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Best laptop 2022: The finest Windows, Apple and Chrome OS notebooks

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Looking for a new laptop? These are the best models we’ve tested

If you're after the best laptop money can buy, you've come to the right place. We've collected all of the best laptops in one place to help you find the perfect machine for your needs in 2022.

Wondering why you should listen to us? Simple. Every year, dozens of the latest and greatest laptops pass through the Expert Reviews labs – along with plenty of not-so-great laptops, too. Each device is subjected to our rigorous in-house testing, so when we recommend a laptop you can be sure of one thing: it’s a laptop we'd be happy to buy ourselves.

Read on and you’ll discover everything from the best business-class laptops to super-sleek ultraportables, gaming laptops and 2-in-1 hybrids. In short, there’s something for everyone. And if you’re really not sure what to go for, our laptop buying guide will point you in the right direction.

READ NEXT: The best laptop deals of the month

M2 MacBook Air: Get £60 off at John Lewis

The M2 MacBook Air is probably the best laptop in the world right now and it's currently on offer at John Lewis. £60 isn't the biggest discount but this is the lowest price on this laptop since launch. Amazon Was £1,169 Now £1,109 Buy Now

Aver Aspire Vero: Save money on this eco-conscious laptop

Built mostly from recycle plastic and shipped in recycled cardboard packaging, the Acer Vero aims to have a slightly lower environmental impact that your average laptop. Regardless, we rather like it when we reviewed it and the Core i5 model (Intel Core i5-1155G7, 8GB, 512GB SSD) is now on offer for just £499. Amazon Was £613 on average Now £499 Buy Now


Best laptop: At a glance


How to choose the best laptop for you

Buying a brand-new laptop is no easy task. There are so many brilliant devices to choose from each year, with prices ranging from £200 to £2,000 or more. Cost can also vary massively between different configurations of the same laptop, which only adds to the confusion. In this brief buying guide, we’ll help you make the right choice by outlining the most important factors to consider before you bust out the bank card.

What do you need your laptop for?

Your personal requirements should dictate what sort of laptop you go for. A typical university student will have different tech needs to a professional video editor. Some may need a laptop that can process large files at rapid speeds, while others may just want to use Google Docs or browse the web. Ultimately, it all comes down to what you want your laptop to do.

READ NEXT: The best laptops for kids

What about performance and battery life?

The most powerful laptops are those with the most powerful CPUs and the highest amount of RAM. A laptop’s CPU power is measured in gigahertz (GHz), and each processor has a baseline frequency as well as a maximum frequency. Other factors can impact overall performance, including poor temperature control, which can lead to thermal throttling. Ideally, any laptop you buy should have at least 4GB of RAM as a minimum. Processors aren’t as easy to pin down – they might be dual-core, quad-core or hexa-core and can range greatly in power.

An Apple MacBook Pro (or Windows equivalent such as the Dell XPS 15) has a much more powerful CPU and more RAM than a cheap Chromebook because people expect them to run multiple demanding applications.

Battery size is measured in milliamp-hours (mAH) or Watt-hours (Wh) – the biggest battery will (in theory) last the longest, but it all depends on how much power the various components inside the device use (the display, CPU and GPU have the biggest impact). An ultra-budget laptop with a small battery size may last longer than a premium notebook with a huge battery because its internal hardware isn’t as demanding. We run a standardised video rundown test on every single laptop we review, with the longest-lasting performers tending to be a mix between efficient high-end ultraportable laptops and low-powered Chromebooks.

What operating system should you go for?

Whether it’s Windows, macOS or Chrome OS, each operating system has its own strengths and weaknesses. macOS is only found in Apple’s own laptops, while Windows powers all sorts of laptops from manufacturers such as Acer, Asus and Lenovo. Google’s low-powered Chrome OS is also rising in popularity and can be found on a wide range of devices.

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What’s the best display resolution?

When it comes to laptop displays, the resolution isn’t everything. If the same laptop has the option of a Full HD (1,920 x 1,080) display and a 4K (3,840 x 2,160) display, the latter is usually more expensive but not necessarily sharper. How sharp a display look depends on two factors: the size of the screen and how far away you sit from it.

In our experience, you don’t really need more than 1,920 x 1,080 on a screen 14in or smaller. In fact, if you have 20/20 vision, you’d have to be viewing the display at a distance closer than 56cm. Given that laptops with higher-resolution panels typically suffer a bit in the battery life department, it’s often worth opting for the lower resolution, and cheaper, option if you can.

