A good laptop is a must for everyone who writes, surfs, plays games, or works at home, business, or office. If you want to buy one, you must take it with a mixture of calm and responsibility, since there are many on the market and, obviously, it is never good to arrive and buy the first thing that a seller offers you.
A good way to narrow down your options by first looking at laptops from the most established and respected brands. Specifically, we are talking about eight manufacturers with a well-earned prestige.
Dell’s work, particularly in the field of ultrabooks, has been spectacular. The company has managed to create ultra-portable laptops that perform great, are fast, and have powerful specs.
If you need a computer for work or school and want it to last as long as possible, Dell computers are a great option. Dell is arguably one of the best business laptops with the Latitude 7400 2-in-1 offering a solid design and multi-day battery life.
A sample of this is seen in its latest XPS models, which do everything at a high level, since they have the latest screen resolutions, connections and software. The XPS 13 2021 model is no exception, as it remains at the top as the best compact laptop.
It incorporates a webcam in the top bezel, like a more traditional laptop, configured with a six-core 11th-gen Intel Tiger Lake processor. For those who like bigger screens, the 17-inch XPS 17 was one of our favorite models from last year.
Dell does not rest on its laurels. The latest release of the Tiger Lake processor has seen new gains for processor performance and power for entry-level gaming. The existing XPS 13 and XPS 15 are some of our all-time favourites.
Additionally, if you want to upgrade to the latest 11th generation Intel processors, Dell models like the Inspiron 14 5000 are some of the most affordable options.
Dell’s line of laptops looks great, offers decent internal hardware, and packs a ton of style. They are made with premium materials, have a long-lasting battery, and are lightweight and portable.
Some of Dell’s budget or business-oriented laptops are still mediocre, but in the XPS line, it takes all the awards in the industry.
If there’s one thing almost everyone agrees on, it’s that Apple laptops are very reliable and predictable in the best sense: when you buy a MacBook, you know what to expect.
You’ll get a fantastic screen, a powerful battery, and a beautiful chassis with slim bezels. They tend to be a bit more expensive than Windows-based ones, and sometimes the hardware isn’t up to scratch, but when it comes to style, ease of use, and reliability, Apple laptops are top-notch.
Apple also updated the MacBook lineup with faster processors in the Pro family, along with an additional Touch Bar (which is on the way out, as they’re removing it from all models) for all MacBook Pros, all without uploading prices.
From fixing recognized issues with its keyboard layout to switching its laptops to its own ARM M1 chip for the MacBook Air and MacBook Pro (with more on the way), it’s a great time to be an Apple fan. .
Although HP didn’t have the best reputation for laptops in the past, the latest laptops from this brand have taken on some design qualities that catch our eye.
Today’s notebooks are powerful, fast, and easier for consumers to adopt for their personal projects. They are also attractive; You only have to see the Specter line with its diamond cut or the modern and elegant look of the most recent Envy 15.
Also, this brand has earned a reputation for reliable laptops with very competent customer services. Today, HP often goes head-to-head with some of the best notebook manufacturers in the world.
There are even AMOLED versions of the Specter x360 15 and Specter x360 13 that offer incredible brightness that will please creative people and Netflix binge watchers alike.
Those who are more interested in performance will be happy to know that the latest range of HP laptops have also upgraded their machines to the latest 11th generation Tiger Lake chip.
Options like the Specter x360 14 2-in-1 are still perfect for a portable business laptop. If you need a slim laptop, HP has launched its new Elite Dragonfly line.
On the other hand, customer support options put HP in the top five manufacturers. With comprehensive warranty options of up to three years, you can also get great protection for your new laptop.
HP laptops may not always steal the show, but we must not deny that their line of hardware has been surpassed every day and has managed to become one of the best options on the market.
A decade ago no one would have thought that Microsoft would be one of the best laptop brands in the world, but today it has a well-earned place on this list.
After making several models of Surface tablets, with some reliability issues, Microsoft now claims 99 percent reliability on its new Surface devices, which have also become market leaders.
The Surface Book 3 has the best battery life we’ve seen in a laptop, and the Surface Pro 7 is our favorite 2-in-1 right now. Microsoft also recently updated its software lineup ahead of the release of Windows 11.
