For those looking to get the gift of a PC for themselves or their loved ones this Christmas, these are some of the best models one can buy. Some things to consider when buying a PC include performance, weight, and display. For the most part, every PC on this list will be great for student or office applications. Some of the PCs however boast perks like a low price, low weight, or the ability to be used for gaming. In short, every PC on this list is great, but certain models will be better for certain types of users. That said, all of them share one thing in common: they’re capable of bringing a ton of cheer underneath the pine tree this December 25th.
Here’s the 10 best laptops and notebooks to give as Christmas Gifts.
1. Samsung Chromebook 3
Processor / Passmark Speed Celeron N3050 / 884 | Random Access Memory (RAM) 2GB | Video Card Integrated | Storage 16.0GB eMMC | Weight 1lb | Display 11.6″, 1366 x 768 |
If you’re looking for an affordable gift that will be a massive asset for a student or basic PC user, a Chromebook can be a great option. This Samsung Chromebook has 16GB of memory and weighs in at a mere pound. One simply cannot get a lighter laptop or notebook, even if you spend much more money. That said, there are some limitations to this device that should be noted. Namely, it can only run Chrome OS, which is essentially just the Chrome Web Browser. Still, there are very few things one can’t do in the cloud these days. This is a great gift for someone who needs a laptop for things like browsing the web or creating documents. If one has the right expectations, it offers two perks that are unbeatable: its price and its low weight. One can’t buy a Windows PC that weighs this little for any amount of money!
For the practical and budget-minded, this Chromebook is very hard to beat.
- Portable, lightweight PC that’s great for student and office use
- Easy to setup, maintain, and update
- Great battery life
- Price is dirt cheap, but quality is good (only has Chrome OS, however)
- Poor quality speakers
- Limited features on Chrome OS; struggles with some 1080P video (not on Netflix, HBO, or Hulu, or YouTube however)
2. Asus VivoBook F510UA
Processor / Passmark Speed i5-8250U / 7390 | Random Access Memory (RAM) 8GB DDR4 | Video Card Integrated | Storage 1TB HDD (5400RPM) | Weight 3.7lbs | Display 15.6″ 1080P |
With its zippy i5 processor and solid 8GB of RAM, this is a decent workstation PC at a good price. For the money, it has a great display and works well for multitasking. The biggest drawback to this PC is its relatively slow hard drive. For those who will be using their PC frequently, it’s recommended to spend the extra $100 and get the model below. That said, many won’t mind waiting thirty seconds or so for the computer to boot and if you won’t want to spend too much money, this Asus Vivobook offers a full Windows 10 experience at a great price.
For those who are looking to hit a budget under $500, this PC delivers plenty of quality with some minor trade-offs. That said, if you want more options in this price range, be sure to check out The Best Cheap Laptops for College Students, which has many more options.
- Fast, new i5 processor
- Good RAM for multiasking
- HD is on the large side
- Not heavy
- Screen almost completely lacks a bezel
- 5400RPM hard drive means slow boot time
- No way of reading disks; no optical drive
3. Acer Swift 3 (Editor’s Choice)
Processor / Passmark Speed i5-7200U / 4700 | Random Access Memory (RAM) 8GB DDR4 | Video Card Integrated | Storage 256GB SSD | Weight 3.31lbs | Display 14″, 1080P |
This Acer Swift 3 has everything a good PC should. It has a fast SSD, 8GB of RAM for solid multitasking, and a solid processor. With Windows 10 and specs like these, it will leave very few wanting for more. It weighs around 3.3 pounds, which isn’t the lightest computer out there, but at this price point, this is a pretty low weight. This PC very much has a profile that is comparable to a Macbook, but it’s half the price and actually has a faster processor.
This Acer Swift 3 is the perfect gift for someone who wants a PC that very much mimics the look and feel of a Mac, but at a much cheaper price. It’s the editor’s choice because unless you’re a gamer or video editor, this PC will leave the vast majority of users more than happy and with the purchaser’s wallet that much heavier.
