Best Laptops 2016 List
This page was last updated on 11/2/2016.
Whether you’re looking for a spectacular travel laptop, a business notebook or just a reliable device that will do its job when needed, I’ve compiled a list of the best laptops you can buy right now. The criteria are hardware specs, price, portability, battery life and features. The featured devices I’ve shortlisted here in the Best Laptops 2016 list are regularly updated, as new and exciting models are being launched.
Best laptop (highest overall value)
The Acer Swift 3 features a minimalist design, similar to that of Apple’s MacBook Air. Built entirely out of aluminum, this model is considerably more affordable than its competition. It’s a 14″ ultrabook which comes with the same powerful components we’ve come to expect from these featherweight notebooks: a 2.3 GHz Intel Core i5 processor, 8 gigabytes of RAM and a 256-gigabyte SSD. Expansive interface options, alongside a 10-hour battery life further recommend it as a top-tier all-rounder.
Furthermore, it’s an ideal choice if you’re thinking to make the jump from a bulky laptop to a lightweight one, since it won’t burn a hole in your pocket. This Acer is a traveling professional’s or a digital nomad’s device: simple, powerful, functional, affordable and ultra portable.
Best Laptop Under $500
Since the moment it was introduced, the HP 15-ay013nr has enjoyed consistent positive reviews. And for good reason. This best-seller has a 6th generation Intel i5 processor, 8 gigabytes of RAM and a 128-gigabyte SSD. It also features a Full HD display and 7 hours of battery life. Its only downside is the lack of a dedicated video card, but I’m being pedantic here.
With the HP, you’ll get specs similar to what other mid-range laptops offer for $150-$200 more.
Best affordable laptop
The Acer Aspire E5 is, by no means, a cheap laptop. It offers great value by being equipped with better than average hardware components: Kaby Lake Intel Core i3, 4 gigabytes of RAM and a 1-terabyte hard drive. This notebook can be used as a desktop replacement thanks to its wide assortment of ports, FHD display and performance ratings. Surprisingly, the battery pack will hold a charge for up to 12 hours!
Considering the low price ($350 as of 11/2/2016), the Acer seems to be a phenomenal deal for students, home and office users.
Best portable laptop
It’s stylish, refined, powerful and innovative. The Dell XPS 13 has received Intel’s 7th generation Kaby Lake processors. You can get it in two colors: rose gold or quartz gray. Also, there are three models currently available: two having Intel Core i5 processors, and one with an Intel Core i7. The flagship also comes with 16 gigabytes of RAM and a 512-gigabyte SSD.
Dell’s XPS weighs only 2.9 pounds, but what’s more impressive is the size of it. They’ve managed to fit a QHD+ 13″ display inside a 12″ body by dramatically reducing the bezel width. Working with an XPS is quite an experience, especially considering the industry leading 13-hour battery life.
Best gaming laptop
ASUS ROG STRIX GL502VY-DS74
Receiving great user reviews and an overall very positive reception, this new ASUS ROG STRIX model is a true mobile powerhouse perfectly suited for pro gaming on the go. Key hardware choices include a Intel i7-6500HQ CPU, 16GB of DDR4 RAM, 1TB HDD + 256GB SSD, NVIDIA GTX 980M 8GB video card and full HD display.
Perhaps the most impressive feature is its weight: just 4.7 pounds!
The ASUS Transformer Mini is a 2-in-1 detachable notebook. Unlike similar devices, this one has a significantly higher price tag, and for good reasons. It’s a true featherweight laptop: the full package (meaning tablet and keyboard dock) weighs just 1.7 pounds. What’s more, its battery will hold a charge for up to 11 hours.
The ASUS is not sluggish either. This 2-in-1 is powered by a zippy and energy efficient Intel Atom processor, has 4 gigs of RAM and a 128-gigabyte eMMC drive, which should prove sufficient for most users.
While most Chromebooks are marketed toward a younger audience, the HP Chromebook 11 G5 aims higher. HP have chosen a different path. This Chromebook caters to young professionals, college students and avid travelers with its understated style and reduced weight.
It’s definitely not a lazy machine, and I think the 12-hour battery life and reduced weight (2.6 pounds) make it a fantastic little device to carry along, wherever the road may take you.