The Best New Laptop Computers For Windows 11 In 2021

Microsoft has said that owners of Windows 10 laptops whose machines fit the specification requirements can upgrade to Windows 11 for free.


HP, Lenovo, Dell, Acer, Samsung, Dynabook and, of course, Microsoft itself are some of the PC makers that have shown the more impressive offerings for Windows 11.

Michael Goldstein, president and CEO of Fort Lauderdale, Fla.-based Microsoft partner LAN Infotech -- which is also a member of CRN’s Security 100 -- told CRN in an interview that Microsoft’s own line of Windows 11 hardware, especially the Surface Pro X and Surface Duo 2, and the investment in improving the devices’ pens should entice buyers.

“The new additions to the line look really good,” Goldstein said.

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[RELATED: 5 New Surface Devices Microsoft Just Announced ]

Kelly Yeh, president of Chantilly, Va.-based Microsoft partner Phalanx Technology Group, told CRN in an interview that although his company tries to stay PC agnostic, Lenovo’s line of Windows 11 PCs has him excited.

“Lenovo tends to be the best for partners in terms of being partner friendly, so if a client doesn‘t have any preference we push any Lenovo systems,” Yeh said.

Microsoft has said that owners of Windows 10 laptops whose machines fit the specification requirements can upgrade to Windows 11 for free, eliminating the need for a new laptop.

A recent report from Belgium-based IT asset management services provider Lansweeper, however, showed that more than 55 percent of workstations won’t automatically upgrade to Microsoft’s upcoming Windows 11 operating system due to the processing requirements.
Here are some of the Windows 11 PCs that have CRN excited.

Microsoft Surface Laptop Studio

One of the more exciting Surface devices Microsoft announced in September, the Surface Laptop Studio is “the most powerful Surface we’ve ever made,” according to Microsoft.

It takes elements from Surface Book and Surface Studio and has a 14.4-inch PixelSense display. The mics have advanced echo control and full duplex for noisy environments, and the PC has Microsoft’s first haptic trackpad. It can transition from stage mode to laptop mode and an area underneath where the pen charges, according to Microsoft.

Surface Laptop Studio combines the desktop-level CPU of Intel’s 11th-generation, quad-core processor and Nvidia RTX 3050 Ti GPU. It has a high definition 1080p camera and cloud-class face tracker.

It has up to 19 hours of battery life based on typical device use, according to Microsoft.

HP Spectre x360 16

The HP Spectre x360 16-inch two-in-one Laptop PC is the world’s first laptop PC of its size with an integrated, intelligent 5 MP camera, according to HP. The camera features a hot-key-controlled physical shutter with an on-screen display. The display shows the user the camera’s status in all applicable applications for added security.

The HP GlamCam in HP Command Center has a “beauty mode” to touch up skin, teeth and eyes. A lighting correction feature adjusts conditions for users who move from a home office to an outdoor setting. And the device locks when users leave the PC, awakens when they return and dims the screen when users look away to save battery.

For security, the screen will blur if the camera detects someone behind the user. Newly designed quad speakers aim to provide higher volume, more balanced treble and a feature to mute background noise. The PC aims to make Windows Hello log in simple.

The PC has an Intel Evo verified platform, 11th gen Intel Core i7 processor, Nvidia GeForce RTX 3050 Laptop GPU, up to 17 hours of battery life and up to Wi-Fi 6E with Network Booster and Bluetooth 5.2. The PC comes in nocturne blue with celestial blue accents and nightfall black with pale brass accents, according to HP.

HP 11-Inch Tablet PC

HP’s 11-inch Tablet PC is its first Windows 11 tablet. It aims to allow Windows 11’s snap layouts feature in landscape and portrait mode with a built-in kickstand to edit between two applications, view content and share content while on a video call.

HP calls the PC the world’s first tablet with a rotatable camera and 13mp front camera. Users can switch from selfie mode to a world view to a desktop view to real-time sharing.

The PC offers a detachable magnetic keyboard for portrait and landscape mode, an HP rechargeable tilt pen, the HP Palette digital workspace for cross-device collaboration and Windows Ink.

HP Palette includes the PhotoMatch photo search tool based on AI facial recognition, the HP QuickDrop wireless photos and images sharing feature and Duet for HP to add a second device.

Lenovo 14-Inch IdeaPad Slim 7 Carbon

Lenovo’s 14-inch IdeaPad Slim 7 Carbon laptop weighs in at 2.37 pounds with an OLED display and up to 8-core AMD Ryzen 7 5800U Series Mobile Processors with AMD Radeon Graphics, according to Lenovo.

The PC has RAM with up to 16GB LPDDR4x of memory, up to 1TB PCIe M.2 SSD of internal storage and a 61WHrs battery with dual charger. Users can charge for 15 minutes for up to three hours of use and have up to 14.5 hours of battery. The PC has an AI-enabled intelligent cooling feature that can extend battery life, according to Lenovo.

The PC comes in a cloud gray hue and promises less lag with a 90Hz refresh rate at 400 nits nominal brightness or up to 600 nits at peak brightness, according to Lenovo.

The IdeaPad Slim 7 Carbon is powered by Windows 11 and offers Alexa Built-in, hands-free Windows Hello and Lenovo Smart Assist, which can lock screens when users walk away and unlock them using a time-of-flight sensor and infrared camera.

