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Best Windows 10 laptops on sale now

Laptops Star Buys

Best Windows 10 laptops

Getting the right laptop isn’t always easy. As well as working out your budget, there’s a whole range of other things to think about including size, weight, battery life and gaming prowess. Often, it’s a matter of getting the right compromise, sacrificing one component for another. For example, you might decide that thin and light is more important than having something super powerful. There are some pitfalls that you should avoid, too. For example, Intel has just released its Skylake architecture, which means that older Haswell-based laptops may suddenly be a lot cheaper, but not necessarily better value.

As you can see, making the right choice isn’t always that easy. There’s where I come in, with my guide to the best laptops available right now. Every year Expert Reviews tests hundreds of laptops, with the best coverage in the UK. This means that I can cut through everything and bring the absolute best list.

Below, I’ve split the choice into simple categories. There are general purpose and multimedia laptops for everyday use at home; gaming laptops are the best portable gaming stations; ultra-portables brings you the thin and light powerhouses; hybrids are for those that want the best of both worlds: a tablet and a laptop all in one. While you can trust my choice of laptops, if you want to get more information and help on what to buy, check out the Buying Guide on page two of this article.

Windows 10 upgrade ending

The vast majority of laptops now ship with Windows 10, as the operating system has been out for almost a year. However, there are still a fair few that don’t and run Windows 8, letting you claim a free Windows 10 upgrade until July 29th 2016. After this date, you have to pay at least £100 to upgrade to Windows 10. So, if you buy an older laptop today, make sure that you get in with your upgrade before that cut-off date.

There’s a second reason to upgrade, too: if you’re selling your old laptop to buy a new one. You’ll have much more luck getting rid of your old model if you upgrade it to Windows 10 now, as it will mean that whoever buys it won’t have to to pay to make the upgrade. Once you’ve upgraded your computer, you can use the Windows 10 factory reset option to wipe your computer and put it back to factory defaults, cleaning it of all your files and applications. There’s a secure wipe option available, which will prevent your old files from being recovered, too.

There is one issue to watch out for with laptops: driver support. Not all Windows 7 and Windows 8 laptops have the right drivers for Windows 10, which can cause big issues. For example, if you can’t get Wi-Fi working. I recommend checking your laptop manufacturer’s site to see whether it advises upgrading or not and if Windows 10 drivers are available. If you can’t see any information and just want to give it ago, you should: you can roll back your OS to the previous version of Windows withing 31 days of upgrading. Finally, make sure that you’ve backed up your data first, just in case there’s a problem.

Best laptops of 2016


These are our choice of the best laptops that will fulfill the more general use laptop criteria, without being specifically ultra-portable or for gaming (see the separate sections below). These cover basic laptops that will handle the most basic of tasks (such as web browsing and word processing) to more expensive laptops that will provide more processing power needed for trickier tasks such as video editing.

Asus Vivobook Pro N552VW

Asus VivoBook Pro N552VW lead

The Asus Vivobook Pro N552VW is a brilliant do-it-all laptop. It’s pretty hefty, but with good reason, as it not only has a powerful Core i7 Skylake chip inside it, but a highly capable Nvidia GeForce GTX 960M graphics chip, too. This means it’s a brilliant buy for media production and gaming alike, and it’s arguably a better buy than Asus’ own ROG N552VW model thanks to its slightly roomier chassis.

It’s also got a great keyboard, and its large touchpad is ultra responsive, making it a joy to use whatever task you find yourself working on. Let’s not forget its stunning 4K display either. Its colour accuracy could be better, but this ultra-high resolution panel makes multitasking a breeze, as there is lots of room on the desktop to have multiple windows up simultaneously. To get this kind of display and this kind of resolution on another laptop, you’re looking at paying another £700 for something like the Dell XPS 15, so to see this kind of combination on a laptop that costs less than £1,000 is a great find. For more details, see our full Asus Vivobook Pro N552VW review

Processor: Quad-core 2.6GHz Intel Core i7-6700HQ, RAM: 16GB, Dimensions: 383x260x29.9mm, Weight: 2.53kg, Screen size: 15.6in,Screen resolution: 3,840×2,160,Graphics adaptor: Nvidia GeForce GTX 960M, Total storage: 128GB SSD, 1TB hard disk

BUY NOW: Asus Vivobook Pro N552VW from Amazon

Acer Chromebook R11

If you’re not looking to spend a lot of money on a laptop and only have basic needs, a Chromebook could be the right choice. The convertible Acer Chromebook R11 is an attractive and practical choice and is great value for what you get. For more details, see our full Acer Chromebook R11 review.

