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Best laptop 2020: Top 10 notebooks for every budget

Trusted Reviews ranks all your best laptop and notebook options, with Apple, Microsoft, Dell and Samsung laptops all included

What’s the best laptop in 2020?

There’s never been such a great range of laptops to choose from, making it increasingly difficult to find the very best laptop to suit your needs. The usual suspects such as Dell, Apple and Microsoft have all had a strong year, while emerging competitors like Samsung, Honor and LG are all stepping up.

Before you invest in a laptop, be aware that there are many new exciting models arriving in the near future, including the Surface Laptop Go, Lenovo Yoga 5G and the rumoured 12-inch MacBook Arm 2020.

But what is the best laptop that you can buy right now? We’ve ranked the top 10 laptops currently available, making sure to feature a wide variety to please gamers, creators and bargain hunters alike. Check our our current top 10 picks below:

  1. Best overall laptop: Dell XPS 13 (2020)
  2. Best budget laptop: Honor MagicBook 14
  3. Best creative laptop: MacBook Pro 16-inch
  4. Best value laptop: Microsoft Surface Laptop 3 13
  5. Best lightweight laptop: Acer Swift 5 (2019)
  6. Best business laptop: HP Envy 13 (2020)
  7. Most stylish laptop: Huawei MateBook X Pro (2020)
  8. Best 17-inch laptop: LG Gram 17 (2020)
  9. Best 2-in-1 laptop: Samsung Galaxy Book Flex
  10. Best gaming laptop: Asus ROG Zephyrus G14

For a more in-depth look at these laptops, keep scrolling down (or click the hyperlinks above) as we list the pros and cons for each device, while also linking the full-length reviews.

Related: Best Laptop Deals

Best Overall Laptop - Dell XPS 13 2020

1. Dell XPS 13 (2020)

The best all-round Windows 10 laptop you can buy

Display: 13.4in FHD / 4K | CPU: 10th Gen Intel Core | RAM: 8/16 GB
GPU: Intel Iris Plus | Storage: 512GB / 1TB | Weight: From 1.2kg


  • Ideal 16:10 InfinityEdge display
  • Comfortable and clicky keyboard
  • Remarkably thin and compact
  • Productivity performance perfection


  • Short on ports
  • Keyboard can get a tad warm

The Dell XPS 13 2020 is the best laptop you can buy right now, delivering a stellar all-round performance with very few flaws. If anyone is looking for a 13-inch ultrabook that can blast through productivity tasks and offer outstanding visuals for Netflix, then this has to be on your shortlist.

Admittedly, there aren’t a huge number of improvements from the Dell XPS 13 2019 here, but the new InfinityEdge display at least ensures this is one of the most gorgeous laptops available, while also ensuring a 16:10 aspect ratio that is well suited to social media and web browsing. Plus with the Ice Lake chip, you’ll not only be able to multitask efficiently, but also dabble with gaming and creative applications. Although it’s worth bearing in mind that a new Dell XPS 13 with a Tiger Lake processor is launching very soon too.

Is there any reason why you shouldn’t buy a Dell XPS 13? Well, it is more expensive than its rivals, with the likes of the Surface Laptop 3 available for a few hundred quid cheaper. But if you want the absolute best laptop money can buy, then the Dell XPS 13 is our top recommendation. Although, if you fancy a bit more size and graphical horsepower, then you may want to consider the new Dell XPS 15 2020 instead.

Best Budget Laptop - MagicBook 14

2. Honor MagicBook 14 (2020)

An incredibly affordable budget laptop

Display: 14in FHD | CPU: Ryzen 5 3500U | RAM: 8GB
GPU: Intel UHD | Storage: 256GB | Weight: 1.4kg


  • Student-friendly premium style
  • Superb value
  • Pleasant typing experience
  • More than capable productivity performance


  • Webcam position on keyboard
  • Below average display

Most decent Windows laptops cost upwards of £1000 these days, which is a serious lump of cash if you only want a system for web browsing and streaming video content. The Honor MagicBook 14 is a fantastic exception to the rule. This 14-inch ultrabook may not be the most powerful or stylish, despite its copycat MacBook design, but its all-round performance is astonishingly good considering its £549.99.

