If a 15-inch display just doesn’t cut it for you but a 17-inch screen is too big, you should get your hands on a 16-inch laptop. While there’s only a relatively narrow selection of 16-inch laptops on the market, many are fantastic devices that offer excellent performance for a good price. Whether you’re looking for a portable, thin-and-light ultrabook, a powerful workhorse device for creative work, or a top-of-the-line gaming laptop, there’s a great 16-inch laptop that will suit your needs. Our favorite is the LG Gram 16 due to its great specs, stellar design, and beautiful display, but there are several awesome alternatives available, too.
Source: Daniel Rubino/Windows Central
The LG Gram 16 is, much like its larger LG Gram 17 sibling, a fantastic thin-and-light device that features everything you could want in an ultrabook. It’s available with powerful 11th Gen Intel CPUs (including a top-notch i7-1195G7), and its Intel Xe graphics, up to 16GB of RAM, and up to 1TB of storage ensuring that no other aspect of the device’s performance is lacking. The WQXGA 2560×1600 display is similarly superb, featuring thin bezels, vivid and vibrant colors, and strong contrast (we wish it wasn’t so glossy, though). The 14-15 hour battery life is awesome, too.
This is also a very thin, lightweight laptop, so it with you on the go a breeze. On top of that, the keyboard and trackpad are very comfortable and enjoyable to use, and the port selection is great. You get Thunderbolt 4 slots as well as a pair of USB-A ports, which will be plenty for the majority of users. Overall, the LG Gram 16 is an all around all-star that we can’t recommend enough.
- Great specs
- Gorgeous display
- Stellar battery life
- Excellent design
- Screen is glossy
- Can be pricey
LG Gram 16
An all around all-star
The LG Gram 16 will be the best 16-inch laptop for most people due to its powerful specs, incredible display, and excellent design.
Best value: Dell Inspiron 16 Plus
Source: Windows Central
If you’re looking for something that delivers strong performance but you don’t want to break the bank, the Dell Inspiron 16 Plus is an excellent option. With its 11th Gen Core i7-11800H, NVIDIA RTX 3050, 16GB RAM, and 512GB SSD, it’s comparable to a Dell XPS 15 in terms of hardware and performance (see our Dell XPS 15 vs. Inspiron 16 Plus comparison for more details on how the two laptops stack up). Its 3K 3072×1920 handles beautiful colors and contrast as well as a solid max brightness of 300 nits. On average, the battery life for the device averages around 8 hours, which is solid for a device in this price range.
The design of the Dell Inspiron 16 Plus is where Dell made some compromises to get the price of the laptop down. Though it’s built well overall, the sturdiness and overall quality is worse than you might expect. Its aluminum build is fine; it just can’t compete with the lighter, sleeker, more durable builds of more premium devices.
The keyboard and trackpad aren’t as comfortable either, though they’re still satisfactory. On top of that, you only get a single Thunderbolt 4 port with the Dell Inspiron 16 Plus, which is unfortunate since many devices typically come with two. For folks that want something more affordable, though, dealing with these minor setbacks will be more than worth it.
- Great specs for the price
- Excellent display
- Solid 8-hour battery life
- Build quality could be a little better
- Trackpad and keyboard aren’t the most comfortable
- Only one Thunderbolt 4 port
Dell Inspiron 16 Plus
While it’s not cheap, the Dell Inspiron 16 Plus is more affordable than other laptops equipped with similar hardware, making it an excellent value buy.
Best 2-in-1: HP Specter x360 16
Source: Windows Central
If you’re in need of something more flexible than your standard clamshell laptop, you should turn to the HP Specter x360 16. In terms of specs, you can configure it with powerful CPUs up to a mighty 11th Gen Core i7-11390H, up to an NVIDIA RTX 3050 GPU, up to 32GB of RAM, and up to 2TB of SSD storage. Its 3K, 3072×1920 touchscreen is also bright and beautiful with a max brightness of 400 nits and an amazing color gamut, and it comes with an effective anti-reflective coating as well. Battery life clocks in at a respectable max of 8 hours.
The design of the HP Specter x360 16 is, much like HP’s other devices that use the company’s standard gem-cut style, quite flashy. The keyboard and trackpad are excellent, and you also get dual Thunderbolt 4 ports as well as one USB-A one, which is great. Notably, the device also comes with a 5MP full HD webcam above the display that looks much better than the 720p webcams you’ll find on most other laptops. Ultimately, the HP Specter x360 16 is a powerful and attractive 2-in-1 — even if having a 16-inch tablet might be overkill.
- Powerful hardware
- Display is beautiful
- Stylish and comfortable design
- Above-average built-in webcam
- A little awkward as a 16-inch tablet
HP Specter x360 16
The ultimate convertible
The HP Specter x360 16 is an incredible 16-inch convertible that features awesome specs, a wonderful display, and an awesome webcam.
Best for creators: MacBook Pro 16
Source: Daniel Rubino / Windows Central
There aren’t many 16-inch laptops on the market geared towards creators, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t get your hands on something fantastic. In fact, the 16-inch MacBook Pro variant is arguably the best overall laptop for creators in generaland we highly recommend it — provided you don’t mind using Apple’s macOS, of course.
