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HolidayBuyer's Guide

Apple MacBook Pro with Touch Bar (15-inch, 2017)

Asus ROG Zephyrus

Apple MacBook 2017

LG Gram (13-inch, Touch)

Toshiba Portege X20W-D

Microsoft Surface Laptop

Acer Aspire VX 15

Samsung Chromebook Pro

Asus Chromebook Flip C302CA

HP Spectre x360 (13-inch, 2017)

Dell XPS 13 2-in-1

Razer Blade (14-inch, 2017)

Lenovo IdeaPad 110S

Microsoft Surface Pro

Apple iPad Pro (10.5 inch, 2017)

Apple iPad 2017

Samsung Galaxy Tab S3

Wacom MobileStudio Pro 16

Amazon Fire HD 8

Amazon Fire 7

Samsung Galaxy Book

Lenovo Miix 510

Huawei MediaPad M3-04

Lenovo ThinkPad X1

HP Curved Envy AIO 34

Apple iMac 27 (2017)

HP Elite Slice

Endless Mission One

Dell XPS 27

Microsoft Surface Studio

AirBar for MacBook Air

Apple Magic Keyboard

Accell USB-C Mini Dock

Evoluent VerticalMouse

Penclic Mouse R2

The latest MacBook Pros are loaded with the newest Intel processors and faster AMD graphics cards, so one of these 2017 laptops -- like the 15-inch MacBook Pro with Touch Bar shown here -- should easily last you through four years of college. 

See all our picks in the CNET Back-to-School guide.

Caption by / Photo by Sarah Tew/CNET

The 15-inch Asus ROG Zephyrus laptop is incredibly slim despite its Intel Core i7 and Nvidia GeForce 1080 GPU. That's really the combo you want for high-end PC gaming, while still being suitable (if expensive) for schoolwork. 

See all our picks in the CNET Back-to-School guide.

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New internal upgrades make a world of difference, and should make it easier to choose the slim, attractive 2017 MacBook over the bigger MacBook Pro, or the still severely outdated MacBook Air.

See all our picks in the CNET Back-to-School guide.

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The LG Gram is a 13-inch laptop so thin and light you'll keep checking your backpack just to make sure it's actually in there. It has all-day battery life to boot. 

See all our picks in the CNET Back-to-School guide.

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This little pen-enabled 2-in-1 is meant for business, but with its security features, durable construction and long battery life, the Toshiba Portege X20W-D is perfect for toting around campus.

See all our picks in the CNET Back-to-School guide.

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Microsoft's first ultraportable clamshell, the Microsoft Surface Laptop, stands out in a sea of MacBook wannabes, delivering very good battery life in a slim, modern design.

See all our picks in the CNET Back-to-School guide

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An entry-level gaming system that won't get you too many stares out in public, the Acer Aspire VX 15 lets you sneak in some gaming between study sessions.

See all our picks in the CNET Back-to-School guide.

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The budget-friendly 2-in-1 Samsung Chromebook Pro puts Google's Chrome OS to good use, making it a fine alternative to Windows and Mac laptops.

See all our picks in the CNET Back-to-School guide.

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The Asus Chromebook Flip C302CA looks and feels better than its sub-$500 price, and this 12.5-inch 2-in-1 is a perfect alternative to low-end Windows 10 laptops.

See all our picks in the CNET Back-to-School guide.

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At less than 3 pounds (1.4 kg), the hybrid HP Spectre x360 won't break your back, but if you want to save some money and extend your battery life, opt for the full HD-resolution screen, not 4K.

See all our picks in the CNET Back-to-School guide.

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For 2017, Dell took one of our favorite 13-inch ultraportables and turned it into a 2-in-1. And you know what? The Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 is still awesome.

See all our picks in the CNET Back-to-School guide.

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It's not for the budget-conscious, but if you want a powerful -- and beautiful -- Windows alternative to an Apple MacBook Pro, the Razer Blade is it.

See all our picks in the CNET Back-to-School guide.

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The Lenovo IdeaPad 110S is a good inexpensive choice for those with needs that don't go far beyond word processing and web surfing, with a great keyboard.

See all our picks in the CNET Back-to-School guide.

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Microsoft makes one of the best tablet-laptops around. The newest Microsoft Surface Pro has longer battery life -- always useful -- and most models are fanless.

See all our picks in the CNET Back-to-School guide.

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Apple's latest and greatest 10.5-inch and 12.9-inch iPad Pros have plenty of screen space to take advantage of the new split-screen, app-managing and file management tools in iOS 11. The new features make the tablets feel more computerlike -- in a good way.

