Creatives, professionals, and casual users alike will benefit from the versatility that the best Windows laptops offer. These laptops excel not only in performance by packing a lot of power under the hood, but in nifty features like touch capabilities or a hybrid design as well. And, in many ways, they are a lot better than MacBooks.
While a case can be made for macOS and the new M1-powered MacBooks, especially if you’re a content creator, the incredible flexibility of the Windows and the ever-improving performance that Windows notebooks offer might just be unsurpassed. Better yet for the budget-minded, there are quite a few excellent Windows laptops in 2021 that are wallet-friendly, especially from manufacturers like Acer and Asus.
We’ve put a number of Windows-powered portables through the ringer so we thought we’d collect the best ones here for you to choose from – with the Dell XPS 15 at the top of the pile. Whether you’re looking for something for school, for programming, or for music production, you’ll find an ideal Windows laptop on this list. As you peruse, be sure to check out our price comparison tool for the best laptop deals.
The Dell XPS 15 might just be incredible enough to tempt hardcore Mac users, and it’s easily the best Windows laptop 2021 has to offer. Combining staggering power in a stylish thin and light chassis, this laptop doesn’t hold back when it comes to internals and features that improve your computing experience overall. Among those amazing features are a gorgeous bright display with 500 nits of brightness, an extremely comfortable keyboard, impressive speakers, and a terrific trackpad. We’re not saying that this laptop is perfect, but our coveted 5 out of 5 rating should speak for itself.
Read the full review: Dell XPS 15
The Asus Zephyrus G14 may be designed like a gaming laptop, but it’s proven itself a more than capable all-around laptop. Whether you are serious about your gaming or need a powerful laptop for productivity or content creation, this is the best Windows laptops to deliver incredible performance as well as an amazing battery life, a fast screen, and a thin and light chassis that makes it super portable. It’s not the cheapest option out there, but you have to pay a premium for quality. And, if you’re an AMD fan, you’ll certainly appreciate the processor under its hood.
Read the full review: Asus Zephyrus G14
The flagship HP Spectre x360 (2021) is the newest in the flagship product line and continues the tradition of pairing elegance and premium design with the newest in specs for a 2-in-1 laptop that’s as much substance as it is style. Among the best Windows laptops from HP, it comes with the new 11th-gen Intel CPU and enough battery life to get you through a long day at work. While it does come with a price tag to match and its 2-in-1 factor can be bulky for those making use of its tablet mode, not to mention that it can get loud, it’s a stunning laptop with excellent performance.
Read the full review: HP Spectre x360 (2021)
If you want the absolute best notebook for playing games on the go, then here it is – but be warned, this laptop will cause all but the very fattest of wallets to break into a sweat. Alienware’s Area-51m is a startlingly powerful gaming laptop that can be equipped with up to a 9th-gen eight-core Intel CPU and GeForce RTX 2080 graphics.
What’s more, it’s a beautifully made machine, with a superbly slick and clean design, and you can upgrade this gaming notebook going forward (the CPU and GPU can be replaced, which very often isn’t the case in modern laptops). In some ways, then, this is an investment in terms of future-proofing – but as we noted, it’s definitely an expensive outlay. However, it’s always been the case that if you want the best when it comes to gaming portables, you have to pay for the privilege. If you want the absolute best Windows laptop for gaming, this is it.
Read the full review: Alienware Area-51m
Razer’s idea of taking its famous gaming laptop and turning it into one of the best mobile creative workstations on offer has paid off. Razer Blade 15 Studio Edition would have taken the mantle as the best laptop for engineering students, if it wasn’t held back by its premium price. Without a doubt, this model was designed with creators in mind, rocking powerful graphics cards and an absolute stunner of a 4K display. Sure, you’ll be spending a lot of money to take this laptop home. But, make no mistake, it will be one of the smartest investments you’ll ever make and among the best Windows laptop out there.
Read the full review: Razer Blade 15 Studio Edition
Razer is fast becoming the leading brand in the thin and light laptops market, with its latest release, the Razer Book 13, setting the ultrabook standards even higher. It’s just as good as it looks, perhaps even better, hiding a snappy performance under that svelte hood that should see you through most of your daily tasks barring graphics-heavy editing and design. And, if its portability is not enough, you’ll be impressed by that up to 14-hour battery life, which means you’ll never have to bring your charger to work ever again. This is the best Windows laptop to take to work.
Read the full review: Razer Book 13
The LG Gram is back, this time with a 16-inch display version that gives the ultralight line an even more portable alternative to the much-lauded 17-inch. This model comes with the Intel Evo certification, as well as impressive features like a DCI-P3 99% color gamut, up to 22 hours of battery life, and speakers with DTS:X Ultra support. Plus, that screen will give you plenty of real estate without the whole laptop being too massive. If you have the budget, you’ll want to consider this if you’re looking for the best Windows laptop.
Read the full review: LG Gram 16 (2021)
The Lenovo X1 Carbon Gen 9 is not only a fantastic ultrabook, but it’s also a top-notch Windows laptop for business. And, just like all the previous models, this portable seems to do everything right. It’s a powerful, fully-featured machine that’s also slim, lightweight, and stylish.
It also comes with the kind of battery life that will last you through a full work day and more. And, though it isn’t the greatest for creative projects, it handles productivity tasks like swimmingly, thanks to that 11th gen Intel Core CPU and Intel Iris Xe graphics, not to mention at least 8GB of RAM (upgradable to 32GB). On top of that, it’s Evo-certified so you know it’s a quality machine, not to mention brimming with security features.
Read the full review: Lenovo X1 Carbon Gen 9
The formidable Acer ConceptD 7 is capable of handling complex and demanding tasks such as intensive video editing and 3D design, thanks in large part to its Nvidia RTX graphics. Clearly designed specifically with creative professionals in mind, it boasts that sheer power you’ll only find in workstations and gaming laptops.
Beyond that excellent performance it delivers, it also offers decent port selection, a minimalist solid white design and that stunning Pantone-validated 4K IPS display. Obviously, it’s still pretty pricey, but no professional’s tool comes cheap. If you’re looking for a Windows-powered MacBook alternative for the creative tasks, this is the best Windows laptop for you.
Read the full review: Acer ConceptD 7
The Dell Inspiron 15 7000 2-in-1 Black Edition (7506) is a laptop that punches above its weight. This seemingly mid-range laptop, though on the higher end of that range, comes with the kind of performance and features you would expect from higher-end machines. You would be hard pressed to find another machine in its range that comes with a 4K touchscreen, IR camera, and an active pen. While it is a bit pricey for those just needing to do basic computing, like email and light productivity, those who want a little more will find this a great option, since it can handle quite a bit of multitasking and even some AAA gaming.
Read the full review: Dell Inspiron 15 7000 2-in-1 Black Edition (7506)