Best 2 in 1 Laptops 2020: HP Envy x360 vs Lenovo Flex 5 vs Dell Inspiron vs Acer Spin 3

Here is my list of best convertible 2-in-1 windows laptops that you can buy this holiday shopping season. All these laptops are priced under 1000 dollars, and some of these are going to be heavily discounted during the thanksgiving and Christmas holiday shopping season. So if you are in the market for a convertible 2-in-1 windows laptop, keep reading!

Lenovo Flex 5

Lenovo Flex 5 also known as IdeaPad Flex 5, is one of the fastest thin and light 2-in-1 convertible laptop that you can buy right now. You have the choice of going with either Intel or AMD processors. My recommendation is to pick the AMD Ryzen 4000 series CPUs which comes in 6 and 8 core configurations. Lenovo Flex 5 oozes a very clean, minimalist and a professional look. There are no gaudy flourishes or distractions except for a small silver colored “Lenovo” logo on the top right corner. Its exterior body has a grainy metallic finish which feels very grippy while holding. 

This laptop weighs only 3.3 pounds which translates to one and a half kilogram, making it light enough to toss in a backpack and carry around. Flex 5 has two metallic hinges that provide sturdy support to the screen. In laptop mode, this hinge mechanism provides ample resistance when pressing the touchscreen with either your fingers or stylus. You can tap the screen and scroll with your fingers without experiencing any screen wobbling. In my 6 months of using this laptop, I have flipped it multiple times from clamshell mode to tent mode and to tablet mode, and the hinge has always felt solid and reliable.

Lenovo Flex 5 has got a 14” Full HD touchscreen display. It's an LED backlit IPS panel with a maximum brightness of 250 nits. This is a glossy screen which makes videos and pictures pop out and texts look crisp and sharp. But the best part is the Lenovo Active Pen. I use this pen with Microsoft OneNote app and Windows Ink Workspace to take notes and make digital art, stuff like painting and sketching. This pen boasts high accuracy providing over 2000 levels of pressure sensitivity, and very low latency resulting in great note taking experience. You don't need to raise your palm and avoid touching the screen while writing. This is because the laptop automatically recognizes and differentiates between the pen tip and your palm. So you can comfortably rest your palm on the screen surface while using the pen.

When it comes to performance Lenovo Flex 5 is a beast. I will recommend going with either an 8-core   processor or a 6-core Ryzen 5 4500U processor. In Passmark CPU benchmark, both these CPUs wipe the floor with Intel's latest Core-i7 CPU. You will have no trouble running any application on this laptop. Whether you are planning to use this laptop for internet surfing, casual gaming, or serious productivity work, Flex 5 will breeze through all these tasks without any hiccups. 

This laptop comes with 3 Cell 52.5 Whr battery capacity which coupled with these power optimized ryzen processors deliver great battery life. In PCMark 10 Battery test, a test designed to simulate real world battery usage by running common office applications at regular intervals, I got an impressive 8 hours of battery life. When it comes to keyboard and trackpad, Lenovo does not disappoint. The keyboard provides great typing experience and the trackpad is fast and responsive. You also get a fingerprint sensor for passwordless login

So overall, I think Lenovo Flex 5 is a really compelling laptop for both students and working professionals. Checkout links to both 6-core and 8-core AMD models as well as intel model in the video description below

HP Envy x360

This is a premium 2-in-1 convertible laptop that comes in both 13.3 and 15.6 inch screen sizes. You have the option of going with either an Intel or an AMD processor. But if you are a student or a working professional, my recommendation is to go with the 15.6” model with AMD Ryzen 4500u processor. This is the same processor that Lenovo Flex 5 is using, so you can expect identical CPU performance from both these laptops. Envy x360 comes with Radeon 6 integrated GPU based on Vega graphics. It's good enough to play 4k videos from youtube and netflix without dropping any frames. You can also play games like fortnite at default settings and get an average frame rate of about 45 fps which is pretty good for a smooth gaming session.

This configuration sells for around $700. The HP active pen is optional and I do recommend getting it with this laptop. Envy x360’s entire body is made from aluminium giving it a very solid feel. This is a very macho laptop with well defined edges and corners. When it is closed, the top lid and base of the laptop come together to create a wedge style grip. This makes opening the laptop with one hand very easy. The metallic hinge on this laptop is built like a tank. It's taut and delivers a consistent torque when opening the laptop. While using the laptop in clamshell mode, this hinge securely holds the screen in place preventing any wobbling during vigorous typing. It also offers ample resistance when pressing the touchscreen with your fingers or stylus.

Both 13.3 and 15.6 inch models of HP Envy x360 come with a Full HD touch screen display. It's an LED backlit IPS panel with a maximum brightness of 250 nits. It's bright enough for indoor use but it will struggle outdoors. This is a glossy screen which makes videos and pictures pop out. The text also looks sharp which makes browsing the web and working on documents and other productivity tasks very easy on the eyes. I really like the thin bezels on the side and top of this screen. The bottom bezels are chunky, but you will need them for holding this rather large screen in tablet mode. 

