Tech

The Best OLED Laptops for 2021 | Digital Trends

Organic LED (OLED) screens deliver outstanding image quality, brightness, and contrast by using organic compounds to emit visible light. These displays are light and thin and allow for higher contrast ratios. This technology has been around for a few years and has rapidly taken over the TV market.

You can find these screens on laptops, too, making for an interesting choice if you want stunning visuals on the go. Here, we selected some of the best OLED laptops with outstanding visuals now on the market. The Dell XPS 15 tops the list because of its display of bright, bold colors. If display quality is indeed important, one of these laptops should be ideal.

The best OLED laptops at a glance

Dell XPS 15 (2020)

Why you should pick this: The XPS 15 is already an awesome laptop, but the OLED display takes it to a whole new level.

Who’s it for: Video editors, photographers, and content creators.

Why we picked the Dell XPS 15:

The Dell XPS 15 has been our favorite 15-inch laptop for quite some time, and it might be our top favorite laptop if it wasn’t eclipsed by its slightly more portable and attractive cousin, the XPS 13. The latest version of this laptop upgrades everything, screen included. You have options now for up to an Intel eight-core, 10th-generation i9-10885H, up to 32GB of memory, and up to 1TB of PCIe NVMe SSD storage. There’s also an optional Nvidia GTX 1650 graphics chip for impressive midrange gaming capabilities.

But the screen is why we’re here. The 4K OLED panel is simply stunning. Made by Samsung, it’s a gorgeous display with fantastic contrast and bright, popping colors. Most importantly, the Dell XPS 1 features excellent color accuracy, which some of the other options on this list lack. That makes it a great option for photographers and video editors.

The 4K OLED screen is no more expensive than the LED 4K option offered by Dell, though it does lose the touch functionality. However, the battery life on the Dell XPS 15 may be worse with the OLED option.

Alienware m15 R3

alienware m15 r2
Rich Shibley/Digital Trends

Why you should pick this: It’s an awesome gaming system with a great keyboard and powerful internal hardware.

Who’s it for: Gamers who want portability.

Why we picked the Alienware m15 R3:

Alienware always has been a gaming brand through and through, and the new iteration of its popular m15 doesn’t break that tradition. Instead, it represents an entirely new generation of hardware and performance, with a big uptick in the available internal hardware, all of which helps power the gorgeous OLED display that’s now an option on the pricier configurations.

Borrowing some of the aesthetic design choices of its heftier cousin, the Area-51m, the m15 has clean lines and a new white color option that helps it stand out from other, more gaudy gaming notebooks. At a minimum of 4.65 pounds (5.5 pounds, max), it’s even a little lighter than its predecessors.

Inside, Dell uses the latest hardware, including a 10th-gen Intel Core processor speeding up to 5.3GHz, 32GB of RAM, a selection of SSDs for boot and storage, and a GeForce RTX 2070 GPU. The OLED display is rich and deep, with a 60Hz refresh rate and 4K resolution.

If you want a powerful and portable machine that easily can handle a VR headset, the Alienware m15 R3 is certainly one of your best options — albeit an expensive one.

ThinkPad X1 Extreme Gen 2

The Best OLED Laptops for 2021 | Digital Trends

Why you should pick this: It’s a gorgeous machine for work and play with the typical ThinkPad build quality and understated aesthetics.

Who’s it for: Workers who like to play during the off-hours.

Why we picked the ThinkPad X1 Extreme Gen 2:

Laptops based on Lenovo’s iconic ThinkPad brand typically lack the features and look of your average gaming system, but they give just about every laptop a run for their money on the hardware front. The latest ThinkPad X1 Extreme is no different, with monstrous component options like a 9th-gen Intel Core i9 CPU, a Nvidia GTX 1650 Max-Q graphics chip, up to 64GB of RAM, and up to 4TB of storage.

The OLED panel provides 4K resolution, along with fantastic brightness and contrast. Lenovo also did a great job of implementing Dolby Vision high dynamic range (HDR) for awesome Netflix binging.

Overall, this ThinkPad X1 Extreme doesn’t look much different from its predecessors in appearance. It’s understated, functional, and sturdy. It’s likely the most durable OLED laptop on the market, but we’d still caution against long usage at full brightness to avoid any potential burn-in problems.

HP Spectre x360 13

HP Spectre x360 15 review
Luke Larsen/Digital Trends

Why you should pick this: It offers everything you want in an OLED laptop but with a fully functioning tablet mode, too.

