The Best High-End Laptops?

By that, I mean the laptops that offer the best features according to their category, at multiple price points starting from $1300 to $4400.

Why write this article?

How much time do you have to research the best computer?

Many of us don’t have much time to read, or the knowledge to understand, detailed laptop specifications nor reviews and just want to know:
What’s the best high-end laptop for my needs?

I’m here to help you with this article. I believe that you deserve the computer that is the best for your needs. That way, your computer is working for you and not the other way around. This allows you to focus your full potential on realizing what you want, without being limited by your computer.

With 16 years of experience with computer hardware, researching, always up-to-date research with the newest parts, performance and prices, I know what matters in a computer.
See my About page for more information on me, Mathieu Bourgie, and this website, Hardware Revolution

Here are the features that I evaluate in order to make my recommendations:

1. Price
2. Performance: CPU, RAM, Storage, Video Card and Wireless Adapter
3. Screen: Size, Resolution, Matte or Glossy, Panel type (TN, IPS, etc.), Brightness, Contrast, Viewing Angles and Color Accuracy
4. Portability: Dimensions, Weight, Real-life battery life during average web browsing?
5. Usability: Keyboard: Layout, Key size, Travel/Pressure, Key Shape and any additional Function keys. Touch pad quality, trackpoint, backlit keyboard, numpad, Operating System, which ports are offered, Webcam resolution, sound quality, optical Drive, noise levels.
6. Reliability: How solid is the chassis? Are the temperatures under load reasonable? How solid are the screen hinges? Is the keyboard spill-resistant? Overall manufacturer long-term reliability? How easy is it to service the laptop?
7. Warranty: Warranty length? What does the warranty cover?

I then recommend laptops that I think are the best at a given price, according to those features that I evaluated on the hundreds of laptops that I’ve considered during the research that I do to write this article.

I offer to you the result of that research, by making recommendations for the best High-end laptops at price points ranging from $1300 to $4400.

Alternatives recommendations:

I also suggest alternative recommendations, with clear explanations as to why they are interesting alternatives.

My goal:
Help you easily choose the best laptop for your needs and budget.

Put all of this together and you get this article. Because if you’re about to buy a laptop, might as well get the one that offers the best features possible for your budget, right?

Looking for all our articles on laptops?

Visit the Best Laptops For Your Money category page, for all our articles on laptops.

A few reminders:

I’ll use this opportunity to remind you that this article is only a guideline for the is based on the best prices that I’ve seen on February 19th 2017, from B&H, Newegg and/or Amazon.

Prices and availability change daily. While I can’t keep up with ever changing prices, I can suggest to you great laptops that you won’t regret buying as long as they are in the same price range.

Summary

Click on any of these links to jump to the section that interests you. Alternatively, scroll down to see them all, in the same order as they are presented here.

The Best Budget Laptop:

  1. Ultrabooks: thin, lightweight: Lightweight, small, thin, great battery life. Ideal for traveling.
    Standard screen ultrabook: If you want a regular lightweight laptop. 
    – 2-in-1 convertible screen Ultrabook: 360 degree hinge touchscreen, use it as a tablet, tent, etc.
    – Detachable screen ultrabook: Detach the screen from the base, use it as a tablet.
  2. Apple MacbookThe iconic Apple laptops, available in various models
  3. Gaming laptops: The best gaming performance
  4. 17.3″ entertainment/desktop replacement: 17.3″ screen, powerful and good speakers
  5. Business laptops: Better security, solid build, easy to service, fairly powerful, portable and lightweight
  6. Workstations: Powerful, reliable and with workstation-class video cards

Laptop upgrades and accessories:

  1. Upgrade the RAM
  2. Upgrade the storage (hard drive/SSD) to a larger/faster model
  3. USB DVD and Blu-ray External Burners
  4. The Best WiFi Routers, WiFi Adapters and Bluetooth Adapters
  5. The Best External Hard Drives, SSDs and Flash Drives

Ultrabooks: Thin, lightweight

Standard screen ultrabook

Dell XPS 13

512GB – Intel Core i7-7500U CPU
Click here to see the price on Amazon

1TB – Intel Core i7-6560U CPU
– Click here to see the price on Amazon
– $1799.00 at B&H (Worldwide Shipping)

About the Dell XPS 13:

I recommend two versions of it, which are identical except for two key points: The CPU and the storage capacity.
1- The first one is equipped with the more powerful Intel Core i7-7500U (Dual-Core + Hyper-Threading 2.7-3.5GHz) and 512GB of SSD storage.
2- The second one is equipped with a less powerful Intel Core i7-6560U (Dual-Core + Hyper-Threading 2.2-3.2GHz) but twice the storage capacity, with a 1TB SSD.  It’s also available from B&H, who offer worldwide shipping.

The Dell XPS 13 is our recommendation if you are looking for a model that’s highly portable (7.88 x 11.98 x 0.6″ and 2.7lbs), being roughly the size of a smaller 11.6″ laptop despite featuring a 13.3″ screen, thanks to very small screen bezels.

The display is stunning, with very thin bezels, a very high resolution of 3200 x 1800 and it’s equipped with an IPS panel, which means that you get large viewing angles, more accurate colors and good contrast.

Performance is excellent, with a fast Intel Core i7 CPU, 16GB of RAM which is enough to handle multiple programs at once and a PCIe type of SSD, offering the highest performance available for storage, so booting takes less than 10 second, it resumes instantly, program launch quickly and the whole system is highly responsive.

Pros:

  1. Equipped with an Intel Core i7-7500U Dual-Core + Hyper-Threading 2.7-3.5GHz CPU.
  2. 512GB or 1TB PCIe SSD: High performance storage, faster than SATA III SSD. Far faster, more reliable and shock-resistant than a regular HDD. Greatly improves responsiveness, fast booting and program launches.
  3. 16GB of DDR3 RAM which is adequate for multi-tasking.
  4. Windows 10
  5. QHD 3200 x 1800 resolution display
  6. IPS display panel for better contrasts, accurate colors and larger view angles.
  7. Amazing battery life of up to 13 hours.
  8. 2 x USB 3.0 ports
  9. 1x USB 3.1 Type C / Thunderbolt 3 port
  10. SD card reader
  11. Backlit keyboard
  12. HD Webcam
  13. 802.11ac WiFi
  14. Incredibly thin and lightweight: 7.9 x 12 x 0.6″ and 2.7lbs

Cons:

  1. No optical drive
  2. No numpad

2-in-1 convertible screen ultrabook

HP Spectre x360:

– Click here to see the price on Amazon

About the HP Spectre x360:

This laptop is a great deal if you are looking for a touchscreen ultrabook that can be flipped, is great for web browsing, emails and watching videos, that plenty of storage space and a beautiful display.

It is equipped with a quite powerful and newest generation Intel Core i7-7500U CPU which is capable of doing everyday tasks and more, it has 16GB of RAM which is adequate for multi-tasking and running multiple programs.

On top of that, it comes with a 512GB PCIe SSD which is one of the fastest storage drives available, greatly improving responsiveness, reducing booting speed and program launch time.

The HP Spectre offers all of that while being highly portable, measuring 12.03 x 8.58 x 0.54″ and weighting 2.85lbs.

