Today's Best Tech Deals
Picked by PCWorld's Editors
Top Deals On Great Products
Picked by Techconnect's Editors
- Latest laptop news and reviews
- Best thin-and-light laptop
- Best laptop under $500
- Best 14-inch/15-inch workhorse
- Best convertible laptop
- Best budget convertible laptop
- Best 2-in-1 / tablet / hybrid laptop
- Best gaming laptop
- Best budget gaming laptop
- Best portable gaming laptop
The best laptops of 2020 are experiencing a seismic shift. First we saw the launches of AMD’s Ryzen 4000 and Intel’s Comet Lake-H mobile CPUs in January, marking a real fight for the first time ever: Ryzen 4000’s cores vs. Intel’s clock speeds. Then in September, Intel launched its Tiger Lake CPUs for thin-and-light laptops, promising yet again that thanks to flexible clock speeds, it would hammer Ryzen 4000. Or so Intel says. Check out the latest news and reviews below our top picks.
Laptop buyer’s cheat sheet
Our quick-hit recommendations
- Best thin-and-light laptop:XPS 13 7390[dell.com.com]
- Best laptop under $500:Acer Aspire 5 A515-43-R19L
- Best 14-inch/15-inch workhorse:Dell XPS 15 9500[dell.com]
- Best convertible laptop:HP Spectre x360 13t[hp.com]
- Best budget convertible:Lenovo Yoga C740 14[lenovo.com]
- Best 2-in-1:Microsoft Surface Pro 7[microsoft.com]
- Best gaming laptop:MSI GS75 Stealth[msi.com]
- Best budget gaming laptop:Acer Nitro 5 AN515-54-51M5[bestbuy.com]
- Best portable gaming laptop:GS65 Stealth Thin 9SD[msi.com]
- Best luxury laptop:HP Elite Dragonfly[hp.com]
- Best overall Chromebook:Google Pixelbook Go[google.com]
- Best budget Chromebook:HP Chromebook x360 12b-ca0010nr[adorama.com]
- Best MacBook:16-inch MacBook Pro 2.4GHz 8-core Core i9 (2019)[apple.com]
Latest laptop news and reviews
The laptop innovations keep coming: Tiger Lake’s making the latest splash. Here are the latest news and reviews:
- We got our first taste of Intel's 11th-gen Tiger Lake mobile CPU performance in a reference laptop. Read our preview story to see how it compares to Ryzen 4000.
- We reviewed the first 5G laptop, Lenovo’s Flex 5G. Read our full review to learn what it’s like to live on the bleeding edge of connectivity.
- Lenovo is breaking out of its ThinkPad rut with machines that are anything but stolid workhorses. The ThinkPad Nano is very, very thin, it weighs just 2.2 pounds, and its screen is cool, too. The ThinkPad X1 Fold is the first foldable laptop. The amount of thought and innovation that went into its design is truly impressive.
- Microsoft debuted the Surface Laptop Go, an affordable model for students and families starting at $549. It’s cut some corners to hit that price, but it’s nevertheless the most accessible Surface PC yet.
- Do we have to stop laughing at laptop integrated graphics? With the improved technologies we’re seeing in Tiger Lake and elsewhere, we just might have to. Read the latest from our own Gordon Mah Ung.
- Video nerds will be interested to know that Intel’s 11th-gen Tiger Lake has built-in support for the up-and-coming AV1 format. We ran some AV1 benchmarks on Tiger Lake, 10th-gen Comet Lake and Ice Lake, and Ryzen 4000, to show what a difference it makes.
Best thin-and-light laptop
It’s official: You can have both performance and light weight in the same laptop, and Dell’s new XPS 13 7390 is here to prove it. With its 6-core Intel Core i7-10710U CPU, this thin, light machine (available via Dell.com) has actually outpaced bigger workhorse models.
And no, before we get you too worked up: The XPS 13 7390 and its Comet Lake-U CPU aren’t going to outpace a current workstation with, say, a smoking-fast, state-of-the-art Core i7-9750H. But it is the first ultraportable laptop to actually outrun older 7th-gen “H”-class CPUs in heavier laptops, including those in its XPS 15 cousins.
The amount of performance in this amount of portability was simply unheard of just, well, earlier this year. Read our full review.
