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December 7, 2017

The best touchscreen laptops

by John_A

When we talk about touchscreens, they’re usually in reference to phones, tablets, 2-in-1s, convertibles, and all-in-one PCs. After all, that’s where touchscreens are best utilized, especially when touch-based input is at the forefront of your computing experience. But regardless of how much Steve Jobs hated them, there’s a crowd that wouldn’t mind a traditional clamshell laptop with a screen supporting touch.

Below you will find a mixture of Chromebooks and Windows 10 PCs. Our favorite is the HP Spectre 15 as seen in our recent review, sporting a 13.3-inch screen and an eighth-generation Intel Core i7-8550U processor. We also chose a great option for a premium experience, and a great solution if you’re on a tight budget. Our picks for the best Chromebook and budget-friendly options have locked specifications and prices while our other selections have configurations you can customize through the manufacturer.

Our Pick

HP Spectre 13

Why you should buy this: This touch-enabled laptop provides excellent performance backed by a solid battery, and a beautiful yet thin and light form factor.

Who’s it for: Customers willing to purchase a laptop above the $1,200 mark.

How much will it cost: $1,249+

Why we picked the HP Spectre 13:

For this model, HP provides two configurations with a starting price of $1,249 although we reviewed the higher-end model. The big difference between the two is the underlying processor: a seventh-generation Core i7-7500U in one model, and an eighth-generation Core i7-8550U in the other. Both provide the same amount of system memory and storage, but the seventh-generation version is slightly bigger in size due to two additional speakers.

As the specifications show, the laptop measures just 0.41 inches thick, and weighs 2.45 pounds. Complementing this thin and light form factor is a cooling system that enables the full potential of Intel’s chip without causing excessive heat and possible performance bottlenecks. The system also includes dynamic power settings that adjusts to the current application, so you get high performance when you need it, enabling a longer battery duration.

See on Amazon

Screen size:
13.3 inches
Screen type:
In-Plane Switching
Resolution:
1,920 x 1,080
Processor:
Intel Core i7-7500U
Intel Core i7-8550U
Graphics:
Intel HD Graphics 620
Intel UHD Graphics 620
Memory:
8GB LPDDR3 @ 1,600MHz
Storage:
256GB PCIe NVMe M.2 SSD
Audio:
2x Bang & Olufsen speakers
4x Bang & Olufsen speakers
Connectivity:
Wireless AC (up to 867Mbps)
Bluetooth 4.0
Bluetooth 4.2
Ports:
2x Thunderbolt 3
1x USB-C (Gen1)
1x Headphone/microphone jack
Camera:
HP TrueVision HD IR camera
Battery:
38.0 WHr (9.75 hours)
43.7 WHr (11.5 hours)
Dimensions:
12.80 x 9.03 x 0.41 inches
12.13 x 8.83 x 0.41 inches
Weight:
2.45 pounds
Color:
Dark ash silver
Ceramic White
Starting price:
$1,249

Best 15-inch touchscreen laptop

HP Envy 15t

Why you should buy this: Here’s another premium touch-enabled laptop manufactured by HP, but at a far lower cost.

Who’s it for: Customers wanting high performance for a reduced price.

How much will it cost: Starting at $1,019 (currently reduced to $719)

Why we picked the HP Envy 15t:

Here’s another touch-capable laptop from HP. This model isn’t quite as expensive, but still provides a premium experience for a lower price. It’s based on two seventh-generation Intel Core i7 processors, and provides two resolution options when purchasing through HP’s website: 1,920 x 1,080, and 3,840 x 2,160. Memory configurations span between 8GB and 16GB using two memory slots.

With the current two, the Core i7-7560U is the newer chip, but has a slower base speed than the older Core i7-7500U processor. Either way, for a starting price of $1,019 (or $719, even better), the HP Envy 15t is a great buy for non-gaming use.

See on Amazon

Screen size:
15.6 inches
Screen type:
In-Plane Switching
Resolution:
1,920 x 1,080
3,840 x 2,160
Processor:
Intel Core i7-7500U
Intel Core i7-7560U
Graphics:
Intel HD Graphics 620
Intel Iris Plus Graphics 620
Memory:
8GB DDR4 @ 2,133MHz
12GB DDR4 @ 2,133MHz
16GB DDR4 @ 2,133MHz
Storage:
256GB PCIe NVMe M.2 SSD
360GB PCIe NVMe M.2 SSD
512GB PCIe NVMe M.2 SSD
1TB PCIe NVMe M.2 SSD
1TB HDD (5,400RPM) + 128GB M.2 SSD
1TB HDD (5,400RPM) + 256GB M.2 SSD
Audio:
2x Bang & Olufsen speakers
Connectivity:
Wireless AC (up to 867Mbps)
Bluetooth 4.2
Ports:
1x USB-C (Gen1)
3x USB-A (Gen1)
1x HDMI
1x Headphone/microphone jack
1x SD card reader
Camera:
HP Wide Vision HD Webcam
HP TrueVision HD IR Camera
Battery:
52 WHr (up to 7 hours)
Dimensions:
14.96 x 10.04 x 0.71 inches
Weight:
4.8 pounds
Color:
Silver
Starting price:
$719

Best 15-inch touchscreen Chromebook

Acer Chromebook 15

Why you should buy this: Acer’s solution is the largest Chromebook to date, and is backed by premium components.

