The laptop market has undergone significant changes in recent years, and there will now be more confusion in the notebook throughput than at any other time. Today’s models include everything from lightweight, true-to-life ultraportable devices that barely tilt the scale to less than 2 pounds of flying poisoners of 10 pounds or more. And choosing the Best laptops of 2018 among them is a bit difficult task.
Your standard laptop does not always look the same, with dozens of convertible designs that reconsider the standard clamshell to take benefits of touch interfaces. Some laptops are double as tablets, with hinges that fold and fold, while other touch-enabled PCs are slate tablets with hardware keyboards for notebook-style use. There is too much variation in the laptop space for one size or style to meet everyone’s needs.
That is what this buying guide comes with. We will inform you about the latest designs and specifications, and analyze the current trends so that you can find out what functions you need and how to find the laptop you need.
Best Laptops Laptop Name Laptop Rank Laptop Rating Dell XPS 13 Best Windows laptop 9.5 out of 10 Apple MacBook Pro 13 Best MacBook 9.4 out of 10 Microsoft Surface Book 2 Best Detachable 9.3 out of 10 Asus ZenBook UX430UA Lightest 9.3 out of 10 HP Spectre x360 Thin 2-in-1 9.2 out of 10 Lenovo Yoga 920 Best 2-in-1 9.2 out of 10 Asus ZenBook UX330UA Best Budget 9.1 out of 10 Dell Inspiron 15 7000 For Gaming 9.1 out of 10 Apple MacBook Air 13 Budget MacBook 9.0 out of 10 Acer Swift 7 Slimmest 8.9 out of 10
Things To Consider Before Buying the Best Laptops In 2018
At the end of the spectrum on the small screen, laptops of 12 and 13 inches, or ultraportable devices (more below), are worth considering if you plan to bring your laptop. These models are small enough to weigh 3 pounds or less but are large enough to have a full keyboard and a decent sized screen. The disadvantage is that port selection is usually minimal because of the limited amount of available space on side panels. These laptops offer generally simple needs, such as surfing the web or modest word processing, and they are an excellent choice for business travelers who regularly have to carry a laptop.
Laptops with 14- to 15.6-inch screens are the most popular because they hit the right place between portability and features that most users find desirable. Yes, they may weigh a few pounds more than their smaller screen brothers, but in exchange, you get easy to read on a larger screen, more space for different I/O ports, better internal components, and extra battery cells. On this screen size, you can weigh a maximum of 3 or 4 kilos, but that is still easy to carry in an office building or your home.
The most massive screens that are available are usually displayed in workstation class and game laptops, but there are also a few options for replacing desktop computers. A 17-inch screen is big enough to share for presentations, or if you need the extra pixels to immerse yourself in your graphics projects or 3D games. The extra space in the chassis can be used for one or more graphics processors, desktop-class CPUs or multiple banks of hard drives and SSDs. The larger frame usually also means a more spacious keyboard. The weight is generally more than 6 kilos at this screen size and sometimes 10 pounds or more for game installations.
Almost all offer screen resolutions of at least Full HD or 1,920 by 1,080 (often abbreviated as “Full-HD” or “1080p”), while an increasing number of functions are displayed with the resolution of 4K on a large screen (3,840 by 2,160 pixels). Between 4K and 1080p is a new resolution in panels of this size Quad-HD or 2,560 by 1,440 pixels; QHD appears in a few elite-level machines, such as specific high-end configurations of the Alienware 17. But 1080p is by far the most common resolution you will see. Also, know: touchscreens are rare in this size.
Walk through a laptop aisle, and you will notice that the selection of laptops has become dramatically thinner and slimmer in recent years. Each of these wafer-thin systems represents a new vision for ultra-portable computers: an uncompromising laptop that is so light that you forget it’s in your bag, with a durable battery that keeps you working even when no power outlet is available. Fast storage, including 128 GB, 256 GB or 512 GB solid-state drives (SSD), or more affordable, 32 GB to 64 GB slower eMMC flash, gives these ultraportables the ability to resume work in seconds after being inactive for days have been asleep.