The quality of a laptop’s display has little to do with the resolution of the screen, however. There’s no guarantee of a laptop’s maximum brightness, colour accuracy or contrast ratio no matter how sharp it is. We measure all these when testing each laptop because a dim, muddy or washed-out display can ruin a great product.

READ NEXT: The best laptops for students

How many ports should a laptop have?

In addition to a power socket and headphone jack, most new laptops will come with at least one USB-C and a couple of USB-A ports. When it comes to connections, the general rule of thumb is the more the merrier.

It’s worth paying attention to the type of USB-C ports you’re getting, however; although they might look the same, they often have different capabilities from machine to machine. For the fastest transfer speeds, look for Thunderbolt 3 USB-C ports; USB-C isn’t as quick.

And don’t assume every USB-C port on a laptop can carry video, power and data. Although the standard allows for this, manufacturers sometimes limit what each port can do.

It’s extremely useful to have a full-sized HDMI connector for hooking up the laptop to additional monitors, too, although these aren’t particularly common on slimmer laptops. And an SD card reader doesn’t hurt, either – an addition that’s sorely lacking on Apple’s laptops these days.

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The best laptops you can buy in 2022

1. Apple M2 MacBook Air: The best laptop overall

Price: £1,249 | Buy from John Lewis

We loved the M1 MacBook Air but the second-generation M2 model is even better. With an entirely new chassis design that moves away from the classic wedge shape of older models, it's even prettier than before. The display is larger, too, with a 13.6in, 16:10 aspect ratio screen and the webcam – at long last – is of higher quality now, moving to 1080p resolution from the rather grainy and soft 720p camera in the M1.

What really sets this latest MacBook Air apart, however, is its M2 processor. Not only is this much faster than before it's also more efficient and that means superior battery life. The M2 MacBook Air lasted a whopping 17 hours in our video playback test, which – in the words of our reviewer – "puts most Windows laptops to the sword".

The only caveat is that it's more expensive than its predecessor, which might put some people off. Otherwise, though, it's a joy to use and quite clearly the best laptop in its class.

Read our full M2 Apple MacBook Air review for more details

Key specs – Display size: 13.6in; Resolution: 2,560 x 1,664; Type: IPS; CPU: Apple M2; Graphics: Apple M2; RAM: 8-24GB; Storage: 256GB-2TB; Dimensions: 304 x 215 x 11.3mm (WDH); Weight: 1.24kg


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2. Asus Vivobook Pro 16X OLED: The best OLED laptop

Price: £1,069 | Buy now from Amazon

Although the main draw of this laptop is its stunning 4K OLED display, it has some underrated power under the hood. It comes with two variants, but the more powerful version that we tested has an AMD Ryzen 9 CPU with a dedicated Nvidia Geforce RTX 3050 Ti GPU, and a ridiculous 32GB of RAM. Given the spec and the beefy 4K display, you might expect battery life to suffer, but that’s not the case – Asus added a 96Wh battery that lasted almost 11 hours in our in-house tests before it needed to be charged. So there you have it: a full paragraph of this laptop’s biggest strengths, and we’ve barely mentioned the screen yet.

The first thing you may notice when you start using this laptop is that the display seems bigger than other 16in laptops. And you’d be right – it has a taller-than-usual 16:10 aspect ratio which, combined with the 4K resolution, means everything looks beautiful. While some other 2022 OLEDs had slightly better colour accuracy, the Vivobook Pro 16X’s panel had an excellent colour range, reproducing 171% of the sRGB colour space in our review tests. As expected from an OLED, it produced dark scenes very efficiently, too. If you’re a photographer, there are more accurate OLED displays, but the Vivobook Pro 16X is a sturdy workhorse that will let you take your 4K work on the go without worrying about needing to recharge.

Read our full Asus Vivobook Pro 16X OLED review for details

Key specs – Display size: 16in; Resolution: 3,840 x 2,400; Panel type: OLED; CPU: AMD Ryzen 9 5900HX; Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3050 Ti; RAM: 32GB; Storage: 1TB SSD; Dimensions: 361 x 259 x 19mm (WDH)


3. Acer Swift 3 (NX.ABNEK.00A): The best budget compact laptop

Price: £729 | Buy now from AO.com | Buy now from Amazon

If what you want out of a laptop is a good screen and good battery life combined with low weight and low price then the latest Acer Swift 3 is the machine for you. It has a well-made aluminium chassis, weighs just 1.2kg and is small enough to slip into even the most petite of backpacks, plus its 14in 1,920 x 1,080 panel is bright, sharp and colourful.

