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[su_dropcap style=”simple” size=”5″]W[/su_dropcap]hile editing a simple photo on your smartphone, have you ever felt the need to enhance it more to an extent that even your phone’s processor cannot handle. A more lucrative example would be a video. Have you ever tried editing a 4K video on your smartphone? I guess you can do it, but not as efficiently as a computer. I mean try rendering a 10-minute 4k video on your iPhone X and you’ll know the difference between a PC and a smartphone.
Computers have played a great part in modern human evolution. All thanks to Charles Babbage. For those who don’t know who he is, most refer to him as the person who invented the computer. Most of the tasks nowadays cannot be accomplished without the help of a computer. It’s not that we humans cannot do such tasks without the help of computers, but it’ll take us a considerate amount of time to do even a simple task. Okay, here’s a little exercise. Can you solve this by yourself?
I know you can. Now, let’s rephrase the question: Can you solve that by yourself in just a second? At this point in time, I’m not even asking. Cause I know the answer is definitely no! Although, our mechanical friends out there, the computers can do it consuming lesser time than a second. Computers are available to us in many forms, out of which the desktop and the laptop are of the most famous sort. Although, the backdrop with desktops is that you cannot just lift them up, put them in a backpack and bump around. Sometimes, you need something more portable. It is definitely not efficient to pick a desktop to a Cafe to work on your blog post. It is possible, in a crazy manner, but not efficient. Anyways, you can always carry something more portable along with you. I’m not speaking of a tablet or an iPad, cause they are not counted as computers (this reminds me of that time when that cringy Apple advert girl denied her knowledge about a computer). Well, you can do some lightweight work on tablets, but handling intensive tasks have always been a PC/Mac thing.
Speaking of laptops, they are also quite diverse depending on the user. If you do lightweight stuff like photo editing, blogging, web programming etc, then you’ve got lots of low budget options. However, if you are a heavyweight user like an app developer, a video editor, a gamer etc, you need a laptop that can succumb to your needs. Although, here’s what I think.
See, I don’t feel like I’m the right kind of person to give you this advice, but just hear me out. No matter you are a lightweight or a processor intensive user, you’ll always have a good time dealing with a high spec laptop. Well, if you have a budget, then buying a low tier PC is good. But, if you have the funds to buy a decent laptop, do not think that if you’re a lightweight user, you won’t need the extra power. For instance, I bought an HP laptop with 2GB of RAM, 1TB SSD, and an Intel i3 Core processor. At that time, I was deep into web development and thought I wouldn’t need more from my PC. Well, I was wrong. Later, my interest started to kind of lean towards mobile app development. Having a Windows PC, I was kind of stuck with developing for Android. It was my learning period. But then, I started o lose interest in programming as a whole, as Android Developer Studio would literally take 15 minutes to open up and load my previously written code.
End result: I started blogging and now I am happier than forever.
My point is that always go for the higher alternative while considering a laptop, as you don’t know when you might feel the need for that extra power. Also, extra power makes it easier and less stressful to do daily life stuff. Imagine taking notes in a classroom and your laptop never freezes. Imagine editing a video and your laptop never crashes due to lack of memory. Imagine you being able to play the most graphic intensive games without any hiccups.
It’s all possible with these top 5 laptops that you won’t be able to resist buying. You won’t regret having them either.
5. Dell XPS 13 (2017)
The Dell XPS 13 2017 version is a great laptop with great specs and awesome usability. For starters, it has a solid build quality with an aluminum finish from the outside. However, when you’ll open the flap to actually use it, you’ll notice that it has a carbon fiber finish near the keyboard and the trackpad. The keyboard itself is average and has a key travel of 1.2 millimeters which is pretty decent. The trackpad is a 4.1 x 2.4 inch, a buttonless touchpad which is also very much responsive and tactile. Gestures like the 3-finger swipe are fairly smooth.
The biggest selling point of this laptop is its display. When you open the laptop for the first time, it feels incredibly beautiful with almost no bezels at the top and at the sides. The screen itself is available in two variants- a 1080p normal display which looks good but not as good as the 4K touchscreen variant. Although, most people including me believe that a 1080p display is the best option to opt for. Not only it saves a couple of hundred bucks but also having a touchscreen laptop feels kind of weird. The weirdness kicks in when you actually touch the screen and it wobbles due to its hinges. Although, the 2018 model of the Dell XPS 13 has pretty firm hinges. But, the touchscreen is not a priority. The display provides crisp and clear images with clear viewing angles. Although this laptop is clearly not made for gaming, games will look extremely immersive with the infinity display.
