2-in-1 laptops are considered a steal deal because they are an amalgamation of 2 devices within one hardware, i.e. a notebook and a tablet. It saves you from spending hefty bucks on 2 devices. Also known as a convertible laptop or a hybrid laptop, it supports easy mobility due to its compact design.
Whether you’re are a student, working professional or a business owner, this budget range has many models you shall consider. Evidently, it becomes necessary for you to own an easy-to-use laptop that doesn’t burn your pocket while ensuring decent specifications to meet your routine tasks like project creation, assignment submission, presentations, learning concepts, and occasional online recreation.
After testing around 43 different 2 in 1 laptops that costed less than $500. Here we are, with the list of best-rated options for you to consider in 2020.
That being said, with a limited budget like this, you might not be able to get the best possible performance. However, if you’ve decided to stick to the budget, then the models in this list are going to be helpful. Because we’ve conducted various tests on each model before adding them here.
- Best 2 in 1 Laptops Under 500 Dollars
- 1. Best Overall: Dell Inspiron 13 7000
- 2. Best in Performance: Lenovo Flex 14
- 3. Best Touch-Screen Experience: ASUS 13-inch
- 4. Best Value for Money: Microsoft Surface Pro 4
- 5. Best Chromebook Under $500: HP Chromebook x360
- 6. Best Runner Up: Lenovo Ideapad Flex 14
- 7. Good Convertible Laptop: Dell Inspiron 14 5481
- 8. Best Chrome OS Based: Asus Chromebook C302
- 9. Best in Design: Microsoft Surface Go
- 10. Good Laptop Under Budget: ASUS VivoBook Flip 14
- Frequently Asked Questions
Best 2 in 1 Laptops Under 500 Dollars
In order to find the best match amongst a multitude of laptop options from various brands, it’s important to know the minimum system requirements needed for the tasks/software you’ll be doing/performing. Because, like mentioned in our $800 laptop guide, the trick when buying budget laptops is to make sure that it has all the specs/resources you’ll need for performing tasks you’re buying it for.
1. Best Overall: Dell Inspiron 13 7000
The 2020 flagship premium Dell Inspiron 13 7000 is one of a kind launch from the brand in that it competes with Dell’s premium XPS line of laptops at a significantly lower price point. It has a sleek (16 mm thick) and a light-weight (3.52 pounds) design with a sturdy build making it a great choice in terms of portability.
The 360-degree hinge makes the 2-in-1 laptop transform into a tablet. It also has 2.00 GHz AMD Ryzen 5 2500U competitive processor along with a decent memory of 8GB DDR4 and 256GB SSD storage. What else do you need for less than 500 dollars?
Inclusion of AMD Radeon Vega 8 GPU makes it a value for money notebook. Although, you can’t expect this device to edit/render videos, run DAWs or 3D modeling or use it for machine learning, but you surely can use it for basic tasks such as photo editing, playing medium-resource intensive games like Minecraft or high-resource intensive games on low graphic settings, etc.
Moreover, the Dell Inspiron 13 7000 also includes a quick face unlock feature in the form of Windows Hello. Aside from a speedy and powerful performance, the device also has a crisp and detailed 1920×1080 IPS HD display. If you’re an Art student or are into digital drawing, then you can also add a handy active pen accessory on the side.
You might, however, note that dynamic brightness gets activated when on battery, modifying the backlit brightness quite significantly without a manual nudge. Yet again, the speakers might not satisfy the listener, given that the bottom placement makes room for muffling. So if the purpose of buying this machine includes high focus on listening to music, then maybe you should avoid.
As for the keyboard, the structure of keys with large modifiers is really helpful if you spend huge time typing articles or research papers on your laptop. Yet, the tactical feedback and trackpad seem to be decent.
The battery life of up to 7 hours is modest. Although, in our tests we found that it lasted around 5.5 hours of continuous browsing which is quite great for the price you’re paying.
