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Welcome to our pick of the best laptops of 2019. In this guide you’ll find the best laptop for your needs – no matter what type of laptop you’re looking for.
So, we have premium laptops, budget laptops, gaming laptops and Chromebooks as well. Basically, if you’re after a brilliant laptop, we have you covered.
At the moment, our pick for the best laptop in the world is the Dell XPS 13. The Dell XPS 13 has been at the top (or very close) of our best laptops list for years now, with each new model improving on the last.
This year’s version is no different, bringing improvements to the design and performance to the 13-inch Ultrabook, and that’s why it’s once again our pick for the best laptop in 2019.
However, the Dell XPS 13 won’t be for everyone. Perhaps you’re looking for a budget laptop that can help you fire off a few emails and browse the web. Maybe you want a gaming laptop that can run the best PC games with ease. Or you simply want an affordable laptop for school. Whatever you need, read on – as we have the best laptop for you.
What should you look for when buying a new laptop?
There are certain things you can look out for when buying a new laptop that can ensure you get the best laptop for your money.
Make sure you take a look at the specifications of a laptop before buying. This is a good way of quickly seeing how powerful a laptop is, and what it is capable of – as long as you know what you’re looking for.
First of all is the processor. This is essentially the brain of the laptop, and a laptop will usually have a processor (also known as a CPU) made by either Intel or AMD. Intel is by far the most popular CPU maker for laptops, though we’re seeing an increasing number of AMD-powered laptops as well.
As a general rule of thumb, Intel processors offer better performance, but AMD processors are better value.
To make things more simple, both Intel and AMD have numbered their processors to give you a rough idea of what sort of tasks a laptop with that processor can perform.
If you’re after a budget laptop for simple tasks like browsing the web or watching Netflix, then a laptop with an Intel Pentium, Intel Core i3 or AMD Ryzen 3, processor will do that job without making the laptop too expensive.
If you’re after something with a bit more oomph – perhaps to do more complex task like editing your home videos or playing games – then go for a laptop with an Intel Core i5 or AMD Ryzen 5 processor as a minimum.
The best laptops for media creation, and more complex tasks, come with an Intel Core i7 or Core i9 processor, or an AMD Ryzen 7 processor. Laptops with these processors in them are top-of-the-range laptops that will provide brilliant performance no matter what you want to do – but be warned that they are often found in the most expensive laptops.
Finally, keep an eye on how new the processor is. Intel handily gives its processors generations, so the higher the generation, the newer it is. The latest generation is the 10th generation, though 9th generation Intel Core processors are also pretty recent.
A newer processor performs better and is more power efficient – so battery life will last longer. They are more expensive, though.
RAM (Random Access Memory) is another important specification to look for in a laptop. You’ll want 4GB at the very least for a Windows laptop – though we’d actually recommend for many people to go for 8GB. That will ensure that the laptop runs well for years to come.
When it comes to graphics, you don’t need to worry too much, as laptop processors come with built-in (integrated) graphics. However, if you want to play PC games on your laptop, then you’ll want a gaming laptop with a discrete GPU – either from Nvidia or AMD.
Battery life considerations
Finally there’s battery life. This is likely to be one of the most important considerations you have when choosing what laptop to buy. The best laptops need to be able to let you work – and play – for hours on end without you having to scramble for a power adapter. Modern laptops are getting ever more power-efficient, which has led to longer battery lives. For a laptop to be included in our best laptops list, it needs to offer a battery life of five hours or more.
Bear in mind that the battery life that the laptop makers claim their device has could be quite different to what you actually experience. This is because many laptop makers test their batteries in very controlled environments, with the laptop used in ways that you might not necessarily use. So, while a laptop might have a claimed battery life of 10 hours, you may find that when using it for certain tasks – like streaming high definition content – your battery life could run out faster.
That’s where our in-depth reviews come in, as we run a series of tests on each laptop in this best laptops guide to see how long the battery life lasts under certain conditions. If a laptop’s battery is ridiculously short (or impressively long) we’ll tell you.
