If you are looking for the best Windows laptop, the good news is that you are totally spoiled for choice. The bad news is that there is a lot to choose from, which is why we are here to help you find the best option, whatever your requirements.
Depending on what you need from it, the best Windows laptop might cost you less than what you’d pay for a ready-to-use tablet, or it could be a lot more than most people would pay for a good-looking desktop computer. Some surprisingly powerful options are available, with super-fast Core i7 or i9 processors and high-end NVIDIA chips that power the graphics, but squeezing all that performance into a laptop doesn’t come cheap.
For good performance at a more palatable price, you can do well with fewer CPU cores and integrated graphics, like Intel’s Iris Xe, rather than a discrete GPU. Another thing you want to keep in mind is how much memory you will need; 16GB will do you well, while 32GB or more will keep things moving on more demanding creative tasks. Touch screens are becoming increasingly popular, but ask yourself: Do you really need one? And one more thing: SSD storage is the norm these days. It’s fast but not cheap, so keep in mind that unless you want to pay a premium for a massive SSD, you’ll have to invest in one of the best external hard drives to take the slack.
Got all this? Then read on to find the best Windows laptops for almost every scenario. And if you can’t find what you’re looking for and have more specific needs, check out our guides to the most powerful laptops, the best laptops for graphic design, and the best laptops for video editing.
The best Windows laptops right now
If you’re asking for the best Windows laptop ever and don’t mind paying for it, the Dell XPS 17 9710 isn’t likely to disappoint you. It’s impressively big and slim, and it manages to pack a full range of performance into its slim frame. In fact, most design tasks are very likely to be seriously overpowered (especially when maxed out), but if you need something for complex 3D projects or 4K video full of effects, it will be more than the task (although you You’ll find that when it’s running at full power, its cooling system can get a bit noisy.)
In addition to offering the best performance, it’s really well built with plenty of connections, including four Thunderbolt 4 ports and even an SD card slot. It’s fun to use, with a comfortable and responsive keyboard and control panel, and we love the look of it too. Find out more about why we rate this laptop in our Dell XPS 17 9710 review.
For the best Windows laptop for college admission, you probably don’t want to spend a fortune on high-end performance; You will most likely need a laptop that can handle your coursework, run any Adobe CC applications you need, and is portable enough to take anywhere with you. We think the HP Pavilion 14 fits the bill perfectly.
You can customize it to meet your needs without breaking the bank, and at 14 inches, it’s easy to move around without being too small to comfortably use for hours on end. The touch screen is a plus, and it comes with enough ports: USB-C, a pair of USB-A ports, HDMI and even a microSD card slot.
When you’re working with video, you need a lot of CPU and GPU power, of course, but you also need a high-quality screen so you can observe minute details. This is where the Asus ProArt Studiobook 16 OLED comes in. As you might have guessed from the name, it has a 16-inch OLED display that we found looks simply amazing, at 4K resolution and great color gamut coverage: 100% DCI-P3 and sRGB, and 97% AdobeRGB.
It’s not slow either, with high-end AMD chipsets instead of an Intel CPU and NVIDIA GPU. And there are a few nice extra touches we had when we reviewed it, including a versatile trackpad that can double as a drawing tablet, and the Asus Dial for quick switching between tools and controls. It’s of limited use at the moment with not a lot of software support, but Premiere Pro and After Effects are two apps it works with, allowing you to speed up your video workflow. Do you want to know more? See our Asus ProArt Studiobook 16 OLED review.
When you’re torn between investing in the best Windows laptop and tablet, a 2-in-1 laptop can be the perfect compromise. It’ll give you all the features you need from a regular laptop, but you can also fold the screen and use it in tablet mode for straightforward simplicity. And for us, the HP Specter x360 is the best option right now.
It’s a good-spec laptop with plenty of CPU power, and the Intel Iris Xe graphics can handle most applications even if they don’t have the raw grunt of a discrete Nvidia chipset. And while its 14-inch size makes it a somewhat unwieldy tablet, there’s a lot to love including edge-to-edge anti-reflective Gorilla Glass, and the included stylus for easy drawing and layout.
Let’s be clear: You’ll be hard-pressed to find a laptop that you can’t use for Zoom, because the built-in webcam and microphone are a pretty standard laptop feature. However, if you are specifically after the best Windows laptop for Zoom, we suggest the Microsoft Surface Laptop 4.
It’s a great looking, great laptop with plenty of power, even in its simplest specs, but what really stands out is the video conferencing capabilities. There’s a 720p f2.0 camera that’ll capture you perfectly, even in low light, and you’ll look good too, thanks to a pair of far-field studio mics. Finishing the package is a set of Omnisonic speakers with Dolby Atmos, so you should never miss what others have to say on that call. See what’s also on offer, as well as where the Surface Laptop 4 doesn’t perform well (spoiler: it’s not great with 3D animation and game development) in our Surface Laptop 4 review.
If price is your absolute priority, decent laptops don’t come much cheaper than the Dell Inspiron 15 3000. As you’d expect, there’s not much in the way of energy; The slimmer option we can find has a Core i7 with 8GB of RAM, Intel UHD graphics, and a 512GB SSD, and that’s still cheaper than any other option in this roundup.
The very cheapest option will be sadly poor for most design work, but you should be able to get it with the change from $300 / £300 and it will still have a lot of what you’ll need including a webcam and microphone, three USB ports plus HDMI and a big screen 5.6 inches.
Do you have money to burn? Need literally all the performance? Then let us introduce you to the Razer Blade 17. It is the best Windows laptop for gaming and, needless to say, it is also an amazingly powerful workstation for the most demanding creative jobs. In the high-end configuration, you’ll get a 14-core i9 CPU alongside a GeForce RTX 3080 Ti with 16GB of VRAM, but at just under $4,000 / £4,600 which might be a little rich for your taste.
Fortunately, low-spec models still bring a bunch of power you’ll struggle to fully use, along with a nice screen and of course, since this is a gaming laptop, RGB backlit keys. We’ve tested it and think it’s amazing; Get all the details in our Razer Blade 17 (2022) review.
Programming is something you can do on almost any laptop. Of course it pays to have decent performance so you can test your messy and unoptimized code without getting everything stuck, but that still leaves you with a lot of options. However, if you want a laptop that will make your coding life a little easier, we’ll have to recommend the Asus ZenBook Duo 14.
the reason? This does not come with one but two screens; There’s a 13.4-inch main screen, but there’s also a slim 12.6-inch touchscreen mounted behind the keyboard. You can use it for multitasking or as a drawing surface, but it’s also the perfect size for a code editor, allowing you to work on your code while seeing results on the main screen, without having to connect a secondary screen.