The best touchscreen laptops are responsive to your zippy taps, swipes and touches. They also support stylus input for digital sketching and taking notes. On top of that, they should treat your eyes to stunning, vibrant colors and offer adequate brightness (for dimly lit environments).
The best touchscreen laptops also unshackle you from the confines of your keyboard and touchpad, and compel you to interact with their immersive, interactive panels. Yay for freedom! They add a extra layer of fun that their non-touchscreen counterparts can’t offer, which can be activated by hand gestures, fingers and styli (yes, styli is the plural word for stylus).
The best touchscreen laptops also add a lot of versatility to your experience, whether you’re sketching a masterpiece or quickly zooming in on a web page. Thanks to technological advancements, laptop touchscreens have gone through vast improvements in accuracy and speed. As expert reviewers of some of the best touchscreen laptops in the world, we’ve rounded up a list to help you choose the best one.
One thing you should be aware of, though, is that touch screen laptops have a tendency of being a bigger drain on battery than non-touch screen laptops. In our reviews, touch screen laptops typically outputted lower battery runtimes than non-touch screen devices.
Traditional laptops with touch screens are great, but if you really want the full benefits of touch support, buy one of the best 2-in-1 laptops. And if you’re a student, check out our list of the best college laptops. If you’re not certain you’ll need a touch screen, then check out our Best Laptops of 2020 page, which includes non-touch models.
What is the best touchscreen laptop?
The Dell XPS 15 OLED (2021) is the best touchscreen laptop. While swiping your hands left and right on the Dell XPS 13 screen, you will feast your eyes on a gorgeous, breathtaking display. Our writer who reviewed the Dell XPS 15 gushed about its 3456 x 2160-pixel, OLED display with awestruck wonder.
There’s no question that you’ll have a blast with getting you fingers all over the Dell XPS 15 during your daily engagement with the spectacular laptop. But if you want to save the display from your fingerprints, we’d recommend purchasing Dell’s Premium Active Pen, which offers 4,096 levels of pressure sensitivity, a 240-Hz report rate and tilt support. Use it on the Dell XPS 15’s touch screen to avoid leaving smudges and smears that sully your beautiful display.
Another touchscreen laptop that captured our hearts is the HP Spectre x360 14. If you want a notebook that has a convertible chassis, this HP laptop is an ideal option. Not only does it have a stunning, eye-catching OLED display, but it can transform itself into a handful of different postures, including tablet and tent mode.
The Dell XPS 15 OLED (2021) and the HP Spectre x360 14 are our favorites, but there are a few other touchscreen laptops that we loved, too. Check out our buying guide to see which touchscreen laptop is the best pick for you.
The Dell XPS 15 OLED we reviewed is outfitted with an Intel Core i7 CPU that knocked it out of the park in our performance benchmarks, but if you’re feeling fancy, you can snag a configuration with up to a Core i9 CPU. But what really caught our eye with the Dell XPS 15 is, you guessed it, its mesmerizing 15.6-inch, 3.5K OLED touch display.
Its build quality is superb, too. The XPS 15 has stylish sophistication thanks to its portable, slim design that blends a machined aluminum exterior with an eye-catching woven pattern on the inside. Plus, we can’t ignore the spacious touchpad and ultra-comfortable keyboard. If that wasn’t enough, Dell also decided to outfit the Dell XPS 15 OLED with powerful, clear speakers, so you don’t have to worry about tinny audio nor whisper-quiet sound.
See our full XPS 15 OLED review.
The Spectre x360 14 is the best 2-in-1 laptop ever. Newly released for 2021, the 13.5-inch model builds upon its predecessors but adds useful new features including a 3:2 aspect ratio display and 11th Gen Intel CPUs with Iris Xe graphics. Highlights of this laptop include a stunning design, bright and vivid 1920 x 1280-pixel IPS and 3K2K OLED display options, epic 12+ hour battery life and fast overall performance.
Add to that a generously sized touchpad that is silky to the touch as well as a comfortable (albeit shallow) keyboard, excellent security options (fingerprint sensor and facial recognition) and a good selection of ports, and well, it’s easy to see why we like this laptop so much.
We recommend buying the Spectre x360 14 over the Envy 13 if you have the money, especially if you need the flexible design. In fact, the Spectre x360 14 is the best laptop if you want a convertible notebook, period. Sure, it has a few faults, but those are easily forgotten once you get this beauty in your hands.