Acer hasn’t scrimped on the internal specification, either. The Swift 3’s 11th Gen Intel Core i5 CPU may not be quite the latest thing but it does the job; there’s also a decent 8GB of RAM and a pretty quick 512GB SSD for storage. Connectivity is generous (2x USB-A, 1x Thunderbolt 4 USB-C, 1x HDMI 2.1) and the keyboard comes with a nice bright backlight. There's also a fingerprint reader to add some biometric security into the mix.

With decent battery life – In our video run-down test, the Swift lasted nearly 11-and-a-half hours, which is impressive – and fast charging this is a fantastic compact laptop at a very reasonable price. The only criticism we can make is that the RAM is soldered to the motherboard and can’t be upgraded.

Read our full Acer Swift 3 review for more details

Specifications - Display size: 14in; Display resolution: 1,920 x 1,080 (non-touchscreen); Panel type: IPS; CPU: quad-core Intel Core i5-1135G7; Graphics: Intel Iris Xe (integrated); RAM: 8GB; Storage: 512GB SSD; Dimensions: 323 x 212 x 16mm; Weight: 1.2kg


4. Dell XPS 13 (11th-gen): The best Windows laptop

Price: From £1,020 l Buy now from Dell

Dell updates its XPS laptops twice a year these days in lockstep with Intel’s CPU upgrades, and the latest model has Intel's 11th-gen CPUs as an option. As with previous XPS 13 editions, the late-2020 model is a laptop that gets pretty much everything right, from the brilliant build quality and colour-accurate display to the fabulous keyboard and a generous specification for the money.

As ever, there's an XPS 13 for most budgets. You can choose from various combinations of specifications, including an Intel Core i5-1135G7, a Core i7-1165G7 or a Core i7-1185G7 CPU, 8GB, 16GB or 32GB of RAM and a 512GB or 1TB PCIe SSD.

With improved performance across the board, including better battery life and significantly faster graphics scores, the Dell XPS 13 remains the Windows 10 ultraportable to beat, although it’s fallen behind the M1 MacBook Pro and Air laptops for outright bang per buck.

Read our full Dell XPS 13 review for more details

Key specs – Display size: 13.4in; Resolution: 1,920 x 1,200 (non-touchscreen) or 3,840 x 2,400 (touchscreen); Panel type: IPS; CPU: Intel Core i5-1135G7, Intel Core i7-1165G7 or Intel Core i7-1185G7; Graphics: Intel Iris Xe; RAM: 8GB/16GB/32GB; Storage: 512GB/1TB; Dimensions: 296 x 199 x 14.8mm (WDH); Weight: 1.2kg (non-touchscreen) or 1.27kg (touchscreen)


5. Honor MagicBook 15: Best budget laptop

Price: £649 | Buy now from Currys

Extra inches of display can sometimes mean a much higher price tag, but the Honor MagicBook 15 bucks that trend, offering a generous 15.6in display for a fraction of the cost of its close rivals. Everyday tasks are handled with ease thanks to the MagicBook 15’s 8GB of RAM and efficient AMD Ryzen 5 processor. It is a tad disappointing that there aren’t scalable models with faster processing and more storage, although a 512GB SSD is a pretty decent bargain for the price you’re paying here.

It might not be the absolute fastest laptop on this list, but if you’re looking for an efficient machine that can handle your day-to-day life without breaking the bank, the MagicBook 15 is made for you. It recorded great results in our in-house CPU, battery life and colour accuracy tests, meaning it could be a budget option for creative work too.

Design has to be given some credit with the MagicBook 15 as well. The 1.3mm actuation point for the keyboard meant it was satisfying and quiet to type on, and the smooth metal body with a matte finish seems far more classy than the price would suggest. For connecting your peripheral devices, you’ll get two USB-A ports (one 2.0 and one 3.2 Gen 1), a USB-C socket, 3.5mm headphone jack and an HDMI output port. If you ask us, this is a solid all-round package for someone on a budget.

