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Best Core i7 Windows laptops 2022

HP Spectre X360 14
HP Spectre X360 14 (Image credit: Windows Central)

Intel Core i7 processors are some of the best laptop CPUs available, as they offer a superb balance between performance, thermals, and cost. They're more capable than Core i3 or Core i5 chips, but also aren't as expensive and don't produce as much heat as Core i9 options. This has made the chips incredibly popular. That widespread availability is fantastic since it means it's not difficult to get your hands on a Core i7 machine, but it can be tough to know which laptop you should get since there are so many excellent options. We think the Dell XPS 13 is the best Core i7 Windows laptop due to its top-notch specs, display, battery life, and design, but there are plenty of great alternatives as well.

Best overall: Dell XPS 13 (9310)

Source: Daniel Rubino / Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Daniel Rubino / Windows Central)

The Dell XPS 13 represents the pinnacle of what a laptop can be, pairing some of the best Ultrabook-class specs available with an industry-leading design. You can configure it with either an Intel Core i7-1165G7 or an Intel Core i7-1185G7, both of which are stellar CPUs that deliver plenty of performance. The device also comes with Intel's impressive Xe integrated graphics, up to 32GB of memory, and up to 2TB of SSD storage (there's a microSD slot, too). The Dell XPS 13's display is a showstopper, too, featuring superb color accuracy, up to 500 nits of peak brightness, an incredibly effective anti-reflective coating, and options for both HD and 4K UHD resolutions. Other features include Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.1, and a 52WHr battery that lasts for up to 14 hours.

In terms of design, the Dell XPS 13 comes with a comfortable keyboard with bright backlighting, as well as a high-quality trackpad that doesn't have the wobble or looseness often found in inferior laptops. The device also comes with dual Thunderbolt 4 for strong peripheral connectivity, and Dell even includes a USB-C to USB-A converter you can use if you ever need to hook up a USB-A accessory. The device is pricey, and the webcam is just OK, but overall, the Dell XPS 13 is simply an incredible laptop.

Dell XPS 13 (9310)

The best of the best

Reasons to buy

+
Top-notch specs
+
Superb display
+
Great battery life
+
Outstanding design

Reasons to avoid

-
Expensive
-
Webcam is just OK

Best 2-in-1: HP Spectre x360 14

Source: Daniel Rubino / Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Daniel Rubino / Windows Central)

Looking for something that ditches the traditional clamshell design in favor of something more flexible? Check out the HP Spectre x360 14, a top-notch 2-in-1 that we absolutely love. Its 11th Gen Intel Core i7-1165G7 brings plenty of power to the table, while its Intel Xe graphics ensure you can enjoy unrivaled integrated graphics performance. It's also got 16GB of memory and a 1TB SSD, giving you all the memory and storage you need in an Ultrabook. The rest of the specs don't disappoint, either — the 3:2 HD or 3K2K display with inking support, an anti-reflective coating, and excellent color accuracy is a treat to use, and the inclusion of a 720p webcam with a privacy shutter, quad Bang & Olufsen speakers, large 66WHr battery, and Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5.0 connectivity options is great, too.

Design-wise, the HP Spectre x360 14 has a unique gem-cut design with striking angular edges, making it one of the fanciest-looking devices on the market. The keyboard's large size and satisfying keycap travel makes it very pleasant to type on, and the trackpad is sturdy and reliable too. In terms of ports, you get dual Thunderbolt 4 as well as a USB-A port. A laptop of this caliber doesn't come cheap, and we wish that there was an option for LTE, but the HP Spectre x360 14 is a stellar 2-in-1 regardless.

HP Spectre x360 14

A gem-cut beauty

Reasons to buy

+
Excellent specs
+
Incredible 3:2 display
+
Webcam privacy shutter
+
Quad speakers

Reasons to avoid

-
Expensive
-
No LTE option

Best workstation: Surface Laptop Studio

Source: Daniel Rubino / Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Daniel Rubino / Windows Central)

If you need a laptop that has more "oomph" than your typical Ultrabook, the Surface Laptop Studio will be perfect for your needs. It can be equipped with the Intel Core i7-11370H, one of Intel's H-series chips that's rated and optimized for high performance. You can also configure it with up to an NVIDIA RTX 3050 Ti or A2000, up to 32GB of memory, and up to 2TB of SSD space. The 14.4-inch 2400x1600 display looks great, too, and it comes with full touch support and a 120Hz refresh rate (the anti-reflective coating is rather ineffective, unfortunately). A front-facing HD webcam, quad speakers with Dolby Atmos, dual mics, and both Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5.1 round out the device's specs sheet.

Several other workstation-class laptops have hardware like this, but what sets the Surface Laptop Studio apart is its design. In addition to the standard laptop mode, you can also tilt the display forward and rest it in front of the keyboard for "stage mode" or fold everything down for a tablet-like "studio mode" that's ideal for stylus use. The process of switching between each of these "postures" can be finicky due to how stiff the display is at times, but it's not too much of a concern. In terms of ports, the device comes with dual Thunderbolt 4 as well as Microsoft's proprietary Surface Connect slot.

