Best High Performance Laptops

Best High Performance Laptops

In a world full of smartphones, smartwatches, and tablets where everything and anything online is available at your fingertips, the laptop remains an essential tool for both life and business.

Despite all the advances and fluctuating trends, when it comes to working, composing long documents, and writing copious emails, a laptop is the most convenient electronic device to use. 

With a large array of high performance laptops available to buy on the market, how can you know which is the best one for you? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. 

We’ve compiled a list of the best high performance laptops for your convenience. Alongside this, we’ve also written a helpful buyer’s guide as well as answered some frequently asked questions that might have crossed your mind. 

Check out our top pick below. 

OUR TOP PICK

2020 Apple MacBook Air Laptop: Apple M1 Chip, 13” Retina Display, 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD Storage, Backlit Keyboard, FaceTime HD Camera, Touch ID. Works with iPhone/iPad; Space Gray

The 2020 Apple MacBook Air with Apple M1 Chip is Apple’s thinnest, lightest laptop and is designed for a giant leap in CPU, GPU, and machine learning performance.

This MacBook Air has outstanding battery performance! Go longer than ever with up to 18 hours of battery life.

M1 has the fastest CPU Apple has ever made! With that kind of processing speed, the MacBook Air can take on extensive editing tasks as well as gaming.

Pros:

  • The MacBook Air comes with 8GB of RAM and 256 GB of storage for fast, high performance! 
  • Superfast SSD storage launches apps and opens files in an instant, so you don’t have to waste any time waiting on start-up.
  • The MacBook Air is incredibly portable! As Apple’s lightest MacBook, work anywhere with convenience. 

Cons:

  • A few customers pointed out that it was inconvenient that the new model doesn’t have standard USB ports. 

EDITORS CHOICE

2020 Apple MacBook Pro with Apple M1 Chip (13-inch, 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD Storage) - Silver

The Apple MacBook Pro with Apple M1 Chip is designed with high battery performance, for up to 20 hours of battery life!

Featuring an 8-core CPU, the MacBook Pro delivers up to 2.8x faster performance to fly through workflows quicker than ever. 

The MacBook Pro boasts an 8-core GPU with up to 5x faster graphics for graphics-intensive apps and games.

Pros:

  • Features a FaceTime HD camera with an advanced image signal processor for clearer, sharper video calls.
  • The active cooling system sustains incredible performance.
  • The MacBook Pro features a fan which means it can sustain heavy workloads for a longer period of time without needing to compromise on performance.

Cons:

  • One customer noted that they were frustrated with the extra accessories they needed to buy to make this MacBook model compatible with their cables. 

BEST VALUE

Microsoft Surface Laptop Go - 12.4' Touchscreen - Intel Core i5 - 8GB Memory - 128GB SSD - Platinum

The Microsoft Surface Laptop is designed with a 12.4” touchscreen and signature premium materials.

Up to 13 hours of battery life! Work all day with the Microsoft Surface laptop without having to charge. 

This laptop features convenient security with Windows Hello sign-in, plus Fingerprint Power Button with Windows Hello and One Touch sign-in on select models.  

Pros:

  • Portable!  At just 2.44 pounds, it’s light, portable, and easy to keep by your side throughout the day.
  • Features a 10th Gen Intel Core Processor, providing you with high performance! 
  • Available in platinum, ice blue, and sandstone, all in a durable, cool metal finish, so you can pick the best laptop that is personal to you.

Cons:

  • A few customers claimed that this laptop had a tendency to get hot after significant use.

RUNNER UP

LG Gram 17Z90N Laptop 17' IPS Ultra-Lightweight, (2560 x 1600), 10th Gen Intel Core i7 , 16GB RAM, 1TB SSD, Windows 10 Home, 17 Hour Battery, USB-C, HDMI, Headphone Input - Silver

The LG Gram Laptop 17Inch delivers convenience on the go at less than 3lbs!

The 10th Gen Intel Core i7 (1065G7) processor powers high-level 4K content production, quick application of video filters, high-resolution photo editing, and 1080p gaming, so it never compromises on quality! 

This laptop features 16 GB DDR4 RAM and 1 TB M 2 NMVe SSD (512 GB x2), so you’ll have plenty of memory and storage.

Pros:

  • 80WH Lithium Battery (up to 17 hours) meaning that you can work a whole working day without having to charge! 
  • Thunderbolt 3 transfer, charge and display at once for your convenience.
  • This laptop provides security at your fingertips. Easy to log in with your fingerprint! 