Being half the price of some of other laptops inevitably means you have to make compromises, as the MagicBook 14’s matte display is below average. The ultrabook is still very much adept for Netflix and YouTube viewing, but professional design work must be ruled out. But with a decent productivity performance, ultra-portable design and fantastic battery life, the MagicBook more than makes up for its adequate screen.

If you’re a student or someone on a tight budget, then we reckon the Honor MagicBook 14 is the best laptop for the job. You’ll get better quality by spending more, but no other laptop offers better value. While this current MagicBook is one of our favourite laptops of the year, Honor has just announced the new AMD Ryzen 4000 chips are coming to the affordable student laptop. If the price remains attractive, it could provide even more value for your money.

Best Creative Laptop - MacBook Pro 16

3. MacBook Pro 16-inch

Best laptop for creative tasks

Display: 16in (3072 x 1920) | CPU: 9th Gen Intel Core | RAM: 8GB
GPU: Radeon Pro 5300M / 5500M | Storage: Up to 8TB | Weight: 2kg


  • Incredibly powerful
  • Bigger display still looks stunning
  • Scissor keyboard a huge improvement
  • More stylish with smaller bezel


  • Very expensive
  • Stingy port offering
  • Lack of Wi-Fi 6

You could make a very good case that the MacBook Pro 16-inch is Apple’s best laptop in ages. Many flaws of previous Apple laptops have been addressed, including a much-improved keyboard and a new wafer-thin bezel that finally makes MacBooks look modern compared to the competition.

The performance of this MacBook Pro is just as excellent as you’d expect, with the processing speeds and GPU grunt that far exceeds the other laptops on this list. To be fair, Apple’s laptop is also a lot more expensive than the other portable PCs here, but that’s the price you have to pay to be able to blast through media tasks.

The 13-inch MacBook Pro is now available too, but since that lacks a dedicated GPU, the smaller Pro can’t realistically be seen as a genuine alternative to this powerhouse portable. And if you want an Apple laptop, but have no need the hardcore performance, you’ve also got the superb MacBook Air 2020 to consider.

However, there’s a big issue with recommending Apple laptops since the MacBook Arm revolution was confirmed. This will see a new MacBook Pro launched fairly soon (rumoured to be 2021) with Apple Silicon instead of an Intel chip. Apple has confirmed that Intel MacBooks will still be supported via software updates for the foreseeable future, but the upcoming Apple-powered MacBook laptops are clearly going to be the better option going forward.

Best Value Laptop - Surface Laptop 3

4. Surface Laptop 3 (13-inch)

One of the best value laptops available

Display: 13.5in (2256 x 1504) | CPU: 10th Gen Intel Core | RAM: 8/16GB
GPU: Intel Iris Plus | Storage: Up to 1TB | Weight: From 1.3kg


  • Classy, ultra-portable design
  • Excellent performance
  • Stunning 3:2 display
  • Available in four colours


  • Average battery life
  • Lack of Thunderbolt 3

The Surface Laptop 3 13-inch comes the closest to challenging the Dell XPS 13 2020 as the best quality productivity laptop. It packs the latest and greatest components including Intel’s 10th-generation Ice Lake processor, which also features integrated graphics for casual gaming and Photoshop work.

One area where Microsoft is arguably better than Dell is in the looks department, as the Surface Laptop 3 is available in four different colours and looks drop-dead gorgeous, while the iconic Alcantara design is optional this time round.

Why isn’t the Surface Laptop 3 at the top of rankings? Underwhelming battery life and the frankly absurd exclusion of a Thunderbolt 3 port are big enough flaws to make this ultrabook miss out on the top spot, but these are arguably minor problems for an otherwise superb laptop.

It’s also worth considering that the Surface Laptop Go is launching soon, boasting a more affordable price and smaller design. If you love the Surface brand but fancy yourself a bargain, it may be worth waiting for our review.

