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.
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 claims battery life of up to 14 hours on the full-HD+ model which sounds great for all-day workloads. Its also Intel Evo certified which means its specifically recommended by Intel to offer a premium experience to the end-user.
The Best Laptops For Going Back To School
Back to school season has arrived, and you may be searching for a new laptop that’s well-suited to the demands of a full day of classes. That means you probably want something that’s light enough to carry all day and efficient enough to last through a full day at school on a single charge.
While you can’t go wrong with the Dell XPS 13, the Asus Zenbook 13 is a slightly better choice when you need a laptop for school. It’s light, has incredible 15-hour battery life, and is speedy enough to handle pretty much any homework you throw at it. Plus, the OLED display is gorgeous, and the Zenbook is reliably a few hundred bucks cheaper than the XPS 13 with OLED.
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How To Choose An Asus Laptop
Asus computers run the gamut of design, features, hardware specifications, and price brackets. If all youre after is a cheap Asus laptop, youve got plenty of options to choose from. You might want to consider a Chromebook if youre on the tightest of budgets. These Chrome OS-based laptops are very cost-effective and Asus makes some very good ones. Note that Chromebooks are typically pretty basic when it comes to specs, though , so if youre looking for something for heavier workloads or for gaming, a Chrome OS laptop probably isnt the best choice.
That said, there are almost always Asus laptop deals to be had on cheap Windows machines at prices that compete with Chromebooks. On these, youll find more standard PC hardware like Intel Core and AMD Ryzen CPUs, the recommended minimum 8GB of RAM, and solid-state drives instead of skimpy eMMC flash storage. Cheap Asus laptops include the high-value VivoBook line, and some of these can be had for as little as $400-$500 when on sale . These are solid all-arounders for general everyday tasks like web browsing, streaming, emails, and maybe some light gaming.
Top Best Asus Gaming Laptops To Buy In 2021
Are you a big fan of Asus gaming laptops? Are you confused about getting one of the best Asus gaming laptops for you? We cant blame you because there are so many different options available in the market today. Its quite easy to get overwhelmed with all the choices when you go laptop shopping. Asus has become a powerful and popular brand when it comes to computer peripherals and systems. Over the years, they have slowly but surely built their brand up with high-quality performance-based products. Today, they are easily one of the topmost computer brands when it comes to performance heavy products, like gaming machines.
There are so many different models available in the market today that you might feel a little confused about which laptop to go for. You can considerably break down the question by answering a few key points. Are you looking for an affordable or expensive model? Will you be using it primarily at home or carrying it around a lot? Do you want a compact model or a large one? If you are looking for a specific brand and a specific purpose, your search for the perfect laptop will be much easier.
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Asus Tuf Dash 15 Gaming Laptop
If portability is close to your heart, you will definitely enjoy the 15.6 ASUS TUF Dash 15 laptop.
It is only 0.8 thin and weighs 4.4lbs. You can travel with it to gaming events without developing a backache!
This mighty computer is fueled by an Intel Core i7-11370H processor, 8GB RAM, a 512 SSD, and GeForce RTX Ampere graphics.
A refresh rate of 144Hz and the incorporation of adaptive-sync technology ensure that your gameplay is smooth and jitter-free. Bonus: The display is FHD, which makes the colors and details truly come alive.
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.
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Do I Need Dedicated Graphics
A graphics processor thats built into the CPU is perfectly adequate for most everyday laptop use. Youll know youre looking at an IGP if you see a reference to Intels HD Graphics, UHD Graphics, or Iris as the graphics solution on an Intel-CPU laptop . An IGP shares the CPUs processor cores, memory, or both. The amount of memory available to the integrated graphics chip is usually fixed, so increasing the amount of system memory wont result in better graphics performance.
Most gamers will want to consider a discrete GPU with its own dedicated computing resources. Even a budget gaming GPU will offer an immense advantage over an integrated graphics processor when it comes to playing 3D games. At the high end, hardcore gamers should look for Nvidias latest GeForce RTX GPUs.
With gaming laptops, the level of GPU you need is very much tied to the frame rate you want to run at the laptops native screen resolution, and the kind of games you play. Thats where our reviews come in handy. We test with several demanding gaming and industry-standard benchmarks to give you a relative sense of a laptops graphics performance. Check out our roundup of favorite late-model gaming machines and best budget gaming laptops for much more.
Why Trust Laptop Mag
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.
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Should I Consider A Refurbished Laptop
Every manufacturer and reseller has different standards for refurbishing previously used laptops. A slight discount on a rigorously tested MacBook Pro that Apple sells with the same warranty as a new one might be worth the cost savings, while a laptop refurbished by a third party youve never heard could be chancy. Its best to buy any refurbished machine directly from the manufacturers online store as opposed to from a reseller, especially a reseller that may be hawking refurbs from marketplace” sellers or third parties on its platform.
Some of these resellers or their third parties will rate their refurbished stock with a grade. Weve seen refurbished laptops being sold and rated with grades of A, B+, B, C, and so on, to reflect the relative amount of wear and tear on the machine. There is no universal grading system for refurbished PCs, however. Its generally up to the reseller what the grade means, and thus it can vary from seller to seller. Were wary of machines graded this way and strongly recommend insisting on an ironclad return policy in the case of purchases like these, if you decide to roll the dice. You could end up pleasantly surprised, but usually, a refurbished-laptop deal that looks too good to be true…is.
Best Cheap Laptop Brands
A laptop neednt cost you a huge chunk of cash, and the competition between brands means great prices for the consumer.
Despite this, dont be tempted by brands you dont recognise, as these are likely to offer poor after-sales support and could let you down. Stick with the brands mentioned on this page and youll be set.
