Best Windows laptop 2022: Top Windows 11 laptops available

Lenovo Yoga 9i Gen7 2022
(Image credit: Daniel Rubino/Windows Central)

Choosing the best Windows laptop for most people involves many different factors. A reasonable price, ample performance, suitable display, and comfortable keyboard are just some of the features considered. Manufacturers continuously update their product lineups with new hardware and design, and some generations are better than others. Our current top pick is the Lenovo Yoga 9i 14 (Gen 7). 

Lenovo's Yoga lineup has come a long way over the last couple of years, and this is the culmination of a bunch of good decisions. It's also priced fairly competitively, pushing it above many other close seconds that might take the top spot. Not quite what you need? There are many other great picks for the best Windows laptop, which we've rounded up here.

The best Windows laptop for most people

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It's a great time to be a fan of Windows laptops, and when shopping around, you might be overwhelmed by all the best Windows laptop choices coming from myriad manufacturers. 

For most people, the Lenovo Yoga 9i 14 (Gen 7) will bring a mix of performance, build quality, features, and price that is hard to resist. It's a great laptop for just about anything less than gaming or specialized design and development work. 

If you'd rather invest in one of our picks for the best Windows laptop that isn't also of the best 2-in-1 laptops — meaning the lid doesn't rotate around 360 degrees for tent, stand, and tablet modes — you'll no doubt want to check out the Dell XPS 13 Plus, the 13-inch Surface Laptop 5, or the Razer Book 13.

These top options are just the appetizer before we get into the real meat of the best Windows laptop picks, ranging from high-end gaming and design laptops down to budget devices that go a long way for less money.

(Image credit: Future)
Best Windows laptop

Reasons to buy

+
Intel 12th Gen is quite powerful
+
Outstanding 14-inch 90Hz OLED display
+
Solid audio performance
+
Dedicated keys for modern PC features
+
Pen and sleeve included

Reasons to avoid

-
Battery life is only OK
-
Display could use a few more features
-
No option for 4G or 5G

Processor: Up to Core i7-1280P | RAM: Up to 16GB LPDDR5 | Storage: Up to 1TB M.2 PCIe 4.0 SSD | Graphics: Intel Iris Xe integrated | Display size: 14 inches | Display resolution: Up to 3840x2400 | Ports: Two Thunderbolt 4, USB-A 3.2 (Gen 2), USB-C 3.2 (Gen 2), 3.5mm audio

Lenovo's Yoga lineup of convertible laptops saw a full refresh this year, with upgrades to the Yoga 6 (Gen 7), Yoga 7i 14 and 16 (Gen 7), and Yoga 9i 14 (Gen 7). I reviewed the previous Yoga 9i 14 generation and came away mostly pleased with what was on offer, noting that it was still using a 16:9 display and that it lacked an IR camera. 

The newest version solves those issues, and it does so well enough that Executive Editor Daniel Rubino said "the Yoga 9i is, basically, perfect" in his Yoga 9i 14 (Gen 7) review.

The Yoga 9i 14 (Gen 7) now has three 14-inch touch display options, all with a taller 16:10 aspect ratio. The baseline screen sits at a 1920x1200 (FHD+) resolution with 100% sRGB color, 400 nits brightness, 60Hz refresh rate, and Dolby Vision. Moving up, the 3840x2400 (UHD+) screen is OLED with 400 nits brightness, 100% DCI-P3 color, 60Hz refresh rate, VESA DisplayHDR 500, and Dolby Vision. Finally, the 2880x1800 (2.8K) screen is OLED with 400 nits brightness, 100% DCI-P3 color, 90Hz refresh rate, VESA DisplayHDR 500, and Dolby Vision. Unfortunately, all screens have a glossy finish to go along with the touch function.

The active pen no longer has a silo built into the laptop. Instead, you get a full inking experience with the included Lenovo Precision Pen 2. It has 4,092 levels of pressure sensitivity, tilt detection, and it works with WGP, AES 2.0, and MPP 2.0 screens.

Windows Central Best Award

(Image credit: Daniel Rubino/Windows Central)

The overall design of the laptop has also changed. High-end Yoga laptops have a reputation of being a bit sharp along the edges; the 9i 14 (Gen 7) fixes that with new rounded edges. It's much more comfortable to hold, especially as a tablet. The touchpad has been blown up by 45% to make pointing that much more comfortable, and the edge-to-edge keyboard now includes 1-Click Function keys with extra shortcuts.

The aluminum pieces are joined by a rotating soundbar hinge with quad Bowers & Wilkins speakers for even louder audio than before. Dolby Atmos adds to the immersion. The laptop offers dual Thunderbolt 4, two USB-A 3.2, and a 3.5mm audio jack, but it lacks any sort of SD card reader. Wi-Fi 6E and Bluetooth 5.2 round out wireless connectivity. An IR camera and FHD camera sit above the display.

