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Best Windows laptop 2021: the top Windows 10 laptops money can buy

Best Windows laptop
We handpicked the best Windows laptops 2021 has to offer, each of which we’ve tested and reviewed ourselves. (Image credit: Dell)

When you care about getting a decent amount of horsepower but at an affordable price, the best Windows laptop is probably going to be your best get. The flexibility of the operating system as well as the ever-increasing power of the internal components mean that these laptops are able to rival and often outshine their Apple counterparts. Not to mention,  Windows machines come with competitive pricing and elegant design.

Looking at the competition, the best Windows laptops probably have the best value. Sure, the best Macs come with an integration of software and hardware not found elsewhere, but these portables come out on top when you factor in price and performance. You’ll actually find more powerful Windows laptops for cheaper compared to their Apple rivals.

There are so many different options out there that it can be hard to find the one right for you. So, we’ve compiled our list of the best Windows laptops to help you choose. We’ve included flexible 2-in-1 laptops,  laptops with touchscreen displays, and powerful gaming laptops to meet just about every need. And, since each device has been reviewed by us, you know that they’re top quality.

Dell XPS 15

(Image credit: Dell)

1. Dell XPS 15 (2020)

The ultimate laptop has arrived

CPU: 10th Gen Intel Core i5 – i7
Graphics: Intel UHD Graphics – NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 Ti
RAM: 8GB – 64GB
Screen: 15.6" FHD+ (1920 x 1200) InfinityEdge Non-Touch Anti-Glare 500-Nit – 15.6" UHD+ (3840 x 2400) InfinityEdge Touch Anti-Reflective 500-Nit Display
Storage: 256GB – 2TB M.2 PCIe NVMe
OS: Windows 10 Home
Reasons to buy
+Amazing speakers+Beautiful display+Comfy keyboard
Reasons to avoid
-GTX 1650 Ti is a little weak

The Dell XPS 15 might just be incredible enough to tempt hardcore Mac users, and it’s easily the best Windows laptop 2021 has to offer. Combining staggering power in a stylish thin and light chassis, this laptop doesn’t hold back when it comes to internals and features that improve your computing experience overall. Among those amazing features are a gorgeous bright display with 500 nits of brightness, an extremely comfortable keyboard, impressive speakers, and a terrific trackpad. We’re not saying that this laptop is perfect, but our coveted 5 out of 5 rating should speak for itself.

Read the full review: Dell XPS 15

Asus Zephyrus G14

(Image credit: Asus)

2. Asus Zephyrus G14

Leading AMD's charge to mobile dominance

CPU: AMD Ryzen 7 4800HS
Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660 Ti — RTX 2060
RAM: Up to 32GB
Screen: 14-inch Non-glare Full HD (1920 x 1080) IPS-level panel, up to 120Hz – 14-inch Non-glare WQHD (2560 x 1440) IPS-level panel, 60Hz
Storage: 512GB / 1TB M.2 NVMe PCIe 3.0
OS: Windows 10 Home
Reasons to buy
+Best battery life in a gaming laptop+Excellent performance+Thin and light
Reasons to avoid
-No webcam-Fans can get loud

The Asus Zephyrus G14 may be designed like a gaming laptop, but it’s proven itself a more than capable all-around laptop. Whether you are serious about your gaming or need a powerful laptop for productivity or content creation, this is the best Windows laptops to deliver incredible performance as well as an amazing battery life, a fast screen, and a thin and light chassis that makes it super portable. It’s not the cheapest option out there, but you have to pay a premium for quality. And, if you’re an AMD fan, you’ll certainly appreciate the processor under its hood.

Read the full review: Asus Zephyrus G14

HP Spectre x360 (2020)

(Image credit: HP)

3. HP Spectre x360 (2020)

HP’s flagship 2-in-1 gets a 2020 refresh

CPU: 8th-generation Intel Core i7
Graphics: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050Ti with Max-Q design
RAM: 8GB – 16GB
Screen: 15.6-inch, 3840 x 2160 pixels touch
Storage: 512 GB – 2TB SSD
OS: Windows 10 Home
Reasons to buy
+Stylish and high-quality finish+Great all-around performance+Built-in security features are useful
Reasons to avoid
-Battery life takes a hit-Can run hot at times

HP’s beloved and highly praised 2-in-1 is back with a vengeance, this time with more powerful components like the 10th-generation Intel Core processors and Intel Iris Plus graphics. Of course, that impeccable 2-in-1 design and pristine gem-cut chassis are back, as are its security features and Bang & Olufsen speakers. That killer combination makes it, now more than ever, one of the best Windows laptops out there. Is it a wonder that this is one of our favorite laptops of 2021? If you care about aesthetics as much as you do performance and overall quality, this is the laptop for you.

