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Best Laptop for 2020: Last Buying Guide You’ll Ever Need

Whether you’re a Windows or Mac fan, these are the best laptops you can buy today

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Laptops have become indispensable devices for most active people, and the market is full of models for all pockets and performance requirements. Some models made it to our top-rated list due to their long lasting battery and performance, others for design and functionalities, and a few just because they’re an all-around good deal.

If what interests you is a laptop with good autonomy, which you can use at work, you will definitely want to consider a MacBook. The Apple MacBook Pro stands out for its 12-hour battery autonomy and uses the Intel® Core i9 processor, so it runs well when using editing programs that typically require a lot of resources.

If you prefer a laptop other than Apple, we recommend models from HP, ASUS, Dell or Toshiba with equally attractive performance, but somewhat more affordable.

Here is our list of the best laptops currently available.

The Best Laptops of 2020

Apple Macbook Pro 16
Image credit: Apple.com

1. Apple Macbook Pro

The main feature of this model is the Retina screen, an Apple technology for high-quality images. It offers a reduction of reflection, a viewing angle of up to 178 degrees, and a resolution of 2880 x 1800 which provides awe-inspiring details.

Beyond the attractive display, you’ll also see excellent computing performance: 2.8 GHz Intel i7 quad-core processor and 6 MB of cache, 16 GB of RAM at 1600 Mhz, and an SSD that can store 256 GB of files. The video card is integrated and has a memory of 2 GB RAM, which makes video editing very fast and easy to perform.

As for features, it comes with a haptic interface (keyboard vibrations convey sensations during movies), battery life of 9 hours, and a total weight of 2.04 kilograms. The screen can be detached from the keyboard, and the housing is made of aluminum, durable, and durable. It is difficult to find a disadvantage of this product, but we could mention in this regard the lack of an optical interface (DVD player).

Pros
  • Crazy performance
  • Immersive 16-inch display
  • Improved keyboard
Cons
  • Pricey
  • No optical drive
Asus ZenBook 14 Ultra-Slim
Image source: store.asus.com

2. ASUS ZenBook 14 Ultra Slim

If you want a laptop that handles everything you want to do or you are simply passionate about movies and want a high-performance laptop, we propose the ZenBook 14 Ultra Slim from ASUS. It was designed especially for realistic experiences, featuring an FHD 4-Way NanoEdge display with a resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels and an innovative screen pad 2.0.

As technical characteristics, we mention the 10th generation Intel i7 processor, quad-core, with a max turbo frequency of 4.90Ghz, 16GB RAM, and 512 PCIe SSD, allowing you to take full advantage of the 14 hours battery life and get tasks done. The video card is a dedicated Nvidia GeForce MX2500, with 2000MB GDDR5 memory.

Connectivity-wise, it features 1 x HDMI port, VGA, 2 x USB 3.1 and 1 x USB 2.0, 1 x Audio Jack, Micro SD card reader and WiFi 6 (802.11ax) + BT 5.0. The SuperBatt battery gives you extended battery life, allowing up to 700 recharging cycles and three times greater battery life than a standard battery, as stated by the manufacturer (up to 14 hours).

3. HP Pavillion

Here is a model of laptop appreciated by users for its autonomy, performance, but also its durability. First of all, the battery lasts longer than 10 hours (even over 13 hours, according to the manufacturer), so you can take it with you and work from anywhere, whether or not you have access to an outlet.

It uses Intel® Core ™ i7-8550U processor, with 4 cores and 1800 MHz rated frequency (up to 4000 MHz, thanks to turbo boost), and 32GB RAM. So, all these features show that the laptop will work smoothly, whether you play a game, watch a 4K movie, or do multitasking. Also, it has a dedicated video card.

It has SSD storage, with a capacity of 2TB plus a 1TB Hardrive, so that not only will you have enough space to save personal files, but the data transfer will be made faster. Remember that the model has an optical drive, HD camera, stereo speakers and microphone, is compatible with Bluetooth and you can connect it to the internet via wireless, and on its interface, you can find all the connectors you could need.

4. Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon 7th Gen

Like all its competitors, Lenovo is a brand that tries to go beyond its limits with every product it launches – which can be noticed by taking a brief look at the ThinkPad range. Its design is meant to solve problems in terms of transportation, and it seems the Chinese company engineers have done a pretty good job.

It possesses an attractive, slim design, which makes it easy to fit in any bag or backpack without bothering you. It weighs only 1.13kg, and it has a thickness that fails to cross the 16mm threshold, which means you can take it with you everywhere.

What is truly spectacular, however, is the fingerprint identification, which will keep unauthorized users away from your documents. As for the hardware, things are as bright as we are dealing with a reasonably powerful Intel Core i7 processor, which is accompanied by 16GB of RAM. To these are added, of course, a Solid State drive with a rather large storage capacity of 512GB, which will manage, together with the other components mentioned in this paragraph, to turn this simple device into a “racing car”.

5. Dell Inspiron 5578

Dell Inspiron 5578 is one of the best 2-in-1 laptops on the market, being suitable for those who need a powerful and portable device. Despite having a 15.6-inch touch screen, which allows you to watch movies and videos without problems, this model enjoys a lightweight (2.3kg) and a slim design (20mm thickness), which will enable you to take it with you wherever you go. It also has a rather long autonomy, of almost 8 hours, in normal working conditions, so it is suitable even for long trips.

It incorporates, of course, a state-of-the-art Intel Core i7 processor, with two cores, which can reach 3.5GHz frequency. You will, therefore, be able to run demanding software products, without encountering interlocks or interruptions.

It even benefits from 16GB of DDR4 RAM, which means that the laptop can easily support the activity of several programs running simultaneously. This will allow you to give high efficiency, to complete all tasks in a short time. You should not worry about storage capacity either, because you have a 512GB SSD, meant to provide the system with extra speed and generous storage space, allowing you to download all the files and programs you need.

6. ASUS TUF FX504

This is a laptop that will please gamers because, in addition to great audio-video experience, it has features that make it very durable and durable, as well as some improvements that make the use very enjoyable. It has a 15.6-inch diagonal and a Full HD screen (anti-glare), a storage capacity of 1 TB, and high portability for a model in its range (2.5cm thickness and 2.4kg weight).

Considering the performance of the processor – Intel® Core ™ i7-8750H up to 4.10 GHz, we can conclude that all the functions will run very fast, you will be able to play games with high capacity settings, and the 4k formats will run without delay. Nor should we mention that it obviously has a dedicated video card. Also, the headphones or speakers you connect will be able to provide 7.1-channel surround sound, which makes the action seem more realistic.

It has an anti-dust cooling system, which only gives it longevity and support performance at any time. Microphones process ambient noise and make your voice heard much brighter, precisely what you want when you network with friends when you play LoL.

7. Acer Aspire E 15 E5-575G-57D4

If you want to invest in a powerful laptop to use in the long term, both for browsing the Internet, and gaming, we recommend considering the Acer Aspire E5-575G-7826. As for dimensions, it is in the category of the medium, standard displays, with a 15.6-inch diagonal and Full HD resolution (1920 x 1080), which gives you the ideal combination of mobility and image quality.

It has integrated video card with Nvidia chipset and Intel Core i7 processor, the 7th generation (Kaby Lake) with 3.7GHz processing speed, which will seamlessly support 3D rendering and other types of complex editing. Unfortunately, RAM only includes 8GB (allows for simple, basic processes), but the good news is that it can be expanded up to 32GB depending on your operating needs.

You will benefit from a 256GB SSD hard drive and 2800mAh Li-ion battery with four cells for long-lasting autonomy that gives you freedom of movement and the ability to work from anywhere. As for connectivity options, you have HDMI port for visual presentations, RJ-45 for the network, USB ports (2 types 3.0, 1 type 2.0, and one type 3.1 Type C) and SD card reader.

