Best laptops 2020

Our picks of the latest models from the top brands to help you find the best laptop for your needs

 

 

Although our current pick for the best laptop in 2020 is the Dell XPS 15 (2020), there are quite a few excellent options to choose from wherever your budget and needs are. And, if you want a powerful portable you can rely on, whether you’re working from home, at a cafe or while you’re on-the-go, there are no better candidates.

As laptops are so popular, there are a lot of models from many different out there. Picking the best laptop for your needs (and budget) can therefore be difficult. After all, there are a few things to consider before hitting that buy button, from the internals and battery life to the design and added features.

Lucky for you, we took the time to collect our top picks for the best laptops. Every laptop on this list has been thoroughly tested by us, so you know that they’re quality choices. They’re best-in-class with excellent performance and often, outstanding battery life as well.

Don’t worry if your budget is a bit limited. Although we’ve got our premium picks here, we have also included some budget buys, perfect for the economizing crowd. We even have a couple of Chromebook contenders. Plus, our built-in price comparison tool will help you find the cheapest prices and deals on all of these amazing laptops.

We’ve listed the top laptops, Chromebooks and 2-in-1s money can buy. Whether you go with something like our top pick, which marries the ultimate thin and light ultrabook design with impressive performance and excellent build, or one of our other options on this list, you’ll be pleased with any of the best laptop picks on our list.

  1. Dell XPS 15 (2020)

The best laptop of 2020

CPU: 10th-generation Intel Core i5 – i7 | Graphics: Intel Iris Plus Graphics – Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650 Ti | RAM: 8GB – 64GB | Screen: 15.6″ FHD+ (1920 x 1200) IPS – UHD+ (3840 x 2400) | Storage: 256GB – 1TB SSD

  • Fast performance
  • Eye-catching design
  • GTX 1650 Ti is a little weak
  • 15-inch screen might be too large for some

The Dell XPS 15 is our new pick for the best laptop of 2020. Dell’s 2020 update to its 15-inch flagship ticks pretty much every box when it comes to what we want from a laptop. The end result is that the Dell XPS 15 (2020) is about as close to perfect as a laptop can get and one of the best Dell laptops to date; there’s really not a lot we can fault it for. It’s got some of the latest, and best, mobile tech from Intel, and can even be configured with a discrete GPU, making it adept at images and as for video editing software, and even a spot of light gaming.

It also features one of the finest designs we’ve seen in a laptop, and is arguably the most stylish Windows 10 laptop on the market right now. Battery life is also phenomenal, and the price, while high, isn’t that bad considering what you get. We’re used to seeing Dell’s smaller XPS 13 (featured below) at the top of this list, so we’re glad to see its bigger 15-inch sibling bask in the limelight.

  1. HP Spectre x360 (2020)

The best 13-inch laptop

CPU: 10th-generation Intel Core i5 – i7 | Graphics: Intel Iris Plus Graphics | RAM: 8GB – 16GB | Screen: 13.3″ FHD (1920 x 1080) IPS BrightView micro-edge WLED-backlit multitouch – 13.3″ diagonal 4K (3840 x 2160) UWVA BrightView micro-edge AMOLED multitouch | Storage: 256GB – 2TB SSD

  • Stylish and high-quality finish
  • Great all-around performance
  • Battery life takes a hit
  • Can run hot at times

The HP Spectre x360 2-in-1 laptop has had a big refresh for 2020, and the boost in specs, with 10th-generation Intel Core processors and Intel Iris Plus graphics, along with the impeccable 2-in-1 design and pristine gem-cut chassis, means that the new version has a well-deserved spot towards the top of our best laptops list.

HP has been on a roll of late, with the excellent HP Elite Dragonfly also appearing high in our best laptops list (you’ll find it a few places below), but when it comes to build quality, design and pure performance, the HP Spectre x360 (2020) is by far the best 13-inch laptop you can buy right now in 2020.

While it’s certainly pricey, you’re getting some excellent extras, such as formidable security features and Bang & Olufsen speakers. If you care about aesthetics as much as you do performance and overall quality, this is the laptop for you.

 

 

  1. Dell XPS 13

Another brilliant laptop from Dell

CPU: 10th generation Intel Core i5 – i7 | Graphics: Intel Iris Plus | RAM: 8GB – 16GB | Screen: 13.3-inch FHD (1,920 x 1,080) – 4k (3840 x 2160) | Storage: 256GB – 2TB SSD

  • Gorgeous design
  • Excellent battery life
  • Lackluster audio
  • Expensive

The Dell XPS 13 has been a regular of our best laptops list for years, and the 2020 again earns a well-deserved spot. It keeps 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 now rocks 10th-generation Intel Core i5 or i7 processors and a bezel-less ‘Infinity Edge’ display, which means the Dell XPS 13 (2020) is a brilliant performer, while remaining thin and light.

