Are you in the market for a new laptop? Portable personal devices are one of the few devices that are difficult to replace or do without. A reliable machine will see you through all your tasks, whether you’re a remote employee, student or avid gamer. Revisit your day-to-day assignments and ask yourself about what you expect your computer to handle the best. Is it playing heavy titles lag-free? Or the ability to run productivity apps seamlessly for years to come?
Among overwhelming models and budget ranges, there is a laptop out there that's just right for you. To help you narrow down your options, we spoke with an expert about the specs you might want to pay attention to.
"First, identify your requirements - if you're a student, a home user, a business user, a graphic designer or a gamer. It's only then you'll be able to figure out what kind of laptop is good for you," said Harish Kanjani, operational director and co-owner of Computer Care LLC in Dubai, an IT solutions provider and an authorised reseller for brands such as Dell, Intel and ASUS.
For the casual consumer, a sleek, lightweight design with a decent camera, speakers and thin bezels outweigh pretty much everything else. Kanjani says budget-conscious students and home users alike will find the Intel Core i5 processor sufficient, with at least 512GB of storage space. Those with a hefty budget can always go for better configurations, like Core i7 and up.
"To business users, the design of the laptop isn't as important as its longevity and ruggedness. They want a machine that will last for five to six years in the long run," added Kanjani, who has 32 years of experience in the IT industry. For graphic manipulators and gamers, the bigger the graphics card or unit, the better, starting from 4GB in Nvidia's RTX 30 series.
Check out which laptop models are consistent bestsellers in the UAE, according to Kanjani, and why. Don't miss out on our expert-picked lists of gaming, business and student laptops, for more options. Shop with a Prime subscription to get free, same- or next-day delivery.
1. Best Overall: Lenovo Gen 8 ThinkPad X1 Carbon 14" FHD Ultrabook
- Decent i7 core processor with 16GB RAM
- Lightweight at 1.02kgs
- Passed rugged military-grade tests
- 720p HD webcam with privacy shutter
- Battery life is shorter than stated, say reviewers
Kanjani picks Lenovo's ever-popular ThinkPad range as the best investment you can make for yourself. Though they're business-oriented, these laptops can easily last you seven years or more, given they're well maintained, he added. The Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon ultrabook is on the higher end of the range, carrying a 14-inch display that's neither too big nor small. Weighing just 1.02kgs, the machine is tested against 12 military-grade assessments, from drops to dust storms. It can run for up to 19.5 hours on a single charge. This overall contender works like a breeze, powered by the 10th Gen Intel i7, 1TB storage space and 16GB RAM. It includes the latest features, such as fingerprint login and a physical camera shutter. Reviewers who've used it for work and school find it to be a light, powerful machine. You could also splurge on the latest, but pricier Gen 10 model.
Bonus: Buy with zero per cent instalments and pay Dh509.08 for 12 months with select banks.
2. Best for MacOS Users: Apple 2022 MacBook Air
- Runs on Apple's latest M2 chip
- Long battery life of 18 hours
- Two Thunderbolt ports that support 6k display
- 1080p HD camera
- Seamless connectivity with other Apple devices
- Needs Apple ecosystem for a user-friendly experience
If you have an existing Apple ecosystem, then you'll naturally gravitate towards sleek Macbooks, says Kanjani. Check out this 13.6-inch Macbook Air, which runs on Apple's newest M2 chip. Thanks to the upgraded processor, executive functions are blazing fast and battery life is longer, up to 18 hours of charger-free browsing. It's slightly heavier than our best overall, weighing 1.24kgs and measuring just 1.13cm thin. While the computer works seamlessly with your iPhone, iPad and other Apple devices, it also runs Microsoft 365, Zoom and more. Its 1080p HD camera is a dream for calls and meetings, and then there's the liquid retina display to support any creative work. Reviewers can't get enough of the graphics quality and the computer's long battery life. Choose from three other aluminium chassis colours, besides space grey.
Bonus: Buy with zero per cent instalments and pay Dh445.09 for 12 months with select banks.
Warranty: This product comes with one-year limited warranty from AppleCare and up to 90 days of complimentary technical support. Amazon offers a one-year extended warranty for Dh482, a one-year accidental damage protection for Dh522, and a two-year damage protection plus one-year extended warranty for Dh666.
3. Best for Students: HP Envy x360 2-in-1 Convertible Laptop
- Edge-to-edge display, with touchscreen capabilities
- Converts into a tablet
- 5MP webcam with shutter
- 10 hours of battery life; charges halfway in 30 minutes
- No fingerprint login
The HP Envy x360 series is a machine better suited for students, according to our expert. Its 15.6-inch touchscreen rotates all the way back in a 360-degree hinge design, letting you use the laptop as a tablet, whenever the lesson calls for it. The convertible device is powered by the latest 12th Gen Intel Core i7, along with 16GB of RAM, for instant rebooting and multi-tab browsing. At an affordable price, you're getting up to 10 hours of work time, speakers by Bang and Olufsen, a 5MP webcam with shutter and a stunning edge-to-edge screen. It even mutes your mic with a dedicated hotkey on the keyboard. For all your note-taking needs, add an HP stylus.
Bonus: Buy with zero per cent instalments and pay Dh237.25 for 12 months with select banks.
4. Best for Graphics: ASUS ZenBook Pro Duo 15
- Dual touchscreens, including an OLED 4K display
- Future-proof with 16GB RAM
- Great processing speeds with 12th Gen i7
- Optimised cooling system and vents
Futuristic in every sense, reviewers call this workstation a content creator's dream. ASUS's ZenBook Pro Duo 15 carries a 14-inch second screen that sits right above the keyboard, in addition to the primary 15.6-inch OLED 4K display. This two-in-one design lets you extend your workspace or multitask just as you would on two monitors. The best part is that both screens are touch-enabled for a more hands-on creative approach. Its premium price tag also owes to the super-fast 12th Gen of Intel Core i9 processor, running alongside Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070 Ti. If the large ScreenPad Plus seems obtrusive to your workflow, know that you can always disable it with a single key. Graphic designers in the reviews also highlight its Pantone-verified display.
Bonus: Buy with zero per cent instalments and pay Dh825.44 for 12 months with select banks.
5. Best Gaming Laptop on Budget: MSI GL66 Gaming Laptop, 15.6"
- 11th Gen Intel i7 running with GeForce RTX 3070
- Excellent 1080p gameplay
- 144Hz refresh rate
- RGB lights keyboard
- Value for money
- Fans are somewhat loud, say reviewers
Kanjani recommends MSI's affordable gaming range for work and play. The MSI Pulse GL66 15.6-inch laptop maintains sufficient levels of speed with the 11th generation i7 and the Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070 graphics processing unit on 16GB RAM. You're getting a refresh rate of 144Hz to keep up with rapid movements, and an exclusive on-screen interface to tweak settings quickly when you're mid-game. It's designed for gamers on the go, which is why the machine weighs less than most gaming laptops at 2.1kgs. MSI introduces dedicated thermal solutions to cool the device during marathon sessions, using six pipes and two fans. Gamers and creators in the reviews leave five-star ratings on its value-for-money specs, pleasantly surprised at the speed. Besides gaming, buyers have run their CAD (computer-aided design) and coding software without a hitch, too.
Bonus: Buy with zero per cent instalments and pay Dh399.25 for 12 months with select banks.
Our recommendations are independently chosen by Gulf News editors. If you decide to shop through links on our website, we may earn an affiliate commission, as we are part of Amazon Services LLC Associates Program.