8. Toshiba Tecra A50-E

The Toshiba Tecra A50-E is a powerful business laptop, equipped with a Quad-Core i7-8550U processor, running very fast and meeting all the commands you initiate.

It features 32 GB RAM, making this laptop suitable for multitasking. In terms of storage capacity, it comes with a generous SSD capacity of 1TB. It is suitable for video conferencing, watching movies or gaming, as it incorporates a camera, stereo speakers and microphone.

It is Bluetooth compatible and can be connected to a router via Wi-Fi network. The battery life is good, up to 8 hours, and the screen diagonal is suitable for presentation and editing (15.6 ″). It also comes with Windows 10 Pro preinstalled, which is a nice addition.

9. Dell Inspiron 15 3567

Dell Inspiron 3567 is a laptop that we recommend for daily use. This model does not offer the same performance as a gaming model, but with which you will do your job, if you write a lot on it, browse online, watch movies, more chosen in online streaming services, and listen to music.

To give you an idea of ​​the technical performance, we tell you that it incorporates Intel® Core ™ i3-7020U processor, 2.30 GHz, plus 4 GB RAM (supports up to 16GB) and the video card is integrated. This allows you to navigate smoothly, even if you cannot install a high-performance game.

It has a 15 inch diagonal, you can connect it to the internet by wire or wireless, it is also compatible with Bluetooth, and on its interface, you will find an RJ-45 port, an HDMI, a USB 2.0 and two USB 3.0 ports, as well as or Audio Out. It has a 2W webcam and speakers (you probably want to connect some speakers or headphones), and it comes with an adapter and a power cord. Last but not least, it is very affordable.

10. Apple MacBook Air 13

If you want to buy a Mac, which you can use, especially at work, whether it means office activities or the use of editing programs, this laptop may be to your liking. It’s high-performance and fast, thanks to the Intel® Dual Core 5 i5 processor, with two cores and 8 GB of memory.

What stands out about this laptop is its autonomy. The battery lasts up to 12 hours (even longer, according to some users). So, it will last at least a day of work, and you can work wherever you want, especially if we take into account the portability of the model. As for storage capacity, it must be said that it integrates a 128 GB SSD.

It has a diagonal of 13.3 inches, is very thin (1.7 cm), and light (1.35 kg), connects quickly to the wireless network, has three USB 3.0 ports, and is Bluetooth compatible. The keyboard is light, so you can use it when it’s dark in the room, without turning on another light source, it has a FaceTime HD 720p video camera and dual microphones that reduce background noise during an online conference.

How to choose the best laptop

Type

A state-of-the-art laptop is among the few devices that give you a balance between portability, performance, and power, being ideal for movies, games, or internet browsing. With the help of the information to be presented in this guide, you can start the search that will bring you one step closer to the best laptop.

Before that, it’s essential to think about something that might influence your buying decision. Determine how often you use it or consider using a laptop.

Depending on how much we use the laptop, we will find out which model is suitable for us:

  • Low frequency of use: it involves the use of the laptop for browsing standard web pages, social networks, storing and tracking photos, etc.;
  • Average frequency of use: accentuated access to the internet, viewing videos, movies, and editing complex documents;
  • High frequency of use: the simultaneous use of several programs, the opening of several windows in the browser, the creation of graphic elements of photo or video type and others;

There are laptops that can fit into each of the above categories, and for many of them, the difference can be seen at their price. In a laptop required at higher capacities, we will make investments in both the software components and the hardware side, choosing screens with higher resolutions and memories, more powerful processors and larger storage spaces.

Notebooks

The category of notebooks is represented by standard laptops, those found in each store, and probably the most widespread, both in the stocks of the sellers and in possession of the buyers of such devices.

They are built according to the same principle, which is a display with a keyboard and a pad used as a mouse. More precisely, it is a compact, portable computer that uses the battery as a power supply.

It can be used for the same tasks that you can do on a classic computer. Still, it has the property of folding and being transported anywhere, being used without being connected to an electricity source. That said, they favor mobile use.

