Best laptop

Welcome to our pick of the best laptops. In this guide you’ll find the best laptop for your needs – no matter what type of laptop you’re looking for.

So, we have premium laptops, budget laptops, gaming laptops and Chromebooks as well. Basically, if you’re after a brilliant laptop, we have you covered.

At the moment, our pick for the best laptop in the world is the Dell XPS 13. The Dell XPS 13 has been at the top (or very close) of our best laptops list for years now, with each new model improving on the last. 

This year’s version is no different, bringing improvements to the design and performance to the 13-inch Ultrabook, and that’s why it’s once again our pick for the best laptop in 2019.

However, the Dell XPS 13 won’t be for everyone. Perhaps you’re looking for a budget laptop that can help you fire off a few emails and browse the web. Maybe you want a gaming laptop that can run the best PC games with ease. Or you simply want an affordable laptop for school. Whatever you need, read on – as we have the best laptop for you.

Battery life considerations

Finally there’s battery life. This is likely to be one of the most important considerations you have when choosing what laptop to buy. The best laptops need to be able to let you work – and play – for hours on end without you having to scramble for a power adapter. Modern laptops are getting ever more power-efficient, which has led to longer battery lives. For a laptop to be included in our best laptops list, it needs to offer a battery life of five hours or more.

Bear in mind that the battery life that the laptop makers claim their device has could be quite different to what you actually experience. This is because many laptop makers test their batteries in very controlled environments, with the laptop used in ways that you might not necessarily use. So, while a laptop might have a claimed battery life of 10 hours, you may find that when using it for certain tasks – like streaming high definition content – your battery life could run out faster.

That’s where our in-depth reviews come in, as we run a series of tests on each laptop in this best laptops guide to see how long the battery life lasts under certain conditions. If a laptop’s battery is ridiculously short (or impressively long) we’ll tell you.

The Dell XPS 13 has been a regular of our best laptops list for years, and the 2019 model is no exception. It retains everything we've come to love from Dell's flagship 13-incher, from the gorgeous and light design, to the powerful modern components that power it. The Dell XPS 13 rocks an 8th-generation Intel Core i5 or i7 processor and a bezel-less ‘Infinity Edge’ display, this Dell XPS 13 continues to be the most popular Windows laptop in the world. 

What’s more, there’s a wide range of customization options, so you can really make the Dell XPS 13 the best laptop for your needs. The 2019 model doesn't bring a huge amount of improvements, but then not that much about the Dell XPS 13 needs improving. Its webcam has been placed at the top center of the screen, rather than at the bottom, which a lot of customers have been asking for. You also get a longer battery life in this year's model.

Huawei has done it again, and its latest laptop is one of our picks for the best laptop of 2019. As with last year's Huawei MateBook X Pro, the MateBook 13 comes with some of the latest components, including a discrete Nvidia MX150 graphics card, and a gorgeous lightweight design, that you'd expect to find on a much more expensive laptop. 

The fact that the MateBook 13 offer so much, yet comes with an impressively low price – compared to its Ultrabook competitors, makes it our choice for the best value laptop. Sure, you may be missing a few minor niceties here and there to achieve such a competitive price, but on the whole, this is the most value-packed flagship laptop that we’ve ever tested.

If you're after a few more bells and whistles, like super-fast Thunderbolt 3 ports and a 4K display, then the Dell XPS 13 or MacBook Pro (also on this list of best laptops) may be better choices. Recently, the US government blacklisted Huawei, which many feared would have implications on whether the Chinese company's laptops would still get support from the like of Microsoft and Intel. 

The good news is that both Microsoft and Intel have confirmed that they will continue to support Huawei laptops, which means the MateBook 13 and other models will still get important Windows 10 updates.

The HP Spectre line of Ultrabooks and 2-in-1 laptops has always consisted of extraordinarily attractive devices. So, when we say that the 2019 Spectre x360 takes things to another level, that should mean something. 

