The Best Laptops of 2019
Great computing for school, work or fashion
If you are in the market for a new laptop, how you will use it may dictate the best choice. So, this article starts with the rationale, followed by the recommendation. Plus there is a luxury pick at the end just for fun.
The best laptop for college
The next big decision after paying college tuition is which laptop to send to school with your student. With high computer-use demand in most schools, it’s wise to stay away from the bottom of the line netbooks. But if budget is a major consideration, VivoBook S15 is stylish, and packs great features into a value-focused laptop.
One cool feature is the dual-function “ErgoLift” hinge. It holds the display securely at any angle, and slightly tilts the keyboard up by 3.5 degrees for a more ergonomic typing position. Great for long-haul term paper writing. The ErgoLift hinge also creates a gap underneath for the fan to more efficiently cool the computer.
While the VivoBook is often on top recommended lists, I had to hunt specifically for one with a solid state drive (SSD) instead of a hard disk drive (HDD). With no moving parts, the SSD will be more reliable being carried in a backpack for four years.
The configuration with the i5 processor is plenty fast for typical use and light graphics. Plus, it is thin and light, weighing less than four pounds. Battery life is decent too, lasting more than 8 hours in independent testing by laptopmag.com The least expensive site with this VivoBook option as of this writing is through Walmart, with free shipping it comes to $674 before tax.
For students who need a faster processor and bigger storage for data intensive applications and video work, the VivoBook with an Intel i7 processor and dual 1 TB HDD and a 256 SSD is an excellent choice for $800 before tax.
The best laptop for work
If you are searching for a laptop for work instead of a desktop, you probably want a machine that is portable. At the same time, you need something that’s durable, secure, powerful, light and will withstand the rigors of a long workday.
Laptop manufacturers keep business use in mind with features like biometrics (fingerprint readers and facial recognition); rugged chassis and keyboards, good networking, power management and security. Ask for a pro version of Windows—it comes with less bloatware than consumer versions for increased productivity.
No matter what laptop you choose for business, whether a single unit or a fleet of machines, keep the above business-oriented features in mind.
One model combines many of the features business users want, while staying sleek and stylish. Lenovo’s ThinkPad X1 Carbon has plenty of power, yet at just 2.49 pounds, this 14-inch laptop easy slips into a briefcase. There is also amazing battery life—more than 11 hours—for long meetings and conferences.
The 6th gen ThinkPad X1 Carbon starts at $1,367, but take a look at the top model, including an Intel i7-8650U CPU, 1 TB SSD storage, 16Gb RAM, fingerprint reader and Windows Pro. Plus, the immersive display is one of the best you will find on a laptop, all for $2,321.
The best laptop on the market
PC Magazine, Laptop Magazine, Tech Radar and others all put the Dell XPS 13 at the top of the best of the best laptop lists. The XPS 13 has been around for years, but Dell continues to provide worthy updates, including a light design and powerful components. Top options include an 8th-generation Intel Core i5 or i7 processor and a beautiful, bezel-less “Infinity Edge” display. This year’s model adds longer battery life, too.
I use a Dell myself, and like their flexibility in customizing specs for business users. My two complaints with this top pick? Why is the 4K Ultra HD (3840×2160) option only available with an otherwise unnecessary touch display? This sweet 4K display is available on the Dell XPS 15-inch version, which may be a better option. If you are a laptop power user, you probably don’t want to squint at a 13-inch screen anyway.
When price is no object
The most expensive laptop isn’t valued on its processing speed or memory. A customized laptop produced by MJ Art Studio in the Ukraine is valued at $3.5 million because of its black and white Swarovski crystals, diamonds (including a diamond to power on the machine), gold-plated body and gold-plated mouse. It still holds the record for costliest laptop ever produced.
I bet you can’t resist checking out the current luxury computers from MK, like the Asus Lamborghini Platinum Crocodile, Acer Ferrari Gold Python, Sony Vaio BlackWood or ASUS Eepc VIP Swarovski. In addition to their extravagant laptop line, the studio provides matching phones, hand bags and other accessories, because who wouldn’t want the whole matching set?
Good luck in your laptop search. Just remember to keep your use in mind and match your budget and components accordingly.