Read the full review: HP Spectre x360 (2020)

Alienware Area-51m

(Image credit: Alienware)

4. Alienware Area-51m

The best Windows laptop for gaming

CPU: Intel Core i7-9700 – i9-9900K
Graphics: Nvidia GeForce RTX 2060 – 2080
RAM: 16GB – 64GB
Screen: 17.3-inch FHD (1920 x 1080) 60Hz Anti-Glare IPS – 144Hz IPS Nvidia G-Sync
Storage: 1TB SSHD – 2TB RAID0 SSDs + 1TB SSHD
OS: Windows 10 Home
Reasons to buy
+Jaw-dropping performance levels+A great-looking gaming notebook+User upgradeable
Reasons to avoid
-Seriously pricey-Can get warm and loud

If you want the absolute best notebook for playing games on the go, then here it is – but be warned, this laptop will cause all but the very fattest of wallets to break into a sweat. Alienware’s Area-51m is a startlingly powerful Windows gaming laptop that can be equipped with up to a 9th-gen eight-core Intel CPU and GeForce RTX 2080 graphics.

What’s more, it’s a beautifully made machine, with a superbly slick and clean design, and you can upgrade this gaming notebook going forward (the CPU and GPU can be replaced, which very often isn’t the case in modern laptops). In some ways, then, this is an investment in terms of future-proofing – but as we noted, it’s definitely an expensive outlay. However, it’s always been the case that if you want the best when it comes to gaming portables, you have to pay for the privilege.

Read the full review: Alienware Area-51m

Razer Blade 15 Studio Edition

(Image credit: Razer)

5. Razer Blade 15 Studio Edition

A seriously powerful pro laptop

CPU: 8th Gen Intel Core i7-8750H
Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 Max-Q – NVIDIA Quadro RTX 5000 Studio Edition
Screen: 15.6" OLED 4K Touch 60Hz, factory calibrated
Storage: 1TB SSD
OS: Windows 10 Home
Reasons to buy
+Powerful+Beautiful screen
Reasons to avoid

Razer’s idea of taking its famous gaming laptop and turning it into one of the best mobile creative workstations on offer has paid off. Razer Blade 15 Studio Edition would have taken the mantle as the best laptop for engineering students, if it wasn’t held back by its premium price. Without a doubt, this model was designed with creators in mind, rocking powerful graphics cards and an absolute stunner of a 4K display. Sure, you’ll be spending a lot of money to take this laptop home. But, make no mistake, it will be one of the smartest investments you’ll ever make.

Read the full review: Razer Blade 15 Studio Edition

Microsoft Surface Go

(Image credit: Microsoft)

6. Microsoft Surface Go

The best Windows laptop for students

CPU: Intel Pentium Gold 4415Y
Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 615
RAM: 4GB – 8GB
Screen: 10-inch 1800 x 1200 touchscreen
Storage: 64GB eMMC – 128GB SSD
OS: Windows 10 Home in S mode
Reasons to buy
+Top-notch design+Nicely priced+Impressive 10-inch display
Reasons to avoid
-Keyboard costs extra

While some students might want to pick up our best overall Windows laptop at the top of this article (or best all-rounder that follows it), not everyone can afford to splash out on a dearer machine. And for those with a strapped student budget, this Microsoft hybrid is a great choice for university, college or indeed school.

Essentially, this is a more affordable version of the Surface Pro, but running Windows 10 Home in S mode (although you can easily upgrade away from that). And like that Microsoft tablet, you also have to shell out for a Type Cover keyboard which is a separate (but necessary – if you want a 2-in-1 laptop) accessory.

Still, the Surface Go base model is nicely affordable even given the extra cost of the keyboard, and it’s supremely compact and portable, with an impressive screen and the ability to tackle general computing tasks with aplomb (and even run Minecraft nicely).

Read the full review: Microsoft Surface Go

Asus ROG Zephyrus S GX531GX

(Image credit: Asus)

7. Asus ROG Zephyrus S GX531GX

The best Windows laptop for heavyweight computing

CPU: Intel Core i7-8750H
Graphics: Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 (Max-Q)
RAM: Up to 24GB
Screen: 15.6-inch 1920 x 1080 IPS, 144Hz
Storage: 1TB SSD – 512GB/1TB SSD
OS: Windows 10 Pro
Reasons to buy
+Highly portable+Excellent performer+Innovative cooling solution
Reasons to avoid

Maybe you’re not in the market for a full-on workstation, but would prefer a notebook that runs Windows 10 Pro which can cut through heavyweight computing tasks, yet is actually designed to be a very capable machine for gaming? Then look no further than this Asus Zephyrus laptop.