This is one of the most beautiful laptops on the market right now, with its gem-cut design and sleek profile. Couple that with the powerful Intel Whiskey Lake processors and long battery life, and you get one of the best laptops on the market right now. Its ability to flip into a Windows tablet is just icing on the cake. 

This year's model of the 15-inch Apple MacBook Pro is the most powerful MacBook the Cupertino company has ever made. By fitting some of the fastest components in the world (including 6- and 8-core Intel processors) into the iconic slimline MacBook body, Apple has created a formidable professional laptop that earns its place on our best laptops list. 

Of course, being a MacBook Pro, while it's powerful and beautifully designed, it's also incredibly expensive – especially if you start customising its components. But, if you have the budget, this is an amazing device that can serve as an essential productivity tool. 

However, there's no denying that this is a pricey machine, so you may want to consider one of the Windows alternatives. If you're open to switching to a PC, definitely consider the XPS 13 or the excellent MateBook X Pro. But, if you're a steadfast Apple diehard, this is definitely the best laptop for you.

The Alienware Area-51m is our pick for the best gaming laptop, so naturally, it also deserves a place in our list of the best laptops money can buy. With an eye catching design and brilliant build quality, which we've come to expect from Dell's Alienware brand, this is an incredible performer, offering a choice of some of the very best gaming components on the market right now, including a choice of 9th generation Intel Core processors, and Nvidia's latest RTX range of GPUs. 

Sure, it's pretty expensive, but if you're serious about getting the best gaming laptop money can buy in 2019, then you'll need to expect to splash out a little bit, and the Alienware Area-51m really is worth every penny. However, if this is out of your budget, check out the much more affordable Dell G5 15 5590 later on in this list.

Google's new Pixelbook Go is the best Chromebook money can buy right now, with the company showing everyone else how it's done. Its previous Chromebook, the Pixelbook, was a brilliant Chromebook in its own way, but it cost a small fortune. 

The Pixelbook Go, on the other hand, is a more affordable Chromebook that retains a lot of its predecessor's premium features, while bringing some brilliant upgrades as well, including an astounding battery life and fantastic keyboard. 

It features some impressive specs for a Chromebook, which ensures that Chrome OS positively flies on this device, and puts its performance on par with many of the more expensive Windows laptops and MacBooks that grace the rest of this best laptops list. If you're looking for the ultimate Chromebook then the Pixelbook Go is the one to get.

With the third version of the Surface Laptop 3, Microsoft has made its best laptop yet. While it's not a huge leap over its predecessor, the Surface Laptop 3 does improve on almost every aspect. 

Best of all, with the 15-inch version you now get a choice of either Intel or AMD hardware. Previously, only Intel tech was included. Elsewhere, the Surface Laptop 3 continues the Surface Laptop's reputation for being a stunningly designed laptop. 

These are some of the most desirable laptops in the world that don't have a logo of an apple on them, with a new aluminum body that gives it a premium feel, while protecting it from knocks and drops. There are still a few niggles, like the continued lack of ports, but in general this is one of the best laptops in the world right now.

Last year’s Dell XPS 15 was already one of the best laptops you could buy, but now  Dell has taken the beautiful redesign of the Dell XPS 13 and applied it here – while also making it a convertible. 

Well, it’s amazing. Not only do you get one of the most aesthetically pleasing 15-inch laptops on the market, but it also packs one of those new Intel Kaby Lake G-series CPUs featuring ‘discrete-class’ Radeon graphics. This means that this laptop packs serious power – even if it can get a little loud.

While the Alienware Area-51m (featured earlier in this best laptops list) is the best gaming laptop for people with a lot of money to spare, if you're on a tighter budget, then the Dell G5 15 5590 gaming laptop is a fantastic choice. 

Dell’s 15-inch G5 doesn't have the highest specs, but it will see you through 1080p gaming and last you up to 10 hours of battery life as well – which is pretty remarkable for a gaming laptop. 