Read our full Honor MagicBook 15 review for more details

Key specs – Processor: AMD Ryzen 5 5500U with Integrated AMD Radeon GPU; RAM: 8GB; Storage: 512GB SSD; Panel type: IPS; Display size: 15in; Screen resolution: 1,920 x 1,080; Weight: 1.5kg; Dimmensions: 50.8 x 50.8 x 152.4mm


6. Huawei MateBook 16s: Best 16in laptop

Price: £1,499 | Buy now from AO

Huawei’s 2022 refresh of the MateBook 16 has brought several interesting new features to the table, primarily 12th generation Alder Lake CPUs in both Core i7 and Core i9 guises and a smart 1080p webcam that is designed to make life easier for people working from home or on the go whose primary link to the office is now via Teams or Zoom rather than face to face. Performance from the new 14-core Intel chips is very impressive, the MateBook 16s scoring 366 in our 4K multimedia benchmark, three times what you’d expect to see from an 11th generation Core i7 processor.

The most important feature of the MateBook 16s is undoubtedly its 3:2 ratio 2,520 x 1,680 189dpi touch-enabled gloss display. It’s bright, sharp, vivid and colour accurate, everything a good laptop display should be. It only refreshes at 60Hz though unlike the panel on the MateBook 14s which refreshes at 90Hz. I assumed - wrongly - that all MaterBook s models would have fast-refreshing screens. The size and quality of the display makes it ideal for both creative and office work.

The trick webcam features a virtual background feature as well as something called FollowCam which keeps your head in the middle of the screen and Eye Contact which maintains eye contact if your gaze wanders elsewhere. Combined with various voice call enhancements systems under the Smart Conference banner Huawei clearly thinks these systems will make its new SmartBooks the go-to options for remoter workers. They may be right. With an excellent keyboard, Intel Evo accreditation and a pretty decent battery life there’s a lot to like about the MateBook 16s.

Read our full Huawei MateBook 16s review for more details

Specifications - Processor: 14-core Intel Core-i7 12700H; Display size: 16in; RAM: 16GB; Display resolution: 2,520 x 1,680; GPU: Intel Iris Xe; Refresh rate: 60Hz; Storage: 1TB SSD; Weight: 2kg


7. Huawei MateBook 14s: The best-value premium ultraportable

Price: £849 | Buy now from Amazon


Huawei has a history of producing top-quality, great-value compact laptops but it has surpassed itself this time around. The MateBook 14s is well made, performs superbly and, best of all, Huawei has finally removed the webcam from the keyboard and put it in a more sensible place at the top of the display.

Not only that but the display sees an upgrade to 90Hz and, coupled with the Intel Core i7-11370H CPU, it's a very strong rival to the M1 Apple MacBook Air. At this price, with a 512GB SSD and 16GB of RAM, the MateBook 14s is a brilliant laptop.


8. Microsoft Surface Pro 8: The best Windows 2-in-1 laptop

Price: From £949 | Buy now from Amazon

The Surface Pro has been the flag-bearer for 2-in-1 laptops ever since it was first devised; in recent times, however, Microsoft has neglected it somewhat, upgrading the CPU but regularly but little else.

The Surface Pro 8, however, is the redesign Surface fans have been waiting for. It has a new chassis that's sleeker than before, a new Signature Keyboard and Surface Slim Pen 2 and, of course, Microsoft has updated the internals as well to give customers a choice between the Intel Core i5-1135G7 and the i7-1185G7.

The core strengths remain in place. The 3:2 touchscreen is sublime and the keyboard and touchpad are a delight to use.

You still have to pay extra (£160) for the keyboard and even more for the Surface Slip Pen 2 but that seems to be the way of things amongst premium 2-in-1 devices these days. If you can stomach that, this is the king of Windows 2-in-1 laptops and it should be at the very top of your shortlist.

Read our full Microsoft Surface Pro 8 review for more details

Key specs – Processor: Intel Core i5-1135G7 or i7-1185G7; RAM: 8GB, 16GB or 32GB; Storage: 128GB, 256GB, 512GB or 1TB SSD; Screen resolution: 2,880 x 1,920; Weight: 890g (tablet), 1.2kg (with Signature Keyboard)


9. Asus ROG Zephyrus G14: The best compact gaming laptop

Price: £1,700 | Buy now from ebuyer

With great power, usually comes great weight – at least when it comes to high-end gaming laptops. Not so with the Asus ROG Zephyrus G14, which stands apart from the competition by offering the same high performance you’d expect from a high-end gaming laptop in a much more compact package. Weighing a mere 1.7kg, the G14’s portability rivals that of the 14in MacBook Pro.

