The 10 Best Windows Laptops

Updated October 29, 2017 by Lydia Chipman

10 Best Windows Laptops
Best High-End
Best Mid-Range
Best Inexpensive
We spent 42 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top selections for this wiki. So you've been checking the reviews and the tech sites and are ready to make the leap into Microsoft's latest operating system. If you also want the convenience of portable computing power, check out these laptops. We've included good all-round models, along with some particularly well suited to gaming, multitasking, video watching and more. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to support our work. Skip to the best windows laptop on Amazon.

10. Acer Aspire E15

For all-day mobile computing that won't totally blow your budget, the Acer Aspire E15 packages an Intel i5-6200U dual-core processor, 12GB RAM, a 1TB hard drive, a DVD drive, Bluetooth 4.1 and Wi-Fi with a 15.6" high-resolution display and a premium sound system.
  • nvidia geforce 940mx video card
  • up to 8 hrs battery life
  • weighs just under 5 lbs
Brand Acer
Model 8.89E+11
Weight 6.7 pounds
Rating 4.1 / 5.0

9. Dell XPS 15 9560

Advanced features like a 7th Gen i7-7700HQ quad-core processor, a 256GB solid-state hard drive, an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 4GB graphics card, a crisp InfinityEdge bezel-less display, and a built-in fingerprint reader make the Dell XPS 15 9560 well worth the cash outlay.
  • backlit keyboard
  • 10-hr battery life
  • 8gb ddr4-2400mhz ram
Brand XPS 15
Model pending
Weight 8 pounds
Rating 4.1 / 5.0

8. HP Spectre

With 16GB SDRAM and a 512GB SSD, the sleek and flexible HP Spectre multitasks like nobody's business and can process inputs with precision or output high-definition video on its Brightview 3840 x 2160 WLED-backlit narrow-bezel touchscreen.
  • hp truevision fhd ir camera
  • dual array digital microphone
  • one of the more expensive models
Brand HP
Model Spectre x360 CTO
Weight 9.8 pounds
Rating 4.1 / 5.0

7. Acer Predator 17

Available with up to 32GB RAM, a 1TB hard drive and a 512GB SSD, the Acer Predator 17 boasts 17.3" of LED-backlit IPS full-HD widescreen video supported by an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 graphics card and 6GB of dedicated GDDR5 VRAM for beast-mode gaming of the highest order.
  • gb ethernet and thunderbolt usb port
  • trueharmony plus hp sound
  • limited 3-hr battery life
Brand Acer
Model G5-793-72AU
Weight 15.9 pounds
Rating 3.5 / 5.0

6. HP Envy X360

If you're looking for versatility without sacrificing processing power, the HP Envy X360 is a good bet. It has a 1TB spinning hard drive with an Intel i7-6500U dual-core processor, a WLED-backlit touchscreen and integrated high-definition Bang & Olufsen speakers.
  • hd webcam with digital dual array
  • multi-touch gesture support trackpad
  • no solid state hard drive
Brand HP
Model Envy x360
Weight 6.8 pounds
Rating 4.2 / 5.0

5. Asus ZenBook UX330UA

Incorporating the sleek design and functionality of a high-end Ultrabook with a highly responsive ergonomic keyboard and a glare-resistant 13" panoramic display, the Asus ZenBook UX330UA makes on-the-go computing as easy on the eyes as it is on the wallet.
  • intel core i5 processor and 8gb ram
  • 1600mhz lpddr3 memory and 256gb ssd
  • built-in fingerprint reader
Brand Asus
Model UX330UA-AH54
Weight 4.8 pounds
Rating 4.2 / 5.0

4. Razer Blade

For a not-insignificant investment, serious gamers can level up and leave everyone else in the dust with a VR-compatible Razer Blade gaming computer. In spite of its high-performance profile and 14-inch high-resolution display, it weighs in at a mere 4.16 pounds.
  • thunderbolt 3 usb port
  • nvidia geforce full hd visuals
  • chroma anti-ghosting keyboard
Brand Razer
Model RZ09-01953E72-R3U1
Weight 8.2 pounds
Rating 4.3 / 5.0

3. Lenovo ThinkPad Yoga

The 2-in-1 convertible Lenovo ThinkPad Yoga with a solid state drive has a 12.5" FHD IPS touchscreen with pen support and 5 usage modes. Its lightweight, compact body travels well to deliver high performance at home, work or school.
  • sturdy 6-hinge watchband design
  • sd and mmc card reader
  • core i5-6300u processor
Brand Lenovo ThinkPad
Model Yoga 260
Weight 4.9 pounds
Rating 4.5 / 5.0

2. Toshiba Satellite Radius

The Toshiba Satellite Radius is a well-rounded machine capable of handling everything from light programming to resource-heavy gaming. It features 8GB LPDDR3 1600MHz system memory for advanced multitasking and a 512GB solid state drive for superior performance.
  • built-in harman kardon speakers
  • battery life up to 7 hours
  • weighs less than 3 lbs
Brand Toshiba
Model 7.67E+11
Weight 4.7 pounds
Rating 4.6 / 5.0

1. Dell XPS13 9360

The Dell XPS13 9360 comes with a Core i5 or i7 processor, an up to 1TB SSD and 16GB RAM. For all its impressive technical specs and performance capabilities, it also manages to serve up an exceptional audiovisual output and a respectable battery life in a svelte footprint.
  • ms hello password-free sign-in
  • thunderbolt 3 multi-use type-c port
  • bright backlit keyboard
Brand Dell
Model XPS9360-7758SLV-PUS
Weight 5.4 pounds
Rating 4.7 / 5.0

A Brief History Of The Windows Operating System

Windows 1 was released in November of 1985. Unlike the Windows versions of today, it wasn't a full operating system, but rather a graphical user interface for MS-DOS. When initiated, it took over the screen and launched an application called Program Manager. One of the most revolutionary features of Windows 1 was its heavy reliance on a mouse, when most applications were still using a keyboard as the main input method.

