When it comes to picking the very best laptops of 2020, this is the only guide you need: the constantly updated, expertly curated, definitive T3 list of the best laptops for working, gaming, designing, studying or anything else.
We’ve acknowledged that the best laptop might be different for everyone, so we’ve tried to cover as a wide a selection of system types, prices and designs as possible – no matter what your needs, you should find something that fits here.
Laptop discounts continue to pop up at leading retailers like Amazon and Walmart, so if you do your research you may not have to spend as much money as you thought… and finding your way to this guide is a very good start.
No matter if you’re looking for a flexible 2-in-1 hybrid, or a high-performance gaming laptop, or a bargain system at the budget end, a great business laptop or the best sub-£1,000 laptop, we hereby present the best laptops on the market today.
With so many laptop makers producing so many quality computers at the moment, picking a machine that’s right for you – and at a good price point – can be quite a challenge, though. Long lists of tech spec jargon and indecipherable numbering systems don’t help much either.
That’s where we come in: our picks of the very best laptops on the market means you don’t have to do any of the legwork. Whether you’re tempted by the new Dell XPS 13, or more taken with the hyper-luxe Microsoft Surface Book 2, or simply after the best-value laptop bargain possible, we’re very confident you’ll find something to suit in this list.
HOW TO CHOOSE THE BEST LAPTOP FOR YOU
In the dim and distant past you could probably get a laptop for a minimum of £500 and spend up to £2,000 or even more on a top-end one. Some can certainly come in on the high end of that range, even now.
But we’ve recently seen Chromebooks appear, offering dirt-cheap portable computing with features that are enough for a lot of users – like students and people who just need to type while out and about. And, not only that, but what you can do with a £500 laptop has now changed drastically.
The appearance of £200 – and sometimes lower – Chromebooks has forced other laptops down in price too. So now you can get laptops for some absurd prices, especially if you pick up a sale bargain. The best laptops list is constantly shifting, which is why we update this page regularly.
At the other end of the scale are new thin and light laptops that aren’t so interested in offering value. But they often sport all-metal construction, wafer-thin designs and internal guts that can chew through demanding tasks. So what’s best?
You need to weigh up both what you’re going to use it for – so how powerful it needs to be – and how much weight you’re prepared to carry around with you, which will determine screen size.
With a little preparation and forethought done in advance, you’re ready to check out our list of the best laptops on the market.
THE BEST LAPTOPS YOU CAN BUY TODAY
1. DELL XPS 13 (2019)
With a stunning design and powerhouse spec, this is the best laptop in the world for high-end users
CPU: 1.8GHz Intel Core i7-8550U (quad-core, 8MB cache, up to 4.0GHz)Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 620RAM: 16GB DDR3 (2,133MHz)Screen: 13.3-inch, Ultra HD (3,840 x 2,160) UltraSharp InfinityEdge touch displayStorage: 1TB PCIe SSD
REASONS TO BUY
The mighty Dell XPS 13 is a frequent member of our best laptop buying guides and here it’s business as usual. The machine is thinner and more powerful than ever before, and – screen aficionados rejoice – comes rocking a luxe 4K screen too. The almost bezel-less new design is also absolutely lovely, which squeezes a 13.3-inch screen into an 11-inch frame, and the wide selection of ports is right on the money too.
Regarding hardware spec, the Dell XPS 13 delivers premium across the board. You get a 8th gen Intel Core i7 processor, 16GB of RAM, Intel UHD Graphics 620, up to a 1TB SSD and a battery that runs for longer than ever before. And, as for that, admittedly optional 4K screen, what a joy the UltraSharp InfinityEdge touch display is to use and view content.
In terms of ports and features, the Dell XPS 13 comes equipped with two Thunderbolt 3 (USB-C) ports, one USB-C 3.1 port, a headphone jack and a microSD card reader. The laptops camera is a quality widescreen HD webcam, which comes partnered with an array of four digital microphones.
