Laptop Computers Compared

Canstar Blue’s review of laptop computers has seen Apple, ASUS, HP, Dell, Alienware, Microsoft and Lenovo compared and rated on their performance & reliability, design, user-friendliness, battery life, size & weight, customer service, value for money and overall satisfaction.

See our Ratings Methodology.

Most Satisfied Customers | Apple

Apple topped our consumer satisfaction ratings for laptops, earning five-star reviews for performance & reliability, user-friendliness, value for money, overall satisfaction and more.

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Top pick: Apple rated best in laptop computer ratings

Laptops are convenient and compact, thus making them an ideal choice for professionals, students and just about anyone else who needs to stay connected wherever they go, even if it’s just to the bedroom to hook-up Netflix to the big screen. Portable PCs may be small in size, but buying one is a big decision worthy of due consideration. In fact, 45% of Aussies we surveyed researched their computers before buying. That’s indeed a wise choice if you want to score yourself a deal (not a dud). And, that’s also where we can help!

Canstar Blue has surveyed more than 800 Australians for their feedback on the laptop computer(s) they’ve recently purchased. Respondents were asked to rate their respective brands on important factors such as performance & reliability, design, user-friendliness, battery life, size and weight, customer service, value for money and overall satisfaction. The brands which received the minimum survey sample size of 30 responses are included in the table above.

Tech giant Apple won our customer satisfaction award for laptop computers, scoring five-star reviews in all areas, including performance & reliability, design, user-friendliness, battery life, size & weight, customer service, value for money, and overall satisfaction.

Best Laptop Computers

Best Laptop Computers Reviews

Here are the best brands of laptop computers, as rated by consumers in Canstar Blue’s inaugural review:

  1. Apple
  2. ASUS
  3. HP
  4. Dell
  5. Alienware
  6. Microsoft
  7. Lenovo

While Apple rated best in all categories, other brands managed to earn five-star ratings in some key areas. Runner-up ASUS also got full marks for user-friendliness and value for money, alongside HP. Both landed on a solid four-star rating for overall satisfaction, with Dell and Alienware in tow. Microsoft and Lenovo rounded up the scores on three stars overall.

Read on for a quick overview of the brands in our report, including the products, prices and specs they have on offer.

Laptop Brands

Apple

Apple 13-inch MacBook Pro

Apple needs no introduction. It’s arguably THE leading tech brand, with over 500 flagship stores worldwide. Apple is the brain behind some of our favourite electronic gadgets including iPhones, iPads, AirPods, MacBooks, iMacs, and so on. The brand offers an extensive range of laptops, priced variably from $1,599 for a MacBook Air, up to $4,399 for a 16-inch MacBook Pro.

If you’re looking for a good mid-range option, the 13-inch MacBook Pro (pictured) is a portable powerhouse, featuring up to 10th Gen processors with up to 80% faster graphics performance, according to the brand. It comes with up to 32GB of memory, a touch bar and touch ID, and up to 10 hours of battery life – all for $1,999.

Here are some other models from Apple’s laptop computer range:

  • Apple 13.3-inch i3/8GB/256GB SSD MacBook Air (2020) – Gold: $1,599 RRP*
  • Apple 13.3-inch i5/8GB/512GB SSD MacBook Air (2020): $1,999 RRP*
  • Apple MacBook Pro 13.3-inch 1.4GHz i5/8GB/512GB SSD – Silver (2020): $2,299 RRP*
  • Apple MacBook Pro 16-inch i9/16GB/1TB SSD – Space Grey (2019): $4,399 RRP*

Apple was rated five stars in all categories including performance & reliability, design, user-friendliness, battery life, size & weight, customer service, value for money and overall satisfaction.

Check Laptop Prices Online^

ASUS

ASUS VivoBook Flip 14-inch 2-in-1 Device

ASUS is another big player in the PC market, offering a large range of affordable notebooks, gaming laptops, desktops, displays, motherboards and more. The brand’s laptop range is divided by series, including the ZenBook series, VivoBook series, ASUSPRO series, and gaming series to name a few. Prices start from as low as $300 and reach up to $2,599.

If you’re after a budget-friendly option that will cater to all your work and entertainment needs, then the ASUS VivoBook Flip 14-inch 2-in-1 Device is a sound option (pictured). It comes equipped with an AMD Ryzen 5 4500U processor, 8GB RAM, a NumPad, and includes a pen. It retails for $1,399.

