Best Windows laptop 2020: the top Windows 10 laptops money can buy
It’s hard to beat the best Windows laptop when you’re looking for powerful portables that won’t break the bank. Thanks to the versatility of the Windows OS and the competitive prices of powerful internals, many Windows-powered laptops these days are giving their rival MacBooks a good run for their money. And that's especially by adding affordability and those attractive svelte chassis into the mix.
The best Windows laptops certainly have the rest of their rivals beat in value. While the best Macs may still have the most streamlined and attractive operating system, these Windows-based portables still win in terms of power, price and portability. In fact, you can have a Windows laptop more powerful than its Mac counterpart at a cheaper price.
To help you sort through a rather bewildering array of incredible options out there, we put together a list of the best Windows laptops of 2020. From versatile 2-in-1 laptops and laptops with touchscreen displays to gaming laptops, you’ll find your ideal device on here. Since we’ve reviewed and tested each of them ourselves, you know they all come with our seal of approval.
CPU: 10th Gen Intel Core i5 â i7 | Graphics: Intel UHD Graphics â NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 Ti | RAM: 8GB â 64GB | Screen: 15.6" FHD+ (1920 x 1200) InfinityEdge Non-Touch Anti-Glare 500-Nit â 15.6" UHD+ (3840 x 2400) InfinityEdge Touch Anti-Reflective 500-Nit Display | Storage: 256GB â 2TB M.2 PCIe NVMe | OS: Windows 10 Home
GTX 1650 Ti is a little weak
The Dell XPS 15 might just be incredible enough to tempt hardcore Mac users, and it’s easily the best Windows laptop 2020 has to offer. Combining staggering power in a stylish thin and light chassis, this laptop doesn’t hold back when it comes to internals and features that improve your computing experience overall. Among those amazing features are a gorgeous bright display with 500 nits of brightness, an extremely comfortable keyboard, impressive speakers, and a terrific trackpad. We’re not saying that this laptop is perfect, but our coveted 5 out of 5 rating should speak for itself.
CPU: AMD Ryzen 7 4800HS | Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660 Ti â RTX 2060 | RAM: Up to 32GB | Screen: 14-inch Non-glare Full HD (1920 x 1080) IPS-level panel, up to 120Hz â 14-inch Non-glare WQHD (2560 x 1440) IPS-level panel, 60Hz | Storage: 512GB / 1TB M.2 NVMe PCIe 3.0 | OS: Windows 10 Home
Best battery life in a gaming laptop
Thin and light
Fans can get loud
The Asus Zephyrus G14 may be designed like a gaming laptop, but it’s proven itself a more than capable all-around laptop. Whether you are serious about your gaming or need a powerful laptop for productivity or content creation, this is the best Windows laptops to deliver incredible performance as well as an amazing battery life, a fast screen, and a thin and light chassis that makes it super portable. It’s not the cheapest option out there, but you have to pay a premium for quality. And, if you’re an AMD fan, you’ll certainly appreciate the processor under its hood.
CPU: 8th-generation Intel Core i7 | Graphics: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050Ti with Max-Q design | RAM: 8GB â 16GB | Screen: 15.6-inch, 3840 x 2160 pixels touch | Storage: 512 GB â 2TB SSD | OS: Windows 10 Home
Stylish and high-quality finish
Great all-around performance
Built-in security features are useful
Battery life takes a hit
Can run hot at times
HP’s beloved and highly praised 2-in-1 is back with a vengeance, this time with more powerful components like the 10th-generation Intel Core processors and Intel Iris Plus graphics. Of course, that impeccable 2-in-1 design and pristine gem-cut chassis are back, as are its security features and Bang & Olufsen speakers. That killer combination makes it, now more than ever, one of the best Windows laptops out there. Is it a wonder that this is one of our favorite laptops of 2020? If you care about aesthetics as much as you do performance and overall quality, this is the laptop for you.
If you want the absolute best notebook for playing games on the go, then here it is – but be warned, this laptop will cause all but the very fattest of wallets to break into a sweat. Alienware’s Area-51m is a startlingly powerful Windows gaming laptop that can be equipped with up to a 9th-gen eight-core Intel CPU and GeForce RTX 2080 graphics.
What’s more, it’s a beautifully made machine, with a superbly slick and clean design, and you can upgrade this gaming notebook going forward (the CPU and GPU can be replaced, which very often isn’t the case in modern laptops). In some ways, then, this is an investment in terms of future-proofing – but as we noted, it’s definitely an expensive outlay. However, it’s always been the case that if you want the best when it comes to gaming portables, you have to pay for the privilege.
Razer’s idea of taking its famous gaming laptop and turning it into one of the best mobile creative workstations on offer has paid off. Razer Blade 15 Studio Edition would have taken the mantle as the best laptop for engineering students, if it wasn’t held back by its premium price. Without a doubt, this model was designed with creators in mind, rocking powerful graphics cards and an absolute stunner of a 4K display. Sure, you’ll be spending a lot of money to take this laptop home. But, make no mistake, it will be one of the smartest investments you’ll ever make.
CPU: Intel Pentium Gold 4415Y | Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 615 | RAM: 4GB â 8GB | Screen: 10-inch 1800 x 1200 touchscreen | Storage: 64GB eMMC â 128GB SSD | OS: Windows 10 Home in S mode
Impressive 10-inch display
Keyboard costs extra
While some students might want to pick up our best overall Windows laptop at the top of this article (or best all-rounder that follows it), not everyone can afford to splash out on a dearer machine. And for those with a strapped student budget, this Microsoft hybrid is a great choice for university, college or indeed school.
