Best laptop 2020: the best laptops available now

These are the very best laptops on the market right now, with great picks for both macOS and Windows users

Best laptops 2020
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(Image credit: Asus)

You want the best laptop of 2020, and we can help – this comprehensive buying guide covers laptops across all budgets, sizes and manufacturers, so whatever your requirements for your next personal computer, you're sure to find something compelling in this list.

Plenty of brilliant laptops are available right now, which is good news for consumers – but it can make finding the right pick a little more difficult. We can act as your guide through the choices on offer, pointing out what you need to know about displays, components, software and more. In the end, your decision will be as informed as possible.

Whether you want the best laptop for office work, the best laptop for gaming, the best 2-in-1 laptop or the best sub-$1,000 laptop – or you're interested in any other type of categorization – we've got your top picks right here. We're also updating this guide on a regular basis, so be sure to check back often.

What we're hoping to do is cut through all the noise and the jargon to bring you only the best laptops around, and the best laptop deals as well: pricing on laptops tends to change on a regular basis as retailers look to shift stock, so with a little bit of patience you should be able to grab a great deal.

You can check out some of our other more specific laptop guides below:

The best laptops you can buy today

Asus Vivobook S15


(Image credit: Asus)

1. Asus VivoBook S15

The best laptop for most people

Specifications
CPU: 1.6GHz Intel Core i5
Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 620
RAM: 4GB
Screen: 15.6-inch, Full HD (1,920 x 1,080)
Storage: 256GB SSD
Reasons to buy
+Vivid 15.6-inch screen+Light weight at just 1.8kg+Attractive price point

There isn't one particular selling point that makes the Asus VivoBook S15 so good: it's all good, from the spacious 15.6-inch display to the Intel Core i5 processor running inside to the elegance of the design. If you need something that combines the best of what a laptop can be then check out the VivoBook S15.

Sure, other laptops can beat in terms of raw power and performance, but not everyone wants to use their laptop for some heavy duty video editing or some hardcore gaming. For most of us, a laptop that can breeze through everyday tasks and show off streaming video really nicely is all we're going to need.

Cutting back a little on the specs means that the Asus VivoBook S15 comes in at a really attractive mid-range price point too, so you can spend the money you're saving on something even more exciting. Connectivity is impressive too, with a good selection of USB ports and an HDMI slot.

Dell XPS 13 2020 best laptops 2020


(Image credit: Dell)

2. Dell XPS 13 (2020)

The best premium laptop at the moment

Specifications
CPU: Up to 10th-generation Intel Core i7-1065G7
Graphics: Up to Intel Iris Plus
RAM: Up to 16GB
Screen: 13.4-inch display (up to 4K, 3,840 x 2,400 resolution)
Storage: Up to 1TB
Reasons to buy
+Powerhouse performance+Will last you many years

Year after year the Dell XPS 13 impresses us, and the 2020 edition is no different. It's just about the best compact laptop on the market – an impressive feat, considering the competition – and while it costs more than your average portable computer, we'd say that it's definitely worth the extra investment.

As usual with Dell laptops, a variety of configurations are available, and you can really max this out with some serious hardware if you've got the budget to cover it. That includes going all the way to a 4K screen, making videos and spreadsheets alike super-sharp on screen. The latest 10th-gen Intel chips are inside too, with up to 16GB of RAM available.

Dell has been refining the XPS 13 over several years now and it's hard to see what else they can improve on. The build quality is excellent, the display has real punch (and very thin bezels), and the typing and trackpad experience is top-notch too. Definitely one of the best laptops around right now.

HP Stream 14 best laptops 2020


(Image credit: HP)

3. HP Stream 14

The best budget laptop

Specifications
CPU: AMD A4 9125
Graphics: AMD Radeon R3
RAM: 4GB
Screen: 14-inch, HD (1,366 x 7,68)
Storage: 32GB eMMC
Reasons to buy
+Incredibly low price point+Stylish and light+Long-lasting battery

The best laptop for you might not be the one with the biggest screen, or the most powerful innards, or the most number of features – it might be the HP Stream 14. The one key area it does stand out in is value for money, and its the perfect pick if you're looking for a lot of bang for your laptop buck.

