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The Best Laptops

Last updated on October 6, 2020

We looked at the top 17 Laptops and dug through the reviews from 128 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

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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.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

Asus 12.5-Inch 2-In-1 Flip Chromebook  Laptop

Asus

12.5-Inch 2-In-1 Flip Chromebook Laptop

Overall Take

High-Definition ViewingAlthough this laptop is lightweight, it has a sleek aluminum metal body that is extremely durable.

Experts Included
DWYM Electronics Experts plus Tech Radar, PC Magazine, CNET, Consumer Reports. Along with user reviews from Amazon and Best Buy.
Pros
" When you’re not using the C302 as a tablet, it falls back on a solid keyboard that makes it as familiar and comfortable as any traditional laptop."
Cons
"Legacy connections require adapters. Pricier than other chromebooks."

Dell Inspiron i3583 15.6-Inch HD Touch-Screen Laptop

Dell

Inspiron i3583 15.6-Inch HD Touch-Screen Laptop

Overall Take

Easy-to-Use Touch ScreenIf you prefer a Windows operating system, you'll want to go with this laptop.

Experts Included
DWYM Electronics Experts plus . Along with user reviews from Amazon.

HP 15.6-Inch HD Touchscreen Premium Laptop

HP

15.6-Inch HD Touchscreen Laptop

Overall Take

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

Experts Included
DWYM Electronics Experts plus . Along with user reviews from Amazon.
  The Best Value

Acer Flagship CB3-532

Acer

HD Chromebook

Overall Take

Experts Included
DWYM Electronics Experts plus CNET, Tech Radar, Laptop Magazine, Notebook Check, Technically Well. Along with user reviews from Amazon and Target.
Pros
" Acer's Chromebook 15 addresses that very issue by matching up a 15.6-inch display with the budget-friendly components we're used to seeing and selling it at a reasonable price."
Cons
"Once the screen starts to fill up with Ajax-heavy browser tabs, there is a noticeable lag when opening up new pages or Google Doc files. It's small, but noticeable."
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.
17

Products Analyzed

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

View All Product Rankings

128

Expert Reviews Included

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

36,606

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 17 Laptops and also dug through the reviews from 128 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

Asus 12.5-Inch 2-In-1 Flip Chromebook Laptop

Our Expert Score
8.4
4 expert reviews
User Summarized Score
8.0
1,002 user reviews
Our Take

If you’re searching for a laptop with a long battery life, this model is your best bet. It can run as long as 10 hours in between charges. The laptop also flips to transform into a tablet, tablet with a stand or tablet with a tent.

What other experts liked
When you’re not using the C302 as a tablet, it falls back on a solid keyboard that makes it as familiar and comfortable as any traditional laptop.
- Tech Radar
November 20, 2018 | Full review
Convertible hinge design. Lots of storage and RAM. Full HD screen. Metal body construction.
- PC Magazine
I'd prefer a design like this to the Air's; it's truly the ideal size for anyone who has to commute with a laptop often. Plus, you get the extra feature of a 360-degree convertible hinge, something you won't find on...
- CNET
February 21, 2017 | Full review
It doesn't get hot like my laptop and it flips into a very nice size tablet.
- Consumer Reports
What other experts didn't like
We chalk these issues to the beta version of Chrome OS, which fixed some problems and introduced new ones during the course of our review.
- Tech Radar
November 20, 2018 | Full review
Legacy connections require adapters. Pricier than other chromebooks.
- PC Magazine
Unfortunately it also means that if you need to use USB Type-A, DisplayPort, HDMI or VGA, you'll have to buy an adapter.
- CNET
February 21, 2017 | Full review
Battery is not easily removable
- Consumer Reports

The Best Bang For Your Buck

Acer Flagship CB3-532

Our Expert Score
7.6
5 expert reviews
User Summarized Score
8.7
217 user reviews
Our Take

