Best laptop 2019: our pick of the 15 best laptops
Our guide to the best laptops of 2019 will help you find the perfect device for your needs. No matter if you’re looking for the best laptop for gaming, a portable 2-in-1 device to take to University, or even a budget laptop or Chromebook, then our best laptops of 2019 can help.
This list of the best laptops money can buy in 2019 is being constantly updated, so the latest models are always included. And, as soon as a new model is announced, we’ll review it, and if it’s worthy, we’ll add it to this page.
Every pick included in our list of the best laptops 2019 has been carefully tested and reviewed by us, and only the machines that have really impressed us make their way into our best laptops list.
When putting together this best laptop 2019 list, we take into consideration a number of things. First of all there’s overall performance. No matter what sort of laptop you’re after in 2019, you do not want a laptop that doesn’t perform well. So, we look at how fast the laptop is to boot up, how well it can handle day-to-day tasks, and for the best gaming laptops, we also put them through their paces playing the latest and the best laptop games.
We also look at battery life. The best laptops need to be able to let you work – and play – for hours on end without you having to scramble for a power adapter. Modern laptops are getting ever more power-efficient, which has led to longer battery lives. For a laptop to be included in our best laptops list, it needs to offer a battery life of five hours or more.
When reviewing the best laptops we also look at the design, features and screens. Finally, value for money is also an important factor when it comes to picking the best laptops for this list.
We’ve also included our very own price comparison tool that will ensure that you’re getting the best deals for the best laptops.
Best laptops 2019 at a glance:
- Dell XPS 13 (2019)
- Huawei MateBook 13
- HP Spectre x360 (2019)
- Apple MacBook Pro (15-inch, 2019)
- Alienware Area-51m
- Microsoft Surface Laptop 2
- Dell XPS 15 2-in-1
- Dell G5 15 5590
- Asus Chromebook Flip
- HP Spectre Folio
- Acer Switch 3
- Apple MacBook 12-inch (2017)
- Google Pixelbook
- Acer Swift 3
- Samsung Notebook 9
The best laptops 2019:
The Dell XPS 13 has been a regular of our best laptops list for years, and the 2019 model is no exception. It retains everything we’ve come to love from Dell’s flagship 13-incher, from the gorgeous and light design, to the powerful modern components that power it. The Dell XPS 13 rocks an 8th-generation Intel Core i5 or i7 processor and a bezel-less ‘Infinity Edge’ display, this Dell XPS 13 continues to be the most popular Windows laptop in the world.
What’s more, there’s a wide range of customization options, so you can really make the Dell XPS 13 the best laptop for your needs. The 2019 model doesn’t bring a huge amount of improvements, but then not that much about the Dell XPS 13 needs improving. Its webcam has been placed at the top center of the screen, rather than at the bottom, which a lot of customers have been asking for. You also get a longer battery life in this year’s model.
Huawei has done it again, and its latest laptop is one of our picks for the best laptop of 2019. As with last year’s Huawei MateBook X Pro, the MateBook 13 comes with some of the latest components, including a discrete Nvidia MX150 graphics card, and a gorgeous lightweight design, that you’d expect to find on a much more expensive laptop. The fact that the MateBook 13 offer so much, yet comes with an impressively low price – compared to its Ultrabook competitors, like the XPS 13 below – makes it our choice for the best laptop money can buy right now. Sure, you may be missing a few minor niceties here and there to achieve such a competitive price, but on the whole, this is the most value-packed flagship laptop that we’ve ever tested. If you’re after a few more bells and whistles, like super-fast Thunderbolt 3 ports and a 4K display, then the Dell XPS 13 or MacBook Pro (also on this list of best laptops) may be better choices. Recently, the US government blacklisted Huawei, which many feared would have implications on whether the Chinese company’s laptops would still get support from the like of Microsoft and Intel. The good news is that both Microsoft and Intel have confirmed that they will continue to support Huawei laptops, which means the MateBook 13 and other models will still get important Windows 10 updates. This recent uncertainty has meant that many stores have dropped the prices of Huawei’s laptops, so you may get an even better deal if you act fast!
The HP Spectre line of Ultrabooks and 2-in-1 laptops has always consisted of extraordinarily attractive devices. So, when we say that the 2019 Spectre x360 takes things to another level, that should mean something. This is one of the most beautiful laptops on the market right now, with its gem cut design and sleek profile. Couple that with the powerful Intel Whiskey Lake processors and long battery life, and you get one of the best laptops on the market right now. Its ability to flip into a Windows tablet is just icing on the cake.