You can pick up the HP Stream 14 for a low, low price these days, but despite it not putting much of a dent in your savings, it can still handle all the computing basics very nicely indeed. As long as you're sticking to some light web use and office work, you won't be disappointed with what the HP Stream 14 has to offer.

We also very much like the look of the HP Stream 14 as well – you can definitely tell it's not a flagship, premium laptop, but it's well put together and won't weigh you down as you move from place to place. Definitely one for the students or parents to consider.

Lenovo Yoga C640 best laptops 2020

(Image credit: Lenovo)

4. Lenovo Yoga C640

Just about everything you could want from a laptop

Specifications
CPU: 10th-gen Intel Core i7-10510U
Graphics: Intel UHD
RAM: 8GB
Screen: 13.3-inch (1920 x 1080)
Storage: 512GB
Reasons to buy
+Versatile form factor+Up-to-date components+Minimal, subtle design

Buying a laptop with a 2-in-1 form factor means you can turn the screen over and use it as a tablet, and prop it up in tent mode – perfect for enjoying movies on a screen bigger than the one on your mobile phone while you're away from home. The design of the Lenovo Yoga C640 is just part of the appeal though.

The Intel Core i7 processor, 8GB of RAM and 512GB of storage are going to be perfect for just about every day-to-day task you'll need your laptop for – though heavy gaming and video editing are out of the equation with the integrated Intel graphics. This is a laptop that will nip along at top speed.

The 13.3-inch display is bright and sharp, but no so big that it's going to be a struggle to lug the laptop around with you. The classic refined Lenovo style is in evidence here as well, and we think this is going to be the best laptop for a lot of people.

Apple MacBook Air 2020 best laptops

The Apple MacBook Air 2020 is a superb laptop if you prize a premium design and portability.

(Image credit: Apple)

5. Apple MacBook Air (2020)

The best laptop for most Apple fans

Specifications
CPU: 10th Gen Intel Core i3 (3.2GHz)
Graphics: Intel Iris Plus
RAM: 8GB
Screen: 13.3-inch 2,560 x 1,600 pixel-resolution Retina display
Storage: 256GB SSD
Connectivity: 2 x Thunderbolt 3 / USB-C
Camera: 720p FaceTime camera
Weight: 1.29 kg (2.8 pounds)
Dimensions: 11.97 x 8.36 x 0.63 inches (30.41 x 21.24 x 1.61cm; W x D x H)
Reasons to buy
+Incredibly quick+New keyboard+Luxe design

The MacBook Air lives! After a brief hiatus the MacBook Air is back to show that Apple can make a laptop that doesn't cost an exorbitant amount of money – though that said you're still going to be paying in the region of $1,000 for Apple's cheapest portable computer. For a lot of people, it's worth it for the Apple hardware and software polish.

If you need to do some serious creative work – image and video editing – then you need a MacBook Pro, but for everyone else the MacBook Air will do just fine thank you very much. It looks superb, and Apple has finally moved away from the butterfly keyboard design that has caused it so much trouble over the past few years.

This is an entry-level MacBook, but it might surprise you with just how good its power and performance is. For web browsing and light office work it'll zip along perfectly well, and don't forget all the free software you get with an Apple laptop too: from QuickTime and FaceTime to iMovie and Keynote.

LG Gram 17 best laptops 2020

(Image credit: LG)

6. LG Gram 17

The best 17-inch laptop... unless you're a gamer

Specifications
CPU: Quad-core 10th-gen Intel Core i7-1065G7
Graphics: Integrated Iris Plus
RAM: 16GB
Screen: 17-inch, 2560 x 1800 pixels
Storage: 512GB SSD
Reasons to buy
+Fantastic 17-inch screen+Lightweight, stylish design+Plenty of battery life

There's a huge amount to like about the LG Gram 17, not least that huge screen – 17 inches from corner to corner, if you hadn't already worked it out. LG has pulled out all the stops on this one, and it really shows in the polished, luxury-level, lightweight laptop that it has managed to put out. We've been very impressed with it.

