Shopping for grads and dads? Check out these Windows 11 PCs for school, work and gaming
It’s the time of year when graduation photos fill up social media feeds, a major milestone and transition for many families. And then soon after, it’s Father’s Day – another opportunity to celebrate and give thanks to that special paternal figure in your life.
New grads embarking on the next chapter in their lives – college and/or career – are going to need a PC that can handle the multitasking of assignments, presentations and calculations; the streaming of favorite shows in their downtime; and video chats with family and friends across the country or world.
With Windows 11, they can do all that, using features such as Snap Assist and Desktop Groups to juggle Microsoft Word, PowerPoint and Excel; using Widgets to easily access information such as weather, your Outlook calendar and news; and Chat from Microsoft Teams to stay in touch with loved ones.
And dads too, can enjoy a new PC to help juggle calendars, participate in video calls and do research. And like the younger generation, they might also like to get some “me” time in too: to game, online shop, browse cat or dog videos, etc. With the PC Game Pass, which many PCs include as a free trial, more than 100 high-quality PC games are available to play. New games are added all the time.
When that special someone gets a new PC, Windows 11 makes it easy to set up, transferring their existing setup from their old PC to the new one via OneDrive. And if you prefer using touchscreens, pens and your voice (speech-to-text), you can find a PC with those input options so you can work (and play) the way you like.
To get you started on your search for the right PC for your grad or dad, here are some picks for those different stages of life:
Going to college
Grads are growing up in less traditional environments and schedules, which is also reflected in the workforce. People are gravitating more toward mobile, simpler devices that adapt to the way they want to work. Tablets, for instance, are no longer just for entertainment. New grads can now use them for work and play, as well as 2-in-1s, like the LG gram 2-in-1 16. Go from a 16-inch laptop to a 16-inch tablet with a flip of the 360-degree hinge. At 3.26 pounds, this compact body also has a Gorilla Glass screen, full-size keyboard and 360-degree touch display. Powered by the 11th Gen Intel Core processor with Iris Xe graphics, it provides up to 1.2X CPU performance.
The Acer Swift X lineup added two 14-inch and 16-inch models earlier this year, featuring a 16:10 aspect-ratio IPS screen with a 92.22% screen-to-body ratio. From there, 100% coverage of the sRGB color gamut delivers an immersive viewing experience – the better for streaming through Microsoft Store apps or shopping securely on Microsoft Edge. When you’re in Teams video meetings, you’ll find an FHD webcam with Acer’s Temporal Noise Reduction (TNR) technology for high-quality imagery, even in low-light conditions. And for added security when you’re working in communal spaces, there’s a fingerprint reader for easy login with Windows Hello. (Buy it on Amazon.com.)
When you’re in your dorm room or on the go, you’ll find the Dell XPS 15 balances power and portability with an immersive visual and sound experience on a dynamic display that delivers high brightness, improved clarity and precise detail. Whether you are working on your next project, streaming, or editing photos, the XPS 15 has the power to move your ideas into reality, powered with the latest 12th Gen Intel Core processors up to i9k and DDR5 memory. GeForce RTS 30 Series allows for top performance to create complex 3D scenes, edit 8K video, or live stream with the best encoding and image quality. Log-on securely with facial recognition or a fingerprint reader with Windows Hello. (Buy it at Dell.com.)
The Lenovo IdeaPad 5, with up to 11th Gen Intel Core processors, comes with a 15.6-inch FHD touchscreen with narrow borders, providing an ample canvas to work on or to play. Stay connected at home or on campus by combining what you love about your smartphone with the efficiency of a thin and light fan-less laptop. And when you’re out and about, webcam privacy shutters and fingerprint readers deliver both security and easy logins with Windows Hello. USB-C ports and Quick Charging gets your battery full faster. All this empowers you to download movies, make calls and send emails from virtually anywhere. (Read more about it on the Windows Experience Blog.)
Welcome to the workforce
The MSI Creator Z16P Windows 11 PC includes the latest 12th Gen Intel Core i9 processors and GeForce RTX 30 Series GPUs to bring your creativity to life as you start your new job or need refresh tech on your current job. Your workflow will zip along faster with twice the rendering performance and twice the graphics memory of the 20 Series, to make editing up to 8K HDR RAW video and working with extra-large 3D models a snap. You can do all this with a 16:10 Golden Ratio Display, MPP2.0 Active pen support and exceptional vapor chamber cooling. (Buy it at authorized resellers and read more about it.)
The Samsung Galaxy Book2 Pro 360 made its debut in February at MWC Barcelona, where it showed off updates to features such as Phone Link (formerly known as Windows/Microsoft Your Phone) , which pairs your Galaxy smartphone to your Galaxy Book2 Pro series device. With Recent Apps, users can swipe up on their Windows 11 taskbar to check their smartphone’s status and choose their most recently used smartphone apps to use directly on their desktops. To provide power to do more, the Galaxy Book2 Pro series features the latest 12th Gen Intel Core processors for reliable performance to work, video call and game. Because video calls are now a part of everyday life, the Galaxy Book2 Pro series is upgraded for high-quality call experiences, with 1080p FHD webcams and wider field of view angles . To keep you protected, the Galaxy Book2 Pro series is the first consumer PC lineup meeting Microsoft’s Secured-core PC requirements. Previously designed for enterprise PCs in high-security industries, this Secured-core PC designation delivers the highest level of protection on Windows 11 and features deeply integrated hardware, firmware and software to enhance protection against potential cyberattacks . (Shop for it at Samsung.)
