- A great laptop is powerful, well-designed, and full of helpful features.
- If you have the money to spend, there are some excellent high-end laptops out there.
- The Dell XPS 13 is our top pick for the best high-end laptop, thanks to its portable design and top-tier specs.
If you use your computer all the time, you need a laptop that’s powerful, sleek, efficient, and lightweight. There are plenty of ultra-high-end laptops out there, and they’re well worth considering if you have the cash to spend on the best new tech and you want a laptop that should last several years.
There are a number of things worth considering if you’re in the market for a new laptop. For starters, you’ll want to think about whether you want a Windows laptop or one that runs Apple’s MacOS. MacOS is great for Apple users who want a laptop that will seamlessly integrate with other Apple products, while Windows is typically better for gamers.
You’ll also want to think about internal components, like the processor, RAM, and storage. Last but not least, for many, the design of the laptop will be important — especially if you need a portable laptop that’s perhaps smaller and lighter in weight.
Because there are so many high-end laptops, it can be a bit hard to figure out which model is right for your needs. That, however, is why we’ve put together this guide to the best high-end laptops that are worth your money.
Here are the best high-end laptops you can buy:
- Best high-end laptop overall: Dell XPS 13 Laptop
- Best high-end Apple laptop: MacBook Pro 15-inch Laptop
- Best high-end gaming laptop: Alienware m17 R2 Laptop
- Best high-end 15-inch laptop: Dell XPS 15 Laptop
- Best high-end 2-in-1 laptop: HP Spectre x360 Laptop
The best high-end laptop overall
The Dell XPS 13 has long been one of our favorite laptops, and the 2019 model is even better than the previous ones, thanks to its improved design and excellent specs.
The Dell XPS 13 has long been considered one of the best laptops out there, and for good reason. The 2019 version of the laptop features an even better design and more powerful specs, making it our pick for the best high-end laptop.
The Dell XPS 13 has an absolutely beautiful design. It’s available in a few colors, including a sleek black and stunning silver, and it measures just 0.46-inches thick. Port-wise, you’ll get two Thunderbolt 3 ports, a USB-C port, a MicroSD card reader, and a headphone jack.
One notable difference between the new model and the previous-generation Dell XPS 13 is the fact that the webcam is now located above the display. But never fear: There’s still the same sleek, almost edge-to-edge design.
The 13-inch screen can be either Full HD or 4K in resolution, depending on which configuration you buy. There is also the option to make it a touchscreen.
The base model of the laptop offers an 8th-generation Intel Core i5 processor, but it can be upgraded to an Intel Core i7. You’ll get up to 8GB of RAM and up to 256GB of solid-state storage. Safe to say, while the storage and RAM aren’t the highest out there, the laptop should be more than powerful enough for the vast majority of people.
Perhaps one of the best things about this laptop is that while it’s a super high-end device, it’s not overly expensive. The base model starts at $879.99, and models range up from there.
So what are the downsides of the laptop? Well, there aren’t many, but some note that the trackpad can be a little finicky. That, however, is a small price to pay for such a great laptop. It’s gotten excellent reviews too — Wired gave it an impressive 8/10, while Laptop Mag went a step further at 4.5 stars.
Pros: Great design, excellent specs, compact, not overly expensive
Cons: Slightly buggy trackpad at times
The best high-end Apple laptop
The MacBook Pro is a classic laptop with its stunning unibody design and ultra-powerful specs.
If you’re an Apple user, then the MacBook Pro is really the best high-end, powerful laptop you can get. The MacBook Pro comes in two sizes: a 13-inch model and a 15-inch model. However, because the 15-inch model offers slightly better specs, that model is our top pick for the best high-end MacBook laptop.
The MacBook Pro is known for its awesome design, and recent models are no exception to that rule. The laptop has four Thunderbolt 3 ports, along with a beautiful 15-inch screen and a nice big touchpad that’s been hailed by many as being the best in the business.
The laptop is even more impressive under the hood. The base model comes with a 9th-gen Intel Core i7 processor with 16GB of RAM and 256GB of storage. You also get an AMD Radeon Pro 555X graphics card in this laptop. If you want an absolute powerhouse of a laptop, the 15-inch MacBook Pro can even be upgraded to a 9th-gen Intel Core i9 processor, 32GB of RAM, Radeon Pro Vega 20 graphics card, and a whopping 4TB of storage.
