Guides Laptops

The Advantages and Disadvantages of a 2-in-1 Hybrid Laptop

Learn about the advantages and disadvantages of a hybrid laptop so you will know if it is right for you when you are on the hunt for a new laptop.

Please Note: As an Amazon Associate we earn a small commission for qualifying purchases from our site. Learn more about our editorial policies.

Hybrid laptops and convertible laptops such as the Microsoft Surface Book are all the rage today, and with good reason. Of course, just because they are the “in” thing today, doesn’t mean that will be so tomorrow, and it doesn’t necessarily mean they are right for you. Like any other device, 2-in-1 laptops and laptops convertibles have their own strengths and weaknesses that need to be considered before they are purchased by anyone looking for a new laptop.

That, of course, is where we come in. Many of you have already trusted us and taken our advice when purchasing a new laptop. That is why we bring you articles like these. After all, you don’t have to be a computer guy to understand what you need and don’t need in a new computer. All you need is a little information, and I’m here to give it to you.

Today, let’s look at both the advantages and the disadvantages of a 2-in-1 laptop. Once you understand these strengths and weaknesses, you will be able to make a decision about whether or not it is right for you and your needs in a computer.

The Advantages

First, let’s take a look at all the good things about these devices. These advantages will make it very tempting to make a hybrid laptop your laptop of choice moving forward.

One Device to Rule Them All

The main benefit of these devices is their ability to transform between a laptop, equipped with a keyboard and a trackpad, and a tablet and its touchscreen glory. This gives you the power of both types of devices and the ability to run both desktop apps and tablet apps with ease. In the end, it means that you won’t have to drop your hard earned money on both a laptop and a tablet. Instead, you only have to buy one device and it will do everything those two devices will do without breaking a sweat.


First, let me just say that today this isn’t always the case, as some of the hybrids are exactly the same size as a regular laptop. Still, size does play an important role. In fact, you will find that many of the hybrids are 13 inches or smaller in size. In most cases, they are thin and light making them easy to carry around with you. The smaller size also means they work great as tablets, but even in laptop form, most are still large enough to be functional as well.

Battery Life

Often these devices are optimized to make great use of the battery included in them. That means their hardware is very power friendly allowing you to get more out of your battery between charges. At the end of the day, that means that you will easily get more time before needing a charge so don’t have to worry as much about losing power at the wrong time.


Probably the biggest strength of a hybrid is their portability. Because of their small size, they are easy to carry with you wherever you go. In the past, you may have to carry your laptop, your tablet and your smartphone around with you when you travel. No more. With a hybrid, you can carry one device for everything, although you are still going to want your smartphone. There is no denying the small screen size and the thin and light design make these devices kings of portability. If you do a lot of traveling or just need to carry your device with you from place to place, then a hybrid will give you the very best of both the laptop and tablet platforms in an easy to carry package.

The Disadvantages

Now that we understand what they are good at, let’s examine some of the downsides of purchasing this type of laptop.

The Price

Prices are coming down on these devices almost every day. That’s a great thing. Still, you will probably notice that the prices of these types of devices are often higher than a traditional laptop with comparable specs. This is usually due to the inclusion of the touch screen that adds to the overall cost. But demand is also playing a role. More and more consumers want these devices and that drives the prices up. While it is good to see them falling, if your primary use of the device will be for a laptop, then you may want to stick with a laptop to save a few bucks. However, if you are looking to replace your tablet and your laptop, then it may be worth it in the end, as you won’t have to buy two replacement devices.

Overall Power

Sure you will find a few devices out there that boast pretty powerful specs. But have you ever tried to run a regular PC game on a hybrid? I didn’t think so. While there are a few options out there that solve this inherent problem, they often come at a big price. Most of the devices today, however, features specs that are very power efficient. They don’t necessarily boast the latest and greatest chips with the best video cards. Often you have to settle for a more middle of the road type of PC. While this isn’t a big deal if you just do basic types of tasks on your system, if you want to do anything intense then you really want to have a machine dedicated to that task. If you don’t, you will find that many hybrids just aren’t built to handle it while performing the way you need.


I know I mentioned this one as a strength above. Still, that doesn’t mean it isn’t a weakness as well. What do I mean by that? Allow me to explain. Sure the smaller designs and the thin and light design make it easy to carry, but the small screen can work against you in a laptop work environment. When in laptop mode, you will be stuck with the small screen size for all your tasks unless you purchase an external monitor to help you when you are spending long hours at your laptop.

When Making Your Decision

When making your decision between a traditional laptop and a hybrid laptop, please make sure you consider all of the above advantages and disadvantages. You need to know and understand exactly what you are buying so you can make sure you it is right for you. If you aren’t sure, feel free to ask. You can always contact us for help and we will be glad to give you a hand with your decision.

All About You

At the end of the day, it is really all about you. What I mean is that it depends on your needs and how you use a computer that will determine if a hybrid laptop is right for you. For some of you, I’m guessing it will make perfect sense. For others, you are probably wondering why you ever considered one to begin with. Whatever the outcome, always make sure you pick the laptop that is right for you. Don’t ever pick one just because it is the latest “in” thing to purchase. If you do, you could end up not liking what you purchased at all, and we definitely don’t want that.

Final Thoughts

Hybrid laptops are all the rage right now, and there is no denying they are pretty cool. Their touch screens and the ability to switch between a tablet and a laptop make them incredibly useful, but that doesn’t mean they are right for everyone. For some, a regular laptop just makes more sense. At the end of the day, you want to get what is right for you. So please, consider all the good and the bad about these laptops and even regular laptops before you buy. If you do, you will be much more likely to make the right decision and get a laptop that you will enjoy using day in and day out. View our recommendations on the best 2 in 1 laptops  if you are sure that a convertible as the way for you.

What do you think about hybrid laptops compared to traditional laptops? Do you find them much more useful or do you prefer a more traditional setup? Tell me your thoughts about this in the comments below. I would love to hear from you.

By Matt Garrett

Matt is an IT professional with over fifteen years experience supporting network infrastructure and computers. An avid gamer, Matt enjoys his time playing and writing about his experiences both in the IT world and in the gaming communities. You can find more of his writing on our sister ShopNinja sites where he enjoys talking about anything and everything tech.

2 replies on “The Advantages and Disadvantages of a 2-in-1 Hybrid Laptop”

Hi, I have 2 laptops in mind but I don’t know which one to go for. The xps 15 or hp spectre x360 15. I dont game or do video editing and all. Maybe light phitoshop, streaming videos and a lot of coding. Xps 15 has a lot of power. But do I need that much or will the spectre do just fine?

Sorry for the delayed replay. There are a few different configurations currently available for both of these laptop ranges. I would recommend the HP Spectre x360 – 15-ap063nr, which is currently on sale from HP. While it might still run a 6th generation Intel Core i5 processor, it will easily allow you to stream videos and do some light to intermediate Photoshop work. The bonus is that it features a 4K display, which is great for coding as you can set the resolution higher and the display will display more of your coding application that you are using. If the 4K resolution is too much for you, you can always set it lower while still knowing that you can use the display to watch 4K videos. HP also have some great offers on their newer 2017 line, however one of the two 15.6-inch version are currently out of stock and their 13-inch version will be too small unless you intend on using a monitor as your main display while coding.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *