10 best laptops from £180 in 2016 – Part 1

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Best laptops from £180 in 2016
Best laptops from £180 in 2016

Discover the best laptops to buy in 2016, be it for general-purpose or raw performance, and learn how to choose a laptop. It isn’t always easy to find the laptop that’s right for you. You have to work out your budget and, on top of that, there’s a bunch of other things such as battery life, performance and weight to take into consideration. It can be a time-consuming and tricky process, but with our help you can find the best laptop in 2016 that’s perfect for your needs.

>> Seagate crams a massive 5TB into a portable hard drive

>> Computers and laptops

1. HP Spectre 13

HP Spectre 13
HP Spectre 13

Setting the gold standard (literally) for design and overall looks, HP has hit it out of the park with their recent model in the Spectre range. Undeniably the thinnest and lightest Windows laptop to date, the HP Spectre 13 is top of its class. With a 10.4mm thickness, the well-made chassis and premium gold detailing add a touch of class that’s almost unrivalled at the moment.

Processor: Dual core 2.5GHz Intel Core i7-6500U, RAM: 8GB, Dimensions: 325x229x10.4mm, Weight: 1.11Kg, Screen size: 13.3in, Screen resolution: 1,920×1,080, Graphics adaptor: Intel HD Graphics 520, Total storage: 512GB SSD

2. Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Tablet 

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Tablet
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Tablet

Don’t let the name fool you, the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 is definitely more laptop than tablet, with some surprisingly impressive performance. Like the HP Spectre 13, it’s seriously expensive, but what you do get more than makes up for the price. This is definitely a premium laptop/tablet hybrid, with one of the best keyboards around and a pretty nifty stylus to boot. This is definitely one for the business user, with some intriguing upgradability options such as the productivity module add-on, which adds more ports and an increased battery life.

Processor: Dual-core Intel Core m7-6Y75, RAM: 8GB, Dimensions:291x9x210mm, Weight: 795g, Screen size: 14in, Screen resolution: 2,560×1,440, Graphics adaptor: Intel HD 520, Total storage: 256GB SSD

3. Acer Switch Alpha 12

Acer Switch Alpha 12
Acer Switch Alpha 12

Cheaper than some of the other devices on this list, the Acer Switch Alpha 12 is a wonderful little laptop/tablet hybrid at an affordable price. Coming with a decent keyboard and stylus in the box, this is one of the cheapest ways to get the full package and you won’t be too disappointed. You’ve got speedy performance, and while we only had the chance to review the cheaper spec version, it’s only going to get better from there.

Processor: Dual core 2.3GHz Intel Core i3-6100U, RAM: 4GB, Dimensions: 292x201x9.5mm, Weight: 910g, Screen size: 12in, Screen resolution: 2160×1440, Graphics adaptor: Intel HD Graphics 520, Total storage: 128GB SSD

4. Dell XPS 15 (Late 2015, Skylake)

Dell XPS 15 (Late 2015, Skylake)
Dell XPS 15 (Late 2015, Skylake)

One of the most expensive devices in our top laptops of 2016 list, the Late 2015 Dell XPS 15 doesn’t disappoint. It’s one of the best Skylake-based Windows 10 laptops you can buy at the moment, which, when paired with Dell’s gorgeous high-resolution InfinityEdge touchscreen display, means it’s definitely one to show off to your friends. There’s plenty of processing power thanks to the i7-6700HQ Skylake processor so you’ll be all set for work, while the dedicated Nvidia GeForce GTX 960M graphics chip is perfect for non-work related activities too.

Processor: Quad-core 2.6GHz Intel Core i7-6700HQ, RAM: 16GB, Dimensions: 357x235x17mm, Weight: 2kg Screen size: 15.6in, Screen resolution: 3,840×2,160,Graphics adaptor: Nvidia GeForce GTX 960M, Total storage: 512GB SSD

5. Aorus X7 Pro v5

Aorus X7 Pro v5
Aorus X7 Pro v5

If you’re looking for a relatively portable device that has the best gaming performance currently possible, the Aorus X7 Pro v5 is your best bet. While we’re still at a bit of a transitional stage between last generation mobile graphics chips and the brand new higher performance cards, you’ll be well served here until more devices sporting the newer specs arrive. With two Nvidia GeForce GTX 970M graphics cards and a quad-core 2.7GHz Intel Core i7-6820HK processor, the X7 should be able to handle pretty much any game you throw its way for the time being.

Processor: Quad-core 2.7GHz Intel Core i7-6820HK, RAM: 32GB, Dimensions: 428x305x22.9mm, Weight: 3.2kg, Screen size: 17.3in Screen resolution: 1,920×1,080 Graphics adaptor: 2x Nvidia GeForce GTX 970M, Total storage: 1TB HDD, 512GB SSD