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Which? reveals three new Best Buy laptops

Models from Asus, Lenovo, HP and Dell on test, plus we explore why Ultrabooks cost so much more than the average laptop

In our latest tests, three more laptops have earned Best Buy status, but which machines deserve a place on your shortlist?

It’s been a good year for buying a laptop so far, with nine picking up a Best Buy award since January. This month’s bumper batch of eight notebooks features three budget models for less than £500 and includes models from Asus, Lenovo, HP and Dell. Three of these contenders picked up Best Buys this month.

Make sure you pick a winner: see all our Best Buy laptops.

HP 15-bs series – Big screen, tiny price

First up, the HP 15-bs series, a 15-inch laptop that costs just £330. That’s a lot of laptop for your money. With a power-sipping Intel Pentium processor, a 1TB hard disk and 4GB of Ram, on paper it’s good enough for basic home computing tasks such as some light web browsing. It even comes with a Full HD 1080p screen, which is far from a given at this price.

We’ve seen budget Best Buys at under £300, but can this HP join them? Find out in our full HP 15 bs-series review.

Lenovo Ideapad 720S – A portable powerhouse?

From the cheapest we move to the lightest laptop of this latest batch. Weighing in at just 1.1kg, the 13.3-inch Lenovo Ideapad 720s is seriously portable and could be the perfect companion for someone who travels a lot. Your £900 gets you the latest AMD Ryzen 7 processor, a 256GB SSD and 8GB of Ram.

Our in-depth test finds out whether this laptop is as good as it looks, and whether such a light laptop can last long enough on battery power. Click to read our Lenovo Ideapad 720S review.

Asus VivoBook Pro N705UD – A shiny desktop replacement

The latest VivoBook Pro from Asus is a colossal machine, with a 17.3-inch screen and a weight of 2.3kg. But with that you get a powerful quad-core Intel Core i7 processor and dedicated graphics from Nvidia for gaming and 3D work. Big laptops can often be a bit brutish, however, with compromised portability and questionable ergonomics.

Our Asus VivoBook Pro review gets under the skin to see whether this is a laptop you’ll want to live with.

Other laptops on test:

Under the microscope: Why buy an Ultrabook?

Ultrabooks, formerly a brand of Intel laptop, is now seen as a ubiquitous term (think Hoover) for lightweight laptops that aim for great battery life, brilliant ergonomics and premium build quality.

We currently have 56 Ultrabook reviews on Which.co.uk, but how do they stack up against the rest of the laptop crowd? Click through the data below to see how Ultrabooks compare with all the laptops currently on our website.

It might not be surprising to find that Ultrabooks tend to cost quite a lot more than the average laptop, but it is worth nothing that one thing Ultrabooks don’t tend to offer more of is performance.

Indeed, on average Ultrabooks only score a little less than 10% more than the rest of the laptop market when it comes to performance, but cost around 40% more on average. This shows, then, that if you’re buying an Ultrabook for pure performance, your money is best spent on a larger laptop that willl likely come in a few bob cheaper. However, if portability is at the top of your list, they’re well worth the extra cash.

There are other reasons to pick up an Ultrabook; these are the products where manufacturers like to show off a little. You’ll find slim designs, fantastically bright screens, fast SSDs and, sometimes in high-end models, decent speakers. Not all Ultrabooks are created equal, however; so be sure to check our Ultrabook reviews before you buy.

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