Best Windows on Arm laptops 2024

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LG Gram number pad

(Image credit: Windows Central)

 The list in brief
1. Best overall
2. Runner up
3. Best for business
4. Best budget
5. How we test

Looking for a new laptop with long battery life and good performance? Windows on Arm might be the choice for you! Windows on Arm has come a long way since it was first debuted, to the point that these days, they're trading blows with flagship laptops with Intel and AMD chips!

Some of the benefits for going with an Arm laptop include longer battery life thanks to the more efficient Arm processors, as well as thinner, fanless chassis' that you just won't find on similarly performing Intel and AMD laptops. You can find Windows on Arm devices in all kinds of form factors, including tablets, 2-in-1s, laptops, and even desktops.

So, this is my round up of the best Windows on Arm laptops you can find on the market right now, based on recommendations by myself and other Windows Central staff members who have reviewed the devices. Let's dive in!

Zac Bowden
Zac Bowden

Zac is a senior editor for Windows Central with expertise in Windows PCs, including laptops, tablets, and desktops. He's the go to guy for information about the latest Windows features, as well as the latest hardware features. 

The quick list

The best Windows laptops with Arm processors in 2024

Why you can trust Windows Central Our expert reviewers spend hours testing and comparing products and services so you can choose the best for you. Find out more about how we test.

Below, you'll find my full write-ups for each of the laptops I've picked out as the best laptops that are powered by Arm processors. Many of these laptops have been reviewed or had hands-on time with by the team at Windows Central, and have our full recommendations for each category specified. 

Best Windows on ARM laptop

(Image credit: Windows Central)
The best Windows on ARM device

Specifications

Processor: Microsoft SQ3
RAM: Up to 16GB
Storage: 128GB / 256GB SSD
Graphics: Adreno 8cx Gen3
Display: 13-inch 2880x1920 LCD
Ports: 2x USB-C, 1x Surface Connect

Reasons to buy

+
Beautiful design
+
Great performance
+
5G connectivity
+
Good battery

Reasons to avoid

-
Keyboard sold separately
-
Quite heavy as a tablet

The Surface Pro 9 with 5G is arguably the best bit of hardware Microsoft has ever shipped. In fact, that's exactly what I said in my Surface Pro 9 review. The overall design of this product is ten years in the making, and you can really feel it when using this device.

Microsoft's latest Surface Pro is available in both Intel and Arm flavors, and of course we're recommending the Arm variant here. The Microsoft SQ3 on the inside is a customized Snapdragon 8cx Gen3, which is perfectly capable for most productivity based workflows such as working in Microsoft Office, browsing the web with multiple tabs, doing light photo work in Photoshop, and partaking in Teams or Slack calls.

The Arm powered Surface Pro 9 also comes with 5G built-in, making it an excellent choice for taking with you on the go. The battery life is also stellar, and when paired with the optional Surface Pro Keyboard accessory, transforms this device from a beautiful tablet into a very capable laptop.

The chassis is made out of aluminum and feels incredibly premium to hold. Then there's the glorious 13-inch touchscreen display, which looks amazing and supports a variable refresh rate between 60Hz and 120Hz. The built-in webcam and mic is also excellent, and when paired with Windows Studio Effects, becomes an incredible device for virtual meetings.

Best alternative Windows on ARM laptop

Robo & Kala might be a brand you've never heard of but they knocked it out of the park.  (Image credit: Windows Central)
Best alternative Windows on ARM device

Specifications

Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 8cx Gen3
RAM: Up to 16GB
Storage: 512GB
Display: 12.6-inch 2560 x 1600 OLED
Ports: 2x USB-C

Reasons to buy

+
Incredibly thin and light
+
Very stylish
+
Beautiful OLED display
+
Keyboard bundled

Reasons to avoid

-
Limited availability
-
Audio is terrible

If you like the idea of the Surface Pro 9 with 5G, but aren't too keen on the price, I think the Robo & Kala is a very close second best. In fact, I almost called it the best Windows on ARM device on the market in my Robo & Kala review, but it doesn't quite earn that badge for a couple of reasons. First, the built-in speakers leave a lot to be desired. Secondly, global availability is very limited.

Looking past those two flaws, however, the Robo & Kala is an incredible machine for the price you pay. At just $700 (and often on sale for less), you're getting a Snapdragon 8cx Gen3 with 16GB RAM and 512GB SSD storage. That's all housed in an incredibly thin chassis, thinner than all the other Windows on ARM devices listed here.

Around the front, we have the best display I've seen on a Windows on ARM machine yet. It's a 12.6-inch 16:10 OLED touchscreen, and colors simply pop on this display thanks to that OLED technology. The display also features rounded corners which look nice, and even takes pen input.

