The best Windows laptops for 2024

One of the best things about the Windows laptop landscape is its diversity. From 8-inch handhelds to 18-inch laptop behemoths and dual-screen machines, the space is full of variety. It also means you’re almost certain to find the specific feature you want—stylus support or a touchscreen—on at least one Windows notebook.

But with this variety, plus so many companies making Windows laptops, it can get confusing when shopping for a new laptop. And as CES ads showed, many new models The pipeline is coming for this year, but many of them won’t be available for a few months. For now, before you even begin your search, we recommend that you consider the main things you need your laptop to do for you and let that—plus some general guidelines for power and performance—guide you. We’ve tested a number of Windows laptops and distilled our buying tips along with our top picks below.


The challenge when thinking about performance is finding your sweet spot. That’s because while a laptop with blazing speed is nice, you might end up paying more wow more than you need. But if you skimp and get a weak processor, even simple tasks can become a struggle, and you may end up having to upgrade sooner than you’d like. Performance is about more than just clock speeds, so we’re also looking at more advanced features like fast wake times, memory speeds, multitasking, and ray tracing support.

Screen and web cameras

Whether the laptop has a touchscreen or a more traditional panel, we’re looking for bright screens (300+ nits or more) with accurate colors and wide viewing angles that are easy to use outdoors or in sunny rooms. Displays with high refresh rates are great for competitive gamers, while those with wider color gamuts are essential for content creation. Even if you don’t plan to spend a ton of time on video calls, every laptop needs a decent webcam (1080p or higher).

Ports and connectivity

Even with advances in cellular modems and WiFi, dedicated ports for transferring data or connecting peripherals can make or break a laptop. Ideally, all but the thinnest and lightest systems come with three USB ports, while things like built-in SD card readers can be very useful when trying to import media from the camera. If the laptop is loaded with a slow or outdated WiFi modem (we’re looking for Wi-Fi 6 or newer), it’s basically an immediate disqualification.

Battery life

It doesn’t matter how powerful your laptop is when it breaks down when you need it most. As a rule of thumb, we’re looking at at least eight hours of run time on a charge, but longer is always better. However, you may have to pay a little less on gaming machines with non-waterproof GPUs. And it’s also important to consider whether larger machines can charge the system via USB-C or need a larger, dedicated power brick.


Screen size: 13-inch | Touch screen: No | Processor: 12th Gen Intel Core i5/i7 | RAM: Up to 16 GB | Memory: Up to 512 GB | Weight: £2.56 | Battery life: up to 12 hours

No wonder we love it Dell XPS 13. It’s thin, light, and has one of the best displays you’ll find on a 13-inch ultraportable. While the XPS 13 doesn’t have the fastest CPU, the 12th generation Intel chip is more than enough for basic workloads. The latest XPS 13 is the slimmest model yet, though it loses the headphone jack in the process. If you need a 3.5mm port or just want to save money, the slightly older XPS 13 models are also worth considering. If you want to make your next laptop a little more future proof, consider it XPS 13 PlusIt comes with 13th generation Intel processors and currently best windows laptop for college students in our book.

$1099 at Dell$1,400 on Amazon


Screen size: 15-inch | Touch screen: No | Processor: 11th generation Intel Core i3 | RAM: 8GB | Memory: 128GB | Weight: £3.64 | Battery life: up to 10 hours

There’s a reason we chose it Acer Aspire 5 as our best choice best budget Windows laptop guide: It’s solid, reasonably fast, and offers decent battery life. We don’t usually expect much with sub-$500 laptops, but the Aspire 5 is a consistently solid performer. It’s an ideal laptop for students, kids, or anyone who isn’t particularly demanding. We’re also surprised by the selection of ports it offers, including HDMI and Ethernet. While we don’t usually recommend laptops with just 8GB of RAM and tiny 128GB SSDs, the Aspire 5’s features are more than forgivable because they’re so cheap. Just think of it as a slightly more capable Chromebook.