See all our picks in the CNET Back-to-School guide.

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If you don't need the power of the iPad Pro, the basic 9.7-inch iPad is still a great tablet. For iPhone users, it'll be an easy transition to the big screen.

See all our picks in the CNET Back-to-School guide.

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The Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 probably has a better screen than your TV. If you want a tablet for taking notes in class and watching video at home, the Galaxy Tab S3 is one of the best for both.

See all our picks in the CNET Back-to-School guide.

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While the Wacom MobileStudio Pro 16's sophisticated capabilities are geared toward professionals, art students can dream about this pricey and portable Windows 10 tablet.

See all our picks in the CNET Back-to-School guide.

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Some people just want a tablet for play, not work, so paying a lot for one doesn't make any sense. The Amazon Fire HD 8 is a perfectly fine tablet for casual tasks, and it's affordably priced.

See all our picks in the CNET Back-to-School guide.

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If you really don't want to pay a lot for a tablet, the $50 Amazon Fire is the best rock-bottom choice. Just beware, you get what you pay for.

See all our picks in the CNET Back-to-School guide.

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If you want a Windows 10 tablet inside the body of an iPad Pro, the Samsung Galaxy Book is a swell compromise. It lacks the finesse of the Galaxy Tab S3 Android tablet, but it's still a sexy slate in comparison to other Windows 10 tablets.

See all our picks in the CNET Back-to-School guide.

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Unlike the Surface Pro, the Lenovo Miix 510 includes the keyboard in its price. And, if you're shopping on a budget, it's also more wallet-friendly than the Microsoft tablet.

See all our picks in the CNET Back-to-School guide.

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Extremely portable and sleek, the Huawei MediaPad M3 is the perfect binge-watching buddy while on the go.

See all our picks in the CNET Back-to-School guide.

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The Lenovo ThinkPad X1's kick-ass keyboard makes it a more appealing option than other tablet hybrids.

See all our picks in the CNET Back-to-School guide.

Caption by / Photo by Josh Miller

For even more room for work (or play), the HP Curved Envy AIO 34's curved 34-inch display is great for juggling multiple windows of research, and pulls double duty as a full-on entertainment system.

See all our picks in the CNET Back-to-School guide.

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The 2017 iMac 27 is the perfect system for the Apple fan going back to school whose major requires more flexibility than a MacBook can deliver.

See all our picks in the CNET Back-to-School guide.

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If dorm room desktop space is at a premium, the HP Elite Slice is smaller than a notebook, and if you pair it with a display on an arm, will take up barely any desk space at all.

See all our picks in the CNET Back-to-School guide.

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There's one Linux hobbiest in every residence hall. If that's you, the Endless Mission One, a quirky low-cost mini desktop, does a lot with minimal hardware, and even includes preloaded educational software. 

See all our picks in the CNET Back-to-School guide.

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The Dell XPS 27 is a great all-around all-in-one with a color-accurate display for designers, but also a killer set of 10 speakers for when you need a little background music for studying (or partying). 

See all our picks in the CNET Back-to-School guide.

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Designers, architects and other creative types will like the Microsoft Surface Studio's giant reclining display, the excellent stylus and the very cool Surface Dial for onscreen control in apps like Photoshop.

See all our picks in the CNET Back-to-School guide.

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A new version of the computer accessory called the AirBar adds touch functions to Apple's slim 13-inch MacBook Air laptop, using a USB-connected sensor bar that attaches to the bottom edge of the display.

See all our picks in the CNET Back-to-School guide.

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There's more magic in Apple's Magic Keyboard -- a new version of the slim, wireless accessory now includes a 10-key numeric keypad. It's very, very similar to the current Magic Keyboard, but it makes the process of typing numbers into your computer a breeze.

See all our picks in the CNET Back-to-School guide.

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Many new laptops have only USB-C ports, so to hook up any of your older equipment, from displays to memory sticks, you'll need an adapter. This Accell USB-C Mini Dock adds a USB-A port and HDMI, and still lets you charge via USB-C.

See all our picks in the CNET Back-to-School guide.

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The Evoluent VerticalMouse 4 is a clever idea for anyone who experiences wrist or arm pain from using a standard mouse. This "vertical" version turns your wrist 90 degrees, and is surprisingly comfortable to use.

See all our picks in the CNET Back-to-School guide.

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Another untraditional mouse, the Penclic R2 looks like a pen attached to a tiny base. It angles to meet your wrist, and feels a lot like using an actual pen. It takes some getting used to, but could be a good alternative if a regular mouse causes wrist pain.

See all our picks in the CNET Back-to-School guide.

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