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The best laptops of 2020 in Australia: our picks of the top laptops on sale now

best laptops
(Image credit: Future)
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VERDICT
REASONS TO BUY
REASONS TO AVOID
VERDICT
REASONS TO BUY
REASONS TO AVOID

For those working at home that are starting to notice their laptop might not be quite up to the task (whether that's work or play), this page will help you find the most appropriate portable machine for your needs, and at a reasonable price.

Here at TechRadar, we get to review the full breadth and width of currently-available laptops, so we're well and truly across what's worth the dosh and what's not.

Whether it's Apple's freshest MacBook Pro, the latest winner in the Dell XPS range, or one of HP's sleek Spectres, we've painstakingly compared and contrasted each one in order to give you a rundown on the laptop with the best value.

We've taken into account ultrabooks, gaming laptops, 2-in-1s, and every other shape and size that laptops come in these days – so don't worry if you're in it for work or play, we've got you covered.

For those that aren't sure what type of laptop would suit their needs best, scroll down to the foot of the page to find a guide comparing the different types.

Best laptops in Australia 2020 at a glance

  1. Dell XPS 13 (Late 2020)
  2. Asus ROG Zephyrus G14
  3. Dell XPS 13 (2019)
  4. HP Spectre x360 (2020)
  5. Gigabyte Aero 15 OLED (2020)
  6. Apple MacBook Pro (16-inch, 2019)
  7. Microsoft Surface Book 3
  8. Apple MacBook Air (2020)
  9. Microsoft Surface Laptop 3
  10. Dell XPS 15 2-in-1
  11. HP Elite Dragonfly
  12. Alienware Area-51m
  13. Asus VivoBook S15

The best laptops of 2020:

Dell XPS 13 9310

(Image credit: Dell)

1. Dell XPS 13 (Late 2020)

Return of the king

CPU: 11th generation Intel Core i5 – i7 | Graphics: Intel Iris Xe | RAM: 8GB – 32GB | Screen: 13.4-inch FHD (1,920 x 1,080) – 4K (3840 x 2160) | Storage: 512GB – 1TB SSD

Gorgeous design
Big CPU and GPU boost
Excellent battery life
Expensive

This is the second XPS 13 that Dell has released this year (also known as the 9310, being more recent than the 9300 launched earlier in 2020), and thankfully it does a lot more to offer excellent value for Aussies than its predecessor. This 'New XPS 13' packs in the 11th-gen Intel Core processors as well as as the superbly impressive Iris Xe integrated GPU – an upgrade that almost doubles its graphical prowess. This means that, not only is the XPS 13 9310 a great option for business and everyday use with its gorgeous, sleek design and powerful innards, but it's now viable for casual gamers. It's also sporting the upgraded 'Infiniy Edge' display which dramatically reduces bezels and the overall size of the unit. We're still working on our full review, but this is certainly the laptop to beat in Australia right now given its power bump and more respectable pricing.

Asus Zephyrus G14

The Asus Zephyrus G14 is an absolute beast of a laptop. (Image credit: Asus)

2. Asus ROG Zephyrus G14

The ultimate blend of work and play

CPU: AMD Ryzen 7 4800HS – 9 4900HS | Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 | RAM: Up to 32GB | Screen: 14-inch Non-glare Full HD (1920 x 1080) IPS-level panel, 120Hz – 14-inch Non-glare WQHD (2560 x 1440) IPS-level panel, 60Hz | Storage: 512GB / 1TB M.2 NVMe PCIe 3.0

Best battery life in a gaming laptop
Excellent performance
Thin and light
No webcam
Fans can get loud

We know, this is technically a gaming laptop, but for those that want to balance work and play, there's little else out there that's better value than the Zephyrus G14 right now. It's worth noting that it's missing a webcam and a Thunderbolt 3 port, so if that's a concern this isn't for you, but its solid battery life, compact form, and powerful specs do a fine job at balancing everything that you'll need from a laptop. This is an absolute beast for performance, with its AMD Ryzen 4000 processors and Nvidia RTX 2060 graphics card, best-in-class battery life that will last you all day long, a fast display with a 120Hz refresh rate and a lightweight, ultrathin design. The best part is that you’re getting all that without burning a hole in your pocket. Don’t get us wrong; it isn’t cheap. However, for a laptop this impressive, we’re surprised Asus isn’t asking for more.

