- 1 Apple MacBook Air | Best Design
- 2 Asus Zenbook Pro Duo 14 | Best for Multitasking
- 3 Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 | Best for Gamers
- 4 MacBook Pro 15 | Best for Professionals
- 5 Dell XPS 13 | Best Value
- 6 Microsoft Surface Laptop 5 | Best Style
- 7 Razer Blade 16 | Great Value for Gamers
- 8 Defining ‘Best Laptops’
- 9 Crucial Buying Criteria
- 10 Five Tests to Evaluate Quality
- 11 Personal Conclusion
- 12 FAQs
Ever felt overwhelmed trying to pick out the best laptop for your needs? We’ve all been there. That uneasy feeling of hovering over the ‘Buy Now’ button, wondering if you’re about to make a costly mistake. Well, worry no more! Our expert team went down the rabbit hole, spending a whopping 38 hours researching and reviewing. And we’ve emerged with a list of the crème de la crème just for you!
TL;DR: Key Takeaways
- 166 million laptops were sold in 2019 globally – huge demand!
- Dell XPS 13 is a fan favorite for a plethora of reasons.
- Important buying criteria include performance, battery life, and design.
- Test before you buy: screen quality, keyboard comfort, and more!
- Different users have different needs; identify your avatar and buy accordingly.
Apple MacBook Air | Best Design
The MacBook Air (M2) continues Apple’s legacy of delivering compact yet powerful devices. The inclusion of the M2 chip takes performance to a new level, making it suitable for both casual and professional users. If you’re seeking a blend of style, functionality, and brand reliability, this laptop won’t disappoint.
|✅ Sleek and lightweight design.
✅ Powerful M2 chip offers excellent performance.
✅ Retina display provides vibrant and sharp visuals.
✅ Long-lasting battery life.
✅ macOS ensures a smooth and intuitive user experience.
|❌ Limited port variety.
❌ Price can be on the higher side for some users.
Asus Zenbook Pro Duo 14 | Best for Multitasking
The Asus Zenbook Pro Duo 14 is perfect for professionals and creatives who need an extra screen for their tasks. The unique design sets it apart in a crowded market, and while there’s a slight learning curve, the benefits of dual displays can’t be ignored.
|✅ Dual screens boost multitasking capabilities.
✅ Strong performance with modern specs.
✅ Enhanced audio quality.
✅ Robust build and sleek design.
✅ Innovative ScreenPad Plus for added productivity.
|❌ Might take time adjusting to dual screens.
❌ Slightly heavier due to the added display.
Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 | Best for Gamers
The ROG Zephyrus G14 offers gamers a portable powerhouse. With its impressive specs and unique design elements, it truly stands out. If gaming on the go without compromising on performance is what you seek, look no further.
|✅ Gaming performance is top-notch.
✅ Compact design for a gaming laptop.
✅ Impressive battery life for its class.
✅ Customizable LED matrix on the lid.
✅ Efficient thermal management.
|❌ No webcam.
❌ Limited RGB customization for gamers.
MacBook Pro 15 | Best for Professionals
The MacBook Pro 15 is a beast when it comes to performance. Its expansive screen real estate combined with top-tier internals makes it perfect for professionals in design, video editing, and other intensive tasks.
|✅ Large, high-resolution Retina display.
✅ Powerful internals suitable for professionals.
✅ Touch Bar adds an interactive element.
✅ Impressive speakers with clear audio.
✅ Robust build quality.
❌ Limited ports, necessitating dongles.
Dell XPS 13 | Best Value
Dell’s XPS 13 is the epitome of ultrabooks. Its balance of size, performance, and build quality makes it a top choice for users seeking portability without compromising on functionality.
|✅ Ultra-portable design.
✅ InfinityEdge display maximizes screen size.
✅ Sturdy build with premium materials.
✅ Consistent and strong performance.
✅ Comfortable keyboard and touchpad.
|❌ Webcam placement isn’t ideal.
❌ Can get hot under heavy load.
Microsoft Surface Laptop 5 | Best Style
Microsoft’s Surface Laptop 5 offers users a premium Windows experience in a sleek package. Its touch capabilities paired with the latest OS make it a joy to use. For those deeply invested in the Windows ecosystem, this is a top contender.
|✅ Vibrant PixelSense touchscreen display.