Pros:

  1. Equipped with an Intel Core i7-7500U Dual-Core + Hyper-Threading 2.7-3.5GHz CPU.
  2. 512GB PCIe SSD which is plenty of storage and is a lot faster than a regular HDD, it also greatly improves responsiveness especialy when booting the laptop.
  3. 16GB of DDR3 RAM to run multiple programs.
  4. Windows 10
  5. 2-in-1 convertible 13.3″ screen to switch to tablet mode for whatever suits your needs.
  6. Great Battery: up to 10hrs of web browsing with WiFi.
  7. Full HD 1920 x 1080 resolution
  8. IPS display panel for better a contrast, accurate color reproduction and larger view angles.
  9. Full HD Wide angle Webcam.
  10. Decent keyboard layout.
  11. Solid aluminium chassis.
  12. Backlit keyboard
  13. 1 x USB 3.1 and 2 x USB 3.1 (Type C) port which support Thunderbolt.
  14. Thin and light: 12.03 x 8.58 x 0.54″ and 2.85lbs.
  15. 802.11ac Wireless
  16. Bluetooth 4.2

Cons:

  1. No optical drive. You can get an external USB powered optical drive, if you want to.
  2. No Ethernet RJ45 output.
  3. No other video outputs than thunderbolt, so if you need to connect your laptop on external displays, you’ll need an adapter.
  4. No SD or MicroSD card reader.

VAIO Z flip:

About the VAIO Z flip:

Are you looking for an even more powerful highly portable laptop? This model is the next logical step.

There are two different configurations that I recommend for this laptop:
1- An Intel Core i5-6267U 2.9-3.3GHz CPU, 8GB of RAM and a 256GB SSD
2- The more powerful Intel Core i7-6567U 3.3-3.6GHz CPU, 16GB of RAM and a 512GB SSD.

Other than the more powerful CPUs, key features of this laptop include a 2560 x 1400 resolution display with an IPS panel that shows accurate color representation, great contrasts and large view angles, an outstanding battery with up to 11 hours per charge, a Digitizer Stylus that’s included and two video outputs: HDMI and VGA

This laptop is also highly portable, measuring 12.8 x 8.5 x 0.7″ and weighting in at 2.96lbs.

Pros:

  1. Equipped with an Intel Core i5-6267U Dual-Core + Hyper-Threading 2.9-3.3GHz CPU or Intel Core i7-6567U Dual-Core + Hyper-Threading 3.3-3.6GHz CPU.
  2. 256GB or 512GB SSD : SSDs are a lot faster than a regular hard drive, they greatly improves responsiveness especially when booting the laptop.
  3. 2-in-1 convertible screen to switch to tablet mode for whatever suits your needs.
  4. Windows 10
  5. 8GB or 16GB of DDR3 RAM.
  6. Amazing Battery: up to 11hrs.
  7. Thin and light : 12.8  x 8.5 x 0.7″and 2.96lbs
  8. IPS display panel for better contrasts, accurate colors and larger view angles.
  9. SD card reader to add an extra SD card to add more storage for your music, videos and images.
  10. HD Webcam.
  11. Backlit keyboard
  12. 2 x USB 3.0 port.
  13. HDMI and VGA output to connect your display on external screens.
  14. Included stylus with purchase.
  15. 802.11ac WiFi
  16. Bluetooth 4.1
  17. Dedicated volume buttons

Cons:

  1. No optical drive. You can get an external USB powered optical drive, if you want to.

Get the VAIO Z Flip :

i5-6267U 8GB 256GB from Amazon, B&H ($1779.00) 
i7-6567U 16GB 512GB from Amazon, B&H ($2379.00) and Newegg ($2379.00)

Lenovo ThinkPad Carbon X1 Yoga:
About the Lenovo ThinkPad Carbon X1 Yoga:

You are looking at the thinnest and lightest 14″ laptop in the world. This model is only 0.7″ thick and weights 2.8lbs!

It is equipped with a powerful i7-6600U processor, 16GB of RAM and a 516GB or 1TB PCIe SSD depending on the configuration. PCIe SSDs are the fastest SSDs up to date and greatly improve responsiveness as well as booting speed.

Not only is this laptop fast and responsive it is also equipped with a beautiful QHD 2560 x 1440 resolution display with an OLED panel. Simply put, OLED panels are better than IPS panels, they offer an even better color reproduction, infinite contrast, perfect blacks and near perfect viewing angles.

The only downside of this model is the battery when it comes to browsing the internet with WiFi where it only lasts about 5 hours, although it does much better when it comes to watching movies or TV (8.5 Hours).

At the moment the Lenovo ThinkPad Carbon X1 Yoga is the best high-end convertible 2-in-1 laptop you can get!

Pros:

  1. Equipped with an Intel Core i7-6600U Dual-Core + Hyper-Threading 2.6-3.4GHz CPU.
  2. 512GB or 1TB PCIe SSD which is plenty of storage and is a lot faster than a regular HDD, it greatly improves responsiveness especially when booting the laptop.
  3. 2-in-1 convertible screen to switch to tablet mode for whatever suits your needs.
  4. Windows 10
  5. 16GB of DDR3 RAM.
  6. Thin and light : 0.7″ thin and 2.8lbs
  7. Quad HD 2560 x 1440 resolution
  8. OLED display panel for infinite contrasts, extremely accurate colors and almost perfect view angles.
  9. Keyboard keys retract automatically when not being used as a laptop
  10. Included stylus that can be recharged in 15 minutes : gives you 100 minutes of use.
  11. Great build quality : Case made of magnesium alloy and display cover made of carbon.
  12. Mini display port to connect your display on a external screen
  13. Onelink+ connector to connect a dock.
  14. HD Webcam.
  15. Fingerprint reader
  16. Backlit keyboard
  17. Spill resistant keyboard
  18. 3 x USB 3.0 ports.
  19. 802.11ac WiFi
  20. Decent speakers
  21. Bluetooth 4.1

Cons:

  1. No RJ45 Port
  2. No optical drive. You can get an external USB powered optical drive, if you want to.
  3. Poor battery runtime for some tasks : 5 hours web browsing with WiFi although it does last much longer when doing tasks such as watching movies and TV (8.5 hours).

Get the Lenovo ThinkPad Carbon X1 Yoga:

512GB from Amazon and Newegg ($2549.41)
1TB from Amazon and Newegg ($2899.41)

Detachable screen ultrabook

VAIO Z Canvas:
About the VAIO Z Canvas:

If you are looking for a powerful, highly portable and visually stunning detachable laptop, the VAIO Z Canvas is one of the best choices for a high-end detachable screen laptop.

It is equipped with an highly powerful Intel i7-4770HQ Quad-Core CPU. Don’t be fooled: While it is an older CPU, this is an Intel quad-core CPU, unlike other light and thin laptops equipped with dual-core CPUs.

Depending on one of the three configurations available, you can get either a 256GB SSD with 8GB of RAM, a 512GB SSD with 16GB of RAM or a 1TB SSD with 16GB of RAM. The SSDs in this model are PCIe which makes them some of the fastest drives available.

