With 2-in-1’s, you do get some very specific benefits, viz. –
A 2-in-1 gaming laptop will serve you well whether it is for gaming or work. Firstly, you will get a powerful enough graphics card to manage gaming, at least the basics, if not Assassins Creed Odyssey at Ultra settings.
With a detachable, you can simply take the display off the keyboard doc, much like the Microsoft Surface Pro 7, and take it around as a tablet.
Convertibles are portable too but only as a swivel and generally come with a touchscreen display too.
2-in-1 gaming laptops are all about versatility!
Now you can’t expect a portable gaming laptop to offer performance similar to Alienware Area 51M ($600 cheaper right now.)
But the best 2-in-1 gaming laptops can give you the opportunity to play almost any AAA title at mid settings, at least, anywhere.
True you can do this with any other gaming laptop but you’re forgetting the touchscreen functions!
What to Look For In a 2-In-1 Gaming Laptop?
First thing first always check what’s under the hood. Now, before you start expecting crazy specs, we’ll straight up say that the best 2-in-1 gaming laptops are not supposed to be the most powerful laptops.
Next up, there’s the display and design elements. We think it’s always better to buy a gaming laptop that can play the latest releases at acceptable quality settings.
For that to happen, here are the basics you need to check for –
You should get at least a 10th gen Intel i5 or an 8th gen i7. As for AMD chips, and Ryzen’s are getting better every year, at least a Ryzen 5 will be necessary to stay above the minimum requirements for games like Mass Effect Legendary Edition.
This is a bit tricky to navigate but straight up, we would suggest anything that performs better than an NVIDIA MX350. So, even if you do like the MacBooks or Microsoft Surfaces, you need to get through to models that come with at least an Iris Xe.
What’s more, we suggest sticking to NVIDIA too.
As for minimum requirements, it’s better to go for a 2-in-1 gaming laptop with at least a GTX 16 series graphics card. The GTX 1650 Ti can still cut it for another year or so.
RAM and Storage
At least 8GB RAM will be necessary to manage the latest AAA titles considering the sheer amounts of graphics rendering to them and given that there’s a graphics card with the necessary capabilities working with it. You will however need more than 8GB for MMOs like League of Legends.
After the performance, it comes down to the display and design. Now, the best 2-in-1 laptop around generally come with touchscreen displays that may double up as tablets. What you’re looking for beyond that is refresh rates, and also response times.
This can trickle down to your preferences and the games that you play. If you’re into online FPS, try not to settle for anything less than 120 Hz refresh rates. Or if you want to lay back and enjoy the graphics, you can get your hands on a 4K display too.
There are a lot of other factors that you should consider as well, e.g., keyboard, touchpad, Wi-Fi, ports. Let’s check them out straight up instead!
The Dragonfly is a light, slim, and an amazing-looking convertible laptop equipped with a 1.6 GHz Intel Core i5-8265U processor in its base configuration.
Higher models come with an i7 and a substantial performance gap, although that’s partly thanks to assisting hardware.
The HP Elite Dragonfly has 16GB RAM throughout its range of configs, which is more than enough to run most PC games you could be interested in. The 13.3-inch 1080p display is bright, sharp, and delivers deep colors well suited for gaming.
The display options have a lot to do with the DragonFly entering our list of the best 2-in-1 gaming laptops.
Shell out $75 and you get a 1000 nits panel that’s more than good enough outdoors, along with the 10-point touch capacity, or around $200 for perhaps the best 13-inch 4K display on the market. (Second only to the ZenBook Flip S reviewed here!)
It is also configured for Wi-Fi 6 and LTE options, perfect for low-lag MMO gaming. Although you only get just an integrated Intel GPU, know that there’s a lot of games you can play with the integrated Intel UHD 620.
Barred in 16:9 Videos (Due to its 3:2 display aspect ratio)
Processor: Intel Quad-Core i7 8th gen
RAM: 16GB DDR4
Graphics Card: Intel UHD 620
Display: 13.3-inch FHD Touch Display
Weight: 2.6 pounds
The Acer Spin 5 is a convertible laptop with an Intel Core i7 Quad-core processor, remarkably frugal with a max frequency at 4.6 GHz, arguably the best price-to-processing power ratio you can get on a convertible laptop today.
This is a budget laptop without a doubt, with an FHD 13.3-inch display which does not leave any room for complaint, other than the 3:2 aspect ratio. The RAM is bumped up to 16GB, again serious value for money, the same as the Elite Dragonfly.
