These are the Best Thunderbolt 4 laptops in July: Dell XPS 13, Acer Swift 3, and more
Thunderbolt 3 has been around for a while, but this year we’re witnessing PCs finally moving to the newer standard. While technically Thunderbolt 4 is not a huge jump over its predecessor, it’s more reliable. Overall, the speeds remain the same but Intel has tightened the minimum requirements so customers get a better experience. Thunderbolt 4 is very similar to USB 4 and Thunderbolt 3, but Intel has now specified every Thunderbolt 4 laptop has to offer at least one Thunderbolt 4 port for charging, and support for dual 4K displays or a single 8K display.
Thunderbolt 4 offers 40Gbps speeds, dual 4K displays, support for charging devices, and of course you can attach a host of docks to expand the connectivity options. However, these features have been optional on Thunderbolt 3. For instance, certain laptops that have a Thunderbolt 3 port don’t support charging while some Thunderbolt cables only support slower speeds of 20Gbps, or skip on supporting external displays.
If you want to get the latest version of Thunderbolt on your laptop, here are some of the best ones you should consider.
Navigate this guide:
- Best overall laptop: Dell XPS 13 9310
- Best gaming laptop: Razer Blade 15 Advanced Model
- Best convertible laptop: HP Spectre x360 14
- Best laptop on a budget: Acer Swift 3
- Best business laptop: Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon Gen 9
- Best 17-inch laptop: Dell Inspiron 17 7000 (7706)
Best Overall Laptop: Dell XPS 13 9310
Dell introduced the XPS 13 9310 late last year as one of the first laptops to offer Thunderbolt 4. We’ve repeatedly recommended this laptop, as it’s a go-to laptop for someone looking for a combination of power, longevity, and good looks. The notebook is powered by up to an 11th-gen Intel Core i7-1185G7 processor, 16GB 4267MHz of LPDDR4x memory, and 512GB M.2 PCIe NVMe SSD.
Dell offers its top-of-the-line displays on its XPS lineup and this one features a 13.4-inch 16:10 ratio screen, and you can opt for a 1200p or 2400p resolution. Apart from the two Thunderbolt 4 ports, you get a microSD card slot, and a headphone and mic combo jack. Dell claims a battery life of up to 14 hours on the full-HD+ model which sounds great for all-day workloads. It’s also Intel Evo certified which means that it’s specifically recommended by Intel to offer a premium experience to the end-user.
Best Gaming Laptop: Razer Blade 15 Advanced Model
Razer has updated its most popular gaming laptop offering, the Blade 15 with Intel’s new 11th-gen Tiger Lake-H processors. It features two Thunderbolt 4 ports, differing super-fast data transfer speeds, video out, and power delivery. The new ‘Advanced Model’ also features a UHS-III SD card reader, which is a rare sight these days, and HDMI 2.1 which means it can output to an external monitor at 4K 120Hz. It can be configured with up to a Core i9-11900H, 32GB of DDR4 3200MHz memory, 1TB M.2 NVMe PCIe 4.0 SSD with a secondary M.2 PCIe 4.0 slot for expansion and graphics options of up to an NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080 (16GB DDR6 VRAM).
- The new Razer Blade 15 Advanced Model comes with the latest CPU and GPU options for the best gaming experience along with Thunderbolt 4 connectivity.
Best convertible laptop: HP Spectre x360 14
The HP Spectre x360 14 is one of the most premium and best 2-in-1 laptops on the market today, and the latest variant comes with Thunderbolt 4. HP is offering the laptop with a standard full-HD resolution 13.5-inch panel that comes with 400-nits of brightness or you can go for a 3K2K (3000 x 2000-pixels) OLED panel or even a 1,000-nit option that comes with a special anti-reflective coating for better privacy. The laptop is available with up to an Intel Core i7-1165G7, 16GB of RAM, 1TB storage with 32GB Intel Optane, and if you go for the anti-reflective display option, that gets you 2TB of storage. The gem-cut edges at the back along with the color accents are still around which gives the Spectre series a distinct look.
- The HP Spectre x360 14 comes with a premium 2-in-1 design featuring premium display options, the latest Intel 11th-gen processors and two Thunderbolt 4 ports.
Best Laptop On a Budget: Acer Swift 3
If you’re looking for a laptop with Thunderbolt 4 that isn’t very expensive, then the Acer Swift 3 could be your answer. This laptop has been a part of our best laptops list as the best budget option and the newest variant includes important updates including the Thunderbolt standard as well as the processor.
You can get the Swift 3 with up to an Intel Core i7-1165G7 processor with Iris Xe graphics, a 14-inch IPS full-HD 16:10 display, up to 16GB of RAM, and 1TB of SSD storage. It’s also a pretty lightweight machine at 1.2kg and is also Intel Evo certified, just like XPS 13.
Best Business Laptop: Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon Gen 9
The ThinkPad range has been the go-to choice for business professionals as it offers top-of-the-line security features along with solid build quality. The new 2021 version of the Lenovo Thinkpad X1 Carbon comes with two Thunderbolt 4 ports along with the latest internal hardware. As the name suggests, the laptop makes use of carbon fiber, ensuring a robust finish. Compared to the last-gen model, the new variant comes with a taller 16:10 display, a larger trackpad, and of course the latest 11th-gen Intel Tiger Lake processor options.
The laptop also comes with an optional IR camera, human-presence detection and a match-on-chip fingerprint reader, and a webcam privacy cover.
Best 17-Inch Laptop: Dell Inspiron 17 7000 2-in-1 (7706)
Dell’s new and refreshed Inspiron lineup includes the 2-in-1 Inspiron 7706. The convertible 17-inch laptop is perfect for media consumption, and with the latest 11th-generation Intel Core i7-1165G7 processor, it’s also quite powerful to handle all of your computing tasks. This specific model also comes with NVIDIA’s GeForce MX350 GPU for that additional graphics boost. The display makes use of an IPS touchscreen panel with a QHD+ (2560 x 1600) resolution. Apart from the single Thunderbolt 4 port, the laptop comes with an SD card reader, two USB 3.2 Gen 1 ports, a 3.5mm audio combo jack, and a full-size HDMI 1.4b port. While the laptop comes with a dedicated barrel charging port, the Thunderbolt 4 port offers support for power delivery alongside DisplayPort and super-fast data transfer.
Intel’s new 11th-gen Tiger Lake-H processors for gaming laptops and workstations were recently announced and are making their way to a variety of laptops this summer. In short, expect a lot more laptops with Thunderbolt 4 to flood the market in the coming days.
If you don’t want to spend the extra money and stick to the older standard, then you can also take a look at our list of best laptops with Thunderbolt 3. Speaking of fast connectivity, we recently listed some of the best laptops available with 5G that could help you stay connected to a reliable and fast network, even when you are on the go.