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Top 10 Best Laptops 2018
Top 10 Best Laptops Of 2018 – The market has undergone substantial changes in the past few years, and there’s expected to be more confusion in the laptop aisle now than at any other time. Today’s models include everything from featherweight, business-savvy ultraportables that tip the scales at less than 2 pounds, to lap-crushing gaming mammoths of 10 pounds or more.
Your standard laptop doesn’t look the way it once did, either, with dozens of convertible designs that rethink the standard clamshell to take advantage of touch interfaces. Some laptops double as tablets, with hinges that bend and fold, while other touch-enabled PCs are slate tablets that come with hardware keyboards for notebook-style use. There’s just too much variation in the laptop space for single size or style to fit everyone’s demands.
That’s where our buying guide comes in. We’ll brief you on all the advanced designs and specs, and parse the latest trends, helping you find out which features you require and how to find the laptop you are looking for.
Laptops By Size
Best 13-Inch Laptops
At the beginning of the spectrum, 12 and 13-inch laptops, or ultraportable laptops are worth considering if you intend on toting your laptop anywhere you want. These models are light enough to weigh 3 pounds or less, however, big enough that they include a full-size keyboard and a decent display and touchpad. The low point is that port selection tends to be least because of the limited amount of room on side panels.
These laptops usually do simple needs like surfing the internet or modest word processing, and they’re an excellent choice for business travelers who require carrying a laptop frequently. Smaller 10 and 11-inch laptops have further less room for ports and will have tinier keyboards and space between the keys, so you’ll need to adjust your typing style to help out.
Best 14-15 Inch Laptops
Laptops with 14 to 15.6-inch displays are the most popular as they hit the sweet spot including portability and features that max users find beneficial. Yes, they weigh a few more pounds than their smaller siblings, but in return, you get a comfortable reading on a bigger display, more room for different I/O ports, better inside components, and extra battery life. You’re up to 3 or 4 pounds at this screen size, but that’s still comfortable to carry around an office or your home.
The Best 17-Inch Laptops
The most massive screens available mainly show up in workstation and gaming laptops, though there are many budget desktop-replacement alternatives here as well. A 17-inch screen is big enough to share for presentations, or if you require the extra pixels to engage yourself in your graphics designs or 3D games. The additional space in the chassis can be used for more than one graphics processors, desktop category CPUs, or multiple chips of HDDs and SSDs. Weight can be well over 6 pounds and can go way up to 20 pounds for gaming powerhouses. These laptops aren’t meant to be compact or portable and typically have less battery life.
Laptops By Category Type
Best Ultraportable Laptops
Walk down any laptop lists, and you’ll notice that the maximum of laptops has become ridiculously thinner and sleeker. Each of these wafer-thin laptops represents a new vision for portable computing. A no-compromises laptop which is slim and light enough that you’ll forget if it’s in your bag or not, with a long-lasting battery that will allow you work even when no power outlet is available for around 10 hours.
Fast storage, like 128GB or 256GB solid-state drive (SSD storage) or, more affordable, 32GB to 64GB of eMMC flash storage, gives these ultraportables the strength to resume work in seconds after being kept idle or asleep for days. Intel’s marketing strategy has migrated to the convertible-hybrid laptops and detachable 2-in-1 hybrid tablets that it, but ultraportables are still one of the famous categories.
Most important, the whole category has thinned down in overall. Whether you’re looking at thin ultraportables, mainstream Desktop PCs, or even gaming rigs, laptops of every character today are thinner, lighter, and best suited to live on the go. The best of these models will cost you a considerable amount of money, mainly if you’re looking for business laptops that won’t weigh you more when you travel for work, however, they offer remarkable performance and come with several high-end features along with it.
Touch screen displays (with at least 1080p resolution), full-size HDMI port, and nearly 8 hours or more of battery life are commonplace, and premium laptops (with premium costs) now come with the high-resolution display, up to Ultra-HD 3,840-by-2,160 (4K) at the top end price range.
Best Hybrid Laptops
The evolution of powerful tablets and laptops emphasis on touch capacity haven’t just encouraged the fullness of those individual categories—they’ve designed a new one that connects them. Hybrid systems, i.e., 2-in-1s, are capable of working either as a laptop or a tablet, relying on what you demand at any given moment. This gives you freedom when interacting with the devices, and makes it more functional in many places.
