Best laptops 2017: Find the best notebook for you - Publik Talk


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Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Best laptops 2017: Find the best notebook for you

Update: Though it doesn’t bear substantial design changes over last year’s model, the all-new 2017 edition of the 13-inch MacBook Pro with Touch Bar is a major spec bump that entices. Read on to find out why it’s the best MacBook you can buy among the best laptops.

When it comes to scouting out the best laptop for your needs, we at TechRadar realize it’s not easy. With so many different brands, models and configurations to choose from, it can be a challenge to determine just what it is that will get you through the tasks you need to complete.

For that reason, we’ve combed through and tested all of the top laptops, thereby guaranteeing confidence, accuracy and comprehensiveness in our recommendations. Whether for work, school or leisure, you can rest assured that these notebooks will have you covered.

Below is a list of the best laptops money can buy, comprised of the newest, highest-rated laptops in several key categories you might be looking for, from thin-and-light Ultrabooks to powerful gaming laptops to hybrids in between.

Slim and feathery, Dell’s flagship XPS 13 is the top laptop for most people. The notebook squeezes a 13.3-inch screen into an 11-inch frame, a feat that only just now Dell's rivals are catching up with. Couple that with Intel’s latest Kaby Lake processors and USB-C in tandem with legacy ports, and all of the color options become just icing on top of what's a superb laptop.

Read the full review: Dell XPS 13

Other great options: If you’re looking to spend a bit less than a grand on a laptop, but still want a quality experience, we heartily recommend the Samsung Chromebook Pro as well as the Lenovo Yoga 720.

For half a grand, a professional-grade laptop is nearly impossible to come across, much less a 2-in-1 device like the Samsung Chromebook Pro. This spectacularly built, all-aluminum laptop might be limited to Chrome OS, but you can count on a 12.3-inch QHD display to make it that much more enticing. Add near-perfect pen support to the mix and it’s worth your while.

Read the full review: Samsung Chromebook Pro

Other great options: Other fine alternatives to this product that come in even cheaper are the Lenovo Yoga Book for less than 300 smackers using either Windows 10 or Android, as well as the HP Stream 14, a basic Windows laptop at a Chromebook price.

  • This product is only available in the US as of this writing. UK and Australian readers: check out a fine alternative in the Asus Chromebook Flip

Check out the rest of the best cheap laptops

Best laptops

As well as being the best laptop overall, the Dell XPS 13 is the best Ultrabook you can buy too. Spanning 0.33 to 0.6 inches thin, this Ultrabook makes no compromises, especially if you’re on the prowl for legacy connectivity options like USB 3.0 and an SD card slot. Top it off with the choice of a Rose Gold color scheme and you’re in for a treat.

Read the full review: Dell XPS 13

Other great options: If you’re looking to still save some money on an Ultrabook, then the Asus ZenBook UX310 is a fantastic affordable Ultrabook. The same goes for the Acer Aspire S 13 – both laptops are available for less than $700 (£500) or $600 (£400), respectively.

Check out the rest of the best Ultrabooks

Best laptops

Despite being available in only one configuration, the Samsung Notebook 9 Pro succeeds without a whole lot of variables. Even as a solo fighter, it’s powerful with a ton of screen real estate to boot – and, my, is that screen gorgeous. Combine those facets with the included, yet superb S-Pen stylus, and it’s no wonder this is the best 2-in-1 laptop around.

Read the full review: Samsung Notebook 9 Pro

Other great options: If you’d like to spend a little less on a 2-in-1 laptop, try out the Asus ZenBook Flip UX360, which can be had for under $550 or £650. Another fine choice would be the Samsung Notebook 7 Spin, available for less than $600 or £900 now.

  • This product is only available in the US as of this writing. UK and AU readers: check out a fine alternative in the HP Spectre x360 15.

Check out the rest of the best 2-in-1 laptops

The Chromebook Flip C302 feels like a much more expensive notebook, but for a fraction of the price of an Ultrabook. Stacked with a gorgeous 2-in-1 design and a keyboard that feels rich to the touch, the Asus Chromebook Flip proves that Chromebooks can be high-end without bearing wildly extravagant price tags. The Asus Chromebook Flip is truly one for the short list.

Read the full review: Asus Chromebook Flip

Other great options: If your idea of a fantastic Chromebook is one that costs less than a games console, then try out the Acer Chromebook R11 or the Dell Chromebook 11 – both can be had for less than 200 bucks.

