In this guide to the best laptops 2019 has to offer, we here at TechRadar have gathered up a smorgasbord of fantastic laptops that will appeal to a broad range of people, no matter what sort of laptop you’re looking for.
So, we found the best Ultrabooks and premium laptops, alongside the best Macs, Chromebooks, and budget Windows tablets. On this page, you’ll also find the best gaming laptops and 2-in-1 laptops.
We made sure to fill this list of the best laptops with amazing pieces of kit at every price point, so you can find the perfect laptop, no matter your budget. Remember: you don’t need to spend a fortune to get one of the best laptops on the market.
Top 12 Laptops
- AMD Ryzen 5 3500U Mobile Processors with Radeon Graphics deliver powerful performance for everyday tasks
- Dopoundsy Audio delivers crystal-clear sound, while the 14-inch FHD screen and narrow side bezels give...
- Efficient Intel Celeron N4000 Processor (4M Cache, up to 2.6 GHz)
- 11.6” HD (1366 x 768) Display with HD webcam
- Thin, light, and stylish – This 2-in-1 laptop weighs just 3.64 pounds and is only 0.82" thick. It's...
- The 10-point, 14-inch FHD (1920 x 1080) IPS touchscreen allows the Lenovo Flex 5 14" 2-in-1 laptop to be...
- Do more of what you love. Allday long. Designed to keep you productive and entertained from anywhere, the...
- Processor: Intel Pentium Gold 6405U Dual-core Processor, Graphics: Intel UHD Graphics 605 integrated
- 15.6 inch Full HD (1920x1080) 4-way NanoEdge bezel display with a stunning 88% screen-to-body ratio
- Compatible with Google Classroom; run Google Classroom on Microsoft Edge or Internet Explorer 11
- Your career essential: With Wi-Fi 6 (2x) and Bluetooth(R) 5 connections, HP True Vision HD webcam and an...
- Design and style with performance to match: Stay connected and productive with long-lasting battery life...
- With a 1920 x 1080 full HD touch screen display and the powerful and efficient AMD Ryzen 5 3500U mobile...
- Comprehensive, built-in, ongoing protection with Windows 10 helps protect you against viruses, malware,...
- Fast Processor 10th Generation intel(r) core(tm) i5-1035g1 Processor quad-core 1 0 GHz Base frequency up...
- Display 15 6-Inch diagonal HD SVA bright View micro-edge WLED-backlit touchscreen display (1366 x 768)
- AMD Athlon Silver 3050U (2.3 GHz base clock, up to 3.2 GHz max boost clock, 1 MB L2 cache, 2 cores)....
- 14" diagonal HD SVA anti-glare micro-edge WLED-backlit (1366 x 768) Display; AMD Radeon Graphics
- 14" HD NON-TOUCH SVA Anti-glare Micro-edge WLED-backlit Widescreen (1366 x 768) Display
- AMD Athlon Silver 3050U 2.30GHz Dual-Core Processor (1MB Cache, up to 3.20GHz), AMD Radeon Graphics,...
Which type of laptop is best for you?
General laptops: Where the best cheap laptops are found, devices that focus more on practicality than style, portability or power. That’s not to say they can’t be fast, but you’ll typically find a non-Ultrabook clamshell laptop with an HD screen and spinning drive-based storage for less than $600 or £400.
Ultrabooks: Where you’ll find thin-and-light notebooks sporting SSD storage and display resolutions that exceed 1080p. Paired with powerful, albeit mobile-centric components and especially long battery life, the best Ultrabooks will cost a pretty penny – $700 or £500 to $2,000 or £1,800.
2-in-1 laptops: Where notebooks that double as tablets are located. The Surface Book 2 might be a ways off, but many of the best 2-in-1 laptops are available right now. Outfitted with both detachable and 360-degree rotating hinges, these hybrids are the most versatile way to experience Windows 10 (or Chrome OS) on a touchscreen.
Chromebooks: Where you’ll find the best Chromebooks running Chrome OS. These do much of what Windows and macOS can in the browser, focused on cloud storage over local, while recently getting Android app support for touchscreen models. They generally cost less than $300 or £200 and some can even withstand a slight tussle.
Gaming laptops: Need a laptop to play games (almost) just like a shiny desktop PC can? Then you’ll want one of the best gaming laptops. These machines generally cost from $800 or £600 to upwards of $3,000 or £2,800 and they’ll likely be the ones to take advantage of AMD’s laptop-grade Ryzen processors first.
Laptop-tablet hybrids: Designed from the tablet-first approach to laptop-tablet hybrids, the best Windows tablets pack beyond-HD touchscreens, sometimes with kickstands in their frames or provided via keyboard covers. These generally shine with a stylus and range from the budget to the premium price ranges.
Laptop Shopping by Spec
Understanding Laptop Connections: Ports and Slots
Connectivity is key for a modern laptop. Almost every model on the market today offers Bluetooth for connecting wireless peripherals, and Internet connectivity via 802.11ac Wi-Fi. Mobile broadband options, for when there’s no Wi-Fi hotspot handy, include 3G, 4G HSPA+, and 4G LTE, but these are increasingly rare, as users opt for personal mobile hotspots that work with several devices or tether their smartphone to use its broadband connection.
The venerable VGA interface is rapidly disappearing as well, due in part to space constraints in ultraportables that preclude the bulky connector, and newer monitors and projectors that work better with DisplayPort, HDMI, USB-C or Thunderbolt 3. HDMI is especially popular lately, thanks to the demand for connecting laptops to TVs. Alternately, you can use an Apple TV or Google Chromecast device to beam video and audio to your TV wirelessly.
What’s Under the Hood?
The most dominant processor chips come from Intel. Made with ultraportables and hybrid designs in mind, Intel’s Core mobile CPUs are now in their eighth generation, identifiable by model numbers in the 8000s (such as Core i7-8550U) or by their codenames: Whiskey Lake, Coffee Lake, or Kaby Lake R. These chips not only stretch battery life, they also boast improved graphics processing. (See our picks for the longest-running laptops in terms of battery life.) These eighth-generation processors also feature more cores than predecessors, so you will find a true quad-core CPU in your Core i5 laptop, with more power than an older dual-core.
As designs get sleeker and slimmer, manufacturers are using an array of materials in their construction. Plastic (or polycarbonate) is the least expensive and most commonly used material in laptop frames, but manufacturers have shown great ingenuity in making plastic not look cheap. The most common technique is an in-mold decoration or in-mold rolling, a process made popular by Acer, HP, and Toshiba, in which decorative patterns are infused between plastic layers. This process has evolved into etched imprints and textures, commonly seen on laptop lids.
Should You Buy an Extended Warranty?
Most laptops are backed by a one-year warranty on parts and labor. The standard warranty is limited, so it won’t cover accidents that stem from, say, spilling a drink on the keyboard or dropping the system to a hard surface.
Most laptop manufacturers also sell accidental coverage as a separate plan on top of optional extended warranties, so you might end up spending close to $300 for three years of comprehensive coverage. Apple offers a maximum three-year extended warranty ($249 to $379), while most Windows-based laptop manufacturers offer up to four years.