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The 7 Best Windows Laptops - Black Friday 2022 Reviews

Updated
Best Windows Laptop

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 every year, making the buying decision even harder. Below is a list of our top picks to help you find the device for your needs. If a laptop interests you, 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 55 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 laptops, the best business laptops, and the best Chromebooks.


  1. Best Windows Laptop

    The best Windows laptop we've tested is the Dell XPS 13 (2021), an ultraportable designed for general productivity like web browsing, text formatting, and video playback. It's sleek, sturdy, and easy to carry around, with enough battery life to get you through a typical eight-hour day of light productivity. You get a sharp and bright display, a keyboard that feels comfortable to type on all day, and a large, responsive touchpad. It has a fingerprint sensor built into the power button and a Windows Hello-compatible IR camera for facial recognition, allowing you to log in quickly and get to work. You can spec it up to an Intel 11th Gen Core i7 CPU, 32GB of memory, and 2TB of storage. The main downside is that it only has two USB-C port/Thunderbolt 4 ports, so you'll likely need dongles or a dock for your wired peripherals or external displays.

    If you need more screen space for multitasking, the LG gram 17 (2021) might be a better option. Its 17-inch screen gives you more screen real estate for split-screen multitasking, and due to its larger size, there's enough room on the keyboard deck for a Numpad, which is great for those working with lots of numbers. Yes, you'll need a bigger bag to carry it, but it weighs only 3.1lbs, and you probably won't need the charger because the battery life is outstanding. Plus, it has plenty of ports, so you can leave the dongle life behind.

    See our review

  2. Best Upper Mid-Range Windows Laptop

    If you want something a little more affordable, get the Lenovo Yoga 9i 14 (2021). It's a 2-in-1 convertible with a 360-degree hinge, so you can use it in tent mode for presentations or media consumption or flip the screen around and use it as a tablet. The display supports pen input and comes with a stylus tucked away in its charging slot at the back of the device. It isn't the most comfortable pen, though, and it doesn't support tilt, so it's more for note-taking and quick scribbles than actual drawing. The keyboard feels great to type on, the touchpad tracks well, and the speakers sound natural and well-balanced.

    Configuration-wise, you can choose between a 1080p or 4k display, an Intel 11th Gen Core i5 or i7, and up to 16GB of memory. Its nine-hour battery life is enough to get through a typical workday, but you might need to plug it in for a quick charge if you run more intensive applications or perform heavy multitasking. There are some differences in features between the Mica and Shadow Black models; you can see our full review for more details. There's a more affordable mid-range option if you find the Lenovo Yoga 9i too expensive: the Lenovo Yoga 7i 14 (2021). It's also a 2-in-1, but it has a dimmer screen, a slower storage drive, and doesn't come with a stylus. However, you get a much longer battery life, around 15 hours of light productivity or 13 hours of video playback.

    See our review

  3. Best Mid-Range Windows Laptop

    If you don't need a premium model and prefer to save some money with a more modest mid-range option, get the Acer Swift 3 14 (2020), a thin and light 14-inch Windows laptop. It feels sturdily built, it's easy to carry around, and its battery lasts nearly 14 hours of light use. The display looks sharp and provides enough room for split-screen multitasking, although it doesn't get very bright, meaning you might have some visibility issues in well-lit settings or outdoors in broad daylight.

    The keyboard feels a little cramped but still decent to type on, and while the touchpad is on the smaller side, it's reasonably responsive to all movements and gestures. Its port selection is great; you get two USB-As, one USB-C/Thunderbolt 4, a full-size HDMI, and a headphone jack. Our only major complaint is that the webcam's video quality isn't very good, and the microphone sounds staticky.

    See our review

  4. Best Budget Windows Laptop

    For you budget-minded folks, we recommend the Lenovo IdeaPad 3 15 (2021). It's a 15-inch model available with AMD Ryzen 5000-series CPUs, which are more than powerful enough to handle most productivity tasks. The battery life is good at around nine hours of light use and eight hours of video playback; the downside is that the USB-C port doesn't support charging, meaning you'll have to carry the proprietary charger. The keyboard feels decent to type on but can be fatiguing over time, and the touchpad's tracking is just okay, as it sometimes doesn't register a movement or tap. The fingerprint sensor is an optional feature, so make sure to check the specs first if it's something you care about.

    See our review

  5. Best Cheap Windows Laptop

    Finally, we get to the cheap category, and our recommendation is the HP Stream 11 (2021). You really can't expect too much of a laptop in this price range. It has a dim and washed-out TN panel, an uncomfortable keyboard, and a small touchpad with so-so tracking. The overall build is pretty decent, though, and its battery life is passable at around seven hours of light productivity. You can configure it with an Intel Celeron N4000 or N4020 CPU, 4GB of memory, and up to 64GB of storage. Generally speaking, if you're looking for a device in this price range, you're probably better off with a Chromebook because Chrome OS tends to run more smoothly on low-end hardware.

