In 2020, we have seen how essential laptops are to everyday life. Modern workplaces rely on the use of technology and laptops are portable and lightweight ways to do this.
A fingerprint reader incorporated into the laptop adds an extra layer of security to the data stored on the hard drive.
All of our picks have a backlit island-style keyboard, making them exceedingly easy to use in all light levels. This article has rounded up the top 5 laptops available on the market and compared them all.
We have also included a handy buyer’s guide and an FAQ section at the end.
In a hurry?
Our top pick is the HP Envy 17T laptop available for $1,589 on Amazon.com. It is certified Climate Pledge Friendly and has many truly outstanding features.
It is a large laptop so not the best suited for commuting with, but if you need a lot of screen space to keep many tabs open, this is the laptop for you!
OUR TOP PICK
This is our top pick, despite the fact it is double the price of any of our other options. The laptop gives a lot of bang for your buck and outperforms the other picks in almost every way.
It has a 16GB RAM, a 256GB SSD, and a 1TB HDD. The laptop uses the Windows 10 Pro 64 operating system. It has an Intel Core i7-10510U CPU.
The laptop has a 17.3 inch full HD touchscreen, perfect for people who spend a lot of time on the computer. It weighs a hefty 6.14 pounds, making it less suitable for people who travel a lot.
The battery life is around 9 hours and can reach a 50% charge in just 45 minutes. The laptop has 3 USB 3.0 ports and has 802.11ac wifi.
- 16GB RAM
- Full HD display
- 9 hour battery life
- 256GB SSD and 1TB HDD
This laptop comes in at $679.99. It has an 8GB RAM and 512GB of internal storage. It uses the Windows 10 Home operating system. It has an AMD Ryzen 7 4700U CPU.
The laptop has a 14 inch full HD IPS LED backlit display screen.
It is the most lightweight of our picks at just 2.65 pounds. This makes it ideal for use on your commute or for taking while traveling.
The battery life is a very respectable 11.5 hours, perfect for long journeys where no plug sockets are available.
There is a USB 2.0 and a USB 3.0 port on the laptop. It also has 802.11ac wifi.
- Under $700
- 11.5 hour battery life
- Full HD IPS LED backlit screen display
- 512GB internal storage
- Only 1 USB port
This laptop comes in at $665.63. It has an 8GB RAM and 256GB of internal storage. It uses the Windows 10 Home operating system. It has a 10th generation Intel Core i5 CPU.
The laptop has a 15.6 inch full HD IPS display screen. It weighs just under 4 pounds, at 3.97lbs.
The battery life is a solid 9.5 hours, perfect for commuters. There is a USB 2.0 and 2 USB 3.0 ports on the laptop. It also has 802.11ac wifi 6.
- 15.6 inch screen
- 9.5 hour battery life
- Full HD IPS display
- 256GB internal storage
- 3.97 pounds in weight
This laptop is fairly cheap at only $604. It has an 8GB RAM and 256GB of internal storage. It uses the Windows 10 operating system.
The CPU is a 10th Generation Intel Core i5-1035g1 processor.
The laptop has a 14 inch full HD touch screen. It weighs just 3.55 pounds. This makes it hugely portable and convenient.
The battery life is just okay at 8.75 hours. This is by no means the best but is still long enough to make it through a full workday without charging.
There are 3 USB ports, an HDMI port, and a headphone port on the laptop. It also has 802.11ac wifi.
- 8.75 hour battery life
- 256GB internal storage
- 3 USB ports and HDMI port
- Smaller screen at 14 inches
This laptop is by far the cheapest at only $487, but this is reflected in the features incorporated. It has an 8GB RAM and only 128GB of internal storage.
It uses the Windows 10 S operating system. The CPU is an Intel i3-1005G1 processor. This is not the worst but is definitely at the lower end of the spectrum.
The laptop has a 15.6 inch full HD IPS display screen with 4-way frameless NanoEdge technology to optimize the viewing ratio. It weighs 3.75 pounds.
The battery life is a shocking 4 hours, but when plugged in you can reach 60% charge in just 50 minutes.
There are 2 USB 2.0 ports, 2 USB 3.0 ports, an HDMI port, and a headphone port on the laptop. It also has 802.11ac wifi 5.
- Cheapest laptop at under $500
- 15.6 inch screen
- Only 4 hour battery life
- Intel i3 processor
- Only 128GB internal storage
Best Laptop with Fingerprint Reader Buying Guide
This varies according to the size, specifications, and manufacturer of the laptop. Initial costs can range widely, but even basic models are likely to function decently.
For a good laptop, you are looking to spend in the region of $600 - $700. There are models cheaper than this, but you are unlikely to find a laptop with a fingerprint reader for less than $500.
As with anything, the more you are willing to spend, the higher quality it is likely to be. The functionality will probably be improved and there are likely to be additional features included.
Laptops are expensive pieces of machinery and so it is nice to have an assurance that you will not be out of pocket if anything happens.
Most laptops will have a warranty period of around a year but this varies between manufacturers.
A long warranty period is indicative of the manufacturer’s faith in their product and as such the quality of the laptop.
This means Random Access Memory. This is a storage space that can be accessed and changed at all times and in any order.
It is the way in which coding and data are stored on your laptop. This is a temporary storage area and backs up running applications when the laptop is in use.
The minimum necessary RAM is around 4GB, although we would advise purchasing a laptop with 8GB or more.
The first consideration is the screen type. If you are a tactile individual, there are many laptops available with touch screens.
Screen size is also an important factor. With smaller screens come smaller and lighter laptops, making them more easy to carry about.
This also means that there is less screen space and the display will be more condensed.
A good middle ground is around 13 or 14-inches, whereas 15 or 17-inch screens are better for people with poor eyesight.
