Laptop computers remain a staple at work and in school, and the race continues to produce the lightest, fastest, thinnest laptop.
For 2018, the key approach by computer companies was to not only produce the most portable laptops, but to also offer product diversity to meet the needs of every consumer.
Here are some of the top and most popular laptop brands for 2018:
These brands are established within the industry and widely available in retail locations. Even casual tech users likely recognize most of the brand names on the list above, as many of them are well-established within the computer and technology markets.
To bring readers the best possible information, we’ve elected to spotlight the Top 4 Laptop Brands to Know for 2018, based on consumer feedback and professional reviews. Read on to learn which brands perform best and provide the greatest value for 2018.
Formerly IBM, Lenovo continues to be preferred by professionals and well-reviewed by customers. This article, in fact, is being written on a Lenovo T430 by a dedicated Lenovo user.
Lenovo remains the consensus top brand among professional reviewers for yet another year, based on the strength of the company's fantastic product lineup.
For 2018, Lenovo offers five product skews, led by their classic ThinkPad series for students and professionals as well as their ultra-compact Yoga series. The company also offers IdeaPad, Legion, and Lenovo brand computers, each catering to a different market:
As noted above, the ThinkPad laptops set the standard for business computing, and accordingly dominate Lenovo’s Business Laptop division. Durable and reliable, ThinkPad laptops and 2-in-1s keep professionals and students productive in any environment.
ThinkPad laptops are highly-portable but also comfortably large. Those who frequently work remotely will have no problems staying engaged while using a ThinkPad.
As Lenovo puts it, “from high-end processing and graphics to cutting-edge touchscreen technology, from pen support to epic battery life, ThinkPad keeps you productive and engaged wherever you are.”
There is a reason this line of laptops sets the industry standard, and the reason is that ThinkPad laptops are simply unmatched in overall quality and versatility.
Lenovo now also offers a line of Gaming Laptops. Legion by Lenovo was created specifically for the graphics and high-level processing that modern video games require.
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Lenovo says the following about their Legion line: “We’ve got you covered with laptops that boast powerful discrete graphics and overclockable CPUs. We’ve also got budget options for casual gamers. But whatever laptop you choose will let you lose yourself in immersive audio and vivid displays.”
Lastly, Lenovo offers a tier of Convertible Laptops. Highly-portable laptops like the Yoga 730 2-in-1 – which is about as light and thin as a notebook – offer a variety of exclusive features for the on-the-go professional, artist, or entrepreneur.
Lenovo’s Convertible Laptops feature vibrant displays and immersive audio, and also function as projectors for movies or presentations. Yoga Books also showcase pen support for artists and designers and a Halo Keyboard, making them a favorite in the arts community.
For 2018, Lenovo’s signature offering is the exceptional ThinkPad X1 Carbon, which was the only product released since January 2018 to get multiple 5-star reviews. Additionally, over half of all Lenovo products scored 4-start or better in aggregate professional reviews.
If this all reads like lavish praise, that’s a fair assessment. But the simple fact remains that Lenovo is the most consistently-reliable among laptop brands, and that has been the case for many years. If you are looking to purchase a laptop in 2018, Lenovo is the safest bet by a fair margin.
If there is a chink in Lenovo’s armor, it’s lackluster customer support. A number of reviews noted that both HP and Dell provided markedly better tech support.
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Nipping at Lenovo’s heels for the Best Laptop Brand of 2018 is the equally well-established HP (Hewlett-Packard). HP’s rise to the forefront of best laptop brands is based on the release of three outstanding products for 2018:
Here are a few words on each of these releases, and a better explanation on why the three laptops catapulted HP to the number-two spot for 2018:
The Spectre line is HP’s answer to Lenovo’s ThinkPad line as the all-in-one laptop for professionals and students. The Spectre line distinguishes itself with an incredibly-long, all-day battery life, 8th Generation Intel Core i5/i7 Quad Core U-series CPU (with up to 16GB of RAM), and two unique sizes to meet various user needs.
