Smartphones and tablets have become so dominant in their performance that they can be compared with full-scale computers easily. But, there is still sometimes a need for a computer or best laptop. E.g., whether you are a student or an office worker, typing a file would always be easier on a keyboard. Try and make a 5000 words assignment on an iPhone and you’ll know what we are talking about. In today’s busy world, a computer means a laptop. That you can take with you anywhere you go and doesn’t need a desk and 3-4 power connections to be set up. The best laptops in the market can be hard to find because there are so many options available.
Haven’t you ever been confused about what laptop do you want? We have all been there, models and versions and variants can really cook you up. But look no further; this article will guide you on what you should choose depending on your use. Also, we have the best laptops reviews for you to help when you go out to buy. Before getting into the reviews, you should know what you need from your laptop. Only then you can choose one of the best laptops. We have recommendations based on your requirement. But first, Let me give you the best laptops of 2021.
Best Laptops List 2021
- Dell XPS 15 9500 – Editor’s Choice
- Apple MacBook Pro – Best 16 inch Laptop
- HP Spectre x360 – Best Laptop With Stylus
- Dell XPS 13 9300 – Best FHD Laptop
- LG Gram 17” – Best 17 inch Laptop
- ASUS ROG Zephyrus G14 – Best Gaming Laptop
- Apple MacBook Air – Best 13 inch Laptop
- Acer Swift 3 14” – Best 14 inch laptop
- Dell XPS 17 9700 – Best 10th Gen laptop
- HP Envy X360 – Best Budget Laptop
Relevant: Best Gaming Laptop.
Choosing a Best Laptop in 2021
Apple OS or Windows
The battle between the two giants is never-ending. Apple’s operating system is available only in MacBook by apple. Whereas every other major manufacturer utilizes windows as the primary operating system. Shortly, there is no replacement for those of you who are hooked on the exclusiveness of Apple’s OS. But, it does create some compatibility issues as well. Windows OS is considered more user friendly and readily compatible.
Students or Office Job
Firstly, we all know how both college and office are the same in terms of long hours. You working on that report for your professor or your boss, it’s work for hours at end. So, obviously, the first thing you should be looking for is battery life. You may not have time for a recharge in a long day of classes or if you’re working in the office all day. So, you need something to last you a while. In other words, the best laptops for you should have long battery life.
Moreover, staring at a screen all day typing away can get extra tiring with a low-quality screen. If you have to strain your eyes to read the text, it’s not going to be easy to meet that deadline. The best laptops for you also need sharp and vibrant displays. But, they should be easy on the eyes and not cause any strain.
Also, toiling away at your laptop all day can be physically tiring as well. So, when you are looking for the best laptops, you need to see two more things. First off, the feel of the keyboard should be good. An ideal key travel of 1.5-8 mm is excellent when typing. Secondly, the build of the laptop should be ergonomically fitting for you.
You should see whether you can reach all ends of the keyboard easily without lifting your hands. Also, the thickness of the laptop should be enough to quickly adjust your wrists on without causing strain. Last but not least, the trackpad should be breezy to use. So it does not cause you any lags or hindrances. Also, you are carrying it around all day, so it doesn’t hurt if your best laptop has a sleek and light design.
Keeping your usage and ease in mind, we recommend an Ultrabook. It will be a combination of everything you need. Ultrabooks give you long-lasting battery life and sharp displays. But that is not all, it is a good, powerfully built machine with a sleek and light design. So, an Ultrabook is one of the best laptops for you.
Gamer or Graphics Designer
For choosing one of the best laptops for these jobs, you need to shift your priorities. Energy efficiency and sleekness no longer play an essential part in your choice. The best laptops for gaming can also have these features. But, that will happen for a considerably heavier price. Standard gaming rigs are usually a little on the bulkier side. Why do you ask? Well, the best laptops for gaming etc. need extra and heavier components. Thus the heavy designs.
For a gaming laptop, you need a powerhouse machine. Firstly, you need a dedicated GPU for processing all the heavy-duty gaming graphics. A dedicated GPU is an exclusive graphics card with a RAM type memory of its own. Also, these GPUs are one of the most costly individual parts of your laptop. So, you need to keep your budget in mind. GPU is not the only component required. You need an adequately powered CPU and RAM as well.
All that processing power needs an excellent screen to be shown on as well. For vibrant and deep colours to match the gaming power of your rig, choose a 4K OLED display. That being said, this is an optional expense, and you should do it only if it’s affordable. Another design consideration could be a mechanical keyboard. In the heat of the battle, one keystroke miss could spell the difference between a win and losing. A mechanical keyboard will ensure that does not happen. And, to be honest, that sweet key travel can be so satisfying.
