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Move over Canva, there's a new free design tool in town

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Custom graphic design platform Sticker Mule has unveiled Studio, a free design tool that aims to take on the mighty Canva. 

The company will be hoping the tool, specifically built for organizations with limited design resources, can become one of the best photo editors for creating professional-style graphics without the skill barrier or the associated costs. 

Studio is the latest in Sticker Mule’s small suite of free online design tools for SMEs and startups, which also includes a background remover and image upscaler.

“Our goal is to give everyone the opportunity to design great print and digital products quickly and easily…Studio helps anyone craft beautiful designs in minutes,” said Anthony Constantino, Sticker Mule CEO.

 Canva killer?  

In recent years, use of simple design tools has soared, as businesses look to visually engage customers and clients, and enhance their branding without the need for professional-level software like Adobe Photoshop. 

Currently leading the pack is Canva, whose growing popularity recently led to the launch of the company’s first global ad campaign after nearly ten years in the business.

Employing a library of pre-built elements and templates, and a basic drag-and-drop system, the tool has proved popular with businesses, entrepreneurs, and SMEs.

Studio by Sticker Mule works on a similar basis. Developed over two years, the browser-based platform is packed with over 1000 customizable templates, letting users design their own logos, business cards, stickers, T-shirts, packaging, event invitations, and social media assets. Everything on the page - from images to elements, colors to text - can be switched out in a few clicks.

For those more comfortable with freestyling, there’s also the ability to create designs from scratch. Finished designs can then be exported as a PNG, JPG, PDF, or SVG and used across all content marketing channels.

As a free service, users won’t have to order their designs through Sticker Mule, although that remains an option for anyone looking for physical assets. 

Constantino, who co-founded the company in 2010, assured users that more upgrades are on the way.

“We are currently developing additional features to make Studio the Internet’s favorite design tool. Next up is the ability to share designs,” he said.

Date

25 Apr 2022

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    Citrix DaaS update

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    Whether it's for work or for play, laptops have come a very long way in cementing themselves as a mainstay for getting by in our day-to-day. 

    From ultrabooks to 2-in-1s, gaming laptops to business notebooks, there's so many different flavours of portable computer available on the market today that it can be a bit overwhelming, but never fear because we're here to help!

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    1. Apple MacBook Air (M1, 2020)
    2. Microsoft Surface Laptop 4
    3. Apple MacBook Pro 14-inch (2021)
    4. Dell XPS 13 (Late 2020)
    5. Razer Blade 14
    6. Asus ROG Zephyrus G14
    7. LG Gram 17 (2021)
    8. Asus ZenBook 13 (2021)
    9. Acer Swift 3
    10. Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga Gen 6
    11. Lenovo IdeaPad Duet Chromebook
    12. Asus VivoBook S15

    The best laptops of 2022:

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    Apple MacBook Air

    (Image credit: Apple)
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    Apple MacBook Air

    (Image credit: Apple)

    1. Apple MacBook Air (M1, 2020)

    The best laptop of 2021

    CPU: Apple M1 | Graphics: Integrated 7-core /8-core GPU | RAM: 8GB – 16GB | Screen: 13.3-inch (diagonal) 2,560 x 1,600 LED-backlit display with IPS technology | Storage: 256GB – 2TB SSD | Dimensions: 11.97 x 8.36 x 0.63 inches (30.41 x 21.24 x 1.61cm; W x D x H)

    Silent to use
    Amazing battery life
    No new design
    Fanless design could impact performance

    The new Apple MacBook Air (M1, 2020) isn't just the best laptop Apple has ever made, it's also the best value laptop money can buy right now. This is definitely the highest placement an Apple laptop has ever found itself in one of our lists, but the MacBook Air (M1, 2020) is worthy of this spot. Thanks to the revolutionary ARM-based Apple M1 chip that powers the new MacBook Air (Apple has ditched Intel for these new laptops), this is a stunning achievement: a thin and light laptop that offers great performance, even with 4K video editing, while also offering incredible battery life. Easily managing over 11 hours on a single charge, this is a laptop you can easily carry around with you at work or school, and its price is decently competitive compared to Windows 10 rivals (for once). Running both new and old Mac apps, the new MacBook Air can now also run iOS apps for iPhone and iPads, giving it access to hundreds of brilliant mobile applications and games as well.

