Windows laptops have been around since the 1980s, consistently growing in popularity among various user groups. Professionals swear by them, and students love how affordable they can be.
For a time, Windows machines had the reputation of not being stylish or contemporary. But thanks to avant-garde line-ups like the Microsoft Surface, even that is changing. You can now find cool, and svelte Windows PCs that run like the wind and are up to complicated tasks, managing to look lightweight and sleek while on the job.
The advent of Intel Core i7 has ensured that many Windows laptops are also up for online gaming. Gameplay can take up a lot of muscle and mandate other requirements like dedicated GPUs and immersive displays. Companies like Acer are working to make gaming on computers much more accessible without losing realism.
Where Windows laptops truly excel is cost-effectiveness. You can find some genuinely smooth laptops that combine speed, portability, and style at less than $1300.
As a buying decision, it makes perfect sense for students, young professionals, or casual users who wish to stick to a tight budget.
Why Choose a Windows PC with i7?
If you have only used an Intel Core i3 or i5, you will find the i7 a considerable boost. It has multiple cores and shows powerful processing in different working environments.
An i7 can easily handle complex jobs such as multimedia editing with the Adobe suite or running simulations for a scientific project. Multitasking is the USP here. Hyper-threading and efficient cooling ensure that all your tasks get processed speedily without excessive heat build-up.
The i7 range of CPUs has become quite popular, prompting many tech manufacturers to incorporate it into lean, mean Windows-based machines.
Best Intel Core i7 Windows Laptops 2022
The advent of Chromebooks, MacBooks, and Android tablets threatened the territory of Windows laptops for a while. But the rising demand for high-performing, portable laptops has infused a new lease of life into the category.
Top manufacturers like Dell, HP, and Acer now create powerful, svelte and contemporary Windows laptops. These machines excel at complicated tasks like scientific simulation or multimedia editing without the exorbitant price tag of a corresponding MacBook.
Windows PCs are now a prime consideration for buyers looking to bundle flexibility and affordability. We have collected some of the finest Intel Core i7 laptops for a diverse user base.
Best overall: Dell XPS 15 9520
Processor: 12th Generation Intel Core i7-12700H (24MB Cache, up to 4.7 GHz, 14 cores) | Graphics Card: NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3050, 4GB GDDR6 | Display: 15.6", FHD+ 1920x1200, 60Hz, Non-Touch, Anti-Glare, 500 nit, InfinityEdge | Memory: 16 GB, 2 x 8 GB, DDR5, 4800 MHz, dual-channel | Hard Drive: 512 GB, M.2, PCIe NVMe, SSD | Weight: 4.22 lbs. (1.92 kg)
- Excellent performance
- Multiple display options, including
- Portable and secure
- Average battery backup
- Heavier than some competitors
The Dell XPS 15 9520 at $1,899.00 gets powered by an i7-12700H CPU, 16GB of RAM, a 512 GB SSD, and NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3050 graphics. That is ample power for rigorous multitasking, multimedia editing, streaming with Waves Nx 3D audio, you name it. The 15.6″ display is bright and colorful (500 nits, optional 100% Adobe RGB) and integrates Eyesafe to protect against eye strain. The screen-to-body ratio is also very immersive at 92.9%.
You can choose among various display configurations like FHD+, OLED, or 4K+. The battery backup changes accordingly but remains satisfactory for the most part. You get around 9 hours for the 4K+ model and up to 13 hours for the FHD+ version.
It is a well-connected laptop with two Thunderbolt ports, a USB 3.2 Type-C port, and Intel Killer Wi-Fi 6. The backlit keyboard comes with large keycaps to facilitate productivity.
Dell excels in portability, keeping the form factor light and sleek: 4.06lbs, 0.73”. Add facial recognition and a fingerprint reader to the mix, and you are golden in security too.
Best 2-in-1: HP Spectre x360 13.5″
Processor: 12th Generation Intel Core i7-1255U (up to 4.7 GHz, 12 MB L3 cache, 10 cores, 12 threads) | Graphics Card: Intel Iris Xe Graphics | Display: 13.5" diagonal, WUXGA+ (1920 x 1280), multitouch-enabled, IPS, Low Blue Light, 400 nits | Memory: 16GB (OB) | Hard Drive: 512GB PCIe NVMe TLC M.2 SSD (4x4 SSD) | Weight: 3 — 4 lbs
- Flexible 360° design for versatile uses
- Special image and sound features for video calls
- Dependable battery backup
- Several display options for creative purposes
- Heat dissipation can be a little noisy
- The touchpad could have been smoother
- Lacks HDMI port
There is a lot going for the HP Spectre x360 13.5″ in the convertible category. Thanks to the hard-working i7 and the Intel Evo platform, it displays high performance. The WUXGA+ display is engaging and perfect for creative endeavors, video calls, etc.
This 2-in-1 works especially hard during calls, using an auto frame, noise reduction, and backlight adjustment to enhance your experience. A major plus is the 16-hour battery backup. That is a lot of time to get work done and have juice left for entertainment.
