There was a time when the price of laptops made them something that only professionals and computer geeks would invest in, but things certainly have changed. A plethora of prestigious brands such as Samsung
, Acer, Lenovo, and others have created high-performance machines that can keep you entertained, streamline your workflow, or help you become the best at your favorite game! Laptops have become an essential part of everyday life and it is not uncommon for each member of a household to have their own portable computer.
With so many options out there, buying a new laptop requires quite a bit of research, as there are numerous factors to take into account, ranging from screen size to connectivity. Perhaps the most important question to ask before buying a new laptop is how you are going to use it.
The answer to this question will determine essential features of the laptop such as screen size and power.
Ultrabooks and hybrid laptops have become increasingly popular in the recent years, mainly because they offer a high degree of portability combined with all the power the average person requires for performing daily tasks. If you’re looking for a machine that can deliver more power and a large screen size that can improve productivity, you may opt for a 15.6-inch laptop that can easily replace your desktop computer.
For users who will primarily be using their laptop for serious gaming, in order to handle the high processing and graphics demands, you will most likely want to invest in a PC that’s designed for this purpose. In this case, we recommend taking a look at the review for the top five gaming laptops
, or perhaps the one for gaming desktops if you are unsure what style of gaming computer you want.
The operating system is another thing to consider when purchasing a new laptop. The main choices out there are Windows and OSX, but you can also go for a Chromebook-style device if you do not need all the bells and whistles of a fully-fledged operating system. By the way, if you want to complete your home office, have a look at our top five all-in-one printers review to find a suitable printing machine to go with your new laptops.
Upgrading your laptop is a decision that you should not take lightly, as you are bound to use the device for a couple of years, at least. Let’s have a look at the most important factors you should take into account when shopping for a new laptop for work or leisure.
Price is one of the first things consumers choose to apply filters for when shopping for electronics, and laptops are no exception to the rule. Laptops come in a huge array of sizes and configurations, so there is no wonder that the price ranges vary considerably.
The rule of thumb in the world of laptops is that better configurations and specs come at a cost. So even though you can easily pick up a cheap laptop for $200 (or even less), our research found that you are likely to get a better user experience from a machine that that costs more, than you will from one with a bunch of components thrown together in a flimsy chassis. A laptop computer is an investment and when we looked at super-cheap laptops, we saw over and over again reports from consumers that they either didn’t perform well, or broke down very quickly—making it necessary to either pay for repairs, or go out and get another one.
Now this doesn’t mean that you have to spend a fortune to get a good-quality laptop, but it is important to keep in mind that price alone should not be your determining factor.
Contrary to popular belief, performance is not the only thing to look for when it comes to buying a new laptop. For a well-rounded user experience, you also need to have a look at things such as build, quality of screen, connectivity options, how well the keyboard feels under your fingers, and more. For example, budget-friendly laptops usually cost up to $249 and they are mostly designed for the casual user who doesn’t require extreme performance. Spend something between $250 and $650 and you'll end up with a "jack of all trades" laptop which can run applications smoothly, make your work more efficient, and even keep you entertained with 4K YouTube videos.
Not enough for you? In this case, go for a high-end laptop which costs over $650 and can go up to $900 – $1,000. Such machines might come with touchscreen display, have mind-blowing specs, or be designed specifically for gaming!
Ports and expandability are two important features to look for when buying a laptop. Before making your choice, consider what devices you generally connect to your laptop. USB ports are omnipresent on laptops, but you may want to look for a device with USB 3.0 ports if possible, as this can deliver higher transfer speeds, being up to 10 times faster than its USB 2.0 predecessor.
If you would like to hook up your laptop to a TV so that you can watch movies on a larger screen, look for a machine that sports an HDMI port. Moreover, if you use a digital camera a lot and want to transfer photos to your hard drive quickly, consider a device with an SD card slot.
Security features are a further thing to consider, mostly because laptops are rather easy to steal. If you use your laptop to store business or important personal information, it is a good idea to look for a laptop with fingerprint scanners that require the user to pass a scan before logging into the OS. Some laptops come with Kensington security slots, so you can attach them to a table for extra protection.
Construction and Design
The construction and design play an important role in the selection process when buying a new laptop. Different machines come with different specifications when it comes to build quality, so you can expect a decent baseline from a low-priced laptop, and excellent features from a high-end machine. Weight is one of the most important features to consider when looking at a laptop’s construction, mainly because a heavy device reduces mobility considerably.
Ultrabooks are a good option for those interested in portability and a lightweight design, mostly because they do not have disc drives that make laptops bulkier and heavier, and come with long battery life. With the majority of 15-inch laptops weighing somewhere around 5 pounds, you may want to look at laptops with a smaller screen size if you want a more-manageable weight to carry between office and home.
In contrast, if you’re someone who will be using your computer for things such as work or gaming, you might want one with a larger screen, for example a 17-inch one, so weight will be a trade-off that you will need to make.
Performance and Ease of Use
The processor is the most important thing to consider when it comes to the efficiency with which it runs programs and multi-tasks. But you also need to look at things such as RAM and storage size, especially if you’re interested in playing HD videos, running games, or using your laptop for work and will install many productivity programs (such as Microsoft Office, Photoshop, and the like).
Numerous laptops use integrated graphics instead of dedicated graphics chips these days, but they are still powerful enough to decode 1080p videos without a glitch. If you want better performance that allows you to play video games and do video editing, you may want to look at a model that comes with dedicated graphics chips or cards.
When it comes to memory, many users can do well without a large SSD or HDD, as Clouds offer an excellent alternative for storing data, but RAM is an entirely different story. As the operating system, and each and every piece of software that runs on a computer, needs to store data in RAM in order to function, you need to look at a laptop that comes with a decent amount of RAM. As a rule of thumb, 4 GB of RAM is enough to run Windows comfortably, but the more RAM you have, the better.
