Best Laptops in 2020 for Home, Office and Gaming

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At the rate smartphones and tablets are evolving, anyone might expect laptops to become obsolete real soon. Smartphone and tablet manufacturers seem to be cramping additional features in their products, which are aimed to reduce the need for a laptop altogether.

However, that doesn’t seem to be working all that well as the laptop market is as strong as ever, if not much stronger. Why is it that even with devices offering almost all features in a much smaller package available, people still tend to go with the relatively old-fashioned folding computers with so many hardware buttons?

Well, the answer to that question lies within the last two words of the question, hardware buttons. Unlike most smartphones and tablets of today, all laptops have a physical keyboard and a trackpad that a touchscreen just can’t seem to replace. Who could’ve guessed that something as medieval as a keyboard can be better than a high tech touch screen for something as simple as typing.

And then there’s the Operating System. With the likes of Microsoft Windows, MacOS, and even ChromeOS offering flexibility far superior to mobile operating systems like iOS and Android, it’s no wonder the laptops are here to stay for a long time coming.

Choosing the right laptop can get complicated in the sense that you first have to ask yourself what exactly do you need it for. The uses can be categorized in 3 categories: Home/Student, Office/Business, and Gaming. Keeping the needs of each type of user in mind, we’ve prepared a categorized list of 12 best laptops in 2020 that might be best suited to your needs.

Home/Student:

Lenovo C340-15 Chromebook $525.49

  • Display: 15.6” FHD (1920 x 1080) IPS LCD touch panel
  • CPU: Intel Pentium Gold 4417U
  • GPU: Integrated Intel HD Graphics 610
  • RAM: 4 GB DDR4
  • Storage: 64GB eMMC Flash
  • Operating System: Chrome OS

lenovo

The first entry in our list is the Lenovo C340-15 Chromebook. It also happens to be the least expensive laptop in this list which makes it perfect for school students who are on a budget and can’t spend a fortune.

While $500 isn’t exactly cheap, it does sound reasonable when you find out what you’re getting for that price. A 15.6” Full HD touchscreen display is still considered somewhat of a premium feature in laptops even if it comes in an IPS panel. It has a 360 degree hinge which means it can be used in tablet mode thanks to the touch screen.

Sure, there are some compromises made considering that it only has a 4GB RAM, 64GB storage and an Intel Pentium processor. However, let’s not forget that it runs a much lighter Chrome OS, which requires less resources to function when compared to Microsoft Windows. Let’s also not forget that this laptop and pretty much every chromebook is primarily intended for school students.

Think of this as the perfect “Back to School” laptop, which is excellent for doing light research on browsers, making notes, and even presentations. With the latest update Chrome OS can access and download Android apps, which is a huge plus point in the Lenovo C340-15 Chromebook’s advantage.

Buy from Amazon here.

Lenovo Flex 5 $599.99

  • Display: 14” FHD (1920 x 1080) IPS LCD touch panel
  • CPU: AMD Ryzen 5 4500U
  • GPU: Integrated AMD Radeon Graphics
  • RAM: 16GB DDR4
  • Storage: 256GB PCIe M.2 SSD
  • Operating System: Windows 10

lenovoflex

Next up, it’s another Lenovo and this time we have the Flex 5 14” variant. Now, most people would consider this the first “real” laptop on this list but that’s only because of the operating system it runs which just so happens to be the much more conventional and recognized, Windows 10.

It’s no secret that Microsoft Windows has to be the most popular laptop operating system and Windows 10 is its latest iteration that’s being constantly improved with updates. One of the many reasons people like Windows is its flexibility to perform tasks that most other operating systems can’t.

At $600, this can still be considered a budget laptop especially if you count the rest of its specs. It has a 14” Full HD IPS touchscreen, an AMD Ryzen 5 CPU with an integrated AMD Radeon GPU, a 256GB M.2 SSD, and a whopping 16GB RAM. These specs alone can make this a perfect casual laptop for home use or even a university student due to it being relatively less expensive.

