Best Buy Laptop Buying Guide
Whether you are just browsing the web, need to type a research paper, work on video production, or play some of the best PC games, it's all best done on a laptop. So how do you know what to look for in a laptop? Well, we've put together this laptop buying guide to help answer that question for you.
best buy laptop buying guide
The most impressive specs in the world don't mean diddly if the laptop you're shopping for doesn't have good ergonomics. If you plan to do a lot of work on your computer, make sure the keyboard offers solid tactile feedback, plenty of key travel (the distance the key goes down when pressed, usually 1 to 2mm) and enough space between the keys. If you're buying a Windows laptop, be sure it has Precision touchpad drivers.
Look for an accurate touchpad that doesn't give you a jumpy cursor and responds consistently to multitouch gestures such as pinch-to-zoom. If you're buying a business laptop, consider getting one with a pointing stick (aka nub) between the G and H keys so you can navigate around the desktop without lifting your fingers off the keyboard's home row.
Display quality is about much more than resolution. IPS panels range in color and brightness, so read our reviews to find out if the laptop you're considering has a good display. We typically look for a DCI-P3 color rating of over 85% and brightness great than 300 nits. If you want the very best picture quality consider an OLED display or miniLED, but read reviews of these models carefully as there can be battery trade-offs.
Touch Screen: If you're buying a regular clamshell laptop, rather than a 2-in-1, you won't get much benefit from a touch screen and you will get 1 to 2 hours less battery life. On 2-in-1s, touch screens come standard. If you still want a touch screen, check out our best touch screen laptops page.
Connectivity: If you need to use your laptop on the go, consider buying a 4G LTE laptop or 5G laptop. You'll have to pay for a data subscription plan, but this will allow you to access the internet away from a router. If you want a laptop with the latest and greatest connectivity options, find one with Wi-Fi 6 support. Wi-Fi 6 offers increased theoretical throughputs and a more stable connection than 802.11ac.
DVD/Blu-ray Drives: Very few laptops come with optical drives, because all software and movies are downloadable, though we've kept track of the laptops with DVD drives. However, if you really need to read/write discs we strongly recommend leaving this off the wish list for your laptop and buying an external DVD drive.
If you're buying a large, bulky notebook or a gaming rig that you'll use only on a desk near an outlet, you don't have to worry about battery life. However, if you plan to use the laptop on your lap, even if it's at home and or work, you'll want at least 7 hours of endurance, with 9+ hours being ideal. To determine a notebook's expected battery life, don't take the manufacturer's word for it. Instead, read third-party results from objective sources, such as our reviews.
If you're looking for the best laptops of 2023, then we can help. This year has seen some truly excellent laptops released, and we're only just over a quarter of the way through it. So far, massive laptop brands such as Apple, Dell, Lenovo and Asus have launched some truly spectacular products for all budgets.
Samsung has also been putting out some brilliant laptops recently, and we've just added the excellent Galaxy Book3 Ultra to this list. It's pricey, but it's also packed with some of the very best mobile tech you can buy right now.
If the Samsung Galaxy Book3 Ultra is out of your price range, don't worry, as on this page we've listed the best laptops for a variety of budgets and use cases, and every laptop has been thoroughly tested and reviewed by us, so you can be sure that if you buy any of the laptops below, you'll be getting an absolutely fantastic device.
With the cost of living rising, decent laptop deals are more welcome than ever, and we've made sure that we don't just include only high-end laptops in this list, but also the best cheap laptops and best Chromebooks as well. So read on for our list of the best laptops.
Value for money: As far as Chromebooks and 2-in-1 laptops go, this is hands down the best value you're going to find in a portable device of its kind. It's the computer that last decade's netbooks promised to be - but couldn't quite become - while taking the Chromebook to its next logical step.
The Dell XPS 13 (2022) had its work cut out to really impress us. Its predecessors have often made it to the top of our best laptops list, but recently its competitors such as HP and Apple have really caught up when it comes to making desirable thin and light laptops. To put the XPS 13 back in its rightful place towards the top of our best laptops list, Dell has made some big changes. While the boost in performance thanks to cutting-edge components is welcome, some people will be sorely disappointed by the other changes Dell has made to the 2022 version.
