The Best Laptops

Last updated on 11/17/2014

What constitutes the best laptop is different for everybody. Some people want a simple laptop that will handle the basics: word processing, email and Internet access, and other productivity tasks. Others are interested in a multimedia machine that can handle all the video, music, and movies they can throw at it. We've made an effort to find the best laptops for every kind of user, no matter what you want to do with it. Laptops are so versatile and varied, that there's a model for all types of consumers, it can just be difficult wading through them all to find that needle in the haystack. We've done the wading for you this holiday season, and we've found the needles. Just look below and see which category leader suits you or the loved one you're shopping for.

ASUS VivoBook S500CA-DS51T 15.6-Inch Laptop (Black)
Nice Look but a Little Bit Heavy
from $852.37

The On-The-Go User

Hairline-spun textured metal surfaces allow ASUS VivoBook S500 to elegantly stand out from the crowd. With its Ultrabook 21 mm form factor, it still packs full features in a slender build, matching the dynamic nature of high-portability and intuitive computing. The slim design is easy to carry while showcasing premium chic and feel.To ensure complete premium elegance and usability, ASUS VivoBook S500 design focuses on even the smallest details. Hidden hinges and in-line ports are perfect examples of this, seamlessly blending in the sophisticated look and feel. Most importantly, performance and functionality remain optimized, with no compromises allowed - ASUS VivoBook S500 epitomizes incredible design in one sleek package.

ASUS Zenbook UX31LA-DS71T 13.3-Inch Touchscreen Laptop
Laptopadvisor Recommended
from $949.99

One of the Best

ASUS Zenbook UX31 one of the best laptops. It is comparable to Apple's MackBook Air. Nice slick modern design, fast, portable, high resolution display, very good audio, almost 8 hours battery life. LaptopAdvisor recommended.

The Basic, Everyday User

The Dell Inspiron line should be familiar to anyone who has shopped for an affordable laptop in the past decade or so. Share life's defining moments with family and friends by easily video chatting from school, the office, or even the dining table with a built-in webcam and microphone (high-speed Internet connection required). The Inspiron 15 also lets you check email and stay in touch 24/7 from almost anywhere with built-in WiFi and Bluetooth 3.0. Dell Stage lets you seamlessly toggle between your photo library, music playlists, videos, applications and more, all from a sleek, movie-reel style interface. Now you can immerse yourself in movies, online videos and casual games on the 15.6" widescreen HD display (720p). The Inspiron 15 comes complete with an HDMI port, so you can connect to an HDTV and watch HD movies for big-screen high-definition fun.

The Demanding User

Experience the precision of the PixelPure Display, perfectly color-calibrated with stunning 2560x1440 native resolution. Utilizing 3.7 million pixels for brilliant clarity, and 90% better resolution than standard HD displays. A picture so beautiful you wont be able to take your eyes—or your hands—off of it. Toshiba KIRAbook has an optional fingerprint-resistant touchscreen that is perfectly paired with the intuitive nature of Windows 8. Housed under Corning Concore Glass, it's a touchscreen without tradeoffs. Be immersed in sound with the superior craftsmanship and sound quality of Harman Kardon stereo speakers. DTS Studio Sound submerges you in natural tones and bass to create a rich symphonic audio experience. Introducing AZ91, the pressed magnesium alloy that makes KIRAbook light, durable and elegant. This material is over 100% stronger than the A6063 aluminum alloy used in the MacBook Air and proves once and for all there is beauty in strength.

ASUS Transformer Book T100TA-C1-GR 10.1-Inch Detachable 2 in 1 Touchscreen Laptop
Budget 2 in 1 Touchscreen
from $332.15
The all-new Transformer Book T100 has a 2-in-1 ultraportable design and an amazing 11 hours battery life. On one hand, it is a performance notebook with an Intel Atom Bay Trail-T Z3740 Quad Core processor and Microsoft Office 2013 Home & Student preinstalled for great productivity. On the other hand, it is a 10.1" HD touchscreen display that works as a standalone Windows 8.1 tablet for all your entertainment needs. The ASUS Transformer Book T100 is the perfect device for everyone on the go. The keyboard dock perfectly designed 19 mm travel distance provides a comfortable typing experience unlike any other.

The Power User

It is all about performance. If you want a quad-core Intel Core i processor and a brilliant display, you want the all-new MacBook Pro. Every new MacBook Pro 15" features a quad-core Intel Core i7 2.7 GHz processor, making them up to twice as fast as previous MacBook Pros. They also feature Thunderbolt, the next generation of I/O with data transfer rates up to 10Gb/s.The new integrated Intel HD Graphics 4000 processor makes it the perfect solution for the latest 3D games and graphics-intensive applications.

Great Retina Display

The all-new 13.3-inch MacBook Pro features a stunning Retina display with over 4 million pixels. An advanced all-flash architecture and the latest Intel dual-core processors and graphics make everything amazingly fast.
One of the highest resolutions for a notebook display with over 4 million pixels--2 million more than an HD television--the 13.3-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display has such a high pixel density that the human eye cannot distinguish individual pixels from a normal viewing distance.
The MacBook Pro includes two high-speed Thunderbolt ports and two USB 3 ports, enabling you to easily connect to external displays and a wide variety of high performance peripherals. You'll also get up to 7 hours of battery life while on the go.

Samsung ATIV Book 6 15.6-Inch Full HD Touchscreen Laptop
Multimedia and Mobility

Travel Companion

The Samsung ATIV Book 6 is a sleek, powerful notebook that is an ideal travel companion. Whether you're editing video, watching movies, or playing games, the ATIV Book 6 provides top-notch speed with an Intel Core i7 processor. A powerful AMD Radeon graphics card ensures fluid visuals on the 15-inch touchscreen. Touch, swipe, pinch, and zoom on the built-in Full HD touchscreen with the Windows 8 operating system. Samsung's SideSync feature lets your Samsung phone and ATIV Book 6 work together. When you connect, you'll have a Virtual Phone that you can view on your computer screen and use to access all your phone's functions. You can also enjoy the added benefit of moving freely between your phone and computer, all while sharing your keyboard and mouse. Drag and drop files to view them on your phone and cut and paste between the two devices. Choose what files you want to be synced automatically all while your phone is charging.