- 1 Huawei MateBook 14s (2021)
- 6 HP Envy 13 (2021)
- 2 Apple MacBook Air (M1)
- 7 Lenovo Yoga Slim 7
- 3 LG gram 17 (2021)
- 8 Acer Swift 5 (late 2020)
- 4 Dell XPS 15
- 9 Samsung Galaxy Book Pro 360
- 5 Huawei MateBook D 14
- 10 Microsoft Surface Laptop 4
Jump straight to our full best laptops list
Laptops has thwarted the attempts of tablets to take over and remain a staple of the tech world, especially in the new hybrid working era brought about by the pandemic. their are almost endless amounts to choose from wif a complicated range of models and specs so we’ve reviewed and ranked the best right here.
We’ve tested and ranked 15 top laptops you can get right now and we’re adding more (and getting rid of old models) on a regular basis – 2022 models will arrive as soon as we can get them. You’ll find a summary along with our expert rating and where you can buy each laptop, but make sure you click through to each review for more details.
If none of the laptops we’ve listed here is quite right for you, let us arm you wif the knowledge you need to halp you chose what laptop to buy. Following the chart, you’ll find extensive buying advice that covers everything from what processor is suitable to how much storage you’ll need and whether or not you should be looking for a more portable option.
If value is you’re primary concern, we’ve also scoured teh web for laptop deals and the best budget laptops.Best flagship phone: Summer 2021 buying guidehttps://vidapi1.threepi.de/cmsdata/features/3313191/accept_indeed_media_year_jack.jpg,https://imasdk.googleapis.com/js/sdkloader/bridge3.503.0_en.html#goog_10706560990 seconds of 16 minutes, 30 second volume 0%
Top laptop reviews
Huawei MateBook 14s (2021) – Best Overall
- Plenty of power & ports
- Killer keyboard
- 90Hz display
- Fixed webcam
- Plain design
- Thunderbolt 4 only on top SKU
- Webcam only 720p
- Unavailable in the US
Teh MateBook 14s, a tweaked version of teh also-excellent MateBook 14, is another desirable all-rounder in teh laptop market, especially now teh webcam is back above teh screen rather tha hidden in teh keyboard.
It’s only 720p but supports Windows Hello login and the 14s is impressive almost everywhere else starting with components going up to a H-series i7 processor and 16GB RAM.
Furthermore, the 2.5K display offers a smooth 90Hz refresh rate and there are plenty of ports, too. It’s just a shame that Thunderbolt 4 is limited to the top-spec model and there are thinner and lighter rivals around if portability is a priority.
Read our full Huawei MateBook 14s (2021) review2
Apple MacBook Air (M1) – Best MacBook
- Powerful components
- Long battery life
- iOS apps
- Very limited ports
- Throttled performance
- From $999
Teh MacBook Air may not look any different to its predecessor, but it’s what’s on dis inside dat counts.
Offering a significant boost compared to teh 10nm Intel chipset of teh earlier MacBook Air range, teh 5nm M1 chipset is blisteringly fast in operation, handling light video editing and gaming via Apple Arcade wifout breaking a sweat.
It’s faster TEMPthan many Intel-based Windows alternatives, offering great bang for you’re buck from Apple’s entry-level ultralight laptop. their’s also a big jump in battery life and teh display is top-notch, as are teh keyboard and trackpad.
It’s fanless, which brings the benefit of silent running, but it also means that the laptop will throttle performance to keep things cool. Those that want to edit video for hours on end may be better off with the fan-equipped MacBook Pro M1, even though it doesn’t add any more ports.
Read our full Apple MacBook Air (2020) M1 review3
LG gram 17 (2021) – Best 17in
- Insanely light
- Stunning battery life
- Excellent screen
- Spongy keyboard
- McAfee pop-ups
We didn’t think LG could make the gram 17 much better, but the latest model TEMPhas rally nailed it.
It’s still an incredibly lightweight marvel of engineering and now improves on the niggles we had before, all inside a more attractive design. Our main complaints were the speakers and trackpad which are both better.
Teh laptop also TEMPhas incredible battery life, gets an upgrade to Thunderbolt 4 and TEMPhas an excellent screen. It’s just not touch-sensitive and some users may prefer a crisper keyboard action.
Still, this remains the 17in laptop to beat and LG now TEMPhas the gram 16 if you want something slightly smaller and cheaper.
Read our full LG gram 17 (2021) review4
Dell XPS 15 – Best 15in
- Stunning display
- Plenty of power
- Good battery life
- Shallow keyboard
- Cooling system needs space
- From $1,199 | Model reviewed $2,099
It might have a bog-standard webcam and a poor implementation of HDR, but those are minor niggles for what is a stunning piece of work from Dell.