Pros:

  1. Equipped with a powerful Intel i7-4770HQ Quad-Core + Hyper-Threading 2.2-3.4GHz CPU.
  2. 256GB, 512GB or 1TB SSD, depending on your configuration, for a fast booting speed and better responsiveness.
  3. 2-in-1 detachable screen to switch to tablet mode for whatever suits your needs.
  4. Unique fanless cooling, despite using higher performance CPU than the usual fanless Core M CPUs.
  5. 8GB  or 16GB of DDR3 RAM.
  6. Detachable backlit keyboard included.
  7. Stylus is included
  8. 2 x USB 3.0 ports.
  9. Quad HD 2560 x 1704 resolution
  10. SD card reader.
  11. HDMI and Mini DisplayPort outputs to plug in your display on a external screen.
  12. RJ45 Ethernet port.
  13. Good aluminum body.
  14. IPS display panel for better contrasts, accurate colors and larger view angles.
  15. 802.11ac WiFi
  16. Bluetooth 4.1
  17. Amazing battery life : up to 11 hours.
  18. Thin and light : 11.8 x 0.7 x 8.4″ and 2.6lbs

Cons:

  1. Keyboard doesn’t have a backlight.
  2. Keyboard layout could be better : Arrows keys are relatively small, could be bothersome.

Get the VAIO Z Canvas:

8GB + 256GB SSD from Amazon and Newegg ($1599.00)
16GB + 512GB SSD from Amazon and Newegg ($1999.00)
16GB + 1TB SSD from Amazon and Newegg ($2399.00)

Microsoft Surface Book

About the Microsoft Surface Book :

If you are looking for a detachable screen laptop that has a good performance, stunning display, stylish design, quality build (magnesium chassis) and great battery life, look no further than the Surface Book.

It comes in a wide variety of different configurations, my base recommendation being the model that has an Intel Core i5-6600U CPU with 8 GB of RAM, a dedicated Nvidia GPU and a 256GB PCIe SSD which are some of the fastest storage devices up to date. This model also has some configurations available with an higher performance GeForce GTX 965M which can be useful if you are looking into running programs that demand a better GPU such as Photoshop and Autocad.

This model also has a solid and quality build as well as a battery life that lasts on average 11 hours with the WiFi while browsing the internet which is great. Although when the screen is detached from the keyboard it only lasts up to 3 hours. If you are looking for a detachable that has a better battery in tablet mode, I strongly suggest going for the Microsoft Surface Pro 4.

The detachable keyboard is included on purchase and it also comes with a Microsoft Surface pen.

Pros:

  1. Equipped with an Intel i5-6300U Dual-Core + Hyper-Threading 2.4-3GHz CPU or i7-6500U Dual-Core + Hyper-Threading 2.5-3.1GHz CPU, depending on your configuration.
  2. 256GB, 512GB or 1TB PCIe SSD  that greatly improves the laptops responsiveness and booting speed.
  3. Between 8GB or 16GB of RAM depending on the chosen configuration.
  4. Amazing 11 hours battery life while browsing the internet with WiFi.
  5. IPS display panel for better contrasts, accurate colors and larger view angles.
  6. QHD 3000 x 2000 resolution display
  7. 1 Mini display port output to connect your display on a external screen.
  8. 2 x USB 3.0 ports.
  9. SD card reader.
  10. 802.11ac WiFi
  11. Blutooth 4.0
  12. Good build quality: Magnesium chassis: Lightweight and solid
  13. Windows 10 Pro
  14. 2-in-1 detachable screen to switch to tablet mode for whatever suits your needs.
  15. Surface pen included
  16. Keyboard included
  17. Keyboard is backlit
  18. Comes with a free 1  year license of Office 365 with purchase at B&H.

Cons:

  1. A bit heavy for a 13″ detachable ultrabook : 3.48lbs.
  2. While detached the tablets battery only lasts up to 3 hours

Get the Microsoft Surface Book:

Core i5 – 8GB RAM – 256 GB SSD – Nvidia Geforce GT 940M : Amazon, B&H ($1649.00)
Core i7 – 16GB RAM-  512GB SSD – Nvidia GeForce GTX 965M : Amazon, B&H ($2799.00) and Newegg ($2799.00)

Core i7 – 16GB RAM – 1TB SSD – Nvidia GeForce GTX 965M : Amazon, B&H ($3299.00) and Newegg ($3299.00)

Microsoft Surface Pro 4

About the Surface Pro 4:

If you are looking into getting a detachable that is more of a tablet than a laptop, the Microsoft Surface pro 4 is a good solution. It is highly portable as the detachable tablet  only weights 1.73lbs which is extremely light and is 0.3″ thick. It also comes in a wide variety of configurations. The models I recommend have a quite powerful i7–6650U Dual Core processor with either 8GB or 16GB of RAM, with a 256GB, 512GB or 1TB SSD.

The battery on the tablet can last up to 9 hours which is great when you look at the average battery life on a detachable 2-in-1.

Sadly the type cover on the Surface Pro 4 is sold seperatly, although some websites such as B&H give you a choice of type cover on purchase.

Pros:

  1. Equipped with a Intel Core i7-6650U Dual-Core Hyper threading 2.2-3.4GHz CPU.
  2. Windows 10 Pro
  3. Great battery life : up to 9 hours.
  4. Comes with a Surface Pen
  5. Thin and lightweight : 0,3″ and 1.73lbs
  6. Tablet kickstand
  7. 8 or 16GB of RAM depending on your configuration.
  8. 256GB, 512GB or 1TB SSD which improve responsiveness and  booting speed.
  9. IPS display panel for better contrasts, accurate colors and larger view angles.
  10. 2736 x 1824 resolution display.
  11. 1 USB 3.0 port
  12. 1 Mini display port to plug in your display on a external screen.
  13. 802.11ac WiFi
  14. Bluetooth 4.0
  15. 5 MP front camera and 8 MP back camera with Full HD 1080p video.
  16. Micro SD slot.
  17. When bought on B&H, comes with a free 1 year office trial, a rugged case and a choice of type cover.

Cons:

  1. Keyboard doesn’t have a backlight
  2. Keyboard is sold seperately (Although B&H sells theirs with a choice of type cover)

Get the Microsoft Surface Pro 4:

8GB  RAM- 256GB SSD : Amazon and B&H ($1499.00) 
16GB RAM- 256GB SSD: Amazon and B&H ($1699.00)
16GB RAM – 512GB SSD: Amazon and B&H ($2099.00)
16GB RAM – 1TB SSD: Amazon and B&H ($2599.00)

Microsoft Surface pro 4 type cover : Amazon, B&H ($129.99) and Newegg ($106.24)

Apple Macbook

Apple 12″ MacBook 2016

$macbook121749.00 at B&H

About the Apple 12″ MacBook Z0SL-MLH821-BH:

If you are looking for a Macbook that is as lightweight as possible, has a long battery life and is ideal for web browsing, office work, emails, watching movies and listening to music this is the perfect laptop for you.

This MacBook has a Intel Core M7 Dual-Core CPU which isn’t a powerhouse but is perfect for casual tasks, 8 GB of RAM to run multiple programs and a beautiful 2304 x 1440 Retina display with an IPS panel for better contrasts, accurate colors and larger view angles.

This model has a 512 GB PCIe SSD, which are some of the fastest storage drives up to date and offer the best responsiveness and booting speed.