Ultrabooks

Although we would be tempted to say that there is no difference between a notebook and an ultrabook, things are different. An ultrabook can be considered a type of laptop that is usually thinner than a notebook.

They are considered more reliable, most models having a top performance for the period they are launched. Ultrabooks have keyboards made up of slightly smaller keys, imposed by the form approached for its design.

Unlike a larger weight notebook, this type is advantageous for its slim shape. It can be several hundred grams lighter, an essential aspect that significantly contributes to the degree of portability of the device.

2-in-1 Laptops

The 2 in 1 model combines the portability of a tablet with the operating power of a laptop. It is also known as a hybrid or convertible laptop because the keyboard can be detached from the other half intended for the screen.

The screen is tactile and can be used as a tablet, having dimensions suitable for products in this category. Usually, they fall into the category of semi-performance laptops.

The costs incurred by the manufacturers for the best 2-in-1 laptop are slightly higher than the amount of money you would have given for the purchase of a tablet with similar performance and functionality.

Gaming laptops

They are specially designed to be able to support demanding games, which need the highest performance. The best gaming laptop brings much greater power and improved functionality.

They are differentiated by the presence of state-of-the-art video cards and ultra-high-performance processors, meant to transform the gaming experience into one with no blocked images and visible pixels.

Producing brands have not only focused on the performance of this kind, but they are also interested in making much better audio speakers, larger-than-usual screens, and top resolutions.

Features

Screen resolution

Specifically, pixel density, renders the displayed image much more qualitatively when the number of pixels is higher. This is represented by the result of the multiplication between the height and the virtual width of the image, calculated in the unit of measure called pixel.

The same resolution will be viewed differently on screens of different sizes when keeping dimensional proportions. In this case, it is about laptops, where even the average resolutions can be seen flawlessly on the small display of the device.

HD Laptops

They use a resolution of 1366 x 768 pixels, which is considered standard on most conventional laptops and sufficient to perform basic tasks, such as browsing the Internet, accessing social networks, or using different simple applications.

Full HD Laptops

We are already moving to a high enough level to support the playback of the same quality movies or video games recently released displaying a high-quality image without the risk of losing any important details, with a density of 1920 x 1080 pixels.

QHD Laptops

A middle category between Full HD and 4K resolutions, this is rarely used in the production of laptops but is considered useful because it can display even the smallest details with the extremely high pixel density of 2560 x 1440. It is ideal for very demanding games or for people who make graphic content.

4K Laptops

Being the latest technology used in screen production, the best laptops can be considered as part of the range of 4K devices. These bring high-quality images, being able to capture every detail, being four times more performant than Full HD technology.

Screen type

The different technologies used to make a laptop screen bring new colors, contrasts, and brightness levels. Most models use LED lighting that is capable of displaying intense colors without too much battery consumption.

However, IPS displays are known to be able to provide much higher viewing angles compared to LEDs, using relatively similar technologies in terms of operating costs and image quality. Laptops whose screens are slightly shiny and reflective often produce more vibrant colors and high contrast, while matte screens will reduce the brightness of the sun that could affect the user’s view if the device is used outdoors or near windows.

Touchscreen

I can make browsing your electronics much more comfortable and more intuitive. The best touchscreen laptop behaves precisely like a next-generation phone or tablet, except that its operating system is one used among computers, not one intended for portable gadgets.

You can tap on the screen to access any application, change their position, delete them, or enlarge the image with the zoom function, all through the same principle of operation as a smartphone.

Processor type

The processor of a laptop is known as its brain. It is the place where most of the electronic operations are performed. In parallel with RAM, the power of the processor determines the complexity of the programs and applications that can be accessed from the best laptop, the number of those that can be used simultaneously, and the speed with which they are used.

Currently, two main types of processors are used, which are used by most of the manufacturers of laptops.

Intel® processor

By far, the most common types of processors are those from Intel, which can be found in most laptops, both those using the Windows operating system and MacBooks.

