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Powerful movers: 5 worthy notebooks to buy

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Written by Tim Barnes-Clay

Powerful, portable tech has never been so widely available. We pick out some the best notebooks around today.

While tablets and smartphones certainly have their place for people on the move, their ability to function is limited. Which is why the more powerful notebooks – lighter and slimmer than their older laptop sibling – still have mass itinerant appeal.

Last year saw a boom in the notebook market, with a host of new and updated devices entering the tech scene, from MacBooks to Ultrabooks. Whether used for work or play, they keep on coming and the buyers keep on buying. 

The choices can feel a little overwhelming, though, especially if you’re not particularly tech-minded. To help you out, we’ve picked five of the best from the current assortment that we think are worth your time.

Best overall: Huawei Matebook X

Huawei Matebook X, £945

This impressive machine has blown the competition out of the water – including both the Dell XPS 13 and the MacBook Pro. It’s a beautiful machine containing the most high-end quality technology in a stunningly sleek design.

The Matebook X comes in a variety of builds. It contains an 8th Generation Intel Core i5-i7, 8-16GB RAM and 256-512GB SSD. Its 3000×2000 resolution 13.3-inch screen delivers crisp pictures and the performance speed that is liable to throw you into a stupor.

It has a high-quality build and isn’t afraid to show it at every occasion. No question about it, if money isn’t an issue and you’re pining for a new notebook, this is the one to buy.

£945 |

Best overall runner-up: Dell XPS 13

Dell XPS 13, from £1,078.99

The Dell XPS 13 has dominated the Windows-based Ultrabook market for years. Its newest version follows in those footsteps. The 13.3-inch Dell XPS 13 is a superb machine cased in a wonderful design. At just 0.3-inches thick, it takes the word ultra-portable to a whole new level.

Despite its slim features and light weight of just 1.21kg, it’s heavy in power, with an 8thGeneration Intel Core i5 at the cheapest starting point and 4GB RAM. If you can spare the coin, you can upgrade it to an i7 and whopping 16GB RAM.

Add to that a beautiful QHD+ touchscreen at 3200×1800 resolution and 128GB-1TB of SSD storage, and you find yourself with a machine which will serve you well for years to come. It might not be the cheapest Ultrabook on the market, but it’s certainly one of the strongest.

From 1,078.99 |

Best non-Windows notebook: 13-inch MacBook Pro

13-inch Macbook Pro, £1,749

Although the quality of Windows-based notebooks has caught up with MacBooks, you still might wish to opt for an Apple. While the OS still isn’t as flexible as Windows, most programs do come with a Mac alternative nowadays.

On top of that, Apple devices almost always guarantee excellent build quality. This one is no exception, starting with an Intel Core i5 2.3GHz processor, 8GB of RAM and 256GB SSD storage. Add to this a gorgeous 13.3-inch Retina display, and you’ve got one hell of a tech monster.

The MacBook Pro oozes quality from every pore. It’s as light as a feather and superbly thin. If you find yourself regularly cursing at the Windows OS and have the cash to spend on a MacBook, this is a must-buy.

£1,749 |

Best for gamers: 13-inch Razer Blade Stealth

Razer Blade Stealth, from £1,299.99

Until recently, Ultrabooks weren’t suitable for gaming-enthusiasts. But Razer has successfully altered that image with the entry of their new line of Blade Stealth Ultrabooks, bringing gaming to the portable market. And what an entry it is.

The 13.3-inch Blade Stealth with its QHD+ touchscreen is a powerhouse containing an Intel i7-8550U CPU, 16GB Ram and enough storage with a 512GB SSD. The design is slightly less subtle than the other options on this list, coming either in a black or gunmental grey finish. Its integrated Intel HD Graphics 620 won’t allow you to play games at the high settings you might be accustomed to from a desktop PC, but it will give you the best possible gaming experience on a portable machine.

From £1,299.99 |

Best budget notebook: ASUS ZenBook UX410UA

ASUS ZenBook UX410UA, £499.97

In case you haven’t realised, notebooks can be pricey. But the ASUS ZenBook UX410UA is a very affordable price time of writing this article, making it the cheapest Windows-based notebook on our list.

It comes integrated with a 14-inch Full HD Nano Edge Screen, an Intel Core i3-7100U CPU, 4GB RAM and 128GB SSD storage, making this an cheap yet reasonably powerful machine to work with.

While it might not be as strong as the newer ZenBook 3 Deluxe, it’s still beautifully designed with a sleek appearance and a decent keyboard. If you’re on a budget but don’t want to miss out on the delights of a Windows-based notebook, this one is for you.

£499.97 |