These are the best laptops you can buy in February 2021
Apart from many tasks that one can achieve from a notebook, the best smartphones have gone way beyond. You can click amazing pictures and videos, binge watch your favorite TV shows, or even pay money without ever reaching for your wallet. But even to this date, most people continue to rely on laptops to get their work done faster and more efficiently. The initial days of the Covid-19 lockdown saw a decline in smartphone sales due to obvious reasons. However, at the same time, there was a huge demand for laptops as organizations scrambled to switch to a work from home setup.
There is a wide variety of laptops out there for almost every type of user. From gorgeous displays to long-lasting battery life, getting the right notebook is honestly not that difficult. Of course, you just need to look in the right place. It is best to assess all the factors before you go ahead and put your money down. Apart from choosing the right specs, you need to be mindful of the size and form factor. Of course, in the end, it all comes down to your needs and requirements. To make things easy, we have listed some of the best laptops that you should consider if you are planning to buy one in 2021. These are the best and top-of-the-line options in various segments.
Navigate this guide:
- Best overall laptop: Dell XPS 13 9310
- Best portable gaming laptop: ASUS ROG Zephyrus G14 (2020)
- Best laptop for Mac users: Apple MacBook Pro 16
- Best 17-inch Laptop: Dell XPS 17
- Best business laptop: Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon
- Best gaming laptop: Razer Blade Pro 17
- Best affordable laptop for Mac users: Apple MacBook Air (M1)
- Best 2-in-1 laptop: HP Spectre x360 13
- Best Laptop on a budget: Acer Swift 3
- Best Chromebook: Acer Spin 713
Best Overall Laptop: Dell XPS 13 9310
The XPS 13 has quintessentially been one of the most influential Windows laptops in the past few years. Known for offering a solid balance of style and performance, the all-new XPS 13 9310 model offers up to an 11th-gen Intel Core i7-1185G7 processor, 16GB 4267MHz of LRDDR4x memory, and 512GB M.2 PCIe NVMe SSD. The sleek metal design complements the borderless display, which is also one of its highlight features. Speaking of which, Dell has been offering some of the best-looking displays on its XPS lineup. This one features a 13.4-inch 16:10 ratio screen, and you can opt for a 1200p or 2400p resolution. The port selection is limited to a couple of USB-C ports with Thunderbolt 4, a microSD card slot, and a headphone and mic combo jack. Dell claimed battery life of up to 14-hours on the full-HD+ model which sounds great for all-day workloads. It is also Intel Evo certified which means that it is specifically recommended by Intel to offer a premium experience to the end-user.
Best Portable Gaming Laptop: ASUS ROG Zephyrus G14 (2020)
Probably one of the most eye-catching notebooks of 2020, the Zephyrus G14 from ASUS is quite a versatile machine. It offers a fairly sleek 14-inch design and is also loaded with powerful CPU and GPU options to fulfill your gaming needs. The solid build, battery life, and that unique dot-matrix display on the lid add up to what can be called the best everyday gaming laptop. Notably, ASUS is offering the machine with AMD’s powerful Ryzen 4000 processor options as well as a 120Hz display. The only gripe we have is that it does not come with a built-in webcam for your Zoom meetings. ASUS has also announced a new variant with the latest AMD Ryzen 5000 mobile processors, however, you need to wait before it reaches markets later this year.
Best Laptop for Mac users: Apple MacBook Pro 16
The biggest and most powerful MacBook in years, the MacBook Pro 16 is an easy recommendation for power users. The notebook has been applauded for finally bringing back the scissor-style keyboard switches. It also comes with some of the best speaker systems on any laptop on the market. Of course, being a MacBook Pro, you can expect this machine to glide through your audio, video, or photo editing tasks without working up a sweat. Apple has also gone all-out when it comes to the hardware offering up to an 8-core Intel Core i9 processor, up to 16GB of 2666MHz DDR4 RAM, further expandable, and up to a whopping 8TB of SSD storage. Though, if you can delay your purchase to the fourth quarter of the year, we hope to see even better MacBook Pros with Apple silicon in them.
Best 17-inch Laptop: Dell XPS 17
Dell reintroduced a 17-inch XPS laptop in the first half of 2020, almost 10-year after we saw the last model. Offering all of the best features that we have seen on the recent XPS lineup, the XPS 17 simply enlarges the package. It is available with up to a 10th-gen Intel Core-i9 processor and an NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 GPU making it an apt device for creative professionals and casual gamers. Additionally, you can expect the premium XPS styling, including the super-slim bezels, which reduces the laptop’s overall footprint down to a 15-inch notebook. This notebook is also a serious competitor if you are looking for a solid Windows alternative to the MacBook Pro 16.
