These are the best USB4 laptops you can buy in 2022
Universal Serial Bus, or USB, has long been the standard we rely on for all kinds of connectivity with our laptops and even phones. For years, USB Type-A ports were on pretty much every laptop, until USB Type-C came around and started taking over. USB has evolved a lot over time, and most recently, USB4 introduced a wealth of capabilities based on Thunderbolt 3, a proprietary protocol developed by Intel that’s used in some of the best laptops out there.
Thunderbolt also uses USB Type-C ports, but it provides many capabilities that weren’t available to USB Type-C ports before, like PCIe tunneling, which lets you use external GPUs. Until recently, only Thunderbolt certified devices could have that, and because it’s owned by Intel, AMD-powered PCs were left out. With USB4, we could see these capabilities come to more non-Intel devices, and they could be more affordable, too. USB4 could have a total bandwidth of up to 40Gbps, with data transfers in the traditional sense reaching up to 20Gbps throughput. There’s separate bandwidth for DisplayPort 2.0 Alternate Mode and optional PCIe tunneling. Thunderbolt 4 still has some advantages because features like PCIe tunneling aren’t optional and it has higher minimum requirements, but USB4 can have similar capabilities if OEMs choose to implement them.
Right now, there aren’t many AMD laptops that have USB4 support but we did see a couple of announcements at CES 2022. Lenovo’s ThinkPad Z series will feature USB4 support with the new AMD Ryzen processors, for example. For the time being, though we’re focusing on laptops you can actually buy, so this list has a lot of overlap with our list of the best Thunderbolt 4 laptops. That should change over time as more AMD-powered devices show up. For now, these are the best laptops you can buy with USB4 support.
Navigate this article:
- Best overall: Dell XPS 13
- Best convertible: Surface Laptop Studio
- Best for creators: MacBook Pro 16-inch
- Best lightweight laptop: Samsung Galaxy Book Pro
- Best 17-inch laptop: Dell XPS 17
- Best gaming laptop: Razer Blade 15 Advanced
- Best budget laptop: Acer Swift 3
Best overall: Dell XPS 13
Dell’s XPS lineup is a longstanding name in the world of Windows laptops, and the latest iteration doesn’t fall short of its legacy. It’s a thin and compact laptop packing high-end specs in a stunning design, plus it has a great display.
Performance-wise, the Dell XPS 13 is packing 11th-generation Intel Core processors, up to a Core i7-1195G7. That’s a 15W CPU with four cores, eight threads, and boost speeds of up to 5GHz on a single core, plus it includes Iris Xe graphics to drive some GPU-focused workloads. It’s one of the most powerful 15W processors you’ll find today, so you’re getting a stellar experience in that regard. Beyond that, the laptop can be configured with up to 32GB of RAM and a 2TB SSD, though it depends on where you buy it. The storage is upgradeable, but the RAM is soldered onto the motherboard.
One of the highlights of the XPS 13 is the display, which is a 13.4-inch panel with a 16:10 aspect ratio. Tall displays like this are great for productivity, because the additional vertical space can be used to show more text on a webpage, or for complex apps like Photoshop, you can have more panels visible at a given time. The base model comes with a Full HD+ (1920 x 1200) display without touch support, but you can add touch or upgrade to either a 3.5K (3456 x 2160) OLED panel or an Ultra HD+ (3840 x 2400) IPS display. These are both stellar displays, but the base model isn’t bad either.
One downside of the XPS 13 is hat it uses a tiny 2.25mm webcam with 720p resolution. The resolution alone isn’t great, but having this extra small sensor means less light goes in, and image quality is lower as a result. This isn’t a great camera for video calls, but it does support Windows Hello facial recognition. The laptop also has a fingerprint reader if you’re interested in that.
Moving on to the design, the Dell XPS 13 is one ofnthe more unique laptops you can buy in that it has something of a dual-tone look. There are two color options available: Frost/Arctic White (pictured above), which has a light metal exterior and a white interior made from fiber glass composite; and Platinum Silver/Black, with a darker silver shade on the outside and a black carbon fiber interior. I’m a bigger fan of the former, but you get two very unique styles to boot. This is also a compact laptop in every dimension, and it starts at 2.64lbs, so it’s also fairly light.
