The 10 Coolest Tablets And 2-in-1 Laptops Of 2020 (So Far)

Major 2-in-1 and tablet launches from the year so far include Apple‘s new iPad Pro, Lenovo’s Flex 5G and Microsoft’s Surface Go 2.

Flexible Productivity

For countless workers, highly flexible mobile devices have become more mission-critical than ever in 2020. The first half of the year saw much of the workforce move into the home--where having a device that can be used in multiple different modes and toted around between rooms is a major plus. Meanwhile, device makers debuted a number of detachable tablets and 2-in-1 laptops that fit these work-from-home needs. Those have included new versions of Apple‘s iPad Pro and Microsoft’s Surface Go, along with convertible laptops from Dell, Lenovo and HP Inc.

What follows are our picks for the 10 coolest tablets and 2-in-1 laptops launched during the first half of 2020.

Apple iPad Pro (2020)

With the update to the iPad Pro during the first half of the year, Apple introduced a trackpad to the tablet‘s detachable keyboard for the first time--while also enhancing the keyboard’s design. The Magic Keyboard design uses a scissor mechanism and offers 1 millimeter of key travel for improved typing comfort. The updated iPad Pro also features the A12Z Bionic chip--offering an eight-core CPU and eight-core GPU that makes the tablet “more powerful than most Windows PC laptops,” Apple said.

Other major updates to the latest iPad Pro include the addition of a second camera--a 10-megapixel ultra-wide camera for taking expansive shots--that joins the 12-megapixel wide camera on the tablet. Additionally, the new iPad Pro adds a LiDAR Scanner for improved augmented-reality experiences, allowing the tablet to rapidly measure the distance to objects that are up to 16 feet away.

Dell Latitude 9510

For the 2-in-1 variant of the Latitude 9510, Dell includes a 15-inch touch display with FHD resolution and slim bezels around the “InfinityEdge” screen. The convertible model weighs 3.3 pounds, and will support 5G connectivity as of this month, with the device configurable with Qualcomm‘s Snapdragon X55 Global 5G Modem. For the convertible’s performance, Dell offers up to 10th-generation Intel Core processors along with up to 16 GB of RAM. Key AI-powered features include ExpressResponse, which assesses user preferences and taps machine learning to more quickly launch frequently used applications while also boosting application performance overall. Another major capability is ExpressCharge, which aids utilization of battery life with AI and machine learning by determining a user’s usage patterns and bringing subtle adjustments (such as screen dimming) when the battery is low.

Dell Latitude 9410

Dell‘s Latitude 9410 convertible offers many of the same features as the 9510 but in a smaller size. The Latitude 9410 includes a 14-inch FHD touch screen with up to 300 nits of brightness, a starting weight of 3 pounds and a machined aluminum body with diamond cut edges.

Dell is calling the Latitude 9410 the “smallest 14-inch business 2-in-1” thanks to its compact form factor, made possible in part through minimal bezels around the display; the notebook sports the ”narrowest screen borders in its class,” according to the company.

Battery life reaches up to 27 hours on a charge, with a 78 WHr battery, Dell said.

Processor and RAM options mirror those of the Latitude 9510, while the Latitude 9410 also includes AI-driven capabilities such as ExpressResponse and ExpressCharge.

Dell Latitude 7210 2-in-1

During the first half of the year, Dell also launched a new detachable tablet in its updated Latitude 7000 lineup, with the Latitude 7210 2-in-1. The Windows 10 tablet includes a 12.3-inch FHD display with a kickstand, which attaches to a folio keyboard that sports a brushed aluminum palm rest. The Latitude 7210 2-in-1 also shares some of the key features of the new Latitude notebooks such as ExpressResponse, ExpressCharge and up to 10th-gen Intel Core processors.

