Best Windows 10 laptops for 2021
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.
If you’re currently using a computer that’s running an older version of Windows – such as XP, 7 or 8, the basic concepts of Windows remain the same, with some added polish and features. If you want a new Windows laptop, you don’t have any other choices beyond Windows 10, especially since the older versions of Windows will soon no longer be supported by Microsoft and will stop receiving essential security updates.
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.
Table updated May 2021.
Windows 10 S – The next big thing?
Windows 10 ‘S Mode’ is on its way to more laptops. “S Mode” is Microsoft’s answer to the Google Chromebook, with measures in place to prevent you from installing applications from anywhere outside the built-in Windows Store. This means that the apps available to you have, been vetted by Microsoft and, in theory, should be more secure, easier to update and more respectful of your privacy.
By its nature, the Windows Store has fewer apps than the wide open internet – and you’re currently limited to using the Microsoft Edge web browser – but the upshots are that, Microsoft claims, your PC should feel as fresh and fast after a year as it did on the day you bought it.
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.