These are the best Thunderbolt 4 laptops for 2022

These are the best Thunderbolt 4 laptops for 2022

Thunderbolt has become an increasingly common feature in laptops over the last few years. Since the introduction of Thunderbolt 3, which uses the familiar USB Type-C connector, many more laptops have been adopting this feature. And with Thunderbolt 4, the experience has been standardized so all Thunderbolt laptops offer the best speeds promised in Thunderbolt 3.

Thunderbolt is a proprietary connection interface developed by Intel, and is popular due to its very high data rates compared to normal USB. With Thunderbolt 4, it becomes possible to connect lots of USB peripherals at their full speed, use external displays, or even connect external GPUs using enclosures like the Razer Core X. It’s an interface that makes laptops far more versatile, and because of that, most premium laptops now have it.

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Thunderbolt 4 comparison table

Image: Intel

As such, we’ve rounded up the best laptops with Thunderbolt 4 ports in case you’re looking to expand your setup now or in the future. Because this is Intel proprietary technology, most of these have Intel processors, but there are a couple of exceptions.

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Best overall: HP Spectre x360 13.5

HP Spectre x360 13.5

If you want a premium laptop that you can also use as a tablet, the HP Spectre x360 13.5 is one of the very best options you can find right now. It’s a fantastic combination of versatility and portability with a beautiful design that stands out from the crowd.

Let’s start with the specs, as we often do. The HP Spectre x3t60 13.5 is powered by 12th-generation Intel processors, specifically going up to an Intel Core i7-1255U. That’s a 15W processor with 10 cores and 12 threads, plus boost up to 4.7GHz, which already delivers plenty of performance. Just like other recent Intel processors, Iris Xe Graphics is also built in, so it can handle some light GPU workloads. Additionally, you can configure the Spectre x360 13.5 with up to 32GB of RAM and a 2TB SSD for storage, so this is a top-tier experience all around.

The display is easily one of the highlights of the Spectre x360 13.5, too. Simlar to its predecessor, the Spectre x360 14, HP is using a 3:2 aspect ratio for the display, something we see a lot in Microsoft’s Surface devices. This aspect ratio is taller than a typical 16:9 display — in fact, it’s even taller than 16:10, which is a much more popular format in other laptops. That gives you that much more surface area for content, making reading, writing, and browsing the web more productive since you can see that much more. The base configuration is a Full HD+ (1920 x 1280) panel, which is already good, but you can upgrade to an absolutely stunning OLED display in “3K2K” (3000 x 2000) resolution. That makes this an incredibly sharp screen, but also one that gives you very high contrast ratios, vivid colors, and pure blacks. The Full HD+ model also gives you the option to get a privacy screen to protect sensitive information from people around you.

Unlike its predecessors, which had a measly 720p webcam, the Spectre x360 13.5 truly keeps with the times, packing a 5MP webcam. This is potentially the best camera on a Windows laptop right now, and in addition to 1080p video, it supports features like auto framing and lighting correction to ensure you look the best you can during video calls and meetings. Plus, Windows Hello facial recognition support is in tow, too.

One of the coolest things about the Spectre x360 is its design. Aside from the more classic Natural Silver color, it uses a dual-tone look that’s fairly different from everything else. The Nightfall Black variant combines black surfaces and bronze-colored accents, while Nocturne Blue combines dark blue surfaces with a lighter shade of blue for the edges. It also uses a cut-off corner design near the hinge, giving it more of a unique identity, while also making a Thunderbolt port more reachable from either side (or the back) of the laptop, so it can be used in different setups more easily.

The other ports include an additional Thunderbolt connection, USB Type-A, a headphone jack, and a microSD card reader. It’s a solid setup, and having two Thunderbolt ports means you can easily connect even more peripherals or even an external GPU, while also using an external monitor. This way, you can have a truly premium machine that also doubles as a gaming PC when you need it. This is one of the very best laptops you can buy today, and Thunderbolt 4 makes it that much better.