Here are some other models from the ASUS laptop computer range:

  • ASUS E406 14-inch Pentium-N5000/4GB/128GB Laptop: $499 RRP*
  • ASUS 15.6-inch Athlon-3050U/12GB/512GB SSD Laptop: $797 RRP*
  • ASUS TUF 15.6-inch R7-3750H/16GB/512GB SSD/GTX 1650 Gaming Laptop: $1,596 RRP*
  • ASUS Zenbook 14-inch i7/8GB/512GB SSD Laptop: $1,998 RRP*

ASUS was rated five stars for user-friendliness and value for money. It got four stars in most other categories and for overall satisfaction, but three stars for battery life.

Check Laptop Prices Online^

HP

HP Pavilion x360 14-inch 2-in-1 Laptop

HP short for the Hewlett-Packard company is a leading brand of home electronics, spanning across printers, desktops, laptops and more. The brand is widely available in most electronics stores including JB Hi-Fi and Harvey Norman. HP offers both standard and 2-in-1 laptops at fairly affordable prices ranging from $350, up to $4,199, so this is an ideal option for students and those on a tight budget still looking to buy from a reputable, established brand.

For a laptop with the portability of a tablet in one compact footprint and a cut-price, then look no further than the HP Pavilion x360 14-inch 2-in-1 Laptop for $1,599. This model (pictured) comes with a 512GB SSD + 32GB 3D Xpoint, offering sizeable storage for all your documents and files. Other features include a 10th Gen Intel Core i5 processor, Diagonal FHD IPS micro-edge WLED, and a user-friendly flip design.

Here are some other models from HP’s laptop computer range:

  • HP 14-inch Celeron/4GB/64GB eMMC Laptop: $448 RRP*
  • HP 15.6-inch Pentium-N5030/8GB/256GB SSD Laptop: $849 RRP*
  • HP Pavilion x360 14-inch i5/8GB/256GB SSD + 16GB Optane 2-in-1 Laptop: $1,399 RRP*
  • HP Envy 13.3-inch i7-10510U/8GB/512GB SSD Laptop: $1,999 RRP*

HP was rated five stars for value for money and four stars in the remaining categories, including user-friendliness and overall satisfaction.

Check Laptop Prices Online^

Dell

Dell Inspiron 15 3000 Laptop

Dell is another well-known computer technology brand that offers a decent selection of desktops, laptops, PC accessories, printers, toners and more. A great advantage of Dell is that it often has special deals and limited-time offers available on certain computers, including 2-in-1 and gaming laptops. This is a great option for school kids, so keep it in mind when shopping around.

A good budget-friendly model worth checking out is the Dell Inspiron 15 3000 Laptop for $799 (pictured). It comes with a 10th Gen Intel Core (i5-1035G1) processor, 8GB of memory, an HD or FHD anti-glare display, smartphone integration with iOS or Android and more.

Here are some other models from Dell’s laptop computer range:

  • Dell Inspiron 15 5000 Laptop: $1,078 RRP*
  • Dell G3 15 Gaming Laptop: $1,598 RRP*
  • Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 Laptop: $1,918 RRP*
  • Inspiron 13 7000 2-in-1 Laptop (7306): $3,198 RRP*

Dell was rated four stars in majority of the categories including performance & reliability, user-friendliness and overall satisfaction. It got three stars on customer service and size & weight.

Check Laptop Prices Online^

Alienware

Alienware M15 R3 Gaming Laptop

Alienware is a computer hardware subsidiary of Dell, with its product range dedicated entirely to gaming computers which can be identified by their alien-themed designs. Pricing starts from $699 and goes up to $6,000 or more for full HD, high-performing models. The latest generation of Alienware laptops come with improved surface coating engineered to reduce fingerprint smearing and other typical stains.

For a mid-range option, the Alienware M15 R3 Gaming Laptop (pictured) is a strong contender. It’s boasted of being Alienware’s most thin and powerful 15-inch laptop, according to the brand. You can have up to 10th Gen Intel Core i9k processors, enabling up to 8-cores and 16-threads of multi-threaded performance. This model also comes with Alienware Cryo-Tech to maintain system stability during high-performance states. It retails for $3,199.

Here are some other models from Alienware’s laptop computer range:

  • Alienware M17 R3 Gaming Laptop: $3,698 RRP*
  • Alienware M15 R3 15.6-inch Full HD 300Hz Gaming Laptop: $4,299 RRP*
  • Alienware Area-51M R2 Gaming Laptop: $4,798 RRP*
  • Alienware Area-51m R2 17.3-inch 300Hz Full HD Gaming Laptop: $6,199 RRP*

Alienware was rated four stars across the board and for overall satisfaction.

Check Laptop Prices Online^

Microsoft

Microsoft Surface Pro 7

Microsoft was founded by Bill Gates and Paul Allen in the 1970s, and is best-known today for its software products like Microsoft Windows and Microsoft Office. The brand also manufactures consumer electronics and personal computers. This includes laptops under the Microsoft Surface range, with prices starting from $629 and reaching upwards of $4,000.

