Best Laptops of 2019: Professional, Gaming, School and For Home Use

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When you’re out to purchase a new laptop, there are a few things you need to know beforehand. The first and the most important one being; for what type of work do you need the laptop for? This is because every laptop, based on its specs, is better suited to a particular type of use. Be it graphic designing, gaming, plain old university assignments or anything for that matter, there’s always a laptop perfectly suited for your needs.

We’ve compiled a list of, what we think are, the two best candidates for each category. Before we start, just a reminder, that there may be a chance that you won’t find a device here that does not entirely conform to what you want. That’s where compromises will have to be made. Carefully weigh out and prioritize what you need the most and you’ll most definitely find the perfect match. On to the list.

For Graphics Designing

1. Huawei Matebook 13

Huawei Matebook 13
Image: Huawei

Specs:

  • 13″ 2160×1440 IPS Touch Panel display
  • 8th Gen Intel® Core™ i5-8265U/8th Gen Intel® Core™ i7-8565U CPU options
  • Intel® UHD Graphics 620/2 GB GDDR5 NVIDIA® GeForce MX150 GPU options
  • 8 GB LPDDR3 2133 MHz RAM
  • 256 GB/512 GB PCI-e X4 SSD storage options
  • Backlit Keyboard
  • Starts at $999

The Huawei Matebook 13 seems to be the perfect candidate for you Graphics Designers out there. Its size is ideal for portability. The screen is sharp with 200 pixels-per-inch, giving you the precise detail you need while making cool new designs. It doesn’t end there, as there’s enough grunt to push all those graphics around. As base, you get the 8th Gen Intel® Core™ i5, which is powerful enough. However, you might need to cough up some more cash if you want your hands on the GeForce MX150 discrete graphics card. Check its price on Amazon here.

2. Apple Macbook Pro 13-inch

Apple Macbook Pro
Image: Laptopmag

Specs:

  • 13″ 2560×1600 LED-backlit IPS display
  • 8th Gen Intel® Core™ i5-8259U/8th Gen Intel® Core™ i7-8559U CPU options
  • Intel Iris Plus Graphics 640/Intel Iris Plus Graphics 655 GPU options
  • 8GB (upgradable to 16 GB) 2133MHz LPDDR3 RAM
  • 128 GB (upgradable to 1TB)/256 GB (upgradable to 2TB) SSD storage options
  • Backlit Keyboard
  • Starts at $1299

The latest MacBook Pro is a beast of a machine, especially for graphics designing. Though it is priced much higher than the Matebook 13 and doesn’t come with a dedicated Graphics Card, it has other tricks up its sleeve. The very fact that software like Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator come more optimized for MacOS compared to Windows 10 can make a world of a difference in how your machine performs. The optional extra touch bar with TouchID makes sure all your precious data remains secure at all times. Check its price on Amazon here.

For Professional Use

1. Dell XPS 15 2-in-1

Dell XPS 15 2-in-1
Image: Dell

Specs:

  • 15″ 1920×1080 InfinityEdge anti-reflective touch panel/15″ 3840 x 2160 InfinityEdge anti-reflective touch panel display options
  • 8th Generation Intel® Core™ i5-8305G/8th Generation Intel® Core™ i7-8705G CPU options
  • 4GB HMB2 AMD Radeon™ RX Vega M GL Graphics GPU
  • 8GB (upgradable to 16 GB) 2400 MHz DDR4 RAM
  • 128 GB (upgradable to 2TB) M.2 SATA SSD storage
  • Starts at $1299

Dell really knows how to do its magic with the XPS 15 and it shows. For the price of the MacBook, we talked about earlier, you’re getting more screen with a better resolution, a dedicated Graphics card and more optional storage. The larger display alone makes this beast of a machine perfect for Professional use. It will handle any processor-intensive program you throw at it with ease. And if you find portability an issue with 15-inch laptops. Good news. This one can be transformed into a tablet! You can check the price here on Amazon.

2. Apple MacBook Pro 15-inch

Apple MacBook Pro
Image: Apple

Specs:

  • 15″ 2880×1800 LED-backlit IPS display
  • 8th Gen Intel® Core™ i7-(8750H/8850H)/8th Gen Intel® Core™ i9-8950HK CPU options
  • 4 GB GDDR5 AMD Radeon Pro (555X/560X) GPU options
  • 16 GB (upgradable to 32 GB) 2400MHz DDR4 RAM
  • 256 GB (upgradable to 4TB) SSD storage
  • Backlit Keyboard
  • Starts at $2399

And with that, we come back to Apple as nothing screams more “professional” than the MacBook Pro. This time, we’ll be looking at the 15-inch variant. Though I will warn you beforehand, the starting price of $2399 is not for the faint-hearted. However, once you get past that, the MacBook Pro is guaranteed to tick all the boxes. Unlike its 13-inch counterpart, it has the touch bar standard, a dedicated GPU, optional Core i9 CPU and a lot more. Its optional 4TB SSD storage is also something you won’t find in other laptops. Check the price on Amazon here.

For Home Use

1. Dell XPS 13

Dell XPS 13
Image: Dell

Specs:

  • 13″ 1920×1080 InfinityEdge anti-reflective (non-touch/touch) panel/13″ 3840×2160 InfinityEdge anti-reflective touch panel display options
  • 8th Generation Intel® Core™ i3-8145U/8th Generation Intel® Core™ i5-8265U/8th Generation Intel® Core™ i7-8565U CPU options
  • Intel® UHD Graphics 620 GPU
  • 4GB (upgradable to 16 GB) LPDDR3 2133MHz RAM
  • 128 GB (upgradable to 2TB) M.2 NVMe SSD storage
  • Starts at $899

Because of its versatility, the XPS makes a second appearance in this list. This time in the 13-inch variant. The starting price may be a bit steep, but it has everything you need for personal, casual use. It’s sleek, portable and is nothing over-the-top. However, in this day and age, 4 GB of RAM may prove to be a bit inadequate, even for casual web browsing. Same is the case with 128 GB storage. You’d want to upgrade to mid-tier specs, which will bring the price up. Check it out on Amazon here.

