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The best laptops to buy in 2024: Tried and tested options for every budget

Asus Zenbook 14 OLED UX3405MA on a small white circular table, pictured head on

Looking for a new laptop? We’ve reviewed and tested loads of them but only the best make our list

If you’re after the best laptop money can buy, you’ve come to the right place. We’ve collected all of the best laptops in one place to help you find the perfect machine for your needs in 2024.

Wondering why you should listen to us? Simple. Every year, dozens of the latest and greatest laptops pass through the Expert Reviews labs – along with plenty of not-so-great laptops, too. Each device is subjected to our rigorous in-house testing, so when we recommend a laptop you can be sure of one thing: it’s a laptop we would be happy to buy ourselves.

Read on and you will discover everything from the best business-class laptops to super-sleek ultraportables, gaming laptops and 2-in-1 hybrids. In short, there’s something for everyone. And if you’re really not sure what to go for, our laptop buying guide will point you in the right direction.


Best laptops: At a glance

Best laptop overallAsus Zenbook 14 OLED (UX3405MA) (~£1,299)Check price at Asus
Best laptop under £500Asus Chromebook Plus CX34 (~£300)Check price at Amazon
Best laptop for battery lifeApple MacBook Air 13.6 (M3, 2024) (~£1,050)Check price at Amazon
Best 15in laptopAsus Vivobook S15 OLED (~£1,299)Check price at Amazon
Best 16in laptopHuawei MateBook 16s (~£1,100)Check price at Huawei

How we test laptops

Best laptop. Side view of a laptop on a table undergoing tests using colorimeter

We have decades of experience reviewing laptops here at Expert Reviews but we still put every laptop through a series of demanding tests.

That way we can be sure we’re being as objective as possible in our assessment of each laptop sent in for review.

To do that, we spend hours testing and using every machine that is sent in, mixing synthetic and real-world tests to get an overall view of a system’s performance:

  • We run our own in-house benchmarking software – this pushes the system as a whole, stressing the CPU, GPU and cooling system all at once
  • We run a whole host of third-party benchmarking applications, including Geekbench, Cinebench, GFXBench, AS SSD and GPU/games-focused benchmarks, so you can compare your laptop with the systems we test
  • We test the brightness, contrast and colour accuracy of a laptop’s screen (or screens) using the DisplayCAL software and an X-Rite colorimeter to give a completely objective picture of how well a laptop’s display performs
  • We monitor system temperatures at all times using CoreTemp, to get an idea of how a laptop is behaving under load. Some systems buckle only a few minutes after running at maximum load, while others keep their cool, and performance levels are high
  • Finally, we test battery life by timing how long it takes to drain the battery from 100% to shut down, playing a video on loop and setting the display at a predetermined brightness to ensure a level playing field across laptop models

And, of course, no laptop review would be complete without actually using it for at least part of our working day – to write the review itself, watch video, carry out video calls and more. To find out more about how we test, read our in-depth how-we-test article here.

Best laptop. Screenshots of different laptop testing software and results charts on an orange background


The best laptops you can buy in 2024

1. Microsoft Surface Laptop 7: Best laptop to buy

Price when reviewed: From £1,049 (13.8in model) | Check price at Microsoft

microsoft surface laptop 7 review laptop open on home screen positioned to the right

  • Great for… Windows laptop users seeking great battery life
  • Not so great for… gaming enthusiasts

The Microsoft Surface Laptop 7 is part of a new wave of laptops, first announced in May 2024. These so-called “Copilot+ PCs” were conceived to take advantage of interest in AI, and they all come with powerful NPUs (neural processing unit) inside to make local AI processing easier and more efficient.

However, the thing that has impressed us the most about all these laptops so far has been the battery life. After years of lagging behind Apple on this front, we’ve found that the new Qualcomm Snapdragon-powered Copilot+ laptops are lasting as long as, if not longer, than their Apple-silicon powered counterparts.

The 15in Surface Laptop 7 we reviewed lasted a hugely impressive 17hrs 13mins in our video playback battery test – this is a laptop you’ll be able to work on all day without having to top it up.

Aside from that, it’s a great all-rounder. It’s a superbly repairable machine with a sleek, minimalist design. Build quality is solid, it has a great range of ports and the touchscreen display is brilliant – not quite as vivid or punchy as the OLED screens on some rivals, but bright, sharp and colour-accurate.

