Charles Marcus Lifestyle Magazine

Best Laptops Best Laptops
The best laptops for every need and budget, based on hundreds of laptops researched, compared and  tested. The number of laptops on the market... Best Laptops

The best laptops for every need and budget, based on hundreds of laptops researched, compared and  tested.

The number of laptops on the market can be overwhelming, to help you choose, we’ve picked the best laptops for 2019 focusing on design and comfort, display quality, keyboard and touchpad, performance, battery life and of course value.

1. Dell XPS 13 (2019)

Dell XPS 13 (2019)

The best overall laptop you can buy. Click on the photo to see the Price on Amazon.

+ Slim, lightweight design

+ Strong performance

+ InfinityEdge bezels with properly placed webcam

+ Gorgeous 4K display

– Below-average battery life

The best laptop just got even better. Not only did Dell outfit the 2019 XPS 13 with a new Intel Whiskey Lake processor, but it also fixed one of the most annoying flaws of its predecessor. No longer does its webcam point up your nose, as Dell’s engineers found a way to fit its webcam in a still-small top bezel. Only negative, it offers a lower battery life than some may need, although longer endurance expected on the model with a 1080p display.

2. Acer Aspire 5 (Core i3 2019)

Acer Aspire 5 (Core i3 2019)

The best laptop on a budget. Click on the photo to see the Price on Amazon.

+ Strong performance

+ Long battery life

+ Bright, 1080p display

+ Affordable

– Middling graphics

– Questionable build quality

The Aspire 5 is an excellent laptop at the lower price end. It features great performance for the price, a display that’s brighter than most cheap laptops, and it’ll survive longer than your average workday. Despite its relatively low price, the laptop still delivers a premium aluminum chassis, a comfortable keyboard and an entry-level discrete graphics chip for more intensive tasks.

3. Apple MacBook Pro 13-inch

Apple MacBook Pro 13-inch

Our favorite Apple laptop. Click on the photo to see the Price on Amazon.

+ Great battery life

+ Very fast performance

+ Bright and colorful display

+ Powerful speakers

+ Touch ID is convenient

– Keyboard has shallow travel

– Just two Thunderbolt 3 ports

– Thick bezels

The new MacBook Pro 13-inch packs a much faster 8th Gen Intel Core CPU and both Touch ID and the Touch Bar. And while the keyboard still isn’t great, Apple has introduced minor enhancements that will (hopefully) make it more reliable. Add in more than 10 hours of battery life and you have the best Apple laptop for most people — at least those who want a future-proof system. For the price, you get a much faster processor, brighter display and considerably longer battery life for your money.

4. Asus Chromebook C434

ASUS C434 ChromeBook

The best Chromebook overall. Click on the photo to see the Price on Amazon.

+ Sleek, premium design

+ Thin display bezels

+ Vivid, 14-inch touch screen

+ Long battery life

– Finicky touchpad

– A tad pricey

With a larger display, longer battery life and stronger performance, the new Asus Chromebook Flip C434 is one of the best Chromebooks. The 2-in-1 has a sleek, aluminum chassis and a panel that is both vivid and bright. Thanks to its Intel Core m3-8100Y processor, it’s a reliable multitasker when combined with ChromeOS. And with over 9 hours and 58 minutes of battery life, this laptop can transition from work to play with ease.

5. HP Envy 13t

A great laptop for university with long battery life. Click on the photo to see the Price on Amazon.

+ Aluminum chassis

+ Very good graphics performance

+ Punchy keyboard

+ Long battery life

+ MacBook-look-alike design

.- Display could be brighter

.- Grainy webcam

The new HP Envy 13 isn’t just one of the best laptops around; it’s also a great deal. The new 2019 model gets you an attractive, slim chassis, great performance and powerful speakers. New to the latest Envy are a fingerprint sensor and a webcam kill switch for those who value their privacy.  The 1080p model of the Envy 13 also gets 11+ hours of battery life while both the FHD and 4K display options are bright and vivid. So unless you need a Thunderbolt 3 port, the Envy 13 should be at the top of your buying list. 

How to find the right laptop

When shopping for a laptop, there’s a lot to consider. To help you choose a system, we’ve put our up-to-date list of favorite notebooks above, along with five points to keep in mind when choosing a system.

Budget: What you get for the money

Screen Size: 12 to 14 inches for Portability

Knowing a laptop’s screen size tells you a lot about its portability overall. If you want to use your computer on your lap or carry it around a lot, go for one with a 12, 13 or 14-inch display. If you want to use the computer on tables and desks and won’t carry it around much, a 15-inch model may give you more value.

2-in-1 or Clamshell?

More and more of today’s laptops are 2-in-1s with screens that either bend back 360 degrees or detach so you can use them as tablets. If you like the idea of using your laptop in slate mode for drawing, media consumption or just using it standing up, a 2-in-1 could be for you. However, you can often get better features or a lower price by going with a traditional clamshell-style laptop.

Battery Life: 8+ Hours for Portability

Unless you only plan to use your laptop on your desk, battery life matters. Even within the home or office, having plenty of juice enables you to work on the couch or at the conference table, without being chained to the nearest outlet. For the best portability, we recommend getting a laptop that lasts over 8 hours; the longest lasting laptops endure for over 10 hours.

Specs: 1080p / Core i5 / 8GB Are Best Bets

You can spend a lot of time delving into specs, but here are the key components to think about. If you just want really good mainstream performance, go for a Core i5 CPU, 8GB of RAM, a 256GB SSD and a 1080p screen.

  • Screen Resolution: If at all possible, get a display with a 1920 x 1080 (aka 1080p or full HD) or higher resolution.
  • CPU: An Intel Core i5 provides good mainstream performance. Some budget systems will come with Core i3, Celeron or Pentium CPUs which are good enough for basic tasks, but not heavy mutltiasking. Get a Core i7 or a quad core processor (serial number ends in HQ or HK) for gaming or high-end productivity tasks such as video editing and 3D modeling.
  • RAM: 8GB is ideal for most users. 4GB is acceptable for budget systems. Secondary laptops and Chromebooks may have less.
  • Storage: Unless you’re a gamer or a power user, 256GB of internal storage is probably enough. If at all possible, get an SSD (Solid State Drive) rather than a hard drive, because it’s going to make your entire computer a lot faster.
  • Graphics Chip: Gamers and creative professionals need to do some research and figure out which discrete GPU  is good enough to run their favorite software. Everyone else will be happy with the built-in Intel HD Graphics that come on the CPU.
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