Depending on how you approach new technology, the launch of a new version of Windows could seem like an ideal time to buy a new laptop, or a risky one. On the positive side, you get new interface features and laptop makers have an occasion to improve their hardware. Meanwhile, the nervous among us may fret that the new operating system will strain battery life or just act buggy. Well, Consumer Reports has been testing new Windows 10 laptop models, and the results support the optimists—Redmond's newest isn't causing any problems that we detected. The following computers all performed well, and they're just three among many that we've tested recently. (If you own one of the models featured here, or another laptop running Windows 10, tell us about it by adding a comment below.)
Samsung ATIV Book 9 NP930X2K-K01US
Like prior releases of the ATIV Book 9, the Windows 10 model did quite well in our tests, earning excellent performance scores. This 13-inch, $1,200 Windows 10 laptop has double the memory of the Windows 8.1 version, as well as a larger, 256GB solid-state drive. The long battery life of 9.75 hours was the same as the prior model's. If you’re looking for a travel companion, this 2.1-pound laptop is ready to hit the road with you.
Dell Inspiron 13 7000
You get a tablet and a laptop with the latest Dell Inspiron 13 7000, a 13.3-inch convertible that costs $750. You also get very good performance, as you’d expect from a computer with a Core i5 processor. Battery life was quite long, at just over 9 hours. This Windows 10 laptop is an upgrade over the Windows 8.1 version. It’s got twice the memory, and the display’s resolution is 1920x1080 compared to 1366x768 on the older model. The display has very good color reproduction and a wide viewing angle, and we liked the keyboard and touchpad ergonomics.
This 15.6-inch HP laptop wasn’t among the speedier performers we've tested, but this Windows 10 laptop is a decent machine considering the very low $300 price tag. If you buy one, plan on sticking to basics such as word processing, Web surfing, and light photo editing. The performance was in line with other laptops at this price. Battery life was short by today’s standards at five hours. But the machine was fairly light for its large size (4.9 pounds), the ergonomics were pleasing and comfortable, and you get a spacious 750GB hard drive.
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