The 8 Best Touchscreen Laptops to Buy in 2018

Get in touch with the newest wave of laptops

In the land of touchscreen technology, tablets have done wonders for swiping easily through photos or watching movies on-the-go. However, a touchscreen without a keyboard feels like something is missing when it’s time to get real work done. In those moments, which can come often, you’ll need something that’s more powerful and more versatile. That is when the touchscreen laptop shows its true metal as a “get everything done” item without the drawbacks of a tablet. Need help deciding which would best suit you? Check out our list of the best touchscreen laptops.

Best Overall: Microsoft Surface Laptop

The naming conventions of the Surface family of devices can get a bit confusing, so let’s just quickly break down the differences. You can look at it essentially in sequence: first came the Microsoft Surface (more tablet than laptop), then came the Surface Laptop (more laptop than tablet). There is a Surface Pro which sits somewhere in between when it comes to power and function, but the Surface Laptop earns our top spot here because, well, it’s the most laptop-like of the whole line and it’s great. Let’s unpack the specs.

The first thing you’ll notice is construction: this machine is built sleekly and beautifully, not unlike a Macbook, but it also has a fuzzy, tactile surface on the inside of the laptop where your hands go while typing, which is a really useful addition. This particular configuration is a great value as it offers a powerful Intel i5 processor, 8GB of RAM and 128 GB of solid-state storage. These aren’t massive, flagship stats by any stretch, but they give you plenty of speed and headroom for the price. The gorgeous 13.5-inch PixelSense display offers a stunning 2256 x 1504 resolution and employs Windows’ intuitive touch features to act like a tablet when you need. Plus, at only 2.76 pounds and 0.56 inches thick, it’s an easy, lightweight addition to your bag.

Runner Up, Best Overall: Microsoft Surface Pro (Intel Core i5, 8GB RAM, 256GB)

Microsoft’s dominance in the touchscreen laptop space continues with the Surface Pro, which is powered by an Intel Core i5 processor, 8GB of RAM and a 256GB hard drive. (There are other configurations available at different price points.) It runs Windows 10 and comes complete with the beloved Office Suite. While most call this device a 2-in-1, Microsoft boasts 3 unique modes: Laptop mode, which uses the kickstand and detachable keyboard; Studio mode, ideal for writing and drawing; and Tablet mode, for media consumption.

Its 12.3-inch PixelSense display has a 2736 x 1824 resolution and delivers a high contrast with excellent color reproduction and minimal glare to reduce eye strain. Compared to the Surface Pro 4, this model bumps up the battery power by 50 percent. The Surface Pro really comes to life when paired with the detachable Type Cover 3 keyboard (sold separately), which includes well-spaced and backlit keys, plus a large trackpad that allows for multi-touch and gestures. The Surface Pen, also sold separately, has 4,096 pressure points to respond to the lightest touch, so you can sketch, write and erase naturally ​on-screen just as you would with pen and paper.

Best Design: HP Pavilion x360

When it comes to best design, HP might not be the name that most often springs to mind. However, the computer manufacturer is coming up with a lot of new tricks and the 2017 model of the HP X360 is proof. Powered by a 7th Generation Intel Core i5 2.5GHz processor, 8GB of RAM and a 1TB hard drive, there’s plenty to love about this two-in-one laptop. The highlight of the X360 is the 15.6-inch FHD 1366 x 768 display that flips back an entire 360 degrees, and the fact that it weighs just four pounds and is only .8 inches thin doesn't hurt either.

Adding more life to the hardware is the inclusion of two USB 3.0 ports, HDMI output and a built-in media reader for transferring photos from a DSLR camera. In a world where Apple is stripping away all those features in their newest MacBook line, their inclusion remains notable and welcomed for PC users both young and old. Beyond the ports, the display itself allows for touching, gliding and tapping with an IPS-friendly display and WLED backlight for an even better visual experience. Add in up to 10 hours and 30 minutes of battery life and there are plenty of reasons to look at the X360 as a priced-right two-in-one that’s ideal for both work and play.

Best Budget: Acer Chromebook R 11

While Windows 10 laptops dominate the touchscreen space, the Acer Chromebook R 11 convertible notebook is a Chrome OS-powered machine that’s priced just right. Featuring an 11.6-inch touchscreen and powered by an Intel Celeron N3150 processor, 4GB of RAM and 32GB SSD, the Chromebook is ideal for computer users who want something basic and capable of going anywhere, anytime. Featuring a two-in-one flip and fold design, the widescreen LED-backlit display supports 10-finger touch along with 1266 x 768 resolution. There’s no thinking this touchscreen is going to win any award for outstanding performance, but what it lacks in high-performance color and clarity, it more than makes up for in the design and fun factor.