Best Business Laptop: Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon
The ThinkPad series is a no-brainer if you are looking for a solid business notebook. The X1 Carbon primarily witnessed under-the-hood upgrades in 2020, but that doesn’t make it any less of a recommendation. The 10th-Gen Intel vPro CPUs deliver only a slight performance boost compared to the previous generation. But if your business notebook is 3-4 years old, then the ThinkPad X1 Carbon is a wise choice. The laptop offers an ultraslim design that is highly durable, one of the best keyboards in its class, and good display options. We would also recommend looking at the HP Elite Dragonfly if you are willing to stretch your budget.
Best Gaming Laptop: Razer Blade Pro 17
Razer might still be an underdog, but the Razer Blade Pro 17 is undoubtedly the best gaming laptop out there. It has a fairly slim persona yet offers a healthy set of ports, including a full-size HDMI and Ethernet. There’s certainly some high-end hardware as well, including the options of a 300Hz display or a 4K 120Hz screen, NVIDIA’s GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q, and an eight-core Intel Core i7-10875H processor with 16GB RAM. If you want to go all-out, you can look at the Alienware m15 R3 or even the Gigabyte Aero 17. Still, in our opinion, Razer is offering a wider option for gamers and creative professionals in a package that would appeal to a wider audience.
Best affordable laptop for Mac users: Apple MacBook Air (M1)
Apple announced the new MacBook Air back in November 2020 which was a part of its first wave of products running on its in-house chipset, the M1. Based on the 5nm node, the new M1 chipset is proving to be one of the biggest leaps for Apple in the computing world. It includes an 8-core CPU, a 16-core neural engine, and up to an 8-core GPU. Not only is the chipset offering better performance than the Intel processors, but it is also power efficient making the notebook last longer in terms of battery life. Now the overall design of the new MacBook Air is similar to the last-gen model, but anyone who is planning to get an affordable MacBook should not look any further. The notebook is available with 8GB of RAM and the option of either 256GB or 512GB SSD storage.
Best 2-in-1 Laptop: HP Spectre x360
If you are looking for the best 2-in-1 laptop that also looks impressive, then the HP Spectre x360 is a wise choice. Apart from offering strong performance, it features a vivid 13.3-inch 4K OLED touch display and an excellent keyboard. Compared to the previous-gen model, HP has trimmed down the areas around the display and keyboard, making it smaller in terms of the overall footprint. The notebook also offers fingerprint and face recognition for added security, while the improved trackpad offers a fluid experience.
Best Laptop on a budget: Acer Swift 3
A lightweight yet powerful laptop, the Acer Swift 3 comes at an affordable price of under $700. It isn’t the most premium ultrabook, but it is certainly the best laptop that you can put your money on if you don’t want to go overboard with your budget. It comes with a 14-inch full-HD IPS display and is powered by the AMD Ryzen 7 4700U octa-core processor, 8GB LPDDR4 RAM and a 512GB NVMe SSD. The laptop also features a backlit keyboard, a fingerprint scanner, Wi-Fi 6, and built-in Alexa voice assistant. If you care about Thunderbolt, the Acer Swift 3 is also available with the new Intel 11th-gen Core-i7 CPU with a Thunderbolt 4 port and Intel EVO certification.
Best Chromebook: Acer Chromebook Spin 713
Chromebooks are usually the best option for school and college students since they are usually cheap. Not the Acer Spin 713 though. It is one of the most powerful, pricey, and best Chromebooks out there. Since it is expensive, it also comes with powerful 10th-gen Intel CPU options going all the way from Core i3 to a Core i7. It also comes with a 13.5-inch 2256×1504 touchscreen, a 128GB NVMe SSD, and 8GB of LPDDR4 RAM, making it the fastest one out there. The Acer Spin 713 is also Project Athena certified, which means that it has a seal of approval from Intel when it comes to performance and battery life.
Before you go ahead with any of the above-recommended notebooks, we would like you to know that CES 2021 wrapped up back in January with a wide variety of new notebooks. Expect these to arrive in markets soon featuring the latest hardware from Intel, AMD and NVIDIA. We will be updating this guide as new models and variants start hitting shelves so keep an eye out.