The most important thing is that the whole category has generally been thinned out. Whether you look at super thin ultraportables, regular PCs or even gambling machines, laptops of every taste are now thinner, lighter and better suited for life on the road. The best of these models will still cost you a hefty penny, especially if you’re looking for a business system that will not burden you when you’re traveling, but they offer remarkable performance and often have different quality features as well.
The most dominant processor chips come from Intel, which launched its eighth generation Core (codenamed “Coffee Lake”) mobile processors in April. Made with ultraportable and hybrid designs in mind, these new CPUs (recognizable by model numbers in the 8000s as opposed to the 7000s and 6000s used in the previous generation “Kaby Lake” and “Skylake” parts) not only the battery life, they also have improved graphical processing.
The eighth generation processors also have more cores than predecessors so that you will find a right quad-core CPU in your Core i5 laptop, with more power than an older dual-core. Coffee Lake chips are now readily available in gaming, regular and business laptops. However, another strain of eighth generation chips based on a variant of the older Kaby Lake architecture called “Kaby Lake R” is still prevalent.
As designs become tighter and slimmer, manufacturers use a range of materials in their construction. Plastic (or polycarbonate) is the least expensive and most used material in laptop frames, but manufacturers have shown great ingenuity in making plastic that does not look cheap. The most used technique is an in-mold decoration or in-mold rolling, a process that has become popular by Acer, HP, and Toshiba, in which decorative patterns are applied between plastic layers. This process has evolved into etched prints and textures, often seen on laptop covers.
Ultimately, however, plastics are often associated with low-priced laptops, while higher models rely on metal. Common premium choices include aluminum, which has a more luxurious appearance and can be formed in a thinner chassis than plastic. Unibody construction, where the entire frame is made from a single piece of metal, has become the gold standard, as seen on Apple’s MacBook and MacBook Pro lines. Other all-metal designs mimic the same look-and-feel and link two separate layers together safely.
There are two types of 2-in-1. The first is the convertible hybrid, which transforms from a laptop to a tablet and back again by turning all the way around on the hinge of the screen. You can also stop at different positions along the way, if you want to leave the screen on the keyboard as a kiosk screen, or if you’re going to balance it on the edges, in tent-style, so that you can only use the touch screen in very little space. This design is best if you are interested in a tablet, but expect to need a proper keyboard with a specific frequency.
If the keyboard is less important, the second type, the detachable hybrid, is perhaps the better way to go. These are mainly tablets that you can pair with an accessory keyboard for laptop-like functionality. Some of these designs offer docking keyboards with secondary batteries that recharge all day, while others opt for Bluetooth keyboards, with the majority of a hinge disengaged and wirelessly connected.
The systems below, some of the best we have tested recently, include the spectrum of functions, performance, and pricing to provide top choices for every type of user. We are continually updating the list to include the latest products, but due to the large number of laptops that we review every year, not every best-rated product cuts. So, here is the list of Best Laptops of 2018.
Dell XPS 13
The Dell XPS 13 9370 offers powerful performance, long battery life and a stunning screen in a chassis that is slimmer and more attractive than ever.
- Attractive design
- Vibrant screen
- Strong performance
- Good battery life overall
- Runs cool
- No USB Type-A Ports
- Webcam location is awkward
The XPS 13 from Dell has remained our favorite consumer laptop in recent years thanks to the beautiful, almost boundless display, lightweight and sleek aesthetics. Now, after several generations stick to the same chassis, Dell’s premium flagship has a new design with leaner dimensions and a beautiful white-and-gold color scheme. In other improvements, the XPS 13 9370 also offers an optional 4K screen, a better webcam, a support for GPUs and a cooling system that promises stronger, durable performance.
