Whether you're looking for a specced-out gaming laptop or a thin-and-light Ultrabook for productivity, finding the best laptop for your needs and budget from among hundreds of options can be daunting. Thankfully, we've done the research so that you don't have to.
Based on that extensive testing and research, our top pick right now is the Dell XPS 13, which boasts a sleek and modern design with powerful specs that should make it a great option for anyone who needs a productivity powerhouse.
That said, there are some other excellent options too. If you're an Apple user, then the 13-inch MacBook Pro is probably the best laptop for you, while gamers should look at the Alienware m17 R2 or the Razer Blade Pro 17. We also love the new Dell XPS 13 2-in-1, which packs a gorgeous display and fast Ice Lake performance into a stunning and slim convertible design.
Here are the best laptops you can buy right now. Also check out our roundup of the best gaming laptops, if you need a dedicated gaming rig, as well as our picks for the best laptops under $500 if you're on a tight budget.
Laptop news and updates (November 2019)
- See our hands-on 16-inch MacBook Pro review and check out the new Magic Keyboard. It's that good.
- The Google Pixelbook Go joins our list thanks to its unique, highly portable design and long battery life.
- Check out our Surface Laptop 3 review to find out why Microsoft's new 15-inch laptop falls just short of greatness.
What you need to know about Black Friday 2019
The Black Friday shopping season is typically the best time of year to save big on a new laptop, and Black Friday 2019 should be no different. We're already seeing huge Black Friday laptop deals on top models such as the MacBook Air and Dell XPS 13 on places such as Amazon, and we expect prices to drop even more once Amazon Black Friday deals really kick in. Also, be sure to check out our coverage of the best Cyber Monday deals for post-Black Friday laptop deals.
1. Dell XPS 13
The best laptop you can buy
Display: 13.3 inches; 1,920 x 1,080-3,840 x 2,160 | CPU: 10th-Generation Intel Core i5-i7 | GPU: Intel UHD to Intel Iris Plus | RAM: 4GB-32GB | Storage: 256GB-512GB SSD | Weight: 2.9 pounds
The Dell XPS 13 has been one of the best laptop options for some time now, but with the 2019 iteration, it's better than ever. The laptop has long offered a sleek and stylish design, a strong build, and modern specs. The 2019 version steps things up to a 10th-generation Intel Core processor, along with up to 32GB of RAM and 512GB of storage. This should be more than enough for the vast majority of users and makes for a superspeedy machine for most situations. Even the base model should be more than powerful enough for most users, with its 4GB of RAM and 256GB of storage.
One of the most-loved things about this laptop compared to other top-tier offerings is its design. The XPS 13 has Dell's InfinityEdge display, which essentially means that the bezels around the display are superthin. There's even a webcam in that thin top bezel. The notebook can also be configured with a stunning 4K display.
2. Apple MacBook Pro 13 inches
The top MacBook for most people
Display: 13.3 inches; 2,560 x 1,600 | CPU: 8th-Generation Intel Core i5-i7 | GPU: Intel Iris Plus Graphics 645-655 | RAM: 8GB-16GB | Storage: 128GB-2TB SSD | Weight: 3.02 pounds
If you use other Apple devices, it's worth considering a MacBook Pro thanks to how well Apple's products all work together. That, however, isn't the only reason you should consider a MacBook Pro. The latest-generation MacBook Pro boasts that classic MacBook design you know and love, excellent specs under the hood, and four Thunderbolt 3 ports, which should be enough for most users — though you may need adapters for some things.
The base model of the MacBook Pro is a very capable machine, offering an 8th-Gen Intel Core i5 chip, 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage, though you can upgrade to an even faster 1.7-GHz chip and up to 2TB of storage if you need more power. All models include Apple's Touch Bar, which makes for a more custom experience based on the app you're using.
3. Acer Aspire E 15
A killer value
Display: 15.6 inches; 1,920 x 1,080 | CPU: 8th-Generation Intel Core i3 | GPU: Intel HD Graphics 620 | RAM: 6GB | Storage: 1TB HDD | Weight: 5.27 pounds
If you're looking for a great laptop but you're on a strict budget, then the Acer Aspire E 15 may well be the way to go. This model of the Aspire E15 comes with an impressive 8th-Gen Intel Core i3 processor, 6GB of RAM and 1TB of storage, all for under $380.
While the Acer Aspire E 15 is a little bulky, that's a trade-off that gets you plenty of ports and even a DVD drive. Port-wise, the laptop comes with a USB-C port, two USB 3.0 ports, a USB 2.0 port and an HDMI port, so you should get all the connectivity you need out of this device.