This year’s model of the 15-inch Apple MacBook Pro is the most powerful MacBook the Cupertino company has ever made. By fitting some of the most powerful components in the world (including 6- and 8-core Intel processors) into the iconic slimline MacBook body, Apple has created a formidable professional laptop that earns its place on our best laptops list. Of course, being a MacBook Pro, while it’s powerful and beautifully designed, it’s also incredibly expensive – especially if you start customising its components. But, if you have the budget, this is an amazing device that can serve as an essential productivity tool. However, there’s no denying that this is a pricey machine, so you may want to consider one of the Windows alternatives. If you’re open to switching to a PC, definitely consider the XPS 13 or the excellent MateBook X Pro. But, if you’re a steadfast Apple diehard, this is definitely the best laptop for you.
Apple MacBook Pro (15-inch, 2019)
The Alienware Area-51m is our pick for the best gaming laptop of 2019, so naturally, it also deserves a place in our list of the best laptops money can buy. With an eye catching design and brilliant build quality, which we’ve come to expect from Dell’s Alienware brand, this is an incredible performer, offering a choice of some of the very best gaming components on the market right now, including a choice of 9th generation Intel Core processors, and Nvidia’s latest RTX range of GPUs. Sure, it’s pretty expensive, but if you’re serious about getting the best gaming laptop money can buy in 2019, then you’ll need to expect to splash out a little bit, and the Alienware Area-51m really is worth every penny. However, if this is out of your budget, check out the much more affordable Dell G5 15 5590 later on in this list.
Microsoft’s second attempt at a pure laptop device is an absolute winner in our view, and while it doesn’t represent a huge overhaul of the original Surface Laptop, it offers improvements in all the areas we were hoping for, including updated hardware that brings serious performance benefits. This is a laptop that finally delivers on what Microsoft set out to do with the original: a pure, powerful Windows 10 laptop experience. If you’re not sold on the 2-in-1 nature of the Surface Book 2 (which is also on this best laptops list), but love Microsoft’s premium build quality and design, then the Surface Laptop 2 is the laptop for you. A very worthy addition to this list.
Last year’s Dell XPS 15 was already one of the best laptops you could buy, but now that Dell has taken the beautiful redesign of the Dell XPS 13 and applied it here – while also making it a convertible. Well, it’s amazing. Not only do you get one of the most aesthetically pleasing 15-inch laptops on the market, but it also packs one of those new Intel Kaby Lake G-series CPUs featuring ‘discrete-class’ Radeon graphics. This means that this laptop packs serious power – even if it can get a little loud.
While the Alienware Area-51m (featured earlier in this best laptops list) is the best gaming laptop for people with a lot of money to spare, if you’re on a tighter budget, then the Dell G5 15 5590 gaming laptop is a fantastic choice. Dell’s 15-inch G5 doesn’t have the highest end specs, but it will see you through 1080p gaming and last you up to 10 hours of battery life as well – which is pretty remarkable for a gaming laptop. It also features a stylish design and great build quality, and Dell also allows you to configure the Dell G5 15 5590 to better suit your budget and needs.
When it comes to the best Chromebook laptop, you have a choice between two stark alternatives. There’s the premium Chromebook Pixel, which we list further down this page, and then there’s the excellent Asus Chromebook Flip C302, which combines premium features in a much more affordable package. For many people, Chromebooks are excellent and affordable laptops that are perfect for students, and the Asus Chromebook Flip C302 is easily one of the best Chromebooks, and one of the best laptops, money can buy. It comes with an Intel Core processor, full 1080p display, touchscreen, backlit keyboard and USB-C port.
When HP unveiled the HP Spectre Folio, it made some big claims about how the 2-in-1 laptop would reinvent the PC. While it doesn’t quite match the hype, what we do have is one of the most beautifully-designed laptops we’ve ever tried. Billed as “modern vintage meets technology”, the HP Spectre Folio is built directly into a piece of genuine leather. That’s not a fancy cover, it’s a part of the laptop. It’s not just looks that has put it on this list of the best laptops of 2019, the HP Spectre Folio is also a brilliant performer as well, with modern components powering the device. It is very expensive, though, so if you’re on a budget, check out the more affordable 2-in-1 Acer Switch 3 below. But, if you want the best laptop for making a statement as soon as you pull it out of the bag, then the HP Spectre Folio is the one to get.