A copy of Windows 10 Home comes pre-installed on the Dell XPS 13.
In conclusion, the Dell XPS 13 is expensive, and the stunning Alpine White model is even more so, but it is simply one of the best laptops in the world (regardless of how you spec it) and an easy recommend as the system that anyone shopping at the high-end of the laptop market should check out.
2. ASUS VIVOBOOK S15
The best laptop on the market today for a superb tech package at a mid-range price point
CPU: 1.6GHz Intel Core i5Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 620RAM: 4GBScreen: 15.6-inch, Full HD (1,920 x 1,080)Storage: 256GB SSD
REASONS TO BUY
What a pleasant surprise the ASUS VivoBook S15 was when it emerged at its recent launch, with the slim and super light weight laptop hitting a wonderful sweet spot in terms of tech delivered to money spent.
Retailing right now for under 450 notes, the VivoBook S15 offers truly excellent mid-range value, with an Intel Core i5 processor packed into its sleek chassis along with 4GB of RAM, a 256GB SSD and a touchscreen ScreenPad.
The fact that the VivoBook S15 weighs only 1.8kg makes it super portable, too, so it is ideal for slipping in bag and working on the go. It’s 1,920 x 1,080 resolution screen is also bright and punchy and at 15.6 inches you’ve got plenty of real estate for multiple window browsing, work or entertainment.
In terms of connectivity the laptop delivers a HDMI port, four USB ports (2 x USB 2.0 and 2 x USB 3.0) and a mic-in port, while the system comes running a full copy of Windows 10 Home.
Simply put, the Asus VivoBook S15 will be the perfect laptop for many users, combining a quality tech spec and everyday-versatile design at a very firmly mid-range price point.
3. HP STREAM 14
Delivering stunning value, the HP Stream 14 is the best laptop for bargain hunters
CPU: AMD A4 9125Graphics: AMD Radeon R3RAM: 4GBScreen: 14-inch, HD (1,366 x 7,68)Storage: 32GB eMMC
REASONS TO BUY
The HP Stream 14 is not the most powerful laptop money can buy in 2020, but what it does deliver is truly astonishing value. Ringing in at such a low price, the HP Stream 14 really does show that you don’t have to spend a lot of money to get a strong computing experience.
The Stream’s 14-inch screen is perfectly large enough to have multiple windows open and enjoy content from your streaming service of choice, while the internal hardware, which includes a AMD A4 9125 dual-core processor, 4GB of RAM and a 32GB eMMC storage drive means that any light computing task is handled with ease.
We also like that despite the Stream 14 costing so little, it also comes installed with a full copy of Microsoft Windows 10, as well as a wide-variety of ports that include a HDMI port, Ethernet port, three USB ports (2 x USB 3.1 and 1 x USB 2.0) and a multi-card media card reader.
The Stream 14 even includes a basic but functional HD webcam, built-in microphone and comes with one year of Microsoft Office use, too.
We think the HP Stream 14 is perfect for users who need a reliable and highly portable laptop for light computing tasks and have a couple hundred notes to spend.
The best laptop hybrid on the market for power users
CPU: 1.9GHz Intel Core i7-8650U (quad-core, 8MB cache, up to 4.2GHz with Turbo Boost)Graphics: Intel UHD Graphics 620; Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 (6GB GDDR5 VRAM)RAM: 16GB LPDDR3 (1866Mhz)Screen: 15-inch, 3,240 x 2,160 (260 ppi) PixelSense display (3:2 aspect ratio; 1600:1 contrast ratio)Storage: 512 GB PCIe 3.0 SSD
REASONS TO BUY
+Massively powerful for a 2-in-1+Battery life is excellent+Screen is superbToday’s Best DealsUS$1,868.98VIEW AT AMAZONUS$1,999View at MicrosoftHIGH SPECUS$2,199View at MicrosoftSee all prices (9 found)
Microsoft’s Surface Book 2 is a 2-in-1 laptop, with a screen that can be detached and used as a tablet, but don’t let that fool you – this is a beast of a laptop full stop and a worthy top entry in our best laptop buying guide.
