It's the end of the year, and that means that it's time for a look back at the past 12 months. This article is focusing on the best laptops of 2019. I reviewed a lot of phenomenal PCs this year, and there was something great from each OEM. Let's have a look.
Microsoft Surface Pro X (starts at $999)
My personal favorite PC of the year, the Surface Pro X legitimizes Windows 10 on ARM, using an overclocked Snapdragon 8cx known as the Microsoft SQ1. The chipset has an integrated 4G LTE modem, so you're always connected to the internet. It weighs in at 1.7 pounds, and has a pen garage built into the keyboard, a first for the Surface lineup. Of course, it also has a larger screen and narrower bezels than previous Surface Pros. It's also the first to have a removable SSD.
Best thin and light
Acer Swift 7 (starts at $1,499)
The Acer Swift 7 is a 14-inch clamshell that weighs in at just 1.96 pounds, making it wildly light. It's also 9.95mm thin, making it thinner than some smartphones. There are compromises though, such as the 5W Intel Y-series processor, but if you prioritize portability above all else, this is for you. Personally, I'm looking forward to a refresh with Intel's Ice Lake Y, which has double the cores, a 7W TDP, and Iris Plus graphics.
Best for business
HP EliteBook x360 1040 (starts at $1,656.20) or HP Elite Dragonfly (starts at $1,629)
Honestly, I couldn't decide between these two machines, because they're both so amazing. Luckily, they're both pretty similar. They include eighth-generation 'Whiskey Lake' processors, options for HP's Sure View Gen3 FHD displays or for a UHD display, and they have frankly amazing keyboards. The EliteBook 1040 is a 14-inch device and the Dragonfly is 13-inch, but you'll notice that I didn't pick the EliteBook 1030.
That's because the Dragonfly seems superior in every way. It's made of CNC machined magnesium, so the starting weight is just 2.18 pounds, and that's for a convertible.
Honorable mention: Lenovo ThinkBook 13s (starts at $431.10)
Aimed at SMBs, Lenovo's ThinkBook lineup definitely deserves some credit, just for how great of a PC it is for its price point. It has a great keyboard, a solid anti-glare display, and the aluminum build feels premium.
Best 15-inch convertible
Lenovo Yoga C940 15 (starts at $1,399)
The Lenovo Yoga C940 15 is the ultimate portable PC. It has a beautiful 4K Dolby Vision display and a Dolby Atmos rotating soundbar in the hinge, for a magnificent streaming experience. It's a convertible, which means it fits a diverse range of use cases, and it even has a pen garage built into the device. Most importantly, it's powerful, packing a 45W Intel H-series processor and an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650. While HP's Spectre x360 15 packs the same CPU and GPU options, Lenovo's offers up to a Core i9.
Best 15-inch clamshell
Dell XPS 15 (starts at $1,049)
Dell's new XPS 15 combines power and portability with an Intel Core i9-9980HK and an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650. However, one thing puts it over the top this year: an option for a 4K OLED display. Dell's CinemaColor and CinemaSound make this an excellent machine for streaming media, and the internals make it great for creative tasks.
Honorable mention: Surface Laptop 3 for Business (starts at $1,299)
The 15-inch category is somewhat divided between PCs that are meant for prosumers that need more power and ultrabooks. The Surface Laptop 3 goes down the ultrabook path, and the business model of the 15-inch version includes Intel's Ice Lake processors with Iris Plus graphics.
Best 13-inch convertible
Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 (starts at $999.99)
Dell's new XPS 13 2-in-1 was the first to launch with Intel's 10nm Ice Lake processors. First of all, Ice Lake is legit. With the new Iris Plus graphics, these chips get the job done. What made it so special in the XPS 13 2-in-1 was that this PC has historically been tragically underpowered, using a 5W Y-series processor. Now it not only has a full U-series chip, but a good one.
Of course, it also has Dell's InfinityEdge display, and there's a second-generation MagLev keyboard. In short, it supports the diverse range of use cases as a convertible, the screen is immersive, the keyboard is great, and performance is solid.
Honorable mention: HP Spectre x360 13 (starts at $999.99)
HP's new Spectre x360 13 has Intel Ice Lake processors, and for the first time, an option for 4K OLED in the screen. HP also shrunk down the bezels on all sides for an immersive experience. It comes in a beautiful aluminum chassis, with gem-cut angles.
Huawei MateBook X Pro
Huawei's MateBook X Pro is consistently one of the best PCs around. It includes a 91% screen-to-body ratio with a 3000×2000 display. It's an ultrabook that weighs in at under three pounds, but it still has room for dedicated graphics with an Nvidia Geforce MX250. It also includes Huawei Share 3.0, which lets you tap your phone against the keyboard to transfer photos, videos, or other files.
Lenovo Yoga C940 14 (starts at $999.99)
What's really cool about Intel's Ice Lake processors is that the new Iris Plus graphics make dedicated graphics a lot less necessary, or at least less necessary for more use cases. The Yoga C940 seems to have it all. Aside from Ice Lake, it has an option for a 4K display with Dolby Vision HDR, and there's a Dolby Atmos rotating soundbar in the hinge. If you're streaming video on this thing, the experience is fantastic.
It's great for creative tasks too. There's a pen garage built right into the device, so you never lose it and it's always charged. Ultimately, I'm not sure what else you could want in a PC.
What were your favorite PCs this year? Let us know in the comments!