We also have an article dedicated to the Apple Macbook 12″ if you want to learn more about them, their pros and cons, as well as see all the models that we recommend.
How to Choose the best Macbook 12″

Pros:

  1. Incredibly thin and lightweight: Only 2lbs and 0.11-0.52″ thick. Perfect if you’re traveling and often on the move.
  2. It’s an Apple computer: Mac OS X, Time Machine backup (automatically backs up system data to an external hard drive), many built-in apps, highly reliable, excellent customer service
  3. 2304 x 1440 (16×10 ratio, 226 pixels per inch) high resolution Retina 12″ IPS display. 178° wide viewing angle, great contrast and accurate, vibrant colors.
  4. Outstanding out of the box grey scale and color accuracy
  5. Excellent keyboard, with new butterfly switches: More stable and they have the same feel to them no matter where on the key you press.
  6. Backlit keyboard: Each key is individually lit. The LEDs are calibrated for uniform brightness, so every key and character looks clear and sharp with minimal light around the keycap.
  7. High-end performance storage makes your computer feel more responsive.
  8. Silent: The use of the low power Core M processor allows the Macbook to be fanless. It contains no motorized parts and the only moving parts are the keyboard keys, the trackpad, and the screen hinge.
  9. USB-C port is reversible: Type-C connector is a clear improvement over Type-A if you’ve ever struggled with getting a device plugged in the first place. Either way is the right way, making it much easier to plug in USB devices.
  10. Long battery life: 9 hours of web browsing, 10 hours of Itunes movie playback.
  11. Solid chassis: All-aluminum unibody
  12. Solid screen hinge
  13. Force Touch trackpad: Excellent trackpad, with great multi-touch support
  14. Bluetooth 4.0
  15. Latest generation 802.11ac WiFi

Cons:

  1. Limited amount of ports: Only a single USB-C port and a combo audio jack. The Macbook 12″ uses its single USB 3.1 Type-C port for charging with the AC adapter too. If you plan on docking it to a screen, keyboard, mouse, etc., you’ll need an adapter or even two.
  2. Limited CPU performance: In sustained workloads (30 minutes +) the Core M will lower its frequency (and performance) to keep heat under control. Not ideal for heavy photo/video editing, heavy multitasking or demanding programs where high sustained CPU performance is required.
  3. Limited GPU (video card) performance. Forget playing modern video games or 3D rendering: you want a dedicated video card for that.
  4. No LAN port
  5. No optical drive
  6. No Numpad
  7. The Macbook cannot be serviced: RAM and storage cannot be upgraded, the battery is only replaceable by Apple.

Apple 13.3″ MacBook Pro Early 2015 model

– $2199.00 at B&HMacbook Pro 13.3

About the Apple 13.3″ MacBook Pro 2015 model:

If you are looking for a MacBook that is ideal for daily tasks such as office work, web browsing, emails and even some photo and video editing? This model is a good choice for you. It’s a laptop that’s solid, light weight, with an excellent battery life, great backlit keyboard and trackpad and decent CPU power, without the bulk nor requirement of the higher performance of the Macbook Pro 15.4″.

The model I recommend is equipped with an Intel Core i7 Dual-Core processor, a 512GB PCIe SSD and 16GB on RAM.

If you are looking to do some demanding photo and video editing with heavy files, I suggest going for a Macbook pro 15.4″.

This is the older model, but it’s also less expensive than the newer model, as well as equipped with more ports and the SD card reader.

Pros:

  1. Outstanding display: 2560 x 1600 13.3″ Retina display, with an IPS panel for accurate colors and great viewing angles.
  2. High-performance 1866MHz memory.
  3. Better performance than the Macbook and Macbook Air: You still get dual-core CPUs, but with significantly higher frequencies, resulting in higher performance.
  4. Good amount of ports: 2x USB 3.0, two ThunderBolt 2 (Mini DisplayPort via Thunderbolt port), 1x HDMI, SDXC card reader and a combo audio jack.
  5. Thin and lightweight: 3.46 lbs and 0.7″ thick. Not as thin nor as light as the Macbook nor the Macbook Air, but still far from thick and heavy.
  6. It’s an Apple computer: Mac OS X, Time Machine backup (automatically backs up system data to an external hard drive), many built-in apps, highly reliable, excellent customer service
  7. Excellent keyboard, great for typing
  8. Backlit keyboard
  9. High-end performance storage makes your computer feel more responsive.
  10. Very quiet: The fan is hardly audible, unless you push the CPU to 100% for a long time.
  11. Long battery life: 9 hours of web browsing
  12. Solid chassis: All-aluminum unibody
  13. Solid screen hinge
  14. Excellent trackpad, with great multi-touch support
  15. MagSafe power connector which automatically detaches from your laptop if you pull on it, preventing your Macbook from accidentally falling if you trip on the power cord.
  16. Bluetooth 4.0
  17. Latest generation 802.11ac WiFi

Cons:

  1. Good, but not the best CPU performance: The Macbook Pro 13.3″ is equipped with a dual-core CPU. For the highest performance, you’ll want the 15.6″ Macbook Pro, equipped with a quad-core CPU. Great for web browsing, music, Office work and lightweight programs. Not ideal for heavy photo/video editing, heavy multitasking or demanding programs where high sustained CPU performance is required. You’ll want a more powerful CPU and possibly more RAM for better performance, so consider a Macbook Pro instead.
  2. Limited GPU (video card) performance. Forget playing modern video games or 3D rendering: you want a dedicated video card for that. Once again, a Macbook Pro 15.6″ would be a better option.
  3. No LAN port. You can a USB adapter for 10/100 speed, or a Thunderbolt adapter for Gigabit speed.
  4. No optical drive. You can get an external USB powered optical drive, if you want to.
  5. No Numpad
  6. The Macbook Pro RAM cannot be upgraded: It’s soldered. The SSD storage can be upgraded, but it’s not the easiest process.

There is also a model available with a 1TB SSD : $2599.99 at B&H

Apple MacBook Pro 13.3″ Late 2016 Model

– $2499.00 at B&Hmacbook_pro_15-4_2016

About the Apple MacBook Pro 13.3:

This is the newer Macbook Pro 13.3″ model.  It is about .5lbs lighter, thinner, features a more powerful newer 6th generation Intel CPU, higher performance RAM and storage as well as a larger trackpad. This model also has a touch bar on top of the number row on the keyboard which allows you to use context specific controls in the applications you are using.

All ports were also replaced with Thunderbolt outputs which can be bothersome as they are no USB or HDMI outputs on the laptop. The SD card reader was also removed.