More than this, the smaller model costs from £1,049, a price that undercuts the 13.6in M3 MacBook Air by £50, comes with more RAM and storage – and can be easily DIY-upgraded for relatively little cash. Need a Windows laptop that lasts an age that’s easy to maintain and fix yourself? Look no further.

Read our full Microsoft Surface 7 review 

Key specs – Display size: 13.8in or 15in IPS; Resolution: 2,496 x 1,664 (13.8in) or 2,304 x 1,536 (15in); Panel type: IPS touchscreen; CPU: 10-core Qualcomm Snapdragon X Plus or 12-core Qualcomm Snapdragon Elite; RAM: Up to 32GB; Storage: Up to 1TB SSD; Dimensions: 353 x 227 x 18.3mm (WDH)

Check price at Microsoft

2. Asus Chromebook Plus CX34: Best laptop under £500

Price when reviewed: £260 | Check price at Amazon | John Lewis

Asus Chromebook Plus CX34 - front slight angle, open

  • Great for… those on a budget
  • Not so great for… CPU intensive tasks

Asus Chromebook Plus CX34 single bar battery life chart

The Asus Chromebook Plus CX34 is among the first in a wave of new Chromebooks bearing the “Plus” branding – a branding exercise by Google that attempts to make buying a Chromebook less confusing for consumers. “Plus” branded Chromebooks like this Asus are guaranteed, among other things, to have an Intel Core CPU, a 1080p display and webcam and a minimum of 8GB of RAM and 128GB storage.

Either way, the CX34 is a fine machine; in fact, for the money we don’t think you can get anything better. It’s smartly designed, performance and battery life are decent, the screen is sharp with good viewing angles, connectivity is expansive as well and our reviewer was rather impressed with the keyboard. This laptop does have its weaknesses, and we would hesitate to commit the cash at its RRP of £429 but the price seems to have fallen pretty much permanently to £300 or below and at that level it’s a bargain.

Read our full Asus Chromebook Plus CX34 review 

Key specs – Display size: 14in; Resolution: 1,920 x 1,080; CPU: Intel Core i3-1215U; Graphics:  Intel UHD Graphics; RAM: 8GB; Storage: 128GB UFS;  Dimensions: 326.4 x 214.3 x 18.7mm (WDH); Weight: 1.44kg


3. Apple MacBook Air 13.6 (M3, 2024): Best laptop for battery life

Price when reviewed: From £1,050 | Check price at Amazon | John Lewis

The Apple MacBook Air (M3, 2024) pictured head on, on a kitchen table

  • Great for… pretty much any task you can think of
  • Not so great for… anyone who needs a Windows laptop

Apple MacBook Air 13.6in (M3, 2024) battery life chart single bar

The latest MacBook Air from Apple doesn’t change much over its predecessor but it remains a superb choice for anyone needing a thin, lightweight laptop who doesn’t want to worry too much about plugging it into charge all the time.

When we tested it, it didn’t last quite as long as the M2 MacBook Air 13.6in (around 15 hours versus 17 hours) but it still comfortably outlasts most Windows laptops in the same price range. In addition, the laptop is just as sleek and luxurious to use as you would expect a MacBook Air to be and the new M3 chip brings a welcome boost to performance, too.

There are a few things to note, though. The wide gamut display, although good, can’t match the OLED screens appearing in many Windows rivals for vibrancy. The M2 MacBook Pro, which is almost as fast, has better battery life and identical looks, can now be had for around £900. And you don’t get much RAM or storage for your money compared with the competition at this price.

Read our full Apple MacBook Air 13.6in review

Key specs – Display size: 13.6in; Resolution: 2,560 x 1,664; Panel type: IPS; CPU: Apple M2; Graphics: Apple M2; RAM: 8-24GB; Storage: 256GB-2TB; Dimensions: 304 x 215 x 11.3mm (WDH); Weight: 1.24kg


4. Acer Chromebook Spin 714: Best budget laptop

Price when reviewed: £699 | Check price at Amazon

Acer Chromebook Spin 714, open, pictured at an angle facing right on oak floorboards with a blue wall in the background

  • Great for… battery life and versatility
  • Not so great for… top-end photo and video editing

Acer Chromebook Spin 714 battery life chart single bar

With Chromebooks now featuring modern and powerful CPUs, decent amounts of local storage and the capacity to run Linux as well as Android apps, they are much more than just thin-client terminals to access the web and your Gmail account. Among all the new Chromebook Plus and Gaming Chromebook models the £699 (often on sale for £100 less) Acer Spin 714 stands out as the most versatile, stylish and competent.

