When youre looking to buy a new laptop, it can be hard to know how much to spend for what you need.
The best laptops these days have brilliant processors, mainly using Intel, and will be up to the job of everyday usage, so you don’t need to get too bogged down in technical detail.
If you’re merely looking to buy a great all-rounder laptop to stream programmes on Netflix, browse the Internet and use basic programmes for work like Word, or spreadsheets and presentations, you’ll be fine spending at around the 400 to 900 mark.
Video editors, graphic designers and creative professionals may want to splash out more for extra fancy features, like HD screens, top-notch speakers and loads of storage space. The main operating systems include Windows, MacOS, and ChromeOS, and all are easy to use, with MacOS possibly edging it as the most user-friendly.
Keep scrolling to discover our roundup of the best laptops below. Your Netflix bingeathons are about to go up a gear.
Best laptops for 2021
If you’re on a budget but still want a top-quality laptop, you’ll do well to consider this Huawei MateBook.
Not only is it ultra-thin and lightweight (we like to make our commute as easy as possible), it’s also equipped with brand new Intel i5 core processor, and delivers sharp, vibrant and detailed images.
It doesn’t have 4K display and Thunderbolt 3 ports like Dell XPS 13 or the MacBook Pro but those bells and whistles that many people won’t need or miss. One of the best-value laptops on the market.
2. Dell XPS 13
Now, if you are looking for all the bells and whistles, this nifty Dell laptop is for you. It’s small, light, slim and boasts ultra-high 4K resolution for a super-clear picture.
The HD webcam is now positioned in the centre of the InfinityEdge border at the top, and the sound is spectacular, streaming is seamless and colours vibrant.
There’s an anti-reflective screen for comfortable watching and, last but not least, 90% of the laptop’s parts are recyclable.
Google’s Pixelbook GO is a high-performance Chromebook (so it uses Google‘s operating system), and is the first laptop with Google Assistant built-in – so it’s like having a personal assistant on-hand all day.
Its body is super-thin at just 10.3mm and it’s ultra-lightweight (even lighter than a MacBook Air) at just over 1kg – perfect for carrying to work.
It offers up to 12 hours of use so you can use it all day without a charge, and can easily be flipped into a tablet for easy viewing. If you do need to charge, you can get two hours of use with 15 minutes of charging. It’s got a great clear screen, better than HD but not quite 4K, for excellent viewing quality.
What’s more, you’ll get faster browsing and streaming with the latest 7th gen Intel Core i5. As it’s so brilliantly slimline, you won’t find a HDMI sport to share your screen with a TV. The only drawback on an otherwise almost flawless product.
With an Intel Core i5 processor, this laptop will easily handle day-to-day tasks like image editing, web browsing, casual gaming, and word processing.
It features 8GB of RAM, meaning you will be able to run a good amount of windows at once without obvious slow down.
There’s a crisp, full 14in HD screen for crisp, clear viewing of photos and videos, and a host of handy USB ports. The screen has almost no bezel, the area of a display that surrounds the screen, giving more space to your viewing.
There’s also a nifty shortcut on the touchpad that turns it into a number pad, great for anyone who spends a lot of time working on spreadsheets. There’s not touchscreen or tablet mode, but that might be a plus to some.
For a basic, reliable computer for everyday tasks, Lenovo’s IdeaPad is ideal. Described as being ideal for ‘studying, working on essays, streaming TV on demand, and browsing the web’, it’s perfect for everyone from students to professionals.
There’s a full HD screen and an impressive battery life of up to nine hours, so you’ve got plenty of viewing time.
With clever easy-to-use Touch Bar technology, the function keys at the top of the keyboard now change automatically based on what you’re doing, from system controls like volume and brightness, interactive ways to adjust or browse through content, intelligent typing features like emoji and predictive text.
The screen is large at 16in but is still light and easy to carry, so you get a lot of screen ‘real estate’ without the bulk.
There’s an Intel Core i7 processor, so it can easily handle day-to-day tasks such as work assignments, coursework, work presentations or browsing the net. It’s also brilliant for content creators, creative professionals and designers, as its power-hungry programmes, like image manipulation and video editing software, will see processing times reduced, enabling better productivity.
Did we mention it’s also got a super-clear screen and very loud speakers? A fantastic product with a price tag to prove it.
For a fantastic mid-range option, you can’t go wrong with the Asus VivoBook S15.
It strikes the perfect balance between price, performance and practicality; it’s lightweight yet offers a large screen.
It has a powerful Intel Core is i5 processor, making everyday tasks super-simple. It has a bright, clear screen and lots of handy USB ports.
Battery life is average compared to some, but all in all this a high-performing product at a palatable price.
There’s something so seductive about a MacBook – they’re super-sleek, stylish and design-led.
The most portable MacBook yet, it is, of course, still mighty. The retina screen is fabulously crisp, bright and sharp, and the bezels have been trimmed for more screen real estate. The trackpad features Touch ID unlocking and pressure sensing and, although it’s small, there’s still a full-sized keyboard, that’s also handily back-lit for typing in dim light.
The i5 uses the Intel UHD Graphics 617 GPU to ensure visuals are smooth whether youre playing a game, watching a video or editing a photo.
MacBook Air 2019 features a large battery that works with the power-efficient 8th-generation Intel Core processor to last all day. This means you can expect up to 13 hours of battery life on a single charge while watching iTunes films, or 12 hours of wireless web browsing. It also preserve its own battery life by entering standby mode after its been asleep for more than three hours.
If you love the idea of flipping your laptop into a tablet, the Google Pixelbook is a great alternative.