These are the best Windows on ARM laptops you can buy

These are the best Windows on ARM laptops you can buy

Microsoft and Qualcomm first introduced Windows on ARM back in 2017, but it took some time for ARM devices to catch on. The ability to run Windows on ARM-based processors is a big deal. ARM processors offer always-on connectivity, instant wake, and many of them come with cellular connectivity without adding a premium to the price. The first few Windows on ARM devices all had the same processors, and they weren’t very good. But nowadays, there are multiple ARM processors designed for PCs and devices using each one. That means there’s a bit more choice than there used to be in this space. To help you find them, we’ve rounded up the best Windows on ARM laptops you can buy right now.

One thing that’s important to note is not only are these PCs using different processors, but they all have different designs. The Windows on ARM segment now offers quite a few diverse choices, so you can almost certainly find something you like. Whether it’s a tablet, a clamshell, or a convertible, there are options.

It’s also worth mentioning that, thanks to Windows 11, these devices are even better now, with Microsoft adding support for x64 emulation. That means you can now run most types of apps on these laptops, even if they don’t have 32-bit versions anymore.

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Best overall: HP Elite Folio

HP Elite Folio in folio orientation angled view

Until you’ve used a device covered in vegan leather, you might not know exactly what you’re missing out on, but this is absolutely fantastic. Vegan leather not only looks classy and sophisticated, but it also feels soft to the touch. Based on that alone, the HP Elite Folio is one of my favorite devices on this list.  It’s one of the best-looking laptops here, but it also benefits from a really clever design for a convertible. Instead of spinning the screen around the keyboard, you can pull the screen towards you, or lay it flat on the keyboard. You can even make it so it’s covering the keyboard and not the touchpad. It’s a very unique design and it deserves all the praise for that.

It’s also a fairly thin and light laptop. It measures just 16mm in thickness, and it weighs 2.92lbs, which is very portable and easy to carry anywhere. That thin design and the leather cover do result in a somewhat limited selection of ports. You get two USB Type-C ports and a headphone jack, which isn’t a lot, so you’ll need a USB Type-C hub to add more ports. You also get a nanoSIM card slot if you choose to get the Elite Folio with cellular network support, which costs extra. You can choose between LTE and 5G connectivity here, and the latter should get you higher speeds – once 5G has fully developed, at least.

Aside from its ingenious design, the HP Elite Folio is pretty much just a great premium laptop. It’s powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8cx Gen 2, which is still the best ARM processor for Windows (for better or worse). This is going to get you as close to a premium experience as you can get on a Windows ARM laptop, and you can pair it with up to 16GB of RAM and 512GB SSD for storage. This means you’ll be able to multi-task without much of an issue, and you’ll also have a solid amount of storage for your files over time.

The display is also a plus with the HP Elite Folio. It’s a 13.5-inch panel, but it comes in the 3:2 aspect ratio. This is taller than a typical 16:9 display, and that extra vertical space is great for reading and browsing the web since you can see more lines of text. The resolution is Full HD+, which is more than sharp enough for a screen of this size, and it has up to 400 nits of brightness, so you should be able to see it outdoors without much of an issue. This is a business laptop, too, and so you also have the option to add a privacy screen, which prevents people around you from reading what’s on the screen while you’re working.

A potential downside of this laptop is the small 720p webcam, which isn’t going to have the greatest quality, but it should be good enough for occasional use. Plus, it’s still something we see all too often. The camera does include an IR sensor for Windows Hello, so you can still unlock the PC securely and easily.

    HP Elite Folio
    The HP Elite Folio is one of the most unique-looking ARM laptops yet, with the leather cover giving it a classy look and feel. It's powered by the Snapdragon 8cx Gen 2, it has up to 16GB of RAM and 512GB of storage. Plus, it has a tall 13.5-inch 3:2 display that's great for productivity

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Best 5G convertible: Lenovo Flex 5G

If leather isn’t your thing but you still want a professional 5G convertible, the Lenovo Flex 5G is another great choice. In fact, it’s on our list of best 5G laptops. This is a classy all-metal laptop, and it’s going to look great in any business setting.