ALSO READ: Best Graphics Cards 2020 – Budget, Quality and Top Pick

The Lenovo Flex 5, apart from being portable, is also versatile thanks to its 360 degree hinge and touchscreen. It can simultaneously offer you a laptop and a tablet experience, which is something that most people will appreciate as they don’t have to buy 2 separate devices for each purpose. You can also option in a stylus for more productivity but it will only bring up the price.

Buy from Amazon here.

Asus VivoBook S15 $699.99

  • Display: 15.6” FHD (1920 x 1080) LED backlit panel
  • CPU: Intel Core i5-10210U
  • GPU: Integrated Intel UHD Graphics 620
  • RAM: 8GB DDR4
  • Storage: 512GB PCIe M.2 SSD
  • Operating System: Windows 10

Asus

Asus is a well reputed brand among laptops and its VivoBook S15 serves as a good example as to why that’s so. Calling the VivoBook S15 a budget laptop may be pushing it with its $700 price tag but, compared to laptops that are to come, this might just be a bargain.

Here $700 gives us the 10th Gen Intel i5 CPU which has ample computing power for all your daily needs. Sure, the 8GB DDR4 RAM seems to be basic, but that can be upgraded for an extra cost. What’s not basic, however, is the 512GB M.2 SSD storage. Not only will the boot times and data transfer speeds be high but there will be ample storage available for all programs and files without worry

The 15.6” Full HD LED panel may not be a touchscreen but it’s a backlit LED this time instead of an IPS LCD unit. That will result in battery savings and much more vivid colors compared to an LCD panel. On top of that, Asus also claims incredible viewing angles as the display uses an “IPS-level wide-view technology”.

Buy from Amazon here.

Apple MacBook Air 13″ $999

  • Display: 13.3” 2K (2560 x 1600) LED backlit panel
  • CPU: Intel Core i3-1000NG4
  • GPU: Integrated Intel Iris Plus Graphics
  • RAM: 8GB DDR4X
  • Storage: 256GB PCIe SSD
  • Operating System: MacOS

AppleMacBook

The last item in the Home/Student category happens to be none other than the MacBook Air by Apple. Just like all other Apple products, it’s expensive at $999. So you may think at this point that why would I recommend it then? Well, because there is a lot more than what meets the eye with this device as we shall now see.

Now, Apple’s display resolutions have always been confusing across all of its devices and the MacBook Air is no exception here. The 2560×1600 resolution of the 13.3” LED panel is sharper than the standard 2K (1440p) but is a lot less sharper than 4K (2160p) Therefore it is aptly categorized as 2K. 13.3” may seem small on paper but in the real world, you’ll hardly notice the lack of size.

In fact, the small display size works in favor of the MacBook as it makes it a lot more portable than any other laptop in this category. Thanks to its unibody aluminum construction, it’s also the best built laptop here and, for some people, that alone justifies the sky high price tag.

ALSO READ: The Best Laptops to buy under $200

As far as the operating system is concerned, MacOS is pretty much the only competitor to Windows in the laptop world. While it’s not as flexible or versatile, it’s much more polished and refined, especially due to the fact that, unlike Windows, it’s not open source. People who already use Apple devices would prefer to have it over a Windows laptop due to the amazing compatibility among the brand’s devices.

Buy from Amazon here.

Office/Business:

HP Envy X360 $979

  • Display: 15.6” FHD (1920 x 1080) WLED backlit touch panel
  • CPU: Intel Core i7-10510U
  • GPU: Integrated Intel UHD Graphics 620
  • RAM: 8GB DDR4
  • Storage: 1TB PCIe NVMe SSD
  • Operating System: Windows 10

HPEnvy

There’s no better way to start the Office/Business category than with the HP Envy X360. Coming in at under $980, this beast of a machine has everything that you’d need for a nice work laptop.

