12 Most Reliable Laptops in 2018
There are dozens of styles and types of laptops, but it takes a particular kind of machine to keep the wheels spinning when others falter. We’re talking about laptops that are known to hold up over time or ones that are strong on the software side of things.
There are plenty of factors to consider when looking for a robust and reliable laptop including the overall build quality, software, and ports. We’ve outlined several of those key features areas below in our buying guide below, but first, let’s take a peek at 12 of the most reliable laptops on the market.
Top 12 Reliable Laptops Comparison Table
|Design||Name||Operating System||Main Material||Rating (1-5)|
|1. Apple MacBook Air 13.3-Inch Laptop||Mac OS||Aluminum||4.6|
|2. HP Notebook 15.6 Inch Touchscreen Premium Laptop PC||Windows||Plastic||4.5|
|3. Dell Inspiron 13 7000 Series 13.3-Inch Full HD Touchscreen Laptop||Windows||Plastic||4.4|
|4. Acer C720P Chromebook||Chrome||Plastic||4.4|
|5. ASUS FX502VM-AS73 15.6-inch Full HD Gaming Laptop||Windows||Plastic||4.3|
|6. LG gram 15Z970 i7 15.6″ Touchscreen Laptop||Windows||Aluminum||4.3|
|7. ASUS Chromebook C202SA-YS02 11.6″ Ruggedized||Chrome||Plastic||4.3|
|8. Acer Aspire E 15 E5-575-33BM 15.6-Inch Full HD Notebook||Windows||Aluminum||4.2|
|9. ASUS ZenBook UX303UA 13.3-Inch FHD Touchscreen Laptop||Windows||Aluminum||4.0|
|10. Acer Aspire E 15 E5-575-33BM 15.6-Inch Full HD Notebook||Windows||Plastic||3.9|
|11. Microsoft Surface Pro||Windows||Aluminum||3.8|
|12. Apple 15″ MacBook Pro||Mac OS||Aluminum||3.5|
Reliable Laptop Tips
Laptops aren’t cheap, so nothing is worse than buying a new one only to have it crash on boot up. While we can’t prevent that, we can help you make an informed buying decision and choose a reliable laptop.
Currently, two primary operating systems rule the roost with Windows and the Mac OS. There are Chrome and Linux to consider as well although we didn’t include any Linux laptops this time around. Here is a brief breakdown of the other operating systems.
- Mac – Mac computers are known for “not breaking down” and being Virus free. While you can certainly still catch a virus, the OS as a whole is stable and gets a leg up over Windows in that regard.
- Windows – Windows is by far the most popular operating system on the planet. It can run any program around with a few exceptions, but experiences far more crashes and incompatibility issues due to the number of apps available and (mainly) user errors.
- Chrome – For the most part, Chrome is very stable as it is a basic operating system that isn’t built to deal with dozens of apps at once or high-end gaming. The downside would be the programs available, as the selection is limited.
Brand Name & Parts
The old saying “you get what you pay for” holds true in many areas of life, including electronics. It’s easy to find out what is under the hood of any modern laptop although making sense of it all can cause consumers headaches. To make things simple, when dealing with processors look for Intel chips. The newer the generation, the better although you needn’t worry about who’s making your RAM or hard drive for the most part.
Some popular manufacturers to keep an eye on would be ASUS, Lenovo, Dell and Apple of course. HP and other names you know and trust are the best way to go when you are stuck between a popular brand and one you’ve never heard of before. If it seems too good to be true, it just might be in the tech world, and “major” brands are at the top of the food chain for a reason.
You will not find a machine on our most reliable laptops list that doesn’t have a bit of plastic in the build. How much varies across the board as some laptops will have an all-metal shell which can take a beating. If you are rough on your tech or want to ensure your laptop can withstand a hard fall, opt for one with a metal housing or at least tough corners.
Other areas that tend to wear out are the ports and jack for the wall adapter. There’s not much you can do to check those out beforehand, but you can make sure you’ve got a solid warranty. Every new laptop will come with one but pay close attention to what it actually covers. Internal components are usually in the mix although you could be out of luck if the failure is due to water or a drop.
Top 5 Most Reliable Laptops Reviews
The Apple MacBook Air may not set any records when it comes to speed, and it does not have the beautiful Retina display found on the larger Pro model. That said, what it lacks in power, it makes up for in performance and durability as this light little laptop is top of the line where it counts.
