10 Best Windows Laptops 2020
Competition abounds in every sphere of the computing world, from graphics cards to CPUs, displays to operating systems. Despite such competitive dynamics, Windows continues to reign and hold its own special place for many users. Windows laptop are plentiful and popular, and choosing the right one for your needs can make all the difference in your personal and professional life.
Today, when you head out to purchase a computer, you are likely to be faced with the million-dollar question: Windows or Mac OS? Traditionally, Mac has been popular with creative folk and art students. Animators, photographers, filmmakers, etc., lean toward the audio-visual grandeur that Mac delivers and how.
It also boasts of design superiority and has consistently committed to standing out when it comes to build and construction. Windows, on the other hand, has had a more stoic reputation. It has a business ring to it and has been the preferred choice of many students and young professionals.
However, a lot has changed in recent times. Mac has become more mainstream and aligned itself with the needs of versatile audiences. Windows, too, has embraced the latest multimedia technologies and become more adept at catering to contemporary needs such as wireless streaming and content editing. This is why choosing between the two is more complex than ever.
- Mac OS or Windows?
- Top Reasons to Purchase a Windows Laptop
- Our Picks: 10 Best Windows Laptop 2020
- 1. Dell XPS 13 9300 – Best Overall Windows Laptop
- 2. Surface Laptop 3 – Best 13 Inch Windows Laptop
- 3. ASUS Zenbook 14 UX434FLC – Best 14 Inch
- 4. Dell XPS 15 7590 – Best 15 Inch Windows 10 Laptop
- 5. LG Gram 17 17Z90N – Best 17 Inch
- 6. ASUS ROG Zephyrus M – Best Gaming
- 7. Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga Gen 5 – Best 2-in-1
- 8. Acer Aspire 5 A515-54G-53H6 – Best Budget
- 9. Acer Aspire 5 A515-43-R19L – Best Cheap
- 10. New Surface Pro 7 – Ultra Light and Portable
- Closing Note
Mac OS or Windows?
Ask a Mac loyalist or an Apple enthusiast, and they will tell you: this is simply a moot question. Mac laptops have an overwhelming edge when it comes to design, intuitive gestures, and flair for multimedia.
They are also known for being highly secure; virus attacks and data thefts are rare and less intense if they do happen. Apple tends to issue operating system updates quickly to attend to any reported malware or malfunction. However, what MacBooks also have is a hefty price tag and some limitations in terms of customization and compatibility.
Likewise, if you ask someone who has always used a Windows PC, they may talk fondly of the comfort, straightforward customization, and familiar work environment. Most commonly used applications and software for business work easily on a Windows platform, and it is easy to install things and get going.
The consensus: Both groups have massive fan followings, and the choice ultimately depends upon you. Historically, the ground rule has been to purchase a MacBook if:
- You need to perform heavy-duty multimedia work
- You have a thing for beautiful design, construction and aesthetics
- You want a vivid, bright and meticulous display
- You value exemplary customer support (Apple Stores and Apple Geniuses have a reputation for being immensely helpful and going the extra mile for customers)
- You want a secure experience free of malware and viruses
- You are willing to pay a huge premium for the above advantages
Much of the above pointers still hold water, although several Windows laptops are now competent enough at A/V work and have build qualities that are drop-dead gorgeous. On the security front too, Windows has become stronger and has provisions to protect your system from unauthorized access and data theft.
Therefore, it is best to choose based on the OS you feel more comfortable using. The specifications will matter a great deal, especially the processor, RAM support and available storage.
You should also consider the additional advantages you get, such as insurance, accident coverage and accessories. Since many users move to a newer or more advanced model in two years, it is wise to consider the entire package while making a purchase decision.
