Most Popular Business Laptops
Once you’ve fully acquainted yourself with the above considerations for the best business laptop, you should feel more prepared to browse the vast market of options. Even with all you’ve learned, though, you might still face a bit of as you navigate the seemingly countless options in front of you. To give you a good starting point, we’ve listed a few of the very best business laptops and summarized their features below.
Where To Go From Here
Shopping for a laptop is an exercise in patience. An ultra-competitive market means that even if youve got specific requirements, you can almost certainly find a handful of excellent models that will meet them, and another handful of perfectly serviceable but ho-hum models that will, too. Now that you know which specifications to look for, we hope that parsing the good from the bad will be much easier. We update our top picks frequently, and you can find our current favorite laptops below.
How About Battery Life
The short answer is not to count on your gaming notebook being super portable.
If youre using your laptop to play games, you need to keep your laptop plugged in to get the full performance out of your GPU. And if you dont, youll be lucky if your laptop lasts an hour gaming. In our testing experience, most gaming laptops last only a few hours on a charge when performing other tasks, but never as long as ultraportables without discrete GPUs. If you need something to last 8 hours while you work, it wont be a gaming notebook.
Some do last long, but thats often at the expense of the display, and you dont want to play all your games on a dark, dim or inaccurate screen.Thankfully, an increasing number of gaming laptops work with both barrel chargers and USB Type-C. The latter won’t deliver enough power for gaming, but can top you off if you’re doing productivity work.
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Who Makes The Best Gaming Laptops
Part of the reason that modern gaming laptops are so exciting is because there is so much competition. There are no longer just a couple of decent brands.
The best brands for gaming laptops today are Razer, Asus, Acer, Dell, MSI, and Lenovo, though you’ll also find a few options from HP, and certainly Dell’s sub-brand, Alienware is always worth considering.
Most of these manufacturers have a few clean-cut dedicated gaming laptops, but some also offer more modest stealth designs, which are both lightweight and powerful, while others are more overt with a focus on bigger and more powerful systems that can even rival some gaming desktops.
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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How Many Cores Do I Need
Every laptop we sell has at least a dual-core processor. This allows it to handle several things at once so you can move quickly between different windows, with more apps and tabs running at once. Quad-core processors are great for running demanding software quickly, such as photo editing and music production programs. Modern creative software is optimised to run best with multi-core setups.
Choosing The Right Os
Aside from niche systems like Linux, there are usually three main options when buying a new laptop:
- Windows 10
- Chrome OS
- Mac OS
Windows will often be your main pick, simply because it has the most options in terms of apps and programs.
There are downsides of course, as Windows is a resource-hungry OS that frequently slows down while installing large update files.
Theres no question that gamers or anyone using a laptop for business applications will want to go with Windows in the vast majority of cases, however.
If you mostly spend your time online watching YouTube videos and browsing social media, you may be better served with the Chrome OS. Chrome also now has access to the full Google Play app store, which radically increases your options.
..the Mac OS is a solid alternative to Windows if you dont mind learning a different system
Finally, the Mac OS is a solid alternative to Windows if you dont mind learning a different system. If you use music or video editing software, Mac is an excellent option, and they are also much less prone to viruses and spyware.
For the tech enthusiasts, MacBooks have a few features that Windows machines dont normally offer, such as high resolution retina displays and the nifty Touch Bar.
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The Best Laptops For 2022
Looking at specs is just the start: Whether you want a simple budget PC, a productivity workhorse, or a screamer of a gaming notebook, our deep-dive guide has the advice you need to find the best laptop for you.