New to this launch is the Surface Laptop Studio, which replaces the Surface Book for creative professionals, and the Surface Pro 8 is an incremental upgrade that adds refinement and polish, but at a cost.
As if that weren’t enough, some mid-range devices from Microsoft, like the Surface Laptop 3 (now in a 15-inch model) and a budget tablet like the Surface Go 2 and Surface Go 3, make the manufacturer one of the best brands around. of laptops.
Should new owners experience issues, Microsoft offers a standard one-year warranty on Surface products with 90 days of free technical support.
If you’re more interested in a 2-in-1 tablet for professional purposes, Microsoft has also updated the 2020 Surface Pro X, an alternative to the iPad Pro with more connection options and Windows 10 with an AMD chip.
Not all Surface devices are fantastic, and their prices tend to escalate very quickly when you go for higher specs, but they’re still among the most task-oriented you can find on the market.
Asus laptops don’t usually make it to the top of our lists, but they usually deserve a medal due to their fantastic overall capabilities.
The current crop of its laptops includes thin and light Zenbooks, affordable Chromebooks, as well as powerful gaming machines like 2020’s incredible ROG Zephyrus S G14.
Furthermore, Asus is leading the movement towards small bezels that pack a laptop into an ever smaller chassis. The ASUS Zenbook 13 has one of the most attractive and distinctive designs we’ve seen, a great 1080p display, and long-lasting battery life.
The latest iteration of this laptop features a beautiful OLED display and battery life to keep up with your busy day. Or, if you’re looking for an XPS alternative, we found that the Asus ZenBook S is designed to maximize the screen-to-body ratio.
There are other stellar options in the Asus family, including the Asus Zenbook 15 UX534FN and the Zenbook 14 UX425. Both feature slim bezels, powerful performance, and a small, lightweight build.
Asus has also been bold in experimenting with new designs, and is one of the first companies to put its own spin on dual-screen laptops, but in a more traditional way than what we know today.
Asus can be considered as the David against the Goliath, which would be Dell, HP and Apple. It produces great laptops at attractive prices, and even offers a year of protection for free.
Razer is known for its flashy gaming accessories, but the brand also offers a powerful line of gaming laptops designed to handle the most demanding titles or support a more versatile virtual reality (VR) experience that doesn’t keep you tied to a desk.
What are we talking about specifically? The 2020 Razer Blade 15 offered a 300Hz refresh rate and regularly appears on our best gaming PC lists, offering the power, RAM, display, and cooling gamers need. And now that it will receive support for AMD Ryzen 5000 chips, the future looks brighter.
But Razer doesn’t just impress with gaming laptops. A powerful machine without the gaming design, the Razer Book 13 led us to ask if it was “almost the perfect laptop.”
Lenovo is a brand we’ve long associated with reliability, as its nearly permanent IdeaPad and ThinkPad lines of computers have appeared in offices and classrooms year after year.
They may not always look like the good computers they are, but they are durable and more than ready to get the job done. It’s something the company has become increasingly adept at.
In recent years, Lenovo has made an effort to make laptops and 2-in-1s even easier to take with you everywhere without compromising on specs, and the results have been particularly impressive.
The ThinkPad X1 Carbon remains one of the best business laptops available, and the eighth-gen upgrades and USB-C additions have been very well received.
We also thought the IdeaPad Slim 7 was one of the best AMD Ryzen laptops available in 2020, while the latest ThinkPad X1 Nano is one of the best options for a sub-2-pound ultrabook laptop. Meanwhile, the ThinkPad X12 with its detachable screen is a worthy alternative to the Surface Pro and Surface Book.
You’ll find Acer laptops and accessories appear frequently in our affordable or budget computing recommendations.
While the brand has a respectable reputation for producing competent budget models like the Acer Aspire 5, it also has other specializations that help it excel in the right situations.
Take the 2020 Acer Swift 5, for example, which we consider to be one of the best showcases of Intel’s 11th-gen Tiger Lake processors outside of Dell models, an ideal choice for a slim laptop that packs a punch. Or the 2020 Acer Spin 3, a 2-in-1 model with a beautiful 16:10 QHD+ display to handle serious work.