Not only is its power unmatched in the 2-in-1 sector, but with a powerful Intel Core i7-8650U processor, Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 GPU, and stunning 15-inch 3,240 x 2,160 pixel display, it is more than a match for any laptop in this buying guide.
It’s expensive though – very expensive – and you can get a similar spec for less elsewhere if you sacrifice the ability to detach the screen. However, if you have the budget then this laptop delivers a fantastically powerful and versatile computing experience.
The best laptop for Apple MacBook users
CPU: 2.6GHz six-core Intel Core i7Graphics: AMD 5300M 4GBRAM: 16GB of 2666MHz DDR4 RAMScreen: 16-inch, 3072×1920Storage: 512 GB PCIe 3.0 SSD
REASONS TO BUY
This is the best Apple MacBook on the market today and, for those looking to upgrade to a premium macOS device, the best laptop on the market today.
As you would expect from a high-end Apple laptop, the MacBook Pro 16-inch is supremely slick and powerful, built with a best-in-class fit and finish, and loaded with a brand new keyboard, which is leaps and bounds better than previous incarnations.
The fact the system runs the very latest version of macOS, Catalina, which delivers a plethora of of exclusive, quality apps, and that it is supported by Apple’s first-rate support network for if anything goes wrong, really does add a layer of sheen that many competing Windows 10 machines do not.
On raw specs alone the MacBook Pro 16-inch is pipped to the post slightly by the Dell XPS 15, which can be outfitted with a 4K OLED screen, 32GB of RAM, 1TB of storage, and a more powerful Nvidia GPU, but it is the overall package and usage experience where the MacBook Pro shines.
A no-brainer upgrade for anyone looking for a new, high-end laptop from Apple.
6. HUAWEI MATEBOOK 13
The best laptop for MacBook styling running Windows 10
CPU: up to 4.1GHz 8th-gen Intel Core i7-8565U Intel Core m5-6Y54 (quad core)Graphics: up to Nvidia GeForce MX150RAM: 8GB LPDDR3Screen: 13-inch, 2,160 x 1,440 IPS LED displayStorage: 256-512GB SSD
REASONS TO BUY
+Top-notch performance and graphics+You get a lot of laptop for your money+Looks the part as wellToday’s Best DealsUS$928.26VIEW AT AMAZON€1,158.41View at Geekbuying WW€1,158.41View at Geekbuying WWSee all prices (4 found)
Huawei has been on a roll as of late with its MateBook line and, here, in the MateBook 13, the Chinese maker has managed to deliver Apple MacBook styling and fit-and-finish, but in a system that runs Windows 10 and costs a fraction of the price considering its specs.
You get an 8th-gen Intel Core CPU, Nvidia GeForce graphics, 8GB of RAM, up to 512GB of storage space, and a crisp and bright 13-inch (2,160 x 1,440) screen. It truly is a very well-rounded ultrabook in terms of hardware.
The fact the Huawei MateBook 13 also looks stunning and weighs very little (just 2.87 pounds / 1.3kg) just makes it even more attractive as a do-all work and leisure machine, as too its strong battery life, which instills confidence that you won’t have to stop being productive when travelling.
For the price, there isn’t much else on the market that comes close.
The money no object ultimate gaming laptop
CPU: 2.2GHz Intel Core i7-8750H (hexa-core, 9MB cache, up to 4.1GHz)Graphics: Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q (8GB GDDR6 VRAM); Intel UHD Graphics 630RAM: 24GB DDR4 (2,666MHz)Screen: 17.3-inch, Full HD (1,920×1,080) IPS, Pantone Validated (144Hz refresh rate with Nvidia G-Sync)Storage: 1TB M.2 PCIe x4 SSD
REASONS TO BUY
As we noted in our Asus ROG Zephyrus S GX701 review, and then restated in our guide to the best gaming laptops on the market today, this gaming laptop is the absolute best laptop for playing games on the market today in 2020.
