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The Best Mid-Range Laptops?

By that, I mean the laptops that offer the best features according to their category, at multiple price points ranging from $999 to $1999.

Looking for all our articles on laptops?

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

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 laptop for my needs and budget?

My goal is to 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?

I’m here to help you with this article. I believe that you deserve the computer that is the best match 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 20 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, Graphic Card and Wireless Adapter
3. Screen: Size, Resolution, Matte or Glossy, 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 mid-range laptops at multiple price points ranging from $999 to $1999.

Summary: The Best Mid-Range laptops

Click on any of these links to jump to the section that interests you.

  1. Ultrabooks: Lightweight, small, thin, great battery life. Ideal for traveling.
    13.3″ screen ultrabook: Lightweight laptops with a 13.3″ regular screen. 
    14-15.6″ screen ultrabook:
    Lightweight laptops with a 14-15.6″ regular screen. 
    – 2-in-1 convertible flip screen: 360 degree hinge touchscreen, use it as a tablet, etc.
    – Detachable screen: Detach the screen from the base, use it as a tablet.
  2. Apple Macbook: The iconic Apple laptops, available in multiple models.
  3. Gaming/Creative Pros laptops: High graphic and CPU performance
  4. 17.3″ entertainment: Laptops with an even larger 17.3″ screen
  5. Business/Enterprise: Solid, fairly powerful, lightweight and long battery life
  6. Power Users: Ideal for photo/video/3D editing: High performance CPU, RAM and storage
  7. Workstations: Powerful, reliable and with workstation-class video cards

Prices for B&H as of December 11th 2020. Click on Amazon links to see prices. Prices and availability are subject to change.
Disclosure: I only recommend products I would use myself. This post may contain affiliate links so that, at no additional cost to you, I may earn a commission. As an Amazon Affiliate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Ultrabooks: Thin, lightweight, great battery life, ideal for traveling

13.3″ screen ultrabook

Samsung Galaxy Book Ion 13.3″:

– Click here to see the price on Amazon
– $1,199.99 at B&H

About the Samsung Galaxy Book Ion 13.3″:

(Also recommended as a 15.6″ model below)
Weighting in at a mere 2.14lbs and with a up to 22 hours battery life, the Samsung Galaxy Book Ion is the ideal travel companion.

While being thin and lightweight, it is also quite powerful with its Intel Core i7-10510U CPU and it is super responsive with a 512GB PCIe NVMe SSD that greatly improves the laptop’s booting speed.

The cherry on top? It’s equipped with a Samsung QLED display, which improves color coverage (100% sRGB) and offers higher maximum brightness: At default, this laptop has a 400 cd/m² brightness rating; however, it can reach up to 600 cd/m² in Outdoor Mode for use under the sun.

There’s also a fingerprint reader for a fast and easy sign in with Windows Hello.

All things considered, its power, size, weight and battery life make it an excellent travel laptop.

Pros:

  1. Equipped with an Intel Core i7-10510U Quad-Core + Hyper-Threading 1.8-4.9GHz CPU.
  2. 512GB NVMe PCIe SSD storage drive: Greatly improves responsiveness, reduces boot time, more reliable and more shock resistant than an hard drive.
  3. Windows 10 Pro
  4. 8GB of DDR4 RAM
  5. Full HD 1920 x 1080 1080p resolution.
  6. QLED panel: Great contrast, accurate color reproduction and large viewing angles.
  7. Bright display: Up to 600 cd/m² in Outdoor Mode for use under the sun.
  8. 100% sRGB color coverage
  9. Excellent battery life of up to 22 hours
  10. Backlit keyboard: it’s easier to see your keys when typing where there is less light.
  11. MicroSD card reader: Useful to expand the storage capacity.
  12. 2x full size USB Type-A,
  13. 1x Type-C USB Thunderbolt 3
  14. Full size HDMI port
  15. 720p HD Webcam
  16. Bluetooth 5.0
  17. 802.11ax WiFi 6 2×2
  18. 2x 5W speakers
  19. Highly portable: 12.04 x 7.87 x 0.51″ and 2.14lbs
  20. Hinge designed to put keyboard at slight angle for an improved typing position
  21. Fingerprint reader

Cons:

  1. 8GB of RAM can be on the low side if you run heavier applications or multitask heavily
  2. RAM is soldered and cannot be upgraded
  3. Not a touchscreen
  4. Nitpicking, but still annoying to me: the power button on the top right corner part of the keyboard, this can be bothersome.
  5. Small “shift” key on the right hand side due to the fingerprint reader key
  6. Half size arrow keys

ASUS 13.9″ ZenBook S UX393EA-XB77T:

– $1699.99 on B&H (Worldwide Shipping)

About the ASUS 13.9″ ZenBook S UX393EA-XB77T:

The ASUS Zenbook has been featured as a recommendation for many years now and it’s back in this update with its latest version based on Intel’s new 11th generation Tiger Lake CPUs.

Compared to the Samsung Galaxy Book Ion recommended above, this ASUS Zenbook offers quite a few interesting features:
– Higher CPU performance, thanks to a new CPU architecture on Tiger Lake CPUs and higher frequencies
– Higher GPU performance, thanks to the new Intel GPU architecture and more execution units
– An higher resolution display, with a 3:2 ratio, meaning that you get more vertical space. 3300 x 2200 compared to 1920 x 1080 on the Samsung Galaxy Book Ion.
– A high quality OLED display
– Thunderbolt 4 ports

Pros:

