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The best PC and Mac computers to give

These laptops, hybrids and two-in-one PCs range from stocking-stuffer Chromebooks to extravagant gaming rigs.

Dan Ackerman
Dan Ackerman leads CNET's coverage of computers and gaming hardware. A New York native and former radio DJ, he's also a regular TV talking head and the author of "The Tetris Effect" (Hachette/PublicAffairs), a non-fiction gaming and business history book that has earned rave reviews from the New York Times, Fortune, LA Review of Books, and many other publications. "Upends the standard Silicon Valley, Steve Jobs/Mark Zuckerberg technology-creation myth... the story shines." -- The New York Times
Joseph Kaminski Senior Associate Technology Editor / Reviews
When not juggling the dual demands of parenthood and playing basketball, Joseph is a life-long Manhattanite who can be found testing the latest tech in the CNET Labs and developing new benchmarks and testing methodologies.
Dan Ackerman
Joseph Kaminski
1 of 28 Sarah Tew/CNET

Lenovo Yoga C930

A late-in-year contender for best laptop of 2018, the Lenovo Yoga C930 has been tapped with a very rare Editors' Choice designation. It has great performance and battery life, a stylus slot that also charges the included stylus, and a physical shutter for its webcam. Plus better speakers and a fully updated 360-degree hinge. 

2 of 28 Sarah Tew/CNET

Acer Swift 7

Disclaimer: CNET may get a share of revenue from the sale of the products featured in this gallery.

There's no better bragging rights than being called the "world's thinnest laptop." This 8.98mm-thick Acer Switch 7 is also a very usable 14-inch Windows laptop with a touchscreen display and a decent keyboard. 

3 of 28 Sarah Tew/CNET

Dell G5 15

One of the best bets going for gaming on a budget. This new gaming laptop series from Dell offers Nvidia 1050 and 1060 GPUs at great prices, and they're high-design enough to work as your regular non-geeky laptop, too. 

4 of 28 Sarah Tew/CNET

Microsoft Surface Laptop 2

After years of focusing on tablets, Microsoft has jumped right into premium laptops, and the Surface Laptop 2 (not a very imaginative name, I admit) is a great new entry in that crowded field. It now comes in a smart matte black, and other colors, with a unique fabric covered wrist rest, but I like that it's superthin and now fits in fast quad-core CPUs. 

5 of 28 Sarah Tew/CNET

Razer Blade 15

A high-end gift that won't disappoint. This is one of our favorite gaming laptops of the year, thanks to its high-power components and slim, light, professional-looking design. A new, less-expensive model cuts some features, but gets the price down to $1,599. 

Asus ZenBook S UX391U
6 of 28 Sarah Tew/CNET

Asus ZenBook S UX391UA

A superthin (13mm) 13-inch laptop that's a little more comfortable to use than most. The unique hinge lifts up the rear of the system when open, putting the keyboard at a more ergonomic angle. 

7 of 28 Sarah Tew/CNET

Lenovo Flex 11

A touchscreen Windows 10 hybrid with a 360-degree hinge for under $300? This is one of the better rock-bottom laptop deals we've seen, because it works well enough for casual websurfing and email, even while cutting a few corners on audio and image quality. 

8 of 28 Sarah Tew/CNET

Origin PC Eon17-X

When you want to go all-in on a gaming laptop and feel like giving a gift that costs more than a big-screen OLED TV, this massive 17-inch monster will play any game you care to think of at the highest detail settings. It's almost infinitely configurable, if you don't want to spend $3,000 or more. 

9 of 28 Sarah Tew/CNET

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

A great all-around gaming-and-more laptop from one of the masters of premium laptop design. And, of course, the multi-colored keyboard lights can switch on and off depending on just how much "gamer" vibe you want to present. 

10 of 28 Joshua Goldman/CNET

Lenovo Legion Y530

A really sharp-looking budget gaming laptop that won't make your giftee feel like they're getting a budget gaming laptop. It benefits from Lenovo's unmatched keyboard design, and forward hinge that pushes the screen just a little closer to the viewer. 

11 of 28 Sarah Tew/CNET

Lenovo 500e Chromebook

There are $300 Windows laptops with similar 2-in-1 folding screens, but the Chromebook option may be even more appealing. At budget prices like this, Chromebooks usually feel faster and more responsive, and you're less likely to be called in for a troubleshooting session, as Chrome OS is almost impossible to mess with. 

12 of 28 Sarah Tew/CNET

Samsung Chromebook Plus

If a fanicer Chromebook is called for, this is a current favorite. It has a slim, modern design, 2-in-1 hinge, built-in stylus, and like most current Chromebooks, can run almost any Android app from the Google Play store. A new version adds LTE support if you want an always-on connection. 

