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Notebooks: My 13 favorites for 2020

My 2013 MacBook Air has served me faithfully for nearly seven years. Now the buttons are tired, the system is getting slower every day, Bluetooth has more or less passed away. A successor is needed. Last week I circled the notebook market for 2020 here on the trend blog for you and me. Now it comes to concrete models.

The formula that helped me choose is simple: Provided the technology meets your needs and the price is okay for you, then you can confidently focus on the appearance. A notebook accompanies you for many years, it should give you pleasure. My shortlist currently looks like this:

Razer Blade 13 or 15: Slim gaming notebooks

Perhaps you have already had a moment when you fell in love with a technical device straight away, could hardly explain why and then (as with real love) graciously overlooked one or the other disadvantage. For me, that was the case with the Razer Blade 13 Stealth.

A Mac user who rarely plays an indie game but wants to switch to a gaming notebook with Windows? Why not! Strong machines are needed for gamers as well as for content creators. I also find the Razer Blade 15 Studio Edition interesting, which elegantly combines the two worlds of gaming and content creation, but unfortunately blows my wallet with an RRP of over 4,000 euros.

However, the Razer notebooks do not have the very best reviews on the global network. There is talk of technical failures, overheating and loud cooler noises, for example. So the search won't be that easy. As written above: Go after the appearance first, if the technology is right.

Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 White

In everyday life, notebooks with touchscreens that can also be used as tablets do very well. You can also operate some devices with a stylus, in case you get overwhelmed by creativity. Year after year, US manufacturer Dell brings out one of the most beautiful notebook models with the XPS 13. The XPS 13 2-in-1 White with new Intel Core processors of the 10th generation has also become more powerful. You can limp the screen 360 degrees and optionally operate it with the Dell Active Pen.

What if it shouldn't be Windows? Then Dell would even have some notebooks with Ubuntu on offer. Here, too, a white XPS 13 version, but without touch and without 2-in-1 mode. And because I'm flirting with gaming notebooks: why not a gaming notebook with Ubuntu? Configurable at Dell for the G5 15, for example.

Alienware m15 R2 white

If I look at the Alienware m15 R2, I feel young again, I put back the hair that is barely there, I take it by the hand and we burn out together until the battery runs out. And that would be the case pretty quickly with the m15 R2. Still very chic with strong hardware! I would look forward to working with it anew every day.

HP Specter x360 13

HP's answer to the Dell XPS is the Specter x360 13. Flat, light, elegant, can also be used as a tablet with a stylus. The additional USB-C port with Thunderbolt 3 support placed on the corner is smart. The new model has WiFi 6 and Bluetooth 5 - which will by no means be taken for granted in 2020).

The information about the Elite Dragonfly G2 that HP presented at CES 2020 is still a bit vague. It should consist of 82 percent recycled materials (including marine plastic), use a privacy screen, optionally come with a 5G chip and again weigh only 1kg. A real lightweight. HP has not yet announced prices, the first configuration should appear at the end of February. The predecessor cost just under 2,000 euros and more.

Asus ROG Zephyrus G14

I talked about the likelihood of a gaming notebook above, and that includes the new Asus ROG Zephyrus. Powerful, slim - and with the unusual gimmick of displaying animations on the back using mini-LEDs (AniMe Matrix). Since you tend to sit on the other side when playing or working, it can only serve the purpose of making the other hipsters in the café jealous. Soon it will be possible to cover the back with information such as the weather or the time even when the lid is closed or in standby mode, and that sounds extremely interesting.

An exciting alternative (talking about unusual design) would be the ROG Zephyrus S.

Asus Chromebook Flip C436

For me, the Asus Chromebook Flip C434 was one of the best Chromebooks of 2019 with only a few weaknesses. In my opinion, Asus has surpassed itself in the successor Chromebook Flip C436. Asus has once again revised the design significantly, enlarged the screen compared to the case (85 percent), and made the notebook itself very narrow and light (1.1 kg). On request, it comes with a 10th generation Core i7, 16 GB RAM and M.2 SSDs, Wifi 6, Bluetooth 5, fingerprint sensor, improved sound from Harman / Kardon - this time also luckily on top of the case.

