Buying a new laptop isn’t always easy, even beyond just the price you have to pay for it. It’s hard to choose the one that’s right for you. We live in a time where we’re fairly spoilt for choice. There are lots of great laptops out there for all different kinds of users, and that can be a bit overwhelming. We’re here to help, and in this roundup, we’ve gathered the best laptops you can buy that feature Windows Ink pen support.
Windows Ink is a feature in Windows 10 and Windows 11, which lets you use a pen to draw or take notes as if you were writing on paper. Technically, you can draw with just your finger, but using an active pen provides a better experience. Active pens have specialized digitizers that respond better, offer different levels of pressure, or even support tilt. There’s a lot more you can do with Windows Ink when your laptop has support for active pens.
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Best 13-inch Windows Ink laptop: Dell XPS 13 2-in-1
Dell’s XPS lineup never fails to impress, and the XPS 13 2-in-1 is a phenomenal thin and light convertible. It’s powered by 11th-generation Intel Core processors with Iris Xe Graphics, and that alone already makes it a powerful machine. You can configure it with up to a whopping 32GB of RAM and 1TB of PCIe NVMe SSD, which will give you fantastic performance for just about anything you might want to do.
But it doesn’t stop there. The Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 has a 13.4-inch display in the 16:10 aspect ratio, which gives you a taller area for taking notes or drawing. You can configure it with up to UHD+ resolution too, so it’s extremely sharp. Plus, it’s certified for DisplayHDR 400 and Dolby Vision. Despite being thin and light, Dell still touts up to 14 hours of battery life for the Full HD+ model.
The pen isn’t included by default, but Dell sells its Premium Pen with 4,096 levels of pressure and tilt support, so you’re bound to have a good Windows Ink experience. The pen attaches magnetically to the side of the XPS 13 2-in-1 for easy storage.
Best 15-inch Windows Ink laptop: HP Spectre x360 15
The HP Spectre family is well-known for its premium design and top-notch performance, and the 15-inch model is no exception. It packs Intel’s latest Core processors, which not only gets you great performance but also expandability with Thunderbolt 4. It comes with 16GB of RAM and 512GB of SSD storage, and a 72.9Whr battery that promises up to 14 hours and 15 minutes of battery life.
This specific model comes with a 4K (Ultra HD) display, and features the iconic design of the Spectre lineup. It uses a dual-tone finish that makes it stand out more than most other premium laptops. Plus, there are the cut-off corners in the back that house the Thunderbolt port and power button, making for an even more unique look. Unlike with the Dell XPS 2-in-1, this laptop includes a pen in the box, the HP Rechargeable MPP 2.0 Tilt Pen, so you’ll be ready to use Windows Ink right away.
Best business laptop: Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga Gen 6
Lenovo’s ThinkPad brand has a nearly unmatched reputation in the business space, and for good reason. These are powerful laptops with an iconic design with red accents and the ever-present mouse nub. These classic elements make the ThinkPad X1 Yoga appealing to long-time users, but doesn’t mean it isn’t modern where it counts. It comes with 11th-generation Intel Core processors. up to 32GB of RAM, and a 1TB SSD. Plus you get the benefits of Windows 10 Pro, and you can even opt for vPro variants of the Intel processors, with greater performance and security features.
As for the display, it’s a 14-inch panel and it comes in the taller 16:10 aspect ratio, which is great for productivity. The base model is Full HD+, but you can also configure it with up to an 4K+ option. One thing that’s unique about the Think X1 Yoga is that not only does it include a pen, but it’s actually stored inside the laptop. You don’t have to worry about it accidentally detaching from your laptop or losing it, plus the pen garage charges the pen, too. The Lenovo Integrated Pen supports 4,096 levels of pressure, so it should give you a pretty good experience with Windows Ink.
- The Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga is a popular business laptop, and for good reason. It combines a premium modern design with classic elements and high-end performance. It has the latest Intel processors, up to 32GB of RAM, and 1TB of NVMe SSD storage. Plus it includes a pen with a pen garage that makes storage much easier.
Best for creative professionals: Acer ConceptD 7 Ezel
Acer has been trying to cater to creative professionals in recent years with the ConceptD lineup, and the ConceptD 7 Ezel is no exception. This is an expensive, but very high-end product that’s meant to take on demanding creative workloads. It features Intel H-series Core processors, specifically the Core i7-10750H, as well as an NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q GPU. Plus, it comes with 32GB of RAM and a massive 2TB of SSD storage to store your projects.
The ConceptD 7 Ezel is a very unique offering because while it has a 360-degree hinge connecting the display to the keyboard, there’s another hinge behind the display too. This lets you use the screen in all kinds of positions, or easily spin it around to show something to someone in front of you. Naturally, it’s also a very high-end display with 4K resolution, 100% coverage of Adobe RGB, and PANTONE validated color accuracy.
