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Best Windows laptop 2022: Top Windows machines money can buy

Windows is the most popular operating system in the world, but with so many different options available, it’s difficult to determine the best Windows laptop out there

This is where we’ve decided to step in. Our team of experts test countless Windows laptops every year, and from our extensive testing and reviews, we’ve compiled this list of the very best.

With all these Windows candidates, we’ve made sure to focus on the features that matter the most when buying a laptop. These range from how well built a laptop is built to the vibrancy of the display, alongside other points such as whether the specs are up to scratch and how long the battery will last. 

To get these real-world results, our team of experts uses each laptop as their main device for at least a week, utilising both real-world experience and a series of industry-standard benchmarks and specialist equipment such as colorimeters to gain accurate and comparable results.

There’s no need to agonize over any incremental point differences if you’re taking benchmark results into your buying decisions, but it could still be useful to see which CPUs and GPUs perform the best from each manufacturer, be it AMD, Intel, Qualcomm or otherwise

We’ve decided to recommend our favourite Windows laptop from each screen size variation, so whether you want a dinky 12-inch portable or a massive 16-inch laptop to improve your multi-tasking workflow, we’ve got you covered.

If you can’t find a Windows laptop you like at the moment, we’d recommend bookmarking this list as we’ll be updating it frequently as more of them pass through the Trusted Labs. It’s also worth checking out our Best LaptopBest UltrabookBest Student Laptop and Best Budget Laptop pages for a more general look.

How we test

Learn more about how we test laptops

Every laptop we review goes through a series of uniform checks designed to gauge key things including build quality, performance, screen quality and battery life. 

These include formal synthetic benchmarks and scripted tests, plus a series of real world checks, such as how well it runs the most frequently used apps. 

We also make sure to use every laptop we review as our primary device for at least a week to ensure our review is as accurate as possible.

Surface Laptop Go

Best 12-inch Windows laptop
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Pros

  • Incredible value
  • Small and classy design
  • Excellent performance
  • Comfortable keyboard

Cons

  • Low-resolution display
  • No keyboard backlight
  • No fingerprint scanner on base configuration

Microsoft’s Surface Laptop Go remains a particular favourite budget laptop for us, and given its nature as a marvellously compact all-rounder, makes it onto this list as one of the best Windows laptops, too.

It’s powered by a 10th-gen Intel Core i5 processor, which may be a couple of generations old at this point, but we still found it offered a great performance that breezed through basic productivity tasks without a hitch, such as typing up work while having a load of browser tabs open at the same time. For software, the Surface Laptop Go boots up in Windows 10S mode, which is more of a locked down form of Windows, although you can get a free upgrade to proper Windows 10, which we’d thoroughly recommend taking advantage of.

The Surface Laptop Go is also a remarkably light laptop, with it tipping the scales at just over a kilo. We found this lightweight build to make it a wonderfully portable option and should make it a fantastic choice for those who are always out and about, such as students. This is also quite a durable feeling laptop, given it’s comprised of a blend of plastic and aluminium on the top cover and keyboard cover, as well as of a generally hard-wearing polycarbonate over the rest of the frame.

The battery life on offer here is pretty decent, with the Surface Laptop Go lasting for 8 and three-quarter hours in our PC Mark 10 office benchmark test. This puts it on par with other Windows laptops of this price.

With the Surface Laptop Go, the only major downside is its lower resolution display. It is a smaller 12-inch panel, but falls some way short of being Full HD with a resolution of 1536 x 1024. During testing, this lower res did mean that pixels and the gaps between them were quite noticeable, although the impressive contrast and brightness of this panel did make up for things somewhat.

There is a new Surface Laptop Go 2 coming out soon, which we haven’t had our hands on just yet, but the original is still a great choice.

Reviewer: Ryan Jones
Full review: Surface Laptop Go review

Asus Zenbook S 13 OLED

Best 13-inch Windows laptop
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Pros

  • Excellent performance, even for gaming
  • Dazzling OLED screen
  • Remarkably thin and light
  • Great battery life

Cons

  • Poor port offering
  • Can run hot and loud under strain

The Asus Zenbook S 13 OLED is a true powerhouse of a laptop, not only great option for office-based productivity tasks, but also for the likes of video editing, too.

