A great laptop is defined by its user. So I’ve put together a list of the five best in class – for all sorts of different user requirements. We’ll start at the top and work our way down…
MacBook Pro with Retina Display – for Everything
What’s not to love? The MacBook Pro has it all. Superb build quality, heaps of power and all that intuitive Mac goodness you’ve come to know and love. Plus, the Retina Display makes even a HD TV look a bit fuzzy. The Pro starts at around £1k for a basic model, and can set you back more than £2k if you go for a sizeable screen plus all the bells and whistles. For media and design, it is simply not possible to beat it.
The MSI G70 Stealth – for Games
The serious gamer needs a serious laptop – one with massive amounts of processing power and memory space. The G70 Stealth serves up the former in the shape of a Haswell processor and a top of class Nvidia graphics card. It’s also got an outstanding look and feel in hardware terms – an aluminium shell, a slick slimline feel, and an amazingly responsive keyboard backlit in a bewildering array of colours. Because that’s the other thing gamers love: bright lights!
The Lenovo IdeaPad – for Moving Around
Lenovo are taking over the business world. The French computing company recently released the IdeaPad’s latest incarnation, which features a touch screen as well as all the kit we’ve grown used to knowing and loving. The graphics card is a dedicated Nvidia, the hard drive has a massive 1TB of storage, and the active part of the memory has been expanded to 8GB. In other words, the IdeaPad is an ideal companion for just about anything.
The Samsung Chromebook – for Simplicity
The Chromebook represents everything that’s awful about Google – total proprietary control over everything you see and do when you use their products. But then you could say the same about Apple, and we’ve already waxed lyrical about the MacBook Pro. The Chromebook effectively occupies the other end of the spectrum – it’s cheap, it has no add-on capabilities, and it doesn’t come with any of the build quality you get at the high side of the watermark. What it does do is let the user compute online using Google and Google Drive. Operation is quiet and smooth, but connectivity is limited to just WiFi areas.
The Lenovo G505 – for value
Lenovo strikes again, this time with a full sized laptop that still focuses on offering some decent performance and build quality for a significantly reduced quantity of doubloons. Right at the bottom end of the price range, the G5050 embarrasses all of its competitors. The design’s just fine, the keyboard is excellent and the screen resolution is surprisingly good for such a cheap machine. The hard drive gives 1TB of space, and there’s a new generation AMD processor in there that works really well with the package.
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The Author is a system builder, who has worked on the design of some of the most iconic laptops in recent years. His technology blogs are followed by legions of fans, and his online articles have been reproduced by some of the most respected web pages in the industry. He lives in Bath.