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We’re celebrating the New Year by visiting Las Vegas for the world’s biggest technology show: CES. We’re keeping an eye out for new laptops, as this is where we’ll get a chance to touch, feel and type on the devices that you’ll be buying this year. Without further ado, here are the best laptops of 2020.
Unless we state otherwise, all these laptops includes Intel’s 10th Generation Core processors. That means better battery life and, roughly, a 10% lift in performance. Note that some Core i5 chips, and all Core i7s, include Intel’s much improved Iris Plus graphics too, which means the latest 3D games have a half-decent chance of running!
Dell XPS 13 (2020)
While Dell hasn’t radically improved its formula for the Dell XPS 13 in 2020 (read our review of last year’s 2-in-1 model here), this premium 13in ultraportable includes a new 16:10 aspect ratio screen. This makes it easier to use windows side by side and means films stretch nicely across the display. The new Dell XPS 13 is already on sale with prices starting from £999, but that only includes 4GB of memory and a Core i3 processor: we recommend you look at the £1,199 model with a Core i5, 8GB of RAM and a 256GB SSD at the very minimum.
Acer Spin 5 (2020)
One of many new convertibles for 2020, the Spin 5’s screen twirls round 360 degrees to turn this compact 13.5in laptop into an admittedly bulky 13.5in tablet. We’re fans of the active stylus, which has its own cubby hole to slide into. And it’s well connected, with all the ports you could ever want and fast 802.11ax Wi-Fi (now called the rather more friendly Wi-Fi 6). It weighs 1.2kg and will be available from March 2020 from 999 Euros.
Acer TravelMate P6
If you’re buying a laptop for business then the TravelMate P6 looks like an excellent contender for 2020. We’re fans of the textured material on the outside – it has hints of Velcro, but without the stickiness – and has passed tough military standard tests so should survive a daily trip to Slough. It’s also packed with ports, while there’s a 14in display in its 1.1kg frame. Just don’t expect a bezel-free screen. The P6 goes on sale in February with a starting price of 1,099 Euros.
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Fold
This year’s most insane arrival is the ThinkPad X1 Fold. It doesn’t go on sale until the summer, and will cost $2,499 (no UK pricing yet), but Lenovo has done a phenomenal engineering job to make it happen. Central to its appeal is a bendable 13.3in AMOLED display, and it’s backed up with an Intel Core processor with “Intel Hybrid Technology”. Lenovo insists it’s fast enough to be your main machine, but when you’re on the move you can fold it up into the size of a paperback. Open it up to view two “pages” side by side, extend it fully to watch a film, and attach the bundled Bluetooth keyboard when you want to start typing. Bizarre but brilliant.
Lenovo Legion Y740S
If you’re a gamer but don’t want to lug a gaming laptop with you on your travels, Lenovo has the Legion Y740S. It’s slim (that’s what the S stands for) but doesn’t include a gaming graphics chip: instead, Lenovo expects people to buy an eGPU – an external graphics card housed in a box – and in particular its’ own Legion BoostStation ($299 without graphics card). This includes a 500W power supply, which means it can cope with an Nvidia RTX 2080 Super. Both will go on sale from May 2020, with prices starting at $1,100 for the laptop and $250 for the BoostStation.
Are these the best laptops of 2020? We’ll be adding more laptops as the show goes on.