    The HP Spectre x360 is a fantastic convertible with a tall 3:2 display and a premium design. It's also running on the latest Intel hardware.

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Best clamshell laptop: Dell XPS 13 Plus

Dell’s XPS lineup is probably neck and neck with the Spectre x360 family when it comes to popularity among Windows laptops, and for good reason. These have always been fantastic devices for productivity, while also having a very compact design. Now, there’s the Dell XPS 13 Plus, an ultra-modern laptop with more powerful specs, but the same great portability as previous XPS laptops.

Starting with performance, the Dell XPS 13 Plus comes with some big upgrades compared to the regular XPS 13 of years past. Like the Spectre x360 above, it’s using Intel’s 12th-generation processors, but unlike that laptop, these come from Intel’s P-series, which has a 28W TDP. That increase in power consumption means more performance, too, and you can go up to an Intel Core i7-1280P, with 14 cores, 20 threads, and boost speeds up to 4.8GHz. Of course, that comes at the expense of battery life, but it’s a valid sacrifice. You also get Intel Iris Xe graphics, along with up to 32GB of LPDDR5 RAM and 2TB of SSD storage.

The Dell XPS 13 also has fantastic options for the display. It has a 16:10 aspect ratio, which is taller and gives you more surface area than a typical 16:9 display (though not as tall as a 3:2 display). The base configuration is a Full HD+ (1920 x 1200) panel with optional touch support, and that’s already pretty good for a laptop of this size. However, you can upgrade to a 3.5K (3465 x 2160) OLED panel which is incredibly sharp, offers very high contrast ratios, and vivid colors, and there’s also an Ultra HD+ (3840 x 2400) IPS panel option, which is the sharpest option. You really can’t go wrong with any of these options, though the first one is obviously the cheapest.

One area where Dell still lags behind most of its competitors is the webcam. With most other premium laptops moving on to 1080p, the Dell XPS 13 Plus is still stuck with a 720p camera, which means you might not look as sharp or clear during video calls. Still this model separates the main camera from the IR sensor used for Windows Hello, resulting in better image quality overall.

Design-wise, the XPS 13 Plus is something to behold. Dell has gone for a futuristic design and you can’t find anything else like it right now. There are a few things contributing to this, starting with the invisible touchpad, which blends seamlessly with the wrist rest below the keyboard. Instead of clicking, the touchpad uses haptic motors to simulate a click. There’s also a zero-lattice keyboard that extends right to the edges of the keyboard base, and the function row uses touch-sensitive buttons instead of physical keys, all of which helps achieve this super modern design that looks fantastic.

Moving on to ports, the main attraction here is that the Dell XPS 13 comes with two Thunderbolt 4 ports – and only two Thunderbolt 4 ports. Not many laptops rely on Thunderbolt as heavily as this one, though you do get adapters in the box to get a headphone jack (that’s right, there’s no headphone jack built-in) and a USB Type-A port. If you’re explicitly looking for a Thunderbolt 4 laptop, that’s probably a fine compromise to make, though it does feel a bit limiting without a headphone jack or a USB Type-A port built in.

Still, the Dell XPS 13 Plus is a phenomenal laptop, and a breath of fresh air for the XPS family and for laptops as a whole. If you already have a Thunderbolt dock anyway, there’s not much of a reason not to buy this one.

    The Dell XPS 13 is an ultra-compact laptop featuring high-end specs across the board, a fantastic display, and Thunderbolt connectivity.

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Best gaming laptop: Razer Blade 15

Razer Blade 15 Advanced

If what you’re interested in is a powerful gaming laptop without any external help, the Razer Blade 15 Advanced is the one for you. It already packs plenty of power right out of the box, but Thunderbolt 4 support makes one of the best laptops even sweeter.