If you put the last few generations of the XPS 13 in a row, you can not separate them unless you have looked at the CPU sticker on the deck. The XPS 13 9370 is notable for its new optional gold-white color scheme, along with a slightly slimmer and lighter profile. Dell also sells the 9370 in the traditional silver and black aesthetics of the XPS 13.
We tested the Dell XPS 13 9370 with both a 3840 x 2160 (4K, Ultra HD) touchscreen and a 1920 x 1080 non-touch screen. Both models offered impressive clarity, color quality, and sharpness, although the 4K display was noticeably better. The high-end model had a Core i7-8550U CPU, 16GB RAM, a 1 TB SSD and a 4K touchscreen, while the standard model features a Core i5-8250U processor, 8 GB RAM, a 256 GB SSD and a 1080p non-compatible touch screen. From surfing the internet to light gaming and writing parts of this review, both versions of the XPS 13 9370 have handled everything we’ve done with them, without a hitch.
Unfortunately, when slimming down the XPS 13, Dell had to drop down to 0.46 inch. The standard USB Type A ports and full-size SD card reader that appeared on all previous generations. On the left of the XPS 13 9370, you will find two Thunderbolt 3 ports, which can charge the laptop or connect to high-speed peripherals. There is also a Noble lock and a battery meter, which shows the charge level of a series of five white lights.
The XPS 13 9370 with 1080p non-touch screen ran 12 hours and 37 minutes on our battery test, which requires continuous surfing via Wi-Fi. The model with the 4K display lasted for around 8 hours and 53 minutes.
3 used from $939.00
- New 8th Generation Intel Core i7-8550U Processor Processor (8M Cache, up to 4.0 GHz)
- 13.3" FHD (1920 x 1080) infinityedge non-touch Display
- 8GB lpddr3-1866mhz included, 256GB Solid State Drive
- Windows 10 Home operating system; silver
- No Optical Drive included
Apple MacBook Pro 13
The 2018 MacBook Pro 13-inch is super-fast, and the keyboard has been improved, but the battery life may be better.
- Blazing overall performance
- Fastest SSD
- Decent upgraded keyboard
- Great Retina display
- Best speakers
- Graphics performance falls behind others
- No USB Type A ports
The non-“Pro” Apple MacBook is perhaps the most portable MacOS laptop, but the 13-inch Apple MacBook Pro with Touch Bar is the most versatile. Smart configuration options let it serve as an everyday ultraportable for a frequent independent traveler or a wealthy student, a platform for light to mediocre video and photo editing and many applications in between. The main improvements in the Apple 2018 model include more processor cores and threads (the biggest deal, for most people considering upgrades), better security and a custom keyboard and screen.
At first glance, the 13-inch MacBook Pro of 2018 seems identical to the version introduced by Apple in 2016. It is a sleek, ultra-wearable, upholstered with silver or space-gray aluminum finish that has produced many clones, such as the near-dead ring tone Huawei MateBook X Pro. Unlike many Windows machines, there are no Intel decals that affect the aluminum finish, although Intel technology supports the system’s operation. With 0.59 by 11.97 by 8.36 inches (HWD) and 3.02 pounds, their dimensions and weight are averages for a high-end 13-inch ultraportable.
On the other hand, the screen quality is excellent, thanks to the same Retina display that has been decorating the ultra portability of Apple for a few years now. With a standard resolution of 2,560 x 1,600 pixels, this panel is incredibly bright and thanks to In-Plane Switching (IPS) technology, image quality remains unchanged even when viewing the screen from extreme angles. Inside, there is a new 2.7GHz quad-core, eight-wire Intel Core i7 “Coffee Lake” CPU whose clock speeds can reach 4.5GHz, as well as 16GB of RAM and up to 2TB PCIe NVMe solid-state drive.