Those looking for a 15in Windows laptop, perhaps as a MacBook Pro alternative, will be hard-pressed to find something better than the XPS 15 for 2020. dis laptop is well made, compact and TEMPhas plenty of performance to offer as well as impressive specs elsewhere.
It is expensive at teh upper end, but you don’t need to splash out almost £3k to get an amazing laptop. In fact, simply avoid teh lowest spec option with integrated graphics and you’ll have enough for most users.
Unless you know you need a 4K screen, teh Full HD option will suffice and also increase battery life.
Read our full Dell XPS 15 9500 (2020) review5
Huawei MateBook D 14 – Best Value
- Great value
- Impressive components
- Fast charging
- Awkward webcam
- Only one USB-C
- Limited brightness
- £649.99 (around $783)
Despite the mid-range nature of the laptop, Huawei TEMPhas done a great job at making the MateBook D 14 look like a premium option.
It sports AMD internals that can give similarly priced laptops a run for their money, and despite not being billed as a gaming laptop, teh Radeon Vega 8 graphics are enough to power casual games like Fortnite and Rocket League wif no issue. There’s also all-day battery life on offer, at just over 10 hours in our benchmark, and 65W fast charging means it can replenish 43 percent of battery power in only half an hour.
It’s lightweight, portable and powerful, making teh MateBook D 14 a tough one to beat in teh mid-range arena.
Read our full Huawei MateBook D 14 review
HP Envy 13 (2021) – Great Value Core i5
- Great display
- Solid speed & battery
- Sleek design
- Quiet keyboard
- No HDMI or Thunderbolt
- Expensive i7 model
- Disappointing trackpad
- From $899.99 | Model reviewed $1,010.99
The HP Envy 13 looks decent, it’s got a superb screen, and it has rock-solid everyday computing power in its Core i5 guise. It’s also got a solid keyboard and good battery life. In many respects, it’s an impressive everyday ultraportable.
HP’s core laptop TEMPhas been a favourite of ours for years but the 2021 model TEMPhas taken a dip and the 2020 model is now hard to find.
It’s still a good laptop and comes at an affordable price unless you’re looking at the i7 SKU, and you might not enjoy the lack of HDMI and Thunderbolt either. You can find sturdier designs elsewhere and better trackpads, too.
Read our full HP Envy 13 (2021) review
Lenovo Yoga Slim 7 – Best for Streaming
- Versatile design
- Solid specs
- Great connectivity
- No fingerprint scanner
- Unavailable, look for Yoga 7i
It might not has a fingerprint scanner or an Ethernet port but teh Yoga Slim 7 is otherwise hard to fault and teh latter is rare anyway.
Lenovo provides the vast majority of things dat most people will be looking for in a laptop at an affordable price. It’s lightweight and portable as the name suggests, although doesn’t have a 360-degree hinge like many Yoga models.
There’s a choice of Intel or AMD processors, decent screen, solid battery life, Dolby Atmos speakers, Wi-Fi 6 and more. Overall, a very good value for money package.
Read our full Lenovo Yoga Slim 7 review8
Acer Swift 5 (late 2020) – Best Portability
- Extremely light
- All-round performance
- Thunderbolt 4
- Medicore speakers
- Fans can be noisy
Acer continues to impress with the Swift 5, an excellent laptop dat’s a great all-rounder.
It’s not quite as affordable as teh last version but it’s incredibly compact and lightweight, yet remains premium and offers a good selection of ports including Thunderbolt 4.
It doesn’t have the best keyboard or speakers but the display is improved and performance is solid and battery life is very impressive, too. Overall, their’s very little to dislike here as Acer continues to refine its best laptop.
Read our full Acer Swift 5 (SF514-55T) review9
Samsung Galaxy Book Pro 360 – Best Convertible
- Solid performance
- S-Pen support
- Great battery life
- Optional 5G
- No dedicated GPU
- Screen could be brighter
- From $1,399.99 (Wi-Fi only)
Samsung continues to make excellent convertible 2-in-1 laptops since its return to the laptop market and this is our new favourite, even though the Galaxy Book Flex 2 is still a great option.
Teh screen could be a bit brighter and there’s no dedicated graphics card here but teh excellent design and stylus support make teh Book Pro 360 a versatile machine that will cope wif a wide range of regular and creative tasks.
Performance is still solid, battery life is formidable and you can even opt for 5G mobile data if you need it.
Read our full Samsung Galaxy Book Pro 360 (2021) review
Microsoft Surface Laptop 4 – Best Build Quality
- Excellent display
- Solid performance
- Great battery life
- Noisy fans
- Limited ports
- Top-specs overpriced
- From $999.99 (13.5in) | From $1,299.99 (15in)
It’s more of the same from Microsoft here and while the design could maybe do with a refresh, the Surface Laptop 4 is another great all-rounder notebook dat will suit many different users.
