The best touchscreen laptops are highly responsive to your touch gestures and swipes. They also support digital pen input while treating your eyes to vibrant colors and radiant brightness.
The best touchscreen laptops also unshackle you from the confines of your keyboard and touchpad and invite you to interact with their immersive, interactive displays. They add a whole new layer of fun that non-touch screen counterparts can’t provide, which can be activated by hand gestures, fingers and styli (yes, styli is the plural word for stylus).
The best touchscreen laptops add a lot of versatility to your day, whether you’re jotting down notes, sketching a masterpiece or just 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 13 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 13 gushed about its bright and colorful screen that’s absolutely mesmerizing.
There’s no question that you’ll have a blast with getting you fingers all over the Dell XPS 13 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. You can use this stylus to use the Dell XPS 13 touch screen display to your heart’s desire without leaving smudges and smears that will sully your beautiful display.
The Dell XPS 13 is also a 2-in-1, so you can also transform your laptop into a tablet, for example.
But if convertible laptops aren’t your speed, another best touch screen laptop is the HP Spectre x360. You can accessorize the HP Spectre x360 with the HP Active stylus, which artists would love since our editor who reviewed the HP Spectre x360 enjoyed drawing with the responsive stylus — artists will have no issues creating digital masterpieces on this slick machine. Our editor also noted that the HP Spectre x360 is vivid and detailed, and for you outdoorsy folks, you’ll be happy to know that it gets bright enough to use on a sunny day.
It’s also worth nothing that an honorable mention for the best touch screen laptop should go to Microsoft’s Surface Pro line-up.
The 2-in-1 Dell XPS 13 and the HP Spectre x360 are our favorites, but we’ve reviewed many touchscreen laptops that we loved. Check out our buying guide to see which touchscreen laptop is the best pick for you.
The best touchscreen laptops you can buy today
- HP Spectre x360 14
- Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 (2020)
- Microsoft Surface Pro 7+
- Google Pixelbook Go
- Lenovo Yoga C940 (14-inch)
- HP Elite Folio
- Asus Chromebook Flip C434
- HP Envy 13 (2019)
- Samsung Galaxy Book Flex 15
- Acer Spin 5 (2020)
- Asus VivoBook Flip 14 2020
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
The new Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 is outfitted with Intel’s 11th Gen Tiger Lake CPUs with Iris Xe Graphics, giving this consumer-favorite laptop an extra boost compared to its powerful predecessors.
Despite the energy-sucking quality of a touchscreen panel, the Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 lasts more than 10 hours on a charge, which isn’t half bad. The XPS 13 2-in-1 is also ridiculously sleek and lightweight. The build quality is superb. The XPS 13 2-in-1 is CNC cut from two blocks of aluminum and bonded with Corning Gorilla Glass 6 for extra durability. The hinge has just the perfect amount of resistance; the screen won’t wobble when you tap on it and rotating the display is effortless.
The Dell convertible is also very polished, emitting professional vibes, but it’s also very stylish with its diamond-cut edges and other luxurious accents. The Dell XPS 2-in-1 continues to be the reigning king of convertibles.
See our full XPS 13 2-in-1 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.
Google’s Pixelbook Go is a great example of what laptops running Chrome OS can offer. Yes, its $649 starting price is a tad high, but for well under $1,000, you get a slim, premium chassis, a bright and vivid display and outstanding battery life. And unlike the hoards of sluggish Chromebooks out there, the Pixelbook Go can go toe-to-toe with Windows 10 laptops when it comes to performance.
That said, it’s not a perfect machine; The Pixelbook Go’s speakers are weak and the keyboard is shallow. Also, if you want a 2-in-1 laptop, you might be better off with Google’s Pixelbook or the Asus Chromebook Flip C434.
See our full Google Pixelbook Go review.
With the Yoga C940, Lenovo took a proven formula and refined it. Subtle design improvements, longer battery life (up to 11:46) and refreshed 10th Gen Intel processors make the Yoga C940 a worthy successor to last year’s excellent Yoga C930.
As you’d expect from a Yoga-series laptop, the C940 has a premium, ultra-portable chassis and a unique hinge that doubles as a soundbar speaker. As a 2-in-1, that hinge can rotate 360-degrees to convert the Yoga C940 into a proper tablet. When it comes to viewing content, the Yoga C940’s 1080p and 4K displays are crisp, vibrant and bright — just beware, the UHD display drains the battery.
For all the basics it gets right, my favorite things about the Yoga C940 are its extra features. Those include a webcam cover (no more need to buy tape), a slot for the included stylus and a fingerprint sensor.
See our Lenovo Yoga C940 (14-inch) 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 Asus Chromebook Flip C434 is our new favorite Chromebook thanks to its sleek aluminum design, vivid display, and extra long battery life. Compared to its excellent predecessor, the Flip C302CA, the new model has a similarly-sized chassis but its razor-thin bezels allow for a much larger 14-inch display. The Flip C434 also has a more elegant silver-on-silver design, accented by chrome trim around the deck and touchpad.
The star of the show remains the laptop’s touch screen, which responded quickly to my swipes and taps as I navigated the web and used Android apps on Chrome OS. A new hinge mechanism locks the screen in place when it’s flat before it rotates around the hinge into tablet mode. Despite the colorful touch screen, the Flip C434 still lasts more than a day on a charge, making it a great road warrior for long flights or road trips.
See our full Asus Chromebook Flip C434 review.
The HP Envy 13 is not to be confused with the HP Envy 13t on this list. The HP Envy 13 touch screen, 4K laptop is the ultimate laptop for college students and travelers due to its sleek, super-lightweight chassis. It also has super-fast performance and speakers that’ll make you dance around your room.
The HP Envy 13 touchscreen has a beautiful high-res display. Our editor found the 4K screen of the HP Envy 13 to be quite responsive when he scribbled some notes on a screen grab taken in Microsoft’s Snip & Sketch app. One down side of this touch screen laptop, though, is its unimpressive battery life.
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