The GolfHr Institute evaluated 25 laptops to find the best for everyone from the well-traveled to the high schooler. Laptops were scored based on a number of performance benchmarks, alongside screen and audio quality, general ease of use, and the availability of tech support.
Scoring the highest in our overall test, this laptop wowed consumers with it's excellent screen and audio quality. Consumers also took note of the full color Touch Bar which you can use to scroll through a movie and pause, or for suggest spelling suggestions as you type. One thing to note: This model uses Thunderbolt 3 ports, so you'll have to buy an adapter if you want to use a USB stick.
Starting at $999
You won't need to carry any adapters around with this great pick from the Microsoft Surface line. It comes with SD card, USB, and mini display ports making it a great choice for work and travel. Our testers especially wowed by the premium fabric finish (called Alcantara), which looks great alongside the touchpad and keyboard. One thing to keep in mind: Like many luxurious fabrics, this fabric could potentially wear over time.
This pick is a great choice for an affordable Chromebook. Chromebooks are great for browsing online and creating documents in Google Drive (you can also purchase Microsoft Office apps if necessary) making them good for students with a lot of studying and research to do. Plus, the convertible screen is great for watching movies or reading during down time.
This laptop's sound system and great screen quality make it perfect for the avid movie watcher or web browser. The speakers use an immersive technology that feels like surround sound, and the bezel is decently thin on the 13" screen. Plus, it was one of the highest scoring PCs for overall performance and ease of use. You'll have to get an adapter if you want to use a USB stick though, as this model has two USB type C ports.
The flexibility of this Chromebook makes it a great for those trying to do multiple things at one. You can easily transition it from tablet to laptop without feeling too bulky and Google Assistant is built in, which is great for a quick question while working or for controlling your music. Plus, using the (sold separately) feels incredibly natural to write with. The laptop did decently well in our tests, but was a bit behind on audio quality compared to others.
This no frills PC is a great choice for those looking for an inexpensive buy. It has a above average battery life during normal use and did well in our performance benchmarks. The audio and screen quality were average, which is to be expected with a lower priced PC.
Small but decently speedy, this PC did well in our performance and ease of use tests and testers loved its great screen quality. Plus, it's super lightweight and great for work on the go, although you may need to occasionally carry around adapters because there is one USB type C port.
This 2-in-1 is a great choice for students away at school who needs a laptop with excellent performance throughout the semester. It scored among the highest in our performance tests, proving to be a speedy option with an above average battery life. Plus, it can be flipped to function like a touch-screen tablet without the keyboard.
This budget-friendly choice makes a great first computer for a young one who is looking to browse the web and watching movies. It did well in many of our performance tests, and it has decent audio and screen quality for its price.
This smaller Mac from Apple is a great pick for the Apple fanatic who may not be ready to splurge on the . Many of our consumers gave this laptop high ratings on it's size and screen quality making it excellent for someone who needs a portable option. It also did extremely well on our audio tests, scoring among the highest of the bunch.
The Inspiron packs a good performance for a relatively lower price than other well performing 2-in-1 PCs. While audio quality scored average in our tests, consumers said the laptop had good screen quality and it did decently well in our other performance benchmarks.