What every best Laptops has:
PCMag.com evaluates a huge number of laptops. Reviews aren't overly long, but they are balanced and based on hands-on testing. In addition to this listing, which is sortable by all laptops that have been reviewed, you can find separate articles that list top ultraportable, gaming and business laptops. Editors' Choice awards are given out in various categories, ranging from gaming rigs to low-cost desktop replacements.
Laptop Magazine reviews many laptops in detail. Reports are comprehensive and hands-on, and performance is compared to close competitors. Editors' Choices are named, and the very best laptops for specific uses and users appear on this list.
CNET's laptop reviews are balanced, reasonably detailed and backed by testing. Each laptop is rated, and the very best are singled out for Editors' Choice awards, though few laptops qualify. This page names the best laptops overall, with links to lists that name the best laptops in various categories.
ComputerShopper.com is another prolific reviewer of laptops. Tests are thorough and each laptop is rated on a 5-star scale. The best laptops earn various awards. This website does a particularly great job of explaining which kind of user would want each laptop. This list names the top laptops tested, each of which earns an Editors' Choice award, though some of the systems included are old models.
ConsumerReports.org evaluates more than 125 laptops. Testing is unbiased, and each laptop is rated for ergonomics, portability, performance, versatility, display, touch-screen quality (if applicable) and given an overall score. Editors also examine battery life and rate the reliability of popular brands. Each laptop gets an individual write-up, but these are very brief; you won't learn all the ins and outs of a particular laptop here. Some of the models are discontinued, but similar ones are often available. Many of the laptops rate well enough to earn recommendations.
The reviews at PC World are a little bit of a mixed bag. Some are highly detailed, comparing favorably with those at other technology sites, but others are a bit less detailed. Even so, editors' conclusions are backed by solid testing and each laptop is rated on a 5-star scale. Navigation appears to be greatly streamlined compared to previous years. Occasional articles highlighting top choices are helpful, but include some systems that are no longer available and others that don't appear to have actually been tested.
It's too bad that HotHardware.com doesn't evaluate more laptops, because the reviews that are here are outstanding. Real world and lab tests cover nearly every pertinent aspect, but ratings aren't provided. Almost every laptop earns some type of award such as Approved or Recommended; however, only the best receive Editor's Choice honors. Usability would be better, however, if the site said which laptops were standouts up front -- you have to click through to the last page of each review to see what's what.
TheWirecutter.com researches laptops reviews, then tests the most promising models to find the best choices for different users and different budgets. Discussion is typically long and highly detailed, and the selection and testing methodology is well explained. Coverage is updated on a fairly regular basis.
Once a prolific tester of laptops, TheVerge.com has only evaluated a handful of systems thus far in 2017. Reviews aren't as technically dense as at some sites, but also have fewer of the details that the technically obsessed sometimes demand. Ratings are provided and, while top laptops aren't named, conclusions are well explained.
These laptop reviews are well organized and detailed, but the site evaluates fewer systems than others we rate higher. On the plus side, testing is excellent and each system gets an overall grade so that comparisons are easier to make. Outstanding laptops earn Editors' Choice awards, but few qualify.
Reviewed.com looks at a fair number of laptops, with top picks winding up here. Like all such lists, some systems are older models, but there's also a good selection of current laptops in all price ranges and for all types of users, as well as a link to all of the systems the editors have tested. Evaluations are testing based, but rely less on formal benchmarking and more on hands-on impressions than some sites. Editors' Choice and Best of the Year laptops are named.
Like Reviewed.com, PCVerge.com relies less on formal benchmark testing and more on reviewer impressions and specifications to make its recommendations. The site reviews many laptops, discussion of each is fairly detailed, and ratings are provided. Occasional round ups name top choices.
AnandTech.com evaluates laptops on occasion. The testing process here is incredibly extensive. Write-ups are balanced and conclusions are clear, but no ratings are given. Top-performing laptops sometimes get an Editors' Choice award, but that designation is handed out very rarely. Articles that name top laptops are offered, but most have not been tested by the site.
BestBuy.com sells a large number of preconfigured laptops, ranging from the cheapest laptops to high-end gaming rigs. Many score 4 stars out of 5 or higher after dozens, and in some cases hundreds and even thousands of reviews. In addition to an overall rating, reviews typically include a bottom-line comment on whether the owner would recommend that laptop to a friend.
Amazon.com also gives owners the opportunity to rate and comment on their laptop computers. The site is easy to use and lots of laptops are listed. However many are discontinued models available only through marketplace sellers. Top laptops -- including many Apple laptops -- draw enough feedback to be meaningful, but others get only a handful of reviews, or none at all.
Walmart.com might not be the first place you think of for laptops, but it offers an impressive selection of budget-priced and mainstream laptops, and even an occasional gaming rig. Owners don't hesitate to share their thoughts about purchases; many models receive more than a dozen user reviews, and some get hundreds of write-ups and ratings-only feedback.
Each year PCMag.com asks readers which tech products they like best and find most reliable. In the laptop category, Apple and MSI take home Readers' Choice awards as the best laptops overall, with Microsoft earning Readers' Choice awards in the home use and hybrids categories.
Rather than reaching out to readers, Laptop Magazine rates laptop brands based on the expertise of its editors, awarding points in areas such as quality, tech support, innovation, design and more, including how the company's laptops faired in Laptop Magazine's own reviews. Lenovo takes the top spot, followed by Asus and Dell. In a break from where the brand usually rates, "Because of its modest review scores, expensive products and lack of ports, Apple fell all the way down to fifth place after receiving top honors every year since the Best and Worst Brands debuted in 2010."
For this report, testers go undercover to find out which laptop brand has the best customer service. They search for answers to questions that were specific to the brands and laptops they were testing, along with one common question. Online and social support counted more heavily than phone support in this year's test. Apple, Acer and Lenovo take the top three spots.