On the subject of that pen, the pen magnetically attaches to the side of the device, where it also charges, just like the Apple Pencil on an iPad Pro. There's also an optional keyboard accessory that transforms the Robo & Kala into an excellent 2-in-1 laptop. That keyboard accessory attaches with magnets for a direct connection, but can also be used wirelessly via Bluetooth, something the Surface Pro doesn't do.

Best ARM laptop for business

It's a ThinkPad, but with Arm, so of course it's good.  (Image credit: Windows Central)
Best budget laptop with a number pad

Specifications

Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 8cx Gen3
RAM: 16GB
Storage: Up to 1TB
Graphics: 8cx Gen3
Display: 13.3-inch 1080p 16:10 LCD
Ports: 2x USB-C, 3.5mm audio jack

Reasons to buy

+
Thin & light
+
Excellent webcam and mic
+
5G built-in
+
Durable design

Reasons to avoid

-
Speakers could be better
-
Design won't be for everybody

Windows on Arm has come a long way since its inception, so much so it's actually a viable choice for businesses now too! Lenovo has heavily into this with the ThinkPad X13s, which is rocking the latest Snapdragon 8cx Gen3 and can be paired with up to 32GB RAM!

The chassis is made of 90% recycled magnesium, which allows the device to be incredibly light at just 2.35lbs. As noted in my Lenovo ThinkPad X13s review, it's rocking a 13.3-inch 1080p IPS display with a 16:10 aspect ratio, and two USB-C ports for connectivity. It also comes with 5G built in for those who need mobile data while on the go.

The keyboard and touchpad on this device are some of the best I've ever used on a laptop. The keys are tactile, with satisfying feedback while also maintaining a soft feel, and the trackpad is even better. It provides a beefy "thunk" sound when clicked down, so much so I thought it was a haptic touchpad when I first started using it!

Because it's a ThinkPad, it does include the iconic red track point between the G, H, and B keys, which I understand is a very popular feature for enterprise customers. It's the first and only Windows on Arm device with a track point, so if that's something you need, this is your only choice. 

Best budget laptop with Arm

Dell surprised us all by slipping out a more affordable Arm-powered laptop.  (Image credit: Dell)

4. Dell Inspiron 14

Best budget laptop

Specifications

Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 8cx Gen2
RAM: 8GB
Storage: 256GB SSD
Graphics: Adreno 690
Display: 14-inch 1080p LCD
Ports: 2x USB-C, 1x USB-A, microSD

Reasons to buy

+
Durable design
+
1080p screen
+
Quite affordable

Reasons to avoid

-
Last-gen SoC
-
No 16GB RAM option

Dell surprised us when it silently dropped the Dell XPS 14 with Snapdragon 8cx Gen2, because up until this device, Dell hadn't released any modern Windows on Arm devices. This is a mid-range laptop with an older generation Snapdragon chip, but because of this, it's also the cheapest laptop on our list, coming in at just $499.

What do you get for that price? You get an older Snapdragon flagship chip, paired with 8GB RAM and 256GB SSD storage. That's all bundled with a 14-inch 1080p display panel, with a full size keyboard and trackpad too.

The overall design of the laptop is also quite contemporary. It's unapologetically plastic, but designed in a way to look and feel premium thanks to its color and size.

It's actually a great little machine for the price, and because it's using an older processor, you can usually find it on sale for even less than $499. As of writing this, the Inspiron 14 with Arm can be had for just $279, what a deal!

How we test laptops with Arm

The best laptop with an Arm processor will ultimately come down to preference. There are so many different kinds of Arm laptops on the market, most of which lean on the 2-in-1 form factor category. We think the best Windows on Arm laptop on the market right now is the Surface Pro 9 with 5G, because it's a great 2-in-1 with the best detachable keyboard on the market.

The ThinkPad X13s is the best traditional laptop form factor with Arm on the market right now, thanks to its great design and excellent keyboard and trackpad. We review Windows on Arm laptops like any other laptop, with the same battery life and performance tests, ensuring we benchmark for native performance as well as emulated. This helps us not only decide upon the best Arm laptops, but also to put them into perspective next to Intel and AMD-based competitors. 

Be sure to check out our roundup of best Windows laptops if you're looking for the best overall Windows laptop, Arm or not! 

Zac Bowden
Senior Editor

Zac Bowden is a Senior Editor at Windows Central. Bringing you exclusive coverage into the world of Windows on PCs, tablets, phones, and more. Also an avid collector of rare Microsoft prototype devices! Keep in touch on Twitter and Threads

  • HeyCori
    Robo & Kala? IMO, that's a name that should have been work-shopped a little bit longer before deciding on it.

    And considering the deluge of ARM devices that will be announced this year, I imagine this list will need to be updated soon. :D
    Reply