Best laptop 2020: the best laptops available today

Whether you're a Windows or Mac fan, these are the very best laptops on the market right now

Best laptop 2020

When it comes to picking the very best laptops of 2020, this is the only guide you need: the constantly updated, expertly curated, definitive T3 list of the best laptops for working, gaming, designing, studying or anything else.

We've acknowledged that the best laptop might be different for everyone, so we've tried to cover as a wide a selection of system types, prices and designs as possible – no matter what your needs, you should find something that fits here.

Laptop discounts continue to pop up at leading retailers like Amazon and Walmart, so if you do your research you may not have to spend as much money as you thought... and finding your way to this guide is a very good start.

No matter if you're looking for a flexible 2-in-1 hybrid, or a high-performance gaming laptop, or a bargain system at the budget end, a great business laptop or the best sub-£1,000 laptop, we hereby present the best laptops on the market today.

With so many laptop makers producing so many quality computers at the moment, picking a machine that's right for you – and at a good price point – can be quite a challenge, though. Long lists of tech spec jargon and indecipherable numbering systems don't help much either.

That's where we come in: our picks of the very best laptops on the market means you don't have to do any of the legwork. Whether you're tempted by the new Dell XPS 13, or more taken with the hyper-luxe Microsoft Surface Book 2, or simply after the best-value laptop bargain possible, we're very confident you'll find something to suit in this list.

How to choose the best laptop for you

Best laptops cheap laptop

Make sure you consider your intended usage scenarios before pulling the trigger on a laptop upgrade.

In the dim and distant past you could probably get a laptop for a minimum of £500 and spend up to £2,000 or even more on a top-end one. Some can certainly come in on the high end of that range, even now.

But we've recently seen Chromebooks appear, offering dirt-cheap portable computing with features that are enough for a lot of users – like students and people who just need to type while out and about. And, not only that, but what you can do with a £500 laptop has now changed drastically.

The appearance of £200 – and sometimes lower – Chromebooks has forced other laptops down in price too. So now you can get laptops for some absurd prices, especially if you pick up a sale bargain. The best laptops list is constantly shifting, which is why we update this page regularly.

At the other end of the scale are new thin and light laptops that aren't so interested in offering value. But they often sport all-metal construction, wafer-thin designs and internal guts that can chew through demanding tasks. So what's best?

You need to weigh up both what you're going to use it for – so how powerful it needs to be – and how much weight you're prepared to carry around with you, which will determine screen size.

With a little preparation and forethought done in advance, you're ready to check out our list of the best laptops on the market.

The best laptops you can buy today

Best laptops Dell XPS 13

The Dell XPS 13 is a fantastic all-round system. That's why it sits at the top of the best laptop table.

(Image credit: Dell)

1. Dell XPS 13 (2019)

Simply put, the best laptop in the world

Specifications
CPU: 1.8GHz Intel Core i7-8550U (quad-core, 8MB cache, up to 4.0GHz)
Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 620
RAM: 16GB DDR3 (2,133MHz)
Screen: 13.3-inch, Ultra HD (3,840 x 2,160) UltraSharp InfinityEdge touch display
Storage: 1TB PCIe SSD
Reasons to buy
+It's beautiful+It's really quick+It's got a 4K screen

The mighty Dell XPS 13 is a frequent member of our best laptop buying guides and here it's business as usual. The most recent model moves the webcam back to a more sensible spot above the screen.

The machine is thinner and more powerful than ever before, and – screen aficionados rejoice – comes rocking a luxe 4K screen too. The almost bezel-less new design is also absolutely lovely, which squeezes a 13.3-inch screen into an 11-inch frame, and the wide selection of ports is right on the money too.

It's expensive, and the stunning Alpine White model is even more so, but it is simply one of the best laptops in the world and an easy recommend for the vast majority of users.

Microsoft Surface Book 2 best laptop

The Microsoft Surface Book 2 is a great 2-in-1 laptop, and powerful contender to the best laptop throne.

