What’s Important To Consider With Student Laptops
Laptops for students are not just for writing essays now but for taking part in those critical online sessions, so you need one that can handle video calls as well as documents. And with so many online classes, video meetings and virtual collaborations, students are spending more time on their laptops than ever before and to work optimally you don’t want to scrimp on an underpowered model.
We’re now in the pre-new academic year summer months, and that is good news for student laptop shoppers as plenty of retailers are currently discounting some great systems that are perfect for school and college.
If you’re wondering what separates the best college laptops from the best laptops overall or specialist systems like gaming laptops and 2-in-1 laptops, it’s that they have to satisfy two very different criteria: they need to be excellent all-rounders, and they need to be excellent value, too. That means they can’t cut any crucial corners but they need to be keenly priced.
The arrival of the best Chromebooks has given the market quite a kick. Google’s mobile-focused laptops have encouraged PC firms to up their game, as have Apple’s iPads and in fact we think you should check out T3’s best tablets guide too, because many of today’s tablets are perfectly capable laptops too. All you need is a keyboard. If you prefer Dells to Apples and laptops to tablets, though, check out our guide to the best Dell laptops.
Should I Get A Longer Laptop Warranty
Most laptop makers offer one-year warranties on parts and labor. These standard plans are limited, so they won’t cover accidents that stem from spilling a drink on the keyboard or dropping the system on the sidewalk. Fortunately, your credit-card issuer likely covers such mishaps for a short period of time after you buy a new product, and it also may extend the manufacturer’s warranty. Check your account benefits guide for details.
If your credit-card issuer doesnt cover you, some laptop makers will happily sell you extended warranties. Apple, Dell, HP, and Lenovo all offer wide ranges of extended warranties and coverage for accidental damage. Expect to spend $100 to $300 for these options. Our rule of thumb is that if a warranty costs more than 15 percent of the laptop’s purchase price, you’re better off spending the money on backup drives or services that minimize downtime.
Of course, you can’t put a price tag on peace of mind. There are instances when the logic board or the displaythe most expensive parts of a laptopfail, and while rare, such a catastrophe can cost you half of what the laptop is worth in repair costs.
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.
You May Like: How Much Memory Do I Need On My Laptop For College
Best Laptop For Long Battery Life
- Occasional app compatibility issues and sluggish performance
- Limited availability of 5G coverage
- No Wi-Fi 6 or Thunderbolt 3 port
- Relatively cramped 256GB storage drive
- Fully rugged without being a hulk
- Bright, full HD touch display
- Dual, hot-swappable batteries
- Secure port covers and garaged stylus
- Quiet operation
- Accidental damage included in three-year warranty
A laptop wont revolutionize the minutiae of your life the way a smartphone can. You cant easily whip one out to kill time in the elevator, capture a breathtaking sunset, or pay for a cup of coffee.
But in the years since smartphones took on all these jobs, laptops have honed their own talents. Amazing battery life and breathtaking screens are now common, if you look in the right place for them. The graphics muscle to play games at full HD is affordable. And those basic old-guard features that you wont find on any mobile device, such as touchpads and full-size keyboards, tend to get better with almost every generation.
With great features, though, has come great fragmentation. Amazon, Newegg, and even your local electronics megamart have a dizzying array of cheap laptops, gaming laptops, 2-in-1 laptops, Chromebooks, and ultraportables. Here at PC Labs, we review as many laptops as we canhundreds each yearso weve seen pretty much every remix of laptop you can buy.
Who Are The Best Laptop Makers
The truth is that today there are very few makers who are pumping out bad laptops. Indeed, we think the biggest mistake a person can make today is buying a laptop that is badly suited to their needs.
However, there are laptop makers who have proven themselves over decades of strong laptop production. These makers produce laptops with a high level of fit an finish, strong core functionality and, crucially, excellent after care service in terms of support.
The makers we consider that do these things best are: Dell, Lenovo, HP, Apple, Asus, Acer, Microsoft and LG.
Also Check: How To Make My Acer Laptop Faster
Dell Xps 17 Performance
With its 2.3-GHz Intel Core i7-10875H processor, 32GB of RAM and a 1TB M.2 PCIe SSD, the XPS 17 is an undeniable powerhouse. The laptop ripped through nearly every test we threw at it, starting with our real-world test. I launched my typical 40 tabs in , but loaded it up with a couple of Twitch streams and videos. The XPS 17 took it all in stride with no signs of slowing down.