Keeping the processing power in mind, we will recommend a gaming laptop. It will meet all your needs for gaming and graphics rendering. If you are willing to pay top dollar, they can be as sleek as Ultrabooks as well. An average gaming rig, however, will be a little heavily built with relatively lower battery life.
Well, this one won’t take long. As an artist, if you want to go for a laptop, instead of a pen display. The best laptops for you are the 2-in-1 machines. These laptops can be turned into a tablet in two ways. The screen either detaches or folds all the way back with a 360-degree hinge attached to the screen. Also, you need to keep in mind as a drawer, that a stylus is necessary. So, your machine should either come with a built-in stylus or be compatible with the one you like to use.
2-in-1 laptops are also useful if you want to use your computer as a tablet every now and then. But, you need to keep in mind that these machines are not built for demanding tasks. They are mostly everyday use laptops.
We have another lighter and cheaper option available for people with lesser needs. If you need a machine at home for simple browsing and a few internet games, we recommend Chrome OS. The Chrome operating system is a lighter operating system that runs all of its applications through the chrome browser. These Chromebooks, with Chrome OS, usually do not have integral storage and store everything on the cloud. The operating system is light and does not require much power either. Also, a limited application base makes the Chromebooks a lot safer from viruses as well.
You will be able to perform normal browsing and streaming. Also, Chrome OS is compatible with Android applications. So, consider having access to all your mobile games on a laptop. On the downside, you do not have access to a wide range of applications available on Windows OS.
With a fair idea of what you might need in laptops, you can choose easily. You will know what options to filter out immediately and which all should be considered. Now, here are the reviews for some of the best laptops available in the market
Relevant: Best Gaming Laptop Under 1000.
Best Laptops Reviews 2021
1. Dell XPS 15 9500
The XPS 15 chassis is a premium design and sleek looking. But don’t be surprised when you pick it up. Despite the thin design, it weighs a little over 2 KG. As compared to the 2019 model, Dell has improved a lot of design features. E.g. the trackpad is about 62% bigger, and it is overall eight percent thinner as well. Dell has gone with a 4 speakers design, with 2 of them below the laptop and 2 on the top side. The OLED option is not available, but they shifted to 4K sharp IGZO, and the colors look amazing.
The laptop is powered with a 10th Gen core i7 CPU along with 16 GBs of RAM. This makes for an overall powerful combination second only to the newest core i9 by Intel. This configuration alone is enough to power through the most demanding of daily tasks. But that is not all, XPS 15 9500 is equipped with a dedicated GeForce GTX 1650 GPU. This puts it in the category of best laptops for gaming. This configuration is not top of the line in the market right now. But, it will hold its own for the newest gaming titles available in the market. You can use this GPU for graphics rendering and design as well.
With these configurations, XPS 15 9500 is an entry to a mid-level gaming rig. It is suited as one of the best laptops for our category 2, gamers, and graphic designers. Overall, there is nothing to complain about with the design and the performance of this machine.
2. Apple MacBook Pro
I do not think we need to go into much detail here. Apple’s design is prime quality as always. Space Grey Aluminium chassis is slick, and even the feel is fantastic. It is sleekly designed with thin bezels as well. But, Apple only comes with 2 thunderbolt ports which limit your connectivity options. You might need to carry around a dongle, and that is a pain when you paid for premium grade machines.
The MacBook Pro is equipped with a 9th Gen Core i7 processor which is adequately powered for all new tasks. Combine that with a 16 GB RAM, and you have a medium powered performance machine. It is also equipped with the AMD Radeon 5300 M pro version GPU. Although the specs are not the best available in the market, the performance is aimed to be mid-level. It falls in the category of best laptops with medium level performance. Apple’s true tone technology may not be a match for the latest OLED displays but is vibrant still.
The MacBook pro falls in the category of best laptops with medium-ranged performance. With its dedicated mid-level GPU it will give you an ok performance with all the latest games. If your budget allows it, both our users of category 1 and 2 may opt for this laptop.
Relevant: Best Graphics Card.
3. HP Spectre x360
The spectre lives up to its name for sleekness and lightweight. With a 13.3 inches screen, it weighs just around 1 Kg. You can carry it around in one arm without even knowing it’s there. The ultra-thin design is also an attractive feature. With almost non-existent bezels, the overall size of the laptop is just as big as the screen itself. But don’t let the sleekness make you think it’s overly delicate. Although throwing it off the desk is probably a bad idea, but it can survive a few nicks.
The 8th gen Core i7 in along with an 8 GB Ram is a good entry-level combination. Put that along with an SSD storage, and you have a fast booting working laptop. The spectre has an FHD touch screen display 13.3 inches in size. But that is not all; it comes with a built-in design stylus. The graphics are integrated Intel UHD 620. They are going to work ok with routine tasks, but integrated chips are not meant for heavy loads. In other words, you can’t expect it to run the latest games etc.
