The Best Windows Laptops

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The best Windows laptops can do it all, whether that’s supporting you through your academic adventures, allowing you to do all your work from home, or leading you to victory while playing the most modern games — you just need to pick the right one for your situation. We’ve put together this list of some of the best laptop options on the market right now, so you’re just a few steps away from getting the computing support you need.

We’ll be starting off the list with some pretty powerful PCs that are mostly meant for gaming, as you’ll get some of the best computing specs around with those models, but we’ve got your back if you’re looking for something more affordable for more everyday uses, like for schoolwork or browsing the web — just keep on scrolling until you find your perfect Windows laptop.

If you’re new to computer lingo and would like to make an informed decision, you’ll also find a little guide at the end of the article for you to help guide you through what makes each computer component a great buy. Let’s get started!

1. Editor’s Pick: Dell XPS 15 9500

1. Editor’s Pick: Dell XPS 15 9500
  • Powerful computer components
  • Display has a high resolution — picture is clear and crisp
  • Materials feel premium
  • Lots of SSD storage
  • Small bezels, nearly an edge-to-edge view
  • Very expensive
  • Touchpad not the most reliable

Key Specs

CPU: Intel Core i7-10750H
RAM: 16 GB DDR4
Storage: 1000GB SSD
Screen Size: 15”
Display Resolution: 3840 x 2400 pixels

If you’re looking for a powerhouse laptop that’ll let you do any task quickly and efficiently — we think that the Dell XPS 15 9500 is the way to go. The display on this laptop is really quite gorgeous, and it has the highest resolution on our list — your picture quality will be crisp and detailed, and it’ll show vivid colour. With powerful computing components, you’ll be able to play most modern games in high settings, and it’ll easily run intensive programs like video editors or Photoshop.

A nice touch with this model is the carbon-fiber palm rest, which makes for a much more comfortable experience, and it has many other carefully designed elements, like inlaid stainless logos — the quality you’d expect from a laptop priced this high.

2. Runner Up: ASUS TUF Gaming Laptop

2. Runner Up: ASUS TUF Gaming Laptop
  • Powerful components that can run most modern games
  • Quick downloading and uploading speeds
  • Thin bezels for more immersion
  • Great graphics processor
  • Solid build quality
  • Display resolution could be higher for the price
  • Again, trackpad feels cheap

Key Specs

CPU: AMD Ryzen 7 R7-3750H
RAM: 16GB DDR4
Storage: 512GB SSD
Screen Size: 15.6”
Display Resolution: 1920 x 1080 pixels

We think that the ASUS TUF Gaming Laptop is the next best option — you’ll get powerful PC components in this laptop, and it has a slightly larger screen size and comes at a lower price point. You won’t find as high of a display resolution on this one, though.

We totally understand if you don’t want to pay thousands of dollars for a new Windows laptop like our top pick — although still on the higher end, you’ll get wonderful gaming performance out of this laptop for the price, and it has a solid build quality which feels significant and durable.

We’re also loving the thin bezels on this one, because you’ll feel much more immersed in your entertainment.

3. Best Budget Pick: Asus L210MA-DB01

3. Best Budget Pick: Asus L210MA-DB01
  • Affordably priced
  • Thin and lightweight
  • Streamlined user experience
  • Good track pad
  • Good battery life
  • Low amount of internal storage
  • Integrated graphics

Key Specs

CPU: Intel N4020
RAM: 4 GB DDR4
Storage: 64GB
Screen Size: 11.6”
Display Resolution: 1366 x 768 pixels

Maybe you just need an affordable windows laptop to do basic computing tasks and web browsing, and don’t need a beast of a PC — if that sounds like you, consider the Asus L210MA-DB01.

Many buyers use this for their work, as long as it isn’t too performance intensive — you’ll be able to use word processors and spreadsheets easily. While it doesn’t come with much storage built in, you can connect an external hard drive or something similar to add some extra storage capacity if you have a lot of files on the go.

Being so small and lightweight — not to mention it’s above average battery life — it could be a great little laptop to take travelling with you too; you won’t be out thousands of dollars if it gets damaged or lost.