The Full HD 15” WLED touch display is the perfect size to view, edit, or even create content. However, even with a full sized display, this somehow manages to keep a slim profile, making it that much more manageable and portable. The fact that it has a 360 degree hinge and that it can turn into a tablet only makes it all the more perfect to use for any type of circumstance.

Under the hood, is a powerful 10th Gen Intel Core i5 CPU that can run any program you can throw at it without breaking a sweat. Do note that the variant that we’re talking about today doesn’t have a dedicated GPU otherwise it would’ve been a great laptop for video editing or even some light gaming.

The RAM is also a bit underwhelming at just 8GB but it can be easily upgraded later for a small price compared to ordering it with more in the first place. The storage, on the other hand, is massive with 1TB of high speed NVMe SSD, which is perfect for storing tons of data without ever having to worry about investing in an external storage.

Buy from Amazon here.

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon $1469.99

  • Display: 14” FHD (1920 x 1080) Anti Glare IPS touch panel
  • CPU: Intel Core i7-8565U
  • GPU: Integrated Intel UHD Graphics 620
  • RAM: 16GB LPDDR3
  • Storage: 512GB PCIe OPAL2 SSD
  • Operating System: Windows 10

lenovothinkpad

Straying way past the $1000 mark and out of the budget category, we arrive at the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon. The ThinkPad series has made quite a name for itself over the years as a durable work laptop and the X1 Carbon is the pinnacle of the ThinkPad series.

Under the hood, you’ll find a slightly older yet still powerful 8th Gen Intel Core i7 CPU that’s mated to the capable Intel UHD Graphics 620 GPU. Even after being a generation older, this processor will not feel underpowered regardless of what you throw at it, which is something anyone would want from his/her work machine.

16GB of RAM is available, though it’s a slightly slower LPDDR3. Sure the DDR4 is faster but I doubt you’ll ever be able to tell that difference anytime soon. Storage is a respectable and equally usable 512GB of SSD. However, if you intend to store large amounts of data in this laptop, you might want to upgrade it to 1TB.

The key feature (pun intended) that sets this laptop apart from the competition is its keyboard. Lenovo has been known to make the best chiclet style keyboard on laptops and they’ve done wonders with the ThinkPad X1 Carbon. It is one of the best feeling keyboards out there and it will definitely be excellent for typing. Is $1470 a bit steep? Yes. Is it worth it? Definitely!

Buy from Amazon here.

Dell XPS 13 $1554.55

  • Display: 13.4″ FHD+ (1920 x 1200) Anti Reflective touch panel
  • CPU: Intel Core i7-1065G7
  • GPU: Integrated Intel Iris Plus Graphics
  • RAM: 16GB LPDDR4X
  • Storage: 512GB PCIe NVMe SSD
  • Operating System: Windows 10

Dellxps

When you spend over $1500, you get the DELL XPS 13 in all of its glory. Now, Dell is one of the most popular laptop brands out there along with HP. The main reasons for that being good quality and reasonable pricing. While $1554.55 doesn’t sound reasonable at first glance, it might just after you take a look at the XPS 13’s specs.

As its name might suggest the Dell XPS 13 has a 13.4” Full HD. The aspect ratio of the screen is a bit unconventional, hence the weird 1920×1200 resolution but it is a FHD through and through. That being said, 13.4” is a bit small and that’s what this laptop is all about, being compact. Thanks to its extra slim bezels and a sleek aluminum unibody construction, this is a fairly compact device, perfect for carrying around.

Don’t let the small size fool you, as there is a powerhouse inside. A 10th Gen Intel Core i7 to be exact, which goes to show that a device can be both small and can carry a big punch. Thanks to its ultra fast 16GB LPDDR4X memory and 512GB NVMe SSD storage, you won’t ever feel like you should’ve spent more on a business laptop.

Buy from Amazon here.