Built around a decent 14-in 1,920 x 1,200 IPS 16:10 touchscreen, a 13th generation Intel Core i3-1315U CPU with 8GB of RAM, and 256GB of storage, the Spin 714 isn’t burdened with any of the dated or cheap design that often ruins the user experience in laptops in this price bracket. Beyond the quality basics, you also get a good backlit keyboard, decent loudspeakers and a convertible form factor that lets you fold it into a (rather fat) tablet or tent it on your desk. There’s even a bundled stylus.

The 13th Gen Intel Core i3 processor lacks the performance of its Core i5 and Core i7 brethren but, thanks to two of its six cores being “performance” cores, it has enough grunt to run Linux apps like Gimp and Handbrake at a reasonable clip. And, being a Chromebook, battery life is very impressive, with the Spin 714 running for 13hrs 20mins in our standard video rundown test. For the money, it’s an impressively versatile and high-quality laptop.

Read our full Acer Chromebook Spin 714 review 

Key specs – Display size: 13.5in; Resolution: 2,256 x 1,504; Panel type: IPS touchscreen; CPU: Intel Core i3-1315U; Graphics: Intel UHD Graphics (integrated); RAM: 8GB; Storage: 256GB SSD; Dimensions: 312 x 224 x 18mm (WDH)


5. Asus Vivobook S15 OLED: Best 15in laptop

Price when reviewed: £1,299 | Check price at Amazon

Asus Vivobook S15 OLED on a table against a white background

  • Great for… watching movies on the go
  • Not so great for… input and output selection, upgrade options

Asus Vivobook S15 OLED single bar battery life chart

Traditionally, OLED screen laptops have been either small or expensive or both, which is a shame because if you plan on using your laptop to watch videos or want to look at HDR content, OLED really is the best choice. Asus has come to the rescue with the Vivobook S15, which is a solid multipurpose laptop with a good OLED screen and a price tag that’s very reasonable indeed.

The screen might be an old-school 15.6in Full HD 60Hz affair but it can generate some serious levels of brightness (630cd/m2 in HDR), and the colour reproduction is excellent at 102.2% of DCI-P3. That combines to earn the Vivobook S15 a VESA DisplayHDR True Black 600 certificate. Add a very good Harmon Kardon-tuned speaker system into the mix, and you have a media machine par excellence.

Performance is strong, too, thanks to a 14-core Core i7-13700H CPU with 16GB of DDR5 RAM. The 35W Intel Arc 350M GPU won’t let you play Returnal (we tried) but it does mean that the Vivobook S15 has an edge over machines depending on Intel’s integrated GPU for graphics processing. Battery life is solid at 10hrs 40mins, the keyboard is quiet, pleasant to use and backlit, and the 1080p webcam is well above average. As a general-purpose laptop for the price, nothing comes close.

Read our full Asus Vivobook S15 review 

Key specs – Display size: 15.6in; Resolution: 1,920 x 1,080; Panel type: OLED; CPU: Intel Core i7-13700H; Graphics: Intel Arc 350M; RAM: 16GB; Storage: 1TB SSD; Dimensions: 356 x 229 x 18mm (WDH)


6. Acer Swift Go 14: Best value Windows laptop

Price when reviewed: £700 | Check price at Currys

Acer Swift Go 14 on a wooden table with white shuttered windows in the background

  • Great for… any job, any time, anywhere
  • Not so great for… long stretches away from the mains

Acer Swift Go OLED single bar battery life chart

The Acer Swift Go range packs an impressive amount in for less than £1,000. The base machine costs a mere £750 and comes with an AMD Ryzen 5 7530U CPU and a Full HD IPS display. We loved the model with the OLED screen and that’s the one to choose if you can find it. Alas, availability has been scarce.

It’s still a great laptop, even without the OLED display, though. Build is solid, there’s a great range of ports and sockets and the range of specifications available is consistently excellent value for money. Our pick is the model with the Intel Core i7-13700H CPU, 16GB of RAM and 512GB SSD, which goes for £899. With a Full HD touchscreen, it’s simply great value for money.

