Today's Best Tech Deals
Picked by PCWorld's Editors
Top Deals On Great Products
Picked by Techconnect's Editors
- Latest laptop news and reviews
- Best thin-and-light laptop
- Best laptop under $500
- Best 14-inch/15-inch workhorse
- Best convertible laptop
- Best budget convertible laptop
- Best 2-in-1 / tablet / hybrid laptop
- Best budget gaming laptop
- Best portable gaming laptop
- Best luxury laptop
Shopping for a laptop is about to get a lot more interesting. Computex 2021 (virtual) brought a heavy rain of news from AMD, Intel, and Nvidia, everything from new CPUs to technologies that enhance gaming performance. The laptop market is still tight, as pandemic-fueled sales remain strong. But if you yearn for the latest and greatest, this is your time. Keep reading for the latest news and reviews.
Our top picks from currently available laptops are below:
Best laptops cheat sheet: Our top picks
- Best thin-and-light laptop:HP Spectre x360 14 1Q881AV[hp.com]
- Best laptop under $500:Acer Aspire 5 A515-43-R19L
- Best 14-inch/15-inch workhorse:HP Envy 14 (14-eb0010nr) (2021)
- Best budget convertible:Asus Zenbook Flip 13
- Best 2-in-1/hybrid Windows tablet:Microsoft Surface Pro 7+[microsoft.com]
- Best budget gaming laptop:Acer Nitro 5 AN515-44-R99Q[bestbuy.com]
- Best portable gaming laptop:Acer Predator Triton 300 SE[bestbuy.com]
- Best luxury laptop:Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Nano 20UN000EUS
- Best overall Chromebook:Google Pixelbook Go[google.com]
- Best budget Chromebook:HP Chromebook x360 12b-ca0010nr[adorama.com]
- Best 2-in-1/tablet/hybrid laptop:MacBook Air (M1, 8‑core CPU, 7‑Core GPU, 256GB storage)
Latest laptop news and reviews
Here are the latest stories:
- Can you play games on a Chromebook? Sure, you can. PCWorld's Mark Hachman shows you how.
- Here's your basic business laptop: We review Lenovo's ThinkPad E14 Gen 2, with all the ThinkPad features you expect in a more affordable design. Read our full review.
- Samsung announced its Galaxy Book Go laptops, which are thin, light, and designed to work best with other Samsung products. Prices will start at $349 when models begin rolling out June 10.
Best thin-and-light laptop
When we think about the best thin-and-light laptop, it’s always been a close contest between the Dell XPS 2-in-1 and the HP Spectre x360. This time around, we’re giving the luxurious HP Spectre x360 14 some time in the sun, with a nod to the Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 9310 that preceded it as our top pick. The Spectre x360 14, now sporting the same Intel 11th-gen Tiger Lake CPU available in the Dell XPS line, trades blows with its eternal rival in test after test. It rises to the top because of a few key advantages: It offers longer battery life (thanks to a bigger battery), a far better keyboard, and little things like a USB-A port and a physical webam shutoff switch, all for a lower price. Well played. Read our full review.
[ $1,590 on HP.com ]
Now that Apple’s M1 chip has raised the bar for lightweight laptop performance, there’s a question every ultraportable PC maker must address: Why would someone buy this instead of a MacBook Air?
Well, here’s an answer for the new Acer Swift 5: It’s fast enough to play Fortnite and a bunch of other games that are absent from Apple’s platform, but it weighs only 2.3 pounds and gets stellar battery life for work or web browsing. It also has a touchscreen and a bunch of useful ports, including HDMI out and USB-A, none of which you’ll find on Apple’s thin-and-light (ahem). Read our full review.
[Currently about $1,300 on Amazon.com, but prices fluctuate frequently.]
Best laptop under $500
If this particular model of the Acer Aspire 5 looks familiar, it’s probably because it’s been sitting atop Amazon’s laptop bestseller list for months. It’s easy to understand why. This AMD Ryzen 3-powered Aspire 5 packs some enticing features for the price, including a Full-HD 15.6-inch display, a slim-and-trim chassis, and solid performance on everyday computing tasks.
That said, a Windows 10 laptop this inexpensive has its compromises. In this case, we’re talking a scant 4GB of RAM and a cramped 128GB solid-state drive, while battery life falls significantly short compared to similar Aspire 5 models that don’t cost much more. Read our full review.
[Currently $410 on Amazon, but prices fluctuate frequently.]
Best 14-inch/15-inch workhorse
Laptops like the HP Envy 14 fall into the category of “content creation:” notebook PCs with a modestly powerful discrete GPU that can play some games, edit video, or simply serve as a solid all-around PC. This 14-inch laptop satisfies all three.
In our tests, we found that while some laptops outperformed the Envy 14, many couldn’t do so for the price. Here, the Envy 14 offers top-notch battery life, support for powerful external Thunderbolt hardware, and a pleasing everyday typing experience. Read our full review.
Best convertible laptop
Dell’s XPS 13 2-in-1 9310 is mostly an evolutionary update to the XPS 13 7390 2-in-1 we reviewed last year, but with one key change. Thanks to Intel’s 11th gen Core i7-1165G7 chip, gaming is actually conceivable on this sub-three-pound laptop.
Most other things didn’t change, and we have our beefs about the design. But that game-ready performance boost alone makes the XPS 13 2-in-1 special. Read our full review.
[$1,714 as tested; available on Dell.com]
Best budget convertible laptop
The Asus ZenBook Flip 13 offers a lot for the money. It's a beautiful laptop that offers decent battery life, very good graphics, and a lot of pep for most of what you’d do on a small 13-inch convertible laptop. Some might fixate on its lack of a headphone jack, but that would be unfair to its impressive 11th-gen Intel Tiger Lake Core i7-1165G7 chip and its drop-dead-gorgeous OLED screen. Read our full review.
Best 2-in-1 / tablet / hybrid laptop
By naming this Windows tablet the Surface Pro 7+, Microsoft mistakenly implies that it’s some sort of minor upgrade from the Surface Pro 7. Nothing could be further from the truth: We rarely see such massive upgrades in CPU and GPU horsepower, as well as battery life. It also offers an LTE option and an absolutely dead-silent, fanless chassis.
A few decisions made us scratch our heads. Why do we have to choose between an integrated microSD slot or the LTE option? Thunderbolt still isn’t here, either. But even these flaws really can’t mar an exciting leap in performance. This is the best Surface Pro of several generations, and for the moment the best Windows tablet on the market, too.
[$1,650 MRSP as reviewed on Microsoft.com]
Keep reading for our top picks in gaming laptops and more.
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