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Tuesday, 13 March 2018

Best laptop (notebooks) 2018 Part 1

Whether you prefer Windows or Mac, here's our favourite laptops for you to choose from

Buying a laptop isn't anywhere near as expensive as it used to be, but if anything it's a lot more confusing. But let's confuse you no longer - the best laptop of the moment is the HP Spectre 13.

So thin, so light. The epic HP Spectre 13 is just an awesome experience that boasts both muscle and feather-like lightness. Its powerful specs are mightily impressive, too (there's a rapid Core i7 under the hood) and 256GB SSD, too. As we've said below, it really does feel like a laptop from the future. We love it and so will you.


Want something a little less thin or bigger? Check out the also excellent Dell XPS 13.

Or, if you have serious money to spend, then you should check out the Microsoft Surface Book 2.

Of course these are all Windows 10 laptops, but we've got macOS models below too, as well as plenty more of the best laptops around.

HOW TO CHOOSE THE BEST LAPTOP FOR YOU
In the dim and distant past you could probably get a laptop for a minimum of 230,000 and spend up to ₦1,000,000 or even more on a top-end one. Some can certainly come in on the high end of that range, even now.

But what has happened recently is that Chromebooks have appeared, offering dirt-cheap portable computing with sufficient features for a lot of users like students and people who just need to type while out and about. And, not only that, but what you can do with a 230,000 laptop has now changed drastically.

The appearance of ₦100,000 – and sometimes lower – Chromebooks though, has forced other laptops down in price too. So now you can get laptops for some absurd prices, especially if you pick up a sale bargain.

At the other end of the scale are new thin and light laptops that aren't so interested in offering value. But they often sport all-metal construction, wafer-thin designs and internal guts that can chew through demanding tasks. So what's best?

Well as well as the HP Spectre 13 and also excellent Dell XPS 13, there's a bunch of other great laptops below. We're not going to look at Chromebooks or 2-in-1 convertibles – those have their own buying guides – but let's have a look at everything else out there on the market.

THE 10 BEST LAPTOPS YOU CAN BUY TODAY

A Windows laptop with the sleekness of a MacBook
SPECIFICATIONS
CPU: 2.5GHz Intel Core i7-6500U (dual-core, 4MB cache, up to 3.1GHz with Turbo Boost
Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 520RAM: 8GB LPDDR3 SDRAM (1,866MHz)
Screen: 13.3-inch, 1,920 x 1,080 FHD IPS UWVA BrightView Corning Gorilla Glass WLED-backlit display
Storage: 256GB SSD (PCIe; NVMe; M.2)

REASONS TO BUY
+Sleek and lightweight
+Tactile keyboard
REASONS TO AVOID                                                 
-Standard 1080p display
-Mushy trackpad

HP's most luxurious laptop borrows the Lenovo Yoga 900S's style and the MacBook's bag-friendly dimensions. The Spectre 13 is so thin that tapping away on its tactile keyboard almost feels like your fingers are tap-dancing on the table. Its biggest advantage over the MacBook is its Intel Core-series processor inside, which lends it the winning combination of dazzling looks and computing muscle. Packing three USB-C ports for hooking up peripherals (note that you'll need a converter to use your old USB-A ones), the Spectre 13 doesn't just look like a laptop from the future - it has one eye trained on it too.

Simply one of the best Windows laptops in the world
SPECIFICATIONS
CPU: 1.8GHz Intel Core i7-8550U (quad-core, 8MB cache, up to 4.0GHz)
Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 620RAM: 16GB DDR3 (2,133MHz)
Screen: 13.3-inch, Ultra HD (3,840 x 2,160) UltraSharp InfinityEdge touch display
Storage: 1TB PCIe SSD

TODAY'S BEST DEALS

REASONS TO BUY
+It's beautiful
+It's really quick
+It's got a 4K screen
REASONS TO AVOID
-White version costs more

The mighty Dell XPS 13 is a frequent member of our best laptop buying guides and here, in 2018, it is business as usual. The machine is simply a thinner and more powerful version of last year's entry and, screen aficionados rejoice, comes rocking a luxe 4K screen, too. The almost bezel-less new design is also absolutely lovely, which squeezes a 13.3-inch screen into an 11-inch frame, and the wide selection of ports on the money. It's expensive, and the stunning Alpine White model is even more so, but it is simply one of the best laptops in the world and an easy recommend for the vast majority of users. 

The ultimate Windows 10 hybrid laptop
SPECIFICATIONS
CPU: 1.9GHz Intel Core i7-8650U (quad-core, 8MB cache, up to 4.2GHz with Turbo Boost)
Graphics: Intel UHD Graphics 620; Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 (6GB GDDR5 VRAM)
RAM: 16GB LPDDR3 (1866Mhz)
Screen: 15-inch, 3,240 x 2,160 (260 ppi) PixelSense display (3:2 aspect ratio; 1600:1 contrast ratio)
Storage: 512 GB PCIe 3.0 SSD

REASONS TO BUY
+Massively powerful for a 2-in-1
+Battery life is excellent
+Screen is superb
REASONS TO AVOID
-Surface Pen is not included
-Drab grey finish

TODAY'S BEST DEALS

Microsoft's Surface Book 2 is a 2-in-1 laptop, with a screen that can be detached and used as a tablet, but don't let that fool you - this is a beast of a laptop. Not only is its power unmatched in the 2-in-1 sector, but with a powerful Intel Core i7-8650U processor, Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 GPU, and stunning 15-inch 3,240 x 2,160 display, it is more than a match for any laptop in this buying guide. It's expensive though, very expensive, and you can get a similar spec for less elsewhere if you sacrifice the ability to detach the screen.

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