Building on last year’s competition slaying GX501, the new Zephrus ensures it stays on the gaming laptop throne by dialling things up to 11. That means that the system comes rocking an Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 graphics card (Ray Tracing bliss!), a juiced up Intel Core i7-8750H CPU capable of running up to 4.1GHz and a 24GB stack of DDR4 RAM.
The result of all this top-end gaming hardware is, for a portable machine, ludicrous levels of AAA gaming performance. Metro Exodus, with all graphics settings turned up to maximum, and with the gorgeous Ray Tracing lighting tech enabled, looked absolutely stunning and ran like a dream. Equally, the GX701 crushed our 3DMark benchmark tests, too.
A gorgeous and thin magnesium chassis, fantastically engineered vent cooling system, and a 17.3-inch, Full HD (1,920×1,080) IPS, Pantone Validated, 144Hz refresh rate with Nvidia G-Sync panel complete the package.
8. HP ENVY 13
A fantastic all-round laptop that delivers premium features at a competitive price
REASONS TO BUY
+Great performance for an ultra-light laptop+High-quality audio design+Camera kill switchToday’s Best DealsCHECK AMAZON
The HP Envy 13 contains the same 8th-gen Intel Core i7 processor seen in many other systems in this guide, but doubles down with 16GB of RAM and graphics handled by the Nvidia GeForce MX250, utilising an extra 2GB of dedicated video memory. It doesn’t lose out in the pricing stakes, either, costing only a little over a thousand pounds for excellent performance.
With some decent security features such as a fingerprint scanner and a physical webcam kill switch on the side of the machine, it’s a great laptop for general work, whether that’s spreadsheets or image manipulation. It’s also equipped with audio tech from Bang and Olufsen, along with HP’s own Audio Boost technology, meaning that the sound is as clear as a bell.
The trackpad feels a little flimsy but the backlit keyboard is solid and feels nice to use. The integrated USB Type-A ports are a bit tricky to use due to their snap-open design, but it’s a welcome sight to see regular USB compatibility on an ultralight laptop. The 1080p screen is clear and high-quality, with a little ridge at the base that pushes the lower half of the laptop up at a slight angle when opened on a flat surface, to make typing that little bit easier.
9. APPLE MACBOOK PRO WITH TOUCH BAR (2019)
A fantastic MacBook Pro, and the best laptop choice for many macOS users
CPU: Dual-core Intel Core i5 – i7Graphics: Intel Iris Plus Graphics 640 – 650RAM: 8GB – 16GBScreen: 13.3-inch, (2,560 x 1,600) IPSStorage: 256GB – 1TB PCIe 3.0 SSD
REASONS TO BUY
If you can’t stretch financially to the MacBook Pro 16-inch, or simply don’t need that much screen real estate and power, then the 13-inch MacBook Pro with Touch Bar is a great choice.
The Apple MacBook Pro with Touch Bar packs in some excellent internals, with an Intel Core i5 CPU partnered with 8GB of 2,133MHz RAM, a Intel Iris Plus Graphics 650 GPU, and a 256GB SSD. You can add to that the 13.3-inch 2,560 x 1,600 resolution Retina LED IPS display, which is gorgeous as well.
The headline feature though, and one that helps this laptop stand out, is the OLED Touch Bar, which replaces the function keys on previous models to great affect.
Simply put, if you like MacBooks and aren’t constrained by budget, then this is the best laptop for you.
