The best Windows laptops 2020 has to offer are, without a doubt, among the most powerful computers out there. And, some of these Windows-powered laptops are also giving MacBooks a good run for its money in terms of portability and design, making it easy for many Apple fans to make the switch.
So, the question now is, which Windows laptop do you pick? When you think about the number of laptop manufacturers out there that build notebooks that run on Windows – not to mention the number of models each of them make – there’s still a rather bewildering array of options out there. And, picking the right one for your needs can be overwhelming.
Don’t panic. You’re come to the right place, as we’ve handpicked the best Windows laptops 2020 has to offer, and put them on this list for you, narrowing down your choices. What’s more is that we’ve tested and reviewed every single one, so you know that whichever one you pick comes with our seal of approval. From the top overall model through to the notebook which represents the best value, making many more stops in-between, these are our top picks for the best laptops that run Windows 10.
Not sold on Windows yet? Check out our best laptop 2020 guide for more choices.
- Check out 4 of the coolest laptops we saw at the recent IFA show
The best Windows laptops at a glance
- Dell XPS 13
- Huawei MateBook 13
- Alienware Area-51m
- HP Spectre x360 15T (2019)
- Microsoft Surface Go
- Asus ROG Zephyrus S GX531GX
- Acer Swift 3
- Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon
- HP ProBook x360 11 G1 EE Notebook PC
- Lenovo Yoga C630
Dell’s XPS 13 is the current reigning champion of our best laptops list, so unsurprisingly it also sits at the top of our best Windows laptops. This is a top-class portable with a quality, lightweight build, backed up by suitably powerful components. The XPS 13 also boasts an incredible touchscreen display which is vivid and bright, and particularly impressive with the (optional) jaw-dropping 4K panel.
While the very latest iteration of this notebook didn’t make any massive changes, it implemented a very worthwhile design tweak in terms of repositioning the webcam which is now back at the top (and center) of the display. Battery life is also considerably improved compared to the predecessor XPS 13.
This is quite simply a fantastic machine which can cope with anything you throw at it in terms of general computing tasks, although of course performance will be limited for gaming, given that it runs with integrated graphics (in the quest to keep that svelteness and ultimate portability).
Read the full review: Dell XPS 13
If you need a Windows laptop which balances everything nicely – meaning it’s capable of tackling computing tasks and some gaming, while still maintaining a good level of value-for-money – then check out this Huawei offering.
The MateBook 13 gives you an impressive amount of power for the asking price. It’s a beast in terms of everyday computing tasks, and the laptop can cope with some light gaming thanks to its discrete GPU (although bear in mind that Nvidia’s MX150 won’t manage any remotely demanding gaming – if that’s your goal, see our next entry).
On the downside, connectivity is a touch limited (with no Thunderbolt 3 capable USB-C ports), and there have been concerns over the US government’s blacklisting of Huawei products. However, in terms of the latter, Microsoft and Intel have confirmed they will continue to support the Chinese manufacturer’s notebooks, and deliver Windows 10 updates in Microsoft’s case. Although some folks may still feel a little uneasy about Huawei tech given all this US ban controversy.
Read the full review: Huawei MateBook 13
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.
Read the full review: Alienware Area-51m
This powerhouse 2-in-1 with a sleek design truly impressed us when it came to review time. HP’s Spectre x360 benefits from a gorgeous display, and the thought and attention to detail that’s gone into putting this hybrid together really stands out.
Not only is it flexible in terms of being a 2-in-1, but with a GTX 1650 graphics card (in the very latest version, with now runs with a 9th-gen Intel hexa-core CPU), this machine is also versatile in being able to cope not just with computing, but some gaming, running many contemporary titles at a solid enough frame-rate (provided the details are turned down somewhat).
Furthermore, the x360 is suitable for creative types as well, as this hybrid is HP Pen compatible so you can use the likes of Photoshop in tablet mode with the stylus. There are some neat extra features here, too, like a webcam kill switch, although be warned, this is another notebook that doesn’t come particularly cheap.
Read the full review: HP Spectre x360 15T (2019)
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).
Read the full review: Microsoft Surface Go
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.
Read the full review: Asus ROG Zephyrus S GX531GX
A budget Ultrabook might seem like an odd concept: after all, thin-and-light laptops usually veer towards the expensive, but not in this case. In the Swift 3, Acer has produced an excellent machine which boasts a top-notch price/performance ratio. In other words, you get more than what you pay for here – considerably more.
This laptop can be had in several different configurations. The one we’ve highlighted here has a new AMD 3rd-gen processor – the Ryzen 3 3200U – alongside a 14-inch Full HD display, plus a healthy dollop of speedy storage in the form of a 256GB SSD. Other models run with Intel processors, such as the Core i3-8145U.
Whether you go the AMD or Intel route, this machine is definitely worth considering if you’re after a serious bargain without compromising performance or portability.
Read the full review: Acer Swift 3
Those hunting for the best Windows laptop which is perfect for business usage or maximizing productivity should check out Lenovo’s ThinkPad X1 Carbon, a tidily sleek and portable Ultrabook that naturally enough runs Windows 10 Pro.
It boasts plenty of power with up to an 8th-gen Intel Core i7 vPro CPU and 16GB of system RAM, and equally importantly, it can really last on the road with a battery longevity of a (claimed) up to 18 hours (and a rapid charge mode to replenish that power pack to 80% inside an hour, which is no mean feat).
You also get some neat extras like a privacy cover (ThinkShutter) for the webcam, but as you might expect for a quality business machine, the X1 Carbon doesn’t come particularly cheap.
Full-on rugged laptops built for business use out in the field cost a fortune, but you can get a pretty tough notebook that can take some punishment without having to fork out a colossal sum of cash.
HP’s ProBook x360 11 is aimed at education use and younger (perhaps more careless) students who might drop or otherwise mistreat their machine. This portable PC has been manufactured to pass muster to the MIL-STD 810G1 standard, having an industrial rubberized body and a spill-resistant keyboard.
You get a decent level of performance for your money, and this convertible laptop (with a 360-degree hinge) also benefits from a touchscreen fashioned with Corning Gorilla Glass 4 for toughness. If you want a ‘tough-enough’ laptop without being forced to pay through the nose, this is a good bet.
Windows on Snapdragon notebooks (driven by Qualcomm CPUs, as opposed to the usual AMD or Intel processors) didn’t get off to a great start, with the initial crop of launch products being rather thin on the ground, and more problematically, pretty paper-thin in terms of their performance levels, too.
That changed with the Lenovo Yoga C630, though, with its Snapdragon 850 engine offering solid performance levels for everyday computing, all with the amazing battery life (almost 24 hours) you can expect from these Qualcomm-powered laptops. Constant 4G connectivity is another selling point with these ‘always connected’ machines, of course.
Downsides are that the Yoga runs Windows 10 in S mode by default (although that’s easily changed), and while it’s nicely priced in the US, the recommended price tag in the UK is disappointingly lofty in comparison.
Read the full review: Lenovo Yoga C630
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