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What Is The Best Brand Laptop Computer To Buy

At CNET, our laptop experts have collective decades of experience testing and reviewing laptops, covering everything from performance to price to battery life. This hand-curated list covers the best laptops across various sizes, styles and costs, including laptop computers running on Windows, MacOS and Chrome.

what is the best brand laptop computer to buy

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If you want more laptop brands and options for a particular category, we also have specialized lists you can look at, including the best gaming laptops, best 15-inch laptops, best two-in-ones and best Chromebooks, as well as the best laptops for college students, designers and the best MacBook Pro alternatives. If you need to stay as low as possible on the price of a new laptop computer, check out our best budget laptop and best budget gaming laptop picks.

This best laptop list is updated periodically with new models we've tested and reviewed. If you need advice on whether a particular type of laptop or two-in-one is right for you, jump to our laptop FAQ at the bottom of the list, and if you're looking to save some money on your purchase, be sure to check out our best laptop deals page.

Thanks to a new design, a larger display (13.6 inches versus the previous 13.3 inches), a faster M2 chip and a long-awaited upgrade to a higher-res webcam, the 2022 version of the MacBook Air remains our top choice for the most universally useful laptop in Apple's lineup, with one caveat. At $1,199, the $200 increase over the traditional $999 MacBook Air starting price is a disappointment. That's why you'll still find the M1 version of the Air retains a spot on our best laptop list. Still, we like everything else about it and it's our first choice if you're considering an Air and don't mind spending more.

There's a lot to love with the Razer Blade 14, which incorporates one of the fastest mobile CPUs available (for now, at least), the AMD Ryzen 9 5900HX, and top-end mobile graphics with the GeForce RTX 3070 or 3080. Its display can go pixel-to-pixel with the MacBook's. And its high-quality build is up there with the best MacBooks but, like an Apple, it's not necessarily the best laptop deal, even compared to other premium laptops.

Apple's 2023 update to its flagship MacBook Pro 16-inch line is a modest refresh from the more significantly redesigned 2021 model; notably, it upgrades to the latest generation of M2-class processors, Wi-Fi 6E and HDMI 2.1. With those updates, it gains support for displays up to 8K/60Hz and 4K/240Hz as well as variable refresh rates. The combination of the old and new enhances the veteran laptop's chops as a powerhouse computer for creation and development work.

The XPS 17 combines the same slim, premium design of its 13-inch linemate but with increased performance possibilities. It can be configured with up to a 12th-gen Intel Core i9 processor, 64GB of memory and a 6GB Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 graphics chip. The best part: Dell trimmed up the chassis so much that you get a 17-inch display in a body that's the size of an older 15-inch laptop. You're getting a lot of power and a big screen in the smallest possible package.

Setting a budget is a good place to start when shopping for the best laptop for yourself. The good news is you can get a nice-looking, lightweight laptop with excellent battery life at prices under $500. If you're shopping for a laptop around $500 or less, check out our top picks here, as well as more specific buying advice for that price range.

Above $1,000 is where you'll find premium laptops and two-in-ones. If you're looking for the fastest performance, the best battery life, the slimmest, lightest designs and top-notch display quality with an adequate screen size, expect to spend at least $1,000.

MacOS is also considered to be easier and safer to use than Windows, especially for people who want their computers to get out of the way so they can get things done. Over the years, though, Microsoft has done its best to follow suit and, with Windows 11 here, it's trying to remove any barriers. Also, while Macs might have a reputation for being safer, with the popularity of the iPhone and iPad helping to drive Mac sales, they've become bigger targets for malware.

The review process for laptops, desktops, tablets and other computer-like devices consists of two parts: performance testing under controlled conditions in the CNET Labs and extensive hands-on use by our expert reviewers. This includes evaluating a device's aesthetics, ergonomics and features. A final review verdict is a combination of both those objective and subjective judgments.

Owning a computer is almost a necessity in 2022, whether it be for business or educational use or just surfing the internet, streaming videos, and checking email. While you used to need a desktop computer to perform more intensive tasks like gaming and photo editing, those days are long gone. Modern laptop computers are powerful enough for virtually any purpose and light enough to take with you to work, school, or even on vacation.

