The change of fortunes for the best AMD Ryzen laptops over the last two years has been nothing short of amazing. Starting with the Ryzen-4000 series CPUs last year and continuing with the Ryzen 5000-series CPUs this year the price, performance and battery life make these laptops easily some of the best laptops on the market bar none.
There's no question that the 11th Gen Tiger Lake CPUs are offering better competition than Intel's 10th Gen was able to muster, but with AMD's multi-year advantage on 7-nanometer chips betting on a complete reversal in the short-term is probably a losing proposition. We've also seen wider adoption of AMD chips in higher-end gaming laptops, no longer are you limited to gaming laptops with just the lower-end GPUs from Nvidia.
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After hours of research and dozens of reviews, here are our picks for the best AMD Ryzen laptops of 2021.
The previous HP Envy x360 was a solid performer, but the 2020 model and its 4000-series AMD CPU is an absolutely amazing value at under $1,000. The 13.3-inch touchscreen display is bright and vivid and the handy 2-in-1 folding form factor allows you to enjoy your content in a variety of configurations. While gamers will still want to look at our best gaming laptops page, the HP Envy x360 has absolutely unbeatable performance for this price range that will be more than sufficient for the vast majority of users.
The sleek and stylish aluminum design of the HP also helps to give it the premium look and feel of a laptop that costs hundreds more. While it still can't compete with its pricier sibling, the HP Spectre x360 (which grabbed our top spot among the best 2-in-1-laptops), the all off to the Envy x360 is less than you would think for the price difference and is simply an excellent-looking laptop with fantastic performance.
The Asus ROG Flow X13 is truly a unique beast, delivering impressive performance in a sub 3 pound laptop thanks to its new Ryzen 5000-series processor paired with an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650 Max-Q GPU. But that's not its best trick, add the compact XG Mobile eGPU and you've just turned the ROG Flow X13 into a beast of a gaming laptop with the power of an Nvidia RTX 3080.
As if what's going on inside isn't impressive enough, the exterior design of the ROG Flow X13 is gorgeous with Asus Gravity Wave design covering its magnesium-alloy chassis. Open the lid and you'll find perhaps unexpectedly that this is a 2-in-1 with 360-degree flexibility allowing it to convert into tent, stand or tablet mode.
Alright so this all sounds great, what's the catch? Just the price, at $2,999 or $3,299 for the version that we tested this is an eye-wateringly expensive option. However, if you fall into the niche that sees the value in a laptop this portable delivering this kind of performance then there's simply nothing else like it and you owe it to yourself to check it out.
See our full review of the Asus ROG Flow X13
The Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 absolutely blew our reviewer away last year for its mix of performance and outstanding battery life, one of its few drawbacks for gamers was that it topped out at an Nvidia 2060 Max-Q GPU. You'll understand our reviewer's excitement then when Asus announced this new larger model at CES 2021, it steps up to both the newer Ryzen 5000-series CPUs and features up to an Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 GPU.
Gamers that wanted to give Ryzen a try are no longer restricted to budget gaming laptops, this a high-end gaming laptop with our review model coming in at $2,499. Despite all that added power it still delivers excellent battery life at over eight hours and features a number of nice improvements like its clicky keyboard and powerful speakers. While the display isn't quite as vibrant as we'd like, it's sharper and smoother than the G14 and makes the jump to a 165Hz refresh rate. Not only is this laptop one of the best AMD Ryzen laptops on the market today, but it's one of the best gaming laptops and best VR-ready laptops.
See our full review of the Asus Zephyrus G15.
Lenovo and its ThinkPad lineup are mainstays of the business laptop world and the Ryzen-powered ThinkPad X13 (AMD) is a strong contender in this realm. The Ryzen 5 Pro 4650 U processor that we reviewed offered fantastic performance, although battery life could definitely be better at just under 8 hours in our battery test.
Extensive port options include two USB 3.2 Type-A, two USB-C, an HDMI 2.0, an Ethernet extension port, a microSD, a headphone/mic and a Kensington lock slot. And then as you would expect for a ThinkPad the keyboard is phenomenal and the laptop offers military-grade durability. The anti-relective coating on the display keeps the glare away, but you definitely feel its productivity focus as neither the color gamut nor brightness scores are going to blow you away, however its enough to easily view your spreadsheets and documents in any environment.
If portability is a high priority for your gaming laptop, then the Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 belongs on your shortlist. This is especially true for those considering a VR-ready laptop that won't weigh you down.