4. Best Gaming Laptop: Lenovo Legion 5 Gaming Laptop

4. Best Gaming Laptop: Lenovo Legion 5 Gaming Laptop
  • Good CPU and GPU combo
  • Quick refresh rate of 144Hz, which can reduce lag
  • Efficient cooling system
  • Good amount of SSD storage
  • 8 processor cores, that can handle many tasks at once
  • Display resolution is a little lacking
  • Low battery life

Key Specs

CPU: AMD Ryzen 7 4800H
RAM: 16GB DDR4
Storage: 512GB SSD
Screen Size: 15.6”
Display Resolution: 1920 x 1080 pixels

Gaming laptops are notoriously expensive, but if you’re looking for a windows laptop on the lower end of the price spectrum to play your games — without sacrificing too much performance — take a look at the Lenovo Legion 5 Gaming Laptop.

This unit has a good graphics card for the price, which will help you run many modern games with decent graphic settings (depending on the kind of games you play, you could be looking at higher settings for older games). This laptop is also quite efficient at managing heat, so you likely won’t feel a blazing hot computer in your lap while you’re trying to enjoy your games.

One major flaw with this model is the low average battery life — around five hours. Make sure that you always have your charging cable handy if you’re leaving the house with it!

5. Also Consider: Microsoft Surface Laptop 3

5. Also Consider: Microsoft Surface Laptop 3
  • Clean and elegant design
  • Touch screen
  • Average battery life of 11.5 hours
  • Great build quality
  • Good for productivity
  • Expensive for what you get
  • Integrated graphics

Key Specs

CPU: A MD Ryzen 5 3580U
RAM: 8 GB DDR4
Storage: 256GB SSD
Screen Size: 15”
Display Resolution: 2496 x 1664 pixels

Microsoft has some solid contenders in the laptop market, including the Microsoft Surface Laptop 3 — it has decent computing components, and is fully touchscreen. We think this one’s a great choice for students and creatives.

With an elegant design and a body that’s thin and light, you’ll love taking this laptop around with you wherever you go. It has a long battery life too, so you won’t always need to worry about where your charger is. It even comes in a variety of colour options, so you’re sure to find one that matches your personality.

You might think that because of the price point this one comes at, you’d be able to play some demanding games on it, but that’s not really the case — it has a CPU that’s a mobile processor, and it has an integrated graphics card rather than a dedicated one. The purpose of buying this one should be to increase productivity, and not to play games or run any ultra demanding software.

6. Best for College: Lenovo Chromebook Flex 5

6. Best for College: Lenovo Chromebook Flex 5
  • 2-in-1; can switch between laptop and tablet modes
  • Comfortable typing experience in laptop mode
  • 10 hours of battery life on average
  • Materials feel good quality
  • Great for work or entertainment
  • Integrated graphics
  • Low storage

Key Specs

CPU: Intel Core i3-10110U
RAM: 4 GB DDR4
Storage: 64GB
Screen Size: 13.3”
Display Resolution: 1920 x 1080 pixels

While our last pick is a great Windows laptop for students, it isn’t exactly affordable, which is a factor that many students need for their new laptop — consider the Lenovo Chromebook Flex 5, which is a more affordable entryway into touch screen computing.

Because this model is a two-in-one Windows laptop, this unit can switch between laptop mode and tablet mode, which is perfect for when you want to switch from working with a keyboard to streaming entertainment. If you purchase an additional Lenovo digital pen, you can also write or click and drag files through it — convenient if you want to take notes in class by hand without wasting any paper.

7. Also Popular: HP Stream 14-inch Laptop

7. Also Popular: HP Stream 14-inch Laptop
  • Very affordably priced
  • Great for casual, everyday use
  • Ten hours of battery life
  • Three colour options
  • Quick set up process
  • Can’t handle intense tasks, like gaming
  • Not the longest lasting computer

Key Specs

CPU: Intel Celeron N4000
RAM: 4 GB SDRAM
Storage: 64GB eMMC
Screen Size: 14”
Display Resolution: 1366 x 768 pixels

Here’s another popular Windows laptop to consider purchasing, and although it isn’t suited for anything beyond casual browsing and some light work tasks, its affordably priced, useful, and portable.

