Best Laptops of the Year 2017 you should buy

Acer Swift 3 2016

Important Features of one of the Best Laptops of the Year :
  • 14-inch Full HD IPS display
  • Intel Core i3, i5 (reviewed) and i7 available
  • 8GB RAM
  • 256GB SSD
  • Backlit keyboard
  • Weight: 1.5kg
  • Windows 10
  • Tested battery life: Around 8 hours
  • Review price: £650
This 14-inch laptop is a great buy if you want a light, the all-metal laptop that can manage basic tasks, as well as a bit of light photo editing, is one of Best Laptops of the Year.
Be warned, however, that Acer has released a newer version of the Acer Swift 3, which we consider to be slightly inferior (it has a poorer screen) and is rather more expensive than the model we originally reviewed. The launch of the new 2017 model likely means stocks of the 2016 model will soon diminish, so grab them while you can.
Its 1.5kg weight and small footprint make it very bag friendly, and the choice of specifications available mean you can spend from £500 to £750 on one. The model we reviewed cost £650, which is the best value, but the £500 Core i3 model is great for those who’ll just be doing a bit of light web browsing and document work. At the time of writing, Argos is stocking the Core i5 model we reviewed for a very competitive £550, which is well worth a look.
The only minus points are that the display lacks the most vibrant colours so won’t be suitable for people who edit photos on a professional basis, and it’s heavier than some slightly more expensive rivals, such as the Lenovo IdeaPad 710S.

Asus VivoBook E200HA

Important Features:
  • 11.6-inch 1366×768 display
  • Intel Atom X5-Z8350 processor
  • 8GB RAM
  • 32GB SSD
  • Weight: 980g
  • Tested battery life: Around 12 hours
  • Review price: £230

This brilliant little netbook weighs less than a kilogram but still manages to pack all the features you could want from a budget laptop. With 12 hours of battery life in normal usage and a dinky footprint, this is the most baggable laptop we’ve ever tested.
With that crazy low price and weight comes performance compromises, but if you only use a few browser tabs at a time, you’ll be right at home.
At the time of writing it’s dropped from £230 to a stunning £170 on Amazon, which is a terrific deal.

Lenovo Ideapad 720S

Important Features:
  • 2.5-3.1GHz Intel Core i5-7200U
  • 2GB Nvidia GeForce GT 940MX
  • 8GB RAM256GB PCIe SSD
  • Weight: 1.55kg
  • 14-inch Full HD display
  • Backlit keyboard
  • Tested battery life: 8-9 hours
  • Review price: £850
The IdeaPad 720S is one of the most impressive laptops we’ve reviewed this year. While its slightly large 14-inch frame means overall weight is relatively high at 1.55kg, this is is still very much an Ultrabook.
It’s powerful, with a decent Intel Core i5-7200U processor that’s ripe for video and photo editing, along with dedicated graphics from Nvidia. The GPU isn’t worthy of the latest games at high resolutions, but if you have a hankering for older titles, it’ll do just about fine.
Battery life is good, which we tested at around nine hours, and build quality is excellent for the money. It’s more expensive and heavier than the Acer Swift 5, but with the extra screen real-estate and graphics power, it goes a long way to justify itself.

Acer Swift 5

Important Features:
  • 14-inch, 1920 x 1080-pixel IPS display
  • Intel Core i5-7200U
  • 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD
  • Intel HD Graphics 620
  • Weight: 1.36kg
  • Windows 10
  • Tested Battery Life: Around 9 hours
  • Review price: £699
The 14-inch Acer Swift 5 is a great option if you want a larger screen without adding too much weight. It weighs 1.36kg, which is light for the size.
There’s also a fingerprint scanner, which is great for logging into Windows 10 with just the touch of your finger. The screen is bright and colourful, and battery life is excellent and will happily go all day if you don’t push it too hard.
It has a similar spec to the Lenovo, so will perform just as well in day-to-day tasks. It doesn’t feel as well built as some rivals, so might not survive too many bumps and scrapes.

Dell XPS 13

Important Features;
  • 3-inch 3200 x 1800-pixel touch IPS display
  • Intel Core i7-7500U
  • 8GB RAM, 256GB PCIe SSD
  • Intel HD Graphics 620
  • Weight: 1.29kg
  • Tested Battery Life: Around 9 hours
  • Windows 10 (also available with Ubuntu)
  • Review price: £1299
The Dell XPS 13 is the no-compromise option. We think it’s the best thin-and-light laptop you can buy right now. A great design, stunning screen and fantastic performance make this the ideal alternative to a MacBook Pro.
There are loads of different storage and processor options – our review model was perhaps the best value, but you can spend quite a lot less if you don’t need raw power or loads of storage.
Most importantly, it’s more powerful yet cheaper than the rival MacBook Pro, which is a great combination. If you’re a Windows fan, or wavering Apple one, this is the laptop for you.
A couple of small minus points: It lacks the wow factor and 100% faultless build quality of the latest MacBook Pros. Oh, and the webcam looks up your nose.
Competition is now very tight with the new Microsoft Surface Laptop, which starts at a slightly lower £979 for a base model with a Core i5 processor, 4GB of memory and a 128GB SSD. The XPS 13 still remains our top pick, but any price cuts from Microsoft could see the Surface Laptop make an entry onto this list.