  1. Equipped with an Intel Quad-Core + Hyper-Threading Core i7-1165G7 2.8-4.7 GHz CPU.
  2. Newest Intel integrated graphics with higher performance: 96 Excution Units
  3. 1TB PCIe NVMe SSD storage drive: Greatly improves responsiveness, reduces boot time, more reliable and more shock resistant than an hard drive.
  4. Windows 10.
  5. 16GB of LPDDR4X high-performance RAM allows you to run multiple programs at once.
  6. 3300 x 2200 display resolution.
  7. Touchscreen
  8. OLED display panel for accurate colors (100% sRGB DCI-P3 color space coverage)
  9. 3:2 display aspect ratio, resulting in more vertical pixels
  10. Backlit keyboard: it’s easier to see your keys when typing where there is less light.
  11. All metal design: Looks sharp in my humble opinion
  12. 1x USB Type-A
  13. 2x USB Type-C Thunderbolt 4
  14. USB Type-C supports Displayport and charging
  15. HDMI output
  16. 720p HD Webcam
  17. Bluetooth 5.0
  18. 802.11ax WiFi 6
  19. ASUS Numberpad: Trackpad can be used as a numpad
  20. Highly portable: 12 x 8.8 x 0.62″ and 2.84lbs
  21. Hinge designed to put keyboard at slight angle for an improved typing position, cooling and audio

Cons:

  1. Keyboard layout could be better : Half-size arrow keys and the power button on the top right corner is part of the layout
  2. No RJ45 Ethernet port

Dell XPS 13:
– Click here to see the price on Amazon
– $1749.00 at B&H (Worldwide Shipping)

About the Dell XPS 13:

Another highly-rated classic ultrabook, the Dell XPS 13 is a force to be reckoned with.

Featuring an Intel six-core CPU, a display with a 4K resolution, high brightness and 100% sRGB color coverage and a 11.5 hours battery life, all in .46″ thick body weighting 2.7lbs, the XPS 13 is a lightweight and capable computer.

With 16GB of RAM, a 512GB PCIe NVMe SSD and three USB Type-C ports, two of them supporting Thunderbolt 3, supports Displayport output and power delivery through USB Type-C, this Dell XPS 13 is a well rounded laptop.

Pros:

  1. Equipped with an Intel Core i7-10710U 6 Cores + Hyper-Threading 1.1.-4.7GHz
  2. 512GB PCIe NVMe SSD greatly improves responsiveness especially when booting the laptop.
  3. Windows 10 Pro
  4. 16GB of RAM allows you to run multiple programs at once.
  5. Touchscreen
  6. Very small bezels screen.
  7. Backlit keyboard.
  8. 4K 3840 x 2160 resolution
  9. 100% sRGB color space coverage
  10. High maximum brightness of 400 cd/m2
  11. IPS panel: Great contrast, vibrant color reproduction and large viewing angles.
  12. Display is with Corning Gorilla Glass 4. Dell says it should hold up against drops.
  13. Great battery life that lasts up to 11.4 hours.
  14. 3x USB Type-C ports that support Thunderbolt 3, Displayport video output and power delivery
  15. Laptop is charged through USB Type-C
  16. Supports up to two 4K external displays
  17. microSD card reader.
  18. Good speakers
  19. Great build quality: Rugged aluminum top and bottom shell, with a black hybrid carbon fiber body sandwiched in between
  20. 720p HD Webcam
  21. 802.11ax WiFi 6
  22. Bluetooth 5.0
  23. Glass touchpad
  24. Thin and light: 11.98 x 7.88 x 0.6″ and 2.84 lbs.
  25. Good clean simple design, fits in any environment

Cons:

  1. RAM is soldered and cannot be upgraded
  2. Fans can get a little loud under a heavy sustained load
  3. No RJ45 Ethernet port.
  4. No numpad as it is usually the case with 13″ laptops.
  5. No HDMI output: Displayport through USB Type-C

14-15.6″ Ultrabook:

Samsung Galaxy Book Ion 15.6″:

– Click here to see the price on Amazon

About the Samsung Galaxy Book Ion 15.6″:

(Also recommended as a 13.3″ model above)
The Samsung Galaxy Book Ion is a great laptop all around, considering its price.

It features a 10th generation Intel Core i7-10510U, a quad-core + Hyper-Threading CPU capable of handling everyday tasks with ease, with improved integrated graphics.

This laptop offers up to 21 hours of battery life.

It measures 14 x 8.98 x 0.59″ and weighs only 2.76lbs, which is amazing for a laptop equipped with a 15.6″ display. It’s the second lightest 15.6″ laptop that I recommended, second only to the LG Gram, which weights 2.5lbs

Its touchscreen display offers a 1920 x 1080 Full HD resolution, an QLED display panel for better contrasts, accurate colors and a high enough maximum brightness to use in direct sunlight.

Its build quality is good, despite its lightness, being all made of metal, magnesium to be specific. That said, it is thin metal to keep the weight down, so the base can be compressed if too much pressure is applied to it.

You get a fairly large capacity 512GB SSD, USB Type-A and Type-C, with Thunderbolt 3, DisplayPort and Power Delivery.

Its biggest con is that it only comes with 8GB of RAM. There’s an empty RAM slot, so you can add 8GB of RAM, but it involves a bit of work to get to the slot. So unless you don’t mind a bit of work to add 8GB of RAM (or paying someone to do the upgrade), make sure that 8GB of RAM is enough for your needs. For web browsing, watching videos, listening to music, editing documents and other lightweight workloads, 8GB ought to be enough for many years. But if you run heavier applications, such as photo editing, opt for a laptop with 16GB of RAM.

Pros:

  1. Equipped with an Intel Core i7-10510U Quad-Core + Hyper-Threading 1.8-4.8GHz CPU.
  2. 512GB SSD that is a lot faster than a regular HDD, it greatly improves responsiveness especially when booting the laptop.
  3. Very small bezels
  4. Windows 10
  5. 8GB of RAM.
  6. Fingerprint reader to login without a password
  7. Great Battery: up to 21 hours
  8. Build made of metal: Magnesium
  9. Incredibly light for a 15.6″ laptop: Only 2.76lbs
  10. QLED display panel for better contrasts, accurate colors and high brightness
  11. Webcam
  12. Backlit keyboard
  13. 2 x USB Type-A ports
  14. 1x USB Type-C, with Thunderbolt 3, DisplayPort and Power Delivery.
  15. HDMI output
  16. 802.11ax WiFi6 MU-MIMO 2×2
  17. Bluetooth 5.0
  18. Nice, subtle design
  19. Micro SD port, but you need a SIM card removal tool (or a paper clip) to access it.