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    Read the full review: Apple MacBook Air (M1, 2020) review

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    Best laptop 2021: Surface Laptop 4

    (Image credit: Microsoft)
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    Best laptop 2021: Surface Laptop 4

    (Image credit: Microsoft)
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    Best laptop 2021: Surface Laptop 4

    (Image credit: Microsoft)
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    Best laptop 2021: Surface Laptop 4

    (Image credit: Microsoft)

    2. Microsoft Surface Laptop 4

    The best Windows laptop

    CPU: 11th-generation Intel Core i5 – i7 /AMD Ryzen 5 - 7 | Graphics: Intel Iris Xe / AMD Radeon | RAM: 8GB – 32GB | Screen: 13.5-inch PixelSense (2,256 x 1,504) touch | Storage: 256GB – 1TB SSD

    Comfortable keyboard
    Beautiful screen
    Not enough ports
    Alcantara fabric might get gross over time

    While Apple blew us away with the new MacBook Air (above), arch rival Microsoft has also impressed us with its new Surface Laptop 4, landing straight in at number 2 of our best laptops 2021 list. As with previous Surface devices, build quality and design is absolutely top-notch here, and its gorgeous PixelSense touchscreen really sets it apart from the competition (a touchscreen is something we've yet to see on an Apple laptop, as Microsoft likes to remind us).

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    Read the full review: Microsoft Surface Laptop 4

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    MacBook Pro 14-inch

    (Image credit: Apple)
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    MacBook Pro 14

    (Image credit: Apple)
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    The MacBook Pro 14-inch (2021) featuring a model wearing vivid, colorful clothing

    (Image credit: Apple)

    3. MacBook Pro 14-inch (2021)

    The best laptop in 2021 for productivity

    CPU: Apple M1 Pro 8-core – M1 Max 10-core | Graphics: Integrated 14-core – 32-core GPU | RAM: Up to 64GB | Screen: 14-inch Liquid Retina XDR display | Storage: Up to 8TB

     Brilliant performance
     Best screen on a laptop
    14-inch screen may be a bit small

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    Not only that, but its Liquid Retina XDR display with mini-LED technology is absolutely stunning, and the best screen you can get on a laptop right now. Add in a 1080p webcam and boosted port selection, and you have a brilliant business and productivity laptop. It won't be for everyone – the price and power will be too much for most people's needs – but if you want a killer laptop to do creative work on, this is the laptop to get. For everyone else, check out the MacBook Air (M1, 2020) at the top of our list.

    Read the full review: MacBook Pro 14-inch (2021)

    Dell XPS 13 9310

    (Image credit: Dell)

    4. Dell XPS 13 (Late 2020)

    Return of the king

    CPU: 11th generation Intel Core i5 – i7 | Graphics: Intel Iris Xe | RAM: 8GB – 32GB | Screen: 13.4-inch FHD (1,920 x 1,080) – 4K (3840 x 2160) | Storage: 512GB – 1TB SSD

    Gorgeous design
    Big CPU and GPU boost
    Excellent battery life
    Expensive

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    Read the full review: Dell XPS 13 (Late 2020) review

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    Razer Blade 14 laptop open showing desktop wallpaper

    (Image credit: Razer)
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    Razer Blade 14 laptop partially opened and shot from behind

    (Image credit: Razer)
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    Razer Blade 14 laptop closed on white background

    (Image credit: Razer)

    5. Razer Blade 14

    The top laptop for gaming in 2021

    CPU: AMD Ryzen 9 5900HX | Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060 - RTX 3080 | RAM: 16GB | Screen: 14-inch 144Hz Full HD – 14-inch 165Hz QHD | Storage: 1TB SSD

    Beautiful chassis
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    This luxurious thin and light gaming laptop from Razer just oozes class, and is an ideal laptop for people who want a gaming device they can take around with them. It's solidly built, so you won't worry about it getting damaged during your travels, and it's one of the nicest looking modern gaming laptops we've seen.

    It's not all about looks, however, as the Razer Blade 14 comes with cutting edge components as well, including the awesome AMD Ryzen 9 5900HX processor and up to an RTX 3080 graphics card. This means you'll be able to play any AAA game you want in all its glory. It's by far the best gaming laptop you can buy in in 2021, but it does cost a lot of money.