Read our full Acer Aspire E 15 review.
4. HP Envy 13t
A true MacBook killer for Windows fans
Display: 13.3 inches; 1,920 x 1,080-3,840 x 2,160 | CPU: 8th-Generation Intel Core i7 | GPU: Intel UHD Graphics 630 to Nvidia GeForce MX250 | RAM: 8GB-16GB | Storage: 256GB-1TB SSD | Weight: 2.59 pounds
The HP Envy line of laptops has long offered excellent design and high-performance specs, and this model is easily able to go toe to toe with the likes of the Dell XPS 13 and MacBook Pro. Safe to say, if you're in the market for an Ultrabook, then it's worth considering the HP Envy 13t. That's especially true if you need slightly boosted graphics performance and are willing to pay for the upgrade to the GeForce MX250. This is one of the most attractive notebooks we've gotten our hands on, with a razor-thin chassis that makes the Mac look dated.
Of course, the laptop is pretty impressive spec-wise, too. The base model comes with an 8th-Gen Intel Core i7 processor, and you can even upgrade it to offer a dedicated graphics card for light gaming and video editing. For those uses, there's also an option for a 4K display.
5. Asus Chromebook Flip C434
The best Chromebook for the money
Display: 14 inches; 1,920 x 1,080 | CPU: 8th-Generation Intel Core m3 | GPU: Intel UHD Graphics 615 | RAM: 4GB-8GB | Storage: 64GB | Weight: 3.19 pounds
Google's Chrome OS has been getting better and better over the last few years, and you can even run many Android apps on it now, making it pretty versatile. If you want a laptop to take advantage of all those improvements, then the Asus Chromebook Flip C434 is the way to go, thanks to its sleek design and relatively powerful specs.
Chrome OS is a lightweight operating system, so the Flip's Intel Core m3 processor and 4GB of RAM should be more than enough to provide smooth and speedy performance. As its name suggests, the touch-enabled Flip C434 can flip into both laptop and tablet modes, making it perfect for Android apps. The laptop comes with a nice selection of ports, too, including a USB 3.1 port, two USB-C ports, a headphone jack and a microSD card slot.
6. HP Spectre Folio 13t
Display: 13.3 inches; 1,920 x 1,080-3,840 x 2,160 | CPU: 8th-Generation Intel Core i5-i7 | GPU: Intel UHD Graphics 615 | RAM: 8GB-16GB | Storage: 256GB-2TB SSD | Weight: 3.28 pounds
If you're looking for the ultimate in high-class design, then the HP Spectre Folio 13t is a great option. Unlike any other laptop on this list, the Spectre Folio 13t offers a premium leather exterior, making it look more like a business executive's folio than a laptop. That leather doesn't really add much bulk either; the device is still light and thin, making it a great machine to use on the go.
That's not to say it's all about looks, though. While the laptop is expensive for the specs on offer, you'll still get an Intel Core i5 processor and 8GB of RAM in the base model. And it can be upgraded to be even more powerful. With this 2-in-1's included pen, it can double as a sleek tablet, and it features one of the better keyboards you can find on a high-end machine.
7. Google Pixelbook Go
A solid Chromebook with great battery life
Display: 13.3 inches, 1080p or 4K | CPU: Intel Core i3 / i5 / i7 | GPU: Intel UHD 615 GPU | RAM: 8GB / 16GB | Storage: 64GB / 128GB / 256GB | Weight: 2.3 pounds
The Google Pixelbook Go isn't just more affordable than the original Pixelbook -- it's also better in almost every way. This highly portable Chromebook stands out with a slim, lightweight design that weighs in at just over 2 pounds, as well as a rubberized, easy-to-grip chassis that comes in sleek Just Black and Not Pink variations. The quiet, comfortable keyboard doesn't hurt either.
The Pixelbook Go stands out with its long battery life, as we saw it last well over 11 hours on our test. Couple that with solid performance, a bright and colorful display and a responsive touchscreen, and you've got one of the best Chromebooks yet for those willing to dip into the premium range. Just be aware that the Pixelbook Go is a bit short on ports, and doesn't fold into tablet mode like its bigger Pixelbook brother does.
Read our full Google Pixelbook Go review.
8. Alienware m17 R2
A gaming beast in a slim frame
Display: 17.3 inches; 1,920 x 1,080 | CPU: 9th-Generation Intel Core i5-i9 | GPU: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1660 Ti to RTX 2080 | RAM: 8GB-16GB | Storage: 256GB-4TB SSD | Weight: 5.8 pounds
The Alienware m17 R2 is an absolute beast of a laptop and should offer more than enough power for the majority of gamers, while looking great in the process.
