The best touchscreen laptops of 2021 are highly responsive to touch gestures, support digital pen input, and delight your eyes with vibrant colors and radiant brightness.
The best aspect of touchscreen laptops is that they unshackle you from the confines of your keyboard and touchpad. Touchscreen laptops kicks things up a notch by inviting you to interact with the display. 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!).
Whether you're jotting down notes, sketching a masterpiece or just quickly zooming in on a web page, the best touch screen laptops add a lot of versatility to your day. 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
- 1. HP Spectre x360 (Late 2019)
- Dell XPS 13 2-in-1
- Microsoft Surface Pro 6
- Google Pixelbook Go
- Lenovo Yoga C940 (14-inch)
- Dell XPS 13 (Late 2019)
- HP Envy 13t
- HP Spectre Folio
- Asus Chromebook Flip C434
- Microsoft Surface Go
- LG Gram 14 2-in-1
- HP zBook Studio x360 G5
- HP Envy 13 (2019)
- Samsung Galaxy Book Flex 15
- Acer Spin 5 (2020)
- Asus VivoBook Flip 14 2020
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 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.
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.
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 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
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.
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 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 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.
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.
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.
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