    Read the full review: Razer Blade 14

    Asus Zephyrus G14

    The Asus Zephyrus G14 is an absolute beast of a laptop. (Image credit: Asus)

    6. Asus ROG Zephyrus G14

    The ultimate blend of work and play

    CPU: AMD Ryzen 7 4800HS – 9 4900HS | Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 | RAM: Up to 32GB | Screen: 14-inch Non-glare Full HD (1920 x 1080) IPS-level panel, 120Hz – 14-inch Non-glare WQHD (2560 x 1440) IPS-level panel, 60Hz | Storage: 512GB / 1TB M.2 NVMe PCIe 3.0

    Best battery life in a gaming laptop
    Excellent performance
    Thin and light
    No webcam
    Fans can get loud

    We know, this is technically a gaming laptop, but for those that want to balance work and play, there's little else out there that's better value than the Zephyrus G14 right now. It's worth noting that it's missing a webcam and a Thunderbolt 3 port, so if that's a concern this isn't for you, but its solid battery life, compact form, and powerful specs do a fine job at balancing everything that you'll need from a laptop. This is an absolute beast for performance, with its AMD Ryzen 4000 processors and Nvidia RTX 2060 graphics card, best-in-class battery life that will last you all day long, a fast display with a 120Hz refresh rate and a lightweight, ultrathin design. The best part is that you’re getting all that without burning a hole in your pocket. Don’t get us wrong; it isn’t cheap. However, for a laptop this impressive, we’re surprised Asus isn’t asking for more.

    Read the full review: Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 

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    Image of the LG Gram 16 (2021) laptop from the front with Windows 10 desktop on the screen and the Start menu showing

    (Image credit: LG)
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    Angled image of the LG Gram 16 (2021) laptop with the Windows 10 desktop and Start menu on the screen

    (Image credit: LG)
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    Image of the LG Gram 16 (2021) from another angle with the Windows 10 desktop and Start menu on the screen

    (Image credit: LG)
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    Image of the LG Gram 16 (2021) laptop with lid partially closed

    (Image credit: LG)

    7. LG Gram 17 (2021)

    A great new super-light laptop for 2021

    CPU: 11th-generation Intel Core i7 | Graphics: Intel Iris Xe Graphics | RAM: 16GB LPDDR4X | Screen: 17-inch WQXGA (2560 x 1600) IPS LCD | Storage: up to 2TB NVMe SSD

    Excellent battery life
    Large, high-quality display
    You're paying a premium for the design
    Subject to screen glare

    The new LG Gram 17 once again features an incredibly light design, and comes with some of the best mobile tech in the world.

    That includes Intel's new 11th generation processors and Iris Xe graphics as well as two Thunderbolt 4 USB-C ports, and coupled with up to 16GB of RAM and speedy SSDs, means this is a laptop that is brilliant for day-to-day tasks. Battery life is also phenomenal, easily lasting around 12 hours on a single charge.

    It's a great choice for carrying around for school and work, then. However, it is expensive, and the design is a little plain.

    The long battery life and stunner of a screen are back, though so too is its steep price tag. It’s worth it though if you want the power and portability of Ultrabooks yet also need a bigger screen.

    Read the full review: LG Gram 17 (2021) 

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    Asus ZenBook 13 (2021) laptop with screen open on white background

    (Image credit: Asus)
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    Asus ZenBook 13 (2021) laptop with screen open on white background

    (Image credit: Asus)
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    Back shot of Asus ZenBook 13 (2021) laptop with screen open on white background

    (Image credit: Asus)

    8. Asus ZenBook 13 (2021)

    A stunning Ultrabook from Asus

    CPU: 11th-generation Intel Core i3 – i7 / AMD Ryzen 5000 | Graphics: Intel UHD Graphics / AMD Radeon | RAM: 8GB - 32GB | Screen: 13.3-inch, OLED 1080p, 400 nits | Storage: 256GB - 1TB SSD

    Gorgeous OLED display
    Phenomenal battery life
    No headphone jack
    Radeon graphics underperform

    The Asus ZenBook 13 is a brilliant laptop, and the 2021 model comes with some of the best mobile tech you'll find in a modern notebook. So, it packs a choice of an AMD Ryzen 5000 series processor, or Intel 11th gen CPU. It also has an absolutely stunning 13.3-inch OLED screen and one of the best battery lives around.

    There's also up to 32GB of RAM and up to 1TB of SSD storage, which makes this a brilliant laptop for working on.

