Five of the hottest Windows laptops available right now

Budget and practicality be damned, you want the best laptop out there. We're showcasing some of the most eye-popping, top-of-the-line laptops currently available. A lot of these high performers will be perfect for gamers, but others aim to stay reasonably powerful while remaining insanely thin.

Dell XPS 13

The Dell XPS 13 made a big splash at CES as an ultrabook with an exceptionally thin border around the display. Touch and non-touch varieties of the XPS 13 are available, and the whole package weighs in at about 2.6 pounds and 0.7 inches at its thickest. Under the hood of the base model is an i3 2.1 GHz processor, which can be bumped up to i5 2.7 GHz processors in the higher-end versions. That's paired up with 4 GB of DDR3 RAM, which can be upgraded to 8 GB in the top-of-the-line model. A 128 GB SSD should be enough to cover your storage needs, and two USB 3.0 ports can handle peripherals. The resolution of the 13.3-inch display comes in at 1920 x 1080.

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon

The newest Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon has a hard drive option that offers exceptional speed. Being 2.9 pounds and 0.6 inches thick, the X1 Carbon is well-suited for working on the road. You can get up to an i7 3.2 GHz processor and 8 GB of RAM if you need serious horsepower. 512 GB of SSD storage is available, depending on model. The 14-inch display starts at 1920 x 1080 and goes up to 2560 x 1440.

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Alienware 17

Dell Alienware 17

The latest Alienwares introduce a 4th generation i7 3.5 GHz processor, 3 GB GeForce GTX 970M video card, 8 GB of RAM, and a 1 TB hard drive. The 1920 x 1080 screen measures 17.3 inches diagonally and has the option for touch input. At the upper end, you can include a 512 GB SSD boot drive, an extra 8 GB of RAM, and upgrade the video card to 4 GB. Toss in the optional graphics amplifier for additional horsepower and the absolutely gaudy customizable color LED system under the keyboard, and you have a powerful, flashy gaming beast.

HP Spectre x360

HP Spectre X360

The HP Spectre x360 is one of the best-looking convertibles you'll find out there. The entry level model has an i5 2.2 GHz processor, 4 GB of RAM, and a 128 GB SSD. The 13.3-inch 1920 x 1080 display supports touch input, and can be upgraded to 2560 x 1440 (QHD) for those that really want to go all-out. Though the x360 is highly portable at 3.2 pounds and 16 mm thick, one of the more impressive features is the 12.5 hours of battery life. Needless to say, the x360 is a powerful, versatile workhorse.

Samsung Ativ Book 9

The Samsung Ativ Book 9 is a super slim and light ultrabook. It's under half an inch thick and is barely over two pounds. Under the hood is a 0.99 GHz Core M processor, 4 GB of RAM, and a 128 GB SSD for storage. Not only is this thing slim and light, the brightness on the 12.2-inch 2560 x 1600 touchscreen can be cranked up to 700 nits for perfect viewing outdoors. For those who want more, a pro version of the Book 9 includes a proper 2.2 GHz i5 processor, more RAM, sharper screen, and a bigger SSD.

Your favorite hot laptop?

There are lots of new Windows laptops worth ogling. Let us know in the comments which top-end computers have caught your attention!