Cons:

  1. “0” and Enter keys on numpad are smaller than usual, as is the right Shift key.
  2. Arrow keys are half size
  3. No RJ-45 port

ASUS Zenbook, 14″ and 15.6″:

14″: – Click here to see the price on Amazon, – $1149.00 at B&H (Worldwide Shipping)
15.6″: – $1199.00 at B&H (Worldwide Shipping)

About the ASUS Zenbook 14″ and 15.6″:

You get a few interesting additions here:

Namely, you get dedicated graphic cards:
– A GeForce MX 250 2GB in the 14″ model
– A GeForce GTX 1650 4GB in the 15.6″ model

Of course, you probably noticed in the picture:
The “ScreenPad 2.0”: From ASUS: “The ASUS ScreenPad 2.0 is essentially a touchscreen like that on a smartphone. It has a variety of functions including housing shortcuts, offering additional application options, and even supporting handwriting so you can digitize your notes and drawings. When not needed, it can revert back to standard touchpad duties using the Mode Switch button.”

The ASUS Zenbook has been a popular ultrabook for years now. It’s easy to see why: You get great specifications, it has a gorgeous design (in my opinion) that’s solid, a good display, small screen bezels and a good battery life while being highly portable with a 14″ or 15.6″ screen, respective weights of 2.78lbs and 3.64lbs.

While being thin and lightweight, they are both quite powerful with their Intel Core i7-10510U CPU, a dedicated graphic card, 16GB of RAM and it is super responsive with a 512GB PCIe NVMe SSD that greatly improves the laptop booting speed.

The screen is good too, offering a 1920 x 1080 resolution, with 100% sRGB color coverage.

There’s also a Built-in IR camera for facial recognition sign in with Windows Hello.

Is it for you?
That said, if you don’t care for the ScreenPad and don’t need a dedicated graphic, there are alternatives that are lighter and offer longer battery life. See the other recommendations below.

Pros:

  1. Equipped with an Intel Core i7-10510U Quad-Core + Hyper-Threading 1.8-4.9GHz CPU.
  2. 512GB NVMe PCIe SSD storage drive: Greatly improves responsiveness, reduces boot time, more reliable and more shock resistant than an hard drive.
  3. Windows 10 Pro
  4. 14″ model: Nvidia GeForce MX 250 2GB dedicated graphic card
  5. 15.6″ model: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650 4GB dedicated graphic card
  6. 16GB of RAM allows you to run multiple programs at once.
  7. Full HD 1920 x 1080 1080p resolution.
  8. Tiny screen bezels
  9. IPS panel: Great contrast, accurate color reproduction and large viewing angles. 100% sRGB color coverage
  10. Matte screen that doesn’t reflect sunlight.
  11. Great battery life of up to 15 hours on the 15.6″ model
  12. Pretty decent speakers
  13. Backlit keyboard: it’s easier to see your keys when typing where there is less light.
  14. ScreenPad 2.0 — The touchpad is a touchscreen that can for shortcuts, etc.
  15. 14″ model: 1 x USB 3.1 (Gen2) Type-A, 1x USB 2.0 Type-A and 1x Type-C USB 3.1 (Gen 2), 1x MicroSD card reader
  16. 15.6″ model: 1 x USB 3.1 (Gen2) Type-A, 1x USB 2.0 Type-A and 1x Type-C USB 3.1 (Gen 2), 1x SD card reader
  17. Full size HDMI port
  18. Solid all-metal build quality.
  19. 720p HD Webcam
  20. Bluetooth 5.0
  21. 802.11ax WiFi 6 2×2
  22. Built-in IR camera for facial recognition sign in with Windows Hello
  23. Highly portable
  24. ErgoLift hinge designed for an improved typing position, optimized cooling system and enhanced audio performanc

Cons:

  1. RAM is soldered and cannot be upgraded
  2. Main screen is not a touchscreen
  3. Nitpicking, but still annoying to me: the power button on the top right corner part of the keyboard, this can be bothersome.
  4. Half-size arrow keys
  5. 15.6″ model: Numpad keys are smaller than letter keys

LG gram 15.6″:

Core i5-1035G7, 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD
– Click here to see the price on Amazon, – $1,149.00 at B&H (Worldwide Shipping)

Core i7-1065G7, 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD
– Click here to see the price on Amazon, – $1,246.99 at B&H (Worldwide Shipping)

Core i7-1065G7, 16GB RAM, 1TB SSD
– Click here to see the price on Amazon, – $1,696.99 at B&H (Worldwide Shipping)

About the LG gram 15:

When it comes to mid-range traditional 14-15.6″ laptops, this is one of my favorite models.

Why? Because of its combination of a large 15.6″ screen with an incredible low weight of 2.5lbs! If you want the lightest 15.6″ laptop, this is it!

This is in the same weight class as smaller 13.3″ ultrabook laptops.

Not only that, but this model also has a great battery life at up to 17 hrs!

You get a quite powerful Intel Core i5 and i7 CPUs and depending on your configuration, either 8GB or 16GB of RAM, along with 256GB or 1TB of SSD storage.

RAM and SSD can be upgraded!
Another thing that I like about this laptop is the fact that you can upgrade both the SSD and the RAM, unlike many laptops who only have soldered RAM.

RAM: It has 8GB on RAM soldered onboard, but also a RAM slot (occupied by a 8GB stick on the 16GB RAM model).

SSD: There are two M.2 slots. On the 256GB models, only one slot is occupied, while on the 1TB model, both slots are occupied with 512GB SSDs.

So if you don’t care for the not that faster Core i7 CPU, but want more RAM and or storage, get the least expensive option and upgrade the RAM and or add a SSD yourself!

