5 Best i7 Windows Laptops (Ultimate Guide)

Intel Core i7 chips are some of the most in-demand processors around.

They can handle all kinds of demanding tasks, such as content creation and gaming, but at the same time, they are more affordable than Intel’s i9 series.

Therefore, they hit that sweet spot between low price and top-notch performance, making them ideal CPUs for many users.

Not all i7 processors are created the same, though, and the choice of which i7 Windows laptop to get is nuanced.

That’s because many other factors come into play, such as how the CPU interacts with each laptop’s components.

No matter what your needs are, I’ve got you covered with a shortlist of the best options.

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What Is the Best i7 Windows Laptop?

1. Dell XPS 13 (9310)

Overview

Dell’s XPS 13 tops my list of the best i7 Windows laptops for many different reasons. However, let’s start off by discussing the Intel Core processor. This model includes the i7-1195G7 from the acclaimed Tiger Lake series. With four cores and eight threads, it is a very competent chip made for thin laptops and Ultrabooks. It is a step up from the 1185G7 and offers notable performance improvements as well.

Aside from being one of the fastest laptops, I love the XPS 13-inch laptop because it is light and thin. If you move around a lot, either inside your house or traveling, it feels super portable. At the same time, the milled aluminum body and carbon fiber palm rest make it a joy to touch. The trackpad is smooth, responsive, and does exactly what it’s supposed to, while the keyboard is snappy and intuitive. 

The 16:10 InfinityEdge display gives it a slightly upright feel, and the FHD touchscreen looks incredible. On a 13-inch, I prefer FHD over OLED because of improved battery life. With 500 nits, you’ll have all the brightness you need, and 100 percent RGB coverage ensures you’ll have accurate color for all your content creation needs. In terms of ports, it has two Thunderbolt 3, one microSD slot, and a headphone jack. Wi-Fi 6 Technology gives it fast connectivity. 

Best Overall
Dell XPS 13

Dell XPS 13 (9310)

The Dell XPS 13 (9310) is absolutely jacked with features. This i7 Windows laptop gives the MacBook Pro a run for its money with its speedy processor and sleek design. Overall, it’s a joy to use.

Key Features

  • Display 13.4-inch FHD+ InfinityEdge touchscreen
  • Graphics Intel Iris Xe graphics
  • Processor 11th generation Intel Core i7-1195G7
  • Memory 16GB LPDDR4x
  • Storage 512GB SSD
  • OS Windows 11

Bottom Line

Dell’s XPS 13 is a genuine competitor to the MacBook Pro M1 for anyone wanting an i7 Windows laptop. Moreover, anyone who has ever owned a Dell knows they make high-quality machines with plenty of performance. So what, if anything, are the drawbacks?

Well, for one, the webcam is just okay. It’s not terrible, but given how many people work from home these days, better video quality would be welcome.

Ultimately, the webcam is a minor complaint: Overall, the XPS 13 is a very attractive laptop that feels premium and is well suited for just about anything from content creation to multitasking.

i7 Windows laptop by Dell in home office
Dell XPS

2. Microsoft Surface Laptop Studio

Overview

Microsoft’s Surface Laptop Studio might be my favorite i7 Windows laptop on the list. It may not be the fastest or the most weigh the least, but it stands out as a truly unique device in a sea of lookalikes.

This is all thanks to an innovative hinge mechanism that allows you to switch seamlessly between three modes—regular, easel, and tablet—which also makes it excellent for multi-tasking and productivity.

True to its name, the Surface Laptop Studio feels as great as it looks. Aside from an excellent build quality, the trackpad is stellar, with haptic feedback that can be adjusted to your liking. I have zero complaints on the keyboard, either. Surface products have always delivered in this department, and this one is no exception.

One of my favorite things about this laptop is the stylus, which Microsoft calls the Surface Slim Pen 2. It attaches to the underside of the keyboard by way of a magnet, which is where it charges. So, the pen will be there when you are ready to switch into tablet mode to sketch or take notes.

In terms of ports, it has two USB-C, a headphone jack, and Surface Connect for dedicated charging. It uses the latest Wi-Fi 6 Technology for fast connectivity.

