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Best Laptops For College 2019

The school time may be over, but there’s never a wrong time to think about the best laptops for college. There are still plenty of good laptops for students to decorate their dorms, although we are still waiting for the Surface Laptop 2. The best laptops for college will be elegantly designed and powerful while maintaining a modest price that frugal students can justify.

Because money can be hard to find when you’re a student, the best laptops for students will not have the latest 2nd generation Coffee Lake or AMD Ryzen processors and Nvidia graphics – they will present the material they need to perform, no frills. And, even though Windows 10 is still the most popular operating system in the education industry, you should keep an eye on the best Chromebooks – you’d be surprised to see everything you can do with them.

Read: Top 10 Best Gaming laptops – All Times

And, now that Windows 10 lets you switch Windows 10 S, and a new Windows 10 Lean form is on the way. The best laptop for college will be flexible enough to do what you want to do.

The next few years will be stressful, but the right tool is worth it if it will help you get that degree. To alleviate some of the frustration, we have listed the best laptops for students below so you can buy one for you or a loved one. You will not have to limit yourself to an old splitter.

Top 10 Best Laptops For College List

Best Laptops For College
Laptop Name Laptop Type Laptop Rating
Dell XPS 13 Best Overall 9.5 out of 10
HP Envy 13t Best Keyboard 9.4 out of 10
Asus ZenBook UX330UA Best Value For Money 9.3 out of 10
Apple MacBook Pro 13 Best MacBook 9.3 out of 10
Lenovo Yoga 720 Best 2-in-1 9.2 out of 10
Microsoft Surface Book 2 Best Detachable 9.2 out of 10
HP Spectre 13 Good Looking 9.1 out of 10
Apple MacBook Air 13 Budget MacBook 9.1 out of 10
Acer Swift 7 Thinnest 9.0 out of 10
Acer Aspire E 15 Best Under Budget 8.9 out of 10

Check out our list of Best Laptops For College below and share this list with your friend, family or loved ones.

Things To Remember Before Buying a Laptop For College

1Lightweight

A big screen may not be a good idea. It’s good to have a mini home theater in your dorm or play the best games in full 1080p glory, but a laptop with a big screen will be a chore to carry on campus. You’re better off with something that’s lightweight: If the screen size matters to you less than the convenience, a super slim ultraportable might be the way to go. But for most people, a widescreen 13 or 14 inch is ideal because it will make room for other things in your backpack and minimize the burden of weight. Depending on your limit, a smaller screen will work as long as you understand that full web pages and productivity apps involve more scrolling and that fonts appear more modest than on larger screens.

2Power Required

Depending on your budget, laptops offer a wide choice of processors; for example, you can choose one that maximizes performance or one that promotes battery life. Or you can pick one that plays on both strengths: Intel Core processors have the advantages of power and battery efficiency. If you want battery life all day long, it’s best to use a Chromebook, which usually runs on a low-power processor. If performance is at the top of the list, an Intel Core i7 processor gives you the most punch, but at the expense of battery life.

3Storage Options

With the growing prevalence of cloud storage and web applications, having plenty of local storage space is a little less vital than before, but you still need to make sure your laptop meets your needs. If you plan to install a large number of programs or if you want to keep files, you need 256 GB of space or more. If you do not think you need all this local storage, or if you leave a lot of work online, you can manage with a laptop with less space.

4Battery Life

A vital battery can be your greatest ally in a day full of extracurricular classes and activities. Most college-oriented laptops are equipped with several battery options. Others have only one – and that’s irremovable. In this case, determine where battery life ranks in the grand scheme of things. It might be a good idea to buy an extra battery if a spare battery is not available. The more cells you buy, the better the life of the battery. A big battery comes with a little weight, but the weight gain is worth it if you want to leave the system unplugged from dawn to dusk.

5What About 2-in-1 Hybrids

The new Microsoft-based student-centric version of its operating system is a locked-down version of Windows, designed to prevent malware from being inadvertently downloaded. It is compatible with all Windows Store applications but does not allow third-party Windows apps unless you upgrade your laptop to Windows 10 Pro. You can easily upgrade to Pro using the Microsoft Store app, but fees may apply depending on your device, and you will not be able to return to Windows 10 S after conversion. This version of the operating system only supports the Edge browser.

6Warranty

Almost all laptops are covered by a minimum one-year warranty on parts and labor. Extended warranties are also available, but their value depends on your identity as a user. The standard warranty does not cover accidents caused by a spilled drink or a drop on a hard surface. Most manufacturers sell accident coverage as a separate plan, in addition to extended warranties that add to standard warranties so that you could spend close to $300 for three years of coverage. Apple offers a maximum extended warranty of three years ($250), while most Windows notebook vendors offer up to four years.

Finally, if you’re in college and looking to purchase a laptop that can keep you working all day, highly portable, and something that you can carry anywhere without worrying of getting run out of juice, we are here with our choices for the Best Laptops For College 2018.

Dell XPS 13

The Dell’s XPS 13 has remained our favorite consumer notebook in any category, thanks to its beautiful, almost borderless display, lightweight and sleek styling. Now, after several generations of bonding with the same chassis, Dell’s flagship has a new design with thinner dimensions and a beautiful palette of white and gold colors. In other improvements, the XPS 13 9370 also offers an optional 4K display, a better webcam, support for GPUs and a cooling system that promises performance supported.

Dell XPS 13 Review Score

9.5 Total Score
Winner: Dell XPS 13 Rating: 9.5/10

The Dell XPS 13 delivers good performance, long battery life and a stunning display in a thinner and more appealing chassis than ever before. Despite that webcam, the XPS 13 is still the best laptop to beat.

Design
9.5
Keyboard and TouchPad
9.5
Display
9
Performance
9.5
Battery Life
9.5
PROS
  • Attractive design
  • Vibrant display
  • Strong overall performance
  • Great battery life
  • Remains cool
CONS
  • No USB Type-A Ports;
  • An awkward place for webcam
User Rating: Be the first one!

Hardware Specifications of Dell XPS 13

SPECIFICATIONS
Processor Intel Core i7-8550U
RAM 8GB (expandable to 16GB)
Graphics Intel UHD Graphics 620
Display 13.3-inch (1920 x 1080)/ up to 4K
Storage 256/512GB/1TB SSD
Operating System Windows 10 Home
Battery Life Up to 12 hours 37 minutes web browsing
Camera 720p Web Cam
Ports Audio Jack, micro-SD, Noble lock slot, 2 x Thunderbolt 3 Ports, Thunderbolt 3, 1 x USB Type-C Port
Connectivity 802.11a/b/g/n/ac Killer 1535 Wireless AC 2×2 and Bluetooth 4.1

Design

If you put the latest XPS 13 generations in a range, you would not be able to differentiate them unless you looked at the CPU sticker on the deck. However, the XPS 13 9370 is distinguished by its new optional color, gold and white, and a slightly thinner profile and lighter. Dell also markets the 9370 in the traditional silver and black aesthetics of the XPS 13. The weave texture of the deck adds sophistication and feels good against our wrists, but not quite as comfortable as the bridge. Carbon fiber with a soft touch on the old XPS 13 and the silver model.

Unfortunately, by slimming the XPS 13 to 0.46 inches, Dell had to abandon the standard Type-A USB ports and standard size SD card readers that appeared on all previous generations. On the left of the XPS 13, you will find two Thunderbolt 3 ports, which can charge the laptop or connect to high-speed devices. There are a Noble Lock Slot and a Battery Meter, which indicates the charge level of a series of five white lights. On the right, you’ll find a 3.5mm audio jack, a microSD card slot and a USB Type-C port, which can output the DisplayPort video.

Keyboard and TouchPad

The XPS 13 keyboard offers a solid typing experience, though the keys are a bit on the shallow side. Perhaps because the notebook is so thin, the keys have 1.2 millimeters of key travel (1.5 to 2 mm is common on traditional laptops), but they make up for it somewhat by requiring a right amount of actuation force of 72 grams.

Whether double-clicking on icons or highlighting small pieces of text in an article, the 4.1 x 2.4-inch buttonless touchpad provided exact navigation without any sticking or jumping. The left and right click areas offer just the right amount of tactile feedback. The pad also responded immediately and accurately to multitouch gestures such as zoom nip and three-finger swipe.