What you need to know about Black Friday 2019
The Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals period has always been a good time of year to pick up a great laptop. Usually the big retailers will have plenty of laptop offers but generally speaking they’ll mostly be in the ‘cheap’ or ‘midrange’ categories. IE you’ll find plenty of instances of $600 laptops from HP being discounted to $450 for Black Friday. It’s less common for the best of the best products to suddenly become available with huge discounts. So if you want a really great laptop and you have your eye on one of the excellent models on this page, there’s no guarantee that waiting until Black Friday will get you a better deal than you can get today (our useful widgets pull through all of the latest prices). But if you’re less bothered about the specific product and more interested in feeling like you got a bargain, you should check out our Black Friday laptop deals page where we’ll be rounding up all of the best offers throughout November.
Best laptops 2019 at a glance:
- Best laptop overall: Dell XPS 13 (2019)
- Best laptop for pure value: Huawei MateBook 13
- Best 2-in-1 laptop: HP Spectre x360 (2019)
- Best Apple laptop: Apple MacBook Pro (15-inch, 2019)
- Best gaming laptop: Alienware Area-51m
- Best Chromebook: Google Pixelbook Go
- Best laptop by Microsoft: Microsoft Surface Laptop 3
- Best laptop for productivity: Dell XPS 15 2-in-1
- Best budget gaming laptop: Dell G5 15 5590
- Best affordable Chromebook: Asus Chromebook Flip
- Best mid-range laptop: Asus VivoBook S15
- Best affordable laptop: Acer Switch 3
- Best cheap MacBook: Apple MacBook 12-inch (2017)
- Best looking laptop: HP Spectre Folio
- Best premium 2-in-1 laptop: Lenovo Yoga C930
The best laptops 2019:
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1. Dell XPS 13
The best laptop overall
CPU: 8th generation Intel Core i5 – i7 | Graphics: Intel UHD Graphics 620 | RAM: 8GB – 16GB | Screen: 13.3-inch FHD (1,920 x 1,080) – 4k (3840 x 2160) | Storage: 256GB – 1TB SSD
Battery life better than ever
Beautiful optional 4K display
2019 update isn’t huge
The Dell XPS 13 has been a regular of our best laptops list for years, and the 2019 model is no exception. It retains everything we’ve come to love from Dell’s flagship 13-incher, from the gorgeous and light design, to the powerful modern components that power it. The Dell XPS 13 rocks an 8th-generation Intel Core i5 or i7 processor and a bezel-less ‘Infinity Edge’ display, this Dell XPS 13 continues to be the most popular Windows laptop in the world.
What’s more, there’s a wide range of customization options, so you can really make the Dell XPS 13 the best laptop for your needs. The 2019 model doesn’t bring a huge amount of improvements, but then not that much about the Dell XPS 13 needs improving. Its webcam has been placed at the top center of the screen, rather than at the bottom, which a lot of customers have been asking for. You also get a longer battery life in this year’s model.
Read the full review: Dell XPS 13
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The Huawei MateBook 13 is a brilliant laptop for 2019 (Image credit: Huawei)Image 4 of 4
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2. Huawei MateBook 13
The best value laptop
CPU: 8th generation Intel Core i5 – i7 | Graphics: Intel UHD Graphics 620 , Nvidia GeForce MX150 2GB GDDR5 | RAM: 8GB | Screen: 13-inch 1440p (2,160 x 1,440) | Storage: 256GB – 512GB SSD
Only 8GB RAM
No Thunderbolt 3
Huawei has done it again, and its latest laptop is one of our picks for the best laptop of 2019. As with last year’s Huawei MateBook X Pro, the MateBook 13 comes with some of the latest components, including a discrete Nvidia MX150 graphics card, and a gorgeous lightweight design, that you’d expect to find on a much more expensive laptop.
The fact that the MateBook 13 offer so much, yet comes with an impressively low price – compared to its Ultrabook competitors, makes it our choice for the best value laptop. Sure, you may be missing a few minor niceties here and there to achieve such a competitive price, but on the whole, this is the most value-packed flagship laptop that we’ve ever tested.
If you’re after a few more bells and whistles, like super-fast Thunderbolt 3 ports and a 4K display, then the Dell XPS 13 or MacBook Pro (also on this list of best laptops) may be better choices. Recently, the US government blacklisted Huawei, which many feared would have implications on whether the Chinese company’s laptops would still get support from the like of Microsoft and Intel.