It has a USB 3.0 port, an SD card reader, and a Noble lock slot. A Thunderbolt 3 port, another USB 3.0 port, a barrel charging port and a 3.5 mm headphone jack can be found existing on the left side. Although, the thing with the Thunderbolt 3 port is that it only has 2 PCI Express lanes where usually other laptops have four.
The Dell XPS 13 lasted a big time of 16 hours and 5 minutes on the laptop battery mag test in which the laptop was made to browse the internet over WiFi. Its speakers are located on the sides, which is not an ideal position. Nevertheless, they sound great and usually fill the room with its noise.
This laptop has Intel’s awesome 8th Gen Kaby Lake processors which make tasks like video editing to regular web surfing a breeze. It’s four cores instead of the two cores in the last generation have proved to be handling graphics-intensive tasks easily with the perfect balance of clock speed to maintain the system temperature which leads to optimum battery life. For the record, it has the new i7-8550U CPU. 8GB of RAM along with a 256GB PCIe solid-state hard drive makes switching between tabs on browsers easy. I haven’t had any problems having a video render while I was browsing the web. The overall interaction was just as fast.
The only thing that is extremely annoying with this laptop is that it has the webcam placed at the bottom left of the screen due to the limitation of bezels on the top. This webcam captures at chin level which means that the mucus in your nose will be clearly visible if you ever attend a video call while you suffer from cold. Don’t do that! Apart from that, pretty much everything has been nailed by Dell.
It comes with Windows 10 pre-installed along with some Dell bloatware. The Dell XPS 13 9360 costs $1,174 in the US and Rs. 1,34,381 in India.
It has a smooth matte black finish on the outside which is why this laptop contains the word ‘stealth’ in its name. Although the black surface has its own disadvantage- even a normal scratch can make the laptop’s exterior look abnormal. So, putting a skin on it is definitely recommended.
This laptop has a limited number of ports including two USB-A ports, a Thunderbolt 3 port which doubles as a charging port, and a single HDMI port. It doesn’t have an SD card reader, which means you’ll have a hard time managing video and photo content that you capture using your camera. Inside, this laptop has 16 GB of RAM and a removable SSD. The relatively slower PM951 drives provide slower write speeds.
The battery size is 53.6 watt-hours, which in my case lasted for a long 6 hours of which two hours were spent on browsing and rest were spent on video editing and blogging. Spaking of displays, there are two sizes available- one is the older 12.5-inch panel and the other is the newer 13.3-inch panel. Razer has done a very good job by reducing the bezels on the 13.3-inch screen model, which allows you to be more immersed in whatever you plan to do.
Although it has a glossy screen which is kind of a problem when you decide to work in a sunny park. It’s extremely glary. This is why screens with a matte finish are so popular. Although, you cannot get the kind of HD quality that you would expect in glared screens in matte-finished screens. The Razer Blade Stealth has a touchscreen by default. But the touchscreen is somewhat annoying to use because of shaky hinges.
The trackpad on this thing has got a glass texture just like a MacBook and has the best responsiveness I’ve ever felt in a laptop. It’s not as clicky as the previous model but has a good feeling to it. The keyboard and the Razer logo on the back have RGB color lighting that gets extremely bright and beautiful when you use it in darker environments. Although, the Razer logo looks even better than the glowing Apple logo on a MacBook.
The Razer Blade Stealth has an Intel i7 Kaby Lake processor which can blissfully handle any kind of task that you assign to it. But, despite being from Razer, this one cannot be considered as a gaming laptop. This is because you cannot play most of the graphics intensive games at their full resolution. It also has an HD 620 integrated graphics chip from Intel. But it is not sufficient enough. I mean, you can play light games on it like Overwatch, but you won’t be able to enjoy it in full resolution. But, thanks to its Thunderbird 3 port which allows you to connect an external GPU. Again, an external GPU means you’ve got the freedom to play whatever games you want.
The speakers present sound right at your face as they are located beside the keyboard on both sides, unlike the Dell XPS 13’s side-facing speakers. Although, the sound quality is not that good, but can be handled by your ears.
The 13.3-inch variant is priced in the US at $1499 and Rs. 1,20,319 in India. No doubt its too expensive. But the quality it offers is unparalleled in its own way.
