Best Windows Laptop – Windows Central

The Microsoft Surface Book is right now the best Ultrabook you can buy. Its versatile design lets you get the most done no matter what you do.

Best overall

Microsoft Surface Book

Microsoft Surface Book

See at Microsoft Store

Microsoft’s Surface Book is the best Windows laptop on the market today. Its removable keyboard and touchpad, Surface Pen, and 13.5-inch touchscreen together create the perfect tool no matter what you use it for. Battery life is solid, the keyboard is pleasure to type on, and the touchpad is precise. What more could you ask for?

Bottom line: For a powerful desktop replacement with a beautiful display and removable keyboard, you have to go with the Surface Book.

One more thing: The display has a unique 3:2 ratio, making it taller than other Ultrabooks.

Why the Surface Book is the best

True desktop performance in a Windows laptop that weighs only 3.34 pounds.

The first thing you’ll notice about the Surface Book is the display. Unlike most other laptops, it has a 3:2 ratio — the result is a taller display that you can fit more onto, perfect for multimedia editing and drawing with the Surface Pen. The display has an incredible 3000 x 2000 resolution that really pops out at you thanks to high contrast and deep colors.

The second thing you’ll notice about the Surface Book is its keyboard and touchpad. Microsoft really took their time with the design; the keys are spaced perfectly and comfortable to type, and the touchpad’s precision has competitors scratching their heads wondering just how they can meet that mark. Perhaps the best feature of the keyboard is that it’s completely removable so you can use the display as a thin and portable tablet.

The Surface Pen sets the Surface Book apart — it offers great pressure sensitivity for an unparalleled drawing and writing experience.

The Surface Book’s performance is not hindered at all by its modular design. In fact, it is the closest you’re going to get to true desktop performance from a 13-inch Ultrabook. It utilizes an Intel Skylake processor, can have up to 16GB of RAM, and there is even an option to throw in a dedicated NVIDIA GPU. Gamers rejoice! The battery, even while under considerable load, can last up to about 9 hours without a charge. As far as ports go, you have two USB 3.0, an SD card reader, a Mini DisplayPort, and the useful Surface Connect for hooking up to a TV or monitor.

We have to talk about the included Surface Pen. It is an incredibly useful tool that really sets your Surface Book experience apart from others. Not only does it have 1024 levels of pressure sensitivity to offer an unparalleled drawing experience, it also has multiple shortcuts built right in. Click once to open OneNote, click and hold to summon Cortana, or double-click to take a screenshot.

For those of you who like to put their laptop through a ringer, the Surface Book’s magnesium alloy chassis can withstand a beating without even showing a scratch. You can even detach the display and stick it back on backwards to lay nearly flat. The only downside of the Surface Book is that it’s not cheap — getting the best means paying a premium price. Configurations starts at about $1350, and run all the way up to about $3200.

Best for gaming

Razer Blade

Razer Blade

See at Amazon

Razer’s new Blade gaming laptop is a beast. It has a full NVIDIA GTX 1060 graphics card with 6GB of GDDR5 VRAM, a Skylake Intel Core i7-6700HQ processor with a clock speed up to 3.5GHz, and 16GB of DDR4 RAM. The 14-inch IPS display has a 1920×1080 resolution, has an anti-glare coating and is plenty bright so you can game everywhere. Get up to a 1TB PCIe SSD to boot Windows crazy fast and hold all your games, and enjoy a Razer Chroma keyboard with 16.8 million color combinations for your keys. These laptops are expected to ship in October, but you can pre-order now — configurations start at about $2000.

Bottom-line: For the best gaming laptop out there, check out the new Razer Blade.

One more thing: With its GTX 1060 GPU, the Razer Blade is ready to power your VR headset.

Best non-convertible

Dell XPS 13

Dell XPS 13

See at Dell

Sporting one of the best-looking bodies of all laptops, the Dell XPS 13 is a powerhouse. The 13-inch display sits in a chassis the size you’d expect for an 11-inch display, owing its compactness to the nearly-eliminated bezel around the screen. Choose an 1800p touch option for an incredible view, or 1080p non-touch option to save a few bucks. There are plenty of hardware configurations to choose from, up to a Skylake Intel Core i7 processor, 16GB of DDR3 RAM, and a 1TB PCIe SSD. Base models start at about $800.

Bottom-line: For the best non-convertible laptop, check out the beautiful Dell XPS 13.

One more thing: The solid-state drive can be easily upgraded further down the line — save some cash now as you wait for 1TB SSDs to come down in price. There’s also an updated version coming soon with even more battery life.