The display has a high refresh rate of 120Hz, and the screen is gorgeous. It’s a touchscreen, of course, and rest assured it gets very bright. The speakers are incredible, so watching a movie on it is no problem. 

Best Versatility
Microsoft Surface Laptop Studio

Microsoft Surface Laptop Studio

I like the Surface Laptop Studio because of its versatility. The three-in-one design lets you use it as a tablet, an easel, or a laptop, while the 11th generation Intel Core i7 zips from task to task.

Key Features

  • Display 14.4-inch touchscreen
  • Graphics NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3050 Ti  
  • Processor 11th generation Intel Core i7-11700  
  • Memory Up to 32GB
  • Storage Up to 2TB  
  • OS Windows 11

Bottom Line

Now that I’ve spent the whole review gushing over the Surface Laptop Studio, it’s only right that I talk about some drawbacks.

In fact, my only reservation is the performance-to-price ratio. It comes with the Intel Core i7-11700 processor, a very capable chip. You can use it for everyday computing needs, and it even offers suitable performance for gaming. But for a similar price, you can probably get something with more cores.

Therefore, it really depends on what you need the laptop for: If versatility and form factor are important to you, The Surface Laptop Studio is hard to beat.

Now that we got that out of the way, let’s do a quick recap: Compared to other i7 laptops, the Surface laptop is incredibly versatile, has one of the best displays, looks and feels premium, and the speakers are phenomenal. Whether you keep it in standard laptop mode or use it as a tablet or easel, you’ll enjoy the effortless and luxurious feel.

3. HP Spectre x360 14

Overview

HP followed up its popular 13-inch Spectre x360 with this 14-inch, and the improvements are vast. This is easily one of the best i7 Windows laptops available—not to mention one of my favorites—so let’s look at what makes this thin-and-light so special.

Starting with the hardware, this robust laptop comes with Intel’s 11th generation Core i7-1165G7, which is part of its acclaimed Tiger Lake series. This is one of the better CPUs Intel has released in recent years, thanks to an improved single-thread performance.

This two-in-one laptop is also smart: It automatically adjusts the brightness to your environment, it has “in-bag detection” to preserve your battery life, and there is an auto color feature, which gives you the best calibration settings for every task. As with most newer laptops, it has Wi-Fi 6 Technology to facilitate faster Internet speeds.

In terms of build, the design is bold and sharp—literally—as the CNC aluminum chassis was gem cut with an artisan’s attention to detail. Given how sturdy the Spectre x360 looks, you’ll be surprised how light it is, and if you use it on the go, it has LTE capabilities. The keyboard is big and comfortable, the trackpad is decent, and you get a fingerprint reader and Windows Hello facial recognition.

One last feature that really stands out to me is the touch display. The 1920 x 1280 maximum resolution screen with ultra-thin bezels feels perfect. It’s not overly sharp, and the quality is stellar. But the thing I like most is the 3:2 aspect ratio. More vertical space equals less scrolling and greater productivity. 

Also Great
HP Spectre x360 14

HP Spectre x360 14

There’s much to love about HP’s Spectre x360. From the Tiger Lake series processor to the thin and light design, this i7 Windows laptop is up there with the best if you’re looking for a serious bang for your buck.

Key Features

  • Display 13.5-inch WUXGA touch
  • Graphics Intel Iris Xe graphics  
  • Processor 11th generation Intel Core i7-1165G7
  • Memory 16GB DDR4-3200
  • Storage 1TB NVME SSD
  • OS Windows 10 Pro    

Bottom Line

This should be a serious option for anyone considering an i7 Windows laptop, especially if you want something premium and stylish without breaking the bank.

No laptop is perfect, though. If I had to pick something that needs improvement, it would be the sound. The speakers are Bang and Olufsen; based on that, I expect the sound to be fuller. Honestly, it’s no big deal, but it doesn’t live up to the B&O name, in my opinion. Another minor quibble is the fan: It comes on quite a lot. The tradeoff is that the laptop’s energy management is excellent, so you get good battery life. 

Petty grumbles aside, I love this laptop. The two-in-one market is competitive, but HP’s Spectre x360 14 easily stands out as one of the best portables with an Intel Core i7 chip.