We also have an article dedicated to the Macbook Pro 13 if you want to learn more about them, their pros and cons, as well as see all the models that we recommend.
How to Choose the best Macbook Pro 13

Pros:

  1. Outstanding display: 2560 x 1600 13.3″ Retina display, with an IPS panel for accurate colors and great viewing angles.
  2. High-performance 1866MHz memory.
  3. Better performance than the Macbook and Macbook Air: You still get dual-core CPUs, but with significantly higher frequencies, resulting in higher performance.
  4. Four ThunderBolt 2 (Mini DisplayPort via Thunderbolt port)  and a combo audio jack.
  5. Thin and lightweight: 3.02 lbs and 0.7″ thick. Not as thin nor as light as the Macbook nor the Macbook Air, but still far from thick and heavy.
  6. It’s an Apple computer: Mac OS X, Time Machine backup (automatically backs up system data to an external hard drive), many built-in apps, highly reliable, excellent customer service
  7. Excellent keyboard, great for typing
  8. Backlit keyboard
  9. High-end performance storage makes your computer feel more responsive.
  10. Very quiet: The fan is hardly audible, unless you push the CPU to 100% for a long time.
  11. Long battery life: 8 hours of web browsing
  12. Solid chassis: All-aluminum unibody
  13. Solid screen hinge
  14. Excellent trackpad, with great multi-touch support
  15. MagSafe power connector which automatically detaches from your laptop if you pull on it, preventing your Macbook from accidentally falling if you trip on the power cord.
  16. Bluetooth 4.0
  17. Latest generation 802.11ac WiFi

Cons:

  1. Good, but not the best CPU performance: The Macbook Pro 13.3″ is equipped with a dual-core CPU. For the highest performance, you’ll want the 15.6″ Macbook Pro, equipped with a quad-core CPU. Great for web browsing, music, Office work and lightweight programs. Not ideal for heavy photo/video editing, heavy multitasking or demanding programs where high sustained CPU performance is required. You’ll want a more powerful CPU and possibly more RAM for better performance, so consider a Macbook Pro instead.
  2. Limited GPU (video card) performance. Forget playing modern video games or 3D rendering: you want a dedicated video card for that. Once again, a Macbook Pro 15.6″ would be a better option.
  3. No LAN port. You can a USB adapter for 10/100 speed, or a Thunderbolt adapter for Gigabit speed.
  4. No optical drive. You can get an external USB powered optical drive, if you want to.
  5. No Numpad
  6. No USB Type-A ports, no SD card reader and no HDMI output: You’ll need dongles to plug in most of your current accessories.
  7. The Macbook Pro RAM cannot be upgraded: It’s soldered. The SSD storage can be upgraded, but it’s not the easiest process.

Apple 15.4″ MacBook Pro 2015 model

$1779.00 at B&HMacbook Pro 13.3

About the Apple MacBook 2015 model:

The MacBook Pro 15.4″ is a good choice if you want a more powerful MacBook that on top of daily tasks and office work, can do photo and video editing. You will want to go for the MacBook Pro 15.4″.

This model is solid, has an excellent battery life and some of the best CPU performance in all Apple MacBook models, that is, excluding the newer 2016 model.

My basic recommendation has a 2.2GHz Intel i7 Quad-Core processor with a 512GB PCIe SSD and 16GB of RAM. If you are looking for a configuration that is good to edit heavy photos and videos, there is an alternative build with a dedicated graphic card below.

Pros:

  1. Outstanding display: 2880 x 1800 15.4″ Retina display, with an IPS panel for accurate colors and great viewing angles.
  2. 16GB of RAM memory.
  3. Best performance of all the Macbook: High frequency quad-core CPUs, 16GB of RAM and high-performance PCI-Express flash storage
  4. Good amount of ports: four ThunderBolt 2 (Mini DisplayPort via Thunderbolt port).
  5. Dedicated video card AMD Radeon Pro.
  6. It’s an Apple computer: Mac OS X, Time Machine backup (automatically backs up system data to an external hard drive), many built-in apps, highly reliable, excellent customer service
  7. Excellent keyboard, great for typing
  8. Backlit keyboard
  9. High-end performance storage makes your computer feel more responsive.
  10. Very quiet: The fan is hardly audible, unless you push the CPU to 100% for a long time.
  11. Long battery life: Up to 10 hours of web browsing
  12. Solid chassis: All-aluminum unibody
  13. Solid screen hinge
  14. Excellent Force Touch trackpad, with great multi-touch support
  15. MagSafe power connector which automatically detaches from your laptop if you pull on it, preventing your Macbook from accidentally falling if you trip on the power cord.
  16. Bluetooth 4.0
  17. Latest generation 802.11ac WiFi

Cons:

  1. Not as light and as thin as the Macbook and Macbook Air: 4.46 lbs and 0.7″ thick. Still fairly lightweight for laptop that offers that much performance and is made out of metal.
  2. No LAN port. You can a USB adapter for 10/100 speed, or a Thunderbolt adapter for Gigabit speed.
  3. No optical drive. You can get an external USB powered optical drive, if you want to.
  4. No Numpad
  5. No USB ports.
  6. No SD or MicroSD card reader.
  7. No HDMI output.

 

Apple 15.4″ MacBook Pro 2016 model

– 2599.00 at B&H

About the Apple 15.4″ MacBook 2016 model:

This is the newer MacBook Pro that was released at the end of 2016.

It has a newer and more powerful 6th generation Intel Core i7 Quad-Core processor with different choices of frequency, storage and RAM.

It is also lighter than the previous model and a larger touchpad. All models feature a dedicated AMD Radeon Pro Graphics card. The keyboard also has the new Touchbar which makes you able to use context specific controls in the applications you are using.

My basic recommendation has an Intel Core i7 Quad-Core CPU, a 512GB PCIe SSD, 16GB of RAM and a AMD Radeon Pro 450 2GB GPU.

This model is ideal for any type of tasks up to demanding photo and video editing and if you need a better graphic performance, alternatives with more powerful CPUs and GPU are available below!

We also have an article dedicated to the Macbook Pro 15 if you want to learn more about them, their pros and cons, as well as see all the models that we recommend.
How to Choose the best Macbook Pro 15

Pros:

  1. Outstanding display: 2880 x 1800 15.4″ Retina display, with an IPS panel for accurate colors and great viewing angles.
  2. 16GB of RAM memory.
  3. Best performance of all the Macbook: High frequency quad-core CPUs, 16GB of RAM and high-performance PCI-Express flash storage
  4. Good amount of ports: 2x USB 3.0, two ThunderBolt 2 (Mini DisplayPort via Thunderbolt port), 1x HDMI, SDXC card reader and a combo audio jack.
  5. Dedicated video card (AMD Radeon R9 M370X) available on some higher-end models.
  6. It’s an Apple computer: Mac OS X, Time Machine backup (automatically backs up system data to an external hard drive), many built-in apps, highly reliable, excellent customer service
  7. Excellent keyboard, great for typing
  8. Backlit keyboard
  9. High-end performance storage makes your computer feel more responsive.
  10. Very quiet: The fan is hardly audible, unless you push the CPU to 100% for a long time.
  11. Long battery life: Up to 10 hours of web browsing
  12. Solid chassis: All-aluminum unibody
  13. Solid screen hinge
  14. Excellent Force Touch trackpad, with great multi-touch support
  15. MagSafe power connector which automatically detaches from your laptop if you pull on it, preventing your Macbook from accidentally falling if you trip on the power cord.
  16. Bluetooth 4.0
  17. Latest generation 802.11ac WiFi
  18. The SSD storage can be upgraded if you have the right tool, don’t mind following a guide to disassemble your Macbook Pro and a guide to copy your data.
  19. Amazingly light and thin for a 15.4″ laptop: 4lbs and 15.5mm

Cons:

  1. Not as light and as thin as the Macbook and Macbook Air: 4.46 lbs and 0.7″ thick. Still fairly lightweight for laptop that offers that much performance and is made out of metal.
  2. No LAN port. You can a USB adapter for 10/100 speed, or a Thunderbolt adapter for Gigabit speed.
  3. No optical drive. You can get an external USB powered optical drive, if you want to.
  4. No Numpad

Alternative builds

Intel Core i7 2.7GHz, 16GB RAM, 1TB SSD and AMD Radeon Pro 460 : $3299.00 at B&H
Intel Core i7 2.9GHz, 16GB RAM, 1TB SSD and AMD Radeon Pro 460 : $3499.00 at B&H
Intel Core i7 2.9GHz, 16GB RAM, 2TB SSD and AMD Radeon Pro 460 : $4299.00 at B&H

Gaming laptops

If you are looking for a high-end gaming laptop that suits your needs, we have an whole article on the subject, click here to see the Best High-End Gaming Laptops article.