Overall, the performance of the Dell 13 7000 is good enough considering the price. The machine also includes a USB-C port alongside 2 USB 3.1 Type-A ports, HDMI, SD card reader, and a headphone jack. However, the USB-C port can’t perform charging through this port, unlike XPS models.
- A powerful processor for a smooth performance
- Crisp display with an HD IPS Screen
- Provision of USB-C port at an affordable price
- Quick face unlock feature
- Keyboard layout ensures a smooth typing experience
- Slightly heavy for a tablet
- Speakers lack a good performance
2. Best in Performance: Lenovo Flex 14
Lenovo Flex 14 comes with a design that falls somewhere between budget and premium laptops. At 14 inches thin, the Lenovo Flex 14 convertible is sleek and houses the bottom speakers wedged, so that the sound isn’t muffled when placed on a surface.
The Onyx Black gives it a classy finish and the laptop comes with a durable and sturdy chassis. 2 USB slots, an SD card reader, and power button are situated on the right while charging port, HDMI, 1 USB, and a 3.5 mm jack are located on the left side.
The 2-in-1 laptop is a go-to for those who seek routine productivity under $500 with a backlit keypad and a precision touchpad. Additionally, a fingerprint reader adds security to the Flex 14 Convertible through Windows Hello supporting Quick login.
As for the display, the Flex 14 falls short of providing a balanced display experience for users due to the budget. Color quality is barely average, and the brightness levels are not contained well when the device is being used outdoors. While the touch works very well, there is a provision of adding a Windows Ink pen. Moreover, even under such low price, this 2-in-1 laptop comes with a Full HD display.
The 3.1 GHz Intel Core i5-8265U processor delivers a decent performance when accompanied by 8GB DDR4 RAM and 128GB SSD storage. The responsiveness is respectable in the budget and the battery life of up to 8 hours is not poor for standard routine use. You can also find a true block privacy shutter that shuts off your webcam when not in use. Although, the single fan is noisy and it might act as a distraction.
Having mentioned that, the Lenovo Flex 14 Convertible is a considerable 2-in-1 laptop under $500. While the keyboard provides a smooth typing experience, the touch function works just right and the overall sleek design makes it a worthwhile product.
- The Touch functions really well
- Option to shut down webcam when not in use
- The backlit keyboard gives a comfortable typing experience
- Chassis is slim
- Holistic performance is commendable under the budget
- The display is not satisfactory
- The fan is noisy
3. Best Touch-Screen Experience: ASUS 13-inch
The Asus 2-in-1 13-inch Convertible is a high value-for-money notebook that comes with an astonishing 1TB SATA storage and a 3.5 GHz generation 7 i5 core processor. If you are looking for a steal deal in terms of expandable storage that also works as a tablet and is portable enough for you to travel comfortably, this 2-in-1 laptop is your best bet under $500.
Although the SSD storage is missing from this convertible, the machine itself is quiet and operates efficiently when using Excel or surfing the web. With a decent weight of 4.19 pounds, this convertible is quite comfortable to carry around while the body itself is designed to be durable and robust.
The 6GB DDR4 RAM is expandable to 12GB. However, the Windows 10 OS might be annoying with its random updates on this device. (This has been fixed!)
As for the display, this 13.3-inch widescreen is Full HD ensuring that the picture quality remains optimum. Intel HD Graphics make the viewing experience for a user noteworthy. The flip and hold the design of this 360-degree convertible notebook also comes with a backlit keyboard and also works well in tablet mode. The touchpad is accompanied by a fingerprint reader.
It boasts a battery life of up to 10 hours. Moreover, this 500 dollar device is quick to boot and ensures great touch sensitivity. The other features include a USB type C port, 2 USB 3.0 ports, 1 USB 2.0 port, 1 HDMI port, a microphone jack along with a media reader, decent stereo speakers.
- 1TB HDD storage
- Comfortably portable
- High quality display
- Good GPU
- Decent battery life
- No SSD storage
4. Best Value for Money: Microsoft Surface Pro 4
Microsoft Surface Pro 4 is a definite step up from the previous Surface book models with the additional advantage of an affordable price. Its Intel Core i5 processor paired with 4GB RAM and 128GB SSD storage makes it a powerful device as compared to other 2-in-1 laptops.
