AMDs Ryzen 3000 desktop chips changed the processor game forever with huge leaps in performance and efficiency throughout the range. While it has yet to make the same impact in the mobile space, that doesn’t mean that there aren’t some great AMD Ryzen-powered laptops out there. Our favorite is the Huawei MateBook D, with a decent CPU, capable onboard graphics, and an attractive price tag.
But if that’s not the notebook for you, here are some of the other best Ryzen-powered laptops to consider.
The best AMD Ryzen laptops at a glance
- The best AMD Ryzen laptop: Huawei MateBook D
- The best AMD Ryzen MacBook alternative: Surface Laptop 3
- The best AMD Ryzen laptop for gaming: Acer Predator Helios 500
- The best budget AMD Ryzen laptop: Lenovo IdeaPad L340
- The best 2-in-1 AMD Ryzen laptop: Lenovo Flex 14 2-in-1
Sometimes the best laptops aren’t the most powerful ones, but those that offer the best bang for buck. Huawei’s MateBook D sits beneath the MateBook X and MateBook 13 by price, but punches well above its weight. The laptop features an AMD Ryzen 5 2500U under the hood, on-die Vega 8 graphics, 8GB of RAM, and up to 256GB of storage. It’s no powerhouse, but it’s surprisingly capable for its well-below-$1,000 price.
Graphics performance isn’t the MateBook D’s forte, though it performs admirably in 3D rendering and general compute tests, so there’s no reason this can’t act as a day-to-day work machine and then do a little gaming in the off hours. Just don’t expect to run games at full detail if you stick to the 14-inch screen’s native resolution of 1080p.
At just shy of 13-inches wide and weighing 3.5 pounds, the MateBook D is a pretty portable system that won’t weigh you down or take up much space in a backpack. It also comes with a full complement of contemporary ports, including the increasingly coveted 3.5mm headphone jack, a pair of USB-A ports, and a USB-C port.
With decent looks, slim bezels, strong performance, and reasonable battery life, the Huawei MateBook D is a great option for those wanting an AMD Ryzen-powered laptop. If you want something more specific though, the categories below might be more to your fancy.
Microsoft unveiled a number of exciting new products at its October Surface event, but one of the most intriguing was the 15-inch version of its Surface Laptop 3, because it comes with the option of AMD internal components. While the 13-inch model (pictured above) comes with Intel Ice Lake at its core, the 15-inch version offers an “AMD Ryzen Microsoft Surface Edition,” chip instead. Buyers can choose an AMD Ryzen 5 3580U, or a Ryzen 7 3780U. They’re the same quad-core, eight-thread chips as the 3500U and 3700U that they’re based on, but they have an additional Vega compute unit, making them slightly more capable at gaming.
During our hands-on time with the Surface Laptop 3, we were very impressed with its mix of performance and portability. Its configuration won’t quite eclipse Apple’s high-spec MacBook Pros, but in looks, form, and function, not to mention price, the Surface 3 is a powerful contender for Apple’s usual crowd of performance users.
The onboard Vega graphics aren’t stellar, but they’re enough to play indie games with, making this a reasonable machine to game with in the off-hours. It might lack Thunderbolt 3 support, which is par for the course with modern Apple devices, but it does at least sport USB-C, giving buyers plenty of accessory flexibility.
Desktop gaming PCs will always trump gaming laptops. That is, unless you just put desktop gaming hardware inside a gaming laptop. That’s exactly what Acer did with its Predator Helios 500. It was a monster when we reviewed it with an Intel Core i9-8950HK and Nvidia GTX 1070 in it, and it’s just as capable with an AMD Ryzen 2700X and a full-fat Radeon Vega 56.
With eight-cores and support for up to 16-threads, this machine can churn through any productivity tasks (like video-editing) you throw at it with ease, and the Vega 56 is a very capable GPU even by 2019 standards. Capable of nipping at the heels of an RTX 2060, it’s more than enough graphical grunt for modern games.
You’ll be able to view them in all their glory too, thanks to the 500’s fantastic 144Hz, 17.3-inch FreeSync display. We found its blacks to be inky and deep, and colors in vibrant games like Fortnite really popped.
You’ll need to sacrifice a little subtlety with such a design. Its cooling system is impressive, but domineering, and there’s gamer styling abound. But if you don’t mind angular corners and limited battery life, the Helios 500 is the best Ryzen-powered gaming laptop available today.
Read our full Predator Helios 500 review with an Intel CPU
Buying an AMD Ryzen-powered laptop doesn’t need to mean spending a lot. In fact, there are some excellent budget solutions that still pack AMD’s latest and greatest under the hood. Take the Lenovo IdeaPad L340, for instance. It comes with a dual-core AMD Ryzen 3200U processor, with Vega 3 graphics, 8GB of RAM, and a terabyte of hard drive storage. We’d have liked to have seen an SSD on that spec sheet for snappier operation, but at this price, additional storage space is probably a better call.
While you can’t expect this to be a seriously fast machine for the money, it’s not slow either. We’ve seen it handily play older AAA games like GTA V at low resolution and detail levels, and it’d be a great machine for watching Netflix or web browsing.
And it does it all at a price that’s competitive with the average Chromebook, whilst still enjoying the benefits of a full Windows 10 installation. It even has a built-in DVD burner, which isn’t often needed, but they’re pretty hard to find in modern laptops, so if you have a particular use for one, then this might be the ideal laptop for you.
If you can’t decide whether you want a laptop or a tablet, why not get the best of both in a single device? Lenovo’s Flex 14 2-in-1 is a fantastic convertible tablet with powerful AMD hardware under the hood. Starting just a little over $500, there are options for 3000-series Ryzen 5 and 7 processors, all with on board Vega graphics for entry-level gaming, and up to half a gigabyte of high-speed SSD storage making the whole usage experience snappy and responsive.
The 14-inch screen takes full advantage of its 1080p resolution for excellent media viewing and productive working, whilst still delivering capable battery life of up to 10-hours with some configurations. It’s not the brightest display in the world, and at 3.65 pounds, there are certainly lighter tablets out there — the Surface Book 2 is still the king of convertibles in that sense. Still, the Flex 14 is a fantastic all-round system for its price.
If you love AMD hardware and want it at the heart of a capable 2-in-1, you can’t get much better than the Lenovo Flex 14 at this price.
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