17.3″ entertainment and desktop replacement laptop

HP OMEN 17 :

About the HP OMEN 17:

Simply put, this is the most inexpensive high-end desktop replacement laptop at the moment. It comes in a variety of different models with different configurations for the storage, RAM and graphic card. My base recommendation is the model with a 512GB PCie SSD, 16GB of RAM and a Nvidia Geforce GTX 1060.

It comes equipped with a powerful Intel i7-6700HQ Quad-core processor, 16GB of RAM which can handle multiple programs at once and a 512GB PCIe SSD which are some of the fastest storage drives up to date. They greatly improve the laptops responsiveness and booting speed.

The Nvidia Geforce GTX 1060 graphic card is more than capable of handling most games in 1080p Full HD resolution with maxed out details and a good FPS rate. If you are looking for a model that can run games decently with a 4K resolution, I suggest going for the model with a Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070.

This laptop is great to handle pretty much anything you throw at it, ranging from basic daily tasks to 4K videos and high end gaming.

Pros:

  1.  Equipped with a powerful Intel Core i7-6700HQ Quad-Core + Hyper-Threading 2.6GHz-3.5GHz CPU.
  2. 512GB or 1TB PCIe SSD depending on your configuration. SSDs greatly improve the laptop’s responsiveness and booting speed.
  3. 2TB hard drive which is a great amount of storage, more then enough to store plenty of music, videos, images and applications.
  4.  16GB or 32GB of ram depending on your configuration.
  5. RAM can easily be upgraded via the maintenance hatch on the back panel.
  6. Dedicated Nvidia Geforce GTX 1060 or 1070 graphic card depending on the configuration, which in both cases can run most games at a 1080p resolution with maxed out details and a decent FPS rate. Note that for gaming in 4K resolution with a good FPS rate you are better off choosing the option with a GeForce 1070 as the 1060 might see performance drops.
  7. IPS display panel for better contrasts, accurate colors and larger view angles.
  8. UHD (4K) 3840 x 2160 resolution.
  9. Matte screen that doesn’t reflect sunlight.
  10. Windows 10
  11. 3 x USB 3.0 ports.
  12. Decent battery life: 4 hours web browsing with WiFi, which is good for a 17.3″ laptop.
  13. Supports Nvidia’s G-Sync which prevents screen tearing, minimizes stutter and input lag for an improved and smoother gameplay.
  14. Mini Displayport and HDMI outputs to connect your display to an external display.
  15. Ethernet RJ45 port for a direct internet connection.
  16. Backlit keyboard.
  17. SD card reader.
  18. HD Webcam
  19. 802.11ac WiFi
  20. Decent speakers.
  21. Bluetooth 4.2
  22. Numpad

Cons:

  1. No dedicated left and right click buttons.
  2. No optical drive.
  3. Keyboard layout could be better : for example the up and down arrow keys are half size, this can be bothersome.
  4. While the RAM can be easily upgraded, the other parts such as the storage drives can be harder to upgrade since the back panel can be tricky to remove without breaking the plastic clips holding it.

Get the HP Omen 17:

512 GB SSD, 16GB RAM and Nvidia Geforce GTX 1060 : Click here to see the price on Amazon
512 GB SSD + 2TB HDD, 32GB RAM and Nvidia Geforce GTX 1070 : Click here to see the price on Amazon
1TB SSD + 2TB HDD , 16GB RAM and Nvidia Geforce GTX 1070 : Click here to see the price on Amazon
1TB SSD + 2TB HDD, 32GB RAM and Nvidia Geforce GTX 1070 : Click here to see the price on Amazon

Razer Blade Pro Gaming Laptop:

512GB SSD – Click here to see the price on Amazon
1TB SSD – Click here to see the price on Amazon

About the Razer Blade Pro Gaming Laptop:

This is a great desktop replacement as well as amazing gaming laptop. You get a powerful i7-6700HQ Quad-Core CPU, 32GB of RAM and a choice of a 512GB or 1TB SSD. You also have a Nvidia GeForce 1080 8GB GPU which is good enough to run most games at high resolutions with maxed up details and a good FPS rate as well as games in 4K resolution with high details and good FPS rate.

Pros:

  1. Equipped with an Intel Core i7-6700HQ Quad Core + Hyper-Threading 2.6GHz-3.5GHz CPU.
  2. 512GB or 1TB SSD drive: Much faster than a regular hard drive and an even faster booting speed.
  3. Dedicated NVIDIA GeForce 1080 graphics card, which allows you to play most games on high visual settings with good FPS and games on 4K resolution as well.
  4. Supports Nvidia’s G-Sync which prevents screen tearing, minimizes stutter and input lag for an improved and smoother gameplay.
  5. IPS display panel for better contrasts, accurate colors and larger view angles.
  6. Windows 10
  7. 32GB of DDR4 RAM.
  8. UHD (4K) 3840 x 2160 resolution
  9. Matte screen that doesn’t reflect sunlight.
  10. Keyboard Backlight which can be customized to your liking.
  11. Great mechanical keyboard for typing.
  12. 3 x USB 3.0 ports
  13. HDMI and Thunderbolt 3 output to connect your display and a external screen.
  14. Ethernet RJ45 port for a direct internet connection.
  15. SD card reader
  16. 802.11ac WiFi
  17. Bluetooth 4.0
  18. Only 0.88″ thick
  19. Great build quality

Cons:

  1. No numpad
  2. No dedicated right and left mouse buttons.
  3. No optical drive

Business laptops

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga Multimode:

Click here to see the price on Amazon

About the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga Multimode:

You are looking at the thinnest and lightest 14″ laptop in the world. This model is only 0.7″ thick and weights 2.8lbs!

It is also equipped with a quite powerful i7-6500U CPU,  has 8GB of RAM which is plenty to run multiple programs  and a 512GB PCIe SSD which greatly improves responsiveness and booting speed. It has a beautiful Quad-HD 2560 x 1440 resolution display with an IPS panel that brings out accurate colors, great constrasts and large view angles. Top that with good security features for all your business needs!