It also features a stylish design and great build quality, and Dell also allows you to configure the Dell G5 15 5590 to better suit your budget and needs.

When it comes to the best Chromebook laptop, you have a choice between two stark alternatives. There's the more expensive Chromebook Pixel Go (featured earlier in this list), and then there's the excellent Asus Chromebook Flip C302, which combines premium features in a much more affordable package. 

For many people, Chromebooks are affordable laptops that are perfect for students, and the Asus Chromebook Flip C302 is easily one of the best Chromebooks, and one of the best laptops, money can buy. 

It comes with an Intel Core processor, full 1080p display, touchscreen, backlit keyboard and USB-C port.

The new Asus VivoBook S15 hasn't been out for long, and it's made its way straight into our best laptops list. This is because it combines a thin and light design with great performance and an excellent price. 

If you're looking for a mid-range laptop that doesn't cost too much, but still performs brilliantly, then this is the best laptop for you. 

Thanks to its powerful Intel processor, 8GB of RAM and fast SSD storage, this is a laptop that can handle almost any task with ease – though gaming is out of the question. Its 15.6-inch screen is bright and vibrant, and it has loads of ports that makes it easy to hook up your favorite peripherals. 

However, it doesn't have the longest battery life for a laptop, and the ScreenPad, which replaces the traditional touchpad below the keyboard with a touchscreen, takes a bit of getting used to.

If you want the Microsoft Surface Book 2 but you want to spend a lot less, the Acer Switch 3 2017 is definitely the your best option. 

If you're looking for one of the best Acer laptops, this one's designed around essentially the same concept as the Surface Book 2 and it's a less capable thanks to slightly lower power innards, but for most tasks it's a brilliant little machine. 

What's more, to add further value this 2-in-1 laptop/tablet comes with the keyboard upgrade which means no little extras to pay for. As usual it comes in several different versions, with USB Type-C, 8GB RAM, an IPS display and Intel Core i3 7100U CPU coming with the more expensive option.

The MacBook is another win for Apple, and it's once again won us over with a gorgeous design, excellent performance and best-in-class battery life. 

Apple has updated the processors with Intel's 7th-generation Kaby Lake range, which means you get improved performance and longer battery life without sacrificing the thin and light design that the MacBook is famous for. 

While the MacBook 2017 is not designed as a pure productivity machine, like the more powerful and versatile MacBook Pro above, or as a gaming machine, it's still one of the best laptops in the world right now thanks to being a super slim and light MacBook that you can take anywhere without even noticing the weight.

When HP unveiled the HP Spectre Folio, it made some big claims about how the 2-in-1 laptop would reinvent the PC. While it doesn't quite match the hype, what we do have is one of the most beautifully-designed laptops we've ever tried. 

Billed as "modern vintage meets technology", the HP Spectre Folio is built directly into a piece of genuine leather. That's not a fancy cover, it's a part of the laptop. It's not just looks that has put it on this list of the best laptops, the HP Spectre Folio is also a brilliant performer as well, with modern components powering the device.

It is very expensive, though, so if you're on a budget, check out the more affordable 2-in-1 Acer Switch 3. But, if you want the best laptop for making a statement as soon as you pull it out of the bag, then the HP Spectre Folio is the one to get.

The Lenovo Yoga C930 has quite a few of the makings of the best 2-in-1 laptop in the world – from an absurd 14.5 hours of battery life and dual Thunderbolt-enabled USB-C ports to internal components that will easily handle those daily productivity tasks. 

That’s without even considering it’s a 2-in-1 that offers form versatility so you can squeeze in some light gaming and movie-watching once you’re done working. It has a few cherries on top as well, specifically the integrated self-charging stylus and the fab speaker system.

While there are cheaper 2-in-1 laptops out there, if you're looking for the best premium 2-in-1 laptop in the world right now, this is it.


TechRadar: Software news

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