Finally, in terms of ports, the Dell XPS 13 has two Thunderbolt 4 ports, which means they also have all the benefits of USB4, and then some. These ports support charging, data, video, and PCIe tunneling for external GPUs, as you’d expect from Thunderbolt. Aside from that, you get a combo headphone jack and a microSD card reader, so this isn’t a very comprehensive setup, but with a Thunderbolt dock, you can connect just about anything you want. USB4 docks and dongles that may come in the future should also be able to leverage the full capabilities of these ports.
All in all, the Dell XPS 13 is one of the best laptops out there, and though it’s not technically labeled as USB4, it supports the full suite of features because it has Thunderbolt. You can configure the laptop to your liking on Dell’s website or buy it below. Also make sure to stop by our Dell XPS 13 review if you’d like to know more about it.
Best convertible: Surface Laptop Studio
Microsoft’s Surface Laptop Studio is one of the best devices the company has made in years, and that’s partly thanks to the inclusion of USB/Thunderbolt 4. That’s just one aspect of it, though, since Microsoft also packed a decent amount of power in here, in addition to using a new convertible design that’s even more convenient than a typical convertible.
Let’s start with performance, though. The Surface Laptop Studio is powered by Intel’s H35-series processors, up to a Core i7-11370H. This is a 35W processor, and it has four cores, eight threads, and boost speeds up up to 4.8GHz. It also includes Intel Iris Xe graphics, which you wouldn’t find in Intel’s 45W processors. But if integrated graphics aren’t enough for you, the Surface laptop Studio also comes with an optional NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3050 Ti GPU, which is included by default with the Core i7 models of the laptop. That means you can feasibly use this laptop for gaming and other more intensive workloads. Aside from that, it comes with up to 32GB of RAM and a 2TB SSD for storage.
The display on the Surface Laptop Studio is also great. It’s a 14.4-inch panel, which isn’t a size we see very often on laptops, and it comes in the classic 3:2 aspect ratio of Surface devices. This is even taller than 16:10, so all the benefits of those taller screens apply even more so here. It’s a sharp display, too, coming in at 2400 x 1600 resolution. But that’s not all – the Surface Laptop Studio also has a 120Hz display for smooth visuals and animation, and it supports Dolby Visiion, too. Not many non-gaming laptops have a high refresh rate display like this, so this is great to see. Finally, if you plan to use the Surface Slim Pen 2, the Surface laptop Studio supports the tactile signals feature – haptic feedback that makes it feel like writing with a pen on paper.
In regards to the webcam, Microsoft was one of the first companies to embrace high-quality cameras on laptops, and the Surface laptop Studio comes with a 1080p camera so you look great during video calls and meetings. There’s also an infrared camera for Windows Hello facial recognition, which makes it more convenient tot unlock your PC at a glance.
For the design, Microsoft adopted a double-hinged design where one main hinge opens the lid of the laptop, and a secondary hinge allows the display to rotate and be used in different position. For example, you can pull the screen closer to you (as seen above) or lay it over the lapttop’s base for things like drawing and other artistic work. The laptop as a whole starts at 3.83lbs of weight (44lbs for the Core i7 model), and it’s under 19mm thick, so it’s still decently portable. It also comes in the classic Platinum color, which admittedly still feels modern compared to other silver laptops.
As for ports, the Surface Laptop Studio comes with two Thunderbolt 4 ports (meaning they support all the features of USB4), plus a Surface Connect port for charging and a 3.5mm headphone jack. Similar to the Dell XPS 13, this is a somewhat limited setup, but the inclusion of Thunderbolt/USB 4 does mean you can use a dock or dongle to greatly expand the connectivity of the laptop.
For its unique form factor, great performance, and fantastic display, the Surface Laptop 4 is already my personal favorite laptop on this list. Adding USB4/Thunderbolt support makes this one of the very best laptops out there. You can read our Surface Laptop Studio review to learn more about why it’s so great.
Also great: HP Spectre x360 16
If you want a more traditional convertible form factor, the HP Spectre x360 16 is another fantastic option. It’s just as powerful as the Surface Laptop Studio (it’s actually more so) and it has a larger screen if you enjoy having more space to work.