Top Reasons to Purchase a Windows Laptop
Now that we have put this in context, what are some of the driving factors for Windows-based computers? Here is a quick check-list of reasons that sway the scales toward Windows:
- Price: Typically, a Windows laptop comes in at a much lower price than a MacBook. If you are on a tight budget but value performance and design, getting a Windows PC can be a good choice. One of the cheapest Mac OS computers you can get is the MacBook Air, and it still comes in at around $1000. But sturdy and high-performing Windows laptops can be bought in the $500–$1000 range.
- Customization: If you have used a Mac PC, you know this: they can be painful to upgrade or customize unless you have access to the exact parts that Apple has manufactured. Windows laptops are far easier to tinker with and can be customized to your needs.
- Gaming: If you are looking to buy a gaming laptop, Windows is the preferred choice for many. It supports graphics cards and plenty of gaming peripherals—something that isn’t straightforward on Mac. The latter uses inbuilt graphics and simply does not support as many AAA games as Windows.
- Microsoft Office: Yes, the good old suite with applications like Word and Excel is still popular in both the academic and the professional world. If you need to use it regularly, you will find it works best on a Windows laptop. The overall experience is more stable and reliable.
- Keyboard: While opinions vary on this one, some users are less than satisfied with the butterfly-mechanism keyboard on the new line-up of MacBooks. You might prefer the keyboards on Windows laptops if you need to do a lot of typing, number crunching, data entry, etc.
- Connectivity: If you tend to connect to several peripherals such as external displays, USB devices, etc., a full array of ports is essential. Windows laptops often have inbuilt USB-A and USB-C ports, besides HDMI and SD card readers. MacBooks still have some catching up to do here, although you can now avail of USB-C ports. You will have to tow along your USB-C adapter for everything else, which can be quite a bother. Apple is keen on slimming down its laptops, which is one reason it skimps on ports and connections.
Our Picks: 10 Best Windows Laptop 2020
In this article, we have collected the ten best Windows laptops in the marketplace today, across form factors, screen sizes and budgets. The list covers offerings by brands like Acer, ASUS, Dell, HP, Lenovo and Microsoft. Most of the big names in the computing world have products that run on Windows, largely because it remains the operating system of choice for many audiences.
|Recommended Specs for Windows Laptop|
|CPU||Intel Core i7 up to 4 GHz|
|GPU||Intel or NVIDIA graphics|
|OS||Windows 10 Home|
|SSD||512GB Solid-State Drive|
|Battery Life||Up to 9 hours|
|Weight||Under 5 lbs|
You should take a pick based on your priorities such as performance, portability and display. That said, you will be getting home the familiarity and user-friendliness of Windows, infused with some of the finest technologies in computing.
1. Dell XPS 13 9300 – Best Overall Windows Laptop
This laptop is driven by a powerful Intel Core i7-1065G7 processor, 16GB RAM and a 512GB SSD.
The FHD+ display is a sight to behold, with its anti-glare panel, narrow-bezel design (screen-to-body ratio of 91.5%), 500-nits brightness and Corning Gorilla Glass protection.
Complementing the immersive screen is a competent audio system: Waves MaxxAudio Pro and 3D virtual surround sound. Note: You can also opt for a 4K Ultra HD+ display that delivers a color gamut of 100% sRGB and 90% DCI P3.
Making day-to-day life simpler is a host of connections, including Thunderbolt ports, Killer Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth and an SD card reader.
Dell also provides a backlit keyboard to enable you to work in any environment and a fingerprint reader for security in shared workplaces. At 2.65lbs and 0.58”, this computer is exceptionally light and sleek and fits into backpacks perfectly.
Bonus: A four-element-lens webcam with temporal noise reduction—perfect for business people who need excellent performance during video calls.
2. Surface Laptop 3 – Best 13 Inch Windows Laptop
It comes in glorious colors like sandstone and platinum and has an invisible hinge design for great responsiveness.
But it also offers stunning performance through an AMD Ryzen 7/Intel Core i7 CPU and long-lasting battery life (11.5 hours). You can easily use this laptop on the run, thanks to quick-charging support that lets you run up to 80% in an hour. The RAM support is 16GB, and you can choose SSD storage up to 1TB.
