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The Best Laptop

Last updated on August 1, 2019

We looked at the top 28 Laptops and dug through the reviews from 191 of the most popular review sites including BestReviews, New York Times Wirecutter, Top Products, Digital Trends, Best Laptops World, Techno Bezz and more. The result is a ranking of the best Laptops.

Best Laptop

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DWYM is focused on helping you make the best purchasing decision. Our team of experts spends hundreds of hours analyzing, testing, and researching products so you don't have to.

Look for the DWYM seal for products that are the best in a category.

Our Picks For The Top Laptops

Show Contents
Our Take
Experts Included
Pros
Cons
  The Best Overall

Asus Chromebook Flip

Asus

Chromebook Flip

Overall Take

Experts Included
DWYM Electronics Experts plus BestReviews, New York Times Wirecutter. Along with user reviews from Amazon.
Pros
" The all-metal body makes the Flip durable, not to mention light (at 2.5 lbs). The built-in hinge allows the touchscreen to flip all the way around for a more tablet-like experience."
Cons
"It’s too heavy to use comfortably in tablet mode."

Apple

MacBook Pro, 15" Retina 16GB

Overall Take

Quality LaptopPeak processing power and intuitive user experience.

Experts Included
DWYM Electronics Experts plus Wired, Tech Radar, Laptop Magazine, Tom’s Hardware, CNET, The Verge and 7 more. Along with user reviews from Amazon and Best Buy.
Pros
" Touch ID makes logins zippy. High-quality build as always."
Cons
"some people will say that the lack of ports is a price to pay for the thin and light design, if you’re after a workstation that handles everything you need with a minimum of fuss, then you’ll soon get frustrated..."
  The Best Value

Acer

Chromebook 11, 11.6"

Overall Take

Great DealPerfect for students and families on a budget. Eye-popping display and a full range of useful features.

Experts Included
DWYM Electronics Experts plus The Tech Insider, Tech Radar, PCVerge, Pocket-lint, Best Reviews Guide, BestReviews and 9 more. Along with user reviews from Amazon and Google Express.
Pros
" The Intel Celeron processor that is used in this Chromebook is a new model which is slightly faster than the one that you would find on last year’s Chromebook 11. This processor allows for the computer to run much more..."
Cons
"The downward facing speakers are more powerful than you might think, but the bass is pretty weak. They're best used atop a hard, flat surface to bounce the sound off of."

Google

Pixelbook

Overall Take

Laptop to TabletSwitches easily from laptop to tablet mode. Works with Android apps.

Experts Included
DWYM Electronics Experts plus Tech Radar, Digital Trends, Laptop Magazine, The Verge, CNET, Wired and 3 more. Along with user reviews from Amazon.
Pros
" Perhaps the most marquee feature of the Pixelbook is its wholecloth support of Android apps and the Google Play store, not to mention the brand new launcher interface to access these apps."
Cons
"Chrome OS isn’t compatible with the testing software we normally use for displays, so we weren’t able to go as deep as normal."
Don't just take for granted what one reviewer says. Along with our own experts, DWYM analyzes the top expert reviews of the leading products and generates a score you can actually trust.
22

Products Considered

We identified the majority of the laptops available to purchase.
28

Products Analyzed

We then selected the leading and most popular products for our team to review.

View All Product Rankings

191

Expert Reviews Included

In addition to our expert reviews, we also incorporate feedback and analysis of some of the most respected sources including: BestReviews, New York Times Wirecutter, Top Products, Digital Trends, Best Laptops World.

63,133

User Opinions Analyzed

We also incorporate user reviews from the leading retailers including Amazon, Walmart, Best Buy, Google Express, Target, John Lewis and 9 others.

Our experts reviewed the top 28 Laptops and also dug through the reviews from 191 of the most popular review sites including BestReviews, New York Times Wirecutter, Top Products, Digital Trends, Best Laptops World, Techno Bezz and more. The result is a ranking of the best of the best Laptops.

DWYM is your trusted roduct review source. Our team reviews thousands of product reviews from the trusted top experts and combines them into one easy-to-understand score. Learn more.

Look for the DWYM seal for products that are the best in their category.