Display

The XPS 13 9370’s 13.3-inch InfinityEdge display has 23% thinner zips than the XPS 9360’s almost non-existent borders. There’s virtually no bezels around the top and sides of the screen; the images seem more numerous. We tested the Dell XPS 13 with a 3840 x 2160 (4K, Ultra HD) touchscreen and a 1920 x 1080 non-touch screen. Both models offer impressive brightness, color quality, and sharpness, though the 4K display is significantly better.

According to our light meter, the XPS 13 with 1080p screen reached an impressive mark of 372 nits, while the version with the 4K panel blew us with 415 nits. Both numbers are significantly higher than the average of the ultraportable portable category (290 nits), X1 Carbon (275 nits) and HP Spectre 13 (247 nits). The XPS 13 9360 with 1080p screen recorded a similar number of 368 nits.

The XPS 13’s 1080p screen reproduced an impressive 117% of the sRGB color gamut, but the 4K panel was much more dynamic, reaching 130%. The two figures compare favorably to the category average (105 percent) and the ThinkPad X1 Carbon (104 percent with the 1080p display). But the 1080p panel is only 5 to 6 percentage points higher than the XPS 13 7360 (112%) and the Spectre 13 (111%).

Graphics and Performance

We tested two different configurations of the XPS 13. The top model featured a Core i7-8550U processor, 16GB of RAM, a 1TB SSD and a 4K touchscreen, while the mainstream model had a Core i5-8550U. 8250U processor, 8GB of RAM, a 256GB SSD and a non-touch screen 1080p. Whether it’s surfing the web or writing parts of this review, both versions of the XPS 13 9370 have treated everything we’ve launched without hiccups.

The XPS 13 Core i7’s 1TB PCIe SSD took just 13 seconds to copy 4.97GB of files at a bitrate of 399.4Mbps, while the Core i5’s 256GB unit did the same job at a speed of 339.2 Mbps throughput. Both figures are much better than the category average (232 Mbps) and the X1 Carbon (242 Mbps). The XPS 13 9360 with 256 GB SSD was even faster, reaching a rate of 508 Mbps. The HP Spectre 13 (339.3 Mbps) permanently connected the XPS 13 9370 to the Core i5.

With its integrated Intel UHD 620 GPU, the XPS 13 is powerful enough to perform light video editing or play games with low settings. Its Core i7 and Core i5 models respectively obtained 85,616 and 77,584 on 3DMark Ice Storm Unlimited, a synthetic graphics test.

Battery Life and Heat

Regardless of the Dell XPS 13 configurations you choose, you’ll enjoy more than average battery life, but a model with a non-touch 1080p display lasts for hours. The XPS 13 with 1080p non-touch screen lasted 12 hours and 37 minutes on our battery test, which involves continuous browsing over Wi-Fi. The model with the 4K display lasted 8 hours and 53 minutes. These figures compare favorably to the ultraportable category average (8:15) and the HP Spectre 13 time of 6:16.

The two XPS 13 configurations that we tested remained pleasantly cool throughout our tests. After streaming video for 15 minutes, the Core i7’s touchpad, keyboard, and bottom reached 82, 86.5 and 88 degrees Fahrenheit, all well below our 95-degree comfort threshold. The Core i5 model achieved similar temperatures of 80, 85.5 and 88 degrees.

Conclusion

From its eye-catching 4K display to its fast performance and stunning design, the Dell XPS 13 has a lot to offer. Although it is not yet ideal, its webcam centered is a massive improvement over the previous one. The 9370’s ability to work with GPUs also makes it an excellent choice for people who want to play demanding games. So if you want the best combination of performance, portability, and aesthetics, the Dell XPS 13 is for you.

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HP Envy 13t

The HP Envy 13t proves that you do not have to ruin yourself to get a lightweight laptop with high doses of style and performance. This 2.9-pound ultrabook boasts the power of an Intel 8th Gen Core processor, the sexy side of an all-metal chassis and the convenience of live drums. It also has one of the best keyboards available on the market. The more expensive competitors offer more dynamic displays and even longer endurance, but overall the Envy 13t is a fantastic value for money.

HP Envy 13t Review Score

9.4Expert Score
Runner-up: HP Envy 13t Rating: 9.4/10

The HP Envy 13t delivers outstanding performance, long battery life, and a great typing experience in a lightweight, affordable package.

Design
9.5
Keyboard and TouchPad
9.6
Display
9.3
Performance
9.3
Battery Life
9.3
PROS
  • World-class keyboard
  • Slim design
  • Long battery life
  • Great performance
CONS
  • Display doesn't pop
  • Tinny audio

Hardware Specifications of HP Envy 13t

SPECIFICATIONS
Processor Intel Core i7-8550U
RAM 8GB
Graphics Intel UHD Graphics 620
Display 13.3-inch (1920 x 1080)/ up to 4K
Storage 256GB SSD
Operating System Windows 10 Home
Battery Life Up to 9 hours 46 minutes web browsing
Camera 720p Web Cam
Ports Audio Jack, micro-SD, 2 x USB 3.0 Ports, Thunderbolt 3, 2 x USB Type-C Port
Connectivity 802.11a/b/g/n/ac Killer 1535 Wireless AC 2×2 and Bluetooth 4.1

Design

We see so many silver laptops in our lab that it can be challenging to differentiate them, but the Envy 13 adds some original touches that set it apart. The matt aluminum lid has a small incline in the back that covers the hinge, which gives it clean and uncluttered lines. The glossy HP logo in the middle of the lid pops up while the slender shape of the chassis makes the whole system slim and sexy. A smooth bottom surface is made of magnesium alloy.

Opening the lid reveals an attractive aluminum bridge, entirely with touches of silver that match the aesthetic (MacBook break the colors using brown keys). The side screens around the 13.3-inch display are relatively thin, but nobody would confuse this screen with one of the almost useless offers on Dell XPS 13 or Lenovo 920. HP also offers the Envy 13t in color ” Silk Gold.”

For such a slim notebook, the Envy 13t has a good selection of ports, which includes two standard USB 3.0 connections and two USB-C ports, with one on each side. There is a 3.5mm audio jack and a microSD card slot. USB-C ports can be used for charging, data, and video output, but they can only accept power from an HP-branded charger. The device itself features a proprietary non-USB charger.

Keyboard and TouchPad

The keyboard of the Envy 13t is so good that it alone is a must-have option for students or productivity workers. Competitors take note; HP has shown that even on a skinny laptop, you can have a world-class typing experience. Although the keys have modest 1.2-millimeter travel (1.5 to 2 mm is typical for traditional laptops), they have such a lively and responsive feel that I’ve never been to the bottom.

The buttonless touchpad of 4.3 x 2.1 inches was very accurate, either by highlighting text or browsing the desktop. It has also responded correctly to multitouch gestures such as pinch to zoom and three-finger sweep.

Display

The 13.3-inch and 1080p touchscreen of the Envy 13t offers excellent image quality. When I watched a trailer for Thor: Ragnarok, colors like the green in Hela’s cape, purple on a statue and red behind the Marvel logo seemed pretty accurate, but they did not “pop” like on more expensive competitors like the Dell XPS 13 and HP Specter 13. HP also offers the Envy 13t with an optional 4K display, which can be brighter and more dynamic.

According to our colorimeter, the Envy’s screen reproduced 106% of the sRGB color gamut, only a few points higher than the average of the ultraportable notebook category and 5 or 6 points between the XPS 13 and the Spectre 13 The Surface Laptop screen can display 30% more colors than Envy. Apple’s MacBook Air can not even compete because its panel can only reach 71% of the range.

The glossy surface on the panel, with below-average brightness, hurts viewing angles on the Envy. Even from 45 degrees to the left or right, the colors began to fade, and the lights on the ceiling of my office were reflected on me. The screen measured a modest 248 nits on our light meter, about 15 percent below the category average.

Graphics and Performance

With its Intel 8e Gen Core i7-8550U processor, 8GB of RAM and 256GB PCIe SSD, our Envy 13t test setup offers a plethora of performance, both in everyday use and benchmark testing. Even with more than a dozen open Chrome tabs and video playback, I did not even get the impression of a lag.

The 256GB PCIe SSD on the laptop only took 24 seconds to copy 4.97 GB of media files. It’s a comfortable 212 Mbps, which eclipses any laptop with a mechanical hard drive or a slower SSD. The MacBook Air returned an identical speed on our test. However, the average of the ultraportable notebook category is slightly higher by 15 Mbps, the Spectre 13 by 60% faster and the Dell XPS 13 more than twice as fast.

