I’ve been computing for many years, and I’ve been through many operating systems. I began with Windows 95. Ooh wee, I still get nostalgia from Windows 95/98 loading screens. That sliding bar at the bottom… It took ages until I progressed up to XP (where I stayed for ages), then Windows 7, and tolerated versions that weren’t so good like 8. I swear, it seems Microsoft intentionally screws up every second OS release.
In the summer of 2015, Microsoft decided to release their latest version of their Windows operating system, Windows 10. As a result, systems have been upgraded around the world and now may consumers like you are wondering, “Which is the best windows 10 laptop?”
The Windows 10 system is fairly stable, has some great innovations, and is clearly designed to be great for people who want an entertaining computing experience. In a smaller form factored laptop, some of the built-in features start to really shine, like the Cortana electronic assistant and intuitive controls for touchscreen machines. Honestly, the mobile experience is well-executed on Windows 10, but many people still ask me, “could you recommend me a good laptop for windows 10?”
To help you arrive at a decision, I’ve picked out 6 well-balanced laptops that are built for Windows 10 era. But first, if you’re switching to Windows 10, it’s important for you to know what makes Windows 10 for laptops a bit different than other Windows releases.
What makes Windows 10 special
Windows 10 Laptops vs. Chromebooks
Laptop Mag has a great write up that helps you decide which to purchase – a good windows 10 laptop or a browsing-friendly Chromebook. Chromebooks tend to be lighter on functionality, so I personally prefer the beefier performance of a dedicated Windows 10 laptop. But I’m hanging on for a few new 14″ Chromebooks releases to have a laptop that is purely focused on battery life and working on the go.
Laptops with Windows 10 are closer to Chromebooks than older notebooks. Windows 10 runs pretty well on weaker machines (budget laptops). At the same time, it has good battery management
and just like Google, it tracks ev. Khm.
Welcome back, Start Menu
Way back in Windows 95, which served as one of the biggest paradigm shifts for the series, Microsoft introduced its iconic Start Menu. Since then, Windows has favored the Start Menu in its operating system so that you have a hub to start from. Unfortunately, in the much-maligned Windows 8, Microsoft decided to drop the Start Menu in favor of their Metro Tiles interface system. This was a controversial decision, and while I did like the user experience, it definitely didn’t feel like Windows.
When the Windows 10 was announced, one of the best pieces of news was the return of that iconic Start Menu. While this version of the menu incorporated some of the Metro Tile functionality, it was clear that the Start Menu was back again. On a laptop, I find this to be very easy to interface with, especially with a touchscreen machine.
This new Start Menu has a great overall user experience; it simply feels seamless in its execution. For example, when I need to quickly see the weather, all I have to do is hit the Windows key. Additionally, when that key is pressed, you’ll see your most used programs as well as the apps that were most recently used, which I use all the time when I need to quickly open Word for my writing or Chrome for my browsing. Remember, using a laptop is best when the process is simplified, and Windows 10 has this functionality in spades.
Cortana is Here For You
Any gamer that is worth his or her salt is familiar with Halo; the game on Xbox that is one of the most popular franchises around. One of my favourite characters from the game series is the artificial intelligence Cortana. Microsoft, the chief publisher of the Halo series, made the decision to include a version of the character on the taskbar of their Windows 10 PCs.
This version of Cortana is a digital assistant that’s somewhat like Siri and Google Now and is accessible (once you set her up) through the phrase, “hey Cortana.” Through Cortana, you can quickly execute Bing searches, open applications, and find out the weather. This is even more useful when you have a laptop that is convertible, as it makes it easy to perform tasks by using your voice.
Xbox Application Support
If you’re like me and like a game from time to time, one of the most impressive features of Windows 10 is its ability to seamlessly interact with the Xbox One. With this, you’ll be able to stream games on your laptop through a home network. This is particularly useful when you’re traveling and want to play a friend’s Xbox catalog on your laptop. You even can get better performance on your laptop due to DirectX 12 support.
If your device is a hybrid 2-in-1 touchscreen laptop, then it’s nice to have Microsoft’s Continuum feature. This feature allows you to effortlessly switch between tablet and computing mode. For example, when you are working on a document, you’ll have your mouse plugged in and maybe even an auxiliary keyboard. When you want to switch to tablet mode, a pop-up will appear that will ask you if you want to switch. If so, then the controls will become more touch-friendly.