Surface Laptop Studio

The ultimate convertible workstation

Reasons to buy

+
Excellent workstation-grade specs
+
Tons of storage
+
Quad speakers with Dolby Atmos
+
Awesome display that can tilt and fold

Reasons to avoid

-
Display could be less reflective
-
Switching postures is a little awkward

Best business: Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Nano

Source: Daniel Rubino / Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Daniel Rubino / Windows Central)

While most Ultrabooks are great for business use, opting specifically for a business-class one is a good idea if you do a lot of traveling for work. Business laptops are usually even thinner and lighter than regular Ultrabooks, making them easier to carry around. On top of that, they usually also come with business-oriented features like mobile connectivity or additional security measures. One such device is the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Nano, which pairs the power and reliability of an Intel Core i7-1165G7 or i7-1185G7, Xe graphics, 16GB of memory, and a 1TB SSD with the flexibility and security of 4G LTE and 5G, a fingerprint reader, an IR camera with human presence detection, and Lenovo's ThinkShutter camera cover. The 13-inch 2160x1350 display looks nice, too, featuring great color accuracy, an option for touch support, and a peak brightness of 450 nits.

In terms of dimensions and weight, the ThinkPad X1 Nano comes in at 11.5 x 8.15 x 0.55 inches (292.8mm x 208mm x 13.87mm) and 1.98 to 2.17 pounds (898 to 984 grams) respectively. The keyboard and trackpad are very comfortable as well, and dual Thunderbolt 4 ports ensure that you'll always have the peripheral connectivity you need. We would have liked a sharper webcam and better battery life than 7-10 hours, but ultimately, the ThinkPad X1 Nano is one of the best business laptops available right now.

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Nano

All business

Reasons to buy

+
Fantastic business-oriented design
+
Excellent specs
+
Mobile connectivity options
+
Very thin and light

Reasons to avoid

-
Webcam could look better
-
Battery life is just OK

Best for gaming: Razer Blade 15

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)

The Razer Blade 15 is often considered one of the best gaming laptops on the market, and when you look at its specs, it's easy to see why. Configurations with the Intel Core i7-11800H are available now (you can also pick a Core i9 if you want even more power), and you can also preorder upcoming refreshed models that come with the advanced 12th Gen Intel Core i7-12800H. Everything from the humble NVIDIA RTX 3060 to the beastly RTX 3080 Ti is available when picking a GPU for the system, and the laptop can also be configured with up to 32GB of memory and up to 1TB of SSD space. Razer also includes Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5.2 for top-notch connectivity.

There are many different displays available as well, ranging from basic and affordable 144Hz HD panels all the way up to pristine and pricey 4K OLED ones. You can also get HD displays with up to 360Hz for maximum FPS support, or you can opt for a jack-of-all-trades QHD display with 240Hz.

It's true that the Razer Blade 15's keyboard isn't the greatest, but the trackpad is stellar, and the Blade 15 also comes with an excellent array of ports. Dual Thunderbolt 4 ports as well as up to three USB-A ports (ports vary depending on which model and configuration you opt for) are included, giving you the freedom to hook up as many peripherals as you want while gaming. It doesn't come cheap at the end of the day, but the Razer Blade 15 is a superb gaming laptop.

Razer Blade 15

Get gaming

Reasons to buy

+
Superb gaming performance
+
Wide variety of excellent displays
+
Great trackpad
+
Strong port selection

Reasons to avoid

-
Very expensive
-
Keyboard isn't the best

Best budget: Acer Swift 3 (SF314)

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)

Most Core i7-equipped laptops are on the pricey side due to the premium nature of many Ultrabooks, but the Acer Swift 3 is a notable exception. It has an Intel Core i7-1165G7, Xe graphics, up to 16GB of memory, and 512GB of SSD storage, making it performant enough to rival more expensive options. However, the display is a very basic HD screen that pales in comparison to what you'll get with the other options on this list, and the webcam is rather grainy, too. The display and webcam aren't bad, though, and for people who want something more affordable, these downsides will be easy to look past.

Some other issues with the device include its keyboard and trackpad. The keyboard's keycaps are on the small side, making them easier to miss (especially if you have big fingers). The white-on-silver backlighting doesn't look good in regular lighting, too, and the trackpad annoyingly rattles when clicked. You do get dual USB-A and a Thunderbolt 4 port, though, which is awesome. Overall, this is one of the best budget laptops available if you want the power of a Core i7 CPU, even despite its drawbacks.

Acer Swift 3 (SF314)

Punching above its weight class

Reasons to buy

+
Great specs
+
Strong connectivity
+
Great port selection
+
Affordable

Reasons to avoid

-
Display is just OK
-
Keyboard and trackpad could be better

Bottom line

Laptops that can be configured with a Core i7 chip are some of the best devices on the market, and while we recommend all of the laptops we included in this roundup, our favorite of the bunch is the Dell XPS 13. Between its stellar specs, incredible display, industry-leading battery life, and its legendary design, the Dell XPS 13 is unquestionably one of the best Windows laptops with Core i7 configurations available.

Brendan Lowry is a Windows Central writer and Oakland University graduate with a burning passion for video games, of which he's been an avid fan since childhood. You'll find him doing reviews, editorials, and general coverage on everything Xbox and PC. Follow him on Twitter.