The combination of the excellent AMD Ryzen 4000-series CPU with solid Nvidia GTX or RTX GPU options make the Zephyrus G14 a performance beast with literally the best battery life we've ever seen on a gaming laptop. The display is similarly impressive with category beating brightness and color gamut and up to 120Hz refresh rate with support for AMD FreeSync.
The onboard audio relies on the Dolby Access app and two top-firing speakers and our reviewer was blown away by it. The keyboard backlighting was one of the few disappointments with this laptop, but the keyboard itself was solid. Starting at just over $1,000, the Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 is an excellent performer and a good value for gamers on the go.
See our full Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 review.
Microsoft's Surface Laptop 3 is beautifully designed and one of the lightest 15-inch laptops we've ever tested. The crisp, 15-inch display uses a 3:2 aspect ratio (rather than the more common 16:9), which is optimal for working with documents or viewing websites. Despite the traditional laptop form factor and expansive touchpad, the Surface Laptop 3 offers an extremely responsive touch-screen that is also compatible with the Surface Pen.
Battery life and performance aren't standout features for the Surface Laptop 3, but neither are they deal-breakers. It managed 8 hours in our testing (14 minutes shy of the average for a premium laptop), and while real-world performance was acceptable, it was below average in our benchmarks as well. If you are looking for a large screen without taking on the extra weight associated with it, the Surface Laptop 3 is the best option out there.
See our full Surface Laptop 3 (15-inch, AMD).
The Acer Swift 3 is a fairly unassuming little laptop and you would be right to pass on the Intel model, but the AMD 4000-series version offers absolutely stunning performance starting at less than $700. That performance makes the over 11-hour runtime that we saw in our battery life testing all the more impressive.
And while its understated design isn't going to stand out, the magnesium and aluminum-look is minimalist and classy and helps to bring the Swift 3 in at a trim 0.6 inches and 2.65 pounds. If you are looking for the downside we have just one real gripe with the Swift 3 and that is its 14-inch 1080p display. The Swift 3 managed a terrible 62% sRGB color gamut reproduction in our testing and 251 nits of brightness, if a bright and vibrant display is a high priority for you take another look at our top recommendation the HP Envy x360 13.
See our full Acer Swift 3 (2020, AMD Ryzen 7 4700U) review.
While it obviously has some tradeoffs, the lack of a high refresh rate display and a high-end GPU, there is simply no beating the value proposition of the Acer Nitro 5 at just $669.
While it slotted in just below the budget gaming laptop average in a number of our graphics-based tests as you can see in our full review, it was awfully close and again at a price point that is well below its competition. CPU performance is another matter entirely, crushing the category averages in overall performance and video transcoding.
Battery life is another stellar feature for the Nitro 5 with 11 hours and 9 minutes in our test, crushing the 6 hour and 38-minute category average. If you want to spend up to the nearly $900 Dell G5 15 SE (2020) you'll get better GPU performance and a superior display, but at that price, you'll want to start looking at the aforementioned Asus Zephyrus G14 or TUF Gaming A15 for a much better overall package at just over $1,000.
See our full Acer Nitro 5 (AMD, 2020) review.
Now before you dismiss this as yet another mid-tier gaming laptop based on the AMD Ryzen 4000 series CPU, give me a minute to explain why you should pay attention to this one too. First of all, quite frankly basically all of the mid-tier Ryzen 4000 series gaming laptops are quite good, so it's good to keep your options open as they all offer something slightly different.
The HP delivers solidly in the display department with our review unit offering a 144Hz refresh rate in a bright and vibrant display that outdoes some of its competitors. Where it falls down a touch is in the keyboard and the audio departments, but frankly I'd prefer a good gaming keyboard and gaming headset or a nice set of computer speakers anyway.
Like some of its competitors, it does give you the option to spec things up a little higher as well topping out at the Nvidia GeForce RTX 2060 with a 1TB NVMe M.2 SSD.
See our full HP Omen 15 (2020) review.
While there are quite a few gaming laptops with AMD processors in this range, but ultraportable laptops with AMD Ryzen 5000-series aren't as common and thankfully the Asus ZenBook 13 UM325S is one of the best ultraportable laptops available. The OLED display is beautiful and completing the multimedia experience are the powerful speakers.
As we've come to expect with laptops powered by both Ryzen 4000 and now Ryzen 5000 the ZenBook 13 UM325S gives excellent performance with long-lasting battery life. Some users may find the incredibly compact design to be a touch cramped when it comes to the keyboard and trackpad, but obviously, this will be nothing but a benefit to others that value its convenient packable size.