Check out the rest of the best Chromebooks

Oozing with gamer cred, the Asus ROG Zephyrus GX501 is among the first to take advantage of Nvidia’s Max-Q technology, which allows gaming notebooks to possess slimmer frames without compromising on power. Though the battery life is lacking, the Zephyrus’ performance and profile make it a gaming laptop that could finally replace your desktop and Ultrabook.

Read the full review: Asus ROG Zephyrus GX501

Other great options: This choice may be the best, but it’s mighty pricey. Some cheaper top picks include the Dell Inspiron 15 Gaming as well as the Alienware 13 R3, both being sub-one-thousand-dollar devices when specced accordingly. 

  • This product is only available in the US and UK as of this writing. Australian readers: check out a fine alternative in the Alienware 17 R4

Check out the rest of the best gaming laptops

The only laptop featured three times on our list, there's more to the Dell XPS 13 than a masterclass Ultrabook. It’s also a choice laptop for high school and college students. The XPS 13’s utility is extensive, spanning everything from writing to video editing and nearly everything in between, with a bunch of configurations to accommodate for different budgets and use cases.

Read the full review: Dell XPS 13

Other great options: Need to get a hold of something strong for school, but for less? We recommend you look into the Asus ZenBook UX310 or the Asus Chromebook Flip, available for less than $600 (£500) and under $500 (£570), respectively.

See the rest of the best laptops for students

Best laptops

The latest Surface Pro sees not only the battery life improve by as much as 32%, but the accessories have been revamped as well. Although it’s now sold separately, the Surface Pen has 4,096 levels of pressure sensitivity. What’s more, the Alcantara Type Cover is markedly comfier than previous versions and, of course, the processor has been updated to Kaby Lake.

Read the full review: Microsoft Surface Pro

Other great options: If you’re looking to spend a little less on a great laptop-tablet hybrid, then we heartily recommend the HP Pavilion x2 for less than $200 or £220. Another winner for penny-pinchers would be the Samsung Galaxy TabPro S at just under $400 or £500.

  • This product is only available in the US and Australia as of this writing. UK readers: check out a fine alternative in the Lenovo Miix 510

Check out the rest of the best Windows tablets

After replacing all the ports we had come to know and love over the years with Thunderbolt 3 in last year’s MacBook Pro refresh, this year sees more of the same design choices, but with wholly different internal specs. This is a faster, better MacBook Pro across the board, thanks to being powered by Intel’s Kaby Lake processors and even PCIe 3.0 SSDs.

Read the full review: 13-inch MacBook Pro with Touch Bar (2017)

Check out the rest of the best Macs

Which type of laptop is best for you?

General laptops: Where the best cheap laptops are found, devices that focus more on practicality than style, portability or power. Generally less than $600 or £400, these laptops feature HD screens and plenty of storage, but generally lack the lightweight and powerful nature of Ultrabooks.

Ultrabooks: Where you’ll find beyond-HD displays within frames that are feather-light and honed to impossible thinness, all with the latest, most powerful components. You'll pay dearly for one of the best Ultrabooks, between $700 or £500 and $2,000 or £1,800, for one of these mean machines.

2-in-1 laptops: Featured as a spin on laptops from both the general use or budget category as well as the pricier Ultrabook end of the spectrum, the best 2-in-1 laptops always introduce either a detachable or convertible HD touchscreen for which to use Windows 10 through its Tablet Mode.

Chromebooks: Based on Google’s browser-only Chrome OS, the best Chromebooks do much of what Windows and macOS can in the browser, focused on cloud storage over local, while recently getting Android app support for touchscreen models. Models generally cost less than $300 or £200.

Gaming laptops: Need a laptop to play games (almost) just like a shiny PC can? Then you’ll want one of the best gaming laptops. These machines generally cost from $800 or £600 to upwards of $3,000 or £2,800, depending on what level of gaming performance and screen quality you’re looking for.

Laptop-tablet hybrids: Designed from the tablet-first approach to laptop-tablet hybrids, these devices pack beyond-HD touchscreens, sometimes with kickstands in their frames or provided via keyboard covers. These generally shine with a stylus, and range from the budget to the premium price ranges.

Gabe Carey has also contributed to this article

Author: Joe Osborne,Kevin Lee,Matt Hanson
Published at: Tue, 22 Aug 2017 20:09:00 +0000


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