- Upgraded performance from Intel “Tiger Lake” CPU
- Sleek styling
- Users can upgrade RAM
- Appealing 3:2 aspect ratio display
- HDMI port
- SSD instead of eMMC storage
- Powerful graphics and computing performance
- Compact chassis with easy access for upgrades
- Expansive 3K display
- Dazzling OLED touch screen with 3:2 aspect ratio
- Handy shortcut keys and utility software
- Rechargeable pen and carrying sleeve in box
- Lively performance
- No LTE mobile broadband option
- No sign of the 007 SPECTRE octopus logo
- Modern design with thin bezels and larger display
- Superior 1080p webcam
- Two USB-C ports with Thunderbolt 4 support
- Well-implemented kickstand
- Perky performance in tested Core i7 configuration
- Higher starting price diminishes entry-level appeal
- Accessories and configuration upgrades are pricey
- Keyboard base still sold separately
- USB-C ports only
- Good value, especially for a MacBook
- Much-improved performance, thanks to Apples new M1 processor
- Exceptional battery life
- High-quality keyboard, touchpad, and display
- Multiple color options
- Port selection limited to two USB Type-C connections
- Still no touch-screen option
- Pricey as configured, in line with field-leading speed
- Poor battery life
Is A Comfortable Keyboard A High Priority
When you’re busy looking at laptop designs, it’s easy to forget about the basics and be dazzled by gorgeous chassis and high-resolution screens, but keyboard comfort is an important factor for most business users. In fact, an uncomfortable keyboard will be a much bigger barrier to productivity than a slightly unimpressive PPI or a bland design. While you shop, keep in mind that the smaller the laptop, the smaller the keyboard, and that typing on a miniature keyboard for hours at a time can be tiresome.
If possible, test out keyboards to get a feel for what you like. If you can’t do that, at least take note of the size of the keyboard on any laptop you consider. If you choose a laptop with a less-than-optimal keyboard, you can invest in an external keyboard for long typing sessions but this is not ideal, of course.
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Meet Your Needs And Budget
Of course, you need to balance these features with your budget and your needs, and you might have to make some compromises. Rarely does a laptop come along that ticks all the boxes, especially when it comes to price.
Let us know in the comments below if you consider other aspects of a laptop to be more important , and especially let us know if youve already found the perfect laptop for your needs.
Do I Need A Touchscreen Or Stylus Support
Touchscreens are a nice feature if you use them a lot. Laptops with touchscreens and/or stylus support are nearly always more expensive than similar models without touchscreens.
Computers with touchscreens also use a lot more battery power than those without, even if you don’t actively use the touchscreen feature. To top it off, touchscreens are heavier than regular screens. If you need a touchscreen or stylus support, you should absolutely look for that feature in a laptop, but don’t spring for it just because you think it seems like a cool add-on.
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What Kind Of Laptop Screen Do I Need
Laptop screens have grown denser over the past decade, packing more pixels into the same area. That enables crisper text, sharper onscreen images, and, often, better-looking colors. Display density is sometimes measured in pixels per inch , but the main specification that defines a laptop screen is its native resolution, which is expressed in horizontal by vertical pixels.
Most laptops that cost $500 or more have screens with at least full HD resolutions. Also known as 1080p displays, they sport a resolution of 1,920 by 1,080 pixels and typically employ LCD panels built on whats known as in-plane switching technology. IPS screens quality can vary, but they are best known for keeping the quality of the image high if you look at the screen from an oblique, or off-side, angle. Thin-film transistor , the other major screen type in modern laptops , tends to shift colors or look faded if not viewed straight-on. That matters if you often share the contents of your screen with otherssay, when giving impromptu presentations.
Cheap Windows- and Chrome OS-based laptops will usually have lower-resolution thin-film transistor displays , which means text wont appear as crisp and colors might not be as vivid as youve come to expect from your smartphone or TV. If youre not picky about image quality, though, a lower-resolution display might be an acceptable sacrifice in the quest to save money.
How To Buy A Laptop 2021
Mobile computing isnt a luxury anymore these days, having ready access to a laptop is a flat out necessity.
Whether you need to edit video on the go, email your boss, play games, or just keep in touch with family, performance and portability come together when you pick the right notebook.
Although prices have come down, laptops are still a big investment. Thats why you should be confident that youve found the perfect laptop to fit your needs and budget before checking out!
Thats where we come in!
A typical laptop will last between 3 5 years. When its time to replace a new laptop, from start to finish weve got a full guide to walk you through every aspect of the buying process.
Y Series : Fanless Designs Mediocre Performance
Good For: Portability, Fanless Design, Light ProductivityBad For: Battery Life, Serious Number Crunching
When you’re shopping for a laptop, be wary of the Y series , which you may see branded with Core i5 / Core i7 . Intel Y Series processors have a very-low TDP of 7 watts, which allows manufacturers to use them in fanless, super-thin laptops. Unfortunately, most of those laptops also have low-capacity batteries or high-powered screens so they actually end up with worse battery life than competitors with more powerful U-series processors.
|Common Intel Y Series CPUs|
Should I Get A Touch Screen
To take advantage of the touch-screen support present throughout Windows 10 and Chrome OS, youll want to seek out a touch-enabled laptop, and perhaps even a digital stylus to write or draw on it. Some Windows 10 laptops come in both touch- and non-touch versions, so check the specifications on what youre buying carefully. Glossy screens typically feature touch support, while most matte screens designed to filter out glare from ambient lighting do not.