You should also take note of the screen resolution - a measure of how clear the image displayed on the screen is. In 2020, 1080 pixels (HD quality) is fairly standard.
The larger the resolution of the screen, the more pieces of information can be shown at once.
If you do not plan to move around much with your laptop, the battery life does not matter too much. If you travel a lot or commute for work, we recommend purchasing a laptop with at least 6 hours of battery life.
Again, this is primarily important if portability is important to you.
If you need to move your laptop around frequently we advise looking for a more lightweight laptop.
Under 4 pounds is usually a good weight.
There are many laptops out there that are all designed with specific functions in mind. These include word processing and gaming.
Different functions are useful for different purposes and you should look for laptops catered to what you have in mind.
Internal storage in modern laptops is vastly better than it used to be in older models. A good base level is around 250GB of internal storage, but this can increase drastically.
Provided your laptop has USB ports, the storage capacity can be extended with the addition of an external hard drive.
You can also purchase upgrades for your SSD drive if you wish to further boost the amount of storage space available.
The main operating systems used by laptops are Windows, Mac OS, and Chrome OS.
Windows is the most common and is hugely versatile and user friendly. If you prefer a standard operating system, this is the one to go for.
Microsoft Office Suite is a Windows software. If you wish to use this regularly, it would make sense to buy a Windows laptop.
Mac OS is the Apple operating system. This is found on all Apple products and works well if you have many products from this company.
It is less user friendly to beginners than Windows but has many unique software features that Apple users love.
ChromeOS is Google created. It is really only installed on Chromebooks and is very basic. It is useful for word processing, however, it is not very sophisticated.
There is no malware, bloatware, or anti-virus software on this system.
This stands for Central Processing Unit and refers to a small internal chip of the laptop. This handles system functions such as running applications and hardware input.
Modern laptops tend to contain a dual- or quad-core processor (a multi-core processor). This is not the limit, and as the price of the laptop increases, you may well find higher.
We suggest a minimum of i5 or i7 processor.
Laptops often hold a lot of sensitive data, and fingerprint scanners are a great security measure.
Passwords and installing antivirus software are other good measures to take to protect the data stored on your computer.
There are 2 main styles of keyboard - continental and island. Island keyboards have separate raised keys with flat tops.
Continental keyboards have keys that slope at the edges and touch each other. Both keyboards are equally functional and this is simply a matter of personal preference.
If you type a lot, you should look for keys with a short travel distance. This is a measure of how far each key has to be compressed in order to translate the letter onto the screen.
If you type a lot, a long travel distance can add hours to your day. They also tend to be quieter.
Some people enjoy keyboards with haptic feedback - a slight vibration when they are pressed. If you type at night a lot, we suggest looking into backlit keyboards.
Wifi and Bluetooth enabled
It is very unlikely that modern laptops will come without these connectivity functions.
Wifi chips are particularly prone to malfunctioning and you should check consumer reviews to see if many consumers have had issues.
Again, this is unlikely to be a feature missing from your laptop. It is very important if you wish to use a mouse, external hard drive, or memory sticks.
Check the positioning of them to ensure that multiple USB devices can be connected simultaneously.
Headphone ports should be included if you like to listen to music or videos in public frequently.
HDMI ports are useful if you like to connect your laptop to your TV for large-screen viewing.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do I know my fingerprint reader is working?
The instructions given are for Windows laptops. For all other models, we recommend checking the technical advice on the manufacturer’s website.
You will first need to roll back your drivers. To do this open your Start Menu and select the Device Manager. Open this and search for the option labeled Biometric Devices.
You may need to search your computer drives for the fingerprint reader if it cannot be found under this sub-heading. Once you have found it, right click and select Properties.
Select Drive. If there is an option to Roll Back Driver, please choose this. If not, click Uninstall. This will load a pop-up box that asks you to confirm your choice.
Tick the box labeled Delete the driver software for this device, and then confirm your choice.
Switch off your laptop and allow it to rest for around 5 minutes. Restart your computer and reopen the Device Manager.
Right click on your computer’s name and select the option labeled Scan for hardware changes. This should find the fingerprint reader and reinstall the original driver.
Do not worry if this doesn’t appear immediately, sometimes it will take a few scans.
Check the functionality of the reader to confirm you have fixed the issues. If you have not managed to rectify the problem, we would advise contacting the manufacturer.
Alternatively, you could attempt to perform a system restore or refresh to return to factory settings. This should be a last resort only as it will wipe all data from your computer.
How do I add a fingerprint to my computer?
Again, these instructions are for Windows computers. Open the Start menu and select Settings and then Accounts.
Choose the sub-category labeled Sign-in options. Find Windows Hello and the Fingerprint section. Inside this, click the Set Up option. You will need a PIN to do this.
You will then need to click Get started and enter your PIN to confirm your identity.
Scan your fingerprint across the reader multiple times at different angles to ensure the computer has a complete digital record of your fingerprint.
If you wish to add more, click Add Another. If you are done, simply close the program.
How do I use the fingerprint reader on my laptop?
You can use the fingerprint reader to speed up logins to various security protected websites.
It adds another layer of security to your data. This requires setting up the Password Manager software. Initially, this will take time, but in the long run, it will save you hours.
This is because passwords can be guessed or hacked, but your fingerprint is completely unique to you. This provides your laptop with what is known as two-factor authentication.
If your laptop has multiple user profiles, scanning your fingerprint is a quick and convenient way to move between them.
On Windows, you will need to press the Windows key and the L key at the same time while scanning your fingerprint.
What can impede the function of my fingerprint reader?
This is usually when either your finger or the sensor of the reader is dirty.
Give them both a quick wipe and try again. This will usually solve the issue, but if it does not we suggest taking your laptop to a computer technician for maintenance and repairs.