The best 2-in-1 laptops you can buy

The perfect hybrid machine that’s just as good a tablet as it is a laptop still doesn’t exist. But, in 2021, companies like Microsoft, Apple and Google continued to improve their operating systems for machines that do double duty. Windows 11 has features that make it friendlier for multi-screen devices, while Android 12L is on the horizon and promises an optimized experience for larger displays. Plus, with the rise of ARM-based chips for laptops, especially Apple’s impressive M1 series, prospects for a powerful 2-in-1 with a vast touch-friendly app ecosystem is at an all-time high.

These machines still have their limits, of course. Since they’re smaller than proper laptops, they tend to have less-powerful processors. Keyboards also tend to be less sturdy, with condensed layouts and shallower key travel. Plus, they’re almost always tablets first, leaving you to buy a keyboard case separately. (And those ain’t cheap.) So, you can’t always assume the advertised price is what you’ll actually spend on the 2-in-1 you want.

Sometimes, getting a third-party keyboard might be just as good, and they’re often cheaper than first-party offerings. If you’re looking to save some money, Logitech’s Slim Folio is a cheaper option, and if you don’t need your keyboard to attach to your tablet, Logitech’s K780 Multi-Device wireless keyboard is also a good pick.

While we’ve typically made sure to include a budget 2-in-1 in previous years, this time there isn’t a great choice. We would usually go with a Surface Go, but the 2021 model is too expensive. Other alternatives, like cheaper Android tablets, are underpowered and don’t offer a great multitasking interface. If you want something around $500 that’s thin, lightweight and long-lasting, you’re better off this year looking at a conventional laptop (like those on our best budget PCs list).

Apple iPad Pro 12.9 2020
Chris Velazco / Engadget

When you’re shopping for a 2-in-1, there are some basic criteria to keep in mind. First, look at the spec sheet to see how heavy the tablet is (alone, and with the keyboard). Most modern hybrids weigh less than 2 pounds, with the 1.96-pound Surface Pro 8 being one of the heaviest around. The iPad Pro 12.9 (2021) and Samsung’s Galaxy Tab S7+ are both slightly lighter. If the overall weight of the tablet and its keyboard come close to 3 pounds, you’ll be better off just getting an ultraportable laptop.

You’ll also want to opt for an 11-inch or 12-inch screen instead of a smaller 10-inch model. The bigger displays will make multitasking easier, plus their companion keyboards will be much better spaced. Also, try to get 6GB of RAM if you can for better performance — you’ll find this in the base model of the Galaxy Tab S7+, while this year’s iPad Pro and the Surface Pro 8 start with 8GB of RAM.

Finally, while some 2-in-1s offer built-in LTE or 5G connectivity, not everyone will want to pay the premium for it. An integrated cellular radio makes checking emails or replying to messages on the go far more convenient. But it also often costs more, and that’s not counting what you’ll pay for data. And, as for 5G — you can hold off on it unless you live within range of a mmWave beacon. Coverage is still spotty and existing nationwide networks use the slower sub-6 technology that’s barely faster than LTE. 

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Best overall: Surface Pro 8

Microsoft's Surface Pro 8 and Signature Pro Keyboard accessory.
Dana Wollman/Engadget

There’s no beating the Surface series when it comes to 2-in-1s. They’re powerful, sleek tablets running an OS that’s actually designed for productivity. The Surface Pro 8 is Microsoft’s latest and it addresses most of the issues we had with its predecessor. It’s thinner and looks more modern, borrowing the design of last year’s Pro X. Plus, it has a 120Hz display that makes scrolling endless spreadsheets or emails feel much faster. Just remember to drop the refresh rate to 60Hz if you want to get respectable battery life out of this thing. Windows 11 also offers a better split-screen experience for on-the-go multitasking.

Like most of the other 2-in-1s on this list, the Pro 8 doesn’t come with a keyboard cover — you’ll have to pay extra for that. That’s a shame, considering it starts at $1,099. Microsoft offers a variety of Type Covers for its Surface Pros ranging from $100 to $180, depending on whether you want a slot for a stylus on it. But at least they’re comfortable and well-spaced. You can also get the Surface Slim Pen 2 ($130) for sketching out your diagrams or artwork, and it also features haptic feedback for a more responsive experience.

Buy Surface Pro 8 at Microsoft starting at $1,099

Best for Apple users: 12.9-inch iPad Pro (2021)

Apple iPad Pro (2021) review
Chris Velazco/Engadget

If you’re already in the Apple ecosystem, the best option for you is obviously an iPad. The 12-inch Pro is our pick. Like older models, this iPad Pro has a stunning 12.9-inch screen with a speedy 120Hz refresh rate, but this year it uses mini-LED backlighting to deliver greater dynamic range. Apple’s M1 chipset is impressively fast too, and more than good enough for most tasks. Plus, the latest iPadOS is superior to older versions thanks to widgets and quick notes support.

