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The Best Laptop

Last updated on July 11, 2019

We looked at the top 25 Laptops and dug through the reviews from 171 of the most popular review sites including CNET, Trusted Reviews, PC World, Tech Spot, Digital Trends, PCVerge and more. The result is a ranking of the best Laptops.

Best Laptop

Why Trust The DWYM Score?

DWYM is your trusted product review source. Along with our in-house experts, our team analyzes thousands of product reviews from the most trusted websites. We then create one easy-to-understand score. Learn more.

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

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."

Acer

Chromebook 14

Overall Take

Dependable and SleekDependable battery, sleek design and reliable keyboard.

Experts Included
DWYM Electronics Experts plus Digital Trends, Trusted Reviews, Laptop Magazine, PC World, CNET, The Verge and 2 more. Along with user reviews from Amazon, Walmart and Target.
Pros
" We quite enjoyed typing on the Acer Chromebook 14’s keyboard, which is generously spaced and offers large keys."
Cons
"Connectivity is also surprisingly limited, considering how much space is available along the sides."

Asus

Water Resistant Chromebook, 11.6"

Overall Take

Impressive Battery LifeImpressive battery life — can run up to 12 hours without needing a charge. Affordable option that's also water resistant.

Experts Included
DWYM Electronics Experts plus PC Magazine. Along with user reviews from Amazon.
Pros
" In terms of battery life, the C202 clocked in at an impressive 12 hours, 5 minutes in our rundown test, outlasting the Acer Chromebook R 11 (10:35), Lenovo Thinkpad 11e (7:35), CTL Chromebook J2 (8:55), and Dell Chromebook 11 Non-Touch..."
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.
25

Products Analyzed

We then selected the leading and most popular products to review and score.

View All Product Rankings

171

Expert Reviews Included

Reviews from our DWYM category experts and analysis of some of the most respected sources including: CNET, Trusted Reviews, PC World, Tech Spot, Digital Trends.

54,841

User Opinions Analyzed

We also incorporate user reviews from the leading retailers including Amazon, Best Buy, Google Express, Walmart, Target, John Lewis and 8 others.

Our experts reviewed the top 25 Laptops and also dug through the reviews from 171 of the most popular review sites including CNET, Trusted Reviews, PC World, Tech Spot, Digital Trends, PCVerge 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

Apple MacBook Pro, 15″ Retina 16GB

Expert Summarized Score
8.2
13 expert reviews
User Summarized Score
9.4
1,308 user reviews
The DWYM Expert Take

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.

What other experts liked
Touch ID makes logins zippy. High-quality build as always.
- Wired
July 11, 2019 | Full review
While it still keeps its 2,880 x 1,800 resolution and 220 ppi of pixel density, it now also features Apple’s True Tone display tech, which debuted on the iPad Pro.
- Tech Radar
The most Pro thing about this MacBook Pro is how wildly fast it can be configured. Take, for example, our test unit, which features an Intel Core i9-8950HK CPU and 32GB of RAM, which combine for blindingly fast performance.
- Laptop Magazine
February 8, 2019 | Full review
The MacBook Pro’s SSDs are blazingly fast compared to the competition. The Mac copied 4.97GB of data at 877.5MBps. The average premium laptop completed the test at a rate of 474.7MBps.
- Tom's Hardware
August 3, 2018 | Full review
The latest 15-inch MacBook Pro offers major internal upgrades to the CPU, RAM, storage and display.
- CNET
July 30, 2018 | Full review
It’s also thinner than most “pro” Windows laptops with powerful processors.
- The Verge
July 25, 2018 | Full review
Beautiful display with automatic color-temperature adjustment.
- PG Magazine - SE Asia
Impressive CPU and GPU performance
- ZD Net
August 23, 2018 | Full review
The 15-inch MacBook Pro is equipped with Intel's 8th-generation 14-nanometer Coffee Lake chips.
- Mac Rumors
April 9, 2019 | Full review
Six processing cores boost multi-core app performance
- Macworld
July 30, 2018 | Full review
The new MacBook Pro is the first Apple laptop with a TrueTone display, a technology that automatically adjusts the color temperature of the screen based on the ambient light.
- Mashable
Its six-core Intel Core processor can give it a speed boost of around 30 percent over the 13-inch Pro when rendering video or compiling code, and its discrete AMD Radeon GPUs provide better performance when running 3D drafting programs or...
- New York Times Wirecutter
November 20, 2018 | Full review
Apple did include True Tone for the first time on a Mac. What it does is adjust the display's white balance depending on the ambient lighting in the room. Florescent lighting vs warmer incandescent bulbs can have different tints of...
- Apple Insider
July 28, 2018 | Full review
What other experts didn't like
Touch Bar and True Tone features are of dubious value to pro users.
- Wired
July 11, 2019 | Full review
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...
- Tech Radar
The MacBook Pro gets a little warm, though we're not surprised since it's both thin and light and super-speedy.
- Laptop Magazine
February 8, 2019 | Full review
The port situation will be an issue for some professionals that use lots of external hard drives and other peripherals.
- Tom's Hardware
August 3, 2018 | Full review
The basic design hasn't been updated, keeping the same advantages and flaws. Adding the new high-end options drives the cost way up.
- CNET
July 30, 2018 | Full review
Polarizing keyboard design
- The Verge
July 25, 2018 | Full review
High starting price, and painfully expensive as configured.
- PG Magazine - SE Asia
Apple has modified the keyboard, claiming that it's now quieter -- and, hopefully, less prone to the problems that have affected the 'butterfly' mechanism used in the MacBook keyboards in the last couple of years. Unfortunately, I still find that...
- ZD Net
August 23, 2018 | Full review
At launch, 2018 13 and 15-inch MacBook Pros were affected by a throttling issue that caused downgraded performance during CPU-intensive tasks.
- Mac Rumors
April 9, 2019 | Full review
The 15-inch MacBook Pro still relies on four full speed (40Gbps )Thunderbolt 3/USB-C ports for connectivity. This “limitation” is the one point of contention that I’ve heard most frequently about the MacBook Pro, and it means that you either have...
- Macworld
July 30, 2018 | Full review
One thing that failed to impress was the battery. Apple was careful to point out that this MacBook Pro has the exact same battery life as the previous one, which is up to 10 hours of "wireless web."
- Mashable
It costs at least twice as much as the MacBook Air, and its battery life is relatively mediocre, so it’s worth considering only if you know you’ll use all that extra power.
- New York Times Wirecutter
November 20, 2018 | Full review
The built-in microphones pick up voices a bit better, though there is a bit more background noise.
- Apple Insider
July 28, 2018 | Full review

