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The best laptop 2019: our pick of the 15 best laptops you can buy this year

TechRadar logo TechRadar 15/07/2019 Matt Hanson
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If you're looking for the best laptop in 2019, you've come to the right place. On this page you'll find the best laptops money can buy in 2019 for a variety of budgets and use cases.

Plus, with Amazon Prime Day 2019 now here, a number of the best laptops have seen big discounts, so now is a great time to buy. We've listed some of the best Amazon Prime Day Deals on this page.

Our current pick of the best laptop in the world — the Dell XPS 13 — has seen some huge discounts on Amazon Prime Day in the UK. Check out the deal below:

Dell XPS 13 (2019) £1,929 £1,449.99 at Dell

The best laptop in the world just got better with this incredible deal that knocks £500 off the latest model. This laptop comes with 16GB of RAM, a 13-inch 4K display and speedy 1TB SSD. We have a feeling this deal will sell out fast.View Deal

Every laptop in this list has been carefully tested and reviewed by us, and only the machines that have really impressed us make their way into our best laptops list. We're constantly updating this guide as well, so as soon as a new laptop gets released – and we deem it worthy – then it will make it into our best laptop guide.

HP Envy 13 (i7, 16GB, 512GB) is just $1,299

$999 on Amazon

Here's a top-end laptop for an entry-level Ultrabook price on Amazon Prime Day in the US. Plus, you can secure this purchase with a built-in fingerprint reader.View Deal

We don't just list the most expensive laptops on this page. We've got the best budget laptops and Chromebooks, as well as a mix of affordable and high-end gaming laptops. Basically, if you're after a certain type of laptop, then this guide to the best laptops of 2019 will have you covered.

We've also included our very own price comparison tool that will ensure that you're getting the best deals for the best laptops.

The best laptops of 2019:

1. Dell XPS 13

New and improved for 2019

SPECIFICATIONS

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

PROS:

+ Centred webcam
+ Battery life better than ever
+ Beautiful optional 4K display

CONS:

- 2019 update isn't huge
- Expensive

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 customisation 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 centre 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

2. Huawei MateBook 13

One of the best laptops in the world - for now

SPECIFICATIONS

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

PROS:

+ Great performance
+ Nvidia graphics
+ Excellent value

CONS:

- 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, like the XPS 13 below – makes it our choice for the best laptop money can buy right now. 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. This recent uncertainty has meant that many stores have dropped the prices of Huawei's laptops, so you may get an even better deal if you act fast!

Read the full review: Huawei MateBook 13

  • This product is only available in the US and UK at the time of writing. For Australian readers, check out a fine alternative in the Dell XPS 13 

3. HP Spectre x360 (2019)

The best 2-in-1 gets better

SPECIFICATIONS

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

PROS:

+ Very well built
+ Powerful and thin

CONS:

- Expensive

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)

4. Apple MacBook Pro with Touch Bar 13-inch 2018

The best MacBook Pro ever, improved for 2018

SPECIFICATIONS

CPU: Quad-core Intel Core i5 – i7 | Graphics: Intel Iris Plus Graphics 655 | RAM: 8GB – 16GB | Screen: 13.3-inch, (2,560 x 1,600) IPS | Storage: 128GB – 2TB PCIe 3.0 SSD

PROS:

+ The best MacBook Pro ever
+ Super fast performance

CONS:

- Expensive
- Not a huge generational leap

If you're after the latest and greatest laptop from Apple, we suggest you look into the 2018 model of the 13-inch MacBook Pro with Touch Bar. While Microsoft had the performance edge over last year's MacBook Pro, with the Surface Book 2, Apple has come out swinging with some seriously beefed up specs for the 13-inch MacBook Pro 2018, and even more so if you go for the larger 15-inch model. The headline Touch Bar – a thin OLED display at the top of the keyboard which can be used for any number of things, whether that be auto-suggesting words as you type or offering Touch ID so you can log in with just your fingerprint – is again included. It's certainly retained Apple's sense of style, but it comes at a cost. 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 with Touch Bar 13-inch (2018)

5. Asus ROG Zephyrus S GX701

The best gaming laptop of 2019

SPECIFICATIONS

CPU: Intel Core i7-8750H | Graphics: Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 (8GB GDDR6 VRAM, Max-Q) | RAM: 24GB | Screen: 17.3-inch FHD (1,920 x 1,080) 144Hz panel | Storage: 1TB M.2 SSD

PROS:

+ Brilliant performance
+ Gorgeous design

CONS:

- Very expensive
- Short battery life

The Asus ROG Zephyrus S GX701 is the best gaming laptop of 2019 thanks to its powerful components that include a 6-core Intel processor, and the latest RTX 2080 graphics from Nvidia. It's also one of the best Asus laptops ever made. Not only is this a brilliant performer, but it's also impressively thin and light as well (by gaming laptop standards). 

