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December 5, 2023 - 4 min read
Buy the right laptop and you’ll discover it can accommodate a lot more than just spreadsheets, Powerpoint presentations and a spot of online shopping during your lunchbreak. Your laptop can be a virtual one-stop shop for work, play and entertainment. For a laptop that can do it all, you’ll want a top-notch screen for movies and great graphics for games, all while being light and portable enough to take to and from work.
Here’s our guide to finding the best laptop for work and play.
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Hybrid working is here to stay, so you need a laptop that’s primed for everything you need it to do. It used to be that we had a basic PC at work that we might not have loved. But now that we have more control over our tech set-up, and just need the one laptop for work and working from home, we have the freedom to make more personalised choices.
“The best way to pick your best laptop for working from home is to figure out what your most performance-intensive activity is,” says Jason Tavoletti, The Good Guys Buyer – Tech. “You can then choose your RAM and processing speed based on that, rather than just thinking about the spreadsheets you need to use for work.”
HP 15.6" Chromebook
Lenovo IdeaPad Slim 1 15.6" Athlon Silver 8GB 256GB Win 11 Laptop
Apple MacBook Air 13" M1 256GB Space Grey
The key things to look for when it comes to choosing the best gaming laptop are a dedicated graphics card – at least 16GB RAM – and a screen with a high refresh rate.
And, newsflash, there’s never been a better time to be a gamer!
“Although there have been major graphics card shortages caused by crypto currency miners, that gold rush hasn’t affected laptop graphics supplies,” says award-winning technology and gaming journalist Alice Clarke. “So, it’s much easier to find a decently priced gaming laptop with a Nvidia 30 series card than a desktop PC.”
Lenovo LOQ 15.6" i7 16GB 512GB RTX 4050 6GB Gaming Laptop
Acer Aspire 7 15" 12th Gen i5 16GB 512GB Nvidia GTX 3050 4GB Gaming Laptop
Lenovo IdeaPad 3i 15.6" Gaming Laptop
When it comes to a laptop for watching movies, the good news is you don’t need too many fancy features in the body of the device. The screen, however, is where you might want to go as big as you can (while still making sure it’s the right size to take to and from work!). To make it the best laptop to watch movies on, opt for as high a resolution as possible. Ideally, you want 4K but if Full HD is all that fits in your budget, you’re still going to get a great deal of entertainment joy.
“Another key feature to consider if you enjoy a movie marathon is an extra-long battery life,” says Jason Tavoletti. “You could also go for a hybrid 2-in-1 tablet/computer so it’s easier to watch movies in bed.”
Acer Aspire 3 15" i3 8GB 256GB Laptop
Asus Vivobook 15.6" i7 16GB 512GB Laptop
Dell Inspiron 15" Ryzen 7 16GB 512GB Laptop
If you want a laptop that can do it all, it’s important to consider your most processor- and graphics-heavy activities, and choose something accordingly. For example, if you’re working, watching movies and gaming, then gaming is going to dictate your top laptop requirements. You’ll need to think about the three sides of the ‘fancy laptop triangle’: light, powerful and affordable. Usually, you can only have two sides of that triangle, and it’s up to you to decide which sides best suit your needs.
For gaming, it also all depends on what kinds of games you’re playing. If you’re just using Xbox Cloud Gaming, then you could get away with not even having a dedicated graphics card, but if you’re hardcore into Destiny or AAA games like Elden Ring, then that 3080 graphics card is going to be a must. Or, if you only play occasionally, but it’s more important to have a light, portable laptop for travel, then work out the minimum specs you can comfortably get away with and go from there.
Apple MacBook Pro 14" with M3 chip 512GB SSD Silver
Lenovo Yoga 7i EVO 14" Touchscreen i7 16GB 512GB 2-in-1 Laptop
Microsoft Surface Laptop 5 13.5" i5 8GB 512GB Black
When you’re ready to get the all-rounder 2-in-1 laptop of your dreams that’s perfect for how you work, rest and play, we’ll be here to give you expert advice, and the best prices on the biggest brands. See us in-store or online and we’ll have you set up in no time.
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