When we talk about touchscreens, they’re usually in reference to phones, tablets, 2-in-1s, convertibles, and all-in-one PCs. After all, that’s where touchscreens are best utilized, especially when touch-based input is at the forefront of your computing experience. But regardless of how much Steve Jobs hated them, there’s a crowd that wouldn’t mind a traditional clamshell laptop with a screen supporting touch.
Below you will find a mixture of Chromebooks and Windows 10 PCs. Our favorite is the Dell XPS 13 as seen in our recent review, sporting a 13.3-inch screen and an 8th-gen Intel Core i7-8550U processor. We also chose a great option for a premium experience, and a great solution if you’re on a tight budget. Our picks for the best Chromebook and budget-friendly options have locked specifications and prices while our other selections have configurations you can customize through the manufacturer.
Dell XPS 13
Why you should buy this: This touch-enabled laptop provides excellent performance backed by a solid battery, and a beautiful yet thin and light form factor.
Who’s it for: Anyone but gamers.
How much will it cost: Touchscreen models start at $1,850
Why we picked the Dell XPS 13:
The Dell XPS 13 has been our favorite laptop in just about every category for years now. It’s powerful, slim, looks great, and has fantastic battery life. The latest version, released in 2018, is no different, and though there were some changes made to the overall design, they are almost all beneficial.
The only real downside to the XPS 13 is that its touch-version isn’t as affordable as the rest. While you can pick up an XPS 13 for $1,000, you need to spend $1,850 to get the touchscreen version. Still, you get plenty for your money, with that iteration of the laptop netting you a Core i7-8550U CPU, 16GB of RAM, and up to a terabyte of storage.
The display itself is beautiful too with a full 4K panel that looks gorgeous surrounded by Dell’s ultra-slim bezels.
If the XPS 13 doesn’t strike your fancy, or is a little expensive, we’re also big fans of the HP Spectre 13. Though we don’t love it quite as much as the XPS 13, it’s touchscreen model starts at a lower price.
The best 15-inch touchscreen laptop
Dell XPS 15
Why you should buy this: It’s most highly-recommended laptop, turned into a touchscreen machine.
Who’s it for: Customers wanting high performance and in a premium laptop.
How much will it cost: Starting at $1,400
Why we picked the Dell XPS 15:
The Dell XPS 13 is the best laptop you can buy — and its 15-inch cousin is just as good. The XPS 15 improves things by adding dedicated GPU and a larger screen to boot.
Like the XPS 13, you do need to opt for the more premium 4K configurations to get touch support.
If you’re looking for a more inexpensive way to get a 15-inch XPS laptop, be on the lookout for the XPS 15 2-in-1. As a 2-in-1, it will always have a touchscreen, but it will start at a more affordable $1,300 — with the added bonus of stylus support and tablet mode.
The best touchscreen Chromebook
Acer Chromebook 15
Why you should buy this: Acer’s solution is the largest Chromebook to date, and is backed by premium components.
Who’s it for: Customers looking for a premium computing experience outside the Windows platform.
How much will it cost: $400
Why we picked the Acer Chromebook 15:
This is Acer’s largest Chromebook to date, and we thought it was a great. There’s only one configuration available, which consists of an Intel Pentium N4200 processor, 4GB of system memory, and 32GB of storage. That’s not a lot of space, of course, but Chrome OS wasn’t designed to download and install programs. On that same note, the platform now supports Google Play and Android apps, so Acer helps alleviate your storage woes with a built-in SD card reader.
Notable features in Acer’s Chromebook include a 15.6-inch screen supporting wide viewing angles, deep colors, and a Full HD resolution. There are also two USB-C ports, both of which can be used to charge the Chromebook. Meanwhile, all four USB ports are capable of video output and wired networking using a compatible adapter (although Google would likely rather you purchase a Chromecast for pushing your screen on an external display). Other ingredients include a 720p webcam and Wireless AC networking.
The best budget touchscreen laptop
Dell Inspiron 15 5567
Why you should buy this: Dell’s Inspiron 15 5567 is a decent touch-based 15.6-inch solution based on a seventh-generation CPU, and a Full HD screen.
Who’s it for: Customers seeking a touch-based laptop for under $600
How much will it cost: $580
Why we picked the Dell Inspiron 15 5567:
Finally, we have a great touch-based laptop for under $600. It’s based on Intel’s seventh-generation Core i5-7200U processor, and the chip’s integrated HD Graphics 620 component. This combo powers a 15.6-inch screen with a Full HD resolution, and is backed by 8GB of system memory running at a decent 2,400MHz and a rather slow hard drive spinning at a mere 5,400 rotations per minute.
As for other features, this laptop provides three USB ports, HDMI-based video output for external monitors and HDTVs, wired networking, an SD card slot, and a 720p infrared camera that supports Windows 10 facial recognition via Windows Hello. Unfortunately, the Wireless AC component is capped at 433Mbps, which is half of what you typically see in most laptops sold on the market.
Note that if you want more oomph out of a laptop, there’s a version with a discrete GeForce GTX 1050 graphics chip for $100 more.
Read our review of the Inspiron 15’s bigger brother here.