At the same time, because laptop computers can perform a myriad of tasks, they are relatively complex and expensive. Most consumers need some help choosing one. To narrow down your search, below we list the Best Laptops of 2023. In addition, we list the Best 2-in-1 Laptops of 2023, the Best Gaming Laptops of 2023, the Best Business Laptops of 2023, the Best Laptops for College of 2023, and the Best Chromebooks of 2023.

MacBook Pro (2021): The 2021 MacBook Pro places No. 1 in our rating of the Best Laptops of 2023. Available in a 14-inch or 16-inch model, the newest MacBook Pro from Apple has a second-generation M1 processor and battery life of up to 21 hours. This is a best-in-class laptop with a price to match, starting at $1,999. It's especially suited for people in creative fields. Professional reviewers praise the 2021 MacBook Pro as the best laptop the company has ever produced. Design improvements over the previous year's MacBook Pro include thinner screen bezels around the Liquid Retina XDR display and full-height buttons to replace the touch bar at the top of the keyboard (which didn't get a great reception). Even more importantly, the 2021 MacBook Pro has more ports, including USB-C and others.

Acer Nitro 5: Also coming in at No. 5 in our rating is the Acer Nitro. At $699.99, it qualifies as a budget laptop and is particularly inexpensive for a gaming laptop. Despite the low price, the Acer Nitro can run the latest games. Although the base model is a decent gaming laptop, you will need to upgrade the processors, memory, and graphics card for the best experience. Display choices include a high-definition 1920 x 1080 screen or a QHD 2560 x 1440 display. Refresh rates are supported up to 165 hertz, which is great for fast-paced games. Battery life is adequate, but the screen is dimmer than some more expensive gaming computers, according to professional reviewers.

HP Envy x360: The HP Envy can be used as a tablet or a traditional laptop. However, it's relatively heavy at 4.42 pounds, so it doesn't make the best tablet. Professional reviewers do like the 12 to 13 hours of battery life you can get doing basic tasks, although more demanding tasks like watching videos will use the battery up faster. The camera is relatively basic with just 720p resolution, which isn't great compared to the 1080p cameras found in many other laptops. The AMD Ryzen 5 or AMD Ryzen 7 processors held up well in professional testing when it came to performing typical business tasks for which you might use a 2-in-1 laptop.

Razer Blade 14: The Razer Blade 14 also ties for No. 12 in our Best Laptops of 2023 rating. At almost $2,000 to start, it is much more expensive than the other gaming computer we rated, the Acer Nitro 5. However, the Razer Blade has advanced features that will appeal to gamers, like an AMD Ryzen processor, a NVIDIA RTX 3080 GPU, and a refresh rate up to 165 Hz. Professional reviewers also say the Razer Blade's display is bright and sharp. This gaming laptop is relatively small, which means the keyboard can be cramped, and overheating can be an issue. The Razer Blade also can be a bit pricey for what you get, and some professional reviewers prefer comparable gaming laptops that are cheaper.

Gaming Laptops: These are advanced, specialized computers that are specifically designed to play demanding games. As a result, gaming laptops like the Acer Nitro 5 and Razer Blade 14 have high-end central processors and dedicated graphics processors. They also have 512 GB SSDs or 1 TB SSDs for storing games, high-resolution screens with high refresh rates, and other features that make them quite expensive. They are usually overkill for anyone but serious gamers.

Chromebooks: Chromebooks like the Google Pixelbook Go and Lenovo Chromebook Duet are slimmed-down laptops that run ChromeOS, a simplified, web-based operating system owned by Google. They're fine for many everyday computing activities like web surfing, word processing, and video chatting. Although they don't use Windows or macOS, Chromebooks are all the computer many people need.

Some people just want to surf the web, compose documents, and perform other basic computing tasks without the complexity and expense of a regular laptop computer. A Chromebook, which is a no-frills laptop that runs on Google's Chrome operating system, fills that niche. The downside is that they typically come with smaller 128 GB SSDs and slower processors.

All college students need to work with computers, and most of them need a laptop of their own to take notes in class and complete their assignments. Because college students tend to have limited budgets, cost is a major consideration when purchasing a laptop for college.

Size and weight are important factors as well, given that students often have to haul their laptops over long distances to and from class. In addition, some students may need more storage like a 512 gigabyte (GB) SSD if they have large files. Below, we list some of the most important features in our Best Laptops for College of 2021 to help you find the best one for your situation. 041b061a72


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