Because it’s not the newest device around, it’s still packing the original Qualcomm Snapdragon 8cx processor, not the Gen 2 refresh, but it’s not a huge deal. The second iteration of the processor only slightly increased the clock speed, so it’s not like you’ll be missing out on performance because of it. In addition to that, you get 8GB of RAM and 256GB of storage, a solid combination for day-to-day work tasks. 8GB is the minimum we’d recommend for a solid multi-tasking experience on Windows, so you’re good in that regard.

The display on the Lenovo Flex 5G is a 14-inch panel and it comes in the more typical 16:9 aspect ratio with Full HD resolution. A taller display may have been a nice addition for some users, but the 16:9 aspect ratio makes it ideal for content consumption, and the included Dolby Atmos stereo speakers help with that, too. It can reach up to 400 nits of brightness so it should be decently visible outdoors. Since this is a convertible, the screen supports touch, There are no upgrade options from the base model, but to be fair, this should be more than enough already.

Design-wise, of course, the Lenovo Flex 5G is a convertible, which means you can rotate the screen around the hinge to use it as a tablet. It’s thinner than the HP Elite Folio, though, being just 14.7mm at its thinnest point. It also weighs 2.9lbs, so it’s decently portable, too. In terms of ports, it’s about as limiting as the HP Elite Folio, featuring two USB Type-C ports and a headphone jack. However, you do get an extra switch on the side to turn on airplane mode. A big benefit of the Flex 5G, however, is the cellular connectivity, which is included by default. You won’t have to pay extra to get LTE or 5G support, and you know exactly what you’re getting from the start.

Like the HP Elite Folio, you only get a 720p camera here, which is a downside with both laptops, but once again you do have facial recognition for Windows Hello. On top of that, the Lenovo Flex 5G also has a fingerprint sensor, so you can choose the most convenient login method at any given moment.

Overall, the Lenovo Flex 5G is a fantastic 5G convertible and having that connectivity by default is a big plus since it makes the choice easier.

    Lenovo Flex 5G
    The Lenovo Flex 5G is a great convertible with 5G support included by default, plus a screen and speaker system designed for media cosumption.

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Best battery life for Windows on ARM: Acer Spin 7

Acer Spin 7

The last convertible in the traditional sense on this list is the Acer Spin 7, and it feels more like a premium consumer product than a business one. It covers all the basics for a great experience on Windows, and it looks great while doing so.

As any premium Windows ARM laptop would, the Acer Spin 7 comes with the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8cx Gen 2 chipset, featuring 8 cores running at up to 2.84GHz. It also comes with 8GB of RAM and 512GB of SSD storage, so you should get solid multi-tasking capabilities and plenty of space for your files over time. What makes it stand out the most though is it promises up to 29 hours of battery life, the highest of any Windows on ARM device on this list, making this ideal for long trips when you’re away from an outlet for extended periods.

Similar to the Lenovo Flex 5G, the display is a 14-inch panel and it comes with a 16:9 aspect ratio and Full HD resolution. However, the Acer SPin 7 doesn’t get quite as bright, reaching a maximum brightness of 300 nits. Being that it’s also a convertible, the Acer Spin 7 also supports pen input, however, and it comes with a pen built right in, which you can store inside the laptop itself so you never lose it.

The Acer Spin 7 has a more striking design than the Lenovo Flex 5G, however, thanks to its classy dual-color scheme. The main body of the laptop is a dark blue color, but accents like the Acer logo on the lig, the hinge, the keyboard key labels, and the edges of the trackpad use a gold color to accent them, giving the device a hint of personality. It’s once again a fairly thin device at 15.9mm, and that’s one of the common benefits of ARM laptops.

The Spin 7 suffers from the same problem in terms of ports, however, featuring just two USB Type-C ports and a headphone jack. It does include a security port, though, so you can lock the laptop on a desk to make it harder to steal. The Acer Spin 7 also supports 5G with both sub-6 and mmWave networks supported. The webcam is once again a bit disappointing, being that it’s a 720p webcam without Windows Hello support. That’s not to say there’s no form of Windows Hello support, however, as there is a fingerprint reader on the keyboard deck.

All things considered, the Acer Spin 7 is a great ARM-based laptop, with the design being one of its key selling points.