The high level of performance has been recognized in recent years due to the series of multicore processors that the Intel brand has integrated into many of the laptops found on the current market:

  • Intel M core – was designed specifically for fragile devices, being able to generate enough power to support applications that interfere with your daily tasks, such as browsers or email applications.
  • Intel Core i3 – is a low-performance model and has been designed to perform simple tasks such as browsing the internet, reading emails or other everyday activities; games from previous generations of processors can run at medium or even maximum capacity.
  • Intel Core i5 – average performance makes it one of the most common Intel processors on the market today; this is because they promote excellent value for money; thus, for modest prices, you can have a processor that is compatible with the average or even maximum performance settings of any game.
  • Intel Core i7 – by far the most inspired choice for users pursuing top performance; the best laptops can be considered the ones with an Intel Core i7 processor. This concept is ideal for people who are passionate about gaming, graphics, photography or video editing; excels in carrying out several tasks simultaneously and can support without problems the functioning of several applications at the same time.
AMD processor

Although they cannot be considered to be similar to Intel in terms of power and popularity, AMD processors are not far from the leading position in the ranking of the best models on the market. The top products of this brand can bring performances that are approximately equal to those of Intel and can put into operation the most demanding applications and games at maximum capacity.

Among the AMD processors, two categories can be distinguished, which are the most common:

  • FX – the ideal solution for gaming and multiple tasks performed simultaneously; these processors, as well as those of Intel or series A of the AMD range, have a processor for graphics.
  • A10 – can be considered as a representative of the AMD brand that uses the power of four cores and exceptional graphic performance to put into operation the best laptop.
  • A8 – stands out for improved graphics performance compared to previous models, managing to bring a 3D gaming experience to HD image quality.
  • A6 – playback of video content can be done without problems with blocking the image even when it is selected to be displayed at a high enough resolution.
  • A4 – sufficient performance for playing any media content: video, photo or audio.
  • E-Series – The processors belonging to this range are similar to the old Pentium or Celeron models; current productions do not consider the use of the components in this range because they have a limited speed and quite low multitasking capabilities.

RAM memory

Know also as Random-access memory, it’s important because it can help your processor cope with the simulated use of multiple applications and tasks. The unit of measure is the gigabyte. The larger their number, the more you can say that you have a powerful laptop.

A minimum of 2GB may be sufficient to support simple tasks, while 4GB or more can facilitate the operation of the latest games. Even when we cross the 6GB threshold, we are considering using this memory for video editing or advanced graphics content.

Laptops generally have between 4 and 8GB of pre-installed RAM, but some models allow you to supplement that number.

Internal storage memory

It is a virtual space where your information is stored inside the laptop. They have a built-in memory provided by the manufacturer, designed to capture the demands of the operating system in terms of space and to retain much of the personal data and files.

The hard disk can add both extra weight and thickness to the laptop, in addition to the fact that some external hard drives tend to make noise and generate heat. As an alternative, SSDs (solid-state drives), also known as Flash Storage, tend to be lighter, faster, produce less heat and noise.

SSD (Solid State Drive)

Solid-state drives, or flash storage for products compatible with Apple devices, are much faster than a hard disk. Still, the amount of information they can store is lower, because the costs of implementing each GB on an SSD are much higher, and the producers rely first on accessibility. SSDs offer considerable advantages in terms of size, weight, and energy efficiency. They are ideal for ultra-slim laptops with high portability. The best laptops use one for storing the operating system and some standard applications, while a Hard Disk handles the other files.

HDD (Hard Disk Drive)

They are the most common types of memory because they are costly and offer very large storage capacities. However, they contribute a lot to the high weight of your laptop to its thickness, but they can also generate a lot of heat and noise. The number of rotations per minute (RPM) of a Hard Disk also determines the speed at which data is transferred. For example, if 5400rpm is standard speed, a 7200rpm model is perfect for transferring files much faster, especially when it comes to some very large size.

