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Best Laptops 2015: 10 best ultrabooks and hybrids

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Is now the right time to buy a new laptop? It’s often hard to decide, but our best laptop round-up picks out the best ultrabooks and hybrids right now and ones worth waiting for.

One of the most annoying things about buying a new laptop is finding out a newer, better one came out weeks after you bought yours. That's why our pick of the best laptops and best ultrabooks is split into two – we include the best available right now and ones worth waiting for.

One laptop we don't recommend for this reason is the 2014 MacBook Air because it's due to be replaced soon. Apple is expected to launch an entirely new design using Intel's new 14nm processors. Scroll down for more info on those.

New to our list is a Chromebook from Toshiba that we absolutely love. It costs just £250 and it's brilliant. We've also added a promising up and coming gaming laptop from MSI, though we removed another due to it being out of date.

Select from the list below, or hit the next arrow to view our list:

TrustedReviews Recommended Laptops
Best Chromebook – Toshiba Chromebook 2 NEW
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

Best 15-inch Laptop – Dell XPS 15


Laptops Coming Soon
MSI GE62 Apache – Thin and light gaming laptop with 9-series GPU NEW
Dell XPS 13 2015 – New ultrabook with ultra-slim bezel
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon 2015 – Updated business ultra-portable

Asus Transformer Chi T90, T100 and T300 – New cheap hybrids

Toshiba Satellite Click Mini – Cheap 8.9-inch hybrid


Last Update: 09/02/15 – Two new laptops added, one removed

Related: Best Gaming Laptops

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 have better 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.

If you're unsure whether the laptop you're looking at has a new processor, check the spec sheet for what 'generation' of Intel processor is included. A "4th generation Core i" processor means an older, but still very good, processor. New ones are labelled "5th generation Core i processor" in the spec sheet. Older machines are still worth considering if you find a good deal, though.

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.

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