Good specs and a tasteful design make this strong all-round laptop
CPU: 1.8GHz Intel Core i7-8565U processor (quad-core, 8MB cache, up to 4.6 GHz)Graphics: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 Max-Q graphics (2GB RAM), Intel UHD Graphics 620RAM: 8GB DDR4Screen: 14-inch, FHD (1920 x 1080)Storage: 256GB SSD
REASONS TO BUY
+High-end specs+Attractive design+Bright, vibrant touchscreenToday’s Best DealsCHECK AMAZON
As we note in our official Asus ZenBook Pro 14 review, this “is a laptop that scores highly in a lot of departments. It looks really nice, it has plenty of power under the hood, and the price you’re going to pay represents decent value for what you get in return.”
And, really, that sums it up. Well, that is apart from this system’s unique feature – it’s ScreenPad. The SceenPad is a large touchpad that can also operate as a second screen, with Windows extendable and certain apps like Microsoft Office and Spotify granting you extra information or controls. It feels indebted to Apple’s TouchBar.
Specs-wise the Pro 14 really is a rock-solid all-rounder, coming with an 8th-gen quad-core Intel Core i7-8565U processor, 8GB of RAM, and 256GB of SSD storage, as well as an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 Max-Q chipset with 2GB of video RAM. In short, it is a powerful machine that will handle most computing tasks with ease.
11. ALIENWARE AREA-51M
A great all-round gaming system, and the best laptop for mid-tier gaming power
CPU: Intel Core i7-9700 – i9-9900KGraphics: NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 – 2080RAM: 16GB – 64GBScreen: 17.3″ FHD (1920 x 1080) 60Hz Anti-Glare IPS – 144Hz IPS NVIDIA G-SYNCStorage: 1TB SSHD – 2TB RAID0 SSDs + 1TB SSHD
REASONS TO BUY
There’s so much to like about the latest Alienware Area-51m: this is a gaming laptop that’s absolutely packed with power, from the 9th-generation Intel Core i7 processors, to the newest Nvidia laptop GPUs. It’s fair to say you’re going to have to stump up a substantial amount of cash for this laptop, but the performance you get back is worth it.
What also makes this one of the best gaming laptops of 2020 is the design. The laptop is sleek and understated, but still comes with some really nice touches of style, including discreet colour accents and the slim bezels around the display, which is more than 17 inches in size.
A thin and powerful hybrid laptop with genuine gaming credentials
CPU: 3.1GHz Intel Core i7-8705G Processor (quad-core, 8MB cache, up to 4.1 GHz)Graphics: Radeon RX Vega M GL graphics, Intel HD Graphics 630RAM: 6GB DDR4 (2,400MHz)Screen: 15.6-inch, 4K Ultra HD (3840 x 2160) InfinityEdge anti-reflective touch displayStorage: 512GB PCIe SSD
REASONS TO BUY
+AMD Radeon RX Vega M+Luxe aluminium design+Innovative maglev keyboardToday’s Best DealsUS$1,283.92
As we note in our full Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 review, “the Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 is one of the most complete hybrids ever made, scoring big across the board and leaving no obvious weak point for rivals – and critics – to launch a major counter attack. A premium all-rounder 2-in-1 that should appeal to creative tech enthusiasts looking to both work and play hard.”
A shoo-in on our best laptops 2020 list if ever we saw one, then, and a machine that should be at least considered by anyone who is looking for premium upgrade right now. Yes, the Surface Book 2 does have a little bit more power-wise, and obviously has the ability to eject its screen, too, but the Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 is almost half the price.
13. DELL INSPIRON 15 7000 GAMING
The best laptop for gaming on a budget
CPU: Intel Core i5-7300HQ (quad core 3.5GHz)Graphics: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 Max-Q + Intel HD Graphics 630RAM: 8GB DDR4Screen: 15.6-inch, Full HDStorage: 256GB SSD
REASONS TO BUY
The last few years have seen some of the components that would normally be locked to the very top echelon of laptops slowly trickle down into models that don’t have bank balance-destroying price tags.
The Inspiron 15 7000 Gaming from Dell is one such model, managing to pack in a Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 Max-Q GPU in a machine that’ll cost you less than £1,000.
