Best Windows on ARM laptops: Surface, HP, and more!

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Best Windows on ARM laptops: Surface, HP, and more!


Microsoft and Qualcomm first introduced Windows on ARM back in 2017, but it took some time for ARM devices to catch on. The ability to run Windows on ARM-based processors is a big deal. ARM processors offer always-on connectivity, instant wake, and many of them come with cellular connectivity without adding a premium to the price. The first few Windows on ARM devices all had the same processors, and they weren’t very good. But nowadays, there are multiple ARM processors designed for PCs and devices using each one. That means there’s a bit more choice than there used to be in this space. To help you find them, we’ve rounded up the best Windows on ARM laptops you can buy right now.

One thing that’s important to note is not only are these PCs using different processors, but they all have different designs. The Windows on ARM segment now offers quite a few diverse choices, so you can almost certainly find something you like. Whether it’s a tablet, a clamshell, or a convertible, there are options.

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Best overall: HP Elite Folio

HP Elite Folio

Until you’ve used a device covered in vegan leather, you might not know exactly what you’re missing out on. But I have to be honest, it’s one of my favorite things. Vegan leather not only looks classy and sophisticated, but it also feels soft to the touch. Based on that alone, the HP Elite Folio is one of my favorite devices on this list.

It’s one of the best-looking laptops here, but it also benefits from a really clever design for a convertible. Instead of spinning the screen around the keyboard, the screen can rest on the keyboard. You can even make it so it’s covering the keyboard and not the mousepad. It’s a very unique design and it deserves all the praise for that.

On top of that, it’s just a premium Windows on an ARM PC. It has a Qualcomm Snapdragon 8cx Gen 2, which means you can configure it with 5G if you want. The screen has a 3:2 aspect ratio, a privacy filter, and it’s covered in Corning Gorilla Glass 5. It’s a great business laptop with a sleek and unique look that definitely deserves attention.

    HP Elite Folio
    The HP Elite Folio is one of the most unique-looking ARM laptops yet, with the leather cover giving it a classy look and feel. It’s powered by the Snapdragon 8cx Gen 2, it has up to 16GB of RAM and 512GB of storage. Plus, it has a tall 13.5-inch 3:2 display that’s great for productivity.

Best 5G convertible: Lenovo Flex 5G

Lenovo Flex 5G Verizon

If leather isn’t your thing but you still want a professional 5G convertible, the Lenovo Flex 5G is another great choice. In fact, it’s on our list of best 5G laptops. The good thing about this one is there are no configuration options for things like 5G, so if you buy it, you know exactly what you’re getting into. It has a Snapdragon 8cx, though not the Gen 2 refresh, and it will straight up just have 5G because that’s the only option available. It’s also a premium-looking device, with the kind of business feel you’d expect. It also has 8GB of RAM and 256GB of SSD storage.

To complement the business look, the IdeaPad Flex 5G also has Windows 10 Pro, making it even more suited as a business device. That means you can use things like Remote Desktop and BitLocker.

    Lenovo Flex 5G
    If you want a premium business laptop powered by ARM, the Lenovo Flex 5G is a great option. It packs a Snapdragon 8cx processor, 8GB of RAM, and it has 5G support by default. The 14-inch display is Full HD and has up to 400 nits of brightness, making it suitable for outdoor use.

Best battery life: Acer Spin 7

Acer Spin 7

Rounding out the traditional convertibles on this list is the Acer Spin 7, which feels more like a premium consumer product than a business one. The Acer Spin 7 has a premium design and a more striking dual-tone look due to the colored hinge and touchpad edges. Otherwise, it’s still a premium device and has premium specs, including a Qualcomm Snapdragon 8cx Gen 2, 5G support, 8GB of RAM and 512GB of storage. What makes it stand out the most though is it promises up to 29 hours of battery life, the highest of any Windows on ARM device on this list.

It also has a 14-inch IPS LCD display with 400 nits of brightness, and it includes a stylus with a pen garage built into the laptop itself. Unfortunately, the Acer Spin 7 isn’t available in the United States just yet, but it’ll cost $1,599. Seeing as it’s one of the best-looking ARM laptops yet, hopefully that’ll happen soon. You can find it on Acer’s website below when it goes on sale.

    Acer Spin 7
    The Acer Spin 7 is one of the most striking Windows on ARM laptops, featuring a dual-tone design and color choices that are actually interesting. On top of that, it has a Snapdragon 8cx Gen 2 processor, 8GB of RAM, and 512GB of storage. It also comes with a pen that’s easily stored inside the laptop itself.