Of course, a gaming laptop needs power to spare, and the Blade 15 Advanced has it. You can buy it with an Intel Core i9-12900H CPU, which is a 14-core, 20-thread CPU that can boost as high as 5GHz. This is an even more powerful processor with a 45W TDP, and it will breeze through any task you throw at it, and even the more demanding modern games won’t have a problem with it. To complement that, you can get up to an NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080 Ti laptop GPU with 105W of power. This way, you have more than enough performance on both the CPU and GPU front for all the games you might want to play. Plus, you get up to 32GB of RAM and a 1TB SSD, which you can expand thanks to a free M.2 slot inside the laptop.

Razer also gives you a few options for the display, making the Blade 15 Advanced for different types of users. It’s a 15.6-inch panel with a 16:9 aspect ratio, which is about what you’d expect for a gaming laptop, but it’s the resolution and refresh rate that vary. You can get a Full HD panel with a 360Hz refresh rate if you’re interested in the absolute fastest reaction times in competitive esports games; you can strike a balance between resolution and smoothness with the Quad HD 240Hz panel , or go all out on resolution with the 4K 144Hz panel with touch support, which is more geared toward creative professionals. In the future, there will also be a Quad HD 240HZ OLED display option, which might be the best display overall if you enjoy the vibrant look of OLED panels.

This is also one of the few gaming laptops that doesn’t skimp out on the webcam, providing a 1080p camera complete with Windows Hello facial recognition support. More laptops are starting to offer this in 2022, but it’s still uncommon among gaming laptops.

Focusing on the ports, the Razer Blade 15 Advanced has fantastic connectivity with two Thunderbolt 4 ports, three USB Type-A ports, HDMI 2.1, an SD card reader, and a 3.5mm headphone jack. That’s frankly a great setup, but Thunderbolt 4 support still has its purpose here. Right now, you might not need an external GPU, but three years from now, the CPU inside the Blade 15 Advanced will probably still run most games just fine. The GPU however might be in need of an upgrade. Instead of buying a whole new laptop, you can buy an external GPU and use that to give your gaming rig more power. Plus, you can connect bigger screens or create ultra-wide setups using external monitors with Thunderbolt. It’s still very useful.

The design of the Blade 15 Advanced is very much in line with Razer’s typical aesthetic. It’s got a very clean, minimalistic all-black look, featuring a Razer logo on the lid. The keyboard has per-key RGB backlighting, and it’s flanked by two top-firing stereo speakers. For everything it packs inside, the Blade 15 Advanced is surprisingly compact, measuring just under 17mm in thickness and weighing around 4.4lbs.

Overall, this is a very impressive gaming laptop, and while it’s somewhat pricy, it definitely delivers the goods you’d expect at that price. Razer is refreshing the Blade 15 laptop soon, so you may want to old out for it, but this is still a great option.

    The Razer Blade 15 is a very powerful gaming laptop with plenty of ports, including Thunderbolt 4 support.

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Best 17-inch laptop with Thunderbolt 4: Dell XPS 17 9720

Front view of Dell XPS 17

Dell’s XPS lineup makes a second appearance on this list, but there’s good reason for that. While there are many things that make a laptop great, the XPS 17 is a fantastic example of a laptop that’s somehow compact, yet makes full use of the fact it’s a 17 inch laptop.

First off, the Dell XPS 17 doesn’t hold back in terms of performance. It comes with Intel’s 45W H-series processors, up to an Intel Core i9-12900HK. That’s a 14-core, 20-thread processor that can boost up to 5GHz, so it’s already incredibly powerful. Not only that, but you also get dedicated Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 graphics, making this a great option for video editing, but also giving it some potential to be a gaming PC. You can also get up to 64GB of RAM and up to 4TB of storage, depending on the model you choose. Even if you choose to save some money though, you can upgrade the RAM and storage yourself later, since both the RAM and M.2 slots are easily accessible.