The notebook kept up its performance on our synthetic benchmarks. When we ran Geekbench 5.0, an overall performance test, the XPS 17 achieved 7,740, pushing past the 4,278 premium laptop average. The MacBook Pro and its Intel Core i9-9980HK CPU wasnt too far behind, at 7,201. The Envy 17t hit 3,272.
On the Handbrake test, the XPS 17 transcoded a 4K video to 1080p in 8 minutes and 41 seconds. It was faster than the 18:41 average and the Envy 17ts 22:23. The MacBook Pro was a bit faster at 8 minutes flat.
When we ran the File Transfer test, the XPS 17s SSD clocked a transfer speed of 620.6 megabytes per second, beating the Envy 17ts 390 MBps. Still, it was short of the 692.1 MBps average. The MacBook Pro scored a whopping 1,1017.9 MBps, but keep in mind that this was on the BlackMagic Read/Write test, a different benchmark than our usual test .
Best Laptop : Top Picks For Every User And Every Budget
The best laptops from Dell, Apple, Razer and more
ThinkPad X1 Yoga Gen 6
If you’re after the best laptop for your needs and budget, we can help. While 2021 is drawing to a close, this year has seen some brilliant devices from the best laptop brands such as Apple, Dell and HP.
There’s a huge amount of choice out there, but buying the best laptop for your needs doesn’t need to be complicated or overwhelming, so in this guide, we’ve picked the top laptops for a range of budgets and use cases, including powerful gaming laptops, budget notebooks and affordable Chromebooks.
If you’re after the best laptop overall, however, then our pick is the MacBook Air . This is a powerful and stylish thin and light laptop from Apple, and it offers great value for money as well.
Meanwhile, the Acer Swift 3 is our choice for the best budget laptop you can buy right now, offering a perfect balance of affordability and performance. If that doesn’t take your fancy then we have a rundown of the best cheap laptop deals to help you pick a device that won’t hurt your wallet.
All the laptops in this list have been thoroughly reviewed by us, and only the best are included here. Along with our built-in price comparison tool, you can buy in confidence knowing you’ve got the best deal for the best laptop for you.
You May Like: Fax From Mac Computer
Editors Pick: Dell Xps Minitower Desktop Computer
CPU: Intel Core 10th Gen i3 10100 i9 10900 | RAM: up to 128GB | Storage: up to 1TB SSD, 2TB HDD | Graphics: Intel UHD Graphics 360 Nvidia GeForce RTX 2070
The Dell XPS offers multiple configurations, but starting at around $500 you can get a PC with a 10th Gen Intel Core i3 processor, 8GB of RAM, and a hard drive of 1TB. In other words, this desktop comes with an entry-level processor, enough memory for daily tasks, and plenty of storage for a really low price.
If you want more power, upgrade to an Intel Core i9 processor, 128GB of RAM, and up to 2TB of SSD and hard drive. You can max it out even more by choosing either a Nvidia GeForce RTX 2060 Super or an AMD Radeon RX 5700 XT graphics card. Plus you can choose between a black or white chassis. With these configurations, the Dell XPS is capable of matching most users’ needs, though doing so may increase the price by a factor of five or six.
The XPS 8940 includes a wide array of ports. In the front youll find an SD card reader, three USB type-A, one type-C, an headset jack, and an optional optical drive. On the back, you get six additional USBs, a DisplayPort for monitors, an HDMI, and audio ports.
This Dell model is also ready for future upgrades. It comes with additional storage bays for a 3.3 HDD, two for a 2.5 NB HDD, and three PCIe slots for adding peripheral components like sound cards, graphic cards, and other expansion cards.
What Are The Best Laptop Brands
The best brands for laptops include Apple, Dell, Lenovo and HP, and they all have their strengths. For example, Apple make brilliantly-designed slim and light laptops, while Dell does a great range of high-end ultrabooks, as well as affordable devices and Chromebooks as well. Lenovo’s well known for making solidly-built business laptops , and HPs also been making some gorgeous laptops recently that are some of the best laptops in the world.
When it comes to gaming, the best laptop brands include Alienware, Asus and Acer.