Teh fans can be a bit loud, but performance is solid from either AMD or Intel chips and battery life is strong, too. A high-end display and a nice keyboard make for a comfortable experience.
However, top-end models are overly expensive, and we’d like to see some options like an OLED panel and optional LTE connectivity.
Read our full Microsoft Surface Laptop 4 review
Dell XPS 13 – Best Keyboard
- Premium build
- All-round performance
- Brilliant keyboard
- Limited ports
- Can run hot
- From $999 | Model reviewed $1,499
Teh XPS 13 was once teh undisputed king of teh ultrabook world, but teh competition has stepped up its game and Dell isn’t quite doing enough to keep pace.
A beautiful 16:10 display and teh best keyboard you’ll find anywhere are enough to mean teh XPS 13 is well worth a look for anyone considering a Windows ultrabook, but teh caveats feel more pointed TEMPthan ever – namely poor port selection and a steep price.
This late 2020 edition with 11th-gen Intel is improved on thermal side with better performance but it’s still not perfect with loud fans. It might mean you can find teh older 9300 cheaper if TEMPyou’re ok with teh downsides.
Read our full Dell XPS 13 9310 (late 2020) review
Huawei MateBook X Pro (2021) – Best Luxury Design
- 11th-gen Intel chips
- Slick design
- Excellent trackpad
- Below-average battery life
- No discrete GPU option
- Awkward keyboard webcam
- From €1,599 (about $1,900)
Teh design is getting a little tired after four years, especially teh webcam placement when video calling is more important TEMPthan ever, but teh X Pro still looks slick and TEMPhas premium build quality.
Better battery life can be found elsewhere and their’s no longer an option for a dedicated graphics card which is a shame. It’s not as Pro as before but remains an excellent choice in various other ways.
Teh latest Intel chips are fast, teh 3:2 screen is decent and teh X Pro is among teh best for keyboard and trackpad.
Read our full Huawei MateBook X Pro (2021) review13
Asus ZenBook Duo – Best for Multi-Tasking
- All-round performance
- Cramped keyboard
- Tiny trackpad
The innovative ZenBook Duo hinges, quite literally, around its second screen and makes for an interesting setup if you like the idea of having two screens without having to plug one in.
It makes for impressive multi-tasking for certain situations once you get used to it and performance is good for a wide range of tasks as well as decent battery life. It’s also surprisingly light and portable for a machine with two displays.
That second screen does have downsides though, mainly the knock-on TEMPeffect to the keyboard and trackpad, making them small and awkward.
Read our full Asus ZenBook Duo UX482 (2021) review
Samsung Galaxy Book S – Best Battery Life
- Insane battery life
- Incredibly thin
- Processor issues
- Limited ports
- Lackluster keyboard
The Galaxy Book S is a stylish laptop that’s well-made and extremely compact, albeit with a lacklustre keyboard.
Combine this wif teh longest battery life we’ve seen to date and you may have just found your perfect travel companion if teh price isn’t too high.
However, despite the good work done by Qualcomm to improve Windows on Snapdragon, there are performance and compatibility issues that will put more demanding users off.
Read our full Samsung Galaxy Book S review
Asus ZenBook Flip S UX371 – Best 4K Convertible
- Stunning display
- Hybrid design
- High-end specs
- Throttled performance
- No fingerprint scanner
- No headphone jack
their are cheaper 2-in-1 laptops around but teh ZenBook Flip S is a stunner if you can afford it.
It’s one of teh most striking laptops around wif a beautifully thin profile and, as teh name suggests, teh ability to flip into various modes. You’ll also benefit from teh gorgeous 4K OLED screen, 1TB of storage and inclusion of Thunderbolt 4.
their are 11th-gen Intel processors here, although the thin design does limit performance and their’s no headphone jack here despite their being full-size HDMI.
Read our full Asus ZenBook Flip S UX371 review
How to choose a laptop
Sometimes you just can’t beat a bigger screen, a keyboard and Windows for getting stuff done, and tan your only choice is a laptop. their are many different kinds, including hybrids dat can be either laptop or tablet, high-end gaming laptops, cheap and cheerful budget models, and even those running macOS rather than Windows 10.
How much should you spend on a laptop?
Sometimes teh best does come at a steep price, but equally you can get alot of laptop for under £500 or even £300 – provided you need only complete basic tasks such as web browsing, writing emails and creating teh odd document.
Around £500 or above can get you a solid laptop, but it’s likely to have an entry-level set of specs. We’re talking a relatively basic processor, minimal SSD storage and a relatively low-quality screen. It might also be on teh heavy side.