Then there are the more ambitious laptops that manage to be the perfect solution for specific needs, like the Acer ConceptD 7 Ezel with a unique design (allowing for six different positions) specifically intended for creative professionals and performance that wowed us.
There’s a reason the ConceptD 7 Ezel won our Editor’s Choice Award upon review, and all artists should check out Acer when upgrading to a new laptop.
Start your search for gaming laptops and it won’t be long before you’ll notice some of MSI’s creations. This brand has a reputation for producing extra solid gaming laptops without the RGB flair and add-ons.
They’re no-nonsense laptops that let you game fast and can do a good day’s work when needed. Recent years have also seen a more streamlined approach from MSI that has produced good results and improved the brand’s products.
The MSI Prestige 14 Evo, for example, is a good option if you’re looking for a more affordable 14-inch laptop that can handle gaming. The MSI GS66 Stealth is a reasonable option, if Razer’s Blade laptops seem a bit too expensive for you.
We also found the 2021 version of the Stealth to be one of the best options for gaming at 1440p resolution at 240Hz. That’s quite the achievement for a 15-inch laptop.
Frequently asked questions and buying guide for laptops
When should I buy or upgrade to a laptop?
If you’re in the world of Windows, now is a great time to buy a new laptop. Microsoft recently launched its Windows 11 operating system, so we will start to see many machines with this OS. If you have a recent model with Windows 10, you may be able to upgrade to Windows 11 without having to buy a new laptop.
However, if you want the best design for gaming, creative work, or general productivity tasks, you should consider Intel’s upcoming 12th-generation Alder Lake chips, due out later this year. For Apple fans, MacOS arrives in the fall, so expect the Mac maker to roll out updates to its MacBook Pro line with even more power, rumored to debut as the Apple M1x processor.
Do I need a laptop with a specific graphics card?
Due to the power of the integrated graphics, only gamers or those who work on 3D designs need a specific card. If you like high-tech gaming or often work with Adobe software, you’ll probably choose a notebook with discrete graphics. The latest Radeon RX 6000 series and Nvidia’s GeForce RTX 3000 series are excellent choices.
There are some downsides to having a good GPU in a notebook; these laptops are generally thicker, heavier, and more expensive than models without them. If you are a casual gamer , it will be enough to have an integrated Intel Xe graphics card or a Radeon.
How much memory and storage do I need?
This depends on how you use your laptop. Most users will be fine with 16GB of RAM and 256GB of storage, but if you do video editing or need to store a lot of large files you might need more of both. Having more storage and memory will drive up the cost of your laptop, so you’ll have to balance your needs with your budget.
And with cloud-based solutions, like a Windows 365 Cloud PC subscription from Microsoft, you might not have to upgrade your physical hardware, since your laptop can send data to a computer hosted in the cloud.
Can I do general office work with a gaming laptop?
Clear. Gaming laptops and PCs are among the most powerful systems on the market, and you don’t need a dedicated system for gaming and another for work. Instead you get the most powerful system your budget can buy, and you can use it for a variety of jobs including gaming, web and cloud applications, programming, creative editing, and general office tasks.
Some systems, like Razer laptops, are usually made with designs that won’t look out of place if you take them into a boardroom. Many dedicated gaming laptops come with more aggressive designs that may look unprofessional for use at work, but still pack plenty of power for editing videos, applying creative touches to photos, and working on spreadsheets and Word documents. .
If I need a laptop to travel, what should I look for?
There are many factors that make a great laptop. If you’re looking for a mobile solution, consider one with a 12- to 14-inch panel. This will give you a compact enough system with a large screen for multitasking. If you’re concerned about the screen, an OLED will offer better contrast and controls, but these tend to be more expensive.
Another factor to consider in a laptop is the keyboard. Most of your interaction will be via the keyboard and trackpad , so you’ll be looking for a model that offers a great travel experience with ergonomic and comfortable typing. Keep in mind that shallow keys will bounce quickly, so it will be more tiring to use a keyboard with these features.
How often should I update my laptop?
This varies from person to person. If you don’t do high-performance tasks, your laptop should last for years as long as you take care of it. Many PC models allow you to upgrade either storage, memory, or both, allowing your system to grow with you as your needs change.