    It's also supremely thin and light, as well as stylishly designed, which makes it a joy to carry around and use. It's also pretty respectably priced compared to competitors like the Dell XPS 13. The only downsides are that there's no headphone jack – which is a bit of a shame, but likely a result of its ultra-thin design, and during our time testing the Asus ZenBook 13, we found that the integrated AMD Ryzen graphics weren't quite as good as Intel's offering. Despite that, this is still a brilliant ultra-thin laptop that's well worth considering.

    Read the full review: Asus ZenBook 13 (2021)

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    Acer Swift 3

    (Image credit: Acer)
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    Acer Swift 3

    (Image credit: Acer)
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    Acer Swift 3

    (Image credit: Acer)
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    Acer Swift 3

    (Image credit: Acer)

    9. Acer Swift 3

    The best budget laptop in the world

    CPU: up to Intel Core i7-8565U | Graphics: Nvidia GeForce MX150, Intel HD Graphics 620 or AMD Radeon Vega 8 | RAM: 4GB – 8GB | Screen: 14-inch FHD (1,920 x 1,080) ComfyView IPS – 15.6" Full HD (1920 x 1080) | Storage: 128GB – 1 TB HDD, 16 GB Intel Optane Memory

    Superb keyboard and trackpad
    Excellent performance
    Very reasonably priced
    Looks a little plain

    Beyond the Acer Swift 3's modest exterior, you'll find an excellent laptop that boasts plenty of power for work and study. The Swift 3 (not to be confused with the Switch 3 another laptop from Acer) is an inexpensive laptop; however, that plain chassis is all-aluminum and packed with beefy components. 

    In terms of performance, it gets surprisingly close to the far more expensive Microsoft Surface Laptop. Its display is a little lower-res, but the two are otherwise strikingly similar - other than the price. 

    This laptop is incredible to use as well, with its roomy trackpad as well as its backlit keyboard that offers a comfortable typing experience with decent travel. If you're going to be writing a lot – whether you’re traveling or at the office, this is one of the best budget laptops 2021 has on offer.

    Read the full review: Acer Swift 3

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    Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga Gen 6 laptop with the screen open

    (Image credit: Lenovo)
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    Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga Gen 6 laptop folded backwards in tent mode

    (Image credit: Lenovo)
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    Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga Gen 6 laptop with keyboard folded backwards

    (Image credit: Lenovo)
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    Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga Gen 6 laptop with the screen open

    (Image credit: Lenovo)
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    Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga Gen 6 laptop in tablet mode with a document showing on the screen

    (Image credit: Lenovo)

    10. Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga Gen 6

    The best 2-in-1 laptop of 2021

    CPU: 11th-generation Intel Core i5 – i7 | Graphics: Intel Iris Xe Graphics | RAM: 8GB - 32GB | Screen: 14-inch, 1920 x 1200p, IPS touchscreen | Storage: up to 2TB SSD

    Outstanding performance
    Excellent battery life
    Expensive compared to other 2-in-1 laptops

    The Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga Gen 6 is the latest refresh for Lenovo's flagship 2-in-1 business laptop and the addition of Intel's 11th-gen Tiger Lake processors with Iris Xe graphics, along with Intel Evo certification, make it one of the best 2-in-1 laptops we've tested.

    Add in the outstanding 16:10 touchscreen display, garaged stylus, and excellent battery life, and there's very little that we can find fault with here. It's got a great selection of ports that puts the MacBook Air to shame, but it does miss an SD card slot, which some creatives may be disappointed to learn.

    But apart from that, and a bit of a straight-laced design (as a ThinkPad device, this is a laptop aimed primarily at business users), the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga Gen 6 is easily one of the best laptops to come out in 2021, especially if you're looking for something that can be used as both a traditional laptop and as a tablet-like device as well.