Performance is stellar thanks to a bump up to Intel's 12th Gen Core CPUs, LPDDR5-5200MHz RAM, and PCIe 4.0 storage. Overall, this laptop is a dream for anyone who loves handling productivity during the day and watching movies and TV at night. It has one of the best designs around, and its extra features make it well worth the price.

Bottom line: The Yoga 9i 14 (Gen 7) takes what we loved about this convertible and made it even better. The soundbar hinge is louder, the body now has rounded edges for a more comfortable feel, the touchpad is larger, there are new 16:10 displays with impressive specs, and 12th Gen Intel Core CPUs boost performance.

If you fancy what Lenovo has done with its Yoga PCs but don't want to spend the big bucks, be sure to check out my double Lenovo Yoga 7i 14 and 16 (Gen 7) review for more information on the similar (but more affordable) laptops.

(Image credit: Daniel Rubino)

HP Spectre x360 13.5

Runner-up

Reasons to buy

+
Amazing 3000x2000 touch displays
+
5MP IR intelligent camera
+
Exceptional amped quad speakers
+
Softer edges, less ornate accents
+
12th Gen Intel Core and Evo

Reasons to avoid

-
No option for LTE

Processor: Up to Core i7-1255U | RAM: Up to 32GB LPDDR4x-4266 | Storage: Up to 2TB M.2 PCIe 4.0 NVMe SSD | Graphics: Intel Iris Xe integrated | Display size: 13.5 inches | Display resolution: Up to 3000x2000 | Ports: Two Thunderbolt 4, USB-A, microSD card reader, 3.5mm audio

HP announced the new HP Spectre x360 13.5 as a replacement for last year's Spectre x360 14 (which was previously our top pick in this roundup). It's the same laptop in a lot of ways, though it now has softer edges (what HP refers to as a pillow top) and less ornate accents along the edges. This is HP's middle ground between the Spectre x360 13.3 and 14, and it effectively replaces both.

The biggest attraction here is the optional touch OLED display with 3:2 aspect ratio, 3000x2000 (3K2K) resolution, anti-reflective coating, HDR 500, 400 nits brightness, and 100% DCI-P3 color reproduction. You can also get lower-res displays, including FHD+ with HP's Sure View privacy feature. Inking is available with the HP Rechargeable MPP 2.0 Tilt active pen.

These displays are stacked, and thanks to the slim bezel, it has a truly modern look. Because the screen is so much taller, there's also a lot more room below the keyboard deck. HP took advantage, blowing up the touchpad for easier productivity. There's also room for top-firing speakers that pump out quality audio.

(Image credit: Daniel Rubino)

It makes the cut for Intel's Evo platform certification thanks to the option of up to a 12th Gen Intel Core i7-1155U CPU. Thermals have been reworked to be quieter and more effective. Faster PCIe 4.0 storage is also available.

The sizable 66Wh battery is rated at about 17 hours of life from a charge, though that differs in real-life testing. We saw about 7 hours with the Spectre x360 14 OLED model, which translates to about 10 hours with the FHD+ model.

The display has tilt pen support for natural inking, Wi-Fi 6 connectivity gives you fast, reliable wireless internet, and Bluetooth 5 for your accessories. The front-facing camera has a privacy shutter, and there's an IR camera for Windows Hello. The keyboard also includes a fingerprint reader for further security.

Have a look at our HP Spectre x360 14 review for a far deeper dive into what we think makes the previous generation convertible laptop so great. The larger 16-inch version is also a great choice. In his HP Spectre x360 16 review, Executive Editor Daniel Rubino called it "one of a kind" that "lets you do everything from gaming, taking notes, drawing, editing photos, or just having fun." If you love the design and want faster CPUs and discrete graphics, it's the way to go.

Bottom line: The HP Spectre x360 13.5 is a high-end convertible laptop that demonstrates just what HP can do. If you need a convertible with high-end specs and display, this is it. Just don't expect performance for gaming or development work.


Windows Central Recommended Award

(Image credit: Daniel Rubino)

Dell XPS 13 Plus (9320)

Runner-up

Reasons to buy

+
16:10 displays with thin bezel
+
Stunning look and design
+
Edge-to-edge keyboard, haptic touchpad
+
Strong 12th Gen Intel performance, DDR5 RAM, PCIe 4.0 SSD
+
Beautiful display options

Reasons to avoid

-
Webcam improved but still 720p
-
Gets expensive fast

Processor: Up to Core i7-1280P | RAM: Up to 32GB LPDDR5-5200MHz | Storage: Up to 2TB M.2 PCIe 4.0 SSD | Graphics: Intel Iris Xe | Display size: 13.4 inches | Display resolution: Up to UHD+ | Ports: Two Thunderbolt 4

Dell is always busy updating its laptops, and the latest high-profile device refresh to launch is the Dell XPS 13 Plus (9320). This is a new high-end option that sits above the standard XPS 13, which also received a refresh this year to the 9315 designation. You can check out how the devices compare in our XPS 13 Plus vs. XPS 13 (9315) article.