The touch screen and stylus put Spectre x360 in the category of best laptops for those who have a bit of artist in them. The sleekness and lightweight can also be useful for office workers and students. But, the spectre x360 is not meant for gamers and graphic designers. The integrated graphics can only do so much.
4. Dell XPS 13 9300
XPS 13 9300 is a lightweight and finely built laptop. Although it weighs around 1.3 Kg, just shy of the 1 Kg mark for laptops under 14 inches. But, the difference is hardly noticeable. It has a screen ratio of the sweet 16:10, which is a significant improvement from the previous models. These ratios do give XPS 13 a fighting chance in the ultraportable category, yet it remains behind the leaders. The colour options available are eye-catching. It’s either platinum silver with black palm rest or Alpine white with Frost White palm rest.
XPS 13 9300 features the Ice lake 10th Gen chip. The Ice lake chip is a 10nm processor known for its efficiency. Another striking feature of the Ice lake processor is the Iris Plus integrated graphics. Although they fall way short of a dedicated GPU, they still outperform the UHD 620 by more than 2-3 times. Combined with a 16 GB DDR4 RAM, the laptop is a high-end performer, but in the medium-range best laptops. The 16:10 FHD touch screen display is also a striking feature of the machine.
XPS 13 9300 is in the run for Ultrabooks for students and office workers. The touch screen display can prove useful every now and then as well. With its fast performance and battery life, you’ll be at ease in a long working day. Iris Plus graphics also give it an extra edge over its peers, but it comes with a matching price tag.
5. LG Gram 17”
The LG Gram 17 inches version is unique in its offerings as a machine. Despite having a massive 17 inches screen, it weighs around 1.4 Kg. Shocking right? The weight falls in the category of ultra-portables, and it’s even better than most of them. It’s made from a magnesium alloy and, because of its size, feels rather empty. The laptop does give a cheap light plastic feel, but, it isn’t either of those things.
Armed with one of the latest 10th Gen Core i7 Ice lake CPUs, it is second only to the newest Core i9. Add in DDR4 RAM of 16 GBs, and you have a top tier performer. But, in the top tier of best laptops, it will be grade somewhere in the last. Another plus point is the latest M2 SSD hard drive. If you thought simple SSDs were fast, this would take you for a spin. As a comparison, SSD has a top speed of 600 MBs per second. The M2, on the other hand, can go as fast as 4 GBs per second. With the Ice Lake CPU, comes the Iris plus integrated graphics. As mentioned earlier, they may not be suitable for the newest massive duty games, but perform 2-3 times more than the UHD. Combine that with a 2500 x 1600 17 inches display, and you have got yourself one beautiful looking screen. As a bonus, the LG Gram promises a battery life of 17 hours per charge. Considering you are a human who sleeps at least 6-7 hours a day, it roughly means you have to charge it once a day.
Gram laptops usually get side-lined because of their cheap feel. However, they are anything but that. The 17 inches screen makes it somewhat less portable, but the weight compensates. Users in category 1 may find it very useful because of the extraordinary battery life.
6. ASUS ROG Zephyrus G14
The ROG Zephyrus is a slick laptop from Asus. If you compare it with Ultrabooks like the Dell XPS 15 or the LG Gram 13 or 14 inches, you’ find that it is a bit bulky. But, in the gaming world, you will not find a more thinly looking machine packed with such power. It has sober colour schemes and is portable as well because of the 14 inches screen.
AMD is on a mission to make their place in the market again, and their latest will not disappoint you. The Ryzen 9 series has the 4900H and the 4900HS CPUs. This is all part of AMD’s new “Zen 2” architecture, also known as “Renoir.” 4900H is packed with more power with 3.3 GHz min to 4.4 GHz boosted speed. 4900HS trades off a little of that raw power for power efficiency, but there is nothing to worry about. It comes with a base 3.0 GHz and boosted 4.3 GHz. So you can count on it when you need it.
Combine that with a 16 GB DDR4 RAM and a 1 TB SSD, you have yourself a top tier performer. We grade it somewhere in the middle of the best laptops for gaming top tier. The GPU is something to brag about, RTX 2060 is second only to a very few others in the market. The ROG Zephyrus G14 is a pure gaming flagship, and it lives up to that name. It is recommended only for the category 2 users.
7. Apple MacBook Air
Apple’s design never disappoints. You get a classic, premium-quality look that says “money was definitely spent.” Apple has solved the shallow keyboard problem with its latest versions of MacBook Air as well. Previous models had low key travel making the usage harder, and that is definitely not what you pay top dollar for. But, that is a thing of the past with the newest laptops.