The display is equally fantastic. It’s a 17 inch panel of course, and has a 16:10 aspect ratio, giving you some extra vertical space for text and UI elements. The base configuration comes with Full HD+ resolution (1920 x 1200), but the upgrade options are what make it truly great. You can choose a 3.5K OLED display, which is already incredibly sharp and also offers super vivid colors, true blacks, and high contrast ratios; or you can opt for the 4K+ model, which is even sharper and covers 100% of the Adobe RGB color space. In fact, we’ve reviewed this version of the Dell XPS 17, and it covers pretty much the entirety of sRGB, Adobe RGB, DCI-P3, and NTSC. There isn’t much more you can ask for. Plus, you get a touchscreen with both the AMOLED and 4K+ panel options.

However, this laptop shares the same downside as its smaller sibling, and that’s the 720p webcam. In fact, it may be a bit worse here, because it uses the same hybrid sensor as previous models, so image quality won’t be as great.

But that small webcam makes way for a very compact design that helps make this one of the most interesting 17-inch laptops out there. Compared to something like the Razer Blade 17, the Dell XPS 17 is smaller in every dimension, even with its taller 16:10 display. That means these powerful specs are crammed into a very small space, making for a 17-inch laptop that’s still relatively easy to carry. Of course, it’s still a bit heavy, but that’s to be expected. On top of that, the laptop looks great, with its Platinum silver exterior and black carbon fiber interior making for a fairly unique look.

Thunderbolt 4 is also a big focus for the XPS 17, which packs a total of four Thunderbolt 4 ports. Whether it’s displays, external GPUs, or docks, you can pretty much connect anything to the XPS 17 without much of a problem. And that’s important too, because while it comes with Nvidia RTX graphics, you’ll probably get more power from a desktop GPU if you want to get into more high-end gaming. Add a high-refresh-rate display and your gaming peripherals, and you’ll be good to go. If you aren’t ready to commit to the Thunderbolt life just yet, you do get an adapter that gives you a USB Type-A port and HDMI for legacy peripherals and screens. Plus, you get an SD card reader and a headphone jack.

Overall, this is a stellar laptop, and while it’s a bit heavy, you definitely get the specs to justify that weight. The full suite of configurations options is only available on Dell’s website, but you can also buy it below.

    The Dell XPS 17 is a powerful 17-inch laptop that somehow still fits in a compact and slim chassis. It has Intel H-series processors, RTX graphics, and space for a ton of RAM and storage.

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Best detachable: Surface Pro 8

Front view of Surface Pro 8

For years, fans asked Microsoft to add Thunderbolt support to its devices, but it took until 2021 for the company to listen. The Surface Pro 8 is the first one in the lineup to feature Thunderbolt 4 support, and it comes with not one, but two Thunderbolt ports too. That’s not all Microsoft did to modernize the Surface Pro lineup, making this not just the best in the series, but one of the best detachable laptops in general, even though it’s not running the latest hardware anymore.

The Surface Pro 8 comes with Intel’s 11th-generation processors, up to an Intel Core i7-1185G7. That’s a quad-core, 8 thread processor, and includes Intel Iris Xe graphics, making the Surface Pro better than ever for some light gaming and video editing. It’s no longer the newest Intel hardware around, but there aren’t a ton of options when it comes to tablets, and this is still far from a bad processor. That’s paired with up to 32GB of RAM (the minimum is now 8GB), and up to 1TB of SSD storage, which is easily replaceable if you need to upgrade or swap out the drive.

One of the more exciting changes in the Surface Pro 8 is the display. It now comes with a 13-inch screen and a very sharp resolution of 2880 x 1920, similar to the Surface Pro X. That also means it has the typical 3:2 aspect ratio of Surface devices, giving you more vertical space for text, webpages, and things like UI elements. But that’s not the best thing about it. This is the first Surface device (along with the Surface Laptop Studio) to support a 120Hz refresh rate, too. This screen is brighter than before, and supports Dolby Vision. Another new and exclusive feature of this display is support for haptic feedback when used in conjunction with the Surface Slim Pen 2. Thanks to a special microprocessor inside the Surface Pro 8 (and Surface Laptop Studio), the new pen can make it truly feel like you’re using a pen on paper, and it’s fantastic.

