LAPTOPS AREN'T GOING ANYWHERE SOON and despite the more affordable and compact appeal of tablets, the idea of throwing away a sturdy physical keyboard, waving goodbye to a reliable clamshell design and compromising on a nice big display just isn't in the interests of most of us.
Instead, we've seen tablets decline in sales of late and evolve with designs reminiscent of traditional laptop machines in order to survive. Just look at any high-end tablet on the market these days: fold-up physical keyboards a-plenty.
But with so many different, albeit similar clamshells choose from, we've ranked the best laptops of 2018 so far. Naturally, we'll update this list as the year goes on.
Huawei MateBook X Pro
With a 14in wide-angle 'FullView' screen and a hideaway web camera that pops up as if by magic from behind one of the keys, the Huawei MateBook X Pro is great Windows-powered MacBook Pro alternative. It not only looks the part thanks to its lightweight and super slim aluminium design, but it has some pretty impressive innards, too.
It boasts the latest 8th-gen Intel Core processors, with blazing fast performance and a battery that won't give up on you halfway through rthe day. There's also an option for up to 16GB of RAM and dedicated Nvidia GeForce MX150 graphics, ensuring you've all the speed you need for everyday tasks as well as even more power consuming gaming.
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga
The ThinkPad X1 Yoga offers the same innovative design as previous Yoga products but with a significant performance upgrade. It's not only fun to use, but it has super fast and responsive performance in a familiar, flexible design we all know and love. It's lightweight design also means it's one of the world's lightest 14in laptops, weighing in at just 1.36kg.
Touting Intel's latest 8th-gen Core processors, the X1 Yoga is apparently the first device of its kind to feature Dolby Vision HDR, a display which supports an exceptionally bright 500 NITS.
Dell XPS 13 (2018)
We are (and always have been) big fans of the Dell XPS line-up, and the 2018 model is no exception. We loved the soft-yet-strong design of this newest version, and it's impressive how Dell has managed to stuff such high-end specs into such an impressively compact design.
So if it's a no-fuss, good old clamshell laptop design you're after, then the Dell XPS 13 is the machine for you.
It's not only one of the most solidly built laptops we've ever tried, but it''s got a beautifully tiny bezel that makes you want to just hug it. That's right, Dell managed to squeeze a 13.3in screen into the XPS 13's 11in frame.
Acer Swift 7
Acer took to CES this year to unveil its latest and greatest clamshell device, a refreshed version of the Swift 7, which is supposedly now the "world's thinnest laptop" (as well as being one of the most expensive).
Running Intel's older 7th-gen Core processor as opposed to the newer and more efficient 8th-gen chip, the Acer Swift 7 still boasts some rather impressive internals despite its super skinny frame.
Overall, Acer's Swift 7 is an impressive bit of kit. It's got some pretty decent specs for such a tiny and lightweight device. However, it retails for a starting price of $1,699, which is around £1,250, so worth noting that the compact portability of this device doesn't come cheap.
Asus ZenBook UX430A
The ZenBook family has been giving us solid ultraportables for some time, and the UX430UA doesn't break this mould at all. For £1,000, the ZenBook UX430A offers a very palatable blend of ultraportable design with a healthy dollop of performance. It's pretty slim on foibles, especially given its competitive price, but at the same time, it offers a lovely screen and decent build quality.
If you want a slim laptop machine that's happy as an unflashy workhorse for day-to-day laptop tasks, the Asus Zenbook UX430A won't disappoint.
Simply put, the Pixelbook is the best Chromebook money can buy, the only problem is you need a good wad of said dosh.
The Pixelbook's build quality and hardware combined with an ever-improving Chrome OS goes some way to justifying that £1,000 price tag. So if you're a diehard fan of Chrome OS and want a premium machine to swaddle it, the Pixelbook may just be the laptop you're looking for.
Much like Microsoft's Surface lineup, the Pixelbook doesn't actually need to sell by the bucket load to create an impact. Rather it acts more as a halo device, resetting the hardware and design standards for Chromebooks, shifting them out of the shadows of low-end, cheap machines and into the light as credible potential alternatives to Windows 10 and Mac machines.
Microsoft Surface Pro
Forget about money for a second and the Microsoft Surface is an incredible product. It's a tablet, it's a laptop replacement and it could even be a desktop replacement too. Work, play, creative endeavours and basic gaming, this thin, light, excellent-looking piece of tech can cover all the bases. That in itself is an incredible achievement.
For most tasks, including basic design work, the Surface Pro will do the job well while providing a level of security, connectivity and visual fidelity that most convertibles, including those made for the enterprise, just can't match.
With a starting price of £749 for the base model, it's about the same price as your above-average laptop, and with the added convenience of a fold-up keyboard, that makes it a much better travel companion. By far still one of the best 2-in-1 laptop/tablets you can get..
Apple Macbook Pro (2017)
And, of course, not forgetting the Apple MacBook Pro.
When money is no object, it's time to consider investing in Apple's top notch laptop, the MacBook Pro. Yes, it's expensive, but one thing Apple provides with the MacBook Pro where many others fail to deliver is exceptional build quality.
When you finally decide to take the plunge into the risky limbo state of "am I ready to declare bankruptcy or not?" and purchase a MacBook Pro, you'll feel instantly better about your decision once your fingers come in contact with that silky, cold aluminium chassis that oozes luxury.
And once you've stopped drooling over it, you'll find it actually works like a charm too. Its 15in LED-backlit Retina display with verging-on-ridiculous 2,880 x 1,800 resolution is by far one of the best we've seen in a laptop. And thanks to its Intel Core i7 CPU and AMD Radeon Pro 460 graphics, it's powerful enough to edit photos and videos with ease, and there's even the innovative Touch Bar, which makes completing simple tasks blazingly fast.
The 2017 version i gettign a little old now, but it doesn't mean it's not any good - it just means it's just better value for money as the price is coming down to make room for the 2018 versions. µ
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