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Work from home and distance learning have become a reality for millions of people this year, which means in-person meetings and classes are being conducted virtually over services like Zoom or Skype.
If you want the freedom to attend these meetings anywhere, your best bet is getting a laptop with a built-in webcam. You’ll sacrifice some video quality — laptop webcams have to be extremely thin, so there’s no room for a lot of camera hardware — but won’t have to worry about accidentally leaving your camera behind whenever you leave a room.
The laptops in our guide are ideal for workers or students, and are powerful enough to handle more than just video conferencing. We’ve made sure to find computers suited for younger students, high school or college age students, or adults.
What Are the Best Laptops With Webcams?
There are many factors to consider when choosing the best laptops with webcams; below are the most important ones, which we considered while we were researching this list.
Webcam: All of the laptops we’re recommending have an HP webcam built into their lid. These webcams can be used with any video conferencing app, and require no additional software to run.
Operating System: The computers in this guide run one of the three major operating systems: Windows, MacOS, and ChromeOS. Each operating system is capable of running a distinct set of apps, but all of them work with popular software like Microsoft Office.
Screen Size: The computers in this guide have screens between 11 and 15 inches wide. Larger screens are better if you intend to watch a lot of media, but smaller ones are easier to take with you.
Screen Resolution: A laptop’s screen resolution will determine how sharp text, photos, and videos look. Every laptop below has an HD screen, but some of our picks edge closer to 4K.
Processor: All of our recommendations have a new Intel or AMD processor inside, and are capable of running many power-hungry apps without slowing down significantly.
RAM: The laptops we’re recommending have either 4GB (Gigabytes) or 8GB of RAM (memory). Computers with more RAM can run apps more smoothly, and allows you to run more apps simultaneously.
Storage: We’re recommending laptops with between 32GB and 256GB of storage. Having less storage is fine if you steam your media, and prefer to keep most of your files in the cloud. If you have a large local media library, or will be working with large files on a regular basis, you should opt for a laptop with extra space.
Inputs: A computer’s inputs (known more commonly as ports), are what allow you to connect accessories to your machine. Each of our picks has a different assortment of ports, which you should strongly consider depending on how you intend to use your machine. All of them support WiFi and Bluetooth, though, so you have a range of wireless connectivity options, too.
Battery Life: The laptops below all get between seven and 12 hours of battery life on a single charge, which is more than enough to get you through a standard day of use.
1. BEST OVERALL: Microsoft Surface Laptop 3
Microsoft’s Surface Laptop 3 is a light, powerful Windows laptop with a great HD camera.
The machine has a 13.5-inch touch screen with a resolution of 2256 x 1504 (better than HD), Intel Core i5 Processor, 8GB of RAM, and 256GB of storage. This laptop is powerful enough to handle anything you throw at it, though its graphics chip isn’t designed for gaming. Microsoft says it can get up to 11.5 hours of battery life on a single charge, so you can easily make it through a full day of school or work.
Because it runs Windows you shouldn’t run into any issues running any apps you need on this laptop. The ability to use this laptop for professional programming, image editing, media management, or audio production makes it a great all-around laptop for students and workers from any discipline.
The Surface Laptop 3 is thin, but Microsoft outfitted it with a USB-A port in addition to a USB-C port and headphone jack, so you can plug older accessories into the laptop without an adapter. It’s getting harder to find USB-A ports in ultra thin and light laptops, so this is a very welcome feature.
If you need a new laptop with an HD webcam, and want a Windows, Microsoft’s Surface Laptop 3 is the one to get.
2. BEST MAC: Apple MacBook Air
The new MacBook Air has a 720P webcam, and it’s the most well-rounded laptop Apple makes.
The MacBook Air has a 13.3-Inch display with a resolution of 2560 x 1600 (higher than HD). This high resolution screen is complemented by Apple’s custom M1 processor, 8GB of RAM, and a 256GB SSD. The chip inside this new MacBook Air offers a quantum leap in performance over the previous version, and allows it to handle tasks like 4K video editing with ease.
