Best laptops to buy in 2013
Posted on 5 Apr 2013 at 10:25
We pick out the best laptops to buy in 2013 with our round-up of the seven hottest models
If you’re hunting for a new laptop, there’s more choice than ever. With Windows 8 ushering in a new breed of touchscreen hybrids, and plenty of excellent Ultrabooks and standard laptops already on the market, we’ve chosen our seven favourite models for 2013.
Whether you’re in the market for a budget model, something stylish and slim, or something just a little different, one of these machines will be sure to fit the bill.
Dell XPS 13
Dell was amongst the first manufacturers to lead the Ultrabook charge, and its XPS 13 swiftly emerged as one of the best. Now, Dell’s taken the familiar carbon-fibre and metal skeleton and given the specification a welcome upgrade for 2013. The addition of a Full HD display is enough to send the Dell’s appeal soaring, and it’s not only the extra pixels that make the difference: the high contrast, brightness and fine colour accuracy place the Dell’s display ahead of every other Ultrabook out there.
Intel’s Ivy Bridge now plays a part, too, pushing performance ever higher, and the new SSD outstrips the Samsung SSD in the original model. There’s still some room for improvement, but with the base model partnering a Core i5 CPU, 128GB SSD and Full HD screen for only £829, it’s simply fantastic value.
Read our full Dell XPS 13 review
If you can’t quite stretch your budget to Asus’ N56VM (see below), and you can live without stylish looks and crisp audio, MSI’s CX61 is something of a hidden gem. You’d be hard pressed to recognise its brilliance from the chunky, plasticky chassis, but MSI has put every penny of the £680 price towards top-notch components.
The Full HD display delivers excellent image quality, with strong contrast and colour accuracy amongst its talents. There’s no end of power, either, and the combination of a beefy quad-core processor and Nvidia graphics allow it to rival far pricier laptops for overall performance. Battery life suffers as a result, but if you’re looking for a desktop replacement powerhouse for under £700, nothing offers quite as much bang for the buck.
Read our full MSI CX61 review
Asus VivoBook S200E
Asus' VivoBook S200E is the very definition of a pint-sized laptop bargain. The metal-clad chassis is pretty enough to make other budget laptops hang their lids in shame, and combines sturdy build quality with shoulder-friendly weight. The 11.6in touchscreen display is a boon for tapping and flicking through Windows 8; the Core i3 processor is nippy enough for everyday tasks; and the 5-hour battery life isn’t to be sniffed at.
Those on a really tight budget can always opt for the cheaper Intel Celeron-equipped model, which retails for around £300, but since our initial review, Asus has downgraded the Core i3 model from an Ivy Bridge to a last-generation Sandy Bridge Core i3 CPU, and dropped the price to £350. That’s still great value, but a quick look on Google reveals that some big-name retailers are selling stocks of the original Ivy Bridge Core i3 model for only £380. We’d dust off that credit card.
Read our full Asus VivoBook S200E review
Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga 13
Sometimes the simplest ideas are best, and Lenovo provides a perfect example with its Windows 8 hybrid, the IdeaPad Yoga 13. Where rivals flaunt fancy spinning and sliding screens, the Yoga 13 employs a deceptively simple double-jointed hinge. It's a revelation: this stylish, capable 13.3in Ultrabook bends over backwards to transform into a king-sized tablet, and the base cleverly doubles as a flexible stand. The Core i7 CPU and SSD speed through Windows 8 whatever position it's in, and the IPS display provides vivid, eye-pampering image quality from any angle. For £1,000, it's the best Windows 8 hybrid money can buy.
Read our full Lenovo Yoga 13 review
Dell XPS 12
The Dell XPS 12 is an Ultrabook that pirouettes into a 12.5in tablet. It’s a fine achievement: Dell’s engineers have managed to splice the carbon-fibre XPS range with the ingenious spinning hinge of the Inspiron Duo, and the result is a hybrid like no other.
No business laptop
I would have expected to see a business laptop for those of us who don't work in sales and marketing.
My choice would be the Dell E6530. I have the previous model, and couldn't be happier. It is solidly built, has the required 1080p display, all day battery life and a keyboard that is a joy to type on.
By tirons1 on 28 Jan 2013
Samsung series 9
And no Samsung series 9 in there? A lovely ultrabook, Core i5 or Core i7, SSD, 4-8GB RAM high resolution and excellent quality matte screen, etc.
Instead, you put the XPS 13 in there which is heavier, more expensive, and has a much poorer 1366x768 glossy screen with lousy viewing angles etc. Why?
By Trippynet on 29 Jan 2013
@trippynet you beat me to it. the ignorance in the industry of the awesomeness of the series 9 is inexplicable. It is arguably the best laptop in the world. Stunning screen, stunning speed, battery designed to last 1500 cycles before losing performance significantly.
The choices here are a farce.
By gavmeister on 3 Feb 2013
Great list and reviews. You rly helped me make my choice what to buy. tnx again :)
By killa007 on 15 Mar 2013
you guys are stupid. the samsung series 9 is barely lighter than the dell, has a much poorer screen (if you two were literate you would have noticed that the dell XPS 13 has a FULL HD screen) and a terrible keyboard.
By user08 on 12 May 2013
For more details about purchasing this feature and/or images for editorial usage, please contact Jasmine Samra on firstname.lastname@example.org
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