What Kind of Laptop do you want to see?
Top Laptop Overall
Dell XPS 13 (8th Gen, Kaby Lake R CPU)
The razer-thin, Two.7-pound XPS 13 has been our dearest consumer laptop for a duo of years now, thanks to its gorgeous carbon fiber / aluminum design, bold InfinityEdge screen, light weight and epic battery life. For $1,299, the latest version of the laptop features Intel’s 8th Generation Core “Kaby Lake Refresh” processor, which doubles the number of CPU cores from two to four to dramatically improve spectacle and battery life. ,
With the fresh processor on board, the XPS 13 lasted over 16 hours on our battery test and was as much as 60 percent quicker than the prior model on requesting tasks such as movie transcoding. Configurations with the 7th Gen processor embark at a more-affordable $799 and suggest the same bright, bezel-free display, speedy PCIe SSD and beautiful chassis, along with a still-great 14 hours of stamina.
Best Sub-$500 Laptop
Acer Aspire E 15 (E5-575-33BM)
For under $350, this 15-inch laptop comes with a vibrant 1080p display, a solid Core i3 CPU, a 1TB hard drive and strong build quality. The Aspire E 15 (E5-575-33BM) also comes with a DVD writer and a ton of ports, including a USB Type-C connector, three standard USB ports, VGA out, Ethernet and an SD card reader.
Lenovo Yoga 920
With a quad-core, Intel 8th Gen Core i7 CPU and over 12 hours of battery life, the Yoga 920 offers awesome speed and stamina. However, we’re even more enamored with this convertible’s stunning bronze-colored chassis and vibrant 13.9-inch display. The included active stylus makes drawing or taking notes a breeze while a broad selection of ports ensures that you can connect to both Thunderbolt Trio and standard USB devices.
Best Sub-$200 Laptop
Samsung Chromebook Three
Samsung’s 11.6-inch Chromebook offers solid build quality, a fairly bright display and almost Ten hours of battery life. With 4GB of RAM, an amount of memory you usually find on more expensive laptops, the Chromebook Three is a strong multitasker too.
Microsoft Surface Book Two (13-inch)
If you can afford to spend close to $Two,000 on your next laptop, the Surface Book Two (13-inch) should be at the top of your shopping list. When it comes to versatility, the Surface Book family is in a class by itself. Where most detachables have flimsy keyboards and scaled-back spectacle, the Surface Book Two and its 15-inch sibling has weighty keyboards that permit them to balance decently on your lap and a excellent typing practice.
Better still, if you get at least the $1,999 model (it starts at $1,499), the Surface Book Two comes configured with a powerful Intel 8th Gen Core Series CPU and speedy Nvidia GTX 1050 graphics (something we’ve never seen in a detachable this size). It also sports brilliant, high-res display, a superb stylus and over 13 hours of battery life.
Best Gaming Laptop
Alienware 17 R4 (2017)
An absolute gaming brute, the Alienware 17 R4 shreds both standard 2D games and VR titles, thanks to its optional Nvidia GTX 1080 graphics chip and overclockable Intel 7th Generation Core i7 CPU. With an intergalatic design, comfy keyboard and available G-Sync screen, this is the mobile gaming equipment to hammer. Just make sure you configure the Alienware 17 with a 2K or 4K display option and a PCIe SSD.
Microsoft Surface Pro
If you are looking for the best detachable money can buy, your search finishes here. Microsoft’s fresh Surface Pro offers longer battery life, better spectacle and more plasticity than any other detachable on the market. Oh, and it’s Type Cover is still arms down our beloved removable keyboard around. While it’s a shame that the Surface Pen no longer comes in the box, its capabilities have been improved with Four times the pressure sensitivity. And in case you need a little color in your life, both the Surface Pen and Type Cover are now available in four colors: gray, burgundy, cobalt and black.
Best Business Laptop
Lenovo ThinkPad T470
The best balance inbetween price, portability, spectacle and usability, Lenovo’s 14-inch ThinkPad T470 combines a durable chassis, best-in-class keyboard and over 17 hours of battery life. Beginning at under Three.Five pounds, this versatile productivity powerhouse has every port you could possibly want, including a Thunderbolt Trio connection for charging and outputting to numerous monitors over a single wire.
Asus ZenBook UX330UA (8th Gen Core)
For under $750, you get a super-light, Two.7-pound Ultrabook with a acute 1080p display, speedy 8th Gen Core i5 processor and generous 256GB SSD. Best of all, the ZenBook UX330UA lasts 9 hours on a charge.
Best 15-inch Laptop
Dell XPS 15
The Dell XPS 15 is a powerhouse of a laptop with an optional Two.8-GHz Intel Core i7 CPU, up to 32GB of RAM and an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 GPU. The 4K display option is bright and vivid – one of the best we’ve seen brief of OLED — and the entry-level gaming you can do with this machine looks superb on the panel. The battery will last you all day, and if you need something cheaper than our $Two,075 config, other models commence at $999.
