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Best Laptop 2016 – 10 best laptops right now


Dell Precision M3800

Following the release of Windows 10, now is a great time to consider buying a new laptop. We've picked out the best laptops for you to choose from.

While most of the attention is grabbed by fancy hybrids, you can still find plenty of good normal laptops out there. All the laptops in our best laptops list are up-to-date and will serve you well. But there are some interesting models coming soon that are worth waiting for.

For example, Lenovo plans to launch a new X1 ThinkPad with an OLED screen. Indeed, it's not the only one, as a new HP Spectre x360 will also be available with an optional OLED screen. OLED screens, which are more common on some brands of phones, are known to offer outstanding colour and contrast, making them an attractive option.

There's also a new business version of one of our favourite laptops in this list, the Dell XPS 13 2015. Business users will soon have the option of the Dell Latitude 7370, which uses a similar design but has additional security features. Most of these laptops will be available in the first half of 2016.

Imminent updates to Apple's laptop range, including a revamp of the MacBook Air range, shouldn't be ignored and we hope to get our hands on Microsoft's Surface Book soon to decide if it's worthy of a place in our round-up.

If you can't wait, however, hit the dropdown menu above to head straight to our short reviews, or read on for more laptop buying advice.

Watch: What's new in Windows 10?

Windows 10 – Should you upgrade?

Windows 10 has landed, and comes as a free upgrade for Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 users. That means that each and every one of the Microsoft-powered laptops and tablets listed below will be bumped up to the new operating system without you having to part with any extra pounds. It’s a huge improvement over its predecessor too, with the revamped Start Menu and the addition of Cortana particularly impressive.

However, they’re not the only major new features. Internet Explorer has (at last) taken a back seat, with Microsoft Edge the native Windows 10 browser. You should be pleased with Windows 10’s assortment of gaming features too, especially if you’re a cross-platform player. The new Xbox app plays a central role. You can now stream Xbox One games to your PC and even record your gaming sessions.

What kind of laptop should I buy?

A lot will depend on how much you have to spend and how you intend to use your laptop. Consider how often you'll actually take your laptop out of the home, and if you do for how long. These kinds of questions will dictate what size laptop you need, and how important battery life is to you. With that in mind, here's a quick guide to the different types and how much they could cost.

Laptop Tablet Hybrid – (£300 to £1,000 or more)

If you’ve ever been tempted by an iPad, but still need a Windows laptop, then a hybrid is a good choice. There’s a huge amount of choice in both size and price. The main things to consider are how much you want to spend and how you’re going to use it. Need a laptop more than a tablet? Go bigger and more expensive. The opposite is true if you really want a tablet that you can use as a tablet.

Convertible Laptop – (£500 to £1,000 or more)

This is a twist on the hybrid that differs in execution. Pure hybrids have detaching tablet segments that connect to a keyboard, while convertibles are normal laptops with clever hinges that rotate. They’re a good choice if you mainly need a laptop but would like a little flexibility.

Thin & Light Laptop – (£700 to £1,000 or more)

Sometimes referred to as ‘Ultrabooks’, a thin and light laptop will have an 11-inch or 13-inch screen and… well, be thin and light. The MacBook Air is a thin and light laptop, and there are many Windows alternatives.

Desktop Replacement – (£250 to £1,000 or more)

This describes any laptop with a larger 15-inch or 17-inch screen and they vary hugely in price. They’re good workhorses with large, easy-to-use screens. Spend anything over £600 and you gain some advanced features and better-quality screens that are great for films.

Multimedia Laptop – (£1,000 to £2,000 or more)

These are for more serious users who want to regularly edit video and RAW photo files. These laptops are about all-out performance and have high-quality screens. If you’re not sure you need to spend this much, you probably don’t.

Google Chromebook – (£150 to £350)

If you’re a big Google user then its cheap laptops are worth considering. They use its Chrome OS operating system and rely heavily on web apps. They’re simple and cheap and lack the bloatware, such as anti-virus, that often plagues cheap Windows laptops.

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