Read the full review: Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 

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the best laptop: HP Spectre x360

(Image credit: HP)
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the best laptop: HP Spectre x360

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the best laptop: HP Spectre x360

(Image credit: HP)

3. HP Spectre x360 (2020)

The best 2-in-1 laptop overall

CPU: 10th-generation Intel Core i5 – i7 | Graphics: Intel Iris Plus Graphics | RAM: 8GB – 16GB | Screen: 13.3" FHD (1920 x 1080) IPS BrightView micro-edge WLED-backlit multitouch – 13.3" diagonal 4K (3840 x 2160) UWVA BrightView micro-edge AMOLED multitouch | Storage: 256GB – 2TB SSD

Stylish and high-quality finish
Great all-around performance
Battery life takes a hit
Can run hot at times

The HP Spectre x360 2-in-1 laptop has had a big refresh for 2020, with 10th-generation Intel Core processors and Intel Iris Plus graphics, along with the impeccable 2-in-1 design and pristine gem-cut chassis. We're huge fans of the power, build quality and design of this laptop, and if it weren't so expensive for Australians comparatively, then it'd likely be in the number one slot. 

Read the full review: HP Spectre x360 (2020)

Dell XPS 13 (7390)

(Image credit: Dell)

4. Dell XPS 13 (2019)

Still one of the best laptops of all time

CPU: 10th generation Intel Core i5 – i7 | Graphics: Intel UHD Graphics | RAM: 8GB – 16GB | Screen: 13.3-inch FHD (1,920 x 1,080) | Storage: 256GB – 512GB SSD

Gorgeous design
Excellent battery life
Lackluster audio
Expensive

We know that this isn't the latest XPS 13 out there but we're still rating it highly in our list due to how well it holds up when considering its value for money. While the first 2020 model (9300) introduced thinner bezels, much of the other improvements are in the upper-tier configurations (the option for a 4K display and up to 2TB SSD storage, for instance), so much of the effortless power and sleek styling that is core to the XPS 13 is already present in the 2019 model, such as its 10th-gen Intel Core processors. With that said, the even newer 2020 model of the XPS 13 (9310) is at the top of our list for a reason.

Read the full review: Dell XPS 13

Gigabyte Aero 15 OLED (2020)

(Image credit: Future)

5. Gigabyte Aero 15 OLED (2020)

An upgrade to the OLED marvel

CPU: Intel Core i7-10875H | Graphics: Nvidia GeForce RTX 2070 Super (8GB GDDR6; MaxQ) | RAM: 16GB | Screen: 15.6-inch, 4K (3,840 x 2,160), 60HZ, AMOLED, Gloss | Storage: 512GB SSD

4K HDR OLED screen
RTX GPU and 10th-gen CPU
Sleek with better thermal management
Expensive
Unfortunate webcam placement

While the Aero 15 range from Gigabyte is aimed at designers, it also makes for one of the best value gaming laptops on the Australian market right now due to its powerful internals, brilliant display, and sleek, stylish chassis. This year's model refreshes much of what was great about the 2019 model – packing a 15-inch 4K HDR screen which is ideal as a high-resolution on-the-go gaming monitor, media machine, or its intended design-centric use. It also ramps up the internals, with a 10th-gen Intel Core i7 CPU running the show and the latest RTX 2070 Super GPU in assistance. It isn't cheap and won't suit the everyday user that just needs to run simple tasks, but for those seeking more power, it's a brilliant option.