Pros:

  1. Equipped with an Intel Quad-Core + Hyper-Threading Core i5-1035G7 1.1-3.7GHz or i7-1065G7 1.3-3.9 GHz CPU.
  2. Newer Intel integrated graphics with higher performance: Core i5: 48 Execution Units, Core i7: 64 Excution Units
  3. 256GB or 1TB SSD that is a lot faster than a regular HDD, it greatly improves responsiveness especially when booting the laptop.
  4. Two M.2 slots, one that’s empty on the 256GB models.
  5. Great 17 hours battery life.
  6. Full metal case, magnesium alloy
  7. Windows 10
  8. Fast and secure login with the fingerprint reader, through Windows Hello
  9. Great keyboard layout
  10. 8GB or 16GB DDR4 3200MHz RAM, depending on your configuration.
  11. 8GB onboard RAM, but there’s a RAM slot, either empty (8GB models) or filled with a 8GB stick (16GB RAM model)
  12. Full HD 1920 x 1080 display resolution.
  13. Touchscreen display
  14. IPS display panel for better contrasts, accurate colors and larger view angles.
  15. Thin bezels
  16. MicroSD card reader to add an extra MicroSD card to add more storage for your music, videos and images.
  17. HD 720p Webcam.
  18. Backlit keyboard
  19. Numpad
  20. 4 USB ports in total: 3 x USB 3 Type-A,  1 x USB 3.1 (Type-C) ports.
  21. USB Type-C port supports Thunderbolt 3
  22. Fingerprint reader
  23. HDMI output to connect your display on external screens.
  24. 802.11ax WiFi 6 MU-MIMO 2×2
  25. Bluetooth 5.0
  26. Lightest 15.6″ laptop: Only 2.5lbs!

Cons:

  1. Nitpicking, but still annoying to me: the power button on the top right corner part of the keyboard, this can be bothersome.
  2. Magnesium casing isn’t the most rigid, but it won’t flex under normal usage.
  3. Half-size arrow keys

Acer Swift 5 14″:

– Click here to see the price on Amazon

About the Acer Swift 5 14″:

It offers interesting features compared to the laptops above:
– Higher CPU performance, thanks to a new CPU architecture on Tiger Lake CPUs and higher frequencies
– Higher GPU performance, thanks to the new Intel GPU architecture and more execution units
– An Antimicrobial body, touchscreen and touchpad
– A mix of 16GB of RAM and a 1TB SSD at a great price
– Thunderbolt 4
– Only 2.31lbs

Pros:

  1. Equipped with an Intel Core i7-1165G7 Quad-Core / 8 threads 2.8-4.7GHz
  2. Newest Intel integrated graphics with higher performance: 96 Excution Units
  3. 1TB PCIe NVMe SSD storage drive: Greatly improves responsiveness, reduces boot time, more reliable and more shock resistant than an hard drive.
  4. Windows 10.
  5. 16GB of high-performance LPDDR4X RAM allows you to run multiple programs at once.
  6. IPS display panel, 100% sRGB, good brightness up to 340nits
  7. Touchscreen
  8. Good battery life: Up to 15 hours
  9. Backlit keyboard: it’s easier to see your keys when typing where there is less light.
  10. 1x USB Type-A and 1x USB Type-C
  11. USB Type-C supports Displayport and charging
  12. 720p HD Webcam
  13. Bluetooth 5.0
  14. 802.11ax WiFi 6
  15. Highly portable: 12.56 x 8.15 x 0.59 and 2.31lbs

Cons:

  1. Keyboard layout could be better : Half-size down and up arrow keys and the power button on the top right corner is part of the layout
  2. No RJ45 Ethernet port
  3. No numpad
  4. No card reader

Lenovo Ideapad Slim 9 14″:

– $1,299.00 on B&H (Worldwide Shipping)

About the Lenovo Ideapad Slim 9 14″:

Compared to the Acer Swift 5 above, you get the same CPU, GPU and RAM specs. Battery life is also similar.
You get a smaller 512GB SSD, but you gain a display with a much higher resolution: 4K 3840 x 2160

Pros:

  1. Equipped with an Intel Core i7-1165G7 Quad-Core / 8 threads 2.8-4.7GHz
  2. Newest Intel integrated graphics with higher performance: 96 Excution Units
  3. 512GB PCIe NVMe SSD storage drive: Greatly improves responsiveness, reduces boot time, more reliable and more shock resistant than an hard drive.
  4. Windows 10.
  5. 16GB of high-performance LPDDR4X RAM allows you to run multiple programs at once.
  6. 4K display resolution: 3840 x 2160
  7. IPS display panel, 90% DCI-P3, good brightness up to 500nits
  8. Touchscreen
  9. Good battery life: Up to 15 hours
  10. Good keyboard
  11. Backlit keyboard: it’s easier to see your keys when typing where there is less light.
  12. 3x USB Type-C Thunderbolt 4 with Displayport and Power Delivery
  13. 720p HD Webcam
  14. Bluetooth 5.1
  15. 802.11ax WiFi 6
  16. Highly portable: 12.5 x 7.9 x 0.6″ and 2.6lbs

Cons:

  1. Keyboard layout could be better : Half-size down and up arrow keys
  2. No RJ45 Ethernet port
  3. No numpad
  4. No card reader

ASUS ExpertBook 14″:

– $1,674.00 at B&H (Worldwide Shipping)

About the ASUS ExpertBook 14″:

Another one of my favorite models.

Why? Because of its combination of a 14″ screen with an low weight of 2.19lbs, while having an incredible up to 24 hours of battery life!

The ExpertBook also features a touchpad incorporating a NumberPad — an LED-illuminated numeric keypad, a great idea to try to solve the problem of a lack of numpad on smaller laptops.

There’s also an empty M.2 slot, should you desire to add more SSD storage.

A 3 years warranty is certainly a big pro.

Finally, a nice touch is the inclusion of a LAN port, although it requires the use of a dongle.

