The best convertible notebook
The best convertible notebook is the Microsoft Surface Pro 6. It comes with everything you would expect from such a hybrid: the excellent battery life of 9 hours, a high-resolution display with 2,736 x 1,824 pixels and a mass of only 770 grams make it Device for flyweight. It works without a fan and is therefore wonderfully quiet. Dressed in a very high-quality aluminum housing, the Pro 6 can playfully assert itself through its computing power in office and multimedia tasks.
Update May 2, 2019
We looked at interesting new convertibles. With the HP Specter Folio 13, there is a new design alternative and if you want to spend a little more money, you do not have to compromise on the Toshiba Portégé X30T-E-109.
Show more updates
November 9, 2018
We have updated our recommendations. Our new favorite is the Microsoft Surface Pro 6.
2 February 2018
We have updated our recommendations. Our new favorite is the Microsoft Surface Pro.
Convertible notebooks are handy because you almost kill two birds with one stone – you have a notebook and if necessary also a tablet. Depending on how this mixture was implemented, the double pack is more or less useful in everyday life.
In any case, it is definitely worth the price, if you are thinking about buying both devices separately. In addition, there should be something for everyone among our five recommendations. Price is here between 450 and 1,500 euros.
Short overview: Our recommendations
Microsoft Surface Pro 6
bought from 9 readers
The new Microsoft Surface Pro 6 is our clear favorite. Microsoft sticks to its sleek and classy design with a sturdy aluminum case. The display still shines with high brightness, good colors and high resolution. Inside works a faster processor that still manages without a fan. This ensures quiet operation with high computing power. The only downside: Microsoft does not provide the Surface Pro 6 with a keyboard cover. The stylus must also be purchased separately. If you are not deterred by this, you will receive a good device.
HP Specter Folio 13
HP wants to serve the Specter Folio 13 users who are looking for a great looking device with a large screen and long battery life on the go. The look is unique thanks to the leather look and the performance is more than sufficient for many office programs and surfing the Internet. For this to work on the go, HP packs LTE on top of it. If you are looking for a convertible with an exceptional design and are prepared to spend a little more on it, you will find it on the HP Specter Folio 13.
Microsoft Surface Go
bought by 5 readers
And again, Microsoft. The Surface Go offers enough power for easy typing and surfing the Internet, but is a bit smaller than our top favorite. In return, it offers the same high-quality workmanship as the “big” Surface devices, also a silent operation and the battery life is impressive. If you do not expect any more from your convertible, you are well advised to use the Microsoft Surface Go. Again, however, the keyboard cover and stylus must be purchased separately.
Toshiba Portégé X30T-E-109
You also get a lot for a lot of money, at least with Toshiba. The Portege X30T-E-109 not only brings a good performance, but also plenty of accessories. For example, there are two keyboards that are suitable as soft- or hardcover for different applications. A stylus and an anti-reflective display are on top of it. But the Toshiba Portégé X30T-E-109 is also significantly more expensive than other convertibles.
|test winner||Noble design||Good & Cheap||If money does not matter|
|model||Microsoft Surface Pro 6||HP Specter Folio 13||Microsoft Surface Go||Toshiba Portégé X30T-E-109||Lenovo ThinkPad L390 Yoga||HP Pavilion x360 14||Acer Switch 7 Black Edition||Trekstor Yourbook C11B||Dell Inspiron 7386||Lenovo Yoga 530||Dell Latitude 5290 2 in 1||Samsung Galaxy Book||HP Elite x2 G2||Microsoft Surface Pro||Acer Switch 5||Microsoft Surface Book 2|
No prices found.