Unusually, it’s powered by AMD components on the CPU and GPU side (both 6000-series parts) but performance doesn’t suffer at all. And in combination with a superb 120Hz QHD+ display, it’s as good a laptop for creative professional work as it is AAA gaming. Even battery life isn’t bad.

If all that isn’t enough and you want a bit more gimmick for your buck, the G14 also comes with a nifty “Anime Matrix LED” lid display that features hundreds of tiny customisable LEDs you can set to display anything from words to your favourite gaming logos. For the money, they don’t come more powerful than this.

Read our full Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 (2022) review for more details

Specifications - Processor: AMD Ryzen 9 6900HS or Ryzen 7 6800HS; GPU: AMD Radeon RX 6700S or Radeon RX 6800S graphics card; RAM: 16GB DDR5; Display size: 14in; Display Resolution: 2,560 x 1,440; Refresh rate: 120Hz; Storage: 1TB SSD; Weight: 1.7kg


10. Apple MacBook Pro 16in (2021, M1 Pro): A powerhouse laptop with great battery life

Price: From £2,150 | Buy now from Amazon


Apple's M1 processors go from strength to strength in the 2021 MacBook Pro range of laptops and the 16in is quite simply the best all-round portable computer we've reviewed. It comes with the barnstormingly quick Apple M1 Pro processor inside, from 16GB to 64GB of RAM and SSDs ranging from 512GB to a huge 8TB in capacity.

Its 16.2in, 120Hz ProMotion mini-LED display is the real star of the show, however. With peak brightness of up to 1,600cd/m2, black response levels nearly as good as an OLED screen, and a choice of professional-level colour calibrations to choose from, it's the best screen we've ever seen on a laptop.

Not only that, but Apple has brought back the HDMI port and SD card slot for this edition, and it has banished the Touch Bar in favour of a full-sized function key row and a lovely large Escape key.

Prices start at £2,399, which means this powerhouse won't be for everyone. However, if you're a creative professional in need of serious computing power on the move, there is no better laptop.

Read our full Apple MacBook Pro 16in review for more details

Key specs – Display size: 16.2in; Resolution: 3,456 x 2,234 (254ppi); Type: mini-LED; CPU: Apple M1 Pro or M1 Max; Graphics: 16-core (M1 Pro) or 32-core (M1 Max); RAM: 16GB, 32GB or 64GB; Storage: 512GB, 1TB, 2TB, 4TB or 8TB SSD; Dimensions: 356 x 248 x 17mm (WDH); Weight: 2.1kg (M1 Pro), 2.2kg (M1 Max)


11. Asus ROG Zephyrus M16 (2022): The best gaming laptop for work and play

Price: £2,599 | Buy now from Amazon

The Asus ROG Zephyrus M16 (2022) can play the latest AAA games, but it's portable and subtle enough to be used as an everyday work machine. Inside, you get Intel's 12th-generation Core i9-12900H processor and a choice of Nvidia GeForce RTX graphics (3050 Ti, 3060, 3070 Ti or 3080 Ti), along with 8GB or 16GB of RAM and a 1TB or 2TB SSD.

Those specs blew the our benchmarks to smithereens, with the Intel chip proving to be a whopping 68% faster than 2021's Core i9-10900H. Gaming performance was similarly impressive, although not quite up there with some of the higher-spec behemoths you can buy. It's a loud machine when pushed to its limits, though.

Elsewhere, the 16in display gives you plenty of space for projects, while its refresh rate of 165Hz will please gamers who are after fast response times. The all-black design is a far cry from the spaceship-like LEDs on other laptops and it's 100g lighter than Apple's MacBook Pro 16in. The keyboard is pleasant to use and it boasts plenty of ports, including two USB-Cs.

With a result of just under seven hours in our video rundown test, its battery life isn't anything to write home about, but it should still see you through most of a working day. And that's the Asus ROG Zephyrus M16's main selling point: it's a work laptop that can moonlight as a potent gaming device.