Best Movie/Photo Editing Laptop
Microsoft Surface Book Two (15-inch)
As powerful as a MacBook Pro (15-inch) and with even longer battery life, the Surface Book Two (15-inch) is the very first and only detachable 2-in-1 with Nvidia’s speedy GTX 1060 card inwards. Creative professionals can edit 4K movies on the Surface Book’s gorgeous PixelSense display and then pop the top off to use the device as a drawing tablet. No other laptop can match this combination of spectacle and versatility.
Best Apple Laptop
MacBook Pro 13-inch (Without Touch Bar)
The best combination of spectacle, price and portability in Apple’s lineup, the MacBook Pro 13-inch weighs just Three pounds, is thinner than the Air and lasts over 12 hours on a charge. Tho’ it doesn’t have the innovative Touch Bar you get with its more expensive siblings, this $1,499 laptop has solid 6th-gen Core i5 spectacle, a speedy PCIe SSD and a vibrant Retina display.
Asus Chromebook Roll C302CA
If you want the most versatile Chrome OS device on the market, look no further than the Chromebook Roll C302CA. This powerful 2-in-1 features an aluminum design, superb multitasking spectacle, almost 9 hours of battery life and a touch screen to help it support Android apps in the future.
Best Laptop for Kids
Asus Chromebook Roll C213SA
This convertible Chromebook is practically indestructible, surviving Three.9-foot drops onto concrete with just a few scrapes. When it isn’t accidentally slipping out of your child’s palms, the Chromebook Spin C213SA offers a fantastic keyboard, over 11 hours of battery life and the capability to run Android apps on its 11.6-inch touch screen.
Best Rugged Laptop
Dell Latitude 7212 Rugged Extreme Tablet
Like the Surface Pro, Dell’s Latitude 7212 is a tablet in name, but a full-fledged Windows laptop when you link its optional keyboard cover. Unlike most laptops and tablets in the world, the Latitude can get through 4-foot drops without getting a scrape, bear dust storms, fight back some water and live through extreme temperatures. Its super-bright screen also makes it excellent for outdoor viewing.
When shopping for a laptop, there’s a lot to consider. To help you choose a system, we’ve put our up-to-date list of beloved notebooks above, along with five points to keep in mind when choosing a system.
Budget: Over $700 for High-Quality
How much can you spend? Better-quality mainstream laptops usually cost more than $700 and premium Ultrabooks can run over $1,000. However, you can find serviceable Windows laptops and high-quality Chromebooks for under $500.
Screen Size: 12 to 14 inches for Portability
Knowing a laptop’s screen size tells you a lot about its portability overall. If you want to use your computer on your lap or carry it around a lot, go for one with a 12, 13 or 14-inch display. If you want to use the computer on tables and desks and won’t carry it around much, a 15-inch model may give you more value. Some gaming equipments, media machines and workstations even have 17 or 18-inch screens, but those are indeed hard to carry.
2-in-1 or Clamshell?
More and more of today’s laptops are 2-in-1s with screens that either arch back 360 degrees or detach so you can use them as tablets. If you like the idea of using your laptop in slate mode for drawing, media consumption or just using it standing up, a 2-in-1 could be for you. However, you can often get better features or a lower price by going with a traditional clamshell-style laptop.
Battery Life: 8+ Hours for Portability
Unless you only plan to use your laptop on your desk, battery life matters. Even within the home or office, having slew of juice enables you to work on the couch or at the conference table, without being chained to the nearest outlet. For the best portability, we recommend getting a laptop that lasted over 8 hours on the Laptop Mag Battery Test. The longest-lasting laptops bear for over Ten hours.
Specs: 1080p / Core i5 / 8GB Are Best Bets
You can spend a lot of time delving into specs, but here are the key components to think about. If you just want indeed good mainstream spectacle, go for a Core i5 CPU, 8GB of RAM, a 256GB SSD and a 1080p screen.
- Screen Resolution: If at all possible, get a display with a 1920 x 1080 (aka 1080p or total HD) or higher resolution.
- CPU: An Intel Core i5 provides good mainstream spectacle. Some budget systems will come with Core i3, Celeron or Pentium CPUs which are good enough for basic tasks, but not strong mutltiasking. Get a Core i7 or a quad core processor (serial number finishes in HQ or HK) for gaming or high-end productivity tasks such as movie editing and 3D modeling.
- RAM: 8GB is ideal for most users. 4GB is acceptable for budget systems. Secondary laptops and Chromebooks may have less.
- Storage: Unless you’re a gamer or a power user, 256GB of internal storage is very likely enough. If at all possible, get an SSD (Solid State Drive) rather than a hard drive, because it’s going to make your entire computer a lot quicker.
- Graphics Chip: Gamers and creative professionals need to do some research and figure out which discrete GPU is good enough to run their dearest software. Everyone else will be glad with the built-in Intel HD Graphics that come on the CPU.
If you want to learn more about buying a laptop, check out our total Laptop Buying Guide. Gamers should read our Gaming Laptop Buying Guide and list of Best Gaming Laptops.