Apple’s new Magic Keyboard provides a satisfying typing experience, and its trackpad means you won’t have to reach for the screen to launch apps. But it’ll also cost you an extra $300, making it the most expensive case on this list by a lot. The iPad also lacks a headphone jack and its webcam is awkwardly positioned along the left bezel when you prop it up horizontally, so be aware that it’s still far from a perfect laptop replacement. Still, with its sleek design and respectable battery life, the iPad Pro 12.9 is a good 2-in-1 for Apple users.

Buy 12.9-inch iPad Pro at Amazon - $1,099

Best for Android users: Samsung Galaxy Tab S7+

Samsung Galaxy Tab S7+
Cherlynn Low / Engadget

While Windows is better than iPadOS and Android for productivity, it lags the other two when it comes to apps specifically designed for touchscreens. If you want a tablet that has all the apps you want, and only need it to occasionally double as a laptop, the Galaxy Tab S7+ is a solid option. Though it was released last year, it’s still the best Android-powered 2-in-1 around. You’ll enjoy watching movies and playing games on its gorgeous 12.4-inch 120Hz AMOLED screen, and Samsung includes the S Pen, which is great for sketching and taking notes. The Snapdragon 865+ processor and 6GB of RAM keep things running smoothly, too.

Thankfully the company significantly improved its keyboard case over previous models, with more comfortable and responsive keys. You could type for hours on this thing and not hate yourself (or Samsung). The battery life is also excellent, so you won’t need to worry about staying close to an outlet. The main caveat is that Android isn’t great as a desktop OS and, while Samsung’s DeX mode offers a somewhat workable solution, it has plenty of quirks. Still, with Android 12L on the horizon, a simple software update could ease some pain.

Buy Galaxy Tab S7+ at Samsung - $849

Best Chrome OS option: HP Chromebook x2

HP's Chromebook X2 is a 2-in-1 convertible that works as both a tablet and a laptop.
Nathan Ingraham / Engadget

Android might suck as a desktop operating system, but Chrome OS doesn’t. If most of your tasks take place inside a browser, the HP Chromebook x2 will serve you well. It has great battery life, an excellent 11-inch screen and looks nice, to boot. HP even includes the keyboard and stylus with the tablet, which almost none of the competition does.

Chrome still isn’t a great OS in tablet mode, and the Chromebook x2’s Snapdragon 7c processor sometimes struggles if you rack up too many tabs. It’s also a little pricey at $600, but you can often find it for $400 when it goes on sale at sites like Best Buy. That makes it a solid choice considering everything HP includes for the money.

Buy Chromebook x2 at HP - $679

Why the notch on the new Apple MacBook is a TERRIBLE idea from a User Interface perspective…

The upper part of a laptop screen is often reserved for mission-critical digital elements like menus and toolbars, search bars, filenames, internet browser tabs, and other crucial information. Putting a notch there is just counterintuitive and downright senseless.

The notch was supposed to be temporary. It was supposed to eventually be replaced by a hole punch camera, or by a transparent display, but it was never supposed to stick around for so long that it manifested itself onto another range of products. Putting a notch on the iPhone could be classified as innovation back in 2017 (complex facial mapping and recognition on a handheld device… pretty impressive), however, carrying it to the laptop feels lazy. Moreover, the notch on Apple’s M1 Pro MacBooks doesn’t even do FaceID, there’s a TouchID Key on the Keyboard for authentication. It’s there because someone at Apple thought slimmer bezels would look nice, echoing a rare Jony-Ive-level of narrow-minded thinking that gave us the iPhone Bendgate, the odd Magic Mouse charger, and the lightning connector on the backside of the 1st Gen Apple Pencil.

Now Apple’s most obvious solution was to simply turn the upper bar into a black no-go zone while using programs in full-screen, so the notch doesn’t eat into the software’s interface elements. You don’t need viral internet star bastion-of-human-sensibility Khaby Lame to tell you that this basically proves that the notch wasn’t necessary to begin with. Through the duration of the keynote, Apple’s team spent a grand total of 9 seconds highlighting the notch (without ever using the word ‘notch’), and even in those 9 seconds, all that VP of Product Design Kate Bergeron ever mentioned was that the upper bezel was made 60% thinner… a feature that’s only purpose was to make the overall screen on the MacBook Pro bigger. Nothing else.