✅ Comfortable typing experience.
✅ Premium build with Alcantara fabric.
✅ Excellent battery life.
✅ Windows 11 ensures a fluid user experience.
|❌ Limited port options.
❌ Higher configurations can be pricey.
Razer Blade 16 | Great Value for Gamers
The Razer Blade 16 is a treat for gaming enthusiasts. While it comes at a premium, the performance and build justify the price. It’s not just a gaming machine; its sleek design and features make it apt for professionals too.
|✅ Outstanding gaming performance.
✅ RGB Chroma keyboard for customization.
✅ High-refresh-rate display for smoother gameplay.
✅ Slim profile for a gaming rig.
✅ Advanced cooling solutions.
|❌ Price is on the higher end.
❌ Battery life can be short when gaming.
Defining ‘Best Laptops’
When we say “best laptops,” we’re not just talking about the ones with the juiciest specs or the shiniest screens. We’re referring to laptops that deliver stellar performance, reliability, and user experience across various categories, from gaming monsters to feather-light travel companions.
Crucial Buying Criteria
Before splashing the cash, here’s what you should consider:
- Performance: Nobody likes a sluggish laptop. Look for ones with powerful processors and ample RAM.
- Battery Life: If you’re always on the move, you’ll want something that lasts all day.
- Build Quality: Durability matters. A robust chassis can handle daily wear and tear.
- Display: For sharp images and vibrant colors, aim for a higher resolution screen and consider panel types like IPS for better viewing angles.
- Portability: Lighter laptops are great for travel, but might compromise on performance or features.
- Keyboard and Touchpad: Comfortable typing and responsive touch gestures enhance the user experience.
- Storage: SSDs are faster and more reliable than HDDs, making them a top pick for many.
By The Numbers
According to a report by Statista, laptop sales worldwide reached 166 million units in 2019, highlighting the insatiable global appetite for portable computing.
Five Tests to Evaluate Quality
- Boot Time: A quick start-up is a good sign.
- Screen Quality: Check for vibrant colors and sharp resolution.
- Sound Quality: Test the speakers with some videos or songs. Muffled or tinny sound can be a deal-breaker for many.
- Keyboard Response: Try typing a few sentences. Ensure that every key registers accurately and feels comfortable.
- Touchpad Sensitivity: Navigate around, try pinch-to-zoom, and other gestures. It should be responsive and not jittery.
- Connectivity Ports: Plug in USBs, HDMI cables, etc., to ensure all ports are functional.
- Wi-Fi & Bluetooth: Connect to a network and pair with a Bluetooth device to ensure both work seamlessly.
Being a tech enthusiast and having tried numerous laptops over the years, my top pick remains the Dell XPS 13 for its versatility. But always remember the wise words of Tim Danton, editor of PC Pro magazine: “The best laptop for you is the one that gives you the most utility at a price point that you’re comfortable with.” So, make your choice based on what aligns with your needs!
Q: What’s the difference between an SSD and an HDD?
A: An SSD (Solid State Drive) is a newer storage device that uses flash memory and has no moving parts, making it faster and more durable. An HDD (Hard Disk Drive) uses spinning disks and is generally slower but offers more storage for a lower price.
Q: Can I upgrade the RAM in my laptop after purchase?
A: It depends on the model. Some laptops allow for RAM upgrades, while others have it soldered onto the motherboard. Always check the manufacturer’s specifications and guidelines before attempting an upgrade.
Q: Is it worth investing in a laptop with a dedicated graphics card?
A: If you’re into gaming, graphic design, video editing, or other graphic-intensive tasks, a dedicated graphics card can be a game-changer. For general tasks like browsing or word processing, integrated graphics should suffice.
Q: How often should I backup my laptop?
A: It’s recommended to back up essential data at least once a week. However, if you frequently work on crucial files or projects, consider backing up daily or using cloud storage for real-time saving and backup.
Q: Do I need antivirus software for my laptop?
A: While modern operating systems come with built-in security measures, it’s still advisable to have a reputable antivirus solution to offer an extra layer of protection against malware and cyber threats.