Laptops are on the rise again thanks to Windows 10’s arrival, Nivida’s efficient Maxwell graphics cards, and fresh new Skylake processors from Intel. Notebooks once thought to be replaced by laptop are more plentiful and diverse than ever between gaming laptops that hook up to liquid coolers, thin and light Ultrabooks to incredibly affordable Chromebooks and now their Windows 10 Cloudbook counterparts.
With so many options to choose from, picking the best laptop for your needs is more important than ever. Those who crave fast boot up times and a lightweight machine to carry might drool over an Ultrabook. Serious gamers will gravitate towards gaming laptops tailored to their graphical and processing needs, while those after flexibility might fancy a convertible laptop-tablet hybrid.
It might seem overwhelming at first – what with all of the choices – but we’re here to help you find the best laptop for you. Believe us when we say that there is a perfect laptop out there for you. With this guide, you’ll find the absolutely best machines.
Dell XPS 13
Asus ZenBook UX 305
Asus Chromebook Flip
13-inch MacBook Air (Early 2015)
Toshiba ChromeBook 2
New MacBook 2015
Dell Inspiration 13 7000
1. Dell XPS 13
Dell’s latest laptop is a masterpiece ahead of the curve
CPU: 2.2Ghz Intel Core i5-5200 | Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 5500 | RAM: 8GB | Screen: 13.3-inch 3,200 x 1,800 UltraSharp QHD+ touch display | Storage: 256GB SSD
- Gorgeous display
- Super lightweight
- No Ethernet port
- Off-center webcam
The Dell XPS 13 (2015) isn’t just an astonishingly thin and light laptop, it’s a revolution in design. Fitting a 13.3-inch screen into a 11-inch laptop frame is no small feat, but Dell has pulled off a miracle creating a nearly borderless infinity display. This is also one powerful and long lasting machine, all while coming in at a very affordable starting price. For these reasons, it easily takes the top slot as the best Ultrabook, the best Windows laptop and the best overall laptop.
2. Asus ZenBook UX305
Better than the MacBook and at a fraction of the price
CPU: 800MHz Intel Core M 5Y10| Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 5300 | RAM: 8GB | Screen:13.3-inch FHD 1,920 x 1,080 (matte) | Storage: 256GB SSD
- Thin and light
- Vibrant matte screen
- Tinny speakers
- Troublesome video driver
The Asus ZenBook UX305 might look like a MacBook Air from every angle, but it’s a better machine in almost every way. It’s thinner, lighter and even more attractive in some ways with its purple tinged aluminum body. Plus, this machine also has a Full HD display with good helping of storage space and a fanless design to keep things thin and silent. Most importantly, though, this whole great package comes at very affordable price.
3. Asus Chromebook Flip
A premium Chromebook that backflips on command
CPU: 1.8GHz Rockchip 3288-C | Graphics: ARM Mali T624 | RAM: 2GB LPDDR3 SDRAM |Screen: 10.1-inch, WXGA (1,280 x 800) IPS multi-touch display | Storage: 16GB eMMC
- Fully metal construction
- Excessive battery life
- Large screen bezels
When most people think of Chromebooks they might expect some cheap, plastic device that’s only just good enough to get them by through a day of computing. Asus on the other hand offers the fully metal Chromebook Flip that doubles as a tablet just for the heck of it. The 10.1-inch, 2-in-1 Chromebook is an exceedingly light laptop that feels premium to the touch. Thanks to a little known Rockchip processor, it will also outrun most other Chrome OS machines both in performance and its eight hour battery life.
4. 13-inch MacBook Air (early 2015)
Light and faster than ever
CPU: 1.6GHz dual-core Intel Core i5 | Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 6000 | RAM: 8GB | Screen:13.3-inch, LED-backlit glossy display (1440 x 900) | Storage: 256GB SSD
- Excellent battery life
- Nippy storage
- Dated design
- Low-res display
While the latest MacBook Air sticks to its guns with a dated design and low-resolution screen, it’s not showing any signs of slowing down on the performance end. Thanks to a capable processor, this thin and light machine can handle everything from serious number crunching to even some light gaming. Sure the New MacBook is lighter and thinner, but it does not come with the Air’s large spread of ports nor the 13 hours of battery life to last you though an entire day.
5. Toshiba Chromebook 2
One of the best full HD Chromebooks
CPU: 2.16GHz Intel Celeron N2840 | Graphics: Intel HD Graphics | RAM: 4 GB DDR3L |Screen: 13.3-inch, 1920 x 1090 TruBrite TFT display | Storage: 16GB SSD
- Gorgeous 1080p screen
- Thin and light
- Blinding screen glare
- Mismatched casing parts
Of course, if a long lasting machine is what you seek, you should invest in a Chromebook. The Toshiba Chromebook 2 lasts for a fairly long six and a half hours and packs a wonderfully colorful full HD screen to boot. It’s a better package compared to most Windows laptops you can pick up at this low, low price. Although the Toshiba Chromebook 2 is looking a bit old now with its last generation processor, it can still hold its own, and even today it remains to be one of the more attractive Chrome OS machines.
6. New MacBook 2015
Gorgeous, thin and light
CPU: 1.1GHz dual-core Intel Core M | Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 5300 | RAM: 8GB | Screen:12-inch, 2,304 x 1,440 LED-backlit IPS display | Storage: 256GB SSD
- Terrific design
- Surprisingly good speakers
- Runs sluggish at times
If you want a real bombshell of a laptop, look no further than the extremely slender MacBook. It’s come a long way the days of being the MacBook Pro’s rounded, plastic understudy. Apple reintroduced the MacBook as one of the World’s thinnest and lightest laptops featuring a razor sharp aluminum unibody and high-resolution Retina display that still hasn’t made its way into the MacBook Air. The nigh travel-less keyboard takes a little getting used and forget about using ports without an adapter, but if you can get over these humps, the MacBook is a machine that will turn heads and make your friends jealous.
7. Dell Inspiron 13 7000
A great all-around laptop-tablet hybrid for discerning students
CPU: 2.4GHz Intel Core i7-5500 | Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 5500 | RAM: 8GB | Screen: 13.3-inch, 1,920 x 1,080 FHD IPS touchscreen | Storage: 256GB SSD
- Attractive and sturdy design
- Speedy powerful performance
- Lackluster battery life
- A little hefty
Then again for those who don’t need the latest laptop on the block and rather stick to their guns with something functional, the Dell Inspiron 13 7000 is a lovely fit. With a metal chassis coated in soft touch rubber this Special Edition 13-inch laptop hardly feels like a budget machine. Aside from the more than serviceable computing experience you’ll get out of this notebook, the screen also flips back giving you a 1,080p tablet experience.