Cons:

  • A couple of customers noted that they didn’t like the speakers on this particular laptop.

RUNNER UP

HP 15 Laptop, 11th Gen Intel Core i5-1135G7 Processor, 8 GB RAM, 256 GB SSD Storage, 15.6” Full HD IPS Display, Windows 10 Home, HP Fast Charge, Lightweight Design (15-dy2021nr, 2020)

The HP 15” Laptop features a lightweight design, 6.5 mm micro-edge bezel display, and 82% screen to body ratio. 

Enjoy ultra-wide viewing angles and seamlessly perform multi-monitor set-ups with a 15.6-inch, Full HD, IPS, micro-edge, and anti-glare display to enhance your viewing experience!

Get up to 15x faster performance than a traditional hard drive with 256 GB PCIe NVMe M.2 SSD storage and experience improved multitasking with higher bandwidth thanks to 8 GB of RAM.

Pros:

  • 15.6" display and the Intel Iris Xe Graphics give you a new level of performance with crisp, stunning visuals. 
  • Features a long battery life of up to 7 hours and 15 minutes, while HP Fast Charge lets you go from 0 to 50% charge in approximately 45 minutes.
  • 1-year warranty! So you don’t have to worry about anything going wrong whilst you’re getting used to your new laptop.

Cons:

  • A few customers claimed that they struggled to clean fingerprints off the screen. 

Best High Performance Laptops Buying Guide

There are a few factors to consider when purchasing a new laptop, but it mainly comes down to the type of laptop, its memory (RAM), and portability.

As an expensive investment, you will want to buy a laptop that can withstand the test of time. Although laptops naturally slow down with age and less storage, a good quality laptop should last you years of use.

As a result, you should avoid buying a lower-quality laptop that is cheaper in price. What you initially save, you will have to spend double if you have to replace your laptop sooner than anticipated. Save your money and get a high-quality laptop straight off the bat.

Check out the factors below before going ahead with your purchase.

Processors

One of the most important factors to consider when purchasing a laptop is its processor. The processor is the brain of your laptop. Whenever you move the mouse, open a program, or load a file, the processor is what makes it happen.

Processors can be confusing, especially if this is the first time that you’re purchasing a laptop and you might struggle to know what you need. Simply put, what you need to know is the speed at which your laptop runs programs or completes tasks is determined in great measure by your computer processor speed.

Processor speed is measured in gigahertz (GHz). The higher this measurement is, the faster the processor. A dual-core processor, for example, allows your laptop to handle several things at once so you can move quickly between different windows.

Below are two types of processor:

Apple processor - The Apple M1 chip is Apple’s first chip designed specifically for Mac, and can be found in the latest generations of MacBook Pro and MacBook Air. This integrates the CPU, GPU, Neural Engine, I/O and more, and delivers on performance and power efficiency.

Intel® processors - Intel’s processors provide you with the widest range of laptop choices among brands, form factors, display options, as well as operating systems. Most commonly, you will find Intel’s Core series of multicore processors.

To avoid disappointment, make sure that you do your research on the processor of your new laptop and make sure that it is capable of performing the tasks that you’d like it to with ease! 

Memory (RAM)

Something important that you’ll need to consider when purchasing a laptop is the amount of memory (RAM) that it has. 

Before they reach the processor, computing tasks are stored in the RAM, where the processor picks them up and makes them happen. If you’re unsure about how much RAM to go for, check out our guide below for different types of tasks:

  • 4GB and over - Good for browsing the web and social media and watching video clips.
  • 6GB and over - Good for researching and writing essays and academic papers, office work, creating spreadsheets and presentations. 
  • 8GB and over - Good for photo editing, streaming films in HD, video editing, casual gaming.
  • 16GB and over - Best for graphic design, professional photo and video editing, music production, gaming enthusiasts. 

Once you have an idea of the activities and tasks you’ll be carrying out on your laptop, you can go from there. 

Storage capacity  

When purchasing a new laptop, you’ll need to take into account the storage capacity that it has. Storage refers to the amount of space your laptop has for software, documents, and everything else you save on your laptop.

There are four main types of storage available in laptops; HDD, SSD, SSHD, and eMMC drives. How much storage you require depends on what you intend to be using your laptop for.