The Dynabook Portégé X40-K is a 14-inch Windows 11 Pro PC built with new hybrid-architecture 12th Gen Intel Core P-Series 28W processor options, configurable with Core i5 or i7 CPUs, up to 64GB of memory and reinforced with ultra-fast SSD storage, Wi-Fi 6E and Thunderbolt 4. Created with the hybrid workplace in mind, the laptop is just 0.70 inches thin and weighs under 3.2 pounds. The Portégé X40-K was engineered and tested to MIL-STD-810H standards for strength and durability to ensure robust endurance to the rigors of daily use in or out of the office. Opening the lid exposes a thin-bezel 14-inch IPS or multi-touch display, premium backlit keyboard and large multi-touch ClickPad embedded into a comfortable aluminum palm rest. When you’re not using it, Sleep & Charge technology keeps a USB port powered, which means the laptop can charge a smartphone and other accessories.
CES 2022 introduced the Razer Blade 14, which includes Windows 11 and all its gaming benefits, including DirectStorage, Xbox Game Bar and Xbox Game Pass. It comes with the next generation of AMD Ryzen 6000 Series Processors. Every configuration prominently features the ultra-fast Ryzen 9 6900HX processor, enabling some of the most powerful AMD gaming possible on a mobile device. With a newly implemented MUX Switch, the Blade 14 allows players to increase gameplay performance by utilizing the discrete GPU to drive games on the internal display. This laptop now also joins its slightly larger family members with the addition of the same fingerprint resistant coating and a 1080p Windows Hello IR webcam, making video calls twice as clear as before. (Buy it at razer.com.)
The ASUS ROG Flow X13 was the first 2-in-1 convertible ROG gaming laptop that now comes with Windows 11 Pro and up to the latest Ryzen 9 6900HS processor and GeForce RTX 3050 Ti GPU which provides the performance needed for demanding workloads and enables strong performance in the latest games. Your favorite player can also choose between 4K UHD or 120Hz FHD displays. On both displays, Adaptive-Sync synchronizes the panel’s refresh rate with the GPU’s frame rate to reduce lag, minimize stuttering and eliminate visual tearing. Sign on with Windows Hello. You can also wake it up like a smartphone thanks to an integrated one-touch login. A 360-degree hinge maximizes touchscreen viewing and interaction, quickly flipping from laptop mode into positions for gaming, drawing and presenting. You can also take advantage of Windows Ink. The edge-to-edge keyboard design incorporates a full-sized, desktop-style layout into its compact chassis. (Buy it on the ROG website and find out more about it.)
Built with OMEN’s DNA, Victus by HP debuted in 2021 for entry-level gamers. The Victus by HP 16 was the first of this line. Pixels have never moved faster on these second-generation GeForce RTX 3060 laptops with graphics powered by award-winning NVIDIA Ampere architecture. Computing gameplay on the screen is lightning fast with options up to Intel Core i7-12700H or AMD Ryzen 7 6800H series processors along with up to 32 GB DDR5 4800 MHz memory. Wide rear vents add a visual flair on top of enhanced thermal efficiency, which is bolstered by five-way airflow and a four-heat pipe design. With a single SSD up to Gen4 1TB PCIe storage, storage options are plentiful for gaming and other activities. (Buy it at HP.com and go to the Windows Experience Blog to find out more about it.)
 Users must link their Galaxy device to their Windows PC through ‘Link to Windows’ on phone and Phone Link app on PC, follow the set-up prompts, including being signed into same Microsoft account. Link to Windows is preloaded on select Galaxy devices. Phone Link requires Windows 10 April 2019 Update (or later) on the PC and recommends the latest Windows 11. Phone Link requires Galaxy device to be on and connected to the same Wi-Fi network as the PC. Some mobile apps may restrict content to be shared on other screens or may require a touch screen to be able to interact with them. Multiple Android applications can be launched simultaneously up to five at a time in Windows 11 PC.
 Galaxy Book2 Pro series device features 87-degree field of view compared to 77-degree field of view in Galaxy Book Pro series.
 Secured-core PCs use hardware-based security components like Trusted Platform Module 2.0 (TPM) and modern CPUs along with virtualization-based security (VBS) and Windows hypervisor code integrity (HVCI) service to create a secure, hardware-isolated environment that effectively isolates memory and critical components to prevent attacks and unauthorized access to critical parts of the operating system. The Secured-core PC relies on advanced security capabilities built into modern CPUs to protect the integrity of Windows and its boot process from advanced attacks at the firmware level.
Requires specialized hardware, including fingerprint reader, illuminated IT sensor or other biometric sensors and capable devices.