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Need a new laptop but haven't quite kept up with all the latest product releases? Well, we've got you covered - this guide profiles our top 10 picks on the market today in a variety of categories, from basic home use to work on the go to pro-level gaming. And believe it or not, every sing

For Fall 2019, the laptop market is more dynamic than ever, with new models coming out at an incredible pace. In fact, not a single laptop on our top 10 list was available when we published our previous guide in May 2019. And that's why you need this guide - so you don't get stuck with last year's also-ran!!! There truly is a great laptop for everyone on this list, but that doesn't mean everyone needs the same thing. That's why we have budget choices for families and students, ultra-light choices for serious travelers, 2-in-1 choices for those who need tablet functionality, and of course, gaming laptops. That last category uses the latest 6- and 8-core processors from Intel, along with ultra-fast Nvidia's "Turing"-based GPUs, including the all-conquering GeForce RTX 2080.

Note that we've drawn a firm line on minimum specs to make sure our readers enjoy their new laptops for years to come. In short, if you're buying a laptop with 4GB of RAM or a mechanical hard drive today, you're buying the wrong laptop, period. You will have a bad user experience, and we don't want that to happen! This means we no longer recommend any of the $200 ultra-budget models or work-unfriendly Chromebooks (seriously, avoid them!). With that said, our picks start at under $400 for a laptop that offers exceptional home office performance, and go all the way up to $3,500 ultra-high-end gaming laptop, with plenty of choices in between, including our personal favorite (and the laptop we use everyday), the 2.1lb LG Gram, shown above.

One important tip for buyers who haven't been in the laptop market for a while: laptops worth buying no longer include internal DVD drives in laptops, as they add a lot of weight and bulk. Therefore, if you decide you'd like an ultra-slim laptop but still need a DVD drive, we recommend picking up an inexpensive external DVD burner, like the sleek Asus USB 2.0 model, which we personally use for software installations and backups.

Laptops - Fall 2019

Home/Small Office

    The Budget Laptop:

    Asus Vivobook 15 F512FA-AB34

    Powering this great family PC is the Intel Core i3-8145U dual-core processor with boost to 3.9GHz, which is more than powerful enough for any typical home computing task. Most importantly, unlike any other laptop under $500, it comes equipped with both a full 8GB of RAM (which we now consider the minimum for modern PCs), along with a 128GB solid-state drive (an SSD is another absolute requirement). It also features a big, high-resolution 15.6" 1920 x 1080 IPS Display, and yet still comes in at a back-friendly 3.75 pounds. Wow, this is a serious winner!

    The Guru's Tip:

    If you buy an alternative sub-$500 laptop equipped with a "big" 1TB hard drive and 4GB of RAM, prepare to be sorely disappointed in the fact that it performs like it's already 10 years old! We're shocked that Microsoft even allows its Windows 10 operating system to be marketed on laptops with 4GB of RAM, because it really can't run with so little RAM.

    The Midrange Media Laptop:

    Acer Aspire 5 A515-54-51DJ

    With its latest Aspire 5, Acer has designed what can only be considered the perfect home PC. Featuring the powerful Intel Core i5-8265U quad-core processor with Turbo Boost to 3.9GHz, it offers a big step up in performance versus the budget model above. It also has the perfect combination of 8GB of RAM and a spacious 256GB PCIe-based solid-state drive for exceptional bootup and app launching speed. To ensure excellent productivity, it has a big 15.6" 1920 x 1080 screen.

    The Guru's Tip:

    At just 3.97lb and 0.71" thick, this laptop is also very portable!

    The Work/School Laptop:

    Lenovo Flex 14 2-in-1

    If you're going to be on the move with your laptop and looking to get serious work done, you need a lot of power packed into a small chassis. Enter the Lenovo Flex 14 2-in-1, weighing in at just 3.52lb. It's equipped with AMD's Ryzen 3 3200U with Vega 8 Graphics, which makes streaming and video encoding a breeze. Also onboard are a huge 12GB of RAM, a quick 256 GB solid-state drive, and a 14" 1920 x 1080 IPS touchscreen display, which you can of course flip into tablet mode! The Flex even includes the "Active Pen", which allows you to take notes or draw right on the screen.

    The Guru's Tip:

    There are two things you give up with this all-purpose wonder vs. the laptop listed above: a bit of CPU performance, and a bit of battery life. We actually think that between the two, the Flex is the better overall package, but if you're just after flat-out speed, the Intel-based option wins.

    The Affordable Ultralight:

    Asus ZenBook UX331FA-AS51

    If you simply want the lightest, most powerful laptop you can buy for the money, you want the Zenbook from Asus, which is the gold standard for well-designed, well-priced ultra-lights. Coming in at an astounding 2.5lb and .5" thick, it still manages to pack in a powerful Intel Core i5-8265U quad-core processor with Turbo Boost to 3.9GHz, a 13.3" 1920x1080 screen, 8GB of DDR3 memory, and a big 512GB PCIe-based solid-state drive.

    The Guru's Tip:

    The big upgrades from last year's Zenbook are a faster version of Intel's quad-core processor and double the SSD capacity, making this an even more future-proof model!

