All the laptops to spend your tax money on

Windows or Mac, slick and small or a big gaming beast, there are plenty of laptop options out there.

Daniel Van Boom
Microsoft Surface Book 2
1 of 11 Sarah Tew/CNET

Microsoft Surface Book 2

The Surface Book 2 is Microsoft's second crack at a high-end laptop. And boy, is it high end. Performance and battery life are excellent, as is its build and screen quality. 

The Surface Book 2 range starts at AU$2,199 or AU$3,649 for the 15-inch version. Hey, quality ain't cheap! 

2 of 11 Sarah Tew/CNET

Dell XPS 13

If you're looking for a top-of-the-line Windows laptop and the Surface Book 2 doesn't tickle your fancy, Dell's XPS line is what you're after. 

The newly redesigned range keeps the edge-to-edge display of previous iterations, but adds a distinctive new look. It's fast, light and has a tremendous battery life. 

The XPS 13 range starts at AU$2,099, while the XPS 15 starts at AU$2,499.

3 of 11 Ian Knighton/CNET

Dell Inspiron 13 7000 2-in-1

But you don't need to pay top dollar to get a quality machine. Dell's Inspiron 13 7000 is a solid 2-in-1 laptop, and it starts at AU$1,799 for the touchscreen-enabled version (the one you want). 

One compromise: The battery life could be better.

4 of 11 Sarah Tew/CNET

MacBook Pro

Apple's new MacBook Pros are short on ports, but they've got everything else you'd want from a productivity laptop. Enough power for photo editing, a great keyboard and trackpad combo, a terrific Retina display and a often imitated design, it's hard to go wrong with a MacBook Pro -- unless you're a gamer.

The 13-inch MacBook Pro starts at AU$1,899, though the model with the new touch bar is AU$2,699. The 15-inch model comes with an AMD graphics card, and starts at AU$3,499.

Razer Blade Stealth (13-inch, 2017)
5 of 11 Sarah Tew/CNET

Razer Blade Stealth

The Razer Blade Stealth is the anti-MacBook Pro. That is to say, it's cut from the same cloth but... it's black, and runs Windows. Sloppy metaphors aside, Windows laptops don't get much slicker than the Blade Stealth.

It also gives you great value for money, as the AU$1,849 starter model comes with an i7 processor and 256GB of storage. (Most entry-level laptops come with an i5 and 128GB.) 

6 of 11 Sarah Tew/CNET

Asus ROG Zephyrus M

You're gonna need a pretty big tax return to afford this 15.6-inch beast. But it is a beast. 

It packs a six-core Intel i7 processor and a Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070 graphics card into a surprisingly small frame. Its official price is a pretty penny: AU$3,929. Sites like Kogan have sold it closer to the AU$3,399 mark, though.

Alienware 17
7 of 11 Sarah Tew/CNET

Alienware R4 17

Alienware's R4 17 isn't as svelte as Asus' Zephyrus, but it brings the heat. It has a 17.3-inch screen, and can be configured for as low as AU$2,499 with an Nvidia GTX 1060 GPU inside. 

Or you could go absolutely buck wild at pay AU$4,599 for a model kitted out with an Intel i9 processor and a GTX 1080 graphics card. 

8 of 11 Josh Goldman/CNET

Lenovo Yoga 920 2-in-1

For those looking for a more flexible device, Lenovo's Yoga 920 is about as good as 2-in-1 laptops get. It starts at AU$1,899 and gets a big battery boost thanks to Intel's 8th-generation processors. 

Dell Inspiron 15 7000 Gaming late 2017
9 of 11 Sarah Tew/CNET

Dell Inspiron 15 7000

Gaming doesn't always need to be expensive. Well, super expensive. Dell's Inspiron 15 7000. For AU$2,299, Dell's Inspiron 15 7000 gives you a great processor and an Nvidia GTX 1060 GPU that's powerful enough to play most current games. 

Apple Macbook 12-inch 2017
10 of 11 Sarah Tew/CNET

Apple MacBook 2017

Apple's MacBook is for those who like their laptops on the slighter side. Its got a beautiful 12-inch screen and a great keyboard -- but don't expect to do any video editing on this little guy.

It starts at AU$1,899, though if you're committed to a 12-inch MacBook we recommend splashing out AU$2,349 for a version with a more powerful processor. 

11 of 11 Sarah Tew/CNET

Razer Blade 14

Razer is still the king of the stylish gaming laptop, and its latest Blade is its most promising yet. It has an edge-to-edge 15.6-inch screen and a GTX 1060 GPU crammed into an impossible frame. Pricing for Australia isn't yet known, though it retails in the US for $1,899.

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