The Best Laptop 2018: Our pick of the best laptops you can buy

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If you're looking to buy a new laptop, then you've come to the right place, as our best laptops list gathers the top notebooks money can buy in 2018.

Not matter what kind of laptop you're looking for, from incredibly thin and light ultrabooks, to budget machines and gaming laptops, our best laptops list has the top suggestions for your needs.

Our best laptops list is also constantly updated with the latest laptops that we feel are worthy on inclusion, and every laptop on this list has been carefully tested and reviewed by us, so you can be sure that only the very best laptops are included.

This list doesn't just include the best high-end laptops, but also features the best budget laptops, top gaming laptops and our pick of the brilliant 2-in-1 laptops as well.

Each laptop on this list has been tested by us at TechRadar. Our thorough reviews look at all aspects of these laptops to make sure they really are the best of the best. With our recommendations, along with our very own price comparison tool, it's never been easier to buy the best laptop for your needs.

The best laptops of 2018:

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1. Huawei MateBook X Pro

Our new pick for the best laptop in the world

CPU: 8th generation Intel Core i5 – i7 | Graphics: Intel UHD Graphics 620 , Nvidia GeForce MX150 2GB GDDR5 | RAM: 8GB – 16GB | Screen: 13.9-inch 3K (3,000 x 2,080) | Storage: 512GB SSD

Beautiful design
Fantastic display
Terrific battery life
No SD card slot
Webcam not great

The Huawei MateBook X Pro is our new pick for the best laptop money can buy in 2018, after years of this list being dominated by the (still excellent) Dell XPS 13, which is now in second place. While Huawei hasn't been making laptops for as long as more established manufacturers in this list, it has absolutely knocked it out the park with the MateBook X Pro. This is a gorgeously-designed laptop with a stunning screen (albeit with a rather odd aspect ratio), and it comes packed with cutting edge components that allows it to perform brilliantly, and a battery life that runs rings around many of its rivals. It also has a very competitive price, giving you features, design and performance for quite a bit less money.

Read the full review: Huawei MateBook X Pro

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2. Dell XPS 13

This is the best laptop has just got even better

CPU: 8th generation Intel Core i5 – i7 | Graphics: Intel UHD Graphics 620 | RAM: 8GB – 16GB | Screen: 13.3-inch FHD (1,920 x 1,080) – 4k (3840 x 2160) | Storage: 256GB – 1TB SSD

Centered IR webcam
Gorgeous new design
Beautiful optional 4K display
Steeper starting price
White option is pricier

Although the Dell XPS 13 has been knocked in the second place, it is still an absolutely brilliant laptop. There's a good reason it was at the top of our best laptops list for three years running.

The 2018 Dell XPS 13 is a slimmer, more powerful version of the award-winning laptop with a stunning 4K display and a gorgeous Rose Gold on Alpine White color option. Packing an 8th-generation Intel Core i5 or i7 CPU and a bezel-less ‘Infinity Edge’ display, this Dell XPS 13 is more expensive, but its still worth every penny. It’s no wonder the Dell XPS 13 continues to be the most popular Windows laptop in the world. Better yet, there’s a wide range of customization options, so you can make the Dell XPS 13 the best laptop for you

Read the full review: Dell XPS 13

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3. Microsoft Surface Book 2 (13.5-inch)

The most powerful 2-in-1 laptop in the world

CPU: Intel Core i5-7300U - Intel Core i7-8650U 1.9GHz | Graphics: Intel UHD Graphics 620; Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 (2GB GDDR5 VRAM) | RAM: 8GB – 16GB | Screen: 3,000 x 2,000 (267 ppi) PixelSense display, 3:2 aspect ratio | Storage: 256GB – 1TB SSD

Very good battery life
Powerful
Pricey
No Surface Pen included

With the Surface Book 2 (13.5-inch), Microsoft has crafted one of the most powerful 2-in-1 laptops in the world. The Surface Book 2 has some powerful enough components to handle most day-to-day tasks, and even some light gaming and video editing if you go for a model with a dedicated graphics card. Brilliant build quality and excellent battery life makes this a wonderful device for using as either a laptop, or as a powerful Windows 10 tablet. It also comes in a 15-inch version, which is more powerful and with a larger screen. If you're after a more affordable 2-in-1 device, then the Acer Switch 3, below, is well worth checking out.

