Best laptop for 2021: Dell, HP, Microsoft, Apple, Acer, Lenovo and more
If, like many of us, you’re working from home or doing remote learning, this list can help you find the perfect new laptop to meet your needs. Whether you’re looking for a laptop for work, school, gaming or entertainment, you’ll find our top picks from the best laptop brands on the market: Apple, Dell, HP, Microsoft, Lenovo, Acer, Asus and more.
We review a lot of laptops, so obviously not all of them are on this list. You can also read our recommendations for the best gaming laptops, 15-inch laptops, two-in-one and Chromebooks, as well as the best laptop for college students, the best laptop for creatives and the best MacBook Pro alternatives for the Windows set. Plus, if you just want pure power or a long battery life, our rankings of performance and battery life are for you. Need to stay as low as possible on the price of a new laptop computer? Check out our picks for budget laptops and budget gaming laptops or see all of CNET’s laptop reviews. This list was originally published last year and updated periodically.
Best small laptop
Dell XPS 13 2020
The Dell XPS 13 is a perennial favorite for its size, weight and performance and just overall good looks. In 2020, Dell made the laptop even smaller, while making the laptop screen larger and increasing performance for both CPU and graphics-intensive tasks. It’s not a huge leap, but this Dell XPS is still the best in the category. And for those who want the latest and greatest Intel processors, the Dell XPS 13, as well as the company’s XPS 13 2-in-1 (also a great pick), are available with the chip-maker’s 11th-gen Core processors.
Best small laptop under $1,000
Asus ZenBook 13
The Asus ZenBook 13 is a stylish but not showy 13.3-inch ultraportable with the perfect footprint for squeezing onto a tiny table. You’ll get 12-plus hours of battery life depending on your configuration — it’s available with 10th- or 11th-gen Intel processors — and plenty of performance to make quick work of daily office or school tasks. Plus, like many of Asus’ laptops, the ZenBook adds a few gadgety extras to hopefully make your life easier while you’re out and about. Read our Asus ZenBook 13 review…Read more>>