With its integrated Intel UHD 620 GPU, the Envy 13t cannot replace a gaming platform, but it can play video and run less demanding titles. When we launched the Dirt 3 racing game, HP’s laptop achieved a frame rate of 48 fps, almost 20% higher than the category average. However, the XPS 13 and Spectre 13 both offered well above 50 fps while the Laptop Surface shouted at a rate of 68 fps.

Battery Life and Heat

If you go to work or school, the Envy 13t may mark while you leave the charger at home. The laptop lasted 9 hours and 46 minutes on the battery test, which involves continuous browsing over Wi-Fi. This time is an hour and 20 minutes longer than the category average, about 45 minutes in front of the Surface Laptop and 3 hours and 45 minutes longer than Spectre 13. The Apple MacBook Air lasted around 40 minutes longer than the Envy while the XPS 13 away from the field with a time of 12:37.

What good is a laptop if it’s too hot on your lap? Fortunately, the Envy 13t kept its cool throughout our tests. After streaming a Full-HD video for 15 minutes, the touchpad registered  82 degrees, the keyboard clocked at 90 degrees and the bottom reached only 92.5 degrees Fahrenheit. We consider that temperatures below 95 degrees are comfortable.

Conclusion

The HP Envy 13t is an excellent choice for students, knowledge workers or anyone who needs to do something. While it has the sleek design of a high-end laptop, this 13.3-inch ultraportable delivers an excellent typing experience, long battery life, and an excellent performance from the best professional notebooks. Whether you need it for work or play, the Envy 13t offers exceptional power and portability.

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Asus ZenBook UX330UA

The Asus 13 “ZenBook UX330UA is one of the best values for laptops. It offers high-end features such as a lightweight aluminum chassis, a 1080p display, and a 256GB SSD. A successor to the model of last year, the 2017 version of the UX330UA updates the processor to an Intel Core i5 8th generation while keeping the same result. Unfortunately, the added performance means 1.5 hours less battery. But with its colorful display and 2.7-pound audio chassis, the ZenBook UX330UA is still an excellent option for anyone who needs a thin and light Ultrabook at an affordable price.

Asus ZenBook UX330UA Review Score

9.3Expert Score
2nd Runner-up: Asus ZenBook UX330UA Rating: 9.3/10

The 13.3-inch Asus ZenBook UX330UA is a high-value notebook with a bright, colorful display, an all-metal design, and powerful performance.

Design
9.4
Keyboard and TouchPad
9.3
Display
9.5
Performance
9.3
Battery Life
9.1
PROS
  • Bright screen
  • Relatively affordable price
  • Speedy 8th Gen CPU
CONS
  • Stiff touchpad
  • Shorter battery life than previous model

Hardware Specifications of Asus ZenBook UX330UA

SPECIFICATIONS
Processor 8th Gen Intel i5-8250U
RAM 8GB
Graphics Intel UHD Graphics 620
Display 13.3-inch (1920 x 1080)
Storage 256/512GB SSD
Operating System Windows 10 Home
Battery Life Up to 8 hours 20 minutes web browsing
Camera 0.9 MP Web Cam
Ports Audio Jack, SD card, 2 x USB 3.0 Ports, 1 x USB Type-C Port, micro HDMI
Connectivity 802.11a/b/g/n/ac Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 8260 and Bluetooth 4.1

Design

The aluminum alloy deck of the ZenBook UX330UA is beautiful and modern, and the machine offers a constant feeling that is good for the price. Its lid features one of Asus’ circular patterns, with a series of engraved curves. You get both today’s ports and those of tomorrow when you take the ZenBook UX330UA. Its two USB 3.0 ports are divided between its left and right sides, and a USB Type C no-load port is located on the right side, next to a micro HDMI port and power jack. An SD memory reader and a microphone/headphone jack are on the left side of the laptop.

Keyboard and TouchPad

The ZenBook’s keyboard allows a productive typing, but its touchpad is too rigid to be comfortable. This is possible because the keys have 1.6 mm stroke and 81 grams of actuation force required – measures that exceed our minimums of 1.5 and 60 grams. I wish the keys were a little bigger because my fingers sometimes slipped.

The 4.1 x 2.9-inch glass touchpad is more of a hindrance than a facilitator. Not only is it too slippery, but its rigid, spongy clicks make it look like there was a piece of hard plastic under the surface. I prefer to use an external mouse on a touchpad so that I could excuse it. But paying customers deserve better. The previous ZenBook UX330UA had an equally uncomfortable touchpad.

Display

The 13.3-inch display of the ZenBook UX330UA produces a decent amount of color and a ton of brightness. Looking at Thor’s trailer: Ragnarok on the 1080p screen, I noticed vibrant shades in the Grand Master’s purple statue, the bright pink vortex outside Sakaar and the green Hulk skin. The 1080p display is also sharp, which allows me to easily see the grey hairs of Fenris Wolf, Hela’s large pet.

Producing 105 percent of the sRGB spectrum, the ZenBook UX330UA is equal to the average of 105 percent ultraportable-notebook and scored a hair below the 106 percent reading of the previous ZenBook UX330UA. The Dell XPS 13 (112%) and Lenovo Yoga 720 (127%) screens offer even more color.

The ZenBook UX330UA gets a lot of light, emitting up to 302 nits. That’s the 290-nits category average, and it’s brighter than the 280-nits Yoga 720 and the previous gen ZenBook UX330UA (286 nits). While it’s enough luminance for solid viewing angles – the colors stayed strong when we saw the laptop 45 degrees to the left or right – the XPS 13 with 368 nits becomes even brighter.

Graphics and Performance

Armed with an 8th generation Intel Core i5-8250U processor and 8GB of RAM, the ZenBook UX330UA offers enough power for stable multitasking. After splitting the screen between a dozen Google Chrome tabs (including Slack, Google Docs, and TweetDeck) and a 1080p YouTube video, I saw no delay in editing my document, scrolling through timelines in TweetDeck, or toggling between the tabs.

The ZenBook UX330UA 256GB SATA 3 M.2 SSD duplicated the value of a DVD media file in 28 seconds, for a rate of 181.76 megabytes per second. It is slower than the average of the 219.3MBps category, the 508-MBps rate of the XPS 13 256GB SSD, and the speed of 318.08 MBps of the 256GB NVMe M.2 PCIe SSD of the Yoga 720. The SSD 256GB of the previous ZenBook UX330UA had a bitrate of 159 Mbps. Unless Candy Crush is your hobby, do not expect to play on the ZenBook UX330UA.

Its integrated Intel UHD Graphics 620 graphics ran the modestly demanding Dirt 3 race title (set on average 1080p graphics) at 27 frames per second, coming close – but not meeting – our 30 fps playability threshold. The category average is smoother at 40 fps, and we also saw higher rates of 56, 52 and 33 fps from the XPS 13, (Yoga 720 and ZenBook UX330UA, which each have an Intel HD 620 GPU.

Battery Life and Heat

If you liked how long the previous ZenBook UX300UA lasted on a single charge, you would have to lower your expectations for its successor slightly. While the earlier version did a fantastic 10 hours and 17 minutes on the Battery Test (surfing the Internet at 100 nits), this new model posted a shorter time of 8 hours and 59 minutes on the test. While the life of this notebook exceeds the average category 8:15, as well as that of the Lenovo Yoga 720 at 7:04, the Dell XPS 13 has a huge time of 12:37.

You do not have to bother about the ZenBook that catches the fever. After playing 15 minutes of HD video to the notebook, our heat gun recorded temperatures on its touchpad (81 degrees Fahrenheit), keyboard (86 degrees) and bottom (88 degrees) that did not pass our threshold comfort of 95 degrees.

Conclusion

The Asus ZenBook UX330UA offers users a solid screen, soft melodies and a comfortable keyboard, all for stable productivity and content consumption. If only his touchpad was not so rigid and his battery life did not have a strong heritage at the height. So, if you want a laptop that looks like a laptop, you can do a lot of things without breaking the bank, the ZenBook UX330UA is a fantastic choice.

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Apple MacBook Pro 13

While last year’s MacBook Pro proposed a new redesign and introduced the OLED Touch Bar, its 6th generation Intel Skylake processor made it obsolete. This year’s MacBook Pro changes that: The latest version is faster than its Windows PC competitors, has a dynamic screen and powerful speakers. But while this machine is an excellent choice for Mac users with a high budget, though the lack of ports will be disruptive for some.

