Best Laptops With Thunderbolt 3 in 2021

Laptops have come a long way since the last century. In the past, personal computers used to be huge, bigger than your bedroom even. But now, with the advancement in technology, digital equipment has become compact enough to be portable and easy to carry. Out of all the electronic devices at present, laptops are the ones taking over the digital world.

Laptops today come in different sizes, packed with a diverse range of hardware and software to deliver optimum performance. The latest addition to the laptops is the thunderbolt 3 port, which has similar features to a USB 3.1 port but better. Its beneficial connectivity features make it a great addition to sleek and compact laptops.

Best Thunderbolt 3 Laptops List

Today in this guide, we will be looking at the best laptops with the latest Thunderbolt 3 port. Along with that, we also have a buyer’s guide, and some frequently asked questions in place, which will help you, choose the most suitable personal laptop for your everyday work and personal needs.                                                                                    

1. Apple MacBook Air

Apple Thunderbolt 3 Laptop
BrandApple
Display Size13 Inches
Operating SystemMac OS
Processor10th-gen Intel Core i3 processor
RAM8 GB
Thunderbolt PortYes

When it comes to advanced features, Apple always falls right on top. The Apple MacBook Air is one of the most advanced and powerful devices in the market with the thunderbolt three port. The laptop comes with the 10th generation i3 processor, paired with 8 GB RAM and 256 GB storage space to deliver optimum performance.

Other than that, the laptop comes with state of the art gaming features. You get to enjoy a stunning 13.3-inch Retina display with true tone technology, backlit keyboard, touch ID, integrated Intel Iris Plus Graphics, and stereo speakers. Plus, with the thunderbolt 3, you can plug in external GPUs, 4k displays, and additional storage devices for enhanced performance.

2. Razer Blade Stealth 13

Razer Blade Stealth Laptop Review
BrandRazer
Display Size13.3 Inches
Operating SystemWindows 10 Home
ProcessorQuad-core 8th Gen Intel Core i7 -8565U processor
RAM16 GB
Thunderbolt PortYes

Razer Blade laptops are definitely one of the most powerful laptops when it comes to gaming and high-end displays. Out of all, the Razer Blade Stealth 13 is one of the best ones with the thunderbolt 3 port for enhanced connectivity. The laptop comes in an ultra-thin design and is highly portable for everyday use.

It is packed with the powerful 4-core Intel Core i7-8565U processor, paired with 16 GB RAM and 512 GB storage space. This means that you get to multitasking and run demanding applications, including your video games, with ease. Furthermore, with the NVIDIA GeForce MX150, you have ample chances of having the upper hand over your competitors.

3. Lenovo ThinkPad T470

Business Laptop Thunderbolt 3 port
BrandLenovo
Display Size14 Inches
Operating SystemWindows 10 Pro
ProcessorIntel Dual Core i5-6300U
RAM8GB
Thunderbolt PortYes

When it comes to versatile devices, Lenovo is the first brand that comes to mind. Over the years, Lenovo has come a long way and today tops the market with some of the most powerful laptops with the latest techs, including the thunderbolt 3. Out of all, the Lenovo ThinkPad T470 is the best choice for gamers and mainstream users.

The laptop comes with a highly responsive Intel Core i5-6300U processor with a turbo speed of 3.0 GHz, 4 cores, and 3MB Cache. It is further supported by 8 GB DDR4 RAM and Intel HD graphics to provide a smooth multitasking experience and enhanced graphics on the 14 0″ FHD IPS (1920×1080) LED backlight display. Furthermore, it comes with an integrated webcam, long battery life, wireless and Bluetooth technology, and 256 GB storage to cater to all your additional needs.

4. ASUS ZenBook 14

ASUS ZenBook 14 Laptop Review
BrandASUS
Display Size14 Inches
Operating SystemWindows 10 Home
Processor10th ge Intel Core i7-1065G7
RAM8GB
Thunderbolt PortYes

If you are looking for a highly sleek yet powerful device with the latest features, then the Asus ZenBook 14 is one of the best choices on the list. The laptop is like a power-house for the gamers as it offers everything from a fast processor to a reliable RAM and GPU to support all your online and offline gaming needs.

