Best laptop 2021: top picks for every user and every budget


Included in this guide:

1
MacBook Air on white background with screen open

Apple

MacBook Air (M1, 2020)

2
Surface Laptop 4 on white background with the Windows 10 desktop showing on the screen

Microsoft

Surface Laptop 4

3
Image of the Dell XPS 15 from an angle with the screen open

Dell

XPS 15 (2020)

4
The HP Spectre x360 with screen open on a white background

HP

Spectre x360 (2021)

5
Image of the Dell XPS 13 (Late 2020) laptop on a white background with the screen open and showing the Windows 10 desktop

Dell

XPS 13 (Late 2020)

6
Razer Blade 14 laptop open showing desktop wallpaper

Razer

Blade 14

7
Image of the LG Gram 16 (2021) laptop from the front with Windows 10 desktop on the screen and the Start menu showing

LG

Gram 17 (2021)

8
Image of the Acer Swift 3 laptop front the front

Acer

Swift 3

9
Asus ZenBook 13 (2021) laptop with screen open on white background

Asus

ZenBook 13 (2021)

10
Image of the Asus TUF Dash F15 laptop from the front with the screen open. The laptop is white

Asus

TUF Dash F15

11
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga Gen 6 laptop with the screen open

Lenovo

ThinkPad X1 Yoga Gen 6

12
Image of the HP Envy x360 13 (2020) laptop

HP

Envy x360 13 (2020)

13
Google Pixelbook Go

Google

Pixelbook Go

14
Lenovo IdeaPad Duet Chromebook

Lenovo

IdeaPad Duet Chromebook

15
ASUS VivoBook S15

Asus

VivoBook S15

Apple MacBook Air against red background saying 'best laptop'

(Image credit: Apple / Future)
PRICE

VERDICT

REASONS TO BUY

REASONS TO AVOID

VERDICT

REASONS TO BUY
REASONS TO AVOID

Welcome to our selection of the best laptops for 2021. This page contains hand-picked laptops that have undergone extensive testing by us.

This guide is updated on a regular basis, so you can be sure you’re getting the most up-to-date recommendations and buying advice. We’ve just updated this guide to include the all-new Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga Gen 6, which we believe is the best Yoga laptop on the market.

best 2-in-1 laptop we’ve ever used.

However, if you’re looking for the best laptop overall, we recommend the MacBook Air (M1, 2020), which has yet to be surpassed in terms of design, performance, value, and battery life.

Meanwhile, the Acer Swift 3is our pick for the best budget laptop on the market right now, providing the ideal balance of price and performance. If that doesn’t appeal to you, we have a list of alternatives. best cheap laptop deals to assist you in selecting a device that won’t break the bank

Don’t know what to look for in the best laptop for your needs? Check out our information on what to look for when purchasing a new laptop For more information on purchasing a laptop, see the section at the bottom of this page.

How to pick the best laptop for you

That means low-cost laptops under $400/£400 must still deliver good performance and build quality. First and foremost, it must provide excellent value for money. So, what makes a laptop worthwhile to purchase?

Meanwhile, ultra-expensive devices must demonstrate best-in-class performance, premium build quality, and long battery life to justify their high prices.

A laptop with a modern processor, at least 8GB of RAM, and a large screen (and comfortable keyboard) is worth considering if you need something to work on.

A gaming laptop with a dedicated graphics card and a fast and responsive screen is ideal for gaming.

Check out our guide on what to look for when purchasing a new laptopFor more detailed information on purchasing a laptop, see the section at the bottom of this page.

Best laptops 2021

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1. Apple MacBook Air (M1, 2020)

The best laptop of 2021

Specifications
CPU:
Apple M1
Graphics:
Integrated 7-core /8-core GPU
RAM:
8GB – 16GB
Screen:
LED-backlit 13.3-inch (diagonal) 2,560 x 1,600 display with IPS technology
Storage:
256GB – 2TB SSD
Dimensions:
30.41 x 21.24 x 1.61cm; W x D x H; 11.97 x 8.36 x 0.63 inch

Reasons to buy

+Silent to use


+Amazing battery life

Reasons to avoid

No new design


Fanless design could impact performance

This is a stunning achievement, thanks to the revolutionary ARM-based Apple M1 chip that powers the new MacBook Air (Apple has ditched Intel for these new laptops). It’s a thin and light laptop that offers great performance, even when editing 4K video, while also offering incredible battery life. This is the first time a MacBook has taken the top spot on our list, but the MacBook Air (M1, 2020) is deserving of it. The new Apple MacBook Air (M1, 2020) is not only Apple’s best laptop ever, but it’s also the best laptop money can buy right now.