See our HP Spectre x360 14 review
Microsoft’s Surface Pro 7+ is the best detachable yet, and its bright, colorful 12.3-inch, 2736 x 1824-pixel display is a big reason why. Whether you’re binging Netflix shows or touching up photographs, the Surface Pro 7+’s touch-screen panel will reward your eyes with saturated, lucid images. And because it’s a detachable, the Surface Pro 7+ is an awesome travel companion if you want to take your work on the go. Not to mention, the kickstand on the back lets you tilt the display and use it like a drafting table.
Another big selling point of the Surface Pro 7+, apart from it running Windows 10 Pro, is its 11th Gen Intel CPU, which delivers significant performance gains and extended battery life compared to the Surface Pro 7. It makes these upgrades while still offering a bright and vivid display, capable cameras and amazing accessories.
See our full Microsoft Surface Pro 7+ review.
The Lenovo Duet 5 Chromebook landed on this list for its striking, bright and vivid 13.3-inch, 1920 x 1080-pixel OLED display. On top of that, the Lenovo Chrome OS device serves up an incredible battery runtime of more than 13 hours!
And guess what? The Duet 5 Chromebook is less than $500. When we reviewed this detachable, 2-in-1 laptop, we were enamored by its versatile form factor. We called it a “near-perfect Chromebook” in our review for a reason. The fabric rear case and keyboard cover transforms the Duet 5 Chromebook into a portable laptop, but if you want a tablet experience, you can have that, too.
We wish that its performance could be zippier, and we’re bummed that it doesn’t come with a stylus, but overall, the Lenovo Duet 5 Chromebook is one of the best touchsceen Chrome OS devices you can get your hands on.
See our full Lenovo Duet 5 Chromebook review.
The Lenovo Yoga 6 hit us all in our feels, literally. Touching its chassis is a relatively unique experience. Instead of running our fingers over a cold, metal surface, we got satisfaction from the Yoga 6’s abyss blue fabric cover. How often do you come across a laptop that matches your denim jeans?
Packed with an AMD Ryzen 7 5700U CPU, AMD Radeon graphics and 16GB of RAM, the Yoga 6 has a remarkable battery runtime of 12 hours and 34 minutes. It’s also slim and portable, which means its ideal for on-the-go busy bees who need to work while they’re travelling or commuting.
When we reviewed the Yoga 6, we praised it for its cool denim jacket design, ultra-long battery life, click keyboard and affordable price tag. Its performance scores were solid, too. We wished that the display was brighter, but that’s not an issue unless you enjoy working outside on sunny days (or you sit next to a super bright window). Overall, the Lenovo Yoga 6 is a winner for anyone seeking the best touchscreen laptop.
See our Lenovo Yoga 6 review.
The HP Elite Folio is an innovative, avante garde wonder in 2021. One of its many impressive features is its ability to transform its display into a digital easel — perfect for artistic hobbyists and professionals who enjoy taking notes.
It also landed on our laptops with the best battery life page; it lasted more than 16 hours on a charge, thanks to its power-efficient Qualcomm Snapdragon 8cx Gen 2 GPU. The HP Elite Folio’s design is another one of its show-stopping features. Its incredibly slim and wrapped in vegan leather; it’s ideal for on-the-go business users who need something compact and lightweight for their commute.
The HP Envy 13 2021 sports a 1080p display that is bright and vivid; your eyes will light up with joy while watching your favorite shows on Netflix, HBO Max, Hulu, Disney+ and wherever else.
The keyboard is super comfortable to type on. On top of that, the Envy 13’s ports are generous, offering Thunderbolt 4 input along with two USB Type-A ports for connecting mice, keyboards or webcams. Bringing an 11th Gen Intel CPU onboard has improved a winning formula. Our Core i5 model impressed in real-world and benchmark tests. To top it all off, the Envy 13 lasted for almost 11 hours on a charge on our in-house battery life test.
See our full HP Envy 13 (2021) review.
The Samsung Galaxy Book Flex 15 sports the world’s first QLED display, which means you’ll get to feast your eyes on a color-rich, super-bright screen — and you won’t have to sacrifice too much battery power to get it. In fact, when we tested the gorgeous royal-blue Flex 15 in our lab, the laptop gave us a whopping 15 hours of battery life. Ah, we no longer have to imagine a world where we can spend all day on our 2-in-1 without having to worry about battery life; Samsung’s made it possible.
Another draw of this amazing Samsung 2-in-1 is its built-in S pen as well as its touchpad, which has the ability to charge Qi-compatible devices. One downside of the laptop, though, is its shortened Shift key, which will take some time to get used to.