Apple MacBook Pro 13 Review Score

9.3Expert Score
Apple MacBook Pro 13 Rating: 9.3/10

The Apple MacBook Pro 13 with touch bar is expensive, but it smokes the performance of competing Windows laptops and offers excellent display.

Design
9.6
Keyboard and TouchPad
9.6
Display
9.4
Performance
9.5
Battery Life
9.2
PROS
  • Great overall performance
  • Wonderful display
  • Powerful speaker setup
  • Fast SSD
CONS
  • Expensive
  • No USB 3.0 ports

Hardware Specifications of Apple MacBook Pro 13

SPECIFICATIONS
Processor Intel Core i5-7267U
RAM 8GB (upgradable to 16GB)
Graphics Intel Iris Plus 650
Display 13.3-inch (2560 x 1600)
Storage 256/512GB SSD
Operating System Apple macOS Sierra
Battery Life Up to 8 hours 40 minutes web browsing
Camera 0.7 MP Facetime Web Cam
Ports Audio Jack, 4 x Thunderbolt 3 ports
Connectivity 802.11a/b/g/n/ac Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 8260 and Bluetooth 4.2

Design

The 13-inch MacBook Pro looks like last year’s version, with its slim, unobtrusive aluminum design. The laptop comes in gray or silver space, and I’d suggest it first, unless you want a MacBook that seems to have traveled here from the past, dieting en route. With four Thunderbolt 3 ports (split between its left and right sides) and a headphone jack, the MacBook Pro shows that Apple’s vision for the future still requires us to buy dongles to plug in our existing devices. That means I need one of the company’s $ 19 Type-C-to-USB USB adapters to connect a device such as my USB hub.

Keyboard and TouchPad

The MacBook Pro’s backlit keyboard, trackpad, and touch bar provide a substantial typing experience, but they may take a bit of becoming used to. While the keys only have a 0.7 mm stroke (far below the 1.5 to 2.0 mm we are looking for), they compensate by requiring 74 grams of force (above our standard of 60 grams ) to act. The Force Touch 5.3 x 3.3-inch trackpad provided accurate tracking while I was navigating the desktop. Since this is a non-mobile input surface that sends haptic feedback, the pad does not offer a lot of default clicks, although I changed it in the Trackpad section of System Preferences by dragging the Click cursor to Firm.

When I moved among my favorite apps, I noticed that the touch bar comes on with options. I used the video playback navigation bar for YouTube videos in the browser and the object resizing cursor in Pixelmator. Although the Touch Bar offers some nice features, I found it useful mainly as a reminder to delete Safari bookmarks. Since the launch of the Touch Bar last year, other apps, such as Evernote, Dashlane, and Spotify, have been added.

Display

The MacBook Pro’s 2560 x 1600-pixel display is a beauty that delivers vivid color and sharpness. When I watched the 4K Tears of Steel sci-fi movie on this panel, I loved the gloriously vibrant pink tones of a holographic brain, and I noticed crisp, pure white spotlights and rich corners. I even saw fine like the red dot on a tiny button of a robotic forearm.

According to our colorimeter, the MacBook Pro’s display produces 123 percent of the sRGB spectrum. This beats the ultraportable average of 105%, as well as the XPS 13 (94%), Spectre x360 (102%) and ThinkPad X1 Carbon (104%) measurements. Emits up to 458 nits (a measure of brightness), the MacBook Pro’s screen also outperforms the competition. This mark reaches the ultraportable average of 290 nits, the 302-nit XPS 13, the 318-nit Spectre x360 and the 275-nit ThinkPad X1 Carbon.

Graphics and Performance

The Intel Core i5-7267U 7th generation processor of this MacBook Pro, coupled with 8GB of RAM, allows serious multitasking. I saw no slowdown after opening all my favorite Mac apps (1Password, Tweetbot, Pixelmator image editor, Airmail email client and Slack) while I already had a 1080p YouTube video streaming and 12 tabs Safari open.

The 512 GB PCIe NVMe SSD in the MacBook Pro duplicated 4.97 GB of media files in 7 seconds, for a speed of 727 Mbps. It is much faster than the average of 200.83 Mbps for ultra-portable, last year’s MacBook Pro 508.9 Mbps SSD, the XPS 13’s 339.3 Mbps (256GB SSD), the 318 Mbps the Spectre x360 (512 GB PCIe SSD) and the ThinkPad X1 Carbon 242 Mbps (512 GB PCIe SSD).

The Intel Iris Plus Graphics 650 MacBook Pro supports modest gaming because it uses Dirt 3 (average resolution of 1650 x 1050) at 41 frames per second, exceeding our 30 fps threshold. It looks like 40 fps from the Spectre x360 (Intel HD 620), and better than the 37-fps category average, the 38 fps from last year’s model (Intel Iris 550), the 28 fps from the XPS 13 (Intel HD 620) and the 28 fps ThinkPad X1 Carbon (Intel HD 620).

Battery Life and Heat

The MacBook Pro offers a solid battery life, but it’s not as long as the runtimes of some PC rivals. The MacBook Pro 13 lasted 8 hours and 40 minutes on the battery test, which is longer than the 8:15 hours average for ultraportables and close to last year’s model time (8:48). The XPS 13 (12:37), the Spectre x360 (10:06) and the ThinkPad X1 Carbon (12:21) lasted longer.

This MacBook Pro is a cool client. After streaming HD video for 15 minutes, our heat gun captured the temperatures on its touchpad (82.5 degrees Fahrenheit), the G and H keys (89 degrees) and the bottom (90 degrees) which were all lower than our comfort threshold of 95 degrees.

Conclusion

The MacBook Pro delivers the blazing speed professionals need, as well as a super bright, colorful display. The speakers are also impressive. However, this notebook would be even better if Apple had offered a wider variety of ports and a more affordable starting price for the Touch Bar model. If you’re ready to live without the touch bar, think of the lower version of MacBook Pro, which has two Thunderbolt 3 ports instead of four, less storage and a slower processor.

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Lenovo Yoga 720

2-in-1 with high-end features at a reasonable price, the Lenovo Yoga 720 (13-inch) offers solid performance, a full-metal chassis, and a dynamic screen. This lightweight convertible also lasts about 8.5 hours on a single charge. Its keyboard is a little stiff, and its display could be brighter, but the Yoga 720 is a good option for those who are looking for a 2-in-1 alternative.

Lenovo Yoga 720 Review Score

9.2Expert Score
Lenovo Yoga 720 Rating: 9.2/10

The 13-inch version of the Lenovo Yoga 720 2-in-1 combines an attractive design, a solid battery life and a dynamic display.

Design
9.4
Keyboard and TouchPad
9.3
Display
9.3
Performance
9.2
Battery Life
9.2
PROS
  • Sleek design
  • Colorful image output
  • Decent battery life
CONS
  • Shallow keyboard
  • Dimmer display

Hardware Specifications of Lenovo Yoga 720

SPECIFICATIONS
Processor Intel Core i5-8250U CPU
RAM 8GB RAM (upgradable to 16GB)
Graphics Intel HD Graphics 620
Display 13.3-inch (1920 x 1080)/ up to to 4K
Storage 256/512GB SSD
Operating System Windows 10 Home
Battery Life Up to 8 hours 28 minutes web browsing
Camera 720p Web Cam
Ports Audio Jack, 1 x USB 3.0 Ports, 1 x USB Type-C Port, 1 x Thunderbolt 3 port
Connectivity 802.11a/b/g/n/ac Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 8260 and Bluetooth 4.1

Design

The aluminum rectangle that makes up the Yoga 720 small. It’s pretty elegant that I thought it was smaller than 13 inches. The silver lid, with the logo of Yoga in a playful font, is harmless and reliable without any issue. Under the cover, the screen is surrounded by a black bezel, and there are a backlit island-style keyboard and a fingerprint scanner on the aluminum bridge. We’ve seen more and more 2-in-1 fingerprint readers on the side for use in tablet mode, however, that’s not the case with this one.

The left side of the laptop has a USB Type-C port for data and charging, a Thunderbolt 3 and headphone jack. These are thin selections on the right side – a single USB 3.0 port and the power button.