Best Lightweight Laptop - Acer Swift 5 2019 Review

5. Acer Swift 5 (2019)

A great value ultra-portable laptop

Display: 14in FHD | CPU: 10th Gen Intel Core | RAM: 8/16GB
GPU: Intel Iris Plus | Storage: Up to 1TB | Weight: 990g


  • Solid performance, quiet running
  • Pleasingly slim and light
  • Incredibly good value
  • Great port offering


  • Couple of keyboard issues

The Acer Swift 5 (2019) has no right to challenge the Dell XPS 13 considering its price, yet it offers similar high-end specs including Intel’s 10th Generation processor, up to 16GB RAM and SSD storage maxing out at 1TB.

Acer’s ultrabook even offers some added benefits too, such as a lighter frame (just 990g) and the option of an Nvidia MX250 GPU. So why does the Swift 5 miss out? Its keyboard isn’t quite good enough to challenge the very best, and its design isn’t as jaw-dropping. These are small margins though, as the Swift 5 is more than good enough to serve as a cheaper alternative.

It’s worth knowing that the Acer Swift 5 (2020) will hit stores in October though, featuring the yet-to-be-released Intel Tiger Lake CPU, which is rumoured to feature an all-powerful integrated graphics engine capable of running video games without a graphics card. We don’t know for sure how much of a boost Tiger Lake could provide, but it may well be worth waiting a few months to find out.

Best Business Laptop - HP Envy 13 2020

6. HP Envy 13 (2020)

A great affordable laptop for the office and home workers

Display: 13.3in FHD | CPU: 10th Gen Intel | RAM: 8GB
GPU: Intel Iris Plus | Storage: 512GB | Weight: 1.3kg


  • Great privacy features
  • Relatively cheap price
  • Great performance
  • Ultra-portable design


  • Loud fans
  • Reflective screen
  • Not as stylish as more expensive laptops

The HP Envy 13 (2020) is very similar device to the Acer Swift 5 above; they both have a great all-round performance, are available at a relatively low price and have solid (albeit unremarkable) designs. But while the Swift’s unique feature is its unbelievably light design, the HP Envy 13 instead excels at security thanks to a large helping of privacy features.

The Envy allows you to cut power to the webcam with a press of a key, and can restrict the peripheral view of nosy snoopers thanks to the SureView feature. Such skills make this an excellent business laptop, especially if you’re dealing with sensitive data.

The Envy 13 also has all the required specs to compete with the likes of Dell and Microsoft, even if it doesn’t look quite as fancy. And while issues such as a glossy screen and loud fans are slightly irritating, they’re not significant enough to prevent this being an worthwhile device for work and leisure.

Most Stylish Laptop - Huawei MateBook X Pro (2020)

7. Huawei MateBook X Pro (2020)

One of the best looking laptops we’ve tested

Display: 13in QHD| CPU: 10th Gen Intel | RAM: 16GB
GPU: Nvidia MX250 | Storage: 1TB | Weight: 1.3kg


  • Looks fantastic
  • Screen aspect-ratio is great for productivity
  • Lots of good specs for the price
  • That green colour


  • Reflective screen
  • Everything about the webcam is bad
  • SD slot would have been the icing on the cake

The first thing to say about the Huawei MateBook X Pro (2020) is that it’s absolutely gorgeous, with a screen-to-body ratio almost as high as the Dell XPS 13 and a mesmerising Emerald Green colour option.

It’s no slouch in other areas either, with the base model boasting a 10th Gen Intel Core Core i5 processor, 16GB RAM and 512GB SSD storage. The screen also packs more pixels than most of the laptops on this list, making it an excellent option for Netflix and Disney Plus.

But while this laptop excels at most laptop criteria, it also has a few shortcomings. The webcam is our main complaint, positioned on the keyboard and lacking clear video quality. It’s also an expensive laptop, with a starting price of £1399.99. That said, if you buy it through the official Huawei online store, you’ll at get a bundled tablet and Mini Speaker to offset the high cost.