The Best Bang For Your Buck

Acer Chromebook 11, 11.6″

Expert Summarized Score
8.6
15 expert reviews
User Summarized Score
8.5
1,968 user reviews
The DWYM Expert 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
- Best Reviews Guide
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
- No Place Called Home
- Best10.ai
- Top Reviews
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

1. Apple MacBook Pro, 15″ Retina 16GB

Overall Score: 8.9
Reviews Included: 18

2. Acer Chromebook 11, 11.6″

Overall Score: 8.5
Reviews Included: 19

3. Acer Chromebook 14

Overall Score: 8.3
Reviews Included: 11

4. ASUS Water Resistant Chromebook, 11.6″

Overall Score: 8.3
Reviews Included: 3

5. ASUS C302CA-DHM4

Overall Score: 8.2
Reviews Included: 6

6. Google Pixelbook

Overall Score: 8.2
Reviews Included: 12

7. Apple 13″ MacBook Air

Overall Score: 8.2
Reviews Included: 11

8. HP Spectre x360

Overall Score: 8.2
Reviews Included: 11

9. Samsung Chromebook 3

Overall Score: 8.2
Reviews Included: 6

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

Overall Score: 8.1
Reviews Included: 27

11. Samsung Notebook 9 Pro

Overall Score: 8.0
Reviews Included: 10

12. Acer Flagship CB3-532

Overall Score: 8.0
Reviews Included: 8

13. Google Pixelbook

Overall Score: 8.0
Reviews Included: 9

14. Acer Chromebook 11

Overall Score: 7.9
Reviews Included: 5

15. Acer Aspire

Overall Score: 7.8
Reviews Included: 10

16. ASUS ZenBook 13.3″ Ultra-Slim Laptop

Overall Score: 7.8
Reviews Included: 13

17. ASUS Flip Touchscreen

Overall Score: 7.8
Reviews Included: 6

18. Samsung Chromebook Pro

Overall Score: 7.8
Reviews Included: 6

19. Samsung Chromebook 3

Overall Score: 7.7
Reviews Included: 11

20. HP Chromebook N2840

Overall Score: 7.5
Reviews Included: 7

21. HP Spectre x2

Overall Score: 7.4
Reviews Included: 9

22. Acer Flagship 15″

Overall Score: 7.3
Reviews Included: 8

23. Dell Chromebook 11

Overall Score: 7.2
Reviews Included: 4

24. Dell 2018 Inspiron 15.6″ Touchscreen

Overall Score: 6.7
Reviews Included: 6

25. Dell Inspiron 13 7000

Overall Score: 6.4
Reviews Included: 6

Our Findings

Apple MacBook Pro, 15″ Retina 16GB

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.

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: $199.00 USD In Stock
Used from: $189.56 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.

Acer Chromebook 14

What We Liked: The Acer Chromebook 14 has a reliable keyboard, a dependable battery and a sleek design. We think the 14-inch screen is perfect for watching shows on Netflix. You’ll also get a display that protects your eyes against strain, even when you’re working or playing for long periods of time.

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.