The new MacBook Air can now run both new and old Mac apps, as well as iOS apps for iPhones and iPads, giving it access to hundreds of great mobile apps and games. This laptop can easily last over 11 hours on a single charge, making it ideal for use at work or school, and its price is extremely competitive when compared to Windows 10 competitors like the Dell XPS 15 (below).

Make certain to look at all of the best options. Even if you’ve only ever used Windows laptops, the MacBook Air (M1, 2020) is well worth purchasing and upgrading to macOS. That’s right, it’s that good. MacBook Air deals and sales available now before you buy.

Read the full review:
MacBook Air (M1, 2020)

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2. Microsoft Surface Laptop 4

The best Windows laptop

Specifications
CPU:
AMD Ryzen 5 – 7 / Intel Core i5 – i7 eleventh-generation
Graphics:
Intel Iris Xe / AMD Radeon
RAM:
8GB – 32GB
Screen:
PixelSense (2,256 x 1,504) touch screen 13.5-inch
Storage:
256GB – 1TB SSD

Reasons to buy

+Comfortable keyboard


+Beautiful screen

Reasons to avoid

Not enough ports


Alcantara fabric might get gross over time

While Apple wowed us with its new MacBook Air (above), Microsoft wowed us with its new Surface Laptop 4, which came in at number two. The build quality and design are both excellent, as they have been with previous Surface devices, and the PixelSense touchscreen really sets it apart from the competition (a touchscreen is something we have yet to see on an Apple laptop, as Microsoft likes to remind us).

The battery life is also excellent, lasting more than 13 hours in our tests, and the price is very competitive. It also comes with a fantastic keyboard that’s a joy to type on, as well as some impressive specs that ensure Windows 10 and all of your favorite apps run smoothly.

Read the full review:
Microsoft Surface Laptop 4

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3. Dell XPS 15 (2020)

The best laptop in 2021 for productivity

Specifications
CPU:
10th-generation Intel Core i5 – i7
Graphics:
Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650 Ti – Intel Iris Plus Graphics
RAM:
8GB – 64GB
Screen:
15.6″ IPS – UHD+ (3840 x 2400) FHD+ (1920 x 1200)
Storage:
256GB – 1TB SSD

Reasons to buy

+Fast performance for the price


+Eye-catching design

Reasons to avoid

The GTX 1650 Ti is a little underpowered for gaming.


For some people, a 15-inch screen may be too big.

As a result, the Dell XPS 15 (2020) is one of the few laptops that comes close to being perfect. When it comes to what we want from a laptop, the Dell XPS 15 checks almost every box. best Dell laptopsThere isn’t much we can say about it that we don’t like. It has some of Intel’s newest and best mobile technology, and it can even be configured with a discrete GPU, making it capable of handling images and video. video editing software, and even a spot of light gaming.

It also has one of the best laptop designs we’ve ever seen, and is arguably the most stylish Windows 10 laptop in 2021. If the 15-inch screen is too big for you, the Dell XPS 13 (also on this list) or the MacBook Air at the top of the page are good alternatives. The battery life is also fantastic, and the price, while high, is reasonable given what you get.

Read the full review:
Dell XPS 15 (2020)

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4. HP Spectre x360 (2021)

The model for this year is a fantastic 13-inch laptop.

Specifications
CPU:
11th-generation Intel Core i5 – i7
Graphics:
Intel Iris Xe Graphics
RAM:
8GB – 16GB
Screen:
UWVA BrightView micro-edge AMOLED multitouch UWVA BrightView micro-edge AMOLED multitouch 13.3″ diagonal 4K (3840 x 2160) BrightView micro-edge WLED-backlit multitouch FHD (1920 x 1080) IPS 13.3″
Storage:
256GB – 2TB SSD

Reasons to buy

+Gorgeous design


+Excellent battery life

Reasons to avoid

Fans can get noisy


Expensive compared to some competitors

The HP Spectre x360 (2021) is now better than ever, with 11th-generation Intel Core processors that provide a noticeable performance boost and better integrated Intel Iris Xe graphics.

