Best laptops

Updated April 14, 2014 1:47 PM PDT

You can dive into the various subcategories here for detailed suggestions for every need and budget, but on this page, we present the current laptops that are our personal favorites, because of style, power, value, or just because we like them.

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Best hybrid

Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga 2 Pro

A major update to our favorite Windows 8 hybrid, the IdeaPad Yoga 2 Pro is still a better laptop than tablet, but the new version adds a future-proof better-than-HD display at a great price.

Price: $1,040.00 - $1,040.00 Check prices

4 stars Excellent A better-than-HD hybrid for less

Best battery life

Apple MacBook Air (13-inch)

Apple keeps the latest MacBook Air updates on the inside, but greatly improved battery life and a lower starting price make up for a lack of flashy design changes.

Price: $1,048.97 - $1,799.95 Check prices

4 stars Excellent

Best touch-screen laptop

Samsung Ativ Book 9 Plus

If you’re just looking for an all-around excellently made Windows touch ultrabook and don’t mind that it's on the expensive side (and doesn’t convert to a tablet), the improved Samsung Ativ Book 9 Plus is worth the investment.

Price: $1,120.39 - $1,523.30 Check prices

4 stars Excellent

Best power laptop

Apple MacBook Pro with Retina Display (2013, 15-inch screen)

The slimmer body and higher-res screen of the original Retina MacBook Pro were a revolutionary leap. This revamp adds modest internal upgrades for modest improvements, but price cuts to both the 13-inch and 15-inch models sweeten the deal.

Price: $1,884.99 - $1,999.99 Check prices

4 stars Excellent

Best gaming laptop

Alienware 14 Gaming Laptop Computer

Dell has revamped its gaming line, including the new Alienware 14. The design changes don't go nearly far enough, but no complaints about the performance.

Price: $1,799.00 - $1,799.00 Check prices

4 stars Excellent

Best MacBook alternative

Dell XPS 13 (Fall 2013)

Early versions of the Dell XPS 13 had promise, but lacked must-have features. Over time, the system slowly added a high-res display, then a touch screen, making the new 2014 version an ultrabook that hits nearly all the marks.

Price: $1,299.99 - $1,299.99 Check prices

4 stars Excellent

Best Chromebook

Acer C720P Chromebook

The Acer Chromebook C720P manages to get better at all the key things, adding up to a little laptop alternative that's better than any budget Chromebook we've seen before.

Price: $285.54 - $323.05 Check prices

3.5 stars Very good

Best inexpensive travel laptop

Asus Transformer Book T100

The Asus Transformer Book T100 revives the Netbook value proposition (and Netbook usability issues) in a budget-price 10-inch laptop that doubles as a tablet. You won’t love it, but for sheer bang for the buck, it’s hard to beat.

Price: $364.76 - $422.40 Check prices

3.5 stars Very good
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