To understand which Notebook, laptop or ultrabook to buy It is certainly not simple: the options are many, the configurations infinite and above all there are small details that affect the final price a lot, but that often make the real difference. In this purchase guide we want to recommend the best Notebooks, Laptops and Ultrabooks in all price ranges between 200 € to over 2000 €. A narrowed selection that will only consider the best models depending on the budget you have available.
HOW TO CHOOSE THE BEST PORTABLE, CONVERTIBLE OR NOTEBOOK
Regardless of how much you can spend, there are certainly four elements that can be considered fundamental when you go to buy a computer:
- MEMORY: even more important than the processor, the provision of RAM and internal memory is fundamental. A laptop with Windows 10 with less than 4GB of RAM is not, in our opinion, advisable and it makes no sense to save 20/30% for ultra-cheap products. If necessary, postpone the purchase for a few months. Similar speech for internal memory: Windows occupies a lot of resources and 64GB are already a significant limit and we recommend at least 128GB. In this case, however, having 128GB on SSD compared to 500GB on HDD is much better given the much higher performance of SSDs. At the most invest € 30 on a large USB.
- PROCESSOR: the processor comes after the memory and it is very important but be careful not to overdo it. In the low end the problem does not arise particularly and clearly more power is had, mallet it is. In the high end, however, when you start talking about i5, i7 or even i9, you have to take into consideration the compromise between performance / autonomy / heat. A laptop with i5 and ultra fast SSD will always be better than an i7 with HDD. Also it is always preferable to have a 256GB SSD rather than a 128 SSD + a 500GB or 1TB mechanical disk. Not only will you have less weight, but better performance and greater autonomy. Furthermore, an i7 processor may never be really exploited and, in the same way, an i9 could get to excessive temperatures without real improvements in your activities. So consider your needs and the situations of use that you will have.
- DISPLAY: Oled, LCD, matte, glossy is of little importance. In 2019 it is still possible to find even non-cheap laptops with bad screens and HD resolution. So pay close attention and if you find products with apparently excellent hardware at very low prices, perhaps a 1366 TFT display and a mechanical HDD will be present and … if you can avoid them.
- AUTONOMY: in this case the budget makes the difference. Cheap laptops hardly have high autonomies and only with the latest CPUs are the consumption very low, including standby. However, there are important differences on the Wh, that is the capacity of the batteries and if you want an excellent duration outside your office / home, going below 50Wh is not recommended.
THE BEST LOW BAND NOTEBOOKS 200 – 500 €
LENOVO S130: THE MOST ECONOMIC
The Lenovo IdeaPad S130 is the classic "plasticone" that costs little, with a 14-inch HD display and Pentium Silver processor. Compared to other similar solutions both for price and for equipment it stands out because, for less than 300 euros, it is one of the few to have a 128 GB SSD which in this market segment makes absolutely the difference.
If you need a very inexpensive product for writing, checking emails, surfing and for all the basic operations this IdeaPad will not disappoint you.
ACER SWIFT 1: FULL HD AND SSD AT THE RIGHT PRICE
Acer Swift 1 (Review) is considered a twin of the Lenovo but at 100 € more you will have a good surprise. The processor is always a Pentium Silver and there is no missing one 128GB SSD which allows you to have a reactive system in uploading and transferring data. The greater expense, however, carries a more refined design, better finishes, fingerprint reader and above all a 14-inch FullHD IPS display with reduced frames on three sides that lead to an appearance decidedly in step with the times.
In short, if having a little less than € 400 this Acer will hardly disappoint you and make you look good both in work environments, both at university or school.
CHUWI AEROBOOK: THE MOST POWERFUL AMONG THE ECONOMICS
We close with the Chuwi Aerobook (Review) which for just over 400 euros offers an ultrabook design, excellent materials considering the price range, great portability and a processor Intel Core M3 previous generation but still able to guarantee good performance and, above all, passively cooled.
The display is a 13.3 inch fullHD with very thin bezels and the keyboard is backlit. It is true it is a "Chinese" product but if you are thinking about import problems you can rest assured, this Aerobook like other Chuwi products is also sold on Amazon with Prime and therefore guaranteed for 24 months.