Read the full review: Gigabyte Aero 15 OLED

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MacBook Pro (16-inch, 2019)

(Image credit: Apple)
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MacBook Pro (16-inch, 2019)

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MacBook Pro (16-inch, 2019)

(Image credit: Apple)
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MacBook Pro (16-inch, 2019)

(Image credit: Apple)

6. MacBook Pro (16-inch, 2019)

The best Apple laptop

CPU: 9th-generation Intel Core i7 – i9 | Graphics: AMD Radeon Pro 5300M – Radeon Pro 5500M | RAM: 16GB – 64GB | Screen: 16-inch Retina display with True Tone | Storage: 512GB – 8TB SSD

Stunning 16-inch screen
New and improved keyboard
Expensive
Limited to four Thunderbolt 3 ports

While we are sad that the 15-inch MacBook Pro is no more, we’ve welcomed the MacBook Pro (16-inch, 2019) with open arms. As thin, light and sleek as ever, you wouldn’t think this was a 16-inch behemoth. Yet, you’re getting that extra real estate on that stunning display, as well as the latest and greatest components behind it. This is, without a doubt, the best MacBook for content creators, designers and other creative professionals. With amazing (and loud) speakers and a much, much better keyboard to boot.

Read the full review: MacBook Pro (16-inch, 2019)

Microsoft Surface Book 3

(Image credit: Microsoft)

7. Microsoft Surface Book 3

An extremely premium piece of kit

CPU: 10th Gen Intel Core i5-1035G7 – i7-1065G7 | Graphics: Intel Iris Plus Graphics – NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660 Ti with Max-Q Design | RAM: 8GB – 32GB 3733Mhz LPDDR4x | Screen: 13.5-inch 3000 x 2000 (267 PPI) – 15-inch 3240 x 2160 (260 PPI) PixelSense Display | Storage: 256GB, 512GB, 1TB, or 2TB PCIe SSD

Beautiful design
Comfortable keyboard
Gorgeous screen
Weak U-series processor
Tiny trackpad
Lackluster speakers

In many ways, the Surface Book 3 is an example of just how far the best laptops have come in just a few short years. It has an extremely premium piece of kit – with one of the best displays we’ve used in a laptop, a keyboard that will put the MacBook Pro’s new Magic Keyboards to shame, and a hybrid design with a removable screen. At less than an inch thick, and only 12.3 x 9.14 inches for its 13-inch model and 13.5 x 9.87 inches for its 15-inch version, this is also among the best Ultrabooks 2020 has to offer. It doesn't necessarily have the strongest processor when compared to many rivals on this list, so you'll need to weigh up this delightful form factor against your more intensive computing needs.

Read the full review: Microsoft Surface Book 3

MacBook Air 2020

(Image credit: Apple)

8. Apple MacBook Air (2020)

The best cheap Apple laptop

CPU: 10th generation Intel Core i3 - i7 | Graphics: Intel Iris Plus Graphics | RAM: 8GB – 16GB | Screen: 13.3-inch (diagonal) 2,560 x 1,600 LED-backlit display with IPS technology | Storage: 256GB – 2TB SSD | Dimensions: 11.97 x 8.36 x 0.63 inches (30.41 x 21.24 x 1.61cm; W x D x H)

Lovely design
New lower price
Screen colors a little muted
Battery life only OK

Apple has once again refreshed and improved the MacBook Air, and the 2020 model represents the biggest upgrade we've seen in quite a while, easily making it one of the best laptops in the world, and certainly the best affordable MacBook ever made. Apple has now included the latest 10th generation Intel processors, and for the first time you're able to get a MacBook AIr with a quad-core CPU, which makes a big difference when it comes to perfomance.

You also get more storage as well, with Apple doubling the amount the base model comes with to 256GB. While it's can't compete with the raw power of the MacBook Pro 16-inch (above), this is by far the best MacBook Air the company has ever made. Best of all, Apple has once again lowered the entry price, so you're getting a more powerful laptop for cheaper. What's not to like about that?