There are two types of 2-in-1s. The first is the convertible-hybrid, which converts from a laptop to tablet and back again by twisting all the way around the display’s hinge. You can also stop at any desired position along the way, if you need to stand the display up on the keyboard like a kiosk display, or if you’re going to balance it on the edges so you can use only the touchscreen (Also Read: Top 10 Best Touchscreen Laptops) in very little space. This design is best if you love using a tablet. However, you need to get a good keyboard for it.
If the keyboard is less important, a detachable hybrid could be the better way to go. These are mainly tablets that you can dock with an external keyboard for laptop-like functioning. Some of these design offer docking keyboards with included batteries that provide all-day charge, while others choose for Bluetooth keyboards, forgoing the bulk of a hinge and connecting wirelessly via Bluetooth.
Best Flagship and Premium Laptops
While the whole laptop category has gotten thinner, there’s still a market for bigger desktop-replacement laptops that blend premium build design and functionality. Desktop replacement laptops aren’t quite as easy to carry around as smaller ultraportable laptops, but these 14- and 15-inch laptops offer everything you demand in a day-to-day PC.
They have more prominent displays, a more comprehensive selection of ports, specs, and features, and are one of the several categories that still offer optical disc drives. Screen resolutions range from 1,366 to 768 for budget laptops to the more mainstream Full-HD (1920×1080) resolution, up to the Ultra-HD 4K (3840×2160) resolution found on high-end laptops intended for multimedia and graphics professionals.
Best Gaming Laptops
Laptop and desktop sales might have started to decline in the past few years, with tablet sales increasing to fill the gap, but gaming PC sales have grown rapidly. Also Read: Top 10 Best Budget Gaming Laptops January 2018 For anyone who is looking for the top-of-the-line gaming performance, the combination of a top-end processor, a powerful graphics card, and a big, high-resolution screen is well worth the higher costs such gaming rigs demand. And do those expenses run high—while an entry-level gaming laptop usually starts at about $799, you can anticipate paying $3,000 or more for a laptop with a powerful processor, lots of SSD storage, and one or more high-end GPUs.
Before you pay a grand or two on a gaming rig, you should know what you’re receiving for your money. Powerful quad-core processors are par for this category, with Intel Core i7 chips pushing severe performance even for non-gaming apps. Discrete GPUs from Nvidia and AMD give silky-smooth graphics and remarkable frame rates. Some top-end rigs come with two GPUs, helping prove their high costs. External GPU docks are also an alternative, connected to the device via Thunderbolt 3 cable. Additional traits to watch for include high-resolution screens and hard drives that give 1TB or more of local storage area so that you can store your complete game library on the laptop.
Not all gaming laptops are hulking beasts, however. The sleek designs of ultraportables have given rise to a new breed of machine that puts gaming-level performance into a more portable design, with the beautiful build and long-lasting battery life you haven’t traditionally seen in this category. But this high-level performance doesn’t come cheap here, either—gaming ultraportables usually run in the $2,000 range.
Chromebooks are at the different end of the pricing spectrum from gaming laptops. These Google Chrome OS-based laptops run from $199 to around $500 in the price range, though many are in the center of that range. The $999 Google Pixelbook is an expensive alternative that competes with Windows-based premium ultraportable laptops. These power-efficient systems are made essentially to surf the Internet using Google’s Chrome OS.
Small in size, tall in power, limited of purpose, and full of vision, Chrome OS is mostly the Google Chrome browser operating on hardware specs that would be deemed “tight” for a Windows laptop. System memory is 2GB to 4GB, and local storage is limited to 16-32GB of flash memory (though you will see systems with 64GB storage). But that’s probably sufficient to get on to the Internet, where cloud storage options like Google’s Drive store your data and files.
The main benefit of Chrome OS is that it is comparatively immune to the malware plaguing Windows OS systems as you’re not running Windows apps at all. Chrome OS updates also take few moments, rather than the hours you’ll wait for Mac and Windows OS. If you spend more than 90 % of your computing time on browsing the internet, you should have no trouble utilizing a Chromebook as your primary device.
A recent development is the capability to run Android apps from the Play Store on Chromebooks. This feature lets you use the laptop, even when you’re laptop is not connected to the Internet, just like Android Phones. These are the similar apps you run on your android phones, including games, media apps, and streaming video on YouTube.
Best Laptops By Specifications
Connectivity And Storage
Connectivity is vital for any modern laptop. Almost every model on the stores today offers Bluetooth for connecting wireless devices, and Internet connectivity through 802.11ac Wi-Fi. Mobile broadband options include 3G, 4G HSPA+, and 4G LTE, but these are rare, as users prefer personal mobile hotspots that work with many devices or tether their smartphone to use its internet connection.
