Apple MacBook Pro, 15″ Retina 16GB
Last updated date: October 6, 2020
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We looked at the top Laptops and dug through the reviews from some of the most popular review sites. Through this analysis, we've determined the best Laptop you should buy.
Update as October 6, 2020:
Checkout The Best Laptops for a detailed review of all the top laptops.
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.
In our analysis of 128 expert reviews, the Apple MacBook Pro, 15" Retina 16GB placed 5th when we looked at the top 17 products in the category. For the full ranking, see below.
Expert Summarized Score
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An Overview On Laptops
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.
The Laptop Buying Guide
- 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.
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