While I was searching for a new laptop, I had the pleasure of scouting the market and testing some of the best laptops that you can buy this year. Before getting into further details, I wanted to let you know that when we talk about laptops, there is no absolute best, since each such device shines in a specific area (business, office, professional). There are great laptops to choose from in 2014 and I will try to enumerate my all time favorite.
Which laptop brand to choose?
It’s difficult to make everyone happy, especially if a person already has its own preferences in terms of laptop brands. If you had a laptop from a specific brand in the past and you were happy with it, there is a big chance to stick to that brand in the future. I’ve been using and testing laptops from all brands and let me share these personal conclusions: Acer and DELL pack great features at reasonable prices, but from my experience, these laptops are experiencing overheating problems. If you face a choice, I advise you to go for ASUS, Lenovo or Apple laptops.
Top laptops under $600
Here are the best laptops from the low and mid-range 2014 market. These laptops are perfect for the average user who doesn’t want more than watching YouTube, using Facebook, writing some documents and playing games with medium requirements.
I love this brand and this particular 2014 model has just enough features to make it to best choice for an average user. It packs an Intel Core i5-4200U processor clocked at 1.6 GHz, 8 GB of DDR3 RAM, 1024 GB 5400 rpm Hard Drive and 15.6-Inch Screen. It comes with a preinstalled Windows 8 and a battery that will endure 5 hours of usage.
This affordable laptop is powered by a Intel Core i5-4200M processor clocked at 2.5 GHz, it holds 6 GB of DDR3 RAM, a storage capacity of 1 TB 5400 rpm and a 15.6-Inch Screen. It runs the Windows 8.1 (preinstalled) and the battery will last for up to 5 hours of usage. It also features the AMD HD 8570 2GB graphic card.
So, the last laptop from my “under $600” category packs an interesting feature: a multi-touch display. This means that thanks to the Windows 8.1 OS, you can actually use it as a tablet with keyboard. The processor provided by Intel (i5-4200U) and it’s clocked at 1.6GHz (3MB Cache). It also packs 6 GB DDR3L SDRAM, Intel HD Graphics 4400, 750 GB storage capacity and a 15.6-Inch Screen.
Top laptops between $600 – $1000
This collection of 2014 laptops are for those who want more than a laptop for browsing websites and listening to music. It’s for amateur gamers and for those who need more power for their productivity apps.
This laptop is state of the art. Its “brain” constitutes in the Intel Core i7 4500U processor clocked at 1.8 GHz, it also features 8 GB of DDR3L SDRAM, 750 GB storage capacity, a 15.6-Inch Screen and a battery that will last for up to 5 hours. The games will run smooth thanks to the NVIDIA GeForce GT 740M graphic card. The laptop comes with the Windows 8 operating system.
HP created a top-notch laptop with Intel Core i5-3230M Processor clocked at 2.6GHz, 8GB DDR3-1333 SDRAM, a storage capacity of 750GB, AMD Radeon HD 7650M video chipset and Full HD LED-backlit Display. It comes with Microsoft Windows 7 Professional (64-bit).
While we are getting closer to the top of this list, we should bring out the “bigger guns”, and by “bigger” I’m referring to the size of the display. This cool 17.3-Inch screen laptop has an Intel Core i7-4500U Processor clocked at 1.8 GHz, 1 TB of internal storage and 8 GB of DDR3L SDRAM. The apps that requires a powerful graphic card will be sustained by the Intel® HD Graphics 4400.
Top laptops over $1000
At this point I should mention that these devices mean business, and they should be your main pick only if you really use them at maximum capacity. Each of the following laptops have plenty of computational power to run even the most sophisticated software of 2014.
As its name suggest, this laptop is for folks who love games. I’m talking about games that require specific performances in order to run flawlessly. Under the hood, we find the Intel Core i7-4700HQ processor clocked at 2.4Ghz (Turbo 3.4 GHz), 12 GB of DDR3 RAM and the storage capacity of 1 TB. You can’t play games on a small display, so you can understand why the manufacturer decided to use a 17.3-inch screen and a GeForce GTX 860M 2GB graphic card. All these specs will drain the battery pretty fast (in about 3.5 hours). The laptop runs Windows 8.1.
This laptop packs a lot of power under the hood: Intel Core i7-4700MQ processor, 8GB of RAM, FUll HD display, 1 TB of internal storage and additional 24GB SSD. It is the perfect choice if you are into games, since it features the NVidia GT750M 2GB graphic card.
This powerful laptop packs state-of-the art features: the 3rd generation Intel(R) Core(TM) i7-3610QM Processor clocked at 2.3 GHz (6MB L3 Cache), 8GB DDR3 System Memory (2 Dimm) and 1 TB of storage capacity. You will have a great experience with latest apps and games on the market thanks to the NVIDIA(R) GeForce(R) GT 630M Graphics with 1GB GDDR3 memory, the 17.3″ diagonal HD+ HP BrightView LED Display (1600 x 900) and Beats(TM) audio. It runs the Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit OS.
If we talk about versatility and design, including the Apple MacBook Pro is a must. Besides the exquisite image quality provided by the Retina Display, this laptop packs the 2.3 GHz Intel Core-i7 quad-core processor clocked at 3.5 GHz (6MB shared L3 cache). The is 512 GB PCIe-based flash storage and 16GB 1600MHz DDR3L onboard memory will provide more than enough to run any app or game you may think of. The 15.4-inch Retina display has the resolution of 2880×1800 pixels and the LED features IPS technology. The graphic card is NVIDIA GeForce GT 750M with 2GB of GDDR5 memory. This powerful laptop runs Mac OS X Mavericks and the battery will last for up to 8 hours of usage. If you compare all these specs with any other laptops in this list, you will notice that there is no competition, really. But if you want quality, you will have to pay over $2000.
Conclusions and additional details
Just like in every domain out there, in 2014 we have to buy laptops from a specific niche. There is no need to invest lots of money in a device with super graphical card if you’re going to use it for office related jobs or to write documents. Learn to create your own filters (domain, budget, usability, battery) and get your own best laptop of 2014 according to your needs. Also, you should think in advance, because once you buy a laptop, you can’t really upgrade it. You’ll probably use it for two or three years (at least).