The Best Overall

Asus Chromebook Flip

Our Expert Score
9.8
2 expert reviews
User Summarized Score
8.0
1,120 user reviews
Our Take

What other experts liked
The all-metal body makes the Flip durable, not to mention light (at 2.5 lbs). The built-in hinge allows the touchscreen to flip all the way around for a more tablet-like experience.
- BestReviews
With solid performance, a great keyboard and trackpad, excellent battery life, and a 14-inch screen.
- New York Times Wirecutter
What other experts didn't like
Screen resolution is limited to 1920 x 1080, which is great for movies, but it can make reading documents or web pages a challenge.
- BestReviews
It’s too heavy to use comfortably in tablet mode.
- New York Times Wirecutter

The Best Bang For Your Buck

Acer Chromebook 11, 11.6″

Expert Summarized Score
8.5
15 expert reviews
User Summarized Score
8.5
1,968 user reviews
Our Take

With an eye-popping display and access to a full range of features, the Acer Chromebook 11, 11.6" is a great deal for the price. The processor in this model is an upgrade from previous versions, so you'll likely find your applications zip along. The low cost makes this a great option for students and families on a budget.

What other experts liked
The Intel Celeron processor that is used in this Chromebook is a new model which is slightly faster than the one that you would find on last year’s Chromebook 11. This processor allows for the computer to run much more smoothly, especially when accomplishing intensive tasks.
- The Tech Insider
July 12, 2018 | Full review
This chromebook has long-lasting battery, a compact and light design, reliable performance and a super low price of $179.
- Tech Radar
November 21, 2018 | Full review
Weighing 2.4 pounds (1.1 kg), this system is at par with any other 11-inch mini laptop we’ve reviewed before.
- PCVerge
November 16, 2018 | Full review
A plastic laptop like this is never going to feel super-expensive, but it is still very sturdy. The keyboard doesn't flex, the screen half is nice and rigid.
- Pocket-lint
July 11, 2017 | Full review
Built-in speakers allow you to fully enjoy audio, with clean and very loud sound: even if you decide to loudly listen to music or watch a movie - headphones or external speakers will not be necessary.
- Best Advisor
March 13, 2019 | Full review
An upgrade version of a popular laptop. Lightwegiht and portable. Price falls on the low end of the spectrum, making it ideal for anyone who wants a basic laptop for work and internet surfing. A good choice for students.
- BestReviews
Acer put up the Chromebook batterly life up to 10 hours perharps it can work one or two hours more if you use it with low brightness and not much web browsing. Thus, we can say that with Li-ion 3490 mAh beats Dell Chromebook 11 and Asus Chromebook that offer...
- Laptop Guide
July 27, 2018 | Full review
The Acer Chromebook 11 has everything you need. The fast wireless connection keeps you closer than ever, no matter where life takes you. Long-lasting battery life gives you all day to run your favorite Google apps or access your photos, videos, music and documents.
- Reinis Fischer
December 3, 2018 | Full review
It’s hard to believe that this chromebook costs less than $200 because its build quality is perfect and unique color combination makes this laptop more eye catchy. It has 11 inches of high definition LED display which does not strain eyes while working for the extended period. Its keyboard is...
- Laptop Under Budget
March 11, 2019 | Full review
Its Intel Celeron processor and 4GB of RAM load webpages quickly and provide lag-free streaming, and the 16GB of internal storage holds documents and photos. This Acer Chromebook has an HDMI port for connecting to a larger display.
- All Best Spec
March 19, 2019 | Full review
This has long battery-life.
- Top Tenz
January 21, 2019 | Full review
What other experts didn't like
The downward facing speakers are more powerful than you might think, but the bass is pretty weak. They're best used atop a hard, flat surface to bounce the sound off of.
- Tech Radar
November 21, 2018 | Full review
Performance can lag if you run too many demanding sites with heavy workloads. On the Chromebook 11, the keyboard is compact and will take a while to get used to, especially if you’re coming from a full-size keyboard on a notebook. You don’t get the little niceties like backlit keys,...
- PCVerge
November 16, 2018 | Full review
There are some slightly odd moves in the Acer Chromebook 11's hardware, though. It has two cameras: a low-quality VGA one above the screen and a better (but still bad) 5MP one above the keyboard. It's a weird place to put a camera, but turns into the rear camera when...
- Pocket-lint
July 11, 2017 | Full review
It takes time to adjust the sensitivity of the touchpad and get used to working with it.
- Best Advisor
March 13, 2019 | Full review
Offerings/features are largely limited to the scope of Google Chrome. Not the speediest laptop, so its not a good pick for gamers.
- BestReviews
If you are a full size keyboard user, then adjusting with the keyboard fo Chromebook 11 may take some time.
- Laptop Guide
July 27, 2018 | Full review

