LG

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 all the best options on the market in a variety of categories, from basic home use to work on the go to pro-level gaming. 

For Summer 2018, we've updated this guide with our top 10 picks starting at under $400 and going all the way up to $3,000. Our personal favorite is the 2.1-pound LG Gram 13, shown here, which simply blows away the competition by offering a quad-core processor and a 13.3" touchscreen in a chassis that weighs less than a kilogram. In fact, it's the very system we chose as TBG's work travel PC!

That being said, everyone has different needs (and budgets!), so we list nine other great options, split between home office and gaming-specific models. Speaking of gaming, Nvidia's "Pascal" GPUs featured in all of our gaming picks provide impressive desktop-class performance despite slipping into true portable systems. This guide includes three gaming-specific laptops featuring the GTX 1050 Ti, GTX 1070, and GTX 1080 graphics chips, which cover three very distinct price points to cater to the full range of gamers out there. And here's the most important news of all - Intel's latest 8th-gen processor lineup has been massively improved, with the budget Core i3 models picking up new Turbo modes, the Core i5 models jumping from two to four cores, and the very best Core i7 models now sporting six cores. 

One important tip for buyers who haven't been in the laptop market for a while: the trend is no longer to include internal DVD drives in laptops, as they add a lot of weight and bulk. Therefore very few of the models we list include one. 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 LG GP65 USB 2.0 model, for software installations or backups.

Laptops - Summer 2018

Home/Small Office

    The Midrange Media Laptop:

    Acer Aspire E 15 E5-576-392H

    Thanks to a leap in performance offered by Intel's newest CPUs, the latest version of the Acer Aspire E 15 is most definitely better than ever. Its Core i3-8130U processor features Turbo Boost, unlike previous Core i3 models, allowing it to operate at speeds of up to 3.4GHz, whereas its predecessor was locked at 2.4GHz. That provides a huge boost to many of the most common applications. The new Aspire E 15 also gets 50% more RAM than the previous version, now totaling 6GB, which is enough for just about any usage scenario. Also on board is a big 1TB hard drive to store all your apps and data, and a 15" 1920 x 1080 screen.

    The Guru's Tip:

    This system uses a hard drive rather than a solid-state drive, which means it's optimized for storage capacity, not speed. That's fine for a system that will be used primarily for media and light productivity.

    The Perfect Family PC:

    ASUS VivoBook F510UA

    With its new F510UA, Asus has designed what can only be considered the perfect home PC. Featuring the powerful Intel Core i5-8250U quad-core processor with Turbo Boost to 3.4GHz, it offers a big step up in performance versus the budget model above. It also has the perfect combination of a 128GB solid-state drive for exceptional bootup and app launching speed, along with a 1TB hard drive for massive data storage capacity. To ensure excellent productivity, it has a big 15.6" 1920 x 1080 screen and 8GB of RAM.

    The Guru's Tip:

    This system is incredibly light, coming in at just 3.7lb, which was once unheard of in this size and price class.

    The Work/School Laptop:

    Dell Inspiron 13 5000 2-in-1 i5379-5893GRY

    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 Dell Inspiron 2-in-1, weighing in at just 3.56lb. Equipped with Intel's incredible new 8th-generation Core i5-8250U 1.6GHz quad-core processor that can boost to 3.4GHz, along with 8GB of DDR4-2400MHz RAM, a quick 256 GB solid-state drive, and a 13.3" 1920 x 1080 IPS touchscreen display, you'll be set for wherever the road takes you!

    The Guru's Tip:

    Being a 2-in-1, this model flips into tent or tablet mode, which can be really useful when travelling.

    The Mid-range Ultralight:

    Asus Zenbook 13 UX330UA-AH55

    If you simply want the lightest, most powerful laptop you can buy for the money, you want the Zenbook from Asus. Coming in at an astounding 2.6lb and .5" thick, it still manages to pack in an 8th-generation Intel Core i5-8250U quad-core 1.6GHz CPU with Turbo to 3.4GHz, a 13.3" 1920x1080 screen, 8GB of DDR3 memory, and a 256GB PCIe-based solid-state drive.

    The Guru's Tip:

    This system may be light on the frills, but that's what makes it so lightweight!