Asus' Zephyrus laptops have constantly pushed the boundaries of what gaming laptops can do, and this new model for 2019 is no difference, which is why it has made it straight onto our best laptops list. It's available to pre-order now, but be warned: this is a very expensive laptop. If you're looking for something a bit more affordable, check out the Acer Predator Helios 300 later on in this list.

Read the full review: Asus ROG Zephyrus S GX701

6. Microsoft Surface Laptop 2

A brilliant sequel from Microsoft

SPECIFICATIONS

CPU: Intel Core i5 - i7 | Graphics: Intel UHD Graphics 620 | RAM: 8GB - 16GB | Screen: 13.5-inch PixelSense (2,256 x 1,504) | Storage: 128GB, 256GB, 512GB or 1TB SSD

PROS:

+ Competitive power level
+ Lovely new black colour scheme

CONS:

- No Thunderbolt 3 option
- Too few ports for its size

Microsoft's second attempt at a pure laptop device is an absolute winner in our view, and while it doesn't represent a huge overhaul of the original Surface Laptop, it offers improvements in all the areas we were hoping for, including updated hardware that brings serious performance benefits. This is a laptop that finally delivers on what Microsoft set out to do with the original: a pure, powerful Windows 10 laptop experience. If you're not sold on the 2-in-1 nature of the Surface Book 2 (which is also on this best laptops list), but love Microsoft's premium build quality and design, then the Surface Laptop 2 is the laptop for you. A very worth addition to this list.

Read the full review: Microsoft Surface Laptop 2

7. Dell XPS 15 2-in-1

Luxury meets power

SPECIFICATIONS

CPU: Intel Core i5-i7 | Graphics: Radeon RX Vega M GL Graphics with 4GB HMB2 Graphics Memory | RAM: 8GB | Storage: 512GB PCIe SSD

PROS:

+  Impressive power 
+  Ultra-thin design 

CONS:

-  Kind of expensive 

Last year’s Dell XPS 15 was already one of the best laptops you could buy, but now that Dell has taken the beautiful redesign of the Dell XPS 13 and applied it here – while also making it a convertible. Well, it’s amazing. Not only do you get one of the most aesthetically pleasing 15-inch laptops on the market, but it also packs one of those new Intel Kaby Lake G-series CPUs featuring ‘discrete-class’ Radeon graphics. This means that this laptop packs serious power – even if it can get a little loud.

Read the full review: Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 

8. Acer Predator Helios 300

A budget gaming laptop with brilliant performance

SPECIFICATIONS

CPU: Intel Core i7-8750H (hexa core 2.2GHz) | Graphics: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 + Intel UHD Graphics 630 | RAM: 16GB DDR4 | Screen: 15.6-inch, Full HD | Storage: 256GB SSD

PROS:

+ Lots of power
+ Affordable price

CONS:

- Runs hot
- Loud fans

The Acer Predator Helios 300 is a fantastic affordable gaming laptop that proves that even if you don't have the kind of money to buy the MSI GS65 Stealth that also features on this best laptops list, you don't have to sacrifice too much when it comes to power. The Acer Predator Helios 300 packs some excellent components, such as a new 8th generation 6-core Intel Core i7 processor, Nvidia GTX 1060 graphics card and 16GB of RAM. While it's still an expensive proposition compared to regular laptops, for a gaming notebook you are getting a heck of a lot of power for the price.