Simon Sage
  • How many top 5 laptop articles are y'all gonna make!? Lol
  • 5?
  • I've seen that many so far. Same computers listed pretty much. I do admit that Dell is sexy as hell!
  • Why complaint about good and useful articles?
  • Not complaining. Just asking a question. I can't ask a question?
  • I think they've gone past the point of being useful, to be honest. Some of these seem very redundant.
  • This isn't good or useful. Much like the antivirus reviews, Windows Central does not seem capable of creating genuinely useful, in depth reviews.
  • What exactly is useful about an article that's literally just "here are the specs wrapped in sentences"?
  • True lol.
  • Right? lol it's getting boring.
  • You must ask "How many Dell XPS 13 (2015) post are they gonna make?"
  • As much as they are paid for.
  • That's funny. I was just thinking the same thing right before I saw your comment.
  • Me too! Sadly its getting quite dull now.
  • I'm looking for a new laptop, so these definitely help. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • as long as new laptops arrive.
  • Hottest Laptop?... Well my Lenovo thinkpad is 150 degree Celsius hot right now ;)
  • Last Lenovo I bought was a great deal for the specs...except it was a mini heater.  I think this is especially true on the Ideapad line.
  • On my 'Ideapad' Yoga 2 pro, even icecream doesn't melt
  • hey what about Wifi issue? has the driver update helped?
  • Wifi never really was an 'issue'. I have the wireless AC card pre installed since I bought from Best Buy. The only thing I'd say is range is not that great compared to Surface 2. So I do have trouble connecting to weak wifi signals. But it's okay I guess. Apart from this is there any other issue you face? Do you have N card or the AC card?
  • No I don't own a y2p.I was thinking of getting one though.But just because of the wifi issue that i heard i have put my idea on hold.So y2p now comes with AC card pre installed?cool.I really love that machine.but now yoga 13 14" has come,so i decided to buy that until I heared about some serious motherboard issues with few decided to go for Spectre x360.(because of dual band AC wifi,active pen,12hour battery)
  • My Acer S7-392 is still doing GREAT after 1.5 years!
  • Alienware 13 with GForce 960M and core i7 is on my shortlist...
  • Windows Central has taken a nose dive recently! Seriously....can't you come up with something genuinely interesting, rather than these incredibly lightweight articles?!
  • What is funny is that just about every article has one or more of these comments.  Someone is always going to hate an article.
  • Yes....but on the one hand, you have the likes of Dan Rubino coming up with genuinely interesting and insightful articles. Then you have this clickbait nonsense that literally anyone on these forums would be able to rehash!
    There MUST be better things these journalists could write about.
  • Obnoxious comments of the week would make a hilarious article
  • you find value in articles like this one?!
    I personally think that if Windows news is light on the ground, these authors should take Dan Rubino's approach and release articles like the one this evening talking about the Windows Phone design language. That is genuinely interesting and instructive for Microsoft going forward.
    I just don't see how rehashing the same 'five best xx' articles are benefiting anyone other than WC's ad revenue!
    No one in their right mind would use one of these articles as part of an informed buying decision. WC needs to stick to its strengths.
  • Ehm no. He's right there are too many of these articles. Rolled my eyes when I looked at the live tile and noticed: Dell logo in combination with a greatest article.
  • Amazing news doesn't happen every 5 seconds. They need filer articles so there's not a gigantic gap in articles.
  • Copying and pasting a few specs does not make for a useful article!
    As I say, these tech journo's should try and make a proper name for themselves by coming up with something of genuine interest. As things stand though, this website is becoming ALL filler!
  • Dell XPS-13 with 16GB Ram! Oh, wait.... :(
  • There's a new 'best laptops' article every few days. Maybe best fitness bands, best headphones (workout or travel), best Bluetooth keyboard...?
  • Very cool idea. That would interest me too. Mainly a bt headphone!
  • If you want best headphones, head over to Head-Fi
  • I'll be holding of on my next laptop purchase until I can get at least one USB Type-C connector on board.
  • Anyone care to share some personal recommendations? Looking into my first laptop for casual use. Want something to last a while. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • TOSHIBA 4-ever!!!!
  • You go and review these as many times as you want!!! Speaking of things to read... At the airport... Went to find a computer magazine.... Nope none, but ten different ones on how to use an iphone or iPad.... I thought the hook for App$e was that its easy to use.... But they need a magazine to show you?
  • Fujitsu S series
  • XPS 12
  • Why they never mention ASUS ? I have a touch screen vivobook , it works great ..
  • I was close to getting the XPS 13 a few weeks ago until I found out it doesn't use a 2.5" drive, I've got a 2.5" 512GB SSD
  • Surface Pro Laptop, best tablet, and best desktop.....all in 1!