So what’s inside that notch? Well, just a camera. One single 1080p camera. This means the MacBook Pro has a notch, but doesn’t have the benefits of it, i.e., FaceID or Memojis. One can’t help but feel baffled and slightly short-changed here. From what I can tell, the notch is visible ONLY on your desktop and when you have multiple windows open… but when you maximize a task or program, the top of your display turns into a black bar, making that entire strip of screen useless for 99% of your time using the laptop. Apple does this with its own apps too – Safari, Logic, Facetime – going to show that even its own apps can’t account for the notch.

It’s a shame that the notch is the only glaring problem I have with the laptop. It sits there continuously triggering me like talking to someone who is blissfully unaware that they have spinach stuck in their teeth. If you can look past the notch, the laptops are great. The new M1 Pro and M1 Max chips push the laptop’s performance and efficiency off the charts, giving you a laptop that’s VOLUMES faster than even its older iterations. The new laptops use Liquid Retina XDR displays and come with powerful speakers that fire both upward and downward for stellar audio. The ports finally make a comeback too, and the TouchBar’s gone the way of the dodo, being replaced by a row of function keys. The laptops come with up to 8 mind-numbing terabytes of storage and 64 GB of memory, with the M1 Max chip having 10 CPU cores and 32 GPU cores, making the laptop an absolute beast of a machine while still having a respectable 21 hours of battery life thanks to how efficient the new chips are. If you can look past the notch… the new Apple MacBook Pros have a lot to offer. I for one, am patiently waiting for the notch’s demise.

Watch the 2021 MacBook Pro introduction video below.

Innovative Laptop Designs that are better than the MacBook!

Today, most of us are wholly dependant on our laptops, and to be honest, I could not survive without mine as well! It stores almost everything I hold sacred, and I need it for various purposes – from work to leisure! And most of us do spend the majority of our day working on our laptops and are able to maintain a consistently high level of productivity and efficiency, thanks to them. There’s no doubt that Apple’s MacBook is hands down one of the most popular laptops there is! I mean I own one myself and I am a hardcore MacBook fan. But there does come along a super cool and innovative laptop design once in a while, that makes me question my commitment and loyalty to Apple. And we’ve managed to curate a whole collection of such designs! From a maverick laptop concept that lets you adjust the height and angle of its display to a flexible laptop that could revolutionize the computer category – these inventive laptop designs might just be the perfect replacement for your beloved MacBook!

Meet the Paysage, a conceptual computing device that targets both laptop and desktop users with a unique hybrid design. Its design features a two-part construction – the main CPU, which sits within the keyboard-unit (like most laptops), and the screen, which rather than resting on the top of the keyboard, comes with a flexible construction that wraps around the top and the bottom, sandwiching the keyboard in between. This unique build is what sets the Paysage apart. Flip open half the screen and you’ve got yourself a standard laptop/netbook, equipped with a keyboard, trackpad, four USB-C ports, an Aux input, and its dedicated speakers.

For someone who is used to multi-monitor setup and using a laptop is for mere portability, the Compal Airttach is reason enough to rethink the traditional setups. The Taiwanese manufacturer reimagines the general perspective of a multi-monitor setup and gives you the freedom for enhanced productivity. This laptop has a 13-inch main screen having canted edges with the option to join the other two 13-inch displays for a 48: 9 aspect ratio wide-screen real estate. When not needed the screens can be removed for a seamless workflow.

The NeckBook, as its name should rather aptly suggest, is a laptop that has a display with a ‘neck’. Unlike conventional laptops that connect their displays directly to the base using a set of hinges, the NeckBook adds a sliding rail (or a neck) between them. Once you flip open your lid, as you would with any conventional laptop, the NeckBook lets you pull the display upwards, adjusting its height. The display slides up and down the neck, and can swivel left and right too, giving you an infinite amount of control over your viewing experience – something a regular laptop can’t.

Meet the Cubitus, a concept unique in its own right because it merges the portability of a laptop while still bringing the elevation of a laptop stand. The name Cubitus comes from the Latin word for elbow, which is an ancient unit of length. So in a way, this portable machine replicates the flexibility of human arm movement. Adding to the premise of an all-in-one design, the Cubitus includes a digitally displayed keyboard and trackpad. In addition, these accessories will be customizable according to the user’s needs, making the setup more individualized.