|Show technical data|
|screen||12.3 inches (multitouch)||13.3 inches (multitouch)||10 inches (multitouch)||13.3 inches (multitouch)||13.3 inches (multitouch)||14 inches (multitouch)||13.5 inches (multitouch)||11.6 inches (multitouch)||13.3 inches (multitouch)||14 inches (multitouch)||12.3 inches (multitouch)||10.6 inches (multitouch)||12.3 inches (multitouch)||12.3 inches (multitouch)||12.0 inches (multitouch)||13.5 inches (multitouch)|
|resolution||2736×1824 pixels||1920×1080 pixels||1800×1200 pixels||1920×1080 pixels||1920×1080 pixels||1920×1080 pixels||2256 x 1504 pixels||1920×1080 pixels||3840 x 2160 pixels||1920×1080 pixels||1920×1280 pixels||1920×1280 pixels||2716 x 1824 pixels||2736×1824 pixels||2160 x 1440 pixels||3000 x 2000 pixels|
|CPU||Intel Core i5-8250U (4/8 / 1,6 – 3,4 GHz / cores / threads / clock rate)||Intel Core i7-8500Y (2/4 / 1.5 GHz / cores / threads / base clock)||Intel Pentium Gold 4415Y (2/4 / 1.6 GHz / cores / threads / clock rate)||Intel Core i7-8550U (4/8 / 1.8 – 4 GHz / cores / threads / base clock)||Intel Core i7-8565U (4/8 / 1.8 GHz / cores / threads / clock speed)||Intel Core i3-8130U (2/4 / 2.2 – 3.4 GHz / cores / threads / base clock)||Intel Core i7-8550U (4/8 / 1.8 – 4 GHz / cores / threads / base clock)||Intel Celeron N3350 (2/2 / 1.1 – 1.4 GHz / cores / threads / base clock)||Intel Core i5-8250U (4/8 / 1,6 – 3,4 GHz / cores / threads / clock rate)||Intel Core i5-8250U (4/8 / 1,6 – 3,4 GHz / cores / threads / clock rate)||Intel Core i5-8250U (4/8 / 1,6 – 3,4 GHz / cores / threads / clock rate)||Intel Core m3-7Y30 (2/4 / 1,0 GHz / cores / threads / base clock)||Intel Core i5-7300U (2/4 / 2.6 GHz / cores / threads / base clock)||Intel Core i5-7300U (2/4 / 2.6 GHz / cores / threads / base clock)||Intel Core i7-7500U (2/4 / 2.7 GHz / cores / threads / base clock)||Intel Core i5-7300U (2/4 / 2.6 GHz / cores / threads / base clock)|
|random access memory||8 GB||16 GB||4 GB||16 GB||8 GB||8 GB||16 GB||4 GB||8 GB||8 GB||8 GB||4 GB||8 GB||8 GB||8 GB||8 GB|
|Storage||128 GB||512 GB||64 GB||1 TB||256 GB||128 GB + 1 TB||512 GB||64 GB||256 GB||256 GB||256 GB||64 GB||256 GB||256 GB||512 GB||256 GB|
|graphic||Intel UHD Graphics 620||Intel UHD Graphics 615||Intel UHD Graphics 615||Intel UHD Graphics 620||Intel UHD Graphics 620||Intel UHD Graphics 620||Nvidia GeForce MX150||Intel HD Graphics 500||Intel UHD Graphics 620||Intel UHD Graphics 620||Intel UHD Graphics 620||Intel HD Graphics 615||Intel HD Graphics 620||Intel HD Graphics 620||Intel HD Graphics 620||Intel HD Graphics 620|
|connections||1x USB 3.0, 1x mini display port, 1x 3.5 mm jack, microSD card reader||1x USB 3.1 (Type-C), 2x Tunderbolt 3, 3.5mm audio port||1x USB Type-C, 1x 3.5-millimeter jack, microSD card reader||2x USB 3.1 (Type-C), 2x USB 3.1 (Type-A), 1x HDMI, 1x VGA, 1x GigabitLAN, 3.5mm audio port, Kensington Lock||2x USB 3.1 (Type-C), 2x USB 3.1 (Type-A), 1x HDMI, 1x miniEthernet, microSD card reader, 3.5mm audio port, Kensington lock||1x USB 3.1 (Type-C), 2x USB 3.1 (Type-A), 1x HDMI, SD card reader, 3.5mm audio port, Kensington Lock||1x USB 3.1 (Type-A), 1x Thunderbolt 3, microSD card reader, 3.5mm audio port||1x USB 3.1 (Type-C), 2x USB 3.1 (Type-A), 1x MicroHDMI, microSD card reader, 3.5mm audio port||1x USB 3.1 (Type-C), 1x USB 3.0 (Type-A), 1x HDMI, microSD card reader, 3.5mm audio port||1x USB Type-C, 2x USB 3.0, 1x HDMI, 1x 3.5-millimeter jack, SD card reader||2x USB Type-C, 1x USB 3.1, 3.5 mm jack, smart card reader, microSD card reader||1x USB 3.0 Type-C, 3.5 millimeter jack, micro SD memory card reader||1x USB 3.0, 1x USB 3.1, Thunderbolt, Kensington-Lock, 1x 3.5-millimeter jack, SD memory card reader||1x USB 3.0, 1x mini display port, 1x 3.5 millimeter jack||1x USB 3.0, 1x USB 3.1, 1x 3.5-millimeter jack, SD memory card reader||3x USB 3.0, 3.5 mm jack, SDXC memory card reader|