This version of MacBook Air operates on an i3 processor; I know what you must be thinking. But, these i3 processors are the latest 10th Gen Ice Lake CPUs. Although they are not the vanguard of CPUs in the market right now, it doesn’t really cause a problem. Add an 8 GB RAM and all SSD Hard drive, and you have an entry-level performer from Apple. The only problem is the 256 GB space. But, Apple allows several configurations on all its machines so you can upgrade it. Unfortunately, that is not going to be cheap. Also, the Intel Iris Plus graphics combined with Apple’s true tone technology will give you a fantastic performance.
Well, what can I say? The specs are not the top of the line in the best laptops, but they do ease it up on your pocket. If you need an entry-level performance from a good brand for quality assurance, go for it. But only users of category 1 may find this particular version to their liking.
8. Acer Swift 3 14”
Acer brings a star into the ultraportable category with its 14 inches Swift. With an aluminum and aluminum-magnesium body, it weighs just 1.2 Kg. That means throw it in a bag and take it anywhere you want (maybe don’t literally throw it though). It is super thin as well, so you probably won’t even know it’s there. It comes with a fingerprint scanner for quick logins when you need them as well.
If you follow the releases of CPU processors, you know it’s Intel vs AMD all the time. But the latest Ryzen 7 and 9 by AMD actually give you slightly better performance with a lower price. Against Intel’s same category CPUs. The Ryzen 7 is not as good as the 9 but does hold its own in the same category of CPUs. It has an 8 GB RAM, and in combination with NVMe SSD (512 GBs), it is a good medium level performer. AMD’s 8 GB DDR4 tech dedicated GPU is not really something to brag about, but it works. As a little addition, Acer comes with built-in Alexa. Windows has Cortana as well, but Google’s virtual assistant is more popular.
Acer’s Swift 3 is a portable low-level performer. In the world of gaming laptops, you probably won’t even hear the name mentioned. But, that comes with distinct advantages, with a dedicated GPU it amounts to less than most mid-level integrated graphics performers. If you want a cost-effective machine that is portable, performs ok, and allows you to play regular games, Acer Swift is the one for you.
9. Dell XPS 17 9700
The XPS 17 9700 is the first 17 inches laptop from Dell in quite a while. What’s more, is that the extremely thin bezels around the screen give you an ultimate view of the 4 K Ultra HD technology. A premium build and a fantastic feel are also part of the package. Also, Dell utilised the more massive body to add larger and better speakers. But, with all the room it takes up, the portability of the machine took a hit. But hey, 17 inches of screen is for the dreamers is it not?
We have a top of the line performer with XPS 17 9700. If going all out had another name, it would XPS 17. It is equipped with a comet lake 10th Gen i7 CPU which is second to only the latest Core i9 releases. Combines with a RAM of 64 stunning Gigabytes, say goodbye to applications getting stuck forever. The Hard drive didn’t stay behind either. 6 TB of SSD hard disk drive adds quite something to the overall speed and performance of the machine. This here is a top tier performer from the best laptops in gaming. When we talk about gaming, the GPU is the star of the show. With the latest, Turing architecture, GeForce RTX 2060 has few rivals if any in the market.
If you want a top of the line performer from the best laptops in gaming, you need not look much further. But, the 17 inches screen may make some people reconsider as it’s a lot of space. Overall, the XPS 17 9700 has very few rivals when it comes to raw performance and power. Category 2 users will love it.
10. HP Envy X360
We have HP’s flagship 2-in-1 laptop for you. Yes, the screen goes all the way back without breaking and voila, you have a tablet. It is one of the few laptops that blur the line between mid-tier and flagship with the price tag of a mid-tier machine. Although, as with all 2-in-1 computers, the 260 – degree bezels do give it a bulky look. Yet, with a 15.6 inches screen, it stays a lot more portable than most.
For an idea, AMD Ryzen 5 series was meant to compete with Intel’s Core i5. But, they’re comparable with the i7 series. That says a lot about AMD’s performance. The 2500U is not a top-level performer, but competes reasonably well in its category and mostly just wins. 8 GB of RAM is not a lot but is adequate for everyday tasks and moderate gaming requirements. AMD Radeon’s Vega 8 is somewhat comparable to GTX 1050 by NVidia GeForce, but GeForce is the clear winner here. The touch screen operations are nothing to complain about. Overall, a mediocre level performance from the mid-level tier of best laptops. Isn’t it just what you would expect?
A 2-in-1 laptop with quality build and mediocre performance for a medium price. What’s there not to like? Although there are many machines ahead of it in sheer performance, Envy X360 gives fair competition to rivals in its category. Category 1 and to some extent, group 2 users may like it depending upon use.
Almost every company is building all kinds of best laptops with varying configurations. It comes down to the choice of the user when they decide what they want to go with. The important thing is to know what all is available in the market and how are they performing. Not only the complete machines but the individual parts as well. Lastly, the biggest dictator, when buying one of the best laptops is your pocket. So, decide on a budget before you start looking.