The dual-torque 360-degree hinge offers an extremely solid and durable feeling and provides enough comfort to open the lid with one hand without feeling like the laptop is going to break the next time you try. Featuring notebook, display, tent and tablet modes, the Chromebook OS is perfect for computer users who only want to use something that’s stripped down and easy to jump right into.

Check out our guide to the best Acer laptops you can buy today. 

At well over $1,000, you may be asking yourself how the ZenBook Pro earned the “Best Value” spot on the list. Alas, it’s important to note that, value ≠ cheap. Instead, the ZenBook Pro gives you bang for your buck in both cutting-edge features and versatility.

A 15.6-inch Nano Edge touch display is the true centerpiece of this device, which is pretty impressive considering that at a resolution of 1920 x 1080, it actually has a lower pixel count than many other flagship laptops. But it’s the super slim bezels and the impressive wide viewing angle — which spans up to 178 degrees — that give you a cinematic experience. Plus, the machine's power is off the charts thanks to a 7th gen i7 quad-core processor and 16GB of DDR4 RAM. Add in a dedicated NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 graphics card with its own 4GB of dedicated RAM, and you have a machine that will make you forget the comparatively lower resolution.

If you are after a better display experience, Asus has thrown in two USB-C ports for connecting up to two different external monitors. They’ve even designed the  ZenBook Pro around a highly efficient dual-fan system that keeps the device 2.35 degrees cooler than the previous gen. That’s a lot of innovation packed into one machine.

Take a peek at some of the other best ASUS laptops you can buy.

Best Battery Life: Dell XPS 9370

If you’d asked tech folks years ago what they thought emerging devices would be focused on improving,  battery life most likely wouldn’t have been on their list of predictions. But that said, with so much tech becoming smaller and more mobile, batteries have started something of an arms race amongst phone and laptop manufacturers. 

The Dell XPS 9370 comes out on top for touchscreen laptop battery life. Dell claims the battery on this beast can last up to 19 hours and 46 minutes operating at full HD resolution — which is pretty impressive no matter how you slice it. But what performance do you get with that? How about a beautiful 13.3-inch screen that can offer up to 3840 x 2160 in resolution (though watching movies or doing work at that level would probably affect that battery specs we mentioned). There’s an 8th gen Intel i7 quad-core processor, 16GB of DDR4 RAM and 512 GB of solid-state storage, all supporting lightning fast, substantial performance. Plus it’s only 2.67 pounds, so it’s super sleek on top of it all.

Take a look at other product reviews and shop for the best Dell laptops available online.

Best for Gaming: Samsung XE510C24-K01US Chromebook Pro

Hardcore gamers will likely splurge on a dedicated gaming laptop or desktop with loads of customizable options. But for the more casual gamers who value portability, the Samsung Chromebook Pro is our top pick. Touting “the power of a Chromebook and the versatility of a tablet,” the Pro has a 360-degree rotating screen that makes it easy to switch from work to fun. It’s powered by a sixth-generation 0.9GHz Core m3-6Y30 processor, which provides strong performance, low power consumption, and low heat generation. All in all, it’ll score you about eight hours of battery life. It also packs HD Graphics 515, which means it’s more than capable of running your favorite games and apps. On top of that, they will look great thanks to its gorgeous 12.3-inch 2400 x 1600 LED display. This Chromebook runs Chrome OS and comes included with a built-in pen.

One of the most talked about laptops on the market right now is the LG Gram — an interesting attempt at competing with the thin, sleek Macbook line while remaining firmly inspired by LG’s mobile device ecosystem. Weighing less than 2.5 lbs, it is basically the lightest 15-inch laptop you can buy with this level of power. It also packs a 72 Wh battery that LG has clocked in at over 16 hours of full functioning time. The machine also runs an 8th gen Intel Core i7 processor, 16GB of DDR4 RAM and a full 1TB of solid-state storage, so there’s really not much more you can ask for in terms of modern tech configurations. There's a USB-C port, an HDMI port and three USB 3.0 ports for plenty of I/O to cover your needs. The screen is also impressive, offering 1920 x 1080 in IPS touch display, with super clear, crisp color performance. There are even some cool add-on features including a fingerprint reader, adjustable keyboard backlight intensity and four-finger touch functionality on the display. It’s a sleek laptop, fit for most of your modern needs and well-worth it's price tag. 

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