Major changes to the XPS 13 Plus include a keyboard deck that truly covers the laptop from edge to edge. Keycaps are larger, and there's now a capacitive row of function buttons above. Beneath the keyboard are two extra speakers, and below the keyboard is a full glass palmrest with haptic touchpad. The camera is still 720p, but the IR and RGB portions are now separate for better picture quality.

The XPS 13 Plus gets Intel's 12th Gen Mobile CPUs as well as integrated Intel Iris Xe graphics, up to 32GB of faster LPDDR5-5200MHz, and up to a 2TB M.2 PCIe 4.0 SSD with speedier transfer rates. The XPS 13 Plus offers the performance to easily cut through a standard day's work — word processing, heavy web browsing, photo editing — yet it keeps its cool and weighs just 2.71 pounds (1.36kg). It's also unbelievably thin and feels very sturdy, thanks to the aluminum chassis.

The display is sized at 13.4 inches with a 16:10 aspect ratio. A non-touch 1920x1200 (FHD+) screen is the cheapest way to go, bringing an anti-glare finish and up to 500 nits brightness. Another FHD+ option adds touch, edge-to-edge glass, and an anti-reflective layer to help reduce glare. It also manages 500 nits of brightness. Fairly new to the lineup (introduced with the 9310) is an OLED option with 3456x2160 (3.5K) resolution, touch function, anti-reflective finish, and beautiful color. Finally, the most expensive option is a 3840x2400 (UHD+) touch option with edge-to-edge glass, 500 nits brightness, and an anti-reflective layer. The high-end displays feature Dolby Vision for better color and contrast in supported content.

The XPS 13 Plus 9320 is easily the best Dell laptop available today, and it's also the best laptop between $1,000 and $1,500. It's the way to go if you don't need a convertible and love the small size.

Bottom line: If you'd rather stick with a traditional form factor that doesn't convert to a tablet, the XPS 13 Plus (9320) takes a nearly perfect Ultrabook and makes it even better. If you don't need all the fancy bells and whistles but still love the XPS 13 look, you can always check out the more affordable XPS 13 (9315).


(Image credit: Microsoft)

Surface Laptop 5

Runner-up

Reasons to buy

+
Excellent performance, decent battery life
+
Still the best trackpad, keyboard, and audio in a Windows laptop
+
Very quiet fan
+
Beautiful touch display with inking

Reasons to avoid

-
No Thunderbolt 4, few ports
-
Glossy display finish, no HDR
-
No 4G or 5G options

Processor: Up to Intel Core i7-1255U | RAM: Up to 32GB LPDDR4x | Storage: Up to 1TB SSD | Graphics: Intel Iris Xe | Display size: 13.5 or 15 inches | Display resolution: 2256x1504 (13.5) or 2496x1664 (15) | Ports: USB-C, USB-A, 3.5mm audio, Surface Connect

The Surface Laptop 5, available in 13.5- and 15-inch sizes, takes a solid design that we're already familiar with and adds modern hardware. This means that you're still looking at a glossy display with no HDR, and no option for 4G or 5G connectivity. Flaws aside, this is still one hell of a laptop with Microsoft's signature Surface design.

For the first time, the Surface Laptop 5 now supports Thunderbolt 4 connectivity! The smaller version comes in four different colors depending on whether you want Alcantara or all-metal, while the larger model is available in two different colors with metal finish only. No matter which size you choose, you're getting a comfortable keyboard and sizable Precision touchpad.

Both sizes are configurable with up to either an 12th Gen Intel Core i5-1235U or Intel Core i7-1265U, along with Intel Iris Xe integrated graphics. These chips are both able to deliver stellar performance, especially when paired with up to 32GB of LPDDR4x RAM and a 1TB SSD. The displays are high-res, they have a 3:2 aspect ratio, and they're touch-enabled with Surface Pen support.

You can see how the Surface Laptop 5 compares in our best Microsoft Surface PCs roundup.

Bottom line: The Surface Laptop 5, available in 13.5- and 15-inch configurations, is all about premium design, a high-res touch display with a 3:2 aspect ratio, and modern performance hardware inside.


Windows Central Best Award

(Image credit: Daniel Rubino)

Surface Pro 9

Best 2-in-1

Reasons to buy

+
Excellent 120Hz display
+
Thunderbolt 4
+
Slim Pen 2 with haptics
+
Large 13-inch display, thinner bezel, good speakers
+
New colors!

