The best laptops to buy in 2017 – Telegraph.co.uk

Picking a winner when buying a new laptop is no easy task and finding the balance between the right features for you and a fair price can make for a daunting search.

Due to the range of models, operating systems and constant updates it can be hard to choose the right system that is going to last.

With so much choice just a few clicks away, The Telegraph has broken down some of the main questions you should be asking when making a purchase and selected some of the best laptops, notebooks and Chromebooks you can buy, from the top performers to those which won’t break the bank.

What kind of laptop do I need?

Even before you get down to the details it helps to know what sort of device you are looking for.

Do you need your device for the home or on the move? Will you only use it for email and web browsing? Will you want to stream videos or play video games?

For something cheap and portable a smaller Chromebook or laptop with low weight and a screen of around 11 inches would work, such as the Acer Chromebook R11 or the HP Steam 11. Both of these will set you back under £250, although sacrifice power and storage capacity.

If you are using your laptop for email, typing documents or using the internet you may only need to spend a few hundred pounds, while you may need to spend a little more to stream videos to a higher quality.

For gaming you will need a more powerful device with a quality graphics card. The Dell Inspiron 15 7000 Gaming is at the cheaper end of the scale for this, more expensive brands can cost thousands of pounds.

And if you demand the highest specifications for video or photo editing you may want to look to a powerful MacBook.

A number of laptops are now also ‘two-in-one’ devices, that can act as a tablet by detaching from the keyboard. Other laptops also feature touchscreens with stylus pens, such as the Lenovo Yoga Book.

Do I want a Windows laptop, MacBook or Chromebook?

Current devices broadly run on three different operating systems that run on the three main varieties of laptop:

Windows 10

These are some of the most common devices and run Microsoft’s Windows operating system. They are able to perform some of the widest ranging tasks and also have the greatest variety in models, brands and pricing.

Pros: Commonly used, greatest access to programs and apps, best for gaming

Cons: Considered more vulnerable to viruses

MacBook

The MacBook Pro, MacBook and MacBook Air are all Apple laptops running on macOS. They are generally seen as powerful, smooth and highly reliable.

Pros: Best for high performance use of creative software, connectivity to other Apple products and services

Cons: Limited access to some programs, expensive

Chromebook

Google’s ChromeOS used on Chromebooks is largely limited to online use, essentially operating like a web browser. Rather than installing programs users access them through Google’s Chome Web Store. They have limited storage capacity, but are fast and inexpensive.

Pros: Cheap, fast, user friendly

Cons: Largely limited to online use and Google applications

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