Read the full review: MacBook Air (2020)

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Microsoft Surface Laptop 3

Microsoft Surface Laptop 3 shows Microsoft can produce one of the best laptops in the world (Image credit: Microsoft)
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Microsoft Surface Laptop 3

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Microsoft Surface Laptop 3

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Microsoft Surface Laptop 3

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Microsoft Surface Laptop 3

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Microsoft Surface Laptop 3

(Image credit: Microsoft)

9. Microsoft Surface Laptop 3

The best laptop by Microsoft

CPU: Intel Core i5 - i7 / AMD Ryzen 5 / AMD Ryzen 7 | Graphics: Intel Iris Plus Graphics / AMD Radeon Vega 9 / AMD Radeon RX Vega 11 | RAM: 8GB - 16GB | Screen: 13.5-inch PixelSense (2,256 x 1,504) / 15-inch PixelSense (2,496 x 1,664) | Storage: 128GB, 256GB, 512GB or 1TB SSD

Excellent battery life
Choice of Intel or AMD CPU
No Thunderbolt 3 option
Too few ports for its size

With the third version of the Surface Laptop 3, Microsoft has made its best laptop yet. While it's not a huge leap over its predecessor, the Surface Laptop 3 does improve on almost every aspect. 

Best of all, with the 15-inch version you now get a choice of either Intel or AMD hardware. Previously, only Intel tech was included. Elsewhere, the Surface Laptop 3 continues the Surface Laptop's reputation for being a stunningly designed laptop. 

These are some of the most desirable laptops in the world that don't have a logo of an apple on them, with a new aluminum body that gives it a premium feel, while protecting it from knocks and drops. There are still a few niggles, like the continued lack of ports, but in general this is one of the best laptops in the world right now.

Read the full review: Microsoft Surface Laptop 3

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10. Dell XPS 15 2-in-1

Luxury meets power

CPU: Intel Core i5-i7 | Graphics: Radeon RX Vega M GL Graphics with 4GB HMB2 Graphics Memory | RAM: 8GB | Storage: 512GB PCIe SSD

 Impressive power 
 Ultra-thin design 
 Kind of expensive 

Last year’s Dell XPS 15 was already one of the best laptops you could buy, but now that Dell has taken the beautiful redesign of the Dell XPS 13 and applied it here – while also making it a convertible. Well, it’s amazing. Not only do you get one of the most aesthetically pleasing 15-inch laptops on the market, but it also packs one of those new Intel  Kaby Lake G-series CPUs featuring ‘discrete-class’ Radeon graphics. This means that this laptop packs serious power – even if it can get a little loud.

Read the full review: Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 

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HP Elite Dragonfly

(Image credit: HP)
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HP Elite Dragonfly

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HP Elite Dragonfly

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HP Elite Dragonfly

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HP Elite Dragonfly

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11. HP Elite Dragonfly

The best 2-in-1 laptop

CPU: 8th-generation Intel Core i5 – i7 | Graphics: Intel UHD Graphics 620 | RAM: 8GB - 16GB | Screen: 13.3" diagonal Full HD touch display – Full HD touch Sure View display | Storage: 256 GB SSD

Impeccable design
Excellent battery life
Pretty expensive

This laptop from HP is our pick for the best business laptop – put simply, this is one of the most stylish and slimline laptops you'll ever see, and it's also packed with some brilliant features and powerful components.

While the HP Elite Dragonfly is primarily aimed at business users, don't let that put you off. Its incredible design and gorgeous screen makes this the best laptop for anyone who can afford it. Battery life is excellent, the keyboard is a joy to type on, and it also has LTE connectivity. This lets you plug in a SIM card and access mobile internet wherever you are, without having to connect to slow (and potentially compromised) Wi-Fi hotspots.

It's expensive, but if you can afford it, it's easily one of the best laptops of 2020.