Asus ZenBook Pro 15 UX580GE
13 of 28 Sarah Tew/CNET

Asus ZenBook Pro 15

Want something a little... different? This 15-inch laptop has a full-color 1,920x1,080 touchscreen built into its wrist rest. Several different modes allow you to use it as a secondary display, a control panel for media or office apps, or just as a regular old touchpad.

14 of 28 Sarah Tew/CNET

Apple MacBook Pro with Touch Bar (15-inch, 2018)

The latest high-end MacBook Pro doesn't look any different from the outside, but the parts inside have all been upgraded, all the way to an Intel Core i9 CPU. An extravagant gift, to be sure, but it's hard to beat. 

Lenovo Yoga 920
15 of 28 Sarah Tew/CNET

Lenovo Yoga C930

The latest Yoga 2-in-1 from Lenovo continues the brand's annual evolution, this time putting an audio sound bar in the hinge itself, so it sounds good no matter which way you fold the 360-degree screen. It's also one of the only laptops with true Dolby Vision HDR support, making it great for work and play. 

16 of 28 Sarah Tew/CNET

Acer Nitro 5

This is a gaming laptop that skips most of the frills, but gets the price way down, to around $700 for some configurations. The display is a bit washed out, and it's clearly a plastic laptop, but it's also got an understated design that won't make your eyeballs bleed. It's a great entry-point gift for would-be PC gamers. 

17 of 28 Sarah Tew/CNET

Dell XPS 13

One of the all-time great laptops gets a big design makeover, and now looks better than ever. This slim, upscale 13-inch has a superthin bezel, which makes the screen really pop, and new color options, including a very nice white, really help it stand out from the crowded 13-inch laptop field. 

18 of 28 Sarah Tew/CNET

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga

A little more buttoned-down than your average laptop, this is a much better gift idea than a fancy tie for the entrepreneur in your life. The X1 Yoga takes the standard black ThinkPad and adds Lenovo's 360-degree hinge to the mix, making it not only great as a laptop, but also for giving presentations, marking up documents or collaborating on projects. 

19 of 28 Sarah Tew/CNET

HP ZBook x2 G4

Not every creative type wants or needs a MacBook (heresy, I know). This massive system is best described as a "detachable mobile workstation," which means it's like a desktop Photoshop rig, but in handy 4K tablet form. 

20 of 28 Sarah Tew/CNET

HP EliteBook x360 1020 G2

This is one of the first laptops to feature HP's SureView built-in privacy screen, which hides what you're looking at from nosy coworkers or seat mates at the touch of a button. It might be the perfect gift for the paranoid person in your life. 

21 of 28 Sarah Tew/CNET

Microsoft Surface Go

A cheaper Surface system from Microsoft, this 10-inch tablet starts at just $399. But be ready to shell out for a few accessories, as the stylus and keyboard cover can easily add another $200 to the mix. It's still a great value for such a well-engineered machine, and small enough to (almost) fit into a stocking. 

22 of 28 Sarah Tew/CNET

Asus ROG Zephyrus M GM501

An amazingly thin gaming laptop, the Zephyrus lifts up on a hidden panel when the lid is opened, letting the Nvidia 1070 GPU stay cool while driving great performance. It also has a great multicolored backlighting system under the keyboard and new six-core CPUs. 

23 of 28 Sarah Tew/CNET

Dell XPS 15 2-in-1

It's not a gaming laptop, but it can play some games. It's not a tablet, but it can fold its screen over the keyboard to form a hefty slate. It's Dell's 15-inch powerhouse, packing in every feature imaginable, including a 4K touchscreen, 360-degree hinge and AMD Radeon Vega graphics.

24 of 28 Sarah Tew/CNET

Microsoft Surface Pro 6

The latest Windows tablet from Microsoft gets a huge performance boost, thanks to new quad-core processors, and comes in a new, cool black color. The best things about it are the clip-on keyboard and magnetic stylus, but keep in mind you'll have to buy those separately. 

HP Spectre Folio
25 of 28 Sarah Tew/CNET

HP Spectre Folio

The Spectre Folio is a statement piece for the executive who has everything. This 13-inch two-in-one ups the ante on luxury with a body that's made from premium leather.  

26 of 28 Sarah Tew/CNET

Apple MacBook Air 2018

Apple overhauled the Air to make it smaller and lighter, with a better display, faster processors and a bigger touchpad. It now starts at a higher price because of these changes, but it's still one of the best laptops you can buy. 

27 of 28 Lori Grunin/CNET

Lenovo Legion Y730

We rank the Legion Y730 above other entry-level gaming laptops for a few reasons -- including its programmable per-key RGB keyboard lighting, custom macro keys and nice-looking full HD display. Plus, it's relatively thin and light. 

28 of 28 Sarah Tew/CNET

Samsung Galaxy Book2

Taking a page out of the Microsoft Surface Pro book, the Samsung Galaxy Book2 adds long battery life and Gigabit LTE wireless for winning results. Its $1,000 price includes its backlit keyboard cover and S Pen, and it delivers seamless, always-on performance. 

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