Apart from many tasks that one can achieve from a notebook, the best smartphones have gone way beyond. You can click amazing pictures and videos, binge watch your favorite TV shows, or even pay money without ever reaching for your wallet. But even to this date, most people continue to rely on laptops to get their work done faster and more efficiently. The initial days of the Covid-19 lockdown saw a decline in smartphone sales due to obvious reasons. However, at the same time, there was a huge demand for laptops as organizations scrambled to switch to a work from home setup.
There is a wide variety of laptops out there for almost every type of user. From gorgeous displays to long-lasting battery life, getting the right notebook is honestly not that difficult. Of course, you just need to look in the right place. It is best to assess all the factors before you go ahead and put your money down. Apart from choosing the right specs, you need to be mindful of the size and form factor. Of course, in the end, it all comes down to your needs and requirements. To make things easy, we have listed some of the best laptops that you should consider if you are planning to buy one in 2020. These are the best and top of the line options in various segments.
Navigate this guide:
- Best overall laptop: Dell XPS 13 9310
- Best portable gaming laptop: ASUS ROG Zephyrus G14
- Best laptop for Mac users: Apple MacBook Pro 16
- Best 17-inch Laptop: Dell XPS 17
- Best budget gaming laptop: ASUS TUF A15
- Best business laptop: Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon
- Best gaming laptop: Razer Blade Pro 17
- Best affordable laptop for Mac users: Apple MacBook Air (M1)
- Best 2-in-1 laptop: HP Spectre x360 13
- Best Chromebook: Acer Spin 713
Best Overall Laptop: Dell XPS 13 9310
The XPS 13 has quintessentially been one of the most influential Windows laptops in the past few years. Known for offering a solid balance of style and performance, the all-new XPS 13 9310 model offers up to an 11th-gen Intel Core i7-1185G7 processor, 16GB 4267MHz of LRDDR4x memory, and 512GB M.2 PCIe NVMe SSD. The sleek metal design complements the borderless display, which is also one of its highlight features. Speaking of which, Dell has been offering some of the best-looking displays on its XPS lineup. This one features a 13.4-inch 16:10 ratio screen, and you can opt for a 1200p or 2400p resolution. The port selection is limited to a couple of USB-C ports with Thunderbolt 4, a microSD card slot, and a headphone and mic combo jack. Dell claimed battery life of up to 14-hours on the full-HD+ model which sounds great for all-day workloads. It is also Intel Evo certified which means that it is specifically recommended by Intel to offer a premium experience to the end-user.
Best Portable Gaming Laptop: ASUS ROG Zephyrus G14
Probably one of the most eye-catching notebooks of 2020, the Zephyrus G14 from ASUS is quite a versatile machine. It offers a fairly sleek 14-inch design and is also loaded with powerful CPU and GPU options to fulfill your gaming needs. The solid build, battery life, and that unique dot-matrix display on the lid add up to what can be called the best everyday gaming laptop. Notably, ASUS is offering the machine with AMD’s powerful Ryzen 4000 processor options as well as a 120Hz display. The only gripe we have is that it does not come with a built-in webcam for your Zoom meetings.
Best Laptop for Mac users: Apple MacBook Pro 16
The biggest and most powerful MacBook in years, the MacBook Pro 16 is an easy recommendation for power users. The notebook has been applauded for finally bringing back the scissor-style keyboard switches. It also comes with some of the best speaker systems on any laptop on the market. Of course, being a MacBook Pro, you can expect this machine to glide through your audio, video, or photo editing tasks without working up a sweat. Apple has also gone all-out when it comes to the hardware offering up to an 8-core Intel Core i9 processor, up to 16GB of 2666MHz DDR4 RAM, further expandable, and up to a whopping 8TB of SSD storage.
Best 17-inch Laptop: Dell XPS 17
Dell reintroduced a 17-inch XPS laptop earlier this year, almost 10-year after we saw the last model. Offering all of the best features that we have seen on the recent XPS lineup, the XPS 17 simply enlarges the package. It also offers up to a 10th-gen Intel Core i9 processor and NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 GPU making it an apt device for creative professionals and casual gamers. Additionally, you can expect the premium XPS styling, including the super-slim bezels, which reduces the laptop’s overall footprint down to a 15-inch notebook. This notebook is also a serious competitor if you are looking for a Windows alternative to the MacBook Pro 16.
