The best Windows laptops to buy in 2018
With 2017 almost behind us, a new laptop for a new year might be well worth getting if your current laptop is outdated. Laptops aren’t as future proof as desktops as you can’t upgrade as many of their components.
So when your laptop can no longer run many of the latest software packages, is taking an age to boot up and feels as if it’s running software in slow motion, you probably need a new one. But which new laptop should you go for in 2018?
Laptops come in various shapes and sizes as they typically range from 12 to 17-inch models. Aside from the more traditional clamshell models, today we have ultraportables with SSD storage that have longer batteries and 2-in-1 laptops that double as tablets for maximum flexibility. So there’s more variety in the laptop industry than ever before. These are some of the best all-round laptops for 2018 that work well for most things.
HP Spectre x360 (recommended)
The HP Spectre x360 is both a ultraportable and 2-in-1 laptop and tablet. As such, this is certainly among the most flexible laptops that you can utilize in four alternative modes. The Spectre x360 has 13.3 and 15.6-inch models with variable amounts of RAM and SSD storage. The various models are retailing in the $1,299-$1,994.95 range.
What really sets the HP Spectre x360 apart from other laptops is its stylish design and hinge that enables you to fully rotate and flip its keyboard. You can flip the keyboard to a tent mode for presentations or to a stand mode for video. With the keyboard fully flipped, the x360 becomes an ink-ready tablet with stylus pen included.
This isn’t quite a top-range laptop in terms of specifications, but it does include a stunning 3,840 x 2,160 4K display. With a 2.7 Ghz i7-7500U processor and 16 GB RAM, the HP Spectre x360 is also pretty fast. This ultraportable laptop has a decent battery that can last up to nine hours. Furthermore, the best x360 model has expansive one TB drive storage, which will be more than enough for most users. So the x360 is one of the most highly rated convertible laptops at the moment.
HP Spectre x360 Specifications:
- CPU: 2.7 Ghz Intel Core i7-7500U
- RAM: 16 GB
- Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 620
- Display: 15.6-inch VDU with 3,840 x 2,160 resolution
- Battery: 57.8 watt lithium ion battery
- Storage: One TB SDD storage
- Website: HP Spectre x360
Dell XPS 13 9360 (suggested)
The Dell XPS 13 9360 is a ultraportable with a unique, almost borderless, InfinityEdge display squeezed within a 28-cm frame. That laptop has four primary 13.3-inch models with seventh and eighth generation Intel processors, variable amounts of RAM and drive storage and alternative display resolutions. The highest specification touch-enabled XPS 13 model is retailing at $1,499.99, but the most basic XPS 13 is available at $799.99.
The Dell XPS 13 has had glowing reviews throughout 2017. That’s probably due to its unique high-res display, eighth gen CPU and amazing battery. Firstly, it has a unique, almost bezel-less, state-of-the-art display that boasts a QHD 3,200 x 1,800 resolution. Secondly, the laptop is really fast as it includes a new eighth generation Intel i7-8550U processor that can reach a turbo speed up to four Ghz. The battery is another of the Dell XPS 13’s strongest specs, which Dell claims can last for 13 hours whilst streaming Netflix. Thus, that’s one of the best laptop batteries; and the Dell XPS also has a good range of connectivity ports to boot.
Dell XPS 13 9360 Specifications:
- CPU: Four Ghz Intel Core i7-8550U processor
- RAM: Eight GB RAM
- Graphics: Intel UHD Graphics 620
- Display: 13.3-inch VDU with 3,200 x 1,800 resolution
- Battery: 60 WHr battery
- Storage: 256 GB SSD
- Website: Dell XPS 13
ASUS ZenBook UX310UA
The ASUS ZenBook is a good value, ultra light laptop with an all-aluminum design. This laptop has Full HD and QHD models with seventh and eighth gen processors. The laptop is retailing in the $999.89-$1,206.44 range on Amazon, but the lowest spec ZenBook models have a $699 starting point. Thus, this is among the best value laptops for 2018 that’s ideal for anybody who only really needs one for word processing and browsing.
The best thing about the ASUS ZenBook is its fantastic QHD display that boasts a 3,200 x 1,800 resolution. The VDU has a wider color gamut than most laptop displays and a wide 178 degree viewing angle. The best Zenbook UX310UA model includes an eighth generation 2.5 Ghz Intel i7 processor. You can expand this laptop’s RAM to 16 GB, and it also provides up to one TB HD storage. This laptop isn’t short of ports either as it includes four USB ports, and one of those is a Type C USB port with faster transfer speeds.
ASUS ZenBook UX310UA Specifications:
- CPU: Intel Core i7 6500U
- RAM: Eight GB (expandable to 16 GB)
- Graphics: Intel HD graphics 520
- Display: 13.3-inch VDU with 3,200 x 1,800 resolution
- Battery: 48 Whrs battery
- Storage: One TB HDD, 512 GB SSD
- Audio: Stereo W speakers, SonicMaster Technology
- Website: ASUS ZenBook
The Lenovo Yoga 920
The Lenovo Yoga 920 is a sleek 2-in-1 laptop & tablet with a premium design and great build quality that retains the 360-degree hinge which has become a hallmark of the Yoga range. The laptop only has three alternative configurations with different Intel Core processors and Full HD and UHD resolutions. The high-resolution model is retailing at $1,999.99, but the lowest specification Full HD Yoga 920 is available for $1,199.99.
