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The Best Laptops

Last updated on October 6, 2020

We looked at the top 12 Laptops and dug through the reviews from 108 of the most popular review sites including and more. The result is a ranking of the best Laptops.

Best Laptop

Our Review Process

Don't Waste Your Money 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. Learn more.

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Our Picks For The Top Laptops

View All Recommendations
Product Overview
Key Takeaway
Pros
Cons
 Best for Commuters

HP 15.6-Inch HD Touchscreen Premium Laptop

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HP

15.6-Inch HD Touchscreen Laptop

A thin, sleek build makes this laptop easy to transport from home to work and back again. It has a larger display screen with a backlit touchscreen display that's easy to view, even in dimly lit rooms. The laptop is also quick to boot up and has a fast processor, so you can get your assignments done in a timely manner.

Overall Take

Fast ProcessorThis laptop is equipped with a TrueVision HD camera for clear conference calls and detailed still images.

 Best Basic

Samsung Chromebook 3

Samsung

Chromebook 3

Fast wake-up times and a lightweight form make the Samsung Chromebook 3 a popular choice. For the price, the features that come with this model are hard to find elsewhere.

Overall Take

Lightweight and SlimLightweight and slim, this laptop has a bright screen and a responsive clickpad.

Pros
" Has a very long battery life. Has USB 3.0 to support faster peripherals"
Cons
"Build quality isn’t quite as impressive, but it’s good enough – and, when you’re talking about a sub-£300 laptop, that’s realistically about all you can expect."

Apple MacBook Pro, 15″ Retina 16GB

Apple

MacBook Pro, 15" Retina 16GB

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.

Overall Take

Quality LaptopPeak processing power and intuitive user experience.

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..."

Acer Chromebook 11, 11.6″

Acer

Chromebook 11, 11.6"

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.

Overall Take

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

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."

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 upfront, 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.

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.
12

Products Analyzed

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

View All Product Rankings

108

Expert Reviews Included

In addition to our expert reviews, we also incorporate feedback and analysis of some of the most respected sources including: Trusted Reviews, PC World, Tech Spot, Digital Trends, PCVerge.

32,910

User Opinions Analyzed

We also incorporate user reviews from the leading retailers including

Our experts reviewed the top 12 Laptops and also dug through the reviews from 108 of the most popular review sites including 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.

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The Best Bang For Your Buck

Samsung Chromebook 3

Key Takeawy

Fast wake-up times and a lightweight form make the Samsung Chromebook 3 a popular choice. For the price, the features that come with this model are hard to find elsewhere.

What other experts liked

Has a very long battery life. Has USB 3.0 to support faster peripherals
- Consumer Reports
Keeping in mind how slim and affordable the XE303C12 is, connectivity can safely be called ‘superb’.
- Trusted Reviews
February 6, 2013 | Full review
This 11.6-inch notebook not only boasts a fantastic screen and nearly 10 hours of battery life but also comes with 4GB of RAM, so you can expect solid performance.
- Laptop Magazine
November 21, 2018 | Full review
It boots up in a record 5 seconds, and is perfectly able to run a couple of Web applications and stream videos, simultaneously.
- PCVerge
January 4, 2018 | Full review
Better performance than many tablets. Sturdy construction.
- PC World
March 19, 2013 | Full review
The battery life on this Chromebook lasts an incredibly long time, I watched videos, browsed the internet and listened to music all at the same time and the battery was still over halfway charged.
- Turbo Future
November 22, 2018 | Full review

What other experts didn't like

One of the worst screens for color reproduction and viewing angle. • Battery is not easily removable.
- Consumer Reports
Build quality isn’t quite as impressive, but it’s good enough – and, when you’re talking about a sub-£300 laptop, that’s realistically about all you can expect.
- Trusted Reviews
February 6, 2013 | Full review
There is no flexing around its keyboard, which is a problem that plagues most other laptops in this price range.
- Laptop Magazine
November 21, 2018 | Full review
It does cut corners, however, like shoddy key placement and feeble speakers, and the usual limitations of Chrome OS.
- PCVerge
January 4, 2018 | Full review
Takes time to adapt to the keyboard. No physical right-click option.
- PC World
March 19, 2013 | Full review
Not every accessory you use on your regular computer is compatible with Chrome OS.
- Turbo Future
November 22, 2018 | Full review

What to Look For

  • 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’ll want to look for the latest MacBook. If you prefer Google’s operating system, though, you have a wide range of choices. Samsung 11.6-Inch Chromebook 3, for example, is both affordable and lightweight.
  • Performance is all in the processors, and many top-rated laptops pack plenty of power. The HP 15.6-Inch HD Touchscreen Laptop includes an Intel Core i5-1035G1 processor. Chromebooks use an Intel Celeron processor and in this area, you can’t go wrong with the Asus 12.5-Inch Chromebook 2-In-1 Flip Laptop. 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 Samsung 11.6-Inch Chromebook 3 ranks toward the top, weighing in at only 2.54 pounds. The Asus 12.5-Inch Chromebook 2-In-1 Flip Laptop is close, though, with a weight of only 2.65 pounds. Compare this to the o Dell Inspiron i3583 15.6-Inch HD Touch-Screen Laptop’s 4.41 pounds and you’ll see how much of a difference these Chromebooks make.
  • Few things can be as annoying as getting away from home, only to have your battery die. The Asus 12.5-Inch Chromebook 2-In-1 Flip Laptop has a battery life that wows, lasting for more than 10 hours on a charge. Other models need to be charged more frequently. Running the laptops in low brightness and minimizing your activity can lengthen the time in between charges.
  • Logging in can become cumbersome over time. Look for a model with a Touch ID, as this makes logging in a breeze.
  • 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%.
  • 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.
  • 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. Asus 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.

More to Explore

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.

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