Apple makes lovely tech, and the MacBook Air is no exception. It has a smooth aluminum chassis with clean lines and will certainly catch a few looks if you’re using it in public. As the name implies, it is thin and light as well measuring around 12.8” x 8.94” x 0.68” with a weight of 2.96 pounds. Having a metal shell helps with durability, but the software is what puts this one at Number #1 on our list.
The Mac OS runs like a finely tuned machine, so if you’re worried about crashes or other issues, the software is worth considering. That said, the hardware is underwhelming with a 13.3” HD+ display, 8GB of RAM and an i5 processor. The storage is sparse as well at 128GB although it is a solid state drive and you can always expand or turn to the cloud.
HP has produced millions of laptops over the years, so it’s safe to say they have some experience when it comes to tech. They have remained towards the top when it comes to names consumers can trust as well, and their Premium Laptop PC was a lock to make our list of the most reliable laptops.
Before we talk about the build quality or software, let’s take a look at what makes this one tick. There is a 7th generation Intel i7 processor under the hood, but it’s only a dual-core i3 clocked at 2.4GHz. The RAM is solid at 8GB while the hard drive is top notch as you’ll get 1TB of storage on this model. Other features of interest include an optical drive, a 15.6” HD display, and a DTS sound system.
When it comes to durability, this one is a mixed bag but holds up better than other options in its class. The chassis is mainly plastic, but tough with sturdy hinges while the software is listed as Windows 10. The usual array of problems arises with that, but no more than on any Windows-based PCs where the human element can cause issues.
With any “best of” list involving laptops, you are likely to find something from the Dell Inspiron lineup. There are dozens of models to choose from, but we went with the Del Inspiron 13 7000 series laptop. It is a little laptop made from a combination of plastic and metal but has the distinction of being one of the few 2-in-1 PCs to make our list.
The Inspiron 13 can transform from a standard laptop to a tablet in seconds by flipping the display all the way around. That is certainly a nice touch, but also means the hinges are going to be tougher than what you’ll find on a traditional laptop. The housing is still mainly plastic, but has a metal-like appearance and is easy on the eyes. This laptop has plenty of pop as well with an Intel Core i7, which is backed by 16GB of RAM.
Whatever programs you want to run will not stutter or hang up with the Inspiron 13 due to the horsepower. The display is better than many “reliable” laptops clocking in at a full 1,920 x 1,080 which is known as Full HD. It’s a 13.3” touchscreen display as well with LED-backlighting, another perk as LEDs tend to hold up longer than other types of displays.
Our first Chromebook comes from ASUS and is dubbed the C720P. It’s one of the smallest laptops we have included with an 11.6-inch display which makes it smaller than some tablets on the market. That said, it’s tougher than many slates due to the design, and you’re getting a solid keyboard and trackpad to boot.
Any PC that runs Chrome is going to be reliable on the software side of things as your choices are limited. This cuts back on the whole “human error” issue as you won’t be tempted to download things that may otherwise harm or slow down your laptop. It’s arguably neck-in-neck with Linux when it comes to the amount of programs you can run, but that changes significantly (with both system) if you have a little technical know-how.
In a nutshell, this one has the potential to not crash as much as a Windows laptop, but you won’t be able to run a quarter of the same programs.
Acer opted to go plastic for the Chromebook C720P, and it may feel a little cheap to some compared to other laptops in this range. It will still hold up well, however, but you’ll need to make sure the system requirements are up to snuff for your needs. They include an Intel Celeron 2955U, 2GB of RAM and a 32GB solid-state drive.
While underwhelming, the battery life is stable at around 8 hours.
Remember when we talked about brand name recognition? Well, you are going to see a lot of ASUS laptops on our list and for a good reason. The company has made great strides in the tech world over the past decade, including to the overall build quality on their laptops. The ASUS FX502VC-AS73 is built to last and is one of the more powerful laptops we have included.
Sometimes you need a laptop that can handle anything. This one fits that bill as you’ll get a whopping 16GB of RAM under the hood and a 7th generation Intel Core i7 processor. The graphics are going to pop thanks to a GTX 1060 with 3GB of VRAM, and you will not run out of storage anytime soon with a 1TB hard drive and a 128GB solid state drive for speedy access times. If you don’t need that much power, you can opt for a cheaper model with dumbed down specs and an optical drive as well.
No matter which way you roll, this laptop will run Windows 10 out of the box. The build quality is “good” but not outstanding as its mainly thick plastic with a hint of metal where it counts. The warranty is nothing to write home about either at 1-year although most won’t need it if they keep this one off the concrete.