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(Pocket-lint) - If you're looking for the top laptops around, you've come to the right place. A lot of people are looking for laptops for working from home at the moment, but whatever you need a notebook for, we've got you sorted. 

This guide is platform agnostic, covering Windows, Chrome OS, and macOS systems. However, we've split our list into several sections - the best premium notebooks, then 2-in-1s, then ultraportables.

We've also got a separate guide to the best Chromebooks and we've also got a guide to the best gaming laptops and top 2-in-1 choices, too. 

Our guide to the best laptops to buy today

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Apple MacBook Air


Last year, the MacBook Air got the update it deserved and since then there's been additional improvement in 2020 with the addition of a True Tone display, a lower entry-level starting price and Apple's new M1 processor. 

The latest MacBook Air delivers a lot of what people have been waiting for – more resolution, thinner bezel, a smaller footprint – in a long-lasting and largely great package. It makes the 13-inch MacBook pro rather hard to recommend. 

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Dell XPS 13


The XPS 13 really is that good and has recently been updated with an even more improved model. 

The new model features a more refined design and even manages to squeeze the webcam into the top bezel - gone is the weird perspective of having the camera at the top of the keyboard. 

If you're not a Mac user, there's no better all-round mobile workhorse.

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Microsoft Surface Laptop 3


The Surface Laptop 3 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 Surface Laptop finally has USB-C connectivity but sticks with Surface Connect for charging. It's a formidable package.

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Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga


With a superb keyboard, high-quality screen options and excellent performance, this convertible laptop has a huge amount to offer. However, some other options offer better power for the money. Mind you, it doesn't skimp on the processor - there's no low power CPU here.

Although the ThinkPad line has branched out in the years since Lenovo bought IBM's laptop business, you still get the same understated design and TrackPoint in the middle of the keyboard.

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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: it squeezes more into their small form factor than its 15.6-inch screen resolution might suggest. Plus battery life is up there among the best.

In addition to appearing stylish, the XPS 15 is a powerful beast, too. Fully equipped with the latest processors, all the ports you'd need, plus discrete graphics if you want, this Dell machine leaves no stone unturned. 

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Apple MacBook Pro (Intel)


All current MacBook Pros now have the TouchBar control strip along the top of the keyboard (rather than a touchscreen) and Touch ID fingerprint login while both the 16 and 13-inch have improved keyboards. 

If you're considering the new Apple M1 version of the 13-incher, then we'd urge you to plump for the MacBook Air instead, as it's basically the same minus a fan for sustained workloads and the Touch Bar. We reckon the 13-incher will differentiate itself further in 2020 and there will be an Apple Silicon-based 16-inch as well sometime. 

Both MacBook sizes include brighter screens than earlier models, have exclusively USB-C/Thunderbolt 3 connectivity and powerful specs across the board. 

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LG Gram 17


The only 17-inch laptop we've come across that not only works as a functional "desktop replacement" but also seems made for life on the road.

It's powerful enough for most uses, has solid battery life and has an excellent keyboard. There are two downsides though, and that is that there are more powerful processors available on the one hand, while it also clocks in at a slightly expensive price point. 

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Surface Book 3


A more powerful update than its predecessor, the Surface Book 3 boasts latest-generation processors and graphics and is available in 13.5 and 15-inch variants.

It all adds up to make this Microsoft laptop-tablet hybrid a seriously powerful contender to Apple's MacBook Pro (also on this list).

The Book 3 is more versatile, for starters, given its touchscreen and multi-function screen positions. Which you choose is a matter of personal taste, of course. 

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Microsoft Surface Pro 7


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, offers exceptional performance with near-silent operation - whatever loadout you choose - and has a pin-sharp 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 as a default - although bundle deals are available you'll need to get 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.

It's certainly one for creatives who want to use the - also optional - Surface Pen for drawing, painting or sketching.

Writing by Dan Grabham. Originally published on 12 October 2016.