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 different devices. Also known as a convertible laptop or a hybrid laptop, it supports easy mobility due to its compact design.
Whether you’re a grad school or a college student, or a working professional, 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 21 different 2 in 1 laptops that cost less than 500 dollars, here we are, with the list of best-rated options for you to consider in 2021.
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 in 2021
- Frequently Asked Questions
Best 2-in-1 Laptops Under $500 in 2021
|HP Pavilion X360|
|Lenovo Flex 5|
|Lenovo Ideapad Flex 14|
|Asus Chromebook Flip|
|Microsoft Surface Go|
|ASUS VivoBook Flip 14|
In order to find the best match amongst laptop options from various brands, it’s important to know the minimum system requirements needed for the tasks/software you’ll be doing/performing. As mentioned in our laptop buying guide, the trick when buying budget laptops is to make sure that it has all the specs/resources you’ll need to perform tasks you’re buying it for.
1. Best Overall: HP Pavilion X360
Honestly speaking, the sub-$500 price point is pretty underwhelming if you want to get hands-on a convertible that is decent-enough. However, 2021 has been pretty kind to the budget seekers and we finally have the HP Pavilion X360 up for grabs, especially for prospective buyers with a penchant for entry-level 2-in-1 notebooks.
The HP Pavilion x360 initiates proceedings with a reliable and efficient Intel Core i3-1005G1 processor. Despite being an entry-level mobile SoC, it is still capable of reaching turbo clock speeds of up to 3.4GHz. While you only get two cores to work with, we tested the device for some relatively heavy accounting tasks and HP Pavilion x360 performed and even excelled with flying colors, owing to the HyperThreading technology.
While it is obvious that you wouldn’t get a discrete graphics card at this price range, the Intel UHD graphics support is still good enough for certain casual games. Coming to the system memory, 8GB RAM for the given price is commendable. However, what stands out is the high-bandwidth of the system memory, which in turn allows you to manage a complex workload in the least possible time frame.
As far as the storage support is concerned, you get a 128GB solid-state drive with PCIe support. Despite the restrictive storage space, the speed of file retrieval and Windows 10 OS boot-ups makes it one of the best attributes. Coming to the operating system, you get the Windows 10 in the S Mode, precisely as a power-efficient and touch-friendly addition.
The 14-inch touch screen display is one of the primary attributes exhibited by the HP Pavilion x360. While the display resolution is lowered to 1366 x 768 pixels to justify the price tag, the viewing angles are still pretty sharp. Moreover, the SVA LCD panel also flaunts a widescreen viewing experience, which in turn qualifies it as a good purchase for streaming fanatics.
Productivity-wise, the HP Pavilion x360 is an excellent budget-centric buy, led by the Chiclet-style keyboard with a numeric keypad and decent key travel for the writers and copywriters. However, it is the HP ImagePad with gesture support that comes forth as one of the more elusive traits. Moreover, you also get access to a functional webcam, dual mics, potent front-firing speakers, and a 360-degree foldable layout that translates into a heft of around 3.55 pounds.
The connectivity suite is pretty diverse and functional, courtesy of the HDMI output, Type-C data transfer port, and two USB 3.0 Type-A slots followed by standard Wireless 5 compatibility. As far as autonomy is concerned, this convertible churns out close to 9.5 hours of battery backup, on moderate usage.
Overall, if you are seeking a budget-centric business laptop that is high on the portability-quotient, the new and improved HP Pavilion x360 is one of the best options to invest in.
- 10th gen processor
- High-speed RAM
- Power-efficient and interactive OS
- Responsive touch screen
- Excellent set of ports
- Lacks Wi-Fi 6 support
- Restricted on-board storage
- Dull display
2. Best in Performance: Lenovo Flex 5
Lenovo Flex 5 comes with a design that falls somewhere between budget and premium laptops. At 14 inches thin, the Lenovo Flex 5 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 without a backlit keypad and a precision touchpad.
As for the display, the Flex 5 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 3.7GHz AMD Quad-Core Ryzen 3 4300U processor delivers a decent performance when accompanied by 4GB DDR4 RAM and 128GB SSD storage. The responsiveness is respectable in the budget and the battery life of up to 10 hours is not poor for standard routine use. Although, the single fan is noisy and it might act as a distraction.
Having mentioned that, the Lenovo Flex 5 Convertible is a considerable convertible under 500 dollars. 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
- Holistic performance is commendable under the budget
- The display is not satisfactory
- No backlit keyboard
- The fan is noisy
3. Best with WiFi 6: HP x360
HP x360 is a definite step up from the previous HP models with the additional advantage of an affordable price. It’s Intel Core i3 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 HP x360 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 runs on Chrome OS.
Interestingly, the laptop 360-degree flip design. The device has blazing fast USB type-A and type-C support, along with 3.5mm headphone jack and micro sd reader. It also has a privacy switch for webcam so that you can control when to let the laptop use it. Moreover, the fingerprint reader is welcomed addition.
With 14 inches display size, HP x360 is a huge tablet and a cozy notebook. But the crisp resolution and HD display make it a value-for-money product with 1920 x 1080 pixels. The battery life of up to 6 hours might slightly hinder productivity.
The speakers are top-notch, the new glass trackpad is wide and the HP x360 is designed to suit a work routine. It also has dual speakers tuned by Bang and Olufsen that can aid during binge-watching your favorite movies. With a powerful processor and GPU, this 2-in-1 laptop can also be a decent gaming machine under $500.
The HP x360 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, spreadsheets, and meetings. It’s an affordable 2-in-1 with valuable specifications.
- WiFi 6 support
- Fingerprint reader
- Thin and light
- Backit keyboard
- Wide range of configuration options
- Fast performance
- Only one USB port
- Average battery backup
4. Best for Business: 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
5. Best Chromebook Under $500: Asus Chromebook Flip
For a premium Chromebook, Asus Chromebook Flip C433TA 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 a 1.1GHz Intel Core M3 processor and is accompanied by 4GB RAM and 64GB Flash storage.
The body itself hones a luxurious finish with multi-gear, metal, bar-shaped hinges that give the 2-in-1 laptop a premium notebook feel. At 3.31 pounds, Chromebook Flip is more lightweight and portable than other Chromebooks but faces 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 14-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 615 GPU is not bad alongside other specifications.
The unibody design seems to have been inspired by the Apple MacBook devices 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, Chromebook 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 with regards to text clarity.
Consequently, the Chromebook Flip C433TA 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
6. Best Small Laptop: 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 a compact and handy user experience. With a 1.6GHz Intel Premium Gold CPU, you get to work through Windows 10S operating system on this convertible below $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, making this affordable 2-in-1 laptop stand out amongst its Surface predecessors.
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 make this laptop distinguishable. The keyboard has full-sized, curvy keys and a glass trackpad, an improved version of Surface Pro. However, the space between the keys has been reduced, which 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. 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
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 N5000 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 2.7 GHz Intel Pentium Gold N5000 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
Is a 2-in-1 convertible laptop worth the purchase?
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.
What can a user achieve with a 2-in-1 laptop below $500?
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.
Who can make the most use of a budget 2-in-1 laptop?
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.
What types of 2-in-1 laptops are worth purchasing?
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.
How to choose between a 2-in-1 laptop and a conventional 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 the 2-in-1s under $500 ensure that the convertibles are becoming a preferred choice for 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. Their designs and configurations stand out and 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.