Starting from the spec – top-tier Intel processors and up to 24GB of RAM – the LG Gram 17 holds its own against just about any other item in our best laptops list. What it doesn't have is oodles of graphics and gaming performance, but for everything else the laptop isn't going to let you down (and will probably exceed your expectations).

Buying a laptop with a 17-inch screen, you know that it's not going to be the most portable model around, but if you're fine with both that and the price then the LG Gram 17 is definitely worth a look. While it means more bulk in your bag, the display is fantastic for movies, office apps, the web and more.

Samsung Galaxy Book S best laptops 2020

(Image credit: Samsung)

7. Samsung Galaxy Book S

The best laptop for users on the go

Specifications
CPU: Qualcomm Snapdragon 8cx
Graphics: Integrated
RAM: 8GB
Screen: 13.3-inch, 1,920 x 1,080 pixels
Storage: 256 GB SSD
Reasons to buy
+Great design and build+4G LTE connectivity everywhere+Amazing battery life

The Samsung Galaxy Book S is part of a growing trend in laptops towards using more mobile-focused processors similar to those you'd find in tablets and phones. The idea is longer battery life and smaller sizes, but the drawback is you don't get quite the amount of performance – at least not yet.

With that in mind the Galaxy Book S comes with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 8cx under the hood and 4G LTE connectivity, so you never need to be disconnected from the web (you can also buy this laptop with a more traditional Intel processor inside if you prefer). You're going to be able to get through a day's use with this laptop and then some.

Performance isn't quite top-tier, but it's more than enough for most laptop tasks, and we really like the design and screen of the Samsung Galaxy Book S – it's perfect for packing into a bag, and it gives you a much more pleasant typing experience than you might expect considering its size.

Acer Swift 3 best laptops 2020

(Image credit: Acer)

8. Acer Swift 3

One of the best compact and lightweight laptops around

Specifications
CPU: Quad-core 1.3GHz Intel Core i7-Intel Core i7-1065G7
Graphics: Intel Iris Plus
RAM: 8GB
Screen: 14-inch, 1,920 x 1,080 pixels (16:9 aspect ratio)
Storage: 512GB SSD
Reasons to buy
+Bright, sharp screen+Appealing design+Comfortable to type on

The Acer Swift series has long been a favorite of ours here at T3, and the Acer Swift 3 is yet another example of why that's been the case: it's well priced, it's well built, and it's going to give you everything you need to get through your daily to do list. In all the categories that count, it scores highly across the board.

We're particularly keen on the bright and sharp 14-inch, 1920 x 1080 screen, which will have no problems handling your movies, documents, websites and image editing programs. The trackpad and typing experience have that premium feel too, so even when you're working on the Acer Swift 3, it feels like a pleasure. You can stack this laptop up with plenty of RAM and a very decent processor too, if you need to.

The battery life and the graphics performance aren't the best of the best, but they're by no means terrible – and overall we think the Acer Swift 3 very much deserves a spot on our list here. With new Acer laptops coming out on a regular basis, have a shop around and see what sort of prices you can get this one for.

Surface Book 3 best laptops 2020


(Image credit: Microsoft)

9. Microsoft Surface Book 3

The best premium 2-in-1 laptop

Specifications
CPU: Quad-core 10th-en Intel Core i7-1065G7
Graphics: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650 with Max-Q
RAM: 8GB / 16GB / 32GB LPDDR4x (3733Mhz )
Screen: 13.5-inch, 3000 x 2000 pixels (267 ppi)
Storage: 256GB / 512GB / 1TB
Reasons to buy
+A no-compromise laptop and tablet+Excellent PixelSense display+Powerful gaming GPU option

The third edition of the Microsoft Surface Book is of course the best one yet, and it's pretty much unique among laptops – a proper, full-sized portable computer with a proper keyboard and laptop specs, but at the same time also having a screen that you can completely detach and use as a keyboard.

