a good choice.
Operating System: ChromeOS | Screen size: 10.1 inch | RAM: 4GB | Storage: 128GB | Processor: Mediatek | Average Battery Life: 9.5 hours
The Lenovo Chromebook Duet is a pretty well known laptop when it comes to those that are completely detachable. It’s one of the cheapest options that the brand offer, and it’s pretty affordable too.
What stands out about this device is that for such a small size, it has a really long battery life. You can easily use it for playing games in tablet mode for a full day without needing to worry about recharging it. This, combined with its size, makes it great for taking travelling with.
It has a 10.1 inch display, which actually makes it feel like using a tablet when you’ve got it in your hands. Though this definitely excludes business users from being interested, the Lenovo Chromebook Duet is certainly worth looking at if you want something you can use at your leisure.
Though it’s not all good – it has an underpowered CPU and little storage, so it’s not great if you’re looking for a proper laptop. But for a tablet that can be used to type on occasion, it’s actually pretty faultless.
Verdict: It’s one of the top choices if you’re looking for something that can be used in true tablet mode. It has a lightweight design that makes it ideal if you need something portable.
Operating System: Windows | Screen size: 12 inch | RAM: 4GB | Storage: 128GB SSD | Processor: Intel i3 | Average Battery Life: 6 hours
If you’re looking for a more budget friendly 2-in-1 laptop, then this Acer Aspire model might be more suitable. It doesn’t have the power of the Surface Pro, but it’s a lot cheaper. And for some people, it would prove to be a better, more cost effective choice.
The laptop comes with 4GB of RAM and an i3 processor, with 128GB of storage. Sure, the specs aren’t the most impressive compared to others out there, but it’s a much more affordable option than many others out there.
Although it’s a lot cheaper than the others listed, that doesn’t mean that you’re compromising on quality. It has the same high quality HD IPS display that more expensive, and it’s a relatively lightweight design for you to use too. It comes fully installed with Windows 10.
The keyboard is quite large, but it doesn’t stop the laptop itself from being quite portable and easy to carry around with you. It has a CPU cooling system which helps to keep it cool yet also quiet at the same time. The 2160×1440 resolution screen combines with the 2 front facing audio speakers to give a good experience too.
Not everyone needs a 8GB laptop for their day to day use. If you’re just looking for something you can casually browse the internet with and watch some videos, then this Acer Alpha 12 SA5-271 would be a great choice.
Verdict: When it comes to finding something cost effective, Acer often make the best convertible laptops.
Operating System: Windows | Screen size: 12 inch | RAM: 8GB | Storage: 256GB SSD | Processor: Intel i5 | Average Battery Life: 7.5 hours
Aside from the Surface Pro series, things begin to get a little scarce in other completely detachable laptops out there. One of the main competitors of the Surface Pro series is the Acer Switch 5 SW512-52, which is another 12 inch detachable laptop.
Like the Surface Pro, they manage to pack a surprisingly impressive amount of power into a small device. With the same 8GB RAM & i5 processor specs as the Microsoft laptop too, there isn’t much to choose between the two. It also has a good quality display that’s a good choice for those who want something interactive.
Another good thing about the SW512-52 is that it’s essentially noiseless, with very little cooling technology in place. This means you won’t need to deal with overheating or loud fans within the laptop itself, as there’s none of this with this model, even if you’re using it for prolonged periods of time.
The only downside to this laptop in comparison to the Surface Pro 7 is that the battery life isn’t as good. So whilst it’s pretty similar in most other areas, this is the only thing about this model that lets it down a little.
Verdict: This model has a completely detachable keyboard, so it might be the best option for you.
Operating System: Windows | Screen size: 10.1 inch | RAM: 2GB | Storage: 32GB eMMC | Processor: Intel | Average Battery Life: 5 hours
For those who aren’t looking for a proper laptop, then the Acer One S1003 might be more suitable than any other that I’ve mentioned here.
It would prove to be the best option for someone looking for a tablet, which has the added bonus of being used as a Notebook on occasion when you really need to. It’s not good for long term use as a Notebook, but it could be used for emails etc.
This Notebook only has 2GB of RAM. This means that it will be powerful enough for scrolling the internet, and checking your emails, as well as streaming videos. What it won’t be powerful enough for is using intensive programs, like Photoshop and other design software.
In many cases, an expensive detachable laptop might not prove to be the best choice. If you only really need a tablet that can be used as a Notebook on occasion, then this Acer device might be your best bet.
Verdict: Although many people will want something much more powerful, there’s nothing wrong with this Acer laptop.
Common Questions about Detachable Laptops
How does a detachable laptop work?
Essentially, a detachable laptop is a high powered tablet that can be connected to a keyboard via a docking system. For it to be classified as a detachable, it must have a full keyboard for you to use with the device. When you connect the tablet to the keyboard, you can then stand it up, and use it like you would a normal laptop.
What is the point of a detachable 2 in 1 Laptop?
The main point of a detachable laptop is that you’re going to get the best of both. If you already use a tablet in the evening to scroll through the internet, then you’ll know how much more convenient they are than a standard tablet. With a detachable, you’ll be able to use a laptop during the day to get all of your work done, and a tablet in the evening for casual use too.
Can a detachable 2 in 1 laptop be used for gaming?
If you’re looking for a laptop for gaming, then it’s best that you buy a gaming laptop specifically, and then buy a separate tablet for casual use. There are no good 2-in-1 laptops that can be used for serious gaming. However, they are perfect for gamers like Temple Run and Candy Crush!
Which detachable laptop is best?
For those who don’t know which option to go for, then it’s always a good idea to play it safe by opting to go for a Microsoft Surface Pro. They are always at the top of the list when considering this style of laptop.
Is Apple making a detachable 2 in 1 Laptop?
It doesn’t look like Apple are making a detachable laptop any time in the near future. It’s not really their style to do this, plus they have a ton of people who want both their Macbooks and iPads. So giving people both in one would probably cost them sales in the long run.
In conclusion, getting a detachable laptop is a really good idea for people who spend time in the evenings scrolling through the internet. It can give you the ability to use a tablet whenever you want to, and switch this to a laptop whenever you need it as well.
It’s not the best choice for a work laptop, as they tend to be pretty small in size. But for some people, this style will be the best option, as it combines the best of both devices.