In this video we’re breaking down the five best laptops in 2021. I’ve included options for every type of consumer. If you’re looking for a laptop for online classes working from home or gaming, I’ll have the product for you.
The fifth product on our list is the Acer Swift 3. This is our best budget laptop. The Acer Swift 3 embodies everything a laptop should be giving you performance on the go and a lightweight design that makes it so appealing for anyone looking for a budget laptop that’s under 700 dollars.
I think it’s one of the better looking ultrabooks out there it’s sleek and tapered, plus the high screen to body ratio on the swift 3 and the really narrow bezels give the 14-inch full HD display plenty of screen real estate, so it never feels cramped even when working on spreadsheets.
The display is quite vibrant with text, graphics and videos all looking pretty good. However, the only drawback of the display is the color profile. It’s fine for consuming media but if you need to work with accurate colors, you’ll be better off with something like the Apple MacBook Air which is coming up next with a wide p3 color space.
The AMD Ryzen 7 4700U octa-core mobile processor with Radeon graphics packs enough power to easily get through your school assignments, office productivity tasks, and everyday use. It’s fast, responsive and the 11 plus hours of battery performance will easily get you through your day.
The two front facing stereo speakers feature DTS audio and optimized bass response. I find it fine for consuming YouTube videos but overall, it comes off sounding a little flat for watching movies and listening to music. For a budget laptop it’s nice to see acer throw in some additional features like a windows hello enabled fingerprint scanner, wi-fi 6, built-in Alexa, backlit keyboard plenty of in and out ports and a decent webcam with two built-in microphones for zoom teleconferencing online classes and video chats.
The Acer Swift 3’s sleek aluminum and magnesium aluminum metal chassis is only 0.6 inches thick and weighs just 2.6 pounds for ultimate portability and still manages to pack in considerable performance a great battery and some value-added features making it an enticing option for both professionals and students looking for an affordable ultrabook.
The fourth product on our list is the Apple MacBook Air. This is our best Apple laptop for the money. By now you may have heard about Apple’s new M1 chip and it’s really a game changer. Not long ago the MacBook Air held its appeal more for its portability than performance but now you get the best of both worlds.
For about one thousand dollars the MacBook Air comes with Apple’s fastest chip ever produced that brings Apple’s neural engine which boosts the performance of the CPU, GPU, and machine learning tasks to blistering speeds like it’s more expensive big brother the MacBook Pro. The MacBook Air is about the same size and weight as the swift 3 but it packs in substantially more power letting you crush demanding projects, execute professional quality editing and play graphics intensive games all on an ultrabook chassis.
What’s just as remarkable is that the MacBook Air doesn’t even have a fan so it’s dead quiet. It features an aluminum heat spreader to keep it running cool. Even when you’re pushing the air to its limits it’s dead quiet and you can’t talk about the air without mentioning its stunning 13.3-inch retina display.
The 2560 by 1600 resolution display has really impressive pixel density, so text looks razor sharp and with the p3 wide color space you get vibrant images and incredible detail. Making it a choice option for photographers, video editors designers and content creators that need to work with more accurate colors on the go.
And when you’re on the go you may not be working in the same lighting conditions all the time the air’s true tone technology will automatically adjust its display to give you a more natural viewing experience. You also get some nice additional features with the air like touch id fingerprint login a pretty good audio system, magic keyboard, large precision, trackpad, wi-fi six, plus the facetime HD camera and a 3-mic array makes your video calls a more pleasant experience.
You can expect to get about 15 hours of uptime with the battery leaving you time to enjoy some movies even after a long workday. The MacBook Air now gives you performance and power like the MacBook Pro but in a sleek stylish ultrabook making it the best apple laptop for the money.
The third product on our list is the HP Spectre x360 13t. This is our best two in one laptop. Now if you’re not in the Apple camp the HP Spectre x360 13t retails around hundred dollars and comes with a cutting-edge design, great features, impressive specs and a versatile two-in-one functionality in one great package.
The Spectre x360 is precision crafted from a single piece of aluminum which looks fantastic and what’s powering it under the hood is just as impressive. You get an intel core i7 which is an absolute powerhouse thanks to its quad-core design along with flashy new iris plus integrated graphics. The 13.3-inch FHD display is vivid, detailed and even bright enough to use outdoors.
I like that HP gives you the option to bump up the resolution to a 4k AMOLED display for about 150 more for even better visuals which will appeal to content creators. Now add the dual bang olufsen integrated speakers and it’s a pretty good setup for streaming 4k content especially when you put it in presentation mode.
In laptop mode the keyboard action is quite nice and very pleasant to use especially with the large keys. Unfortunately, the up and down arrow keys are only half size which can be a little frustrating if you use the navigation keys a lot.