The HP Spectre x360 (2021) retains the impeccable 2-in-1 design and pristine gem-cut chassis that these laptops are known for, making it one of the best-looking laptops on the market. 2-in-1 laptops Only the excellent MacBook Air (M1, 2020) comes close to matching it in terms of build quality.

This is the laptop for you if you value aesthetics as much as performance and overall quality. While it’s certainly pricey, you’ll get some great extras like strong security features and Bang & Olufsen speakers.

Read the full review:
HP Spectre x360 (2021)

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5. Dell XPS 13 (Late 2020)

Dell does it again

Specifications
CPU:
Up to 11th Generation Intel Core i7-1165G7
Graphics:
Up to Intel Iris Xe Graphics
RAM:
Up to 32GB 4267MHz LPDDR4x
Screen:
FHD+ (1920 x 1200) 13.4″ 500-nit InfinityEdge Touch Anti-Reflective Display Non-Touch Anti-Glare 500-Nit – 13.4″ UHD+ (3840 x 2400) InfinityEdge
Storage:
Up to 2TB M.2 PCIe NVMe

Reasons to buy

+Stunning design


+Excellent battery life

Reasons to avoid

Sound quality is just OK


There are cheaper laptops out there

Its annual updates have consistently landed it on our list of best laptops, and they’re only getting better. It also has excellent performance, a stunning display, and a long battery life, among a few other features. The Dell XPS 13 (2020) isn’t just a beautiful laptop. We don’t think the Dell XPS line can go wrong at this point.

It’s a costly investment, just like its predecessor, but that’s hardly reason enough to put Ultrabook fans off. Dell has once again produced an incredibly capable thin and light notebook that is a joy to use and well worth the investment if you have the funds.

Read the full review:

Dell XPS 13 (2020)
 

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6. Razer Blade 14

The top laptop for gaming in 2021

Specifications
CPU:
AMD Ryzen 9 5900HX
Graphics:
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060 – RTX 3080
RAM:
16GB
Screen:
14-inch Full HD 144Hz – 14-inch QHD 165Hz
Storage:
1TB SSD

Reasons to buy

+Beautiful chassis


+Thin and light

Reasons to avoid

Very expensive despite its performance


Not the most powerful gaming laptop

It’s well-made, so you won’t have to worry about it getting damaged on the road, and it’s one of the most attractive modern gaming laptops we’ve seen. This luxurious thin and light gaming laptop from Razer oozes class, and it’s the perfect laptop for people who want a portable gaming device.

This means you’ll be able to play any AAA title in its entirety. The Razer Blade 14 isn’t just about looks, though; it also includes cutting-edge components like the AMD Ryzen 9 5900HX processor and up to an RTX 3080 graphics card. It is, without a doubt, the best. best gaming laptop In 2021, you can buy in, but it will be very expensive.

Read the full review:
Razer Blade 14

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7. LG Gram 17 (2021)

A great new super-light laptop for 2021

Specifications
CPU:
11th-generation Intel Core i7
Graphics:
Intel Iris Xe Graphics
RAM:
16GB LPDDR4X
Screen:
17-inch WQXGA (2560 x 1600) IPS LCD
Storage:
up to 2TB NVMe SSD

Reasons to buy

+Excellent battery life


+Large, high-quality display

Reasons to avoid

You’re paying a premium for the design


Subject to screen glare

The new LG Gram 17 has an incredibly light design and some of the most cutting-edge mobile technology available.

This laptop comes with Intel’s new 11th generation processors and Iris Xe graphics, as well as two Thunderbolt 4 USB-C ports and up to 16GB of RAM and fast SSDs, making it ideal for everyday tasks. The battery life is also outstanding, lasting up to 12 hours on a single charge.

It is, however, pricey, and the design is a little plain. As a result, it’s an excellent choice for carrying around for school and work.

If you want the power and portability of Ultrabooks but also need a larger screen, it’s worth it. The long battery life and stunning display are back, but so is the hefty price tag.

