Best Laptop 2015: 10 best ultrabooks and hybrids
Is now the right time to buy a new laptop? It’s often hard to decide, but our best laptop round-up explains why you might be better off waiting for new models right now.
While there are good, new and older laptops available, now isn’t a great time to buy a new laptop. Intel, the main company that makes processors for laptops, has just released a new range of more efficient chips, and as a result there are lots of new laptops coming that will replace those currently on sale.
For example, we've removed the 2014 MacBook Air from our list because we expect Apple to launch a new version within the next few months. It's still a great laptop that's worth considering, but you'll feel pretty sore if you buy one and Apple releases a slimmer, better one days afterwards.
That’s why our pick of the best laptops of 2015 is split in two. We’ve selected our favourite models of those currently available, but we’ve also included upcoming models that are worth waiting for.
Select from the list below, or hit the next arrow to view our shortlist:
TrustedReviews Recommended Laptops
Best Windows Hybrid – Microsoft Surface Pro 3
Best Laptop for Video Editing – Apple MacBook Pro 15-inch
Best 13-inch Windows Hybrid – Dell Latitude 13 7000 NEW
Best Gaming Laptop – MSI G70 2QE Stealth Pro Red Edition NEW
Best 15-inch Laptop – Dell XPS 15
Laptops Coming Soon
Dell XPS 13 – New ultrabook with ultra-slim bezel NEW
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon 2015 – Updated business ultra-portable NEW
Asus Transformer Chi T90, T100 and T300 – New cheap hybrids NEW
Toshiba Satellite Click Mini – Cheap 8.9-inch hybrid NEW
Toshiba Chromebook 2 – 13-inch Chromebook with 1080p screen NEW
Last Update: 26/01/15 – Seven removed, seven added
Why should I wait for the new Intel processors?Intel has a selection of new processors, all of which offer improved performance while using less power. This means the latest laptops and tablets that use the new Intel 5th generation Core i and new Intel Core M processors will improve battery life and run cooler.
Because of the latter, many of the new laptops and hybrids have smaller, quieter fans – some might even have no fan at all. They’re also lighter, thinner and faster, all of which makes waiting a good idea.
Related: Intel's 14nm processors explained
Related: Intel Core M: Everything you need to know
What kind of laptop should I buy?A lot will depend on how much you have to spend, but here’s a quick summary of the options to help you decide.
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.