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Notebooks: tests & test winners

Whether business, everyday life or gaming: There is the right laptop for every conceivable purpose. We are currently showing you best laptops on the market. For that we have Tests and opinions evaluated and added to an overall grade. The last test is from.

11,889 tests133,000 opinions

Advisory: Notebooks

Mobile PC replacement for every type of user

  1. high mobility
  2. diverse areas of application
  1. hardly upgradeable
  2. Notebook technology is less powerful than PC hardware

The 14-inch format is currently the most popular. It offers a good compromise between mobility and usability. (Image source: asus.com)

Notebook, laptop, convertible - no matter what the portable computers are called: they have become an integral part of our digital everyday life. In the meantime, the smartphone does a good job for many small tasks, but the large display and the physical keyboard simply offer clear advantages in terms of ease of use. Here you can find out what you should pay attention to before buying a laptop and which device is right for you.

How are notebooks tested?

Notebooks and convertibles are tested very often. Most technology magazines regularly examine new models and comparative tests of laptops with a similar specialization are often on the agenda. In comparison tests, the system performance is often critically examined as a key distinguishing feature. This applies in particular to all those notebooks that are primarily intended for demanding applications; for example gaming notebooks and workstations.

The best notebook display in tests: Sharp, bright and colorful?

In addition to the internal hardware, the screen plays an important role in all tests and makes a decisive contribution to the final judgment. If it is a touchscreen, then it has to react quickly and precisely to inputs. A good notebook display must be sufficiently sharp and also be able to display content with high contrast and bright. Sharpness is no longer a problem for almost all notebook screens, however, because the Full HD resolution has now even arrived in the cheapest devices and is crisp with the usual screen sizes. The benefits of Notebooks with 4K displays are barely noticeable - the plus in sharpness is barely noticeable to the naked eye. The luminosity of the panel, on the other hand, is decisive for the usability of the device in backlight or daylight. The following list shows notebooks with particularly bright panels.

Notebooks with particularly bright screens

Workmanship and robustness: Stable materials and good ergonomics prevail in the test

Notebooks must also be well made and robust, as they can be constantly exposed to the risk of bumps or even moisture when traveling. Test magazines pay particular attention to the gaps between the components, the housing materials used and the torsional rigidity of the housing. This is also where the nature of the keyboard an important role: The keys must have a comfortable stroke and appear as robust as possible. A numeric keypad is also desirable if you work with numbers a lot. However, this is more likely to be found on keyboards in notebooks from 15 inches. Incidentally, if you use the notebook stationary at your desk, you can easily switch to a USB or wireless keyboard.

Performance in the test: high-performance, enduring and at the same time cool and quiet

While performance-based models, such as Workstation notebooks or higher Business models, are viewed critically with regard to their performance, is the Battery life an important aspect of comparison that also has a significant impact on the final grades. Compact notebooks should ideally last a full working day without stopping at a socket. Most subnotebooks and ultrabooks can now do this without any problems. A strong heat development can reduce the service life of the internally installed hardware. That is why this aspect is also measured in the test laboratories and compared with the market average. This is accompanied by volume measurements, because the fans of notebooks can get annoyingly loud under full load.

The processor As the computing heart of the system, it is definitely important for the system performance, but in everyday digital life it is the memory components of the device that can make a decisive difference in speed: the random access memory should be as large as possible - we recommend at least 8 GB RAM. Because as soon as the main memory is completely filled with programs, open files, tons of browser tabs, the operating system itself and Co., the performance collapses in some cases massively because the system then has to fall back on the hard drive, which is always slower, as a buffer. Ideally, you should buy a notebook with a little more RAM straight away, because upgrading from this is not always trivial if it is not completely prevented by soldered bolts or a lack of access to the housing.

The hard drive is another piece of the performance puzzle. In the meantime, the classic magnetic hard drive has been almost completely replaced by the better one SSD technology replaced. It is important that your favorite programs and the operating system are installed on an SSD yourself. Because if they are started from a classic magnetic hard drive, it takes a long time. Many notebooks have a maintenance hatch on the back that can be accessed Hard disk and RAM allowed. If this is available, you can retrofit a larger SSD in an emergency if the storage space should run out.