Ultraportables and desktop replacements laptops depend upon USB connectivity to work with a wide range of accessories and devices. USB 3.0, which offers higher bandwidth and faster data transfer speeds than USB 2.0, can be found in all latest laptops. It’s usually identifiable by a port painted in blue or labeled with the SS letters (for SuperSpeed). Some USB ports can also charge your rechargeable devices even when the laptop is powered off. Look for a lightning bolt icon near the USB logo for such charging ports.
Manufacturers like Apple, Dell, HP, Acer, and Lenovo implemented Thunderbolt and Thunderbolt 2 ports as a faster alternative to USB 3.0 for attaching external monitors, portable storage devices, and other docking stations, for the most part, however, they did not gain widespread approval. But, that’s unlikely to be true with USB Type-C and Thunderbolt 3 ports.
To provide huge amounts of throughput as well as power delivery, the USB-C port is much smaller and slimmer than the older Type-A USB port. You also don’t have to bother about flipping the adjustment of the plug. This makes it perfect for the thin laptops like MacBook’s that are popular today. The negative impact is that you’ll also have to give up bigger, useful ports like HDMI and Ethernet ports unless you’re willing to carry dongles for each of them.
While premium ultraportable laptops rely upon SSDs for the performance boost proposed by solid-state drive storage, most mainstream laptops use a combination of a smaller SSD and a big traditional hard drive. This lets you execute programs quickly and still have lots of (slower) storage available for your photos, videos, games, and other files. SSD-only laptops often top out at 256GB to 512GB, though you may see some premium laptops with 1TB options. If you need more hard drive storage, a USB 3.0 port or USB Type-C external hard drive must do the trick.
The most powerful processor chips come from Intel, which launched its 8th-Generation Kaby Lake processors. Made with ultraportable and hybrid laptop designs in mind, these new CPUs not only enhance battery life but also boast improved graphics performance. 8th-gen processors furthermore highlight more cores than predecessors so that you will get an actual quad-core CPU in your Core i5 powered laptop, with more power than an older dual-core option. Core M is another extension of Kaby Lake that trades some performance gains for even better battery life.
Many laptop designs now include non-removable batteries. While the move towards sealing battery into the chassis does allow for slimmer designs, it removes the opportunity of swapping out batteries for more prolonged use between charging them. On the other hand, the performance gains of Intel’s newest processors indicate that most laptops will last for the maximum part of a day to day usage.
Design and Build Quality
As designs get thinner and slimmer, manufacturers are using different types of materials in their construction. Plastic is the least expensive and commonly used material in laptop frames, but makers have shown exceptional ability in making plastic not look inexpensive. The most common method is an in-mold decoration or in-mold rolling, a process made famous by Acer, HP, and Toshiba, in which decorative patterns are infused between plastic layers.
In the end, though, plastics are often considered as low-priced laptops, while higher-end models rely on an all-metal design. Common premium options include aluminum, which has a more rich look and can be designed into a thinner chassis than the plastic. Unibody design, where the entire frame is made from one piece of metal, has become the standard, as seen on every Apple’s MacBook and MacBook Pro line up. Other all-metal designs mimic this same look and feel, securely sandwiching two separate layers together.
Other common chassis materials include magnesium alloy and carbon fiber, both of which add strength while keeping overall weight low. Glass has long been found covering displays, but with ultra-strong variants like Gorilla Glass, you’ll find the material being used in everything from the lid to the touchpad.
Warranty and Replacement Policy
A one-year warranty backs most laptops. The standard warranty is limited, so it won’t include accidents that stem from, say, scattering a drink on the keyboard or dropping the laptop on the floor. Most laptop manufacturers also include accidental coverage as an added plan on top of extended elective warranties, so you might end up paying close to $300 for three years of complete coverage. Apple offers a most of three-year extra warranty ($249-379), while most Windows-based laptop makers offer up to 4 years of extended warranty.
Our thinking is that if the warranty requires more than 15% of the laptop’s purchase cost, you’re better off wasting the money on backup drives or services that reduce downtime. There are situations when the keyboard or the screen—the most expensive components of a laptop—fail, and while rare, such a failure can cost you half of what the laptop costs. If the failure can be connected to a design defect, laptop manufacturers will extend free warranties to cover these flaws, but only for particular models built during those time periods.
Our Top 10 Best Laptops Of 2018
The laptops above in our list of Top 10 Best Laptops Of 2018 are some of the best we’ve recently tested, span the variety of features, performance, and price range to provide top alternatives for each type of buyer. We refresh the list monthly to include the newest products, whenever they are launched.