These are the best USB-C laptops to buy in May 2021: Dell XPS 13, Surface Laptop 4, and more
USB-C or USB Type-C has been one of the most successful universal ports seen on almost every modern gadget including smartphones, tablets, laptops, and more. The USB Implementers Forum (USB-IF) announced the specification back in 2014 and it has seen multiple revisions over the years. This 24-pin double-sided connector can be implemented with various data transfer specifications including the latest USB 4 and Thunderbolt 4.
Apart from offering the ability to transfer high-speed data, the USB-C port can be used to attach external monitors, or even deliver power at up to 100W. This makes it perfect for laptops as it actually lives up to its name of offering a universal solution for various use cases. So today, we have some of the best USB-C laptops on the market today, many of which also make it to our list of best laptops.
Dell XPS 13 9310
Dell has been offering the XPS 13 with a USB-C port for some years now, and many of us at XDA have been personally using the laptop series for our daily tasks. Today, the Dell XPS 9310, comes with two USB Type-C ports with support for Thunderbolt 4 specification allowing you to charge the laptop, attach up to two 4K external monitors, and even hook up an eGPU for high-end graphics performance. The laptop is available with up to an 11th-gen Intel Core i7-1185G7 processor, 16GB 4267MHz of LRDDR4x memory, and 512GB M.2 PCIe NVMe SSD. The 13.4-inch 16:10 ratio screen is available in either 1200p or 2400p resolutions. You also get a claimed battery life of up to 14 hours on the Full HD+ model which is great for all-day workloads.
Apple MacBook Pro 13 M1
Apple also moved to USB Type-C for its MacBook range in 2015. The ‘new-Macbook’ or the 12-inch MacBook was the first to adopt the port with USB 3.1 gen-1 offering up to 5Gbit/s speeds. Eventually, Apple started offering Thunderbolt 3 the following year on the MacBook Pro. The newly launched 2020 model, specifically the 13-inch model, continues to offer two USB-C ports that offer all the functionalities of USB 4 and Thunderbolt 4 (power delivery, video out, external GPU support). It also features Apple’s first in-house processor, the Apple Silicon M1, which is the first step for the company towards completely relying on its own chipset and moving away from Intel. The laptop can be configured with up to 16GB of RAM, 512GB of storage and one can expect excellent performance, even better than the Intel counterpart.
Razer Blade Stealth
The arrival of Thunderbolt 3 opened up the possibility of connecting laptops with desktop-grade graphics cards via a single cable solution using the USB Type-C interface. Razer was one of the first ones to capitalize on this opportunity by launching an eGPU enclosure called the Razer Core. Ever since then, all Razer Blade laptops have been offering USB Type-C ports, including its smallest 13-inch variant, the Razer Blade Stealth. It makes sense too, as you can carry it around easily when you are on the move, and when you come back home, you can connect the external GPU for that extra graphics performance juice. The new Razer Blade Stealth in itself is a pretty slick machine. It comes with the latest Intel 11th-gen Core i7 processor, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 Ti Max-Q, a 13.3-inch 1080p 120Hz refresh rate display, 16GB RAM, 512GB SSD, and a CNC Aluminum body. Apart from two regular USB Type-A ports, it also comes with two USB Type-C ports with Thunderbolt 4.
Microsoft Surface Pro 7
It took forever for Microsoft to add a USB-C port to its popular Surface Pro series. The Surface Pro 7 finally includes the well-needed port. While it doesn’t feature Thunderbolt, Microsoft does say that you can use it to transfer files and data, plug in an external display and even charge the Surface Pro. The Surface Pro 7 is also one of the lightest Windows machines around, making it one of the best ultra-portable that you can put your money on. The tablet is available with up to a 10th-gen Intel Core i7 processor, 16GB LPDDR4x RAM, and 1TB of SSD storage. Of course, you need to spend extra money if you want the Surface Type keyboard cover.
HP Spectre x360 13
If you are looking for the best 2-in-1 laptop with USB-C, then we recommend the HP Spectre x360 13. Apart from offering an exquisite design, the laptop comes with two USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type-C ports both of which offer Thunderbolt 3 functionality. This means that each port offers a 40Gbps signaling rate, Power Delivery 3.0, DisplayPort 1.4, and charging the laptop. The notebook is also available with a vivid 13.3-inch 4K OLED touch display and hardware options include the latest 11th-gen Intel Core i5 or Core i7 CPU, 16GB of DDR4 memory, 512GB of NVMe SSD, and speakers tuned by Bang & Olufsen.
- One of the most premium 2-in-1 laptops, the HP Spectre x360 is for the ones who don't want to compromise on style and performance. It comes with a great 4K touchscreen display option along with two Thunderbolt 3 ports.
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon
For the ones who need a rugged yet premium business laptop with USB-C ports, the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon should be one of the options to consider. Featuring the iconic Thinkpad design, this laptop comes with two USB-C ports with Thunderbolt 3 allowing you to expand your productivity with ease. As for the core specs, the laptop comes with up to a 10th-gen Intel Core i7 processor, 2TB of storage, and 16GB of RAM. You also have a variety of display options ranging from the basic full-HD IPS touch panel with 400-nits brightness going all the way up to a 4K IPS panel with Dolby Vision, HDR400, 500 nits brightness, and 10-bit color. Being a ThinkPad, it also assures maximum security with a fingerprint scanner, webcam privacy shutter, and some additional optional features.
Acer Chromebook Spin 713
Another one from our list of the best laptops for 2021, the Acer Chromebook Spin 713 is a premium laptop offering high-end hardware which might even sound like overkill for Chrome OS. It comes with two USB Type-C ports for charging and connecting other devices. Acer says that the laptop also meets MIL-STD-810G military-grade durability standards, which means that you expect it to last long. Apart from that, you get a 2-in-1 design form factor, the option to configure the machine with up to an Intel Core i7 processor with 16GB of DDR4 RAM, 128GB SSD, and a premium 13.5-inch 2K resolution IPS touchscreen display.
Microsoft Surface Laptop 4
The newest addition to the Surface family, the Surface Laptop 4 continues to offer the same I/O options as the last model, meaning you still get a single USB-C port. It continues to offer support for DisplayPort, data transfer and power delivery. The Surface Laptop 4 is available in 13.5-inch and 15-inch display options, both available with Intel’s 11th-gen processors or AMD’s new Surface Edition chipsets based on the Ryzen 4000 series .
Before you pick one from our list, make sure that you get the right model as not all USB-C ports are the same. USB-C is only the connector and it is up to the manufacturer to implement the protocols and specifications. Similarly, if you are looking for a particular laptop, we have been listing down some of the best ones out there. For instance, click here for the best 5G laptops and if you are on a tight budget, then here are some of the best cheap laptops.