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 2020 model refines the already-brilliant design of the XPS 13, but it does come at a high cost. While this is easily  one of the best laptops in the world right now, it’s also one of the most expensive as well. If you like the look of the Dell XPS 13, but want a bigger screen, check out the Dell XPS 15 (2020), at the top of this list.

  1. LG Gram 17

A super-light 17-inch laptop

CPU: Intel Core i7-1065G7 | Graphics: Intel Iris Plus | RAM: 16GB | Screen: 17-inch 1600p (2,560 x 1,600) | Storage: 2 x 512GB SSD

  • Lightweight design
  • Beautiful screen
  • Long battery life
  • U-series processor
  • Not very rigid

Usually when you’re going for a 17-inch laptop, you have to give up any notion of portability. Typically laptops of this size are these gigantic bulky things, packed with the most powerful components to attract creative professionals. However, while the LG Gram 17 abandons the full-fat H-series processors for Intel Ice Lake Ultrabook-class chips, it makes up for that by being a 17-inch laptop that’s as light as a 13-inch one.

This all means you can get a gorgeous 17-inch 1600p display in a laptop that weighs just 2.98 lbs (1.35kg). When you couple that lightweight design with the fact that the battery lasted more than 14 hours in our testing, you have the recipe for the perfect laptop for anyone that needs to get work done while traveling.

 

  1. Acer Swift 3

The best budget laptop in the world

CPU: up to Intel Core i7-8565U | Graphics: Nvidia GeForce MX150, Intel HD Graphics 620 or AMD Radeon Vega 8 | RAM: 4GB – 8GB | Screen: 14-inch FHD (1,920 x 1,080) ComfyView IPS – 15.6″ Full HD (1920 x 1080) | Storage: 128GB – 1 TB HDD, 16 GB Intel Optane Memory

  • Superb keyboard and trackpad
  • Excellent performance
  • Very reasonably priced
  • Looks a little plain

Beyond the Acer Swift 3’s modest exterior, you’ll find an excellent laptop that boasts plenty of power for work and study. The Swift 3 (not to be confused with the Switch 3 another laptop from Acer) is an inexpensive laptop; however, that plain chassis is all-aluminum and packed with beefy components.

In terms of performance, it gets surprisingly close to the far more expensive Microsoft Surface Laptop. Its display is a little lower-res, but the two are otherwise strikingly similar – other than the price.

This laptop is incredible to use as well, with its roomy trackpad as well as its backlit keyboard that offers a comfortable typing experience with decent travel. If you’re going to be writing a lot – whether you’re traveling or at the office, this is one of the best budget laptops 2020 has on offer.

  1. MacBook Pro (16-inch, 2019)

The best Apple laptop ever

CPU: 9th-generation Intel Core i7 – i9 | Graphics: AMD Radeon Pro 5300M – Radeon Pro 5500M | RAM: 16GB – 64GB | Screen: 16-inch Retina display with True Tone | Storage: 512GB – 8TB SSD

  • Stunning 16-inch screen
  • New and improved keyboard
  • Expensive
  • Limited to four Thunderbolt 3 ports

While we are sad that the 15-inch MacBook Pro is no more, we’ve welcomed the MacBook Pro (16-inch, 2019) with open arms. As thin, light and sleek as ever, you wouldn’t think this was a 16-inch behemoth.

Yet, you’re getting that extra real estate on that stunning display, as well as the latest and greatest components behind it. This is, without a doubt, the best MacBook for content creators, designers and other creative professionals. With amazing (and loud) speakers and a much, much better keyboard to boot.

  1. Apple MacBook Air (2020)

The best cheap Apple laptop

CPU: 10th generation Intel Core i3 – i7 | Graphics: Intel Iris Plus Graphics | RAM: 8GB – 16GB | Screen: 13.3-inch (diagonal) 2,560 x 1,600 LED-backlit display with IPS technology | Storage: 256GB – 2TB SSD | Dimensions: 11.97 x 8.36 x 0.63 inches (30.41 x 21.24 x 1.61cm; W x D x H)

 

  • Lovely design
  • New lower price
  • Screen colors a little muted
  • Battery life only OK

Apple has once again refreshed and improved the MacBook Air, and the 2020 model represents the biggest upgrade we’ve seen in quite a while, easily making it one of the best laptops in the world, and certainly the best affordable MacBook ever made. Apple has now included the latest 10th generation Intel processors, and for the first time you’re able to get a MacBook AIr with a quad-core CPU, which makes a big difference when it comes to perfomance.