AIO Phone-Book with Detachable Smartphone Trackpad

AIO Phone-Book with Detachable Smartphone Trackpad

The AIO Phone-book does a bunch of incredibly radical things, let’s count them down. Firstly, it comes with a built-in smartphone that detaches when you need, and docks back to turn into a trackpad. Secondly, to account for the size discrepancy between smartphones and conventional trackpads, the phone sports a rolling display that allows it to not just expand, but bend too, turning into a mouse. If that wasn’t enough, the empty docking region on the laptop even acts as a wireless charging zone, for items like your AirPods. It’s possible that the AIO Phone-book, even as a concept, bites off more than it can chew… but hey, being creative and innovative ain’t a crime, right?

The way the Framework laptop is built reminds me of Phonebloks – a video that went viral in 2013, outlining a modular phone with swappable components. Phonebloks would present the holy grail of consumer electronics by putting the power right in the hands of the consumer. The block-based smartphone would allow you to change batteries, upgrade storage, or replace an old camera or broken screen by simply sliding the old part out and putting the new one in. The idea seemed simple, and Google even tried their hand at building it, but complications arose midway (I suspect it also had something to do with the marketing team saying it was bad for business)… however, Framework is bringing that idea to laptops, which could really use modularity given how expensive laptops can be, and how people tend to hold onto one laptop for at least 3-5 years, if not longer.

Meet the Aurora 7, a seven-screen real estate space to expand your productivity, and that too with the promise of packing it up in an instant and carrying it to your living room or even to your pal’s place. The company is in its infancy stage and has created the Aurora 7 laptop prototype that it plans to sell to enthusiasts already – moving into the future. The company plans to have the commercial version ready as soon as possible. Speaking of the design and its form, the laptop looks more like a Swiss Army Knife of the PC world has a 17.3-inch main screen. Then three other 17.3-inch display panels swivel out – one in landscape orientation that sits above the main display and the other two on either side in portrait configuration. All of them have a resolution of 3840×2160, running at 60Hz.

Equipped with an 8″ touchscreen display, the Lavie is slightly larger than the iPad Mini. The convertible laptop comes with an Intel Iris Xe graphics card and an 11th Gen Intel Core i7 mobile processor built into it (you could say that the LaVie presents Intel with its Hail Mary moment after a series of commercial failures), along with 256Gb of SSD storage and 16Gb of RAM. This pretty much makes it a good portable laptop to have on you for quick work sessions and presentations (and a neat alternative to Chromebooks), but fold the laptop’s keyboard all the way back and the LaVie Mini is a completely new beast.

Charley Bircumshaw designed a modular hybrid of a laptop-tablet so that creatives who feel inspired by more than one artistic outlet will always have their very own ‘one-stop-shop.’ By inserting bespoke hinges to the tablet, the purpose, structure, and facade of the overall design changes in order to provide alternative forms of usage. By simply removing the laptop’s keyboard and attaching a music-making unit, the product turns into your very own DJ module. Making up the design are some key components: two, fullscreen tablets, a music module, a computer keyboard, a couple of bespoke hinges, and electric grooves. Each part comes to comprise the mutability that transforms this particular design into something special.

As a refreshing approach to what a laptop could be – designer Heesung Choi from Seoul has come up with the concept idea he calls “Clutop”. A laptop that has a swanky design, since it folds into itself to become a clutch bag for stylish portability. The “normcore” design adaptation means you’ll have a lightweight laptop that matches your fashion quotient. Heesung claims it to be the world’s smallest laptop which is eye-popping in its own rights. Clutop has a screen aspect ratio of 16:9, and when closed, the 1:2 body ratio makes it fairly easy to carry along. Open it up for your tasks and you get a widescreen display that looks beautiful.

This multi-monitor laptop’s detachable screens can be used as a standalone tablet

For someone who is used to multi-monitor setup and using a laptop is for mere portability, the Compal Airttach is reason enough to rethink the traditional setups.

A laptop brings the promise of portability that prompts many users to go for the proven useful gadget. Although it compromises on the multi-monitor setup aspect if you are carrying your laptop around, the configuration has its own set of advantages. But who says, you cannot have the best of both worlds – ie the portability of a laptop and the versatility of a multi-monitor setup on the go? What’s interesting is the fact that not only it brings the compactness aspect to a multi-monitor setup with a laptop, it is actually much more.

The Taiwanese manufacturer reimagines the general perspective of a multi-monitor setup and gives you the freedom for enhanced productivity. This laptop has a 13-inch main screen having canted edges with the option to join the other two 13-inch displays for a 48: 9 aspect ratio wide-screen real estate.

When not needed the screens can be removed for a seamless workflow. The feature I like the most is the ability to use these extra screens as a standalone big-screen tablet(s). Both the screen have kickstands, so you can use them in either vertical or horizontal orientation. All this comes with the luxury of wire-free clutter – another advantage that can’t be ignored.