It’s backed up by a robust, quad-core Intel Core i5-7300HQ processor and 256GB SSD of memory, too. Combined together, you’re getting a laptop that can run even the most demanding of games on high settings, and still have processing grunt to spare.
14. GOOGLE PIXELBOOK
Still the best laptop for Chrome OS fans
CPU: Intel Core i5-i7Graphics: Intel HD graphics 615RAM: 8GB-16GBScreen: 12.3-inch, 2,400 x 1,600Storage: 128GB, 256GB or 512GB SSD
REASONS TO BUY
The Google Pixelbook is quite a strange beast, combining stylish looks and decent specs with a Chrome OS platform that doesn’t really need them. It’s also a little older than the other laptops here – if you do consider purchasing this, bear in mind that a replacement might not be far away.
If you can afford it, this is the slickest, smoothest, best-looking Chromebook on the market right now. If you do all your computing on the web, it’s the best laptop around in 2020 (though perhaps not the best value).
Add in support for Android apps, and the Pixelbook Pen, and a dedicated Google Assistant button, and it really is an attractive package. Chrome OS being what it is, you don’t need to worry about security software or system slowdowns, and everything is constantly backed up to the cloud.
15. ACER PREDATOR HELIOS 300
Impressive performance and specs at an affordable price point
CPU: Intel Core i7-8750H (hexa core 2.2GHz)Graphics: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 + Intel UHD Graphics 630RAM: 16GB DDR4Screen: 15.6-inch, Full HDStorage: 256GB SSD
REASONS TO BUY
Finding the middle ground between affordability and knockout performance is perhaps the biggest challenge facing a new laptop buyer. It’s a sweetspot most manufacturers miss, but with the Predator Helios 300, Acer has certainly found it with a Intel Core i7-8750H CPU and a meaty Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 GPU pairing.
This powerful laptop sports a Full HD 17.6-inch display (perfect for giving your favourite Steam games a good showing when on the move) complete with a 144Hz refresh rate and 16GB of in-built RAM to keep you fully stocked with content. As a sub-£1,000 machine, it’s got some serious chops.
16. RAZER BLADE 15 ADVANCED
A hyper-premium, do-anything laptop that should appeal to the enthusiast
CPU: up to 9th-gen Intel Core i7Graphics: up to NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 Max-QRAM: 16GBScreen: 15.6-inch FHDStorage: 512GB SSD
REASONS TO BUY
Laptops are usually labelled as gaming laptops when they come packed with high-end components and some nice visual flair – but of course you don’t have to be a gamer to appreciate those attributes in a laptop. The Razer Blade 15 Advanced is a case in point, and shows Razer is getting better and better at building incredibly premium laptops.
The chassis holding the 15.6-inch display is simply beautifully put together, the internal components are hyper premium, and the lighting system around the keys is really well done too. Whether you’re gaming or working on some spreadsheets, the Razer Blade 15 Advanced really impresses.
17. LENOVO THINKPAD T490
The best laptop for business-focused users
CPU: Intel Core i5-8265U (starting at 1.60GHz)Graphics: Intel UHD Graphics 620RAM: 8.0GB DDR4Screen: 14.0″FHD IPS LED, Full HDStorage: 256GB SSD
REASONS TO BUY
While it has become the norm that companies issue employees with laptops, there are some cases where this isn’t true and Lenovo, having adopted the iconic ThinkPad brand, is here for those exact customers. The design is nothing too fancy, but don’t let that fool you: beneath the surface is a capable laptop at an excellent price point.
The base model, which retails for around £1,069, comes stocked with an Intel i5 CPU at 1.60GHz and beyond, 8GB of RAM, and a 256GB SSD, double what many manufacturers offer as standard. For those willing to splash out, Lenovo offers an i7 alongside double the RAM and storage for as little as £1,429.99.
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