The Lenovo Yoga 920 is a good value alternative to the Surface Book 2 that includes a Bluetooth Active Pen stylus for Windows Ink. This laptop features a strong battery that can go up to 10 hours without recharge, so you can watch a few lengthy movies on the Yoga 920 before the battery goes.
The Yoga 920’s 13.9-inch 3,840 x 2,160 resolution touchscreen has fantastic image quality, and with Dolby Audio Premium 360-degree surround sound the laptop provides very decent audio quality. It also packs in a 1.8 Ghz Intel Core i7-855OU processor for enhanced application performance. So the 920 is a strong 2-in-1 laptop even if its integrated Intel HD graphics GPU isn’t the best for Windows games.
Lenovo Yoga 920 Specifications:
- CPU: 1.8 Ghz Intel Core Quad Core i7-855OU
- RAM: 16 GB
- Graphics: Intel HD Graphics
- Display: 13.9-inch VDU with 3,840 x 2,160 resolution (and IPS touchscreen)
- Battery: One lithium ion battery
- Storage: One TB SSD
- Audio: Two JBL speakers with Dolby Audio Premium
- Website: Yoga 920
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Microsoft Surface Book 2
The Microsoft Surface Book 2 is a beautifully designed laptop that’s the 2-in-1 of choice for many. Unlike the HP Spectre x360, this is a 2-in-1 laptop and tablet with a detachable keyboard. The laptop has four 13.5-inch configurations that are retailing from $1,499 to $2,999. There’s also a 15-inch Surface Book 2 model that’s going for $3,299 on Amazon, which has a higher resolution and better graphics card than the 13.5-inch alternatives.
The Microsoft Surface Book 2 is a top of the range 2-in-1 convertible laptop that you can utilize in four modes much like the x360. With a 4.2 Ghz eighth-generation CPU i7-8650U, the 15-inch Surface Book 2 model outstrips the likes of the MacBook Pro, original MS Surface Book, MS Surface Pro and Dell XPS in PC benchmarks. The 15-inch model is ideal for 1080p gaming as it packs in a Nvidia GTX 1060 graphics card, which is the sort of GPU included in mid-range gaming laptops.
The graphical quality of the SB2 is further enhanced with its 3,260 x 2,160 resolution, and even the 13.5-inch variant falls only a little short of the 4K mark with a 3,000 x 2,000 resolution. Microsoft also claims that the 13.5-inch SB2’s battery can last up to 17 hours when playing video, which is one heck of a battery.
15-inch Surface Book 2 Specifications:
- CPU: 4.2 Ghz Intel i7-8650U
- RAM: 16 GB
- Graphics Card: Nvidia GTX 1060
- Display: 15-inch VDU with 3,260 x 2,160 resolution
- Battery: Two lithium ion batteries
- Storage: One TB
- Audio: Stereo speakers with Dolby Audio Premium
- Website: Surface Book 2
Asus ROG Zephyrus GX501
The ASUS ROG Zephyrus GX501 is one of the new generation Max-Q gaming laptops launched during 2017. Although primarily a gaming laptop, you could also utilize the GX501 for system resource heavy video or photo-editing applications. The ROG Zephyrus has a couple of models that include different GTX graphics cards. The GX501’s models are currently retailing from $2,099 to $2,697 on Amazon.
The ROG Zephyrus GX501 is a high-caliber laptop that includes a top-notch Nvidia GTX 1080 graphics card for amazing visuals. The GX501 doesn’t have the highest resolution VDU, but its display unit still has a great 120 FPS frame rate and incorporates G-Sync to minimize tearing and lag. The GX501’s Intel i7-7700HQ processor is a speedy one that can clock it at 2.8-3.8 Ghz. In addition, the laptop provides 512 GB solid state storage with ultra-quick access times.
Aside from its specifications, the GX501 has some handy features. You can connect it with VDUs via its USB Type-C port and utilize its XSplit Gamecaster to record and broadcast gaming sessions. The laptop is compatible with the Vive and Rift VR headsets that you can utilize for web browsing and gaming. The GX501’s ROG Gaming Center includes system details, audio settings and hotkey customization options. You’ll also love the GX501’s backlit keyboard that has dynamic and customizable Aura RGB lighting effects with give the laptop a little extra sparkle.
ROG Zephyrus GX501 Specifications:
- CPU: 3.8 Ghz Intel i7 7700HQ
- RAM: 16 GB (expandable to 24)
- Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 (eight GB VRAM)
- Display: 15.6-inch VDU with 1,920 x 1,080 resolution
- Battery: Four cell 50 Whrs polymer battery
- Storage: 512 GB SSD
- Audio: Two watt stereo speakers with ASUS Sonic Studio
- Website: ROG Zephyrus GX501
Those are a few of the best laptops for 2018 that are out now. Pick the laptop that best matches your requirements. If you need a really portable one, the Dell XPS 13 or the Surface Book 2 might be the best to go for.
The GX501 is the best for gaming, but that doesn’t have a great battery or double as a tablet. However, the Yoga 920 and x360 convertibles are both great laptops and ink-ready tablets with stylus pens included.
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