Battery life: The Dell XPS 15 can easily clear a full workday on a charge, lasting 12:01 on average in our PCMark 10 test, and about two hours less (10:07, specifically) in our HD movie test. While this isn't the longest battery life in a laptop in this guide, it's an impressive showing for a Windows 11 15-incher.
Acer has updated its more affordable ultrabook line with some considerable under-the-hood upgrades, especially where battery life is concerned. If you're after a dependable laptop that won't cost a lot of money, but can handle day-to-day tasks (without feeling too cheap), then the Acer Swift 3 remains the best cheap laptop you can buy.
If you're looking for a versatile laptop then the Samsung Galaxy Book2 360 could be the best purchase you'll make in a long time. Not only can it convert into tablet form, but it also has an excellent AMOLED screen that makes it a great choice for entertainment. With decent battery life and enough power for most people, this is a real all-rounder. It runs Windows 11, and Microsoft has worked hard these past few years to make the operating system work well with touchscreen devices.
The Samsung Galaxy Book3 Ultra is a truly impressive Ultrabook that proves that Samsung can make laptops as stylish and desirable as major laptop brands such as Dell, HP and Asus. The Samsung Galaxy Book3 Ultra is an absolute stunner of a portable machine, offering excellent specs and a gorgeous display all in a sleek and sexy package, and it's one of the best looking ultrabooks going that isn't the Dell XPS 13 and Apple MacBook Air (M1,2020). Arguably its best feature is the beautiful 3K (2880 x 1800) AMOLED screen that is bright and vibrant, and at 16-inches, is a joy to work on.
Value for money: This is probably one of the best value laptops with an RTX 3000 GPU right now, especially when you consider the TUF Dash F15's long battery life and super-portable design.
In this guide, we explain what you should look for in 2022, and what you need to avoid. There are many options available to you for both Windows 11 and Chrome OS, whereas Apple limits its MacBooks to a limited number of configurations. Continue reading to find out which laptop is right for you, and be sure to check out our list of best laptop brands before you get started.
This price range is arguably the best in terms of bang for your buck. These laptops are truly excellent. You get much better internal hardware than the entry-level offerings, but at the cost of premium features, high-powered graphics chips, and fancy materials.
Two-in-ones can provide a lot of versatility but are not necessarily the best devices available. The uniqueness of their design can come with some notable drawbacks, such as weight (especially from the metal hinges on the keyboard) and price. These 2-in-1 laptops are often more expensive than clamshell laptops with comparable hardware.
Gaming laptops must be built to keep up with the unceasing march of progress. The best tout high-end processors and graphics chips, as well as enough RAM to run modern games. Anything less can render the hottest titles unplayable.
Why buy a 15-inch laptop? Well, they're not only larger than the best 13- or 14-inch laptops, but they're also often much more powerful. They don't always need to be big and clunky, either. After hundreds of hours of testing time with the best 15-inch laptops, here's our list of the greatest you can buy.
Apple's MacBook Pro 14 has taken over as the best 14-inch laptop you can buy today, thanks to great performance and battery life, a spectacular display, and an elegant, functional design. It's one of the best laptops you can buy, and it's just been upgraded with the newer Apple M2 Pro and Max CPUs for even better performance and efficiency.
HP introduced the Dragonfly Pro at CES 2023 to take on the MacBook Pro, and it has a pretty steep hill to climb. We haven't been able to review the laptop yet, but it marks an interesting switch for the Dragonfly to the consumer segment from the commercial market. Can HP's newly designated 14-inch machine take on the best?
If you work in a professional field that doesn't require 100% representation of the DCI-P3 color gamut, then this is the mobile workstation for you. The Lenovo ThinkPad P16 Gen 1 is also ideal for workers that frequently use their laptop keyboard, as it has one of the best in the business. Finally, if you or your organization crave the reliability and build quality of an international brand like Lenovo, then this workstation should be your first and last stop.
All of the ruggedization makes the Toughbook 40 heavy and expensive, of course. Expect to pay north of $4,000 for this 7-pound brute if you're buying a single laptop. But nearly everyone who buys the Toughbook 40 isn't just buying one. They're buying a fleet for a police force, line technicians, or other similar organizations, which typically means significant (and confidential) discounts. Ordinary consumers need not apply. 041b061a72