Reasons to avoid

-
Very glossy display
-
No USB-A or dongle
-
5G only for ARM

Processor: Up to Intel Core i7-1255U or Microsoft SQ3 | RAM: Up to 32GB | Storage: Up to 1TB SSD | Graphics: Intel Iris Xe | Display size: 13 inches | Display resolution: 2880x1920 | Ports: Two Thunderbolt 4, 3.5mm audio, Surface Connect

The new Surface Pro 9 represents a maturing of the new design that first debuted with the Surface Pro X, and then refined with the Surface Pro 8. The most notable changes are the different button placement, moving the lock and volume rocker to the top left, as well as combining both the Surface Pro 8 and Surface Pro X under one umbrella product known as the Surface Pro 9 and Surface Pro 9 5G.

The Pro 9 and Pro 9 5G look like modern tablets than the older Surface Pro 7 and earlier models, and its Type Cover has been upgraded to match. It's now using the same design as the Pro X's Type Cover (they are interchangeable), with a holding slot for the Surface Slim Pen 2. Typing is comfortable, and the Precision touchpad makes for easy pointing.

The thinner bezels allows for a beautiful13-inch display with excellent color reproduction and up to 441 nits brightness. It supports a dynamic 120Hz refresh rate, which plays well with the Slim Pen 2. The inking experience is smooth, and there's now haptic feedback in select apps. As for performance, the non-5G Surface Pro 9 features 12th Gen Intel Core chips and Iris Xe graphics, and the 5G version features Microsoft's own SQ3 chips with support for special AI camera and microphone effects, something the standard version doesn't have.

If you need a versatile PC that's as comfortable acting as a notebook as it is a tablet, the Surface Pro 9 should wow you. 

Bottom line: For those who need a device that can detach from the keyboard and touchpad to become a tablet — and have the power to rival standard laptops — there is the Surface Pro 8.


Razer Book 13 2020Windows Central Best Award

(Image credit: Source: Daniel Rubino / Windows Central)
Slightly aged, still great

Reasons to buy

+
Gorgeous, pristine design
+
11th Gen Intel and Evo certified
+
Brilliant IGZO display
+
Excellent typing, trackpad, and RGB keyboard
+
Fantastic speakers with THX Spatial Audio
+
Plenty of ports

Reasons to avoid

-
Expensive
-
No LTE

Processor: Up to Core i7-1165G7 | RAM: 16GB | Storage: Up to 512GB SSD | Graphics: Up to Intel Iris Xe | Display size: 13.4 inches | Display resolution: Up to UHD+ | Ports: Two Thunderbolt 4, USB-A 3.1, HDMI 2.0, microSD card reader, 3.5mm audio

In our Razer Book 13 review, Executive Editor Daniel Rubino weighs in on whether Razer's laptop trumps the mighty XPS 13 9310. It's ultimately a toss-up with both laptops excelling in different areas, but know the Book 13 brings better port selection (with HDMI 2.0, two Thunderbolt 4, USB-A 3.2, microSD card reader, and 3.5mm audio), better sound with top-firing THX speakers, and a better keyboard with RGB backlighting for extra fun.

The overall aluminum design of the Book 13 is impeccable. It's well balanced, it's relatively thin and light, and it has that premium feel you only get from laptops in this price range. The keyboard is comfortable for long days of typing, the Precision touchpad makes good use of available space, and battery life goes all day with about 10 hours before needing a charge.

Razer went to Sharp to source its IGZO displays, which paid off greatly. The 13.4-inch displays with a 16:10 aspect ratio are available with FHD+ or UHD+ resolutions, and there are touch and non-touch options. All have an anti-reflective coating to cut down on glare, and all have excellent color reproduction in the sRGB gamut. Brightness gets up to about 550 nits.

Get up to an 11th Gen Intel Core i7-1165G7 CPU, Intel Iris Xe integrated graphics, 16GB of LPDDR4x-4267MHz RAM, and a 512GB M.2 PCIe SSD for performance hardware, and stay safe with an IR camera for Windows Hello. This laptop is expensive and doesn't offer LTE, but it is pretty much perfect in every other way.

Bottom line: Razer's first crack at a productivity laptop, the Book 13, is a smash hit. Its design, display, keyboard, touchpad, speakers, and performance hardware all come together to form one of the best 13-inch Ultrabooks on the market.


(Image credit: Future)

Lenovo ThinkPad X13s

Best ARM

Reasons to buy

+
Qualcomm Snapdragon 8cx Gen 3 CPU
+
5G with mmWave and sub6
+
FHD webcam with IR, AI auto-framing,  and human presence detection
+
Long battery life
+
PCIe 4.0 SSD, up to 32GB of RAM

Reasons to avoid

-
ARM still has some limitations
-
Not many ports

Processor: Snapdragon 8cx Gen 3 | RAM: Up to 32GB LPDDR4x-4266 | Storage: Up to 1TB PCIe 4.0 SSD | Graphics: Adreno 690 | Display size: 13.3 inches | Display resolution: 1920x1200 (FHD+) | Ports: Two USB-C 3.2 (Gen 2), 3.5mm audio, SIM

Lenovo's first Snapdragon-powered ThinkPad was unveiled at the start of 2022, and it's now widely available either through Lenovo or through Verizon and AT&T. Why are the mobile carriers offering the laptop? It offers 5G connectivity thanks to a built-in Snapdragon X55 Sub6 modem, allowing you to stay connected everywhere you go.