    The Extreme Ultra-Light:

    LG Gram 13Z990-A.AAS5U1

    If the Asus Zenbook is the gold standard for ultra-lights, the LG Gram is the gold standard for super-ultra lights, and it's what we personally use here at TBG for our business travel! While the rest of the PC industry plods on with 2.5-3lb. laptops, LG has been blazing a trail with its Gram line of sub-1kg laptops. Simply put, there's nothing else like this on the market. The newest LG Gram offers a 13.3" 1080p touchscreen, Intel's Core i5-8265U quad-core CPU with Turbo up to 3.9GHz, 8GB of RAM, a 256GB solid-state drive, and an absolutely-massive 72Wh battery that provides up to 20.5 hours of battery life. All this and the Gram is just 2.1 pounds, which is mind-blowing given its awesome specs. Don't think it's worth paying more to drop nearly a pound in weight versus competing touchscreen laptops? You'll think again once you tote this featherweight laptop on your shoulder during a day of traveling! Read our full review here!

    The Guru's Tip:

    A few other notable features that make the Gram the perfect travel companion: a backlit keyboard, a microSD card memory slot, a full-size HDMI port, two full-size USB 3.0 Type-A ports plus a USB Type-C port.

    The Ultra-Fast Ultrabook:

    HP Envy 13-aq1010nr

    We just got done saying how much we love the LG Gram, but if you want to have the newest, fastest laptop on the market, you want the latest HP Envy. It features the insanely-fast Intel Core i7-10510U quad-core that boosts up to 4.9GHz. It's the new hotness from Intel, no doubt! Everything else is pretty much standard issue: 8GB of RAM, a 256GB PCIe-based SSD, and a 13.3" 1080p touchscreen. But wow, that CPU!

    The Guru's Tip:

    Coming in at 2.5lb with a 53Wh battery pack, this isn't quite as travel-friendly as the LG Gram, but it's most definitely faster at the same pricepoint. We're all about options here at TBG!

    The Ultimate Productivity Machine:

    LG Gram 14” 2-in-1 w/ Wacom Pen

    OK, let's say you want it all: a device that looks as good as it works. Then step right up to the 2-in-1 version of the LG Gram. It comes completely loaded, and there's simply nothing that can compare in terms of value and functionality. You get a 14.0" 1080p touchscreen that flips over to covert the Gram into a 14” tablet, which can be used with the included Wacom AES 2.0 pen. Powering the system is an ultra-fast Intel Core i7-8565U quad-core processor that boosts all the way up to 4.6GHz, along with a full 16GB RAM and a 512GB solid-state drive. And keeping it going all day long is that 72Wh lithium battery that sets the Gram apart from all other laptops.

    The Guru's Tip:

    Amazingly, this 14" 2-in-1 laptop is just 2.5lb - the same weight as most standard 13" laptops without touchscreens. That's the Gram advantage!

Gaming

    The Midrange Gaming Laptop:

    Acer Predator Helios 300 PH315-52-78VL

    Offering up amazing specs for the price, the latest Predator from Acer offers up an Intel Core i7-9750H 6-Core CPU with boost to 4.5GHz, an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1660 Ti 6GB GPU, an impressive 16GB of RAM, a 256GB PCIe-based solid-state drive, and a big 15.6" 1920 x 1080 IPS display with an ultra-fast 144Hz Refresh Rate.

    The Guru's Tip:

    This model's one weakness is that the fast 256GB SSD will fill up fast given that modern games typically occupy 25-50GB. Luckily, it has an empty and easily-accessible slot for M.2 drives, and we recommend you immediately pick up an XPG SX8200 Pro 1TB, which will allow you to store a nearly unlimited number of games and boot them instantly!

    The Ultimate Gaming Laptop:

    HP Omen 15-dc1047nr

    Just a year ago, it would have been a dream to find a gaming laptop with these specs under $2,000, now it's a reality. The Omen by HP features Intel's muscular Core i7-9750H 6-Core processor, which is about 10% faster than the previous-gen 8750H. You also get Nvidia's GeForce RTX 2070 8GB video card, an insane 32GB of RAM, a capacious 512GB PCIe-based solid-state drive, and a big 15.6" 144Hz, 1080p IPS panel.

    The Guru's Tip:

    The screen on this laptop features G-Sync, which provide ultra-smooth gaming by matching framerates to refresh rates.

    The Ultimate Gaming Laptop:

    ASUS ROG G703GX

    Insanity, that's what this laptop is! Asus packs this behemoth with the Core i9-9980HK 8-core CPU with Turbo to 5GHz (seriously?!?), an Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 8GB, 32GB of RAM, and dual 512GB PCIe SSDs in RAID0. For the display, Asus gives you a giant 17. 3” 144Hz 1080p screen with G-Sync, of course.

    The Guru's Tip:

    You even get the awesome Asus Aura RGB lighting system on this model, allowing complete creative control!

  1. The Budget Laptop Asus Vivobook 15 F512FA-AB34 ($379.00)
  2. The Midrange Media Laptop Acer Aspire 5 A515-54-51DJ ($510.00)
  3. The Work/School Laptop Lenovo Flex 14 2-in-1 ($550.00)
  4. The Affordable Ultralight Asus ZenBook UX331FA-AS51 ($796.00)
  5. The Extreme Ultra-Light LG Gram 13Z990-A.AAS5U1 ($990.00)
  6. The Ultra-Fast Ultrabook HP Envy 13-aq1010nr ($970.00)
  7. The Ultimate Productivity Machine LG Gram 14” 2-in-1 w/ Wacom Pen ($1500.00)
  8. The Midrange Gaming Laptop Acer Predator Helios 300 PH315-52-78VL ($1100.00)
  9. The Ultimate Gaming Laptop HP Omen 15-dc1047nr ($1600.00)
  10. The Ultimate Gaming Laptop ASUS ROG G703GX ($3400.00)