Compal Airttach’s main laptop screen has no bezels, and the secondary displays also have visually no bezels. This means when in connected multi-screen configuration, the whole setup looks like one big wide-screen. When you’re done with the day’s work, the three-piece gadget can be easily carried in a folio-like bag which clearly shows the compact nature of the design.

The Airttach is still in the concept phase, and it’ll be interesting to see the details when Compal releases a prototype and hopefully a commercially viable product. Do expect Airttach to burn a hole in your pocket since the hardware and technology required to accomplish such a design will cost a lot!

Designer: Compal

Sleek MacBook Stands that are the ultimate sidekicks designed to perfectly support your laptop

To be honest, I could not survive without my MacBook! It stores almost everything I hold sacred, and I need it for various purposes – from work to leisure! And most of us do spend the majority of our day working on laptops, and hence maintaining a consistently high level of productivity and efficiency is extremely integral for our work routines. However, spending hours on our MacBooks can cause immense strain to our hands and neck. And this is where laptop stands come in! The right laptop stand offers ergonomic angle adjustments and helps us work in a posture that does not cause physical pain and strain on our bodies. And hence, we’ve curated a collection of ergonomically designed and highly functional laptop stands that help you work in the most comfortable position possible, in turn boosting your work productivity and efficiency! These are the ultimate sidekicks to your MacBook!

FLIKK Laptop Stand by Jexter Lim

FLIKK Laptop Stand by Jexter Lim

The designer came up with this idea after observing the irking drawbacks of traditional laptop stands. Most of them don’t provide the desired elevation and the right viewing angles. Also, they are very complicated to deploy which mars the whole purpose. This prompted Jexter Lim to plug all the gaps that spoil the user experience and function of the accessory. The laptop stand gives you the desired viewing angle for a comfortable working regime anytime, anywhere. The goodness doesn’t end there, as it seamlessly transforms into a laptop sleeve to head to your next destination without all the bulk of a traditional laptop stand.

The RLDH Alto Standing Desk is a thoughtful flat-pack accessory designed keeping in mind your multiple needs if you can’t invest in a height-adjustable desk. It is simple to carry and disassemble, with the option to adjust the height of your keyboard and mouse tray, giving it the flexibility of use with your laptop. Yes, this stylish yet functional standing desk is tailored for use with your laptop – virtually transforming your table into a standing desk when the need arises. Its flat-pack and lightweight (weighing just 6.5 lbs) nature give you the freedom to tuck it away when not needed or even to take it along during travel for remote work regimes.

Designed to be portable and compact, HUB–OX initially comes as a lightweight, palm-sized USB-C hub, which splits into two halves, both equipped with plenty of charging slots, HDMI connections, and ethernet ports. HUB–OX is compatible with MacBook Pro models that have four USB-C ports, generally any MacBook Pro from 2016 or any of its succeeding generations. When HUB–OX is split in two, users can plug the USB-C chargers into all four of their MacBook Pro’s ports, lifting their laptops to an angle of 7.7° to keep them charged and at eye level for the rest of the day.

The MOFT Z was designed keeping the original MOFT brief in mind but was made to push limits. It does come with the ability to prop your laptop at three angles, but that’s not all. The MOFT Z even transforms your sitting setup into a standing one, elevating your laptop up by as much as 10 inches (25 centimeters). The MOFT Z does this using an innovative Z-shaped folding system along with its signature PU and fiberglass material which allows the laptop stand to have a high strength to weight ratio while being thin enough to slide right into a Manila envelope. The MOFT Z was designed to be used independently, without being stuck to the back of your laptop (like the original MOFT). Slightly larger than a sheet of A4 paper, and at nearly half an inch thick, the MOFT Z can be kept on your desk, stored in a drawer, or a shelf, among folders.

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The durable stand has multiple height adjustable angles and forward and backward position adjusting liberty for laptops or even tablet – tested for over 20,000 uses. This adjustability gives you the ability to orient the laptop/tablet screen position in more ways than not. Adding to the inherent feature of keeping the device sturdy in place without any lateral movement and the intuitively positioned ventilation holes, Maotoam’s offering has something more! The world’s first ergonomic laptop stand with an integrated 13-in-1 USB-C hub, making it a one-stop solution for connectivity to all your gadgets.

