Best Laptops 2015

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Top Laptop Overall

Dell XPS 13 (2015)

Editor's Choice

Quite the engineering feat, the Dell XPS 13 manages to cram a vibrant and sharp display into an 11-inch chassis, making it one of the most compact Ultrabooks yet. (You can barely see the razor-thin bezel.) This 2.8-pound laptop also delivers fast performance, thanks to its Core i5 processor (now updated to Intel 6th Generation Core Series), and SSD. Starting at $799, the non-touch-screen version of this machine lasted nearly 12 hours on a charge, giving you plenty of endurance. Dell also sells a version with a sharper quad-HD touch display, which is even more vibrant. Overall, the new XPS 13 is the best ultraportable for the money.

Dell XPS 13 (2015) Review

  • Best Apple Laptop

    Apple MacBook Air (13 inch)

    Editor's Choice

    Although the new 12-inch MacBook is sleeker, the MacBook Air 13-inch is a better deal overall. This 3-pound aluminum ultraportable lasted 14 hours on the Laptop Mag Battery Test, which is well above the category average. Although the screen resolution could be sharper (it's just 1,440 x 900p) the Air's comfortable keyboard, superfast flash storage and sub-$1,000 price tag make it one of the best laptops on the market. 

    Apple 13-inch MacBook Air 2015 Review

  • Best Cheap Laptop

    Asus EeeBook X205TA

    Editor's Choice

    Never before has $200 bought a laptop this good. The Asus Eeebook X205TA runs a full version of Windows 8.1 and comes with free one-year subscriptions to Office 365 and 1TB of cloud storage on OneDrive, along with solid quad-core Atom performance, 2GB of RAM and 32GB of onboard flash storage. The X205TA offers one of the best screens on a notebook in this price range fitted in a slim and sleek body. The best part? The X205TA's 12+ hour battery life is almost double the length of low-cost competitors.

    Asus EeeBook X205TA Review

  • Best Business Laptop

    Lenovo ThinkPad T450s

    Editor's Choice

    Lenovo's ThinkPad T series line of business laptops have long been known for their powerful performance, long battery life and superior usability. The 14-inch ThinkPad T450s builds on that rich tradition, offering a gorgeous, 1920 x 1080-pixel touch screen; a durable, MIL-SPEC-tested design; and the most responsive keyboard on the market. With more than 15 hours of endurance with the extended battery, this lightweight powerhouse lets you get your work done in style, anywhere at any time.

    Lenovo ThinkPad T450s Review

  • Best Gaming Laptop

    Alienware 17

    Editor's Choice

    This gaming laptop doesn't need a light show -- it is the light show. The Alienware 17 is back in all of its customizable backlit glory. This time around, the machine has been updated with an Nvidia GeForce GTX 980M GPU, making it a beast when it comes to churning out high frame rates. But if you need a little more oomph, there's the optional Graphics Amplifier, which brings in the big guns in the form of a desktop GPU. Combined with the gorgeous 1080p display and powerful Core i7 processor, you've got a laptop that can talk the talk and walk the walk. 

    Alienware 17 Review

  • Best Laptop/Tablet

    Dell Inspiron 11 3000

    Editor's Choice

    With a bright screen, strong battery life and a sturdy rotating hinge all for just $440, the Dell Inspiron 11 3000 2-in-1 is a lot of computer for not a lot of money. You also get above-average performance, and the understated design looks good in both tablet and laptop modes. Most importantly, despite its rock-bottom price, the Inspiron doesn't feel like a budget machine, which makes it easy to recommend to both price-conscious buyers and hybrid lovers alike.

    Dell Inspiron 11 3000 Review

  • Best Chromebook

    Toshiba Chromebook 2 CB35

    Editor's Choice

    If you're looking for a lightweight laptop with long battery life that won't strain your budget, you need to consider the Toshiba Chromebook 2 CB35. From its bright, accurate 13.3-inch full-HD display to its 10-plus hours of endurance, the CB35 is practically a steal at $330. Its elegant silver deck looks like it belongs on a much more expensive laptop, and its keyboard will make crunching away on Google Docs and email a breeze.

    Toshiba Chromebook 2 (2015) Review

    Toshiba Chromebook 2 (2015) Review
    Toshiba Chromebook 2 (2015) Review

  • Best Small Laptop

    Lenovo ThinkPad X250

    The 12.5-inch ThinkPad X250 crams the power and versatility of a high-end productivity system into a 2.8-pound laptop with 15+ hours of battery life. Features like a high-res 1,920 x 1,080 display, comfortable keyboard and speedy Intel 5th Generation Core Series CPU help you get work done. A full array of ports, including Ethernet and an SD card reader, means that you don't have to compromise on functionality to gain portability.

    Lenovo ThinkPad X250 Review

  • Best Video Editing Laptop

    Asus ZenBook Pro UX501

    When you're editing video, you not only need a sharp screen, but also a GPU capable of pushing all those pixels. The Asus UX501J has a gorgeous 4K display, backed by an Nvidia GTX 960M GPU, a Core i7 processor, and a 512GB SSD, all wrapped in an attractive aluminum body. Its affordable price tag also means you won't need the backing of a major studio to finance your purchase, either.

    Asus ZenBook Pro UX501 Review

  • Microsoft Surface Book


    Microsoft is finally getting into the laptop hardware market with the new Surface Book. This sleek looking machine packs in 6th generation Intel Core processors, discrete Nvidia graphics and speedy PCIe SSDs. The 13.5-inch touchscreen display can also be detached and reversed for use as a tablet. Microsoft claims the clamshell will last up to 12 hours on a charge. It will start at $1,499 without the GPU and go up to $2,699 for the top config.

    Microsoft Surface Book Hands-on