$390 on Amazon$440 at Newegg

Will Lipman Photography for Engadget

Screen size: 14-inch | Touch screen: No | Processor: AMD Ryzen 7/9 | RAM: Up to 16 GB | Memory: Up to 1TB | Weight: £3.53 | Battery life: up to 10 hours

Read our full review of the ASUS ROG Zephyrus G14

One of our favorite gaming PCs for years ROG Zephyrus G14 remains our choice the best gaming laptop for most users. Weighing just 3.5 pounds, it sports AMD’s powerful new Ryzen chips and also features the company’s fastest Radeon RX 6000 series mobile graphics. The ROG Zephyrus G14 it has a sleek retro-futuristic aesthetic, a comfortable keyboard and a smooth 144Hz, 14-inch display. While you’re more likely to dive into a 15-inch notebook, these typically cost more and are heavier than the Zephyrus G14. If you’re looking for a balance between power, style and value, the G14 is a great choice.

$1,299 at ASUS$950 on Amazon

Photo by Sam Rutherford / Engadget

Screen size: 14-inch | Touch screen: Yes | Processor: 13th generation Intel Core i7 | RAM: 16GB | Memory: Up to 1TB | Weight: £3.09 | Battery life: up to 14 hours

Read our full review of the Lenovo Yoga 9i

It’s the biggest strength of 2-in-1 with devices like compatibility Yoga 9i it can turn into several different modes at once. Despite having a relatively portable 14-inch OLED display, Lenovo still managed to fit three USB-C ports, a fingerprint scanner, and a smart swiveling soundbar in the Yoga 9i to ensure sound sounds good in any position. Lenovo also includes a free pen in the box, but unfortunately, unlike previous models, the machine no longer has a dedicated memory slot for it. While the overall design hasn’t changed much, Lenovo has improved the Yoga 9i’s performance with updated 13th generation Intel processors.

$1,400 at Lenovo


Screen size: 13-inch | Touch screen: Yes | Processor: 12th Gen Intel Core i5/i7 | RAM: Up to 32 GB | Memory: Up to 1TB | Weight: £1.09 | Battery life: up to 10 hours

Read our full review of the Microsoft Surface Pro 9

For people looking to travel super light, it’s hard to do better than a tablet 2-in-1. And, basically, by inventing Microsoft’s category Surface laptops and tablets hard to beat. With the Surface Pro 9, you get a brilliant touchscreen with a 120Hz refresh rate along with stylus support. However, don’t forget to buy one of Microsoft’s foldable keyboards (including a stylus) separately. You also get long battery life and surprisingly powerful speakers. If you are not deeply familiar with using Windows on ARM-based systems, we recommend using the Intel-powered version instead of the model based on Microsoft’s SQ3 chip.

$900 on Amazon$1000 at Microsoft

Photo by Sam Rutherford / Engadget

Screen size: 14-inch | Touch screen: No | Processor: 12th Gen Intel Core i5/i7 | RAM: Up to 16 GB | Memory: Up to 1TB | Weight: £3.75 | Battery life: Up to 5.5 hours

Read our full review of the MSI Stealth 14 Studio

Whether you’re editing videos or playing games, MSI’s Stealth 14 Studio packs a lot of power into a very portable package. The base model comes with a 1080p display, but if you’ve got the cash, you’ll want to consider the optional 2560 x 1600 display, which boasts a faster 240Hz refresh rate and wider color gamut (100% of the DCI-P3). At just £3.75, the Stealth 14 Studio is half a pound less than its similarly sized rivals, while supporting an NVIDIA RTX 4070 GPU. The redesigned model’s striking magnesium and aluminum chassis is also available in the larger 16-inch model.

$1900 at Microcenter

Photo by Sam Rutherford / Engadget

Screen size: 18-inch | Touch screen: No | Processor: 13th generation Intel Core i9 | RAM: Up to 64 GB | Memory: Up to 1TB | Weight: £6.75 | Battery life: up to 3 hours

Read our full review of the Razer Blade 18

Razer has been updated Knife 18 is a monster. It packs full versions of the most powerful components you can put into a laptop, including an Intel Core i9 13-980HX CPU and an NVIDIA RTX 4090 GPU running up to 175 watts. You also get a massive 18-inch QHD+ display with a 240Hz refresh rate, tons of ports (including an SD card reader), and per-major RGB lighting. Holding everything together is a unibody aluminum chassis that offers the best build quality of any Windows laptop from Razer. One big downside is the price: Starting at $2,900 (or close to $5,000 for a fully loaded model), the Blade 18 isn’t for people on a tight budget.

$3,500 on Amazon$3,751 at Adorama$3,800 at Newegg

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