Pros:

  1. Equipped with an Intel Core i7-10510U Quad-Core + Hyper-Threading 1.8-4.9GHz CPU.
  2. 512GB SSD that is a lot faster than a regular HDD, it greatly improves responsiveness especially when booting the laptop.
  3. 2nd, empty, M.2 slot allows you to add more SSD storage
  4. Amazing 24 hours battery life.
  5. Full metal case: magnesium-lithium alloy
  6. Spill-resistant backlit keyboard
  7. NumberPad — an LED-illuminated numeric keypad activated by a touch on the trackpad
  8. Windows 10 Pro
  9. Fast and secure login with the fingerprint reader, through Windows Hello
  10. 16GB of RAM
  11. Full HD 1920 x 1080 display resolution.
  12. Matte display that doesn’t reflect light.
  13. IPS display panel for better contrasts, accurate colors and larger view angles.
  14. Screen has a 100% sRGB color space coverage
  15. Screen goes up to 300 nits
  16. Screen opens all the way back, 180 degrees
  17. Thin bezels
  18. HD 720p Webcam, with privacy shutter
  19. 1x USB Type-A and 2x USB Type-C
  20. USB Type-C ports support Thunderbolt 3 and Power Delivery
  21. Laptop is charged via USB Type-C
  22. HDMI output to connect your display on external screens.
  23. 802.11ax WiFi 6 2×2 MU-MIMO
  24. Bluetooth 5.0
  25. Thin and light build : 0.59″ thick and 2.19lbs!
  26. Highly portable for a 15″ laptop: 12.6 x 7.99 x 0.59″ / 32 x 20.3 x 1.49 cm
  27. 3 years warranty

Cons:

  1. RAM is soldered and cannot be upgraded
  2. No microSD or SD card reader
  3. No optical drive. You can get an external USB powered optical drive, if you want to.
  4. Keyboard layout could be better : Half-size down and up arrow keys and the power button on the top right corner is part of the layout

Powerful 14-15.6″ laptops six or eight core CPUs:
If you are looking for a more powerful laptop, see our recommendations for Creative Pros in the Best Mid-range Laptops for Gaming and Creative Pros article.

2-in-1 convertible flip screen ultrabook

Samsung Galaxy Book Flex:
– Click here to see the price on Amazon
– $1099.00 at B&H

About my selection:

There are other, slightly less expensive options, but I don’t recommend them because they are too heavy to be comfortably used as a tablet for an extended period of time, which defeats the point of having a 2-in-1 convertible flip laptop. My four recommendations respectively weight 2.56lbs, 2.53lbs, 2.65lbs and 2.2lbs

About the Samsung Galaxy Book Flex:

This laptop is a great deal if you are looking for a touchscreen ultrabook that can be flipped all the way back, to be used as a tablet, is great for web browsing, emails and watching videos, offers plenty of storage space and a beautiful display.

You get an amazing up to 22 hours battery life.

The touschreen display is made by Samsung and its a QLED that can get bright (600cd/m2) and has great color gamut coverage: 99.6% DCI-P3 and 99.9% sRGB

Another big pro is the included S-pen. An integrated Bluetooth-enabled S Pen now lets users easily take notes, draw, and navigate. Users can even access shortcuts for PowerPoint presentations, media controls, and camera options by simply making gestures with S Pen Air actions.

Sound is handled by a pair of 5W speakers, much more powerful than the 1.5-2W speakers usually found in 13.3″ laptops.

The Intel Core i7 quad-core CPU offers a good performance for everyday tasks, same goes with the integrated Intel Iris Plus graphics, combined with 8GB of RAM and a 512GB SSD that offers a good amount of storage and also improves the laptops responsiveness and booting speed.

The Samsung Galaxy Book Flex is also pretty thin, light and highly portable : 11.91 x 7.99 x 0.51″ and 2.56lbs.

Pros:

  1. Equipped with an Intel Core i7-1065G7 Quad-Core + Hyper-Threading 1.3-3.9GHz CPU
  2. 512GB SSD which is fairly high capacity for a SSD.
  3. SSD is a lot faster than a regular HDD, it greatly improves responsiveness especially when booting the laptop.
  4. 8GB of RAM
  5. Windows 10
  6. 2-in-1 convertible screen to switch to tablet mode for whatever suits your needs.
  7. Amazing battery life: up to 22hrs.
  8. Full HD 1920 x 1080 1080p touchscreen, anti-glare so it doesn’t reflect light.
  9. QLED display panel for better contrasts, vibrant colors and wider view angles.
  10. Samsung S-Pen
  11. Fingerprint reader
  12. Micro SD card reader.
  13. Good speakers for a laptop this size
  14. 720p HD Webcam.
  15. Backlit keyboard
  16. 3 x USB 3.1 (Type C) ports, two support Thunderbolt 3, Displayport output and Power Delivery
  17. Charging through USB Type-C
  18. Thin and light: 11.91 x 7.99 x 0.51″ and 2.56lbs
  19. 802.11ax WiFi 6 Wireless 2×2 MU-MIMO
  20. Bluetooth 5.0
  21. When not in use, the touchpad can be converted to a wireless Qi charging pad by pressing Fn + F11. Please note that it requires a minimum of 30% to share.

Cons:

  1. RAM is soldered and cannot be upgraded
  2. No HDMI port means you’ll like have to get a dongle
  3. No numpad

LG Gram 14:
– Click here to see the price on Amazon
– $1,346.99 at B&H

About the LG Gram 14

Want a laptop that is just as lightweight, but with a larger 14″ display, along with standard USB Type-A port and an HDMI port?

You still get an amazing up to 20.5 hours battery life.