If you want the Microsoft Surface Book 2 but you want to spend a lot less, the Acer Switch 3 2017 is definitely the your best option. If you’re looking for one of the best Acer laptops, this one’s designed around essentially the same concept as the Surface Book 2 and it’s a less capable thanks to slightly lower power innards, but for most tasks it’s a brilliant little machine. What’s more, to add further value this 2-in-1 laptop/tablet comes with the keyboard upgrade which means no little extras to pay for. As usual it comes in several different versions, with USB Type-C, 8GB RAM, an IPS display and Intel Core i3 7100U CPU coming with the more expensive option.
The MacBook is another win for Apple, and it’s once again won us over with a gorgeous design, excellent performance and best-in-class battery life. Apple has updated the processors with Intel’s 7th-generation Kaby Lake range, which means you get improved performance and longer battery life without sacrificing the thin and light design that the MacBook is famous for. While the MacBook 2017 is not designed as a pure productivity machine, like the more powerful and versatile MacBook Pro above, or as a gaming machine like the Asus ROG Zephyrus GX501, it’s still one of the best laptops in the world right now thanks to being a super slim and light MacBook that you can take anywhere without even noticing the weight, and being a powerful showcase for macOS High Sierra.
The best Chromebooks have experienced huge success in recent years as a result of their accessibility, and the Google Pixelbook is no exception. Even though it costs twice as much as the average Chrome OS device and doesn’t come with a stylus as you may expect, the Pixelbook is built to withstand the future. It features a pair of Thunderbolt 3 ports for accessories and super fast file transfers, a hinge that flips inside out for watching movies on planes and a taste of Android. You get full access to the Google Play store on the Pixelbook, from playing Sonic the Hedgehog to watching videos in VLC. The icing on this pixelated cake is its long battery life – it lasted nearly 8 hours in our own testing, so you shouldn’t need to worry about the Pixelbook dying on you.
- This product is only available in the US and UK at the time of this writing. Australian readers: check out a fine alternative in the Asus Chromebook Flip C302
While you may have been convinced that ‘budget Ultrabook’ was an oxymoron up until this point, the Acer has turned this common misconception on its head with the Swift 3. That’s because the company has taken the all-aluminum chassis of the Acer Swift 7 and stuffed some more affordable components inside for everyone to enjoy. It doesn’t run macOS, but the Acer Swift 3 does put the age-old MacBook Air to shame in about every other regard, including the nigh-unbeatable price tag. Of course, in the process of demolishing the competition, Acer did have to cut a few corners in order to keep the price so impressively low. So although you can’t expect much in the way of an Ultra HD display or quality onboard sound, the performance benchmarks alone give even the Surface Laptop a run for its money.
While it may not have the best keyboard in the world, the Samsung Notebook 9 was one of the best laptops you could buy in 2018. and that stands in 2019. Packed with more horsepower than the MacBook Pro, but at a much lower price, Samsung has crafted a laptop that has just as much substance as it does style. Plus, on top of its killer specs, it’s lightweight and thin, making this one of the most portable 15-inch laptops you can buy today.
Which type of laptop is best for you?
General laptops: Where the best cheap laptops are found, devices that focus more on practicality than style, portability or power. That’s not to say they can’t be fast, but you’ll typically find a non-Ultrabook clamshell laptop with an HD screen and spinning drive-based storage for less than $600 or £400.
Ultrabooks: Where you’ll find thin-and-light notebooks sporting SSD storage and display resolutions that exceed 1080p. Paired with powerful, albeit mobile-centric components and especially long battery life, the best Ultrabooks will cost a pretty penny – $700 or £500 to $2,000 or £1,800.
2-in-1 laptops: Where notebooks that double as tablets are located. The Surface Book 2 might be a ways off, but many of the best 2-in-1 laptops are available right now. Outfitted with both detachable and 360-degree rotating hinges, these hybrids are the most versatile way to experience Windows 10 (or Chrome OS) on a touchscreen.
Chromebooks: Where you’ll find the best Chromebooks running Chrome OS. These do much of what Windows and macOS can in the browser, focused on cloud storage over local, while recently getting Android app support for touchscreen models. They generally cost less than $300 or £200 and some can even withstand a slight tussle.
Gaming laptops: Need a laptop to play games (almost) just like a shiny desktop PC can? Then you’ll want one of the best gaming laptops. These machines generally cost from $800 or £600 to upwards of $3,000 or £2,800 and they’ll likely be the ones to take advantage of AMD’s laptop-grade Ryzen processors first.
Laptop-tablet hybrids: Designed from the tablet-first approach to laptop-tablet hybrids, the best Windows tablets pack beyond-HD touchscreens, sometimes with kickstands in their frames or provided via keyboard covers. These generally shine with a stylus and range from the budget to the premium price ranges.