In terms of value, most brands offer entry-level laptops, but we think that Acer and Asus offer the best low-cost models with their Aspire and VivoBook ranges. The cheaper laptops wont be powerhouses, but will get the bulk of daily tasks done.
Another option is a Chromebook. These are notably cheaper than a traditional Windows laptop, though they function a little differently. Think of them as the Chrome web browser, with a keyboard! Theyre great for web browsing, emailing, and streaming video.
They may not be as flexible and offer the range of abilities of a Windows machine, but the average web user and social media fanatic wont mind, and the Google office suite offers everything that Microsoft Office does, and is fully compatible with those programs.
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Best Overall: Asus Chromebook C202sa
Setting a high bar for portability in the ASUS laptop lineup, the ZenBook S packs powerful components into a small frame. Composed of military- and aerospace-grade aluminum for a longer life, the 2.2-pound, 0.5-inch thin ZenBook S provides premium performance with top-of-the-line internal hardware. It also has Intels latest 8th generation Intel Core i7 4GHz processor, 16GB of RAM and a 1TB SSD, making the ZenBook S a dream for those who take their work on the go.
But the size doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice any functionality. The vibrant 14-inch UHD 4K display offers enough screen space for multitasking while remaining highly portable. ASUS ErgoLift hinge even gives users a new degree of ergonomic support by raising the keyboard off a table or desk ever so slightly for a more comfortable typing experience . Working away from an outlet is no problem as the laptop has nine hours of battery life and, with fast charging onboard, can recharge up to 60% in just 49 minutes.
Asus’ Chromebook C202 is one of the best all-around choices in their portfolio, an inexpensive but well-specced and versatile machine that’s incredibly easy to take with you on the go. For a killer 2-in-1 option, the Chromebook C302 is a fun alternative, if you’re looking for a single device that fills both tablet and laptop roles.
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.
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Do You Get Free Games When You Buy Asus Gaming Laptops
Asus may have a tie-up with some game developers to include a few games as gifts along with their laptops. These could be models-specific and not all games may be included. In many cases, the buyer may be intimated with a code to be used to download the games free from the respective sites. Free games may not be available across all models.
What Kind Of Connectivity Do I Need
If you plan to use your laptops touchpad, touch screen, and keyboard as the primary means of control, most of the time you may never need to plug in anything other than the power cord. In this case, youll rely on the Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connections that most every laptop offers.
The latest Wi-Fi standard is 802.11ax , and is a good feature to look for in a premium machine to ensure the fastest Wi-Fi connectivity in the future. The older 802.11ac, though, is just fine for mainstream and budget systems. Steer clear of the older 802.11b/g/n standards that are still available on some budget machines, if you can, as those can result in lower throughput speeds and less reliable connections.
Serious gamers might want to opt for a machine with a Killer Networks setup. It will allow for more granular control over giving wired or wireless gaming traffic priority on your internet connection. Business users and gamers may also want a dedicated Ethernet jack. Most gaming machines will have one, and some gamers insist wired Ethernet is still the only way to go for competitive online gaming. Some laptops implement Ethernet as a full-size or fold-out jack others may come with an adapter in the box that routes Ethernet through a USB port. And still others come with neither, leaving wired Ethernet up to you to add via a dongle if you want it.
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How Much Ram Does A Laptop Need
RAM is an important specification to look for in a laptop. Youll want 4GB at the very least for a Windows laptop though wed actually recommend for many people to go for 8GB. That will ensure that the laptop runs well for years to come. Budget Chromebooks can get away with less RAM, such as 1GB or 2GB.
What Are The Best Laptops Right Now
The Dell XPS 13 is currently our top overall pick for best laptop of 2021. Powered by a 11th Gen Intel Core i7 processor and integrated Intel Iris Xe graphics, the 1080p version of the laptop is ideal for work, play and light content creation. And with its bright, vivid display, the laptop is also great for watching videos. Plus, its also incredibly slim and light making it an ideal laptop for mobile professionals.
Those in the market for a convertible should give the Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 a look. If 13-inches is too small, we suggest the Dell XPS 17, which also earned a spot on this list thanks to its powerful performance that makes it ideal for students, mobile and creative professionals.
For our Apple aficionados, the new must-haves are the MacBook Pro and MacBook Air m1 laptops. Apple’s new silicone marks a new chapter in Apple computing, and computers as a whole. The ARM-based chips bring an unprecedented amount of power and endurance, the likes of which that places the typically underpowered Air on a par with major ultraportables.
See our picks for best laptops below.
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Q Can I Get An Ultrabook From Asus
A. Yes, ASUS has its own line of ultrabooks called ZenBooks. One of our favorites is the ASUS ZenBook Pro Duo, which has an extended workspace , an Intel Core i7 processor, the ability to open multiple apps at once and to visually navigate them while multitasking, thin bezels, a touchscreen, and an awesome and responsive stylus.
The ZenBook Pro is on the pricey side, so if you want something a bit scaled-down thats still great, check out the ASUS ZenBook 13. For a fraction of the price of the ZenBook Pro, the ASUS ZenBook 13 has a smaller OLED screen and no touchscreen, but it does have an Intel Core i7 processor, Thunderbolt 4, built-in facial recognition camera, thin bezels, and number pad.
Another choice we like is the ASUS Zenbook Flip. For hundreds of dollars less than the ZenBook Pro Duo, the ASUS ZenBook Flip is a 2-in-1 touchscreen laptop with LED backlighting, 256GB SSD, and a flash stylus. For a slightly higher cost, you can get the ASUS ZenBook Flip with 512GB SSD.