You also get more storage as well, with Apple doubling the amount the base model comes with to 256GB. While it’s can’t compete with the raw power of the MacBook Pro 16-inch (above), this is by far the best MacBook Air the company has ever made. Best of all, Apple has once again lowered the entry price, so you’re getting a more powerful laptop for cheaper. What’s not to like about that?

  1. Asus ROG Zephyrus G14

The best gaming laptop of 2020

CPU: AMD Ryzen 7 4800HS – 9 4900HS | Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 | RAM: 16GB – 32GB | Screen: 14-inch Non-glare Full HD (1920 x 1080) IPS-level panel, 120Hz – 14-inch Non-glare WQHD (2560 x 1440) IPS-level panel, 60Hz | Storage: 512GB / 1TB M.2 NVMe PCIe 3.0

  • Best battery life in a gaming laptop
  • Excellent performance
  • Thin and light
  • No webcam
  • Loud fans

The Asus Zephyrus G14 is not perfect, missing a webcam and a Thunderbolt 3 port. However, it’s damn near close to being one, garnering our coveted yet rarely given five-star rating, and making it one of the best laptops in 2020, and our pick of the best gaming laptop overall.

This is an absolute beast of a gaming laptop, delivering an incredible performance with its AMD Ryzen 4000 processors and Nvidia RTX 2060 graphics card while touting best-in-class battery life that will last you all day long, a fast display with a 120Hz refresh rate and a lightweight, ultra-thin design. The best part is that you’re getting all that without burning a hole in your pocket. Don’t get us wrong; it isn’t cheap, and if you’re looking for a more affordable laptop, check out the Dell G5 15 below.

  1. Asus TUF A15

The new affordable gaming king

CPU: AMD Ryzen 5 4600H – 7 4800H | Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660TI – RTX 2060 | RAM: up to 32 GB SDRAM | Screen: 15.6″ (16:9) FHD (1920×1080) 60Hz Anti-Glare IPS-level Panel – 15.6″ (16:9) FHD (1920×1080) 144Hz Anti-Glare IPS-level Panel | Storage: 1TB 5400 rpm SATA HDD – 256GB/512GB/1TB PCIe Gen3 SSD

  • Great 1080p performance
  • New AMD processors
  • Very good battery life
  • Noisy fans
  • Not the most powerful gaming laptop
  • Design won’t be for everyone

If the Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 above is out of your price range, then the Asus TUF A15 will be the best laptop for you. It’s more affordable than the Zephyrus, but it still offers amazing performance, and is our pick for the best budget gaming laptop in 2020.

Much of what we love about the Asus TUF A15 is down to the brilliant AMD Ryzen 4000 mobile processor inside. The Asus TUF A15, however, is not just fantastic gaming performance, but a great value gaming rig with a long battery life and military-grade durability as well. With the help of Nvidia’s best 1080p graphics card (the RTX 2060), this Ryzen 4000-powered laptop will see you through all your 1080p gaming demands without burning a hole in your pocket. Whether you play a lot of competitive esports, or need a rugged laptop, this one’s a winner.

  1. HP Elite Dragonfly

The best 2-in-1 laptop

CPU: 8th-generation Intel Core i5 – i7 | Graphics: Intel UHD Graphics 620 | RAM: 8GB – 16GB | Screen: 13.3″ diagonal Full HD touch display – Full HD touch Sure View display | Storage: 256 GB SSD

  • Impeccable design
  • Excellent battery life
  • Pretty expensive

This laptop from HP is our pick for the best business laptop – put simply, this is one of the most stylish and slimline laptops you’ll ever see, and it’s also packed with some brilliant features and powerful components.

While the HP Elite Dragonfly is primarily aimed at business users, don’t let that put you off. Its incredible design and gorgeous screen makes this the best laptop for anyone who can afford it. Battery life is excellent, the keyboard is a joy to type on, and it also has LTE connectivity. This lets you plug in a SIM card and access mobile internet wherever you are, without having to connect to slow (and potentially compromised) Wi-Fi hotspots.

It’s expensive, but if you can afford it, it’s easily one of the best laptops of 2020.

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