Read the full review: Microsoft Surface Book 2 (13.5-inch)

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4. Lenovo Yoga 920

Another remarkable 2-in-1 laptop

CPU: Intel Core i7-855OU | Graphics: Intel UHD Graphics 620 | RAM: 8GB – 16GB | Screen: 13.9-inch 1920 x 1080 - 13.9-inch 3840 x 2160 | Storage: 256GB – 1TB SSD | Connectivity: 802.11ac Wi-Fi; Bluetooth 4.1 | Camera: 720p front-facing

Lovely design
Thin
Decent power
Lacks graphical power
Keyboard still annoys in tablet form
Fans can be loud when they kick in

Some of the very best laptops in 2017 have been 2-in-1 devices, and Lenovo has added to that list with the excellent Lenovo Yoga 920. It features a wonderfully slim design, and its build quality is exceptional. The 360 degree hinge allows you to convert the laptop into a tablet-like device, making it flexible in all senses of the word. It's cheaper than the Surface Book 2, and while it doesn't offer quite the same quality when in tablet mode, it's an excellent device with plenty of power and bags of battery life. It's definitely a worthy alternative, and it's easily one of the best laptops we've seen this year.

Read the full review: Lenovo Yoga 920

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5. Apple Macbook Pro with touchbar

The best Macbook Pro ever, now with touchbar

CPU: Dual-core Intel Core i5 – i7 | Graphics: Intel Iris Plus Graphics 640 – 650 | RAM: 8GB – 16GB | Screen: 13.3-inch, (2,560 x 1,600) IPS | Storage: 256GB – 1TB PCIe 3.0 SSD

The best Macbook Pro ever
Super fast performance
Expensive
Disappointing battery life

If you're after the latest and greatest laptop from Apple, welcome to the 13-inch Macbook Pro with touchbar. It's the best laptop Apple has ever made, and builds new features into the classic design. Of course the headline feature is the touchbar - it's a thin OLED display at the top of the keyboard which can be used for any number of things, whether that be auto-suggesting words as you type or offering Touch ID so you can log in with just your fingerprint. If you're a massive fan of the Macbook Pro 2017 you'll be happy with this model but there are some serious reasons why you should consider one of the Windows alternatives. For a start, this laptop is very expensive for what is is, especially considering the better value alternatives. On top of this, it's not as powerful, the screen is lower-res versus the competition and isn't touchscreen friendly, plus the battery is a bit disappointing too. So if you're open to switching to a PC, definitely consider the XPS 13 as a more modern, cheaper alternative. But if you're a steadfast Apple die hard, this is definitely the best laptop for you!

Read the full review: Apple Macbook with touchbar (2017)
See more like this: The best Macs and Macbooks 2017

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6. MSI GS65 Stealth

The best gaming laptop of 2018

CPU: Intel Core i7 | Graphics: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070 (8GB GDDR5X VRAM, Max-Q) | RAM: 16GB | Screen: 15.6-inch FHD (1,920 x 1,080) anti-glare, wide-view 144Hz panel | Storage: 512GB M.2 SSD

Beautiful, subtle design 
Excellent performance 
Underside gets very hot 

The new MSI GS65 Stealth has knocked our previous choice of the best gaming laptop, Asus ROG Zephyrus GX501, off this list, thanks to its excellent array of cutting edge components, which includes an 8th-generation Intel Core i7-8750H CPU and an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070 GPU. It's also more reasonably priced than the Zephyrus GX501, and its subtle design means that it can double as a work or study laptop without raising any eyebrows. If you're looking for a more affordable gaming laptop, however, check out the Dell Inspiron 15 7000 Gaming below.

