Windows is the most popular operating system installed on a large portion of all the laptops used worldwide. There are ultraportables for general productivity, 2-in-1 convertibles, gaming laptops, and powerful workstations that can replace your desktop PC. There are also many brands, with each company releasing new laptops yearly, making the buying decision even harder. Below is a list of our top picks to help you find the device for your needs. If you want a laptop, don't hesitate to see the full review for more details. This article contains productivity laptops only, as we'll have a separate one for gaming laptops.
We've tested over 90 laptops, and below, you'll find our recommendations for the best laptops with Windows you can get. You can also check out our picks for the best lightweight laptops, the best 15-16 inch laptops, and the best budget and cheap gaming laptops.
The best Windows laptop we've tested is the Dell XPS 15 (2023), a 15.6-inch mobile workstation. Like the Dell XPS 13, one of the best premium Windows laptops on the market, the XPS 15 is a high-end model that provides an excellent user experience. Its thin and light design makes it easy to carry around, and it feels incredibly well built, thanks to its CNC-machined aluminum chassis and carbon fiber keyboard deck. It has a bright and colorful display, a spacious and tactile keyboard, and a large and responsive—albeit non-haptic—touchpad. You can upgrade the FHD+ IPS screen to a 3.5k OLED panel; the OLED looks better and supports touch input; however, it'll drain the battery faster and is susceptible to permanent burn-in.
Spec-wise, you can configure this laptop with an Intel Core i5, i7, or i9 H-series CPU. These high-performance processors are fast enough to handle demanding workloads like programming and video editing. As for the GPU, you can get the base model with an Intel Arc A370M GPU if your work doesn't require a lot of GPU processing power or upgrade to one of the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 40-series GPUs (up to a 4070). The NVIDIA GPUs aren't the fastest on the market, as they run at a low TGP (Total Graphics Power) of 40W, but they're still adequate for intensive tasks. Port selection is okay; you get three USB-Cs (two with Thunderbolt 4 support), a 3.5mm headphone jack, and an SD card reader. Our only complaints are about the webcam and thermals; the webcam's image looks extremely underexposed, and the keyboard gets uncomfortably hot under load.
For those with a lighter workload consisting mainly of text processing, spreadsheets, web browsing, and video playback, go with the LG gram 14 (2023). It's a high-end model that prioritizes portability. It's very compact, and as its name suggests, it's incredibly light, weighing only 2.1 lbs. You can configure it with an Intel 13th Gen Core i5-1340P or i7-1360P processor, which can easily handle general productivity tasks. Battery life sits around ten hours of light use, and if you do need to charge the laptop, you can do so over USB-C, so you don't need to deal with a proprietary charger.
The overall user experience is great. You get a sharp and colorful 16:10 display, a comfortable and tactile keyboard, and a reasonably large touchpad. Its outstanding port selection includes two USB-C/Thunderbolt 4s, allowing you to transfer files quickly and connect up to two 4k displays at 60Hz with a single cable. It has a great 1080p webcam and a facial recognition IR camera for quick logins via Windows Hello. Like most ultraportables, the RAM is soldered onto the motherboard, so make sure you get enough for your needs upfront.
If you want a more modest mid-range model, check out the Lenovo Yoga 7i 16 (2023). This 2-in-1 convertible feels very well built and is relatively thin and light for a 16-inch model, so it's easy to carry around. Its large display gives you plenty of room for split-screen multitasking and supports pen input, though you may need to buy the stylus separately, depending on the model. You can choose between an FHD+ or QHD+ panel; we recommend the latter, as it looks sharper and gets brighter to combat glare. There's Wi-Fi 6E wireless connectivity, a fingerprint sensor and IR camera for biometrics, and tons of ports, including two Thunderbolt 4s and an HDMI.
This laptop is available with Intel 13th Gen U- and P-series CPUs, which are plenty fast for general productivity tasks like web browsing, text processing, presentations, and spreadsheets. The RAM maxes out at 16GB and isn't user-replaceable, so get enough for your needs upfront. Battery life is outstanding at over 12 hours of light use on a model with a QHD+ display. Its 1080p webcam isn't bad; the image has a fair amount of fine details but an unnatural tint, and the microphone picks up some background noise.