|Wireless||WLAN-ac, Bluetooth 4.1||WLAN-ac, Bluetooth 4.1, LTE||WLAN-ac, Bluetooth 4.1||WLAN-ac, Bluetooth 4.2, LTE||WLAN-ac, Bluetooth 5.0||WLAN-ac, Bluetooth 4.2||WLAN-ac, Bluetooth 4.0||WLAN-ac, Bluetooth 4.2||WLAN-ac, Bluetooth 5.0||WLAN-ac, Bluetooth 4.2||WLAN-ac, Bluetooth 4.2||WLAN-ac, Bluetooth 4.1||WLAN-ac, Bluetooth 4.2||WLAN-ac, Bluetooth 4.1||WLAN-ac, Bluetooth 4.0||WLAN-ac, Bluetooth 4.1|
|Battery life||9 hours||12 hours||8 hours||9 hours||7 hours||7 hours||4 hours||8 hours||5 hours||7 hours||5 hours||7 hours||6 hours||12 hours||7 hours||15 hours|
|Dimensions||29.2 x 0.8 x 20.1 cm||32 x 23.5 x 1.5 cm||24.5 x 0.8 x 17.5 cm||31.6 x 20.7 x 9.1 cm||32.2 x 22.4 x 1.8 cm||32.4 x 22.4 x 2.0 cm||32.9 x 23.6 x 1.5 cm||28 x 19 x 1.5 cm||32.2 x 2.4 x 1.9 cm||32.8 x 1.7 x 22.9 cm||29.2 x 0.97 x 21.0 cm||26.1 x 0.9 x 17.9 cm||30 x 0.9 x 21.9 cm||29.2 x 0.8 x 20.1 cm||29.3 x 1.3 x 20.2 cm||31.2 x 2.3 x 23.2 cm|
|mass||0.77 g||1.5 kg||0.52 g||1.4 kg||1.52 kg||1.6 kg||1.5 kg||1.16 kg||1.45 kg||1.6 kg||1.2 kg||0.64 kg||1.19 kg||0.77 kg||1.27 kg||1.53 kg|
Convertible notebooks are a mix of laptop and tablet and can be used accordingly in both versions. The way to get there is technically different: there are 360 degree joints, turn-tilt hinges and docking keyboards.
360-degree joints and turn-tilt hinges have the disadvantage that the keyboard always remains on the device. This makes it heavier and unwieldy than a tablet. In addition, in their tablet mode, the keyboard points downwards, which is uncomfortable when worn and held.
True, 360-degree convertibles such as the Yoga series from Lenovo have proven their worth until now, because their standard laptop processors provide notebook performance in tablet format. The devices are anything but handy, lightweight and compact.
There are different ways from notebook to tablet
With the Surface Pro 4 from Microsoft, the demand for convertibles has changed: it is primarily a tablet with stand, which can be equipped with an optional keyboard, no complicated joints interfere with mobility. If you invest more than 1,000 euros, you can even purchase the Surface Pro 4 with a powerful Core i5 or i7 processor.
Microsoft was very successful with the Surface Pro 4 and so quickly competitors in the market, which offer a similar handling: Their models are tablets with fold-out stand and flat docking keyboards, which are magnetically attached to the device. The choice of devices has increased over time: there are completely fanless devices with power-efficient processors, but there are also potent models with active ventilation and desktop-level performance.
But Convertibles with docking keyboard also have a drawback: You can not really use them on the lap, because the connection between the monitor and keyboard is not strong enough to keep the screen on its own. You will need a fold-out stand to support the monitor. This works well on a table, but on the lap this construction is too shaky. An exception is the Surface Book 2 from Microsoft: Thanks to its innovative joint, it does not need a kickstand, but you can still take off the screen and use it as a tablet.