For the on-the-go user, the 13.3-inch model is a great option to toss in any bag and go. It’s incredibly lightweight, comes with a full-size keyboard, and with its micro-edge display, users won’t have to sacrifice screen size for portability.
The Spectre 15.6-inch model provides a larger screen size, making it more ideal for students and professionals who don’t need maximum portability.
Both models are extremely light and thin by laptop standards.
Reviewers rave about the beauty of the HP Spectre, with many calling it the X360 series the best-looking 2-in-1 laptop on the market. As Digital Trends writes, “the late 2017 refresh of the HP Spectre x360 manages to significantly improve performance and battery life while retaining the machine’s great looks and solid build quality. Add in an improved active pen, the same excellent keyboard, and some Windows 10 Hello flexibility, and the convertible 2-in-1 maintains its place as our favorite notebook that can act as a tablet in a pinch.”
Most professional reviews on the on the Spectre x360 series read similarly. In terms of best do-it-all laptop, it’s likely a Coke-versus-Pepsi preference between the eye-catching Spectre and the timeless ThinkPad.
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Marketed as the most portable laptop on today’s market, the HP ZBook 17 offers HP’s ultimate in power plus portability. The unit features a large a 17.3" diagonal screen paired with massive scalability and configurability.
For 2018, HP's most powerful mobile workstation is 25% thinner and 11% lighter than the prior generation ZBook 13, and is cased in a gorgeous magnesium aluminum.
The unit utilizes a number of Intel’s Xeon processor options, with up to 64 GB ECC memory, dual 1 TB HP Z Turbo Drive G2 for up to 4 T2 of total storage, dual Thunderbolt 3, and optional HP DreamColor UHD or FHD touch displays. It’s almost impossible to find this combination of processing power and portability in another model.
As one professional writes, “We issue the ZBook 17 Workstation when our design staff needs to be mobile and they need a lot of power out on the road.”
- Manufacturer (Certified) Refurbished with 90 day HP Warranty (Extended Warranty Plans Available Directly from HP)
- Ultra-portable less than 1-inch thin and Ultra-light - Convertible x360; Windows 10 (64-bit); Intel Core i7-7500U...
- 16GB System Memory; 256GB PCIe NVMe M.2 Solid State Drive; HP CoolSense; B&O Audio with Dual Speakers; Long battery life
The last of HP’s impressive entries for 2018 is the ultra-lightweight HP Envy 13t, which is intended to compete with ultra-books such as the Microsoft Surface and the MacBook Air.
Notebooks like this put a premium on efficiency and portability, with most of them featuring a battery life of at least 12 hours and all of them weighing three pounds off less. The HP Envy 13 is a few ounces (or grams) lighter than the 3.02 pound (1.37 kg) MacBook Air, weighing in at just 2.9 pounds (1.32kg).
This class also strives to be as thin as possible. The HP Envy 13t measures 0.59 inches (1.49 cm) thick, making the HP Envy 13 is as thin as the MacBook Pro.
The HP ultra-book packs the power of an Intel 8th Gen Core processor and an all-day battery life.
While professional reviewers like the display and sound options on the Surface and MacBook Air a bit more, the consensus opinion was that the HP Envy 13t is an overall fantastic value. This class of laptops generally runs about $800-$1000 retail price, with the HP Envy 13t available at an MSRP of $899.
With these three unique offerings, HP catapulted itself back into the conversation as one of the best laptop brands for 2018, and in our opinion rivaling Lenovo for the top overall spot.
Dell made the list of the Top 4 Laptop Brands of 2018 based on its premium offerings, which meet or surpass the standards set by competitors.
While industry experts are not wowed by Dell’s budget options, the people who rely heavily on the latest tech love the products at the top of Dell’s lineup.
- 13.3" FHD (1920 x 1080) Infinityedge Touch Display
- Intel 7th Gen Kaby Lake i5 7200U Dual-Core;
- 8GB of 2133 MHz LPDDR3 SDRAM, 128 GB M.2 SATA SSD;
The Dell XPS 13 series offers two models, both of which earned rave reviews from tech-heads. Both models use dazzling aluminum and carbon fiber chassis and powerful Intel 8th Gen Core CPUs.