Best 17 inch Laptop - LG Gram 17 (2020)

8. LG Gram 17 (2020)

An incredibly lightweight 17-inch laptop

Display: 17in QHD | CPU: 10th Gen Intel | RAM: 16GB
GPU: Intel Iris Plus | Storage: 512GB | Weight: 1.4kg


  • Unbelievably lightweight
  • Superb 17-inch display
  • Great battery life
  • Improved processor performance


  • Gaming performance with Ice Lake is disappointing
  • Bland design compared to rivals
  • Annoyingly reflective screen

The 17-inch form factor for laptops seemed to be as dead as the dodo a couple years back, especially for productivity focused machines. That was no major surprise though, since such laptops were so large and heavy that they proved difficult to stow in a bag, but the LG Gram 17 (2020) looks to change that.

This is a 17-inch laptop that weighs just 1350g, which isn’t too far off the smaller Dell XPS 13. This allows users to watch the likes of Netflix and Disney Plus on a massive screen without suffering back cramps on the work commute as a consequence. For the 2020 iteration, LG has also fitted in Intel’s 10th Gen Ice Lake processor. This ensures a nippy multi-tasking performance, although the gaming and creative talents are still lacking here, despite the integrated graphics.

The LG Gram 17 (2020) is our favourite 17-inch laptop you can buy, and one of the best laptops in general if video streaming is your top priority. We will be reviewing the Dell XPS 17 (2020) shortly though, which may displace the Gram as the best large laptop.

Best 2 in 1 Laptop - Samsung Galaxy Book Flex

9. Samsung Galaxy Book Flex

Our top-rated 2-in-1 laptop comes bundled with an S-Pen stylus

Display: 15.6in FHD | CPU: 10th Gen Intel | RAM: 8GB
GPU: Up to Nvidia MX250 | Storage: 512GB | Weight: 1.2kg


  • Gorgeous QLED display
  • Bundled S-Pen stylus
  • Stylish blue design
  • Excellent battery life


  • Shallow keyboard
  • Flimsy hinge
  • Squashed down Shift key

The Samsung Galaxy Book Flex is our favourite 2-in-1 laptop, with the included S-Pen stylus proving a great accessory for scribbles and sketches. The gorgeous QLED screen can be flipped at a 360-degree angle, turning the laptop into a makeshift tablet. Such Windows 10 ‘tablet modes’ are never as user-friendly as you’d find with a full-fat Apple or Android tablet, but it still gives the Flex spades of versatility.

The Flex also offers up a respectable performance and a great battery life, lasting around 10 hours when ploughing through basic tasks. It also flaunts a lovely blue design, standing out from the majority of other laptops in this list.

It’s not a perfect device though, with a wobbly hinge and a shallow keyboard proving mild inconveniences. It’s also rather expensive, with the 13-inch model costing £1349. That’s a couple hundred quid more than the likes of the Surface Laptop 3, so you really need to make the most of the ‘tablet mode’ and stylus to make it a worthwhile purchase. But if you’re an entry-level creative looking for a top class 2-in-1 notebook, the Flex should be at the top of your shortlist.

Best Gaming Laptop - Asus ROG Zephyrus G14

10. Asus ROG Zephyrus G14

A fantastic gaming laptop adept at day-to-say tasks

Display: 14in FHD | CPU: Ryzen 9 4900HS | RAM: 16GB
GPU: Up to Nvidia RTX 2060 | Storage: 1TB | Weight: 1.7kg


  • Incredible CPU performance
  • Great for Full HD gaming
  • Ultra-portable design
  • Impressive battery life


  • Lack of RGB lighting
  • No integrated webcam
  • Underwhelming SSD speeds

The Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 feels like the odd one out in this list of laptops, since it prioritises gaming performance above all else. But unlike previous gaming laptops, the Zephyrus G14 is an ultra-portable machine that can double up as a productivity powerhouse thanks to its insane CPU speeds, comparatively dinky 1.69kg weight and superb battery life.

The Zephyrus G14 is currently our top recommended gaming laptop, and with a reasonable £1100 starting price it’s a genuinely worthwhile alternative to the likes of a Dell XPS and Surface Laptop. You’ll need to be into your gaming to make the most of it, but if you fancy playing a bit of Fortnite, Civilization or Sims on your lunch break, then there is no better choice.

Still can’t find the best laptop for you?

If you’ve had a look at our best laptop list and still can’t find the perfect system for you, why not try one of the following lists below? These are more specialised rankings, and so focus on specific features such as portability, gaming performance or price. Check it out below:

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