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Top laptops

Top five laptops for 2019

By Michael Passingham

Article 1 of 4

We help you find the right laptop for you, picking five of the very best, as well as some you'll want to give a wide berth 

Put us to the test

Our Test Labs compare features and prices on a range of products. Try Which? to unlock our reviews. You'll instantly be able to compare our test scores, so you can make sure you don't get stuck with a Don't Buy.

We all use our laptops in a variety of different ways, whether it's to compose complicated spreadsheets, catch up on the latest blockbuster via a streaming service, or simply follow friends on Facebook. 

The models below are the ones we think are some of the best laptops to pick up right now. This is the first section of our four-page guide to the best laptops you can buy, including the the best Windows 10 laptops for all budgets, the best Chromebooks and the best MacBook to choose for your given task. See our cheap laptop guide for the top five budget laptops for under £500 and our picks for the best laptops for students. Use the navigation buttons at the top or bottom of this page to find the right guide for you. 

On this page we've also picked out some of the worst laptops we've tested so you can see what you should be avoiding. Nobody should have to put up with sluggish processors, tinny speakers and dull screens.

Only logged-in Which? members can view our recommendations in the table below. If you’re not yet a member, you can get instant access by joining Which?.

Top five laptops

86%
£979.00
Reviewed

A high-end laptop that put many other Windows models to shame, this is one of our highest-scoring notebooks. Not only does it look great, but it manages to pull out top-drawer performances from its screen, speakers and processor. In other words, it’s the complete package.

86%
£1,749.00
Reviewed

It’s expensive but it’s also worth every penny. While other laptops might score higher overall, none of them score so consistently well across all our tests. If you need a laptop for multimedia projects including photos and videos, or simply want the best of the best, click through to our review to find out more.

82%
£455.00
Reviewed

This Chromebook is fantastic value for money, with a fast processor and premium build quality that makes it look and feel like a much more expensive laptop. If you don't want to be saddled with the complexities of Windows and don’t mind learning how Chromebooks works, this is a great buy.

72%
£649.00
Reviewed

This 13-inch laptop is a great choice if you want the power and speed of an Intel Core i5 processor but don't need the epitome of screen quality and premium build quality. It's a superb choice.

70%
£399.00
Reviewed

This is the best laptop we’ve tested for under £500 thanks to its good screen, nippy performance and all-day battery life. If you’re looking a cheap laptop that won’t break the bank but also won’t baulk at the basics, look no further.

Pricing, recommendations, and test scores correct as of May 2019.

Not found the product for you? Answer three quick questions to find the best laptop.

And here's two laptops to avoid

Cheap but not cheerful, and packed with slow processors, limited Ram, unpleasant keyboards and screens that are hard to make out, here's two models to steer clear of. 

Top two laptops to avoid

45%
£199.00
Reviewed

This brand is apparently popular on Amazon, but our tests reveal this budget laptop is a complete false economy. It’s slow, poorly made and the battery life is awful. Other than that, it’s great.

43%
£299.00
Reviewed

This giant laptop is also a giant pain in the neck, thanks to poor battery life, slow performance and a dire screen.

Five tips for picking a laptop

Processor

Essentially the brains of the machine, the processor is instrumental in making sure your laptop runs smoothly and quickly. Pick a slow one, and you'll be left drumming your fingers as you wait for your program to load. The most common type is Intel's Core i3, i5, and i7 range. The Core i3 will fit the bill for basic tasks like word processing and web browsing, but if you're looking to do anything more intensive, such as graphics editing or playing games, you'll need a beefier processor. 

Ram

Ram is the memory of the laptop, and the more of it there is, the snappier it will be. 4GB is the minimum we'd recommend unless you're prepared to buy a very basic laptop. It's also worth checking how many Ram slots the laptop has, as it may be possible to add more Ram at a later date to give a flagging laptop a second wind. 

Battery Life

Battery life can make or break a laptop. If a machine is packed with the latest specs, but only lasts a couple of hours untethered from the plug socket, it's going to be something of a letdown. Some of the models we've tested can last up to a whopping fifteen hours between charges, but realistically, seven upwards is more than reasonable to look for. 

Screen

A laptop screen is a simple thing to overlook, but it's an important consideration. The very best are bright, crisp and clear. The worst are dulled and lacking in colour. Pick one of these, and you'll be peering into the virtual world through a dirty window. Our tests break down how good screens are in different conditions.

Storage space

How much you can store on your laptop will depend on the size of its drive. Around 1TB should be more than enough for most, but if you start looking at solid state drives (SSD), you'll notice that these come in much smaller configurations than traditional hard drives. The upshot is that they are much faster to access information, meaning that your laptop will start faster and load quicker. If speed is key, go with an SSD. If sheer space is more important, opt for a hard drive.

See our guide on how to buy the best laptop for more in-depth advice.

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