Windows 10 has been out for a few months now, giving computer manufacturers plenty of time to come up with compelling new hardware fine tuned for Microsoft’s newest operating system. The options range from the spartan to the fully-loaded, with price points affordable to just about everyone.
Here we take a look at some of the best new laptops and devices out there, and what sets them apart from the rest.
1. Surface Book
No list of cool Windows 10 devices would be complete right now without mentioning Microsoft’s Surface Book (pictured above). Think of Microsoft’s new laptop as a the Surface tablet beefed up with laptop-level specs. With the Surface Book, you’re getting the option of either an Intel Core i5 or i7 processor, double the RAM of the Surface tablet, and quite a bit more space. Of course with more features comes a much higher price: the cheapest Surface Book is $1,499 with higher end models coming in over $3,000.
Regardless of the price, those who need the portability of a tablet but can’t go without the power a laptop provides won’t go wrong with the Surface Book. If you’re looking for a little more specific information on Microsoft’s latest device, see our overview of the Surface Book’s best features.
2. Acer Aspire One CloudBook
Looking for a low-cost traditional laptop that still can run Windows 10? Acer’s Aspire One CloudBook is it. It’s essentially the netbook reborn. According to TechRadar, Acer’s Aspire One netbooks were one of the best selling netbooks on the market, and you could consider the CloudBook its younger and more nimble brother. CloudBooks come in either 11- or 14-inch screen sizes, with 2GB of RAM and a Celeron 1.6GHz processor. Storage space is still quite limited like the original Aspire Ones, with the cheapest version only sporting 16GB of space, while 32GB and 64GB storage options are available on higher end models.
At $169-$199 can you really complain, though? The original Aspire Ones were about $100 more expensive and had far worse specs. And for those who are just looking for the bare minimum when it comes to computing needs and still want the familiarity of Windows, the CloudBook is certainly a worthwhile option to consider, and like the name implies, you can always turn to the cloud to extend its functionality.
3. Dell XPS 13/15
Dell got some pretty rave reviews for its XPS Ultrabook line, which stands at the top of the heap when it comes to currently available laptops. But for what they offer, the retail price — starting at $799 for the XPS 13 and $999 for the XPS 15 — makes these laptops a pretty good deal. A thin profile encases either an Intel Core i3, i5, or i7 processor and 4GB to 16GB of RAM depending on what model you choose. The laptops include both USB and Thunderbolt slots, and impressive battery life can provide up to 18 hours of battery life according to company claims.
If you’re looking for a laptop with a nice display, reviews like this one from the Verge say it is “simply beautiful,” and one of the best rated laptops in its class.
4. Lenovo LaVie Z
Lenovo’s LaVie Z laptops are described as “crazy light and surprisingly fast” from reviewers at PC World. The laptop weighs only 50 grams more than a Surface Pro tablet, yet has many times the processing power. An Intel Core i7 processor, 8GB of RAM, and a 256GB solid state drive highlight this 13-inch laptop in price points starting at $1,399. You can also pick up a version of the LaVie with a 360-degree swivel display for an extra $200.
The LaVie released earlier this year, and originally shipped with Windows 8.1. Lenovo is now shipping the LaVie with Windows 10, and the computer has ample power built into its thin shell to run the new operating system beautifully. In fact, the laptop has found itself on many buying guides this year, from PC World to CNET and others.
For our last device worthy of your consideration, we present the Kangaroo. At only 80 millimeters wide and 158 millimeters long, it is one of the smallest full-fledged Windows PCs on the market.
Don’t let the diminutive size or the rock bottom price (only $99!) fool you though, this device has a pretty solid feature set. Running Windows 10 Home, the Kangaroo sports an Intel Atom processor with 2GB of RAM and 32GB of Flash memory, and USB and HDMI ports along with a Micro SD slot for expansion are included. An internal battery can power the Kangaroo for up to four hours on a single charge.
Some reviewers like VentureBeat found the Wi-Fi functionality of the Kangaroo a bit slow and some display compatibility issues, however recommended it for its impressive performance overall for such a small package.
Follow Ed on Twitter @edoswald