THE BEST AVERAGE NOTEBOOKS 500 – 800 €
HUAWEI MATEBOOK D: THE BEST QUALITY / PRICE RATIO
Matebook D (Review) is a notebook with an I processor8th Generation Intel Core i5 or with AMD Ryzen and offers a sober design, excellent assembly and materials used and very good overall care. In addition to the different hardware configurations, we also find two types of displays: one 14-inch and one 15.6-inch. It is in both cases of opaque IPS panels, with a good level of maximum brightness, perfect for use in direct sunlight.
Well there backlit keyboard, the power button with finger scanner integrated in the Intel only version (precise and lightning-fast), a USB Type-C port, two USB 3.0 ports it's a HDMI all of standard size. They are not missing 8GB of soldered RAM, 256GB of SSD memory (M2) replaceable and one 57Wh battery capable of ensuring good autonomy.
ACER SWIFT 3: THE ONLY EVEN 4G
Acer Swift 3 (Review) it cannot be considered a model but it is a real series. In this price range in about 100 € we find different configurations all very similar and with very few real differences. Two processors with solutions AMD Ryzen or Intel Core i5. Well crafted, Swift 3 offers matte screen, fingerprint reader and excellent chassis, which allows you to define this laptop as a low-cost ultrabook.
Among the other noteworthy aspects we mention the presents of numerous doors, one good autonomy, an effective but not always silent dissipation system RAM, unfortunately soldered on the PCB.
EXCELLENT HARDWARE / QUALITY REPORTCONSTRUCTION QUALITYSUPPLIED AUTONOMY NOT HIGH
ASUS ZENBOOK UX333: DEDICATED GRAPHIC CARD
The Asus Zenbook UX333 (Review) is a compact ultrabook, with a 13.3-inch FullHD display, solid, elegant and also silent and cold. Zenbook also has one dedicated MX150 graphics card with 2GB of dedicated memory and therefore offers that little bit more in applications that require an extra effort from a graphic point of view which is always welcome.
The backlit keyboard is very good and also offers the curious and nice choice of inserting the numeric keypad under the touchpad: the Number Pad. Intel Core i5-8265U processor, 8 GB LPDDR3 RAM and 256GB of SSD close the technical sheet.
THE BEST HIGH BAND NOTEBOOKS 800 – 1100 €
SURFACE PRO: ALMOST PERFECT HYBRID
Among the best tips in this price range, Microsoft's Surface Pro 6 (Review) certainly stands out. Now in its sixth generation, we find new Intel CPUs and a very elegant satin black color. The extreme compactness and the possibility of having the performance of a notebook in the body of a tablet have always played in favor of Surface Pro. For the umpteenth time Microsoft does not sell Surface Pro together with the keyboard and although the Tablet alone costs less than € 800, we consider the keyboard indispensable.
Hardware side little to say, it is a product that will not disappoint anyone.
HUAWEI MATEBOOK 13: THE MOST BALANCED
Huawei Matebook 13 (Review) confirms Huawei's growth in this sector. Matebook 13 is an extremely concrete product that does not give up a compact and elegant design. Excellent display, the solidity of the body, the balanced implementation of Intel processors that keeps it responsive even with always acceptable temperatures and the Huawei Share which allows you to share photos, videos and documents in an instant and testifies to Huawei's attention towards this sector. We recommend the version with Core i5 which costs a little less but which does not have such distant performance from the core i7.
HP SPECTER X360: THE BEST 2-IN-1
HP Specter x360 (Review) combines the good of Surface Pro 6 (pen and convertible solution) to the classicism of a laptop with a fixed keyboard. It is one of the best products when we talk about notebooks with displays that rotate 360 degrees. The latest 2019 version retains a very particular angular design that HP calls "gem effect" and offers eighth-generation Intel processors and some tricks like the selector to obscure the webcam that are always highly appreciated.
The display also in 4K touch version remains its strength and the fact that the pen is included in the package is definitely to be underlined, good HP.