The takes a special role graphic card of the notebook. It is always important when the notebook is to be used for gaming or 3D-heavy applications. In the case of an office notebook, the graphics solution integrated in the processor is usually sufficient. On the other hand, there are virtually no more important components in gaming notebooks. The graphics card bears the brunt of the load and should therefore offer a decent amount of computing power. In addition to the pure chip clock, it is also important that the card has plenty of its own graphics memory. The laptop can only be used for gaming for a long time with an excess of graphics memory.

What types of notebooks are there and for whom are they suitable?

Design & area of ​​applicationadvantagesdisadvantage
  • mobile use
  • Second device
  • simple tasks
  • poor performance
  • poor ease of use
  • mobile use
  • Office & surfing
  • Photo and video tools
  • Compromise between compactness and performance
  • good ease of use
  • Performance is not enough for demanding applications
  • quite high price
  • mobile use
  • Office & everyday life
  • Photo and video tools
  • very flat and easy to transport
  • relatively good performance
  • expensive
  • Too little power for demanding applications

Type & area of ​​applicationadvantagesdisadvantage
Office notebooks
  • often cheap
  • high ease of use
  • long battery life
  • no graphics cards
  • Performance below desktop PC level
Multimedia notebooks
  • suitable for all applications
  • Desktop PC replacement
  • good performance
  • large displays
Gaming notebooks
  • demanding games
  • Photo and video tools
  • strong graphics cards
  • big, good displays
  • Additional features for players
  • expensive
  • heavy and big
  • very short terms
  • flexible to use
  • comfortable touchscreen
  • reflective displays
  • mediocre performance

With their flexible keyboard, convertibles combine the strengths of classic notebooks with the advantages of tablets. (Image source Amazon.de)

Convertible compared to the classic notebook: flexible replacement of the classic?

Hybrid devices that combine the strengths of tablets and notebooks in the form of foldable or detachable keyboards have been the biggest trend in the past few years. All well-known manufacturers have now firmly integrated the cool convertibles into their annual portfolio. Compared to the classic design, the advantages are obvious: The convertible is easier to operate while standing, as you can always fall back on the intuitive and comfortable touchscreen operation familiar from tablets or smartphones. However, the convertibles are almost always much heavier than pure tablets, at least when the keyboard is only folded back. In convertibles with a detachable keyboard, the weight difference to the classic tablet is no longer too great.
A clear weakness of the convertibles is still the display: The touch-sensitive surface is very difficult to anti-glare, which is why there can be annoying reflections in almost all models. Classic notebooks are therefore particularly useful when there is backlighting or when notebooks are used outdoors matt display continue to be one step ahead.

How do Windows notebooks and MacBooks differ from each other?

Flat, high-quality workmanship and well equipped - there is a reason why the MacBook is a fixture on the notebook market (Image source: apple.com)

Windows dominates the notebook market, but Apple's MacBook has its own operating system macOS still has a loyal fan base. The slim MacBook Air is considered a pioneer in the ultrabook class and is for many students and media workers the device of choice.
While the selection of Windows notebooks is very large and accordingly confusing, the range of models for MacBooks is always limited. Their area of ​​application is mainly in daily tasks like browsing or even simple media editing. Who a little more power for creative processes, such as Video and music production or if you simply need a larger display, there is the MacBook Pro. Apple does not yet offer gaming and workstation notebooks.

The The price level of the MacBooks is high: As a rule, current models are not available for less than 1,000 euros. But the quality is also right, as a large number of positive test results prove.

One advantage of Apple's own operating system is the excellent Basic software equipment. The operating system In contrast to Windows, it already contains good ones Office and media editing toolswhich do not have to be bought separately. Apple maintains a well-curated and well-organized app store that provides excellent services as a central point of contact for all software needs. Commercial software However, because of the larger potential buyers, it is primarily developed for Windows systems, which can lead to the Mac versions being less powerful and less functional. Furthermore, systems with macOS are much less likely to do this Target of malware. The acquisition of a security suite is therefore less important here. Mac OS also works well with other Apple products such as the iPhone, for example when it comes to synchronizing data.

Manufacturer ranking: which brand is rated best by buyers?

Our Evaluation of buyer ratings from 2016 to 2020 showed that Apple's MacBooks were rated clearly the best on average. Also the next best brands Huawei, MSI and Microsoft