It seems that in the midst of the current atmosphere of tech journalism, consumers have access to in-depth yet easy to understand and straightforward guides on how to pick the best smartphones, tablets and gaming consoles. But with the laptop market over-flowing with hundreds-to-thousands of different laptops from dozens of different companies, and with the average laptop being customizable with different processors and specs that look like a bunch of numerical mumbo-jumbo to the average human being, all you get is simple “top-10,” “top-12” or “top-25” lists from the likes of big news cooperations, and important leaps in innovation from anyone besides Apple is largely ignored. Let’s remedy that.
I present to you; a simple list of the best 8 laptops. 2 laptops for students, 2 for content creators and software developers, 2 for the average citizen, and 2 for gamers,. Each category has a budget and premium laptop… so without further ado, let’s delve into it!
The Best Laptops For Students
The Toshiba Chromebook 2
Chrome OS is exactly what it sounds like. It’s the Google Chrome web browser and nothing else. But that seemingly worthless software configuration is alleviated with add-ons. Simply head to the Google Chrome App Store and you’ll be surprised to find a wide range of free Microsoft Office alternatives (Google Drive), photo and video editors (Pixlr, WeVideo), email clients (Gmail Offline), and even some fun games (The Fancy Pants Adventures, American Racing, Angry Birds, Tetris, Plants Vs. Zombies, New Super Mario Bros., ect.)
Chrome OS is essentially a toned down, virus free version of Windows, and any student will have a blast being able to waste their free time away playing PacMan and watching Netflix, and get crunching doing school work with Drive and WeVideo.
Of all of the reasonably priced Chromebooks, the $299 Toshiba Chromebook 2 is the best one. It’s not bad at anything. Everything from the screen, to the speakers, to the battery life, to the performance to the design is more than acceptable. One thing, however, that is consistent across all Chromebooks except for a couple is the lack of ability to hold up under intense multitasking, and Toshiba’s flagship Chromebook is not one of the aforementioned couple. So while this chromebook should be an overall good experience, know that you won’t be able to do more than a couple of intensive things (like editing and gaming) at once, and when having a whole bunch of simple websites open when say, doing research, keep in mind around 10-ish tabs will be your limit here. Even with the downsides, this is the best reasonably priced laptop for students.
The Chromebook Pixel
It’s true that you’d be hard pressed to find anything really negative about the hardware of the Chromebook pixel. It emits a premium feel, it runs without a hitch, packs a PC-grade processor, and has as stunning 12.5 inch “retina display” quality touchscreen. But it’s twelve ninety-nine, with the decimal point following all four of those digits. The price tag is cringe-worthy to say the least, and The Verge was spot on when they labeled it “a completely crazy way to spend your money.” But sometimes crazy can be a good thing.
The Best Laptops For Content Creators
The HP Pavillion G6
I have to admit that since the hard work put in by programmers and creators often goes unnoticed as soon as a flaw is pointed out, I feel really bad lumping them into one category as if they’re unimportant, but alas, a laptop that’s good for one is essentially guaranteed to be good for the other, that’s just how this works.
But anyway, for people just starting out who don’t have enough money to shell out stacks of green for a MacBook can get started with the $500 Pavilion g62210-us. (We’ll simply call it the G6 for this article, but if you want to look it up, that’s the model we’re talking about.)
The G6 is not a very powerful laptop, and most tech savvy people would be apt to call it mid-range, but for your simpler-yet-still-capable programs such as the AVS Software Suite, Corel VideoStudio Ultimate X7, Microsoft Visual C++ Express, and Netbean, it’ll get the job done. Plus, some less demanding games like Minecraft, Team Fortress 2, and the Walking Dead will run smoothly here as well.
Macbook Pro With Retina Display
First off, if you want the best of the best in this department, you need an Apple device, especially if you’re a developer. You can develop for all other platforms on the Mac, but you can simply only develop for Apple devices on Macs, so if you want to write for Macs, you… need a Mac. Apple just owns it here, and nothing can be done to remedy it. It’s still a great laptop, however, so It’s not like you’re being forced to purchase anything under par. In addition to that, some of the best photo and video editors are exclusive to Mac OS, and this is the best Macintosh-branded notebook.
Now this is one of those laptops. Laptops you have a lot of configurations to choose from, but it’s all good, as long as you remember these 6 things:
A Better “Intel” Means Better Performance
More Memory Means Better Multitasking And Slightly Better Performance
Flash Storage Means A Snappier Laptop
Hard-Drives are Cheaper, Offer More Storage, and are Still Tried and True in Speed
Flash/Hard Drive Hybrids Offer The Best of Both Worlds
- A Higher Number Means More of Any of the Above
The Best Laptops For The Average Consumer
The HP Pavillion G
Who said a laptop could only be featured on this list once? The answer is no one. At an affordable $500, the G6 offers adequate performance for the average day-to-day workload of the average American for both professional and casual use. In addition to that, it goes on sale for $300-$400 all the time.
The Macbook Air
It has capable hardware, excellent software, a good enough screen, and it feels like it’s composed of 99% Oxygen. It doesn’t feel cheap; it’s still premium, but it’s just really really thin. It just delivers an overall great experience. You’re not going to find the raw power here you’ll find on a pro, but it delivers performance to more than satisfy the needs of any average consumer. If you’re tired of your current dinosaur freezing, and you want something that, as Apple touts: “just works”, and you can afford it, the $999 Macbook Air is the best option.
Now it has the same complicated-buying issue as the Pro, and to help you through that process, you can refer to that list that I made above.
The Best Laptops For Gamers
HP Envy TouchSmart 15.6″
You won’t hear this opinion just here on iTechTriad. This laptop, with its Radeon HD 8650G, is simply the best gaming laptop you’re going to get on any sort of tight budget. Gaming laptops are the most expensive class of laptops there are in many cases, so the fact that the TouchSmart can manage to play all of the latest, most demanding games for just $500-$600 is the reason both sales and opinions agree that no gaming laptops compare to this one when it comes to sheer bang for your buck.
Now, at this point I could make some sort of disappointing pun based off of the word “envy” in the name, but I’ll do you a favor and not.
The Razer Blade 2014
Like with the Air, “Razer Blade” is a strikingly accurate descriptor for such thin device. But don’t let the thinness fool you. This isn’t a device that tries to seduce you with looks, then breaks your heart by not living up to your expectations, like my ex girlfriend. It, and its powerful specs deliver, and it’s the best gaming experience on a notebook you’re going to get, period. It’s capable of competing with most gaming desktops, and will likely be able to run all of the latest games not only now, but for several future generations of games to come. It’s $2,000, but if you can afford it, it’s worth it. It’s not just good for gamers, but for all other people mentioned in this article, too. The Razer Blade 2014 is simply the best.
I hope this article delivered what it promised; a simple, easy to use guide on what laptop to buy that doesn’t belong in The Maze Runner. Good luck on your decision, and we hope you enjoy it!