The best laptop computer of 2020
Pay attention to the size of the keyboard on the laptop. (BestReviews)
Need a computer that's lightweight and portable but mightier than your trusty tablet? A laptop computer gives you excellent power and processing speed while offering the ability to work from anywhere when using the battery.
Screen size and resolution both have improved quite a bit in recent years. Some laptop computers even offer a touchscreen, so you can use them like a tablet if desired.
These changes and improvements prompted us to take a fresh look at our recommendations for the best laptop computers of the year. Our updated short list of our favorites offers a nice mixture of price points and feature sets.
Best laptop computers of 2020
1. Apple 16-Inch MacBook Pro: For fans of the Apple brand name, this is an extremely popular laptop, delivering all of the high-end features you expect from a MacBook. This is a slight upgrade to our previous top pick, offering a larger screen size and better keyboard.
2. Samsung Chromebook Plus: When your computing needs -- or your budget -- are minimal, this Chromebook is a nice contender. Because of some recent upgrades to this model, we've added it to our short list.
3. Lenovo ThinkPad P53s 15-Inch Laptop: As a newcomer to our list, this ThinkPad model is a deserving pick with plenty of processing power and a large screen.
Jump to the bottom of our article for more information on each model.
What you need to know before buying a laptop computer
Laptop computers are available in a multitude of sizes and price points, which will help you find just the perfect model. Before you start shopping, though, it pays to understand some of the different components found in these models, so you can compare them accurately.
The central processing unit determines the processing power and speed of the laptop. The quality of the CPU plays a big role in the price of the laptop.
Many laptops run Windows 10, but you can find models running Chrome OS or macOS, too. The operating system is not as important as it used to be, when software incompatibility played a role in the OS you wanted, but the OS does affect your enjoyment of using the machine.
Laptop screen sizes typically vary from 11 inches to 17 inches in size (measured diagonally). Pay attention to the resolution of the screen, too, as full HD (1,920 x 1,080 pixels) or higher is better. Some screens have a touch capability.
Data storage in a laptop can appear as HDD (hard disk drive) or SSD (solid state drive) technology (or both). SSD is faster performing and more stable than HDD, but it also costs quite a bit more per gigabyte of storage than HDD.
Random access memory plays a key role in the performance of the laptop. More RAM is better, but it also drives up the computer's price.
Q. What do I need to understand about battery life?
A. A laptop's battery capacity is extremely important if you plan to use it while on the go. Average battery performance is 8 to 10 hours per charge, but some models offer much more than that.
Q. Can I play games on my laptop?
A. Games need a lot of processing power and graphics rendering power. An average laptop will struggle with these demands. Look for a high-end laptop or a gaming laptop for the best performance.
In-depth reviews for best laptop computers
What we like: Apple always delivers top-of-the-line features and performance in its MacBooks, and this latest version is no exception. Its 16-inch screen is sharp and responsive, and it's one of the best available.
What we dislike: You will pay a premium for any Apple products, including this one.
Best bang for your buck: Samsung Chromebook Plus
What we like: It is extremely lightweight and portable, which is perfect for the student or employee on the go. It is made to fit into almost any budget. Delivers good processing and working speed, as long as your Internet connection is strong.
What we dislike: This is not a powerful computer, so gamers or those who need to process huge amounts of data will not be able to use it.
Choice 3: Lenovo ThinkPad P53s 15-Inch Laptop
What we like: Having a touchscreen feature like a tablet with the keyboard and processing power of a laptop make this a popular choice for multiple use cases. You'll appreciate its thin design and lightweight configuration
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