With so many touch screen laptops on the market, finding one that fits your needs and budget can be an overwhelming process. Although touch screen laptops are a narrower subset of the larger market, there is still significant variation amongst top models in their computing power, storage capacity, and design. The pressure to take each of these factors into careful consideration is compounded by the high price of touch screen laptops.
The risks of buying a laptop that doesn’t meet your needs or overspending to compensate for a lack of desire to do the necessary research are too great. There’s nothing worse than making a big investment only to discover that it isn’t the right fit, possibly after the return period has closed. This guide gives you all the knowledge you need to make a well-informed purchase while learning the specifics of the best touch screen laptops for any user at any budget.
— Best Overall: Dell XPS 15
— Best Budget: Microsoft Surface Laptop Go 2
— Best High Performance: Razer Blade Pro 17
— Best 2-in-1: HP Spectre x360 2-in-1
— Best for Students: Microsoft Surface Pro 7+
— Best for Business: Lenovo Yoga 7i 2-in-1 Laptop
How We Picked the Best Touch Screen Laptops
We conducted a thorough investigation into the touch screen laptop market, and relied on our extensive hands-on testing experience in the category to develop a nuanced understanding of what makes a high quality touch screen laptop at all stages of the process, from manufacturing and materials to design and end-use software compatibility. Our team of experts recently reviewed the best laptops on the market, and our research on the best touchscreen laptops used our previous findings as a point of departure.
I personally spent dozens of hours hands-on testing the Microsoft Surface Laptop Go 2. I was able to directly compare it to my Apple iPad Pro, which I have set up as a laptop with the Apple Magic Keyboard for Ipad Pro. I used both for work and entertainment, and used my takeaways to guide further research into the other models we considered. For all of our final recommendations, we consulted dozens of verified customer reviews, and made sure that each one exceeded expectations in achieving its stated purpose and presented a favorable performance-to-price ratio.
Best Touch Screen Laptops: Reviews and Recommendations
Best Overall: Dell XPS 15
Why It Made The Cut: The Dell XPS 15 is a powerful PC with a level of useability and performance that makes it a great alternative to the mighty MacBook.
— Screen Size: 15.6 inches
— RAM: 32 GB
— Weight: 4.31 pounds
— Processor: Intel Core i7
— Superb OLED screen
— Slim, lightweight design
— Crisp, clear onboard speakers
— Premium build quality and hands-on feel
— Includes ethernet and USB-A adaptor in box
— No regular USB ports
The Dell XPS 15 is a premium portable device with the price tag to match. The XPS 15 represents a collection of tried-and-true Dell features that you can rely on to get the job done in a variety of scenarios, whether you’re a gamer or regular everyday user. This touch screen laptop packs a big punch into a small package, which is why it’s the favorite of many creative and business-oriented users alike. In fact, the Dell XPS 15 offers a better gaming platform than almost any comparative Apple laptop, which gives the Dell a major advantage over one of its fiercest non-touch competitors. Another area where the XPS 15 stands out in comparison to the rest is the fact that you can load it up with up to 2 TB of internal storage as well and up to 64 GB of RAM. Stats like that show that this touch screen laptop means business. Plus, the unique infinity-edge display design makes it a pleasure to use with your fingers.
Best Budget: Microsoft Surface Laptop Go 2
Why It Made The Cut: The Microsoft Surface Laptop Go 2 is one of the last truly compact, do-it-all for a low-price laptops on the market that’s worth buying.
— Screen Size: 12.4 inches
— RAM: 4 GB standard
— Weight: 2.48 pounds
— Processor: Intel Core i5
— Lightweight, yet high quality design
— Lots of connectivity ports
— Long 13.5-hour battery life
— Poor keyboard rebound
— Limited RAM capacity
I spent days testing the Microsoft Surface Laptop Go 2 in a variety of environments, and was thoroughly impressed with how well it performed considering its comparatively low price. I used the Go 2 for standard everyday tasks, such as watching the news in the morning or online shopping, as well as more demanding work-related tasks, such as writing, research, and editing. In all cases I found the Go 2 to surpass my expectations. I was particularly impressed with how it fared when I was using it for work. Although I wasn’t overloading it, I was pleasantly surprised with how tactile and accurate the trackpad was and more importantly, how smoothly the Go 2 managed to rapidly navigate between countless tabs and Word documents. The 3:2 aspect ratio screen was excellent for writing, as the increased height allowed me to see more of the page on the single screen. However, I didn’t love the keyboard. In fact, the keyboard was the only area on the laptop that betrays how affordable it really is — the keys feel plasticy and cheap. Overall, I appreciated the portability and ease of use of the Go 2 for my everyday use. However, considering its relatively low performance stats, the Surface Go 2 isn’t great for much more than light use. For more options, check our roundup of the best laptops under $500.
Best High Performance: Razer Blade Pro 17
Why It Made the Cut: The Razer Blade Pro 17 packs professional desktop performance into a well-designed, portable laptop body.