You cannot say that the soul of this laptop is solely vested in maintaining its image as a PC, cause it’s a duo of a PC and a tablet. No other company has applied such a beautiful solution to its product ever. When the first edition of this laptop was launched, it amazed people by its uniqueness. Now, when the second iteration of the same is here, many still consider the uniqueness it brings along with itself as the main reason for them to buy this laptop.
The Surface Book 2 has its CPU behind the display, so you can just detach the screen and use it as a tablet. But, when you are in need of those extra graphics, you can re-attach the screen to the keyboard which houses the GPU. The display is supported on a hinge that is kind of springy. Though it does not actually act as a hinge, it sure does look like one. I’ve noticed that dust easily gets collected into the fissions in the hinge, making it look nasty with day-to-day usage. For the record, it has an Intel i7 Core processor along with 16 GB of RAM.
The screen has a 3 by 2 aspect ratio with tremendous color accuracy. There’s not much to praise about the display as it has a pretty regular full HD display that almost every laptop on this list has. The keyboard particularly is well-built that has a decent key travel. It is backlit with normal LEDs and without any RGB support like the Razer Blade Stealth. It also has an option of including a stylus in the box but you’ll have to pay an extra 100 bucks. The trackpad itself is quite comfortable to use, thanks to the Windows Precision drivers pre-installed. It has a soothing click to it whose experience is unparalleled.
Speaking of raw power, this PC has a quad-core Coffee lake processor. It has a 15-watt U CPU. Additionally, it’s extremely important to note that the 13-inch version that we’re listing here does not have a fan in its tablet component. Although, the 15-inch version has one. The lack of a fan makes maintaining your workload clock speed at a fixed value almost impossible.
The speakers, as compared to the 13-inch MacBook Pro, are not good enough. But they are decent if you aren’t a big speaker fan. The Surface Book 2 has the best webcam in the market. No laptop ever has been able to compare with the webcam quality of this one. The microphone quality is just as good. Speaking of the battery life, this laptop gives around 10 hours of mediocre usage. Well, I haven’t tried it by myself and I am not much of a heavy user. So, the battery life all boils down to the kind of usage.
The fan inside this laptop is a little bit loud. Although, these are just random bits and you shouldn’t be paying a considerate amount of attention to such stuff. This laptop has the flagship Thunderbolt 3 port. Well, the proprietary charging connector that comes with the box is also kind of unique which also allows you to charge the keyboard and the tablet components separately.
It is available for $2,287.99 in the US and for Rs. 4,59,999 in India.
HP is marketing this one as the thinnest laptop in the world having its thinness set at 10.4 millimeters. Despite it being too thin, no compromises have been made in the performance sector. Moreover, it has a unique design that is catchy to the eyes the moment you look at it. The HP Spectre 2016 has got a gold accent along with a pretty minimalistic HP logo. The top surface has an aluminum finish while the bottom is made up of carbon fiber. The hinge is supported by a piston to reduce shake and to provide a smooth experience. It has gold plated metal bars at the back and at the bottom that gives it a premium feel. Although, the metal bars I’m talking about are huge fingerprint magnets.
It has 3 USB-C ports at the back, out of which two of them are Thunderbolt 3 ports. Additionally, there’s also a headphone jack present at the back, which is kind of an unusual place to place one. The keyboard on this laptop is very good with 1.3 millimeters of travel, awesome backlighting and a very nice response to taps. The glass trackpad is unusually small and also is somewhat a bit laggy in terms of performance. The speakers are mediocre and don’t sound so good.
The display is 1080p and ha Gorilla glass covering. It sets in at a brightness of 310 nits and has vibrant colors along with excellent viewing angles. The 720p webcam is kind o an ‘okay-deal,’ but is comparable to most of the laptops that made this list.
HP has also done something unique with the cooling system in this laptop. They installed a Hyperbaric cooling system. And because of that, the CPU is being throttled at intense usage. Its battery lasts for 5 hours of mediocre usage.
It has i7 Core Sky lake chips by Intel and a GPU of Intel HD Graphics 520. 8 Gigs of LPDDR3 RAM will get you going to do heavy tasks such as video editing but your laptop will have a had time cooling itself down after that. It also has 256 GB of SSD which is of course replaceable.
Speaking of the premium sector, it doesn’t live up to its expectations. It costs $844.99 in the US and Rs. 1,15,500 in India.