Choosing your perfect laptopThere are hundreds of laptops available to buy, so how do you start narrowing down the options? From the cheap and cheerful to the sleek and expensive, we'll tell you how to go about finding the perfect model for you. A good starting point to thinking about what type of laptop you need is to consider the following:
- What do you want to use your laptop for? Are you looking for a model that can cope with day-to-day tasks such as browsing the web, word processing and basic picture editing? Or do you want a more powerful laptop that can whiz through more demanding tasks such as editing film or playing advanced games?
- Where do you want to use your laptop? Are you planning to get a model that will stay at home as a desktop computer replacement, or a more portable device to take out and about?
In the rest of this guide we take a closer look at the different types of laptops and what makes a good one, including which features to look out for, and which you can compromise on.
We test laptops in every category so you can find the perfect one for you. Take a look at our latest laptop reviews to see the most recent models rated and reviewed by the Which? experts.
What type of laptop do I need?
Would suit: students, novices, those on a budget or with basic computing needs
Find out more about how to buy the best cheap laptop, where we'll explain what features you need and the ones you can save on.
Would suit: families, those looking for a mid-priced all-rounder
Find out more about how to buy the best family laptop, where we'll explain what features you need and the ones you can save on.
Would suit: those looking for a big, powerful laptop to use at home
Find out more about how to buy the best desktop replacement laptop, where we'll explain what features you need and the ones you can save on.
Ultraportable laptop Just like it says on the tin, portability is the priority with these models, so they are both thin and light. It also includes the more recent sub category of ultrabooks - a relatively new Intel-christened name for super slim and portable laptops that meet its specifications - which are powerful and responsive to boot. Ultraportable laptops may not be your main computer or laptop, but an additional laptop you use when out and about or for work on the go.
Would suit: those who work on the go, those who need proper power in a portable size
Find out more about how to buy the best ultraportable laptop, where we'll explain what features you need and the ones you can save on.
Multimedia laptop If you want to use your laptop as a one-stop shop for entertainment as well as straight out computing - playing games, watching films, listening to music or editing video - then a multimedia laptop could be right for you. These laptops are generally not so portable as you'll want a good size 15-inch plus screen. It's different to desktop replacement laptops, which may be powerful but still not handle graphically demanding tasks well.
Would suit: gaming or film fans who are looking for a model to use mainly at home.