Read our full Acer Swift Go 14 review 

Key specs – Display size: 14in; Resolution: 1,920 x 1,080 (touchscreen); Panel type: OLED; CPU: Intel Core i7-13700H; Graphics: Intel Iris Xe (integrated); RAM: 16GB; Storage: 512GB SSD; Dimensions: 313 x 14.9 x 218mm (WDH); Weight: 1.3kg

Check price at Currys


7. Asus ROG Strix Scar 16 (2023): Best gaming laptop

Price when reviewed: £3,400 | Check price at John Lewis

The Asus ROG Strix Scar 16 pictured on a wooden table with white shutters in the background

  • Great for… gamers with plenty of cash
  • Not so great for… anyone with an aversion to bright colours

Asus Strix Scar 16 (2023) single bar battery chart

The Asus ROG Strix Scar 16 may be expensive but it is absolutely stacked with high-end components that deliver the very best gaming performance.

Inside the laptop we reviewed was a 24-core Intel Core i9-13980HX processor, paired with an Nvidia GeForce RTX 4080 GPU, 32GB of RAM and a huge 2TB of SSD storage, all packaged in a chassis that superbly stylish – if you like RGB lights, that is.

The star of this particular show is the Strix Scar’s mini LED Nebula HDR screen, which has 1,024 individual lighting zones, an incredibly smooth refresh rate of 240Hz and delivers absolutely incredible gaming performance, especially when it comes to brightness and HDR capability. None of the current alternatives is as well-balanced or as fast as this.

Read our full Asus ROG Strix Scar 16 review 

Key specs – Display size: 16in; Resolution: 2,560 x 1,600; Panel type: Mini-LED; CPU: Intel Core i9-13980HX; Graphics: Nvidia GeForce RTX 4080; RAM: 32GB; Storage: 2TB SSD; Dimensions: 395 x 282 x 234mm (WDH); Weight: 2.9kg

Check price at John Lewis


8. Huawei MateBook 16s: Best 16in laptop

Price when reviewed: £1,100 | Check price at Huawei

The Huawei MateBook 16s, open, facing the camera, on a white table with white shutters in the background

  • Great for… high performance on a budget
  • Not so great for… anyone looking for an ultra-light machine

Huawei MateBook 16s (2023) single bar battery life chart

Huawei’s 2023 refresh of the MateBook 16s delivers 13th Gen Intel Core i9 power and now, a few months after release, a significant price drop compared to the 2022 model. Performance from the new 14-core 5.4GHz Intel Core i9-13900H chip is impressive, with the MateBook 16s scoring a whopping 406 in our 4K multimedia benchmark test. And all for just £1,099, including 16GB of RAM and a 1TB SSD.

The most obvious star of the show is the 3:2 ratio 2,520 x 1,680 189ppi touch-enabled IPS display. It’s bright, sharp, vivid and colour-accurate, –everything a good laptop display should be. It only refreshes at 60Hz, which is a bit of a shame, but the size and quality makes it ideal for both creative and office work and watching video. The speaker system is superb; one of the very best fitted to any laptop we’ve tested.

The high-quality 1080p webcam and microphone array come with a wide range of clever features that are grouped together under Huawei’s Smart Conference banner, making the MateBook 16s a go-to option for remote workers. Add an excellent keyboard, Thunderbolt 4 and 6GHz Wi-Fi 6E connectivity, plus strong battery life into the mix (12hrs 30mins in our testing), and there’s an awful lot to like about the MateBook 16s. At 2kg, it is a little on the heavy side, though.

Read our full Huawei MateBook 16s review 

Key specs – Display size: 16in; Resolution: 2,520 x 1,680; Panel type: IPS; CPU: 14-core Intel Core-i7 13900H; Graphics: Intel Iris Xe; RAM: 16GB; Storage: 1TB SSD; Dimensions: 351 x 254.9 x 17.8mm (WDH); Weight: 2kg

Check price at Huawei


9. Asus ROG Zephyrus M16 (2023): Best laptop for power users

Price when reviewed: £4,099 (GU604VY-NM001W) | Check price at Asus

Asus ROG Zephyrus M16 (2023) facing to the left on a grey table with white shutters and a house plant in the background

  • Great for… video and photo editors, part-time gamers
  • Not so great for… battery life

Asus ROG Zephyrus M16 (2023)

Describing the Asus ROG Zephyrus M16 runs the risk of running out of superlatives. With an Nvidia GeForce RTX 4090 GPU, Intel Core i9-13900H CPU and 2TB of fast storage inside, it’s arguably the most powerful laptop on the market and is capable of epic feats of performance. The SPECviewperf 3dsmax 3D modelling benchmark test ran at 195fps at 1080p, a feat only Alienware’s truly monstrous m18 can (almost) match.