HP ProBook x360 435 G7

A major focus for HP Inc. in 2020 has been on launching new SMB-focused laptops for enabling improved performance, with the ProBook G7 portfolio. HP‘s ProBook x360 435 G7 runs on AMD’s Ryzen 4000 U-series processors--up to an eight-core Ryzen chip, with Radeon graphics--along with offering up to 16 GB of RAM. The notebook features a 13.3-inch convertible touch screen and also offers strong portability with its 3.19-pound form factor.

Lenovo Flex 5G

One of the most prominent 5G-capable PCs to be announced this year so far is Lenovo‘s Flex 5G convertible, which includes 5G support as a default capability. With the inclusion of the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8cx platform, which includes a 5G modem, the 2-in-1 laptop is designed around 5G, according to Lenovo. That has included ensuring strong battery life--up to 24 hours on a charge--for the Flex 5G even with the high-speed mobile connectivity. The notebook sports a 14-inch convertible FHD display with 300 nits of brightness, and offers solid portability with a weight of 2.86 pounds and a thickness of 0.58 of an inch.

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga, 5th Gen

For the fifth-generation ThinkPad X1 Yoga, Lenovo is adding a new display option (500-nit FHD Privacy Guard screen) as well as an enhanced keyboard, with the inclusion of keys for unified communications. The latest X1 Yoga also offers 10th-gen Intel Core processors and up to 15 hours of battery life on a charge. On portability, the fifth-gen X1 Yoga weighs 2.9 pounds and measures 0.59 of an inch thick, and sports the “Iron Gray” color that was introduced with last year‘s model.

Microsoft Surface Book 3

Like the previous Surface Book, the Surface Book 3 features two sizes for its display--13.5 inches and 15 inches. The Surface Book 3 continues the unique convertible design of allowing the display to be fully detached from the keyboard base; the display can then be used as a tablet, but can also be flipped around and re-attached facing the other direction. The notebook‘s display includes Microsoft’s vibrant PixelSense display technology with 3,000 x 2,000 resolution on the 13.5-inch model and 3,240 x 2,160 resolution on the 15-inch version.

The Surface Book 3 offers choices of quad-core, 10th-gen Intel Core processors, and is also configurable with double the RAM--32 GB. On graphics, the Surface Book 3 adds options to go up to the Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650 with Max-Q on the 13.5-inch model and up to the Nvidia Quadro RTX 3000 with Max-Q on the 15-inch model.

Microsoft Surface Go 2

In May, Microsoft launched a second-generation model for the Surface Go--a 2-in-1 tablet that serves as an entry-level, compact-sized alternative to the Surface Pro series. The Surface Go 2 comes with a new form factor, with its PixelSense display moving up to 10.5 inches from 10 inches on the first-gen model. The resolution also gets a slight bump to 220 pixels per inch (1,920 x 1,280) from 217 ppi on the original version.

On performance, the Surface Go 2 adds an upgraded Intel Pentium chip for the base model--Pentium Gold 4425Y--compared to the 4415Y on the original model. There‘s also an option to equip the tablet with a processor that is a level up from the Pentium, with the Surface Go 2 configurable with an eighth-gen Intel Core m3 chip. The Core m3 provides a 64-percent boost on performance from the first-gen Surface Go, Microsoft said. Additional updates include new Dolby Audio speakers and improved dual far-field mics.

Panasonic Toughbook A3

In June, Panasonic announced a new rugged Android tablet, the Toughbook A3, aimed at industries such as warehousing and transportation. Differentiators include support for both 4G LTE and for FirstNet, a wireless network from AT&T that is dedicated to first responder and public safety users. The configurability of the A3 is also notable, with options to add a 1D/2D barcode scanner, an insertable smart card reader and a second USB-A port.

Other key features include a 10.1-inch display that is outdoor viewable with up to 800 nits of brightness; rain and glove touch functionality on the display; a dual hot swap battery design offering up to 15 hours of usage on a charge in total; and an eight-core Qualcomm processor offering a clock speed of up to 2.2GHz. In terms of ruggedness, the Toughbook A3 has been designed to be able to withstand a drop of up to six feet, while the tablet also features IP65 water and dust resistance.