The Surface Pro family has been ahead of the curve in terms of webcam quality for years, and while others are finally starting to catch up, the 5MP webcam on the Surface Pro 8 is still fantastic. It supports Windows Hello facial recognition, too, and there’s even a second camera on the back so you can record video and take photos in a pinch.

Microsoft also modernized the design significantly with this model, reducing the bezels and using more rounded edges so the tablet is a bit more comfortable to hold. It’s also made from aluminum instead of magnesium now, which makes it a bit heavier. Still, at 1.96lbs of weight and just 9.3mm in thickness, this is one of the most portable devices on this list. Of course, you still have to add the keyboard over if you want it.

Looks aren’t the only thing that’s changed, though, and the ports are different this time, too. First, of course, there’s Thunderbolt 4 support, with two whole ports allowing you to connect displays, docks, or even external GPUs if you want to turn the Surface Pro 8 into a bona fide gaming PC. You still get a Surface Connect port if you have an older Surface Dock lying around, and there’s a headphone jack here as well. You get a lot of versatility from the Thunderbolt ports, but the setup out of the box is a bit limiting if you have older USB Type-A peripherals or non-USB-C/Thunderbolt displays.

The biggest downside of the Surface Pro 8 is potentially its starting price of $1,099, significantly higher than previous generations. However, it now comes with an Intel Core i5 and 8GB of RAM in the base model, which is a big step up from its predecessor. The addition of Thunderbolt 4 makes it the best detachable laptop you can buy today, though you’ll need to buy the Surface Pro Signature Keyboard and Slim Pen 2 separately. If you can wait, there’s also the impending Dell XPS 13 2-in-1, which is a more modern choice for a Windows tablet.

    The Surface Pro 8 is Microsoft's most exciting tablet yet, featuring Intel's 11th-generation processors, a larger display with a 120Hz refresh rate, and Thunderbolt 4 support for the first time.

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Best business laptop with Thunderbolt 4: Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon Gen 10

Angled view of black laptop

Lenovo makes some of the most well-known business laptops in the world under the ThinkPad brand, and it’s no surprise. These laptops carry a classic look that makes them instantly recognizable, but still professional, in addition to having features like an old-school pointing stick. Out of the ThinkPad family, the ThinkPad X1 Carbon is the most well-known, and the latest iteration is better than ever.

Starting with the internals, the ThinkPad X1 Carbon carries 12th-generation Intel Core processors, up to an Intel Core i7-1280P, which – as we’ve mentioned – is a 14-core, 20-thread processor capable of boosting up to 4.8GHz and featuring Iris Xe graphics. That gives you plenty of performance for day-to-day use, and you can add up to 32GB of RAM and a 2TB SSD for storage to round it out, making this a laptop that can give you fantastic performance for years to come. You also get plenty of flexibility with your configuration, so you can choose the processor, RAM, and storage mostly independent from each other.

The display comes in a few variants, but no matter which one you choose, you’re getting a 16:10 aspect ratio, and that taller screen gives you more surface area than a 16:9 display, which is great for reading, browsing the web, and writing. The base configuration is a Full HD+ (1920 x 1200) display, and you can upgrade it to add a touchscreen or a Privacy Guard to hide the contents of your screen from potential snooping. But there are some more interesting upgrade options, too, including a 2.2K IPS display if you just a little extra sharpness, or a 2.8K OLED panel, which is incredibly sharp and has the benefits of OLED, including true blacks and vivid colors. If resolution is your priority, you can skip all of that and get the Ultra HD+ (3840 x 2400) panel, complete with HDR support. Again, this is independent from the rest of the specs, so you can save money on the processor and RAM but still get the right display for you.

Lenovo has also (thankfully) kept with the times, and the ThinkPad X1 Carbon Gen 10 now comes with a 1080p webcam in the vast majority of configurations. From there, you can upgrade to add Windows Hello support, plus Computer Vision, which makes it so that the laptop can detect when you approach it or walk away from it, and wake up or lock itself accordingly.

