Holiday Shopping Guide: Best laptops to buy for the holidays

Arif Bacchus

Surface Laptop 2 on sale at Microsoft Store for up to $300 off

The holiday season is often the perfect time to give the gift of a new 10 Windows device for yourself or someone else. You’ll often find some great deals on laptops, tablets, and 2-in-1s during this time of year, especially at retailers like the Microsoft Store.

But, not all laptops are created equal. From the design, RAM, processor, storage, speed, and more, you’ll need to think a lot about which one is right for you. Check out our “What to look for when buying a new PC” post to get started. In this guide, we’ve cut through all the tech jargon and have put together a list of some of the best laptops and Windows 10 devices you can buy for the holidays.

Microsoft Surface Laptop 3

At the top of our list is the Microsoft Surface Laptop 3. As a reader of OnMSFT, you’re likely familiar with this device. The 13.5-inch models feature an Alcantara keyboard, though some models also feature options for a traditional aluminum enclosure.

Some key differences over the original include the addition of a USB-C port, as well as a larger trackpad. Its lid is also easier to open, and the laptop is more repairable and modular when compared to the Surface Laptop 2. As for the processor inside, Microsoft promises it is 2 times faster than what is found in the Surface Laptop 2.  Pricing starts at $999.

If buying the Surface Laptop 3, there’s something important to note. The 13.5 inch Surface Laptop 3 comes with options for Intel’s 10th-Gen processors. With the improvements to the integrated graphics delivered with these processors, you can expect to do some light gaming, and photo editing on this device.

However, the larger 15-inch version comes with a custom AMD Ryzen processor under the hood. This might make it seem like the device is great for gaming, but many reviewers have thought otherwise. You might want to pick up a version with an Intel processor instead, which is a bit more expensive at $1,100.

Microsoft Surface Pro 7

Coming second in line to the Surface Laptop 3 is the Surface Pro 7. If you’re looking for a portable Windows 10 device that you can slide into your bag and travel with, then this is the one for you. It’s thin and light at 0.33 inches thick, and just 1.74 pounds with the keyboard type cover. It also sports a touch screen and in-built kickstand, which means it is the perfect device for watching movies and enjoying multimedia.

Compared to the older Surface devices, the Surface Pro 7 isn’t much different. It’s only major design change is the addition of USB-C port, as well as the addition of new “Studio Mics” for better calling in Skype and Microsoft Teams. There’s also the addition of Intel’s 10th gen processors inside, which makes the device a bit more speedy compared to previous Surface Pro models.

Pricing starts at around $749 for the device only, and you’ll need to spend an additional $160 for the Type Cover. However, for a limited time, you can get a bundle with the Surface device and a Type Cover for just $700 while supplies last.

New Dell XPS 13

Our next pick for the best laptop to buy this holiday is the Dell XPS 13. With its slim Infinity Edge bezels and its redesigned webcam that now sits back on top of the screen, this is one beautiful laptop. Pricing on the XPS 13 starts at $1,000, but you can typically find it on sale for $949 or less during the holidays.

For this price, you’re getting a device with the latest 10th Gen Intel Core i3-1011U processor, 4GB of RAM, and 256GB of storage. That’s basic specs and not a machine you’ll be able to play games on, but you can step up the configuration to a beefier option with an Intel Core i5-10210U processor, as well as 8GB RAM and 256GB of storage for $1,100. Regardless of which model you pick, this laptop is ultra-compact, ultralight, and is great for web browsing, and more.

HP Spectre x360

Final on our list is the HP Spectre x360. Unlike the XPS 13, this device is a 2-in-1 laptop. That means you can turn its screen around, and flip it into four different modes. Unlike most 2-in-1s, it even comes with a pen in the box, allowing you to ink on the screen, take notes, draw, and more. Pricing on it starts at around $1,200, but during the holidays you can find it at around $1,000.

If you opt to buy the Spectre x360, you’re getting a few things. First of all, the device features a gorgeous diamond-cut design. You’re also getting options for the latest 10th generation Intel processors. If you want, you also can bump up your options and get a model with a 4K display, which usually retails for $2,000 but is now $1,4000 for a limited time only.


Which laptop did you choose?

At the end of the day, there are plenty of other choices out there when shopping for a new laptop. We’ve only covered the basics and the ultra-premium devices. If you’re on a budget, you always can try cheaper devices like $307 Acer Aspire E 15, or the $560 Lenovo Flex 14. Which laptop did you choose to purchase this holiday? Let us know in the comments below.