Mobile devices like tablets and smartphones are great for enjoying games and movies on the sofa or browsing emails on the train on the way to work, but neither are a match for actually getting things done when it comes to work.
Whether it's school work, video editing, spreadsheet managing, or whatever else your job may entail, you need a good laptop to get the task in hand sorted.
Here we've compiled a list of the best laptops available on the market, covering Windows, Chrome OS, and MacOS systems.
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The best general purpose laptops
Surface Book 2
As an update to the original, the Surface Book 2 makes some neat nips and tucks - mainly under the skin, with improved power and performance - that add up to make this Microsoft a seriously powerful contender for Apple's MacBook Pro (also on this list). The Book 2 is more versatile, for starters, given its touchscreen and multi-function screen positions.
It's ludicrously pricey though, ranging up to £3000 and there are a few points that could have been addressed over its predecessor, such as a wider colour gamut and a better-balanced design in terms of weight.
In many areas the Microsoft Surface Book 2 is an unrivalled pro workhorse though; a device more versatile than just a laptop. It further cements Microsoft's position as a hardware manufacturer to be reckoned with and it'll be more than worth it for many, especially those who use it beyond its laptop form.
Read the full Microsoft Surface Book 2 review
Dell XPS 13 and Dell XPS 15
For years Dell has been making really, really great laptops that not only look the part, but act the part too. That's the great thing about the latest XPS series with InfinityEdge display: they squeeze more into their small form factor than their respective 13-inch and 15-inch screen resolutions might suggest. Plus battery life is up there among the best.
In addition to appearing stylish, the XPS 13 and XPS 15 and powerful beasts too. Fully equipped with the latest processors, all the ports you'd need, plus discrete graphics (in the case of the XPS 15) if you want, these Dell machines leave no stone unturned. If you're not a Mac user and you don't have the cash for the Surface Book 2, then we can think of no better all-round workhorse option.
Apple MacBook Pro (13- or 15-inch)
In 2016 Apple made some interesting changes to its MacBook Pro range, offering a TouchBar control (rather than a touchscreen) for the higher-spec models. Some love this touch-sensitive strip to the top of the keyboard, others thought it was dead on arrival. If it's not for you, then the entry-level 13-inch model can't feature it, which makes for one of the best balanced powerful portables on the market.
Elsewhere, both MacBook sizes include brighter screens than their earlier models, move to Thunderbolt 3 connections, add a new keyboard and trackpad motion, and, naturally, powerful specs. You can even go with Radeon Pro discrete graphics in the 15-inch model, in a similar fashion to the Dell XPS 15 (above).
If MacOS is your thing and you would struggle to consider running a Windows 10 setup then the latest MacBook Pro options are perfect workhorses, savvily straddling the line between portability and power - whichever size you select.
Read the full Apple MacBook Pro review
The best 2-in-1 laptops
Microsoft Surface Pro 6
Is it a tablet, or is it a laptop? Well, the Surface Pro is the best of both worlds. And it's the 2-in-1 device to beat in its category. Many have tried - from Acer to Samsung and beyond - but it's Microsoft that still has the upper hand.
The Surface Pro is the best built in its category, offers exceptional performance with near-silent operation - whatever loadout you choose - and has a 12.3-inch "PixelSense" screen (which, at 2,736 x 1,824, is ultra-high resolution).
Ok, so it doesn't come with a keyboard - you'll have to buy that separately - and the battery life isn't as out-and-out good as a dedicated and larger device, but the Surface Pro has defined a whole category for good reason. One for creative types, where the option of handheld tablet and/or stylus pen use will be just as important as typing up notes.
Read the full Microsoft Surface Pro 6 review
Lenovo Yoga 720
Almost every laptop we've seen in recent months and years has some sort of notable compromise but in the Lenovo Yoga 720, in our review configuration, it was hard to assert more than a few minor moans at this excellent laptop. For the near-£1,000 bracket it's among the best Windows laptops you could buy.
It looks great, performs well, longevity is impressive from a Core i7 chipset, there are high-end features and the flexible hinge design further expands its appeal. It's got full Windows 10, unlike the Microsoft Surface Laptop, it's better priced than a Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 and it's more stylish than a MacBook Pro.
In short, if you're looking for the best 360-degree laptop all-rounder then you'll be hard pressed to buy anything better balanced than the Lenovo Yoga 720.
Read the full Lenovo Yoga 720 review
Asus ZenBook Flip S
The Asus ZenBook Flip S is one of the best hybrid laptops going. Its screen is vibrant, you get plenty of storage, build quality is fab and the price is competitive once you consider the 512GB SSD.
There's just a couple of niggles to deal with: battery life doesn't reach the all-day gold standard, while some of you are going to hate the shallow keyboard. Mostly, though, the Asus ZenBook Flip S is very thin, very light and very pretty.
Read the full Asus ZenBook Flip S review
Best ultraportable laptop
The Apple MacBook is one of the most beautiful and portable laptops we've ever seen. This updated version arrives with a faster processor and improved battery life than the original, along with rose gold colour finish and a second-generation butterfly keyboard that is a noticeable improvement on its predecessor.
However, a word of caution: it's still a future-facing device, which means only USB Type-C ports, not full-size USB ports, which may put some hurdles in your way.
If you're using the cloud for everything and are after a stylish, peppy little laptop that's ultra-portable then this little number is approaching just about perfect.
Read the full Apple MacBook (2017) review
Microsoft Surface Laptop 2
The Surface Laptop 2 is an absolute powerhouse that's also gorgeous to look at, well built, silent in operation and with an excellent screen and decent battery life to boot. The only disadvantage is that it comes with a selection of legacy ports, meaning that while rivals have moved to USB-C for charging, display and general connectivity, the Surface Laptop 2 has been left behind in that regard. It's a shame, because otherwise this is a formidable package.
Read the full Microsoft Surface Laptop review
HP Envy 13
The HP Envy 13 is all the laptop most people need for a very compelling price. It can do things several pricier options simply can't, largely thanks to its built-in discrete graphics card. You'll still have to fiddle with resolutions and graphics settings in recent games, but this HP will wipe the floor with a MacBook Pro 13.
Sure, the trackpad could be better, the screen resolution isn't mind-blowing, and the binary on/off keyboard backlight should be stepped, but otherwise the sheer versatility of this little laptop is hard to beat. For the circa-£1,000 price point you'll struggle to find a 13-inch laptop more compelling and versatile than the new HP Envy 13.
Read the full HP Envy 13 review
The best Chromebook
Asus Chromebook Flip
Yes, it's more expensive than many Chromebooks clocking in around the £200-300 mark, but the Asus Chromebook Flip C302CA is a Chromebook that feels like a lot more than its price point suggests.
You can use it pretty much all day thanks to excellent battery life, while the casing, screen and keyboard are of the kind of quality that makes the purchase worthwhile. Yes, there's a plastic trackpad which isn't great but
Read our full Asus Chromebook Flip C302CA review
- Also check out our guide to the best Chromebooks around