If you’re looking for a lightweight laptop you can take with you on the go, the Surface Pro 7 (pictured) is ultra-portable and doesn’t compromise on productivity, according to Microsoft. It comes with a powerful Intel Core processor and decent battery life, as well as a convenient ‘Instant On’ feature. The Surface Pro 7 can be transformed into a laptop, tablet or ‘studio’ to suit your working needs and can be paired with a Surface Type Cover and Surface Pen to complete the full configuration. It retails for $1,249.

Here are some other models from Microsoft’s laptop computer range:

  • Microsoft Surface Go 2 Intel 4425Y/4GB/64GB eMMC Laptop: $629 RRP*
  • Microsoft Surface Laptop 3 13.5-inch i5/8GB/128GB SSD Laptop: $1,699 RRP*
  • Microsoft Surface Book 3 13.5-inch i5/8GB/256GB SSD 2-in-1 Device: $2,646 RRP*
  • Microsoft Surface Book 3 13.5-inch i7/16GB/256GB SSD 2-in-1 Device: $3,399 RRP*

Microsoft was rated four stars for user-friendliness, performance & reliability, appearance & design, customer service and size & weight. It got three stars everywhere else.

Check Laptop Prices Online^

Lenovo

Lenovo IdeaPad C340 14-inch 2-in-1 Laptop

Lenovo is one of the world’s largest PC vendors and smartphone companies. The brand offers a wide range of laptops, from basic family models, to high-performance gaming laptops and stylish multimode devices with smart designs. Plus, the range offers options to fit any budget, with prices starting from under $400 and reaching upwards of $3,000.

If you enjoy the advantages of both a laptop and tablet, the Lenovo IdeaPad C340 14-inch 2-in-1 Laptop is ideal. It features 8GB of memory, a touch display with 1366 x 768 resolution, an Intel Core i3 processor and an HDMI port – all for $949!

Here are some other models from Lenovo’s laptop computer range:

  • Lenovo C340 11.6-inch 2-in-1 Chromebook: $469 RRP*
  • Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 5i 14-inch 2-in-1 Laptop: $1,299 RRP*
  • Lenovo Yoga C740 14-inch 2-in-1 Laptop: $1,799 RRP*
  • Lenovo Legion 5P 15.6-inch 144Hz Gaming Laptop: $2,999 RRP*

Lenovo rounded up the scores with four stars for battery life and size & weight and three stars in the remaining categories.

Check Laptop Prices Online^

Which laptop should you buy?

Whichever laptop you buy will largely depend on your budget. Our survey found Aussies spend on average $1,371 on a new computer. This is roughly the cost of a mid-range option. Survey respondents also identified their biggest purchase decision factors to be:

  • Price: 31%
  • Brand name: 16%
  • Ease of use: 15%
  • Special features (i.e. touch display, foldable, etc.): 11%

As you can see, price and brand name are the biggest considerations for consumers. And since 41% of Aussies surveyed would recommend their laptop to friends and family, you can assume recommendations from people you know can also be a good starting point if you’re unsure of which brands to look into. Your budget will narrow down your research further and then all you’ll need to do is ensure the models within your price range have the features you need or want. In any case, keep our review in mind when shopping.

About the author of this page

Megan Birot

This report was written by Canstar Blue’s Home & Lifestyle Content Lead, Megan Birot. She’s an expert on household appliances, health & beauty products, as well as all things grocery and shopping. When she’s not writing up our research-based ratings reports, Megan spends her time helping consumers make better purchase decisions, whether it’s at the supermarket, other retailers, or online, highlighting the best deals and flagging anything you need to be aware of.

Compare Desktop Computers

*Prices taken from respective retailers and correct as of October 2020.

Picture credits: GaudiLab, Shutterstock.com.

Frequently Asked Questions

Canstar Blue surveyed 3,000 Australian adults across a range of categories to measure and track customer satisfaction, via ISO 26362 accredited research panels managed by Qualtrics. The outcomes reported are the results from customers within the survey group who have purchased a new computer (laptop) in the last three years (note: this does not include tablets, but may include 2-in-1 style laptops which convert into a tablet) – in this case, 831 people.

Brands must have received at least 30 responses to be included. Results are comparative and it should be noted that brands receiving three stars have still achieved a satisfaction measure of at least six out of 10. Not all brands available in the market have been compared in this survey. The ratings table is first sorted by star ratings and then by mean overall satisfaction. A rated brand may receive a ‘N/A’ (Not Applicable) rating if it does not receive the minimum number of responses for that criteria.

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