Convertibles prefers the stylus, also called stylus, which thanks to sophisticated technology allows natural handwriting as on the classic notepad. The advantage here is also the possibility of setting up a convertible, for example, at a slight angle, which allows more comfortable writing. Ideal for creative users like designers and artists, as well as business users who need to think fast and easy.
Our favorite: Microsoft Surface Pro 6
The Microsoft Surface Pro 6 remains true to the reputation of its predecessors. The tablet operates fanless, the touch screen is with 2,736 x 1,824 pixels razor-sharp, offers good brightness and very good colors, while the aluminum housing was high-quality and noble processed.
Microsoft Surface Pro 6
bought from 9 readers
When it comes to computing power, there are hardly any wishes left: whether office, multitasking or less complex multimedia tasks. Of course, only playing graphically complex PC games is not possible.
Cooling without fan
In terms of cooling, Microsoft relies on a hybrid solution: On the one hand, the high-quality aluminum housing acts as a heat sink to radiate the heat to the outside, on the other hand is still a liquid cooling used. This technology, called the Vapor Chamber, can effectively and quickly transport waste heat using heat pipes. This all happens completely silently.
But the buyer does not have to worry about too hot a case, because even under continuous load, the device heats up to just under 40 degrees in places. Although the processor gets a lot hotter inside, it always stays in the safe range with temperatures between 60 and 70 degrees.
Equipment and processing
As already mentioned, the housing of the Microsoft Surface Pro 6 is consistently high-quality: It is milled from an aluminum block and, thanks to its neat material thickness, offers exemplary torsional rigidity. Also, the flexible folding base on the back of the tablet allows for an opening of up to 170 degrees, the associated joints are anything but cheap.
The tablet is still only slightly 770 grams on the scales and has a thickness of only 0.8 centimeters. This makes the device one of the lightest and thinnest convertibles ever. So, if you are looking for an elegant, top-of-the-line work tool, you should be satisfied with the Microsoft Convertible.
The connections of the Surface Pro are limited but because of the compact size only the bare minimum: It is once a full-fledged USB 3.0 port and a mini display port ready. The latter can even connect up to two monitors. The equipment is supplemented with a 3.5-millimeter-Klinkenkombination to be able to plug headsets to it. For wireless communication WLAN-ac and Bluetooth 4.1 is on board.
The tablet is also equipped with two cameras: One with five megapixels in the front, which can be used for video chats. Although it does not provide the very best picture quality, for its intended use, it is completely sufficient. In addition, she masters the login feature »Windows Hello«, which relies on biometric factors and makes the entry of passwords redundant. On request, only one look at the webcam is sufficient after the corresponding device. The second camera takes it to eight megapixels and take quite respectable photos. Although buyers are not allowed to expect upper-class footage, the camera is definitely suitable for taking snapshots or taking photos of documents.
The workmanship is great, as is the display
The slim chiclet keyboard called Type Cover is available only for a hefty surcharge of just under 120 euros. It offers a high writing comfort, because the pressure points of the keys noticeably and crisply report back and offer a certain stroke. The integrated clickpad is adequately sized and always reacts precisely to inputs and clicks. Here, too, the pressure points are clearly noticeable. The ten Euro more expensive Signature version for the Surface Pro also features an LED backlight. After all, you can also use older type covers of the predecessor on the current device. The keyboard cover is magnetically held on the tablet and that also pretty strong. So unlikely that the cover will just solve.
Stylus, screen and battery life
Also only optional, there is the Surface Pen, which is available from 80 euros. Unfortunately, there are no corresponding bundles with any discounts from Microsoft. But ten percent discount in the official online shop for parents, students and teachers on individual products. The advantage of the stylus is obvious: this makes it possible to work much more precisely, especially in comparison to touch operation with the fingers. Add to that a whopping 4,096 pressure levels that allow creative drawing as with a real pencil.
The high-resolution, touch-sensitive screen displays content in detail and sharpness thanks to its 2,736 x 1,824 pixels. However, the remaining features of the display are also exemplary: it offers above-average brightness, very high contrast and 99% RGB color space coverage. However, as the screen reflects, there may be disturbing reflections when used outdoors.