Read our full Asus ROG Zephyrus M16 (2022) review for more details

Key specs - Screen size: 16in; Screen type: IPS; Processor: Intel Core i9-12900H; RAM: 8GB or 16GB; Display resolution: 2,560 x 1,600; GPU: Nvidia GeForce RTX 3050 Ti, 3060, 3070 Ti or 3080 Ti; Refresh rate: 165Hz; Storage: 1TB or 2TB SSD; Dimensions: 355 x 243 x 20mm; Weight: 1.42kg


12. HP Envy 13: The best sub-£1,000 laptop with a discrete GPU

Price: £750 | Buy now from HP

Ultra-compact laptops housing discrete GPUs are a rare find under £1,000, but the HP Envy 13 manages to squeeze an Nvidia GeForce MX450 graphics chip into what is a very appealing package.

The 11th-gen Intel Core i5 processor powering the Envy 13 ensures it's up to speed with its similarly priced competitors, while the 13.3in touchscreen sports impressive contrast, decent brightness and commendable colour accuracy.

Battery life is good too, but it's the MX450 GPU that really sets the Envy 13 apart from its rivals, allowing the device to sustain some pretty serious gaming and excel at intensive tasks such as video rendering. If either of those activities are high on your list of laptop requirements, the Envy 13 is hard to beat in the sub-£1,000 price bracket.

Read our full HP Envy 13 review for more details

Key specs – Display size: 13.3in; Resolution: 1,920 x 1,080 (touchscreen); Type: IPS; CPU: Intel Core i5-1135G7; Graphics: Nvidia GeForce MX450; RAM: 8GB; Storage: 512GB SSD; Dimensions: 306 x 194 x 16.9mm (WDH); Weight: 1.3kg


13. Asus ROG Strix Scar 17 (2022): The best gaming laptop

Price: £2,500 | Buy now from Amazon

The Asus ROG Strix Scar 17's combination of a 12-generation Intel Alder Lake processor and an Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070 Ti GPU blasts all of its gaming laptop rivals out of the water.

As well as traditional RGB LEDs around the front, it boasts per-key lighting and you can put the laptop into Turbo mode via Asus' KeyStone dongle. You're getting plenty of ports, including USB-C, along with expandable internal storage via the empty SSD bay. Meanwhile, the chiclet-style keyboard is as satisfying to use and comes with five handy hotkeys.

The 2,560 x 1,440 IPS display is excellent, with a 240Hz refresh rate and a maximum brightness of 309cd/m². Colours are rich and vivid, while there are eight display profiles that are tailored for everything from racing games to first-person shooters. Elsewhere, the speakers provide a punchy sound and a battery life of 7hrs 15mins in our video-rundown test is decent for such a behemoth.

As for performance, the Scar 17 made mincemeat of our benchmarks. It was the first laptop to exceed the 500-point barrier in our media test, beating the second-place Acer Helios 500 by a vast 150 points. In our gaming-specific tests, it took running demanding titles in its stride and even managed 98fps at Wolfenstein: Youngblood's toughest possible settings. Those are brilliant totals.

Other gaming laptops with 12-generation Intel chips will be released soon, but the Asus ROG Strix Scar 17 is currently the best gaming laptop you can buy.

Read our full Asus ROG Strix Scar 17 review for more details

Key specs – Display size: 17.3in; Resolution: 1,560 x 1,440; Type: IPS; CPU: Intel Core i9-12900H; Graphics: Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070 Ti; RAM: 32GB; Storage: 2TB SSD; Dimensions: 395 x 282 x 234mm (WDH); Weight: 2.9kg


14. Dell XPS 17: The best big-screen laptop

Price: £2,399 | Buy now from Currys

If you are the kind of person that values the extra sprawl space of a Super King bed or the extra leg room of an Economy Plus airline seat then the Dell XPS 17 is the laptop for you because it manages to fit an expansive 17in 16:10 display into a form factor that’s barely any larger or heavier than many 15.6 and 16.1in laptops. It’s trick made possible, and made visually dramatic, by the InfinityEdge display that takes up an impressive 93% of the XPS 17’s footprint. At 2.3Kg the XPS 17 isn’t a super lightweight like the 1.35Kg LG gram 17 but its still eminently portable.

You can get the XPS 17 with a FullHD display but it’s the 3,840 x 2,400 touchscreen model that you really want because it’s bright, colourful, colour accurate and has a higher pixel density than the 16in MacBook Pro. The UHD+ panel is a £300 extra cost option but you won’t spend a better £300 and I’d thoroughly recommend it. As is usual with Dell you can select various levels of RAM from 16GB to 64GB and storage from 512GB right up to 2TB but upgrading the RAM and adding a second SSD can be easily done post-purchase.

