THE BEST LAPTOP YOU CAN BUY :We live in a world where smartphones are ubiquitous, tablets are commonplace, and even smartwatches are no longer novel. But throughout all of these advances, the humble laptop has persevered, and for good reason. When it comes time to actually get something done — whether that’s editing photos, writing a lot of emails, composing documents, or staying in touch with colleagues and family — the laptop is often the ideal device for the job.

What separates a good laptop from a great one is how it balances power, efficiency, portability, and comfort. It should have a fantastic keyboard and trackpad — after all, those are the two biggest reasons you’d choose a laptop over a smartphone or tablet. Its display should be easy on the eyes, bright, and sharp enough that you aren’t distracted by jagged edges and visible pixels. It should be powerful enough for almost anything short of intensive video editing and advanced gaming. It should be easy to carry around from place to place, and it should be able to last all day without needing to be plugged in. Increasingly, it should have a touchscreen to provide more flexibility with how you are able to interact with the laptop.

Naming “the best laptop” is a little different than naming the best phone or tablet. Needs for laptops can vary widely. Some people need to do intense video editing and should pony up for a pro machine. Others just need a reliable keyboard and a few windows, so something less powerful will do. Some might want a super light laptop that can sometimes double as a tablet. Some will want a portable gaming machine capable of running all of the latest titles. Here, we’re talking about the best all-around product: a traditional laptop that will work well doing most things for most people, and even stretch to handle more intensive tasks on occasion.

There are plenty of great options in the Windows PC world, complete with the latest processors and designs, but Apple’s MacBook lineup has been plagued with keyboard reliability issues, which makes them hard to enthusiastically recommend. Still, if you have your heart set on buying a macOS laptop for familiarity or compatibility reasons, we have a pick for you, too.

This guide does not include gaming laptops; if that’s something you’re looking for, we have a separate guide for that. This article will be continually updated as new laptops are released and reviewed, so be sure to check back if you’re not in the market right now.

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