Who’s it for: Customers looking for a premium computing experience outside the Windows platform.

How much will it cost: $399

Why we picked the Acer Chromebook 15:

This is Acer’s largest Chromebook to date, and we thought it was a great. There’s only one configuration available, which consists of an Intel Pentium N4200 processor, 4GB of system memory, and 32GB of storage. That’s not a lot of space, of course, but Chrome OS wasn’t designed to download and install programs. On that same note, the platform now supports Google Play and Android apps, so Acer helps alleviate your storage woes with a built-in SD card reader.

Notable features in Acer’s Chromebook include a 15.6-inch screen supporting wide viewing angles, deep colors, and a Full HD resolution. There are also two USB-C ports, both of which can be used to charge the Chromebook. Meanwhile, all four USB ports are capable of video output and wired networking using a compatible adapter (although Google would likely rather you purchase a Chromecast for pushing your screen on an external display). Other ingredients include a 720p webcam and Wireless AC networking.

See on Best Buy

Screen size:
15.6 inches
Screen type:
In-Plane Switching
Resolution:
1,920 x 1,080
Processor:
Intel Pentium N4200
Graphics:
Intel HD Graphics 505
Memory:
4GB LPDDR4
Storage:
32GB
Audio:
2x speakers
Connectivity:
Wireless AC
Bluetooth 4.2
Ports:
2x USB-C (Gen1)
2x USB-A (Gen1)
1x Headphone / microphone combo
1x SD card reader
Camera:
720p Webcam
Battery:
Up to 12 hours
Dimensions:
14.9 x 10.1 x 0.75 inches
Weight:
4.30 pounds
Color:
Silver
Price:
$399

Best touchscreen laptop on a budget

Dell Inspiron 15 5567-3655GRY

Why you should buy this: Dell’s Inspiron 15 5567 is a decent touch-based 15.6-inch solution based on a seventh-generation CPU, and a Full HD screen.

Who’s it for: Customers seeking a touch-based laptop for under $600

How much will it cost: $589

Why we picked the Dell Inspiron 15 5567:

Finally, we have a great touch-based laptop for under $600. It’s based on Intel’s seventh-generation Core i5-7200U processor, and the chip’s integrated HD Graphics 620 component. This combo powers a 15.6-inch screen with a Full HD resolution, and is backed by 8GB of system memory running at a decent 2,400MHz and a rather slow hard drive spinning at a mere 5,400 rotations per minute.

As for other features, this laptop provides three USB ports, HDMI-based video output for external monitors and HDTVs, wired networking, an SD card slot, and a 720p infrared camera that supports Windows 10 facial recognition via Windows Hello. Unfortunately, the Wireless AC component is capped at 433Mbps, which is half of what you typically see in most laptops sold on the market.

Note that if you want more oomph out of a laptop, there’s a version with a discrete GeForce GTX 1050 graphics chip for $100 more.

See on Amazon

Screen size:
15.6 inches
Screen type:
Twisted Nematic
Resolution:
1,920 x 1,080
Processor:
Intel Core i5-7200U
Graphics:
Intel HD Graphics 620
Memory:
8GB DDR4 @ 2,400MHz
Storage:
1TB 5,400RPM HDD
1x DVD burner
Audio:
2x Waves MaxxAudio Pro speakers
Connectivity:
Wireless AC (up to 433Mbps)
Bluetooth 4.2
Ports:
2x USB-A (Gen1)
1x USB-A 2.0
1x HDMI 1.4a
1x SD card slot
1x Ethernet
Camera:
720p IR camera
Battery:
42WHr
Dimensions:
10.20 x 15.35 x 0.92 inches
Weight:
5.19 pounds
Color:
Fog Gray
Price:
$589

Editors’ Recommendations

  • The best Linux laptops you can buy
  • The best laptops under $500
  • AMD CEO shows off first laptop packing a Ryzen-branded chip at Best Buy
  • Spin it or flip it? HP Spectre x360 vs. Microsoft Surface Laptop
  • Best cheap gaming PCs




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