2. Microsoft Surface Book 2

The ultimate Windows 10 hybrid laptop for power users

Specifications
CPU: 1.9GHz Intel Core i7-8650U (quad-core, 8MB cache, up to 4.2GHz with Turbo Boost)
Graphics: Intel UHD Graphics 620; Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 (6GB GDDR5 VRAM)
RAM: 16GB LPDDR3 (1866Mhz)
Screen: 15-inch, 3,240 x 2,160 (260 ppi) PixelSense display (3:2 aspect ratio; 1600:1 contrast ratio)
Storage: 512 GB PCIe 3.0 SSD
Reasons to buy
+Massively powerful for a 2-in-1+Battery life is excellent+Screen is superb

Microsoft's Surface Book 2 is a 2-in-1 laptop, with a screen that can be detached and used as a tablet, but don't let that fool you – this is a beast of a laptop full stop and a worthy top entry in our best laptop buying guide.

Not only is its power unmatched in the 2-in-1 sector, but with a powerful Intel Core i7-8650U processor, Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 GPU, and stunning 15-inch 3,240 x 2,160 pixel display, it is more than a match for any laptop in this buying guide. 

It's expensive though – very expensive – and you can get a similar spec for less elsewhere if you sacrifice the ability to detach the screen. However, if you have the budget then this laptop delivers a fantastically powerful and versatile computing experience.

Best laptops Apple MacBook Pro 16-inch

The MacBook Pro 16-inch is the best laptop from Apple on the market today.

(Image credit: Apple)

3. 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

This is the best Apple MacBook on the market today and, for those looking to upgrade to a premium macOS device, the best laptop on the market today.

As you would expect from a high-end Apple laptop, the MacBook Pro 16-inch is supremely slick and powerful, built with a best-in-class fit and finish, and loaded with a brand new keyboard, which is leaps and bounds better than previous incarnations.

The fact the system runs the very latest version of macOS, Catalina, which delivers a plethora of of exclusive, quality apps, and that it is supported by Apple's first-rate support network for if anything goes wrong, really does add a layer of sheen that many competing Windows 10 machines do not.

On raw specs alone the MacBook Pro 16-inch is pipped to the post slightly by the Dell XPS 15, which can be outfitted with a 4K OLED screen, 32GB of RAM, 1TB of storage, and a more powerful Nvidia GPU, but it is the overall package and usage experience where the MacBook Pro shines.

A no-brainer upgrade for anyone looking for a new, high-end laptop from Apple.

Best laptops Huawei MateBook 13

The Huawei MateBook 13 delivers fantastic value for money. In terms of bang for your buck on Windows 10, not many systems can match it.

(Image credit: Huawei)

4. Huawei MateBook 13

The best laptop for MacBook styling running Windows 10

Specifications
CPU: up to 4.1GHz 8th-gen Intel Core i7-8565U Intel Core m5-6Y54 (quad core)
Graphics: up to Nvidia GeForce MX150
RAM: 8GB LPDDR3
Screen: 13-inch, 2,160 x 1,440 IPS LED display
Storage: 256-512GB SSD
Reasons to buy
+Top-notch performance and graphics+You get a lot of laptop for your money+Looks the part as well

Huawei has been on a roll as of late with its MateBook line and, here, in the MateBook 13, the Chinese maker has managed to deliver Apple MacBook styling and fit-and-finish, but in a system that runs Windows 10 and costs a fraction of the price considering its specs.

You get an 8th-gen Intel Core CPU, Nvidia GeForce graphics, 8GB of RAM, up to 512GB of storage space, and a crisp and bright 13-inch (2,160 x 1,440) screen. It truly is a very well-rounded ultrabook in terms of hardware.

The fact the Huawei MateBook 13 also looks stunning and weighs very little (just 2.87 pounds / 1.3kg) just makes it even more attractive as a do-all work and leisure machine, as too its strong battery life, which instills confidence that you won't have to stop being productive when travelling.

For the price, there isn't much else on the market that comes close.

best laptop asus rog zephyrus s gx701

Users searching for the best laptop for gaming should look no further – it's the Asus ROG Zephyrus GX501.