With a minimal, sculpture-esque design, PILLR looks pretty darn good even without the laptop on it. Its strong presence gives it the appeal of a desk sculpture, and once you place a laptop on it, the PILLR enters a functional mode, elevating your laptop to reduce neck pain and boost productivity. PILLR’s 3-part design comes together to create its minimal, simple form factor. Made from three individual anodized aluminum pieces, PILLR is light and minimal, with clean lines and basic shapes, giving it an appeal that matches the expensive laptop that rests on it. Designed to support (both physically and visually) any laptop you put on it, PILLR was designed keeping the MacBook in mind… which makes sense considering it’s the world’s most popular portable computing device.

With minimal material and maximal robustness, the Curve SE elevates your laptop 6.5 inches from your desk, allowing your neck to rest at a much more comfortable angle. Made from a single curved piece of anodized aluminum, the Curve SE’s clean design complements your MacBook perfectly although it works universally with all laptops. Silicone grips ensure your expensive machine is held well in place so any accidental nudges don’t knock it over. The Curve SE’s elevated (in the literal sense) sense of design even helps keep your laptop ventilated, promoting proper airflow so your machine doesn’t heat up. In the event that it does, though, I imagine the metal body serves as some sort of heat sink to help dissipate heat and cool your machine down faster.

This one-piece aluminum laptop stand has a two-fold purpose. It serves as a barrier between your heated laptop base and your lap (or your desk), and its unique slatted design helps it act as a massive heatsink, pulling the heat from your laptop and distributing it across the multiple aluminum ‘fins’ at the base, and then dissipating it into the air. The fins/slats help increase the surface area so the heat gets lost at a faster rate, allowing the laptop stand to effectively cool the laptop without having to be plugged in. They even go as far as helping with wire-separation/segregation. Plus, its machined aluminum design goes together rather well with laptops having an aluminum body (case in point being the Macbook, obviously).

Whether you’re in bed and binging Netflix and simultaneously munching on dinner or spending the workday in bed, using the laptop in bed has probably become the world’s favorite pastime just with this past year’s WFH orders. iSwift Pi was primarily created to help those working from home feel a lot more comfortable when they choose to work from the comfort of their beds. Designed to be compact and portable, iSwift Pi boasts an ultra-thin form when folded or unfolded. When folded, the iSwift Pi is as thin as a small stack of paper, which then unfolds to two different heights, either 7.5 inches or 8.6 inches, depending on your lap situation. Then users can adjust iSwift Pi’s sitting placement to four different angles, so the screen can always meet your eyes.

The Triyards Laptop Stand borrows a clever trick from a product we’ve been using for decades. Inspired by the thin-yet-effective kickstands found in most keyboards, the Triyards Laptop Stand sits flat against your machine, adding a mere 0.2 inches of thickness. Made from durable aerospace-grade aluminum, the stand adheres to the back of your laptop using a non-harmful 3M glue strip and comes with two fold-out legs that allow you to easily prop your laptop up, angling it in a way that helps it stay cool while angling the keyboard in a way that makes it easier to type. It comes with rubber legs too, to make sure your laptop doesn’t slide around or damage the surface you’re working on.

Logitech’s latest device is an all-in-one dock that turns your table full of gadgets into the best WFH setup ever

Acting as a sort of universal remote for all your gadgets and appliances, from your desktop to webcam, microphone, and speakers, the Logitech Logi Dock lets you easily control your online presence from one simple device. The dock comes with a simplified set of buttons on the front that let you join and leave meetings, mute and unmute your mic, and even toggle your webcam. Ports on the back let you hook all your desktop peripherals to the Logi Dock for a wire-free clutter-free workplace, and the Logi Dock is compatible with all leading video conferencing platforms, making online collaborations and meetings as easy as pressing a button.

Logitech Logi Dock WFH Setup

Working from home isn’t particularly easy. With your office, you show up to a workstation that’s already been configured by the IT department. When you need to attend a meeting, you actually attend a meeting, and when all’s said and done, you log off, shut your machine, and leave the office. With working from home, you have to navigate the entire experience from scratch, getting a machine to work with all your new collaboration software, having peripherals that are well connected, needing a reliable home WiFi connection, and simultaneously learning the user interfaces for multiple video chatting apps.

Logitech Logi Dock WFH Setup

Designed to act as the makeshift IT guy who sets up your workspace you can easily get to work without fiddling with wires, peripherals, and ports, the Logi Dock comes with all the ports you need at the back, effectively shifting the mess of cables off your desk and to its rear. It supports up to five USB peripherals and up to two monitors — while charging your laptop up to 100W and even giving you the ability to juice your phone/tablet. Once you’ve set your workspace up, the Logi Dock’s buttons make it a breeze to enter and exit meetings, toggle your webcam (without interacting with the video-conferencing app’s interface), and if you’ve got a headset, you can either use the buttons on the Logi Dock to switch the mic on or off or use the Dock’s advanced speakerphone system to attend meetings without using headphones. The speakerphone doubles up as a music system while working too, allowing you to play your favorite tunes while you work, reducing the need to have an extra set of desktop speakers on your table… or having to rely on your laptop’s crummy speaker system.