Essentially, this is a more affordable version of the Surface Pro, but running Windows 10 Home in S mode (although you can easily upgrade away from that). And like that Microsoft tablet, you also have to shell out for a Type Cover keyboard which is a separate (but necessary – if you want a 2-in-1 laptop) accessory.
Still, the Surface Go base model is nicely affordable even given the extra cost of the keyboard, and it’s supremely compact and portable, with an impressive screen and the ability to tackle general computing tasks with aplomb (and even run Minecraft nicely).
CPU: Intel Core i7-8750H | Graphics: Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 (Max-Q) | RAM: Up to 24GB | Screen: 15.6-inch 1920 x 1080 IPS, 144Hz | Storage: 1TB SSD â 512GB/1TB SSD | OS: Windows 10 Pro
Innovative cooling solution
Maybe you’re not in the market for a full-on workstation, but would prefer a notebook that runs Windows 10 Pro which can cut through heavyweight computing tasks, yet is actually designed to be a very capable machine for gaming? Then look no further than this Asus Zephyrus laptop.
The GX531GX comes packing an Intel Core i7-8750H six-core CPU backed with Nvidia RTX 2080 Max-Q graphics. It can also cram in up to 24GB of system RAM, yet this notebook is also nicely slim and portable – Nvidia’s Max-Q technology helps there, of course.
With all this power at your fingertips, you can tackle heavyweight computing tasks such as video editing, and relax playing the latest and greatest shooter when all the work is done. However, as is always the case when high performance meets portability, you’re going to pay a considerable asking price.
CPU: 10th generation Intel Core i5 â i7 | Graphics: Intel Iris Plus | RAM: 8GB â 16GB | Screen: 13.3-inch FHD (1,920 x 1,080) â 4k (3840 x 2160) | Storage: 256GB â 2TB SSD | OS: Windows 10 Home
Excellent battery life
The Dell XPS 13 (2020), much like its predecessors, earns a well-deserved spot among the best Windows laptops. It keeps everything we've come to love from Dell's flagship 13-incher, from the gorgeous and light design, to the powerful modern components that power it. The Dell XPS 13 now rocks 10th-generation Intel Core i5 or i7 processors and a bezel-less ‘Infinity Edge’ display, which means the Dell XPS 13 (2020) is a brilliant performer, while remaining thin and light. What’s more, there’s a wide range of customization options, so you can really make the Dell XPS 13 the best laptop for your needs.
The formidable Acer ConceptD 7 is capable of handling complex and demanding tasks such as intensive video editing and 3D design, thanks in large part to its Nvidia RTX graphics. Clearly designed specifically with creative professionals in mind, it boasts that sheer power you’ll only find in workstations and gaming laptops. Beyond that excellent performance it delivers, it also offers decent port selection, a minimalist solid white design and that stunning Pantone-validated 4K IPS display. Obviously, it’s still pretty pricey, but no professional’s tool comes cheap. If you’re looking for a Windows-powered MacBook alternative for the creative tasks, this is the best Windows laptop for you.
CPU: Up to 10th Generation Intel Core i7 | Graphics: Intel Iris Plus | RAM: Up to 16GB | Screen: 14" UHD (3840 x 2160) IPS, touchscreen, glossy, HDR 400, 500nits â 14â FHD (1920 x 1080) IPS, touchscreen, glossy, 400 nits | Storage: Up to 2TB SSD PCIe | OS: Windows 10 Home
Soundbar gave us hope
The Lenovo Yoga C940 may have its share of flaws – the battery life in this model has taken a dive, for instance, and that soundbar could have been better. However, it’s an incredibly capable addition in a long line of flagships from Lenovo, touting more powerful components inside as well as some pretty nifty features. Those features include its pen garage on the back, which charges the stylus whenever it's docked. That keyboard, which is quite comfortable, is also worth mentioning. If you’re looking for a productivity machine, this is a great contender.
Month-long delays plague 2021 MacBook Pro – and no, it's not the chip shortage
Customers waiting for their own 2021 MacBook Pro laptop have been experiencing shipping wait times of around three to four weeks. What’s odd, however, is that the cause for these delays isn’t so clear-cut.
In general, the industry-wide chip shortage has caused the most issues not only in GPU and CPU shortages but also in other computer components as well as laptop shortages. But paradoxically, Apple hasn’t suffered significantly in this regard when it comes to the 2021 MacBook Pro models, according to TrendForce.
Reports of TSMC’s increased prices for its client by three percent for 5nm orders doesn’t seem to have affected Apple’s chip orders. There were also concerns of mini-LED production issues causing delays in the 2021 MacBook Pro. But Apple solved that issue by hiring Luxshare to supply the component as well.
Most likely, the biggest factor in this near-month delay is high consumer demand for the product itself. Which, if the case, this is an issue that doesn’t seem to be easing any time soon.
Analysis: how will this affect 2022 MacBook Air production?
TSMC has reportedly ramped up 3nm chip production for the second half of this year, which means that the production of Apple’s 2022 MacBook Air launch later this year shouldn’t be affected. Apple is also planning on introducing its M3 and A17 chips in 2023, which should be on pace as well.
These huge shifts in production imply that the 2022 models will be produced at a smooth rate, and minimize any related production delays. So if there are any delays or shortages down the line, it will likely be for the most Apple of reasons: a whole lot of people want to buy their stuff.