Overall Product Rankings

Asus Chromebook Flip

1. Asus Chromebook Flip

Overall Score: 9.2
Reviews Included: 3

2. Apple MacBook Pro, 15″ Retina 16GB

Overall Score: 8.9
Reviews Included: 18

3. Acer Chromebook 11, 11.6″

Overall Score: 8.5
Reviews Included: 19

4. Google Pixelbook

Overall Score: 8.4
Reviews Included: 10

5. ASUS Water Resistant Chromebook, 11.6″

Overall Score: 8.3
Reviews Included: 3

6. Acer Chromebook 14

Overall Score: 8.3
Reviews Included: 11

7. Google Pixelbook

Overall Score: 8.2
Reviews Included: 12

8. Apple 13″ MacBook Air

Overall Score: 8.2
Reviews Included: 11

9. HP Spectre x360

Overall Score: 8.2
Reviews Included: 11

10. Samsung Chromebook 3

Overall Score: 8.2
Reviews Included: 6

11. ASUS C302CA-DHM4

Overall Score: 8.2
Reviews Included: 6

12. Lenovo 14″ IdeaPad Chromebook

Overall Score: 8.1
Reviews Included: 9

13. Microsoft Surface Pro (5th Gen), 256 GB

Overall Score: 8.1
Reviews Included: 27

14. Acer Flagship CB3-532

Overall Score: 8.0
Reviews Included: 8

15. Samsung Notebook 9 Pro

Overall Score: 8.0
Reviews Included: 10

16. ASUS 11.6″ Chromebook Ruggedized, Water Resistant

Overall Score: 7.9
Reviews Included: 16

17. Acer Chromebook 11

Overall Score: 7.9
Reviews Included: 5

18. ASUS ZenBook 13.3″ Ultra-Slim Laptop

Overall Score: 7.8
Reviews Included: 13

19. ASUS Flip Touchscreen

Overall Score: 7.8
Reviews Included: 6

20. Acer Aspire

Overall Score: 7.8
Reviews Included: 10

21. Samsung Chromebook Pro

Overall Score: 7.8
Reviews Included: 6

22. Samsung Chromebook 3

Overall Score: 7.7
Reviews Included: 11

23. HP Chromebook N2840

Overall Score: 7.5
Reviews Included: 7

24. HP Spectre x2

Overall Score: 7.4
Reviews Included: 9

25. Acer Flagship 15″

Overall Score: 7.3
Reviews Included: 8

26. Dell Chromebook 11

Overall Score: 7.2
Reviews Included: 4

27. Dell 2018 Inspiron 15.6″ Touchscreen

Overall Score: 6.7
Reviews Included: 6

28. Dell Inspiron 13 7000

Overall Score: 6.4
Reviews Included: 6

Our Findings

Asus Chromebook Flip

What We Liked:

Acer Chromebook 11, 11.6″

Best Value

Acer Chromebook 11, Celeron N3060, 11.6" HD, 4GB DDR3L, 16GB Storage, CB3-132-C4VV (Personal Computers)


List Price: $219.99 USD
New From: $209.00 USD In Stock
Used from: $198.89 USD In Stock

What We Liked: With an eye-popping display and access to a full range of features, the Acer Chromebook 11, 11.6″ is a great deal for the price. The processor in this model is an upgrade from previous versions, so you’ll likely find your applications zip along. The low cost makes this a great option for students and families on a budget.

