Laptop Reviews

Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 6 14 (2019) review: A solid, bargain-priced 2-in-1 saddled with iffy battery life

One of the best things about Intel’s 10th-gen Ice Lake processors is that we’re seeing much cheaper prices for laptops powered by 8th-gen Intel CPUs, and here’s a case in point. The Lenovo IdeaPad 6 14 manages to pack in a quad-core Core i5 chip and a full-HD touchscreen into a 2-in-1 form factor, all for just $500. It’s a solid system by any standard, delivering impressive productivity performance for its price. Unsurprisingly, however, you’ll have to settle for some…

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Best gaming laptops 2019: No-nonsense reviews & expert buying advice

Picking a gaming laptop is a lot more fun today than it was five years ago, when a “real” gaming laptop meant 12 pounds of back-breaking hardware to haul around. Check out our top picks immediately below, and keep reading to catch up on the latest news and reviews.  With major advances in laptop CPUs and graphics technologies, you can now get great gaming performance in sizes from slender to huge, and prices from budget to sky-high. That’s where this…

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Lenovo IdeaPad S340-15IWL review: Peppy quad-core performance, but a cheap display

Those looking for solid productivity power, a roomy screen, and a comfortable keyboard should give the Lenovo IdeaPad S340-15IWL a fair shake, but make sure you pick up the right model. While we were pleased with the benchmark results for the S340-15IWL ($730 list, but generally closer to $500 online), the configuration we tested comes with a cut-rate TN display saddled with poor viewing angles. you can upgrade to a superior IPS panel for a modest amount of cash (as…

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HP Omen 17 (2019) review: Solid performance that’s shockingly affordable

HP’s Omen 17 gaming laptops have a reputation with us that can be summarized in four words: solid performance. Shockingly affordable. That’s particularly true for the Omen 17. Is it a looker? Debatable. Is it the best gaming laptop? Definitely not. But HP always manages to cram more hardware than you’d expect under the hood, then sell the Omen 17 way below market rate. I’m not sure how HP pulls off this bit of wizardry, but it’s made the Omen…

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Microsoft’s discounting its new Surfaces for Black Friday, but HP’s $299 laptop may be the steal

Microsoft is already teasing its Black Friday deals, which include heavy discounts on the recently introduced Surface Pro 7 and Surface Laptop 3 PCs. Microsoft’s also clearing the decks of older hardware, so there are further deals to be had. Several deals begin November 22. Specifically, Microsoft’s shaving 22 percent off the price of the Core i5/8GB/256GB version of the Surface Pro 7. Bundled with the Type Cover (which normally ships separately), it will cost $1,329, $330 off the regular price. The Core i5/8GB/128GB option with…

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Samsung’s upcoming Galaxy Book Flex, Galaxy Book Ion emphasize stunning displays, light weight

If you like big, beautiful screens, you may want to start saving up: Samsung’s new Galaxy Book Flex and Galaxy Book Ion will boast QLED screens and up to a whopping 600 nits of brightness for working outdoors. Both the Galaxy Book Flex and the Galaxy Book Ion are part of Intel’s Project Athena, which has the chipmaker working closely with a PC maker’s engineering team to design “halo,” or flagship, devices. New features include the ability to charge a…

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Google Pixelbook Go review: A perfectly good Chromebook that elevates the category

Google’s Pixelbook Go is a perfectly good Chromebook, and that’s exactly what the company set out to create. Eight years into the Chromebook’s existence, the category is still dominated by small, super-cheap laptops. Google has previously tried to inspire greater things with halo models—the super-premium Chromebook Pixel of 2013, and the stylish Pixelbook of 2017. But most users couldn’t or wouldn’t pay for them. “We heard loud and clear that people loved the design and wanted a lower price,” said Matt Vokoun,…

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Microsoft won’t upgrade your Surface Laptop 3’s SSD at a Microsoft Store, for now

While Microsoft touted the serviceability of the SSD inside the Surface Laptop 3 and Surface Pro X at the launch, Microsoft Store service agents tell PCWorld that the drive is replaceable, but not upgradable, by Microsoft Store employees. For now. If you try it yourself, though, you could void your warranty. It’s not an academic question. The Surface Laptop 3 is the first Microsoft Surface Laptop with a serviceable hard drive, though Microsoft’s product page dampens your spirits immediately. “Hard…

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Acer Swift 3 (2019) review: This midrange notebook PC hides Nvidia graphics power

Acer’s Swift 3 (2019) should attract the type of savvy notebook PC buyer searching for a little more graphics oomph than the standard integrated GPU provides. Combining an 8th-gen “Whiskey Lake” chip plus a discrete Nvidia GeForce MX150 GPU opens up more opportunities for light gaming without breaking the bank. Acer’s new Swift 3 clamshell is a generally solid midrange notebook, though it suffers in two key areas. First, the integrated audio isn’t much to write home about, even with…

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Google Pixelbook Go: The 5 major things you need to know

Google’s new Pixelbook Go answers the question of whether its next Chromebook would be a budget or premium device: It’s both. Priced at a somewhat moderate $649Remove non-product link, this clamshell Chromebook offers a 13.3-inch display up to 4K, with processor options all the way up to a Core i7. It maxes out at $1,399. Recall that in 2017 Google launched the Google Pixelbook, a 360-degree notebook for nearly $1,000. A year later, it followed up with the Google Pixel…