    The Quad-Core Ultrabook:

    HP Envy 13-ad120nr

    From our point of view, this is now the ultimate professional laptop. Sure, you could spend more, but why? Featuring Intel's new Core i7-8550U quad-core CPU with Turbo up to 4GHz, it's blazing fast, yet it still gets up to 14 hours of battery life and weighs just 2.92 pounds. Packed inside its stylish "edge" chassis is 8GB of RAM, a PCIe-based 256GB solid-state drive, and a 13.3" touchscreen with ultra-slim bezels. It also has two USB Type-A ports, two USB Type-C ports, and a microSD memory slot.

    The Guru's Tip:

    Packing this much power into a sub-3lb. laptop is simply incredible, and it's what makes the latest CPUs from Intel truly revolutionary.

    The Extreme Ultra-Light:

    LG Gram 13Z980

    While the rest of the PC industry plods on with 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 i7-8550U 1.8GHz quad-core CPU with Turbo up to 4GHz, 8GB of RAM, a 256GB solid-state drive, and an absolutely-massive 72Wh battery that provides up to 18 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 an extra $300 or so to drop nearly a pound in weight? You'll think again once you tote this featherweight laptop on your shoulder during a day of traveling! 

    The Guru's Tip:

    A few other notable features included on the Gram that are hard to find in other ultra-lights: a microSD card memory slot, a full-size HDMI port, three full-size USB 3.0 Type-A ports plus a USB Type-C port.

    The Ultimate Productivity Machine:

    Razer Blade Stealth 13.3" Gunmetal

    OK, let's say you want it all: a device that looks as good as it works. Then step right up to the Razer Blade Stealth. Featuring Intel's Core i7-8550U quad-core CPU, a 13.3” QHD+ touchscreen (3200 x 1800) that achieves 100% sRGB color space, a 512GB ultra-fast PCIe SSD, and 16GB of dual-channel 2133MHz RAM. All this and it's just 0.54” thick and 2.98lbs.

    The Guru's Tip:

    The gunmetal version of the Blade Stealth is aimed directly at professionals, with a subtle logo, white backlit keyboard, and the perfect paint scheme to complement the exterior, which is CNC-machined from a single piece of aluminum! The Black Edition has a bold green logo and RGB backlighting.

Gaming

    The Budget Gaming Laptop:

    MSI GV62 8RD-200

    Just a year ago, it would have been a dream to find a gaming laptop with these specs under $1,000, now it's a reality. The MSI GV62 features Intels new 8th-gen Core i5-8300H 2.3GHz quad-core processor with Turbo Boost up to 4.0GHz, a potent Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 Ti 4GB video card driving a 15.6" 1080p IPS panel, 8GB of DDR4-2400MHz RAM, and the fantastic combination of a 1TB hard drive and Intel's Optane 16GB acceleration cache, which will make this system truly fly.

    The Guru's Tip:

    At just 4.8lb., this system is pretty portable too!

    The Midrange Gaming Laptop:

    Acer Predator 17 G9-793-79V5

    Offering up amazing specs for the price, the newest Predator from Acer is a true bang-for-the-buck winner. It features a desktop-class GTX 1070 8GB video card for mind-blowing gaming performance, an Intel Core i7-7700HQ 2.8GHz quad-core CPU with Turboboost to 3.8GHz, 16GB of RAM, dual 128GB solid-state drives in RAID0 for extreme speeds, a 1TB hard drive, and a 17" 1920 x 1080 G-Sync screen for an ultra-smooth gaming experience.

    The Guru's Tip:

    The Predator's keyboard even has four-zone RGB backlighting, allowing for plenty of customization.

    The Ultimate Gaming Laptop:

    Asus ROG Zephyrus GX501

    Don't think you can have it all in a gaming laptop? Think again. Witness the latest ROG Zephyrus from Asus. This model comes packing an Intel Core i7-8750H six-core processor with Turbo up to 4.1GHz, a GeForce GTX 1080 8GB with Max-Q design, a 512GB PCIe-based SSD, 16GB of DDR4-2666, and an amazing 15.6" 1920 x 1080 AHVA 144Hz G-SYNC Display with 3ms response time!

    The Guru's Tip:

    Despite all of its power, this system still comes in at an ultra-thin 0.7" and an impressively-light 4.9lb.