(Image credit: Asus)

5. 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

As we noted in our Asus ROG Zephyrus S GX701 review, and then restated in our guide to the best gaming laptops on the market today, this gaming laptop is the absolute best laptop for playing games on the market today in 2020.

Building on last year's competition slaying GX501, the new Zephrus ensures it stays on the gaming laptop throne by dialling things up to 11. That means that the system comes rocking an Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 graphics card (Ray Tracing bliss!), a juiced up Intel Core i7-8750H CPU capable of running up to 4.1GHz and a 24GB stack of DDR4 RAM.

The result of all this top-end gaming hardware is, for a portable machine, ludicrous levels of AAA gaming performance. Metro Exodus, with all graphics settings turned up to maximum, and with the gorgeous Ray Tracing lighting tech enabled, looked absolutely stunning and ran like a dream. Equally, the GX701 crushed our 3DMark benchmark tests, too.

A gorgeous and thin magnesium chassis, fantastically engineered vent cooling system, and a 17.3-inch, Full HD (1,920x1,080) IPS, Pantone Validated, 144Hz refresh rate with Nvidia G-Sync panel complete the package.

best laptops HP Envy 13

The HP Envy 13 delivers a great all-round system with some premium-tier features.

(Image credit: HP)

6. HP Envy 13

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

Reasons to buy
+Great performance for an ultra-light laptop+High-quality audio design+Camera kill switch

The HP Envy 13 contains the same 8th-gen Intel Core i7 processor seen in many other systems in this guide, but doubles down with 16GB of RAM and graphics handled by the Nvidia GeForce MX250, utilising an extra 2GB of dedicated video memory. It doesn’t lose out in the pricing stakes, either, costing only a little over a thousand pounds for excellent performance.

With some decent security features such as a fingerprint scanner and a physical webcam kill switch on the side of the machine, it’s a great laptop for general work, whether that’s spreadsheets or image manipulation. It’s also equipped with audio tech from Bang and Olufsen, along with HP’s own Audio Boost technology, meaning that the sound is as clear as a bell.

The trackpad feels a little flimsy but the backlit keyboard is solid and feels nice to use. The integrated USB Type-A ports are a bit tricky to use due to their snap-open design, but it’s a welcome sight to see regular USB compatibility on an ultralight laptop. The 1080p screen is clear and high-quality, with a little ridge at the base that pushes the lower half of the laptop up at a slight angle when opened on a flat surface, to make typing that little bit easier.

MacBook Pro with Touch Bar best laptop

As a technical leader, the Apple MacBook Pro with Touch Bar is the best laptop that Apple has ever made.

7. Apple MacBook Pro with Touch Bar (2019)

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

Specifications
CPU: Dual-core Intel Core i5 – i7
Graphics: Intel Iris Plus Graphics 640 – 650
RAM: 8GB - 16GB
Screen: 13.3-inch, (2,560 x 1,600) IPS
Storage: 256GB – 1TB PCIe 3.0 SSD
Reasons to buy
+Super fast+Touch Bar is genuinely useful+Incredibly desirable

If you can't stretch financially to the MacBook Pro 16-inch, or simply don't need that much screen real estate and power, then the 13-inch MacBook Pro with Touch Bar is a great choice.

The Apple MacBook Pro with Touch Bar packs in some excellent internals, with an Intel Core i5 CPU partnered with 8GB of 2,133MHz RAM, a Intel Iris Plus Graphics 650 GPU, and a 256GB SSD. You can add to that the 13.3-inch 2,560 x 1,600 resolution Retina LED IPS display, which is gorgeous as well.

The headline feature though, and one that helps this laptop stand out, is the OLED Touch Bar, which replaces the function keys on previous models to great affect.

Simply put, if you like MacBooks and aren't constrained by budget, then this is the best laptop for you.

best laptops 2020

The Asus ZenBook Pro 14 features a touchpad that doubles up as a second display.