Apple MacBook Pro 13″ $1799

  • Display: 13.3″ 2K (2560 x 1600) IPS panel
  • CPU: Intel Core i5-1038NG7
  • GPU: Integrated Intel Iris Plus Graphics
  • RAM: 16GB LPDDR4X
  • Storage: 512GB PCIe SSD
  • Operating System: MacOS

Mac2

This is the second Apple laptop in this list and it is the MacBook Pro, the ultimate MacBook. Yes, the 16” variant is the most expensive MacBook out there but the 13” variant that we’re seeing here is no slouch either. As I’ve said with previous 13 inch laptops, while it lacks screen real estate, it makes up for it in portability.

Now, contrary to what you might think of them, MacBook Pros make for excellent work laptops especially if your work involves content creation. MacOS is perfectly optimized to run some amazing professional photo and video editing softwares that most content creators prefer using and it can do all that with an Intel Iris Plus graphics processor unlike a Windows laptop that usually requires a dedicated GPU.

ALSO READ: Best Budget Friendly Laptops Under $500

The 10th Gen Intel i5 CPU further gives it the muscles it needs to render 4K videos without breaking a sweat while the 16GB LPDDR4X RAM and the 512GB SSD further complement it. What I don’t like, however, is that once you option in the specs for the RAM and storage, you can’t upgrade it later, which means you’ll have to commit to what you chose at the start.

As far as Apple’s butterfly keyboards go. Well, they’re finally gone as now you get the standard reliable scissor mechanism that has proven the test of time and everyone is grateful for Apple to revert that horrible change. Being an Apple product, this comes in at almos $1800, which is big money for a small laptop. However, the people for whom the MacBook Pro is made for are willing to spend that much because it offers tremendous performance.

Buy from Amazon here.

Gaming:

Alienware M15 R3 $1918

  • Display: 15.6″ FHD (1920 x 1080) 144Hz IPS panel
  • CPU: Intel Core i7-10750H
  • GPU: Discrete 6GB NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060
  • RAM: 16GB DDR4
  • Storage: 512GB PCIe M.2 SSD
  • Operating System: Windows 10

AlienWare

Finally coming to the gaming laptops, we have the Alienware M15 R3. In case you didn’t know, Alienware is a gaming brand by Dell, which means you can expect the same quality (probably a bit better) from this laptop just like the rest of Dell products. It may be the cheapest gaming laptop here but it costs an eye watering $1918. Is that justified? Let’s find out.

As you’d expect, the M15 R3 comes with a 10th Gen Intel Core i7 processor under the hood and it’s paired with a dedicated 6GB NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 GPU for that extra bit of performance. As you may expect, a gaming laptop needs to process heavy graphics, which is why something like this is necessary.

The RAM is a fairly standard 16GB in this configuration but thankfully, since this is a Windows laptop, it can be upgraded further. At 512GB the storage is adequate for installing heavy games but if you intend to store additional files on this laptop, you might want to upgrade which, again, is possible.

Coming to the display you have a standard 15.6” Full HD IPS panel, except that it can refresh up to 144Hz. If you’ve done any sort of gaming, you’d know that a high refresh rate can amplify the gaming experience and we’re thankful for that inclusion.

Buy from Amazon here.

Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 14″ $2049

  • Display: 14″ FHD (1920 x 1080) 120Hz IPS panel
  • CPU: AMD Ryzen 9 4900HS
  • GPU: Discrete 6GB NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060
  • RAM: 16GB DDR4
  • Storage: 2TB PCIe M.2 SSD
  • Operating System: Windows 10

AsusROG

Of all the regular laptop brands, Asus is probably the most dedicated to gaming with its Republic of Gamers (ROG) series of products. Among them, you’ll find the latest and greatest Asus ROG Zephyrus G14. This fairly compact gaming laptop has surprised us with its specs that we’ve almost forgotten that it costs over $2000.

So let’s start with the design of the Asus ROG Zephyrus. In a glance it doesn’t look like a gaming laptop at all with its slim proportions and lack of branding. Some people, including me, like the subtle design and they will definitely enjoy having something that can run heavy games without looking like an otherworldly device.