It's coming at the tablet-laptop hybrid device from the opposite direction to the Surface Pro and the iPad Pro, in other words, and we think this is an approach that a lot of people are going to like. It means you can pack the Surface Book 3 full of power – you can fit an Intel Core i7 processor and an Nvidia  GeForce GTX 1650 graphics chipset in this laptop if you need to.

Like all the devices in the Surface range, the build quality and the hardware aesthetics are impressive, and you've also got a choice of 13.5-inch and 15-inch screens – it depends on how much you want to spend and how portable you want your portable computer to be.

Apple MacBook Pro 16-inch best laptops 2020


(Image credit: Apple)

10. Apple MacBook Pro 16-inch

The best laptop for Apple MacBook users

Specifications
CPU: 2.6GHz six-core Intel Core i7
Graphics: AMD 5300M 4GB
RAM: 16GB of 2666MHz DDR4 RAM
Screen: 16-inch, 3072x1920
Storage: 512 GB PCIe 3.0 SSD
Reasons to buy
+Big, sharp, accurate 16-inch display+Plenty of power+New keyboard

At the other end of the MacBook market to the MacBook Air is the 16-inch MacBook Pro – at the very top end of the available spec configurations, this is an absolute beast of an Apple laptop, and it'll give a lot of desktop computers a run for their money. If you need as much power as possible, take a look at this.

Apple has done a fine job in upgrading the previous 15.4-inch models, trimming down the display bezels to keep the laptop almost the same size as the one it's replacing. It also, finally, fixes the problem with the older butterfly keyboards, so you should have no reliability or responsiveness problems with this one.

From the trackpad to the on-board audio, from the macOS software to the brilliantly sharp screen, everything about the 16-inch MacBook Pro impresses. It's definitely the best laptop Apple manufactures (as well as being the biggest and most expensive), and it just might be the best laptop that anyone is manufacturing at the moment.

asus rog zephyrus s gx701 best laptops 2020


(Image credit: Asus)

11. Asus ROG Zephyrus S GX701

The money no object ultimate gaming laptop

Specifications
CPU: 2.2GHz Intel Core i7-8750H (hexa-core, 9MB cache, up to 4.1GHz)
Graphics: Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q (8GB GDDR6 VRAM); Intel UHD Graphics 630
RAM: 24GB DDR4 (2,666MHz)
Screen: 17.3-inch, Full HD (1,920x1,080) IPS, Pantone Validated (144Hz refresh rate with Nvidia G-Sync)
Storage: 1TB M.2 PCIe x4 SSD
Reasons to buy
+Incredible gaming power+Premium build quality+Very portable and thin design

The Asus ROG Zephyrus S GX701 packs in a huge amount of gaming power and yet it comes in a design that manages not to be overwhelmingly huge or overwhelmingly noisy. If you don't think that gaming laptops can give you the same sort of performance as gaming desktops, then the Zephyrus S GX701 is ready to make you a believer.

You can see from the specs list above that this laptop is packed with only the best internal components, including a choice of Intel Core i7 processors and an Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 graphics card. With all that power packed inside – and some rather smart custom cooling put together by Asus – you can hit the top frame rates in any game you like.

Of course all of these high-end components push the price of the laptop up quite substantially, but if you want the best hardware in the business – topped off with a gorgeous-looking 17-inch display – then you can't go wrong with the Asus ROG Zephyrus S GX701. Definitely one of the best laptops of 2020.

HP Envy 13 best laptops 2020


(Image credit: HP)

12. HP Envy 13

A fantastic all-round laptop that delivers premium features at a competitive price

Specifications
CPU: Up to 10th-gen Intel Core i7
Graphics: Up to Nvidia GeForce MX250
RAM: Up to 16GB
Screen: 13.3 inch, up to 3840 x 2160
Storage: Up to 1TB
Reasons to buy
+Great performance for an ultra-light laptop+High-quality audio design+Camera kill switch

HP has a long tradition of making laptops you can rely on and the HP Envy 13 is no different – it's one of the best picks you're going to find in the mid-range laptop market, and we're including it here because of its excellent balance between price and performance. This is a laptop that's going to last you.

