There's been a small semantics debate amongst the Windows Central staff: what's the difference between a "2-in-1" and a "convertible"? Cale and I say that a 2-in-1 has a detachable keyboard (ala Surface) while a convertible has a 360° hinge between the permanently-paired touch screen and keyboard base. Dan and Zac disagree and say the two terms are interchangeable.
Looking around at how manufacturers and retailers market these devices, there's no agreement across the industry either. Some lump 2-in-1s and convertibles and tablets into the same group, others break them into distinct product categories. There's not even agreement on if it's a 2-in-1 laptop or a 2-in-1 tablet.
So let's settle this the simplest way possible. I'll show you a device, you tell me what you'd call it. There are no right or wrong answers — these terms are vague and I want your help in defining what kind of device they're applied to. So let's settle this debate… or give wildly conflicting answers and leave it open for future generations to settle.
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Derek Kessler is Special Projects Manager for Mobile Nations. He's been writing about tech since 2009, has far more phones than is considered humane, still carries a torch for Palm, and got a Tesla because it was the biggest gadget he could find. You can follow him on Twitter at @derekakessler.