— Screen Size: 17 inches
— RAM: 32 GB standard
— Weight: 6.06 pounds
— Processor: Intel Core i7
— Incredible selection of ports
— Built-in high fidelity sound for gaming and entertainment
— Rapid 280W (watt) charging
— Rapid refresh rate is ideal for gaming
— Quite expensive
— Large and heavy for a laptop
You wouldn’t be blamed for mistaking the Razer Blade Pro 17 for an older laptop at first glance. But don’t let the simple, but bulky, design fool you, this laptop is anything but old. If the technology and storage isn’t enough somehow, you can always upgrade everything from the storage capacity to the graphics card on this computer, which is why so many professionals love this model. The stunning 4K display is capable of handling any and all PC and Steam games, and this touch screen laptop comes with three USB-A ports, two USB-C ports, one Thunderbolt port, 1 Ethernet port, 1 HDMI port and even an SD-Card reader. If you need cross-device compatibility, look no further. Be wary of creating fingerprints while searching for the right port, the matte black finish on the Razer Blade requires frequent wipedowns. However, the Razer Blade 17 is at least $2,600, which is prohibitively expensive for most users. Secondly, even at this price, some aspects of the laptop are subpar, such as the 720p front-facing camera.
Best 2-in-1: HP Spectre x360 2-in-1
Why It Made The Cut: The HP Spectre x360 is a well-engineered, portable 2-in-1 touch screen laptop that provides the creative abilities of a tablet with the professional abilities of a laptop.
— Screen Size: 13.3 inches
— RAM: 8 GB Standard
— Weight: 3.01 pounds
— Processor: Intel Core i5
— Fully foldable design allows it to be used as a tablet
— Works well with HP Stylus
— Excellent battery life
— Sturdy aluminum build
— No HDMI port without docking station
The HP Spectre presents itself as a powerful and versatile workhorse. Like the Surface Go 2, this laptop has a 3:2 aspect ratio that maximizes the height of the screen. This is great for work and entertainment, and makes writing or drawing on the screen much easier, thanks to the fact that your hand won’t take up half the screen when it’s in tablet mode. Additionally, the Spectre boasts a 90 percent screen-to-body ratio, which enhances the aesthetics and makes the screen ideal for graphic design and viewing entertainment. Plus, the Spectre thrives in areas where tablets traditionally fall short, such as limited onboard storage capacity and crunched keyboard layouts. The Spectre doesn’t suffer from either of these. To top it all off, the Spectre includes a useful USB-C docking station that makes up for the lack of an onboard HDMI port, as well as convenient carrying sleeve and the signature 5.5-inch HP pen.
Best for Students: Microsoft Surface Pro 7+
Why It Made The Cut: The Microsoft Surface Pro 7+ is a business and student oriented tablet that maximizes note-taking efficiency and workflow.
— Screen Size: 12.3 inch
— RAM: 8 GB Standard
— Weight: 1.7 pounds
— Processor: Intel Core i3, i5, i7
— Ultra portable
— Full computing capability thanks to upgraded performance and CPU
— High-quality webcam
— Surface pen and keyboard must be purchased separately
— Thick bezels
Microsoft has reigned supreme in the world of business computing for the past two decades for a reason, and the Surface Pro 7+ represents the years of expertise the company has under its belt. The Surface Pro 7+ is ideal for people that are constantly on the go, but don’t want to sacrifice computing power for portability. Whether it’s large spreadsheets or PDF e-books, the Surface can handle them with ease, thanks to its advanced processors and high internal storage capacity of up to 1 TB. Although the Surface Pen needs to be purchased separately, it offers excellent performance considering its price, which is nearly $100 less than the 2nd generation Apple Pencil. Another unique feature of the Surface Pro 7+ is that it's designed as a tablet first. While this means you have to purchase a separate keyboard, it also gives you the ability to choose which gear you want to travel with depending on what you’re going to use. Why travel with a keyboard if you’re only going to be taking hand-written notes? The Microsoft Surface Pro 7+ is the king of flexibility, which is why it’s ideal for students.
Best for Business: Lenovo Yoga 7i 2-in-1 Laptop
Why It Made The Cut: The Yoga 7i 2-in-1 touchscreen laptop combines the best of a business-oriented desktop computer with the entertainment value and versatility of a tablet.
— Screen Size: 15.6 inches
— RAM: 8 GB Standard
— Weight: 4.19 pounds
— Processor: Intel Core i5 or i7
— Long battery life
— Numerous port options
— Robust build with premium materials
— Fan-favorite typing feel with number pad
— Stylus not included
— Display isn’t bright enough to eliminate glare in direct sunlight
Lenovo is known for pumping out high-performance laptops that thrive under intense workloads and constant use. The Yoga 7i, now in its seventh generation of development, has the same characteristic durability that’s associated with the brand. While this makes this laptop an ideal pick for a worry-free commute, other factors make the Yoga 7i a great choice for business professionals. For starters, the keyboard includes a dedicated number pad. While this takes some getting used to on such a small layout, anyone who regularly works with Excel spreadsheets can attest to how valuable it is to have a number pad. The Yoga 7i is equipped with the latest WiFi capabilities so you can easily transfer and download large files, which is critical for mobile workers. If you regularly work with files that are measured in GB (gigabytes) rather than MB (megabytes), we strongly suggest opting for the more expensive i7 processor and the upgraded 16 GB RAM pack, so you have the power to handle your workload and then some.
