AMD’s Ryzen 4000 CPUs have taken the laptop market by storm. They’re faster than Intel parts, yet they still remain more affordable. It’s not the largest stable of laptops around yet, but there are enough to list our favorites.
Whether you’re looking for a new gaming laptop or a powerful student laptop, these are the best Ryzen 4000 laptops you an buy right now.
The best AMD Ryzen 4000 laptops at a glance:
The Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 5 14 isn’t the smallest 14-inch 2-in-1 you’ll find, at 0.82 inches thick and 3.3 pounds. It’s an all-plastic construction that’s not as durable as many all-metal alternatives too. But you’re only paying $600 for a six-core Ryzen 5 4500U CPU, 16GB of RAM, and 256GB of solid-state drive (SSD) storage. That’s remarkable.
Even more remarkable is the performance you get for that money. The Flex 5 beats out a number of more expensive laptops, in fact, it competes with any laptop running an Intel 10th-gen 15-watt CPU in tests like our Handbrake run that encodes a 420MB video as H.265. Seriously, even the high-end Core i7-1065G7 in the Dell XPS 13 takes 40 seconds longer to complete the test.
The IdeaPad Flex 5 also includes a high-quality active pen that slides into a charging port on the side of the laptop, and it works well as a 2-in-1 as long as you prop it up on something. Battery life is just average, although you could get a full day’s work out of the laptop if you don’t push the CPU too hard. Only the display, with a narrow color gamut and inaccurate colors, is a letdown for the creative types who might make use of all that power.
Read our in-depth Lenovo IdeaPad Fled 5 14 review
Simply put, the Acer Swift 3 is the fastest budget laptop we’ve tested so far. For just $650, you get an eight-core Ryzen 7 4800U process, which made mincemeat of our benchmarks and actually puts a little pressure on Intel’s latest 10th-generation 45-watt CPUs. The laptop also enjoyed 8GB of RAM and a 256GB SSD. The Swift 3 finished our Handbrake test just 30 seconds slower than the 45-watt eight-core, 16-thread Core i7-10875H in the Dell XPS 15.
And performance isn’t the only thing the Swift 3 has going for it. It’s relatively small at 0.63 inches and 2.65 pounds, in spite of having a 14-inch display, and it’s well-built for such an inexpensive laptop. The keyboard is better than average, but the touchpad left a bit to be desired. And the display was disappointing, leaving it out of the running for creative professionals thanks to a narrow color gamut.
Battery life was a little worse than the IdeaPad Flex 5, which makes sense given the faster CPU. So far, we haven’t seen AMD’s Ryzen 4000 CPUs quite match Intel’s efficiency.
Read our in-depth Acer Swift 3 review
The HP Envy line is supposed to be a midrange notch below the more premium Spectres, and that remains true today. The gap has narrowed considerably, though, with the introduction of the Envy x360 13 with Ryzen 5 4500U CPU, which might not have quite as much panache as the Spectre x360 13 but it provides seriously faster performance.
Overall, the Envy x360 13 was slightly slower than the Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 5 14, but only by a number of seconds on our Handbrake test. It still beats out Intel’s 15-watt Core processors and represents a tremendous performance value. Our review unit was $700 with a Core 5 4500U, 8GB of RAM, and a 256GB SSD, which is a bit more expensive than the true budget laptops on our list but still a great deal of laptop for the price.
Of the laptops we’ve discussed so far, the Envy x360 13 is the sleekest and the best-built. It doesn’t come with an active pen, which is a bummer, and its battery life is par for the Ryzen 4000 course so far, but it’s a great 13-inch 2-in-1 that gives the Spectre x360 13 a lot to worry about.
Read our in-depth HP Envy x360 13 Ryzen review
How do you pack a legitimate gaming laptop into a chassis that’s just 3.5 pounds and isn’t much larger than many 14-inch productivity thin-and-lights? In addition to the display, which cuts some size from the typical 15- or 17-inch gaming laptop, you build around the eight-core, 16-thread AMD Ryzen 9 4900HS and go from there.
Add in an Nvidia RTX 2060 GPU, and you have a bona fide gaming laptop. But this one’s not just fast in the GPU department, it’s also game-changing in the CPU department. The 350-watt Ryzen 9 4900HS matched up with 16GB of RAM in our $1,450 review configuration and ran circles around the usual six-core Intel 10th-gen CPUs. You have to jump up to Intel’s highest-end eight-core, sixteen-thread CPUs to keep up, and even here the AMD wins out.
There are some downsides, like a thermal system that has to work extra hard to keep up. That means the fans are loud, and they run all the time. But it’s a trade-off worth making for this kind of performance.
Read our in-depth Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 review
The final laptop on our list is the Dell G5 SE, which goes all the way into AMD territory by equipping both an AMD Ryzen 7 4800H CPU and a Radeon RX 5600M GPU. Our review configuration included 16GB of RAM, a 512GB SSD, and a 1080p 144Hz display for a reasonable $1,200.
How did it perform? Simply put, the G5 SE competed strongly against laptops with Nvidia RTX 2060, proving that AMD can play the game as well as anyone. True, the G5 SE is a little chunky compared to some thinner competitive gaming laptops, but that allows the CPU and GPU room to breathe.
Overall, the G5 SE offers tremendous value to gamers. You can spend as little as $880 and still get the Radeon RX 5600M GPU, putting the laptop into true budget gaming territory if so desired.
Read our in-depth Dell G5 SE review
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