Best overall: Microsoft Surface Book 2

Power, performance, and style.

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Available in both 13-inch and 15-inch configurations, Microsoft's new Surface Book 2 (starting at about $1,500) is our top choice when it comes to Windows laptops. The modular design allows you to use your laptop as a tablet, and powerful hardware inside, including eighth-generation Intel processors (CPU), up to 16GB of RAM, and dedicated graphics cards (GPU), makes either size a true desktop replacement.

Bottom line: For a powerful desktop replacement with a beautiful display and removable keyboard, you have to go with the Surface Book 2.

One more thing: We've reviewed both the 13-inch and 15-inch Surface Book 2 models.

Why the Surface Book 2 is the best laptop

Not only is the Surface Book 2 now available in both 13-inch and 15-inch options, it also features updates to the design and powerful internal hardware. The display can still be removed from the keyboard and touchpad, and can still be replaced backwards to sit flat as a complete package. The 13.5-inch display has a 3,000 x 2,000 resolution and a 3:2 aspect ratio, whereas the 15-inch model comes in with a 3,240 x 2,160 resolution.

If you need top performance, the 15-inch model is where you want to look, offering up inside an eighth-generation, quad-core Intel Core i7 CPU, 16GB of DDR3-1866MHz RAM, and a 1TB PCIe solid-state drive (SSD). For gaming or multimedia editing, you can also take advantage of the NVIDIA GTX 1060 GPU with 6GB of GDDR5 VRAM.

Battery life here is impressive; get about 10 hours from the 15-inch model and about 11 hours from the 13-inch model. An IR camera for Windows Hello logins is seated above the display, and the keyboard and touchpad are some of the best around. If you need a true desktop replacement from your Windows laptop, this is it.

Buy Surface Book 2 at Microsoft

Runner-up: HP Spectre x360

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The HP Spectre x360 has a fantastic build quality and a chassis that is only 0.53 inches (13.46mm) thick. The 13.3-inch, 1080p touch display works well while in tablet, stand, or tent modes, and the keyboard and touchpad are a joy to use while in notebook mode. Inside you can get up to an eighth-generation Intel Core i7-8550U CPU with a clock speed up to 4.0GHz, up to 16GB of RAM, and a 1TB SSD. Configurations start at about $850.

Best for gaming: Razer Blade

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Razer's 14-inch Blade gaming laptop is a beast. It has a full NVIDIA GTX 1060 graphics card with 6GB of GDDR5 VRAM, a seventh-generation Intel Core i7-7700HQ CPU with a clock speed up to 3.80GHz, and 16GB of DDR4 RAM. The 14-inch IPS display has a 1920 x 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. Configurations start at about $1,700.

Best 2-in-1: Microsoft Surface Pro

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Microsoft's updated Surface Pro has some welcome changes while also keeping the design we love from the Pro line. The kickstand on the back can now extend further, the radial vents are now gone on the i5 model, and there's a whole new collection of hardware within. Get up to a seventh-generation Intel Core i7 CPU, 16GB of RAM, and a 1TB SSD. The 12.3-inch touch display is as good as ever with a 2,736 x 1,824 resolution and a new Surface Pen to boot, and the Type Cover is covered with a soft Alcantara fabric. Configurations start at about $799.

Best notebook: Dell XPS 13

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Sporting one of the best-looking bodies of all laptops, the Dell XPS 13 is a powerhouse. The 13.3-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 an eighth-generation Intel Core i7-8550U CPU, 16GB of DDR3 RAM, and a 1TB PCIe SSD. Base models start at about $650.

Best convertible: Lenovo Yoga 920

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Lenovo's Yoga 920 (starting at about $1,200) is a premium offering with a gorgeous 14-inch 4K display, long-lasting battery, and compact design. Inside, get up to an Intel Core i7-8550U CPU, 16GB of DDR4 RAM, and a 1TB PCIe SSD. A watchband hinge lets you rotate the display around for tent, stand, and tablet modes, and a fingerprint reader can be used for secure logins with Windows Hello.

Best for mobility: Samsung Notebook 9

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The Samsung Notebook 9 is one of the most underrated laptops out there. Samsung makes great displays, and this 15-inch with a 1,920 x 1,080 resolution is no exception. Inside you're getting a seventh-generation Intel Core i7 processor, 16GB 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 2.73 pounds (1.24kg) and is 0.6 inches (1.5cm) thick. This laptop starts at about $1,300.

Best for Students: Microsoft Surface Laptop

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Microsoft's Surface Laptop is some of their finest work. It's just 0.57 inches (14.47mm) thick, the 13.5-inch touch display has a 2,256 x 1,504 resolution with a 3:2 aspect ratio, and the comfortable keyboard is covered in soft Alcantara fabric. Inside you can get up to an Intel Core i7 CPU, 16GB of RAM, and a 512GB SSD. Grab a Surface Pen to go with it, and choose from one of four colors when checking out. Configurations start at about $800.

Best budget: CHUWI 14.1 LapBook

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Most laptops that cost about $290 are expected to have some serious flaws and some shoddy craftsmanship. Not here. The 14.1-inch LapBook from CHUWI has a seventh-generation Intel Celeron N3450 CPU, 4GB of DDR3 RAM, and 64GB of eMMC storage. The IPS display sits at 1080p and has amazing color and contrast, and the chassis is impressively built. Did we mention it costs less than $300?

Best for business: Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon

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The 2.51-pound (1.14kg) 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 seventh-generation Intel Core i7 CPU, 16GB of DDR3 RAM, and a 1TB PCIe SSD — prices start at about $1,000.

Best MacBook Twin: Huawei MateBook X

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The MateBook X (starting at about $800) is one of the thinnest and lightest Windows laptops available at 0.49 inches (12.5mm) thick and 2.31 pounds (1.05kg). Inside, get up to an Intel Core i7-7500U CPU, 8GB of RAM, and a 512GB SSD. The 13-inch display is stunning with its 2,160 x 1,440 resolution, and a fingerprint reader allows for quick sign ins through Windows Hello.

Conclusion

The best, most versatile Windows laptop is the Surface Book 2, but the HP Spectre x360 remains a top contender. Students should take notice of the Surface Laptop, and if you love a 2-in-1 design, check out the Surface Pro. Need a fine convertible? Check out the Yoga 920. Gamers out there will love the Razer Blade, and for a great notebook you should take a look at the XPS 13 from Dell. Another fantastic notebook with a lighter build is the Samsung Notebook 9, and you can find a solid business partner in the ThinkPad X1 Carbon. Coming over from Apple? Check out the MateBook X from Huawei. If you just need the cheapest option out there that won't fall apart on you, the CHUWI 14.1 LapBook should be considered.

Best overall: Microsoft Surface Book 2

Power, performance, and style.

See at Microsoft

Updated November 27, 2017: We've refreshed this list, including a new top choice, to ensure you're still getting the best Windows laptops on offer.