The Qualcomm Snapdragon 8xc Gen 3 processor is no slouch, either. Its single-core Geekbench score competes with Intel's 10th Gen Core i5-10210U chip, while its multi-core score rivals the 11th Gen Intel Core i7-1165G7. That's some impressive performance, and the 50Wh battery goes longer thanks to the ARM platform. Lenovo claims up to about 28 hours of life, with real-world life sitting closer to between 15 to 20 hours.

All the usual ThinkPad features are here, including durable chassis (this time made from 90% recycled magnesium), comfortable and spill-resistant keyboard, TrackPoint system, and extra security measures including human presence detection, an IR camera, webcam shutter, TPM 2.0, and Kensington lock slot.

Lenovo understands how important video conferencing is these days. The X13s has up to an FHD webcam with AI-based auto framing, dual speakers with Dolby Audio, and three mics with AI-based noise suppression. The 13.3-inch display is available only in an FHD+ resolution, but the top option has an anti-glare finish, low power, 400 nits brightness, and 100% sRGB color.

Bottom line: Those who need a durable, portable laptop that can remain connected everywhere will want to check this one out.


HP Pavilion Plus 14Windows Central Best Award

(Image credit: Daniel Rubino)

HP Pavilion Plus 14

Best budget 14-inch

Reasons to buy

+
Excellent value
+
Outstanding hardware quality
+
5MP webcam
+
90Hz OLED display option
+
Three classes of CPU to choose from

Reasons to avoid

-
No touch display option
-
Battery life is weak on 45W + OLED config
-
No Thunderbolt 4

Processor: Up to Core i7-12700H or Core i7-1255U or Core i5-1240P | RAM: Up to 16GB DDR4-3200 | Storage: Up to 1TB PCIe 3.0 SSD | Graphics: Up to NVIDIA RTX 2050 Laptop or NVIDIA MX550 | Display size: 14 inches | Display resolution: Up to 2880x1800 (2.8K) | Ports: Two USB-C 3.2 (Gen 2), two USB-A (5Gbps), HDMI 2.1, 3.5mm audio, microSD card reader

The HP Pavilion Plus 14 is an interesting device. It starts at just $800, it offers Intel's 12th Gen Core P-series, U-series, and H-series processors, it's built extremely well, and it has up to a 2.8K OLED display. Even if you jump up to the 2.8K OLED screen and H-series CPU, you're still only paying just more than $1,000. For a bit more money, you can add either a discrete NVIDIA MX550 or NVIDIA RTX 2050 Laptop GPU for some extra power.

In his Pavilion Plus 14 review, Executive Editor Daniel Rubino called it "the best $1,000 you can spend on a powerful OLED laptop right now." That's saying something, as many manufacturers have been focusing heavily on improving their mid-range lineups. Port selection lacks Thunderbolt, but you still get dual USB-C, USB-A, HDMI, and a microSD card reader.

The 5MP webcam with True Vision is perfect for video calls, dual speakers pump out decent audio, and the keyboard is comfortable. As for the display, the 14-inch 2.8K OLED version is tops, coming in with a 90Hz refresh rate and 400 nits brightness. It also hits 100% sRGB, 97% AdobeRGB, and 100% DCI-P3 color, making it ideal for photo or video editing.

Bottom line: Need a laptop that represents arguably the best value around right now? The HP Pavilion Plus 14 will deliver thanks to plenty of config options, 90Hz OLED display, and outstanding build.


(Image credit: Windows Central)

HP Elite Dragonfly G3

Best premium business

Reasons to buy

+
3K2K display with 3:2 aspect ratio
+
12th Gen Intel Core U-series CPUs
+
5MP FHD webcam
+
Optional 5G connectivity
+
Gorgeous design

Reasons to avoid

-
Expensive

Processor: Up to Core i7-1265U | RAM: Up to 32GB LPDDR5 | Storage: Up to 2TB PCIe 4.0 SSD | Graphics: Intel Iris Xe | Display size: 13.5 inches | Display resolution: Up to 3000x2000 (3K2K) | Ports: Two Thunderbolt 4, USB-A 3.1, HDMI 2.0, Nano SIM, 3.5mm audio

HP's Elite Dragonfly G3 represents a massive upgrade over the G2 model. The 13.5-inch display now has a 3:2 aspect ratio and up to a 3000x2000 resolution with OLED and touch, the webcam has been upgraded to 5MP FHD, there's a larger 68Wh battery, and there are now Intel's 12th Gen Core U-Series CPUs with Evo certification inside for better performance.