Read the full review:

LG Gram 17 (2021) 

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8. Acer Swift 3

The best budget laptop in the world

Specifications
CPU:
up to Intel Core i7-8565U
Graphics:
Nvidia GeForce MX150, Intel HD Graphics 620, or AMD Radeon Vega 8 are some of the graphics cards available.
RAM:
4GB – 8GB
Screen:
15.6″ Full HD (1920 x 1080) ComfyView IPS FHD (1,920 x 1,080) 14-inch display
Storage:
128GB – 1 TB HDD, Intel Optane Memory (16 GB)

Reasons to buy

+Superb keyboard and trackpad


+Excellent performance

Reasons to avoid

Looks a little plain

Beyond the Swift 3’s understated exterior, you’ll find an excellent laptop with plenty of processing power for work and study. The Swift 3 (not to be confused with the Switch 3, another Acer laptop) is a low-cost laptop with an all-aluminum chassis and plenty of powerful components.

It has a lower-resolution display, but aside from the price, the two are strikingly similar. It performs surprisingly well in comparison to the far more expensive Microsoft Surface Laptop.

This is one of the best budget laptops 2021 has to offer if you’re going to be writing a lot, whether you’re traveling or at the office. This laptop is also fantastic to use, thanks to its spacious trackpad and backlit keyboard, which provides a comfortable typing experience with adequate travel.

Read the full review:

Acer Swift 3

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9. Asus ZenBook 13 (2021)

A stunning Ultrabook from Asus

Specifications
CPU:
AMD Ryzen 5000 / Intel Core i3 – i7 eleventh-generation
Graphics:
Intel UHD Graphics / AMD Radeon
RAM:
8GB – 32GB
Screen:
13.3-inch, OLED 1080p, 400 nits
Storage:
256GB – 1TB SSD

Reasons to buy

+Gorgeous OLED display


+Phenomenal battery life

Reasons to avoid

No headphone jack


Radeon graphics underperform

As a result, it comes with either an AMD Ryzen 5000 series processor or an Intel 11th generation CPU. The Asus ZenBook 13 is a fantastic laptop, and the 2021 model includes some of the most cutting-edge mobile technology available in a modern notebook. It also has a stunning 13.3-inch OLED display and one of the best battery lives on the market.

This laptop also has up to 32GB of RAM and up to 1TB of SSD storage, making it ideal for working.

Regardless, this is a fantastic ultra-thin laptop that is well worth considering. The only drawbacks are that there is no headphone jack, which is a shame but is likely due to the ultra-thin design, and that the integrated AMD Ryzen graphics aren’t quite as good as Intel’s. In comparison to competitors like the Dell XPS 13, it’s also reasonably priced. It’s also incredibly thin and light, as well as stylishly designed, making it a pleasure to carry and use.

Read the full review:

Asus ZenBook 13 (2021)

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10. Asus TUF Dash F15

The best affordable gaming laptop

Specifications
CPU:
Up to Intel Core i7-11375H
Graphics:
Up to NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070
RAM:
Up to 16GB DDR4-3200
Screen:
IPS-level display with Adaptive Sync up to 15.6-inch WQHD anti-glare 165Hz
Storage:
Up to 1TB SSD

Reasons to buy

+Long battery life


+Strong gaming performance

Reasons to avoid

No webcam


Keyboard lighting color can’t be changed

If you’re looking for a machine that can play the latest games without breaking the bank, the Asus TUF Dash F15 is a great option.

This is a fantastic value gaming laptop with excellent build quality, a great battery for a gaming laptop, and an impressively thin and light design. The new Asus TUF Dash F15 follows in the footsteps of Asus’ TUF laptops, which have been praised for their excellent value for money.

It also features Intel Tiger Lake processors, Nvidia GeForce RTX 3000 mobile GPUs, and up to a 240Hz 1080p display.

Read the full review:

Asus TUF Dash F15

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11. Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga Gen 6

The best 2-in-1 laptop of 2021

Specifications
CPU:
11th-generation Intel Core i5 – i7
Graphics:
Intel Iris Xe Graphics
RAM:
8GB – 32GB
Screen:
14-inch, 1920 x 1200p, IPS touchscreen
Storage:
up to 2TB SSD

Reasons to buy

+Outstanding performance


+Excellent battery life

Reasons to avoid

Expensive compared to other 2-in-1 laptops

The Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga Gen 6 is the most recent update to Lenovo’s flagship 2-in-1 business laptop, and the addition of Intel’s 11th-gen Tiger Lake processors with Iris Xe graphics, as well as Intel Evo certification, make it one of the best 2-in-1 laptops we’ve tested.