Starting with performance, the HP Spectre x360 16 is powered by an Intel Core i7-11390H which is also from Intel’s H35 series. This model has four cores, eight threads, and it can boost up to 5GHz, so it’s slightly faster than the Surface Laptop Studio’s. It also has Intel Iris Xe graphics, but if you want more GPU performance, you an add a GeForce RTX 3050 Ti to the laptop, too, making it feasible to run most modern games without any issues. You can configure it with up to 32GB of soldered RAM and a 2TB SSD, too.
As the name suggests, the HP Spectre x360 16 has a 16-inch display, and it comes in the 16:10 aspect ratio. Tall screens can feel much bigger than they are, and with a 16-inch display, that’s even more true. The base model already comes in a super-sharp 3072 x 1920 resolution, but if that’s somehow not enough, you can upgrade to an Ultra HD+ (3840 x 2400) OLED panel, which is even sharper and gives you all the benefits of an OLED display like vivid colors, true blacks, and a high contrast ratio.
While other HP Spectre models have stuck with less-than-stellar 720p cameras, the Spectre x360 16 goes all the way up to a 5MP “GlamCam”. In addition to the high resolution and sharpness, this camera has smart features like auto-framing, lighting correction, and a beauty mode. Plus, it supports Windows Hello facial recognition, too. And if you prefer using a fingerprint reader, that option is also available.
The Spectre x360 16 also changes things up in terms of the design compared to other Spectre models. The sharp angular edges make way for curved surfaces that should make the laptop more comfortable to hold. However, you stull get the classic dual-tone look, particularly with the Nightfall Black model using golden accents along the edges and the hinge. The Nocturn Blue model is more subdued in that regard, simply using a different shade of blue. As for portability, the Spectre x360 16 measures 19.8mm in thickness and starts at 4.45lbs, so it’s obviously heavier than most smaller laptops out there. It’s fairly reasonable for its size, though.
Finally, for ports, you get two USB-C / Thunderbolt 4 ports, one USB Type-A port, HDMI, a headphone jack, and a microSD card reader. This is a fairly solid setup that covers all your basic needs out of the box, in addition to having support for Thunderbolt docking if you need more ports or something like an external GPU.
If you’re a fan of convertible designs but you want them to be a but more powerful, the HP Spectre x360 is one of the best options out there, and USB4 support means you can plug in even more power with an external GPU if you need it.
Best USB4 laptop for creators: MacBook Pro 16-inch
Apple’s MacBooks have always been populay among creative professionalsl, but the latest iteration of the MacBook Pro is arguably the best one yet. With a switch to Apple’s in-house processors, upgraded displays, and more ports, this is an absolutely fantastic laptop – if you’re willing to pay for it.
First off, the 16-inch MacBook Pro (2021) is powered by the new Apple Silicon processors, the M1 Pro and M1 Max. These are unified chipsets including both a 10-core CPU and up to a 32-core GPU, and together, they deliver top-of-the-line performance for all kinds of creative workloads. Performance tests put the MacBook Pro 16-inch on par with many powerful gaming laptops, but the kicker is in the battery life. This is an Arm-based processor, and it’s very power-efficient compared to typical Intel processors, so you get almost the same level of performance on the go as you do when you’re plugged in. And you can do that without taking a huge hit to battery life, meaning you can legitimately use this laptop to work away from your office setup without worrying about charging.
In an Arm processor, the RAM is also built into the chipset, and you can configure the MacBook Pro with up to 64GB of unified memory, which can be allocated to the CPU or GPU on demand. For storage, you can get up to an 8TB SSD. Both of these components are built-in and can’t be upgraded, so you have to make the right choice – and you’ll be spending a lot if you want the higher tiers.
The display is another big upgrade with this model, and it’s outstanding overall. This is one of the world’s first laptops to use a mini-LED display, and what that means is that there are thousands of small LED behind the display panel, not just a single backlight unit. This allows the display to control brightness in different areas of the screen, resulting in high contrast ratios and more vivid colors, similar to an OLED display (though there are differences). It also allows this display to reach a whopping 1000 nits of sustained brightness, something you won’t find on any other laptop here. It’s a sharp display, too, at 3456 x 2234 pixels (excluding the notch). The MacBook Pro also has a powerful six-speaker setup that puts most Windows laptops to shame.