Since many gaming laptops have matte displays, touch support is much harder to find among their ranks. Many gaming laptops above budget-level do offer high-refresh-rate screens, though. Hardcore gamers or esports hounds who are looking for silky-smooth visuals to give them a competitive edge will want to maximize the number of frames per second that their screen can display, and can do so by opting for a screen with a 120Hz or greater refresh rate.
However, before you pay a major premium for a high-refresh screen, youll want to be sure that the graphics chip, or GPU, is muscular enough to push the kinds of games you play at a high enough frame rate to make a difference. Standard laptop screens have 60Hz refresh rates, and if youll be playing games at 60 frames per second or lower, in most cases a high-refresh screen wont confer much benefit.
How To Buy A Laptop: What To Look For When Buying A New Notebook Computer
While it might seem straightforward, knowing how to buy a laptop that fits your needs isn’t as cut and dry as it might seem at first. Not all laptops are created equal, and as the consumer PC market has matured over the decades, there has been a lot of differentiation between different kinds of laptops with specific hardware that is better suited for some tasks over others.
While there is still a lot of overlap when it comes to a given user needs, knowing specifically what you need is the first step in buying the right laptop for you. This might sound easier said than done when confronted with rows of laptops at a major retailer or while sorting through the hundreds of options at online stores like Amazon, Newegg, Box, or other major online retailers.
If you don’t know exactly the kind of hardware you should look for, don’t worry, we’re here to help show you how to buy a laptop that will give you the best performance for your money, whether you need a laptop for work or home, for gaming or for business.
How Much Battery Life Is Enough
Many laptops can last an entire day away from the power outlet, even when youre using them for demanding but common activities like streaming internet video. There are exceptions a laptop with a 4K display and a powerful CPU probably will not last for more than 8 hours or so before its battery dies, and most gaming laptops die far sooner. When youre playing demanding games that tax the GPU, gaming laptops tend to run out of juice even more quickly off the plug than they normally do. Youll find more than a few exceptions, though, and even powerful laptops have become adept at sensing when their maximum power isnt required and reducing various components consumption.
This is where PC Labs battery testing comes in. We evaluate battery life by playing a locally stored video file nonstop with no wireless connections active and 50 percent screen brightness. An excellent result on our test suggests that the laptop is good at adapting its power use to the task at hand, and you can use the results to compare the potential of machines you are considering.
Measuring battery life is notoriously tricky, though, since its entirely dependent on how you use your laptop. Your usage profile probably doesnt match our testor anyone elsesto a T. So youll want to look at tested battery life in a relative, rather than absolute, sense.
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Can You Play Games On Macbooks
A. You can play an increasing number of mostly casual games on Apples iconic laptops. If you need something mostly for everyday use and dont plan on playing highly resource-intensive games, a MacBook might be right for you. Dedicated gamers, however, should steer clear of Apples locked-down ecosystem.
What’s An Ideal Size And Weight
Most people searching for a general-purpose laptop should choose one that measures about half an inch thick and weighs 3 pounds or less. In general, these are the maximum dimensions and heft a laptop can have for us to consider it an ultraportable, and for most users, portability is the key to maximizing use and enjoyment.
Aiming for that weight and thickness, in most cases, will limit the laptops screen size to 13 or 14 inches, although a few models with 15-inch or larger screens now fit into the ultraportable category. At most of these screen sizes, you can find models in either the conventional clamshell laptop shape or a 2-in-1 convertible design. The latter has a hinge that rotates the screen 360 degrees so you can use it as a makeshift tablet or prop it up like a tent for watching movies.
Some Windows and Chrome OS laptops do have smaller displays, such as 10 or 11 inches. Some of these are not technically laptops in the pure sense, but rather tablets with detachable keyboards. Unless youre specifically looking for a part-time tablet or the lightest possible laptop, avoid these designs. Theyre lighter than most 13-inch ultraportables, often less than 2 pounds, but theyre not as good at being tablets as the Apple iPad is, and their detachable keyboards mean theyre not much good at being laptops, eithertyping on most of them tends to be subpar.
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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.