So what are the downsides to the MacBook Pro? Well, perhaps the biggest is that it’s a bit expensive, with the base model starting at $2,399. The keyboard can also be a bit tricky — some love it, while others don’t like it at all because it doesn’t have very much travel.
Some people have also had issues with keys ceasing to function, but Apple has a replacement program set up for people who run into issues with the keyboard. Plus, the new model may not have these issues in the first place.
Still, the laptop has gotten some great reviews — Laptop Mag and TechRadar both gave it 4/5 stars.
Pros: Classic design, excellent specs, beautiful display
Cons: Expensive, keyboard is divisive
The best high-end gaming laptop
The Alienware m17 R2 is one of the more powerful laptops in its price range, plus, it has a great design.
If you’re looking for a great gaming laptop, then you need something with a ton of raw power — and in that case, the Alienware m17 R2 is a great choice. The laptop should be more than good enough for gamers who need something with a little extra oomph.
Perhaps the most interesting thing about the Alienware m17 R2 is its design. The laptop measures just 0.91 inches thick at its thickest and is built with a classy-looking white-and-orange-highlights color-scheme. It also has a big 17-inch Full HD screen with Tobii eye-tracking technology.
When it comes to ports, you’ll get three USB 3.1 ports, a Thunderbolt 3 port, HDMI and Mini-Display Port, and audio ports.
Under the hood, the Alienware m17 R2 is a beast. The base model comes with a 9th-generation Intel Core i5 processor, 8GB of RAM, a 256GB solid-state drive, and an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1660 Ti graphics card. It can, however, be upgraded to be even better with an Intel Core i7 chip, 16GB of RAM, and an Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080.
So what are the downsides of this laptop? Perhaps the biggest is that it’s pretty expensive, but that’s the price you pay for something so powerful.
Pros: Great design, super powerful, relatively sleek
The best high-end 15-inch laptop
The Dell XPS 15 is easy to choose as the best 15-inch laptop, thanks to its excellent design, top-tier specs, and big screen.
Dell has had a few laptops on this list, but it’s time for one more. If you’re looking for a great 15-inch laptop, then the new Dell XPS 15 is the way to go. This computer is essentially the 15-inch version of the Dell XPS 13, and as such, it offers similarly great specs and a classy design.
The latest version of the laptop has a number of design similarities compared to previous Dell XPS laptops. You’ll get a nice big 15-inch screen with an edge-to-edge design, along with plenty of ports for connectivity — including a Thunderbolt 3 port, two USB 3.1 ports, an HDMI port, and audio ports. The laptop measures 0.66 inches thick.
The new Dell XPS 15 is powered by a 9th-gen Intel Core i5 processor, along with 8GB of RAM and 256GB of storage. It can be upgraded to include an Intel Core i7 processor, 32GB of RAM, and 1TB of storage, along with an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650 graphics card. On some models, you’ll even get an OLED screen, which should make for nice, deep blacks and vivid colors. The screen’s resolution ranges from Full HD to 4K.
Like the Dell XPS 13, the XPS 15 has gotten plenty of great reviews. Laptop Mag gave the device 4.5 stars, while Tom’s Hardware gave it a slightly more conservative 4 stars.
Pros: Powerful specs, super sleek design, great display
Cons: Battery isn’t the best
The best high-end 2-in-1 laptop
The HP Spectre x360 Laptop is well-designed and offers some great specs, plus the screen can fold around the back of the device to be used as a laptop.
Perhaps you’re looking more for a 2-in-1 laptop — or a device that has a touchscreen and can be used as a tablet too. In that case, we recommend the HP Spectre x360 Laptop. It has a super sleek design and some pretty sweet specs under the hood.
Perhaps the first thing you’ll notice about the HP Spectre x360 is its design, and it’s a good-looking device. It’s available in a nice dark gray or dark blue color, and the display can be folded back to be used as a tablet. As you would expect, the device also has a touchscreen, and its resolution ranges from Full HD to 4K.
Under the hood, the laptop is pretty powerful. The base model offers an Intel Core i5 processor with 8GB of RAM and 256GB of storage. You can also upgrade it to come with an Intel Core i7 processor, up to 16GB of RAM, and up to a whopping 2TB of storage.
Like the other devices on this list, the HP Spectre x360 has gotten some pretty great reviews — TechRadar and PCWorld both gave the laptop an impressive 4.5 stars. The downsides? Well, the device is a little expensive.
Pros: Great design, relatively nice specs, touch display, great battery life
Cons: A little expensive