The best AMD Ryzen laptops are now easily among the best laptops on the market, bar none. The Ryzen-4000 series CPUs turned the tide in 2020 and the Ryzen 5000-series is keeping the momentum rolling with a combination of price, performance and battery life that is hard to beat.
Intel has definitely earned a bit of a reprieve with the 11th Gen Tiger Lake CPUs versus the 10th gen, but AMD’s multi-year advantage on 7-nanometer chips is going to make this a difficult hurdle for Intel in the long run. With some high-end gaming laptops now adopting AMD as well, regardless of which category of laptop you are looking for there is an AMD Ryzen laptop that will have you covered.
After hours of research and dozens of reviews, here are our picks for the best AMD Ryzen laptops of 2021.
The previous HP Envy x360 was a solid performer, but the 2020 model and its 4000-series AMD CPU is an absolutely amazing value at under $1,000. The 13.3-inch touchscreen display is bright and vivid and the handy 2-in-1 folding form factor allows you to enjoy your content in a variety of configurations. While gamers will still want to look at our best gaming laptops page, the HP Envy x360 has absolutely unbeatable performance for this price range that will be more than sufficient for the vast majority of users.
The sleek and stylish aluminum design of the HP also helps to give it the premium look and feel of a laptop that costs hundreds more. While it still can’t compete with its pricier sibling, the HP Spectre x360 (which grabbed our top spot among the best 2-in-1-laptops), the all off to the Envy x360 is less than you would think for the price difference and is simply an excellent-looking laptop with fantastic performance.
The Asus ROG Flow X13 is truly a unique beast, delivering impressive performance in a sub 3 pound laptop thanks to its new Ryzen 5000-series processor paired with an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650 Max-Q GPU. But that’s not its best trick, add the compact XG Mobile eGPU and you’ve just turned the ROG Flow X13 into a beast of a gaming laptop with the power of an Nvidia RTX 3080.
As if what’s going on inside isn’t impressive enough, the exterior design of the ROG Flow X13 is gorgeous with Asus Gravity Wave design covering its magnesium-alloy chassis. Open the lid and you’ll find perhaps unexpectedly that this is a 2-in-1 with 360-degree flexibility allowing it to convert into tent, stand or tablet mode.
Alright so this all sounds great, what’s the catch? Just the price, at $2,999 or $3,299 for the version that we tested this is an eye-wateringly expensive option. However, if you fall into the niche that sees the value in a laptop this portable delivering this kind of performance then there’s simply nothing else like it and you owe it to yourself to check it out.
See our full review of the Asus ROG Flow X13
The Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 absolutely blew our reviewer away last year for its mix of performance and outstanding battery life, one of its few drawbacks for gamers was that it topped out at an Nvidia 2060 Max-Q GPU. You’ll understand our reviewer’s excitement then when Asus announced this new larger model at CES 2021, it steps up to both the newer Ryzen 5000-series CPUs and features up to an Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 GPU.
Gamers that wanted to give Ryzen a try are no longer restricted to budget gaming laptops, this a high-end gaming laptop with our review model coming in at $2,499. Despite all that added power it still delivers excellent battery life at over eight hours and features a number of nice improvements like its clicky keyboard and powerful speakers. While the display isn’t quite as vibrant as we’d like, it’s sharper and smoother than the G14 and makes the jump to a 165Hz refresh rate. Not only is this laptop one of the best AMD Ryzen laptops on the market today, but it’s one of the best gaming laptops and best VR-ready laptops.
See our full review of the Asus Zephyrus G15.
Lenovo and its ThinkPad lineup are mainstays of the business laptop world and the Ryzen-powered ThinkPad X13 (AMD) is a strong contender in this realm. The Ryzen 5 Pro 4650 U processor that we reviewed offered fantastic performance, although battery life could definitely be better at just under 8 hours in our battery test.
Extensive port options include two USB 3.2 Type-A, two USB-C, an HDMI 2.0, an Ethernet extension port, a microSD, a headphone/mic and a Kensington lock slot. And then as you would expect for a ThinkPad the keyboard is phenomenal and the laptop offers military-grade durability. The anti-relective coating on the display keeps the glare away, but you definitely feel its productivity focus as neither the color gamut nor brightness scores are going to blow you away, however its enough to easily view your spreadsheets and documents in any environment.
We are seeing some impressive AMD gaming laptops with Nvidia 30-series GPUs and while the Lenovo Legion 5 Pro lacks flashy aesthetics, it makes up for it with a gorgeous 16-inch QHD display, an exceptional keyboard and touchpad, and plenty of ports. And despite harnessing so much power, the Legion 5 Pro delivers respectable battery life too.
Oddly the Legion does get a yellow card caution for some warm temps under a heavy load and it’s a hefty rig compared to some of its thinner and sleeker rivals. If you’re looking for something more travel-friendly, consider the 4.2-pound Asus ROG Zephyrus G15. Otherwise, the Legion 5 Pro is an excellent option for gamers who want the best performance for the price.
See our full Lenovo Legion 5 Pro review.