The new MacBook Pro includes Bluetooth 5.0, compared to version 4.2 of the old version. The 802.11ac Wi-Fi is unchanged, just like the port selection: four USB Type-C/Thunderbolt 3 connections and a 3.5 mm audio connection. Four Thunderbolt 3 ports are more than most competitors of the MacBook Pro, but you have to buy an adapter to connect almost any parent peripherals. The MacBook Pro lasted 8 hours and 43 minutes on our battery test.
27 used from $1,299.99
- 3.1GHz dual-core Intel Core i5 processor with Turbo Boost up to 3.5GHz
- 8GB 2133MHz LPDDR3 memory
- 256GB SSD storage. Operating temperature: 10° to 35° celsius (50° to 95° fahrenheit ),storage temperature: -25° to 45° celsius (-13° to 113° fahrenheit )
- Intel Iris Plus Graphics 650. Touch Bar and Touch ID
- Two Thunderbolt 3 (USB‑C) ports with support for-Charging, DisplayPort, Thunderbolt (up to 40 Gbps), USB 3.1 Gen 2 (up to 10 Gbps). Battery and Power-Up to 10 hours wireless web,Up to 10 hours iTunes film playback, Up to 30 days of standby time
Microsoft Surface Book 2
Microsoft's Surface Book 2 puts the power of discrete graphics in the best detachable 2-in-1 design you can buy, but it's not cheap.
- Innovative design
- USB Type-C port
- Brilliant display
- Great stylus
- Long battery life
- No Thunderbolt 3
- Slow SSD
Microsoft sets the bar for the 2-in-1 laptops market with the Surface Pro line and started to push the market further in 2015 with the even more laptop-like Surface Book. After a year with an iterative upgrade, the full-fledged sequel has arrived in the aptly named Surface Book 2. This beautifully designed device can do it all while retaining its distinctive ability to detach the screen from the keyboard while now being a legitimate instrument serves to deliver gaming laptop and performance levels for near-workstations.
It is immediately clear that the core design of the Surface Book 2 has not changed compared to the previous model. That is not a bad thing since the original magnesium alloy of the original was one of our favorite aspects. It is still thin, relatively light and has an expensive feeling that reassures you that you are getting value for money. The striking dynamic pivot point hinge is back and leaves an opening between the screen and the keyboard again when the system is closed. That may disturb someone who is worried about debris that comes between the two, but that risk is rather minimal, and it offers versatility when loosening the tablet.
Whether you’re docking or working in tablet mode, the whole experience revolves around the PixelSense screen. Fortunately, it is a beautiful screen with a resolution of 3.240 x 2.160 in an aspect ratio of 3: 2 with a contrast ratio of 1.600: 1 and a multitouch with 10 points. As mentioned earlier, this model is fully loaded and packs an Intel Core i7-8650U processor (an eighth generation, Kaby Lake R chip), 16 GB memory and the Nvidia GTX 1060. These specs are again more in line with those of last year’s “performance-based” Surface Book (including a GTX 965M and a Core i7 Skylake CPU) than the original, but the Surface Book 2 is a notch above.
The keyboard is comfortable, with illuminated keys that are satisfying to tap, silent with a pleasant journey without getting tired. On the left side there are a few USB 3.1 ports and an SD card reader, and on the right side, a USB Type-C port and a patented Surface Connect port. There is another Surface Connect port on the bottom of the tablet so that you can recharge it independently. The headphone socket is located on the right side of the tablet, which is not very convenient because you have some cable play.
With its basis attached, the Surface Book 2 will run all day and then a pair. It took 13 hours and 7 minutes on our battery test, which continuously surfs the web via Wi-Fi with a fixed brightness.back to menu ↑
Asus ZenBook UX430UA
- Gorgeous screen
- Fantastic audio output
- Strong performance overall
- Great value
- No USB-C charging
- Slow SSD
- The keyboard is a bit stiff
Light in your bag and relatively light on your wallet (for its class), the Asus ZenBook UX430UA offers top-notch features – such as an 8th Gen Core i7 CPU, 16GB RAM, and a 512GB solid-state drive. In addition to powerful performance, this Asus laptop offers one of the most colorful 14-inch displays we have tested. You can get decent battery life, a more elegant body and a better typing experience of competing laptops that cost hundreds of extra. But considering what you are getting, the ZenBook UX430UA is a great added value for money.
