Best apps for 2 in 1 laptops

If you’re reading this, there’s a good chance that you’ve got a 2-in-1 laptop. That’s awesome!

A 2-in-1 laptop is one of the best ways to get work done on the go. You can use it as a traditional laptop, or flip the screen around and use it like a tablet. It’s all up to you. And if your laptop has detachable keyboard, that means you can use it with or without the keyboard!

But using your 2-in-1 for work isn’t always as easy as it should be. There are so many apps out there that claim to help you get stuff done—and sometimes they do! But sometimes they don’t quite fit what you need from them. That’s why we put together this list of apps for 2-in-1 laptops: so no matter what kind of work you’re doing (or what kind of work you want to do), we’ll help make sure that your device is set up for success.

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Best software for 2 in 1 laptops for students and professionals

If you want to use a stylus or your fingers for handwritten notes or drawings, a 2-in-1 laptop with a touch screen is your best choice. When you’re letting your creative juices out, these convertible laptops give you more power than a touchpad.

Here is the list of best software for 2 in 1 laptops for students and professionals.


Cost: Free, Premium features with Microsoft office subscription

Platforms: Windows, macOS, Web and Linux

With notebooks, parts, and chapters, Microsoft OneNote is arranged like a digital three-ring binder. It’s compatible with macOS, Android, iOS, and the cloud. OneNote comes in two varieties, and it’s good to know the differences between them.

OneNote 2016 is available for download for free from the Microsoft Store and the Mac App Store. OneNote for Windows 10 is a universal utility that comes pre-installed with the operating system.

More advanced features, such as the Math Assistant, are available with a Microsoft 365 subscription. Because of its focus on educational features, OneNote is one of the best note-taking applications for students.


  • OneNote supports freeform text, which you can enter and place anywhere.
  • Share and collaborate on your notes with a group or family members.
  • Import images and render the text searchable using optical character recognition.
  • Reference links are automatically inserted with everything copied and pasted from the internet.
  • Add audio and video to your notes to make them more interesting.
  • Draw with a cursor, a Surface marker, or an Apple Pencil.
  • Your notes will be synced to the cloud.


  • The web and macOS versions of OneNote don’t have any of the functionality of the Windows edition.
  • Users are perplexed by the inconsistencies in functionality between OneNote 2016 and OneNote for Windows 10.


Cost: Free

Platforms: Web, Browser extensions, Android, iOS

Google Keep is similar to For your digital note-taking needs, the utility is almost identical to Post-It notes. Since it is a cloud app, it is simple and cross-platform.

Its simplicity makes it an excellent choice for those looking for a simple and easy way to capture inspiration.

The Google ecosystem includes Google Keep. It is free and has a lot of useful features for minimalists.


  • Use your Google account across all platforms.
  • Take notes and get them automatically transcribed.
  • Make copies of your thoughts and share them with others.
  • Keep on the Web is capable of converting text from embedded images into text.
  • Color-code reminders to make it easier to identify them at a glance.
  • Notes from Keep can be dragged and dropped into Google Docs.
  • To arrange your notes, use a single level of labels.
  • Collaborate with others and exchange notes.
  • Set reminders for time and place.


  • The lack of a complex organisational function is a disadvantage.
  • There isn’t a way to format the notes at all.
  • If absolute privacy is required, it may not be the best option.


Cost: Free

Platforms: Windows

Windows 10 users don’t have to download Sticky Notes because it is available as a default app. If you don’t find it, then install the free app from the Microsoft Store.

Just like Google Keep, it looks spartan but it gives you a few features to play around with.


  • A sticky note’s colour can be changed.
  • Touch-enabled applications may be used to write or draw on the notes.
  • Use the formatting toolbar and keyboard shortcuts to format your documents.
  • Set reminders, call phone numbers, send email messages, go to a web address, monitor stock rates, and more with Cortana Insights.
  • Sync all notes to other devices via OneNote using your Microsoft account.


  • Without OneNote, it does not function on other computers.


Cost: Free

Platforms: Windows

Evernote, one of the oldest and most feature-rich note-taking apps, is a must-have on any list of the best note-taking apps. To keep it organised, Evernote lets you build both basic and complex workflows using a combination of notebooks, notes, and tags.

The Web Clipper extension is one of its best features for collecting research, as it allows you to save entire webpages – including text, photographs, and PDFs – with a single click. Since notes can be viewed on tablets, mobile devices, and the internet, you’ll rarely be unable to recover what you’ve saved. Other features include the ability to set reminders, present notes in a PowerPoint-style presentation, and combine notes.


It is completely free to use

Excellent functionality

Save web pages to your computer for offline viewing.


It is not integrated with Microsoft Office.