If you are looking for a Windows 10 laptop that is good for quickly doing some work, playing a few older games, or browsing, then the ASUS VivoBook X500SA is a pretty good low-powered option. There’s one trend in modern laptops that I think actually takes away from the overall experience; many manufacturers are skipping out on including optical drives. This product, on the other hand, has a CD/DVD reader so that you can still access the software that still is available on these mediums. This is also a great laptop for those who are on a budget. This is because it only costs a little more than $260.
It’s really rare to find a touchscreen laptop PC that is less than $500, but HP managed to release one that even has some convertible functionality for those who want to use it as a tablet. This particular machine has some decent performance, but don’t expect to be gaming on it; it has a crisp IPS panel, but these types of monitors have a tendency to cause blurriness when you play games with high native refresh rates.
Its dual-core processor isn’t the strongest processor, but you can definitely get some work done on it, and you can even use this device as a limited video editing laptop. Since it’s a convertible with a vivid IPS display, I can see this laptop being great for making or displaying art. For those who live and breathe connectivity, this laptop even has support for 4G LTE – just talk to your cell provider.
The Surface Pro series of notebooks has been some of the more successful hardware offerings from the folks at Microsoft. Originally, this version of the Pro came with Windows 8.1, but since the release of Windows 10, which has better touch functionality, this device now has the latest version of the Windows OS. This product comes with a kickstand and pens so that you can use it to take notes, doodle, or edit with ease.
Its processor power is an i5-4300U, which is relatively powerful, especially considering the lowish $650 price tag. I think this really is a great option for someone who wants a very portable laptop that has good overall performance, but if you expect a blazing fast SSD, the one included with this product is a bit slower than many that you find on the market.
This model is another convertible laptop for those who want to have a broader computing experience. I personally like these types of devices because they let you enjoy some versatile overall usage. The Flex 4 can have a standard clamshell-type of laptop configuration, or you can fold the keyboard backwards to create a stand. You can even lay the whole thing flat if you’d like to still have access to the keyboard but want more tablet-like functionality.
Like the Surface Pro, this device comes with an i5 Intel processor, this time the 7200u, which isn’t exactly a workhorse but definitely will get the job done. Like all of the previous devices, this one has an Intel graphics card, so don’t expect to be playing any top-of-the-line games on the Flex 4. I really like the presence of a fingerprint reader for this laptop; it provides an extra layer of security for your files.
Borderless laptops are becoming more popular because they add screen real estate to the machine. This Dell product has a lot of great advantages in the looks department. Additionally, the display is made of Corning’s Gorilla Glass, which is a tough screen that resists scratches and cracks. For late night or work in limited light, the keyboard is also backlit so that you can see what you’ll be typing.
Like many of the more recent laptops, this device doesn’t include an optical drive, so if you play a lot of Blu-Rays or DVDs, you might have to purchase an external device. This device also has the same i5 7200u line of processors that can be found in the Flex 4.
You may notice that this is one of the most expensive products on our list. That’s because this is also one of the most powerful. The Surface Pro 4 has a lot of solid functionality because it has an i7 processor in its body, which is the more premium CPU series from Intel. Its PixelSense screen is also fairly vivid, which in my mind makes this a great product for those who want to do design or art. Add to this the presence of a dedicated stylus and this is definitely a Windows 10 laptop that can help you express your creativity.
Some users don’t like the keyboard/screen cover design of the Surface series, but it is a fairly convenient addition to the overall product; just don’t expect a large amount of action on the keys.
Wrapping It Up
Windows 10 is a great operating system for those who want to have a higher performing machine than is available from a simple netbook. Also, there’s a wide variety of devices to choose from, which is why I crafted this guide to help you find the best laptop for windows 10 for your needs. Each product fulfills a specific need, so if you need a notebook that’s barebones or one that has a more well-rounded level of performance, there are products for you in this guide. Why not leave a comment with what you are looking for in a Windows 10 laptop? I’ll get back to you so that you can find your best possible machine.