The 16in, 2,560 x 1,600 Nebula HDR display has a Mini-LED backlight that can top 1,000cd/m2 in HDR playback, and there’s colour aplenty with 97.2% coverage of the DCI-P3 colour gamut. Measured against the sRGB profile, the average Delta E colour accuracy came in at exactly 1, while versus DCI-P3, it landed at 1.3, both of which are excellent scores. Compared to the ROG Strix Scar 16, the M16 looks more grown-up and has a far superior 1080p webcam with facial recognition security.

At launch, the last superlative has to be reserved for price: £4,099 is a heck of a price for a laptop, no matter how good, but at the time of writing, you can pick it up for a LOT less than that. Only battery life lets it down, the M16 spluttering and dying after just a little longer than five hours in our video rundown test.

Read our full Asus ROG Zephyrus M16 (2023) review 

Key specs – Display size: 16in; Resolution: 2,560 x 1,600; Panel type: Mini-LED; CPU: Intel Core i9-13900H; Graphics: Nvidia GeForce RTX 4090;  RAM: 8GB or 16GB; Storage: 2TB SSD; Dimensions: 355 x 246 x 23mm; Weight: 2.4kg

Check price at Asus


10. Lenovo Legion Slim 5 Gen 8: Best compact gaming laptop

Price when reviewed: £1,474 | Check price at Lenovo

Lenovo Legion Slim 5 Gen 8 review laptop open at a side angle

  • Great for… mobile gamers and creatives on a budget
  • Not so great for… the latest AI malarky

Lenovo Legion Slim 5 Gen 8 (14in) single bar battery life chart

If we told you you could buy a light, compact laptop for less than £1,500 that could do a little bit of everything from gaming to AV creative work, you might think we’d gone a little crazy. The Lenovo Legion Slim 5 Gen 8, however, is just one such machine.

For your money, you get a sublime 14.5in 120Hz 2.8K OLED screen, a potent 105W TGP Nvidia RTX 4060 GPU, an efficient but capable AMD Ryzen 7 7840HS CPU and an excellent ThinkPad-style keyboard. All that goodness is wrapped up in a compact 1.75kg aluminium body that houses a second SSD bay and one free SODIMM RAM slot so you can even upgrade it yourself.

Dig deeper, and the Legion Slim’s quality continues to shine through. The display is impressively colour-accurate, the speakers loud and tuneful, the battery life is solid at 8hrs 30mins in our video rundown test and the 1TB SSD is surprisingly fast. The only thing it lacks is the AI features like Windows Studio Effects that you get with the very latest AMD and Intel CPUs. Otherwise, this is a stunning effort.

Read our full Lenovo Legion Slim 5 Gen 8 review

Key specs – Display size: 14.5in; Resolution: 2,880 x 1,800; CPU: AMD Ryzen 7 7840HS; Graphics: Nvidia RTX 4060; RAM: 16GB; Storage: 1TB SSD; Dimensions: 328 x 251 x 21.3mm (WDH); Weight: 1.75kg

Check price at Lenovo

11. Samsung Galaxy Book4 Pro 360: Best 2-in-1 laptop

Price when reviewed: £1,799 | Check price at Amazon | Samsung

The Samsung Galaxy Book4 Pro 360 pictured on a small white table, head on

  • Great for… 2-in-1 enthusiasts looking for the ultimate laptop
  • Not so great for… penny pinchers looking to save money

Samsung Galaxy Book4 Pro 360 single bar battery life chart

Samsung’s Galaxy Book4 Pro is a stunning 2-in-1 laptop with a class-leading OLED display and the latest Intel CPU inside. It’s a beautifully slim laptop that’s an absolute pleasure to use and in our battery life tests it lasted much longer than most Windows rivals – an impressive 13hrs 46mins.

That’s still not anywhere near as long as the 13.6in M2 MacBook Air – it lasted 17 hours in the same test – but the Samsung does offer plenty of other benefits. It has a touchscreen with stylus compatibility, and there’s one included in the box. Plus, it comes with Intel’s latest 16-core Core Ultra 7 155H CPU inside, which brings with it much better graphics performance than previous integrated Intel graphics.

Yes, the price is quite high, but this is truly the best 2-in-1 you can buy right now. In our opinion, it’s well worth the price premium.

