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How to buy the best laptop

Easy-to-use laptops

By Zoe Galloway

Article 6 of 6

We pick our top-scoring easy-to-use laptops - a perfect choice for those who value a clear, high-quality screen and well-spaced out keyboard.

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Some laptops are a dream to use, whether you're just surfing the web or editing complex documents. Others, however, can make even simple tasks a nightmare.

To help you find the best laptop, we've brought together a selection of devices that excelled in our lab and did particularly well in our ease-of-use tests. These fantastic laptops are mostly Best Buys and will give you a great experience, while also being superb to use day to day. 

We've picked models to suit a range of budgets and needs, but there are more easy-to-use laptops in our extensive laptop reviews.

Which? members can log in now to see our pick of the easiest-to-use laptops below. If you’re not a Which? member you can unlock our recommendations, and all our reviews, with a £1 trial subscription to Which?.

Best easy-to-use laptops

Apple MacBook Air 13
Today's best price £829.00
Which? score 94%
Reviewed Nov 2016
Best Buy
Ease of use:
5 out of 5
Trackpad:
5 out of 5
Keyboard:
5 out of 5
Battery:
5 out of 5
Portability:
4 out of 5
Screen size (inches):
Member exclusive
Resolution (pixels):
Member exclusive
Weight (kg):
Member exclusive
Processor:
Member exclusive

Not only is this a delightful to use laptop, it's the very best model we've ever tested - combining all-day battery life, bright and vibrant screen and a comfortable keyboard and touchpad.

Acer CB5-311 Chromebook
Typical price £199.00
Which? score 79%
Reviewed Dec 2014
Best Buy
Ease of use:
5 out of 5
Battery:
5 out of 5
Portability:
4 out of 5
Screen size (inches):
Member exclusive
Resolution (pixels):
Member exclusive
Weight (kg):
Member exclusive
Processor:
Member exclusive

If all you really want to do on your computer is surf the web and catch up on emails, a Chromebook could be a good option. This is one of the best around, and it's a bargain price, too.

Asus ZenBook UX305
Typical price £650.00
Which? score 75%
Reviewed Mar 2017
Best Buy
Ease of use:
4 out of 5
Trackpad:
3 out of 5
Keyboard:
4 out of 5
Battery:
3 out of 5
Portability:
4 out of 5
Screen size (inches):
Member exclusive
Resolution (pixels):
Member exclusive
Weight (kg):
Member exclusive
Processor:
Member exclusive

It may not be quite as powerful as other ultrabooks, but this laptop copes well with everyday tasks. Plus, the battery can last a full day before needing a recharge.

Your laptop's operating system will have a big impact on the way you use it. Here are the features to look out for with two of the most popular operating systems.

Microsoft Windows: great things to look out for

Narrator

This is the Windows screen reader. It reads aloud text that appears on screen, and also describes events happening while you're using your laptop, such as an error message occurring.

Magnifier

You can magnify elements of your Windows laptop display to make them easier to read. You can enlarge only the part of the screen where your mouse is pointing - a great feature for reading smallprint on websites.

Mouse options

You can adjust the mouse cursor's size and colour to make it simpler to spot on screen - no more hunting around wondering where the little arrow has gone. You can even dispense with the mouse and control your laptop with your voice.

Keyboard options

It's easy to adjust how Windows responds to your fingers on the keyboard. For example, 'sticky keys' means that instead of having to press three keys at once (Ctrl, Alt, and Delete, for example), you can do the command with just one key. You can bring up an on-screen keyboard if you want to, or type with the mouse or via the touchscreen if the laptop has one.

Visual alerts

If you struggle to hear alert noises, you can change them to visual alternatives, such as a text caption or a spoken dialog, making you aware of things that need your attention.

High-contrast view

Heightening the colour contrast on images, text and other items in Windows can make them easier to see. Plus, you can remove any distracting animations and background images to really clear up your view.

Mac OS X: great things to look out for

VoiceOver

This text-to-speech tool is available on every Mac. It uses a natural-sounding voice, called 'Alex', to tell you what is happening on your computer. You can also control your Mac using just your voice - for example, you can tell it to minimise windows, open menus and take notes.

Zoom

This screen magnifier lets you zoom in up to 20 times, displayed either on the entire screen or just a small section in a separate window. So you could enlarge some text on a web page, for example, or zoom in to a place on a map.

Keyboard options

You can adjust the sensitivity of your Mac keyboard using slow keys, make keystrokes easier with sticky keys - such as Command-S for save - and even have a sound play when you touch a key. If you'd rather use a mouse or pointer, 'keyboard viewer' gives you a customisable virtual keyboard on the screen.

Mouse options

Supersize your mouse cursor so it's easier to see. The computer will remember your favourite cursor size even after you log out. 'Mouse keys' enable you to control the mouse cursor with the keyboard's numeric keypad instead.

Invert colours

Many people find it easier to see things with high contrast, so you can invert the colours on OS X, as well as increase or decrease the greyscale. This change will be reflected all across the system.

Screen flash

This handy feature flashes the screen when an app needs your attention, rather than playing an alert sound that you could miss.

Easy-to-use laptops - our research

From our expert testing, we've compiled a list of laptops that score highly for ease of use-related factors, including convenience, portability and screen quality.

If you’re finding daily tasks a bit more of a struggle than before, these great products can make your life easier. They're all cracking laptops, too, scoring more than 70%, and most are Best Buys.

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