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What Is A Good Laptop To Buy

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What Is A Good Price For A Laptop

10 Tips for Buying a Laptop! (2020) | The Tech Chap

For general tasksediting documents and spreadsheets, browsing the internet, doing homework, and communicating using apps such as Slack or Zooma cheap but usable laptop should cost between $400 and $600, a good laptop $700 or $800, and a great laptop at least $1,000. More powerful, specialized laptops, such as gaming notebooks or laptops for professional photo and video editing, start in the range of $1,000 to $1,500. If you have $500 or less to spend, Chromebooks tend to look, feel, and run better than equivalently priced Windows laptops. If youre looking for a Mac, expect to pay at least $1,100 for our recommended MacBook Air configuration. Keep an eye on our Deals page if youre able to wait for a better price on a specific laptop.

Laptop Battery Life: Manufacturer Claims Vs Reality

In a nutshell:

  • Manufacturer battery claims arent useful unless youre only comparing models from the same brand. Use our reviews to get the full picture.

Manufacturers often make heady claims about how long their laptops’ batteries last. Our tests ignore the manufacturer claims and involve multiple battery rundowns while simulating web browsing and watching videos.

If you’re buying a laptop that you intend to use when out and about, make sure the battery life is at least six hours based on our reviews. We’ve tested some models that last for more than 15 hours before they need recharging.

Battery stamina on large, desktop-replacement models won’t be as crucial, as they’ll almost always be near a power socket. But we still mark them down if they run out of juice in under four hours.

We have previously found that laptop battery life claims versus reality are seldom remotely comparable, so you should always take these claims with a pinch of salt and use our reviews as a place to assess how different laptops’ batteries compare to one another.

Our in-depth battery tests give you the real picture when it comes to battery life on a laptop. Make sure you check our laptop reviewsto find a great model that will last.

Why Trust Our Journalism

Founded in 2004, Trusted Reviews exists to give our readers thorough, unbiased and independent advice on what to buy.

Today, we have 9 million users a month around the world, and assess more than 1,000 products a year.

Editorial independence

Editorial independence means being able to give an unbiased verdict about a product or company, with the avoidance of conflicts of interest. To ensure this is possible, every member of the editorial staff follows a clear code of conduct.

Professional conduct

We also expect our journalists to follow clear ethical standards in their work. Our staff members must strive for honesty and accuracy in everything they do. We follow the IPSO Editors code of practice to underpin these standards.

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Best Laptop Brands Compared

Each laptop brand has its own vices and virtues. Where Apple may have a reputation for brilliant screens and slim designs, its also well-known as the priciest brand to buy into. Meanwhile, Acer may stand out as a great budget brand, but it has some fancier high-end models, too. Lets take a closer look at the ranges available from each brand:

The Best Macbook Pro For Everyday Users

The 8 Best Laptops Under $200 to Buy in 2019

If youre looking to buy an M1 MacBook for heavier workloads thats not as mind-numbingly expensive as the most recent releases, youll want to look at the late-2020 MacBook Pro. It starts at $1,299, which is $300 more than the late-2020 MacBook Air.

The MacBook Pro has a slightly different design and look than the Air, as well as a few additional features like the Touch Bar. But the two have the same processor. The main difference is that the Pro includes a fan , which means it can sustain heavy workloads for a longer period of time without needing to throttle its performance. But you wont notice much of a performance difference between the two MacBooks unless youre routinely pushing heavy tasks for long periods of time.

If thats you, though, go for the Pro. We were able to run a number of hefty Premiere Pro exports and didnt see a dip in times. The Pro also achieved a significantly higher score than the Air in a 30-minute loop of Cinebench R23 the scores were closer together after a single run.

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The Best Laptops In 2021

Zenbook 13 OLED

The best laptops are the ones that help you stay on top of all your different projects and gadgets. Once you’ve equipped yourself with the right one, you’ve acquired the speed to power you through all of your assignments, and the battery life to make it through a day of work without worrying about the nearest power outlet.

Finding the best laptop for you can be tricky, because you’ve never had more choices. There are top rated laptops for basic web surfing, mainstream machines with premium components and attractive designs, and beastly gaming laptops that will let you play the hottest PC games the way they were meant to be played.

Should You Consider Buying A Refurbished Laptop

Absolutely. You can get some serious discounts by picking up refurbished laptops. But remember a few things.

Firstly, you should only buy refurbished laptops from certified sellers. Lenovo and Dell both have official outlet websites, where you can pick up refurbished laptops that have been checked over and restored to as good a working condition as possible by certified engineers.

You should be a lot more careful when buying refurbished laptops from unofficial sellers as theres basically no guarantee that youre not getting some clapped out old hand-me-down.