The Asus ZenBook UX430UA has a premium but single gray-aluminum chassis that will not embarrass you, nor will you stand out in the coffee shop. Like most Asus ZenBooks, it has a metal, concentric circular design on the lid, with a matte metal deck, sides, and bottom. I would like Asus to use the attractive blue-and-gold color scheme it uses on the ZenBook 3, but the company probably preserves that level of sexiness for more expensive laptops.
The 14-inch, 1080p screen of the ZenBook UX430UA is a feast for the eyes, bursting with vibrant colors and detailed images. With an Intel 8th Gen Core i7-8550U CPU, 16GB RAM and a 512GB PCIe SSD, the ZenBook UX430UA are well equipped to handle severe multitasking and productivity tasks. Whether I was watching videos, surfing the web or running office apps, the ZenBook UX430UA dealt with every job I threw with high confidence.
You can find a good number of ports on the UX430UA. On the right is a USB 3 port and an SD card reader; the left has a micro HDMI port, a second USB 3 port, a 3.5 mm audio jack and a USB Type-C connector. Unfortunately, the Type-C port cannot charge the laptop, and given the premium ambitions of the ZenBook, a Thunderbolt 3 connection would have been appreciated. With Thunderbolt 3 you can connect to a large number of high-speed peripherals, including external GPUs and powerful docking stations.
The ZenBook UX430UA secured 8 hours and 40 minutes during our battery test, which requires continuous internet access via Wi-Fi.back to menu ↑
HP Spectre x360
- Stylish design
- Great performance
- Comfortable keyboard
- Included stylus
- Decent Battery life
- Stiff volume buttons
- Narrow viewing angles
The original HP Spectre x360 was a hit when it debuted in 2015, and we liked the 2016 model even more. It is back again this year and keeps a lot of what we like, but with a refined design and a super-sharp 4K touchscreen. In addition to the UHD display, the latest HP Spectre x360 offers 13 USB-C with Thunderbolt 3, lots of fast SSD storage and a new color scheme. Given the updates to what was already our first choice for high-end convertible laptops.
A genuinely ultraportable, the Spectre x360 13 is seriously slim and light. The new Spectre x360 13 keeps the compact shape of its predecessor and has the stylish aesthetics of the non-convertible HP Specter 13. On our test unit, this means a very modern anodized aluminum housing with a steel gray and copper color scheme. The chopper cuts the edges of the system and is used as an accent in different places. HP uses the similar design approach with the 15-inch Spectre x360 that we tested earlier this year, and it looks sharp in both situations.
The Spectre x360 is available in both Full HD and 4K resolution. Our rating unit has a 13.3-inch 4K screen with touch capabilities and the image on the 4K display is seriously sharp with vibrant colors. Despite its small size, the Spectre x360 is reasonably fast. The 2.7GHz Core i7-7500U processor, 512 GB SSD, and 16 GB memory ensure spicy loading times across the board. I saw no delay after splitting my screen between a 1080p YouTube video and a dozen Chrome tabs, including Giphy, Slack, TweetDeck and Google Docs.
The Spectre x360 bundles the gates of both today and tomorrow, with two Thunderbolt 3 ports on the right and a boxy USB 3.1 port on the left, next to the headphone jack. We are also glad to see that HP gave a microSD memory reader to this current version because this card port was missing in the previous model. Because it is a convertible, the fingerprint reader of the Spectre x360 and the power and volume buttons on the edges can be found next to the ports.