Once you flip it over, you’ll find the display is snappy and responsive in tablet mode. Being able to go from laptop to tablet really makes it more versatile compared to straight clamshell design laptops. The truvizion HD-IR camera works with the windows hello facial recognition feature and along with the integrated dual array microphone you’re all set for your video calls.
You also get a good selection of ports including two thunderbolt 3 enabled USB C ports plus a DisplayPort 1.4, so you can set up a second display at home or at the office. With around 12 hours between charges you get better battery performance than the acer swift 3 but it falls short of the macbook air is 15 hours.
The HP Spectre x360 13t is a stylish laptop with some great features catering to students and professionals who want the added versatility of a two in one in a portable ultrabook and with the included hp pen it’s also ideal for creatives on the go.
The second product on our list is the Asus ROG Zephyrus G14. This is our best gaming laptop. The Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 will catch the attention of a lot of avid gamers. It’s got amazing performance, fantastic portability and unbeatable battery life. It’s really a triple treat for high performance gaming on the go for about 1 320.
The Zephyrus G14 is a great design with a solid build and its magnesium alloy chassis makes the laptop incredibly lightweight and slim. I really like the ergo lift hinge tension. It’s well weighted so I can open it with just one hand.
The hinge also raises the back end up which is great. Not only does it allow for more airflow it also makes the laptop more ergonomic and gives you a more comfortable typing experience and a better viewing angle.
The 14-inch FHD display gives you a smooth 120 hertz refresh rate and has amazing color accuracy compared to other comparable gaming laptops like the ASUS Rog STRIX Scar 3 or Razer’s Blade 15 and it’s also brighter.
Plus, throw in freesync and you’ve got a really smooth and Jutter free gaming experience. The AMD Ryzen 9 processor and GeForce GTX 2060 with max q design graphics give you ample power to take on the most demanding games, especially with the g14s new ZEN 2 chips and 8 core processor. You should easily get over 60 frames per second on titles like far cry 5 and rise of the tomb raider.
The bottom firing speakers aren’t bad for a small laptop especially with Dolby Atmos sound. It gets quite loud, but they can get overpowered by the fan at times. Still overall the thermals are impressive. It gets warm but not hot to the touch levels. Port selection is pretty good including options to hook up to an external monitor or TV.
Unfortunately, there’s no webcam which could be a deal breaker for some that don’t want to add another peripheral to their gaming gear. Now Justin’s portable gaming performance should be enough to win over most gamers, but the absolute incredible 11 hours of battery life is the icing on the cake, especially when considering the Razor Blade 15 can’t even pass the six-hour mark.
The ROG Zephyrus G14 delivers powerful gameplay with a 120 hertz refresh rate, great portability and incredible battery life for gamers wanting high performance gaming on the go.
The first product on our list is the Dell XPS 13. This is our best overall laptop. If you thought the new Dell XPS 13 looks great on the outside with its sleek compact and lightweight design wait until you open it up. The deck is stunning with arctic white woven glass fiber on the frost color option or black carbon fiber interior on the platinum silver edition.
But the XPS 13 isn’t just about aesthetics, you’ve got some of the best performance in its class thanks to its 11th generation intel CPU combined with intel iris XE graphics for about fifteen hundred dollars giving you top-notch performance in one of the best ultrabooks around.
What I really like about the XPS 13 is that you get the 13.4-inch display in a chassis that’s about the same size as most 11-inch ultrabooks, so it slips into bags or tucks under your arm as you go between meetings or classes. And despite its compact size the keyboard only has a minor size reduction, so the island style keys are still a decent size and well-spaced.
The twin coil hinge makes it easy to open with just one hand and although you don’t get the versatility of the convertible HP Spectre X360 the 10-point capacitive touch panel version is responsive and easily keeps up with really no lag. The four-sided Infiniti edge 1920×1200 display produces crisp details and is extremely bright at 500 nits making it great for working or just catching up on movies sitting at an outdoor café.
Like the Spectre you can also bump the resolution up to a stunning 3840 by 2400 UHD+ display. It may be overkill for most, but movies will look awesome. Unfortunately, you only get 69 of the dci p3 color gamut so it’s not optimal for those that need to work with accurate colors. You get some impressive audio and since the speakers are on the side the sound doesn’t sound muffled like on bottom firing speakers. Listening to music or watching movies is enjoyable especially with waves maxxaudio pro pre-installed.
The Dell XPS 13 is an exceptionally designed compact ultrabook that offers a great combination of performance responsiveness and stunning visuals making it one of the best options for a laptop for students, professionals and just about anyone.