    Acer Spin 7
    The Acer Spin 7 is a premium convertible with a stunning design, 5G support, and a pen built right in for jotting down notes on the go.

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Best Windows on ARM tablet: Surface Pro X

Surface Pro X in black on wooden table

Arguably one of the most prolific Windows on ARM devices is Microsoft’s Surface Pro X, which represented the company’s big push for Windows devices powered by ARM processors. It was first introduced in 2019, and while it hasn’t changed a ton, it’s still of the best Windows on ARM devices you can get.

Performance-wise, the Surface Pro X doesn’t stray far from other premium Windows devices with ARM processors. It’s sold with either the Microsoft SQ1 or SQ2 processor, and these are essentially tweaked versions of the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8cx and 8cx Gen 2. They’re slightly faster, but not by a whole lot. It also comes with up to 16GB of RAM and 512GB of SSD storage, being one of the most powerful Windows on ARM devices. Those 16GB of RAM can make a big difference in multi-tasking performance, so it’s great to have that option.

What really helps the Surface Pro X stand out is its display. It’s a 13-inch panel and it uses the typical 3:2 aspect ratio that all Surface devices have. The HP Elite Folio also has a 3:2 display, but the Surface Pro X features a super-sharp 2880 x 1920 resolution, making for an absolutely fantastic visual experience on a display of this size. This is a PixelSense display, meaning it also supports touch and the Surface Slim Pen. It also has fairly small bezels on the sides.

That’s not all, though, because the Surface Pro X also has by far the best camera on this list. It’s using a 5MP front-facing webcam, and it can record video at 1080p, plus it supports Windows Hello. That means you’re going to get great video quality in meetings and video calls, especially compared to the other cameras on this list. Not only that, but the Surface Pro X adds a rear-facing camera, too, and that one support 4K video and 10MP pictures.

The design is also a point in favor of the Surface Pro X. This is a tablet, though you can add the Surface Pro Signature Keyboard to make a more laptop-like experience. However, it’s an extremely thin and light tablet, measuring just 7.3mm in thickness and weighing 1.7lbs. Even if you do add the Surface Pro Signature Keyboard with a Surface Slim Pen 2, you’re looking at 2.35lbs in weight and a thickness of 13.6mm where the Surface SlimPen 2 is stored.

This is the most portable of the devices on this list, and it doesn’t miss out on much. Except ports, that is. The Surface Pro X does have two USB Type-C ports like most devices we’ve looked at so far, but it doesn’t have a headphone jack, likely due to being as thin as it is. Originally, all models of the Surface Pro X came with LTE support, but now Microsoft has introduced a Wi-Fi only version, so you can save some money if you don’t need LTE. There’sno 5G support yet, however.

The Surface Pro X easily offers the most premium user experience in more ways than one. It’s extremely portable, it has a fantastic display, and great webcams. You can also turn it into a more typical laptop experience by adding the Surface Pro Signature Keyboard with the Surface Slim Pen 2.

    Surface Pro X
    The Surface Pro X is the best premium Windows on ARM tablet, feautinrg a high-resolution display and webcams.

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Best Windows on ARM clamshell: Samsung Galaxy Book S

Samsung Galaxy Book S

Sometimes all you need is a basic premium laptop, and Samsung has been one of the most prominent companies have it comes to ARM-based WIndows laptops. The Galaxy Book S isn’t its most recent offering, but it’s still the best in many ways.

First off, it’s powered by the first-generation Qualcomm Snapdragon 8cx, and as we’ve mentioned, that’s not the newest version of the chip, but it doesn’t make much of a difference. It’s still capable of rock-solid performance. On top of that, it comes with 8GB of RAM and 256GB of SSD storage, which is a solid combination for day-to-day use. It’s not the most powerful laptop on this list, but its going to do just fine for most common tasks.

The display is fairly standard compared with other laptops on this list. It’s a 13.3-inch panel and it comes in Full HD resolution using the traditional 16:9 aspect ratio. It’s going to do the job for most tasks, and Full HD is sharp enough for a display of this size, so there’s nothing to worry about there. Like many other laptops on this list, it comes with a 720p webcam, so it’s not going to blow you away with its camera quality, but it does the job. That camera also doesn’t support Windows Hello authentication, though you do have a fingerprint sensor for that.