You May Like: How To Change Keyboard Color On Windows 10
Best Laptops For The Money
For a photo retoucher, designer or video blogger a laptop or computer is the main earning tool but for other ordinary users it plays a smaller role. If you dont want to spend too much money on the best Samsung laptop, because you dont need to perform complex tasks, then the following 12 budget laptops under $300, $400 and $500 can become a good choice for you.
Best For Gaming: Asus Rog Zephyrus G14 Vr Ready Gaming Laptop
CPU: AMD Ryzen 7 4800HS – Ryzen 9 4900HS | Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 – RTX 2060 | RAM: 16GB | Storage: 1TB | Dolby Atmos surround sound
Consistently ranking among the best gaming laptops of 2020, the Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 is a multitasker that offers a great gaming experience. It combines AMDs new Ryzen 9 4900HS processor and Nvidias RTX 2060 graphics to enable lower power consumption and fast-paced gaming.
With a 14-inch full HD display, the G14 has one of the thinnest and lightest gaming laptop chassis available, making it an attractive option for gamers who also want portability. Additionally, selected G14 models feature 1,215 mini-LED lights in the lid that can be used to display custom images and animations.
Recommended Reading: How To Empty Trash On Hp Laptop
Which Are The Most Popular Laptops For The Money On The Market Today
Men and women who need quality and reliability can choose from a variety of laptops for the money products on the market today. The basic idea behind all laptops for the money products is the same. Different users will prefer different products.
We all know that different products appeal to different demographics. Wouldnt it be interesting to know what the most popular items are among all consumers? Heres a list of them. Take a look at our list of products that everyone seems to love, no matter their age, gender, or location.
Some tips to Select the Most Popular laptops for the money
Gaming Pc Buying Guide
Regardless of your preferences, there are a handful of important features and specifications to look out for when buying a brand new gaming PC:
GPU. One of the two most important parts of any gaming PC is the graphics card or Graphics Processing Unit . The most current-gen setups use NVIDIA, though AMD is another big name in GPUs. If you want to run graphics-intensive games, it is usually best to pick a 20-series or 30-series NVIDIA card . If youre not concerned with how pretty your games will look, AMD GPUs are an affordable alternative, as well as NVIDIAs GTX line.
CPU. Having a powerful graphics card is important, but without a central processing unit to match, your games will look choppy and stutter constantly. The processor handles all tasks that dont involve graphics rendering including background processes and running other programs. A CPU with 8 cores has just enough power for smooth gaming, though 4- and 6-core CPUs can do a good job for older games. If you favor games with a lot of calculations involved, make sure to pick a fast CPU to avoid slowdowns.
RAM. Similar to the CPU, RAM, or Random Access Memory, is essential for running multiple processes at the same time. The difference is that RAM is a form of short-term memory for your computer . RAM is measured in Gigabytes , and 8GB is the bare minimum required for gaming, though 16GB or 32GB are preferable in the long run.
You May Like: How To Screen Record On A Hp Laptop
How Much Does A Good Laptop Cost
Setting a budget is a good place to start when shopping for the best laptop for yourself. The good news is you can get a nice-looking, lightweight laptop with excellent battery life at prices under $500. If you’re shopping for a laptop around $500 or less, check out our top picks here, as well as more specific buying advice for that price range.
Higher-end components like Intel Core i-series and AMD Ryzen processors and premium design touches like thin-display bezels and aluminum or magnesium bodies have made their way to laptops priced between $500 and $1,000. You can also find touchscreens and two-in-one designs that can be used as a tablet or a laptop — and a couple other positions in between. In this price range, you’ll also find faster memory and ssd storage — and more of it — to improve performance.
Above $1,000 is where you’ll find premium laptops and two-in-ones. If you’re looking for the fastest performance, the best battery life, the slimmest, lightest designs and top-notch display quality with an adequate screen size, expect to spend at least $1,000.
What Screen Size Is Best For A Gaming Laptop
This will arguably have the most immediate impact on your choice of the build. Picking the size of your screen basically dictates the size of your laptop. A 13-inch machine will be a thin-and-light ultrabook, while a 17-inch panel almost guarantees workstation stuff. At 15-inches, you’re looking at the most common size of the gaming laptop screen.
Read Also: How Do I Screen Record On My Hp Laptop
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.