4. Asus ZenBook Pro Duo 15

Overview

Your jaw will drop when you open this i7 Windows laptop for the first time. In a world of similar-looking portables, Asus’s ZenBook Pro Duo 15 stands out like a sore thumb. That’s because has a second display called the ScreenPad Plus, which tilts up 9.5 degrees for a seamless viewing experience.

The main display is an OLED that provides rich, saturated colors. The second screen is IPS and less reflective. Both are touchscreens, so you can have multiple windows open and rearrange them with your finger or the stylus pen. The ScreenPad is configurable, so you can arrange your apps for maximum efficiency. The stylus pen has around 4,000 pressure points, so it is super responsive.

Another one of the first things you’ll notice is the unconventional keyboard and trackpad placement. The keyboard is at the edge of the laptop, but it comes with a palm rest and ergonomic laptop stand. The trackpad sits to the right of the keyboard. This might be awkward for lefties, but you can make the ScreenPad a giant trackpad if that’s an issue.

Now let’s talk about the processor. The Intel Core i7-10870H is high-end and part of the Comet Lake series. It is hyper-thread enabled and capable of heavy-duty tasks like video editing and content creation. That means you can also use this laptop for gaming. This chip is also often used in DTR (desktop replacement) and gaming laptops, so you know it has impressive power.

The cooling system is also innovative: When open, a space is created beneath the ScreenPad, making a vent for air to flow through. Of course, it uses Wi-Fi 6 like every notable laptop should.

Best for Creators
Asus ZenBook Pro Duo 15

Asus ZenBook Pro Duo 15

I like the Asus ZenBook because of its forward-thinking design. Thanks to the powerful Comet Lake series Intel Core i7 processor, you can do almost anything with this laptop. It’s pricey but worth it.

Key Features

  • Display 15.6-inch OLED 4K UHD NanoEdge touch
  • Graphics NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070  
  • Processor Intel Core i7-10870H  
  • Memory 16GB DDR4 RAM
  • Storage 1TB PCIe NVME M.2 SSD
  • OS Windows 10 Pro  

Bottom Line

Simply put, Asus’s ZenBook is unlike any other 15-inch laptop out there. I love it when companies push boundaries with their products, and this one is no exception. If you’re the type of person who demands high performance and gets excited about innovative tech, you’ll love this innovative and powerful laptop.

All that innovation comes at a cost: It’s pricey compared to most other laptops and has short battery life to boot. The magnesium alloy body makes it feel strong and sturdy, but at five pounds, it’s not the most portable option. 

Nevertheless, if you plan to leave it plugged in most of the time (thereby nullifying the battery and portability factors), you’d be hard-pressed to find a more unique Intel Core i7 Windows laptop that satisfies all your needs.

5. Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon Gen 9

Overview

Lenovo’s ThinkPad X1 Carbon Gen 9 is one of the finest i7 Windows laptops you can buy. Everything about it, from its slim black profile to the security features, makes it one of the best business laptops available today. 

Starting off with the build, it was made from carbon fiber and magnesium alloy. This gives it a sturdiness that many other of the lightest laptops don’t have. Even with that durability, it’s only 2.5 pounds, making it great for travel.

If you’re on the road, it gets excellent battery life (about 13 hours with light use), and if you run out of power, the battery charges from zero to 80 percent in about an hour. I love that it has a wide array of ports, bucking the trend of many other current laptops.  

The 14-inch FHD+ touchscreen display has a 16:10 aspect ratio giving plenty of vertical space for productivity. The screen has 100 percent sRGB coverage, so it’s nice to look at, too. Lenovo’s Thinkpad keyboards are legendary, and this one lives up to the hype: It is very comfortable to type on and spill-resistant.

If security is important to you, there is a “human-presence detection” feature that locks your computer when you step away. When you return, it unlocks automatically. There is an extra-secure fingerprint reader on the power button as well.

Last but not least, it uses the Intel Core i7-1165G7 processor, a popular choice for Ultrabooks. Context is everything, and this upper-midrange CPU has plenty of power to handle everyday business tasks with ease.

Best for Business
Lenono ThinkPad X1 Carbon

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon Gen 9

The Lenovo ThinkPad X1 is for anyone looking for a no-nonsense i7 Windows laptop that just works. I recommend it for business due to its overall security, comfort, and tastefully low profile.

