How We Test Macbook Laptops
We put MacBooks through extensive benchmark testing both synthetic and real-world before they end up in the hands of our reviewers. We evaluate everything from speed and battery life to display brightness, speaker volume and system heat.
We use a Klein K10 colorimeter to detect the brightness and sRGB color gamut of a laptop’s display. For performance benchmarking, we run the laptop through a gauntlet of benchmarks, including Geekbench 4.3 and 5.0 and 3DMark professional graphics tests.
To determine real-world performance, we task the laptop to convert a 4K video to 1080p resolution and to duplicate a 4.97GB multimedia file. Our real-world graphics test is the Dirt 3 benchmark with medium settings and 1080p resolution.
We also run heat tests by playing a 15-minute full-screen video and our battery test consists of continuous web surfing over Wi-Fi at 150 nits of brightness. We consider everything over the category average to be a good result. Of course, these tests are complemented with hands-on testing from our reviewers.
Razer Blade 15 Advanced
Razer Blade 15 has won Android Authoritys CES 2021 Top Picks Award for Best Gaming Laptop. Check out all the awards here.
The latest iteration of the Razer Blade 15 is now official, and the big news is the 15.6-inch QHD display with an impressive 240Hz refresh rate.
Most laptop gamers still seem to prefer 1080p gaming because of higher refresh rate options, but the Blade 15 QHD 240Hz model finally catapults gaming laptops to a new level. Dont want QHD? Theres also an HD 360Hz or a 4K 60Hz option.
Beyond the display, the Razer Blade 15 has all the latest specs youd want. Theres a 10th-generation Intel Core H-series processors inside, along with Nvidias Geforce GTX 30 mobile graphics. The laptop will also include up to 1TB of SSD and 32GB of RAM thats expandable to 64GB total. The new Blade 15 supports the companys customizable Chroma RBG backlighting for its keyboard, with the base model supporting zone lighting, and the advanced model using per-key lighting.
The new Razer Blade 15 will go on sale this month, with a starting price of $1,699.99. It was definitely one of the best upcoming laptops at CES 2021.
Razer Blade 15 Base Gaming Laptop
Much like its cousin, the Razer Blade Stealth, this one also seems to live up to its name and slip under the radar.
Dont let that be an indicator of poor performance though the Razer Blade 15 is anything but. With a 10th Gen Intel Core i7-10750H 6-Core processor reaching up to 5GHz max turbo, an NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060, and a 144Hz 15.6-inch full HD display, theres a lot here in a small footprint only 0.78 inches thin and 4.7 pounds.
The whip-fast processing speeds make gaming a breeze, but this goes way beyond just gamers, and can handle heavy web browsing and creative applications too. It start to get hot when overwhelmed though, so a cooling platform may be a good idea if this will be the main device in your work station.
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Asus Rog Zephyrus G14 Gaming Laptop
This ones for the multitaskers out there. Fueled by the Ryzen 7 4800HS , with eight cores and 16 threads, the ROG Zephyrus can effortlessly run multiple memory-eating applications all at once. Photo editing software, games, and your browser of choice with way-too-many tabs open, all are no problem. The NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 graphics card has got 4GB of dedicated video memory, for a fast, advanced GPU to power your online and offline life.
The 14-inch display has a beautifully crisp 1920x1080p resolution and the speed to match. The RTX 2060 graphics card moves through games with near-zero lag and incredibly smooth frame rates. All this is packed into a laptop that weighs just a pinch above three pounds, while being energy-efficient thanks to the LED backlight, and packing a hefty battery life for its class at around nine hours.
The Best New Laptops Announced At Ces 2021
This years CES has been a bit different, but that didnt stop new product announcements from pouring in. We saw a ton of tech at the show, and that goes double for laptops. With literally dozens of options, weve rounded up ten of our favorite new laptops announced at CES 2021.
In this list, we tried to be fair and include a variety of differing laptops for many use cases including mainstream, business, and gaming. Theres even a new Chromebook we felt worthy of inclusion. Read on to see our picks.
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Laptop Vendors: Should You Stick To The ‘usual Suspects’ Or Seek Out Lesser
Generally speaking, the leading PC vendors have the broadest range of offerings and the best-documented track records in terms of product development and customer relations. So in the absence of a specialised use case or budgetary constraint, you’re usually going to be looking at the likes of Lenovo, HP, Dell, Apple, and Acer — which currently lead the PC market in terms of shipments — plus a handful of other well-known brands.
