Laptops supertest: Apple MacBook Pro vs Microsoft Surface Book vs Dell XPS 13 vs HP Spectre 13 vs Razer Blade Stealth

What matters more in a laptop: style, stamina or being able to play Skyrim with all the effects? Read this before you buy one…

Laptops are changing. They’re getting smaller, lighter and smarter. And this isn’t just the inevitable march of tech in action: they’re fighting to survive, as more of us use phones and iPads for tasks we’d have been relying on a laptop for a couple of years ago.

Judging by these five contenders, however, we won’t be hearing any death rattles just yet.

Each of the laptop giants has adopted a different survival tactic. Apple is starting to merge iPhone and MacBook, weaving Siri into the laptop’s hardware, adding a Touch ID scanner and a cleverly dynamic OLED touch-panel.

Microsoft has tried to make its Surface Book the only device you need, bar a phone anyway. Its screen pops off for tablet fun, there’s a pressure-sensitive stylus, and a special Nvidia GPU boosts its gaming chops.

Then there’s the blinged-out HP Spectre, gaming-minded Razer Blade Stealth and slinky-screened Dell XPS 13. All great, but which is right for you?

The contenders

Apple MacBook Pro 13 with Touch Bar | from £1749

Pricier editions of the MacBook Pro have a fancy OLED touch-panel where the function keys used to be.

Read the review on page 2

 

Dell XPS 13 | from £1249

Dell’s ‘virtually borderless’ InfinityEdge screen makes the XPS 13 significantly smaller than the average 13in laptop.

Read the review on page 3

 

HP Spectre 13 | from £1199

One of the slimmest, lightest laptops in the world, the Spectre is the most eye-catching computer HP has made to date.

Read the review on page 4

 

Microsoft Surface Book | from £999

An ambitious hybrid with pressure-sensitive stylus and a custom gaming processor by Nvidia.

Read the review on page 5

 

Razer Blade Stealth | from £1549

The Blade Stealth is a slim ultraportable. Hook it up to the Core desktop module with a good GPU and it turns into a gaming rig.

Read the review on page 6

 

Or jump straight to the final verdict on page 7

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