A new Lenovo Smart Privacy Services tool available for select Lenovo PCs with Windows 10 and 11 allows for personalized online privacy.

Lenovo 16-Inch IdeaPad Slim 7 Pro

Designed with hybrid work in mind, the IdeaPad Slim 7 Pro has a 16-inch QHD in-plane switching touch screen, 16:10 layout and a max brightness of 500 nits with the up-to-120Hz refresh rate configuration, according to Lenovo.

The PC’s touchpad is 11 percent bigger than the previous generation and responds to gestures. The Yoga Slim 7 Pro is powered by up to AMD Ryzen 7 5800H Mobile Processors and up to NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3050 Laptop GPU.

It can mount a 16GB dual-channel DDR4 RAM, up to 1TB of storage PCIe M.2 SSD2 and a powerful 75WHr battery with Rapid Charge Boost. The PC is available in cloud gray and storm gray, according to Lenovo.

Dell XPS 13

Dell will start selling PCs with Windows 11 pre-installed after Tuesday, with a free upgrade available for owners of applicable laptops. This includes the XPS 13.

The PC has an 11th Generation Intel Core i3-1115G4 processor, Intel UHD Graphics card and 13.4-inch display with InfinityEdge Non-Touch Anti-Glare, according to Dell. It has 8GB 4267MHz LPDDR4x memory and a widescreen, HD, 720p, 2.25mm webcam, according to Dell. The infrared camera recognizes faces when used with Windows Hello to unlock the PC.

The XPS 13 can use Dell Mobile Connect to receive phone notifications, send texts, transfer files and take calls from the laptop. The battery lasts up to 14 hours and 11 minutes, according to Dell. And the laptop’s option for Killer X500-DBS has advanced Wi-Fi 6 technology that “more than doubles the theoretical throughput of previous generation 80MHz 2x2 Wi-Fi 5 products,” according to Dell.

The PC comes in platinum silver.

Dell Inspiron 16 Plus

Another Dell laptop that can upgrade to Windows 11 in October, the Inspiron 16 Plus has an 11th Generation Intel Core i5-11400H, Intel UHD Graphics card, a 16-inch display and a 720p HD camera with dual-array mics, according to Dell.

The display has 3k resolution and 300-nit brightness, according to Dell. The 16:10 aspect ratio aims to increase the active area of the screen by 11 percent and increase the dimensions of your device 5 percent compared to the previous 15-inch generation. Keycaps are also 6 percent larger and the touchpad is 30 percent larger than prior 15-inch generation.

The laptop comes in mist blue and has Waves Maxx Audio Pro technology, according to Dell. The Adaptive Connected Modern Standby with Voice Support allows for voice-detected wake up from sleep mode. And the PC can use Dell Mobile Connect for sharing files between the PC and an Android or iOS device.

Acer Swift 5

The Acer Swift 5 comes with a 14-inch full HD 16:9 touchscreen, Intel Core i7-1165G7 processor Quad-core 2.80 GHz and Intel Iris Xe Graphics shared memory, according to Acer.

The PC is designed on the Intel Evo platform, is 14.951mm thin and has up to 17 hours of battery, according to the company. It can also charge for 30 minutes for four hours of use.

It comes in mist green, safari gold and other colors, according to Acer. Its embedded fingerprint reader allos Windows Hello to verify identities without a password. The Wake On Voice feature allows users to interact with Cortana in modern standby mode and activate and query the operating system when the screen is off.

Acer also promises a silver-ion antimicrobial agent that runs through the surface of the chassis, keyboard, hinge and fingerprint reader.

Samsung Galaxy Book Pro 360 5G

The Galaxy Book Pro 360 5G is the first of Samsung’s laptop lineup to ship with Windows 11, according to the company. The PC is designed for mobile-first users and has 65W fast charging.

The PC has a 13.3-inch Super AMOLED touch display and is powered by an 11th Gen Intel Core processor and Intel Iris Xe graphics. The PC has an upgraded S Pen that is 2.2 times as thick as the Galaxy Book Flex, according to Samsung.

It has 8GB of memory, 256GB of storage and comes in mystic silver. The PC has a 360-degree hinge for two-in-one conversion. Galaxy mobile phone users can use Microsoft’s Your Phone application to run up to five applications from the Galaxy Book Pro 360 5G.

The PC’s Clip Studio feature allows for integrated inking and storyboarding and will be free for six months. Its keyboard has curved keys that aim for more precision and efficiency.

Dynabook Tecra A40

Dynabook, formerly Toshiba’s PC business, will start shipping its Portégé, Tecra, Dynabook E Series and Satellite Pro lines of PCs with Windows 11 pre-installed in the fourth quarter, according to the company.

The Tecra A40 is a 14-inch notebook with in-house BIOS, dTPM 2.0 and Windows Hello, according to Dynabook. It has the option for Intel AMT for “manageability in and out of the office,” 11th Gen Intel Core processors and Iris Xe graphics. The PC meets Microsoft’s Secured-core PC requirements.

The PC has an HD webcam with a shutter slider and dual Cortana-ready near-field microphones.

The laptop comes in a mystic blue anti-bacterial paint coating, and its dual-fan cooling system promises to stay quiet even under load, according to the company.