What other experts liked
Acer's Chromebook 15 addresses that very issue by matching up a 15.6-inch display with the budget-friendly components we're used to seeing and selling it at a reasonable price.
- CNET
March 17, 2015 | Full review
The Acer's screen is bright, colorful and roomy. It's ideal for watching movies and surfing the web.
- Tech Radar
November 16, 2018 | Full review
It also has a 1080p screen, which is rare on a Chromebook. But it's not very bright or particularly colorful.
- Laptop Magazine
May 11, 2018 | Full review
One advantage of the large size is a full-sized keyboard that does not feel cramped, although it is lacking a numeric keypad. It is very comfortable type out a Google Doc or a long email.
- Technically Well
What other experts didn't like
Unfortunately, the white body picks up stray dirt easily, making it look a bit dingy after a little use.
- CNET
March 17, 2015 | Full review
Once the screen starts to fill up with Ajax-heavy browser tabs, there is a noticeable lag when opening up new pages or Google Doc files. It's small, but noticeable.
- Tech Radar
November 16, 2018 | Full review
The Chromebook's 720p webcam does an OK job, but I wish it were brighter.
- Laptop Magazine
May 11, 2018 | Full review
The keys are a little “mushy” and don’t quite give that satisfying “click” like most laptops.
- Technically Well

Overall Product Rankings

Asus 12.5-Inch 2-In-1 Flip Chromebook  Laptop

1. Asus 12.5-Inch 2-In-1 Flip Chromebook Laptop

Overall Score: 9.3
Reviews Included: 6

Dell Inspiron i3583 15.6-Inch HD Touch-Screen Laptop

2. Dell Inspiron i3583 15.6-Inch HD Touch-Screen Laptop

Overall Score: 9.2
Reviews Included: 1

HP 15.6-Inch HD Touchscreen Premium Laptop

3. HP 15.6-Inch HD Touchscreen Premium Laptop

Overall Score: 9.1
Reviews Included: 1

Samsung Chromebook 3

4. Samsung Chromebook 3

Overall Score: 8.5
Reviews Included: 11

Apple MacBook Pro, 15″ Retina 16GB

5. Apple MacBook Pro, 15″ Retina 16GB

Overall Score: 8.4
Reviews Included: 18

Acer Chromebook 11, 11.6″

6. Acer Chromebook 11, 11.6″

Overall Score: 8.4
Reviews Included: 19

ASUS Water Resistant Chromebook, 11.6″

7. ASUS Water Resistant Chromebook, 11.6″

Overall Score: 8.3
Reviews Included: 3

HP Spectre x360

8. HP Spectre x360

Overall Score: 8.2
Reviews Included: 11

Apple 13″ MacBook Air

9. Apple 13″ MacBook Air

Overall Score: 8.2
Reviews Included: 11

Google Pixelbook

10. Google Pixelbook

Overall Score: 8.2
Reviews Included: 12

Microsoft Surface Pro (5th Gen), 256 GB

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

Overall Score: 8.1
Reviews Included: 27

Acer Flagship CB3-532

12. Acer Flagship CB3-532

Overall Score: 8.0
Reviews Included: 8

Samsung Notebook 9 Pro

13. Samsung Notebook 9 Pro

Overall Score: 8.0
Reviews Included: 10

ASUS ZenBook 13.3″ Ultra-Slim Laptop

14. ASUS ZenBook 13.3″ Ultra-Slim Laptop

Overall Score: 7.8
Reviews Included: 13

Acer Aspire

15. Acer Aspire

Overall Score: 7.8
Reviews Included: 10

HP Spectre x2

16. HP Spectre x2

Overall Score: 7.4
Reviews Included: 9

Dell 2018 Inspiron 15.6″ Touchscreen

17. Dell 2018 Inspiron 15.6″ Touchscreen

Overall Score: 6.7
Reviews Included: 6

Our Laptop Findings

67949

Dell Inspiron i3583 15.6-Inch HD Touch-Screen Laptop

What We Liked: This laptop goes above and beyond when it comes to features. You’ll find a webcam with microphone, built-in media reader and HDMI ports. It has Bluetooth capabilities and a three-cell lithium-ion battery that holds a long charge for wireless operation.

HP 15.6-Inch HD Touchscreen Premium Laptop

What We Liked: 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.

27222

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 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.

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’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.

About The Author

Alicia Bodine
Alicia Bodine 

Alicia Bodine is a New Jersey-based writer who loves researching the latest in electronics to keep up with her teenage daughters. With more than 15 years of experience, her work has appeared on leading tech publications.