Also, like the Dragonfly, this Acer comes with an integrated Intel UHD 620. Nothing fancy with the storage either, you only have one option which is a 512GB PCIe SSD.
It’s extremely lightweight, at around 2.5 pounds, half the weight of some other 2-in-1 laptop we’ve reviewed here.
And considering the overall features on offer, plus the price tag, this is one of the best convertible laptops around for anything, including gaming.
The Dell 9310 XPS 2 is a state-of-the-art machine released in 2021. It comes with the latest 11th gen Intel i7 processor inside and a whopping 32GB of LPDDR4X RAM for snappy performance. Storage options are however limited to a 512GB SSD.
This is one of the slimmest laptops around, designed to look good, helped out by its thin-bezelled 13.4-inch FHD+ display with brilliant color reproduction.
Inside, you get integrated Intel Iris Xe graphics, substantially more powerful than the UHD 620, allowing you more freedom in choosing games to play. Its performance is just under the NVIDIA MX350 but better than the MX330.
What will help is the 11th gen Intel processor and oodles of RAM, making way for perhaps even better loading times than on other true gaming laptops with similar configurations.
This performance also makes the XPS 2 a powerful work laptop, easily portable at under 3 pounds.
Battery life will dwindle fast though but that’s obvious considering the amount of processing power available and the exquisite display.
This ZenBook has a few tricks up its sleeves, just why it makes this high (or low) on the list. Firstly, it comes with the same processor as the Dell XPS above so it’s almost as fast although it does dial down on the RAM, at 16GB but the same LPDDR4X tech.
Then again, you get the same graphics card with the Intel Iris Xe inside although there’s a 1TB SSD added, twice the Dell’s.
Where this ZenBook does leap ahead of its competition is with the display. This 13.3-inch OLED 4K UHD is the best you can get for the size and is perfectly suited for gaming or multimedia, or perhaps some work.
There’s a premium quality to it, as with all ZenBooks, but this is perhaps the best 2-in-1 gaming laptop you can buy that looks good and feels solidly built.
You also get to use the nifty number pad, which is your touchpad that can double up as a Numpad (because there is none on the keyboard!)
Overall, this is cheaper than the Dell XPS above with a better display but a lower RAM. But it’s around $400 easier, which is a lot.
HP is perhaps the only laptop brand out there who understands that for a convertible laptop to be considered as a 2-in-1 gaming laptop, it must have a proper discrete graphics card.
The HP Spectre x360 is a stylish and efficient Intel Core i7 laptop with 16GB DDR4 RAM and, most importantly, an NVIDIA GTX 1650 Ti to make this the best convertible laptop for gaming you can buy today.
The display is larger than the Dragonfly’s, at 15.6-inch, and with a default 4K resolution. Considering the native 60 Hz refresh rates, this is a gaming display without a doubt.
There’s even more for gamers as this HP Spectre x360 build comes with an NVIDIA 1650 Ti, good enough to play almost all AAA titles today in mid settings, at least.
You will get 2 storage options between 1TB and 512GB, both M.2 SSDs for some serious speed.
HP has smartly configured this laptop to perfectly double up as a work laptop. Matter of fact, this HP Spectre is rated as one of the fastest laptops around with these specs, although heat dissipation is not the best.
But the 1650 Ti does its job, and you can game on this convertible laptop even with a controller and the screen flipped over. Worth it?
Well, to be honest, this is the only proper 2-in-1 gaming laptop in the market for under $2000! (If you have $2,000 to spend on a gaming laptop, we will suggest getting this instead.)
2-in-1 laptops have a combination of features that make them a good choice for carrying around and using just about anywhere or for anything. That said, there are few 2-in-1 laptops that can double up as gaming laptops, not really possible without a discrete graphics card.
But these are the best 2-in-1 laptops for gaming you can buy today, to just about quenching your thirst for a convertible laptop that’s good enough for, at least, League of Legends or even Black Ops II.
We’ll soon have a few more convertible laptops hitting this niche this year. Watch this space!
Q. Can a 2-in-1 laptop be used for gaming?
A 2-in-1 laptop can be used in gaming provided it has a good graphics card, preferably discrete, and a display with sufficient refresh rates. Other than that, processor performance and RAM will also play a part in its gaming capabilities.
Q. Are detachable laptops good for gaming?
Detachable laptops can be used for gaming if they have the required configurations in the first place. However, whether the laptop can be used for gaming even in tablet mode depends on whether the detachable display includes a graphics card and processing power, currently only available as a design element in Microsoft Surface Pros and Laptops. But all Surface detachable and convertible models only come with integrated graphics, at best, an Intel Iris Max.