This laptop runs MacOS, an Apple developed operating system with a vibrant app ecosystem. You can find software for any type of work, which makes the MacBook Air an excellent laptop for students or workers who prefer Apple tech.
Apple equipped the MacBook Air with two Thunderbolt 3 ports, which also work with USB-C accessories (the ports are the same shape). It doesn’t have any other ports, though, so you’ll need an adapter to connect older accessories to this machine.
The company says you can get up to 18 hours of use from this laptop on a single charge, but that will vary a lot depending on the apps you run, and your brightness settings. In our experience, Apple’s battery claims on MacBooks running an M1 chip have been pretty accurate.
If you’re committed to the Mac, and want a modern Apple laptop with a built-in Webcam, the MacBook Air is the way to go.
3. BEST CHROMEBOOK: HP Chromebook X360
This model in HP’s Chromebook X360 line is an excellent webcam-equipped laptop for younger students.
It runs ChromeOS, which can run fewer apps than Windows or MacOS, but is far less prone to viruses. This laptop was designed with students in mind, so it can run popular web software like Google’s GSuite and the Microsoft Office Suite just fine.
The laptop has a 12-inch, 720P (HD) screen, which can be rotated 180-degrees, so the keyboard and display are parallel. This tablet mode can be useful for art projects. HP’s Chromebook has an Intel Celeron Processor, 4GB of RAM, and a 32GB SSD. These specs are excellent for word processing, creating slideshows, working with spreadsheets, or video conferencing.
The X360 has two USB-C ports, one USB-A port, a MicroSD Card reader, and a headphone jack, so it’s fully equipped for any accessories you may need to plug in. It may not be a gaming machine, but this entry in HP’s Chromebook X360 line is the right choice for any grade school student who needs to run Zoom and get homework done.
4. BEST BUDGET PICK: Lenovo Ideapad 3
If you need a Windows computer with an HD webcam, but have a strict budget, Lenovo’s new Ideapad 3 is your best choice under $400.
The laptop has a 14-inch display with a resolution of 1366 x 768, Intel Premium Gold processor, 8GB of RAM, and a 128GB SSD. These tech specs are a little lackluster compared to our premium picks, but very impressive given the Ideapad 3’s price. This laptop is perfect for web browsing, writing, creating slide decks, editing spreadsheets, and communicating over Zoom.
The IdeaPad 3 has three USB-A ports, one HDMI port, an SD Card reader, and a headphone jack. You won’t need an adapter to plug in accessories, or connect the laptop to a projector during presentations. Lenovo says the IdeaPad 3 will last up to six hours per charge, which is average for a Windows laptop.
The Lenovo Ideapad 3 is a great budget-friendly laptop that’s an especially good picks for students studying remotely.
5. BEST Gaming Laptop With A Webcam: Razer Blade 15
The latest version of Razer’s Blade 15 Gaming Laptop is built for graphically demanding tasks, but is outfitted with a 720P webcam for when you need to get work done.
The Windows machine has a 15.6-inch 1080P HD display, 6-core Intel Core i7 processor, 256GB of storage, and 16GB of RAM. These tech specs are rounded out by its NVIDIA GTX 1660 TI, a graphics card with 6GB of dedicated graphics memory. This laptop will run smoothly whether you’re playing Call of Duty, or editing photos and videos using apps like Adobe Photoshop.
Razer outfitted the Blade 15 with three USB-A ports, two USB-C ports, a dedicated charging port, one Gigabit Ethernet port, an HDMI port, and a headphone jack. The laptop’s level of performance and array of ports are impressive, but contribute to its hefty weight of eight pounds. This is a portable machine that feels a little more at home on a desk rather than your backpack.
That said, if you want to play PC games on the go, but rely on video calls to get your work done, Razer’s Blade 15 is the laptop we recommend.