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

(Image credit: Future)

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.

The best laptops you can buy today

best laptops 2020 ASUS VivoBook S15

The ASUS VivoBook S15 is the best mid-range laptop in the world right now in 2020.

(Image credit: Asus)

1. Best laptop for most people: ASUS VivoBook S15

The best laptop on the market today for a superb tech package at a mid-range price point

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

What a pleasant surprise the ASUS VivoBook S15 was when it emerged at its recent launch, with the slim and super light weight laptop hitting a wonderful sweet spot in terms of tech delivered to money spent.

Retailing right now for under 450 notes, the VivoBook S15 offers truly excellent mid-range value, with an Intel Core i5 processor packed into its sleek chassis along with 4GB of RAM, a 256GB SSD and a touchscreen ScreenPad.

The fact that the VivoBook S15 weighs only 1.8kg makes it super portable, too, so it is ideal for slipping in bag and working on the go. It's 1,920 x 1,080 resolution screen is also bright and punchy and at 15.6 inches you've got plenty of real estate for multiple window browsing, work or entertainment.

In terms of connectivity the laptop delivers a HDMI port, four USB ports (2 x USB 2.0 and 2 x USB 3.0) and a mic-in port, while the system comes running a full copy of Windows 10 Home.

Simply put, the Asus VivoBook S15 will be the perfect laptop for many users, combining a quality tech spec and everyday-versatile design at a very firmly mid-range price point.

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 guide.

(Image credit: Dell)

2. Best premium laptop: Dell XPS 13 (2019)

With a stunning design and powerhouse spec, this is the best laptop in the world for high-end users

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 design is beautiful+It's a hardware powerhouse+It's got a luxe 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 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.

Regarding hardware spec, the Dell XPS 13 delivers premium across the board. You get a 8th gen Intel Core i7 processor, 16GB of RAM, Intel UHD Graphics 620, up to a 1TB SSD and a battery that runs for longer than ever before. And, as for that, admittedly optional 4K screen, what a joy the UltraSharp InfinityEdge touch display is to use and view content.

In terms of ports and features, the Dell XPS 13 comes equipped with two Thunderbolt 3 (USB-C) ports, one USB-C 3.1 port, a headphone jack and a microSD card reader. The laptops camera is a quality widescreen HD webcam, which comes partnered with an array of four digital microphones.

A copy of Windows 10 Home comes pre-installed on the Dell XPS 13.

In conclusion, the Dell XPS 13 is expensive, and the stunning Alpine White model is even more so, but it is simply one of the best laptops in the world (regardless of how you spec it) and an easy recommend as the system that anyone shopping at the high-end of the laptop market should check out.

Best laptops 2020 HP Stream 14

The best laptop in 2020 for solid performance at a truly bargain price point is the HP Stream 14.

(Image credit: HP)

3. Best budget laptop: HP Stream 14

Delivering stunning value, the HP Stream 14 is the best laptop for bargain hunters

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 HP Stream 14 is not the most powerful laptop money can buy in 2020, but what it does deliver is truly astonishing value. Ringing in at such a low price, the HP Stream 14 really does show that you don't have to spend a lot of money to get a strong computing experience.

The Stream's 14-inch screen is perfectly large enough to have multiple windows open and enjoy content from your streaming service of choice, while the internal hardware, which includes a AMD A4 9125 dual-core processor, 4GB of RAM and a 32GB eMMC storage drive means that any light computing task is handled with ease.

We also like that despite the Stream 14 costing so little, it also comes installed with a full copy of Microsoft Windows 10, as well as a wide-variety of ports that include a HDMI port, Ethernet port, three USB ports (2 x USB 3.1 and 1 x USB 2.0) and a multi-card media card reader.

The Stream 14 even includes a basic but functional HD webcam, built-in microphone and comes with one year of Microsoft Office use, too.

We think the HP Stream 14 is perfect for users who need a reliable and highly portable laptop for light computing tasks and have a couple hundred notes to spend.

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.

4. Microsoft Surface Book 2

The best laptop hybrid on the market 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)

5. 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.