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How to painlessly replace your old Windows 7 laptop now that Microsoft is killing Win 7 support

Move on from Windows 7 with one of these excellent new laptops.

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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 or consider a switch to Mac or Chrome, or even get a laptop with Linux preinstalled. But if you're not sure where to start right now, here are five easy picks to help steer you on your search. You can also head straight to our list of best laptops and desktops; also, here are our best gaming laptops15-inch laptopstwo-in-ones and Chromebooks, as well as the best choices for college studentscreatives and MacBook Pro alternatives for the Windows set. Plus, if you just want pure power or battery life, our rankings of battery life and performance are for you.

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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. Read our Acer Aspire 5 (2019) review.

This is our go-to recommendation for those in search of a MacOS laptop for everyday basic use. The Air was updated earlier in the year with Apple's True Tone display, new processors and a $100 price drop. As Apple's most affordable laptop starting at $1,099, it's not exactly a bargain and you can get a lot more computer for your money if you go with Windows. Regardless, the Air remains one of the best laptops available for battery life, performance and design. Read more.

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Though it's relatively thin and light, this 15.6-inch Chromebook is better suited for life around the house. The extra screen real estate not only makes it easier to get work done, but also makes it more enjoyable for entertainment. And if the full-HD display isn't enough for you, there are USB-C ports (one on each side) that support video out, so you can also connect an external display.  Read our HP Chromebook 15 (2019) review.

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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 thin 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 titles.  Read our Dell G5 15 5590 review.

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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 Microsoft released the updated Pro 7, the Surface Pro is available at lower prices, and you can find it bundled with its excellent keyboard and pen. Read our Microsoft Surface Pro 6 review.

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