Apple MacBook Pro, 15″ Retina 16GB

Also Consider

Apple MacBook Pro (15-inch, Previous Model, 16GB RAM, 512GB Storage) - Space Gray (Personal Computers)


List Price: $2,799.00 USD
New From: $2,679.00 USD In Stock
Used from: $2,679.00 USD In Stock

What We Liked: If you’re looking for quality and reliability, you can’t go wrong with the Apple MacBook Pro, 15″ Retina 16GB. You’ll get peak processing power and the great user experience that defines Apple products. We love how easy this MacBook is to use.

Our Laptop Buying Guide

The days of being stuck at a desk all day are history. Today, you can work from your home, an office or a beachfront vacation home. But to do that, you need a powerful, yet portable laptop. A laptop with a battery that can go for hours on a charge, while also letting you stream the latest season of “Stranger Things” while you scroll through your social media feed.

The good news is, laptops are becoming more lightweight and powerful each year. You no longer have to pay a fortune for a laptop that will handle everything you need to do, whether you’re a college student or a high-powered executive. Newer laptops are both affordable and robust, giving you a wide range of options for your budget.

But with the latest round of laptop models, peripheral support is a huge factor. As consumers have embraced streaming, manufacturers have done away with DVD-ROM drives. But now that streamlining also applies to USB ports, with many newer models coming only with two or three. As the market moves toward USB-C charging, you may also find you need connectors for each of the ports you don’t plan to use for your power cord.

Storage is another consideration when you’re choosing a computer. Yes, the cloud has made this less important, but you’ll still want plenty of space for all the applications and documents you’ll need to store. If you decide to download a few Netflix movies to watch on long flights, you’ll need at least 280 megabytes per hour of standard-definition video. Over time, you’ll also find operating system upgrades and software updates take up an increasing amount of hard drive space. All of that combined simply means that the more storage you invest in up front, the less likely you are to need a new computer in a few years.

Thanks to the app ecosystem, consumers have a wider range of options in the devices they use for work and play. This means you can buy an affordable laptop and rely on the power of the cloud for everything you need. This has also made it easier for manufacturers to create laptops that are inexpensive, making them accessible to a wider consumer market. But there are so many affordable laptops now available, it can be difficult to choose one. Fortunately, by looking at your own budget and listing the features you feel are most important, you can narrow down the options.

DWYM Fun Fact

Laptops date back much further than you probably realize. The first-known laptop was the Grid Compass, designed in 1979. It was later used as part of the space program. But the first fully functional laptop computer is often credited as being the Gavilan Computer, which was introduced in May 1983 as the smallest and lightest MS-DOS computer at the time. However, in 1982, Grid introduced the Compass 1101, which came up with the innovation of folding a screen over the keyboard. Even earlier than that, though, Osborne Computer Corporation released the Osborne 1, which was billed as a portable computer. Following these innovations, both IBM and Microsoft came out with their own laptops and the rest is history.