The 13.3-inch, 1920 x 1080 resolution display leads the way here – bright and sharp and great for streaming video, browsing the web, and working on documents. While creatives might want a bit more in terms of screen real estate, the smaller screen size makes this a very portable laptop, and thanks to the solid build quality you won't feel like you have to be extra careful with it.

With a choice of Intel Core processors inside and some very healthy combinations of RAM and internal storage available too, this is a laptop that's ready to handle all but the most demanding tasks (don't try gaming on it). A special mention for the audio engineered in partnership with Bang and Olufsen, which sounds great.

Apple MacBook Pro 13-inch best laptops 2020


13. Apple MacBook Pro 13-inch

A fantastic MacBook Pro, and the best laptop choice for many macOS users

Specifications
CPU: Quad-core Intel Core i5
Graphics: Intel Iris Plus Graphics 645 – 655
RAM: 8GB
Screen: 13.3-inch, (2,560 x 1,600) IPS
Storage: 128GB – 512GB
Reasons to buy
+Super fast+Touch Bar is genuinely useful+Incredibly desirable

The 13-inch MacBook Pro sits between the 16-inch Pro model and the more affordable MacBook Air, and that's the sweet spot for a lot of users: plenty of power, and a beautifully well designed and simple to use laptop, but without costing quite as much as the bigger model. It'll come with some demanding laptop uses, depending on exactly what you want to do with the computer and which configuration you opt for.

You can take those configurations all the way up to an Intel Core i7 processor if you need to, with plenty of RAM and storage space to match, and as usual with a MacBook Pro the keyboard and trackpad experience is top-notch. This uses the newest keyboard design, so hopefully the reliability problems of the older butterfly keyboards are now in the past.

MacBooks are about more than the hardware of course: macOS continues to get more polished with each passing year, and as you would expect it works seamlessly with any other Apple-made hardware you've got. If you decide to invest in the 13-inch MacBook Pro, then you won't be disappointed.

Asus ZenBook Pro 14


(Image credit: Asus)

14. Asus ZenBook Pro 14

Good specs and a tasteful design make this strong all-round laptop

Specifications
CPU: Intel Core i7-10510U
Graphics: Nvidia GeForce MX250
RAM: 16GB
Screen: 14-inch, 1920 x 1080 resolution
Storage: 512GB
Reasons to buy
+High-end specs+Attractive design+Bright, vibrant touchscreen

A simply stunning laptop from Asus that we are happy to have in our best laptops of 2020 round-up – if you want the perfect combination of power and style then this might well be it, and as an added bonus you get a trackpad that doubles up as a handy secondary display.

Take a look at the specs and you'll see that this is a laptop that's more than capable of zipping through any task you want to throw at it, even up to some video editing and low-resolution gaming (note the Nvidia GeForce option). Despite all of this raw power, the price isn't over-the-odds.

And then there's the design: this is one of the best-looking laptops we've laid our eyes on, and even the display hinge is a work of art. It'll run everything you need it to run with aplomb and it will look the part while doing it – what more do you need?

Alienware M15 best laptops 2020


(Image credit: Dell)

15. Alienware M15

A superb gaming system with all the trimmings

Specifications
CPU: Up to 10th-gen Intel Core i9-10980HK
Graphics: Up to Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 Super
RAM: Up to 32GB
Screen: 15.6-inch, up to 4K (3840 x 2160) resolution
Storage: Up to 512GB
Reasons to buy
+Packed with power+Modern styling+Latest Intel processors

An absolute powerhouse of a gaming laptop from Alienware, now owned by Dell, the M15 is well worth a look for anyone who wants to play top-tier games at top-tier frame rates in a portable computer that can still be moved from place to place (albeit with some effort), and still run off a battery (albeit not for very long).

Pick the Alienware M15 as the best laptop of 2020 for you, and you get a choice of 10th-gen Intel Core i7 and i9 processors, up to 32GB of RAM and 4TB of storage, and the option of several fantastic graphics cards – all the way up to the Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 for a stupendous level of performance. This'll run games without breaking sweat and it'll carry on doing it for years to come.

