Advantages of 2-in-1
Compared to a standalone tablet, a 2-in-1 has these advantages:
- Computing power: With full PC operating systems and faster processors, most 2-in-1s can handle more advanced computing tasks than tablets. So a 2-in-1 has more all-around flexibility to offset its heavier weight.
- Ports and docking: 2-in-1s are more easily expandable than tablets, with many models offering multiple ports and slots for attaching disk drives, monitors, etc. 2-in-1s may be more durable, too (see "Durability" at right).
- Office use: Business users of 2-in-1s may first focus on their value as keyboard-equipped laptop replacements, but soon find the tablet option ideal for note-taking, touch screen data entry, presentations, and so on.
- Multitasking: The more traditional PC capabilities of a 2-in-1 allow you to keep multiple applications and program windows open at the same time and switch between them more easily than with a tablet.
Advantages of a Tablet
Compared to a 2-in-1, a standalone tablet has these advantages:
- Weight: Stand-alone tablets will typically be lighter than 2-in-1s, so they're a good choice for long periods of steady use in tablet form. But be sure to look at the specifications. Some very thin and light 2-in-1s are available today.
- Durability: This is a double-edged sword. A stand-alone tablet has fewer moving/external parts than a 2-in-1 (360° hinges, keyboards, etc.), but the touch screen in a 2-in-1 typically sits within a sturdier laptop-style frame.
- Field use: Road warriors who initially choose a tablet for its easy portability are often happy to learn how many full office-style applications (spreadsheets, etc.) they can run, especially if equipped with a stylus for data entry.
- Battery life: Unless the competing 2-in-1 has multiple batteries, a standalone tablet will generally last longer unplugged, as it is only powering the tablet and touch screen rather than an entire PC.