The Spectre x360 battery should come through most of the day, but other systems last longer. During our battery test, which logs continuously on the internet via Wi-Fi, this HP took 8 hours and 26 minutes.back to menu ↑
Lenovo Yoga 920
- Long battery life
- Bright, colorful display
- Attractive design
- Far-field microphones
- Included stylus
- Shallow keyboard
The Yoga 920 is the first time I have seen a convertible hybrid laptop that does not shave a little bit on the performance side. Yes, there have been improvements in technology over the last few years, but if you are someone who wants to have soft-as-butter computing on a smaller PC, you will love it. The Yoga 920 offers solid build quality and some quality changes that make it one of the smoothest Windows notebooks I have been allowed to use.
The yoga set-up of Lenovo has always been a sort of the unofficial face of the hybrid laptop scene, and the Yoga 920 comes in place of the already pretty good Yoga 910, albeit with a whole series of improvements, varying from subtle design changes. A little bit redesigned keyboard, changed webcam location – to paradigm-changing improvements that we will discuss in a little bit. None of the changes made offer any significant change in the overall aesthetics of the laptop. With the closed lid, the Yoga 920 usually seems indistinguishable from some slim laptops.
Our evaluation unit has a standard 13.9-inch touchscreen with a resolution of 1980×1080, but there is also a 4K version available. The screen has fantastic viewing angles and incredibly sharp colors. The Yoga 920 includes an Intel Core i7-8660U processor that operates at 1.8 GHz. The evaluation unit that was delivered to us was supplied with 8 GB of RAM and a 256 GB SSD, both of which can be updated. If it is just old computing power that you are looking for, you do not have to worry about upgrading something.
The Yoga 920 has a decent combination of ports for a system that is so thin. The left side contains two Thunderbolt 3 ports, which can be used for charging or connecting to high-speed peripherals and docks. The right side of the laptop includes a USB 3.0 port for connection to traditional USB devices, along with a 3.5 mm headphone jack. There is also a fingerprint reader with one touch on the deck, so you can use Windows Hello to log in with just one touch of the OS.
The Yoga 920 offers an impressive battery life so that you can leave your charger at home. The 2-in-1 lasted 12 hours and 22 minutes on our battery test, which requires continuous internet via wifi.back to menu ↑
Asus ZenBook UX330UA
- Bright, vibrant screen
- Relatively affordable price
- Speedy 8th Gen CPU
- Decent Battery life
- Stiff touchpad
- No 4K option
Does an ultraportable laptop have to be ultra-bright? The Asus ZenBook UX330 (UX330UA-AH54) responds with a solid “no”: well equipped with a Core i5 CPU, 8GB RAM, and a 256-GB solid-state drive, this 13.3-inch laptop is only $ 699, or $ 400 less than a comparable configured LG-gram 13. It is a striking appearance in the two areas that are most important for an ultraportable: office productivity and battery life. The ZenBook requires a look if you are looking for a compact that will not break your budget.
Instead of the mark of Zorro, the lid of the Asus bears the mark of ZenBooks, while finely-etched concentric circles radiate in the middle of the chrome Asus logo. There is a bit of flex in both the lid and the plastic keyboard cover, and the bottom is enough to make the display wobble a bit when typing in your lap, but not enough to make the system feel weak. A great edge surrounds the screen, unlike the XPS 13 borderless screen. A webcam in the upper ring uses well-lit, light-soft selfies.
The full-HD (1,920 x 1,080) non-touch screen offers wide viewing angles and vibrant colors in everything from videos to pie charts. There is sufficient brightness, at least with the settings of the top three or four backlight; good contrast with deep blacks; and sharp details for text and images. Armed with an 8th generation Intel Core i5-8250U CPU and 8GB RAM, the ZenBook UX330UA offers enough power for stable multitasking. After splitting the screen between a dozen Google Chrome tabs (including Slack, Google Docs, and TweetDeck) and a 1080p YouTube video, I did not see any delays in editing my document, scrolling timelines in TweetDeck, or switching between tabs.