    Read the full review: Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga Gen 6

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    Lenovo IdeaPad Duet Chromebook

    (Image credit: Lenovo)
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    Lenovo IdeaPad Duet Chromebook

    (Image credit: Lenovo)
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    Lenovo IdeaPad Duet Chromebook

    (Image credit: Lenovo)
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    Lenovo IdeaPad Duet Chromebook

    (Image credit: Lenovo)
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    Lenovo IdeaPad Duet Chromebook

    (Image credit: Lenovo)
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    Lenovo IdeaPad Duet Chromebook

    (Image credit: Lenovo)

    11. Lenovo IdeaPad Duet Chromebook

    The best affordable Chromebook

    CPU: MediaTek Helio P60T Processor | Graphics: ARM G72 MP3 800GHz | RAM: 4 GB LPDDR4X | Screen: 10.1" FHD (1920 x 1200) IPS, glossy, touchscreen, 400 nits | Storage: 64 GB eMMC

    Lightweight and portable
    Long battery life
    Very affordable
    Tiny keyboard and finicky trackpad
    Charger and headphones share a single port

    Lenovo doesn't just make some of the best laptops in the world, it also makes some of the best Chromebooks as well, and the brilliant Lenovo IdeaPad Duet Chromebook proves how good these Chrome OS-powered laptops really are. It can be used as a laptop or a tablet, and it's backed up by some very impressive specs.

    Is it a Chromebook or is it a tablet? Well, luckily, you won’t have to decide with the brilliant Lenovo IdeaPad Duet Chromebook. True to its name, this Chromebook delivers two form factors in one, while utilizing the versatility of the Chrome OS and setting you back much less than many of the top Windows tablets out there. 

    Like all the best Chromebooks, its battery packs an incredibly long life of almost 22 hours – so you could pull an all-nighter, work through the day and mid-afternoon, and you’ll still pass out before it runs out of juice. 

    For this price, sacrifices have to be made, naturally – the keyboard is tiny, the trackpad isn’t as reliable, and the charger and headphones share one port. However, if budget is your top priority, those are definitely not deal-breakers.

    Read the full review: Lenovo IdeaPad Duet Chromebook 

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    ASUS VivoBook S15

    (Image credit: Asus)
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    ASUS VivoBook S15

    The Asus VivoBook S15 is the best affordable laptop (Image credit: Asus)

    The Asus VivoBook S15 is the best mid-range laptop

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    ASUS VivoBook S15

    (Image credit: Asus)
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    ASUS VivoBook S15

    (Image credit: Asus)

    12. Asus VivoBook S15

    The best budget 15-inch laptop

    CPU: Intel Core i5 – i7 | Graphics: Intel UHD Graphics | RAM: 8GB DDR4 | Screen: 15.6-inch full HD (1920 x 1080) | Storage: 512GB SSD

    Bright, colorful 15.6-inch screen
    Weighs just 1.8kg
    Average battery life
    ScreenPad is a bit weird…

    The new Asus VivoBook S15 hasn't been out for long, and it's made its way straight into our best laptops list. This is because it combines a thin and light design with great performance and an excellent price. 

    If you're looking for a mid-range laptop that doesn't cost too much, but still performs brilliantly, then this is the best laptop for you. 

    Thanks to its powerful Intel processor, 8GB of RAM and fast SSD storage, this is a laptop that can handle almost any task with ease – though gaming is out of the question. Its 15.6-inch screen is bright and vibrant, and it has loads of ports that makes it easy to hook up your favorite peripherals. 

    However, it doesn't have the longest battery life for a laptop, and the ScreenPad, which replaces the traditional touchpad below the keyboard with a touchscreen, takes a bit of getting used to.

    Read the full review: Asus VivoBook S15

    Which type of laptop is best for you?

    General laptops: This broader category is dedicated to devices that focus more on practicality than style, portability or power. That’s not to say they can’t be fast, but you’ll typically find a non-Ultrabook clamshell laptop with an HD screen and spinning drive-based storage for less than SG$1,000.

    Ultrabooks: Where you’ll find thin-and-light notebooks sporting SSD storage and display resolutions that exceed 1080p. Paired with powerful, albeit mobile-centric components and especially long battery life, the best Ultrabooks will cost a pretty penny – closer to SG$1,000 to SG$3,000.

    2-in-1 laptops: Where notebooks that double as tablets are located. Outfitted with both detachable and 360-degree rotating hinges, these hybrids are the most versatile way to experience Windows 10 (or Chrome OS) on a touchscreen.

    Chromebooks: Where you’ll find the best Chromebooks running Chrome OS. These do much of what Windows and macOS can in the browser, focused on cloud storage over local, while recently getting Android app support for touchscreen models. They generally cost less than SG$500.

    Gaming laptops: Need a laptop to play games (almost) just like a shiny desktop PC can? Then you’ll want one of the best gaming laptops. These machines generally cost more than $1,000 and can quickly get into the SG$4 – 5,000 range for the beastlier models.

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