Pros:

  1. Equipped with an Intel Core i7-10510U Quad-Core + Hyper-Threading 1.8-4.9GHz CPU
  2. 2x512GB SSD which is fairly high capacity for a SSD.
  3. SSD is a lot faster than a regular HDD, it greatly improves responsiveness especially when booting the laptop.
  4. 16GB of RAM (8GB soldered onboard and 1x8GB stick)
  5. Windows 10
  6. 2-in-1 convertible screen to switch to tablet mode for whatever suits your needs.
  7. Amazing battery life: up to 20.5hrs.
  8. Full HD 1920 x 1080 1080p touchscreen, anti-glare so it doesn’t reflect light.
  9. IPS display panel for better contrasts, vibrant colors and wider view angles.
  10. Stylus
  11. Fingerprint reader
  12. Micro SD card reader.
  13. 720p HD Webcam.
  14. Backlit keyboard
  15. HDMI Output
  16. 2x USB Type-A
  17. 1 x USB Type-C with Thunderbolt 3
  18. Light: 2.53lbs
  19. 802.11ax WiFi 6 Wireless 2×2 MU-MIMO
  20. Bluetooth 5.0

Cons:

  1. No numpad

ASUS ZenBook Flip S UX371EA-XH77T:
– $1,549.00 at B&H

About the ASUS ZenBook Flip S UX371EA-XH77T

This is the most powerful flip convertible notebook that I recommend. It features a latest 11th generation Intel Tiger Lake CPU, with the best integrated Intel Iris Plus GPU, 16GB of high performance LPDDR4X RAM, a 1TB NVMe SSD and the new Thunderbolt 4 port.

I kept the best for last: A gorgeous 3840 x 2160 4K touchscreen display with an OLED panel, for exceptional colors, contrast and brightness

Pros:

  1. Equipped with an Intel Core i7-1165G7 Quad-Core + Hyper-Threading 2.8-4.7GHz CPU
  2. 1TB NVMe SSD which is fairly high capacity for a SSD.
  3. SSD is a lot faster than a regular HDD, it greatly improves responsiveness especially when booting the laptop.
  4. 16GB of high performance LPDDR4X RAM
  5. Windows 10
  6. 2-in-1 convertible screen to switch to tablet mode for whatever suits your needs.
  7. Amazing battery life: up to 20.5hrs.
  8. OLED display panel for better contrasts, vibrant colors and wider view angles.
  9. 720p HD Webcam.
  10. Backlit keyboard
  11. HDMI Output
  12. 1x USB Type-A
  13. 2 x USB Type-C with Thunderbolt 4: Support Power Delivery and Displayport
  14. Light: 2.65lbs
  15. Numpad on trackpad
  16. 802.11ax WiFi 6 Wireless 2×2 MU-MIMO
  17. Bluetooth 5.0

Cons:

  1. RAM is soldered and cannot be upgraded

HP Elite Dragonfly:

– $1799.00 at B&H (Worldwide Shipping)

About the HP Elite Dragonfly:

You are looking at one of the thinnest and lightest convertible laptops on the market. The HP Elite DragonFly is only 0.63″ thick and weights 2.2lbs. This is an outstanding laptop to carry around.

It is available in quite a few configurations, but I went with one specific model, which comes with a display that can reach up to 1000nits, in other words, very bright, enough to use your laptop outdoors.

One big pro is the 4 speakers setup, resulting in a nicer, fuller and relatively louder sound for such a small laptop.

You also get an Intel quad-core CPU and 16GB of RAM, to be able to handle most workloads.

Pros:

  1. Equipped with an Intel Core i5-8365U Quad-Core + Hyper-Threading 1.6-4.1GHz
  2. 256GB PCIe SSD which 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 Pro
  5. Screen brightness can go up to 1000 nits to reduce glare and offer a better visibility outdoors
  6. 16GB of RAM.
  7. Thin and lightweight: 0.63″ thin and 2.2lbs
  8. Full HD 1920 x 1080 display resolution
  9. IPS display panel for better contrasts, accurate colors and larger view angles.
  10. Very high maximum display brightness of up to 1000 nits
  11. 720p HD Webcam
  12. Physical privacy shutter for webcam
  13. Backlit keyboard
  14. 4 speakers setup, resulting in a nicer, fuller and relatively louder sound for such a small laptop.
  15. Fingerprint reader and facial recognition with IR camera for easy login via Windows Hello
  16. 1x USB Type-A and 2x USB Type-C with Thunderbolt 3 and Power Delivery
  17. Laptop is charged through USB Type-C
  18. Fast charge: 4-50% in 37 minutes
  19. HDMI 1.4 video output
  20. 802.11ax WiFi 6 2×2 MU-MIMO
  21. Bluetooth 5.0
  22. Solid build: Magnesium alloy, practically no flex, solid hinges

Cons:

  1. RAM is soldered and cannot be upgraded
  2. No numpad

Detachable screen ultrabook

Microsoft Surface Pro 7

The Microsoft Surface Pro 7 is a full-fledged Windows computer in a tablet.

Core i5-1035G4, 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD:
– Click here to see the price on Amazon, $899.99 at B&H (Worldwide Shipping)

Core i5-1035G4, 16GB RAM, 256GB SSD:
– Click here to see the price on Amazon, $1,099.00 at B&H (Worldwide Shipping)

Core i7-1065G7, 16GB RAM, 256GB SSD:
– Click here to see the price on Amazon, $1,149.00 at B&H (Worldwide Shipping)

Core i7-1065G7, 16GB RAM, 512GB SSD:
– Click here to see the price on Amazon, $1,499.00 at B&H (Worldwide Shipping)

The advantage of the Microsoft Surface Pro 7 is that it’s a design that has been refined over 7 generations. Its display is gorgeous, bright and accurate, the kickstand is highly adjustable, the Surface Pro Type Cover (sold separately) turns the Surface Pro into a laptop. The Surface Pen (sold separately) provides up to 4096 levels of pressure sensitivity while the Surface Dial (also sold separately) allows for on-screen interactions.

Note that the RAM and SSD are soldered and cannot be upgraded. If you plan on keeping your PC for many years, opting for 16GB of RAM is a wise choice. You can always add a microSD card as an easy way to boost storage, but keep in mind that performance on a MicroSD card is way lower than the performance a SSD offers.