On the display front, you get a touchscreen with ten-point multitouch. Lightweight and compact at 2.79lbs and 0.57”, the Surface Laptop 3 also includes inbuilt USB-C ports to keep you connected. It is a great mix of familiar Windows features like OneDrive and Office 365 along with terrific add-ons like Dolby Audio.
3. ASUS Zenbook 14 UX434FLC – Best 14 Inch
It combines processing strength with a glamorous display, making it suitable for a variety of pursuits from business to creative projects.
Driving the proceedings is an Intel Core i7-10510U CPU, 16GB RAM and a 512GB SSD. The FHD display uses a narrow-bezel design to deliver a screen-to-body ratio of 92%. You also get a dedicated graphics card: NVIDIA GeForce MX250. This makes this laptop well-suited to gaming and other multimedia endeavors.
A particularly charming feature of this 2.8lbs device is its secondary display—the Screenpad 2.0—that majorly boosts your multitasking ease and productivity. You can also turn this into a numeric keypad if you wish to input numbers quickly.
It is a well-constructed laptop, adhering to the MIL-STD-810G military standard. There’s an ergonomic hinge that contributes to improved audio, more comfortable typing and efficient heat dissipation.
4. Dell XPS 15 7590 – Best 15 Inch Windows 10 Laptop
The processing strength is tremendous: an Intel Core i9-9980HK CPU, up to 64GB RAM, a 2TB SSD, and NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 graphics. But the display is no less spectacular, delivering a color gamut of 100% sRGB, a brightness of 500 nits, and an anti-glare panel. If you want to push the envelope, there’s a 4K UHD option that brings your content alive and how.
Sample the connections included with this laptop: Thunderbolt ports, HDMI, USB 3.1, and an SD card reader. The webcam deserves a special mention for its innovative four-element lens and temporal noise reduction. Plus, since the chassis is fairly light and slim at 4lbs and 0.45”–0.66”, you can travel with it without developing a body ache.
5. LG Gram 17 17Z90N – Best 17 Inch
Its biggest selling point is the superb battery that lasts for a jaw-dropping 17 hours. If you tend to travel frequently for long hours, here is your solution to getting work done on the go.
Fuelling the processing chamber is an Intel Core i7 1065G7 CPU, 16GB RAM, and a 1TB SSD. Display-wise also, things are magnificent with a WQXGA screen that has an engaging resolution of 2560 x 1600. An IPS panel keeps viewing free of distortion even from different positions.
Although this is an incredibly powerful machine, it retains a great degree of portability. The chassis is only 2.98lbs and 0.7”. Support for Thunderbolt 3 lets you connect to any peripherals you may need and enjoy rapid data transfer.
Bonus: Sound enthusiasts will delight in DTS:X Ultra that plays high-quality 3D audio.
6. ASUS ROG Zephyrus M – Best Gaming
The 15.6” ASUS ROG Zephyrus M is a hardcore gaming laptop with an Intel Core i7-9750H processor, 16GB RAM, a 1TB SSD, and NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 graphics. The screen-to-body ratio is 81%, which delivers an immersive experience. Notably, the display has a refresh rate of 240Hz and a response time of 3ms.
This translates into fantastic performance even for complex AAA games, with complete justice to special effects and transitions. Since the screen is Pantone validated, you also get amazing color accuracy.
As a gaming laptop, this ASUS ROG understands the importance of effective heat dissipation and achieves it through two 12V fans and anti-dust technology. The adjustable fan modes are especially useful, letting you modify the thermals according to the need of the situation. Note: This computer weighs 4.4lbs and is 0.8” thick.
7. Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga Gen 5 – Best 2-in-1
For those looking for a 2-in-1 laptop, the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga Gen 5 is a flexible, high-performing Intel Core i7-10810U convertible.
Built using a 360-degree hinge that supports versatile usage modes (e.g. home theater!), this laptop is immensely portable with over 18 hours of battery life. The brilliance of 4K Dolby Vision and the convenience of a rechargeable pen make for a pleasant visual- and interactive experience.