8. Asus ZenBook Pro 14 (UX480)

Good specs and a tasteful design make this an affordable mid-range all-rounder

Specifications
CPU: 1.8GHz Intel Core i7-8565U processor (quad-core, 8MB cache, up to 4.6 GHz)
Graphics: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 Max-Q graphics (2GB RAM), Intel UHD Graphics 620
RAM: 8GB DDR4
Screen: 14-inch, FHD (1920 x 1080)
Storage: 256GB SSD
Reasons to buy
+High-end specs+Attractive design+Bright, vibrant touchscreen

As we note in our official Asus ZenBook Pro 14 review, this "is a laptop that scores highly in a lot of departments. It looks really nice, it has plenty of power under the hood, and the price you're going to pay represents decent value for what you get in return."

And, really, that sums it up. Well, that is apart from this system's unique feature - it's ScreenPad. The SceenPad is a large touchpad that can also operate as a second screen, with Windows extendable and certain apps like Microsoft Office and Spotify granting you extra information or controls. It feels indebted to Apple's TouchBar.

Specs-wise the Pro 14 really is a rock-solid all-rounder, coming with an 8th-gen quad-core Intel Core i7-8565U processor, 8GB of RAM, and 256GB of SSD storage, as well as an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 Max-Q chipset with 2GB of video RAM. In short, it is a powerful machine that will handle most computing tasks with ease.

Best laptops Alienware Area-51m

Treat yourself to one of the best gaming laptops on the planet with the Alienware Area-51m.

(Image credit: Dell)

9. Alienware Area-51m

A great all-round gaming system, and the best laptop for mid-tier gaming power

Specifications
CPU: Intel Core i7-9700 – i9-9900K
Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 – 2080
RAM: 16GB – 64GB
Screen: 17.3" FHD (1920 x 1080) 60Hz Anti-Glare IPS – 144Hz IPS NVIDIA G-SYNC
Storage: 1TB SSHD – 2TB RAID0 SSDs + 1TB SSHD
Reasons to buy
+Packed with power+Modern styling+Latest Intel processors

There's so much to like about the latest Alienware Area-51m: this is a gaming laptop that's absolutely packed with power, from the 9th-generation Intel Core i7 processors, to the newest Nvidia laptop GPUs. It's fair to say you're going to have to stump up a substantial amount of cash for this laptop, but the performance you get back is worth it.

What also makes this one of the best gaming laptops of 2020 is the design. The laptop is sleek and understated, but still comes with some really nice touches of style, including discreet colour accents and the slim bezels around the display, which is more than 17 inches in size.

Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 best laptop

Dell's XPS 15 2-in-1 is one of the best laptops on the market today for users who need hybrid credentials.

10. Dell XPS 15 2-in-1

A thin and powerful hybrid with genuine gaming credentials

Specifications
CPU: 3.1GHz Intel Core i7-8705G Processor (quad-core, 8MB cache, up to 4.1 GHz)
Graphics: Radeon RX Vega M GL graphics, Intel HD Graphics 630
RAM: 6GB DDR4 (2,400MHz)
Screen: 15.6-inch, 4K Ultra HD (3840 x 2160) InfinityEdge anti-reflective touch display
Storage: 512GB PCIe SSD
Reasons to buy
+AMD Radeon RX Vega M+Luxe aluminium design+Innovative maglev keyboard

As we note in our full Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 review, "the Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 is one of the most complete hybrids ever made, scoring big across the board and leaving no obvious weak point for rivals - and critics - to launch a major counter attack. A premium all-rounder 2-in-1 that should appeal to creative tech enthusiasts looking to both work and play hard."

A shoo-in on our best laptops 2020 list if ever we saw one, then, and a machine that should be at least considered by anyone who is looking for premium upgrade right now. Yes, the Surface Book 2 does have a little bit more power-wise, and obviously has the ability to eject its screen, too, but the Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 is almost half the price.

best laptops Dell Inspiron 15 7000 Gaming

Budget shoppers looking for portable gaming power should definitely take a look at the Dell Inspiron 15 7000.

