RGB colors flowing through the backlight of the keyboard always give a laptop a sleek look. One thing you do get with this newer generation of laptops is very high-quality audio. That’s why it’s important to make sure you buy a laptop that can grow with you. You’ll want to make sure you get all the specifications you can out of your initial purchase. You can expand laptops with external computer monitors, keyboards, and external hard drives, but that cuts down on the portability that drew you to a laptop in the first place.
Chrome OS simply runs better on low-end processors and less memory, and because Chrome OS relies primarily on cloud storage, a tiny SSD for storage isn’t a problem, either. The CTL Chromebox CBX2 is our favorite cheap mini PC because it’s fast enough for basic work, it has plenty of ports, and it provides a good amount of memory and storage for the price. It’s also a decent option for professional photo and video editing, though if you plan to use this system for professional Adobe Photoshop, Lightroom, or Premiere work, consider upgrading to 16 GB of memory and buying a bigger SSD. You can buy those components from Lenovo, or you can install them yourself if you’re comfortable with that and want to save some money. Large laptop displays often come with the advantage of better viewing angles. The 17.3-inch size is common in gaming laptops, as a larger screen can make for a better gaming experience.
Inside, you’ll get an 11th-generation Core i7 processor, up to 32GB of RAM, and a 512 GB SSD Drive. Along with that, the laptop packs an Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 graphics card which makes this laptop scream. They can work on anything a desktop PC can work on, but then you can toss it into a bag and go somewhere else. Laptops have everything you need in a PC including a built-in screen, keyboard, trackpad, storage, and more.
In fact, pricing is the major aspect that would keep most of you away from a Surface Pro. The base model starts at $799, but that’s without the keyboard folio or the pen, which go for an extra $200 combined. You’ll have to pay $999 for the i5/8GB variant with still very little storage, while a top-specced variant quickly goes to $2000 and beyond. Microsoft offers bundles and discounts on these MSRP prices, as well as various discounts for students/veterans, etc. , so you’ll want to take advantage of them if you’re into the Surface Pro.
And if you need a bit more power, configure yours with a robust Intel Pentium® Silver N5000 processor. It still features Turbo Boost, but adds Intel UHD Graphics 605 for an improved visual experience. If you want more local storage, you’ll have the option to double your capacity up to 128GB. It’s also great when it comes to energy efficiency thanks to its ENERGY STAR® certification and EPEAT® Silver rating.
It’s a little thicker, a little heavier, and a lot more powerful than its sibling. Like the Macbook Air above, there is little evolution in the design from the Laptop 3 to the Laptop 4. Both have a lackluster display, which doesn’t measure up in brightness nor color saturation, and neither laptop has LTE on board. Our pick comes with a 10th generation Core-i& processor, 16GB of RAM, 144Hz screen and NVidia GeForce RTX 3060 discrete GPU.
In the former case, these mash-up machines let you enjoy both laptop and tablet functionality, thanks to hinges and swiveling joints that let you bend the display back around to use without a keyboard. More and more manufacturers are adopting the rotating non-detachable design. If you want to do more with media and play games at higher settings and frame rates, you’ll need a discrete graphics chip, like the mobile versions of Nvidia’s GTX and RTX graphics cards.