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Looking for the best laptop to buy in 2021? Then you’re on the right page. We’ve researched over 120 laptops and compiled 9 of the best laptops that meet all kinds of needs and budgets, so regardless of what brand and specs you’re looking for, you will find one that suits your need.
The best laptop is essential if you want the best result in whatever you are using it for, whether for business, studying, gaming, or video editing. A subpar laptop can be slow, stressful, and may not be sufficient enough for your needs.
With all the different laptop brands and models out there, buying the best laptop that meets your needs and budget has become an awful time-consuming process.
We’ve done all the necessary research and dug through the web so you don’t have to — from the best laptop great for college students to the best budget laptop money can buy to the best gaming laptop and Chromebooks. This overview covers everything you need to help you choose the best laptop that fits your everyday needs.
Based on detailed research and web reviews, the best laptop right now is the new MacBook Air (M1, 2020). It’s a powerful machine that comes with Apple’s very own M1 processor, beautifully designed with incredible battery life. The MacBook Air is easily the best laptop on the market at the moment.
Certainly, the MacBook Air (M1, 2020) isn’t the only powerful laptop right now. Also on this list are some of the most impressive Windows 10 laptops on the market, such as Dell’s powerful XPS 13 2020, which made it to the second spot on our list. Ranking third is the HP Envy x360, which in our view, is the best budget laptop you can buy at $600 — it’s powerful and on par with some of the more expensive laptops out there.
Another impressive option for those hunting for a more affordable laptop is the Acer Swift 3, a reasonably priced device that delivers performance and is great for productivity and browsing.
The Best laptops 2021
Also making it to our list of the best laptops, Ultrabooks, Chromebooks, and 2-in-1s of 2021 includes MacBook Pro 13 (2020), the Asus ROG Zephyrus G14, and the Acer Chromebook Spin 713. Read on for the full list of our picks for the best laptops.
The best laptop of 2021
The most recent MacBook Air isn’t just another laptop made by Apple; it’s the best laptop Apple has ever built – all thanks to the M1 processor, Apple’s very own chip for Macs. This is game-changing and an impressive achievement, allowing Apple to finally ditch Intel for all it’s new laptops going forward.
The ARM-based 5-nanometer chip is the lead star here; it comes with 16 billion transistors. In addition, the SoC (system on chip) has an eight-core processor, an integrated memory framework, an impressive image signal processor, plus Apple’s Neural Engine and Secure Enclave. The result is a powerful laptop with a fantastic battery life that’s faster than any laptop ever made by Apple, offering outstanding performance that rivals at times the M1-based MacBook Pro.
In addition to running both new and old Mac apps, the new MacBook Air also runs iOS apps for iPhones and iPads with access to lots of excellent mobile apps and games.
The MacBook Air (M1, 2020) base model includes 8GB of RAM and 256 GB of storage, with pricing starting at $999, an incredibly competitive price compared to other impressive Windows 10 rivals like the Dell XPS 15 (second on this list).
The MacBook Air (M1, 2020) is competent, reliable, and worth buying even if you are a loyal Windows user. It’s the best value among Apple macOS laptops at the moment.
RAM: 8GB – 16GB | CPU: Apple M1 | Storage: 256GB – 2TB SSD | Graphics: Integrated 8-core GPU | Screen: 13.3-inch; 2,560 x 1,600 LED-backlit display (IPS technology) | Weight: 2.8 pounds
Best Windows laptop of 2021
The Dell XPS 13 is a gorgeous ultraportable masterpiece, with a beautiful screen, long battery life, and great performance. If you are looking for a well-designed laptop that’s powerful and reliable, look no further than the Dell XPS 13.
It’s relatively cheaper than the Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 (below) and comes with Intel’s advanced 11th Gen Tiger Lake processors, affirming its status as today’s most premium ultrabook.
RAM: 8GB – 16GB | CPU: 11th-Generation Intel Core i3-i7 | Storage: 256GB – 2TB SSD | Graphics: Intel UHD to Iris Xe | Screen: 13.4-inch; 1920×1200 | Weight: 2.64 pounds
The best budget laptop under $700
The HP Envy x360 is easily the best laptop under $1000 at the moment, a premium all-round laptop available at a competitive price of just $600.
Part of why the Envy x360 is so great is the improvement on a few several elements from the flagship Spectre x360, including the slick chassis, bezel-free display, and other nifty features, all at an exceptional price.
What really makes the HP Envy x360 stand out is the feature inside — It’s powered by AMD’s new Ryzen 4000 series, which allows it to deliver excellent performance at under $700.
The touchscreen is bright and supports HP’s MPP2.0 pen. You also get integrated USB Type-A ports and some useful security components such as a fingerprint scanner and kill switches for the webcam and microphone.
It’s difficult to figure out how HP is selling the Envy x360 for $650. It’s undoubtedly the best budget laptop based on features and components compared to what’s available in the general market.
If you are a student hunting for the best college laptop at an affordable price, look no further than the HP Envy x360.
This Ryzen-powered Envy x360 offers fast performance, a slick chassis, nifty features, and a budget-friendly price. It’s an excellent midrange 2-in-1 convertible laptop.
RAM: 8GB – 16GB | CPU: AMD Ryzen 5 4500U | Storage: 256GB NVMe PCIe M.2 SSD | Graphics: AMD Integrated Radeon | Display: 15.6″ diagonal FHD | Weight: 2.9 pounds
The best MacBook Pro for many macOS users
The late 2020 MacBook Pro is a beast from Apple, a powerful device designed for intensive tasks. It’s a slight upgrade from the entry-level 2020 MacBook Air.
The MacBook Pro comes with several additional features than the Air, such as the Touch Bar and a built-in fan, which allows it to maintain intense workloads for a longer time without heat issues affecting its performance.