2. HP Spectre X360 13-inch

HP Spectre X360
Image: HP

Specs:

  • 13″ 1920×1080 WLED IPS touch panel/13″ 3840×2160 WLED IPS touch panel display options
  • 7th Gen Intel® Core™ i5-7200U/8th Gen Intel® Core™ i7-8565U CPU options
  • Intel UHD Graphics 620 GPU
  • 8 GB (upgradable to 16 GB) 2400MHz DDR4 RAM
  • 256 GB (upgradable to 1 TB) M.2 NVMe SSD storage
  • Backlit Keyboard
  • Starts at $1349

In my review, I called this “The best small laptop”, and there was a reason for that. It’s basically, what I call, a complete package. Sure, it may start at a higher price than the XPS 13 it’s competing against. However, for that slight increase in price, you get 8 GB RAM and 256 GB storage as base, which is completely usable. Funny enough, the base CPU option in the Spectre is a 7th Gen Core i5, which will get the job done but is nothing close to similar 8th gens. Check its price on Amazon here.

For Gaming

1. Asus ROG Zephyrus S GX701

Asus ROG Zephyrus
Image: Asus

Specs:

  • 17″ 1920×1080 144 Hz IPS sRGB panel (with optional G-SYNC) display
  • 9th Gen Intel® Core™ i7-9750H CPU
  • 8 GB GDDR6 NVIDIA® GeForce RTX™ (2070/2080)/6 GB GDDR6 NVIDIA® GeForce RTX™ 2060 GPU options
  • 16 GB (upgradable to 32 GB) 2666MHz DDR4 SDRAM
  • 512 GB (upgradable to 2 TB) M.2 NVMe SSD storage
  • RGB Backlit Keyboard
  • Starts at $3299

If really, the eyewatering price tag isn’t an issue for you, then the ROG Zephyrus S is the best gaming laptop you can buy. It would be an understatement if I say that it literally goes all-out when it comes to the raw specs. The fact that it’s the only device running Intel’s 9th gen CPU in this list alone says a lot. It also has the fastest RAM running 2666MHz bus speed compared to the usual 2400MHz on regular DDR4s. Even in its base configuration, it will run most medium to high-intensity games with ease. Check it out on Amazon here.

2. Lenovo Legion Y740 17-inch

Lenovo Legion Y740
Image: Lenovo

Specs:

  • 17″ 1920×1080 144 Hz IPS sRGB panel (with optional G-SYNC) display
  • 9th Gen Intel® Core™ i7-9750H CPU
  • 8 GB GDDR6 NVIDIA® GeForce RTX™ (2070/2080)/6 GB GDDR6 NVIDIA® GeForce RTX™ 2060 GPU options
  • 16 GB (upgradable to 32 GB) 2666MHz DDR4/16 GB 3200 MHz DDR4 RAM options
  • 512 GB (upgradable to 1 TB) M.2 NVMe SSD storage
  • RGB Backlit Keyboard
  • Starts at $1839

Now on paper, the Lenovo Legion Y740 seems awfully close to the Asus in terms of specs. And it may blow your mind to know that it only comes at a fraction of the price. However, there are some things to take into consideration. Firstly, Lenovo is a relatively new entrant in the gaming laptop market, as I’ve mentioned in my review of the Y740. They may have gotten the raw specs but they still need time to perfect all the other little things like the overall design and secondary amenities. That being said, the Y740 is an amazing gaming laptop if you’re on a budget and only care about the raw performance of your device. Price on Amazon here.

For Student Life

1. Microsoft Surface Laptop 2

Microsoft Surface Laptop 2
Image: Microsoft

Specs:

  • 13″ 2256×1504 PixelSense™ multi-touch display
  • 8th Gen Intel® Core™ i5-8250U/8th Gen Intel® Core™ i7-8650U CPU options
  • Intel® UHD Graphics 620 GPU
  • 8 GB (upgradable to 16 GB) DDR3 RAM
  • 128 GB (upgradable to 1 TB) M.2 NVMe SSD storage
  • Starts at $999

The Surface Laptop 2 may seem to be the perfect student laptop in terms of portability and base specs. However, starting at $999, it does compromise on price. Students, who are not on a tight budget might be able to afford this and the base specs seem okay, except for the storage. In this day and age, 128 GB is just not enough for all your documents and operating system. I’d recommend at least 256 GB, which would bump up the price. Check it out Amazon here.

2. Dell Inspiron Chromebook 14 2-in-1

Dell Inspiron Chromebook 14
Image: Dell

Specs:

  • 14″ 1920×1080 LED IPS multi-touch display
  • 8th Gen Intel® Core™ i3-8130U CPU
  • Intel® UHD Graphics 620 GPU
  • 4 GB (upgradable to 16 GB) DDR4 RAM
  • 128 GB eMMC flash storage
  • Starts at $600

If your student needs require you to just take notes and do online research, then the Inspiron Chromebook 14 2-in-1 may be the best deal you’ll ever get. For just $600 you just get a basic laptop with basic specs and ChromeOS instead of Windows. This may seem inadequate for the majority especially when your work requires you to install heavy, intensive programs. However, there are people, especially students, who are best suited to this laptop. Also, it can be transformed into a tablet, for maximum portability. Amazon here.

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