On the other hand, the design of the latest ThinkPad Z1 Carbn is as classic as it gets, with the black surfaces and red accents making for a decidedly business-style look. Some users may find the old-school design of the ThinkPad X1 Carbon a bit boring, but it’s a perfect fit for working environments where you don’t want anything too flashy. Plus, it’s modern where it matters — it starts at just 2.48lbs in weight and measures 15.36mm in thickness, so it’s easy to carry anywhere.

Ports and connectivity are also a highlight for the ThinkPad X1 Carbon, with two Thunderbolt 4 ports, two USB Type-A ports, HDMI, and a combo audio jack. Business laptops tend to have great connectivity options, and Thunderbolt makes this an even sweeter deal. For your office setup, you can use a Thunderbolt dock to connect multiple displays and peripherals with just one port. Many business laptops also offer cellular connectivity, and the ThinkPad X1 Carbon is no exception. You can choose between 4G LTE or 5G support, with the latter being more future-proof, but also more expensive. Cellular connectivity is great if you need to be working away from your home or office Wi-Fi, so you can avoid insecure public networks. Of course, you have the option to skip cellular support entirely if you don’t need it.

If you want to configure the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon Gen 10 to your liking, you can use the link below.

    The Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon is a classic business laptop packing modern features. It has high-end specs, and fantastic connectivity options including dual Thunderbolt ports.

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Best laptop for creators: MacBook Pro 16-inch

Apple's 2021 MacBook Pro 16-inch with M1 Max.

Apple’s MacBook Pro has always been a popular lineup of products among content creators, but with the latest 14-inch and 16-inch models, it really made quite the splash with its combination of performance and efficiency. This is one of the best laptops in more ways than one, and it supports Thunderbolt 4, though it comes with a notable caveat.

First off, the MacBook Pro is very unique compared to other devices in terms of its specs. It’s powered by the Apple M1 Pro or M1 Max, which give you 10 CPU cores and up to 32 GPU cores for top-tier performance for content creation. Because these chips are based on Arm technology, they’re also very efficient, so they can deliver incredible levels of performance while still having solid battery life. On top of that, you can configure the MacBook Pro with up to 64GB of unified memory, or RAM, which is built into the chip itself, meaning it can be used by both the GPU and CPU at will. Finally, up to 8TB of SSD storage round out a very powerful machine, albeit an expensive one.

The display on the MacBook Pro 16-inch is equally phenomenal. It’s a 16.2-inch panel (measured diagonally), and the aspect ratio is slightly taller than 16:10. The total resolution is a whopping 3024 x 1964, which makes for an incredibly sharp screen at this size, and seeing as this is the only configuration available, you’re always going to get a fantastic experience with this one. On top of that, Apple calls this a Liquid Retina XDR display, which means it supports ProMotion with up to a 120Hz refresh, and also that it’s backlit by mini-LED technology. This delivers up to 1600 nits of peak brightness (1000 nits sustained), and a contrast ratio of 1,000,000:1, equivalent to an OLED display. This really is a fantastic panel.

The only blemish on it is the notch at the top, which houses the front-facing webcam. But at least this notch makes way for a 1080p webcam, which is backed by the image signal processor in the Apple M1 chips to deliver better quality video. Unfortunately, the notch doesn’t include sensors for Face ID, though you can still use Touch ID to sign into the laptop.

With these powerful specs, and being an all-aluminum laptop, the MacBook Pro is a bit heavy, starting at 4,7lbs. Still, it’s fairly thin, measuring 16.8mm, and it looks slick with its balanced design that means it has the same thickness all throughout the chassis. It looks exactly as you’d expect a MacBook to look, coming in Silver or Space Grey colorways, and while some may find that boring, it can fit in nicely anywhere, which might be more important.