The body of the Surface Pro 4 laptop is lightweight and makes it accessible on-the-go. Boasting good functionality and a decent battery life of up to 6 hours, the laptop can run a plethora of Windows applications.
Interestingly, the keyboard acts as a cover for the laptop when being used as a tablet. Instead of being facilitated with Micro USB 2.0 port, this 2-in-1 laptop under $500 has a Full USB 3.0 port alongside a microSD card reader. However, the downside is that the laptop has just one USB port.
With 12.3 inches display size, Surface Pro 4 is a huge tablet and a cozy notebook. But the crisp resolution and PixelSense 10-point touch feature make it a value for money product with 2736 x 1824 pixels. The battery life of up to 6 hours might slightly hinder productivity. However, this 2-in-1 laptop is a tough competition of iPads and Android tablets.
The speakers are top-notch, the new glass trackpad is wide and the Microsoft Surface Pro 4 is designed to suit a work routine. The volume buttons are placed next to the power button, making room for the surface pen to attach magnetically on the left side, without overshadowing any functions. With a powerful processor and GPU, this 2-in-1 laptop can also be a decent gaming machine under $500.
The Microsoft Surface Pro 4 can be used as a tablet for an exciting video streaming experience, or as a laptop while you are traveling. It can also be used for business purposes like presentations and meetings. It’s a affordable 2-in-1 with valuable specifications.
- Works well as both a tablet and a laptop
- Thin and light
- Fine keyboard and a touchpad you’ll actually enjoy using
- Wide range of configuration options
- Fast performance
- Only one USB port
- Average battery backup
5. Best Chromebook Under $500: HP Chromebook x360
The HP Chromebook x360 2-in-1 laptop attracts college students for a few reasons. Apart from a modern & robust design, the curved contours and matte finish make this 2-in-1 laptop stand out amongst its Chromebook counterparts. The backlit keyboard and a large trackpad is definitely a plus. What else do you want?
With a 14-inch IPS LCD screen, one noteworthy feature of this laptop resides in the Full HD display resolution. Even so, the picture appears to be dull with washed-out color quality. The USB-C Gen 3.1 ports also support device charging, which is interesting for a 2-in-1 laptop under $500. However, the HDMI port is missing from this one.
The performance of HP Chromebook x360 is fluid and speedy thanks to the 2.2 GHz Intel Core i3-8130U processor. Specifications like 8GB DDR4 RAM and 64GB eMMC storage are quite decent for a Chromebook under this range.
For standard use on a daily basis, such as preparing documents, working routine presentations, watching videos, streaming hours of content online, and more, the 2-in-1 laptop runs very well and without glitches. The Intel UHD 620 GPU ensures a smooth viewing experience too.
The Bang & Olufsen tuned speakers produce rich audio quality. The keyboard function is decent and the trackpad precision could be better. The key feature of HP Chromebook x360 is its battery life around 8 to 10 hours at a stretch.
Overall, the HP Chromebook x360 provides above satisfactory performance for a convertible laptop. With exciting features like the long battery life of up to 13 hours, rich audio, Chrome OS, powerful performance, and portability, this device is a great choice for routine use on-the-go.
- Long battery life
- Powerful audio from Bang & Olufsen
- USB-C ports support charging
- Chrome OS and sturdy processor
- Modern design with a well-performing touchscreen
- Dull picture quality
- HDMI port is missing
6. Best Runner Up: Lenovo Ideapad Flex 14
The Lenovo Ideapad Flex 14 provides the user with 8 hours of battery life and rapid charging speed (up to 80% in one hour) so that the work doesn’t get hindered. With a TrueBlock privacy shutter, the 2-in-1 laptop gives you the privacy you need through the option of shutting your webcam off when not in use.