The good news is that both Microsoft and Intel have confirmed that they will continue to support Huawei laptops, which means the MateBook 13 and other models will still get important Windows 10 updates.
Read the full review: Huawei MateBook 13
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The HP Spectre x360 (2019) is our pick of the best 2-in-1 laptop in 2019 (Image credit: HP) Image 2 of 3
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3. HP Spectre x360 (2019)
The best 2-in-1 laptop
CPU: Intel Core i5 – i7 | Graphics: Intel UHD Graphics 620 | RAM: 8GB – 16GB | Screen: 13.3-inch full HD (1,920 x 1,080) – UHD (3,840 x 2,160) touchscreen | Storage: 256GB – 2TB PCIe SSD
Very well built
Powerful and thin
The HP Spectre line of Ultrabooks and 2-in-1 laptops has always consisted of extraordinarily attractive devices. So, when we say that the 2019 Spectre x360 takes things to another level, that should mean something.
This is one of the most beautiful laptops on the market right now, with its gem-cut design and sleek profile. Couple that with the powerful Intel Whiskey Lake processors and long battery life, and you get one of the best laptops on the market right now. Its ability to flip into a Windows tablet is just icing on the cake.
Read the full review: HP Spectre x360 (2019)
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Apple MacBook Pro with Touch Bar 13-inch 2018 is the best Mac laptop of 2019 (Image credit: Apple) Image 2 of 4
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4. Apple MacBook Pro (15-inch, 2019)
The best Apple laptop
CPU: Intel Core i7 – i9 | Graphics: AMD Radeon Pro 555X – Radeon Pro Vega 20, Intel UHD Graphics 630 | RAM: 16GB | Screen: 15.4-inch, (2,880 x 1,800) IPS | Storage: 256GB – 4TB SSD
The best MacBook Pro ever
Super fast performance
Not a huge generational leap
This year’s model of the 15-inch Apple MacBook Pro is the most powerful MacBook the Cupertino company has ever made. By fitting some of the fastest components in the world (including 6- and 8-core Intel processors) into the iconic slimline MacBook body, Apple has created a formidable professional laptop that earns its place on our best laptops list.
Of course, being a MacBook Pro, while it’s powerful and beautifully designed, it’s also incredibly expensive – especially if you start customising its components. But, if you have the budget, this is an amazing device that can serve as an essential productivity tool.
However, there’s no denying that this is a pricey machine, so you may want to consider one of the Windows alternatives. If you’re open to switching to a PC, definitely consider the XPS 13 or the excellent MateBook X Pro. But, if you’re a steadfast Apple diehard, this is definitely the best laptop for you.
Read the full review: Apple MacBook Pro (15-inch, 2019)
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5. Alienware Area-51m
The best gaming laptop of 2019
CPU: Intel Core i7-9700 – i9-9900K | Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 – 2080 | RAM: 16GB – 64GB | Screen: 17.3″ FHD (1920 x 1080) 60Hz Anti-Glare IPS – 144Hz IPS NVIDIA G-SYNC | Storage: 1TB SSHD – 2TB RAID0 SSDs + 1TB SSHD
The Alienware Area-51m is our pick for the best gaming laptop of 2019, so naturally, it also deserves a place in our list of the best laptops money can buy. With an eye catching design and brilliant build quality, which we’ve come to expect from Dell’s Alienware brand, this is an incredible performer, offering a choice of some of the very best gaming components on the market right now, including a choice of 9th generation Intel Core processors, and Nvidia’s latest RTX range of GPUs.
Sure, it’s pretty expensive, but if you’re serious about getting the best gaming laptop money can buy in 2019, then you’ll need to expect to splash out a little bit, and the Alienware Area-51m really is worth every penny. However, if this is out of your budget, check out the much more affordable Dell G5 15 5590 later on in this list.
Read the full review: Alienware Area-51m
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6. Google Pixelbook Go
The best Chromebook ever made
CPU: Intel Core m3 – Intel Core i7 | Graphics: Intel UHD Graphics 615 | RAM: 8GB – 16GB | Screen: 13.3-inch Full HD (1,920 x 1,080) or 4K LCD touchscreen | Storage: 128GB – 256GB eMMC
Incredible battery life
Amazing ‘Hush’ keyboard
Iffy pricing at mid- to- high-end
No biometric login