How We Test The Best Laptops
To find the best laptop, we run every machine through a rigorous suite of benchmarks and real-world tests to gauge how it will perform during everyday use.
We measure the average brightness and color quality of each laptop’s display using our in-house light meter and colorimeter. For general performance, we run our machines through tests that include Geekbench 5 , as well as various 3DMark tests to measure graphics capabilities. We also run a file transfer test to measure how fast a machine’s hard drive is, and a custom battery test that has the machine browse the internet over Wi-Fi until it runs out of juice.
When testing dedicated gaming laptops, we run benchmarks for popular games such as Shadow of the Tomb Raider, Hitman 2 and Far Cry: New Dawn.
Looking For Portable Storage
Wi-Fi speed is important because fewer laptops come with a built-in ethernet port for plugging into your local wired network.
If this is the case, you may be able to purchase a USB-to-ethernet adapter of the same brand or a third-party alternative.
In either case, look for a laptop that supports the current Wi-Fi standard, 802.11ac, now rebranded as Wi-Fi 5. This is backwards-compatible with previous standards including the previously most popular 802.11n, but is much faster.
The emerging standard for newer laptops is Wi-Fi 6 which is faster and designed to support more devices than Wi-Fi 5.
Connectivity on laptops these days is all about USB-C, the new low-profile standard that’s becoming common on more models. A USB-C plug is slimline and easy to use , but its appearance can be deceptive, as the same-shaped plug is used for several different standards USB 3.1 Gen-1 and Gen-2 and Thunderbolt 3.
Most USB-C ports will be either USB 3.1 Gen-1 which is rated at 5Gbps , the same speed as USB 3.0. The faster version of this is USB 3.1 Gen-2 . There’s also USB 3.2 Gen-2×2 . Then there’s the blazingly fast Thunderbolt 3 and 4 and the new USB 4.
Avoid cheap third-party cables and chargers or you may risk damaging your computer or worse
Total computing portability is enticing enough, but what other benefits can a laptop offer?
A laptop takes up much less space in your home or office than a desktop PC.
Which Operating System To Get In My Laptop
Most laptops youll run across in-store or at your favorite online seller will run Windows 10 , but Microsofts best-known product isnt necessarily the best operating system for everyone. Thanks to the ascendance in recent years of up the ranks of budget laptops, theres now an alternative to Windows at every price level. The tipping point for non-Windows laptops is around $1,000 above a grand, your main alternative to a Windows 10 machine is a MacBook below it, its a Chromebook.
Today, laptops based on Chrome OS are the primary alternatives to budget-priced Windows 10 laptops. A Chromebook could be a fine, value-minded choice for someone who needs a laptop just to watch movies, create text documents, write emails, and putter around in basic spreadsheets. With a Chromebook, the main features you will really need from your laptop are a decent screen and a comfortable keyboard, since cloud services like Google Drive can handle most of your storage and processing needs. And, if you still insist on key creature comforts, you can find midrange Chromebooks with full-HD displays and comfortable keyboards just as easily as you can find bargain-basement ones these days.
Higher-end MacBook Pros also suit content creators, with the option for a 16-inch Retina display and for CPUs up to Intels Core i9. One of the most significant Mac-laptop drawbacks is a total lack of touch-screen support, which is an option in various Chrome OS and Windows 10 machines.
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What Are The Best Laptops
Our pick for the best laptop overall is the Dell XPS 13, which packs speedy performance and a gorgeous bezel-less display into an incredibly slim and lightweight design with long battery life. If you can afford the more expensive model with an OLED touchscreen, it’s well worth the expense. In fact, it’s so good that it won the awards for best laptop display and best laptop overall in our Tom’s Guide Awards 2021. If you love the idea of an OLED laptop but want something a bit more affordable, Asus has an OLED-equipped Zenbook 13 that packs great power and amazing battery life, and it’s usually a few hundred bucks cheaper than the XPS 13.
If Mac is more your thing, the new MacBook Air with M1 is our recommendation for the best MacBook for most people, as it offer fantastic performance and long battery life.
The Acer Swift 3 is the best budget laptop for shoppers watching their wallets. If you need more ideas for a high-quality budget laptop. For our full recommendations, check out our picks for the best laptops below.
Is An 111315 Etc Laptop Too Big
This completely depends on your tastes and the work youre doing. Some people scoff at the idea of lugging around a 17 laptop while others think a 13 laptop is rather tiny to get any work done. 15 laptops tend to be the industry standard with the smaller laptops being ultraportable and larger laptops being desktop replacements.
While 13 laptops tend to be better for portability and larger laptops have their place in the gaming realm, you can easily get a 17 laptop and still use it for travel. I wouldnt suggest gaming on a small laptop but it isnt impossible. It really comes down to your personal preference. There is no too big or too small option.
