Premium design. Outstanding full-sized keyboard and impressive touchscreen display. Responsive glass trackpad.
Leather fabric on keyboard might not age well. Only one USB port limits adding of peripherals.
Cheap alternative. Ideal for children or as a second device for accessing Web-based applications.
Limited to Android apps. Runs an older version of the operating system with no guarantee of future system updates.
Rugged HP design. Can be used as a laptop and as a touchscreen. 8 hour battery life. Full-sized keyboard with number pad.
At 4.52 lbs, it is better suited to use on a desk than as a laptop.
360-degree hinge for easy switching between notebook and tablet modes
Onboard memory is only 32GB. may feel under-powered for more demanding apps and tasks.
Market leading 2-in-1 laptop with 360-degree hinge for tablet mode. 11.6" HD touchscreen display is bright. Ideal for travelers and students. 9 hour battery. Only 2.36 pounds.
Processor is designed for long battery life instead of for powerful apps or games..
Until recently, the standard laptop design hadn't changed much since the initial appearance in the computer marketplace, but with the advent of touchscreen laptops, you can find a range of versatile computers that fit in with contemporary life.
Unlike tablets, touchscreen laptops have keyboards and plenty of computing power, so they're suitable for work use. However, their touchscreens mean they're also highly convenient for generally surfing the web and media consumption.
Which is the best touchscreen laptop for you and how do you figure out which features are important? This can be a hard question to answer, given the wide variety of products available today.
Thanks to in-depth research, product testing, and expert advice, we're able to craft thorough reviews that get to the heart of the matter, without confusing jargon.
So, read on for our full guide to touchscreen laptops. Then scroll up, when you're ready to buy, to see our top five models.
Clamshell touchscreen laptops have the classic folding design that you'll be used to from standard laptops. The only difference is that they boast a touchscreen.
Clamshell touchscreen laptops are perfect for users who simply want their laptop for work, or even gaming, and will generally only use them at a desk.
As a rule, there's less that can go wrong with clamshell touchscreen laptops compared to 2-in-1 models, which can have issues with their hinges or docking points.
Most people are used to standard clamshell laptops, so there's less of a learning curve compared to other types of touchscreen laptops.
Clamshell touchscreen laptops aren't as versatile as other models.
Convertible touchscreen laptops have hinges that allow you to fold the screen all the way round, so you can stand your laptop up with the keyboard behind it when you want to use the touchscreen.
Convertible touchscreen laptops are ideal for watching movies and TV shows, as you can set them down on a surface and watch in comfort.
It's easy to use a convertible laptop in touchscreen mode without the keyboard getting in the way.
When you need to use the keyboard, convertible touchscreen laptops are basically indistinguishable from standard laptops.
You can't remove the keyboard on convertible touchscreen laptops, which means they're bulkier to use in touchscreen mode.
Two-part touchscreen laptops feature screens that detach from the keyboard, so you can use them independently.
Since you can remove the screen from the keyboard entirely, two-part laptops can act just like tablets.
You can find some very inexpensive two-part touchscreen laptops on the market.
If you already have a tablet, you probably don't need a two-part laptop as well.
Two-part laptops can be slightly bulky.
Some touchscreen laptops ship with apps that you can't delete, which can slow down your machine. However, some higher-end models do away with this "bloatware."
Screen size is measured on the diagonal – from top left to bottom right corner – rather than horizontally, so your screen may be smaller than what you'd expect.
Standard clamshell touchscreen laptops generally feature hard disc drives, rather than solid state drives. This means they tend to have more internal storage space.
The majority of touchscreen laptops run Windows, but some run Chrome OS or even Android. At the time of writing, Apple hasn't yet produced a touchscreen laptop, so if you're a Mac person, you're out of luck. If you use your laptop for work, we generally recommend one that uses Windows as an operating system, as Chrome OS and Android are more simplistic. Chrome OS and Android, however, are more than sufficient for general web-browsing and media consumption.
If you'll be using your touchscreen a lot, opt for one that's highly responsive. A significant lag between touching the screen and the screen response can ruin your whole usage experience. If you choose a laptop from a trusted brand, you'll usually find the screen is adequately responsive. Lesser-known brands tend to be more hit or miss.