The base model of the m17 R2 comes with an Intel Core i5 processor and Nvidia GeForce 1660 Ti, but the machine can be upgraded to include a Core i9 chip and an RTX 2080 graphics card. That's all within a sleek, 0.8-inch thin chassis that packs a comfortable keyboard and solid battery life for a gaming notebook. Safe to say, with a laptop this powerful, you'll see that frame rate skyrocket.
Read our full Alienware m17 R2 review.
9. Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon
The ultimate productivity laptop
Display: 14 inches; 1,920 x 1,080-3,840 x 2,160 | CPU: 8th-Generation Intel Core i5-i7 | GPU: Intel UHD 620 Graphics | RAM: 16GB | Storage: 256GB-1TB SSD | Weight: 2.40 pounds
The Lenovo ThinkPad line has long been a go-to for those with serious productivity demands, and the 7th-gen ThinkPad X1 Carbon should be no exception. The laptop not only offers all the specs you would expect from a flagship laptop, but also has a sleek and slim aluminum chassis, making this machine perfect for those that need something to take to and from work or school.
Around the laptop, you'll get plenty of ports, including two Thunderbolt 3 ports, two USB 3.1 ports and an HDMI port. While there's no Ethernet port, you can get an adapter from Lenovo. You'll also get Lenovo's best-in-class keyboard and a stunning HDR-ready display.
10. Lenovo Yoga C930
Display: 13.9 inches; 1,920 x 1,080-3,840 x 2,160 | CPU: 8th-Generation Intel Core i5-i7 | GPU: Intel UHD Graphics 620 | RAM: 8GB-16GB | Storage: 256GB-1TB SSD | Weight: 3.04 pounds
The Lenovo Yoga C930 is easily one of the best laptops of the past year or so, and if you're looking for a laptop to rival our top pick, the Dell XPS 13, this could be it. The laptop is super sleek and light, features a convertible design with an included stylus, and has very solid specs under the hood.
One of the best things about the Yoga C930's design is the hinge, which actually doubles as a kind of soundbar, and the result is relatively good sound quality. Spec-wise, the base model of this 2-in-1 is pretty powerful, thanks to an Intel Core i5 processor and 8GB of RAM, but if you need more, there are some great upgrade options.
11. Microsoft Surface Pro 6
The detachable to beat
Display: 12.3 inches; 2,736 x 1,824 | CPU: 8th-Generation Intel Core i5-i7 | GPU: Intel UHD 620 | RAM: 8GB-16GB | Storage: 256GB-1TB | Weight: 1.70-1.73 pounds
If you like the idea of a 2-in-1 but want a detachable display instead of a foldable one, then the Microsoft Surface Pro 6 is easily the way to go. The device offers powerful specs for the money, plus you can use the display in tablet mode, leaving behind the bulk of a keyboard and touchpad. That also makes the Surface Pro 6 one of the most portable Windows 10 devices out there, though you'll have to pay an extra $160 for Microsoft's Type Cover keyboard if you want the full laptop experience.
While the Surface Pro 6 is ultraportable, it doesn't sacrifice too much on performance. In the base model, you'll get an Intel Core i5 processor, 8GB of RAM and 256GB of storage. There are some great upgrade options, too, including the ability to get up to a huge 1TB of storage.
While the Surface Pro 6 has long been our favorite detachable (and just got a decent price cut), know that a replacement is coming. Check out our Surface Pro 7 hands-on review if you're wondering if the latest Surface is worth it.
12. Razer Blade Pro 17
A gaming laptop for getting work done
Display: 17.3 inches; 1,920 x 1,080 | CPU: 9th-Generation Intel Core i7 | GPU: Nvidia GeForce RTX 2060 to RTX 2080 Max-Q | RAM: 16GB-64GB | Storage: 512GB-2TB | Weight: 6.06 pounds
Most gaming laptops are a little bulkier than their productivity-focused counterparts, but the Razer Blade Pro 17 proves that this doesn't necessarily have to be the case. This laptop may not be superlight, but it is relatively slim and stylish, and it should fit in most backpacks for easy carrying. The Razer Blade Pro 17 comes in at only 0.78 inches thick, which is pretty slim.
Like with any gaming laptop, the emphasis here is on ultrapowerful specs, and the Razer Blade Pro 17 doesn't disappoint. The laptop offers an Intel Core i7 processor with an Nvidia GeForce RTX 2060 in the base model, and that already-powerful graphics card can be upgraded to an impressive RTX 2080 Max-Q. Factor in impressive speakers and blazing transfer speeds, and you've got an excellent machine for both work and play.