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How Often Should You Update Your Laptop
You need to update your mattress every eight years, your TV every five years, and your phone every two years. So what about laptops? How long should you hang onto your device before its officially outdated? Chloe Harris-Williams, tablets & computing buyer at John Lewis says: We would recommend updating your laptop every three to four years, depending on how much it is used during this time.
How To Choose The Best Laptop For You
Performance: If you only need something basic for surfing the web, consider a Chromebook or a cheap Windows laptop with an Intel Core i3 processor and 4GB of RAM. If you plan on getting more intensive work done, consider starting specs such as a Core i5 CPU, 8 to 16GB of RAM and a 256GB to 512GB SSD.
Graphics and gaming: Most mainstream laptops feature integrated graphics, which can handle lightweight titles such as Minecraft and Overwatch but aren’t ideal for intensive AAA games or heavy visual work. For that, you’ll want a laptop with a discrete graphics card, such as an Nvidia GTX 3000-series on the higher end.
Size: Consider how mobile you want your laptop to be. Machines such as the Dell XPS 13 and HP Elite Dragonfly are feather light with slim designs, while gaming notebooks such as the Alienware m15 R4 have more heft to them .
Operating system: Laptops typically come in three flavors: Windows 10 , macOS and Chrome OS . Windows 10 is the most common operating system, while macOS is more ideal for folks already tied into Apple’s ecosystem. Chrome OS is a lightweight operating system built to allow for cheap, fast systems, though it has gotten a bit more robust over the years with support for full Android apps.
Whichever system you decide on, you may also want to pick up the best mouse for your particular work situation.
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What Should You Look For When Buying A New Laptop
There are certain things you can look out for when buying a new laptop in 2021 that can ensure you get the best laptop for your money.
Make sure you take a look at the specifications of a laptop before buying. This is a good way of quickly seeing how powerful a laptop is, and what it is capable of as long as you know what youre looking for.
First of all is the processor. This is essentially the brain of the laptop, and a laptop will usually have a processor made by either Intel or AMD. Intel is by far the most popular CPU maker for laptops, though were seeing an increasing number of AMD-powered laptops as well.
As a general rule of thumb, Intel processors offer better performance, but AMD processors are better value.
To make things more simple, both Intel and AMD have numbered their processors to give you a rough idea of what sort of tasks a laptop with that processor can perform.
If youre after a budget laptop for simple tasks like browsing the web or watching Netflix, then a laptop with an Intel Pentium, Intel Core i3 or AMD Ryzen 3, processor will do that job without making the laptop too expensive.
If youre after something with a bit more oomph perhaps to do more complex task like editing your home videos or playing games then go for a laptop with an Intel Core i5 or AMD Ryzen 5 processor as a minimum.
A newer processor performs better and is more power efficient so battery life will last longer. They are more expensive, though.
Small Tweaks In The Dell Xps 13 Make Big Impressions
The Dell XPS 13 ditches all the bezels, gets even smaller and more powerful.
- Lacks legacy ports
The Dell XPS 13 is a powerhouse. That’s due to Dell’s bold decision making and unceasing commitment to innovation. Following up on the excellent XPS 13 , Dell takes its innovation to the next level by removing the last bezel on the company’s InfinityEdge display. That means the laptop is virtually borderless, making it the first of its kind.
But that’s not all. For $1,749, you get a laptop that’s got a larger display with a bigger, more comfortable keyboard and touchpad, all in a chassis that’s somehow smaller than its predecessor’s. Cosmetic changes aside, the XPS 13 is plenty powerful, with a 10th Gen Intel Core i7 processor, and boasts over 12 hours of battery life. That’s why the Dell XPS 13 is one of the best laptops available. If you’re looking for the latest model, check out our review of the 11th Gen Intel Tiger Lake Dell XPS 13.
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How Much Storage And Memory Do I Need
Most laptops above entry-level come with solid-state drives , which use memory cells instead of a spinning platter to store data. Since information stored in cells is much faster to access, SSDs are the best and most common drive configuration. Theyre also immune to jolts and bumps that might crash a spinning platters heads.
Some laptops especially larger-chassis ones designed for gaming, come with both kinds of drive: a small SSD to hold the operating system, essential apps, and a few games, and a larger spinning one to store the bulk of your game files or other space-consuming media. Thats a perfectly fine option if youre looking to save some money or simply need the maximum possible local storage amount, but you should stick with an SSD-only setup whenever possible.
Note that not all laptop SSDs are created equal. SSDs that use the more modern, generally faster PCI Express NVMe standard, as opposed to the older, slightly slower SATA interface, are preferable. Either of these, however, are far better than a third type, which is a not-quite-SSD: the much slower eMMC, a kind of flash storage drive found in budget machines. All of them are better than a traditional spinning hard drive unless you simply need sheer capacity for the least money.
Be Sure To Get At Least 8gb Of Ram
The minimum amount of RAM you should have on a laptop is 8GB. I speak from experience on this one, I recently purchased a laptop with 4GB of RAM thinking it would be ok.