    As for this laptop, it's only a good option for extremely light use. We're talking emails, web browsing, video playback, and text formatting. Any more than that, then you should be looking at the budget or mid-range picks. If you're considering buying this laptop, do yourself a favor and get a model with 64GB of storage; otherwise, you might run into issues with Windows updates.

    See our review

  6. Best 2-In-1 Windows Tablet

    If you don't like convertibles with a 360-degree hinge and prefer a tablet with a detachable keyboard, the Microsoft Surface Pro 8 (2021) is the one to get. It has a sharp and bright 3:2 display with a 120Hz refresh rate to provide better responsiveness and smoother motion. It's compatible with any Microsoft Pen Protocol styluses, and unlike the Lenovo Yoga 9i 14 (2021), it supports tilt, making it suitable for digital artists and creators. You have to buy the stylus separately, and the same goes for the type cover keyboard.

    The upside is that the keyboard is surprisingly comfortable to type on, especially for a type cover, and it even has backlighting. The 1080p webcam is among the best on the market, producing a detailed and natural-looking image for video calls. You also get a Windows Hello-compatible IR camera, so you can log in quickly.

    See our review

  7. Best Windows Workstation

    Our pick for the best Windows mobile workstation is the ASUS ProArt Studiobook Pro 16 OLED (2021). This feature-rich laptop has a well-calibrated 4k OLED display with full sRGB and DCI P3 coverage, making it suitable for color-critical work. It gets bright enough for use in most indoor settings and has decent viewing angles, so you can easily share your work with colleagues. You get a keyboard that feels amazing to type on, a large and responsive touchpad, and a customizable dial that you can customize to perform various functions, like navigating a video's timeline or changing a brush or color while photo editing. Its outstanding port selection includes two USB-As, two USB-Cs/Thunderbolt 4, an HDMI 2.1, an SD card reader, and an Ethernet port.

    Configuration-wise, you can spec this laptop with an Intel 11th Gen Core or Xeon CPU and an NVIDIA RTX A3000 or A5000 discrete GPU. These CPUs and GPUs are powerful enough to handle demanding workloads like video editing and 3D graphics. However, they're power-hungry, so you can expect the battery to last only an hour or so when performing intensive tasks. Another downside is that this laptop is rather bulky, making it hard to carry around. The memory and storage drive are user-replaceable, meaning you can upgrade it yourself later on.

    See our review

Notable Mentions

  • Framework Laptop (2021): The Framework Laptop (2021) is a great ultraportable laptop with a unique modular port system that lets you swap out the ports on the fly. Its design lets you easily access the internals for repairs and upgrades. However, it's only available in select configurations because there's a newer Intel 12th Gen model, which we haven't tested. See our review
  • Acer Swift 3 14 (2020): The Acer Swift 3 14 (2020) is a good alternative to the Lenovo IdeaPad 3 15 (2021). However, it's hard to find because it's discontinued. See our review
  • Lenovo ThinkPad P1 Gen 4 (2021): The Lenovo ThinkPad P1 Gen 4 (2021) is a good alternative to the ASUS ProArt Studiobook Pro 16 OLED (2021) if you want a thinner and more portable device. However, its webcam's video quality is much worse, and it gets hotter and louder under load. Also, its GPUs run at a lower wattage, meaning they don't perform as well as the same GPUs on the ASUS. See our review

Recent Updates

  1. Oct 13, 2022: Replaced the Lenovo ThinkPad P1 Gen 4 (2021) with the ASUS ProArt Studiobook Pro 16 OLED (2021) because the ASUS has a better keyboard and webcam, doesn't get as hot or loud under load, and its GPUs run at higher wattage. Replaced the Lenovo IdeaPad 5 15 (2021) with the Acer Swift 3 14 (2020) because the Lenovo is hard to find.

  2. Aug 12, 2022: Restructured article to better match user expectations. Added the Lenovo IdeaPad 5 15 (2021) as the 'Best Mid-Range Windows Laptop' and the HP Stream 11 (2021) as the 'Best Cheap Windows Laptop'. Replaced the Acer Swift 3 14 (2020) with the Lenovo IdeaPad 3 15 (2021) because the Acer is discontinued and hard to find. Replaced the Dell Precision 5560 (2021) with the Lenovo ThinkPad P1 Gen 4 (2021) because the Lenovo has more powerful GPU options and a wider port selection.

All Reviews

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.

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