Since Windows 10 first launched in 2015, there’s never really been a bad time to buy a new laptop or PC.

It’s worth timing your purchase to coincide with a sales event like Black Friday and watching out for new models around the corner, but you probably won’t regret it at any time of the year.

However, the announcement of Windows 11 muddies the waters. Microsoft’s new desktop OS brings about significant visual and functionality changes to the Windows experience, and it’s something most of the 1.3bn+ Windows 10 users will want to take advantage of. But is there any value in buying a new PC running the soon-to-be-outdated software right now? Here’s what you need to know.

Should I still buy a Windows 10 laptop or PC?

If you’re in the market for a new device and can afford it, yes. All current Windows 10 hardware will be eligible for a free upgrade to Windows 11 in 2022, provided it meets Microsoft’s updated hardware requirements.

This includes a recent Intel, AMD or ARM-based processor (2018 or newer), at least 4GB RAM/64GB of storage and a 720p display that’s 9in or larger. With even the more affordable Atom, Celeron, Pentium and Xeon ranges of Intel chips supported, almost every new laptop you buy now will be compatible with Windows 11.

On desktop you’ll also need a compatible motherboard, with manufacturers beginning to release lists of compatible models. Curiously, these hardware requirements mean the Surface Studio 2 (from £3,549/US$3,499.99), Microsoft’s latest flagship All-in-One, won’t be eligible. That suggests an updated models is in the works, so most people shouldn’t buy this older device.

Microsoft Surface Studio 2
2018's Surface Studio 2 won't be getting Windows 11. Image: Microsoft

Learn more in our separate guide: Will my PC run Windows 11?

Aside from the potential for updated specs (which is worth considering whenever you’re buying a new PC), the only advantage of waiting is that the new device will come with Windows 11 pre-installed. That’ll save a bit of time when compared to the free upgrade, but you’ll still have to go through the full setup process. All eligible devices can be updated to Windows 11 without losing existing apps, files and settings, although a full backup is still highly recommended.

Which Windows 10 laptop should I buy?

This is where things get difficult. There’s a wealth of great Windows 10 laptops to choose from, with new devices being released all the time. Narrowing the list down yourself would be almost impossible, so that’s where we come in. Across seven dedicated roundups, we chart the best laptops within specific categories, as well as overall:

  • Best laptops overall – The absolute finest Windows 10 PCs you can buy, plus a MacBook Air for good measure. The 15 devices here provide the best all-round experience for most people – they're not all ultra-high-end laptops with hefty price tags.
  • Best budget laptops – The same criteria as above applies here, but there is an upper price limit. Most of the devices here retail for under £500/US$500, but we’ve made a couple of exceptions for particularly noteworthy PCs.
  • Best 2-in-1 laptops – Aside from being great laptops, the only other criteria here is that devices need to have some 2-in-1 functionality. That means there’s a healthy mix of convertible laptops and tablets with detachable keyboards.
  • Best Microsoft Surface – Even if you’re set on Microsoft hardware, there’s still plenty of choice. This guide runs through the best from the Pro, Go, Book and Laptop lines.
  • Best gaming laptops - Gaming on a laptop is becoming increasingly popular. Devices here are extremely powerful and have advanced cooling systems, but still remain portable enough to take anywhere with you.
  • Best business laptops – Business can be conducted from anywhere these days, so you need a laptop that’s up to the task. Many of these devices aren’t specifically designed for business, but offer everything most companies and entrepreneurs are looking for.
  • Best laptops for students – Being suitable for students doesn’t just mean it needs to be cheap. We’ve prioritised devices that fit the bill for those in education at all ages, whether you need something lightweight and portable or a full day's usage.

As you’d expect, there is some overlap between charts – many high-profile Windows 10 laptops excel across many different use cases.

However, if you’re just looking for a great device at a great price, we can also help. Our regularly updated round-up of laptop deals in the UK shows you some of the best discounts available right now. Check out some of the offers below:

1. Huawei MateBook 13 (2020)

From: Huawei

Was: £899.99

Now: £539.99  (£360 off + freebies)

This hefty discount on the excellent Huawei MateBook 13 means it's now available for a very reasonable price and with a free Bluetooth mouse and router. You can also save £400 on the Core i7 model and there's a further 10% off with code 'A10MBJULY'.

There are also optional discounts on various products if you want to bundle them in, like the Freebuds 3i wireless earbuds and Huawei Sound - save up to £130.

2. Asus VivoBook L410 with Microsoft 365

From: Amazon

Was: £249.99

Now: £199.99  (£50 off)

If you need a laptop for under £200 then you're unlikely to find a better deal. This VivoBook has basic specs but can get the basics done, plus includes a 1-year Microsoft Office subscription worth £59.99.

3. Apple MacBook Air M1 (2020)

From: Amazon

Was: £1,249

Now: £999.97  (£249.03 off)

Get a better price than Prime Day on the MacBook Air with the latest M1 chip, with effectively £250 off.

This means you can get the 512GB MacBook Air for the price Apple sells the 256GB model for! Note that the discount only applies to the Gold version.