Keyboard and TouchPad

I am not a fan of the Yoga 720 keyboard. It feels flat, with only 1.2 millimeters of travel. And with 68 grams of force needed to make it work, I found myself continually bottoming, which led to sore fingers after a bit of typing. The 4.1 x 2.7-inch touchpad is spacious and, more importantly, accurate. It easily responded to all the Windows 10 gestures I launched him, including pinching the zoom and pressing four fingers to see my notifications in the Action Center.

Display

The 13-inch, 1080p touchscreen of the Yoga 720 is lower than the average ultraportable, but it is much brighter than its competition and is exceptionally bright. When I watched The Greatest Showman trailer, the night scenes were darker than I would have liked, even at the maximum brightness, but the colors of the circus costumes, including purple, blue, and crimson, were deep and rich.

Lenovo’s panel reproduced an astonishing 141% of the sRGB color gamut, surpassing the ultraportable average (105 %) and bland displays on the Inspiron (71%) and the Envy x360 (77%). Yoga 920 is good but less alive at 105%. The screen on Yoga measured an average of 255 nits, below the average of 290-nits. It was much brighter than the Inspiron (188 nits) and the Envy (186 nits). The Yoga 920 is brighter at 284 nits but remains below average.

Graphics and Performance

With an 8th generation Intel Core i5-8250U processor, 8GB of RAM and a 256GB M.2 PCIe SSD, the basic configuration of the Lenovo Yoga 720 meets all your multitasking needs. I had 30 tabs open in Google Chrome, including one streaming a 1080p episode of “The Daily Show,” and I noticed no delay. It took 18 seconds for Yoga to copy 4.97 GB of files or 282 Mbps. The average is 226.1 Mbps, and the Inspiron (121 Mbps) and the Envy (27.7 Mbps) are far behind. Only the Lenovo Yoga 920 was faster (299.9MBps).

You will not play severe games like Wolfenstein: The New Colossus and Assassins’ Creed Origins on the Yoga 720 and its integrated Intel UHD Graphics 620, but it ran Dirt 3 at 56 fps, faster than the average (42 fps), the Inspiron (47 fps) and envy (54 fps). The Yoga 920, however, only hit 35 fps.

Battery Life and Heat

The battery of the Yoga 720 will give you a full day of work with time to spare. It lasted 8 hours and 28 minutes on the battery test, which continually browses the web via Wi-Fi. The ultraportable average is 8:15, and it has survived both the Inspiron (8:01) and Envy (9:56). However, the Lenovo Yoga 920 is even more durable at 12:22.

Whether you keep Yoga on your lap or hold it in your hands in tablet mode, it will be cool enough to handle it. After 15 minutes of streaming HD video from YouTube, it measured 91 degrees Fahrenheit down, 87 degrees between the G and H keys and 83 degrees on the touchpad. It’s all below our comfort threshold of 96 degrees.

Conclusion

Starting at $ 879, the Lenovo Yoga 720 is a reasonably priced 2-in-1 with a superior feel, good battery life, and clean lines. The display is not as bright as most ultraportables, but it is brighter than the competition and is exceptionally alive. We want the keyboard to be more slamming. The upgrade option is the Yoga 920, with its bright 13.9-inch display, included stylus, and even longer battery, but it is more expensive. However, if you want a right combination of performance, screen color quality, and design, Yoga 720 should be on your list.

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Microsoft Surface Book 2

In the eyes of Microsoft, the operating system has always been both, and no machine displays this perspective better than the Surface Book 2. The new 13-inch model continues this tradition. Above all, with a screen that comes off the keyboard to become a tablet. It has the same modern and innovative design as the latest version but with the option of an 8th generation Intel processor and a Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 GPU. Just imagine using a device powerful enough to edit videos in computer mode portable and versatile enough to allow you to draw or take notes in tablet mode. Of course, the Surface Book 2 is expensive, especially compared to other high-end ultraportables, but there is no other laptop on the market that gives you as much performance and battery life in a detachable form factor.

Microsoft Surface Book 2 Review Score

9.2Expert Score
Microsoft Surface Book 2 Rating: 9.2/10

Microsoft's Surface Book 2 puts the power of discrete graphics in the best detachable 2-in-1 design you can buy, but it does not come cheap.

Design
9.5
Keyboard and TouchPad
9.3
Display
9.4
Performance
9.1
Battery Life
9.4
PROS
  • Innovative design
  • Brilliant display
  • Great stylus
  • Great battery life
CONS
  • Expensive
  • No Thunderbolt 3
  • Slow transfer speeds

Hardware Specifications of Microsoft Surface Book 2

SPECIFICATIONS
Processor Intel Core i7-8650U CPU
RAM 8GB RAM (upgradable to 16GB)
Graphics Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 GPU / 2GB
Display 13.5-inch (3000 x 2000)
Storage 256/512GB SSD
Operating System Windows 10 Pro
Battery Life Up to 13 hours 07 minutes web browsing
Camera 2560 x 1440 Web Cam,  3254 x 1836 rear camera
Ports Audio Jack, 1 x USB Type-C Port, SD card reader
Connectivity 802.11a/b/g/n/ac Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 8260 and Bluetooth 4.1

Design

You might not notice looking, but yes, it’s a brand new laptop. From the outside, the Surface Book 2 has not changed much since its previous iteration, and it retains its most prominent tower: detach from the keyboard to turn into a tablet. It’s still gray magnesium with a reflective Windows logo stamped on the lid. And, in the tradition of the surface book, it does not close, prevented from doing so by its pivot hinge.

Lifting the lid reveals the 3: 2, 13.5-inch, 3000 x 2000 PixelSense display. While Microsoft told us that the hinge is stronger than that of the first generation Surface Book, the game would still flop a little on my lap. The turntable and keyboard are made of the same clean, gray plastic that, while attractive, draws your attention to the screen more than anything else.

The Surface Book 2 is a bit light on the ports compared to its rivals. On its left are a pair of USB 3.1 ports and an SD card reader, and the right has a USB Type-C port and a proprietary Surface Connect port. There is another Surface Connect port at the bottom of the tablet so that you can load it independently. The headphone/microphone jack is on the right side of the tablet, which is annoying because you will have a little space.

Keyboard and TouchPad

The Surface Book 2’s keyboard is on the shallow side, with only 1.2 millimeters of travel and 70g required to press. Despite this, the keys feel good, with an appropriate clickiness that makes them pleasant to type on. Microsoft’s 4.1 x 2.7 touchpad is smooth and uses the precise drivers the company has designed for Windows, so it’s no surprise this touchpad recognizes gestures instantly. Whether it’s scrolling through the web browser or running Cortana, it worked every time.

The Surface Pen ($ 99.99, sold separately) is still the best stylus on the market. It is almost gap-free, has a pressure sensitivity of 4096 degrees, and has shaded slopes. It is supposed to attach magnetically only to the left side of the Surface Book 2 tablet (although it can be attached on either side to the 15-inch model), but I found that it sometimes connects to magnets in the base when I put the stylus on my desk.

Display

The display on the Microsoft Surface Book 2 is always the best in its category. The screen 3: 2, 3000 x 2000 13.5 inches is sharp, bright and very colorful. When I watched the open-source 4K film Tears of Steel, blue, orange, green and purple holograms shone in a black lab, and I could see ivy leaves on columns. The screen covers an impressive 130 percent of the sRGB color gamut, bound only by the Miix.

The ultraportable average is lower at 105%, while the XPS 13 reproduces 112% of the sRGB range and the Spectre covers 109%. Surface Book 2 measured 374 nits of brightness, well above the average of 290 nits, as well as scores of XPS 13 (368 nits), Miix (361 nits) and Spectre (313 nits).

Graphics and Performance

With an Intel Core i7-8650U processor, 8GB of RAM, a 256GB SSD and a Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 GPU with 2GB VRAM, the Surface Book 2 has plenty of energy for multitasking. I had 25 tabs open in Chrome, including one streaming a Full-HD clip from the Daily Show with Trevor Noah while drawing in the Sketch of Windows Ink Workspace, and I didn’t notice any lag.

Surface Book 2 transferred 4.97 GB of files in 2 seconds, for a bitrate of 203.6 Mbps. It is equal to the speed of the Miix 720 but behind the average (230.66 Mbps). The XPS 13 (508MBps) and the Spectre x360 (565.5MBps) were both much faster. The GTX 1050 GPU of the machine with 2 GB of VRAM can play some games, but not on the highest settings. It ran Rise of Tomb Raider on a mix of high and medium settings and anti-aliasing SMAA at 33 fps. This card will also give you a boost in Photoshop or other graphics rendering programs.

