Laptops remain arguably the most significant thing that ever happened to computers and the ability to carry your desktop work and entertainment at all times continues to impress to this day, especially given the latest advancements in the industry. With the holiday season and discounts fast approaching, now is a perfect opportunity to upgrade your travel companion or treat your loved one to one such gadget. AndroidHeadlines is here to help you do that with a list of the very best laptops the market currently has to offer across all price segments and intended use cases.
Prices below are subject to change. This post will be updated regularly to ensure the most up-to-date pricing, but during the holidays, there will be flash sales and price drops so keep that in mind.
Best Overall Laptop – if money isn't an issue, this is the one to buy
The Huawei MateBook X Pro Signature Edition is truly the ultimate laptop – it's thin, lightweight, packed with the latest processor and more RAM than you'll need in a long time, features a nearly bezel-free display with a 3K (3,000 x 2,000) resolution, offers up to 15 hours of operation on a single battery charge, has a privacy-focused camera that physically emerges from its top when in use, and even ships with the most ingenious fingerprint sensor ever implemented into a portable computer that's essentially a power button and will authenticate you during the very process of powering on the laptop, without wasting your time. It's an intelligently designed device that's not even outrageously expensive given what it has on offer, so if you have a sizeable budget and are looking for a no-compromise (Windows) laptop, you won't find anything better than the Huawei MateBook X Pro Signature Edition this holiday season.
Best Value Laptop – making your every last cent count
While the Acer Predator Helios 300 is technically a gaming laptop, it's by far the most value-oriented proposition on the market in its category. Getting the very latest computer components in a portable form factor usually sets you back well over $1,600, so the fact that this beast is $500 cheaper makes it all the more impressive, and that's not even accounting for holiday discounts that are likely to affect it in the coming weeks. Still, even at full price, the Acer Predator Helios 300 (2018 model) is the laptop to buy if you're looking to make your every cent count. Besides powerhouse internals, it also features a robust metal build and a backlit keyboard which add a lot to the premium experience on offer.Acer Predator Helios 300 - From $1,190 (Amazon)
Best Laptop For Students – a top performer in class and beyond
Students on a tight budget need a laptop that's both versatile, reliable, and doesn't require them to break the bank, and the Acer Switch 3 delivers on all of those fronts and then some. This convertible features decent specs for its price and comes with a pen for note-taking in class or any other situation. Coupled with an eight-hour battery that's quick to recharge and 64GB of storage, as well as a 12.2-inch FHD screen that's easy on the eyes, the Acer Switch 3 has the ability to take your through high school or college while simultaneously serving as a convenient option for watching movies at home.Acer Switch 3 - From $429 (Amazon)
Best Laptop For Travel – see the world without compromising on convenience
The Acer Swift 3 is a stellar travel laptop whose 14-inch screen is spacious enough for watching movies and playing games while still being sufficiently compact so that it fits in most bags. It also offers decent mid-range specs which should be enough to run even some of the latest games on low settings, whereas its battery will provide you with around ten hours of video playback and is quick to recharge. Given how an SSD and a backlit keyboard are also part of this slim package, there's no reason to look beyond the Acer Swift 3 is you're looking for a sensibly priced travel companion that will allow you to take your work and entertainment with you at all times.
Best Laptop For Gaming – don't sacrifice that frame rate just because you're on the go
A no-compromise gaming experience on the go is what the CUK GS63VR Stealth PRO delivers regardless of your preferred game genre or means of transportation. Naturally, it also costs a pretty penny but that's kind of the nature of the beast when it comes to gaming laptops. Note that the cutting-edge cooling system makes the CUK GS63VR Stealth PRO a much better option for playing games than even something like the Huawei MateBook X because this powerhouse will be able to maintain its peak performance level — and stay significantly cooler — for much longer. If you dread the idea of dropping frames while running the latest AAA on ultra settings and want to take your Steam library with you even while traveling, the CUK GS63VR Stealth PRO is the laptop to buy in 2018.CUK GS63VR Stealth PRO - From $1,249 (Amazon)
Best Laptop For Programming – for maximum efficiency, wherever you are
The Lenovo ThinkPad E480 is arguably the world's most ideal laptop for programming as it features everything you need for an efficient workflow while cutting back on everything you don't in favor of a sensible price tag. It has a fast seventh-generation Intel processor, a solid state drive, keyboard that doesn't mind spills, and Lenovo's TrackPoint technology that will keep your hands above the keyboard and make you forget about your trackpad if you're really going for the most efficient setup. Coupled with a long-lasting battery and a spacious 14-inch HD screen, this laptop will have you spitting out millions of lines of code in no time.Lenovo ThinkPad E480 - From $749.95 (Amazon)
Best 2-in-1 Laptop – nothing beats pure versatility
The Surface lineup has always been about Microsoft delivering a premium Windows computing experience on the go and the new Surface Book 2 is the epitome of that strategy, featuring the latest and greatest internals and a body made of machined magnesium that's on a whole other level of premium even when compared to similarly priced convertibles. Paired with an extremely functional 3:2 aspect ratio, QHD display, and the best fulcrum hinge on the market, it's next to impossible to look past the Surface Book 2 if a high-performing 2-in-1 is what you're after. Naturally, buying a Surface device also means getting a massive discount on Microsoft's software which you can bundle alongside your purchase, so if you're after the most versatile portable computer on the market, the Surface Book 2 is what you need.Microsoft Surface Book 2 (13.5-inch) - From $1,245 (Amazon)
Longest-Lasting Laptop – battery life like no other
There are many reasons why the Dell XPS 13 remains one of the best laptops in the world but one department wherein it truly beats all of its competition is battery life. With a bit of tweaking and good habits, you'll be able to get up to fifteen hours of operation from the Dell XPS 13 on a single charge, which is nothing short of stellar. Naturally, its bezel-less design and powerful specs also make it a stylish powerhouse that's suitable for traveling, video editing, and even gaming, so while it may not hold the title of the absolute best laptop out there any longer, this is still the device to buy if battery life is your main concern.Dell XPS 13 9360 - From $919 (Amazon)
Best Laptop For Photo & Video Editing – because professionals need professional tools
MacBooks are a polarizing product line; some swear by them, others claim they're overpriced, but one thing that's not up to debate is that Adobe's photo and video editing tools still work best on macOS, not to mention the wide variety of other professional-grade apps you can only get by buying into Apple's ecosystem. The new MacBook Pro is certainly the most capable member of the iconic product family to date, featuring Apple's versatile Touch Bar and Touch ID, four Thunderbolt 3 (USB-C) connectors, and a battery rated for up to ten hours of usage on a sole charge. If you spend a lot of time in Photoshop, Lightroom, or other Adobe tools and want to be able to take your work with you without overpacking, a single MacBook Pro will provide you with everything you need and look good while doing so.Apple 13.4
Most Luxurious Laptop – the one that really needs to be used to be appreciated
The Surface Laptop 2 is the best computer Microsoft ever made, portable or otherwise. It's also the most luxurious laptop on the market, which is a trait that's difficult to describe and really needs to be experienced. Everything about this device screams "luxury;" its machined magnesium build, its omnisonic speakers, the alcantara-covered keyboard that covers them, the super-sharp 13.5-inch PixelSense Display, the magnetic connectors for the charging cable and the Surface Pen – the Surface Laptop 2 literally has it all. Naturally, top-of-the-line internals are also part of the package and include a battery that can last up to 14.5 hours, making this an amazing option and the one that feels the best to use, even though some of the other models listed here have it beat in terms of pure performance and value-to-money ratio.Microsoft Surface Laptop 2 - From $1,099 (Amazon)