Read the full review: MSI GS65 Stealth 

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7. Acer Predator Helios 300

A budget gaming laptop with brilliant performance

CPU: Intel Core i7-8750H (hexa core 2.2GHz) | Graphics: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 + Intel UHD Graphics 630 | RAM: 16GB DDR4 | Screen: 15.6-inch, Full HD | Storage: 256GB SSD

Lots of power
Affordable price
Runs hot
Loud fans

 

The Acer Predator Helios 300 is a fantastic affordable gaming laptop that proves that even if you don't have the kind of money to buy the MSI GS65 Stealth that also features on this best laptops list, you don't have to sacrifice too much when it comes to power. The Acer Predator Helios 300 packs some excellent components, such as a new 8th generation 6-core Intel Core i7 processor, Nvidia GTX 1060 graphics card and 16GB of RAM. While it's still an expensive proposition compared to regular laptops, for a gaming notebook you are getting a heck of a lot of power for the price.

Read the full review: Acer Predator Helios 300

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8. Microsoft Surface Pro 4

Microsoft's Windows tablet is a brilliant 2-in-1 option

CPU: Intel Core m3 – i7 | Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 615 – Iris Plus Graphics 640 | RAM: 4GB – 16GB | Screen: 12.3-inch, 2,736 x 1,824 PixelSense display | Storage: 128GB – 1TB SSD | Connectivity: 802.11ac Wi-Fi; Bluetooth 4.1 | Camera: 8MP rear-facing, 5MP front-facing

Brilliant screen
Excellent performance
Good battery life
Keyboard sold separately

The Microsoft Surface Pro 4 is 2017's best laptop for you if you're looking for the perfect cross between a nimble Windows tablet and a fully functional laptop. The base version of the Surface Pro 4 is just a tablet - you get the main unit itself with kickstand but if you want the Surface Pen or the fantastic Type Cover keyboard you'll need to pay extra for a bundle or buy it separately. Often the best value option is a bundle but even the tablet on its own represents pretty good value. The Surface Pro, alongside the also-excellent Surface Book laptop, is to Windows what the Pixel is to Google's Android. It's the benchmark Windows device, with software and hardware working together in perfect harmony. So if you need a new laptop and a tablet, the Surface Pro is the best does-it-all 2-in-1 option. If you want this but need something a little cheaper, check out the Acer Switch 3 below!

Read the full review: Microsoft Surface Pro 4
See more like this: The best 2-in-1 laptops 2017 

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9. 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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10. Acer Switch Alpha 12

A great Surface Pro competitor at half the price

CPU: 1.10GHz Intel Pentium Quad Core N4200 - Intel Core i3 7100U | Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 505 | RAM: 4GB | Screen: 12.2-inch, 1920 x 1200 IPS LCD touchscreen | Storage: 64GB - 128GB eMMC

Excellent build quality
Great screen
Superb value
Good battery life

If you want the Microsoft Surface Pro 4 but you want to spend a lot less, the Acer Switch Alpha 12 is definitely the your best option. It's designed around essentially the same concept as the Surface Pro and it's a less capable thanks to slightly lower power innards, but for most tasks it's a brilliant little machine. What's more, to add further value this 2-in-1 laptop/tablet comes with the keyboard upgrade which means no little extras to pay for. As usual it comes in several different versions, with USB Type-C, 8GB RAM, an IPS display and Intel Core i3 7100U CPU coming with the more expensive option.

Read the full review: Acer Switch Alpha 12
See more like this: The best 2-in-1 laptops 2017 

Which type of laptop is best for you?

General laptops: Where the best cheap laptops are found, 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 $600 or £400.

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 – AED 3,000 or more.

2-in-1 laptops: Here is our picks of the best 2-in-1 laptops that are available right now. Outfitted with both detachable and 360-degree rotating hinges, these hybrids are the most versatile way to experience Windows 10 on a touchscreen.

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 quite a bit but give you a great gaming experience on the go. 

Laptop-tablet hybrids: Designed from the tablet-first approach to laptop-tablet hybrids, the best Windows tablets pack beyond-HD touchscreens, sometimes with kickstands in their frames or provided via keyboard covers. These generally shine with a stylus, and range from the budget to the premium price ranges.