Cost: Free

Platforms: Windows

Dropbox Paper was released in August 2016 and is compatible with Dropbox’s mobile apps for Windows, iOS, and Android. Paper stands out because it focuses on teamwork, allowing teams to exchange project ideas, photographs, and videos.

There are integrations with collaboration platforms like Google Calendar and Slack, as well as some unexpected ones like Spotify.

New organisation tools, such as the ability to build mobile files on the go, as well as enhanced delete and archive functionality, have recently been added. Dropbox also updated the Paper homepage, which now allows users to access both Paper documents and Dropbox files.


  • It is completely free to use
  • Integrations for collaborative working are open.

I hope after reading my list of Best software for 2 in 1 laptops for students and professionals you got an idea of best software that you should have. Leave a comment for any suggestions.

Best apps for 2 in 1 laptops

2-in-1 laptops have entirely transformed the way people perceive computing. The variety of ways one can use 2-in-1, aka, convertible laptops, has increased exponentially ever since manufacturers have started coupling the convertible laptops with a computing pen. With 2-in-1 laptops combined with computing, one’s creativity is freed from all hindrances, and the input-output interaction churns some amazing results.

However, it is only possible to carve out the best results when the device duo is assisted by apps that support the input-output interaction between 2-in-1 laptops and computing pens. Here are some apps that you can use to create, illustrate, and animate with your convertible laptop and computing pen. Moreover, the cherry on the cake is that all these apps are free to use.

Microsoft OneNote: Note-making has never been easier when you have the powerful trio consisting of a convertible laptop, computing pen, and Microsoft OneNote. With online gaining dominance with every day that passed by during the pandemic, OneNote is a handy app for all your college notes, meeting takeaways, or those thinking out loud moments when you just want to scribble your thoughts into words.

SpeedyPainter: This app will take care of the artist inside you very efficiently. A computing pen is very adeptly supported by SpeedyPainter. The app hones a Head-up Display (HUD) view that allows you to use the colour picker through the nip of your computing pen. Moreover, SpeedyPainter ensures a seamless and lag-less experience which makes drawing feel natural.

Inkodo: Monikered as a multipurpose productivity tool, Inkodo allows you to perform a wide array of actions, from animation to doodling to basic note-making. One of the most lucrative features that the application offers is that the projects that you develop through Inkodo are extremely easy to share on various mediums and platforms. In addition, you can easily save your projects in multiple file formats.

Tracing: As essential as it is for an artist to have the right tools to put his imagination into creation, tracing emerges as a very important tool. An image can easily be traced and copied by using the fading feature of the app. Moreover, the hand and palm impressions are not registered, which makes them more accessible and easier to use.

5 ways to use your new 2-in-1 laptop

From two-in-one to all-in-one

Sarah Tew/CNET

The 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 go

Sarah Tew/CNET

Amazon’s latest Echo Show pairs a 8-inch screen, microphones and speakers with the company’s virtual assistant, Alexa. You know what it also has? A power cord. Install the Alexa app for Windows 10 on a two-in-one and you’ve got an Echo Show that you can set up anywhere — kitchen, living room, bedroom or office. There are laptops with Alexa built in, 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. 

Watch this: Lenovo’s Yoga C930 is the ultraportable 2-in-1 we’ve…


Digital whiteboard

Sarah Tew/CNET

People tend to discount the usefulness of a pen-enabled two-in-one because they’re not an artist or they’re not a student with immediate note-taking needs. I’m neither of those things, but I regularly use the pen just for organizing my life or making certain tasks easier. Microsoft’s Whiteboard app, for example, is good for brainstorming both home and business projects. It’s smart enough to turn your hand-drawn shapes into clean, sharp lines and do the same for your handwriting. 

Put your two-in-one in tent mode and others can easily sit around the screen and collaborate. Anyone you share the whiteboards with can simultaneously work on them too — regardless of where they are — through a browser or Windows 10 or iOS apps. 

Kitchen companion

Sarah Tew/CNET

A 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 laptops

HP Spectre x360 13 (late 2019)Starts at $1,100See it on HP
Lenovo Yoga C940 15-inchStarts at $1,500See it on Lenovo
Dell XPS 13 2-in-1Starts at $1,000See it on Dell
Samsung Chromebook Plus V2Starts at $350See it on Best Buy
Asus ZenBook Flip 14Starts at $1,299See it on Amazon

For the kids

Sarah Tew/CNET

While 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 use Duolingo for learning other languages and putting the laptop in this position makes it easier to share the experience without the need for a separate tablet stand. Plus, if your kids use Chromebooks for school, newer models support Android apps from the Google Play store, giving you a wide range of options made for touch displays. 

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