The Surface Laptop 4 addresses the major flaws we found in the Surface Laptop 3 by delivering faster performance and longer battery life. With the right CPU, the Surface Laptop 4 has all of a sudden become a laptop with very few downsides. The sleek, sturdy design is as stylish as ever, the 15-inch panel is bright and vivid, and the keyboard and trackpad are darn-near class-leading.
There are a couple of unfortunate drawbacks that remain, with the lack of ports being chief among them. For a 15-inch laptop having one USB Type-C port, one USB Type-A port, a headphone jack and then the proprietary Surface Connect input hardly feels adequate. And while the overall design of the laptop looks beautiful, the relatively large bezels need to go.
This AMD version of the Surface Laptop 4 is a massive step forward over its predecessor and a laptop that we heartily recommend, but Microsoft is just a couple of minor tweaks away from really setting itself apart from the competition.
See our full Surface Laptop 4 (15-inch, AMD).
The Acer Swift 3 is a fairly unassuming little laptop and you would be right to pass on the Intel model, but the AMD 4000-series version offers absolutely stunning performance starting at less than $700. That performance makes the over 11-hour runtime that we saw in our battery life testing all the more impressive.
And while its understated design isn’t going to stand out, the magnesium and aluminum-look is minimalist and classy and helps to bring the Swift 3 in at a trim 0.6 inches and 2.65 pounds. If you are looking for the downside we have just one real gripe with the Swift 3 and that is its 14-inch 1080p display. The Swift 3 managed a terrible 62% sRGB color gamut reproduction in our testing and 251 nits of brightness, if a bright and vibrant display is a high priority for you take another look at our top recommendation the HP Envy x360 13.
See our full Acer Swift 3 (2020, AMD Ryzen 7 4700U) review.
While it obviously has some tradeoffs, the lack of a high refresh rate display and a high-end GPU, there is simply no beating the value proposition of the Acer Nitro 5 at just $669.
While it slotted in just below the budget gaming laptop average in a number of our graphics-based tests as you can see in our full review, it was awfully close and again at a price point that is well below its competition. CPU performance is another matter entirely, crushing the category averages in overall performance and video transcoding.
Battery life is another stellar feature for the Nitro 5 with 11 hours and 9 minutes in our test, crushing the 6 hour and 38-minute category average. If you want to spend up to the nearly $900 Dell G5 15 SE (2020) you’ll get better GPU performance and a superior display, but at that price, you’ll want to start looking at the aforementioned Asus Zephyrus G14 or TUF Gaming A15 for a much better overall package at just over $1,000.
See our full Acer Nitro 5 (AMD, 2020) review.
Now before you dismiss this as yet another mid-tier gaming laptop based on the AMD Ryzen 4000 series CPU, give me a minute to explain why you should pay attention to this one too. First of all, quite frankly basically all of the mid-tier Ryzen 4000 series gaming laptops are quite good, so it’s good to keep your options open as they all offer something slightly different.
The HP delivers solidly in the display department with our review unit offering a 144Hz refresh rate in a bright and vibrant display that outdoes some of its competitors. Where it falls down a touch is in the keyboard and the audio departments, but frankly I’d prefer a good gaming keyboard and gaming headset or a nice set of computer speakers anyway.
Like some of its competitors, it does give you the option to spec things up a little higher as well topping out at the Nvidia GeForce RTX 2060 with a 1TB NVMe M.2 SSD.
See our full HP Omen 15 (2020) review.
While there are quite a few gaming laptops with AMD processors in this range, but ultraportable laptops with AMD Ryzen 5000-series aren’t as common and thankfully the Asus ZenBook 13 UM325S is one of the best ultraportable laptops available. The OLED display is beautiful and completing the multimedia experience are the powerful speakers.
As we’ve come to expect with laptops powered by both Ryzen 4000 and now Ryzen 5000 the ZenBook 13 UM325S gives excellent performance with long-lasting battery life. Some users may find the incredibly compact design to be a touch cramped when it comes to the keyboard and trackpad, but obviously, this will be nothing but a benefit to others that value its convenient packable size.
All AMD everything! AMD has been on a roll as of late, thrilling the Laptop Mag staff with the power and endurance of its Ryzen 5000 series CPUs. The love affair continues with the Asus ROG Strix G15 Advantage Edition. For somewhere between $1,549 – $1,699, you get a system with not just an AMD processor, but an overclockable AMD GPU, a first for laptops. You also get a lot of nifty tech focusing on balancing performance and power efficiency, with butter-smooth graphics and over 10 hours of battery life. And the system’s standing toe-to-toe with some of the biggest names in the industry. Did it win every round? No, but for the hundreds of dollars you’re saving it’s pretty damned close.
The G15 isn’t perfect — the screen could be brighter and more vivid, and the SSD should definitely be faster. And would it kill you Asus to try to fit a webcam back into the picture? If power (and a more vivid display) are your most important priorities, I recommend checking out the $2,999 Razer Blade 15 Advanced Model. But if you want to take advantage of everything AMD has to offer, the Asus ROG Strix G15 Advantage Edition is the absolute way to go.