Both the Apple M1 Pro and Apple M1 Max CPU chip options offer blistering performance in creative workloads, and the laptop also comes with up to 64GB of RAM and up to (a ridiculous) 8TB of SSD space for even more power. Its mini-LED 3456×2234 display looks incredible as well, and the device also has an impressive max battery life of 14-15 hours.
Though it’s a little chunkier than previous MacBooks due to its top-of-the-line specs, the design of the MacBook Pro 16 is far from cumbersome, making the laptop easy to take with you on the go. The keyboard and trackpad are excellent, and while the lack of USB-A ports is unfortunate, the trio of Thunderbolt 4 ports arguably makes up for this exclusion. Overall, the MacBook Pro 16 is the ultimate 16-inch creator laptop, especially when you factor in the availability of beloved Mac-exclusive programs like Logic Pro and Final Cut Pro.
- Excellent workstation-grade specs
- Top-of-the-line display
- Excellent battery life
- Logic Pro and Final Cut Pro availability
- No USB-A ports
- Very expensive
Best for creators
MacBook Pro 16
The MacBook Pro 6 delivers incredible performance, software compatibility, and storage for the ultimate creators’ laptop.
Best mid-range: Acer Swift 3 (16-inch)
Source: Windows Central
Folks that need a productivity-focused ultrabook that offers a strong balance between performance and price should look towards the Acer Swift 3’s 16-inch option. Between its 11th Gen Intel i7-11370H, Intel Iris Xe integrated graphics, 16GB of RAM, and up to 1TB SSD, the 16-inch Acer Swift 3 delivers reliable and respectable performance for productivity. On top of that, the FHD display has great colors and contrast, though it’s not as sharp as the panels you’ll find on more expensive laptops. The battery life of the device comes in at a cool 10-11 hours.
Design-wise, the Acer Swift 3 is well-built and the keyboard and trackpad are enjoyable to use, though the trackpad does feel a little hollow. For ports, you get a single Thunderbolt 4 port as well as dual USB-A ones, which is great considering the price of the device. Overall, the Acer Swift 3 is a great choice for people that need good performance and have around $1,000 to spend for it.
- Capable specs
- Great FHD display
- 10-11 hours of battery life
- Affordable for the specs
- Trackpad feels slightly hollow
- Display can’t compare to premium laptops
- Only one Thunderbolt 4 port
Acer Swift 3 (16-inch)
Good performance, low price
The 16-inch version of the Acer Swift 3 delivers ultrabook-class performance despite its lower cost, making it a great mid-range laptop.
Best for gaming: HP OMEN 16
What if you’re after something that’s ideal for gaming? Look no further than the HP OMEN 16, HP’s cutting-edge gaming laptop that can be configured with up to a beefy 12th Gen Intel Core i7-12700H or AMD Ryzen 9 5900HX CPU, up to an NVIDIA RTX 3080 GPU, up to 64GB of RAM, and up to 2TB of SSD storage.
This laptop is nothing short of an absolute beast, and its FHD display is similarly impressive with its gorgeous colors and 144Hz refresh rate that’s perfect for gaming. The battery life isn’t great — you’ll only be able to game for an hour or two while off the charger — but that’s normal for gaming laptops.
The design of the HP OMEN 16 is gorgeous, featuring an angular profile and sleek, stylish edges. Much like HP’s Specter devices, OMEN laptops are designed to stand out from the crowd. The design has more going for it than just looks, though; the single Thunderbolt 4 port as well as the trio of USB-A ports ensure that there are plenty of ways for you to hook up gaming peripherals. On top of that, both the keyboard and trackpad are a joy to use, though admittedly you’ll want to hook up one of the best gaming mice during actual gameplay. Ultimately, this gaming laptop is superb, and if you need something that can drive high-performance gaming, the HP OMEN 16 will be right up your alley.
- Superb gaming performance
- Excellent display for gaming
- Great trackpad
- Strong port selection
- No option for a QHD or 4K display
- Can get expensive
Best for gaming
HP OMEN 16
Get in the game
Folks that want a 16-inch gaming laptop should look no further than the HP OMEN 16, which delivers stellar performance and features a sleek, high quality design.
While there aren’t a ton of 16-inch laptops on the market, it’s not a form factor that you should overlook when buying your next laptop. In many cases, 16-inch devices offer much of the same powerful hardware that you can find in larger 17-inch laptops, but in a chassis that’s less cumbersome and easier to carry around. On top of that, 16-inch laptops also tend to have better battery life than 17-inch options, and are often less expensive. This makes them a great alternative if you want something larger than 13, 14, or 15 inches, but don’t want something as big or as expensive as 17-inch devices typically are.
In terms of which 16-inch laptop you should buy, our overall favorite is the LG Gram 16. Between its strong specs, gorgeous display, and its stellar design that’s both sturdy and portable, the LG Gram 16 is unquestionably one of the best Windows laptops. With that said, all of the devices on this list are excellent, and if you’re looking for something specialized like a 2-in-1 or a gaming laptop, something like the HP Specter x360 16 or the HP OMEN 16 will be a better choice for you than the LG Gram 16.
Credits — The team that worked on this guide
Brendan Lowry is a Windows Central writer and Oakland University graduate with a burning passion for video games, of which he’s been an avid fan since childhood. You’ll find him doing reviews, editorials, and general coverage on everything Xbox and PC. Follow him on Twitter.
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