Lenovo Flex 14 has a laptop mode that helps you work throughout the day, tent mode that lets you have a shared viewing experience, and a tablet mode for better interaction with the device. The 2.1GHz Intel Core i3 processor makes the 2-in-1 laptop powerful that in turn reflects in your productivity. Multitasking is easy, thanks to a strong configuration of 4GB DDR RAM and 128GB SSD storage.
The laptop design is such that it supports the user’s comfort in holding and resting the laptop body on the lap. The keyboard and touchpad work smoothly on Lenovo Flex 14. The battery lasts up to 8 hours of standard device usage.
The display resolution is 1366 x 768 pixels on a 14-inch screen which isn’t highly satisfactory for a 2-in-1 laptop. The touch response is very good and the color quality is properly competitive at a viewing distance. However, the picture degrades when viewed from other angles since the display is not an IPS screen. The Integrated Intel Ultra HD Graphics 620 GPU is decent alongside the aforementioned specifications.
The other features of Lenovo Flex 14 2-in-1 laptop include an HDMI port, 2 USB ports, WiFi connectivity, a webcam, and Bluetooth 4.The touchpad is smooth and includes a fingerprint reader compatible with Windows Hello in the keyboard. The keyboard’s response is highly active even with a slight touch. Overall, the Lenovo Flex 14 model gives a tough fight to a few i7s and is decently featured under $500.
- Trueblock Privacy shutter is a key feature
- Long battery life
- Superfast charging support
- Faster touch response
- Fingerprint reader
- Display color quality could have been better
- Keys feel soft and shallow
7. Good Convertible Laptop: Dell Inspiron 14 5481
The Dell Inspiron 14 5481 has been priced affordably with the inclusion of a 2.1GHz Intel Core i3 processor and Intel Ultra HD 620 GPU. Dell Inspiron 14 5481 ensures a decent configuration such as 4GB 4Gx1 DDR4 RAM and 128GB SSD storage for a low price and it is portable enough.
The convertible design makes the tablet mode easily handheld. Stand mode is well balanced, and the touch works seamlessly. As a notebook, it’s functionality is like that of a typical laptop with a gray glossy finish body and a black bezel under the surface. At 1.3 lbs, the device is lightweight and can be used at a stretch and in the middle of travel without hassle.
I’ve been using this Laptop for running my vinyl making business, I use Cricut Design space and I must say that, it is a reasonable device that performs well on a daily basis without glitches, considering the affordable price tag!
The 14 inch HD display is sufficiently laced with narrow bezels. The quality of the display is maintained at a decent 720p and the touch function responds well. It’s naturally fine for streaming videos, working on presentations, or working on documents.
The keyboard functions smoothly and the wide touchpad is placed well, supporting multiple gestures. While there is provision of HDMI port, USB 2 port, two USB 3 ports, headphone jack, and SD card reader, the device doesn’t include a USB-C and LAN ports.
The processor is fair given the price range of Dell Inspiron 14 5481. The storage of 128GB SSD alongside 4GB RAM is a good configuration. The 2-in-1 laptop works modestly for daily tasks simultaneously in a smooth manner. GPU isn’t the best, but only doable. The battery life of up to 7 hours is not bad.
- Compact and portable
- Quick boot system
- On the lower end of the price range
- Good storage and performance
- The touch function very well
- Poor graphics and display resolution
- USB-C and LAN ports are missing
8. Best Chrome OS Based: Asus Chromebook C302
For a premium Chromebook, Asus Chromebook Flip C302 works wonders as compared to the former Chromebooks in the market. It very much surprises the customer with an elegant surprise and a display quality beyond expectation. The device operates on 1.1GHz Intel Core M5 processor and is accompanied by 4GB RAM and 64GB Flash storage.
The body itself hones a luxurious finish with a multi-gear, metal, bar-shaped hinges that give the 2-in-1 laptop a premium notebook feel. At 2.65 pounds, Chromebook Flip is more lightweight and portable than other Chromebooks but faces a tough competition amongst other models.