Just like Lenovo Flex 5, this laptop also supports Active pen. The screen digitizer uses “N-trig” technology which is the same tech Microsoft uses in their latest Surface Pro devices. I have been using the HP Active Pen for the last few months, mostly for note taking, but occasionally for sketching and painting. This pen boasts high accuracy and offers excellent palm rejection. It provides multiple levels of pressure sensitivity which is great for making digital art. When writing on any digital surface, latency is very important. Poor latency creates a delay between your pen movement and what you see on the screen which is very jarring. But this laptop’s screen digitizer works really well with HP’s active Pen. The latency is low enough to create a natural writing experience. You also don't need to raise your palm and avoid touching the screen while writing because of its excellent palm rejection technology.

Envy x360 has a backlit enabled island style keyboard. The keys offer a decent amount of travel distance and a springy tactile feedback resulting in a great typing experience. There is a fingerprint reader placed directly under the arrow keys. It's fast and responsive and it's great for passwordless logins. The trackpad is large measuring almost 5 inches in width and 2.5 inches in height. The build quality of this trackpad is excellent. HP has added a layer of glass on the top giving it a very premium feel. It does not wobble and gives a satisfying click when pressed. Overall, HP Envy x360 is another compelling laptop for both students and working professionals including digital artists who use active pen to create digital art

Dell Inspiron

Next up, its Dell Inspiron 2-in-1 Series laptops. These come in three different screen sizes 13.3”, 14” and 15.6”. You have a choice of going with either the 10th gen intel core-i5 processor or the faster core-i7 processor. Dell Inspiron comes in stylish Urban Grey color with a metallic finish. This gives it a very premium look and feel. The top lid is made of aluminium and feels solid while holding in hands. The palm rest under the keyboard is also made from aluminium. While the rest of the body appears to be metallic, it's actually injection moulded Polycarbonate. But you could be easily forgiven for mistaking it as a unibody aluminum design. 

Dell Inspiron comes with a 360 degree hinge mechanism. There are 2 hinges that hold the screen in various arrangements. Typically hinges on a convertible laptop are not all that sturdy and they have some play in them. But this hinge holds the screen in place quite rigidily and I did not notice any screen wobbles. You can use this laptop in traditional clam-shell orientation, or tablet mode by flipping the screen all the way back 360 degrees. In tablet mode, the keys are deactivated and you don't have to worry about accidental key presses. There is also a presentation or tent mode which is great for sharing slides, spreadsheets or documents with a colleague, business partner or client. 

I personally prefer the mode where you tilt the screen back 180 degrees and lay it flat. This is great when you are chilling in your bed or couch watching videos while the laptop is comfortably resting on your lap. The tablet mode is great for drawing and taking notes because it fully supports an Active Pen. But unfortunately dell does not include this active pen with the laptop which is a bummer. I will provide links to some good quality active pens that will work with this laptop. I love the performance and battery life of this laptop thanks to the 10th generation intel CPUs.The Full HD touchscreen is plenty bright for indoor use, the keyboard and trackpad are excellent and Dell offers plenty of port selection. Overall, Dell Inspiron is a great choice for anyone looking for a good quality budget 2-in-1 laptop. I have put links to 13.3”, 14” and 15.6” model of this laptop in the video description below

Acer Spin 3

Acer Spin 3 is one of the more affordable choice in the thin-n-light 2-in-1 windows laptop category. Yet, Acer has managed to pack some high end specs in this laptop. It is powered by the 10th Gen Intel Core i5 or Core-i7 processors which provide more than enough horsepower to tackle any kind of work-load. This laptop weighs about 3.75 pounds and is 0.78 inches thick. In order to get to the 700 dollar price point, Acer has made some compromises. This laptop is made of ABS polycarbonate material instead of fancy unibody magnesium-aluminium alloy found in more premium laptops. But the build quality is surprisingly good and this laptop feels solid in hand. When you open the lid, you see a black texturized upper bezel and a glossy silver bottom. The silver finishing does a good job at repelling smudges and scratches.

Acer Spin 3’s 360 degree hinge can hold the screen in various arrangements from a traditional clam-shell laptop mode, to laying flat on a table, to tent mode and finally to tablet mode. I did not notice any screen wobbles when using it in either laptop or tablet mode. The tablet mode is great for using the included active pen for note taking and making digital art. Acer Spin3 has a built-in storage dock for the active pen which also acts as a charger. It charges the pen very quickly, just 5 seconds in the dock will juice it up for about an hour's use. 

The active stylus pen is Microsoft certified and it fully supports Microsoft Pen Protocol. So that means apps like Microsoft OneNote, Windows Ink Workspace and Autodesk SketchBook work without issues. The 14 inches Full HD touchscreen display is using an LED backlit IPS Panel. It has very thin bezels measuring only 0.38 inches. This gives it a 78.9% screen-to-body ratio which is pretty impressive for a 2-in-1 laptop screen. The screen is plenty bright, clocking about 240 nits of brightness. The contrast level is also good and the screen produces deep inky blacks.

So overall, Acer Spin 3 is a good budget choice for folks looking for a 2-in1 touchscreen laptop with active pen support. It offers great performance, nice touchscreen display, 8 hours of battery life, good keyboard and trackpad, and plenty of port choices.

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