Security is a priority for this convertible, and is achieved through a physical webcam shutter and a privacy screen that lets you work securely even in shared spaces. It also uses a Trusted Platform Module for data encryption.
Build-wise too, this device is ultra-mobile at 2.99lbs and 0.59”. A combination of twelve military-grade requirements and over 200 quality checks creates a robust device that travels well. You should be able to use it comfortably on public transport as well as crowded public places.
8. Acer Aspire 5 A515-54G-53H6 – Best Budget
Driving this device is an Intel Core i5-10210U processor, 8GB RAM, and a 512GB SSD.
While the specs are lower than some others on this list, they are adequate for everyday tasks at school or work. You even get a dedicated graphics card (NVIDIA GeForce MX250) to ensure that multimedia experiences are topnotch.
On the display frontier, you have an FHD display with an IPS panel and terrific color accuracy. The latter is courtesy of the Acer Color Intelligence technology. A blue light filter helps to limit eye strain during long hours of work.
This laptop also delivers on the connectivity front with Intel Wi-Fi 6 and a long-lasting battery life of 9.5 hours. A backlit keyboard permits you to work in lowly lit environs so that you can get to work from anywhere.
9. Acer Aspire 5 A515-43-R19L – Best Cheap
It is powered by an AMD Ryzen 3 3200U processor, 4GB RAM, a 128GB SSD and Vega 3 graphics. The operating system—Windows 10 in S Mode—ensures a responsive and swift experience.
Although this is a cheap laptop, it manages to offer a decent display: an FHD screen with an IPS panel. The full screen resolution of 1920 x 1080 lets you immerse yourself in the content by keeping all the details intact.
Acer has guaranteed that you can use this computer on the go by equipping it with a backlit keyboard and up to 7.5 hours of battery life. Moreover, since it is quite light at 3.97lbs and has a thin profile measuring 0.7”, you can carry it with you comfortably.
10. New Surface Pro 7 – Ultra Light and Portable
You can use it in multiple modes like tablet and studio, adapting the device to the need of the moment. An Intel Core i7-1065G7 processor, up to 16GB RAM, and up to a 1TB SSD come together to provide exemplary speed and performance. You get up to 10.5 hours of battery life—fabulous for anyone who wants substantial unplugged usage.
The display supports touch, letting you use a Surface pen intuitively. It also offers ambient light sensing that helps to adjust the imagery to deliver an optimum viewing experience.
This is a super-light device weighing only 1.7lbs. That is, almost literally, feather-light, granting you the comfort of travel and working on the run. Responsiveness is excellent with an instant-on feature that lets you get things done pronto.
- Best 13 Inch Laptops 2020
- Best 15 Inch Laptops 2020
- Top 10 Best Laptops for Video Editing 2020
- 10 Best Laptops for College Students 2020
- 10 Best Laptops Under $500
When you purchase a Windows laptop, you have a head-start on performance vis-à-vis multitasking, speed and productivity. In the world of operating systems, Windows has long been a frontrunner.
Today, even amidst a lot of competition, it has retained a distinct space. Many users prefer Windows for the familiarity it brings to the table, while others love the cost-effectiveness. The laptops on this list bring to you the very best this OS has to deliver.
They can fit multiple lifestyles and requirements, from students looking for portable, multi functional computers to business people who need a versatile device to stay connected.
You must choose based on your considerations as one shoe will not fit all. For instance, if mobility is paramount for you, you can consider the New Surface Pro 7. But if watching your budget is the most critical lookout, then you can settle for a computer like the Acer Aspire 5 A515-43-R19L. (Note: You should also watch the screen-size here, and perhaps pick an Ultrabook if compactness is crucial to your lifestyle.)
Whichever laptop you finally choose should adapt to your daily routine, simplify day-to-day tasks and be straightforward while doing it. Just like the promise of good old Windows.