5 ways you should be using your two-in-one laptop

Two-in-one PCs have come a long way since the 2012 launch of Windows 8, which was optimized for touch devices. But there are still plenty of skeptics who see them as laptops with a touchscreen they won’t use or tablets that disappoint as laptops.Frankly, that’s totally understandable. It wasn’t until I started using a convertible everyday — one with the display permanently attached to the keyboard — that I realized more of the design’s advantages over having just a laptop.Even if you’re not a regular tablet user, there are other ways to put the touchscreen to good use thanks to 360-degree hinges used to flip the keyboard around. Once you stop thinking of it as a laptop or tablet and start using the in-between positions, usually called tent and presentation or display modes, that the flexibility of the design pays off.From two-in-one to all-in-oneThe keyboard and touchpad on my two-in-one are good, but when I’m at my desk I’d much rather work with a full-size keyboard and mouse. Do this with a regular laptop and you’ll end up pretty far away from your screen.With a two-in-one, though, you can flip its keyboard under and slide your larger keyboard right up to the screen. This also makes it easier to use the touchscreen when you want. Add in a laptop stand to lift the display up, which can reduce neck and shoulder strain while also putting the webcam in a better position for video chats.Echo Show to goAmazon’s latest Echo Show pairs a 10.1-inch screen, microphones and speakers with the company’s virtual assistant, Alexa. You know what it also has? A power cord. Install the and you’ve got an Echo Show that you can set up anywhere — kitchen, living room, bedroom or office. There are , which means they can be used hands-free, but the app will work on other PCs as well.And because you can run off the laptop’s battery, you don’t need to have an outlet nearby and the two-in-one’s flexibility gives you more placement options when space is at premium. If you’ve gone all in on Alexa for everything from setting reminders to controlling your thermostat to ordering toilet paper, give it a try.Digital whiteboardA tablet is handy to have in the kitchen for tasks such as finding and displaying recipes, creating shopping lists, watching how-to videos, converting measurements and setting timers. A two-in-one can do all of those things as well and doesn’t even need a stand. And Windows 10 or Chrome OS allow you to easily resize and arrange windows so you can have everything you need on one screen.I recommend using it in tent mode — horizontally or vertically — and wrapping your display in plastic wrap to keep the screen clean (yes, the touchscreen will still work). You can also use Microsoft’s virtual assistant, Cortana, to work handsfree in Windows 10 or Google Assistant on a Chromebook two-in-one.CNET’s top two-in-one laptopsLenovo Yoga C930Starts at $1,000See it on LenovoDell XPS 15 2-in-1Starts at $1,500See it on DellHP Spectre x360 13Starts at $1,100See it on AmazonSamsung Chromebook Plus V2Starts at $450See it on Best BuyLenovo Yoga 730Starts at $600See it on LenovoFor the kidsWhile you might still be firmly in the “touchscreens don’t belong on laptops” camp, there’s a good chance your kids don’t feel the same. Depending on their age, they possibly don’t remember a time when screens didn’t support touch input, which makes a two-in-one a natural fit.For my kids, using one as a tablet for reading and drawing is a given. But when it comes to casual games, they generally use it in tent mode. They’ve recently started using Duolingo and putting the laptop in this position makes it easier to share the experience without the need for a separate tablet stand. And current Chromebooks support Android apps from the Google Play store, giving you a wide range of options made for touch displays.5G and foldable phones go big at MWC 2019: With international intrigue and a 5G coming-out party, this show doesn’t need the boost of a Samsung event.

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