Gift guides: Last-minute laptop ideas for 2018

Still feel the need for proper laptop? Read on for some suggestions

Photograph: iStock

Photograph: iStock

 

Who still uses laptops? Smartphones and tablets have gained ground in the battle to become the dominant connected device, but laptops still have their place. There are plenty to choose from too, from cheap and cheerful to more powerful devices that will handle a little more.

Lenovo Ideapad 320

At the cheaper end of the market is the Lenovo Ideapad. Suited to more basic functions such as social media or web browsing, the laptop is powered by a quad-core Intel Pentium N4200 processor and 4GB of RAM. It comes with a 1TB hard drive too, so plenty of space to store your photos and other files. With a 14 inch screen, the

Where to buy: PC World

How much €340

Pixelbook

At its heart, the Pixelbook is a Chromebook. And if the name Chromebook conjures up images of cheap and cheerful machines that are great for browsing the web but little else, you may want to take a second look. The Pixelbook is a Google-made device that is aimed squarely at users who want something more premium. It still isn’t suitable for anyone who needs specific software that runs on Mac or Windows alone; the PIxelbook runs Chrome OS. For everyone else though, the combination of Chrome apps and Android software will be enough.

Where to buy: Littlewoods Ireland

How much: €1380

Surface Book 2

Microsoft tried its hand at laptop hardware with the Surface Pro, and later the Surface Laptop, another excellent machine (see review here). But the Surface Book 2 is in a class all of its own. It’s not only powerful and fast, but it’s also a two in one: hit a button and the screen detaches into a lightweight tablet. The device automatically switches into tablet mode with an onscreen keyboard and touch-focused controls.

Where to buy: Microsoft Store

How much: From €1,800

Macbook Pro

Apple doesn’t do touchscreen computers. Instead, its compromise is the touch-enabled bar on the Macbook Pro. The most recent update to the Macbook Pro line brings new chips, a switch to USB C and the aforementioned TouchBar, which changes depending on what programme you are using. If you are using Apple’s Photos software, you can scroll through images or access shortcuts for editing photos. Messages, meanwhile, will display emoji or predictive text suggestions on the bar. You also get fingerprint login and one-touch Siri access. Read our review here

Where to buy: CompuB

How much: €2,099