Laptop buying guide
When it comes to power and speed, Windows laptops give you performance on the go. From i7 convertible laptops to gaming laptops and 2-in-1s, find the best device for your digital life.
Preparing for a new Windows laptop
Back up and transfer your data with OneDrive
Bring your files, photos and videos from your old laptop to your new one with cloud storage platform OneDrive. Access files from any device, including your new PC, and know your files are protected against malware and hackers. To access cloud storage on your new laptop, simply set up OneDrive on both devices, upload your files, and sync.
Set up an appointment for help
- Personal shopping. Before you buy, we can answer lingering questions about price, tech specs and placing an order.
- Setting up your new PC. We’ll guide you through the set-up process and help you personalise your computer.
- Learning how to use your new computer. We’ll teach you how to make the most of your business or personal laptop.
Find your new Windows PC
Use our Help Me Choose tool and get advice on the perfect laptop for you by answering a few simple questions.
Mac® vs. Windows laptops
- Every action
- Protect projects
Tools worthy of your talents
Every action, more reaction
- Easy set-up brings your preferences over from a previous PC
- Touch, pen and voice allow for more flexibility when creating
Keep your projects protected
- Windows Security helps protect the files you work on with advanced antivirus, malware protection, and more
- Windows Hello enables harder-to-hack biometric security that doesn’t rely on passwords
- Microsoft Defender app with a Microsoft 365 Family or Personal subscription6 provides identity theft protection7 alongside your built-in malware detection, and extends it to other devices like your phone
Laptops for daily use
Looking for a basic laptop for casual, everyday use? These devices are equipped with the essentials:
- Smaller screen and laptop size (12”-14”)
- Basic features for browsing the web, checking email and other tasks
- Security measures to protect hardware
- User-friendly interface
- Basic display features
Laptops for professionals
Whether you commute to the office or work from home, it’s important to have the tech you need to get your work done quickly and efficiently. Laptops for professionals are available with the following features:
- Smaller size for commuting, larger size for working from home
- Longer battery life
- Hardware security features
- Multitasking capabilities
- Photo and video editing
- Additional storage
Laptops for gamers
Laptops for gaming should have high performance and graphics capabilities to deliver a smooth gaming experience. The best laptops for gaming have some of these features:
- Larger, high refresh rate screen for gaming (15”-18”)
- Larger battery capacity
- Dedicated GPU for advanced graphics
- Native security features
- Additional storage
- Compatible with accessories and PC Game Pass6
Top 3 tips to save on laptops
- Subscribe to our newsletter to get the latest news and updates, including deals on Windows laptops.
- Install Microsoft Edge Shopping extensions for coupons, discounts and cash-back offers on your purchases.
- If you’re a primary, secondary or higher education student, parent, or faculty member, purchase a Windows laptop through the Microsoft Education Store to get a student discount of up to 10% off selected products, including Surface devices.
- Refresh rate
- HD (1366 x 768)
- HD+ (1600 x 900)
- Full HD (1920 x 1080 or 1920 x 1200)
- QHD (2560 x 1440) or QHD+ (3200 x 1800)
- 4K Ultra HD (3840 x 2160 or 3840 x 2560)
- 60 Hz
- 120 Hz
- 144 Hz
- 165 Hz
- 240 Hz
- Touchscreen laptops allow users to interact with the screen using their fingers or a digital pen.
- The benefits of touchscreen laptops include greater ease of use, flexibility, and accessibility for users with limited mobility.
What laptop CPU should you buy?
A laptop’s CPU is an essential hardware component that is responsible for executing instructions and controlling overall operation.
Selecting a laptop’s internal storage drive
The internal storage drive stores all the data, files and programs on a laptop, including the operating system, applications, documents, photos and videos.
|Hard disk drives (HDD)||Solid state drives (SSD)|
|High speed||Not available||Available|
|Low power consumption||Not available||Available|
|High durability||Not available||Available|
|Low price||Available||Not available|
|Lightweight storage capacity||Not available||Available|
|Intended use||Recommended capacity|
|Everyday or creative use||
|Professional or advanced use||
|30-69 Watt Hours (Whr)||70-99.9 Watt Hours (Whr)|
Frequently asked questions
Although battery life varies significantly with settings, usage and other factors, your laptop battery should last for eight-plus hours of video playback on average.
Battery life varies significantly with settings, usage and other factors, but your laptop battery should last for eight-plus hours of video playback time. Depending on your device, you can customise your laptop’s settings to save battery life with options like low power mode.
Use Energy recommendations to set different power and display settings. Learn how to properly care for the battery on your Windows laptop.
Form factors and functionality
Detachable keyboard, surround sound speakers, anti-glare display, and more. Learn about all the form factors available that feature Windows 11 to find the right fit for your everyday.
Convertible laptops come with touchscreens and an attached keyboard. With a Windows 11 convertible laptop, simply fold the screen back to experience tablet functionality while enjoying the sturdiness of a traditional laptop. In a convertible laptop, the keyboard can’t be removed, but you can use it as a kickstand while you watch your favourite TV programmes or films.
2-in-1 detachable laptops are touchscreens that can be paired with a removable keyboard. For projects, gaming or multitasking, enjoy full laptop functionality by attaching the keyboard with ease. Remove the keyboard and transform your device into a tablet, allowing for even more portability. You can also get creative and jot down quick ideas with a digital pen on the touchscreen while you’re computing on the go. 2-in-1 detachable laptops offer a lightweight, portable option that doesn’t sacrifice performance.
Tablets feature a standalone touchscreen and are the most portable option. If you’re looking for a simple device for entertainment and don’t need much computing power, tablets are a great choice.
Audio and microphone
Get the most out of your gaming, streaming and video calls with the best built-in audio and microphone technology. All Windows 11 laptops come with high-quality microphones and speakers. If you’re mostly using your laptop for entertainment, like streaming or gaming, look for Windows 11 laptops with premium surround sound speakers like Dolby® Atmos™.
- HDMI: High Definition Multimedia Interface, most commonly used for transferring audio and visual information from one device to another.
- USB Type-A: What comes to mind most readily when people think about USB ports.
- USB-C®: An upgrade from USB-A ports and features more power and quicker data transfer.
- USB-C® with USB 4.0/ Thunderbolt™ 4: An oval-shaped port that can support data transfers from Thunderbolt™ 4 and USB-C® cables.
- MicroSD card reader: Allows your device to read data stored on MicroSD cards, which are used to expand the storage on smartphones, cameras and gaming devices.
- Nano SIM: Nano SIM cards are most commonly used in smartphones but can also be used to help your device connect to Wi-Fi.
Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connectivity
- Wi-Fi 6 technology: Creates a faster connection from your device to your router.
- WPA3 compatible: A series of security protocols for safer online activity.
- LCD: Flat panel displays with fluorescent backlights.
- LED: Flat panel displays with LED backlights.
- IPS: In-plane switching displays are characterised as having the best colour and viewing angles.
- Anti-Glare: Allows you to use your device in bright light settings without a noticeable reflection.
- Infinity-Edge: A nearly borderless display that maximises screen space.
- OLED: Capable of displaying over 60 times more colours than most LCD displays.