The flexible 360° design allows you to use it as a laptop, a tablet, an entertainment device, etc. It is a very creation-friendly device, loaded with apps from HP Palette for a seamless experience across devices. The screen offers reduced blue light emissions and 400 nits of brightness.
This 3lbs laptop will cost you $1,249.99. But you can pick an OLED or a 3K2K display, throw in an integrated privacy screen, choose 1000 nits of brightness, etc. – if you have the budget.
For designers and creators: Microsoft Surface Laptop Studio
- Perfect for creative professionals
- Long battery life
- Excellent heat management
- Good for PC gaming
- Fewer ports than contemporaries
- Performance a tad lower than some others on this list
Microsoft has successfully carved a niche offering for creative souls – the Microsoft Surface Laptop Studio – and it delivers everything it promises. The 14.4″ computer provides stellar processing led by the H Series i7-11700H CPU, 32GB of RAM, and up to 2TB of SSD storage. The industry-leading thermals and efficient cooling keep things optimum as you work. It will cost you around $1,399.99.
Working on the Surface can be fulfilling and smooth. Dolby Atmos, Dolby Vision, a 120Hz refresh rate, and realistic color come together to realize a glorious creative zone. The pen is known for its pressure sensitivity, letting you doodle and sketch comfortably and tucking into the inbuilt storage for charging.
This laptop uses an NVIDIA RTX 3050 Ti graphics card, supporting ray-tracing and letting you enjoy PC gaming. The purchase comes with a one-month Xbox Game Pass Ultimate, so you know it means serious business.
Build-wise, the Surface weighs 3.83lbs and is 0.746″ thick. It comprises Thunderbolt 4 ports and supports Wi-Fi 6 – which sorts out connectivity. Plus, it lasts for 18 hours on one charge.
Best Gaming: Acer Predator Triton 500 SE
- Superior display and audio for gaming
- 240Hz refresh rate
- Sustainable heat management
- Very expensive
- The keyboard is not the best
- Cooling can be noisy
Little else compares with the 16″ Acer Predator Triton 500 SE as an i7 Windows laptop for gaming. It is expensive at $2,399.99 but has a whole armory for dedicated gamers. Besides the Intel i7-12700H CPU for high performance, you stand to benefit from NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 Ti graphics and DTS:X Ultra sound. This machine employs 16GB of RAM and a 1TB SSD – sufficient for most modern AAA titles.
The WQXGA monitor with 100% DCI-P3 boasts a dazzling refresh rate of 240Hz. The cherry on the cake is G-SYNC, guaranteeing realistic, smooth gameplay.
Superior heat dissipation, an imperative for gaming machines, is another winner. The AeroBlade 3D fan technology and vortex airflow ensure that the innards remain cooler for longer, keeping your user experience unhindered amid intense action.
Gaming on the go is possible here, thanks to Killer Wi-Fi 6E and a user-friendly three-zone RGB keyboard. It is not too heavy, considering the specs: 5.29lbs and 0.78″.
Best Budget: Acer Swift 3 SF314-512
- Lightweight and sleek form factor
- Offers Killer Wi-Fi 6E
- Suitable for working outdoors
- The display has low brightness
- Lacks integrated graphics
The 14” Acer Swift 3 SF314-512 at $1,049.99 is an affordable yet powerful Windows laptop that caters to everyday needs at home or work. The Intel Core i7-1260P processor, 16GB of RAM, Intel Iris Xe Graphics, and 512GB of SSD storage enliven the essence of Intel Evo. The QHD display provides 100% sRGB color. The brightness, however, is a tad low at 300 nits.
Anyone who wishes to stream multimedia content will appreciate the inclusion of bass response and distortion prevention from DTS Audio for improved bass response.
Despite its powerful specs, this budget-friendly pick is light (2.76lbs) and thin (0.63″). It runs up to 10.5 hours on a single charge and gets powered up quickly. Using it outdoors gets even comfier because of temporal noise reduction and a blue glass lens to prevent flares.
This laptop supports Killer Wi-Fi 6E for fast, consistent connectivity – a blessing for remote working professionals. The fingerprint reader and Windows Hello support ensure your work remains secure.
Picking a Windows i7 laptop can be a wise decision to meet your requirements at home and work. A convertible can be ideal for content creators on the go but not as conducive to gaming. You should also choose a screen size that fits the available space in your office and backpack.
A 13” 2-in-1 like the HP Spectre x360 might be perfect for travelers; gamers may need a 16” display to get more real estate for maximum immersion. Many users side with a 14” or 15” laptop to obtain a balance.
The Acer Predator Triton 500 SE is an excellent choice for PC gaming, packing premium features and enviable specs in a compact body. Creators like artists, photographers, social media influencers, etc., frequently side with the Microsoft Surface Laptop Studio to design and share effortlessly.
A few Windows i7 laptops now let you pick a display configuration to match your requirements. The whole gamut is open: from FHD and 4K to OLED and beyond. Other things to consider are the available storage space, unplugged usage, and the available connections.
While most of the laptops we have recommended prioritize performance, you should also factor in budget and portability while making a purchase decision.