Whether you're jotting down notes, sketching a masterpiece or just quickly zooming in on a photo, touch screens add a lot of versatility to your average laptop. Thanks to technological advances, laptop touch screens have gone through vast improvements in accuracy and speed as well as battery efficiency.
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.
The best touch screen laptop
CPU: Core i5/Core i7 | GPU: Intel Iris Plus | RAM: 8GB/16GB | Storage: 256GB/512GB/1TB | Display: 13.3-inch, 1080p or 4K | Size: 12.1 x 7.7 x 0.7 inches | Weight: 2.7 pounds
The best touch screen laptop of 2020 has arrived. Your jaw will drop to the floor when you first see the HP Spectre x360 13's gem-cut edges and faceted corners. This sleek Ultrabook sports a vivid 13.3-inch, 1080p display with slim bezels that folds back for tablet use.
Drawing felt responsive using the included HP Active stylus so artists should have no problems crafting their masterpieces on this sleek machine. Along with its display, the Spectre x360 offers all-day battery life and a fantastic keyboard. If you want a larger canvas to work with, check out our review of the 15-inch version.
The premium touch screen alternative
CPU: Up to Intel Core i7 | GPU: Intel Iris Plus | RAM: 8GB/16GB/32GB | Storage: 128GB/256GB/512GB/1TB SSD | Display: 13.4 inches, 1080 or 4K | Size: 11.7 x 8.2 x 0.5 inches | Weight: 2.9 pounds
The new XPS 13 2-in-1 is the best convertible laptop around right now. It’s ridiculously sleek, it boasts strong performance (thanks to its 10th Gen Intel Core processor) and it has a gorgeous 16:10 display, emitting over 500 nits of brightness. On top of having a sequential hinge, it also features a variable torque that allows the lid to be opened without the machine wobbling or moving. Combine that with its 0.3~0.5-inch thin chassis, the XPS 13 2-in-1 is king.
See our full XPS 13 2-in-1 review.
The best touch screen detachable
CPU: Up to Intel Core i7 | GPU: Intel UHD 620 | RAM: 8GB/16GB | Storage: Up to 1TB SSD | Display: 12.3 inches, 2736 x 1824-pixels | Size: 11.5 x 7.9 x 0.3 inches | Weight: 2.4 pounds (with keyboard)
Microsoft's Surface Pro 6 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 6's touch-screen panel will reward your eyes with saturated, lucid images. And because it's a detachable, the Surface Pro 6 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.
Furthermore, Microsoft addressed the biggest problems we had with last year's Surface Pro. Not only does the new model stretch the battery life of its predecessor by more than 2 hours, but its new quad-core CPUs offer massive improvements to performance. And while the Surface Pro 6 has a familiar design, it avoids looking stale thanks to a slick new black color variant.
See our full Microsoft Surface Pro 6 review.
The best touch screen Chromebook
CPU: Intel Core m3/Core i5/Core i7 | GPU: Intel UHD 615 | RAM: 8GB/16GB | Storage: 64GB/128GB/256GB | Display: 13.3-inches, 1080p or 4K | Size: 12.2 x 8.1 x 0.5 inches | Weight: 2.3 pounds (with keyboard)
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.
The best 14-inch touch screen laptop
CPU: Up to Intel Core i7-1065G7 | GPU: Intel Iris Plus | RAM: Up to 16GB | Storage: Up to 2TB | Display: 14-inch, 1080p or 4K | Size: 12.6 x 8.5 x 0.6 inches | Weight: 3.1 pounds
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 best clamshell touch screen laptop
CPU: Intel Core i3/Core i5/ Core i7 | GPU: Intel UHD 620 | RAM: 4GB/8GB/16GB | Storage: 256GB/512GB/1TB/2TB | Display: 13.3-inch, 1080p or 4K | Size: 11.9 x 7.8 x 0.5 inches | Weight: 2.7 pounds
The late 2019 XPS 13 is identical to the previous model but now packs 10th Gen processors. Those chips, especially the six-core Core i7 CPU, offers a significant boost in performance over 8th Gen processors.
The 4K model we tested has a gorgeous 13.3-inch InfinityEdge display -- with practically no bezels -- and now the 'nosecam' webcam is no longer, as Dell's engineers managed to fit it in the notebook's top bezel, which is still super-thin. If you want long battery life, opt for the 1080p model as the 4K version lasted just under 8 hours on a charge, a decent if below-average result.
See our full Dell XPS 13 (Late 2019) Review
The best budget touch screen laptop
Display: 13.3-inch, 1080p or 4K | CPU: Up to Intel Core i7 | GPU: Intel UHD 620 or Nvidia MX150 | RAM: Up to 16GB | Storage: 1TB SSD | Battery Life: 9 | Size/Weight: 12 x 8.5 x 0.6 inches/2.9 pounds
Want a powerful touch-screen laptop but don't want a spend a fortune? The $749 HP Envy 13t is the best sub-$1,000 touch-screen laptop on the market. While its 13-inch, 1080p display could be brighter, the panel is plenty vivid. In fact, you'd be hard-pressed to find a better touch screen in this price range. If you need the very best display, then go for the optional 4K touch screen, but be sure to brace for a hit to battery life.