The edges of the laptop are rounded and smooth for extra comfort, the new aspect ratio allows for more palmrest space, and the quad-speaker setup has been rearranged to include four amplifiers. The touchpad is massive, the keyboard feels great, and there's a decent selection of ports including Thunderbolt 4.

This is a business laptop, so it understandably includes optional Sure View privacy for the display, Intel vPro, and HP's full suite of security add-ons. And for those who need to stay connected everywhere, models can be configured with 5G wireless connectivity.

Bottom line: It's on the pricey side, but the Elite Dragonfly G3 is a bonafide premium business laptop with a ton of great features, plenty of performance and battery life, and gorgeous display options.

(Image credit: Razer)

Razer Blade 15

Best gaming

Reasons to buy

+
Gorgeous 4K, QHD, and FHD display options
+
Insane gaming performance
+
Slim, premium build
+
Decent port selection
+
Enormous Precision touchpad

Reasons to avoid

-
Very expensive
-
Keyboard travel could be better

Processor: Up to Core i9-12900H | RAM: Up to 32GB DDR5-4800 | Storage: Up to 1TB PCIe 4.0 SSD | Graphics: Up to NVIDIA RTX 3080 Ti Laptop | Display size: 15.6 inches | Display resolution: Up to 4K | Ports: Two USB-C 3.2 (Gen 2), Three USB-A 3.2 (Gen 2), Thunderbolt 4, HDMI 2.1, SD card reader, 3.5mm audio

If you need a powerful gaming laptop, the Razer Blade 15 should be your first choice should you have the budget. It's also our top pick in a roundup of the overall best gaming laptops available today. Some new Blade 15 configurations were announced at CES 2022, and you can now get up to Intel's 12th Gen H-series CPUs, NVIDIA RTX 3080 Ti laptop GPU, DDR5-4800MHz RAM, and PCIe 4.0 storage.

Display options won't leave your performance hardware wanting more, with up to a 4K UHD screen with 144Hz refresh rate and excellent color reproduction. There's also a QHD model with 240Hz refresh rate and an FHD model with a 360Hz refresh rate.

This is all wrapped up in a squared, symmetrical metal chassis that measures just 0.67 inches (16.9mm) thin, which is slimmer than ever. Keyboard travel is a bit short, but it has customizable RGB, and the Precision touchpad is huge for times when you're not using an external gaming mouse plugged into one of three USB-A 3.2 ports. Other connectivity includes two Thunderbolt 4, HDMI 2.1, and Ethernet. There's also a UHS-II SD card reader.

The Razer Blade 14 is also available for anyone who wants a more compact build with the latest AMD Ryzen hardware mixed with NVIDIA RTX 30-series Laptop GPUs.

Bottom line: With a dedicated GPU, powerful Intel CPU options, and myriad high-end display options, the Razer Blade 15 is the best gaming laptop out there as long as you have the budget.


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

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Nano (Gen 2)

Best business

Reasons to buy

+
12th Gen Intel CPUs and Evo certification
+
2K displays with 16:10 aspect ratio
+
Human presence detection and FHD IR camera
+
Excellent battery life
+
Optional 5G connectivity

Reasons to avoid

-
Might not want the ThinkPad look

Processor: Up to Core i7-1280P vPro | RAM: Up to 32GB LPDDR5-5200 | Storage: Up to 1TB PCIe 4.0 SSD | Graphics: Intel Iris Xe | Display size: 13 inches | Display resolution: 2160x1350 | Ports: Two Thunderbolt 4, 3.5mm audio

We absolutely love the first-gen X1 Nano, with Executive Editor Daniel Rubino saying in his ThinkPad X1 Nano review that it holds all the best features of premium ThinkPad laptops but with a focus on portability. The second generation is now available — though there are still first-gen models for sale — with some notable upgrades.

The new 12th Gen Intel Core P-series 28W processors boost performance significantly, LPDDR5 RAM is faster, and PCIe 4.0 storage makes transfers a breeze. Displays have remained mostly the same, with a 2160x1350 resolution with a 16:10 aspect ratio, as well as Dolby Vision and 100% sRGB color reproduction. There's now an add on touch film (AOTF) available for a better touch experience. 

The webcam got a bump up to 1080p, with separate IR and RGB modules for better quality. Human presence detection is still included, and Dolby Voice has been added to help cancel out background noise while you're conferencing.

The laptop makes the list of Intel Evo platform certification, guaranteeing snappy response even on battery power. Thunderbolt 4 ports make it easy to connect your most modern accessories, and there's Wi-Fi 6 and 5G LTE available for staying connected everywhere. 

