With models in our latest batch of laptops running from £200 to £1,300, we’ve cast the net wide to find the ultimate machine.
Big names such as Asus, Dell, HP and Lenovo are all represented but, as ever, our exhaustive tests look beyond the brand. Each model is tested in-depth, with processing power, battery life, screen and sound quality all carefully analysed, as well the important day-to-day factors, such as how the keyboard feels to type on, and how responsive the touchscreen is.
While the test uncovered three new Best Buys, there were also some models that fell short, let down by poor quality screens and sluggish processors that struggle to keep up. Pick one of these and your office documents or homework will feel like a chore.
Laptops Best Buys – see the laptops that came top in our tests
Acer Spin 5
Like a lot of the laptops we test these days, the Acer Spin 5, as the name might suggest, has a rotating screen which can ‘spin’ all the way around and effectively turn the laptop into a tablet. It even comes with a handy stylus thrown in, so props to Acer for that. It’s not cheap though, coming in at around £800.
It has the latest 8th generation Intel Core processor, so you’d expect it to be fairly nippy, and as it’s a lightweight device with a slim profile, it could well be a commuters dream, providing the battery life is up to standard and it’s able to straddle the line between tablet and laptop successfully. Find out what we though in our full review of the Acer Spin 5.
Lenovo IdeaPad 120S
At the other end of the price spectrum is the Lenovo IdeaPad 120S, an entry-level laptop designed for everyday use, and priced accordingly at less than £200. You don’t get the latest Intel processor here, but instead a much more basic Celeron model, which means that this laptop is no speed demon.
There’s also only 32GB storage on board, and the screen isn’t Full HD resolution, but all this is mitigated by the very low price tag. If you’re prepared to make allowances, and this laptop can cope with everyday basic computing, then it could be a decent choice for light use. Read our full review of the Lenovo IdeaPad 120S to find out our verdict.
HP Spectre x360 13-ae series
If image quality is important to you, then the HP Spectre x360 could well appeal, thanks to its high-resolution 4K screen. You’d expect visuals to look pin sharp and vibrant on a display like this. Not only that, but as with the Acer Spin 5, the screen also rotates all the way around to double up as a tablet.
The battery life quoted by HP is impressive indeed, with it stating that in ideal conditions you can expect up to 16 hours. We’re somewhat cautious of these claims, as in our testing experience the numbers given in the advertising blurb rarely match the actual results from our lab. Is the HP Spectre x360 the ultimate laptop? Find out in our full review.
Dell Inspiron 13 5000
This mid-range, 13-inch laptop costs around £500, and for that you’ll get the latest 8th generation Intel Core processor, so you can expect it to be fairly fast. It even comes with a dedicated, entry-level graphics chip too, so you could be looking at quite a bit of bang for your buck here.
For those looking to do office tasks, and potentially a little gaming or image editing on the side, this could well prove to be a versatile machine, but is it a jack of all trades and master of none? Find out in our full review of the Dell Inspiron 13 5000 laptop.
As well as these models mentioned, our latest batch of test results also includes:
- Acer Aspire 3
- Asus Vivobook Flip TP401
- Asus Zenbook UX331
- Dell Inspiron 13 5000 2-in-1
- HP Pavilion 14-bk series
- HP Spectre 13-af series
Need more tips on which model to go for? Read our guide on how to buy the best laptop.