The one downside with this display is the notch in the middle, which makes room for an upgraded webcam, now featuring 1080p resolution. Apple is also using AI to improve the image quality, so this is a great laptop for video calls, but oddly enough, there’s no Face ID here. You still have to use your fingerprint if you want biometric authentication.
The MacBook Pro is very standard in terms of design, as it’s just a clamshell laptop. It’s a fairly heavy one, too, starting at 4.7lbs, but it’s under 17mm thick, which is impressive for something this powerful. This is also one of the best laptops on this list in terms of ports: In addition to three Thunderbolt 4/USB4 ports, you get HDMI 2.1, MagSafe charging, an SD card reader, and a headphone jack with support for high-impedance headphones. It’s a well-rounded setup that covers most needs, barring USB Type-A, which MacBooks haven’t had in a few years.
If you need performance for all your creative workloads and you need it wherever you go, you won’t find a better laptop than the 16-inch MacBook Pro. You can buy it below or find a few more configurations options at Adorama. We have also reviewed the MacBook Pro 16-inch if you’d like to know more about it.
Best lightweight USB4 laptop: Samsung Galaxy Book Pro
Samsung hasn’t always made the most popular laptops, but the recent Galaxy Book Pro is truly a standout in many ways. For one thing, it’s one of the lightest laptops out there, but not only that, it has some perks you wouldn’t find very often on laptops in the same price range.
In terms of performance, the Galaxy Book Pro is a fairly standard ultrabook. It packs 11th-generation 15W Intel Core processors, up to a Core i7-1165G7. That’s still a very capable processor with four cores, eight threads, and boost speeds up to 4.7GHz, plus Intel Iris Xe graphics. It also comes with up to 16GB of RAM (in the 15-inch model) and 512GB of SSD storage, which isn’t as high as what some other laptops offer, but it’s a tradeoff made for portability.
One of the perks of the Galaxy Book Pro is that it comes with an AMOLED display across all its configurations, even though OLED panels are often reserved for more expensive configurations. As we’ve mentioned, an AMOLED display means you get more vivid colors and high contrast ratios, and Samsung has a lot of experience with these types of panels. Both the 13.3-inch panel and the 15.6-inch model come in Full HD (1920 x 1080) resolution, and you can’t upgrade from there, but this should still be sharp enough for most users. The displays also come in the more typical 16:9 aspect ratio, which some may like for media consumption, but others might prefer a taller screen.
A downside of the Samsug Galxy Book Pro is its webcam, which only supports 720p resolution. That’s starting to fall behind competing laptops, and it lacks Windows Hello facial recognition, too. You do get a fingerprint reader, though, so you’re not completely out of options for biometric authentication.
Another impressive aspect of the Galaxy Book Pro is how thin and light it is. The 13.3-inch model is just 11.2mm thin and weighs 1.92lbs, while the 15.6-inch variant is 11.7mm thin and weighs 2.31lbs, both of which are very impressive numbers. This is truly a laptop you can take anywhere, and it looks fairly sleek, too, coming in either Mystic Silver or Mystic Blue color options.
In a laptop this thin, ports are usually limited, but Samsung fit a USB Type-A port alongside Thunderbolt 4 and a standard USB Type-C port, which isn’t bad. You do miss out on a display output like HDMI, but it could be worse.
If you want a stunning AMOLED display and a powerful laptop that you can take anywhere, the Samsung Galaxy Book Pro is a fantastic option. You can also use the Thunderbolt 4 / USB4 ports to connect an external GPU, turning one of the best lightweight laptops into a capable gaming machine. You can buy the laptop below.
Best 17-inch USB4 laptop: Dell XPS 17
we’ve already praised the Dell XPS 13, but the entire XPS lineup is great in its own right. The Dell XPS 17 also tries to be compact considering its display size, but it makes use of the available space to pack in some powerful specs that make this a great laptop for everything from content creation to some light gaming.