The Logi Dock is available in two colors: Graphite and White, and begins shipping in Winder 2021 for $399.

Designer: Logitech

Logitech Logi Dock WFH Setup

Logitech Logi Dock WFH Setup

Logitech Logi Dock WFH Setup

The post Logitech’s latest device is an all-in-one dock that turns your table full of gadgets into the best WFH setup ever first appeared on Yanko Design.

The ‘NeckBook’ is a maverick laptop concept that lets you adjust the height and angle of its display

While laptops are lauded for their portability, their biggest caveat is that they often aren’t too ergonomic. You can either make a slim, lightweight, portable machine, or you can make one that’s ergonomically designed keeping human factors and proportions in mind. That notion, however, is being challenged by the NeckBook, a maverick laptop concept created by JooHyung Park, with an adjustable display.

The NeckBook, as its name should rather aptly suggest, is a laptop that has a display with a ‘neck’. Unlike conventional laptops that connect their displays directly to the base using a set of hinges, the NeckBook adds a sliding rail (or a neck) between them. Once you flip open your lid, as you would with any conventional laptop, the NeckBook lets you pull the display upwards, adjusting its height. The display slides up and down the neck, and can swivel left and right too, giving you an infinite amount of control over your viewing experience – something a regular laptop can’t.

The ability to adjust your laptop monitor’s height is an absolute game-changer, because laptops are notorious for causing neck strain over time. A desktop monitor often sits at a height, allowing you to keep your neck straight, while a laptop monitor sits much lower (since it’s attached to the keyboard) causing you to unnaturally bend your neck. NeckBook aims to eliminate this problem by giving the laptop a neck of its own. You can easily pull the display up to your eye level so you don’t need to bend your neck anymore, and when you’re done, slide the display back down and shut the laptop. At least on paper, it’s a remarkably useful feature that gives you the best of both worlds – portability and ergonomics.

Without getting too deep into the technical aspects of the design, what the NeckBook proposes is theoretically pretty easy to execute. Companies have experimented with swivel displays plenty of times in the past – if you remember the weird ‘convertible laptop’ phase around 2015 – albeit with little commercial success. My only real gripe with the NeckBook concept (apart from the fact that it’s not real) is that the laptop’s neck has been given what feels like too much prominence. The neck in this concept is a utilitarian detail, and highlighting it on the outside not only reduces the laptop’s smooth/sleek aesthetic, but it also imparts an industrial appearance to the laptop. A neck that sat flush against the laptop’s lid, or was concealed inside a potentially thicker lid, would probably really help seal the deal on this idea, which my currently deformed neck could really use right about now.

Designer: JooHyung Park

Apple just filed a patent for a new MacBook design with its own integrated Apple Pencil

Earlier this week, a patent filed by Apple at the US Patent & Trademark Office (USPTO) was discovered that outlined a schematic for a MacBook with a new input device – the Apple Pencil. According to the patent images, the pencil would conveniently sit docked within the keyboard when not in use, and could be easily popped out and used as an input device, either on the screen or the trackpad. Apart from being a mouse-alternative, the patent even mentions that the pencil would provide extra features to the MacBook like F-key functionality.

Based on these patent drawings, I decided to put a 3D model together and take it for a spin. Conceptually, the presence of an Apple Pencil within a MacBook feels confusing but also potentially exciting. The minute you introduce a pencil to the MacBook, you’re singlehandedly killing the iPad Pro’s upper edge, but the more you think about it, the more it feels like it just might work. A Mac”Book” and a “Pencil” just instinctively go together, like a notebook and a pencil, right? Besides, it creates a synergy between the two products, and I can just imagine Craig Federighi dragging files from the iPad Pro with a Pencil onto the MacBook and having them carry over from one device to another, extending the user experience of Apple’s Universal Control feature!

Potentially (at least according to the schematics in the patent), the Pencil or ‘Pencil-like device’ would sit right above the keyboard, replacing the area originally reserved for the largely ignored Touch Bar. At least for the concept, I’ve shrunk down the Touch Bar instead of removing it entirely. For now, it sits in the top right corner, between the Pencil’s docking area and the Touch ID button.

