The holidays are prime time for replacing your computer hardware, whether that’s for gaming or general use. Since we’ve already well-covered the ideal gifts for gaming on the PC, let’s highlight this year's general laptops or tablets that are sure to either fill your giftee with glee or make it onto your last-minute wish list.
Below are five of the best laptops and best Windows tablets to either give or receive this holiday season.
1. Microsoft Surface Pro 4
Still the ultimate crowd pleaser
Your loved one wants both a laptop and a tablet, or isn’t even being that specific about what kind of new computing device they want – chances are the Surface Pro 4 is going to please them. Whether they’re a digital artist or just a regular user, they’ll find a more than capable, versatile device in the Surface Pro 4, even going into its second year. While it comes with the pen, be sure to include a cover or make sure someone else gets it – if they want to use the Surface Pro 4 as a laptop, it’s essential. As of this writing, you can get a mid-range one for less than entry-level on Amazon.
Read the full review: Microsoft Surface Pro 4
2. Asus ZenBook Flip UX360
The best laptop value this season
We quite liked the latest hybrid laptop from Asus when recently reviewing it – so much so it earned our Great Value award. Despite a build quality lacking in the solidity and style of the Surface Pro 4, this laptop-first 2-in-1 pleases in nearly every other regard. An (albeit glare-prone) FHD screen that’s 13 inches and supports touch as well as 360-degree orientation, with comfortable inputs and plenty of ports for just $499 on Amazon (as of this writing)? Yeah, we know a lot of people that would and should be happy with this.
Read the full review: Asus ZenBook Flip UX360
3. Samsung Galaxy TabPro S
The #1 traditional Windows tablet of 2016
For the Windows die-hard in your life that’s all about the latest movies and TV shows – more so than getting stuff done – it’s tough to go wrong with Samsung’s latest. While it’s been slim pickings, the Galaxy TabPro S is the leading traditional Windows tablet of this year. With its gorgeous, 2K touchscreen and long battery life, this is a fine tablet for taking on long flights or road trips. Just don’t expect to be gifting someone a work horse here; with a less-than-stellar keyboard cover, this tablet is better for working down that backlog of TV shows than that backlog of email.
Read the full review: Samsung Galaxy TabPro S
4. HP Chromebook 14
The top budget laptop this year
Seeking to gift someone a new laptop for the lowest price possible without making their life worse? This year’s general use Chromebook from HP is definitely the ticket. With a screen that’s actually a pleasure to look at where other Chromebooks falter and comfortable inputs, the average computer user should be delighted to use such a device. Just be sure of who you’re buying for or what you’re wishing for: this is an absolute entry-level machine for basic web browsing and document work, and not much more. That said, what it offers for that price is incredibly hard to beat.
Read the full review: HP Chromebook 14
5. Dell XPS 13
The best straight-up laptop you can buy
If money's no object for you (or your friends or family), then just go with a Dell, dude. The XPS 13 remains the absolute best laptop you can buy – Windows die-hard or not. This laptop jump started the trend of bezel-free displays, and maintains having one of the best in the industry. Combine that with the latest components inside a masterfully-built chassis, and you have a laptop that will please you with what it can do and impress passersby at the coffee shop – it even comes in rose gold now!
Read the full review: Dell XPS 13
- Now, check all of our best computing Christmas gift ideas