Key Features

  • Display 14-inch FHD+ touchscreen
  • Graphics Intel Iris Xe graphics  
  • Processor Intel Core i7-1165G7 
  • Memory 32 GB LPDDR4X
  • Storage 1 TB PCle SSD
  • OS Windows 11 Pro  

Bottom Line

Lenovo’s ThinkPad X1 Carbon Gen 9 is a no-nonsense, compact laptop that shines in all the right areas. Its focus on productivity, privacy, and useability makes it an investment that should last for years. Add to that industry-leading battery life and this slim laptop is seriously hard to beat.

As always, there are a few downsides worth mentioning. First, the matte black finish picks up fingerprints relatively quickly. You may need to wipe it down every once in a while if you want it to look clean.

Second, the webcam is not great. With everyone doing remote work these days, high-quality cameras are essential. I hope Lenovo considers changing it on the next generation, as it’s a near-perfect laptop in many other ways.

Despite these things, the Carbon Gen 9 is an amazing choice for a light touchscreen laptop if it’s within your budget. For years, Lenovo has set a benchmark of excellence with its business laptops, and this one fully lives up to that standard.

Conclusion

That concludes my guide to the best i7 Windows laptop available today.

My top choice is the Dell XPS 13 (9310), but you can’t go wrong with any of the options on this list, as they are all incredible laptops.

Ultimately, it comes down to your own specific needs. Whether you are a graphic designer, a gamer, or a casual computer user, I hope you found this helpful.

FAQ

What is an i7 Windows Laptop?

An i7 Windows laptop is a portable computer that uses an Intel Core i7 processor with a Windows operating system.

Intel i7 processors are high-end consumer grade CPUs. In general, they are more powerful than Core i5 and less powerful than Core i9. They can be found in everything from budget laptops to premium desktops by various manufacturers, including Dell, HP, Microsoft, Asus, and Lenovo.

An i7 Windows laptop is typically used for content creation, gaming, and everyday computing needs. They strike a nice balance between performance and cost, making them a popular choice for many non-Apple users.

Which is better: Core i7 or i5?

Comparing Intel Core i7 to Core i5 is no easy task. While the i7 family generally has more capabilities, that does not mean it will perform better than an i5 processor 100 percent of the time.

That’s because are many other factors involved that affect a computer’s speed. Benchmark tests are a good place to start, but there are many other details to consider, such as what generation it is and the number of cores. More is better in both cases. 

Another factor is how each manufacturer integrates the chip. For example, cooling efficiency and RAM can result in a more responsive CPU performance. 

Most i5 and i7 processors today have at least four cores. However, there are some with only two, which have poor performance, and others with eight.

A processor with eight cores would make for a superb gaming laptop. For most people, though, four to six is a solid range to shoot for.

Both i5 and i7 processors have Intel Turbo Boost Technology, which accounts for their guaranteed power and integrated graphics performance.

Again, I would avoid laptops with two cores, as you might experience laggy performance.

On the other hand, larger laptops with eight cores will provide all-out gaming performance, if that’s what you are after.

If you’re trying to find specs on a particular CPU, refer to Intel’s master list of chips.

Is i7 good for a laptop?

Intel Core i7 processors are good for a laptop because they strike a nice balance between cost and performance.

They have enough power to handle most computing tasks with ease yet they don’t cost as much as Intel’s premium i9 series.

Availability also plays a significant factor: laptops with an i7 are relatively easy to find at any price point.

All of these factors make them one of the most popular CPUs on the market today.

What is the cheapest laptop with an i7 processor?

Prices always fluctuate, but if you’re looking for a cheap i7 laptop, here are some via Amazon:

How much does an i7 laptop cost?

Costs for an i7 Windows laptop start in the mid–$700 range up to $5,000 for the MSI GE66 Raider.

This is a big part of what makes laptops with an Intel Core i7 processor so popular: Not only are they widely available, but you can get them at virtually any price point.

Further Reading

For more resources and inspiration, head over to the blog where you’ll find articles on laptop computers, iPads for artists, pen tabletsdigital art, and creativity.