Choose a CPU:
Also note that there are two CPUs that are recommended, here are the differences to help you pick one.
Both CPUs are quad-core CPUs with Hyper-Threading.
The three differences are in the frequencies, graphics performance and cooling or lack of (fanless).

– Core i5-1035G4: 1.1-3.7GHz, 48 Graphics Execution Units, Fanless
– Core i7-1065G7: 1.3-3.9GHz, 64 Graphics Execution Units, Quiet fan

So basically the Core i5 is fine for the average user, for browsing the web, watching videos, editing documents, etc.
The Core i7 shines in two spots:
1- In its ability to sustain higher performance, thanks to its cooling fan, where as the Core i5 will have to lower its frequency faster to stay at a safe temperature.
2- Its higher graphics performance, if you plan on editing photos or any type of graphically intense workload.

Stay away from Surface Pro X, its Microsoft SQ1 CPU and ARM Windows
Avoid the Surface Pro X. It’s equipped with Microsoft SQ1 CPU, an ARM processor, which runs on a special version of Windows designed to run ARM apps and be sort of compatible with x86 programs. I say sort of because there a LOT of issues, with programs being either incompatible, not running properly, poor performance, etc. Battery life is also not that great. Basically, if you’re using Windows because you want all your Windows programs to work as intended, well stay away from the Surface Pro X.

Pros:

  1. Quad-core CPUs: Core i5-1035G4 1.1-3.7GHz, 48 Graphics EU or Core i7-1065G7 1.3-3.9GHz, 64 Graphics EU
  2. 2736 x 1824 high resolution 10 point touchscreen
  3. Excellent display: 95% coverage of SRGB color space, high maximum brightness
  4. Windows 10
  5. MicroSD card reader to add an extra MicroSD card to add more storage for your music, videos and images.
  6. 1x USB Type-C port, with Displayport support
  7. 1x USB Type-A port
  8. Great kickstand
  9. Accelerometer, Ambient Light Sensor and Gyroscope sensors
  10. Thin and light : 0.33″ and 1.7lbs
  11. Keyboard trackpad made of glass
  12. 802.11ax WiFi 6
  13. Bluetooth 5.0
  14. Great battery life, about 10 hours of web browsing
  15. Great build quality
  16. Excellent cameras: 5MP front camera, with 1080p video. 8MP back camera, with flash and 1080p video
  17. Core i5 models are fanless, Core i7 models have a fan, which is quiet and increases performance

Cons:

  1. RAM is soldered, you cannot add RAM
  2. SSD is soldered, you cannot add any SSD storage capacity
  3. No Thunderbolt 3 support
  4. The Microsoft type cover (keyboard/trackpad) is sold separately: Available in multiple colors, starting at $99.99 on B&H
  5. The Microsoft Surface Pen is sold separately: Blue or Red: B&H ($69.99), Black or Platinum: B&H ($69.99)
  6. The Microsoft Surface Dial is sold separately: B&H – $99.00

Apple Macbook

If you are looking for an Apple Macbook, we have articles dedicated to them:

1. How to choose the best Apple Macbook Air
2. How to choose the best Apple Macbook Pro 13
3. How to choose the best Apple Macbook Pro 16

Laptops for Gaming and Creative Pros

If you are looking for a laptop for either or both gaming and being a Creative Pro (editing photo, video, sound, 3D, rendering, etc.) where graphic and CPU performance matters, we have 3 article dedicated to them:

1. Best Budget Laptops for Gaming and Creative Pros
2. Best Mid-Range Laptops for Gaming and Creative Pros
3. 8 Best High-End Laptops for Gaming and Creative Pros

17.3″ entertainment:

HP ProBook 470 G7:

– $1119.00 at B&H

About the HP ProBook 470 G7:

One of the rare laptops with still a DVD drive, for those of you who want to keep watching their DVD collections, or listen to audio CDs, without needing an external USB optical drive.

Whether it’s watching movies, audio, video or photo content, this laptop should have no problem handling it all.

Equipped with the Core i7-10510U CPU and 16GB of RAM, along with a 512GB PCIe NVMe SSD, you get a snappy laptop.

Graphic wise, you get the 2GB AMD Radeon 530, which is no powerhouse, but plenty enough to accelerate video content decoding.

It is also equipped with a Full HD 1920 x 1080 resolution 17.3″ display, along with an IPS panel, meaning that you get large viewing angles, better color reproduction and better contrast. All of which are ideal if you want to watch movies, photo or any visual content really. It has an anti-glare finish.

Pros:

  1. Intel Core i7-10510U Quad-Core + Hyper-Threading 1.8-4.9GHz CPU.
  2. 2GB AMD Radeon 530 dedicated graphic card
  3. 512GB SSD storage drive which reduce loading and booting time, as well as improve overall computer responsiveness
  4. Empty 2.5″ bay allows you to add a 7mm 2.5″ hard drive or SSD for more storage
  5. 1920 x 1080 Full HD resolution.
  6. Anti-glare screen that doesn’t reflect sunlight.
  7. IPS panel: Good contrast, great color reproduction and wide viewing angles.
  8. Windows 10
  9. 2x x USB 3.0 and 1 x USB 2.0 ports.
  10. HDMI video output
  11. Ethernet RJ45 port for a direct internet connection.
  12. SD card reader.
  13. 16GB of DDR4 RAM which is plenty to watch videos, photos, play music, browse the Web, etc.
  14. 802.11ac WiFi 5 2×2 Dual-Band
  15. Bluetooth 5.0
  16. Optical drive
  17. Numpad
  18. Battery life up to 11.5 hours!
  19. Decent 720p webcam
  20. Backlit keyboard
  21. Dedicated left and right click mouse buttons.
  22. Top firing speakers, located above keyboard

Cons:

  1. Being such a large laptop (16.33 x 10.7 x 0.96″) with a DVD drive, it’s less portable and much heavier than smaller laptops, at 5.2lbs
  2. Build quality is okay, not great. Mix of metal and plastic.
  3. No fingerprint reader

LG Gram 17:

– Click here to see the price on Amazon
– $1,374.52 at B&H (Worldwide Shipping)

About the LG Gram 17:

While it doesn’t feature a DVD drive (you can always get an external USB optical drive), the LG Gram 17 is incredibly lightweight for a 17″ laptop, weighting in under 3lbs! It also features a very long battery life, at up to 17 hours, an higher 2560 x 1600 resolution 16:10 display and a fingerprint reader.

