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I'm on the market for a UEFI-capable laptop for development purposes - looking to play around with UEFI boot and the UEFI shell in general.

I'm having a hard time being able to identify machines with UEFI support as it seems no company lists it in the specs, and the go-to online stores don't let you filter or search by "UEFI" (Amazon, NewEgg).

In fact, I haven't found any more reliable method than simply searching Google for "UEFI laptop" then trying to pin down models more recent than others and within a certain price range. Any idea why they're making it so hard?!

Anyway, does anyone know either an online marketplace where I can search for UEFI-capable laptops or else can provide a link to a manufacturer webpage that has a list of their UEFI-capable product lines (at least for the popular manufacturers?) as I can't even find this! I hope I won't be reduced to going to Best Buy and asking to restart machines to check out their BIOS options...

From what I've seen and read, it seems that Phoenix SecureCore Tiano, AMI Aptio, and Insyde H2O are the various "brands" for UEFI firmware and that AMI Aptio is the most developer friendly (the only one to provide access to the UEFI shell?) - anyone have any info/advice on which of these platforms is good for developers?

Are there any tell-tale signs when looking at laptop specs that will tell me if it's UEFI? I know some companies will use the "Insyde H2O" branding, but perhaps certain chipsets are UEFI-only so seeing them is as good as gold?

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    Regarding the UEFI shell; as far as I know, it's nothing more than a downloadable .efi executable which you can boot in any UEFI device. That said, I think all recent ASUS laptops run UEFI now, not sure about the others. – user1686 Mar 4 '12 at 23:24
  • I seem to think nearly all modern laptops (and desktops, other than the ones made by biostar) are UEFI. Quite a few still use keyboard/text interfaces similar to bios tho. – Journeyman Geek Mar 5 '12 at 0:28
  • Here's a new ASUS, for example: asus.com/Notebooks/Business/B53E/#specifications What do I look for that tells me its UEFI? The chipset? – Mahmoud Al-Qudsi Mar 5 '12 at 0:42
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    Not sure about „Insyde H20”. My grandparents have a crap Acer laptop that uses this bios and it’s not UEFI capable. – kinokijuf Aug 23 '12 at 10:33
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I have not found any way to determine whether or not a motherboard is UEFI based unless it explicitly states it in the specs. UEFI or BIOS is independent of chipset which is about as low-level a spec that can be found for any given laptop model.

Offtopic, but TianoCore is an open source UEFI emulator maintained by Intel that can be used on BIOS machines for testing purposes.

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The following was taken from https://dellwindowsreinstallationguide.com/uefi/

There are two BIOS versions the BIOS version and the SMBIOS version.

SMBIOS Version

The SMBIOS version is model/manufacturer independent and gives an indication of the overall age of the hardware. The SMBIOS version revision will never be updated with a BIOS update. Take a note of the System management BIOS (SMBIOS) revision:

If it is 3.0 or 3.1 the user interface may have been upgraded for touch input see SMBIOS 3.0 Touch UEFI BIOS.
If it is 2.7-3.1 you should have a UEFI BIOS with Secure Boot.
If it is 2.6 you might have an Early UEFI System (UEFI without Secure Boot) or only a Legacy BIOS. You will need to check your BIOS Setup.
If it is 2.5 you will have a Legacy BIOS.
If it is 2.4 you will have a Legacy BIOS and the processor should be checked for 64 Bit compatibility.
If it has an SMBIOS of 2.3 or less its below minimum system requirements for Windows 10.

This has helped me more than once. You can view the SMBIOS version in BIOS Settings. I tried to get it with WMIC but failed. WMIC returned the BIOS version not the SMBIOS version, so beware. In fact, I am still looking for a way to programmatically determine SMBIOS version before Windows is installed, preferably from winPE, but I'd accept any method as a starting point.

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If your Computer has Windows 10 or Windows 8, and if the Disk is GPT Style, it usually is UEFI.

If it is using MBR for boot and has an active partition, it usually is BIOS

Computers 2013 or later usually have UEFI.

PC's from 2010 or older are usually BIOS.

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