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Best Windows 10 laptops to update your retired Windows 7 dinosaur

Take advantage of what Microsoft's current OS can do now that Windows 7 support has ended.

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Microsoft's support for Windows 7 is officially over, so if you're still running a PC on it, you're doing it at your own risk. You can upgrade to Windows 10 and, if you're currently running a licensed and activated copy of Windows 7, Windows 8 or Windows 8.1 Home or Pro, here's how to do it for free

But, in my own experience making the switch from Windows 7 to Windows 10, my laptop's performance became frustratingly slow. It was a low-end laptop to begin with and, although it met Win 10's system requirements, it just wasn't a great experience. I ended up turning that into a Chromebook for my kids and moving on to a laptop built for what Windows 10 offers.

The end of Windows 7 support is as good a time as any to make the jump to Microsoft's current OS, Windows 10. But if you're not sure where to start right now, here are five picks to help steer you on your search. You can also head straight to our list of best laptops and desktops. Plus, here are our best gaming laptops15-inch laptops and two-in-ones, as well as the best choices for college studentscreatives and MacBook Pro alternatives. And, if you just want pure power or battery life, our rankings of battery life and performance are for you.

Acer Aspire 5 (2019)

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Acer knows how to put together a solid budget-friendly laptop, and the Aspire 5 is a fine example. A remarkable deal for simple tasks like email, word processing and the like, it's also thin and relatively light for a 15.6-inch laptop. It's available in a variety of configurations starting as low as $400, but can go up to $650 if you want entry-level discrete graphics for basic gaming and content creation. Our $530 version ably balances performance and affordability.

Dell G5 15 5590

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A lot has changed in the world of gaming laptops since Windows 7 was the OS of choice. They've gotten thinner and lighter for sure, but they're also more powerful at lower prices, with good entry-level models available for $800 or less. The midrange G5 15 hits this mark with an excellent price-to-performance ratio, build quality and design. Dell's G-series gaming laptops are cheaper than those from its Alienware division, but still capable of playing the latest AAA games.

Microsoft Surface Pro 7

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A detachable two-in-one like Microsoft's Surface Pro takes advantage of Windows 10's ability to shift from a desktop to mobile operating system. It hits all the right notes, too, if you're looking for a do-it-all Windows tablet that doubles as a Windows laptop. These powerful laptops feature an eighth-gen Intel Core processor and long-lasting battery life. And because the Pro 7 is the newest version, you can find the older and still great Surface Pro 6 at lower prices, and you can find it bundled with its excellent keyboard and pen.

Lenovo Yoga C940

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Like the Surface Pro, the Yoga C940's design allows you to make use of Windows 10's flexibility as both a desktop and tablet OS. However, it doesn't detach from the keyboard, giving it more of the look and feel of a regular clamshell laptop. Lenovo makes some of the best two-in-one convertible laptops you're going to find right now. The C940 is its premium consumer model available in a 14-inch ultraportable and 15.6-inch size with discrete graphics for gaming and content creation. But, if you can do without a few bells and whistles, the company's Yoga C740 is less expensive and still looks and feels good. Plus, the excellent, older versions of each -- the Yoga C930 and Yoga 730 -- are being cleared out now, so you might be able to score a deal on one of those.

Dell XPS 13

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Dell's XPS 13 is one of the best Windows ultraportables you can buy, with terrific battery life and performance for its tiny frame. The 2020 version was announced at CES this year and has a larger 13.4-inch 16:10 display, but an even smaller footprint than last year's. You can still get the 2019 for a little less money, though.

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