The GX531GX comes packing an Intel Core i7-8750H six-core CPU backed with Nvidia RTX 2080 Max-Q graphics. It can also cram in up to 24GB of system RAM, yet this notebook is also nicely slim and portable – Nvidia’s Max-Q technology helps there, of course.

With all this power at your fingertips, you can tackle heavyweight computing tasks such as video editing, and relax playing the latest and greatest shooter when all the work is done. However, as is always the case when high performance meets portability, you’re going to pay a considerable asking price.

Read the full review: Asus ROG Zephyrus S GX531GX

Dell XPS 13 (2020)

(Image credit: Dell)

8. Dell XPS 13 (2020)

Still one of the best laptops of all time

CPU: 10th generation Intel Core i5 – i7
Graphics: Intel Iris Plus
RAM: 8GB – 16GB
Screen: 13.3-inch FHD (1,920 x 1,080) – 4k (3840 x 2160)
Storage: 256GB – 2TB SSD
OS: Windows 10 Home
Reasons to buy
+Gorgeous design+Excellent battery life
Reasons to avoid
-Lackluster audio-Expensive

The Dell XPS 13 (2020), much like its predecessors, earns a well-deserved spot among the best Windows laptops. It keeps everything we've come to love from Dell's flagship 13-incher, from the gorgeous and light design, to the powerful modern components that power it. 

The Dell XPS 13 now rocks 10th-generation Intel Core i5 or i7 processors and a bezel-less ‘Infinity Edge’ display, which means the Dell XPS 13 (2020) is a brilliant performer, while remaining thin and light. What’s more, there’s a wide range of customization options, so you can really make the Dell XPS 13 the best laptop for your needs. 

Read the full review: Dell XPS 13

Acer ConceptD 7

(Image credit: Acer)

9. Acer ConceptD 7

A mobile workstation for creatives

CPU: 9th-generation Intel Core i7
Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 – 2080
RAM: 16GB – 32GB
Screen: 15.6" 4K UHD (3840 x 2160) 16:9 IPS
Storage: 1TB SSD
OS: Windows 10 Home/Pro
Reasons to buy
+Very powerful+Cheaper than MacBook Pro+Good selection of ports
Reasons to avoid
-Expensive-Plain design-Not as thin and light as MacBook Pro

The formidable Acer ConceptD 7 is capable of handling complex and demanding tasks such as intensive video editing and 3D design, thanks in large part to its Nvidia RTX graphics. Clearly designed specifically with creative professionals in mind, it boasts that sheer power you’ll only find in workstations and gaming laptops. 

Beyond that excellent performance it delivers, it also offers decent port selection, a minimalist solid white design and that stunning Pantone-validated 4K IPS display. Obviously, it’s still pretty pricey, but no professional’s tool comes cheap. If you’re looking for a Windows-powered MacBook alternative for the creative tasks, this is the best Windows laptop for you.

Read the full review: Acer ConceptD 7 

Lenovo Yoga C940

(Image credit: Lenovo)

10. Lenovo Yoga C940

The Lenovo Yoga is back and it means business

CPU: Up to 10th Generation Intel Core i7
Graphics: Intel Iris Plus
RAM: Up to 16GB
Screen: 14" UHD (3840 x 2160) IPS, touchscreen, glossy, HDR 400, 500nits – 14” FHD (1920 x 1080) IPS, touchscreen, glossy, 400 nits
Storage: Up to 2TB SSD PCIe
OS: Windows 10 Home
Reasons to buy
+Excellent design+Great performance+Comfy keyboard
Reasons to avoid
-Expensive-Battery life-Soundbar gave us hope

The Lenovo Yoga C940 may have its share of flaws – the battery life in this model has taken a dive, for instance, and that soundbar could have been better. However, it’s an incredibly capable addition in a long line of flagships from Lenovo, touting more powerful components inside as well as some pretty nifty features. 

Those features include its pen garage on the back, which charges the stylus whenever it's docked. That keyboard, which is quite comfortable, is also worth mentioning. If you’re looking for a productivity machine, this is a great contender.

Read the full review: Lenovo Yoga C940

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