Best Laptops

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Finding the best laptop is key for anyone who's on the go, whether you need a reliable productivity machine for working on the road or a beastly gaming rig for crushing the competition anywhere. Shopping for a laptop can be overwhelming with the sheer amount of options and configurations out there from every brand, but we're here to help.

See all of our best laptops picks below.

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Dell XPS 13

Specifications

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

Reasons to buy

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Best Overall

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.

Better yet, the XPS 13 is only getting better for 2020, with a brighter and bigger 13.4-inch InfinityEdge display, an improved edge-to-edge keyboard and a more spacious touchpad. Check out our XPS 13 2020 hands-on review for full impressions.

13-inch MacBook Pro

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Apple MacBook Pro (13-inch)

Specifications

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

Reasons to buy

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Best MacBook

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.

hp elite dragonfly

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HP Elite Dragonfly

Specifications

Display: 13.3-inch touch-screen display, 1920 x 1200 or 3840 x 2160
CPU: 8th-Gen Intel Core i3 / i5 / i7
GPU: Intel HD Graphics 620
RAM: 8GB / 16GB / 32GB
Storage: 128GB / 256GB / 512GB / 1TB / 2TB SSD
Weight: 2.5 pounds

Reasons to buy

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Great Design

The HP Elite Dragonfly is the rare laptop that comes along and sets a new standard for the entire category. This 2-in-1 laptop's design is one of the most stunning we've ever seen on a laptop, with incredibly thin edges that measure just 0.6 inches in thickness and a deep blue coat of paint that looks refreshing, mesmerizing and classy all at once. And while the Dragonfly is wonderfully light at 2.5 pounds, it also feels impressively sturdy, has an oleophobic coating to prevent fingerprints and uses recycled ocean-bound plastics to help the environment.

Performance and features-wise, this beauty is a beast. Its stunning 13.3-inch display looks gorgeous for movies and TV shows and crushed our color and brightness tests. Its 8th-gen Intel CPU can handle everyday workloads without issues, and its keyboard is one of the most pleasant we've ever typed on. There's also its incredibly epic battery life of more than 12 hours, which beats favorites such as the MacBook Air and XPS 13. The Dragonfly is on the expensive side, but those who are willing to pay a premium will be rewarded with one of the best laptops on the market.

HP Envy 13t

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HP Envy 13t

Specifications

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

Reasons to buy

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MacBook's Competition

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.

MacBook Pro 16-inch

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Apple MacBook Pro (16-inch)

Specifications

Display: 16 inches, 3072 x 1920
CPU: Intel Core i7 or i9
GPU: AMD Radeon 5300M or 5500M
RAM: 8GB - 32GB
Storage: 512GB - 2TB SSD
Weight: 4.3 pounds

Reasons to buy

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Best Keyboard

The MacBook Pro finally has a good keyboard again, and it's glorious. Apple's new 16-inch MacBook Pro ditches the company's shallow Butterfly switches for its new Magic Keyboard, which offers a softer feel and delightfully deep travel. 

But a great typing experience isn't the only reason to pick up the latest MacBook Pro. The new model's bigger 16-inch display is one of the most immersive you can find on a Mac, with slim bezels and gorgeous colors. It also boasts the best speakers we've ever used on a laptop. Factor in blazing performance with up to an Intel Core i9 CPU and a nearly 11-hour battery life, and you've got the ultimate MacBook for power users.

Asus Chromebook Flip C434

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Asus Chromebook Flip C434

Specifications

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

Reasons to buy

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Best Chromebook

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.

Google Pixelbook Go

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Google Pixelbook Go

Specifications

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

Reasons to buy

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Great Battery Life

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. 

Alienware m17 R2

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Alienware m17 R2

Specifications

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

Reasons to buy

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Best for Gaming

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.

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon

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Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon

Specifications

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

Reasons to buy

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Ultimate Productivity 

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.

Lenovo Yoga C930

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Lenovo Yoga C930

Specifications

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

Reasons to buy

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Stunningly Versatile

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.

Microsoft Surface Pro 6

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Microsoft Surface Pro 6

Specifications

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

Reasons to buy

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Best Detachable 

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 extra 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. Microsoft's newer Surface Pro 7 offers better performance and packs a USB-C port, but its battery life isn't as good as its predecessor. 

Michael Andronico

Mike Andronico is Senior Writer at CNNUnderscored. He was formerly Managing Editor at Tom's Guide, where he wrote extensively on gaming, as well as running the show on the news front. When not at work, you can usually catch him playing Street Fighter, devouring Twitch streams and trying to convince people that Hawkeye is the best Avenger.