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Review: Dell’s XPS 15 7590 reaches for 8 cores of CPU power

Dell’s XPS 15 (version 7590) is a test of just how much hardware you can jam into a 4.2-pound laptop. This latest iteration includes up to an 8-core “overclockable” Core i9-9980HK and a discrete GeForce GTX 1650 card. That is a lot of hot hardware in a body arguably not built to handle it. Hardware you’d expect to see in a gaming laptop, not a high-end, thin-and-light workhorse.  We know why Dell likely did it: to compete with another high-end 15-inch…

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MSI’s affordable Alpha 15 gaming laptop goes all-AMD with Radeon RX 5500, Ryzen 7, and FreeSync

AMD revealed its new Radeon RX 5500 series graphics cards on Monday, bringing the cutting-edge features found in its Radeon RX 5700 series to the masses with a focus on 1080p gaming. In an unusual twist, AMD’s new GPU is debuting in prebuilt PC systems first, including an intriguing all-AMD gaming laptop also introduced today: MSI’s Alpha 15. The Alpha 15 packs Radeon RX 5500 graphics, obviously, along with the Ryzen 7 3750H processor and a blazing-fast 15.6-inch 144Hz FreeSync…

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Best laptops 2019: Reviews and buying advice

The laptop world is a-changing. New CPUs and GPUs—yes, mobile discrete GPUs—are bringing forth laptops that are thinner, lighter, and faster than ever, even gaming laptops. And the advances keep coming: We first glimpsed Intel’s 10th-generation, 10nm laptop CPU first in Taipei at Computex, and we just got our first 10th-gen  benchmarks as it rolls out officially. It will coexist with the 9th generation of Core mobile processors, and mobile GeForce GTX 1650 and 1660 Ti graphics. Stay tuned for…

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Hands-on with HP’s new Spectre x360 13: Shrunk down and supercharged with Ice Lake

More of a refinement than last year’s full-on revamp, the latest HP Spectre x360 shaves off nearly an inch of depth, crams a tiny IR camera into its super-slim display bezel, and boasts crazy battery life. Oh, and Ice Lake! The early 2019 Spectre x360 13 was great Set for release in October, the new HP Spectre x360 13 features the same classy gem-cut design as its predecessor, although a ruler will tell you that it’s nearly an inch (or…

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HP unveils Chromebooks designed for the new Universal Stylus Initiative

HP said Thursday that the company will begin shipping its first Universal Stylus Initiative-enabled Chromebooks later this month, offering the option of either a Celeron or a quad-core Pentium chip inside. HP will offer the HP Chromebook x360 12b for $359 and the HP Chromebook x360 14b for $379. As the names suggest, they will be 12-inch and 14-inch Chromebooks, with up to full 1080p displays, with specific consumer bents: B&O-powered audio on the 14b, for example.  The Universal Stylus…

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Review: Lenovo ThinkBook 13s pairs solid business features with consumer-friendly touches

Lenovo’s ThinkBook 13s is a deliberately intriguing combination of a business notebook with consumer flourishes, aimed at the vaguely-defined space between a home business and a more traditional consumer PC. It largely succeeds. The ThinkBook 13s (also known as the ThinkBook 13s-IWL) sacrifices just a bit on the performance front for including an 8th-gen Whiskey Lake processor, but places it inside a sturdy chassis with a very good keyboard on top. It includes a combination of legacy USB-A and forward-looking…

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Acer Nitro 5 (2019) review: A great budget-conscious laptop, at least for the moment

Acer’s latest Nitro 5 shows you just how affordable gaming laptops have become. Last year we reviewed the 2018 version of the Acer Nitro 5, which promised a great entry-level gaming experience for a mere $800 or so—cheaper even than some entry-level desktops I’ve built. Now 2019’s Nitro 5 (available at Best Buy) has come across my desk, touting the usual annual upgrades. That means slightly more than usual though, as we’ve had both CPU and GPU generation changes this year. What…

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MSI’s GE65 Raider Review: A little thick, but a lot fast

MSI’s GE65 Raider is proof positive of how far gaming laptop performance has come. Just two years ago, a top-end gaming laptop would run on a quad-core 7th-gen CPU. The GE65 Raider doubles the core count with its 9th-gen Core i7-9880H chip. Real-time ray tracing support? The GE65 Raider has that, too, with its full-power GeForce RTX 2070. All this, mind you, weighs just over five pounds. This much power at this weight comes with a compromise, though, which we’ll get…

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PCWorld’s August Digital Magazine: Ryzen 3000

Stay on top of the latest tech with PCWorld’s Digital Magazine. Available as single copies or as a monthly subscription, it highlights the best content from PCWorld.com—the most important news, the key product reviews, and the most useful features and how-to stories—in a curated Digital Magazine for Android and iOS, as well for the desktop and other tablet readers. In the August issue The August cover of PCWorld is all about the Ryzen 3000 review. With its ground-breaking 7nm process,…

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Best cheap laptops: Amazon and Best Buy top sellers rated

When you’re looking for a good, cheap laptop, knowledge is power. Every budget machine (which we’re defining as Windows laptops costing $500 or less) is the product of compromise—corners carefully cut here and there to hit a price point. Your job is to find the one that checks off the most boxes for your needs. We’ll show you what to look for by highlighting which budget laptops among the best-sellers currently listed at Amazon and Best Buy are worth buying. We…

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