It has a bevy of ports that puts the MacBook Air to shame, but it lacks an SD card slot, which may be a deal breaker for some creatives. When you consider the excellent 16:10 touchscreen display, garaged stylus, and long battery life, there’s very little to criticize.

Apart from that, and a somewhat stiff design (as a ThinkPad device, this is primarily a business laptop), the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga Gen 6 is easily one of the best laptops to come out in 2021, especially if you’re looking for something that can be used as a traditional laptop as well as a tablet-like device.

Read the full review:

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga Gen 6

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12. HP Envy x360 13 (2020)

The best affordable 2-in-1

Specifications
CPU:
AMD Ryzen 5 4500U
Graphics:
Integrated Radeon Graphics
RAM:
8GB
Screen:
FHD IPS (1,920 x 1,080) diagonal 13.3″
Storage:
256 GB – 1TB SSD

Reasons to buy

+Excellent battery life


+Quick charging

Reasons to avoid

USB port cover hinges feel weak and awkward


No 4K display option

The excellent HP Envy x360 13 (2020) demonstrates that a premium-feeling and-looking 2-in-1 laptop can be had without spending a fortune. The HP Envy x360 13 (2020), like all of HP’s modern laptops, is beautifully designed, with a stunning screen and some of the best speakers we’ve heard in a laptop.

If you’re looking for a laptop that can also be used as a tablet, the HP Envy x360 13 (2020) is a great option, with modern AMD components and a great battery.

Read the full review:

HP Envy x360 (2020)

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13. Google Pixelbook Go

The best Chromebook

Specifications
CPU:
Intel Core m3 – Intel Core i7
Graphics:
Intel UHD Graphics 615
RAM:
8GB – 16GB
Screen:
Full HD (1,920 x 1,080) or 4K LCD touchscreen 13.3-inch
Storage:
128GB – 256GB eMMC

Reasons to buy

+Incredible battery life


+Amazing ‘Hush’ keyboard

Reasons to avoid

Iffy pricing at mid- to- high-end


No biometric login

Google’s Pixelbook Go is the best ChromebookMoney can buy right now, with the company demonstrating how to do it. The company’s previous Chromebook, the Pixelbook, though it was a fantastic Chromebook in its own right, cost a small fortune.

The Pixelbook Go, on the other hand, is a more affordable Chromebook that retains many of the premium features of its predecessor while also bringing some fantastic upgrades, such as an incredible battery life and a fantastic keyboard.

The Pixelbook Go is the Chromebook to get if you’re looking for the ultimate Chromebook. It has some impressive specifications for a Chromebook, ensuring that Chrome OS runs smoothly on this device and putting it on par with many of the more expensive Windows laptops and MacBooks on this page.

Read the full review:
Google Pixelbook Go

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14. Lenovo IdeaPad Duet Chromebook

The best affordable Chromebook

Specifications
CPU:
MediaTek Helio P60T Processor
Graphics:
ARM G72 MP3 800GHz
RAM:
4 GB LPDDR4X
Screen:
10.1″ FHD (1920 x 1200) IPS touchscreen, 400 nits, 10.1″ FHD (1920 x 1200) FHD (1920 x 1200) FHD (1920 x 1200) FHD
Storage:
64 GB eMMC

Reasons to buy

+Lightweight and portable


+Long battery life

Reasons to avoid

Tiny keyboard and finicky trackpad


Charger and headphones share a single port

The brilliant Lenovo IdeaPad Duet Chromebook exemplifies the high quality of modern Chromebooks. It can be used as a laptop or a tablet, and it has some impressive specs to back it up.

Is this a tablet or a Chromebook? Fortunately, with the brilliant Lenovo IdeaPad Duet Chromebook, you won’t have to choose. True to its name, this Chromebook combines two form factors into one, utilizing the flexibility of the Chrome OS and costing significantly less than many of the top-rated Chromebooks. Windows tablets out there. 