The best budget Windows laptop we've tested is the Acer Swift 3 14 (2020), a 14-inch ultraportable. Acer's Swift laptops aren't exactly budget models, as they usually cost around $1,000 USD or more, but because this is an older model from 2020, you can find it at a really good price. It has a nice display, a slightly cramped but decent keyboard, and a good port selection, including a USB-C/Thunderbolt 4 and an HDMI port. Intel's 11th-Gen CPUs are a few years old but are still adequate for general productivity. Our only major complaint is that the webcam's video quality isn't very good.
Our best cheap pick is the Acer Aspire 5 15 (2020). The Aspire 5 laptops are usually slightly more expensive, but because this particular model is from 2020, you can get a Core i3 configuration for around $300. The Core i3 is an Intel 10th Gen CPU, so it's getting a little old but still adequate for general productivity tasks like text processing, web browsing, and video playback. It only has 4GB of memory, but the memory module is user-replaceable, so you can add more later.
Its 15-inch display gives you plenty of room for multitasking; it just doesn't get very bright, so it's best suited for use in a moderately-lit room. It has a backlit keyboard with a Numpad, a smooth and responsive touchpad, and a decent port selection that includes three USB-As and one USB-C. The latter doesn't support video output or charging, though. The battery doesn't last a full day, but it's close, so depending on your usage, you might need to plug it in for a quick charge.
If you like a tablet with a detachable keyboard form factor, the Microsoft Surface Pro 8 (2021) is the one to get. It has a nice 3:2 display with a 120Hz refresh rate to provide better responsiveness, especially for pen input. It's compatible with Microsoft's Surface Pen or any third-party Microsoft Pen Protocol styluses. However, you must buy the stylus separately; the same goes for the keyboard. To Microsoft's credit, it's a pretty good keyboard with tactile keys and backlighting. Its 1080p webcam is among the best on the market, and like most Surface devices, there's a facial recognition IR camera. The battery lasts around seven to eight hours of light use, which isn't bad for a tablet PC.
At this time, Microsoft has already released the Surface Pro 9. However, it's only a minor internal upgrade to Intel 12th Gen processors, as the exterior design is largely the same as the Surface Pro 8. In other words, if you can find the Surface Pro 9 at the same price as the Surface Pro 8 or cheaper, go for the Pro 9. If it's more expensive, it'll depend on whether you need the extra processing power. There's also an ARM-based version of the Surface Pro 9 with 5G connectivity for on-the-go use, but it doesn't perform as well as the Intel version.
Sep 20, 2023: Replaced the Dell Precision 5570 (2022) with the Dell XPS 15 (2023) because the XPS 15 has longer battery life and is available with faster CPUs and GPUs. Replaced the Dell Inspiron 16 2-in-1 (2023) with the Lenovo Yoga 7i 16 (2023) because the Lenovo has Thunderbolt 4 and longer battery life and is available with a sharper, brighter QHD+ display.
Aug 22, 2023: Replaced the MSI WS76 (2021) with the Dell Precision 5570 (2022) because the Dell is more portable, more serviceable, and available with faster Intel 12th Gen CPUs. Added the Dell Inspiron 16 2-in-1 (2023) as the 'Best Mid-Range' pick. Moved the Acer Swift 3 14 (2020) to the 'Best Budget' category and the Acer Aspire 5 15 (2020) to the 'Best Cheap' category because their prices are more in-line with those categories.
Jun 30, 2023: Small text changes to include the Dell Inspiron 16 2-in-1 as an alternative to the Acer Swift 3 14 (2020). Added the Dell Precision 5570 (2022) and the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon Gen 11 (2023) as Notable Mentions.
Our recommendations above are what we think are currently the best Windows laptops you can get. We factor in the price (a cheaper laptop wins over a pricier one if the difference isn't worth it), feedback from our visitors, and availability (no laptops that are difficult to find or almost out of stock everywhere).
If you prefer to make your own decision, here’s a list of all of our Windows laptop reviews, sorted by price from low to high. Keep in mind that most laptops are available in various configurations, and the table only shows the results of the model we tested, so it’s best to see the full review for information about other variants.