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MacBook Air, Yoga C930, XPS 13: Best laptops and desktops for the holidays 2019

Here are the computers we'd love to get or give as gifts this year.

Joshua_Goldman.jpg
Joshua_Goldman.jpg

Joshua Goldman

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1 of 10 Sarah Tew/CNET

Microsoft Surface Pro 6

Convertibles like the Yoga C930 are more laptop than tablet, while the Surface Pro gives you a full tablet experience, but can also be used as a laptop with its keyboard cover. And unlike an iPad or Android tablet, you're getting a full desktop operating system. The keyboard and stylus are generally sold separately, but keep an eye out for great bundle deals this time of year.

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2 of 10 Angela Lang/CNET

Lenovo Yoga C930

The C930 is our go-to pick when someone asks for a recommendation on an ultraportable two-in-one. It's just awesome all the way around, and we mean that literally since it has 360-degree hinges to use it in multiple positions -- from laptop to tablet. 

Lenovo announced its replacement, the C940, at IFA 2019, which updates it with the latest Intel processor. It qualifies as an Intel Athena laptop, which means certain aspects of its performance are more phonelike. This also means there should be a price drop for the C930; it's already less than $1,000 direct from Lenovo.

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3 of 10 Sarah Tew/CNET

HP Spectre x360 13

A great choice for anyone who needs to work from anywhere, this two-in-one has a thoughtful design, excellent component options and looooooong battery life.

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4 of 10 Sarah Tew/CNET

Apple Mac Mini

Apple's little desktop is perfect for taking advantage of Apple's Arcade gaming and Apple TV Plus services as well as handling everyday tasks. You even get a year of the latter for free when you buy a Mini. 

Dell G5 15
5 of 10 Sarah Tew/CNET

Dell G5 15

The midrange G5 15 hits the mark with an excellent price-to-performance ratio, build quality and design. Dell's G-series gaming laptops are cheaper than those from its Alienware division, but still capable of playing the latest AAA titles.

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6 of 10 Sarah Tew/CNET

Asus Chromebook C434

There are certainly less expensive Chromebooks out there, but spending a little more gets you a better experience now and down the road. 

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7 of 10 Sarah Tew/CNET

Apple MacBook Air

This is our go-to recommendation for those in search of a MacOS laptop for everyday use. The Air was updated earlier in the year with Apple's True Tone display, new processors and a $100 price drop. As Apple's most affordable laptop starting at $1,099, it's not exactly a bargain and you can get a lot more computer for you money if you go with Windows. However, the Air is frequently discounted for the holidays and last year's model is still a good choice and available for less

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8 of 10 Sarah Tew/CNET

Dell XPS 13

Dell's XPS 13 is a 13.3-inch laptop that's so trimmed up that the body is basically the size of an older 11.6-inch laptop. Being part of the company's XPS line means both its chassis and components are top notch for its class, so you're getting great battery life and performance, too. 

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9 of 10 Sarah Tew/CNET

Dell G5 5090

Just like its laptop equivalent, the Dell G5 desktop offers a lot of gaming performance in a compact design. It's available in a variety of configurations starting below $650. Unlike a laptop, though, you can upgrade or add components down the road. 

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10 of 10 Sarah Tew/CNET

HP Envy AIO 27

All-in-one PCs are great if you want a single computer for the entire family to use. The space-saving design makes set up easy and they come in a wide variety of sizes and configurations. HP's Envy is one of our favorites: It performs well for a wide variety of tasks and looks like furniture more than a desktop. If it's more than you need, though, HP offers a wide variety of attractive AIO models starting as low as $330

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