The laptop is packed with the 10th generation Intel Core i7-1065G7 processor with a turbo speed of 3.9 GHz and 8M cache to support all your demanding processing needs. Further to support your online gaming, it comes with Intel Iris Plus Graphics and 8GB RAM to deliver optimum performance. You also get to enjoy the 512GB SSD, multiple connectivity ports, including the Thunderbolt 3, and ergonomic, hinged backlit keyboard.

5. Acer Spin 5

360 Laptop Review
BrandAcer
Display Size13.5 Inches
Operating SystemWindows 10 Home
Processor10th Gen Intel Core i7-1065G7
RAM16 GB
Thunderbolt PortYes

Acer devices are always a part of our list due to their stunning designs, premium built, and amazing combination of hardware and software. Out of all, the Acer Spin 5 is one of the best laptops that come with the ultra-fast Thunderbolt 3 port, capable of delivering a transfer speed of 40 GB/s. 

The laptop is packed with the 10th generation Intel Core i7-1065G7 processor, paired with 16 GB LPDDR4X Memory, 512GB PCIe NVMe SSD storage, and Intel Iris Plus Graphics to deliver maximum performance. Furthermore, the laptop comes with multiple connectivity ports, a two-in-one convertible design, and long battery life to enhance your overall experience.

6. LG Gram 2-in-1 Laptop

Best 2 in 1 Laptop
BrandLG
Display Size14 Inches
Operating SystemWindows 10 Home
ProcessorIntel 10th Gen Core i7-10510U CPU
RAM16 GB
Thunderbolt PortYes

If you are looking to enjoy the best of both worlds, then the LG Gram 2-in-1 is one of the best choices for you on the list. The laptop comes with a stunning 14 inch HD touch display with a 360-degree hinge that allows you to convert it into a tablet or a laptop based on your needs.

Furthermore, the laptop is equipped with the amazing Intel Core 10th generation I7-10510U processor, 16 GB DDR4 RAM, 1 TB storage, and Intel HD Graphics 620 to deliver you a complete gaming system. You also get to enjoy the thunderbolt 3, making it possible for you to add additional displays, GPUs, and storage devices to your system for enhanced performance.

7. HP Spectre x360

HP 360 Laptop For Business
BrandHP
Display Size15.5 Inches
Operating SystemWindows 10
Processor10th Gen Intel Core i7-10510U
RAM16 GB
Thunderbolt PortYes

The HP Spectre x 360 is one of the most flexible and diverse devices with the thunderbolt 3 port. The laptop comes with a 2-in-1 design, which allows you to adjust the processing mode based on your personal preference. Furthermore, it is packed with high-end hardware, which makes it highly powerful to support everything that you throw it ways.

The laptop is packed with the 10th Gen Intel Core i7-10510U processor with a turbo speed of 4.9 GHz, 8 MB cache, and 4 Cores to deliver fast processing performance. To support the processor, the system comes with 16 GB DDR4 RAM and 2GB NVIDIA GeForce MX250 for maximum output, especially when it comes to complex graphical actions.

Other than that, you get to enjoy 512GB PCIe NVMe M.2 SSD and 32GB Intel Optane storage, multiple connectivity ports, a long-lasting battery, and a stunning touch-display with 4k resolution. What more could you ask for in a device?

8. Dell Vostro 15

High End Laptops For Professional
BrandDell
Display Size15.6 Inches
Operating SystemWindows 10
Processor9th Gen Intel Core i7 Processors i7-9750H
RAM16 GB
Thunderbolt PortYes

Dell is one of the leading laptop manufacturers in the market. Over the years, the brand has manufactured a wide range of laptops with different hardware and software combinations, making them perfect for everyone to use. Out of all, the Dell Vostro 15 is one of the best devices with the latest, and the fasted Thunderbolt 3 port.