Who’s it for: Those who want OLED brilliance in a laptop and tablet — in one device.

Why we picked the HP Spectre x360 13:

If you want a more compact laptop without sacrificing the best screen quality possible, the HP Spectre x360 13 is the laptop for you. It houses an Intel Core processor with up to 3.9GHz, 16GB of memory, and a 1TB SSD.

The 13.3-inch screen may be smaller than most on our list, but it offers 4K resolution, a brilliant AMOLED panel, and an anti-reflection coating to make the whole thing complete. The keyboard is backlit, and (as HP does often) there’s an included fingerprint reader for easy biometric security.

This 2-in-1 ships with its own stylus for sketching, though the touchscreen is easy to use however you prefer. The HP Spectre X360 ports include two very welcome Thunderbolt 3 connections, a USB 3.1 port, and a microSD port. It’s also Wi-Fi 6 ready! Just make sure you get the AMOLED version of the laptop.

Razer Blade 15 (2020)

razer-blade-oled-240hz

Why you should pick this: Not only is it a stunning laptop, the highly-fluid graphics are even more breathtaking.

Who’s it for: Gamers to its core.

Why we picked the Razer Blade 15 (2020)The Razer Blade 15 has a long-standing spot at the top of our list, and with continued advancements, we still consider it our favorite gaming notebook to date. A continuously smaller framework exemplifies these improvements.

The Razer Blade 15’s 2020 edition features a choice between a 10th-generation Intel i7 processor, a 512GB SSD, and improved GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q graphics. You’ll be waiting around for considerably less time on all game inputs. Plus, the display has excellent contrast and rapid response times.

Many people found the older models to be lacking in color acuity and graphics in general. The manufacturer clearly paid attention to these criticisms because the 2020 incarnation features vivid, precise colors.

The Razer Blade 15 is perfect for gaming, but you can also use it for movies. It features incredible graphics and Wi-Fi 6 capability. Its ports include HDMI, USB-A, USB-C, and Thunderbolt 3.

Gigabyte Aero 15 OLED

The Best OLED Laptops for 2021 | Digital Trends

Why you should pick this: This sturdy computer combines virtues from several laptop genres.

Who’s it for: Busy professionals who need a bit of both worlds for laptop performance.

Why we picked the Gigabyte Aero 15 OLED:

For this laptop, Gigabyte treads carefully between a highly portable design and a powerhouse for visual professionals. The result is something in between, a versatile 15-inch laptop with a durable design under five pounds and Samsung’s UHD AMOLED display (with 100% coverage of the DCI-P3) for top-notch quality when working on projects — or playing games during the off hours.

Inside, you’ll find a 9th-gen Intel Core i7-9750H processor, not quite the newest chip available but enough to get the job done, along with a dedicated GeForce GTX 1660 Ti GPU, which is helpful when it comes to video editing and playback. There’s also 16GB of RAM for better multitasking, and a 512GB NVMe PCIe SSD for storage.

The Aero 15 OLED also includes HDMI, Mini-DisplayPort, and Thunderbolt 3/USB-C ports for a variety of connections or video output if necessary, along with an SD card reader. Wi-Fi 6 is also supported, helping buyers get the most out of their wireless internet connection. And if multitasking gets intense, the dual cooling systems will help keep things cool.

Asus ZenBook Flip S OLED

The Best OLED Laptops for 2021 | Digital Trends

Why you should pick this: This 2-in-1 comes with impressive power and storage for its size.

Who’s it for: Professionals who work a lot on their feet and need a laptop that can keep up.

Why we picked the Asus ZenBook Flip S OLED:

The ZenBook Flip S manages to combine 2-in-1 portability and tablet functions with a truly excellent touchscreen display, both 4K and OLED for maximum visual or color detail when you need it the most. That makes this laptop a quick recommendation for artists, designers, and others who do a lot of their jobs on their feet or like to make quick sketches and edits in tablet mode as they work.

Internal specs also impress with this updated model, which includes a potent 11th-gen quad-core Intel i7-1165G7 processor and 16GB of RAM. The spacious 1TB PCIe NVMe SSD is useful for internal storage, while the battery handles all this and is still rated for up to 15 hours, enough for a good work day.

We also were pleased to see the flexible ZenBook Flip S comes with all the latest port options, including Thunderbolt 4/UBS-C, USB-A 3.2, and HDMI 2. Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5.0 are also supported. Oh, and you don’t need to worry about a stylus — the laptop comes with the Asus Pen and Windows Ink to help you get started.

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