What makes the Galaxy Book S truly stand out is just how thin and light it is. It’s a mere 11.8mm at its thickest point, making it the thinnest device on this list, barring the Surface Pro X without a keyboard. And at 2.1lbs in weight, it’s similarly the lightest laptop here  – again, excluding the Surface Pro X tablet with the keyboard removed. It’s the most portable device on this list that has a keyboard, and that’s very impressive.

Ports-wise, the Galaxy Book S is about as limited as most other laptops on this list, including two USB Type-C ports and a headphone jack. You also get a microSD card reader for storage expansion, though. It also has 4G connectivity with Cat 18 LTE, and while it doesn’t have 5G, LTE should still do fine for most users.

If you’re looking for an ultra-thin premium laptop powered by ARM, the Samsung Galaxy Book S doesn’t disappoint, even with its age.

    Samsung Galaxy Book S
    The Samsung Galaxy Book S is an ultra-thin and light ARM laptop that still has high-end specs and a premium design.

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Best budget Windows on ARM PC: Samsung Galaxy Book Go

Front view of Samsung Galaxy Book Go

In a sea of premium ARM-based devices, the Samsung Galaxy Book Go is a breath of fresh air, aiming for the entry-level market with features you just can’t get on other laptops at this price point.

It’s a traditional clamshell form factor and it comes packing a Snapdragon 7c Gen 2, and it was one of the first consumer devices to do so. That’s not quite on the same level of performance as the Snapdragon 8cx laptops we’ve looked at so far, but compared to other laptops in its price range, it’s not bad at all. It also comes with 4GB of RAM and 128GB of storage, and for a laptop at this price, that’s acceptable. It’s obviously not going to be a mind-blowing experience, but if you’re shopping in this price range, it’s about as good as you’ll find anywhere else.

Of course, that’s all for the base configuration, and you can spring for the 5G model, which costs more than double the price. That does add a more powerful chipset (the Snapdragon 8cx Gen 2), 8GB of RAM, and 256GB of storage. It also adds 5G support, while the base model has no cellular connectivity whatsoever.

Still, the base $350 model has some great selling points like the display. it’s a 14-inch panel, and it’s got Full HD resolution. That’s the same as many of the premium laptops on this list, and while some might consider Full HD the bare minimum, many laptops at this price don’t have that. The screen quality itself isn’t on the same level as those premium laptops, of course, and while it has a somewhat large bezel where the camera is, it’s still 720p without Windows Hello. In fact, there’s no form of Windows Hello here.

One area where the Galaxy Book Go outshines the premium laptops we’ve looked at so far is the ports. It comes with two USB Type-C ports, one USB Type-A, a headphone jack, and a microSD card reader. You don’t see USB Type-A ports on most ARM laptops, so it’s nice to have it here for peripherals that still need it.

It’s still a very portable laptop, too, measuring just under 15mm in thickness and weighing 3.04lbs pounds for the base model. The overall design feels premium, even though it’s still made out of plastic. In our review of the Samsung Galaxy Book Go, we even noted that it felt like metal, and it was the spec sheet that said otherwise.

Overall, the Samsung Galaxy Book Go isn’t a mind-blowing laptop, but it’s very impressive for its price. If you want a taste of Windows on ARM without breaking the bank, this is one of your best options.

    Samsung Galaxy Book Go
    The Samsung Galaxy Book Go is a fantastic budget laptop with decent entry-level performance, a Full HD display, and a premium design.

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That covers most of the current Windows on ARM laptops, which does still show a somewhat lacking ecosystem compared to Intel and AMD products. Still, there’s variety in form factors, design, and even price points here. We picked the HP Elite Folio as the best overall device because it has high-end configurations, a unique form factor, and a fantastic design covered in synthetic leather. However, the Surface Pro X is a superior device in many ways, including the display and webcam. And if those aren’t your style, there are plenty of options to choose from here.

You might not want an ARM laptop though, because there are other limitations that come with it. For example, ARM laptops don’t have Thunderbolt, so you can’t use a Thunderbolt dock for expansion. We have a list of the best Thunderbolt-enabled laptops if that’s something you need.

About author

João Carrasqueira
João Carrasqueira

Writer 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.