While the latest XPS 17 is externally indistinguishable from the already very stylish 2021 model the new Alder Lake Core i7 and Core i9 processors inside make a world of difference to the performance and thanks to either an Nvidia RTX 3050 or RTX 3060 GPU (albeit down-tuned to a lowly 60W TGP) the XPS 17 is a serious performer scoring an impressive - and MacBook Pro 16 beating - 392 in our in-house media conversion and multitasking benchmark.

Read our full Dell XPS 17 review for more details

Specifications - Processor: 14-core Intel Core-i7 12700H; Display size: 17in; RAM: 32GB; Display resolution: 3,840 x 2,400; GPU: Nvidia GeForce RTX 3050; Refresh rate: 60Hz; Storage: 512GB SSD; Weight: 2.3Kg

Also consider: LG Gram 17 (2021)

The 2021 refresh of LG’s ultra-lightweight 17in laptop is even better than the 2020 model, which is no mean feat. The latest iterations house 11th-gen Intel processors and these provide a healthy boost to performance and battery life. The Gram 17 now charges via USB-C and looks better thanks to a rougher matte finish and more angular chassis. The keyboard has also undergone a makeover and now includes a number pad and a larger touchpad, while the keys are slightly bigger and have less space between them. These changes help deliver an improved typing experience, although it still can’t quite match that of the MacBook Air or Dell XPS 13.


15. Microsoft Surface Laptop 4 13.5in: Quick, ultraportable and beautifully designed

Price: From £941 | Buy now from Amazon

The latest Surface Laptop won't win any awards for innovation – it's essentially exactly the same laptop as its predecessor but with updated internals – but it's still a great device that pushes our favourite laptop, the M1 MacBook Air, close on a number of fronts. In fact, when it comes to its display and its result in our 4K media benchmark test, the Surface Laptop 4 has Apple's offering beaten.

Available in a range of configurations housing both AMD and Intel processors, the Surface Laptop 4 is both beautifully designed and practical to use. It's lightweight, the keyboard has a three-stage backlight and is a joy to type on, while the trackpad is decent, too. The 13.5in touchscreen covers over 95% of the sRGB colour gamut with excellent accuracy, the 3:2 aspect ratio is more practical than most of its rivals and the display is bright enough for use in most lighting conditions.

Battery life lags behind a number of the other entries on this list and graphics performance leaves a bit to be desired, but as a day-to-day machine for work, the Microsoft Surface Laptop 4 is a very attractive choice.

Read our full Microsoft Surface Laptop 4 13.5in review for more details

Key specs – Display size: 13.5in; Resolution: 2,256 x 1,504; Type: IPS; CPU: AMD Ryzen 5 4860U; Graphics: AMD Radeon; RAM: 8GB; Storage: 256GB SSD; Dimensions: 308 x 223 x 14.5mm (WDH); Weight: 1.27kg


16. Dell Inspiron 15 7000: The best-value 2-in-1 laptop

Price: From £829 | Buy now from Dell

Offering big-screen thrills for a sub-£1,000 price, this convertible laptop from Dell is an excellent mid-range machine. It sits neatly between Dell’s workaday Inspiron 5000 series and its more expensive XPS range, managing a compelling combination of value for money, power, convenience and style.

Its 2-in-1 design lets you fold the Dell Inspiron 15 7000 through 360 degrees into a “tent” mode that functions much like a touchscreen tablet. It looks smart and stylish and feels well made, although the keyboard is fair-to-middling rather than outstanding. This can be forgiven, though, when you consider the other strengths of Dell’s machine.

Performance, for example, punches well above its weight, and is more than up to the job of doing anything 99% of laptop users will require – and doing it quickly. It’s also chock full of ports, including a much desired USB-C connector that supports Thunderbolt 4, Power Delivery and DisplayPort. Taken all together, along with a modest price tag, and you get great value for money.

Read our full Dell Inspiron 15 7000 review for more details

Key specs Display size: 15.6in; Resolution: 1,920 x 1,080 or 3,840 x 2,160; Type: WVA; CPU: 11th-gen Intel Core i5-1135G7 or Core i7-1165G7; Graphics: Intel Iris Xe; RAM: 12-16GB; Storage: 512GB-1TB PCI-E NVMe SSE; Dimensions: 359 x 224 x 20mm (WDH); Weight: 2kg


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