The newer XPS 13 9370 is slimmer and has a more beautiful display, and endures for up to 12 hours (8 hours on a 4K model). It offers Thunderbolt 3 and USB Type-C ports for connectivity.
Meanwhile, users who don’t put an absolute premium on portability may prefer the XPS 13 9360, which features a full-size USB port and an extra-long 16 hours battery life on full charge.
The XPS line begins at $999, and customers can build their way up to the $1,859 Dell XPS Touch.
- Intel Core i7-7700HQ (Quad-Core, 6MB Cache, up to 3.8GHz w/Turbo Boost)
- 16GB DDR4 at 2400MHz (2x8GB); 32GB Maximum
- 128GB M.2 SATA 6Gb/s SSD (Boot) + 1TB 7200RPM SATA 6Gb/s (Storage); No Optical Drive
The Alienware 15 is a 15-inch gaming laptop with the latest overclocked Intel 6-Core CPU and upgraded cooling technology. These high-end features are critical for gaming, which often taxes processors and makes laptops run very hot.
For gamers, the Alienware 15 showcases a striking design and an incredibly-bright, colorful display. Modern gaming often pushes processors and graphics cards to their limit, but the Alienware 15 remains a top option for 2018 based on great graphics and strong overall performance.
Dell also continues to earn praise for its improved tech support. Under the current strategy, Dell assigns tech support specialists to its customers personal, who do follow-ups and manage customer cases over the life of the laptop.
Again, Dell caters to a premium clientele. If the goal of Lenovo and HP is to make a laptop for everyone, Dell focuses on users who demand the absolute latest in performance and picture quality.
While Dell may not make the best lower or middle-tier laptop, the company continues to push the limits of what a laptop can do. This cutting-edge approach continues to make a Dell one of the laptop brands that users need to know for 2018.
Last on the list of Top 4 Laptop Brands Users Should Know for 2018 is Acer, which takes the opposite approach of Dell and tries to pack as much value into budget-friendly laptops as possible.
Those who haven’t purchased a laptop in recent years may not recognize the name, but Acer has made an imprint by landing coveted shelf-space in retail locations such as Target and Walmart.
- Intel Celeron N3350 Dual-Core Processor (Up to 2.4GHz)
- 11.6" Full HD (1920 x 1080) Multi-touch widescreen LED-backlit IPS display
- 4GB DDR3L Memory, 32GB Storage
- 8th Generation Intel Core i3 8130U Processor 2.2 GHz (Up to 3.2GHz)
- 15.6 inches Full HD (1920 x 1080) widescreen LED lit Display
- 6GB Dual Channel Memory, 1TB HDD and 8x DVD
For example, Acer offers high-end features such as 1080p screens or aluminum designs for $300-$350 or less. For budget-conscious buyers in 2018, Acer continues to build a lot of value into their products.
While Acer primarily caters to the budget crowd, this isn’t to say that the company cannot produce an elite machine.
Their signature product for 2018 is the $9,000 Predator 21X. The Predator 21X is a super-premium gaming computer, featuring stunning design, powerful graphics and magnificent overall performance.
- 7th Generation Intel Core i7-7820HK Processor (Up to 3.9GHz)
- NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 SLi with 16GB of dedicated GDDR5X VRAM
- 21" 2000R Curved Full HD (2560 x 1080) widescreen IPS display with NVIDIA G-SYNC technology
The release of the Predator 21X was a daring choice by Acer, and evidence that the company doesn’t just produce value laptops. Given that the company continues to dominate budget-range sales and innovate with products like the 21X, Acer is number four on our list of the Top 4 Laptop Brands to Know for 2018.
This concludes our list of the top laptop brands to know for 2018. We hope that this list is informative, and helps guide readers toward making a great purchase based on their personal laptop needs.
Last update on 2021-05-18 at 02:58 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API