Functions

Battery life

This varies depending on several factors, including the type of battery, the laptop manufacturer, the mAh number, or the frequency of use of the laptop. It is obvious that as the components are required much more intensely by accessing complex applications, the laptop will need more energy.

Operating system

Coordinate the entire activity of your laptop, managing all programs, including files, memory, and devices connected to the laptop. Moreover, the operating system coordinates the interaction between the user and the contents of the laptop in a unique visual manner to each system.

To make it easier to understand, a laptop without an operating system would require the user to write specific codes to perform each task, in addition to the fact that the interactive display would be missing, and everything would be just a string.

Windows laptop

In general, it can be used by the traditional method, using a mouse and a keyboard, but it also revolves around advanced, intuitive technology, that of touchscreen interfaces. This operating system increases your number of browsing possibilities. New Windows productions now bring new task management (task manager), innovative design, and several built-in applications.

OS X (Macbook) Laptops

Only Mac computers use OS X, promoting an elegant and easy-to-use interface that complements the incredible aesthetics and impressive lifespan of Mac devices. These electronics are known for being able to have much more excellent stability in the face of the emergence of malicious programs that may affect the performance of the laptop or even access the user’s personal information.

Charging

If we still think about what might be the best laptop, among the answers is how we can charge the laptop. By far, the newest and most performance technology is USB Type-C. First and foremost, it differs from previous Type-A technologies in that it can now be introduced in any direction.

To combine the utility with the performance, it must be known that they are USB 3.1 type, which means that the transmission of data and energy is done very quickly. To better understand how advanced this technology is, consider that the previous model, USB 3.0, had a transmission speed of about 5Gbps, while USB 3.1 has at least half the speed.

Accesories

Built-in webcam

Webcams of laptops have become monotonous compared to how the latest generation of phones or tablets has evolved. Intel wanted to bring the advantage of laptops to produce clearer images and implement sensors that analyze more than a two-dimensional image.

The new camera technology called RealSense 3D analyzes more than a single visual plane, using two additional depth sensors to scan objects or faces. Webcams of particular laptops can allow you to create a 3D avatar of a person and even change the background behind it without having to use a green screen.

Mouse

Even though the laptop already has a surface on which the cursor position can be controlled on the screen, the reaction rate brought by a standard mouse is in no way comparable to that of the pad. Certain games can be challenging to access without the help of the conventional mouse.

There are several types of mice, some even specially designed for a specific task, but most laptop owners choose to purchase wireless models to make them more accessible and easier to navigate. Wireless connection is a significant factor in the portability of a device.

Printer

A printer is not a portable accessory, but it is useful in any home, and as long as it can be connected to a laptop, it can be considered a prop. You can print quickly, directly from the device’s memory, photos, files, projects, and any other type of text or media content.

Cooler laptop

Laptops tend to heat up very quickly due to excessive demand, especially if you have a very high performance and are used in multitasking or state-of-the-art games. A cooler is a ventilation system that is positioned under the laptop and often uses energy directly from the device to which it is connected to produce the air needed to cool the laptop.

Battery charger

Even the chargers start to benefit from improvements in loading speed. Technologies and materials are used to allow the transfer of a greater amount of electricity through compatible ports. In this way, the laptop will not suffer from receiving a higher current than the maximum it can receive.

Ports and connectivity

Most laptops provide us with the latest standards of wireless connectivity and Bluetooth compatibility to make it easier to sync with your smartphone, speakerphone, or other portable devices.

In addition to the standard USB ports that allow the connection of different types of devices, such as sticks, mice, or others, laptops can also be connected to other electronics: television, camera, and other accessories.

  • HDMI – the port facilitates connection to a TV or other device that displays HD resolution media or higher.
  • Card adapter port – the memory cards in the camera or phone can be inserted into an adapter which, in turn, will be connected to the laptop, which will then access and display the files on the card.
  • USB – allows the connection of external gadgets, such as the mouse, webcam, gaming controllers, phones, tablets, and others; several types of USB ports differ in data transmission speed; the most common are USB 2.0, 3.0 and 3.1.