Its battery, like that of all the best Chromebooks, has an incredibly long life of almost 22 hours, meaning you could pull an all-nighter, work through the day and into the afternoon, and still pass out before it runs out of juice.

Naturally, sacrifices must be made for this price – the keyboard is small, the trackpad isn’t as responsive, and the charger and headphones share a single port. If saving money is your top priority, however, those aren’t deal-breakers.

Read the full review:

Lenovo IdeaPad Duet Chromebook
 

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The Asus VivoBook S15 is the best budget laptop available.
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The best mid-range laptop is the Asus VivoBook S15.

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15. Asus VivoBook S15

The best cheap 15-inch laptop

Specifications
CPU:
Intel Core i5 – i7
Graphics:
Intel UHD Graphics
RAM:
8GB DDR4
Screen:
15.6-inch full HD (1920 x 1080)
Storage:
512GB SSD

Reasons to buy

+Bright, colorful 15.6-inch screen


+Weighs just 1.8kg

Reasons to avoid

Average battery life


ScreenPad is a bit weird

The Asus VivoBook S15 is a thin and light laptop that offers great performance and a low price.

This is a great choice if you’re looking for a mid-range laptop that’s not too expensive but still performs well.

Its 15.6-inch screen is bright and colorful, and it has plenty of ports for connecting your favorite peripherals. This laptop can handle almost any task with ease thanks to its powerful Intel processor, 8GB of RAM, and fast SSD storage – though gaming is not an option.

Its battery life isn’t the best for a laptop, and the ScreenPad, which replaces the traditional touchpad below the keyboard with a touchscreen, takes some getting used to.

Read the full review:

Asus VivoBook S15

When shopping for a new laptop, what should you look for?

When purchasing a new laptop in 2021, there are a few things to keep in mind to ensure you get the best laptop for your money.

Before purchasing a laptop, make sure to read the specifications. If you know what you’re looking for, this is a good way to quickly see how powerful a laptop is and what it can do.

The processor comes first. This is essentially the laptop’s brain, and most laptops have a processor (also known as a CPU) from either Intel or AMD. Although Intel is by far the most popular CPU manufacturer for laptops, AMD-powered laptops are becoming more common.

Intel processors, on average, provide better performance, but AMD processors provide better value.

To make things easier, Intel and AMD have assigned numbers to their processors to indicate what kinds of tasks a laptop with that processor can handle.

If you only need a laptop for basic tasks like browsing the web or watching Netflix, a laptop with an Intel Pentium, Intel Core i3, or AMD Ryzen 3 processor will suffice.

If you want something with a little more punch – perhaps for more complex tasks like editing home videos or playing games – look for a laptop with at least an Intel Core i5 or AMD Ryzen 5 processor.

Laptops with these processors are top-of-the-line laptops that will give you excellent performance no matter what you’re doing – but be aware that they’re usually only found in the most expensive laptops. An Intel Core i7 or Core i9 processor, or an AMD Ryzen 7 processor, is found in the best laptops for media creation and more complex tasks.

The 10th generation Intel Core processors are the most recent, though 9th generation Intel Core processors are also relatively new. Finally, pay attention to the processor’s age. Intel conveniently assigns generations to its processors, with the higher the generation number, the newer the processor.

They are, however, more expensive. A newer processor performs better and consumes less power, resulting in longer battery life.

You won’t have to worry about graphics because most laptop processors have built-in (integrated) graphics. If you want to play PC games on your laptop, however, you’ll need a gaming laptop with a discrete GPU, such as one from Nvidia or AMD.

What are the best laptop brands?

Apple, Dell, Lenovo, and HP are among the best laptop brands, and each has its own set of advantages. Apple, for example, creates beautifully designed slim and light laptops, while Dell offers a wide range of high-end ultrabooks, as well as more affordable devices and Chromebooks. Lenovo is known for making well-built business laptops (as well as some excellent 2-in-1 laptops), and HP has recently released some stunning laptops that are among the best in the world.

Alienware, Asus, and Acer are among the best laptop brands for gaming.

How much RAM does a laptop need?