The Laptop Tips and Advice

  • Before you shop for a laptop, take some time to outline the items that are most important to you. Look at your current devices and consider the things you like most and least about them. If you’re a gamer and your device overheats and locks up after a few minutes of play, CPU strength will be at the top of your list. If you still rely heavily on external hard drives and card readers, port count will be important.
  • Operating system preferences will narrow the field considerably. If you’re a Mac person, you probably won’t look any further than the latest MacBook Pro or MacBook Air, such as the Apple MacBook Pro, 15″ Retina 16GB. If you prefer Google’s operating system, though, you have a wide range of choices. Acer Chromebook 11, 11.6″, for example, is both affordable and lightweight.
  • Performance is all in the processors, and many top-rated laptops pack plenty of power. The Apple MacBook Pro, 15″ Retina 16GB includes a 6-Core Intel Core i7 processor. Chromebooks use an Intel Celeron processor and in this area, you can’t go wrong with the Acer Chromebook 14’s Intel Celeron N3160 processor. Still, any variations you see in performance among newer processors will likely be minimal.
  • If you need more than one USB port, pay close attention to the options. You’ll get only two USB ports with most of the laptops you consider, but splitters are available if you need to hook up multiple devices.
  • As important as CPU power is while your laptop is running, wake-up times are also important. If you walk away or close your device lid, how long will you have to wait to use it again once you return? The Chromebooks are known for their rapid startup time, waking up from sleep quickly and even booting up from shutdown in only seconds.
  • If you own a laptop, chances are you’ll at least occasionally be carrying it around. In the race to provide the lightest laptop, the Acer Chromebook 11, 11.6″ ranks toward the top, weighing in at only 2.43 pounds. The Asus Water Resistant Chromebook is close, though, with a weight of only 2.65 pounds. Compare this to the o Apple MacBook Pro, 15″ Retina 16GB’s 4 pounds and you’ll see how much of a difference these Chromebooks make. But the Acer Chromebook 14 is slightly heavier than other Chromebooks, at 3.42 pounds.
  • Few things can be as annoying as getting away from home, only to have your battery die. The Asus Water Resistant Chromebook has a battery life that wows, lasting for more than 12 hours on a charge. With the Apple MacBook Pro, 15″ Retina 16GB and Acer Chromebook 11, 11.6″, you’ll get only 10 hours of battery life, although you can extend the life on the Acer Chromebook 11, 11.6″ by running it in low brightness and minimizing your activity.
  • Logging in can become cumbersome over time. The Apple MacBook Pro, 15″ Retina 16GB builds in the same Touch ID found on its tablets and smartphones, making login a breeze.
  • If you’re tech-challenged, you may want to consider an extended warranty. Each laptop comes with a limited warranty, but you can upgrade to an extended warranty for a fee. AppleCare, for example, provides not only extended care for your devices, but technical support help as well.
  • When you’re in the office or at home, you may prefer to connect your laptop to a monitor. You can do this with the help of cables, but if it’s going to be a regular occurrence, a docking station will offer you easy access to a keyboard, mouse and monitor while you’re at your desk.
  • Another important consideration is whether you can use your laptop’s trackpad or an external mouse. A wireless mouse may be the best option, since you’ll be using it on the go.
  • Despite the name, your lap isn’t the best place to rest your laptop while you’re working. Laptops need good air circulation, so invest in a good laptop desk or make sure you always sit at a table while you’re working on it.
  • At one time, laptops used nickel-metal hydride batteries, which could eventually forget their charge capabilities if you only allowed them to drain halfway before recharging. Today’s lithium-ion batteries don’t have that issue. Still, some experts believe you can extend a battery’s life by avoiding letting it drain to less than 20 percent.
  • A laptop’s portability also makes it vulnerable to theft. A cable lock can help, but make sure you also equip your computer with a difficult-to-guess password. If your laptop is stolen, at least your personal information won’t be at risk.
  • For those times when you’re using your keyboard in a dimly-lit room, having light behind your keys can be a big help. If you want backlit keys, you’ll need to shop specifically for a laptop that features that.
  • Traditionally, you’d purchase a laptop, then worry about loading it with software that you had to buy separately. But with today’s laptops, it’s all about the apps. If you opt for a MacBook, Apple’s basic office software is included. With Chromebook, you’ll be steered toward the Google Play store, where you can access Google Docs, as well as numerous other apps. You’ll still be able to purchase your favorite apps for your laptop, as well.
  • When it comes to price, it’s hard to ignore the affordability of Chromebooks. Sure, the MacBook Air has a long list of benefits, but so do both the Acer and Asus Chromebooks. The Acer Chromebook 11, 11.6″ and Acer Chromebook 14 each retail for less than $250, while Asus’s version typically stays below $300. Compared to Apple’s more-than-$2,000 price point for the latest MacBook Pro, Chromebooks are well worth considering.
  • Before you finalize your purchase, prepare a way to carry your new laptop around. Whether you choose a backpack or a laptop bag, make sure it’s padded enough to protect your laptop wherever you take it.
  • Once you have your laptop, make sure you protect it from viruses using the top software on the market. Both Asus and Acer Chromebooks have security features built-in. MacBooks are virus-resistant by nature, but it can’t hurt to look into antivirus apps for your chosen operating system.

About The Author

Avatar
Stephanie Faris 

Stephanie Faris is a former information technology professional who spent most of her career working with computers and printers. Now a novelist and professional writer, her writings on electronics have been published on Online-Tech-Tips.com and Switching to Mac, among many others. When she isn't writing about technology, she's often checking out the latest news on the upcoming iPhone release.