The best Windows laptop on the market is currently the Dell XPS 13. It sports an impressively thin chassis strengthened by an aluminum slick aluminum design, weighing in at less than 3-pounds. Backed by up to an Intel 10th-generation Core i7 processor and 16GB of RAM, this Dell can power through some of your most challenging workloads. Our favorite aspect of the XPS 13 is its gorgeous Infinity-edge display that fits a 13-inch screen into an 11-inch laptop body.
To find the best Windows laptop on the market, we began by digging into the features that help to establish a great machine, including each laptops’ processing power, battery life, display, and size & weight. Different people will require laptops of varying skill sets for their everyday lives — perhaps a strong processor and graphics card for gaming, or merely a lightweight and portable option. We’ve taken a look at all the possibilities to present you with the absolute best. No matter if you’re a business road warrior or a digital artist, we’ve got an option to help power your digital life. To learn more about the Dell XPS 13, and our other best Windows 10 laptop picks, continue reading.
Award: TOP PICK
WHY WE LIKE IT: Dell delivers top-level quality with this ultra-thin and light-weight machine, but it’s no slouch either, with up to an Intel Core i7 processor and 16GB of RAM. It’s also difficult to resist the machine’s jaw-droppingly beautiful Infinity-edge display.
The XPS 13 feels as close as possible to the perfect Windows laptop; this excellent option from Dell offers both power and beauty in an exceptionally well-crafted, and sturdy, aluminum package. Coming in at less than 3-pounds, this ultra-lightweight laptop makes a perfect companion in the backpacks of students and travelers. The intense processing also allows you to tackle difficult tasks from multimedia video editing to computer science — the power of an Intel Core i7 CPU and up to 16GB of RAM make this feat possible. Dell also includes two Thunderbolt 3 USB-C ports for super-fast external transfers.
The beautiful 13” Infinity-edge display is the crowning piece of the XPS 13; a stunning 400-nit display with vibrant colors, making anything you do, including binge-watching movies, look better than ever before. The XPS 13 even sports up to 12-hours of battery life. We just wish it had a more powerful graphics card for playing intense video games but we’ll take the long battery life over that. However, it is, by far, the best 13-inch laptop — maybe even the best laptop in the world for Windows users at this moment thanks to its great performance. And for better desktop computer performance, be sure to check out our list of the best CPU fans.
Award: HONORABLE MENTION
WHY WE LIKE IT: This laptop from Microsoft showcases some of the best the Windows manufacturer can put out — and that’s a good thing; it’s one of the best crafted machines we’ve seen with an elegant design, aluminum casing, and soft fabric palm rest.
Microsoft is the manufacturer of the Windows operating system, so it is always fascinating to see what they can offer when it comes to hardware. Luckily, the company has shown that its hardware options can stand above the rest, and the Surface Laptop is no exception. Featuring a high-resolution display in the 3:2 ratio, it is not only beautiful but can also allow you to see a bit more of longer documents.
Fast Quad-Core 10th-generation processors power the machine, backed by up to 16GB of RAM. What truly stands out though, is the Surface Laptop’s build-quality with an aluminum exterior, and either aluminum or Alcantara fabric palm rests. If you want a laptop that works hard, but also screen luxury, this is it. The only bit to note is that this machine only has two USB ports (one USB-C & one USB-A) — no HDMI ports, SD card slots, or ethernet ports here. Which on some machines this shortcoming could be alleviated by getting the best motherboard for your computer.
Award: BEST ON A BUDGET
WHY WE LIKE IT: Acer shows that purchasing an affordable 15-inch laptop doesn’t mean you have to make every sacrifice. This affordable windows laptop, despite its base model nature, is loaded with the latest Intel 10-generation CPU, high-speed 802.11ax Wi-Fi, a fingerprint reader, and an internal SSD.
Affordable Windows laptops have always seemed to bring a bottom of the barrel experience, where you could tell that every inch of quality was sacrificed. Acer redefines that expectation with the fantastic Aspire 5 Slim laptop that most shoppers can afford. It even continues to include the latest Intel 10-generation Core i5 CPU and 8GB of RAM on the more affordable models. This Acer is one of our favorite best laptops for college students thanks to its price.
To round out the experience, Acer also includes the latest Wi-Fi 6 standard, 802.11ax, which ensures your machine will be accessing the network at lightning speeds, as well as a built-in fingerprint reader and internal SSD. If you’re looking for a budget laptop, this is the answer. Just know that the build quality isn’t the best, lots of plastic here, but it still feels like a steal for the price. And needless to say, this won’t be the best computer for VR.
Award: BEST FOR GAMERS
WHY WE LIKE IT: ASUS brings a first-class gaming experience under its Republic of Gamers lineup; this unit features a high-speed Intel Core i7 CPU, 16GB of RAM, and an NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 GPU making it the best gaming laptop for playing games. There’s also tons of storage thanks to the 1TB SSD.