The real beauty is that it weighs in at just 2.13 pounds (970g), making it one of the lightest business laptops out there. If you need a slim, powerful business partner, this should be near the top of your list. Check out our list of the best Lenovo laptops to see where the ThinkPad X1 Nano sits.

Bottom line: ThinkPad laptops come in many shapes and sizes, but the X1 Nano (Gen 2) sits near the top if you want something thin and light with many business features.


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

Dell XPS 15 (9520)

Best 15-inch Ultrabook

Reasons to buy

+
Gorgeous FHD+, 3.5K OLED, and UHD+ display options
+
Powerful performance from 12th Gen Intel Core CPUs
+
Top-firing speakers flank the keyboard
+
Good keyboard and touchpad

Reasons to avoid

-
Can get pricey

Processor: Up to Core i9-12900HK | RAM: Up to 64GB DDR5-4800MHz | Storage: Up to 2TB SSD | Graphics: Up to NVIDIA RTX 3050 Ti Laptop | Display size: 15.6 inches | Display resolution: Up to 4K UHD+ | Ports: Two Thunderbolt 4, USB-C 3.2 (Gen 2), SD card reader, 3.5mm audio

Along with the XPS 13 9300, the XPS 15 9500 received a fairly serious overhaul that continues with the latest 9510 and 9520 models. It has a larger 16:10 aspect ratio for the display, which eliminates the chin. The Precision touchpad is way more prominent, and the keycaps are also larger for a better typing experience. Speakers on either side of the keyboard and speakers on the laptop's underside make for quality audio.

You can get the display in either FHD+, UHD+, or 3.5K resolutions. The FHD+ version is non-touch with an anti-glare finish and 500 nits. The UHD+ version is touch with an anti-reflective finish and 500 nits brightness. And the new 3456x2160 (3.5K) OLED option is touch with an anti-reflective finish and 400 nits. There's hardly any bezel, yet there's still an IR camera above the display for Windows Hello.

With the release of the 9520 models, you can now get 12th Gen Intel Core CPUs with up to a Core i9-12900HK for maximum performance. Also updated is the memory, which now comes in DDR5-4800MHz. Storage and graphics remain the same, with up to a 1TB SSD and either integrated graphics or NVIDIA's laptop versions of the RTX 3050 and RTX 3050 Ti discrete GPUs.

As for the remaining 9510 models, you can get up to an 11th Gen Intel Core i9-11900H CPU, 64GB of DDR4 RAM, a 2TB M.2 PCIe SSD, and similar discrete graphics options. The laptops are all powered by a beefy 86Wh battery that can deliver a full day of battery life. Wi-Fi 6 is also included for fast wireless connectivity. This PC also sits atop our list of the very best 15-inch laptops.

Have a look at our Dell XPS 15 9500 review for a closer look at this awesome 15-inch laptop. The design really hasn't changed, so you're still getting the same great look with the 9510 or 9520 models.

Bottom line: The new Dell XPS 15 (9520) brings Intel's 12th Gen Intel Core CPUs and DDR5 RAM to an otherwise similar design. It's the most powerful option out there, but the older 9510 model is still quite attractive and costs less.


Windows Central Recommended Award

(Image credit: Windows Central)
Best affordable convertible

Reasons to buy

+
New 16:10 FHD+ display with Dolby Vision
+
Outstanding typing, huge touchpad
+
Top-firing speakers with Dolby Atmos
+
1080p webcam with IR and privacy shutter
+
Impressive battery life

Reasons to avoid

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Noticeable performance slowdown on DC power
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Speakers could be a bit louder
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Still using Ryzen 5000
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No Thunderbolt

Processor: Up to AMD Ryzen 7 5700U | RAM: Up to 16GB LPDDR4x | Storage: Up to 1TB PCIe 4.0 SSD | Graphics: AMD Radeon | Display size: 13.3 inches | Display resolution: 1920x1200 (FHD+) | Ports: Two USB-C 3.1 (Gen 1), two USB-A 3.2 (Gen 1), HDMI, 3.5mm audio, microSD card reader

Lenovo's Yoga laptop line, which includes the incredible Yoga 9i 14, received a full refresh for its seventh generation. And while the more expensive Yoga laptops often steal the show, the budget Yoga 6 (Gen 7) is almost as impressive when you factor in the asking price. These laptops start at about $675 depending on the running promotion at Lenovo, placing them in the mid-range category.

Despite its affordable price, it's one of the laptops I've most enjoyed testing and using so far this year. In my Lenovo Yoga 6 (Gen 7) review, I note that it "demonstrates how complete the Yoga lineup has become." It has many features that you'd normally only find on a much more expensive laptop, plus it has the added versatility of being able to rotate around for tent, stand, and tablet modes.