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Dell Xps 13 Software And Warranty

Dell bundled a solid suite of useful branded software with the XPS 13. Dell Power Manager lets you manage power consumption via preset profiles to extend battery life or to squeeze every bit of performance out of the system. Customer Connect is your conduit to a Dell technician if you need system assistance. Digital Delivery keeps track of all your software downloads and restores them after a system wipe or crash.

The company recently updated Dell Mobile Connect so it now plays nice with the iPhone. Now everyone can swap images, documents and videos seamlessly between your smartphone and laptop.

Third-party apps include Killer Control Center, which lets you set network bandwidth priority. The laptop also comes with a 20GB of free Dropbox storage for a year. There is, of course, some Windows 10 bloatware such as Netflix, Farm Heroes Saga and Candy Crush Saga.

The Dell XPS 13 ships with a one-year hardware warranty with onsite and in-Home service after remote diagnosis. See how Dell fared during our annual special reports: Tech Support Showdown and Best and Worst Brands.

Hp Spectre X360 156 Inches

Laptop Buying Guide for 2021 – What You Need to Know!

It is one of the best performing premium laptops available using the Intel Kaby Lake G series and powered by the 8th gen core i7 processor i7-8550U clocking at a speed of 1.8 GHz, which can be boosted up to 4 GHz and has 8 MB cache with 4 cores. This is combined with the NVidia GeForce MX150, 2 GB GDDR5 dedicated graphics card. The RAM is 16 GB and the hard drive storage is 512 GB PCle NVME M.2 SSD. The screen is a gorgeous 4K one.

As for connectivity, it has 2 Thunderbolt 3 ports along with an HDMI port. There is also a USB 3.0 port, along with a headphone jack and SD memory card slot. The display of 15.6 inches comes with a screen resolution of 3840 x 2160 pixels offering crisp images and makes use of 4K IPS technology with WLED backlit.

It comes with the HP stylus pen with enhanced precision and sensitivity. It also has a webcam of 2.0 MP and a battery life that lasts around 5.5 hours. The dimensions of the HP Spectre x360 are 9.9 x 14 x 0.7 inches and it weighs 4.41 pounds.

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Eight Cores Of Power For Under $650


CPU: AMD Ryzen 5700U | Graphics: Onboard Vega | RAM: 8GB | Storage: 512GB SSD| Display: 14-inch1080p | Battery: up to 17 hours | Weight: 2.62 pounds

When it comes to budget laptops, you need plenty of memory, plenty of storage, and a capable processor decent onboard graphics is a nice touch too. The Acer Swift 3 has all of that in spades, combining half a terabyte of fast NVMe SSD storage with the ultra-capable, eight core AMD Ryzen 5700U processor. The 8GB of RAM isn’t a lot, but it’s more than enough for basic web browsing, some light gaming and photo editing, and general office work.

The 8 Vega GPU cores on the CPU are more than enough for playing older games, and indie and esport titlesjust don’t expect it to handle modern AAA games very well at all.

The overall design is light and portable with a relatively sturdy frame, and the screen’s anti-glare coating makes it usable outside even on bright days, despite the display itself not being that bright. At 1080p acros 14 inches, though, it still looks crisp and clear, whether you’re browsing the web or watching your favorite movies and shows. For well under $700 at its discounted rate, the Acer Swift 3 is by far the best affordable laptop for 2022.

A Gift That Also Has A Practical Side

One of the nice things about a gaming laptop is that you can easily justify it as a gift because it also has a practical side.

Yes, its a laptop thats optimized for gaming. But its also a very capable PC, more capable than most, in fact. Streaming video, web browsing, editing video, updating social media or doing homeworka gaming laptop can do it all.

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The Best Windows Laptops You Can Buy Right Now

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Reasons to avoid

The Dell XPS 13 is one of our favorite laptops thanks to its excellent performance, beautiful display, and svelte design. While the battery life isn’t as good as some other laptops of similar price, it’s usually more than enough to get you through a day of work without scrambling for a charger.

Plus, in 2021 Dell began offering the XPS 13 with a 3.5K OLED touchscreen option. If you can afford it it’s well worth the investment, as the OLED’s deep, inky blacks, vibrant colors, and high contrast ratios really shine when mounted in the XPS 13’s thin-bezelled InfinityEdge design. We like this laptop so much we awarded it best laptop and best laptop display in our Tom’s Guide Awards 2021.

Not interested in OLED? Don’t miss our Dell XPS 13 review.

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Microsoft’s Surface Laptop Studio is a reimagined Surface Book with a more MacBook Pro-like design and an eye-catching hinged display. This is Microsofts flagship device for Windows 11, which promises to make Windows a more inviting place for both work and play. Like Windows 11, the Surface Laptop Studio is advertised as a one-stop shop for productivity, entertainment and creative work.

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Choose An Operating System

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Unless you can spend at least $1,300 per laptop, you’ll be choosing between the Chrome and Windows operating systems, but there are three primary operating systems, and you should know the differences between them. If, after reading these descriptions, you are still unsure which operating system to select, choose Windows. Windows is still the business standard worldwide, and you are unlikely to regret the decision.