Assess Your Budget: How Much Do I Need To Spend
Dont care about cutting-edge design and powerful components? You might be satisfied with a cheap laptop. Todays market is flooded with basic but full-featured models with list prices under $500. Shopping holidays like Prime Day and Black Friday, and actual holidays like Presidents Day, bring frequent sales, discounting some of these models even further. Most of them will handle word processing and e-mail checking just fine, but theyll struggle with other tasks, such as keeping many web browser tabs open at once.
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What If You Want To Get A New Laptop
THE WASHINGTON POST Maybe your laptop has slowed to a crawl. Maybe it ran out of storage space and youre tired of shuffling files onto external hard drives. Or maybe youve just decided its time to treat yourself to something new.
Lucky you: This is a good time to be on the hunt for a new laptop. Windows 11 launched earlier this month, and PC makers are shipping plenty of computers with that new software already installed.
And Apple unveiled a pair of powerful new MacBook Pros that undid many of the annoying quirks found in earlier models.
Take it from us, though: It can be a little too easy to succumb to the hype. Dont let some silky, disembodied voice in a flashy ad persuade you to upgrade you know better than anyone else when its time to invest in a new machine. If youre thinking of going laptop shopping soon, there are a few questions you should ask yourself before you whip out your credit card.
WHAT DO YOU ACTUALLY NEED?
Were starting with the biggest question of them all, since it really defines the scope of your search. If all you do is poke around online, reading news and embracing or resisting the urge to snark on Twitter, you certainly dont need a USD2,000 machine. . The inverse is also true. If youre looking to edit videos or play gorgeous games, a budget laptop probably wont cut it.
Keeping track of all those parts can be more than a little confusing, so heres a little cheat sheet to help you keep them straight.
Best Windows Laptop: Dell Xps 13
- Display: 13.4-inch display at 1920 x 1200 / 3.5K OLED / 4K
- Processor: 11th Gen Intel Core i3 / Core i5 / Core i7
- RAM: 8GB / 16GB / 32GB
- Storage: 256GB / 512GB / 1TB solid state drive
- Size and weight: 11.6 x 7.8 x 0.6 inches, 2.64 pounds
The Dell XPS 13 has long been a near-perfect Windows laptop, and the latest model makes it even better with the most immersive and stunning PC display weve seen yet. It sports a four-sided InfinityEdge display, meaning theres virtually no bezel to get in the way of any movies, shows or work documents you have open on its gorgeous 13.4-inch panel.
Dells laptop comes with a crisp full HD screen to start, though you can configure it with a 4K display if youre willing to pay up. Our full HD model looked beautiful in everyday use, with thick, inky blacks that made it easy to sift through work documents and plenty of color and detail when we stared at Henry Cavills chiseled face and shiny gray hair while streaming The Witcher.
And with optional touch functionality, the XPS 13 is as versatile as mainstream laptops get. The XPS 13s touch display proved fast and responsible in our testing, whether we pinched to zoom into web pages or bounced between tabs and applications with the tap of a finger. You should check out the Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 if you want a true convertible tablet experience, but the standard XPS 13s touch screen still gets the job done for basic tasks.
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How To Choose The Best Macbooks For You
We have a separate guide on how to decide which MacBook is right for you. The TL DR version is to consider how much power you need and what you are willing to spend.
For us, the MacBook Air is an easy choice. It comes in at $999 yet sports similar performance and endurance to the MacBook Pro thanks to its M1 processor. It’s also the most portable of the bunch, and the improved 13.3-inch display is great for watching TV shows or movies.
If you want a bit more endurance and better performance over longer periods, get the 13-inch MacBook Pro with M1. It lasts for a remarkable 16 hours and 32 minutes on a charge and scored benchmark numbers that blow away the competition.
It’s not so easy for us to recommend Apple’s other options. The 13-inch MacBook Pro with four Thunderbolt 3 ports and the 16-inch MacBook Pro are stuck with Intel chips that are less powerful than M1 and don’t support iOS and iPadOS apps. Apple is expected to release new versions with Apple Silicon in the coming weeks, so we suggest you try holding out until then.
Dell Xps 17 Software And Warranty
The Dell XPS 17 is pretty light on software. What Dell did include are primarily useful utilities such as Dell Power Manager, which manages power consumption to either extend battery life or squeeze out every bit of performance. Customer Connect connects you with a Dell technician in case you run into trouble. Digital Delivery maintains your software downloads and restores them after a system wipe or crash.
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 Friends.
The Dell XPS 17 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.
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How Much Should I Spend On A New Laptop
It’s really going to come down to your budget.