You can find touchscreen laptops with screens anywhere between 11 and 17 inches. Those with smaller screens are ideal for use on the go or for taking with you to work or school. Those with larger screens are better for doing certain kinds of work (such as design work or video editing) and for media consumption. Remember that smaller laptops will have smaller keyboards by default, so you may find them fiddly to type on if you have large hands.
Random access memory (RAM) is where your computer stores programs and data that it's currently using. The more RAM your computer has, the faster it will work (especially when you have a lot of programs open at once) as it won't have to pause when it needs to load more data. Some budget touchscreen laptops only offer 2GB of RAM, but we recommend choosing a laptop with at least 4GB of RAM. If you have the budget for it and you tend to multitask – keeping a lot of programs open at the same time – go for a laptop with 8GB of RAM. For the average users, anything with 16GB of RAM or over is more than they need.
Your laptop's central processing unit (CPU) or "processor" is essentially the brain of your computer – it's what tells everything else what to do. The quality of your CPU is a big factor in the overall performance of your laptop. Most touchscreen laptops either have Intel or AMD processors. With Intel models, the Celeron and Pentium ranges are great for everyday use, while the Core i3, i5, and i7 ranges are ideal for professional use and gaming. The most basic AMD CPU is the A4, whereas the FX range is professional-level.
Most people still use the touchpad on their touchscreen laptop, so make sure it's responsive and easy to operate for hassle free usage of your device.
Check what kinds of and how many ports (USB, HDMI, DisplayPort) the touchscreen laptop has, and make sure the type and amount are adequate.
Some touchscreen laptops are easy to repair and upgrade, while others are impossible to get inside. If upgrade is important to you, choose carefully.
The price of a touchscreen laptop varies depending on a wide range of factors, including the size, CPU, and RAM. Here's what you can expect to pay.
You can find budget touchscreen laptops for under $500, but they don't tend to perform extremely well. They're fine for basic browsing, but don't hold up to professional use or lots of multitasking.
Mid-range touchscreen laptops cost between $500 and $1,000. These are great for the average user – whether you need your laptop for work or just for pleasure.
High-end touchscreen laptops cost between $1,000 and $3,000. In this price range you'll find high-performance machines suitable for professional design or video editing, or for gaming.
It may be tempting to go for a budget laptop, but its price generally reflects its performance, so don't expect to get a lightning-fast computer with incredible graphics for a bargain price.
Look at the display quality of your chosen touchscreen. Modern laptops should boast at least 1080 HD screens (featuring around 2 million pixels), but some models use the latest technology to bring you 6 million pixel displays.
Check if your touchscreen laptop comes with any useful software. Some Windows models come complete with the much beloved Microsoft Office suite, for instance.
Decide if weight and thickness is important to you. Touchscreen technology does add some weight to a laptop, but you can still find some very slim and light models.
Q. Do I really need a touchscreen laptop?
A. You might be wondering whether you really need a touchscreen model instead of a standard laptop. Well, touchscreen laptops certainly aren't for everyone. If you think you'd never use the touchscreen feature, then opt for a standard laptop. However, you might be surprised by how often you find yourself using the touchscreen. It's great for general web-surfing, watching videos, and browsing social media. Touchscreens are also great for anyone who does design work on the computer, since – with the help of a stylus – you can edit and fine-tune your work right on the screen. Plus, bear in mind that the future of laptops is likely to be touchscreen, so buying a touchscreen model now means you won't have to upgrade in a couple of years when everyone's using them.
Q. What's the battery life of a touchscreen laptop like?
A. Unfortunately, the battery life of a touchscreen laptop is usually a couple of hours less than the battery life of a comparable laptop without a touchscreen. While that's not ideal, most people tend to use their laptops somewhere they have access to a power outlet most of the time, so it shouldn't be hard to charge it when you need to. Depending on the model you choose, you may still get 10 or more hours of battery from a touchscreen laptop, so you just need to shop around if battery life is important to you.
Q. Will my touchscreen laptop come with an optical drive?
A. Since most people stream media these days, and you can find most games and software available straight to download from the web, fewer new laptops come with optical drives (that is, CD/DVD drives). You won't find many touchscreen laptops with optical drives, but they are out there.
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