Inside, you’ll find it features one of AMD’s all-new Ryzen 6000 laptop processors that we found during testing to offer a super-speedy performance that was pushing Apple’s M1 chip with its benchmark scores. This meant it was superb at casual browsing as well as even more intense tasks such as video and photo editing.

Alongside some rather beefy internals, we found this Asus laptop’s display to be sublime. As an OLED panel, it offered up sone truly vibrant colours and unparalleled black levels, which made it especially fantastic for watching videos. Colour space coverage also proved to be incredible, ensuring that the Zenbook 13 S OLED’s display is one of the best for creatives.

In addition, the battery life proved to be some of the best we’ve seen, with this laptop lasting for 13 and a half hours or so with our PC Mark 10 Modern Office benchmark test.

It might be argued that the design of this beast of an ultrabook is a little plain, with a nondescript metal deck that could suggest it’s a little cheaper feeling than other ultrabooks out there. With that being said, the Zenbook S 13 OLED is slimmer than other 13-inch laptops such as the Dell XPS 13 OLED (2021) at just 14.9mm thick.

While this makes it looks ultra modern, it has the unwanted effect of meaning this laptop has very little in the way of ports – there’s only three USB-C connections and a headphone jack. Anything larger doesn’t seem to be present, and for those, you’ll need to plug in dongles.

Reviewer: Ryan Jones
Full review: Asus Zenbook S 13 OLED review

Huawei MateBook 14s

Best 14-inch Windows laptop
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Pros

  • Beautiful display with great resolution
  • Lightweight and very portable
  • High-quality keyboard
  • Webcam issues from the MateBook 16 has been fixed

Cons

  • Sometimes goes to sleep when unplugged
  • Fan can get a little noisy
  • No option for a discrete GPU

The Huawei MateBook 14s is a fantastic Windows laptop for those looking for an ultra-portable device.

A weight of 1.43kg makes this relatively light for a 14-inch laptop, although we found its metal build and general heft to make this a sturdy choice. We found the keyboard to be tactile and offer good feedback, while the trackpad was roomy and responsive. Port selection here isn’t too bad with a selection of Thunderbolt-capable USB-C connections, as well as an HDMI and headphone jack.

The display here is also excellent with the MateBook 14s’ panel looking vibrant and bright, with the resolution clocking in at 2520×1680. The 90% screen to body ratio also meant you get a lot of screen real estate with some small bezels that we found to look especially good. Moreover, the 14-inch screen size proved perfect for productivity, although its sub-par Adobe RGB and DCI-P3 colour coverage means this isn’t the best laptop to be used for the likes of professional video editing.

The Intel Core i7-11730H processor offered a speedy performance in our benchmark tests and in the real world too. SSD read and write speeds also proved to be snappy, meaning this laptop should be able to load and saves files incredibly quickly, and we also found it to boot up in an instant too.

The only real disappointing thing with the MateBook 14s is its battery life, although we must stress that it’s perfectly serviceable. In testing, it lasted just over 9 hours, which means you’ll be able to get through a working day with juice to spare, and will survive those days where you forget to bring in a charger. 

Reviewer: Gemma Ryles
Full review: Huawei MateBook 14s review

Dell XPS 15 (2021)

Best 15-inch Windows laptop
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Pros

  • Sleek, sturdy and impressive design
  • Lots of processing power
  • High-quality keyboard
  • Vivid, bright and high-resolution display

Cons

  • Some colour accuracy issues
  • Middling battery life
  • Some missing ports
  • Underwhelming graphics core

The XPS laptops have always been some of the most stylish Windows laptops money can buy, and the Dell XPS 15 looks to continue that trend with a sleek carbon-fibre and aluminium casing.

A weight of 1.8kg makes this a heavier laptop, but given its supremely thin chassis at just 18mm thick, we found it to feel fantastic. The thin chassis may look good, but it comes with the disadvantage of losing out on any full-size ports such as HDMI, USB-A or Ethernet. To make up for this somewhat, the XPS 15 comes with Thunderbolt 4 and an SD card reader.

You get a 15.6-inch panel here, which is on the larger side, with a 16:10 aspect ratio so you can take advantage of slightly more vertical space. Even as an LCD panel, this display features fantastic contrast and almost OLED-type black levels, and also turned out to be one of the most colour-accurate panels we’ve tested.