Both the Macbook Pro 13 and the late-2020 MacBook Air run the same Apple M1 processor, but the Pro has a slightly higher performance level than the Air, which you won’t notice much unless you regularly carry out intense workloads for hours non-stop. It also costs $230 more than the Air, with a starting price of $1,229.
RAM: 8GB – 16GB | CPU: Apple M1 | Storage: 256GB – 2TB SSD | Graphics: Integrated 8-core GPU | Screen: 13.3-inch; 2,560 x 1,600 | Weight: 3 pounds
5. Acer Swift 3
Incredible performance at an affordable price
If you are tight on budget and hunting for a $500 price range laptop with premium features and performance, then the Acer Swift 3 compact and lightweight masterpiece is worth a look — although at a slightly higher price of $679.
The Acer Swift 3 comes with a performance that gets surprisingly close to far more expensive laptops on this list at a jaw-dropping price.
Running on the AMD Ryzen 7 4700U processor and Radeon Graphics, this exceptionally built laptop gives the likes of Dell XPS 13 and the MacBook Pro 13 a run for the money.
It has a fantastic battery life that runs 11 hours on a roll and has more ports than most Intel-powered laptops on the market. You get a USB Type-C, HDMI, and a USB-A. You also get a fingerprint reader too.
The only downside is its dim display, which is not as bright and colorful as its more expensive counterparts listed above. But that’s a minor flaw for the price of $679 and a robust processor that powers it above all its competitors. The Acer Swift 3 definitely deserves its position on this list.
RAM: 8GB | CPU: AMD Ryzen 7 4700U | Storage: 512GB SSD | Graphics: AMD Radeon | Screen: 14-inch; 1080p | Weight: 2.7 pounds
The best gaming laptop of 2021 with amazing battery life
The Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 is the gaming laptop to beat at the moment, and also one of the best gaming laptop money can buy for a relatively low price compared with other gaming-focused laptops on the market.
It has an impressive battery life that can power through more than 10 hours. This excellent feat can be attributed to the pairing of AMD’s Ryzen 9-4900HS with the powerful Nvidia RTX 2060 Max-Q GPU, allowing it to handle demanding games like Resident Evil 3 and more at their highest settings without any issue.
The Zephyrus G14 is also a robust notebook great for those who want a powerful PC for business and everyday work.
The only flaw to this colossal beast of a gaming laptop is the lack of a webcam (no video calls or conferencing) and a Thunderbolt 3 port.
However, the Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 is certainly a great choice – if you are looking for a gaming machine that offers incredible performance, including a 120Hz refresh rate display at an affordable price.
RAM: 16GB – 32GB | CPU: AMD Ryzen 9-4900HS | Storage: 1TB SSD | Graphics: Nvidia GeForce RTX 2060 Max-Q | Screen: 15.6-inch; 1080p | Weight: 3.5 pounds
The best 2-in-1 laptop
The new XPS 13 2-in-1 is unquestionably the best convertible laptop for the amazing features it offers at an astonishingly base price of $1,099.
The XPS 13 2-in-1 is a cleverly designed masterpiece crafted based on the XPS 13 model. The only difference is the ability to convert into a tablet.
The new XPS 13 2-in-1 comes with new features that make it even more powerful than before — including Intel’s newest 11th Gen Tiger Lake processors, an upgraded RAM and microSD reader, a webcam support for Windows Hello, and more.
If you are looking for the best 2-in-1 laptop with a quality display, great performance, and long battery life, then the Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 is certainly one to consider.
RAM: 8GB – 16GB | CPU: Intel Core i7-1165G7 | Storage: 512GB SSD | Graphics: Intel Iris Xe | Screen: 13.4-inch | Weight: 2.9 pounds
The best Chromebook of 2021
Chromebooks are portable and cheaper for high school and college students who don’t want to spend too much on laptops. Though Acer’s Spin 713 is not the most affordable Chromebook out there, it offers impressive performance at a jaw-dropping price compared to other Chromebooks and laptops.
There is a lot of versatility with the Acer Chromebook Spin 713 with various options no matter what you are using it for. The extra screen space and keyboard are great for typing, while avid streamers will love the additional capabilities of Google OS.
Additionally, the Acer Chromebook Spin 713 is a perfect notebook that can handle intense multitasking without slowing down; an excellent 2-in-1 convertible that offers a much more premium feel than its price suggest.
It’s a great choice for those looking for a Chromebook that’s great for daily use and offers the functionality of many premium laptops with standout performance and exceptional battery life.
RAM: 8GB | CPU: Intel Core i5-10210U | Storage: 128GB SSD | Graphics: Intel UHD | Screen: 13.5-inch, 1504p | Weight: 3 pounds
The best cheap laptop for kids and home use
Lenovo Chromebook Duet is a great 2-in-1 convertible laptop that definitely trumps its competitors in terms of value. It’s also a great budget laptop for kids. Apart from functioning as a tablet Chromebook, you also get a free keyboard compared to the iPad or any Surface, and even the cheaper Go.
You also get a full HD screen and an incredible battery life that’s very rare for that price. The Duet also features the new touchscreen tablet optimizations for Chrome OS.
The only downside is the keyboard buttons are somewhat cramped and might take some getting used to, especially for folks with a larger hand. But for this price point, the Chromebook Duet is an absolute bargain if you are on a limited budget.
RAM: 4GB | CPU: 2.0GHz octa-core MediaTek Helio P60T | Storage: 64GB eMMC, 128GB eMMC | Screen: 10.1-inch | Weight: 2 pounds
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About King Osaghae
King Osaghae is a technology researcher and writer who’s been writing about tech-related topics and trends since 2018. He covers everything tech from computers to cameras to online business software. He is the managing editor at TechZerg, meaning that he oversees all the articles TechZerg produces.