Pros:

  1. Equipped with an Intel Core i7-6500U CPU Dual-Core + Hyper-Threading 2.5-3.1GHz CPU.
  2. 512GB PCIe  SSD that is a lot faster than a regular HDD, it greatly speeds up your overall performance and booting speed.
  3. 8GB of DDR3 RAM allows you to run a few programs at once.
  4. Windows 7 pro
  5. Matte screen finish so it doesn’t reflect sunlight.
  6. IPS display panel for better contrasts, accurate colors and larger view angles.
  7. Quad HD 2560 x 1440 resolution.
  8. Micro SDXC and SDXC card reader: Useful to expand the storage capacity.
  9. Onelink+ connector to connect a dock.
  10. 3 x USB 3.0 ports.
  11. Spill resistant keyboard
  12. 1 HDMI and Mini display port output to plug your display on external screens.
  13. Dedicated touchpad right and left click buttons.
  14. Bluetooth 4.1
  15. 802.11ac WiFi
  16. HD 720p webcam.
  17. Finger print reader for better authentication security.
  18. Trusted platform module which is a specialised chip to secure hardware.
  19. Encryption platform
  20. SD card reader to add SD cards for extra storage.
  21. Thin and light : 0.7″ thick and 2.8lbs

Cons:

  1. No RJ45 Port
  2. No optical drive. You can get an external USB powered optical drive, if you want to.

Lenovo ThinkPad Carbon X1 Yoga:
About the Lenovo ThinkPad Carbon X1 Yoga:

You are looking at the thinnest and lightest 14″ laptop in the world. This model is only 0.7″ thick and weights 2.8lbs!

It is equipped with a powerful i7-6600U processor, 16GB of RAM and a 516GB or 1TB PCIe SSD depending on the configuration. PCIe SSDs are the fastest SSDs up to date and greatly improve responsiveness as well as booting speed.

Not only is this laptop fast and responsive it is also equipped with a beautiful QHD 2560 x 1440 resolution display with an OLED panel. Simply put, OLED panels are better than IPS panels, they offer an even better color reproduction, infinite contrast, perfect blacks and near perfect viewing angles.

The only downside of this model is the battery when it comes to browsing the internet with WiFi where it only lasts about 5 hours, although it does much better when it comes to watching movies or TV (8.5 Hours).

At the moment the Lenovo ThinkPad Carbon X1 Yoga is the best high-end convertible 2-in-1 laptop you can get!

Pros:

  1. Equipped with an Intel Core i7-6600U Dual-Core + Hyper-Threading 2.6-3.4GHz CPU.
  2. 512GB or 1TB SSD which is plenty of storage and is a lot faster than a regular HDD, it greatly improves responsiveness especially when booting the laptop.
  3. 2-in-1 convertible screen to switch to tablet mode for whatever suits your needs.
  4. Windows 10
  5. 16GB of DDR3 RAM.
  6. Thin and light : 0.7″ thick and 2.8lbs
  7. Quad HD 2560 x 1440 resolution
  8. OLED display panel for infinite contrasts, extremely accurate colors and almost perfect view angles.
  9. Keyboard keys retract automatically when not being used as a laptop
  10. Included stylus that can be recharged in 15 minutes : gives you 100 minutes of use.
  11. Great build quality : Case made of magnesium alloy and display cover made of carbon.
  12. Mini display port to connect your display on a external screen
  13. Onelink+ connector to connect a dock.
  14. HD Webcam.
  15. Fingerprint reader
  16. Backlit keyboard
  17. Spill resistant keyboard
  18. 3 x USB 3.0 ports.
  19. 802.11ac WiFi
  20. Decent speakers
  21. Bluetooth 4.1

Cons:

  1. No RJ45 Port
  2. No optical drive. You can get an external USB powered optical drive, if you want to.
  3. Poor battery runtime for some tasks : 5 hours web browsing with WiFi although it does last much longer when doing tasks such as watching movies and TV (8.5 hours).

Get the Lenovo ThinkPad Carbon X1 Yoga:

512GB from Amazon and Newegg ($2569.41)
1TB from Amazon and Newegg ($2899.41)

Workstations

HP  ZBook 17 G3:

About the HP  ZBook 17 G3:

In the high-end workstation category, the Zbook  17 G3 comes of at the best value for its price. This model is equipped with a powerful Nvidia Quadro M3000m workstation class graphic card with 4GB of graphic memory. When it comes to the processor, memory and storage, I recommanded several different configurations so that way you can find one that suits your need.

The base model comes with a powerful Intel Core i7-6700HQ Quad-Core processor, 16GB of RAM and a 512GB PCIe SSD. Other configurations include the even more powerful Intel i7-6820HQ Quad-Core processor with 16GB, 32GB, or 64GB RAM, a 1TB hard drive and a 512GB PCIe SSD.

PCIe SSDs are some of the fastess SSDs up to date and they greatly improve de responsiveness and booting speed of the laptop. This model also has a Full HD 1920 x 1080 1080p resolution display with an IPS panel which brings out accurate colors, great contrasts and large view angles.

Pros:

  1. Equipped with a Intel Core i7-6700HQ Quad-Core + Hyper-Threading 2.6-3.5GHz CPU or Intel Core i7-6820HQ Quad-Core + Hyper-Threading 2.7-3.6GHz CPU
  2. Dedicated NVIDIA Quadro m3000m 4GB workstation class graphic card.
  3. Windows 7 Pro or Windows 10 Pro
  4. 512GB PCIe SSD for a good storage capacity and awesome responsiveness and booting speed.
  5. Extra m.2 slot and 2.5″ slot to add extra storage devices.
  6. 16GB, 32GB or 64GB of DDR3 RAM
  7. Full HD 1920 x 1080 resolution
  8. Matte screen that doesn’t reflect sunlight
  9. IPS display panel for better contrasts, accurate colors and larger view angles.
  10. Keyboard backlight
  11. VGA and HDMI Output
  12. Touchscreen support
  13. Dedicated left and right click buttons
  14. Easy maintenance : The back panel can be easily removed to acess storage drives and RAM
  15. 4x USB 3.0 and 2 x USB 3.1 (Type-C) ports.
  16. Fingerprint scanner
  17. Smartcard reader.
  18. Numpad
  19. 1 RJ45 Ethernet port
  20. 1080p Webcam
  21. Dual-band 802.11 ac WiFi
  22. Bluetooth 4.2
  23. SD card reader to add extra storage.
  24. 3 year warranty.

Cons:

  1. No optical drive
  2. Keyboard layout could be better :  for example the up and down arrow keys are half size which can be bothersome.
  3. Battery life could be better: 5 hours when watching tv or movies or web browsing with the WiFi on.

Get the HP ZBook 17 G3 :

I7-6700HQ processor, 16GB RAM and 512GB SSD : Amazon and B&H ($2249.00)
I7-6820HQ processor, 16GB RAM and 512GB SSD + 1TB SSD: $2449.00 at B&H
I7-6820HQ processor, 32GB RAM and 512GB SSD + 1TB SSD: $2591.98 at B&H
I7-6820HQ processor, 64GB RAM and 512GB SSD + 1TB SSD: $2797.96 at B&H

MSI WS63 7RK-290US:

– Click here to see the price on Amazon
– $2599.00 at B&H (Worldwide Shipping)
 -$2599.00 at Newegg

About the MSI WS63 7RK-290US:

This is a nice step up from the previous recommendation as you get a newest generation powerful Intel Core i7-7700HQ Quad Core CPU, which, combined with 32GB of RAM is perfect to handle any work load you throw at it!

Not only do you get a better CPU, you also get the newest generation Nvidia Quadro P3000 workstation class graphic card which has 6GB of graphic memory. This means that it’s capable of handling larger projects without any problem.

On top of that, you get a 512GB PCIe SSD which means your laptop’s responsiveness and booting speed will be greatly improved. You also get a large 2TB hard drive for extra storage.