See our full Samsung Galaxy Book Flex 15 review.
The Acer Spin 5 comes equipped with a stylus with 4,076 levels of pressure sensitivity in its package, so you don’t have to buy it separately. The Acer Spin 5 even comes with a stylus garage on the side of the laptop, so you don’t have to worry about losing your digital pen.
When we compared the Spin 5 to other touchscreen laptops within the same price range, the Spin 5 crushed the competition when it comes to performance, display quality and port offerings — this Acer laptop has a whopping 8 ports to serve all your peripheral and data transfer needs. It also has a microSD card reader.
The one feature that Spin 5 did not beat its competitors on is battery life. On one hand, its battery life will last an hour more than our preferred 8-hour runtime, but its competitors had more endurance. Still, the Spin 5 is an excellent choice for content creators who want a powerful machine they can scribble, sketch and write notes with.
If you’re looking for a budget-friendly touchscreen laptop that won’t break the bank, you’ll be elated to know that the 2020 Asus VivoBook Flip 14 is only $700 and beats the $1,750 Dell XPS 13 and $1,800 13-inch MacBook Pro when it comes to performance. You will get super-fast video transcoding speeds and file-transfer rates with the VivoBook Flip 14. This performance boost is due to the VivoBook’s AMD Ryzen 7 4700U CPU. The VivoBook Flip 14 is also a 2-in-1, of course, so it can transform to a tablet at your leisure.
One of the downsides of the VivoBook Flip 14 is its dim display. But at a mid-range price range, trade offs are expected. However, if you’re not a stickler for a bright screen, the VivoBook Flip 14 will give you a lot of bang for your buck.
What to look for in a touchscreen laptop
You may be wondering, “Which touch screen laptop should I buy?” The answer is dependent on who you are and what you’re hoping this touch screen laptop can accomplish for you. If you’re an artist, you’ll want to keep an eye out for touch screen laptops that have a comfortable, zippy stylus that can keep up with your erratic drawing strokes. You’ll also want to make sure you’re satisfied with the display’s color coverage and screen solution. You may also want to make sure the touch screen laptop has a sufficient number of ports to make file transferring a smooth experience.
If you’re a power user who loves the productivity boost that touchscreen provides, you may want to look for a touch screen laptop that is power efficient and doesn’t die too quickly while you’re plowing away with work and other tasks.
Take a look at some other aspects of a laptop you should consider aside from the touchscreen display.
- Screen Resolution: If possible, get a display with a 1920 x 1080 (aka 1080p, or Full HD) or higher resolution.
- CPU: An Intel Core i5 provides good mainstream performance. Some budget systems will come with Core i3, Celeron or Pentium CPUs, which are good for basic tasks, but not heavy multitasking. Get a Core i7 or Core i9 (serial number ends in HQ or HK) for gaming or high-end productivity tasks such as video editing and 3D modeling.
- RAM: 8GB is ideal for most users, but power users will want 12 or 16GB. 4GB is acceptable for budget systems. Secondary laptops and Chromebooks may have less.
- Storage: Unless you’re a gamer or a power user, 256GB of internal storage is probably enough. If possible, get an SSD (solid-state drive) rather than a hard drive, because it’s going to make your computer a lot faster.
- Graphics Chip: Gamers and creative professionals need to do some research and figure out which discrete GPU from Nvidia or AMD is good enough to run their favorite software. Everyone else will be happy with the built-in Intel HD Graphics that come with the CPU.
How we test the best touchscreen laptops
When testing the best touch screen laptops in our lab, we focus on the display. First, we experiment with the screen’s responsiveness. Not-so-great touch screen laptops may lag or fail to keep up with our gestures. The best touch screen laptops can handle all our touch gestures, such as pinch-to-zoom and finger scrolling, without any hiccups.
We also look for crispness and high definition when it comes to our touch screen displays. What fun is it to have a touch screen if the display isn’t visually appealing? We test the display’s sRGB gamut coverage as well as its brightness. We also test the color accuracy by observing its Delta-E score. We also test for display’s graphics capability with industry benchmarks.
If the laptop comes equipped with a stylus, we channel our inner artist and we test how well the pen can keep up with our strokes on popular drawing software.
Aside from the display, we also test for battery life, overall performance, multitasking muscle and more. This way, you can choose a touchscreen laptop that best fits your lifestyle.
Credit: Laptop Mag