4. Huawei MateBook D 15

From: Amazon

Was: £599.99

Now: £486.63  (£113.36 off)

This is an amazing price for a laptop with a Core i3 processor, 256GB SSD, fingerprint scanner and plenty of ports. There's also the MateBook D 14, if you want something slightly.

5. Acer Nitro 5

From: Acer

Was: £999.99

Now: £799.99  (£200 off)

Acer's Nitro 5 is one of the best gaming laptops you can get under £1,000 and now it's even cheaper with an Intel Core i5, 512GB SSD and Nvidia GTX 1660Ti. We've tested the larger Acer Nitro 5 A517.

6. Microsoft Surface Laptop 3 (13.5in, i5, 8GB RAM, 128GB SSD)

From: Amazon

Was: £999

Now: £794  (£205 off)

The Surface Laptop 4 recently launched, but its predecessor remains a great option. That's especially true following this hefty £205 discount on the entry-level model. For under £800, you get a model with an Intel Core i5 processor, 8GB of RAM and 128GB of SSD storage. Also available from Argos for the same price.

7. Asus C523NA Chromebook

From: Amazon

Was: £299.99

Now: £225.54  (£74.45 off)

This Chromebook has basic specs but a bargain if you only have a little over £200 to spend on a laptop.

8. LG gram 14 (2021)

From: Currys PC World

Was: £1,129

Now: £929  (£380 off)

There's almost £400 off this excellent LG gram 14 despite not being out for long. An incredible lightweight and portable laptop with the latest 11th-gen Intel Core i7 processor and a 512GB SSD.

9. Huawei MateBook X Pro 2020

From: Huawei

Was: £1,699.99

Now: £999.99  (£700 off + freebies)

With a staggering £600 discount, this MateBook X Pro model is a high-end laptop for much less. It's got an Intel Core i7 processor and 1TB of storage.

There's a free Bluetooth mouse and Wi-Fi router, plus make sure to use the code 'A100MBJULY' for £100 off to make the total discount a whopping £700.

10. Asus VivoBook X513EA

From: Currys PC World

Was: £599

Now: £479  (£120 off)

A rare opportunity to buy a full-size laptop with the latest generation of Intel Core i5 for under £500, with a decent amount of change. There's also a decent 8GB of RAM and a 256GB SSD.

11. Apple MacBook Pro (M1)

From: Currys PC World

Was: £1,299

Now: £1,187  (£147 off)

Currys has an excellent discount on the new M1-powered MacBook Pro. A model with 8GB of RAM and a 256GB SSD is under £1,200, saving £112 on the usual asking price. If you'd prefer, you can also save £62 on the M1 MacBook Air.

12. Asus Flip C436 Chromebook

From: Currys PC World

Was: £999

Now: £699  (£300 off)

There's a huge saving on this convertible Chromebook with a Core i5 processor, 14in touchscreen and 256GB SDD.

13. Asus ZenBook 14

From: Currys PC World

Was: £749

Now: £549  (£200 off)

Asus has been making great laptops for a long time and the ZenBook 14 is yet another affordable all-rounder, now even cheaper. As well as an attractive design, it's got a Ryzen 5 processor and 256GB SSD.

14. LG gram 2021 laptops

From: LG

Was: From £1,149

Now: £249 of freebies

Purchasing one of LG's gram laptops from retailers such as Amazon, Argos and AO gets you a free pair of Tone Earbuds (usually £179) and a Herschel Miller backpack (usually £70).

15. Acer Swift 5 (2020)

From: Currys PC World

Was: £999

Now: £699  (£300 off)

We scored the Swift 5 an excellent 9/10 in our review and gave it the Tech Advisor Recommended award, and that's without factoring in an extra £300 off.

It's an excellent all-rounder laptop that will cope with almost any task wherever you take it.

16. Microsoft Surface Laptop 3 (15in, Ryzen 5, 16GB RAM, 256GB SSD)

From: Microsoft

Was: £1,699

Now: £1,274  (£425 off)

The Surface Laptop 3 is still a great laptop but now discounted due to the Surface Laptop 4. You can get a whopping £425 off this Ryzen 5-powered 15in model, complete with 16GB of RAM and a 256GB SSD - it's now down to just £1,274.

17. Apple MacBook Pro 16

From: Amazon

Was: £2,399

Now: £2,149.70  (£249.30 off)

Get 10% off the MacBook Pro 16, meaning a whopping £250 off. This model comes with high specs including a 9th-gen Intel Core i7, Retina display with True Tone technology, Touch Bar and AMD Radeon Pro 5300M graphics.

An even bigger saving can be found on the Core i9 model with £329 off.

18. Apple Back to School Sale

From: Apple Education Discount

Now: Up to £280 off Mac, £80 off iPad  (with free AirPods)

Apple's education pricing is available all year round. To be eligible, you just need to prove your status as a current or newly accepted university student, parent buying on behalf of a university student or member of teaching staff at any level. You'll then get up to £280 off a new Mac or up to £80 off a new iPad along with a free pair of AirPods. Here's what you need to know.

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