It comes with a Wacom EMR pen, which is different from the majority of Windows PCs. Wacom is well-known for its drawing tablets and pens, so you’re bound to have a good experience with Windows Ink and other apps on this laptop.
Best AMD-based Windows Ink laptop: ASUS Vivobook Flip 14
Most laptops still tend to be powered by Intel processors, but that doesn’t mean you can’t find a good AMD laptop with Windows Ink pen support. The ASUS VIvobook Flip 14 is a relatively affordable but still powerful convertible powered by AMD’s Ryzen 5000 series CPUs. You can get it with up to a Ryzen 7 5700U and 8GB of RAM, plus a large 512GB SSD. That’s plenty of power and fast storage for almost everything you’d want to do on a laptop, and it’s pretty affordable, too, considering its specs.
It has a 14-inch Full HD display with wide viewing angles and stylus support, so it’s a great starting point for Windows Ink. It even comes with a stylus and holder included, which is a very nice bonus for something this affordable. The included ASUS Pen supports 1,024 levels of pressure, which isn’t terribly impressive, but considering the price of the laptop, it’s solid. Plus you’re still getting a modern and thin design.
Best Windows Ink tablet: Surface Pro X
Microsoft’s Surface Pro line has felt a bit stagnant in recent years, but the Surface Pro X was a breath of fresh air. It features a Microsoft SQ2 processor, which is a custom version of the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8cx Gen 2. It’s an ARM processor, and that has benefits like instant wake and always-on LTE. It also comes with 16GB of RAM and a 256GB SSD, though you can go for higher storage tiers if you want.
The display is one of the highlights of the Surface Pro X, featuring a very sharp 2880 x 1920 resolution in the 3:2 aspect ratio. You get a large 13-inch canvas to draw or take notes, and it looks pretty sharp to boot. Another benefit of the Pro X compared to other Surface devices is its modern design, with smaller bezels and a thin chassis.
Unfortunately, the Surface Slim Pen isn’t included, but you can buy it together with the new Type Cover, which gives you a place to store the pen, too. The Surface Slim Pen features 4,096 levels of pressure and tilt support, so it’s one of the best laptops for Windows Ink.
Best budget convertible: Acer Spin 1
If you’re looking for an affordable way to get the most out of Windows Ink, the Acer Spin 1 is a good place to start. It’s a very affordable entry-level laptop, powered by an Intel Celeron N5100 processor. While not the fanciest, that’s still a quad-core processor, and Acer pairs it with 8GB of RAM so you’re still going to be able to do some multi-tasking on it. You also get a 128GB SSD, which gives you some fast storage to get started.
The display is a 14-inch Full HD panel, which isn’t always a guarantee at this price point, especially when you consider the other specs here. As a bonus, the Acer Active Stylus is already included and it’s stored in a garage inside the laptop itself. It charges when you store it, so it’s always ready to go when you need it. It’s also one of the few laptops that use a Wacom AES pen. All of this makes it a great Windows Ink laptop for younger students, or just the occasional user.
Best budget tablet: Surface Go 2
The Windows ecosystem isn’t exactly overflowing with traditional tablets, so the Surface Go 2 is easily one of the best options you can find. You can get it with either Intel Pentium Gold or Core m3 processors, up to 8GB of RAM, and up to 128GB of SSD storage. The starting tier gives you just 64GB of eMMC storage, which isn’t a lot, but there are other benefits to it. We do recommend stepping up to a tier with 128GB of storage, though.
It comes with a 10.5-inch display with a 1920 x 1280 resolution, which makes it pretty sharp for a tablet of this size and price, and you get Full HD cameras both on the front and back. You even get Windows Hello facial recognition, a rarity at this price point. Of course, the display supports the Surface Pen, but it’s not included, so you’ll have to buy it separately. However, it attaches magnetically to the side of the Surface Go 2, so you won’t lose it easily. In addition to all that, you get the typical Surface design with a premium look and feel, which really does make this tablet stand out.
There’s something for everyone and every budget here, so you’re bound to find something you like. As far as personal preference goes, the HP Spectre x360 is an extremely interesting device to me, thanks to its unique design and the large canvas. But if you like something smaller, the Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 is also a fantastic choice.
Looking for a laptop for different use cases? Check out our roundup of the best laptops with 5G if you want to be connected wherever you go. Or if you have a lot of DVDs you’d like to be able to use, see the best laptops out there that still have optical drives. They’re a rarity these days, but there are still some solid options out there. As usual, all the laptops we recommend are eligible for the Windows 11 upgrade when it releases later this year.