Windows 95 was the first version to be a true operating system, and introduced many staples that are still used in current Windows OS, like the Start menu, taskbar, and Windows Explorer. In 1997, Microsoft underwent a period of extreme controversy when they tried to integrate Internet Explorer 4 into Windows 95 systems via an update. By default, Windows 98 already featured the Internet Explorer 4 integration into the user interface, which led to an infamous anti-trust lawsuit.

Windows XP was Microsoft's longest running OS. It was given three major updates between its release date in 2001 and 2014, when Microsoft finally stopped offering support for it. As a testament to its popularity, Windows XP was still being used on an estimated 430 million PCs when it was discontinued.

Windows 7, released in 2009, was well-received by consumers. It was quicker, more stable, and easier to use than Vista, a much-maligned Windows OS released earlier in 2009. In 2012, Microsoft released the touch-friendly Windows 8. It was even faster than Windows 7 and included support for USB 3.0 technology, but despite this, many users found the touch-centric interface to be problematic and hard to navigate. It was quickly followed up with Windows 8.1, a free update that re-introduced the Start button, which was noticeably missing from Windows 8. It also allowed users to load directly to the desktop interface.

Windows 10 was released in 2015 and further brought back the balance between a touch interface and traditional desktop use. It allows users to switch between keyboard and tablet modes as needed and features universal apps that can run seamlessly on both Windows mobile and desktop devices.

Do I Need An SSD Or An HDD?

The technologies behind how SSDs and HDDs work vary greatly. SSD stands for Solid State Drive. It is called this because it has no moving parts. Information is stored on microchips that make use of non-volatile NAND flash memory. Non-volatile memory can store information whether a device is powered on or not. It always retains its charged state.

HDDs store their data on spinning magnetic discs. When accessing information, the disk must first come to the proper rotation speed, at which point a mechanical actuator arm moves into the correct position on the disc to retrieve the data being requested.

Inherently, the always-charged state and non-moving aspects of SSDs make them considerably faster than HDDs. When accessing data on an SSD, there is no lag-time while the computer waits for the disk to begin spinning and the mechanical arm to find the correct spot. Instead, you can almost instantaneously access this information.

When deciding on a computer with an HDD or an SSD, ask yourself the following question. What is more important to me, speed or storage size? A laptop with an SSD will be considerably faster when booting up or reading and writing data. The trade-off is that most SSD models will have less storage space. The average consumer-level laptop with an SSD will have somewhere between 128 and 512GB of storage space. On the other hand, it is not uncommon to find consumer-level HDD laptops with 1TB of storage space or more. If having a lot of storage space is most important to you, consider buying a laptop with an HDD. If speed is your top priority, look at models that feature an SSD. Another option is to buy an external hard drive to compensate for the smaller storage space of an SSD laptop. These come in HDD and SSD models.

What Else To Consider When Choosing A Windows Laptop

After you have decided on what memory type you need in your next laptop, there are a few other features that you should consider. Size is often a determining factor for many users. Will you regularly transport your laptop to and from school or the office? If so, a smaller model, usually with about a 13-inch screen, is a good bet. Anything smaller will hinder productivity, while anything larger can become a hassle to carry around.

While touchscreen is all the rage these days, if you don't make use of apps and games that require it, you might do well to choose a model that doesn't have touchscreen capabilities. These will often get better battery life, and can cost $100 less than comparable models with touchscreens. The same can be said of models that feature a 4k or UHD screen. For most users, a standard HD screen will suffice, and once again, the battery life and cost benefits can be significant.

Battery life should be a serious consideration. If you often work in public places where access to power can be limited, it is important to choose a laptop model that can accommodate this. Some may get as few as four hours of use on battery power, while some of the newer ultrabooks can get eight or more.

When it comes to future-proofing your device, two aspects take center stage: connectivity and RAM. Unless you are severely hampered by budgetary constraints, You shouldn't even consider looking at models with less than 4GB of RAM. This ensures that it will be able to handle not only today's resource-heavy applications, but also those that will be released in the years to come. Any device you consider should also include at least one USB 3.0 port, and ideally a USB Type-C port, as well. USB Type-C is poised to become the de-facto standard in the next few years. It is small enough for smartphones, powerful enough for laptops, and fast enough to support 4K video transfer.

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Last updated on October 29, 2017 by Lydia Chipman

An itinerant wordsmith with an alphabet-soup of credentials to her name, Lydia has turned iconoclasm into a livelihood of sorts, throwing herself into a broad constellation of interests. From antithetical cultural analysis to interdisciplinary combat training, she bears the scars and stripes of an uncommon diversity of experience. Reading, biking and exploring are favorite pastimes, but – with the notable exceptions of joining a religious order (not on speaking terms with a higher power) and becoming an artist (can’t even draw a respectable stick-figure) – she’d try almost anything once.

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