These fresh models have a taller 16:10 aspect ratio for the display, as well as Dolby Vision, an FHD+ resolution, and 100% sRGB color. Inking is supported, though you'll have to buy the pen separately.

(Image credit: Windows Central)

The webcam above the display has been bumped up to a 1080p resolution and it's combined with an IR sensor for Windows Hello. There's also a webcam shutter for added privacy. To round out the multimedia kick, top-firing speakers with on-board Dolby Atmos flank the comfortable keyboard. 

The laptop looks like it costs a whole lot more than it really does thanks to new rounded chassis edges and optional fabric lid topping. You don't get Thunderbolt 4 ports due to the AMD platform, but there is still plenty of connectivity including dual USB-C, dual USB-A, HDMI, 3.5mm audio, and a microSD card reader.

Performance from AMD's Ryzen 5000 CPUs isn't outstanding, but the PC still has more than enough power to handle productivity work. You will notice some further slowdown on DC power, but the battery should last upwards of 12 to 15 hours, as we saw in our own testing.

Bottom line: The Lenovo Yoga 6 (Gen 7) is a stacked convertible laptop that starts at well less than $1,000. It's packed with high-end features and offers outstanding battery life. If you don't want to spend big on a Yoga 9i or Yoga 7i, this is the way to go.


(Image credit: Daniel Rubino / Windows Central)
Most fun

Reasons to buy

+
Excellent compact design
+
11th Gen CPU brings a substantial improvement
+
Nice display and feature set
+
New pricing makes more sense
+
Decent 720p webcam

Reasons to avoid

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No backlit keyboard
-
Battery life is OK
-
Avoid the entry-level model

Processor: Intel Core i5-1135G7 | RAM: Up to 8GB LPDDR4x | Storage: Up to 256GB SSD | Graphics: Intel Iris Xe | Display size: 12.4 inches | Display resolution: 1536x1024 | Ports: USB-C, USB-A, 3.5mm audio, Surface Connect

The standard Surface Laptop is an outstanding device, but not everyone wants to shell out that kind of money for a device sized at 13 or 15 inches. Enter the Surface Laptop Go 2, a 12.5-inch device that's designed up to Surface standards. The display might not be as high a resolution as other Surface products and might not support inking, but it's still colorful and bright.

The keyboard is comfortable (though no backlight), and battery life will last you through most of a workday. Performance hardware is right for anyone with standard productivity tasks in mind, and the price reflects that. This is an excellent option for anyone who needs an extra laptop around the house or something portable for school.

Executive Editor Daniel Rubino recently reviewed the Surface Laptop Go 2, stating that the "Surface Laptop Go 2 is a modest upgrade over the previous model on paper, but using that new Core i5 makes it feel much more premium than you would expect." 

Bottom line: Want a smaller, more affordable version of the Surface Laptop? The Surface Laptop Go 2 is no doubt for you.


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

Reasons to buy

+
Exceptionally engineered
+
Very good performance and battery life
+
Excellent keyboard, haptic pen
+
Bright, color-accurate, 120Hz display
+
Best touchpad on a PC

Reasons to avoid

-
Reflective display
-
Audio needs more bass
-
No SD card reader
-
Charger is underpowered

Processor: Up to Core i7-11370H | RAM: Up to 32GB LPDDR4x | Storage: Up to 2TB SSD | Graphics: Up to NVIDIA RTX 3050 Ti Laptop | Display size: 14.4 inches | Display resolution: 2400x1600 | Ports: Two Thunderbolt 4, 3.5mm audio, Surface Connect

Microsoft's Surface Laptop Studio employs a rare design that is essentially the spiritual successor to the Surface Book series. While the display no longer detaches fully from the rest of the chassis, the Laptop Studio's design allows the screen to sort of pull forward. It can either remain vertical for stage mode (with the touchpad still uncovered), or it can lie flat (with the display facing up) for a unique Surface experience that should appeal to creators and designers.

The 14.4-inch touch display has a 2400x1600 resolution, 3:2 aspect ratio, 120Hz refresh rate, and excellent color reproduction and brightness. Dolby Vision is included for better movies and TV. If you're into inking, the Laptop Studio pairs well with the Surface Slim Pen 2. A 120Hz refresh rate makes for seamless writing and drawing, and the new haptic feedback feature is available in select apps.

Intel 11th Gen H-series CPUs power the Laptop Studio, and you can combine them with a NVIDIA RTX 3050 Ti laptop GPU. You can game on this laptop to an extent, though it's far more comfortable being used for productivity work in the creative and design sectors.

You can expect the usual Surface premium level of design in all areas here, but the laptop doesn't come cheap. Nevertheless, anyone who needs a versatile mobile platform for heavier work should take notice.

Bottom line: The Surface Laptop Studio represents a new design category for Microsoft's PC lineup. With excellent performance, a high-end display with inking, and a ton of other features, it's a top choice for those who need a mobile workstation.