Macbook Pro Retina
Starting off with what many users feel is the best laptop you can currently buy, the Macbook Pro. Apple’s annually-updated machine comes in 13- and 15-inch iterations, and will set you back up to £1600 for the larger version.
The 13-inch model, however, is currently sitting at around the £1000 mark and comes with an Intel i7 processor. It’s just 1.8cm thick and weighs just 1.57kg, and of course comes with Apple’s ‘Retina’ display, which sits somewhere in between 1080p Full HD and 3K resolution. In layman’s terms, sitting in front of this laptop, you won’t be able to see any pixels. Cracking screen quality!
Love the quality and aesthetics of the Macbook Pro but still finding it too heavy to lug around? Want to wave around your laptop with one hand whilst delivering a stellar presentation to co-workers? Want to sound like you have a laptop from the future? IF the answer is yes to those questions, the Macbook Air is for you.
Whilst not being as highly specced as the Macbook Pro, the Macbook Air makes up for those shortcoming with sheer weight and size. The 11-inch version (£749) weighs just over 1kg and the 13-inch version (£849) comes in at 1.35kg. Both versions are tapered from 0.3cm to 1.7cm.
Lenovo Y50 4K
Lenovo’s premium gaming powerhouse, the Lenovo Y50, got upgraded this year to feature a 4K display. It’s one of the first laptops ever to feature a resolution of this quality, and whilst some applications are still catching up (text can appear tiny at 4K) this laptop really is futureproofed.
For a 15-inch gaming laptop, it’s surprisingly light at 2.4kg and looks stunning with its red backlit keyboard and brushed aluminium case. Perks? Solid gaming performance with the NVIDIA GTX-860M 4G, quality keyboard, spectacular display, JBL speakers. Downsides? Poor battery life and size. Think of this as a sexy desktop replacement.
Acer C720 (Chromebook)
Heard of a Chromebook? If not, here’s the deal. Chromebooks are Google’s attempt at claiming the budget laptop market with cheap and cheerful devices manufactured by partners such as Acer, Samsung, and Toshiba. They run on Google’s Chrome OS, and solely use cloud storage and cloud apps to enable the user to work. They’re gaining significant traction in the education sector, and the C720 is a prime example of what’s so appealing about Chromebooks.
At around £200, you’ll get a 1kg 11-inch laptop with a battery that lasts for over 8 hours. A must for Google-heads.
Surface Pro 3
Is it a tablet or a laptop? Microsoft certainly wants you to believe that the brand spanking new Surface Pro 3 is in fact a laptop, or rather, a laptop replacement.
The successor to the Surface Pro 2, Microsoft ups the game with the newest iteration and at first glance, the Surface Pro 3 really could be a device that Microsoft will be proud of.
The tablet’s got a 12in 2,140 x 1,440 resolution screen with a DPI of 216 ppi and other specs include a MicroSD slot, USB 3.0 port, Mini DisplayPort and of course Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0, and 5MP cameras both front and rear.
Read our full review of the Surface Pro 3 here.
Not a Chomebook, not quite a laptop, the Toshiba Satellite is a budget machine which really puts the emphasis on using cloud storage. There’s not too much to say about this one, apart from it’s a great budget Windows 8.1 device that will do your every day office and media tasks with ease.
Samsung Ativ Book 9
Here’s one of the best Samsung ultrabooks, housed in a slim aluminium chassis that altogether weighs just 1.7kg. There’s a whole raft of good things to say about this Windows 8.1 machine, and it’s really a top competitor to Apple’s Macbooks if you or your lucky loved one HATES Mac OSX.
Dell Chromebook 11
Looking for that lightweight, easy-to-use, sub-£200 laptop? Dell’s here for you with its Chromebook offering, the cleverly named Chromebook 11. With an 11-inch screen, the device is portable and boasts an impressive 10 hour battery life.
Dell XPS 15
A pricy workhorse (~£1300) which is probably the best laptop on this list. It comes with a 3,200×1,880 touchscreen and contains an Intel i7 processor with a whopping 16GB of RAM!
It’s a 15-incher that comes with a 512GB SSD or 1TB hard drive, and the touchscreen functionally makes Windows 8.1 not only bearable but wholly useful. At 2kg, and 1.8cm, Dell have also jammed all of this hardware into a fairly light and portable chassis, which is actually made out of carbon fibre.
Lenovo YOGA 3 Pro
This laptop/tablet/whatever-you-want goes up against the Surface Pro 3 in terms of functionality with its touchscreen capability and Windows 8.1 operating system. The Yoga Pro 3 is an ‘adaptable’ 13-inch ultrabook that has a display which rotates around 360 degrees so can be used in any location, theoretically. I can imagine this being particularly useful hunced over a crowded table on your morning commute or in bed watching…
Storage comes courtesy of a 512GB SSD and the machine weighs a flimsy 1.2kg.