Just because you're not signing away your paycheck on a laptop doesn't mean you shouldn't get a fast machine. That's where the Envy 13t's powerful 8th Gen Intel Core processors come in. Not only did the Envy 13t ace our performance benchmarks, but we didn't experience any lag in our real-world testing. The Envy 13t also lasts nearly 10 hours on a charge, so you don't need to bring a charger to work.
See our full HP Envy 13t review.
The best touch screen for artists
Display: 13.3-inch, 1080p | CPU: Up to Intel Core i7-8500Y | GPU: Intel UHD 615 | RAM: Up to 16GB | Storage: 256GB SSD | Battery Life: 10 | Size/Weight: 12.6 x 9.2 x 0.6 inches/3.4 pounds
You've never seen a laptop like the HP Spectre Folio. Clad in 100 percent genuine leather and featuring a one-of-a-kind hinge, the Folio is HP's (mostly) successful attempt to redefine the 2-in-1. Instead of folding back into a bulky tablet or detaching from a flimsy keyboard, the Spectre Folio transforms via a detachable display, which pops off from its frame and slides into a forward position.
When positioned in tablet mode, the bright and colorful 13.3-inch, 1080p display sits at the perfect angle for sketching or taking notes. Although the Spectre Folio isn't the most powerful machine, its Y-series CPU enables long battery life. We were also impressed with its clicky, comfortable keyboard.
See our full HP Spectre Folio review.
The best touch screen Chromebook on a budget
Display: 14-inch, 1080p | CPU: Intel Core m3-8100Y | GPU: Intel HD 615 | RAM: 4GB | Storage: 64GB eMMC | Battery Life: 9 | Size/Weight: 12.6 x 8 x 0.6 inches/3.1 pounds
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 best budget touch screen laptop
Display: 10-inch, 1,800 x 1,200-pixel | CPU: Intel Pentium Gold 4415Y | GPU: Intel HD Graphics 615 | RAM: 4GB | Storage: 64GB eMMC | Battery Life: 6 | Size/Weight: 9.7 x 6.9 x 0.3 inches/1.7 pounds
The Surface Go is the best touch-screen device for content creators on a budget, bar none. In fact, you could even argue that it's the best secondary travel laptop on the market, thanks to its super-lightweight chassis. But the real highlight is the Surface Go's outstanding 10-inch, 1800 x 1200 display, which is brighter, more colorful and more detailed than most displays we find on premium laptops.
Realistically, the Pentium Gold 4415Y CPU inside the Surface Go won't provide enough power to run Photoshop, but it'll do the trick for streaming content or even light photo and video editing.
See our full Microsoft Surface Go review.
The best lightweight touch screen laptop
Display: 14-inch, 1080p | CPU: Up to Intel Core i7 | GPU: Intel UHD 620 | RAM: Up to 16GB | Storage: Up to 512GB | Battery Life: 11 | Size/Weight: 12.8 x 8.3 x 0.7 inches/2.5 pound
LG is struggling to make inroads in the smartphone industry, but its Gram 14 2-in-1 is making a serious statement in the laptop space. The Gram 14 2-in-1's 14-inch, 1080p display isn't the brightest, but it exhibits sharp details and vibrant colors. Artists and those who prefer to take notes by hand will appreciate the Gram's responsive touch screen and included stylus.
Like the LG laptops before it, the Gram is impossibly light (2.5 pounds), and now has military-grade durability. Even though the Gram 14 2-in-1 is lightweight, it carries a big enough battery to last more than a day on a charge. Furthermore, this 14-inch machine packs some powerful components, including a Core i7 CPU and up to 16GB of RAM.
See our full LG Gram 14 2-in-1 review.
The best touch screen workstation
Display: 15.6-inch, 4K | CPU: Intel Xeon E-2186M | GPU: Quadro P1000 | RAM: Up to 32GB | Storage: Up to 4TB SSD | Battery Life: 9 | Size/Weight: 14.2 x 9.7 x 0.8 inches/4.9 pounds
Unless you have an unlimited budget, feel free to skip the zBook Studio x360 G5. But for those who are part of the 1% (or can expense it on the company card), the zBook Studio x360 G5 will fill your every need, and then some. Part of a rare breed of 2-in-1 workstations, the zBook Studio x360 G5 has a surprisingly versatile design that quickly transforms from a laptop into a tablet. If you're spending this much money, you may as well upgrade to the optional 4K touch-screen display, which is one of the brightest and most colorful in its class.
HP somehow packed a Xeon E-2186M CPU and a Quadro P1000 GPU inside a sleek chassis that weighs less than 5 pounds, and its over 9 hours of battery life is practically unheard of in this product category. Other reasons to splurge on the zBook Studio x360 G5 are a comfortable keyboard and responsive stylus.
See our full HP ZBook Studio x360 G5 review.
What to look for in a touch screen laptop
- 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.
Credit: Laptop Mag