13-inch MacBook Pro

Important Features;
  • 13.3-inch 2560 x 1440-pixel “Retina” display
  • Intel Core i5-6267U
  • 8GB RAM, 256GB PCIe SSD
  • Intel Iris Graphics 550
  • 4x USB-C 3.1/ThunderBolt 3 ports
  • Weight: 1.37kg
  • MacOS
  • Tested Battery Life: Around 8 hours
  • Review price: £1,749
In terms of hardware, Apple is verging on perfection with the latest MacBook Pro. The aluminium unibody, incredible speakers, ultra-fast SSD, pro-quality screen and silky-smooth software make for an unrivalled experience.
It’s powerful enough to edit photos and videos with ease, and it’s light enough to pop it into your bag without thinking too much about it. There’s even the innovative Touch Bar, although we haven’t yet seen its full potential for making tasks quicker.
But, it’s not completely perfect: It’s very expensive compared to the XPS 13, lacks certain things like an SD card slot, and there have been question marks raised over the consistency of its battery life. You can read our long-term review for more information.
The MacBook Pro is now fully updated for 2017. Our review model is a 2016 edition, but the main difference between the 2016 and 2016 models is a slightly more powerful processor, improved battery life and a lower starting price (thanks to a smaller SSD on the base model).

HP EliteBook x360 G2

Important Features:
  • 13.3-inch IPS (UHD or FHD) IPS touch scren
  • Intel Core i5-7300U
  • 16GB RAM
  • Intel HD Graphics 620
  • Fingerprint scanner and infra-red camera
  • 256GB M.2 SATA SSD
  • Weight: 1.29kg
  • Hybrid design
  • Windows 10
  • Tested battery life: Around 9 hours
  • Review price: £1378
The EliteBook x360 G2 is one of HP’s finest laptops to date. It’s very much a business machine, but its price isn’t totally out of reach of someone who just wants a premium Ultrabook. Weighing in at just 1.29kg, it’s super light, and with its 13.3-inch form factor you’ll have no problem chucking it in a bag to take home from work. It’s loaded with security features, too.
Performance is good (although for the money the XPS 13 offers more power), and the screen is ready for Windows Ink if you buy it with the optional stylus. The whole package is expensive for a plain laptop, but given its premium design, sturdy hinge and draw-ability, it doesn’t seem quite so crazy.

HP Pavilion 15

Important Features:
  • Intel Core i3-6100U processor
  • 8GB RAM
  • 1TB hard disk
  • 15.6-inch 1,366×768-pixel display
  • DVD/RW drive
  • Weight: 2.04kg
  • Tested Battery Life: Around 5 hours
  • Review price: £499

A decent general purpose laptop for families

 HP Pavilion 15 laptops never find themselves currying much favour with reviewers, but they’re the machines you find most frequently in the likes of Currys and PC World. And, for many people, they’re absolutely fine.
The au072sa we looked at typifies the range: a cheap dual-core processor in a chunky chassis and an HD screen. It’s the ideal spec for a sub-£400 family laptop that stays at home. You don’t get a great screen and the hard disk is slower than all of the premium laptops with SSDs featured here, but for the price, it’s hard to complain.
The 2017 models of this laptop have now launched, and you’ll find updated specs in the likes of Currys and PC World. read more Best Laptops of the Year

New Surface Pro

Important Features;
  • 2736 x 1824-pixel display
  • Intel Core m3, i5-U or i7-U
  • 4-16GB RAM, 128GB-1TB SSD
  • Weight: 784g
  • Optional keyboard
  • Tested Battery Life: Around 8 hours
  • Starting price: £799
The Surface Pro 4 is has been ‘New Surface Pro‘, but both remain good deals. The newer model is more powerful and its Core m3 and Core i5-powered editions are fanless and run completely silently.
Both machines are very similar, requiring some fairly pricey upgrades to turn them into proper laptops, namely a TypeCover keyboard and a Surface Pen for taking notes and doodling.
You pay a premium for the 2017 Surface Pro, but it manages better battery life than its predecessor and the rest of the 2-in-1 competition. It’s a superb choice, but not a no-brainer upgrade for someone who already has a Surface Pro 4. read more Best Laptops of the Year

Dell XPS 15

Best Laptops of the Yea
Important Features;
  • 15.6-inch 1,920×1,080-pixel display (UHD available)
  • Intel Core i7-7700HQ (i5 available)
  • 16GB RAM, 256GB PCIe SSD
  • 4GB Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050
  • Weight: 2kg
  • Tested Battery Life: Around 9 hours
  • Review price: £1499
As the 15-inch MacBook Pro gets even more expensive, the Dell XPS 15 looks more and more attractive. It has a powerful quad-core Intel Core i7 processor (i5s also available) and a great graphics card in the form of the GTX 1050, which gets 4GB of video memory.
This means that not only is this a highly capable laptop for video editing, it’s also a brilliant Full HD gaming machine. The fast SSD, great screen, superb build quality and good battery life seal the deal for us. The price you pay is that it gets loud when gaming, and it’s pretty heavy at 2kg.

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