Apart from the enhanced connectivity, the laptop comes with the powerful 9th generation Intel Core i7 processor with 6 cores, turbo speed of 4.5 GHz, 12 MB smart cache, and 12 tread – making it highly powerful and responsive for your online video games. Furthermore, the processor is backed up by 16 GB RAM, 4GB NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 graphics card, 256 GB SSD and 1 TB HDD, and multiple connectivity ports for enhanced performance.

9. Razer Blade 15

Razer Laptop Reviews
BrandRazer
Display Size15.6 Inches
Operating SystemWindows 10
Processor10th Gen Intel Core i7-10750H
RAM16 GB
Thunderbolt PortYes

Apart from the one mentioned above, the Razer Balde 15 is one of the best devices, with the thunderbolt 3 port added to its list of diverse features. The laptop is a great investment for everyone. Whether you are a gamer, have an office job, need a device for school work, or simply wish to enjoy high-end entertainment, the Razer Blade 15 should be your go-to choice.

The laptop comes with the 10th generation Intel Core i7-107050H processor, which comes with a turbo speed of 5.0 GHz and is paired with 16 GB RAM plus GTX 1660 Ti graphics card with the FHD of 144HZ for optimum gaming performance. Other than that, you also get to enjoy 256 GB built0in storage, but you can always enhance the features using the thunderbolt 3 port to connect external devices such as a 4k monitor, external GPUs, or an additional device. Cool, right?

10. Samsung Galaxy Book

Galaxy Book Laptop Review
BrandSamsung
Display Size15.6 Inches
Operating SystemWindows 10
Processor10th generation Intel Core i7
RAM8 GB
Thunderbolt PortYes

Where there is Apple, there is Samsung. Both the brands try to outdo the other, and we are definitely benefiting from it in terms of high-end devices. The Samsung Galaxy Book is one of the most powerful traditional laptops designed by Samsung. It delivers everything from a stunning display to a powerful processor, which makes it a great investment.

The laptop is equipped with the latest 10th generation Intel Core i7 processor, 8 GB RAM, 512 GB storage space, and Intel UHD Graphics. Other than the processing features, it comes with built-in Wi-Fi technology, QLED display, and a single Thunderbolt 3 for enhanced connectivity.


What is Thunderbolt 3?

Thunderbolt 3 is the fastest networking cable with an average speed of 10GbE. The cable can transfer both audio and video signals at the max speed of 40 GB/s – making it the fastest cable up to date. For connectivity purposes, laptops, external GPUs, and 4k display devices are now embedded with the thunderbolt 3 ports, which enhance their performance and allow you to turn your laptop into a high-speed gaming device.

The Thunderbolt 3 ports look similar to the USB 3.1 ports but come with backend hardware, which supports fast transferring speed to avoid lag, especially when it comes to external graphics amplifiers. So for fast networking, thunderbolt three should be your go-to choice.

USB Type C VS Thunderbolt 3

Buyers often tend to get confused between the Thunderbolt 3 and the USB 3.1 ports. This is mainly due to the fact that both look similar in terms of physical appearance. The only difference is that the thunderbolt 3 comes with a thunderbolt symbol beside it.

In terms of performance, thunderbolt 3 can provide you with all the features that USB TYPE C has to offer. But on the other hand, USB TYPE C can’t perform all functions of the thunderbolt 3. This makes Thunderbolt 3 better and much more advanced.

The major differences between the two are the size of the ports and the connectivity speed. Thunderbolt 3 is much more compact as compared to the USB Type C ports and has the ability to offer the transfer speed of 40 GB/s – which is something the USB type C can never do.


Buying guide for Thunderbolt 3 laptops

Buying a laptop seems like an intimidating task, especially for the individuals buying it for the very first time. Well, there is nothing to worry about because with a bit of research and understanding of your needs, you will be able to make the right decision. If not, then when buying a laptop with the thunderbolt 3 port, make sure to check whether the laptop possesses the following minimum or recommended features.