Best Budget Gaming Laptop: ASUS TUF A15
AMD’s Ryzen 4000 series has given solid competition to Intel this year. Apart from mainstream laptops, the chipset also crept into the gaming segment. One such option, especially if you are looking for something on a budget, is the ASUS TUF A15 gaming notebook. Targeting entry-level gamers, the TUF A15 is a fairly affordable option if you are looking for something powerful for your everyday work and gaming needs. The notebook isn’t the most premium-looking machine out there, but you get MIL-STD 810 certification and some RGB lighting for the keyboard. You also get the option for a 144Hz panel, although it isn’t the most color-accurate screen, which is expected from an entry-level gaming laptop.
Best Business Laptop: Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon
The ThinkPad series is a no brainer if you are looking for a solid business notebook. The X1 Carbon primarily witnessed under-the-hood upgrades this year, but that doesn’t make it any less of a recommendation. The 10th-Gen Intel vPro CPUs deliver only a slight performance boost compared to the previous generation. But if your business notebook is 3-4 years old, then the ThinkPad X1 Carbon is a wise choice. The laptop offers an ultraslim design that is highly durable and the best keyboard in its class, and good display options. We would also recommend looking at the HP Elite Dragonfly if you are willing to stretch your budget.
Best Gaming Laptop: Razer Blade Pro 17
Razer might still be an underdog, but the Razer Blade Pro 17 is undoubtedly the best gaming laptop out there. It has a fairly slim persona yet offers a healthy set of ports, including a full-size HDMI and Ethernet. There’s certainly some high-end hardware as well, including the options of a 300Hz display or a 4K 120Hz screen, NVIDIA’s GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q, and an eight-core Intel Core i7-10875H processor with 16GB RAM. If you want to go all-out, you can look at the Alienware m15 R3 or even the Gigabyte Aero 17. Still, in our opinion, Razer is offering a wider option for gamers and creative professionals in a package that would appeal to a wider audience.
Best affordable laptop for Mac users: Apple MacBook Air (M1)
Apple announced the new MacBook Air last month which was a part of the first wave of products running on the company’s own custom chipset, the M1. Based on the 5nm node, the new M1 chipset is proving to be one of the biggest leaps for Apple in the computing world. It includes an 8-core CPU, a 16-core neural engine, and up to an 8-core GPU. Not only is the chipset offering better performance than the Intel processors, but it is also power efficient making the notebook last longer in terms of battery life. Now the overall design of the new MacBook Air is similar to the last-gen model, but anyone who is planning to get an affordable MacBook should not look any further. The notebook is available with 8GB of RAM and the option of either 256GB or 512GB SSD storage.
Best 2-in-1 Laptop: HP Spectre x360 13
If you are looking for the best 2-in-1 laptop that also looks impressive, then the HP Spectre x360 is a wise choice. Apart from offering strong performance, it features a vivid 13.3-inch 4K OLED touch display and an excellent keyboard. Compared to the previous-gen model, HP has trimmed down the areas around the display and keyboard, making it smaller in terms of the overall footprint. The notebook also offers fingerprint and face recognition for added security, while the improved trackpad offers a fluid experience.
Best Chromebook: Acer Chromebook Spin 713
Chromebooks are usually the best option for school and college students since they are usually cheap. Not the Acer Spin 713 though. It is one of the most powerful, pricey, and best Chromebooks out there. Since it is expensive, it also comes with powerful 10th-gen Intel CPU options going all the way from Core i3 to a Core i7. It also comes with a 13.5-inch 2256×1504 touchscreen, a 128GB NVMe SSD, and 8GB of LPDDR4 RAM, making it the fastest one out there. The Acer Spin 713 is also Project Athena certified, which means that it has a seal of approval from Intel when it comes to performance and battery life.
Considering the holiday season is here, we are assuming that you might be tempted to get your hands on one of these notebooks. Having said that, we suggest you hold on for a few more days. As in the case of the XPS 13, Intel’s new 11th-Gen mobile processors are slowly making their way to newer models. We are expecting more device manufacturers to start offering newer updated models at CES 2021 with the new processor options. Additionally, AMD is also expected to launch its new Ryzen 5000 series mobile CPUs for notebooks in January.
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