Read the full review: HP Elite Dragonfly

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Alienware Area-51m

Dell has created the best gaming laptop of 2019 with the Alienware Area-51m (Image credit: Dell)
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Alienware Area-51m

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Alienware Area-51m

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Alienware Area-51m

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Alienware Area-51m

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Alienware Area-51m

(Image credit: Dell)

12. Alienware Area-51m

The best gaming laptop of 2019 still holds up

CPU: Intel Core i7-9700 – i9-9900K | Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 – 2080 | RAM: 16GB – 64GB | Screen: 17.3" FHD (1920 x 1080) 60Hz Anti-Glare IPS – 144Hz IPS NVIDIA G-SYNC | Storage: 1TB SSHD – 2TB RAID0 SSDs + 1TB SSHD

Extremely powerful
Aesthetic
Perfect keyboard
Very expensive
Gets hot
Loud fans

The Alienware Area-51m is a strong contender for the best gaming laptop of 2019, and earns that place in other markets (such as the UK and US) due to its relative affordability. Down under, it's a little more expensive and doesn't quite earn that spot, but it's still absolutely worth considering (especially if it's on sale). With an eye catching design and brilliant build quality, which we've come to expect from Dell's Alienware brand, this is an incredible performer, offering a choice of some of the very best gaming components on the market right now, including 9th generation Intel Core processors and Nvidia's latest RTX range of GPUs. Sure, it's pretty expensive, but if you're serious about getting the best gaming laptop money can buy in 2019, then you'll need to expect to splash out a little bit, and the Alienware Area-51m really is worth every penny.

Read the full review: Alienware Area-51m

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ASUS VivoBook S15

(Image credit: Asus)
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ASUS VivoBook S15

The Asus VivoBook S15 is the best affordable laptop (Image credit: Asus)

The Asus VivoBook S15 is the best mid-range laptop

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ASUS VivoBook S15

(Image credit: Asus)
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ASUS VivoBook S15

(Image credit: Asus)

13. Asus VivoBook S15

The best budget 15-inch laptop

CPU: Intel Core i5 – i7 | Graphics: Intel UHD Graphics | RAM: 8GB DDR4 | Screen: 15.6-inch full HD (1920 x 1080) | Storage: 512GB SSD

Bright, colorful 15.6-inch screen
Weighs just 1.8kg
Average battery life
ScreenPad is a bit weird…

The new Asus VivoBook S15 hasn't been out for long, and it's made its way straight into our best laptops list. This is because it combines a thin and light design with great performance and an excellent price. 

If you're looking for a mid-range laptop that doesn't cost too much, but still performs brilliantly, then this is the best laptop for you. 

Thanks to its powerful Intel processor, 8GB of RAM and fast SSD storage, this is a laptop that can handle almost any task with ease – though gaming is out of the question. Its 15.6-inch screen is bright and vibrant, and it has loads of ports that makes it easy to hook up your favorite peripherals. 

However, it doesn't have the longest battery life for a laptop, and the ScreenPad, which replaces the traditional touchpad below the keyboard with a touchscreen, takes a bit of getting used to.

Read the full review: Asus VivoBook S15

Which type of laptop is best for you?

General laptops: This broader category is dedicated to devices that focus more on practicality than style, portability or power. That’s not to say they can’t be fast, but you’ll typically find a non-Ultrabook clamshell laptop with an HD screen and spinning drive-based storage for less than AU$1,000.

Ultrabooks: Where you’ll find thin-and-light notebooks sporting SSD storage and display resolutions that exceed 1080p. Paired with powerful, albeit mobile-centric components and especially long battery life, the best Ultrabooks will cost a pretty penny – closer to AU$1,000 to AU$3,000.

2-in-1 laptops: Where notebooks that double as tablets are located. Outfitted with both detachable and 360-degree rotating hinges, these hybrids are the most versatile way to experience Windows 10 (or Chrome OS) on a touchscreen.

Chromebooks: Where you’ll find the best Chromebooks running Chrome OS. These do much of what Windows and macOS can in the browser, focused on cloud storage over local, while recently getting Android app support for touchscreen models. They generally cost less than AU$500.

Gaming laptops: Need a laptop to play games (almost) just like a shiny desktop PC can? Then you’ll want one of the best gaming laptops. These machines generally cost more than AU$1,000 and can quickly get into the AU$4 – 5,000 range for the beastlier models.