It's all topped off with a bright, sharp 15.6-inch screen with the option of a 4K resolution if you really want to allow your games to shine. As you would expect, the Alienware M15 will have no problem with any other tasks either, from video editing to running dozens of programs at the same time.

Dell G5 15 2020 best laptops 2020

(Image credit: Dell)

16. Dell G5 15 (2020)

A compact gaming powerhouse

Specifications
CPU: Up to 10th-gen Intel Core i7-10750H
Screen: 15.6-inch (1920 x 1080 pixels)
Graphics: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1660 Ti 6GB
RAM: 8GB
Storage: 512GB

If the Alienware gaming laptops aren't quite to your liking in terms of aesthetics, then the Dell G5 15 could be the perfect alternative. You still get plenty of performance under the hood, but everything is wrapped up in a laptop chassis that's far more understated and business-like compared with the Alienware models.

The latest G5 15 offers a 15.6-inch, 1920 x 1080 pixel display with a gaming-friendly refresh rate of 144Hz, and you can spec this out with some very impressive components in terms of processor, RAM, storage and graphics card too. As an added bonus you get plenty of connection ports thrown into the mix.

Despite all of the power and the size of the screen that you get for your money here, the laptop still manages to be relatively compact: Dell has done a really good job with both the inside and the outside of this laptop. It's a must-have in our best laptops 2020 list.

Pixelbook Go best laptops 2020

The Pixelbook Go is another excellent Chromebook from Google.

(Image credit: Google)

17. Google Pixelbook Go

One of the best laptops around for Chrome OS fans

Specifications
CPU: Intel Core m3, i5, i7
Graphics: Integrated graphics
RAM: 8GB – 16GB
Screen: 13.3-inch up to 4K resolution
Storage: 64GB, 128GB or 256GB SSD
Reasons to buy
+Lightweight and fast+Stylish and sensible design+Chrome OS rapidly improving

We really wish that Google made Pixelbooks more often, because they're always so good. The Google Pixelbook Go is the latest off the production line, and it's available in a variety of configuration options depending on how powerful you need it to be (and how much you want to spend of course).

Chrome OS continues to improve as well. If you've never considered a Chromebook before, think about how much of your computing time you spend on the web – if it's just about all of it, then you don't really need all the bloat and the weight of Windows or macOS, with all that extra software, those constant updates and so on. Remember too that Chromebooks can now run Android apps as an added bonus.

Aside from the software and the specs, the Pixelbook Go really looks the part as well. We especially like the textured underside of the laptop chassis, which keeps it nicely in place whether you're using it on a table or actually on top of your lap.

Best laptop Acer Predator Helios 300

The Acer Predator can really deliver on gaming and normal laptop usage tasks.

(Image credit: Acer)

18. Acer Predator Helios 300

Impressive performance and specs at an affordable price point

Specifications
CPU: Intel Core i7-8750H (hexa core 2.2GHz)
Graphics: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 + Intel UHD Graphics 630
RAM: 16GB DDR4
Screen: 15.6-inch, Full HD
Storage: 256GB SSD
Reasons to buy
+Impressive set of specs+Competitively priced+Decent gaming chops

Another top-notch gaming laptop from Acer, the Predator Helios 300 is big, fast, and stylish: you can absolutely tell that it's a gaming laptop from the first glance, but the design finds a nice balance between boring and over-the-top, and the laptop can fit into just about any setup you've got at home.

The generous 15.6-inch display comes with a 144Hz refresh rate to keep your games looking as smooth as possible, and under the hood you've got plenty of power to keep those frame rates up – check the online deals for details of the individual configurations that are available, but some seriously decent components are available.

We also like how many ports you get here, covering multiple USB and video out options, which is one reason to go for a gaming laptop as your best laptop pick rather than one of the ultraportable or super-compact laptops in this list – they tend to cut down on ports in the interest of space.