For a Windows laptop, you’ll need at least 4GB, though many people will benefit from 8GB. Chromebooks on a budget can get by with less RAM, such as 1GB or 2GB. This will ensure that the laptop runs smoothly for many years. A laptop’s RAM (Random Access Memory) is an important feature to look for.

Battery life considerations

A laptop must have a battery life of at least five hours to be included in our best laptops list. Finally, there’s the issue of battery life. The best laptops should allow you to work – and play – for long periods of time without the need for a power adapter. This is likely to be one of the most important factors to consider when purchasing a laptop. Modern laptops are becoming increasingly power-efficient, resulting in longer battery life.

Keep in mind that the battery life claimed by the laptop manufacturer may differ significantly from what you actually get. So, while a laptop’s battery life may be advertised as 10 hours, you may find that it runs out faster if you use it for certain tasks, such as streaming high-definition content. This is because many laptop manufacturers put their batteries through rigorous testing in highly controlled environments, with the laptop being used in ways that you might not.

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

Which type of laptop is best for you?

General laptops: Where the best cheap laptopsare discovered, devices that prioritize functionality over style, portability, or power. That isn’t to say they aren’t fast, but a non-Ultrabook clamshell laptop with an HD screen and spinning drive-based storage can be had for less than $600 or £400.

Ultrabooks: Thin-and-light notebooks with SSD storage and display resolutions that exceed 1080p can be found here. The device is equipped with powerful, albeit mobile-centric components and a particularly long battery life. best Ultrabooks will set you back anywhere from $700 (£500) to $2,000 (£1,800).

2-in-1 laptops: ‘The’ This is where you’ll find notebooks that can also be used as tablets. Surface Book 2 might be a ways off, but many of the best 2-in-1 laptopsare currently available. These hybrids, which come with detachable and rotating hinges, are the most versatile way to use Windows 10 (or Chrome OS) on a touchscreen.

Chromebooks: Where you’ll find the best ChromebooksChrome OS is installed. They are usually less than $300 or £200 in price. These do a lot of what Windows and macOS can in the browser, with a focus on cloud storage over local, and touchscreen models now have Android app support. some can even withstand a slight tussle.

Gaming laptops: Then one of the following will suffice. Need a laptop that can play games (almost) as well as a gleaming desktop PC? best gaming laptopsThese machines typically range in price from $800 to £600 to upwards of $3,000 or £2,800, and they’ll most likely be the ones to use. .. AMD’s laptop-grade Ryzen processorsto begin with If you’re on a tight budget, you might want to look into the best cheap gaming laptop deals.

Laptop-tablet hybrids: The laptop-tablet hybrid was created with a tablet-first approach. best Windows tabletsBeyond-HD touchscreens are included, sometimes with built-in kickstands or via keyboard covers. These usually shine with a stylus and are available in a variety of price ranges, from budget to premium.

How we test laptops

We understand that purchasing a new laptop is a significant investment, so each laptop on this list has been thoroughly tested by us. We consider how stylish they are, as well as whether they are thin and light enough to carry around, and how comfortable they are to work on. We use laptops in our daily lives to see how they perform when we test them.

This entails running various apps on Windows 10 (or Chrome OS on Chromebooks and macOS on MacBooks) and observing how quickly they load, noting any issues. To determine how powerful (or not) these laptops are, we use a combination of real-world tests and synthetic benchmarks.

The webcam and microphone in a laptop are also extremely important these days, so we test them out as well. We’ll run more benchmark tests on gaming laptops, as well as fire up games to play on them (it’s a tough job, isn’t it?).

Because battery life is important, we’ll keep track of how long we can use the laptop before having to charge it. In addition, we run the PC Mark 10 battery life benchmark, which simulates real-world tasks like web browsing and document creation. We also run our own battery life test, which involves watching a looped 1080p movie until the battery runs out. These tests give us a good idea of how long these laptops’ batteries will last.

We then compare everything we’ve learned about the laptop to its price to see if it provides customers with the best value.

Senior Computing editor

Matt (TwitterMatt has written for a variety of publications, including PC Plus, PC Format, T3, and Linux Format, and is passionate about all aspects of technology, particularly computing and PC gaming. Send him a message on Twitter if you’re having trouble with your PC or Mac and need some help. ) is the Senior Computing Editor at TechRadar.