FeaturesMinimum System RequirementsRecommended System Requirements
CPUIntel Core i5Intel Core i7
RAM8GB16GB or better
Storage256GB SSD512GB SSD and/or 1TB HDD
Display14-inch HD LED (1366 x 768)15.6-inch FHD IPS (1920 x 1080)
GPUIntegrated Intel UHD 620NVIDIA GeForce GPU with 4GB+ VRAM
BatteryUp to 5 HoursUp to 8 hours
WeightLess than 10 lbs/poundsLess than 6 lbs/pounds

FAQs

How to connect the laptop to the monitor with thunderbolt 3?

To connect an external monitor to your laptop via the thunderbolt 3 port, you need to make sure that your laptop firstly comes with a thunderbolt 3 port. Other than that, you also need to ensure that the display that you wish to connect to your device is compatible with the thunderbolt 3. If yes, then all you need is the standard USB Type-C connector to connect both the audio and video output devices.

Do cheap Thunderbolt 3 laptops support e-GPUs?

Yes, the price of the laptop doesn’t affect the performance of the Thunderbolt 3. Therefore every laptop with Thunderbolt 3 ports supports external GPUs. But if you are looking for enhanced performance, then you should get a device that comes with 4 lanes of PCI Express.

Do I really need Thunderbolt 3?

Whether you need a Thunderbolt 3 or not depends on your personal preference. If you only need a laptop to reply to emails, research, or watch movies, the Thunderbolt 3 is not for you. But if you wish to enjoy new possibilities unlocked by the 40Gbps bandwidth, then a laptop with the Thunderbolt 3 should be your go-to choice. Enjoy connecting 4k display, external GPUs, faster storage devices, and so much more.

Can you charge a laptop with Thunderbolt 3?

Yes and no both. The answer to the question depends on the compatibility of your laptop. Laptops that come with the USB power delivery feature and get charged at 100W or below can be charged using the Thunderbolt 3. But if you have a more powerful device or one that isn’t compatible with the USB power delivery, then you are out of luck.

Can I get excellent graphics-centric performances by connecting an external GPU using Thunderbolt 3 port?

Yes, due to the diverse connectivity features of the Thunderbolt 3 port, you can connect an external GPU to your mediocre system and turn it into a complete gaming device. Plus, you don’t have to worry about the transfer speed, as the Thunderbolt 3 port offers a 40gbps transfer speed for optimum gaming performance.

How to identify a Thunderbolt 3 port on a laptop?

Well, if you want the easy way, then simply read through the instruction manual to find out whether your laptop has a Thunderbolt 3 port or not, and if yes, then where? But if you wish to physically validate it yourself, then look for a USB 3.1 2nd Gen port with the Thunderbolt logo beside it. Some devices might not have the logo, so you can also check online using your laptop model number to be sure.

Does a USB 3.1 Gen 2 qualify as a Thunderbolt 3 port?

Buyers often tend to get confused between the USB 3.1 Gen 2 port and the Thunderbolt 3 port. Yes, the USB 3.1 ports are great, but having them doesn’t make your laptop compatible with the Thunderbolt 3 port. There is a difference between the two. In the case of the Thunderbolt 3 port, additional hardware called the Alpine Ridge chip controller is also added to the system for fast and reliable transfer, whereas there is no such hardware with the USB 3.1 2nd generation.


Final Words

Buying a laptop with the thunderbolt 3 port might seem intimidating at first, but with the right information and guidance, you should be able to pick out the most suitable device for your needs. So instead of rushing into making a purchase, take your time and go through different laptops to make sure that you are getting the best of the best ones for yourself.

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Nick Miller

It's Nick Miller a 25 year old tech enthusiast and senior editor at Flexgate, i try to make tech simple for the everyday person. You will find review about tech, tools and Computer hardware here.

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