Price when reviewed: £230. Buy Now from Currys

Processor: Dual-core 1.6GHz Intel Celeron N3050, RAM: 2GB,Dimensions: 20x295x203mm,Weight: 1.2kg, Screen size: 11.6in, Screen resolution: 1,366×768, Graphics adaptor: Intel HD Graphics, Total storage: 16GB eMMC

Asus EeeBook X205TA

The X205TA is Asus’ super cheap answer to the Chromebook. Costing just £180 and coming pre-loaded with a year of Microsoft Office 365 personal and 1TB of OneDrive storage (worth £60) it looks to be amazing value. Performance is perfectly reasonable, too, as long as you don’t push it too hard. It’s happy to browse the web, edit documents and play videos, which is about as much as you should expect from it. For more details, see our full Asus EeeBook X205TA review

Price when reviewed: £180. BUY NOW: Asus EeeBook X205TA

Processor: Quad-core 1.33GHz Intel Atom Z3735F, RAM: 2GB, Size: 286×193.3×17.5mm, Weight: 980g, Screen size: 11.6in, Screen resolution: 1,366×768, Graphics adaptor: Intel HD Graphics , Total storage: 32GB eMMC

Asus ZenBook UX305CA

Asus ZenBook UX305CA lead

The Asus ZenBook UX305CA follows on from last year’s already excellent model. The Intel Core M processor has been updated to the latest Skylake model and the display has now been replaced with a super high-resolution 3,200×1,800 panel. It remains as svelte and light as ever. For more details, see our full Asus ZenBook UX305CA review.

Price when reviewed: £600. Buy Now from John Lewis

Processor: Dual-core 900MHz Intel Core m3-6y30, RAM: 8GB,Dimensions: 324x226x12.3mm,Weight: 1.2kg, Screen size: 13.3in, Screen resolution: 3,200×1,200, Graphics adaptor: Intel HD Graphics 515, Total storage: 128GB SSD

Apple 13-inch MacBook Pro (early 2015)

The changes made to the 2015 MacBook Pro are relatively minor when compared to last year’s model but, frankly, Apple didn’t have to do a lot to keep the thing ticking over. You get faster storage, a better processor, better battery life and the innovative Force Touch touchpad, which all add up to a better product for pretty much the same price. It’s absolutely worth the upgrade. For more details, read our full Apple 13-inch Macbook Pro with Retina Display review.

Price when reviewed: £1,199. Buy Now from Amazon

Processor: Dual-core 2.7GHz Intel Core i5 5257U, RAM: 8GB, Size: 314x333x18mm, Weight: 1.6kg, Screen size: 13.3in, Screen resolution: 2,560×1,600, Graphics adaptor: Intel Iris Graphics 6100, Total storage: 256GB SSD

Dell XPS 15 (Late 2015, Skylake)

Dell XPS 15 (Late 2015) lead 2

When it comes to the best Skylake-based Windows 10 laptop you can buy, the Dell XPS 15 is right up there. It has the now familiar super-thin bezels of Dell’s InfinityEdge displays, paired with an ultra high-resolution touchscreen display. You get plenty of power from the Skylake processor and even the ability to play some games through the dedicated Nvidia GeForce GTX 960M graphics. The build quality is also absolutely top-notch. For more details, read our full Dell XPS 15 review.

Price when reviewed: £1,649. Buy Now from Amazon

Processor: Quad-core 2.6GHz Intel Core i7-6700HQ, RAM: 16GB, Dimensions: 357x235x17mm, Weight: 2kg,Screen size: 15.6in, Screen resolution: 3,840×2,160,Graphics adaptor: Nvidia GeForce GTX 960M, Total storage: 512GB SSD

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Buying Guide