Read the full review: Acer Predator Helios 300

9. Asus Chromebook Flip

Premium Chromebook specs, economic Chromebook pricing

SPECIFICATIONS

CPU: Intel Pentium 4405Y – Intel Core m3-6Y30 | Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 515 | RAM: 4GB | Screen: 12.5-inch, FHD (1,920 x 1,080) LED backlit anti-glare | Storage: 32GB – 64GB eMMC

PROS:

+ Elegant tablet mode
+ Tactile keyboard

CONS:

- No out-of-box Android app support
- Middling speakers

When it comes to the best Chromebook laptop, you have a choice between two stark alternatives. There's the premium Chromebook Pixel, which we list further down this page, and then there's the excellent Asus Chromebook Flip C302, which combines premium features in a much more affordable package. For many people, Chromebooks are excellent and affordable laptops that are perfect for students, and the Asus Chromebook Flip C302 is easily one of the best Chromebooks, and one of the best laptops, money can buy. It comes with an Intel Core processor, full 1080p display, touchscreen, backlit keyboard and USB-C port.

Read the full review: Asus Chromebook Flip

10. HP Spectre Folio

A brilliantly stylish 2-in-1

SPECIFICATIONS

CPU: Intel Core i5-8200Y - Intel Core i7-8500Y | Graphics: Intel UHD Graphics 615 | RAM: 8GB – 16GB | Screen: 13.3-inch (1,920 x 1,080) | Storage: 256GB SSD

PROS:

+ Stunning design
+ Impressive build quality

CONS:

- Very expensive
- Speakers aren't great

When HP unveiled the HP Spectre Folio, it made some big claims about how the 2-in-1 laptop would reinvent the PC. While it doesn't quite match the hype, what we do have is one of the most beautifully-designed laptops we've ever tried. Billed as "modern vintage meets technology", the HP Spectre Folio is built directly into a piece of genuine leather. That's not a fancy cover, it's a part of the laptop. It's not just looks that has put it on this list of the best laptops of 2019, the HP Spectre Folio is also a brilliant performer as well, with modern components powering the device. It is very expensive, though, so if you're on a budget, check out the more affordable 2-in-1 Acer Switch 3 below. But, if you want the best laptop for making a statement as soon as you pull it out of the bag, then the HP Spectre Folio is the one to get.

Read the full review:  HP Spectre Folio 

11. Acer Switch 3

A great Surface Book 2 competitor at half the price

SPECIFICATIONS

CPU: 1.10GHz Intel Pentium Quad Core N4200 - Intel Core i3 7100U | Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 505 | RAM: 4GB | Screen: 12.2-inch, 1920 x 1200 IPS LCD touchscreen | Storage: 64GB - 128GB eMMC

PROS:

+ Excellent build quality
+ Superb value

CONS:

- Tricky hinged stand
- No good for games

If you want the Microsoft Surface Book 2 but you want to spend a lot less, the Acer Switch 3 2017 is definitely the your best option. It's designed around essentially the same concept as the Surface Book 2 and it's a less capable thanks to slightly lower power innards, but for most tasks it's a brilliant little machine. What's more, to add further value this 2-in-1 laptop/tablet comes with the keyboard upgrade which means no little extras to pay for. As usual it comes in several different versions, with USB Type-C, 8GB RAM, an IPS display and Intel Core i3 7100U CPU coming with the more expensive option.

Read the full review: Acer Switch 3 

12. Apple MacBook 12-inch (2017)

Last year's MacBook is another winner

SPECIFICATIONS

CPU: Intel Core M3 1.2GHz - Intel Core i7 1.4GHz | Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 615 | RAM: 8GB – 16GB | Screen: 12-inch, (2,304 x 1,440) IPS 16:10 | Storage: 256GB – 512GB SSD

PROS:

+ Updated processor
+ Long battery life

CONS:

- Still only one USB-C port
- Expensive

Last year's iteration of the MacBook is another win for Apple, and it's once again won us over with a gorgeous design, excellent performance and best-in-class battery life. Apple has updated the processors with Intel's 7th-generation Kaby Lake range, which means you get improved performance and longer battery life without sacrificing the thin and light design that the MacBook is famous for. While the MacBook 2017 is not designed as a pure productivity machine, like the more powerful and versatile MacBook Pro above, or as a gaming machine like the Asus ROG Zephyrus GX501, it's still one of the best laptops in the world right now thanks to being a super slim and light MacBook that you can take anywhere without even noticing the weight, and being a powerful showcase for macOS High Sierra. If you're after a MacBook, this year's model is easily one of the best.

