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Last updated: 21 February 2018

Laptops, or notebook computers, cover several unofficial categories from budget models to ultraportable (including Ultrabooks), family all-rounders, professional models and even gaming laptops. So which do you buy? 

Among the primary considerations are size, speed, storage space, connections and battery life.

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We test and review the latest laptop models from major brands to see how they compare, and help you choose the best laptop to suit your needs. Our expert testers compare each model head-to-head to help find the laptops that:

  • are the best performers
  • are easiest to set up and use
  • have the best specs and features.
Our interactive comparison tool helps you find which laptops have the specs and features you're looking for, such as the crucially important battery life and charging time, types of connection ports, weight and performance. Show less

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Brand

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List of brands we tested in this review.

Price

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Purchase price at time of testing. Note that prices may change quickly in this category and can vary significantly between vendors, so shop around.

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Operating system

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The operating system (OS) that came with the computer (updated/patched to latest version before testing).

Screen size (in)

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Measured diagonally, in inches.

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Touchscreen

Test results

Ease of use score

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The ease of use score takes into account the comfort of the keyboard and touchpad, as well as build quality, balance on lap, sturdiness on desk, noise, heat, and ports and slots. All ease of use evaluation was conducted under the laptop's native operating system. 

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Performance score

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Performance score is based on analysis of the results of several benchmarking tools taking in CPU, storage, and Wi-Fi performance.

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Display score

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Display score is based on a quality assessment that takes into account the screen's reflections, angles of view, colour rendering, brightness and contrast, and video playback.

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Battery life score

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Battery life score is based on heavy (50%) and light usage (50%) scenarios.

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Specifications

RAM (GB)

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RAM (random access memory) is the main memory used by the CPU and is measured in gigabytes (GB). These days 4GB of RAM is considered a starting point for most laptop or desktop PCs, while 8GB is common. Generallly speaking, more RAM is better.

Storage capacity (GB)

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The nominal storage capacity of the built-in storage drive, which may be either a hard disk drive (HDD) or solid-state drive (SSD).

Weight of laptop (kg)

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Weight of laptop (kg) without power supply/plug/cord.

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Included in this review

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  • Recommended
  • Overall score
  • Performance score
  • Ease of use score
  • Battery life score
  • Display score
  • Audio score
  • Wi-Fi score
  • Storage write-speed (MBps)
  • Storage read-speed (MBps)
  • Wi-Fi speed (MBps)
  • Average battery life – heavy usage (h:min)
  • Average battery life – light usage (h:min)
  • Charging time to 80 percent full (h:min)
  • Charging time to 100 percent full (h:min)
  • Available user space (GB)
  • Weight of laptop (kg)
  • Weight of power supply (kg)
  • Good points
  • Bad points
  • Brand
  • Model
  • Availability
  • Price
  • Screen size (in)
  • Native screen resolution (pixels)
  • Processor (CPU) type
  • CPU frequency (GHz)
  • RAM (GB)
  • Video graphics type
  • Screen finish
  • Touchscreen
  • Storage capacity (GB)
  • Storage type
  • Wi-Fi type
  • Wireless Display (WiDi)
  • Size (mm, HxDxW)
  • USB 2.0 ports
  • USB 3.0 ports
  • USB-C (USB 3.1 Gen 1 or 2, not Thunderbolt 3) ports
  • Thunderbolt 3 (as USB-C) ports
  • Thunderbolt 2 port
  • SD card slot (full-size)
  • SD card slot (micro)
  • HDMI port
  • Mini HDMI port
  • Micro HDMI port
  • Gigabit ethernet port
  • Rear camera
  • Windows Hello available
  • Backlit keyboard levels of brightness
  • Ultraportable
  • Ultrabook
  • Convertible (tablet mode)
  • Operating system
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