Port selection is quite good for an ultraportable. On the left side of the laptop, you will find a USB 3.0 port, an audio connection, and an SD card slot. On the right, there is another USB 3.0 port, a separate connector for the small plug, a micro-HDMI port and a USB-C data port without Thunderbolt 3 or system loading functionality. We could wish for a complete Thunderbolt 3 port (and a micro-to-full-sized HDMI dongle in the box).
If you liked how long the previous ZenBook UX300UA was charged only once, you have to limit your expectations for the successor. Although the latest version made it a fantastic test of 10 hours and 17 minutes on the battery test (web surfing at 100 nits), this new model reported a shorter time of 9 hours on the test.back to menu ↑
Dell Inspiron 15 7000
- Nvidia GTX 1060 GPU
- Long-lasting battery life
- Uncomfortable keyboard
- The display isn’t vivid
The Dell Inspiron 15 7000 Gaming laptop, with a starting price of $ 950, is light in the portfolio and offers solid performance for the price. The Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 Max-Q GPU of this laptop can deliver power games, and VR experiences and the battery life is much longer than that of its competitors. But Dell’s display is better than that of previous models but is still worse than that of competitors, and the keyboard is not fun to type. But if you can overlook those mistakes, you get a lot for the price.
A full metal or premium version was never available for the Inspiron 15 7000 Gaming, but Dell has managed to create an attractive design without keeping costs down. The laptop comes in two color schemes: a red cover with a black keyboard cover and a Dell logo, or a black case with the accents and the red logo. It is all made of plastic, but the soft finish on the lid and the generally sturdy body prevent it from feeling cheap. The front and back are slanted and add panache, while the rear slightly vented with a criss-cross design.
The original model of the Dell Inspiron had a terrible display. Thank goodness Dell has improved the panel this time. The 15.6-inch, 1080p screen is still not the best on the market, but switching to an IPS panel gives you more accurate colors and wider viewing angles. With a 2.5Ghz Intel Core i5-7300U CPU, 8GB RAM and a 256GB SSD, the Inspiron can be used just as well for working as for games. With 30 open tabs, including a streaming Overwatch from Twitch, the laptop showed no signs of delay.
Along the sides, you will find just about every port you need for peripherals and displays. On the left are a Noble lock, Ethernet connection, a USB 3.0 port and an SD card slot. The right side contains the headphone jack, a pair of USB 3.0 ports, a Thunderbolt 3 port, and an HDMI output. Some compromises of Inspiron are compensated by the fact that it lasts much longer than most other gaming notebooks. It ran 7 hours and 5 minutes on the Laptop Mag Battery Test, which consists of continuous internet browsing via Wi-Fi.back to menu ↑
Apple MacBook Air 13
- Long battery life
- Comfortable keyboard
- Solid performance
- Convenient MagSafe power port
- Lackluster display
- Heavier than competitors
Although remarkable design changes have been made for the MacBook and MacBook Pro in recent years, the 2017 version of the MacBook Air ($ 999) is very similar to the 2008 original. Since then, the Air has inspired many Windows competitors, leading to the glowing hot category of ultraportable laptops. Updates for the Air have come to a standstill, however, with the only upgrade in this laptop being a slightly faster but outdated 1.8 GHz Intel Core i5 CPU, suggesting that Apple keeps the Air around only to appeal to students and bargain hunters.
Features that potential Mac buyers took for granted a few years ago, such as an island-style keyboard, a MagSafe power cord, and an Apple backlit logo are now only available on the MacBook Air. If you’re not a fan of the new keyboards on the MacBook 12-inch and the MacBook Pro, for example, the Air is now your only MacOS-based option for picking up a more conventional set of keys. They have backlighting, and they have significantly more travel than those on the newer Apple keyboards, but this is at the expense of much less stability.