Read the full review: Apple MacBook

13. Google Pixelbook

A premium Chromebook well worth its lofty price

SPECIFICATIONS

CPU: Intel Core i5 – i7 | Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 615 | RAM: 8GB – 16GB | Screen: 12.3-inch QHD (2,400 x 1,600) LCD touchscreen | Storage: 128GB – 512GB SSD

PROS:

+ Sublime design
+ Full Android app support

CONS:

- Pen sold separately
- No biometric login

The best Chromebooks have experienced huge success in recent years as a result of their accessibility, and the Google Pixelbook is no exception. Even though it costs twice as much as the average Chrome OS device and doesn’t come with a stylus as you may expect, the Pixelbook is built to withstand the future. It features a pair of Thunderbolt 3 ports for accessories and super fast file transfers, a hinge that flips inside out for watching movies on planes and a taste of Android. You get full access to the Google Play store on the Pixelbook, from playing Sonic the Hedgehog to watching videos in VLC. The icing on this pixelated cake is its long battery life – it lasted nearly 8 hours in our own testing, so you shouldn’t need to worry about the Pixelbook dying on you. 

Read the full review: Google Pixelbook

  • This product is only available in the US and UK at the time of this writing. Australian readers: check out a fine alternative in the Asus Chromebook Flip C302 

14. Acer Swift 3

A budget Ultrabook that performs better than it looks

SPECIFICATIONS

CPU: Dual-core Intel Core i3 – i7 | Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 620 | RAM: 4GB – 8GB DDR4 | Screen: 14-inch full HD (1920 x 1080) ComfyView IPS | Storage: 128GB – 256GB SSD

PROS:

+ Powerful for the price
+ Stellar battery life

CONS:

- Boring looks
- Down-firing speakers

While you may have been convinced that ‘budget Ultrabook’ was an oxymoron up until this point, the Acer has turned this common misconception on its head with the Swift 3. That’s because the company has taken the all-aluminium chassis of the Acer Swift 7 and stuffed some more affordable components inside for everyone to enjoy. It doesn’t run macOS, but the Acer Swift 3 does put the age-old MacBook Air to shame in about every other regard, including the nigh-unbeatable price tag. Of course, in the process of demolishing the competition, Acer did have to cut a few corners in order to keep the price so impressively low. So although you can’t expect much in the way of an Ultra HD display or quality onboard sound, the performance benchmarks alone give even the Surface Laptop a run for its money.

We've also had a glance of the upcoming 2018 edition of the Swift 7 at CES 2018, which comes with boosted graphics and processing specs. It could be a shoe-in for a place on this list when it launches later this year.

Read the full review: Acer Swift 3

15. Samsung Notebook 9

A beautiful MacBook Pro alternative

SPECIFICATIONS

CPU: Intel i7-8550U | Graphics: Nvidia GeForce MX150 | RAM: 8GB-16GB | Screen: 15-inch 1,920 x 1,080 LED | Storage: 256-512GB SSD

PROS:

+ Excellent performance
+ Insane battery life

CONS:

- Squishy Keyboard

While it may not have the best keyboard in the world, the Samsung Notebook 9 was one of the best laptops you could buy in 2018. and that stands in 2019. Packed with more horsepower than the MacBook Pro, but at a much lower price, Samsung has crafted a laptop that has just as much substance as it does style. Plus, on top of its killer specs, it’s lightweight and thin, making this one of the most portable 15-inch laptops you can buy today.

Read the full review: Samsung Notebook 9 

  • This product is only available in the US and UK at the time of this writing. Australian readers: check out a fine alternative in the MacBook Pro 

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.

Linux, Windows or Mac - which one is best for you? Watch our guide video below: 

HP Envy 13 (i7, 16GB, 512GB) is just $1,299

$999 on Amazon

This looks to be quite a solid back to school laptop deal for anyone that’s looking to avoid macOS or wants to get way more hardware power out of their purchase. Plus, you can secure this purchase with a built-in fingerprint reader.View Deal

HP Envy 13 (i7, 16GB, 512GB) is just $1,299

$999 on Amazon

This looks to be quite a solid back to school laptop deal for anyone that’s looking to avoid macOS or wants to get way more hardware power out of their purchase. Plus, you can secure this purchase with a built-in fingerprint reader.View Deal

Gallery: Forbes' Most Valuable Brands of 2019 (Photos)

MSN are empowering Women In Sport this summer. Find out more about our campaign and the charity fighting to promote the transformational and lifelong rewards of exercise for women and girls in the UK here.


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