Razer Blade 15 Advanced best laptops 2020


(Image credit: Razer)

19. Razer Blade 15 Advanced

A hyper-premium, do-anything laptop that should appeal to the enthusiast

Specifications
CPU: up to 9th-gen Intel Core i7
Graphics: up to NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q
RAM: 16GB
Screen: 15.6-inch FHD
Storage: 512GB SSD
Reasons to buy
+Oozes style+Capable of running anything+Screen looks fantastic

Another hugely compelling gaming laptop, this time from industry experts Razer. The Blade 15 Advanced comes sporting a 15.6-inch display with options for a 4K resolution and refresh rates up to 300Hz depending on how much you've got to spend and what you think is most important in your next laptop.

Razer is keen to emphasize the compactness and the minimalist style of this laptop, and it certainly catches the eye in an understated, discreet way – it's packed with power, but it doesn't want to brag about it too much in terms of its aesthetics. We love the sharp, simple angles and of course the minimal bezels around the display, which means your games (and everything else) are shown off wonderfully.

As usual, a variety of configurations are available for the laptop, but you can fit this out with some of the best Intel processors and the best Nvidia graphics cards currently on the market, as well as a whole pile of RAM and internal storage. It's pricey as well, but for on-the-go gaming, it's worth it.

Lenovo ThinkPad T490 best laptops 2020

For business-focused users who aren't too concerned about jazzy looks, it's hard to do better than this. 

(Image credit: Lenovo)

20. Lenovo ThinkPad T490

The best laptop for business-focused users

Specifications
CPU: Intel Core i5-8265U (starting at 1.60GHz)
Graphics: Intel UHD Graphics 620
RAM: 8.0GB DDR4
Screen: 14.0"FHD IPS LED, Full HD
Storage: 256GB SSD
Reasons to buy
+Tried-and-tested design+Excellent keyboard and trackpad+Competitive price point

If the best laptop for you is going to be something more business-like and professional, then give the Lenovo ThinkPad T490 some consideration: it of course boasts one of the most iconic laptop designs of recent times, and comes from a manufacturer that puts out hardware that you can rely on.

While the specs aren't exactly cutting edge, they do give you plenty of performance capacity for a very reasonable price, and as long as you're not putting your laptop through anything too demanding then this laptop will serve you just fine – as will the bright and crisp 14-inch display.

These are popular laptops designed for productivity and known for reliability, and you're guaranteed many years of loyal use out of one of these. A variety of spec configurations are available, so make sure you do some research to find the best Lenovo ThinkPad T490 models at the best online prices.

How to choose the best laptop for you

Surface Book 3


(Image credit: Microsoft)

Take your time when choosing the best laptop for your needs – there's a lot of choice out there after all, and it pays to do some research. The best laptop for one person isn't necessarily the best laptop for someone else, and a lot of it depends on what you're planning to do with the device, as well as how much you've got to spend.

Faster processors and more RAM are all well and good, and will definitely help your laptop run faster and handle more programs at once. At the same time, you only really need the very top spec if you're planning on doing some gaming or video editing – otherwise you should be able to save yourself some money by going for a lesser spec (albeit one that will still handle day-to-day tasks).

Software is another consideration. Windows is the only choice if you're serious about gaming, while macOS is going to appeal to creative types who spend a lot of time editing images and video (though Windows can handle this with aplomb too). Chrome OS, meanwhile, is a great option if you spend all your computing time on the web – you can probably save yourself some money too.

Think about the other devices you use in your setup and how your new laptop is going to fit in as well: a MacBook Pro is going to work seamlessly with an iPhone, for example, while Windows can connect up to Android handsets very easily through the Your Phone app. If you've got devices like Apple TVs and smart speakers, you need to think about these as well.

One of the key specs you're going to see on every laptop listing is the display size. A bigger screen of course gives you more room for your games, your movies and your spreadsheets (delete as applicable), but remember it also adds to the size of your laptop and usually its price too. If you're on the move a lot, you'll need to find a suitable sweet spot when it comes to the display dimensions.