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Choosing A Processor An Os And More

Speed matters. Processors with multiple cores can process more data simultaneously, with four cores now increasingly common on laptops. Our ratings say how many cores a laptop’s processor has.

Clock speed, measured in gigahertz , along with the number of cores and other factors, determines how quickly a processor can process information. Many processors can up the speed a bit for a brief time to yield maximum performance. Generally, within a processor family, the higher the clock speed, the faster the processor. Clock speeds typically start at around 1 GHz for a mobile processor. Speeds can exceed 5 GHz for a desktop processor.

Power ConsumptionAnother important factor when choosing a processor, especially for laptops: Lower power consumption equals longer battery life.

If you’re looking for a very basic or budget computer to browse the web, email, and work on Office documents, basically every processor on the market should be sufficient.

If you plan to watch high-resolution videos or play mainstream games, the Intel Core i5 and AMD Ryzen 5 line of processors should be your starting point.

How Much Memory?The more memory a computer has, the faster it is, up to a point. Memory is measured in gigabytes . On both desktops and laptops 8GB has become common, with 16GB or more found on higher-end devices. Unless you regularly have multiple large apps open at the same time, 8GB should be your target.

What’s The Best Laptop For Home Travel Or Both

The pandemic changed how and where a lot of people work. The small, ultraportable laptops valued by people who regularly traveled may have suddenly become woefully inadequate for working from home. Or maybe instead of needing long battery life, you’d rather have a bigger display with more graphics power for gaming.

If you’re going to be working on a laptop and don’t need more mobility than moving it from room to room, consider a 15.6-inch laptop or larger. In general, a bigger screen makes life easier for work and is more enjoyable for entertainment, and also is better if you’re using it as an extended display with an external monitor. It typically means you’re getting more ports, too, so connecting an external display or storage or a keyboard and mouse are easier without requiring a hub or dock.

For travel, stay with 13- or 14-inch laptops or two-in-ones. They’ll be the lightest and smallest while still delivering excellent battery life. What’s nice is that PC-makers are moving away from 16:9 widescreens toward 16:10- or 3:2-ratio displays, which gives you more vertical screen space for work without significantly increasing the footprint. These models usually don’t have discrete graphics or powerful processors, though that’s not always the case.

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How We Test Laptops

Laptop Mag has been testing and reviewing laptops for over two decades. We test over 150 different models per year, subjecting each system to a series of rigorous benchmarks that provides a complete picture of performance, battery life and usability.

Our expert reviewers also use each product to see how it looks and feels in everyday situations. Because we see so many different notebooks, we can compare each to its direct competitors and give you an idea of how it stacks up to the average laptop in its price band.

When we bring a laptop into our laboratory, our goal is to see how it would work if you brought it into your home or office. While we use a number of industry standard benchmarks such as Geekbench and 3DMark, we focus heavily on real-world tests that we have developed in-house.

To test endurance, the Laptop Mag Battery test surfs the web at 150 nits of brightness until the system runs out of juice. To judge pure processing power, we use a giant spreadsheet macro that matches 65,000 names with their addresses, a video transcoder that converts a 4K video to 1080p and the Geekbench 4 synthetic test. We measure graphics prowess with both 3DMark Ice Storm / Fire Strike and a series of actual game titles.

We use a colorimeter to measure screen brightness and color gamut while other instruments help us determine a laptop’s key travel and ambient heat. See this page on How We Test Laptops for more details on our benchmarking procedures.

How Powerful Does My Laptop Need To Be

15 Laptop BUYING MISTAKES! 2022 Laptop Buying Guide

In a nutshell:

  • If you need a laptop for light use and note taking, look for Intel Pentium or Intel Core i3 and at least 4GB of Ram for a great experience
  • Go for Intel Core i5 and i7 and AMD Ryzen 5 and 7 and at least 8GB of Ram if youre a heavy user
  • Look for dedicated graphics from Nvidia and AMD if you want to game.

Laptop processors

This really matters if youre planning on using a laptop for photo or video editing, or if you’re a very heavy user, opening lots of programs and browser tabs. When looking at laptop processors, youll see two main specifications beyond the product name: clock speed and number of cores.

Think of clock speed as the speed limit on a road and the number of cores as the number of lanes. As on a road, depending on traffic conditions the tasks being done on your computer a road might see a greater benefit from more lanes or a higher speed limit.

In the simplest way possible, more of both is better, and each of our laptop reviews will help you out by making it clear what sort of tasks a laptop is good for.


Think of Ram like a desk and your hard drive like a filing cabinet. You pull files out of the cabinet and it takes a while, but once theyre on your desk, you can reach for them instantly. The same is true of Ram once you have loaded a file from the hard drive, its now in the Ram and can be accessed almost instantaneously.

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