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The best family laptops 2018: top picks for everyone

Included in this guide:

Welcome to our list of the best family laptops money can buy in 2018. If you're looking for a laptop that the whole family can enjoy, then you'll want something that  is versatile enough to serve the needs of every member of the family.

So, it needs to be able to handle games and media for younger family members (or just adults who are still young at heart),  while also powerful enough to help with homework projects, or for working on.

Being well built, with a battery that can last for hours, is also incredibly important. The best family laptops have an important duty in providing the tools everyone in your household needs, and being able to cope with the changing demands as your family grows.

1. Lenovo Yoga 920

Multi-faceted dexterity that stomps the competition

CPU: Intel Core i5 – i7
Graphics: Intel UHD Graphics 620
RAM: 8 – 16GB
Screen: 13.9-inch FHD (1,920 x 1,080) – UHD (3,840 x 2,160) multitouch IPS with integrated camera
Storage: 256GB – 1TB PCIe SSD
Reasons to buy
+Lovely design+Thin
Reasons to avoid
-Lacks graphical power-Keyboard still annoys in tablet form

The Lenovo Yoga 920 is one of the best laptops for family use, and offers brilliant performance and versatility for the asking price. For anyone who’s looking for value, rather than a detachable screen, the Lenovo Yoga 920 has a lot to offer. It's powerful enough to play indie games and movies, to keep the kids in the family entertained, while also offering an excellent traditional laptop experience for homework, web browsing and general productivity.

Acer Chromebook R11

2. Acer Chromebook R11

360-degree flips for days

CPU: Intel Celeron N3060 – N3150
Graphics: Intel HD Graphics – Intel HD Graphics 400
Screen: 11.6-inch, HD (1,366 x 768)
Storage: 16GB – 32GB SSD
Reasons to buy
+Convertible+Good battery life
Reasons to avoid
-HD-only display-Terrible trackpad

Chromebooks, like the Acer Chromebook R11, make brilliant family laptops thanks to their relatively low cost and ease-of-use. The Chromebook R11 runs ChromeOS, rather than Windows 10, which makes it almost impervious to viruses and other internet nasties, which means you can hand it over to your kids without worry. It's also a great productivity tool for adults, does a great job of web browsing, and gives you full access to Android Apps on the Google Play store. What’s better, it does so on a touchscreen display that can be rotated around into tablet mode, complemented by an all-metal finish that looks fantastic.

3. Alienware 17 R5

Treat the family to a powerful gaming laptop

CPU: Intel Core i9-8950HK
Graphics: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 (8GB GDDR5X VRAM)
Screen: 17.3-inch QHD (2,560 x 1,440)144Hz
Storage: 246GB PCIe M.2 SSD, 1TB 7,200RPM HDD
Reasons to buy
+Out-of-this-world performance+Beautiful 17-inch display
Reasons to avoid
-Weighs almost 10 pounds

If your family has a number of serious gamers - as well as anyone who needs a laptop that's powerful enough to handle heavy-duty tasks such as photo and video editing, then the Alienware 17 R5 is a great choice. It is a beast of a gaming laptop with an overclocked GTX 1080 graphics card. It's big and bulky, so younger members of the family may struggle carrying it about, but older kids - and parents - will love this machine.

Acer Swift 3

4. Acer Swift 3

A great all-rounder for a low price

CPU: Intel Core i3 – i7
Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 620
RAM: 4GB – 8GB
Screen: 14-inch FHD (1,920 x 1,080) ComfyView IPS
Storage: 128GB – 256GB SSD
Reasons to buy
+Superb keyboard and trackpad+Excellent performance+Very reasonably priced
Reasons to avoid
-Looks a little plain

The Acer Swift 3 is a superb laptop that's more than powerful enough for work and study, which makes it one of the best family laptops for households where kids are at school, college or university. For an impressively-low price you get a solid all-aluminium body that can withstand knocks and bumps. It offers an excellent trackpad and a backlit keyboard that makes typing on a breeze. Sure, it's not the most powerful laptop in the world, but for the price you'll be very pleased with it indeed.

Dell G3 15

5. Dell G3 15

Budget gaming for the whole family

CPU: Intel Core i5 – i7 (8th-generation)
Graphics: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 – GTX 1060 (4GB GDDR5)
RAM: 8GB – 16GB
Screen: 15.6-inch FHD (1,920 x 1,080) IPS
Storage: 1TB (5,400 rpm) – 128/256GB SSD + 1TB HDD
Reasons to buy
+Affordable+Great performer for the money
Reasons to avoid
-Flimsy build-No USB-C

The Dell G3 15 is another great gaming laptop that is suitable for family use, and it's a fair bit cheaper than most other gaming laptops. It comes with a decent graphics card for playing modern games at 1080p, a huge 1TB hard drive for photos, videos and documents, and plenty of RAM as well. If you want to treat your family to a gaming laptop, but you understandably don't want to spend huge amounts of money on the device, then the Dell G3 15 is a brilliant choice.

Matt Hanson

Senior Computing editor

Matt (Twitter) is TechRadar's Senior Computing editor. Having written for a number of publications such as PC Plus, PC Format, T3 and Linux Format, there's no aspect of technology that Matt isn't passionate about, especially computing and PC gaming. If you're encountering a problem or need some advice with your PC or Mac, drop him a line on Twitter.