[$1,620 as tested; available on Dell.com]
Best laptop under $500
If this particular model of the Acer Aspire 5 looks familiar, it’s probably because it’s been sitting atop Amazon’s laptop bestseller list for months. It’s easy to understand why. This AMD Ryzen 3-powered Aspire 5 packs some enticing features for the price, including a Full-HD 15.6-inch display, a slim-and-trim chassis, and solid performance on everyday computing tasks.
That said, a Windows 10 laptop this inexpensive has its compromises. In this case, we’re talking a scant 4GB of RAM and a cramped 128GB solid-state drive, while battery life falls significantly short compared to similar Aspire 5 models that don’t cost much more. Read our full review.
[Currently $410 on Amazon, but prices fluctuate frequently.]
Best 14-inch/15-inch workhorse
The Dell XPS 15 9500, an overdue refresh to the company’s high-end workhorse, arrives just in time for it to be truly considered the “MacBook Pro killer” it’s always aspired to be. Dell gave it a top-to-bottom redesign, including a 16:10 aspect ratio, 15.6-inch panel running 4K+ with HDR400 and Dolby Vision support—and the slenderest of bezels. The result is a stunning all-screen look that is likely to set the style for other laptop makers to emulate. Read our full review.
The Lenovo Yoga C940 15 is a workhorse laptop with a few bonus features: a touchscreen that flips around into tablet mode, a built-in stylus for writing or sketching, and—thank heavens—a full-sized USB-A port to complement its two USB-C connections. It even fits in a number pad without cramping its excellent keyboard. While screen backlighting is a bit uneven and audio quality could be better, it’s a solid choice for those who want a luxurious workhorse PC. Read our full review.
Best convertible laptop
HP’s latest Spectre x360 13t has something to say to other thin-and-light laptops, which, it seems, are all about taking good things away from you. Where others say No, the HP Spectre x360 13t simply says Yes. You want a standard M.2 SSD? Got it, the Spectre x360 13t says. NBA-level of travel in your keys? Sure thing. USB Type-A port?! Of course the Spectre x360 13t has that, too. When we head-to-head compared the HP Spectre x360 13t to the Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 7390, another leading convertible, the HP came out on top. Read our full review.
Dell’s Latitude 7400 2-in-1 (available via Dell.com) is a 14-inch business laptop that delivers all-day battery life and performance. It achieves a simply incredible 18 hours of battery life using a powerful Intel 8th-gen Whiskey Lake processor, and it offers a full complement of ports plus a slightly gimmicky feature called ExpressSign-in (yes, it’s really spelled that way). While our review unit clocked in at a whopping $2,800, the starting price is $1,599, meaning you could make prudent downgrades to the configuration to fit your budget. Read our full review.
Best budget convertible laptop
The Lenovo Yoga C740-15IML (currently $790 on Lenovo.com) is one of the most impressive 2-in-1 laptops we’ve seen in its price range. Weighing in at just three pounds and jammed with nifty features, the slim, sturdily built, Yoga C740 packs in plenty of productivity pep, and it can last the whole day without its AC adapter. A bright, Dolby Vision-enabled display plus Dolby Atmos sound provide plenty of eye and ear candy. A physical camera shutter (which, unfortunately, is a little tough to slide open and closed) and a fingerprint reader help to bolster security.
In a world where high-end laptops no one can afford get all the attention, and budget laptops can be a bucket of compromises, it’s nice to see a mid-priced laptop that has so much going for it. The Lenovo Yoga C740 easily earns our Editor’s Choice award and our top pick for budget convertibles.
[$900 MSRP; $790 as reviewed]
Best 2-in-1 / tablet / hybrid laptop
This category originally started out as the best “Surface” category because, well, for a time, there was nothing like Microsoft’s 2-in-1 / tablet / hybrid device. Competitors picked up the pace, and the Lenovo Miix 520reigned for over a year. No longer.
The Surface Pro 7 represents Microsoft’s return to form, both with an up-to-date 10th-gen “Ice Lake” processor inside, but also a tweaked, modernized design that recognizes that USB-C is the wave of the future. Some legacy ports have disappeared (adios, MiniDisplayPort) but otherwise Microsoft’s tablet retains its traditional light weight and form factor. Sadly, a pen and Signature Type Cover are still extra. Read our full review for more details.
[$1,499 SRP as reviewed, excluding keyboard and pen; currently $1,199 on Microsoft.com]
Keep reading for our top picks in gaming laptops and more.
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