You can choose between three colours to show off your flair in the office or lecture hall — it’s a good laptop for students on a budget. You’ll also get Office 365 access for one year after purchasing, which will give you 1 TB of cloud storage and access to all the most useful productivity apps, like Microsoft Word and PowerPoint.

The cloud storage is super helpful since this laptop only has 64GB or storage available natively.

8. Honourable Mention: Acer Nitro

8. Honourable Mention: Acer Nitro
  • Great for gaming
  • Good value for what you get
  • Runs smoothly
  • Vibrant colours on screen
  • Feels high quality
  • Gets pretty hot
  • Lower display resolution than some options

Key Specs

CPU: Intel Core i5-9300H
RAM: 8 GB DDR4
Storage: 256GB SSD
Screen Size: 15.6”
Display Resolution: 1920 x 1080 pixels

For a gaming laptop on a tighter budget, check out this one — it has narrow bezels so you can focus more on your game, and has some powerful components that’ll make more gaming experiences smooth.

You should be able to play most modern games without a ton of choppiness (depending on the graphics settings you choose, of course, but you’ll at the very least be able to get low), thanks to its good processor and graphics card combo, and it has a sleek and portable design so you can bring it around anywhere.

They’ve also put consideration into the sound quality: you can enhance your sound with intelligent bass, dialogue, and volume controls, and Acer TrueHarmony helps deliver a deeper and richer sound.

Keep These Laptop Computer Components in Mind

CPU: The CPU, or central processing unit, is one of the most important components you’ll need to consider in a new laptop, because it’s really the brawn in the operation, and having a good quality processor can make your experience smoother. One way to judge CPU performance is through the number of processor cores it has; each core can basically receive instructions from one computer task, so you’ll be able to run more programs at once if you have multiple cores. Anywhere between four to eight cores will generally be good enough to run modern programs, and anything less will really only be good enough for basic web browsing.

GPU: The graphics processing unit is, well, a processor that is specifically designed to render graphics quickly, and you’ll need to keep the graphics card in mind if you’re looking for a new laptop that you can game with. It can be difficult to switch out the graphics card in laptops if you want to want to upgrade later, so make sure that the laptop you choose will be able to run the games you want at high settings — you can look up benchmarks online that can tell you how well a card can run most modern games, so be sure to do your research before making your laptop choice if you intend to use it for gaming.

RAM: Short for random access memory and measured in gigabytes (GB), RAM is essentially your laptop’s short-term memory. Temporary data that’s either being used currently or will be used soon is stored here. Having more of it available means that you’ll have a smoother experience while switching between apps — you’d have much more lag when your computer has less RAM available to use.

Storage: Laptops will generally come with two kinds of storage, which is either a hard disk drive (HDD) or solid state drive (SSD). HDDs are an older form of technology, and while you’ll be able to store more data for less cost, they’re slower to access which can make your loading times longer. Almost all of the options we’ve chosen here have an SSD drive, which means that you’ll have quicker download and upload speeds.

Display Resolution: The resolution of your screen will tell you how many pixels there are, and it’ll be listed in terms of horizontal and vertical pixels. The higher your pixel count, the more detailed and crisp your image will generally be. If you’re looking for the perfect entertainment station that you can watch movies or play games on, you’ll want to get a screen with a high resolution to see them in all their glory. Anyone looking for a basic web browsing machine, or one for more basic work tasks like word processing or graphing, you might not need to shell out more money for a higher resolution when you won’t reap the benefits.

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We're always looking for more feedback, so if you already own one of these Windows laptops and would like to share your experience with it, or if we missed your favourite one, please share your story in the comments below!

About the Author

Michael Pilon is a writer based in Toronto, who loves everything tech, gaming, and digital art. With two years of professional writing experience and a lifetime of learning about new gadgets, he aims to provide helpful, accurate stories. He received his Bachelor of Arts in English and media studies from the University of Toronto, and a Master of Arts in fashion from Ryerson University, exploring digital and technological applications throughout. When he isn’t writing, you can find him playing the newest fantasy and horror games, or out discovering new coffee shops in the city.

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