Laptop shopping can be stressful for many shoppers. There are lots of features, benefits and bells and whistles you can get on your new machine. So where do you start looking? As a tech geek and laptop owner, I’ve had my fair share of golden machines and duds. Here are my picks for the best laptops of 2014 that will serve your needs well into the future.
1. Apple MacBook Pro 15 inch ($1,999 Apple.com )
MacBooks have been my favorite computer since I purchased my first one in 2006. The best feature of this laptop, in my opinion, is the stunning display. It features the Intel Core i7 processor which is super fast and great for gamers. While it’s a little heavier at close to 5 pounds, it’s still very portable. With 8GB of RAM and an excellent graphics card, you will get a lot of miles out of this machine. The only downside can be the price, but over time the investment will pay off.
2. Dell Inspiron 14R-5437 ($650, PCWorld.com)
My parents’ home computer is a Dell laptop, and it has been a workhorse for all their computing needs. The Inspiron 14R-5437 is an updated version of their sturdy laptop. The best feature of this laptop is the amazing ten hour battery life. For a student on the go, traveler or Eco conscious shopper, this laptop needs a lot less juice. It’s also pretty affordable and small, so if you don’t want a big screen this is a great option. It features the Intel i3 processor and has 4GB of RAM. If you’re looking to ditch the desktop, this is the laptop for you.
3. Samsung Ativ Book 9 Plus ($1,120 Samsung.com )
If you are addicted to your tablet, the Samsung Ativ Book 9 Plus might be the right laptop for you. Don’t let the price scare you, the benefits will make the cost definitely worth it. As a tablet fan myself, I found using this laptop to be very enjoyable. The touch screen display is easy to use and allows me to move from typing to tapping. It’s very light at just 3 pounds, and has a 13 inch screen. The resolution is wonderful and has the speedy Intel Core i5 processor. With 8GB of system memory, this computer is great for casual gamers and photographers.
4. Acer Aspire E1-472P-6695 ($499, Acer.com )
If you’re a budget shopper, sometimes a laptop with too many bells and whistles might not fit your needs. If you’re looking for a pretty powerful machine that’s easy on the wallet, this Acer will get the job done. It has an Intel Core i3 processor so it’s pretty fast and has 4GB of data, plenty for most users. It also comes with really good speakers, a USB 3.0 port and a card reader. My brother is an Acer fan, and swears by these laptops. If you’re a casual gamer or just want to browse the web, you will find this one to be perfect.
5. Alienware14 (starts at $899, Alienware.com)
Alienware is known for incredible gaming machines, and the Alienware 14 is no exception. As a serious gamer, I have used Alienware for my image heavy games. While it’s 14 inch display isn’t huge, the clarity and speed of the processor make it feel like a big screen. The Intel Core i5 processor is lightning fast, and paired with its 8GB memory and massive 750 GB hard drive, you know your games are going to run beautifully and other programs will look great too. Alienware also lets you customize, so you can make this machine even more personalized.
Now that you’ve got my top picks, the best thing to do is go and check them out. If you can find these models at a local electronics store or big box retailer, give them a spin. I recommend always purchasing accident protection, too, to make your investment last longer and a good antivirus program. With any of these choices, you’ll have a great machine that will last you years to come.