Battery Life and Heat

With its attached base, the Surface Book 2 will work all day and then some. It lasted for 13 hours and 7 minutes on the Battery Test, which surfs the web continuously over Wi-Fi at a fixed brightness. The Surface Book 2 overtakes the XPS 13, which lasted 12 hours and 37 minutes but did not have a touchscreen. The ultraportable average is 8:15, and the Spectre lasted 8:26, but the Miix went out after 5:37. Do not worry about Surface Book 2 getting too hot. After 15 minutes of streaming video from YouTube, the laptop measured 84 degrees on the back of the tablet, which is under our comfort threshold of 95 degrees.

Conclusion

The latest version of Surface Book 2 is not radically different from the previous one. It’s an update of the latest components, and thank goodness it has now USB Type-C. It is much more expensive than some competitors, but you will have an incredible autonomy, a beautiful design with a detachable tablet and a brilliant 3:2 PixelSense screen. And if you use a stylus, you’ll love this 2-in-1 has the pen surface, because there is no better.

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HP Spectre 13

My parents taught me not to conclude a book by its cover but damn it. The HP Specter 13 is a beautifully crafted piece. It is smaller than ever, with a new white finish that gives the impression that the computer is purchased from Coach, not from Best Buy. But while you’ll get fast performance from an 8th-generation Intel Core i7 processor, HP Spectrum 13 battery life and low display will make you look elsewhere.

HP Spectre 13 Review Score

9.1Expert Score
HP Spectre 13 Rating: 9.1/10

The HP Specter 13 is one of the most beautiful laptops on the market, but a short stamina holds it back.

Design
9.6
Keyboard and TouchPad
9.3
Display
9.3
Performance
9.2
Battery Life
8.7
PROS
  • Incredibly small
  • Beautiful design
  • Decent keyboard
CONS
  • Poor battery life
  • Dim display
  • Bottom runs hot

Hardware Specifications of HP Spectre 13

SPECIFICATIONS
Processor 1.8GHz Intel Core i7-8550U
RAM 8GB RAM (upgradable to 16GB)
Graphics Intel UHD Graphics 620
Display 13.3-inch (1920 x 1080)/ up to to 4K
Storage 256/512GB SSD
Operating System Windows 10 Home
Battery Life Up to 6 hours 08 minutes web browsing
Camera 720p Web Cam
Ports Audio Jack, 1 x USB 3.0 Ports, 1 x USB Type-C Port, 1 x Thunderbolt 3 port
Connectivity 802.11a/b/g/n/ac Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 8260 and Bluetooth 4.2

Design

Spectre 13, in its new color, ceramic white, looks exceptionally chic. I feel like I have to wash my hands before I touch him, or wear white gloves and make my best impression of Vanna White on it. (If you prefer last year’s charcoal and copper utility model, do not worry, it’s still available.) The white paint surrounds the gold HP logo, while the hinge of the laptop is in matt gold sanded. Unlike the ash-silver model, this one barely takes all fingerprints.

When you lift the lid, you will see the touch screen surrounded by three sides on three sides. The exception is the base, which has a very thick bezel. The speaker is just above the island style keyboard and has an intricate pattern of triangles. The whole design is almost white, and the touchpad has a gold trim to match the lid.

In fact, the Spectre is so thin; there is almost no room for ports. Instead, HP put four on the back of the laptop: two Thunderbolt 3 ports, a USB Type-C port (to charge), and a headphone/microphone jack. HP has included a bunch of adapters in the box, so you can continue to use the old devices and live your best on the dongle. They include adapters for Ethernet, USB 2.0 and HDMI.

Keyboard and TouchPad

With such a small chassis, there is no room for much movement on the Spectre. But despite the minimum of 1.3 millimeters of keys and 70 grams of force needed to press the keys, the keyboard seems slamming and tactile – much better than the shallow keyboard on the latest Apple MacBook. The 4.3 x 2.1-inches touchpad is spacious and, more importantly, accurate. Whether I was browsing the web or needing access to my notifications, three- and four-finger gestures were reactive every time.

Display

The Spectre 13’s 13.3-inch 1080p touchscreen is colorful, but it’s not as bright as its competitors’ screens. When I watched the last trailer of Black Panther, it was hard to distinguish the landscape of Wakanda since the shadows are so dark and it was also hard to see the patterns of T’Challa costumes. Brighter colors, like those of Dora Milaje’s red outfits, jumped on dark backgrounds and a bright blue sky.

The Spectre 13 screen averages 247 nits on our light meter, lower than the 290 nits ultraportable average and the Lenovo Yoga 920 (284 nits), but the MacBook (340 nits) and the Dell XPS 13 (368 nits) ) are in a class of their own. HP also offers the Specter 13 with an optional 4K display, which can be brighter. The Spectre 13 panel covers 111% of the sRGB color range, surpassing the average (105%) and the Yoga 920 (105%), but the XPS 13 (112%) and the MacBook (117%) are even more vivid.

Graphics and Performance

The Spectre 13 features a 1.8GHz Intel Core i7-8550U processor, 8GB of RAM, and a 256GB SSD in a thin chassis. This is enough for multitasking on the move; I had 30 tabs open in Chrome, including one streaming a 1080p episode of Late Night with Seth Meyers from YouTube. The Spectre took just 15 seconds to copy 4.97GB of files or 339.3 MBps. It’s faster than average (219.9 Mbps), and Yoga 920 (299.9 Mbps), but the MacBook (467 Mbps) and the XPS 13 (508 Mbps) offer blazing speeds that cannot be surpassed.

Battery Life and Heat

It’s a good thing that Spectre 13 is so small because you will need a charger in your bag. It lasted 6 hours and 3 minutes on the Battery Test, which continually navigates the Web via Wi-Fi, putting it far behind all its ultraportable competitors. The average is 8:15, and everything else lasted even longer.

The MacBook (10:26), the Yoga 920 (8:28) and the XPS 13 (12:37) all offer a much better endurance. In fact, Yoga and XPS 13 last more than twice as long as the Spectre. It is clear that there is not much space for Spectrum 13 to dispense with additional heat. After streaming 15 minutes of HD video from YouTube, the touchpad measured 87 degrees Fahrenheit, and the keyboard between the G and H keys was a comfortable 86 degrees Fahrenheit. But the bottom of the laptop has reached a 109-degree grill, which is well above our 95-degree comfort threshold. We usually see this kind of number only on gaming laptops while they play games.

Conclusion

If looks were all, I would tell you to run and buy an HP Spectre 13 right now. About the size of a magazine, it’s small enough to carry anywhere, and the new white color with premium shine gold trim. The keyboard is also surprisingly comfortable considering the thinness of this system. But because it has a shorter battery life, a lower display than competitors and a propensity to run warm, there are compromises here.

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Apple MacBook Air 13

You may not have noticed, but Apple has recently updated the MacBook Air. Specifically, the 13-inch laptop has a 1.8 GHz Core i5 processor, evolving from a 1.6 GHz Core i5 processor. Although we love that Air always has the best keyboard setup on the Mac series and that its USB 3.0 ports do not send us dongles, but the low-resolution screen of this device holds it down. However, if you are searching for a relatively affordable Mac, the MacBook Air 13 is a solid option.

Apple MacBook Air 13 Review Score

9.1Expert Score
Apple MacBook Air 13 Rating: 9.1/10

The MacBook Air can not be a flagship laptop, but this 13-inch ultraportable is still a great value.

Design
9.4
Keyboard and TouchPad
9.4
Display
9.1
Performance
9.2
Battery Life
9.3
PROS
  • Long battery life
  • Comfortable keyboard
  • Good overall performance
  • Convenient MagSafe charging port
CONS
  • Lackluster display
  • Heavier than competitors

Hardware Specifications of Apple MacBook Air 13

SPECIFICATIONS
Processor 1.8GHz dual-core Intel Core i5
RAM 8GB RAM
Graphics Intel HD Graphics 6000
Display 13.3-inch (1440 x 900)
Storage 128/256GB SSD
Operating System Apple macOS Sierra
Battery Life Up to 10 hours 26 minutes web browsing
Camera 0.7 MP Face Time Web Cam
Ports Audio Jack, 2 x USB 3.0 Ports,  1 x Thunderbolt 2 port, SDXC card reader
Connectivity 802.11a/b/g/n/ac Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 8260 and Bluetooth 4.0

Design

The MacBook Air’s unibody aluminum chassis is so iconic that it is linked to the late 2000s and early 2010s. At the time, it was the new kid on the streets, but now everyone, from Acer to LG, makes even thinner metal unibody notebooks. Air shares its two USB 3.0 ports between its sides, with a MagSafe 2 charging connector and a headphone jack on the left and an SDXC memory drive and a Thunderbolt 2.0 port on the right side.