Performance-wise, the Dell XPS 17 is far more powerful than its appearance may let on. It packs up to an Intel Core i9-11980HK, which is a 45W processor with 8 cores, 16 threads, and boost speeds up to 5GHz. That’s one of the most powerful processors you’ll find on any laptop, and it’s backed up by up to an NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060 GPU with 70W of power. That’s also a pwoerful GPU, and it means you can run just about any modern game on this laptop, but also use it for things like content creation, which is probably your main goal here. Beyond that, you can configure it with up to 64GB of RAM and 8TB of SSD storage, but you can opt for a cheaper configuration and upgrade later if you want to.
As made evident by its name, the Dell XPS 17 comes with a large 17-inch display, and like the rest of the XPS lineup, it comes in the 16:10 aspect ratio, which means it’s taller than you might expect for a 17-inch laptop. The base configuration is a Full HD+ (1920 x 1200), but this is one case where upgrading to the Ultra HD+ (3840 x 2400) option might make sense considering the large size of the screen. That extra sharpness will help fit more UI elements on screen, so it’s great for productivity. There’s no OLED option with this one, however, as 17-inch OLED displays are still very rare in laptops.
Unfortunately, the larger size of the XPS 17 doesn’t come with a bigger or better webcam, so we’re still looking at a below-average 720p camera. This is because Dell still uses tiny bezels for this laptop. It does support Windows Hello, though, and there’s a fingerprint reader for that, too, if that’s more your style.
Those tiny bezels are what helps the Del XPS 17 be as small as it is, though, and Dell even says this laptop is smaller than 14% of 15-inch laptops in terms of width. It’s also just over 19mm thin, which isn’t bad for a laptop of this size. Looks-wise, the XPS 17 features the well-known dual-tone design with a platinum silver exterior and a black carbon fiber interior. Unlike its smaller siblings, there’s no option for a white interior on this model, which would have been nice to see.
For ports, the Dell XPS 17 makes do with four Thuderbolt 4 ports, which naturally support the full suite of USB4 features. It also has an SD card reader and a headphone jack, but that’s about it, so the setup is surprisingly limited for a laptop of this size. However, you do get a USB Type-C to Type-A and HDMI adapter in the box to make life a little easier.
If you want a powerful laptop with a large screen but most other options seem too unwieldy for you, the Dell XPS 17 might be your best choice. It relies heavily on USB4/Thunderbolt docking, but it’s still one of the best laptops around. You can buy it below, or check out other configurations on Dell’s website. Also, make sure to stop by our Dell XPS 17 review to see what makes it great.
Best USB4 gaming laptop: Razer Blade 15 Advanced
We’ve seen a few powerful laptops on this list that can run modern games, but if you want the best experience with them, the Razer Blade 15 is the laptop for you. It has the powerful specs, the high-end display, and all the connectivity you could want, including Thunderbolt 4.
Let’s focus on performance first. The Razer Blade 15 is powered by an Intel Core i7-11800H, a 45W processor with eight cores, 16 threads, and boost speeds up to 4.6GHz, giving you all the performance you could want in a gaming laptop. On top of that, you can get it with up to an NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080 with 105W of power, meaning you can run any modern game at high settings and solid framerates. It’s a powerful combination, for sure. The Blade 15 also comes with 16GB of RAM and a 1TB SSD for storage, but you can upgrade those specs after the fact with two RAM slots and two M.2 SSD slots. One thing that’s worth noting is that the Blade 15 is getting a refresh very soon and all of these components will be upgraded to newer generations for even more performance.
What isn’t changing that much with the refresh is the display. The Razer Blade 15 has a 15.6-inch display with a classic 16:9 aspect ratio, and it comes in a few variants in terms of resolution and refresh rate. There’s a Full HD (1920 x 1080) option with a 360Hz refresh rate if you want the smoothest gaming experience at the expense of resolution, and there’s a Quad HD (2560 x 1440) panel at either 165Hz or 240Hz for the refresh rate. There used to be a 4K OLED model, but it seems like it may have been discontinued since we can’t find it available to buy anywhere. With the upcoming refresh, Razer is also replacing the OLED version with a 4K 144Hz IPS panel.
