What's the best laptop? Well, it's one that can do everything - but there isn't just one, we've found 17 best laptops
What's the best laptop? The best laptop is the Dell XPS 13, but the Asus ZenBook UX303U and Alienware 13 are great alternatives as top laptops. Learn more about the best laptops in our best laptops chart below.
We're always being asked what is the best laptop, but that all depends on what you want it to do. If your answer is 'everything', here are the 17 best laptops available to buy in the UK in 2016. Read more laptops buying advice here - you may also want to read our piece about the most reliable laptop makers
Our ratings take into account value for money alongside performance, build quality and features, but if you simply want the best laptop money can buy you'll find it here. If you'd rather have something a bit cheaper check out our best budget laptops, or if you're happy to work online there's our best Chromebooks, too; for something more portable see our best ultraportable laptops, and ultimate framerates there's our best gaming laptops. Also see all laptop reviews.
At the time of writing all of the laptops in this round-up were available to buy in the UK. However, laptops are rarely available for more than a few months. You may find the laptops listed here at a much cheaper price than their RRPs (bargain!), but if you can't find the exact one you want we recommend you read our full review, check out its specification and look for a similar model at a similar price - certainly don't settle for less.
Most of the laptops in our best laptops group test will come with Windows 8.1 in the box, but as we know Windows 10 is now available as a free upgrade - so don't be put off buying a Windows 8.1 laptop. For more details see: Will my PC or laptop get Windows 10?
Of course, our best laptops group test also includes the best MacBooks, which run OS X 10.11 El Capitan out of the box.
Mac laptops are typically more expensive than Windows laptops, but Apple's laptops now offer better value than ever before. Some would argue that their typically superior build quality and higher-quality displays make them worth the additional expense, although several of the latest Windows laptops give Apple a good run for its money in the design stakes.
Best laptops 2016: How much should I spend on a laptop?
Budget is a consideration, but less so when you're looking for the ultimate laptop. However, we're compelled to ask: do you really need the ultimate laptop?
You can get an awful lot for your money from a budget laptop these days, and even a sub-£200 Chromebook or cheap Windows 8.1 with Bing laptop will suit most people's needs. (Windows 8.1 with Bing is the same as Windows 8.1, but Bing is the default search engine - you can change this. Manufacturers can install Windows 8.1 with Bing for free, then pass that saving on to you.)
Unless you're a gamer or use intensive applications, you probably don't need to spend thousands on a laptop. But if you can afford to, and you want the best, then of course it's your money.
Under £500, you'll be compromising on one area or another. Whether it's screen quality, performance, weight, battery life or looks, you can't have everything. So-called Ultrabooks or ultraportables cost more, but are generally lighter, faster and may also have a touchscreen.