Pros:

  1. Intel Core i7-1065G7 Quad-Core + Hyper-Threading 1.3-3.9GHz CPU.
  2. Intel Iris Plus integrated graphic card: Faster than Radeon 530, similar to the GeForce MX 250.
  3. 2x512GB SSDs storage drive which reduce loading and booting time, as well as improve overall computer responsiveness
  4. 2560 x 1600 17.3″ display
  5. IPS panel: Good contrast, great color reproduction and wide viewing angles.
  6. Display covers about 100% of the SRGB color space
  7. Fingerprint reader
  8. Windows 10
  9. 3x x USB 3.1 Type-A, 1 x USB Type-C with Thunderbolt 3 with Power Delivery and Display port support
  10. HDMI and Displayport (via USB Type-C) video outputs
  11. Ethernet RJ45 port for a direct internet connection.
  12. microSD card reader.
  13. 16GB of DDR4 RAM which is plenty to watch videos, photos, play music, browse the Web, etc.
  14. Intel 802.11ax WiFi 6 2×2 Dual-Band
  15. Bluetooth 5.0
  16. Numpad
  17. Battery life up to 17 hours
  18. Decent 720p webcam
  19. Backlit keyboard
  20. Great build quality: Magnesium alloy

Cons:

  1. No DVD drive
  2. Not a touchscreen

Business laptops

Are you looking for a solid, lightweight laptop with a long battery life and security features such as a fingerprint reader or facial recognition? Take a look at the Ultrabooks section above for my recommendations.

Need a smart card reader? Use an USB smart card, such as this one, which can be used with practically any Windows or Apple laptop.
IOGEAR USBSmart Card Reader:
– Click here to see the price on Amazon
– $19.99 at B&H (Worldwide Shipping)

Power Users

If you are looking for a powerful laptop, we have 3 article dedicated to them. Yes, they are for “Gaming and Creative Pros”, but these are powerful laptops:

1. Best Budget Laptops for Gaming and Creative Pros
2. Best Mid-Range Laptops for Gaming and Creative Pros
3. 8 Best High-End Laptops for Gaming and Creative Pros

Workstations

ASUS ProArt StudioBook Pro W700G3T-XS77:

– Click here to see the price on Amazon
– $1999.99 at B&H (Worldwide Shipping)

About the ASUS ProArt StudioBook Pro W700G3T-XS77:

Equipped with a powerful Intel Core i7-9750H Six Core CPU with 16GB of ECC RAM to multi-task and run several programs at the same time with ease.

Graphic card wise, the modern Nvidia Quadro RTX 3000 with 6GB of graphic memory can handle most projects.

Storage wise, you get 1TB of high-performance PCIe NVMe SSD storage. There’s an ampty M.2 slot, allowing you to add another SSD should you need more storage.

The RAM is a 16GB stick and there’s another slot, so you can easily add another 16GB stick to get 32GB. You may also decide to put 64GB of RAM, with 2x32GB.

The 17″ display has a 16:10 ratio, with a 1920 x 1200 resolution, an IPS panel and a matte finish. It has a 97% DCI-P color gamut coverage and has Pantone validated color accuracy, with Delta E under 2.

Pros:

  1. Equipped with an Intel Core i7-9750H Six Core + Hyper-Threading 2.6-4.5GHz CPU
  2. Dedicated workstation class NVIDIA Quadro RTX 3000 Max-Q 6GB graphic card.
  3. Windows 10 Pro
  4. 1TB PCIe NVMe high-performance SSD
  5. Empty M.2 slot to add another SSD
  6. 16GB of DDR4 ECC RAM (1x16GB)
  7. Empty RAM slot, add another 16GB stick to get 32GB
  8. You can also get 64GB of RAM, with 2x32GB.
  9. 16:10 display ratio
  10. Full HD 1920 x 1200 resolution, matte finish, IPS panel
  11. Display has a 97% DCI-P color gamut coverage and has Pantone validated color accuracy, with Delta E under 2.
  12. Screen hinge opens up to 180 degrees
  13. Dedicated left and right trackpad buttons
  14. Matte screen that doesn’t reflect sunlight
  15. All metal build
  16. Keyboard backlight with 3 levels of brightness
  17. HDMI 2.0 and Displayport (through USB Type-C)
  18. 3 x USB Type-A (USB 3.1 / USB 3.2 Gen 2)
  19. 1x USB Type-C, with Thunderbolt 3 and Displayport support
  20. Stays relatively quiet even load
  21. Gigabit LAN through USB 3.0 to RJ45 Cable
  22. ISV Certified: An Independent Software Vendor (ISV) certification ensures that this system can be used with a variety of content-creation software from leading software companies such as AutoDesk and Adobe.
  23. 720p Webcam
  24. Fingerprint reader
  25. Dual-band 802.11 ax WiFi 6 2×2 MU-MIMO
  26. Bluetooth 5.0
  27. SD card reader
  28. Fairly thin and light for a 17″ laptop with such powerful hardware: .72″ and 5.27lbs

Cons:

  1. Keyboard layout could be better : Half size arrow keys
  2. No physical keys numpad, but there’s the NumberPad — an LED-illuminated numeric keypad activated by a touch on the trackpad
  3. Battery life is decent, but not great, as expected on a powerful workstation: Expect 3.5-5 hours of web browsing
  4. No dedicated left and right mouse buttons

Conclusion

I hope that you’ve enjoyed this article.

With this being such a long article with many recommendations and alternatives, you may find some typos.

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

Or you may have some questions.

In any case, 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.