Inside the Zephyrus G14, is a Ryzen 9 processor from AMD. For those who want to know if it’s any good, well, let’s just say it can outperform a 10th Gen Intel i7 CPU. Same is the case with the graphics card except that it’s a much more conventional NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 with 6GB of VRAM. Regardless, it is an incredibly powerful laptop.

The 16GB of DDR4 RAM can be upgraded but this spec is already maxed out at 2TB of SSD storage, which means that you won’t have to worry about storage, ever.

Buy from Amazon here.

Razer Blade Pro 17 $2399.99

  • Display: 17.3″ FHD (1920 x 1080) 300Hz IPS panel
  • CPU: Intel Core i7-10875H
  • GPU: Discrete 8GB NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070
  • RAM: 16GB DDR4
  • Storage: 512GB PCIe NVMe SSD
  • Operating System: Windows 10

RazerBlade

Razer is a dedicated gaming brand that specializes in gaming products. This means that all of its laptops are purpose built for gaming and that can be clearly seen when one looks at the Razer Blade Pro 17 that makes itself unattainable for the common man at $2400.

Unlike all other laptops on this list so far, the Razer Blade Pro has a massive 17.3” FHD display, which is as big as a laptop screen goes. On top of that it also has the highest refresh rate so far at a mind bending 300Hz. In a normal scenario, most of us won’t be able to tell the difference between that and a 144Hz panel but, in the world of gaming, it makes all the difference.

ALSO READ: Best Gaming Laptops under $1000

Unlike the Asus, this packs the 10th Gen Intel i7 CPU which, by no stretch of imagination, will be feeling underpowered anytime soon. That’s partially thanks to the 8GB NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q graphics processor that it’s paired to. This is an incredibly powerful combination and will play almost every game out there in maximum graphics settings.

One of the features that contributes the most to the Razer Blade Pro’s gaming laptop looks is the RGB backlit keyboard. Most of you won’t feel like it’s exactly a performance feature but gamers, for some odd reason like to have an RGB backlit keyboard. The 16GB DDR4 RAM and 512GB NVMe SSD are basic but they’ll get the job done. In case you feel like they’re not enough, you can always upgrade them for a small amount of money.

Buy from Amazon here.

Gigabyte AORUS 17X $2956.81

  • Display: 17.3″ FHD (1920 x 1080) 240Hz Anti Glare IPS panel
  • CPU: Intel Core i7-10875H
  • GPU: Discrete 8GB NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 Super
  • RAM: 16GB DDR4
  • Storage: 1TB PCIe NVMe SSD
  • Operating System: Windows 10

RazerBladePro

Finally, we have the Gigabyte AORUS 17X, which also happens to be the most expensive device here. Now, Gigabyte isn’t exactly known for making laptops but it has been dealing with gaming graphics cards for a long time. However, it also makes gaming laptops and here we are with the AORUS 17X.

Under the hood is the same 10th Gen Intel CPU that we saw in the Razer Blade Pro 17. This translates to incredible gaming performance especially when it’s paired with the 8GB NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 Super. For those who don’t know the RTX 2070 Super is more potent than the “standard” RTX 2070. This does mean that you’re getting the best possible performance out of a gaming laptop, which is why it’s so close to $3000.

The AORUS 17X starts with a 16GB DDR4 RAM which can be expanded according to your liking to a max 64GB. At 1TB the NVMe SSD storage seems to be at the perfect balance. However, it can be expanded to 2TB as well. Again, we see a 17.3” FHD display but this one “only” refreshes to 240Hz. There is an option for a 300Hz panel but you’ll probably have to sell a kidney for that.

Before anyone complains about the price, this laptop isn’t for everyone. This is only for those who want the very best gaming laptop when it comes to raw performance. It will run every game out there at the highest possible settings. It’s mechanical non RGB backlit keyboard offers the perfect feel so that you won’t have to spend extra on an external keyboard. It’s the best out there and that’s why for a dedicated gamer, $3000 is worth it.

Buy from Amazon here.

Note: Prices on Amazon may vary.

Best Laptops in 2020 for Home, Office and Gaming