Pros:

  1. Equipped with a powerful Intel Core i7-7700HQ Quad-Core + Hyper-Threading 2.8-3.8GHz CPU.
  2. Dedicated workstation class NVIDIA Quadro P3000 6GB graphic card.
  3. Windows 10 Pro
  4. 512GB PCIe SSD, with speed up to 3300MB/s!
  5. 2TB hard drive which is a good amount of storage.
  6. 32GB of DDR4 RAM
  7. Full HD 1920 x 1080 resolution
  8. Matte screen that doesn’t reflect light.
  9. IPS display panel for better contrasts, accurate colors and larger view angles.
  10. Keyboard backlight
  11. Numpad
  12. HDMI Output
  13. 3 x USB 3.0 ports and 1 x USB 3.1 (Type C) Port with thunderbolt support.
  14. 1 RJ45 Ethernet port
  15. 720p Webcam
  16. Dual-band 802.11 ac WiFi
  17. Bluetooth 4.2
  18. Dedicated left and right click buttons.
  19. SD card reader
  20. Thin and light for a 15″ laptop : 3.69lbs and 0.69 thick.

Cons:

  1. Keyboard layout could be better :  the arrows keys overlap with the numpad which can be bothersome.
  2. No optical drive

HP 17.3″ ZBook 17 G3 :

Click here to see the price on Amazon
$3125.49 at B&H (Worldwide Shipping)

About the HP  ZBook 17 G3:

If you are looking for even more power and performance, the HP ZBook 17 G3 has a model that is equipped with an even more powerful Intel Xeon E3-1535M Quad-core processor, 16GB of ECC RAM and a 512GB PCIe SSD combined with a 1TB hard drive. ECC RAM is perfect for mission critical work, where utmost reliability is required.

This laptop has an even more powerful Nvidia Quadro m4000m workstation class graphic card with 4GB of graphic memory.

Other than that, this model offers the same specs as my ZBook recommendation above so they share the same pros and cons.

Alternative

Looking for a laptop with an even better graphic performance? This model is also offered with a more powerful Nvidia Quadro m5000m graphic card with 8GB of graphic memory.

You can get it for $3563.53 at Newegg

MSI WT72 6QN-219US

– $msi-workstation4199.00 at Newegg

About the MSI WT72 6QN -219US :

This model is equipped with one of the best workstation class graphic card on the market at the moment, the Nvidia Quadro M5500, this is useful if you are looking for the maximum graphic performance you can get on a mobile workstation as well as a model that is VR ready.

According to MSI: “MSI’s WT72 armed with the M5500 Quadro, GPU comes with a variety of exclusive NVIDIA technologies to maximize the VR experience, including VRWorks, an innovative rendering technology for VR content called MultiRes Shading, and Content Priority. The WT72 is Autodesk VRED certified and is compatible with existing VR systems, including Oculus Rift and HTC Vive.”

Other than the great graphic card, this model has a powerful Intel Core i7 6820HQ Quad-Core CPU, 32GB of RAM, 256GB SSD in RAID combined with a 1TB hard drive.

Pros:

  1. Equipped with a powerful Intel Core i7-7700HQ Quad-Core + Hyper-Threading 2.7-3.6GHz CPU.
  2. Dedicated workstation class NVIDIA Quadro M5500 8GB graphic card.
  3. Windows 10 Pro
  4. 256GB SSD in RAID, which improve the laptops responsiveness and booting speed.
  5. 1TB hard drive which is a good amount of storage.
  6. 32GB of DDR4 ECC RAM
  7. ECC RAM is perfect for mission critical work, where utmost reliability is required.
  8. Full HD 1920 x 1080 resolution
  9. Matte screen that doesn’t reflect light.
  10. IPS display panel for better contrasts, accurate colors and larger view angles.
  11. Keyboard backlight
  12. Numpad
  13. HDMI Output
  14. 6 x USB 3.0 ports and 1 x USB 3.1 (Type C) Port with thunderbolt support.
  15. 1 RJ45 Ethernet port
  16. Optical drive
  17. 720p Webcam
  18. Dual-band 802.11 ac WiFi
  19. Bluetooth 4.1
  20. Dedicated left and right click buttons.
  21. SD card reader
  22. Thin and light for a 15″ laptop : 3.69lbs and 0.69 thick.

Cons:

  1. Keyboard layout could be better :  the arrows keys overlap with the numpad which can be bothersome.
  2. Quite heavy : 8.40lbs

Upgrade your Laptop:

Upgrade your RAM:

RAM can easily be upgraded in some laptops. Do note that some laptops cannot be upgraded at all, due to their unique design. A quick google search should provide that info. Feel free to ask me in the comment section if you aren’t sure and can’t find the info.

Visit The Best Computer Memory (RAM) article for my recommendations. Note that you’ll want SODIMM RAM, either DDR3 or DDR4 depending on your laptop.

Upgrade your storage:

You can upgrade your storage to an higher capacity hard drive or SSD.

See our article on The Best Hard Drives (HDD) For Your Money and scroll down to the best 2.5″ hard drives for my recommendations.

If you want to upgrade your SSD, I recommend that you read our The Best SSDs (Solid State Drives) For Your Money article.

Compatibility note:
Make sure to check if:
Your laptop storage can be upgraded and whether you can handle it yourself or need assistance. Some models cannot be upgraded and for models which can be upgraded, some are easier than others to upgrade.

SSD: Check if you have a 2.5″ SATA III or a SATA III M.2 SSD or a PCIe SSD.
Hard Drives: Some laptops accept hard drives with a 7mm height, others with a 9.5mm height.

Looking for a different external case or need a specific cable? Leave a comment if you need assistance with finding what’s best for your needs.

USB DVD and Blu-Ray Drives

If your laptop doesn’t come with an optical drive and you want one, here are my recommendations for external USB optical drives.

USB DVD Burner

The LG GP60NB50 8x, from Amazon or from B&H (Worldwide Shipping), is the one with the best customer reviews.

USB Blu-Ray Burner

I recommend three USB Blu-Ray burner. Make sure to plug them in an USB 3.0 port to get the maximum speed possible.

In order of price and burning speed:
Pioneer BDR-XD05S 6x, from Amazon or $74.99 at B&H (Worldwide Shipping)

– ASUS BW-12D1S-U 12x from Amazon or $99.95 at B&H (Worldwide Shipping)

OWC Mercury Pro External USB 3.0 16x Blu Ray reader/writer, $129.50 at B&H (Worldwide Shipping)

WiFi routers, WiFi Adapters and Bluetooth adapter:

Need a WiFi router, an USB WiFi adapter or an USB Bluetooth adapter for your laptop? Check out our recommendations for The Best WiFi Routers, Best WiFi Adapters and Bluetooth Adapter.

External storage drive

Do you want to buy a external hard drive, external SSD or USB flash drive for extra storage or backup? Check out our recommendations for the Best External Hard Drives, SSDs and Flash Drives.

Conclusion

I hope that this article was useful to you. I can imagine that you have some questions

Alternatively, you may believe that there’s a better option than my recommendation.

I invite you to leave your questions, feedback on what you’d like to see in this article and anything that you’d like to say in a comment.

Please leave a comment below and I’ll get back to you, to help find the best laptop for your needs and to answer your questions.