The 11-inch MacBook Air is no longer available, so you are left with the 13.3-inch screen as your only option. His resolution of 1,440 by 900 remains unchanged from the previous version (we start to feel a pattern here), which means that it is faintly blurred compared to competing screens. The Intel Core i5-5350U CPU of the MacBook Air and 8GB of RAM enable smooth and fast multitasking. For example, I did not see a delay after splitting my screen between a 1080p YouTube video and a dozen Safari tabs (including Slack, Google Docs, and Giphy).
The Air splits its dual USB 3.0 ports between the sides, with a MagSafe 2 charging connector and a headphone jack on the left and an SDXC memory reader and Thunderbolt 2.0 port on the right. Some will complain about the lack of USB Type-C or Thunderbolt 3 ports, but I’m pleased to have an adapter-free lifetime with those USB 3.0 ports and the feeling that my notebook is more secure thanks to the MagSafe connector.
Do not worry about getting your power cable anywhere you go, because the MacBook Air battery has your back. The Apple MacBook Air 13 lasted 10 hours and 26 minutes on our battery test (internet browsing with 100 nits).back to menu ↑
Acer Swift 7
- Incredibly thin, attractive design
- Bright, vivid display
- Solid battery life
- Comfortable keyboard
- Not as fast as other ultraportables
- Quiet speakers
Acer’s Swift 7 ultraportable is back, and with a profile of just over an inch thick, it retains its bragging rights as the world’s thinnest laptop. It is also not a simple bragging point: it will be difficult for any laptop manufacturer to use this machine for slenderness since the profile is barely thick enough to host ports. With a spiffy, all-metal design, the Swift 7 is a real bang.
Apart from the technical details of the ‘world’s thinnest’ tag for a moment, the Swift 7 looks just great. It is a head turn, drawing the praise from everyone I showed it to. The Swift 7 is made entirely of thin black metal and has the rare ‘it-factor’ that fuels product jealousy. It looks and feels of high quality, from the solid metal to the diamond cut corners and the silver finish.
The Swift 7 is not a convertible laptop, but the 14-inch in-plane switching (IPS) screen supports touch input. It has a Full HD resolution (1,920 x 1,080 pixels), but with its glossy finish and high brightness, it initially seemed a bit sharper than 1080p. As modern as the design of the Swift 7 is, its 7th Gen 1.3 GHz Intel Core i7-7Y75 processor is a bit behind the time. Intel’s Y-series chips are specially built to support fanless designs, but they tend to lack the power of regular U-series chips. It is a decision that puts this ultraportable at a disadvantage compared to its competitors.
When you work with a laptop that is as thin as the Swift 7, you get a shot at the ports department. The Acer Swift 7 has a pair of USB Type-C ports and a headset socket on the left. On the right side, there is an on / off button and a nano sim card slot. What does that mean for people who want to connect a mouse or external hard drive? In addition to its power cord, the Swift 7 comes with a multi-use dongle with a USB 3.1 port, a USB Type-C port, and HDMI.
Because of the small size of the Swift 7, I did not expect it to have good battery life, especially when I heard that the two-cell lithium-ion battery is 23 percent slimmer than standard laptops. But the laptop lasted 9 hours and 4 minutes on the battery test, which consists of continuous web surfing via Wi-Fi at 150 nits of brightness.
Selecting “the best laptop” is a bit different than choosing the best smartphone or even a tablet. The need of buyers for their desired laptop can vary greatly. Some users have to perform video editing and have to pay for a professional and expensive laptop. Others only need a good keyboard trackpad and a few chrome tabs; then a less powerful task will do for them. Some may want a super thin and lightweight laptop that can sometimes replace a tablet. Our Best Laptops article contains the laptop for all types of users.
There may be many laptops that have many of those features, but if you’re looking for a notebook that touches enough of those points, the obvious choice is the right choice. Our article on the best laptops will be renewed regularly when new laptops are released and reviewed, so make sure you look back every time you are looking for a new laptop.