The lithium-ion battery is properly sized with 45 watt-hours. However, as with all other devices, it is mainly hardware and software that determine the actual battery life. And here is a small deterioration compared to its predecessor: More power requires more energy and since the battery has not got bigger, the Surface Pro 6 goes out a little earlier the juice. With a running time of 9 hours, however, a peak value is still reached which, for example, allows a complete working day without a charger. Incidentally, the battery is fully charged in just two hours, provided the device is not used to capacity.
Are there weaknesses?
Yes, they exist. The Microsoft Surface Pro 6 throttles the processor performance under continuous load. The CPU can reach its turbo clock rate of 3.4 GHz for a short time, but after a few minutes it will continue to drop. Here, the passive cooling reaches its limits and leads to the so-called thermal throttling: For self-protection against overheating, the computing chip lowers the clock frequency to cause less waste heat.
This throttling ensures that not always the full power is available. However, throttling occurs only when the tablet is tormented in parallel with particularly intense or even multiple work. Since this is not the rule in everyday life, this disadvantage is still reasonably limited. However, the clock reduction is not negligible.
Also in terms of connections, the user is not just a huge selection available, but only the absolutely necessary stand ready. Buyers still have to do without modern interfaces such as Thunderbolt 3 or Type C sockets. That should not be necessary with a device in the year 2018. Microsoft is now integrating a microSD card reader, which is placed under the stand. So the 128 GB memory can easily be extended.
Despite some weaknesses still the best choice
And there we are already on the next topic: Upgrading, cleaning or replacing parts is not possible with the Surface Pro 6. On the one hand, the tablet can not be opened without causing damage, on the other hand, the components are almost all firmly soldered. But this feature shares the device with almost all convertibles.
And as already mentioned, the Type Cover and the Stylus are only available for hefty surcharges. In our eyes, the investment should actually be made, because only in this way can the Surface Pro fully realize its potential. Because all three parts together (tablet, keyboard and pen) make the Microsoft Surface Pro 6 a real recommendation. But you have to be prepared to dig deep into your pocket.
Microsoft Surface Pro in the test mirror
Other colleagues had the Microsoft Surface Pro 6 in the test and were able to gain much positive from the tablet. In the review of Notebookcheck (10/2018) the equipment and processing of the Surface Pro 6 are doing very well and it can secure a rating of 91 percent:
»Microsoft’s Surface Pro, now in the 2018 version, remains one of the best Windows tablets on the market. Best workmanship, a great display, good cameras, high-feedback input devices (although type cover, pen etc. must be purchased separately) and a very good microphone. «
The international testers of Digital Trends (10/2018) also find concise but clear words:
“The Surface Pro 6 continues to be the best 2-in-1 to buy.”
And Joe Osborne from Techradar (10/2018) sums it up like this:
“If you already own a Surface Pro (2017), this update is not worth the money. For everyone else, it’s the best Windows tablet to buy. “
But also the criticisms fall to other testers in the eye. So Sebastian Jentsch criticizes Notebookcheck (10/2018) the missing modern connections:
“But in every discipline, it’s not the upper class. It remains the 2017er criticism of the connection equipment. Type-C should be mandatory in 2018, preferably as Gen 2 with DisplayPort via Type-C feature. Thunderbolt 3 would also be an issue, but the manufacturer does not even manage to implement it in Surface Book 2 (creative workstation). «
Leonard Klint of WindowsUnited (10/2018) criticizes the lack of USB Type-C as well as the absence of LTE, which is also not available as an option:
“Regardless of whether you need a USB-C connection, I find it a great pity that Microsoft has renounced this. The Surface series is a flagship platform designed to be the lockout in the Windows 10 hardware ecosystem in terms of design and technology. The same applies to the lack of LTE: A company that has “Always Connected” written on the chest like Microsoft, should set a good example here. «
And also the hardly changed appearance and the parts only available against surcharge are criticized at Techradar (10/2018):
“Remember, like the previous Surface Pro models, the prices do not include the keyboard cover or the surface pen. And sadly, that will probably never change. “
The Microsoft Surface Pro 6 has many advantages, not for nothing it has become our favorite. But who wants to invest more power, other form factors or much less money, for example, should take a look at our four alternatives.
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