Best convertible

Lenovo Yoga 900

Yoga 900

See at Lenovo

The Lenovo Yoga 900 is a convertible laptop that’s all about style and performance. Choose from a platinum silver, clementine orange, or champagne gold chassis that is only 0.59 inches (14.9mm) thick. Configure your Yoga 900 as you see fit; options go up to a Skylake Intel Core i7 processor, 16GB of RAM, and a 1TB SSD. Despite the price — configurations start at about $1050 — the 13.3-inch display is a knockout at 1800p.

Bottom-line: For a high-performing convertible with lots of style, go with the Lenovo Yoga 900.

One more thing: The Yoga 910 is coming soon with the latest Kaby Lake processors and a 4K display.

Best for mobility

Samsung Notebook 9

Samsung Notebook 9

See at Amazon

The Samsung Notebook 9 is one of the most underrated laptops out there. Samsung makes great displays, and this 13.3-inch with a 1920×1080 resolution is no exception. Inside you’re getting a Skylake Intel Core i5 processor, 8GB of RAM, a 256GB SSD, and a battery that lasts about 10 hours on a charge. The all-metal body is very durable but only weighs about 1.9 pounds (0.86kg) and is 0.53 inches (13.4mm) thick. This laptop starts at about $950.

Bottom-line: If you love having a laptop with you wherever you go, the Samsung Notebook 9 is a great travel companion.

One more thing: Despite its compact size, the Notebook 9 has the ports you need, including HDMI, Mini-VGA, and two USB 3.0.

Best budget convertible

HP Spectre x360 13t

HP Spectre x360

See at HP

While the HP Spectre x360 13t isn’t as cheap as some other convertible Windows laptops, the build quality and look is the best you’re going to get for this price. Available in natural silver or ash silver and copper color, the chassis is only 0.6 inches (15.9mm) thick. The 13.3-inch, 1080p touch display responds well to touch while in tablet mode, and the keyboard and touchpad are a joy to use while in notebook mode. Configurations start at about $900 for an Intel Core i5 processor, 4GB of RAM, and a 128GB SSD.

Bottom-line: For a convertible laptop that looks like it cost a fortune, go with the HP Spectre x360 13t.

One more thing: Audio by Bang & Olufsen will blow you away the first time you hear your favorite song.

Best for business

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon

ThinkPad X1 Carbon

See at Lenovo

The 2.6-pound (1.17kg) ThinkPad X1 Carbon will put up a strong fight against spills, drops, and bumps — it gets its name from the carbon-fiber reinforced chassis it’s built on. The 14-inch, 1440p display minimizes glare and is bright enough to be visible no matter where you’re working. The battery lasts up to 10 hours under a standard workload, so you won’t be stuck trying to find an outlet. Configurations go up to a Skylake Intel Core i7 processor, 16GB of RAM, and a 512GB PCIe SSD — prices start at about $1150.

Bottom-line: For a light laptop with a great battery, go with the business-oriented Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon.

One more thing: For anyone who has to stay connected to the internet at all times, LTE-A connectivity is available.

Best for photography

Dell XPS 15

Dell XPS 15

See at Dell

The 15.6-inch touch display on the Dell XPS 15 has a 4K resolution that is perfect for photographers. Get up to a Skylake Intel Core i7 processor, 16GB of RAM, an NVIDIA GTX 960M GPU, and a 512GB SSD — plenty of power for multimedia editing. Those of you with plenty of devices will appreciate the array of ports, including HDMI, USB 3.0, and Thunderbolt 3. Configurations start at about $1000.

Bottom-line: Love the XPS line and need a 4K display? Check out the Dell XPS 15.

One more thing: The RAM in the XPS 15 can be upgraded, so save some money now and wait for prices to come down before upgrading it yourself.

Conclusion

For the best non-convertible Windows laptop out there, check out the Dell XPS 13. For an extremely mobile laptop, have a look at the Samsung Notebook 9. If you’re a gamer, you’ll love the Razer Blade laptop, and anyone with business to attend will want to consider the Lenovo X1 Carbon. The best convertible laptop is the Lenovo Yoga 900, and the best budget convertible is the HP Spectre x360 13t. The best Windows laptop, however, remains the Microsoft Surface Book.

Best overall

Microsoft Surface Book

Microsoft Surface Book

See at Microsoft Store

Microsoft’s Surface Book is the best Windows laptop on the market today. Its removable keyboard and touchpad, Surface Pen, and 13.5-inch touchscreen together create the perfect tool no matter what you use it for. Battery life is solid, the keyboard is pleasure to type on, and the touchpad is precise. What more could you ask for?

Bottom line: For a powerful desktop replacement with a beautiful display and removable keyboard, you have to go with the Surface Book.

One more thing: The display has a unique 3:2 ratio, making it taller than other Ultrabooks, but an an easier-to-use tablet.

Comments

Write a Reply or Comment:

Your email address will not be published.*

Categories

  • Mobile