This notebook is also counted as one of the first convertible or 2-in-1 Chrome OS laptops that can easily be used as a tablet. The 12.5 inch HD screen is above satisfactory with a 1920 x 1280 display resolution. Moreover, the keyboard is as functional as that of a conventional laptop. Also, the Intel HD 515 GPU is not bad alongside other specifications.
The unibody design seems to have been inspired by MacBook Pro with the value addition of straight edges and a slim frame under an affordable budget. The ASUS Chromebook Flip functions very well as a tablet. It comes with a magnetic clasp ensuring that the screen lid is tightly placed to the underside of the notebook thereby making the 2-in-1 Chromebook Flip feel like a sturdy unit.
Even for an ultra-thin notebook, this 2-in-1 laptop under $500 provides a comfortable typic experience with the smart positioning of keys. Unfortunately, the trackpad isn’t satisfactory as it misses multi-touch and the two-finger scrolling feature. Beyond that, the Android apps don’t work as expected on a Chromebook Flip C302 with regards to text clarity.
Consequently, the Chromebook Flip C302 from Asus is an improvement from its predecessors and can be purchased if you are going to use a device for standard work purposes with a good battery life of up to 10 hours.
- The vivid display quality
- Premium body finish
- Comfortable typing experience
- Magnetic clasp to hold the screen
- Portable in all senses
- No multi-touch available on the trackpad
- You may not like Chrome OS
9. Best in Design: Microsoft Surface Go
If you think Microsoft Surface Pro 6 was a great deal, wait until you learn about the sensational The Surface Go launched by Microsoft to ensure compact and handy user experience. With 1.6 GHz Intel Premium Gold CPU, you get to work through Windows 10S operating system on this 2-in-1 laptop under $500. Plus, you wouldn’t have to deal with issues regarding compatibility.
At just 1.15 pounds, the Microsoft Surface Go is a champion tiny notebook that comes with a commendable kickstand. The design focuses on round edges which makes this affordable 2-in-1 laptop stand out amongst its Surface predecessors. Moreover, it has also become a preferred choice of students as well as professionals. The design also makes Surface Go a go-to for drawing and/or writing purposes.
A USB-C port and microSD are provided in the body, making it a better choice than a tablet such as an iPad. 8Gb RAM, expandable storage of 128GB, and a Surface Connect port makes this laptop distinguishable. The keyboard has full-sized, curvy keys and a glass trackpad which is an improved version of that in Surface Pro. However, the space between the keys has been reduced and this might hinder your typing experience only slightly.
At 1800 x 1200 pixels, this 10-inch display brings to you quite a valuable viewing experience with color accuracy and fair picture quality. The large bezels around the screen are helpful in the handling of the laptop. And interesting to note are the speakers, placed within the left and right bezels around the screen. They provide a high quality of sound too. Plus, the battery lasts up to 9 hours on this device.
Overall, this 2-in-1 laptop is a win-win under an affordable range of $500. Microsoft Surface Go competes well within this range and provides the user with satisfactory performance. Apart from this 8GB/128Gb version of Microsoft Surface Go, there are two other variants, i.e. 4GB/128GB and 4GB/64Gb available on Amazon with slight price fluctuations while still falling under the budget.
- Compact and value-for-money design
- Provision of high expandable storage
- The rich display quality
- Lightweight and large bezels for good grip
- Improved glass trackpad design
- Typing experience hindered due to reduced spaces between keys
- No inclusion of accessories
10. Good Laptop Under Budget: ASUS VivoBook Flip 14
For a budget 2-in-1 laptop under $500, the ASUS VivoBook Flip 14 is quite sleek and comes with modest configuration. The slim and lightweight feature is elemental to this notebook’s success. This device boasts a 2.3GHz Intel Premium Gold 4415U processor alongside 4GB DDR4 RAM and 128GB of SSD storage. The aluminum design makes the laptop look like a premium range product.
Having been significantly inspired by MacBook, the keyboard on Asus VivoBook Flip 14 comes with straight edges and smooth rounded corners. The display hinge supporting screen rotation up to 360 degrees ensures the stability of the laptop screen. When being used as a tablet, the device feels light and comfortable even at 14-inch display size.
