With a bewildering array of models and features to choose from, the notebook laptop market can be a bit of a minefield for most of us. Have you got your heart set on a Macbook Pro or are you veering towards the new Intel backed notebook laptops like the ones here? If you’re looking for a new model but can’t decide which laptop is the one for you, our list of favorites for this year might just help you make up your mind. We’ve tried to cover the value end of the laptop market right through to the most coveted brands to help you find something that fits your needs.
Macbook Pro 13 inch with retina display
We feel that the Mac Book Pro 13 inch with retina display just pipped the Mac Book Air to the post thanks to that eye-popping 2560 x 1600-pixel display. Just watching the colours and graphics come alive on your screen is one heck of a game changer. But the Pro also has other great features such as a manoeuvrable touch pad and keyboard and super- fast CPU that help make it our pick for the most desirable laptop this year.
Don’t be fooled by its oh-so-slim design…the Pro’s processing power is backed up by the latest Intel Haswell chip, which makes it super efficient at handling graphics and other processing tasks. The Mackbook Pro is further backed up by around nine hours of battery life, which matches the battery power of most of its rivals.
HP Pavilion 14
The HP Pavilion 14 is one of our top choices for best value laptop for 2014. You won’t need to shell out a fortune for this ultra-light and portable machine. Weighing in at just less than two kg, this notebook laptop from the Pavilion range is perfect for students and anyone else on a tight budget.
Performance wise, the Pavilion 14 doesn’t disappoint with 4GB memory and i3-3217U processor. The processing power is perfect for every day browsing and processing functions and it can also support a basic level of gaming. On the negative side, the HP Pavilion 14 is missing a decent sized battery and you might find yourself struggling to watch videos for longer than four hours or so.
If you’re serious about gaming on-the-go, then the G750JX from Asus is a real contender. Most gamers who need a portable device are used to paying a premium and the G750JX doesn’t come cheap either. But for your investment you’ll be rewarded with a powerful, sturdy gaming laptop with fantastic quality sound and graphics thanks to the powerful 4th gen Intel Core i7 processor and NVIDIA enthusiast-level graphics.
One of our favourite features is the dual fan system with rear venting for noise and heat reduction. You might find the design isn’t the sleekest on the market, but the benefits of such a powerful and durable machine soon eclipse that slight flaw.
Samsung ATIV Book 9 Plus
If you’re not keen on jumping on the Macbook bandwagon but are still on the lookout for a high-end portable Ultrabook, then the Samsung ATIV Book 9 Plus is worth considering.
It has an impressive lightweight design that combines a vibrant 13.3 inch full HD touch screen with around ten hours of battery life. You’ll be using Windows 8 to browse and perform all your computing functions and will also be able to share screens with other Samsung android devices using Samsung SideSync.
Dell XPS 12
Want to dip your toe into the world of hybrid laptops but not sure where to start? You might want to try the Dell XPS 12. It successfully combines the best features of a tablet with those of an Ultrabook to give you an exciting hybrid design. Simply flip the hinge to switch from 12 inch tablet to Ultrabook mode.
The XPS 12 has been designed for Windows 8 and its 1080 pixel touch screen display ensures you’re able to smoothly navigate the system. It also accommodates a decent size keyboard and over nine hours of battery life.