(Image credit: Dell)

11. Dell Inspiron 15 7000 Gaming

The best laptop for gaming on a budget

Specifications
CPU: Intel Core i5-7300HQ (quad core 3.5GHz)
Graphics: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 Max-Q + Intel HD Graphics 630
RAM: 8GB DDR4
Screen: 15.6-inch, Full HD
Storage: 256GB SSD
Reasons to buy
+MaxQ GPU as standard+Clean anti-glare display+Attractive price

The last few years have seen some of the components that would normally be locked to the very top echelon of laptops slowly trickle down into models that don’t have bank balance-destroying price tags.

The Inspiron 15 7000 Gaming from Dell is one such model, managing to pack in a Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 Max-Q GPU in a machine that'll cost you less than £1,000. 

It's backed up by a robust, quad-core Intel Core i5-7300HQ processor and 256GB SSD of memory, too. Combined together, you're getting a laptop that can run even the most demanding of games on high settings, and still have processing grunt to spare.

Google Pixelbook best laptop

The Google Pixelbook is the best laptop with Chrome OS on board.

12. Google Pixelbook

Still the best laptop for Chrome OS fans

Specifications
CPU: Intel Core i5-i7
Graphics: Intel HD graphics 615
RAM: 8GB-16GB
Screen: 12.3-inch, 2,400 x 1,600
Storage: 128GB, 256GB or 512GB SSD
Reasons to buy
+Lightweight and fast+Converts into a tablet... sort of

The Google Pixelbook is quite a strange beast, combining stylish looks and decent specs with a Chrome OS platform that doesn't really need them. It's also a little older than the other laptops here – if you do consider purchasing this, bear in mind that a replacement might not be far away.

If you can afford it, this is the slickest, smoothest, best-looking Chromebook on the market right now. If you do all your computing on the web, it's the best laptop around in 2020 (though perhaps not the best value).

Add in support for Android apps, and the Pixelbook Pen, and a dedicated Google Assistant button, and it really is an attractive package. Chrome OS being what it is, you don't need to worry about security software or system slowdowns, and everything is constantly backed up to the cloud.

Best laptop Acer Predator Helios 300

It might have a budget price, but the Acer Predator can really deliver on gaming and normal laptop usage tasks.

(Image credit: Acer)

13. 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+Affordable price+Decent gaming chops
Reasons to avoid
- 

Finding the middle ground between affordability and knockout performance is perhaps the biggest challenge facing a new laptop buyer. It's a sweetspot most manufacturers miss, but with the Predator Helios 300, Acer has certainly found it with a Intel Core i7-8750H CPU and a meaty Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 GPU pairing.

This powerful laptop sports a Full HD 17.6-inch display (perfect for giving your favourite Steam games a good showing when on the move) complete with a 144Hz refresh rate and 16GB of in-built RAM to keep you fully stocked with content. As a sub-£1,000 machine, it's got some serious chops.

Best laptop Razer Blade 15 Advanced

You don't have to be a gamer to appreciate the specs and style of the Razer Blade 15 Advanced.

(Image credit: Razer)

14. 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 Razer style+Capable of running anything+Screen looks fantastic

Laptops are usually labelled as gaming laptops when they come packed with high-end components and some nice visual flair – but of course you don't have to be a gamer to appreciate those attributes in a laptop. The Razer Blade 15 Advanced is a case in point, and shows Razer is getting better and better at building incredibly premium laptops.

The chassis holding the 15.6-inch display is simply beautifully put together, the internal components are hyper premium, and the lighting system around the keys is really well done too. Whether you're gaming or working on some spreadsheets, the Razer Blade 15 Advanced really impresses.

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)

15. 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+Cheaper price point
Reasons to avoid
- 

While it has become the norm that companies issue employees with laptops, there are some cases where this isn't true and Lenovo, having adopted the iconic ThinkPad brand, is here for those exact customers. The design is nothing too fancy, but don't let that fool you: beneath the surface is a capable laptop at an excellent price point. 

The base model, which retails for around £1,069, comes stocked with an Intel i5 CPU at 1.60GHz and beyond, 8GB of RAM, and a 256GB SSD, double what many manufacturers offer as standard. For those willing to splash out, Lenovo offers an i7 alongside double the RAM and storage for as little as £1,429.99.