While wed all like an unlimited budget for tech purchases, realistically speaking you probably have a general range in mind for what you want to spend on this. If you rely on the machine day in and day out and its not something you only occasionally spend time on then getting the computer thatll get the job done and is built to last is super-important. And while yes, the cost of the latest MacBook Pro might make some people balk, there are plenty of other players in the game these days that bring great-quality machines at less hair-raising prices, like Huawei and Lenovo.
You should think hard about what you’re going to use your laptop for. If you need a device with lots of power under the hood and ample storage space, aim for something in the $800 and beyond range. If you’re only using your laptop to edit the occasional Google Doc or Excel spreadsheet, then you can probably get away with spending below the $500 mark.
Best Macbook In : Which Apple Laptop Is Best
08 September 2021
From the MacBook Pro to the MacBook Air, we’ll help find the best MacBook for your needs
We now recommend every MacBook in Apple’s arsenal, however, major differences between each model mean there isn’t a one-size-fits-all option. At the end of last year, Apple released a new MacBook Air and entry-level MacBook Pro with a custom ARM-based M1 chip, the company’s first in-house SoC . The processor brought massive performance and battery life improvements to Apple’s least expensive laptops, pushing them ahead of their pricier MacBook Pro comrades and even some top Windows 10 rivals.
So what about the MacBook Pro with four Thunderbolt 3 ports and the premium 16-inch MacBook Pro? They are still stuck on Intel processors until Apple releases a suitable Apple Silicon chip . Apple is expected to launch new 14-inch MacBook Pro and 16-inch MacBook Pro models before the end of the year with in-house M1X chips. We recommend, if possible, waiting for those instead of purchasing the current Intel-powered models. If you don’t need the most premium laptop, the MacBook Air and 13-inch MacBook Pro with M1 are excellent options.
Our MacBook Air vs MacBook Pro face-off will also help you decide which system is right for you, and our Apple Warranty Check instructions will tell you when your AppleCare+ plan expires. You should also read our macOS Big Sur review to determine whether a Mac is right for you in the first place.
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Lenovo Thinkpad X1 Carbon
Best overall business laptop
Reasons to avoid
Lenovo made several welcome changes to the 9th Gen edition of its flagship business laptop. Along with fast performance from 11th Gen Intel CPUs, you get longer battery life , powerful quad speakers, a new 14-inch display with a 16:10 aspect ratio, and plenty of ports, all in an impossibly lightweight chassis .
But it’s still those classic ThinkPad features a durable design , best-in-class keyboard and stealthy black/red aesthetics that carry the X1 Carbon to greatness.
Yes, we wish the ThinkPad X1 Carbon had a better webcam and hadn’t ditched the SD card reader in the previous. Also, top configurations can get very expensive still, you’d be hard-pressed to find a better business laptop.
Reasons to avoid
HP’s EliteBook x360 1040 G7 is among the best business laptops money can buy. This stunning laptop has a gorgeous chassis that flaunts a flexible hinge, allowing the x360 1040 G7 to convert from a laptop into a tablet.
For these reasons, the EliteBook x360 1040 is the best HP laptop for business users.
Reasons to avoid
The MacBook Pro 13-inch M1 delivers impressive performance and has the longest battery life weve ever seen on a Mac. If thats not enough, paired with Big Sur, you get blistering webpage load times and a better webcam experience all thanks to Apple Silicon. In short, the new MacBook Pro is everything Apple said and more.
Reasons to avoid
Reasons to avoid
Reasons to avoid
Reasons to avoid
Reasons to avoid
The Best Business Laptop
If youre a business professional and money is no object for you or your company, you cant do better than the HP Elite Dragonfly. The 2020 model is the first Dragonfly that features HPs super-secure SureView Reflect technology, which tints the screen so that snoops cant see what youre doing while youre working in public. When its not tinted, the display gets quite bright and has great viewing angles.
The new Dragonfly is also the first laptop to include a built-in Tile tracker. That means if you lose the device, you can use the Tile smartphone app to set off an alarm or locate it anywhere in the world using Tiles crowd-finding network. The tracker can work for a limited time even when the laptop is off.
Almost everything else about the Dragonfly is good it has some of the best battery life of any laptop on the market , a sleek and stunning 2-in-1 design, and an exceptional keyboard. Plus, it incorporates sustainable material, including ocean-bound plastics and recycled DVDs.
The Dragonfly is pricey, and there are cheaper business laptops that will suit the needs of most professionals just fine. But if youre looking for the best of the best, its the unambiguous winner.
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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.