Best Laptops

What you need in a laptop is going to be very different depending on whether you are a businessman, a traveler, a student, a gamer, or just a casual at-home user. Within each category there are a lot of options but we've compared what we've picked as the top laptop in each category. Although some clearly stand out from the rest for particular features, there is a lot of overlap so check out our reviews carefully to help you decide which one is the best for your individual needs.

Last Update: Jul 30, 2014
Best Laptops
Asus Zenbook UX31E
Best for:Users who want a very sleek design, similar to the Apple MacBook but for a much lower price. The Zenbook is also great for media, with good audio and screen resolution.

Suggested Price: $1349

Display Size: 13.3 in

Overall Rating:
Apple MacBook Pro
Best for:Apple fans. This laptop is already one step up from the more common MacBook Air, and has Apple's trademark polished design, user-friendliness and numerous convenient features.

Suggested Price: $2199

Display Size: 15.4 in

Overall Rating:
HP Folio 13
Best for:Computer users on a budget looking for a basic sensible computer. This laptop has all of the standard features and power plus an unusually comfortable keyboard, making it a great choice for writers and businesspeople.

Suggested Price: $899.99

Display Size: 13.3 in

Overall Rating:
Alienware M18x
Best for:Gamers looking for strong graphics options, a huge screen and tons of power. Although it includes other features for gamers, the M18X is also powerful enough to work as replacement for a desktop computer.

Suggested Price: $1999

Display Size: 18.4 in

Overall Rating:
Lenovo ThinkPad T420s
Best for:Business users who want a good balance between light weight and a fairly large screen. The ThinkPad is generally reliable, with solid construction, fast performance and amazing battery life at a reasonable price.

Suggested Price: $1149

Display Size: 14 in

Overall Rating:

Feature comparison

Feature Asus Zenbook UX31E Apple MacBook Pro HP Folio 13 Alienware M18x Lenovo ThinkPad T420s
  Asus -Zenbook -UX31E Apple -Mac Book -Pro HP-Folio -13 Alienware -M18x Lenovo -Think Pad -T420s
Overall Rating                    
MSRP $1349 $2199 $899.99 $1999 $1149
OS Provided Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium Apple Mac OS X Lion Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium, 64bit Microsoft Windows 7 Professional
Notebook type Ultraportable (Under 4 lbs.) Midsize Ultrathin,
Desktop replacement, Gaming Gaming,
Processor Intel 2nd Gen Core i5 i5-2557M Intel 2nd Gen Core i7 2.2 GHz Intel 2nd Gen Core i5 i5-2467M / 1.6 GHz Intel Empty option attribute value description 2670QM Intel Core i5 2520M / 2.5 GHz
(Provided memory is soldered)
4 GB,
(2x2 GB)
4 GB 24 GB 4 GB
Hard Drive 128 GB,

500 GB/5400 rpm,
128 GB 512 GB 500 GB
Optical Drive None DVD±RW (±R DL DVD+/-RW Slot-Loading Dual Layer Blu-ray Reader (BR-ROM, DVD+-RW, CD-RW) DVD+/-RW
Display 13.3 in 15.4 in 13.3 in 18.4 in 14 in
Graphics Processor Intel HD Graphics 3000 AMD Radeon HD 6750M / Intel HD Graphics 3000 - 512 MB GDDR5 SDRAM Intel HD Graphics 3000 Dual 1.5GB GDDR5 nVidia GeForce GTX 560M nVidia SLI Enabled NVidia Quadro NVS 4200M - 1 GB
Battery Run Time Up to 7 hours Up to 7 hours Up to 9.3 hours Up to 15 hours Up to 30 hours
Dimensions WxDxH 12.8x0.71x8.8 inches 14.3x9.8x0.9 inches 12.54x8.67x0.7 inches 17.17x12.68x2.13 inches 13.5x9.1x0.83 inches
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