The other options on our list might sport some excellent processors and ample amounts of memory, but you won’t get anywhere in the gaming world without a solid graphics card. This is why we also suggest checking out the best gaming laptop video card. That’s where the ASUS ROG Strix G15 steps in with the NVIDIA RTX 2070 GPU. One of the most powerful mobile graphics cards available, the RTX will power you through the latest games on the market, such as Shadow of the Tomb Raider and Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey.
The ASUS ROG Strix even features a large 1TB SSD that can hold you a large collection of games. Of course, the Strix G15 is a gamers laptop, so we find the expected RGB lighting integrated into the unit for some great ambient effects. The only downside is that the touchpad could be better, but we also know that most gamers will opt to use an external mouse.
Award: BEST ULTRAPORTABLE
WHY WE LIKE IT: If you’re looking for the ultimate ultraportable, look no further than HP. This well-engineered machine weighs in at 2.7-pounds and comes in at 0.7-inches thin, but also saves you from needing a tablet, thanks to its 2-in-1 folding hinge design.
The HP Spectre shows that technology can be beautiful, with its distinctive black and gold styling that features hard cut angles. The perfect option for the stylish mobile warrior, the Spectre x360, weighs only 2.7-pounds and comes in at 0.7-inches thin. The display itself is gorgeous and also compatible with HP’s included stylus for drawing or jotting down notes on the go.
The included Bang & Olufsen speakers are also a nice touch and add to the machine’s premium feel. Add on the best gaming computer processor, and you’ll have a sleek and powerful computer. The x360 consists of an Intel Core i7 1.7GHz processor and 16GB of RAM; however, it should be noted that the body design will limit more intense heat-critical applications such as CAD design and working with Adobe’s Creative Cloud.
Award: Best 2-in-1 Convertible BEST 2-IN-1 CONVERTIBLE
WHY WE LIKE IT: If you’re seeking a windows laptop that can transform into a tablet when desired, then Lenovo has the option for you. This great laptop offers a 14-inch display that easily flips backwards into a tablet, while an included pen allows you to sketch and take notes.
Lenovo is a company that helped to kickstart the hybrid Windows laptop space, showing that you can transform a laptop into a tablet with a simple flip. The Flex 14 continues the company’s tradition with an affordable laptop that acts as a stellar laptop, and an on the go tablet option. Best of all, it retains some of the company’s best characteristics, including the ability to charge the machine up to 80% in only an hour.
For the privacy concerned, Lenovo includes a mechanical webcam privacy shutter, so you can cover the webcam when it’s not in use. As most would expect from the manufacturer of ThinkPad, the Flex 14 also has a great keyboard that’s comfortable to type on. We do wish the battery life was improved, however, as it’s only rated at 8-hours. If you’re more of a gamer, take a look at the best gaming laptops under $1000.
Award: BEST FOR BUSINESS
WHY WE LIKE IT: Lenovo continues to make some of the best business laptops, thanks to the ThinkPad lineup. This business ultrabook features powerful internal specs, a 14-inch anti-glare screen, a best-in-class backlit keyboard, and a mil-spec rating.
For almost thirty years, business users have looked to the ThinkPad brand name to help them be productive. The Lenovo Thinkpad X1 Carbon is the pinnacle of ThinkPad, showcasing the best the company has to offer, and it does indeed impress. The X1 Carbon sports the company’s comfortable, backlit keyboard — you’ll have trouble feeling at home to any other keyboard once you try a ThinkPad for the first time.
The built-in anti-glare display with LED backlighting helps to keep the sun, office lights, and other bright sources from creating unmanageable glare. Additionally, the unit passed 12 military-grade requirements and over 200 quality checks, thanks to its durable carbon-fiber exterior and integrated magnesium alloy roll-cage. Sure, the speakers leave a bit to be desired, but otherwise, ThinkPad continues to stand strong. If you’re looking for another option, try checking out the best 2-1 ultrabook.
When we set out on a search for the best windows laptop, we began with extensive research and hands-on time with our potential candidates. Next, we established essential factors to consider when purchasing a windows laptop, including each machine’s processing power, battery life, display, and size & weight. These factors lead to an establishment of minimum criteria so that we could deliver only the best laptop options.
Starting with processing power, we ensured that every laptop in our list offers an Intel Core i5 or i7 processor. We eliminated any low-power Intel Pentium, or even Core i3 processors that we didn’t think would get the job done. We also selected laptops that offered at least 8GB of RAM and 256GB of SSD storage — we don’t want you waiting for files to load or running out of space at the most inopportune times.
For each machine’s battery life, we made sure that it was possible to get around 8-hours of use; of course, as is with battery life, the mileage may vary based on your workload. The displays we selected were all at least Full HD (aka full 1080p HD), with many stretching significantly beyond that — even with touch screen options. Lastly, we gave preference to laptops with lightweight designs, coming in at less than 3-pounds; although, some gaming options were a bit heavier, all under 5-pounds.