Things to Consider Before Buying a Touch Screen Laptop
Display Size and Performance: When it comes to laptops, especially the touch screen variety, bigger is not always better. Larger screens cost more, and result in heavier devices that are more cumbersome overall. However, if you work in design and need a large display, even when you’re mobile, a 17-inch touch screen laptop may be the perfect tool. However, keep in mind that you’re going to need top-notch resolution, at least 1080p, but likely more if you work in design. If you plan to use your laptop for work or basic entertainment, you’re probably going to be better off in the middle ground with a 15-inch touch screen laptop.
Port Options: Portability is king for modern laptops, and the sad truth is that ports, whether they be HDMI, USB, or something even older such as a VGA or DVI port, make it difficult to create a thin laptop. The consequence of the ever-important emphasis on portability is that ports, ironically, have become rarer and rarer on newer laptops. If you plan to connect your new device to multiple displays or regularly use a variety of external devices and drives, make sure that your touch screen laptop has at least one port in addition to whatever it uses to charge. Ideally your touch screen laptop should have at least 2 versatile ports, such as a USB-C. Alternatively you can get a USB-C hub or dongle, but they can be bulky and may defeat the purpose of a lightweight touch screen laptop.
Key Performance Stats: In order to understand how key performance stats, such as RAM and memory size relate to your needs, consider what you intend to use your touch screen computer for. For example, if you plan to use your computer for creative tasks that require large files, such as video editing or graphic design, you should consider something with a terabyte or more of internal memory. Or, if you’re an avid gamer or programmer, you’re likely going to want something with at least 16 GB of RAM and 512 GB SSD boot drive. Think about how often you would use costly performance features to prevent overspending. Regardless of what high-tech options you want, opt for a laptop with at least 8 GB of RAM and a 128 GB SSD boot drive.
Stylus Compatibility: If you want to use your new device for writing or drawing, you’re likely going to want a touch screen laptop with a pen. Keep in mind that even if your favorite touch screen laptop doesn’t include a pen at purchase, it still may be compatible with a pen that’s made by the manufacturer and sold separately or even a third-party stylus; this is almost always the case with flip touch screen laptops. Although I’m not particularly creative, I use my Apple Pencil for note-taking, document markup and editing my writing, and I appreciate how well the screen responds to my natural movements. If you don’t want to get a stylus at the start, we still recommend looking for laptops with stylus compatibility that give you the chance to upgrade down the line.
Q: Is a touch screen worth it on a laptop?
Whether or not a touch screen laptop is worth it entirely depends on whether or not you have a real need for the touch screen capability. Touch screen laptops certainly are not worth it for the novelty of the new technology.
Q: Do touch screens use more battery?
Yes, touch screen laptops use more battery than their non-touch screen counterparts.
Q: Is a touch screen laptop worth it for college?
Yes, touch screen laptops, especially foldable touch screen laptops that come with a pen, are great for note taking and editing PDF documents. They also make it easy to keep your coursework and notes centralized.
Q: Are touch screen laptops easier to break?
Physically, touch screen laptops may be easier to damage due to the fact that they are more susceptible to drop-damage because they have internal sensors that require precision coordination to pick up the pressure of your fingers. However, there are lots of hardened glass manufacturers that outperform standard, budget displays all the time.
Q: What are the disadvantages of a touch screen laptop?
The disadvantages of touch screen laptops include that they cost and weigh more than non-touch screen models of equal performance. Touch screen laptops also have a shorter battery life and are quite difficult to view in direct sunlight because of the glare caused by their glossy screens.
Q: What is the difference between a touch screen laptop and a 2-in-1 laptop?
A touch screen laptop is a traditional clamshell laptop with touch screen capability. 2-in-1 laptops offer the functionality of a tablet and a computer, usually by folding so you can hold it like a tablet. In some cases, you may be able to completely remove the display from the keyboard and hold it like a tablet. However, not all touch screen laptops have this capability, only 2-in-1 laptops do.
While there are a number of top touch screen laptops, the Dell XPS 15 stands out from the crowd thanks to its high-performance hardware, beautiful design, and versatility. While there are budget-friendly touch screen laptops, such as the Microsoft Surface Go 2, as well as high-end professional models, such as the Razer Blade 17, the Dell XPS 15 finds the happy middle between quality, price, and features. Rather than focusing on providing professional-grade technology that the average user will never use, the developers of the XPS clearly focused on maximizing features that are most frequently used by the average person, and ensuring those features were reliable and efficient.
Futurism may receive a portion of sales on products linked within this post.