The best laptops of 2020 are experiencing a seismic change. With the almost simultaneous launches of the AMD Ryzen 4000 and Intel Comet Lake-H mobile CPUs, we have a real fight for the first time: the Ryzen 4000 cores against Intel’s clock speed. At the same time, many mainstream users are in the process of getting good deals on laptops for home or business use from home, with existing processors already having solid performance and long battery life.
From the gaming point of view (where the GPU counts more than the CPU), Nvidia has unveiled a new generation of mobile graphics technologies. Check out the latest news and reviews below.
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Latest news and reviews on laptops
The news and reviews of laptops are getting hot, due to the new AMD and Intel mobile CPUs coming soon. Here is the last one.
- Microsoft has announced a whole new generation of Surface products, from the flagship Surface Book 3 and the inexpensive Surface Go 2 tablet, to the headphones and earphones. Surface cameras are also nice, although the lack of a shutdown mechanism surprised us. Don’t hold your breath for the dual-screen Surface Neo, which Microsoft is delaying indefinitely.
- The Ryzen 4000 attack continues. It began when the first Ryzen 4000 CPU debuted in the Asus ROG Zephyrus G14, which at 3.5 pounds outperformed gaming laptops with two to three times the weight. We have now seen the Ryzen 7 4700U in the Acer Swift 3, and this inexpensive $ 650 laptop is screaming in front of bigger and more expensive models. It’s our new best choice for the 14-inch / 15-inch workhorse – what a bargain!
- Intel is reacting with Comet Lake-H, a mobile CPU that emphasizes clock speed over cores. We’re not sure this will hold back the Ryzen horde, but we’ll see when we get a chance to try it.
- Nvidia is making things even more interesting with the long-awaited GeForce RTX Super GPUs, improvements to its more energy-efficient Max-Q line and falling prices. Discrete GPUs on thinner, lighter and faster gaming laptops? Yes thanks!
- Laptops that debuted simultaneously with the new Intel and Nvidia parts included: Acer Predator Triton 500, Gigabyte Aero and Aorus lines, Lenovo Legion 5i and 7i lines, MSI Creator 17 and Razer Blade 15.
- What is the best laptop for home use or work from home? Many traditional laptops available today may be fine. We elaborate the essential specifications and characteristics and formulate some tips for the purchase.
The best thin and light laptop
It’s official: you can he they have performance and lightness in the same laptop, and Dell’s new XPS 13 7390 is here to prove it. With its 6-core Intel Core i7-10710U CPU, this thin and light machine (available through Dell.com) actually outperformed the larger working horse models.
And no, before we give you too much to do: the XPS 13 7390 and its Comet Lake-U CPU won’t surpass a current workstation with, say, a fast and steaming Core i7 9750H. But it is the first ultraportable laptop to actually outperform the older 7th generation “H” class CPUs in heavier laptops, including those of its XPS 15 cousins.
The amount of performance in this amount of portability was simply unheard of earlier in the year. Read our full review.
[$1620cometestato;[620astested;[20cometestato;[620astested;available on Dell.com]
The best laptop for less than $ 500
The 14-inch Motile M142 notebook may be the best budget laptop you’ve never heard of, from a company that understands low prices. This is because Motile M142 is Walmart’s home brand, and it is one that the retailer himself often passes to promote branded PCs.
Yes, the M142 cuts some corners. At about 6.5 hours, the battery life is relatively poor. The screen is somewhat dark and lacks touchscreen functionality. Given the price, however, it is a laptop that we would not mind recommending to friends and relatives on limited budgets. Read our full review.
[$529.99 MRSP as reviewed]
The best 14-inch / 15-inch workhorse
The latest Acer Swift 3 has a surprise for you. Hidden in its unpretentious and limitless generic aluminum body is Ryzen 7 4700U, an 8-core CPU based on AMD’s new 7nm Ryzen 4000 with Radeon graphics. This 2.6-pound 14-inch laptop costs only $ 650 from Acer.com, but is so fast that it can actually compete with larger and more expensive laptops for creating content in CPU activities. This is a workhorse that you can brag about because it’s been a lot too. Read our full review.
[$650 at time of review from Acer.com]
The Lenovo Yoga C940 15 is a work laptop with a little more than the Dell XPS 15 or MacBook Pro. Sure, it looks crisp and has a bright display, but it also has a touchscreen that moves in tablet mode, a stylus built in to write or draw and, thank goodness, a standard size USB-A port to complement its two USB-C connections. It also fits on a numeric keypad without restricting its excellent keyboard. While the backlight of the screen is a bit erratic and the sound quality could be better, it is a solid choice for those who want a luxury racing PC. Read our full review.
The best convertible laptop
HP’s latest Specter x360 13t has something to say about other thin and light laptops, which apparently only take away good things. Where others say no, the HP Specter x360 13t simply says Yes. Do you want a standard M.2 SSD? Got it, the Specter x360 13t says. NBA travel level in your keys? Sure thing. USB Type-A port?! Of course, the Specter x360 13t also has one. When we face it compared to the HP Specter x360 13t to the Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 7390, another leading convertible, the HP came out on top. Read our full review.
[ ,299 as reviewed ]
Dell Latitude 7400 2-in-1 (available through Dell.com) is a 14-inch business laptop that offers a battery that lasts all day is performance. It achieves an incredible 18-hour battery life using a powerful eighth generation Intel Whiskey Lake processor and offers a full range of ports plus a slightly deceptive feature called ExpressSign-in (yes, it’s really written that way). While our review unit experienced an increase of $ 2,800, the starting price is $ 1,599, which means that you can prudently downgrade your configuration to suit your budget. Read our full review.
[[[[$ 2,802 as revised.]
The best budget convertible laptop
Lenovo Yoga C740-15IML (currently $ 790 on Lenovo.com) is one of the most impressive 2 in 1 laptops we’ve seen in its price range. Weighing just three pounds and jammed with elegant features, the slim and sturdy Yoga C740 packs a lot of productivity and can last all day without the AC adapter. A bright Dolby Vision-enabled display and Dolby Atmos sound offer a lot of pleasure for the eyes and ears. A physical camera shutter (which, unfortunately, is a bit difficult to open and close) and a fingerprint reader help enhance security.
In a world where high-end laptops no one can afford to get all the attention, and cheap laptops can be a bucket of compromises, it’s nice to see a mid-range laptop that has so much to do. Lenovo Yoga C740 easily wins the Editor’s Choice award and our best choice for cheap convertibles.
[$900 MSRP; $790 as reviewed]
The best 2-in-1 laptop / tablet / hybrid
Mentioned in this article
This category was initially born as the best “Surface” category because, for a certain period, there was no such thing as Microsoft’s 2-in-1 / tablet / hybrid device. Competitors took the rhythm and the Lenovo Miix 520 has been designed for over a year. Not anymore.
Surface Pro 7 represents Microsoft’s return to form, both with an updated 10th generation “Ice Lake” processor inside, and an optimized and modernized design that recognizes that USB-C is the wave of the future. Some legacy ports have disappeared (adios, MiniDisplayPort) but otherwise the Microsoft tablet retains its traditional light weight and form factor. Unfortunately, a pen and a signed Cover are even more. Read our full review for more details.
[SRPda$1499comerivistoesclusitastieraepenna;[499SRPasreviewedexcludingkeyboardandpen;[SRPda99comerivistoesclusitastieraepenna;[499SRPasreviewedexcludingkeyboardandpen;currently $ 1,199 on Microsoft.com]
Read on for our top picks on gaming laptops and more.