Because of the many models of laptops out there, it can be difficult to find one that meets your needs. Our suggestion would be to write down what you like the most. For example, do you need a big display? Do you use your laptop for casual blogging and navigating the internet, or need a super-fast machine that can easily render Full HD videos? Once you know your needs, you can set a budget and then take a look at these five excellent laptops that come from reputable brands!
Dell is a prestigious computer manufacturer based in Texas with a well-established reputation for providing reliable, highly-advanced devices. It specializes in personal computers, desktop PCs, and even gaming laptops. Dell sells its products worldwide, so it’s highly unlikely that you haven’t heard about it before.
For our review, we have chosen the Dell Inspiron 15.6" Laptop because it provides multiple useful features and is ideal for people who need a powerful machine for work, entertainment, or gaming. Its 15.6-inch display is sufficiently spacious and it comes with an HD resolution of 1366 x 768 pixels. This means that watching movies or videos will be a pleasure on this LED-backlit TrueLife display.
When it comes to processing speed, this machine uses an i5 processor which is known for its reliability and fast data handling. This Intel chip is helped by 8GB of RAM as well as 256GB of SSD, which basically makes your laptop run flawlessly through any application or program. Granted, it’s not particularly designed for intensive software or serious gaming, but you can throw a lot towards this computer and it will work as diligently as a donkey.
The graphic card incorporated into this laptop is an Intel Graphics 620 Card and it can render stunning visual effects. Connectivity-wise, your laptop comes with 1 USB 3.0 drive, 2 USB 2.0 drives, HDMI, and Wi-Fi. You can also plug headphones and a mic into this computer if you're into playing team games with friends or streaming your own YouTube videos.
Asus is one of the most well-known and reputable brands of computers in the world at the moment, and we simply couldn’t ignore its products. One of the things that makes Asus laptops good is that they are very reliable. They feature a sturdy construction that protects the internal components and they pack a serious high-tech punch!
The 11.6 Inch Chromebook from Asus is available in 3 color options—Lotus Gold/Red, Navy Blue, and Pearl White/Light Blue—and it features a spacious touchpad you can easily use with both hands. This laptop is specially designed for people who read and write emails regularly, browse the internet, watch YouTube videos, and generally use it for entertainment purposes, not particularly for work. Its 11.6-inch display size and 1366 by 768 pixel resolution makes it perfect for casual users.
The operating system is Chrome OS and it runs on a 16GB SSD drive which means that it will be extremely fast. The RAM memory is only 4GB, but it is sufficient for basic tasks, so you won't encounter lag or interruptions while playing videos, for example. The RAM memory is also helped by a 1.8Ghz quad-core processor which allows smooth multitasking, while the 802.11ac wireless connectivity ensures quick download and upload speeds!
If you're a big fan of Netflix, this machine can run videos for up to 13 hours before it needs recharging; but obviously this number depends on various factors. Overall, you should go for this laptop if you're into quality entertainment and love small, portable gadgets!
Acer is a Taiwanese manufacturer of hardware and electronics, and it specializes in desktop computers and laptops. The professionals behind this company go the extra mile to create feature-rich products that can pass the test of time and deliver an excellent user experience.
We cannot have a laptop review without incorporating a model from Acer and we think that the Acer Aspire E5 is one of the most attractive and powerful laptops you can find today. It’s available in many processor configurations such as 7th Gen i5, 8th Gen i5, 7th Gen i7, or 8th Gen i7. All of them offer 256GB SSD of memory and 8GB of RAM, so your laptop will absolutely fly through applications!
Another big advantage of this model is its display, which features full HD resolution, IPS technology, and a size of 15.6 inches. It’s ideal for watching movies, editing photos, rendering videos, and of course, playing games. Speaking of gaming, the GeForce MX150 video card packs 2GB of dedicated memory, so you can play your favorite PC games with all details on "Ultra.”
Just when you thought that’s all, this machine comes with yet another ace up its sleeve—the advertised battery life is around 15 hours, so you can actually see an entire season of Game of Thrones while flying from one part of the world to the other! Whether you require this laptop for gaming, work, or entertainment, it delivers outstanding performance and it can be a reliable companion for years to come.
According to Wikipedia, Hewlet-Packard was the leading manufacturer of PCs from 2007 until 2013, and it is very likely that you have owned one of its computers before. Its products are packed with features and they come in a beautiful and attractive design.
The 14-inch HD Chromebook from HP is a cute little laptop that features a clean, minimalistic design and can keep you entertained and connected with the virtual world. It runs on Chrome OS which is an operating system developed by the experts at Google. This compact machine packs a Dual Core 2.16Ghz processor, 4GB of RAM, and 16GB SSD storage memory which means that it can run smoothly for multiple apps at the same time.
When it comes to display size, it’s not the largest one out there at 14 inches, yet it is excellent for browsing, and watching movies and YouTube videos. The 1366- x 768-pixel resolution will display clear, captivating pictures and thanks to the built-in webcam and microphones, you can make video calls with your friends and relatives all day long!
Who is this laptop designed for? Well, if you're into heavy video rendering, editing high-res photos, making music, or playing the largest PC games, then this laptop might not be the right one for you. On the other hand, if you read emails, write documents, browse the internet, and want to be entertained from time to time, then this small digital companion can become your best friend! It is designed for people who are usually on the go and want to have modern technology at their fingertips!
We took a close look at the best laptops on the market right now so that you can easily figure out which of them is the best choice for your particular needs. We hope that the information we’ve provided has been useful, and know you can’t go wrong with any of these models. But if you still want to see some other options, the brands we featured offer more great laptops for you to explore!