Trying to find a new laptop today can be complicated. Not because there are so few, but because there are so many top-of-the-line options on the market right now!
Just about all of the major best laptop brands out there are putting out better and better laptops on a day to day basis – or at least that’s what it feels like – so you’re definitely going to have options when it’s time to buying your next machine.
Even then, some laptop brands are definitely head and shoulders above the rest of the pack, and we’ve broken down the very best laptop brands below!
Besides tech specs, the main differences between laptops are things like the operating system, bundled software, longevity, build quality, and so on. Every brand has their own track record when it comes to these aspects, and we’ll be going over many of these for each brand as well as the public’s general opinion on them.
The most important opinion, of course, is your own, and this top 12 list of best laptop brands should give you a fairly good idea of what company to seek out for your next laptop. It could end up saving you a bit of money both up-front and in the long term.
Do not choose a laptop solely on the brand name, but knowing a brand will help you start your search or confirm you choice
Of course, choosing a laptop has much more to do than only the brand, but not all brands are equal. Even if you buy a laptop from one of the best laptop brands, it doesn’t mean it’s going to be a good one. Brand is not everything. Make sure you research the model itself. As it is with cars and pretty much everything, quality and value will vary within the same brand. Make sure you review the quality and features of the model you are buying.
In this list, all are not equal. There are brands that offer a choice in about every product niche and others that focus on a niche market(s).
Best Laptop Brands – The Players
The market basically belongs to 6 major players: HP, Lenovo, Dell, Apple, Asus and Acer. All together they hold more than 80% of the market.
Lenovo and HP share the lead as the biggest computer and laptop manufacturers. They both hold about 20% of the market. Dell is third with about 15%. Then Apple, Asus and Acer have around 10% of the market each. Except for Apple, the major laptops brands all build a wide range of products, from cheap budget laptops, mid-range notebooks to high-end laptops.
After that comes the minor players that focus on a niche market, usually high-end laptops. MSI, Microsoft, Toshiba, Samsung and LG all have less than 2% of the market, some have only a fraction. They all build high-end products (except for Toshiba that also produce lower-cost laptops).
Top 12 Best Laptop Brands in 2016
#1 Asus – Quality and huge choice of products
We’ve put Asus as the best laptop brand because they offer a wide range of product and each of them rates very well in many aspects. Their products are world class quality, deliver good value, they have great and attractive design and they do have a good support and warranty. This Taiwanese manufacturer has been around for a long time and they have a wide range of products that can answer about anybody’s needs. They don’t rank the best in every market, but they do have great laptops at pretty much every price range. Their high-end laptops are also very good and the flagship Zenbook series is an incredible line of product.
Choose Asus laptops for:
- Great design
- Quality & Value Products
Asus Laptops Models
- Chromebooks: Asus produces great value low-budget Chromebooks.
- Transformer Books: these are the budget 2-in-1 notebooks from Asus. They’ve been the pioneer in that field and they are still at the top with great designs at low price.
- Vivobook: the mid-range series. Good quality laptops at affordable prices.
- Zenbook: Premium line of laptops of Asus. While you’ll find high-quality and expensive laptops here, they can still provide great value & affordable laptops.
- Republic of Gamer: their gaming line.
#2 Lenovo – Business champion
Lenovo is, with HP, one of the two biggest computer sellers in the world. Lenovo is probably the best business laptop brand and has always focused on creating very durable machines specifically built for serious business people. They are still building lot of different laptop models focused on the corporate sector, high-powered desktop replacement machines that business people absolutely love, but they also have many consumer-based options as well. Their Yoga line is probably the best in hybrid convertible laptops. The Chinese manufacturer has kept pretty much the same design throughout the years. It’s a design I like, but it’s definitively not as appealing or flashy as other brands.
You choose Lenovo laptops for:
- Business laptops
- Quality, well designed, tough computers
Lenovo Laptops Models
- Ideapad: Lenovo’s entry-level & mid-range laptops. Great value & well-built.
- Yoga: Their hybrid line, from entry-level to premium 2-in-1. They’re one of the best in the market in that niche.
- ThinkPad: The original classic business brand. Sturdy, classic look. Always the leader & the best in that area.
#3 Dell – The king of service
Dell went from a mail-order company that allowed you to “build your own” computer to an absolutely dominating force in the PC world. The American computer manufacturer constantly over-delivers in terms of quality of service. If you have a problem with their product, you know they will help you. Their featured products are always at – or near – the top in term of design and features. They have a wide line of product to suit every consumer that each delivers good value. They are the third best laptop brand in sales for a good reason.
You choose Dell laptops for:
- Customer service
Dell Laptop Models
- Inspiron: Dell’s entry-level & mid-range line. Value & decent quality laptops.
- XPS: their flagship premium line. High-quality, lightweight laptops.
- Latitude: the business line. Sturdy notebooks.
#4 Apple – Design leader
The California-based company is certainly one of the best laptop brands now and produces some of the most popular computers and laptops on the planet, and almost all of their machines – but especially the MacBook Pro line – are seen as the very best that money can buy today. Sure, they are on the expensive side, but they are worth it when it comes to design, quality, performance and overall usability. You should look into Apple laptops if you want a high-end laptop with MacOS and if you are not tight on budget.
You choose Apple laptops for:
- High-end laptops with great design
- Unbeatable Service
Apple Laptop Models
- MacBook Air: The original ultra-portable line.