Read our full Samsung Galaxy Book4 Pro 360 review 

Key specs – Display size: 14.5in; Resolution: 2,880 x 1,800; Type: OLED; CPU: Intel Core Ultra 7 155H CPU; Graphics: Intel Arc Graphics; RAM: 16GB; Storage: 512GB; Dimensions: 355 x 252 x 13mm (WDH); Weight: 1.66kg


How to choose the best laptop for you

Buying a brand-new laptop is no easy task. There are so many brilliant devices to choose from each year, with prices ranging from £200 to £2,000 or more. Cost can also vary massively between different configurations of the same laptop, which only adds to the confusion. In this brief buying guide, we will help you make the right choice by outlining the most important factors to consider before you bust out the bank card.

What do you need your laptop for?

Your personal requirements should dictate what sort of laptop you go for. A typical university student will have different tech needs to a professional video editor. Some may need a laptop that can process large files at rapid speeds, while others may just want to use Google Docs or browse the web. Ultimately, it all comes down to what you want your laptop to do.

READ NEXT: Best laptops for kids

What about performance and battery life?

The most powerful laptops are those with the most powerful CPUs and the highest amount of RAM. A laptop’s CPU power is measured in gigahertz (GHz), and each processor has a baseline frequency as well as a maximum frequency. Other factors can impact overall performance, including poor temperature control, which can lead to thermal throttling. Ideally, any laptop you buy should have at least 4GB of RAM as a minimum. Processors aren’t as easy to pin down – they might be dual-core, quad-core or hexa-core and can range greatly in power.

An Apple MacBook Pro (or Windows equivalent such as the Dell XPS 15) has a much more powerful CPU and more RAM than a cheap Chromebook because people expect them to run multiple demanding applications.

Battery size is measured in milliamp-hours (mAH) or Watt-hours (Wh) – the biggest battery will (in theory) last the longest, but it all depends on how much power the various components inside the device use (the display, CPU and GPU have the biggest impact). An ultra-budget laptop with a small battery size may last longer than a premium notebook with a huge battery because its internal hardware isn’t as demanding. We run a standardised video rundown test on every single laptop we review, with the longest-lasting performers tending to be a mix between efficient high-end ultraportable laptops and low-powered Chromebooks.

What operating system should you go for?

Whether it’s Windows, macOS or Chrome OS, each operating system has its own strengths and weaknesses. macOS is only found in Apple’s own laptops, while Windows powers all sorts of laptops from manufacturers such as Acer, Asus and Lenovo. Google’s low-powered Chrome OS is also rising in popularity and can be found on a wide range of devices.

READ NEXT: Best laptop for students

When it comes to laptop displays, the resolution isn’t everything. If the same laptop has the option of a Full HD (1,920 x 1,080) display and a 4K (3,840 x 2,160) display, the latter is usually more expensive but not necessarily sharper. How sharp a display look depends on two factors: the size of the screen and how far away you sit from it.

In our experience, you don’t really need more than 1,920 x 1,080 on a screen 14in or smaller. In fact, if you have 20/20 vision, you would have to be viewing the display at a distance closer than 56cm. Given that laptops with higher-resolution panels typically suffer a bit in the battery life department, it’s often worth opting for the lower resolution, and cheaper, option if you can.

The quality of a laptop’s display has little to do with the resolution of the screen, however. There’s no guarantee of a laptop’s maximum brightness, colour accuracy or contrast ratio no matter how sharp it is. We measure all these when testing each laptop because a dim, muddy or washed-out display can ruin a great product.

How many ports should a laptop have?

In addition to a power socket and headphone jack, most new laptops will come with at least one USB-C and a couple of USB-A ports. When it comes to connections, the general rule of thumb is the more the merrier.

It’s worth paying attention to the type of USB-C ports you’re getting, however; although they might look the same, they often have different capabilities from machine to machine. For the fastest transfer speeds, look for Thunderbolt 3 USB-C ports; USB-C isn’t as quick.

And don’t assume every USB-C port on a laptop can carry video, power and data. Although the standard allows for this, manufacturers sometimes limit what each port can do.

It’s extremely useful to have a full-sized HDMI connector for hooking up the laptop to additional monitors, too, although these aren’t particularly common on slimmer laptops. And an SD card reader doesn’t hurt, either – an addition that’s sorely lacking on Apple’s laptops these days.

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