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Technology.

5 October 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: See all our best laptops | Best laptops for students | Best Chromebooks to buy | The 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.

Find out more about the best laptop and what to look for in our laptop buying guide.

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 laptops

  • 86%
    £1469.00

    This is one of the very best large laptops we've tested. It isn't cheap, but it justifies its price with excellent build quality, fast performance, a great screen and excellent speakers. Even the battery life is good, which is rare on a large laptop.

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  • 85%
    £999.00

    This absolute cracker of a Windows laptop sets the standard for devices running on Microsoft's software. Its excellent screen, lovely speakers and fast performance mean it ticks practically every box you can imagine, and starts from under a grand.

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  • 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.

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  • 83%
    £966.90

    This 2-in-1 Windows 10 laptop can take it to the very best conventional machines. It's light, thin and fast and has a great screen, although the speakers leave a lot to be desired.

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  • 81%
    £1499.00

    This is one of the most desirable Windows laptops around thanks to its premium build quality, powerful processor and great screen. It rivals the likes of the MacBook Pro for performance, too. If you’re after a laptop for work and games, this could be a great choice if you pick a model with the upgraded graphics card. Read our full review to find out whether this is the right laptop for you.

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  • 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.

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  • 81%
    £1029.00

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

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  • 81%
    £749.99

    This Best Buy laptop delivers in all the areas that count – performance, usability and battery life – and all at an affordable price. It’s a great choice if you’re looking for a PC that you can use both at home and away. The only real weakness here is a cheap-feeling keyboard.

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  • 76%
    £1199.00

    This is a fantastic 2-in-1 laptop, with a great screen, stylish design and good battery life. Oh, and its really fast as well, and light enough to carry around with you all day. Our only complaint is that the privacy filter over the screen means its viewing angles are very narrow.

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  • 76%
    £1399.00

    This is a fast, thin and light laptop at a great price. It might not match the likes of the Surface Laptop for all-round quality but its speed and battery life are impressive.

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  • 71%
    £509.00

    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.

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  • 70%
    £400.00

    If you’re looking for a laptop for less than £400, look no further than this one. It has a thin and lightweight design, a Full HD screen and performance that’s good enough for all your daily computing tasks. Read our full review for the verdict on this budget machine.

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Table updated October 2021.

Looking for our full reviews? Click to jump straight to our independent 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.