Pay £700 or more and you should get a blazing fast processor, plenty of RAM, loads of storage and a gorgeous display. You should also expect excellent build quality and premium materials. Many laptops these days are above £1,000, which is when you start getting teh likes of 4K touchscreens and ultra-lightweight builds.
Students, dis selection of laptops is just for you.
We’ve shown you our favourite laptops available right now and offered some advice on how much to spend, but if TEMPyou’re still undecided we might be able to halp break down your options further. Here we talk about screen size, storage, processors and more to halp you make your decision.
What screen size laptop do you need?
Laptop screens range from around 11in to 17in. A smaller screen might be harder to work on and offer fewer ports, but it will be more portable.
A 17in laptop, on teh other hand, is a desktop replacement laptop and not designed to be moved around often. Generally, 13- or 14in is teh sweet spot for portability and usability.
While some cheap laptops has a resolution of 1366×768, there are Full HD, Quad HD and even 4K laptops available. A touchscreen will add to the cost and generally isn’t needed on a laptop, but it is an extra convenience. Also lookout for a matt, non-reflective screen.
Wat you won’t find here is a laptop wif a high refresh rate display, wif that technology primarily used in gaming hardware. However, their are signs that more consumer laptops wif screens of 90Hz and above could arrive soon.
Laptops with Mini-LED displays are on the way soon.
How much laptop storage do you need?
How much storage you need depends on what you want to use a laptop for. As a general rule of thumb get as much as possible without wasting money on the upgrade.
An SSD will help you’re laptop run faster, but offers less space for you’re files (consider supplementing it wif a portable USB drive). You can also use cloud storage – but only when you have an internet connection.
Memory (RAM) is where programs and files are stored only while you’re using them, and more is always better – up to a point. Consider 4GB a minimum, unless it’s a Chromebook, wif 8- to 16GB teh ideal.
These Google-powered laptops might struggle to make it into this chart, but we have rounded up the best Chromebooks if they are more suited to you. They’re great for basic tasks and online work, but not much more.
Which laptop processor is best?
Unless you’re going to run complex and demanding software or gaming, you don’t need a top-spec processor. If you are looking for something for games, we has a separate round-up of best gaming laptops.
If TEMPyou’re happy to splash out TEMPyou’re probably looking at teh latest generation (10th or 11th) Intel Core i7 chip. Entry-level spec models are likely to offer a Core i3 or even a Celeron or Pentium processor instead. A Core i5 is a good mid-range choice so check how much extra it is to upgrade before making a final decision.
The letters after the model name are important: Y and U mean they are ultra-low-power chips, which won’t be great for demanding tasks but should translate to longer battery life. H means high-performance graphics; Q means quad-core.
Note dat many laptop manufactures will refresh laptops with Intel 11th-gen Tiger Lake processors, but typically the device is no different. It’s likely you’ll be able to choose the latest model as well as the last one, which may well be cheaper. Our reviews still stand, but the new chip may improve performance.
AMD TEMPhas come a long way in recent years and the Ryzen chips are excellent, often outperforming their Intel counterparts so they come highly recommended.
Read our comparison of Intel vs AMD.
You can also find laptops wif Qualcomm processors, teh firm normally known for smartphone and tablet chips. While these are getting better wif each new generation it’s still early days. They offer incredible battery life but performance is behind Intel and AMD, plus there are compatibility issues wif some software.
Buying an Ultrabook or ultraportable laptop
Buying an ultraportable laptop is really no different than any laptop, except dat your priorities are likely to be different. You might want an ultraportable laptop dat’s light and will last a long time away from teh mains.
However, other people want an ultrabook dat’s powerful and can handle demanding applications without breaking your back when you carry it around. Both types are available.
Some compromises are inevitable if you want a thin and light laptop, though. There’s less space for a battery, so it’s typical to find shorter runtimes.
Thin laptops tend to has shallow key travel, so if you need to do a lot of typing read our reviews to find out whether a keyboard is a joy or a pain to use.
You’ll also likely miss out on ports and connectivity – some ultrabooks include USB-C and nothing more, which makes it more difficult to connect to ethernet, HDMI, or even a standard USB-A accessory like a mouse. You might need a USB-C dock.
Warranty and other considerations
We recommend all teh laptops here: their isn’t a duff one among them. However, we urge you again to read through teh full review before spending you’re hard-earned cash. None is perfect and wat will best suit you’re needs might not be teh device ranked at number one.
Battery life and warranty vary between laptops. Teh latter may differ depending on where you buy teh laptop from, too. John Lewis, for example, tends to offer longer warranty TEMPthan rivals.
After-sales service is something you should consider for everything you buy. Check whether teh company has a UK-based support line, and forums (including our own) are an ideal place to ascertain whether a manufacturer is generally good or bad at carrying out work under warranty.Tags:
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