While some will lament the lack of USB Type-C or Thunderbolt 3 ports, I am perfectly happy to live a life without an adapter with these USB 3.0 ports and feel like my laptop is safer thanks to the MagSafe connector. When you apply power, this cable is more comfortable and more secure to disconnect than USB Type C cables, which would knock down a device when a pet or a child catch it.

Keyboard and TouchPad

The MacBook Air offers a pleasant typing experience, with touches that seem to move – something I will never take for granted. This speed and the comfort I experienced when hitting is allowed by the 1.4-millimeter stroke in the keys, which require 72 grams of force to operate.

The MacBook Air’s 4.0 x 2.9-inch trackpad delivers precise tracking and a solid feel with every click. It is also easier to use than those of Apple’s MacBook and MacBook Pro 12-inch because it moves. Here, dragging and dropping elements – something you need to relearn on Force Touch trackpads that appear on more advanced MacBooks – is a lot easier.

Display

The MacBook’s 1440 x 900-pixel display has aged worse than all its other aspects, lacking full HD and vibrant colors. While the screen was able to emit black ink tones for a John Wick trailer: Chapter 2, a wooden chest in the clip looked fancier than it should be, and a house on fire did not offer a proper glow. Even though Apple does not seem to believe that the Air needs a display at the level of the retina, or at least in Full HD (1920 x 1080 pixels), I had the impression that my eyes had deteriorated after using this machine for extended periods. on the screen does not seem as clean as on any of my personal devices.

Our colorimeter measured the MacBook Air as producing 71 percent of the sRGB spectrum, which is below the 105 percent average of the category and low for that price. The Swift 7 (105%), the ZenBook UX330UA (106%) and the 12 inch MacBook (117%) all scored higher.

The Air tries to compensate for its lack of color with the brightness, emitting up to 336 nits. It’s similar to the 12-inch 340-nit MacBook, and it surpasses the 290-nits category average, the 319-nits Swift 7 and the 286-nits ZenBook UX330UA. Unfortunately, this brightness is not enough to produce solid viewing angles, as I have seen the color goes dark at 45 degrees to either the left or right.

Graphics and Performance

The MacBook Air’s Intel Core i5-5350U processor and 8GB of RAM provide fast, smooth multitasking. For example, I saw no slowdown after splitting my screen between a 1080p YouTube video and a dozen Safari tabs (including Slack, Google Docs, and Giphy). The MacBook Air’s 128GB PCIe solid-state drive has copied the value of a DVD in just 24 seconds at a speed of 212 Mbps. This is similar to the 215 MB average and faster than the Swift 7’s 116 MB (256 GB SSD) and the 159 MB ZenBook UX330UA (256 GB SSD). We recorded a much faster 467 Mbps of the 12-inch MacBook (256GB SSD).

Macs are not precisely considered fast gaming machines, and Air does not shake this conventional wisdom. The built-in Intel HD Graphics 6000 chip in the air ran the Dirt 3 racing game (set on medium graphics and 1920 x 1080 pixels) at 25 frames per second. We consider 30 fps playable.

Battery Life and Heat

Do not worry if you have to carry your power cable wherever you go, because the MacBook Air’s battery is at your back. The MacBook Air endured for 10 hours and 26 minutes on the our Battery Test (100 nits web browsing), which is almost similar to the 10:17 of the previous gen ZenBook UX330UA and longer than the 7:25 of the Swift 7, the 9:29 recorded by the 12-inch MacBook and the 8:15 hours category average.

The MacBook Air still does an excellent job of dispersing the heat. After streaming the HD video on the laptop for 15 minutes, our heat gun captured the temperatures on its touchpad (83.5 degrees Fahrenheit), the G and H keys (92 degrees) and the bottom (94 degrees) threshold.

Conclusion

The MacBook Air can turn grey (well, silver) as it gets older and older, but we still love its long battery life, reliable performance, and safe MagSafe 2 power port. You do not have to worry about connecting dongles to connect devices. Two disadvantages, however, are that its display is stuck in the last decade, and it’s up to slightly heavier than competitors.

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Acer Swift 7

These days, it’s not enough for a laptop to be super slim; it must also be stylish and still provide enough power to do the job. The Acer Swift 7 answers the call on most fronts. At only 0.39 inches thick, it’s one of the thinnest systems available, and premium black and gold design is a sight to behold. However, the poor performance of the Core i5 processor and the SSD unit prevent this beautiful laptop from shining more.

Acer Swift 7 Review Score

9.0Expert Score
Acer Swift 7 Rating: 9.0/10

As one of the thinnest laptops in the world, the Acer Swift 7 offers more than 7 hours of battery life in a breathtaking chassis.

Design
9.4
Keyboard and TouchPad
9.1
Display
9.3
Performance
9.0
Battery Life
8.9
PROS
  • Super thin chassis
  • Lightweight
  • Bright display
CONS
  • Not as fast as competing laptops
  • Keyboard is sluggish and not backlit

Hardware Specifications of Acer Swift 7

SPECIFICATIONS
Processor 1.2-GHz Intel Core i5-7Y54 processor
RAM 8GB RAM
Graphics Intel HD Graphics 6215
Display 13.3-inch (1920 x 1080)
Storage 256/512GB SSD
Operating System Windows 10 Home
Battery Life Up to 7 hours 25 minutes web browsing
Camera 720p Web Cam
Ports Audio Jack, 2 x USB Type-C Port
Connectivity 802.11ac Qualcomm Atheros QCA61x4A and Bluetooth 4.0

Design

Although it is a slightly different color scheme, the Swift reminds me of the HP Specter – in a right way. However, instead of Coy Specter’s black and copper color, the Swift 7 is cast in a bold black and gold. But before your eyes sigh in the golden treasure festival that is waiting inside, you get a precursor of shine coming on the lid. The golden Acer logo is resplendent in the center of the black aluminum cover, with a hinge also gilded furtively below. However, the beautiful ebony surface was quickly stained by the wandering fingerprints of my greedy hands.

The feeling I felt when I opened the lid must have been what Charlie Bucket experienced when he found the last gold note. After the initial joy subsided, I took stock of Halcyon’s stage before me. Nestled in a slight recess is an excellent black Chiclet-style keyboard – creating a stunning reversal of the exterior. The most striking feature is the massive touchpad directly under the keyboard. With such a flexible laptop, there is not much room for unnecessary portering. On the right side, you will find two USB 3.1 Type-C ports and the headphone jack.

Keyboard and TouchPad

The island-style keyboard of the Swift 7 is beautiful to look at, but its 1.2-millimeter keystroke and 54 grams of actuation needed to press the keys made for a rough, shallow typing experience. My fingers were a little sore after an hour or two of using the keyboard. Unlike competing systems, the Swift 7 keyboard has no backlight, making it difficult to type in dark environments. The 5.4 x 2.5 is one of the biggest touchpads I have ever seen. There was plenty of room for two-finger scrolls and three-fingered movies, both of which were fast and accurate.

Display

The Swift 7’s 13.3-inch 1920×1080 screen colors are almost as bright as the inside of the laptop. The dark brown skin of the actor Trevante Rhodes shone virtually as much as his gold necklace and roasted in the HD trailer for Moonlight. The details were sharp enough that I could see the links in his Cuban Miami chain as well as some imperfections on his cheek.

The vibrancy of the panel comes from its impressive 105% color reproduction on the sRGB range, which is equal to the 105% ultraportable average, and better than the Dell XPS 13 (94%) and the Spectre (100%). But the Asus ZenBook 3 was just a little better, at 111%. When we tested the screen brightness, the Swift 7 averaged 319 nits, exceeding the 290-nits category average. The Spectre produced 359 dazzling nits, while the ZenBook 3 and XPS 13 scored 309 nits and 302 nits, respectively.

