We use cookies to allow us and selected partners to improve your experience and our advertising. By continuing to browse you consent to our use of cookies. You can understand more and change your cookies preferences here.

Technology.

9 November 2021

Best Windows 10 and 11 laptops for 2021

Windows is still the operating system that most people are familiar with, and there’s a wide variety of options available. We run through what you need to know about Windows laptops, then make some recommendations for laptops at different budgets and use cases.
Michael Passingham
Windows 10 laptops

Microsoft’s operating system is the most widely used computer software on the planet. This means there’s a huge variety of devices to choose from, ranging from budget netbooks to high-end multimedia laptops.

There are two current versions of Windows on the market right now: Windows 10 and Windows 11. This means you will find laptops that are running both Windows 10 and 11 available to buy. If you're buying a new Windows 10 laptop from a major retailer, it's likely your computer will work with Windows 11 and will be eligible for a free upgrade. But if you're buying used or refurbished, it could be that your device won't work with Windows 11. To know for sure, use our Windows 11 requirements checker tool and guide to find out whether your device will be compatible.

On this page we've only featured the best Windows laptops that either run Windows 11 from new or is likely to be able to upgrade to Windows 11.

See also: Best laptops for 2021 | Best laptops for students | Best Chromebooks to buy | Best computer monitors to buy 

How much should I spend on a Windows laptop?

  • Less than £200 – Intel Celeron or Atom processors, 2GB of Ram and 32GB of storage. Won’t be particularly fast, but fine for note taking and browsing the internet. 
  • Less than £400 – Intel Pentium, Core i3, AMD Ryzen 3 and 4GB Ram. Fast enough for web browsing and research work. Aim for a Full HD screen and an SSD if you can. 
  • Less than £600 – Intel Core i5, i7, AMD Ryzen 5, 7 and 8GB of Ram. Should be ideal for photo editing and some light video work. Look for a thin and light design, a Full HD screen and an SSD. 
  • Less than £800 – As above, but in increasingly high-end designs. Look for great battery life on premium ultrabooks More than £800 – Some stunning designs, great screens and good speakers. High-end laptops will suit more intensive tasks, such as video editing or playing games.

Only logged-in Which? members can view our recommendations in the table below. If you’re not yet a member, you can get instant access by joining Which?.

Best Windows 10 and 11 laptops

Below we've picked out some Windows 10 and 11 laptops that we think are particularly good for the money. They aren't necessarily the very best we've tested - you can see a full list of all our Windows laptops reviews - but each one we've selected below manages to excel for its given price point.

  • 83%
    £799.00

    This is the cheapest laptop we've tested to score this well in our tests. Its excellent screen, fast processor, good speakers and versatile 2-in-1 design, plus its included stylus, make it a brilliant laptop for just about anybody.

    Sign up to reveal

    Digital first month only £3.99, then £7.99 p/m, cancel any time

    Already a member?Log in
  • 81%
    £699.00

    For the money, there are very few laptops as good as this one. It’s fast, has a good screen and battery life is well above average. It’s a brilliant Best Buy.

    Sign up to reveal

    Digital first month only £3.99, then £7.99 p/m, cancel any time

    Already a member?Log in
  • 81%
    £779.00

    This laptop delivers fast performance, a great screen and excellent speakers, all for under a grand and is well worth adding to your shortlist.

    Sign up to reveal

    Digital first month only £3.99, then £7.99 p/m, cancel any time

    Already a member?Log in
  • 71%
    £541.32

    This mid-range laptop delivers fast performance in a very compact and lightweight shell. That should make it ideal for anyone who needs a laptop for taking out and about.

    Sign up to reveal

    Digital first month only £3.99, then £7.99 p/m, cancel any time

    Already a member?Log in
  • 71%
    £399.00

    This laptop comes in at well under £500 but has some really useful features not often found on laptops this cheap. It includes a fingerprint reader, a Full HD screen and a half decent processor, along with excellent battery life.

    Sign up to reveal

    Digital first month only £3.99, then £7.99 p/m, cancel any time

    Already a member?Log in

Table updated November 2021.

Now compare all tested models with our independently lab tested laptop reviews.

We test laptops more thoroughly than anyone else

Because Which? is independent and does not accept advertising or freebies, you can trust our reviews to give you the full, honest and impartial truth about a product.

 

We use a vast combination of objective and subjective examinations to ensure that the laptops we recommend truly are the best. As well as using light-monitoring equipment to evaluate screen quality, for example, we also have a panel of experts to see how each laptop's screen looks in various environments, and whether it suffers from distracting reflections.

From battery life to the sound you'll get from the speakers, we test every nook and cranny. Find out which machines flew through our in-depth tests by discovering all our Best Buy laptops.