The Dell XPS 15 also packs a powerful Intel Core i7-11800H processor that blitzed through general productivity tasks in testing. As an H-series processor, it’s specifically designed for more intense workloads such as video or photo editing. It also comes with 32GB of RAM, and the addition of an Nvidia RTX 3050 Ti GPU.

The battery life of the XPS 15 is pretty decent for a laptop this powerful. In testing, we found it to last for an average of 10 hours. This means you should be able to outlast a working day comfortably with some capacity to spare.

ReviewerMike Jennings
Full reviewDell XPS 15 (2021) review

LG Gram 16 (2021)

Best 16-inch Windows laptop
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Pros

  • Incredibly light design
  • Big and detailed display
  • Speedy productivity performance
  • Generous port selection

Cons

  • Questionable build quality
  • Glossy screen
  • Not as powerful as rivals

Generally speaking, the larger the screen the heavier the laptop, but the LG Gram 16 does away with this rule by fitting a 16-inch screen on a laptop with a 1.2kg frame. For reference, that’s only 100g more than the Microsoft Surface Laptop Go we’ve listed above, and that has a 12-inch screen. This LG laptop is so lightweight that it actually holds a Guinness World Record for being the lightest commercially available 16-inch laptop. However, its magnesium-alloy construction does have some flex under pressure, but that’s the price for such a lightweight laptop.

That massive 16-inch panel, that comes with a high 2560×1500 resolution. We found this to offer incredibly sharp images, especially compared to a more standard Full HD screen. With 333 nits of measured brightness, this is also quite a vibrant panel and offered good contrast, too.

The inclusion of the Intel Core i7-1165G7 processor should mean the LG Gram 16 is reasonably powerful, although in testing, we found it to lag behind some of the competition that comes with exactly the same chipset. It’s still perfectly serviceable for productivity tasks, but just note that the lighter nature of this laptop means its cooling isn’t as up to scratch as heavier laptops that will, in the long run, give you better performance.

The battery life on offer is absolutely incredible, as we found the Gram to last for just over 15 hours during our benchmarks, which puts this premium laptop above a lot of other candidates.

Reviewer: Ryan Jones
Full review: LG Gram 16 (2021) review

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FAQs

Which Windows laptop brand is best?

There isn’t really one particular brand that is the ‘best’ as each company produces such a great range of different laptops. Dell’s XPS range has been highly rated in recent years, but laptops from Acer, Asus, Lenovo, Microsoft, Samsung and plenty more have also achieved great scores.

How much RAM is enough?

We’d suggest aiming for around 8GB of RAM if you just want a laptop capable of speeding through basic productivity tasks. If you want to edit video or play games, then it may be worth opting for at least 16GB of RAM instead.

Which is the fastest Windows laptop?

The Intel Core i9-12950HX is currently on the most powerful processors in a laptop. You’ll typically only find this processor in gaming laptops such as the ROG Strix Scar 17 SE. Of course, upgrading your RAM and GPU can also have a big impact on a laptop’s performance.

Trusted Reviews test data

Horizon Zero Dawn frame rate (Full HD)
Dirt Rally (Full HD)
Borderlands 3 frame rate (Full HD)
PCMark Battery (office)
Brightness
CrystalMarkDisk Write Speed
CrystalDiskMark Read speed
3DMark Time Spy
Geekbench 5 multi core
Geekbench 5 single core
Contrast
Black level
White Visual Colour Temperature
sRGB
Adobe RGB
DCI-P3
Battery Life
PCMark Battery (gaming)
PCMark 10

Comparison specs

UK RRP
USA RRP
EU RRP
CA RRP
AUD RRP
CPU
Manufacturer
Screen Size
Storage Capacity
Front Camera
Battery
Battery Hours
Size (Dimensions)
Weight
ASIN
Operating System
Release Date
First Reviewed Date
Model Number
Model Variants
Resolution
HDR
Refresh Rate
Ports
Audio (Power output)
GPU
RAM
Connectivity
Colours
Display Technology
Screen Technology
Touch Screen
Convertible?

Why trust our journalism?

Founded in 2004, Trusted Reviews exists to give our readers thorough, unbiased and independent advice on what to buy.

Today, we have millions of users a month from around the world, and assess more than 1,000 products a year.

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