Laptops come in a wide variety of sizes, prices and specs in 2016, there is literally something for everyone thats looking to compute on the go. It’s funny that roughly 10 years ago laptops seemed to be large bricks with very limited battery life, yet today there are models as thick as a no. 2 pencil with 10-12 hours of battery life, wireless and bluetooth options and price ranges for just about every budget.
Today, I’d like to share some of the best known laptops for 2016 that are on the market today! We are able to help you setup your new machine and even transfer your data from the old one to the new one, but lets get started on the most popular models right now!
Perhaps the most popular trend in affordable computers is still the Google Chromebook. Several manufacturers have been building these things for the last couple of years and they have really taken off, with pricing s low as $149 in some cases. These are basic, striped down machines with the Google Chrome Operating system, using their web browser and their apps that are similar to Microsoft office.
If you are in the market for something basic to get on Facebook, check your email and do some basic computing, then I recommend that you check out the ASUS Chromebook C201.
- Weight: 980g
- 12-hours normal use battery life
- 11.6in display
Asus’ Chromebook offering is fairly limited, but its C201 is one of the finest budget examples on the market. It doesn’t fall into the traps that many other Chromebooks do and actually offers attractive and robust-feeling hardware, which is exactly what you want on a laptop that’ll be chucked into bags and slammed onto desks all day long.
It has limitations: the screen isn’t brilliant and the processor isn’t powerful, but it more than makes up for it with superb battery life and an exceptionally portable weight of just 980g.
You’ll have to get used to Chrome OS and Google’s suite of cloud-based applications, but this is nowhere near as difficult as it used to be. If you can use a web browser, you can use Chrome OS.
Look at Best Buy and Staples at Valley View for them, they still have a limited supply as of the writing of this article.
Best Small Laptop
A few years ago affordable laptops were the thing, today there are still a few models out there you can purchase and they are basically a step up from the Google Chromebooks, mostly with the Windows 8 operating systems.
- 11.6-inch, 1,366 x 768 display
- Free Office 365 Personal subscription
- Excellent speakers and battery life
The HP Stream 11 is an extraordinarily cheap Windows 8.1 laptop. It costs less than $250, and comes bundled with a one-year subscription to Office 365 Personal that’s worth $80. In short, it’s perfect for students and families on a tight budget.
It’s good-looking too, and small and light enough to comfortably carry around in any standard messenger bag. The screen is an average 11.6-inch, 1,366 x 768 affair, but it gets the job done and is complemented by an excellent keyboard and loud, clear speakers. The HD webcam is also more than good enough for Skype calls.
A 2.16GHz Intel Celeron N2840 processor, combined with 2GB of RAM, keeps the Stream going, and it’s powerful enough to cope with light tasks, such as web browsing, word processing and HD video. The battery is great too, and can keep going for around six hours under heavy strain.
The best place to get this model is at Walmart, I recommend looking for it at the Clearbrook Walmart as they tend to have the largest selection from the local Walmart’s here in Roanoke.
Best MidRange Laptop
The 12 inch Macbook (that 2015 model) is perhaps the best mid range laptop out there.
- 12-inch, 2,304 x 1,440 display
- Force Touch trackpad
- New “butterfly” keys
The 12-inch MacBook 2015 is up there with the Dell XPS 13 2015 as one of the best-looking laptops on the market. It’s ludicrously thin and light, coming in at just 13.1mm thick and 923g, clad in aluminium, and comes in grey, silver and gold colour schemes. Annoyingly, Apple’s got rid of all ports apart from the headphone jack and a new USB-C connection, which means you’ll have to buy an adaptor if you want to charge the MacBook and use a USB drive at the same time.
The 12-inch, 2,304 x 1,440 ‘Retina’ display is sharp and vivid, and surrounded by impressively thin bezels. This means that, despite the upgrade in screen size, the new MacBook uses the same-sized frame as the 11-inch MacBook Air which I also recommend for those that want a mac on a budget (It’s also what I use for the website here, 4gb RAM and iCore5 processor and price is about $800).
Instead of the traditional “scissor” motion, the MacBook’s keys use what Apple calls a “butterfly” motion. This means the buttons offer less travel than before, which takes some getting used to. They’re also rather noisy. The keyboard itself runs from edge to edge, and the keys are large and individually backlit. More striking still is the new Force Touch trackpad, which doesn’t move, but uses haptic feedback to imitate motion. It also behaves differently depending on how much pressure you push down with, and we love it.
Unfortunately, power and speed has been downgraded. The Intel Core M processor inside delivers similar performance to a MacBook Air of three or four years ago. Battery life stands at the nine-hour mark, which should still get you through most of the day.
The only place you can purchase it in hand is at Best Buy although I recommend checking our BH.com if you want to save about $100 and can wait to have it shipped to you. Otherwise, Best Buy offers a price match program, so if you see it cheaper, you can have them price match it and still get it the same day.
Best High End Laptop
If you want something that can pretty much do it all for a laptop, I recommend that you look at the Dell XPS 15.
- Intel Core i5-6300HQ processor, Nvidia GeForce GTX 960M graphics
- InfinityEdge display
- Weighs just 1.78kg
Dell has continued its incredible form of late that started with the Dell XPS 13. The XPS 15 is one of the most attractive 15in laptops you can buy today, and has some of the most powerful components, too.
There are many specifications of this machine available including models with PCI-E-based SSDs and Ultra HD touch screens. There’s something for everyone here. The only thing to watch out for with this laptop is its slightly sub-par battery life, which barely stretches beyond five hours. This isn’t bad when you consider how powerful it is, but road warriors should probably look elsewhere.
Play games, edit photos, do what you want on the XPS 15. It can handle it. You can find these at the Office Max at Valley View and Staples at Tanglewood mall.
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