  • Agreed Great purchase for me.
  • I bought an HP Spectre x360 recently and I am very excited for it to arrive. It was between the HP and the Dell XPS 13. I ultimately went for the HP because I thought it was a better value. It has a better keyboard, and you get a touchscreen, 8 GB RAM, 256 GB SSD for only $999 which is much cheaper than the XPS 13 with those specs. You don't get the infinity display but that's something I'm willing to sacrifice :)
  • I'm thinking about the x360 as well. Its just hard to find some of these in stores to try out. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • I have decided to buy x360 now.I faced with dilemma whether to by Yoga 3 14 or HP spectre I heard few negative reviews about yoga 3 14 and not to mention the ya HP spectre x360 seems perfect,and to top it off MS had a strong coloboration with HP in bringing do you like the machine so for?from the feel of the machine so far do you think it feels like it will be a good machine for long term use?becasue i am thinking to use this for a good number of years as my main machine. my another concern is the heat.because from what I heard HP laptops are notorious for heat management.does it run cool?.
  • I'mconfused with xps 13 or spectre x360. XPS 13 seems to have better display and i like the premium design of the other. Any suggestions?
  • HP spectre x360: 1080p IPS (touch+4 modes),lattest 5th gen core I processor upto i7,8GB RAM, 256GB M.2 drive,active digitalizer pen available,ultra fast dual band wifi. $999(for i5) Dell xps: 1080p(non-touch),,lattest 5th gene core I processor upto i5, 8GBRAM, 256GB SSD,single band wifi- $1200 Note:in almost all  the bench mark tests HP spectre x360 outperformed xps(outperformed 6tests out of 7) and totally knocks yoga 3pro out..source:   So definetly hp x360
  • My University is supposedly getting the X1 Carbon for the laptop refresh cycle. I almost can't contain my excitement, having been given the Helix for the first two years. Great laptop, but man this screen is just a little small.
  • Since travel isn't a major factor I'll take the Alienware please. OMG what a beast.
  • So, the criteria for this were obviously "be an ultrabook/MacBook Air clone" or "be ugly, clunky and overpriced".
  • I could maybe see how you think the XPS and Ativ look like a MacBook Air, but how do the x360 or the x1 look like it at all??
  • Dell Latitude E7250
  • HP spectre x360: 1080p IPS (touch+4 modes),lattest 5th gen core I processor upto i7,8GB RAM, 256GB M.2 drive,active digitalizer pen available,ultra fast dual band wifi. $999(for i5) Dell xps: 1080p(non-touch),,lattest 5th gene core I processor upto i5, 8GBRAM, 256GB SSD,single band wifi- $1200 Note:in almost all  the bench mark tests HP spectre x360 outperformed xps(outperformed 6tests out of 7) and totally knocks yoga 3pro out..source: then why the hell Dell xps is placed at the top?
  • Carbon
  • What GPU Dell XPS 13 has?
  • Intel® HD Graphics 5500,same as spectre x360,yoga 3 14" etc.
  • Acer v15 nitro! $1299 Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • Yoga 3 14inch, i7 250ssd
  • it has got lots of negative reviews on lenovo's site.many reported fatal motherboard issues,fan canstantly runs at full throttel and noisy,and the power cord is too short if that matters to you.
  • My unit has non of these problems.
  • So far, anyway.... After one month.
  • oh really?good then.this machine was on the top of my list until i saw x360.still i love lenovo's design,and look.but i am looking for a machine that should be future proof,reliable and long lasting as i will use this as my main machine.Hp x360 has added advantages such as,an active pen,dual band ultra fast wifi,12hours battery but not sure about the reliability.on the other hand I love lenovo still some negative reviews,and lack of dualband wifi,pen,moderate battery life puts me right i am still confused what to go with.what do you think?would yous till strongly recommond yoga 3 14" over x360?
  • Alienware made it and the Razr Blade didn't? Come on...
  • confused! xps 13 or hp spectre x360? want suggestions ! 
  • hp spectre x360=value for money+loads of features+Microsofts collaboration.Dell xps=expensive,but good machine too.
  • Once again an article which comletely ignores the best! The MSI GS30. Light weight (2.65LBS) Quad-Core I7 Mobile, 2 SSD's in RAID 0 configuration, Full HD (Maybe the only draw backs is only full hd not 4 or 5K and non touchscreen, I don't mind though), Mobile Intel Iris Pro Graphics 5200 and a docking station for full size video card. Portable power house for gaming or business!!! Much more to it as well. That is worth the money, all these others seem to be pure aesthetics.Sure the dual core mobile I5 and I7's are ok and very productive but this is a beastly lightweight POWERHOUSE!! This should be on your list!!!
  • I just purchased a new laptop for my Mother, it didnt need to have killer specs. So i began looking at somrthing flexible for at the desk or on the sofa.  I stumbled along the HP Pavilion x2 10-k077nr.  It was $199.00 at the Microsoft store, when it arrived I spent some time setting it up for her and found it to be a great device!! I have a multiple devices my self both work and personal but might just add this for home and light weight travel use.
  • Id get a spectre if it has 8gb ram