Graphics and Performance

The Swift 7 is the latest laptop to ship on the Intel Kaby Lake train, with its Intel Core i5-7Y54 processor clocked at 1.2 GHz with 8 GB of RAM. However, all that glitters is not gold. This lower-level processor with the nickname Kaby Lake was previously classified as a low-power Core M chip, typically reserved for 2-in-1 systems. Still, the laptop held up, streaming “13th” on Netflix while running a system scan with eight additional tabs opened in Google Chrome.

Maybe Acer should rethink the name of this laptop. The Swift 7 256GB SSD duplicated 4.97 GB of media files in 44 seconds, for a transfer rate of 115.6 megabytes per second, without the average of 171.2 MBps. Equipped with PCI-e SSD, the Spectre (256 GB), the XPS (256 GB) and the ZenBook 3 (512 GB) respectively reach 196 Mbps, 339.3 Mbps, and 509 Mbps.

You can count on the Swift 7 Intel HD Graphics 615 GPU to run browser-based games, do light photo editing and watch videos, but not much else. The laptop received 46,622 on 3DMark Ice Storm Unlimited, which is below the ultraportable average of 52,615. The XPS 13 (Intel HD Graphics 5500 GPU) and the Spectre (Intel HD Graphics 520 GPU) reached 62 respectively. 754 and 69,409, while the Intel HD Graphics 620 GPU from ZenBook 3 delivered an impressive 70,628.

Battery Life and Heat

The Swift 7 lasted 7 hours and 25 minutes on our battery test (surfing the web continuously over Wi-Fi), missing the ultraportable 8:15 average. This runtime was enough to survive the Spectre 6:13 and 7:05 of the ZenBook 3. The thicker XPS 13 lasted an epic 13:37. The aluminum chassis of Swift 7 remained relatively cool during our tests. After streaming HD video in full-screen mode on YouTube, the touchpad measured 83 degrees Fahrenheit and the center of the keyboard was 88 degrees. The landing gear of the system was considerably warmer at 99 degrees, which is higher than our comfort threshold of 95 degrees.

Conclusion

Acer missed a golden opportunity with the Swift 7. The laptop is one of the finest and slimmest notebooks I’ve seen this year. And if it has a beautiful exposure and lasts more than 7 hours on a charge, this beauty is lacking in the muscle department. Overall, the Swift 7 is a solid choice for students or mobile professionals looking for an ultraportable that makes a statement. But I hope Acer considers upgrading the notebook with specifications as premium as its chassis.

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Acer Aspire E 15

If you want a Windows laptop that can do all, you generally have to pay a lot of money. However, the Acer Aspire E 15 offers robust features, such as a colorful 1080p HD display, a Core i5 power supply, and a 256 SSD drive. Go. Its battery life factor of nearly 11 hours, DVD player and a variety of ports, and this laptop is more than enough for your work and play needs.

Acer Aspire E 15 Review Score

8.9Expert Score
Acer Aspire E 15 Rating: 8.9/10

A colorful display, long battery life and high build quality make the Aspire Aspire E 15 a fantastic budget laptop.

Design
9.1
Keyboard and TouchPad
9.2
Display
9.1
Performance
8.7
Battery Life
9.2
PROS
  • Colorful full-HD display
  • Long battery life
  • Lot of ports and DVD drive
  • Decent sound
CONS
  • Sluggish webcam
  • Narrow viewing angles

Hardware Specifications of Acer Aspire E 15

SPECIFICATIONS
Processor Intel Core i5-7200U
RAM 8/16 GB RAM
Graphics Nvidia 940MX 2GB
Display 15.6-inch (1920 x 1080)
Storage 256 SSD
Operating System Windows 10 Home
Battery Life Up to 10 hours 59 minutes web browsing
Camera 720p Web Cam
Ports Audio Jack, 2 x USB 3.0 Ports, 1 x USB Type C port, Ethernet, HDMI, VGA out port, 1 x USB 2.0 Port, SD-card reader
Connectivity 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac and Bluetooth 4.1

Design

The hull of the Aspire E 15 is made of plastic, while its semi-gloss black ‘obsidian’ cover has a slight hatch pattern. The deck is metal, and the base has a textured bottom with rubber grips. Although the notebook is a little bulky, it feels durable and sturdy. There was no squeak when I tested this notebook, and the lid opened slowly.

No port is left on the Aspire E 15. On the left side of the notebook, you will find two USB 3.0 connectors (one with power off charge), a single USB Type-C 3.1 port that can hold up to 5 Gbps, Ethernet port, HDMI with HDCP and VGA output port. A 3.5mm headphone jack, a DVD player, and a USB 2.0 port are installed to their right, while the front lip contains an SD card reader. With so many ports loaded into this device, you will feel better about its size.

Keyboard and TouchPad

The keyboard of the Aspire E 15 offers an accurate typing experience. There was a minimum of flexibility and superficiality. I prefer keys that have more depth in the vertical movements because I have long nails, and distances greater than 1.5 millimeters help me mitigate typing errors. However, the keyboard of the E 15 would probably be useful for people with shorter nails. The backlight on the keyboard is also a good idea.

The Aspire E 15’s 4.2 x 3-inch touchpad delivers smooth, accurate navigation. Gestures such as pinch to zoom and three-finger swipe to switch between apps were responsive, and I had no problem working on Windows 10.

Display

Acer Aspire E 15 has a 15.6-inch screen that produces striking colors and a sharp resolution of 1080p. According to our colorimeter, this notebook reproduces 158.5% of the sRGB color gamut, which is well above the category average of 105%. It also surpassed the Dell Inspiron 15 5000 (72 percent).

Unfortunately, the Aspire E 15 was weaker than we would like, recording 211 nits according to our photometer. This reading falls well below the 290-nits category average, but it’s close to the Acer Aspire E 15 E5-575-33BM (215 nits) and the Dell Inspiron 15 5000 (213 nits) figures. The viewing angles could undoubtedly be better because the images were reversed entirely at 45 and 135 degrees.

Graphics and Performance

The Aspire E 15 Core i5-7200U processor, 8 GB of RAM and 256 GB of SSD provided sufficient performance for medium multitasking. With ten tabs open in Google Chrome – including feeds from YouTube, Pandora, and Netflix – I did not experience any shifting or buffering, and I was able to switch between tabs seamlessly. However, the Aspire E 15 does not have enough RAM so I can edit the video on a robust program like Avid Media Composer. If you need a laptop capable of handling demanding software, you can consider upgrading the RAM after the purchase or getting a laptop designed to edit the video.

The 256GB SSD of the E15 has copied a batch of 4.97GB media files at 195.74 megabytes per second. It is slightly below the category average (216.86 Mbps), but it is faster than the Dell Inspiron 15 5000 (83 Mbps) and completely removes the speed of the Acer Aspire 1 TB hard drive (36.6 Mbps).

When it comes to games, the Aspire E 15 is pretty good for the price. It comes with a Nvidia GeForce 940MX GPU that has earned 2,037 on the 3DMark Fire Strike test, a benchmark that measures graphics performance. This score surpasses the Dell Inspiron (755) and the Acer Aspire 5(589) but is below the category average (4,705). Although the graphics on the Acer Aspire E 15 E5-575G-57D4 are not on par with those of the more expensive gaming notebooks, they are even more suitable for playing casual games like Rocket League and performing better than laptops without a dedicated GPU.

Battery Life and Heat

By far, the Aspire E 15 has the best battery life for the price. In our Battery Test, which simulates continuous web browsing, the Aspire E 15 lasted 10 hours and 59 minutes. This time is 2 hours and 43 minutes longer than the Acer Aspire E runtime. The Dell Inspiron 15 5000 lasted less than half the time, at 4 hours and 25 minutes, while the category average is 8 hours and 15 minutes.

The Acer Aspire E 15 remained nice and cool in our tests. When we played video in full screen for 15 minutes, the touchpad measured around 81 degrees Fahrenheit, the keyboard was 88 degrees, and the bottom recorded around 94 degrees. All of these temperatures are below our comfort threshold of 95 degrees.

Conclusion

The Acer Aspire E 15 is an excellent laptop for everyday use, offering decent performance, extraordinary battery life and all the desired ports you need. For such a low price, the Aspire E 15 is a safe bet, and its scalable components allow you to increase storage or RAM. However, if you want a moderately priced laptop that can be used for work or casual games, the Acer Aspire E 15 is a good deal.

Final Words

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