The webcam on the Razer Blade 15 Advanced is surprisingly good for a gaming laptop. Razer packed in a 1080p webcam so you look good during video calls or while streaming your gaming sessions, plus you even get Windows Hello facial recognition for extra convenience Many gaming laptops cut back on this aspect, so it’s great to see Razer bucking that trend.
Design-wise, the Razer Blade 15 is fairly standard, being an all-black laptop with a green Razer logo on the lid. The keyboard has per-key RGB backlighting, which is cool if you like some personalization, but otherwise, it’s a fairly subdued laptop compared to other gaming devices. Considering its power, it’s impressively thin, coming in under 17mm on thickness, and it weighs 4.4lbs, which is also very reasonable for these specs.
Like many gaming laptops, ports are one thing the Razer Blade 15 Advanced does exceedingly well. It has two Thunderbolt 4 ports, two USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-A ports, HDMI 2.1, a full-size SD card reader, and a combo audio jack. This is a very capable setup that can accommodate all your peripherals, plus Thunderbolt support can expand even further if you need more.
Razer makes some of the best gaming laptops out there, and including a to of ports in addition to USB4/Thunderbolt 4 definitely helps the Razer Blade 15. You can buy it below or check Razer’s website if you want to pre-order the next-generation model when it launches on January 25th.
Best budget USB4 laptop: Acer Swift 3
Finally, if you want a USB4-compatible laptop that doesn’t break the bank, the Acer Swift 3 is still your best option. That could change once we start seeing more USB4 laptops that aren’t labeled as Thunderbolt, but this is still a great deal, and it’s a solid laptop overall.
First off, the Acer Swift 3 is powered by an Intel Core i7-1165G7 processor, so even though it’s affordable, it’s still quite capable. That’s a quad-core, eight-thread processor, and it can boost up to 4.7GHz, so it can handle all kinds of day-to-day tasks without much of an issue. Plus, it has Intel Iris Xe integrated graphics for some light GPU workloads. It Also comes with 8GB of RAM and a 256GB SSD, which is in line with what you can expect for a relatively affordable device like this. Obviously there are more powerful laptops out there, but this still gets the job done fairly well.
The display here is a bit more basic than other laptops on this list, too. It’s a 14-inch panel and it comes in Full HD (1920 x 1080). That’s still sharp enough for most use cases, particularly in a 14-inch display, but it’s not overly impressive. You also don’t get upgrade options for it, so this is what you’re stuck with.
Above that display is a webcam that features 720p resolution. As we’ve mentioned, that’s not impressive, but we’ve seen far more expensive laptops use similar cameras, so this isn’t exactly surprising. The webcam also doesn’t support Windows Hello facial recognition, but you do have a fingerprint reader as a way to unlock your PC.
As you’d probably expect, the design of the Acer Swift 3 is also fairly basic. It’s a silver clamshell laptop, but it is fairly light, weighing 2.65lbs, which is nice for a budget laptop. Cheaper laptops can sometimes come at the expense of being unwieldy, but that’s not the case here.
Finally, the Acer Swift 3 has a surprisingly solid selection of ports at this price and size. It has Thunderbolt 4 support, which is already uncommon at this price, but it also includes two USB Type-A ports, HDMI, and a headphone jack, so your basic needs are all covered.
It’s not exactly competing with the other laptops on this list, but if you want a laptop with a USB4 port and you’re on a budget, the Acer Swift 3 is one of your best options.
And that’s about it for the best USB 4 laptops you can buy today. We chose the Dell XPS 13 for the top spot because it’s a very popular, capable, and compact laptop that’s great to get work done. It has a fantastic display and specs, plus it looks stunning in white. Personally speaking, though, my favorite would be the Surface Laptop Studio, as I love that form factor and the additional power it has for tasks like video rendering and gaming.
Admittedly, the list is still almost entirely focused on laptops that have Thunderbolt, but we’re hoping to see the landscape change now that USB4 is making its way to non-Intel laptops. This will ultimately result in more affordable laptops supporting these features, and more people will be able to use features like external GPUs. Right now, the Lenovo ThinkPad Z series is the biggest standout to mention USB4 support on an AMD processor, but we’re certain to see more of them over time. If you just want an AMD laptop and you don’t care about USB 4, check out our list of the best AMD Ryzen laptops you can buy today.