As for ports, the MacBook Pro 16-inch includes three Thunderbolt 4 connections, but there’s a bit of a caveat here. Because it’s based on Apple Silicon, you can’t use the Thunderbolt port to connect an external GPU. Otherwise, though, you have plenty of options – four external displays are supported with the M1 Max processors, or two with the M1 Pro, plus you have the same bandwidth you’d expect for other high-speed Thunderbolt peripherals like storage. Aside from the Thunderbolt ports, the MacBook Pro comes with an HDMI port, a headphone jack with support for high-impedance headphones, a full-size SD card reader, and a MagSafe charging connector, which supports fast charging and keeps your laptop safe in case you trip on the cable while it’s charging.

It’s not a perfect machine, and it’s a very expensive one, but if you need a laptop for content creation without compromising mobility, the latest MacBook Pro is for you. Whether you choose the 16-inch or 14-inch model doesn’t make a huge difference aside from the screen size and portability, and both are going to be among the best laptops with Thunderbolt 4.

    The MacBook Pro is an incredible laptop due to its combination of power and efficiency, allowing you to create content on the go without worrying about charging.

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Best budget laptop: Acer Aspire 5

Thunderbolt 4 is something of a premium feature in most laptops, so you’re usually going to be looking at some hefty prices if you want it. The Acer Aspire 5 bucks that trend, and is one of the most affordable laptops you can get with Thunderbolt 4 support, though obviously it’s not going to match the most premium laptops out there in every way.

In terms of performance, the Acer Aspire 5 comes with 12th-generation Intel Core processors, specifically the Core i5-1235U – there are more powerful versions, but we’re focusing on what can be considered a budget choice here. That’s still a 10-core, 12-thread processor capable of boosting up to 4,4GHz on its performance cores, plus it has Iris Xe graphics, so you’re already getting a great experience, even at this lower price. This model also includes 8GB of RAM and 512GB of SSD storage, which is very good for a laptop in this price range.

The display is fairly basic, but it’ll get the job done. It’s a 15.6-inch Full HD panel, and it comes in the typical 16:9 aspect ratio, so it’s nothing that will blow you away, but it’s solid. Above that, there’s a standard HD webcam, which is more acceptable in an affordable laptop. It would have been nice to see 1080p, but when some premium laptops still have 720p cameras, this can get a pass, being as cheap as it is. Windows Hello facial recognition is not supported, which is also fairy typical for cheap laptops like this.

The rest of the design is fairly basic, being a standard clamshell laptop. It doesn’t look overly unique, but that’s to be expected with a budget-oriented machine. At 17.78mm of thickness nd 3.9lbs of weight, it’s not the slimmest device out there, but considering it’s a 15-inch laptop, it’s still fairly portable, and certainly a machine you can take almost anywhere.

Of course, the highlight here is that the laptop has a Thunderbolt 4 port, and it’s indeed just one. Still, you can use a dock to increase the number of ports your laptop has, connect multiple displays, or even an external GPU. If you want to get a relatively affordable premium laptop that can still handle some games, this is one way to do it, assuming you can save up for an external GPU later on. Otherwise, you get a wide range of ports, including three USB Type-A connections, HDMI, RJ45 Ethernet, and a headphone jack. This is actually a very good setup, even if you don’t rely on Thunderbolt that much.

Overall, this isn’t the best laptop out there, but if you want a more affordable option and Thunderbolt 4 support is important to you, this is certainly a solid choice.

    The Acer Aspire 5 is a (relatively) affordable laptop that delivers powerful specs and Thunderbolt 4 support.

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That’s it for the best laptops you can buy with Thunderbolt 4 support. There are definitely a lot of choices here, and thus there’s something for everyone. The HP Spectre x360 13.5 is our best overall pick because of its very compact design, fantastic display options and other configurations, plus a fairly unique aesthetic with its interior materials. However, other options may suit your fancy a bit better.

Like we mentioned at the start, most of the laptops here are running Intel processors. If you’re more of an AMD fan and you don’t care about Thunderbolt, check out the best AMD Ryzen laptops you can buy today.

About author

João Carrasqueira
João Carrasqueira

Editor at XDA Computing. I've been covering the world of technology since 2018, but I've loved the field for a lot longer. And I have a weird affinity for Nintendo videogames, which I'm always happy to talk about.

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