Another noteworthy keyboard feature is that it is structured in a way that the noise is significantly muffled. However, the keys are not backlit. The responsiveness of the touchpad on VivoBook Flip 14 is smooth but against the quiet keyboard, the touchpad click can sound louder than usual. The touchpad is accompanied by a fingerprint on the top-left corner.
Intel HD 620 GPU is accompanied by a full HD touch screen at 1920 x 1280 pixels, which looks vivid and sharp. The touch may feel a bit snappy but to avoid unintended touch, the bezels on the top and bottom of the screen have been designed to be large enough. Interestingly, the VivoBook Flip 14 speakers are outstanding for a 2-in-1 laptop under only $500. A top-notch audio clarity makes it a steal deal.
There is a provision of USB 3.1 type C port and also a micro USB 2 port which is almost obsolete. Plus, there is a micro HDMI instead of a regular-sized one situated on the right size along with a full-sized SD card slot, an audio jack, and a charging point.
Coming to the processor, the Asus VivoBook Flip 14 operates on 2.3 GHz Intel Pentium Gold 4415U paired with 4GB DDR4 RAM and 128GB SSD storage which is sustainable enough for the device to perform standard tasks on a daily basis. The battery life is an average of 9 hours which is decent for a 2-in-1 laptop under the range of $500.
Overall, the Asus VivoBook Flip 14 can function well to operate on Windows 10 and is meant for you if you consume online media more than working on heavy-functioning tasks like the creation of audio-visual content.
- Cool aluminium design
- Decent mobile CPU
- Long battery life
- Stylus Included
- Decent speakers
- Loud clicking sound on the touchpad
- No provision of full-size HDMI port
Frequently Asked Questions
The key feature of a 2-in-1 laptop is its flexibility. You can use it either as a laptop or a tablet, or both. It’s useful for those who commute frequently and don’t want the burden of a heavy-weight laptop. You can use it comfortably at home or office, while using it for documentation or surfing the web for videos. A touchscreen is a blessing in the form of a 2-in-1 laptop.
It’s easy to handle a 2-in-1 laptop as compared to a conventional laptop. They can be flipped into tent mode for a good video watching experience or into a tablet mode to help enjoy gaming, given that these devices operate on great CPU and GPU. Apart from that, they are also capable of handling routine tasks like creating documents, presentations, web surfing, et al.
College going students who need to use the laptop for assignments, presentations, and daily documentation will find a 2-in-1 laptop more useful than a conventional laptop given that the former ensures affordability, portability, and a comfortable switch from a notebook to tablet mode. Young professionals who prioritize budget and only need to perform standard work like typing reports and recreation at home can also consider such machines.
A 2-in-1 laptop can fall into one of the following categories: detachable, 360-degree rotation, 180-degree rotation, and convertible. Depending on your needs, you can choose either of the above and enjoy a compact and portable 2-in-1 laptop.
You must buy a 2-in-1 laptop if you want to get more out of a single device that can work both as a tiny laptop and a tablet. It ensures standard productivity on a daily basis, plus you can carry it around in a hassle-free manner. However, conventional laptops are known for increased productivity if you need to work for long hours on end and switch between multiple tasks due to rich software features.
The aforementioned features of top 10 2-in-1 laptops under $500 ensure that the convertibles are becoming a preferred choice of the young users. Brands are innovating with every launch of their 2-in-1 models and it’s an exciting opportunity for you to purchase one of these convertibles. Microsoft Surface Go and HP Chromebook x360 are winning the contest amongst the ten 2-in-1 laptops given that their designs and configurations not only stand out but also are durable when used by consumers.
They are technologically wholesome and give the user room for device updates. Of course, under $500, any of the 10 products described above are a good bet for you. So if you are looking to achieve routine productivity on-the-go while also wanting to fulfill the occasional leisure in the form of video entertainment or light gaming, go for a 2-in-1 laptop under $500.