Best Windows on ARM tablet: Surface Pro X

Surface Pro x

Microsoft’s own Surface Pro X is one of the flagship Windows on ARM devices, but while it can turn into a laptop if you get a Type Cover, it can also be just a tablet. Compared to other devices on this list, what stands out the most about the Pro X is its display. The 13-inch panel comes in at a whopping 2880 x 1920 resolution, making it far sharper than anything else in the segment. It comes with the usual 3:2 aspect ratio of Surface devices, and it even has a removable SSD up to 1TB. Microsoft says you shouldn’t swap it yourself, but it’s fairly easy to do if you want to.

There’s actually a lot that’s unique about the Surface Pro X. It’s the only device on this list with a world-facing camera, so if you take the occasional picture with your tablet, this might be the best option. As for the main camera, it has an eye contact feature that automatically adjusts the user’s eye position to create more natural eye contact during a video call. Microsoft uses custom SQ 1 and SQ 2 chipsets, which are essentially tweaked versions of the Snapdragon 8cx and 8cx Gen 2. You can also get it with up to 16GB of RAM. If you want a premium tablet, this is definitely the go-to.

    Surface Pro X
    Microsoft’s Surface Pro X has a lot that’s unique about it, including a custom Microsoft SQ 2 processor, a 10MP rear-facing camera, and a super-sharp display. It can be used as just a tablet, but with a Type Cover, it can also become a laptop. It even has a removable SSD.

Best Windows on ARM clamshell: Samsung Galaxy Book S

Samsung Galaxy Book S

Sometimes all you need is a basic premium laptop, and Samsung is pretty much alone when it comes to ARM clamshells. The Samsung Galaxy Book S is its more premium offering, featuring a Snapdragon 8cx chipset, 8GB of RAM, and a 256GB SSD. The display is 13.3 inches across and has Full HD resolution, so it’s sharp enough for most uses. It’s not a touchscreen though.

What makes the Galaxy Book S unique is just how thin it is, measuring just 0.5 inches in thickness and weighing 2.1 pounds. It’s one of the most portable devices on this list that has a keyboard, so there’s some value in that. It also has 4G connectivity, though not 5G, so that may be a bit of a bummer. Regardless, it’s the best clamshell available right now if you’re looking for something premium.

    Samsung Galaxy Book S
    Traditional clamshells are fairly rare in the Windows on ARM space, so it’s great to see such a premium offering from Samsung. The Galaxy Book S is incredibly thin but it still packs a Snapdragon 8cx chipset, and it promises up to 25 hours of use on a charge. It has 8GB of RAM, a 256GB SSD, and 4G support if you want to stay connected on the move.

Best budget ARM PC: Samsung Galaxy Book Go

Samsung Galaxy Book Go

In a sea of premium ARM-based devices, the Samsung Galaxy Book Go is a breath of fresh air, aiming for the entry-level market with features you just can’t get on other laptops at this price point. For a $350 laptop, it has decent performance, a Full HD display, instant wake-up from sleep, and a premium design. It doesn’t rival the top-tier entries on this list, but it’s better than many Intel-based products in its price range. It’s cheaper than pretty much every laptop on our list of best budget laptops, but it still offers a compelling design and features.

It’s a traditional clamshell form factor and it comes packing a Snapdragon 7c Gen 2, actually being the first consumer device to do so. The configuration available right now only has 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage, but it’s an entry-level laptop, so that’s to be expected. It also doesn’t have cellular connectivity on the base configuration. Despite that, you’re getting a lot of value with something this cheap and this kind of premium look-and-feel. It’s a great first laptop for a kid or the occasional user.

    Samsung Galaxy Book Go
    The Samsung Galaxy Book Go easily stands out as a very affordable entry point into Windows on ARM. It costs just $350, but it still has a premium design and feel. While it’s not as powerful, you still get features like instant wake and extra-long battery life, which you just can’t get anywhere else at this price.

That covers most of the current Windows on ARM laptops, which does still show a somewhat lacking ecosystem compared to Intel and AMD products. Still, there’s variety in form factors, design, and even price points here. You can already get a few types of ARM devices, so there’s likely to be something that suits your needs.

With Windows 11, these devices are actually going to get more capable, with Microsoft adding support for x64 emulation. That means most types of apps should soon work on ARM PCs like the ones on this list. Maybe at that point, we’ll also start seeing more ARM devices being released.

You might not want an ARM laptop though, because there are other limitations that come with it. For example, ARM laptops don’t have Thunderbolt, so you can’t use a Thunderbolt dock for expansion. We have a list of the best Thunderbolt-enabled laptops if that’s something you need.



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