The Pencil or ‘input tool’ would sit within the MacBook’s magnetic docking area, charging while not in use. Pop it out and I’d imagine you could use it on both the screen as well as the trackpad, although Patently Apple’s article doesn’t really highlight usage. It does, however, show that the Pencil is no ordinary stylus. This new input device would have multiple buttons or touch-zones on it, allowing it to double up as a row of Function keys when docked, and even letting you calibrate/control settings like your screen’s brightness, media volume, or more specifically brush sizes as you sketch on the MacBook screen.

However, like all patents, this one should be taken with a pinch of salt too. Most patents serve a singular purpose – of protecting intellectual property. They aren’t indicative of what Apple plans on rolling out to the public, although my gut tells me the Pencil is due for a redesign too, so maybe it isn’t too farfetched to assume that new touch-features could be coming to the Apple Pencil. As for being able to dock a stylus inside your MacBook, the patent document (which can be found below) and these images are all I have to offer!

Visualizer: Sarang Sheth

Patent discovered by Patently Apple

Framework Repair-friendly Laptop: Fixing Obsolescence

Computers and other gadgets are becoming increasingly affordable, but they’re also getting harder if not outright impossible to repair. We’re warned that our warranty will be voided if we open up our gadgets, licensed repair shops are nearly extinct, and reputable sources of components are also hard to find. That’s why it’s so refreshing to see a company like Framework. Its debut product looks and works mostly like a regular laptop, but it was designed from the ground up to be opened, customized, and repaired.

Even from the outside, you will immediately notice something unique about the Framework Laptop: its modular ports. It has four recessed USB-C ports in which you can stick a variety of modules: USB-A, USB-C, HDMI, a microSD card reader, SSDs, and even a full-sized DisplayPort output. Swapping between the modules is easy, and Framework says it will release more types of modules in the future. But to truly appreciate the beauty and power of this machine, you have to check out what its interior looks like:

All of the laptop’s major components – from the battery to the speakers – are clearly labeled. Each one also has a link for more info and a QR code that takes you directly to Framework’s components store. Even the display bezel is easily removable. And did I mention that the bottom of the laptop is held in place by only five captive screws? Framework is so confident with their machine’s user-friendliness that they’re also selling a DIY kit that costs a crazy $250 (USD) less than the fully-assembled version.

Of course, none of this matters if the laptop doesn’t perform well. Based on the impressions and reviews it’s gotten from major media outlets such as Linus Tech Tips, CNET, and of course iFixit, it seems that the Framework Laptop is up to the task. It’s powered by an 11th gen Core i5 or i7 CPU, has a 13.5″ 3:2 2256 x 1504 display, and has a backlit keyboard with a fingerprint reader.  It even has a 1080p 60fps webcam, which even most high-end laptops don’t have. Here’s iFixit’s teardown of the laptop:

Amazingly, Framework is an astonishingly small company, with only 16 team members as of this writing. I hope they’re ready to build on their work and overcome any challenges. Major PC makers obviously do not want to see a company like Framework succeed. You can pre-order the laptop directly from Framework. The fully assembled version starts at $999, while the DIY Edition starts at $749.

This laptop uses a patented hinge to transform into an ergonomic workstation anywhere!

The Cubitus laptop has a patented hinge system (with braking and locking systems) that opens up when the user demands an elevated screen position. It can unfold to the desired height and tilt depending on the level of ergonomic comfort needed.

Meet the Cubitus, a concept unique in its own right because it merges the portability of a laptop while still bringing the elevation of a laptop stand. The name Cubitus comes from the Latin word for elbow, which is an ancient unit of length. So in a way, this portable machine replicates the flexibility of human arm movement.

A laptop comes with the promise of portability, and recently, the power to match the performance of your PC. The loss? Working on the laptop for long hours is not ergonomically optimal, takes a toll on the eyes, results in physical and mental fatigue, and triggers long-term postural issues. As we all know, sitting is the new smoking.

The current solution uses a laptop stand to elevate the screen’s position to your eye level, making it just one more thing to carry with you everywhere. Adding to the premise of an all-in-one design, the Cubitus includes a digitally displayed keyboard and trackpad. In addition, these accessories will be customizable according to the user’s needs, making the setup more individualized.

The area above the keyboard acts as a tablet/task manager, allowing you to keep an eye on your ongoing applications or we can set up tabs to display functionality such as multiple time zones – its extra screen space at your disposal.

The Cubitus takes a huge leap into making the laptop portable and ergonomic. Imagine walking into your favorite cafe and have your machine transform into this fully functioning design – giving you the perfect environment and desk setup in one go!

Designers: Raul Guelfi, Samuele Montorfano and MAIN Engineering.