Generally speaking, if you don’t intend on saving a lot of photos and videos that can’t be offloaded to the cloud, you should go with a minimum of 256GB of storage.

However, if you need even more storage space, there are external hard drives you can purchase to free up space on your laptop.

Type of laptop

You’ll need to think about what type of laptop it is that you’re in the market for. There are many different laptops available for different uses and people.

Ask yourself what you’ll mainly be using your laptop for, and this should help you narrow the choice down. 

The choice will also depend on personal preference. For instance, someone might prefer a MacBook because of their performance, but might not necessarily buy it for its editing capabilities.

Check out a few different types of laptops below:

  • MacBook - MacBooks are sleek and built for everything from browsing the web to photo editing to graphic design. As with every Apple product, MacBooks are on the pricier side, but what you get for your money is an outstanding laptop with sleek, distinctive styling and enough power to run demanding software quickly and conveniently. 
  • Windows laptops -  Windows laptops are available in such a wide variety of different specifications. From great-value laptops to powerful workstations for video and photo editing, there’s a Windows laptop out there that is perfect for you.
  • Chromebooks - Chromebooks are the only laptops with access to Google Play and are designed to get you online as easily as possible. 

Whichever type of laptop that you decide to go for, take your own preferences and priorities into consideration when choosing the best laptop for you. 

Operating system

Something you’ll need to consider when purchasing a laptop is the operating system.

A laptop’s operating system determines the way the interface looks, how it works, and the types of software that you can use on that laptop. 

There are three main operating systems include:

  • macOS X - This is an operating system exclusive to Apple computers. macOS X is designed to work cohesively across all Apple devices, so if you have an iPhone or iPad, when it comes to transferring files, contacts, and apps between them it couldn’t be simpler. They share a similar layout too, so you’ll find navigation easier if you’re familiar with Apple systems.
  • Windows 10 - Windows is the most popular of the three main operating systems, so if you’ve used a PC before, the chances that it ran on Windows are high. Windows 10 has a familiar look and feel, with innovations in personalization, productivity, and security. It’s incredibly user-friendly, with all your files and important documents within easy access. 
  • Chrome OS - Chrome OS is a web-focused operating system that’s designed to get you to your online content as quickly and as easily as possible. Chrome OS is ideal for people that want a simple way to get online.

Portability & Battery Life

Something important to think about when purchasing a laptop is its portability and battery life.

If you work on the go a lot or need something you can take to the office with minimal hassle, you don’t want a heavy laptop that you have to lug around and that will weigh you down or one that is going to die on you when you’re out and about.

For instance, if you need to travel a lot whilst working, it is likely that you’ll be looking for a laptop with extra long battery life, too. A laptop with 10 or more hours of battery life gives you the flexibility to complete a whole working day without having to charge it. This is particularly handy in the office and on the go, and can provide a lot of relief when there isn’t a charging port nearby!

You want a laptop to make your life more convenient not harder, so always make sure that you take the portability and battery life into consideration.

Having a portable laptop frees you from the shackles of working at a desk permanently, so it’s important that you’re not being limited by a really heavy piece of equipment.

Think of it this way, if you can carry your office with you on the go, you can work anywhere. If not, you’re forever limited by needing a desk.

Warranty

Last, but by no means least, when purchasing a new laptop you should make sure that you check the warranty of the product.

Generally speaking, laptops are not a cheap investment, and you’ll want to ensure that you’re covered should anything go wrong with your new purchase.

A warranty will cover you should your laptop break sooner than expected or is faulty upon arrival, so it’s really important that you check how long the warranty is.

A standard warranty is usually a year, but this time period can be shorter or longer depending on the manufacturer. 

If in doubt, always check the manufacturer’s website on the terms and conditions of a warranty. However, it is worth noting that this could differ depending on the supplier, so you should also take this into account before purchasing it, also. 

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best high performance laptop?

The answer to this question is subject to change depending on an individual’s personal needs and preferences as well as the intended use of the laptop. 

The answer will also depend on what you intend to use the laptop for. It is likely that you’ll already have an idea of this, so it’s mainly going to come down to the type of laptop that you require for the tasks that you intend to carry out. 

For instance, someone that wants a laptop to perform simple tasks such as browsing the internet and social networking is not necessarily going to need the same laptop capabilities as someone who is a graphic designer or video editor.

Take into consideration what you’ll need to use the laptop for and go from there. Once you have that information, research in accordance with the other priorities that you need to fulfill.  

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