THE BEST RANGE NOTEBOOKS
Dell XPS 15: THE BEST WINDOWS PORTABLE
The Dell XPS 15 (Review 9560 – Review 9575 – Review XPS 13 9380) goes to renew the previous generation from which it takes and improves all the main qualities. The new model is equipped with Intel processors of the latest generation accompanied by 8 / 16G / 32B of RAM and memories 256 / 512GB PCI-E SSD. The design and body are two of the features that Dell has paid most attention to. We find indeed further reduced dimensions and even thinner frames around the screen. The display is a 15-inch panel very bright, available in variants FullHD, 4K and touchscreen with OLED technology.
Among the other renewed aspects we mention the positioning of the webcam above the screen, a power button that integrates the fingerprint reader digital, the 4 microphones hidden in the front profile of the body. The autonomy is also very good and with normal use it never drops below 9 hours.
LENOVO THINKPAD X1 EXTREME: THE TOP ALTERNATIVE
ThinkPad X1 Extreme it is the most interesting alternative to XPS 15 which, by far, remains the recommended Windows product right now. Lenovo's ThinkPad X1 series offers iconic products known for their reliability and high performance but which in recent years has made important progress also in terms of design. Here too technical specifications of the highest level and impeccable materials and construction. There Carbon version is equally interesting, you lose something in terms of performance but you gain, and a lot, in size and lightness.
So if you are looking for a top-end product and Dell does not convince you, Lenovo is the answer we give you.
RELIABILITY'CONSTRUCTIONKEYBOARD LESS INTERESTING PRICE FROM DELL
MACBOOK PRO: THE BEST ULTRABOOK APPLE
Let's close with the MacBook Pro 15 (Review) of the latest generation, the only exponent that has no competition since it is the only "Pro" product with MacOS available on the market in various configurations and also in the 13-inch version. This year, Apple also introduced a version with a ninth generation and octa-core i9 processor up to 32GB of RAM which, however we advise against a "cheaper" i7 / 16GB RAM option.
Little to say about the build quality of Apple products which, although you pay, is certainly very high.
THE BEST GAMING NOTEBOOKS
MSI GF63: THE BEST QUALITY / PRICE RATIO
If you are looking for the best gaming notebook at the lowest price, just over 1000 euros can be found there today’MSI GF63 which is not as thin and light as the Stealth but which in less than 2kg manages to have one Intel Core i7 8750H CPU, Nvidia GTX 1050 video card, 16 GB RAM expandable and 128 GB SSD plus 1 TB hard drive. Sufficient equipment to run most of the titles in FullHD with good detail at 60 frames.
Obviously being a gaming device it has a series of software optimizations and dedicated programs that make the difference compared to laptops like XPS which, on paper, has similar characteristics.
VALUE FOR MONEYSOFTWARE GAMING SUITEEXCELLENT INTERNAL VENTILATION 128GB SSD SOME SMALL
DELL G3 15: THE MOST ECONOMIC NEWS
If you are looking for the latest news with attention to the portfolio, the Dell G3 15-inch (2019 model), it is definitely the best choice. Based on the ninth generation Intel Core i5-9300H platform (8 MB cache, up to 4.1 GHz, quad-core), it has one of the newest video cards available on the market: theNVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660 Ti with 6 GB of GDDR6.
The display is a 15.6-inch FHD (1,920 x 1,080) LCD Display, anti-glare and backlit LED and finally we find 8 GB (2 4 GB) of DDR4 at 2,666 MHz and a 512 GB PCIe NVMe M.2 SSD.
ASUS ROG ZEPHYRUS S GX531: THE MOST POWERFUL ON THE MARKET
If you have no budget problems and want the best of all, you can aim for the new ASUS ROG Zephyrus S GX531. We are well above 2000 euros but if you want one Core i7 8750H, GeFore RTX 2080 Max-Q and 144Hz display in less than two cm of thickness and just over 2 kg of weight there are not many alternatives.
A laptop that is almost unique in its kind and with a mechanical ventilation system that raises the body to let more air enter the chassis that is truly gorgeous, engineering and stylistically speaking.
DESIGNEXCELLENT WEIGHT AND THICKNESSUPPER HARDWARE LIMITED AUTONOMY CAUSES EXAGGERATED PERFORMANCE
BEST NOTEBOOK VIDEO 2019
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