It wasnt. The laptop couldnt even play YouTube videos without crashing.
Fortunately, I was able to add an extra 4GB of RAM, but you might not be so lucky.
Make sure to get a laptop with at least 8GB of RAM. However, I recommend a laptop will 16GB of RAM if you plan on doing anything other than browsing the internet or watching YouTube videos.
Seriously, my laptop with 8GB of RAM gets pretty loud when I open too many tabs in Chrome, and it will sometimes crash if I have too many applications running in the background.
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The Best Multimedia Laptop
Most thin and light laptops share one significant weakness thin, tinny audio. Thats not the case with the Lenovo Yoga 9i. This 14-inch convertible has a rotating soundbar in its hinge, meaning that no matter how its positioned, the speakers face outwards. You can expect clear, booming sound whether youre using the 9i in tablet, tent, or clamshell mode.
Theres a lot more to like as well. You get an excellent 1080p touch display and a built-in stylus for easy artwork and note-taking. The 11th-Gen processors deliver satisfactory performance and all-day battery life. The audio quality, screen, and convertible form factor all add up to an unbeatable machine for multimedia entertainment.
The Best Laptops In India For 2020
Meet the champions
Laptop buying can be a complicated affair. There are far too many products from each brand that it can become difficult to figure out which offer the best value for money. Add to that the ever-fluctuating prices of products on eCommerce and the plot continues to thicken.
If youre in the market for a high-end laptop with a rather flexible budget, weve compiled the best laptops from every major brand to make your job easier. These cover multiple price points, so you still have a few options to choose from. As with most products, the decision will be a lot easier if your usage pattern and preferences are defined. For instance, some laptops prioritize portability while some go for better performance. Knowing where you lie on that graph will make the shortlisting easier.
For this buying guide, weve excluded gaming laptops. If youre in the market for one, check out our best gaming laptops in India compilation. If you identify as a heavy user, a professional or a creator, youre at the right place.
As always, visit the appended product links to know the current pricing and offers for each laptop as those often fluctuate. These are the best laptops from each brand in India.
Reasons to avoid
Reasons to avoid
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How To Pick The Best Laptop For You
So, what makes a laptop worth buying? First, it needs to offer excellent value for money. That means budget laptops below the $400/£400 price point need to still offer good performance and build quality.
Meanwhile, ultra-expensive devices need to justify their high price tags with best-in-class performance, premium build quality and lengthy battery lives.
If you want something to work on, a laptop with a modern processor, at least 8GB of RAM and a large screen are worth considering.
For gaming, you’ll want a gaming laptop with a dedicated graphics card and fast and responsive screen.
Check out our guide on what you should look for when buying a new laptop at the end of this page for more in-depth advice on buying a laptop.
What Is The Normal Laptop Size
Laptop screen sizes tend to fall into 4 categories:
- 11 laptops
- 15 laptops
- 17 laptops
Some laptop manufacturers have made laptops that are 12 and 14 and so on but they tend to have the same attributes as their closest screen size neighbors. These are the most popular sizes available on the market and the ones manufacturers make the most of.
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Realme Book: Display And Audio
This configuration of the Realme Book sports a 14-inch IPS LCD display with a 2160 × 1440-pixel resolution and a 3:2 aspect ratio. Not only is this slightly bigger than what you get on the MacBook Air , but its better for productivity.
Sure, the Air offers a slightly sharper resolution compared to Realme, but dont underestimate the difference between a 16:10 and 3:2 aspect ratio. That means more vertical content due to the taller canvas. Sure, the black bars on video content are bigger, but for getting stuff done, the difference is night and day.
Furthermore, Realme claims the display sports a 100% sRGB color gamut and 400 nits of brightness. In real world use, this translates to a vivid picture that is just as striking as the one on the MacBook Air. You can even use this outdoors, thoughthat glossy finish of the Gorilla Glass screen can get hard to see with reflections.
Watching The Matrix Resurrections trailer highlighted the impressive luminosity and contrast of this panel, as the darkest scenes remain inky without any backlight glow, as the brighter moments of combat shone off the screen with deep color.
The Best Laptop In 2021 For Big
Even if youve used a light laptop before, its difficult to explain how light the LG Gram 17 is. It has a massive 17-inch display, but its somehow only three pounds. Picking it up messes with your mind you feel like youre not holding anything.
But the Gram 17s weight isnt the only standout feature. It also has some of the best battery life you can get, lasting over 12 hours in our testing. Add a great keyboard, a solid port selection, quiet fans, and a fast processor, and theres very little not to like about this device.
Not everyone needs a 17-inch display, and many folks who do are looking for a heavier-duty workstation that probably doesnt get moved very often. But if youd just really like a large screen for your daily office work and Netflixing, youre the target demographic for this machine. Its a niche, but truly impressive device without much real competition in todays market.
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