In one word: wow! This should be one of the best Chromebooks ever. I just hope that Asus doesn't need until late autumn again to bring it to the German market.

Lenovo Yoga Slim 7 14

If Lenovo, then for me it has to be yoga. Many notebooks from the market leader are technically well equipped, I find the fabric cover of the new 14-inch Yoga Slim 7 elegant. You can choose between the new Intel Core or AMD Ryzen processors. A 4K display, up to 16 GB RAM and the voice assistant Alexa are also on board. However, with a weight of around 1.5 kg, it is not the lightest notebook on the market.

Acer Swift 5

Simple, slim, light and pretty. This is the Acer Swift 5. The 13.3-inch notebook weighs less than 1kg, is only 1.45cm high, looks good and technically offers everything that notebooks need in 2020. Wifi 6, a thin display bezel, fingerprint sensor.

The tablet and shape-changing spin mode are missing. The new Spin 3 or Spin 5, which are similarly well equipped and which Acer intends to bring onto the market at the end of February, can be considered for this.

For my purposes, Acer's Nitro 5 Spin - a 2-in-1 gaming notebook - would be ideal. An update would be necessary this year.

Dynabook Portégé X30L-G

Business notebooks always look gray and boring? Not even close. Dynabook announced the Portégé X30L-G at CES 2020 as the lightest 13.3-inch notebook that also looks very nice. Weighing just 870 grams, the latest processor generation. Wifi 6, Bluetooth 5, with a focus on security. The Portégé X30L-G is well worth considering.

MSI GS66 Stealth

Another gaming notebook. MSI is launching the successor to the GS65 this year. At first glance, the GS66 Stealth looks like a normal business notebook, but it is a gaming machine that is comparatively slim. Compared to its predecessor, MSI has improved the cooling and has gone to the pain limit with the battery (99.9 Wh). In fact, that's around twice as much capacity as gaming notebooks usually have. 300 Hertz refresh rate is one of the details that only real gaming professionals can do. That's why I could make friends with the predecessor GS65.

Huawei Matebook Pro X Deepin

Huawei also builds high-quality notebooks for creative professionals. What fascinates me most about the Matebook Pro X is that Huawei launched a special edition last summer. It doesn't come with Windows, but with Deepin Linux. It is no coincidence that the appearance of a distribution from a Chinese provider resembles Apple's macOS. Actually ideal for users who want Linux with a nice look that Ubuntu doesn't like. So far, Huawei has only offered the Linux option for China; I hope it doesn't stay that way.

Samsung Galaxy Chromebook

Why Chromebooks at all? Because Chrome OS is a wonderfully sleek, minimalist system. You already know many of the apps from Android smartphones. The Samsung Galaxy Chromebook is also very well equipped with new Intel Core processors, a 4K screen, a 360-degree mode and a housing that weighs just 1kg. The red housing is also modern. Unfortunately, it is unlikely that the Galaxy Chromebook will even come to Germany.

Apple MacBook Air 13 inch

Or maybe Apple again? The modern MacBook Air (2019) is a safe bet with a pleasantly reduced design, the still great macOS operating system and, for creative professionals, probably the best selection of apps. I firmly expect Apple to introduce upgrades to models this year that include Intel's 10th generation of chips and the new Magic Keyboard.

In summary, my favorite would be a chic, light and yet powerful gaming notebook with a long battery life, 360-degree mode, touchscreen and Chrome OS with the apps and advantages of macOS. I won't get it like that, unfortunately. So it means: Weigh up the advantages and disadvantages and decide what is most important to me.

You can of course also find a wide range of notebooks at Euronics. Which notebook do you work with? Tell me your favorites for 2020 in the comments!

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