- MacBook: Light & thin ultra-portable.
- MacBook Pro: The go-to brand for graphic design. Great quality, performance and design.
#5 Acer – Leader in best value laptop
Acer is a brand that offers a lot of value on their products. This other Taiwanese manufacturer did have a reputation of having lower quality products in the past, but these problems are long gone. The value offered in their laptops is often one step over the competition. They are good at giving better specs where it’s needed while minimizing drawbacks for their target market. You’ll often see an Acer laptop have better specs than other brands for the same price and quality. Their designs are usually appealing and their models often are on the top of the list.
You choose Acer laptops for:
- Unbeatable value on entry-level & mid-range laptops
- Wide choice
Acer Laptops Models
- Chromebooks: One of the market’s leader with great design and quality Chromebooks at low price.
- Aspire: Acer’s entry-level & mid-range line. Value & good quality.
- Swift & Spin: their ultra-thin & lightweight line. From budget to premium notebooks, hybrid or not.
- Travelmate: their business line.
- Nitro & Predator: their gaming lines
#6 HP – The Major Player
HP is another world leader in laptops and is very close with Lenovo as the top computer manufacturer in the world (they both have around 20% of the market). We rated HP #6 of the best laptop brands because their laptops are not always the best in their category, but they do manage to get a few products that beat every other. They produce quality laptops and some are excellent products. But they also produced laptops that were of questionable value. Nonetheless, HP is still and will continue to be a major player in the laptop world.
You choose HP laptops for:
- Great value on some models
- Good business line
HP Laptops Models
- Pavilion: HP’s entry-level & mid-range laptops.
- Envy: Great quality, thin & light mid-range laptops.
- Spectre: the premium line of HP.
- Probook & Elitebook: HP business line that competes with Lenovo.
Best laptop brands – The rest of the pack
The next laptop brands on the list are marginal players in the laptop industry. They all have less than 5% of market share, but that doesn’t mean they don’t have good products. They usually concentrate on one or two niche market (except for Toshiba).
#7 MSI – The Gaming Brand
MSI is another Taiwanese laptop manufacturer (yes that rather small island in the Pacific does produce a lot of the world’s laptops). MSI is mainly renowned as a computer parts manufacturer but they also have a laptop line of product. They make good quality products aimed towards gaming and performance laptops and they are probably the best gaming brand. MSI will sell you a laptop starting at around $1000, up to a few thousand dollars. If you are looking for a budget laptop or an ultraportable, choose another brand!
You choose MSI laptops for:
- High-performance laptops
MSI is especially good at building gaming laptops and high-performance laptops.
#8 Microsoft – High-end Niche
Even if Microsoft is newer as a laptop manufacturer, they are already part of the best laptop brands. They produce only a few high-end laptops that are high quality, well-crafted machines that pack a lot of power (think Apple products). They build innovative computers and their main products are a very good choice if you’re looking towards a convertible laptop than can act as both a tablet and a real, powerful laptop.
You choose Microsoft laptops for:
- High-end innovative products
Microsoft Laptops Models
- Surface Pro: Microsoft’s detachable small notebooks.
- Surface Book: their innovative full-working hybrid laptop.
- Surface Laptop: their standard laptop line. Performance, light & thin.
# 9 Samsung – The Giant that sells few laptops
Samsung is the only Korean laptop brand on the list. They produce generally expensive high-end laptops. Their laptops design is elegant and the quality of their product is good and got even better over the years. Apart from their Chromebooks, you won’t find a budget laptop at Samsung.
You choose Samsung laptops for:
- High-end laptops with great design
- Value mid-range notebooks
- Great Chromebooks
Samsung Laptops Models
- Chromebooks: one of the best on the market in this niche.
- Notebook: Samsung’s Notebook series produces mid-range to high-end notebooks that are light, thin & of great quality. Both hybrids and non-hybrids.
#10 – Razer – Gaming Brand
Razer is a company based both in Singapore and the United States that focuses on gaming products. They have everything from keyboards to mouses and, of course, laptops & computers. Their laptops have a good reputation and usually have a solid, sleek design.
You chose Razer laptops for:
- Gaming Laptops
#11 LG – Focuses on ultraportable niche
LG is a huge electronic brand that has very little to do in the laptop world! Their featured product, the ultraportable LG Gram is a quality ultralight laptop. If you are looking in that market, I suggest you have a look!
You chose LG laptops for:
- You want the beautiful & light LG Gram
LG Laptops Line
- Gram: the only line they have. Good quality, ultra-light & thin premium laptops.
#12 Toshiba – The Old Timer
Even though the Japanese brand Toshiba has been producing laptops for many years, they are a marginal player in this industry. Their products are a mixed bag of good and bad. While some models really are good products, others don’t really deliver a lot of value for the price.
You choose Toshiba laptops for:
- Some models are a hit
Toshiba Laptops Line
#13 Sony – discontinued
Sony was among the decent laptop brands and has always been tiptoeing around the edges of the laptop worlds, offering updates to its Vaio line of products, but never really jumping into the mix with both feet. But they discontinued the laptop line and will not sell them anymore. If you are already a Sony laptop owner, don’t worry, they still give support for the laptop their sold.
You chose Sony laptops for:
- High end laptops
Erik is the owner and main editor of lptps.com. He has been working in computers and information technology for more than 20 years. He’s a business analyst, developer and avid traveler.