- Great workstation for student and office use
- Solid processor and good RAM for using multiple apps at once
- Good price with a relatively low weight
- Not inaccurate to call it a cheap Macbook
- Fantastic 10 hour pattery life
- Flexible display can go all the way back (parallel to keyboard)
- Fan can be noisy
- On/off button is just a normal key on the keyboard
4. ASUS Zenbook
Processor / Passmark Speed i5-7200U / 4686 | Random Access Memory (RAM) 8GB DDR3 | Video Card Integrated | Storage 256GB SSD | Weight 2.6lbs | Display 13.3″, 1080P |
For those who want something just a bit fancier, Asus Zenbook is similar to the Swift but just a little bite nicer in every way. While the two have the same processor, similar RAM, and similar solid state disk drives, the Zenbook cuts off over half a pound of weight. It also has a slightly smaller display, meaning things are just a little bit nicer looking, due to the higher pixel density. The Zenbook also has a nice glossy, metallic exterior. It’s a great looking machine. For those who value the look of their PC and want to carry a bit less weight, the Zenbook is that much closer to the look and feel of a Macbook, but still at a drastic discount.
- Lightning fast boot time is around six seconds
- Nice, shiny build quality
- Could be mistaken for an Apple without the logo
- SD card reader slot for uploading media
- Backlit keyboard
- Very lightweight
- Display has some bleed
- Fan turns on frequently, even for easy tasks
5. Dell 15.6″ Gaming Laptop
Processor / Passmark Speed i5-6300HQ / 6047 | Random Access Memory (RAM) 8GB DDR3 | Video Card GTX 960M – 4GB | Storage 256GB SSD | Weight 6lbs | Display 15.6″, 1080P |
For the gamers out there, this is an unreal budget choice.
At a low price of only $716, it has all the features one needs to play the latest titles at low to medium settings. For most gamers and games like Overwatch and League of Legends, it will more than do the job. At this price, it’s extremely tough to beat. This PC has a fast solid state drive and a solid amount of RAM, so it’s equally practical for student and office applications. The biggest downside of this PC is its monstrous weight. It weighs in at 6lbs. That’s a big one. Still, gaming PCs are generally much more heavy and with this PC, one really gets what they pay for in substance and unfortunately, weight.
For those looking to spend a reasonable amount and need a competent (but not robust) gaming PC, this laptop does the job very effectively.
- Plays new games at low to medium settings
- Fast enough for video editing 1080P and even 4K
- High quality display is sharp and bright
- Boots rapidly
- Smooth appearance
- Really tough tough to beat in terms of price to performance
- Strange shape may not fit in all laptop sleeves
- Display has some bleed
- Trackpad is mediocre
6. Dell XPS 9350
Processor / Passmark Speed i5-6200U / 4006 | RAM 8GB DDR3 | Graphics Card Integrated | Hard Drive 128GB SSD | Weight 2.8lbs | Display 13.3″, 1080P, InfinityEdge |
For those who look at the Zenbook and want something sleeker yet, this XPS 9350 is a very attractive PC. Most unique about this model from Dell is its nearly bezel-less screen; Dell calls this look “Infinity Edge.” It’s a great looking device with solid performance for student and office applications.
That said, compared to the Swift and the Zenbook, it does cut a few corners. It only has a 128GB SSD, which means that it boots fast, but it fills up faster. For those who are only using their PCs for things like Microsoft Office, it should be fine, but if one is editing videos or even storing medium amounts of music, 128GB can go fast. This PC’s real selling point is its great display, lightweight, and super reliability. If you’re willing to pay a premium price for these things, it will more than deliver.
- Fast boot time
- Good looking and small PC
- Lightweight, solid alternative to Macbook
- Good performance for student or office applications
- Nearly bezzle-less design
- Great customer service
- Trackpad can be dicey
- 128GB isn’t that big for a data drive
7. Acer Aspire VX Gaming, Editing, and Design PC
Processor / Passmark Speed i5-7300HQ / 6826 | Random Access Memory (RAM) 16GB DDR4 | Video Card GTX 1050 Ti – 3GB | Storage 256gb SSD | Weight 5.51lbs | Display 15.6″, 1920 x 1080 |
This gaming PC packs a ton of performance. For users who want a gaming PC that can play modern games at medium to high settings, this device pulls zero punches. Boasting a new GTX 1050Ti, it absolutely blows the 960M out of the water (view performance comparison here; the 1050Ti is over 50% faster). Plus, it has 16GB of RAM, so it’s a much better computer for multitasking and other applications. Another benefit of this PC is that it is slightly lighter, only 5.51lbs, than the other gaming PC on our list. This PC has a ton of power under the hood and a nice display. There’s really no reason to spend more unless you want an even better graphics card (check out the next model on our list) or a faster processor (which can help in rendering videos and other tasks).
This is a very well-rounded gaming PC. If you want top of the line gaming performance or a faster processor, then it may be worth it to spend more, but for most, it will be diminishing returns on spending more money. That said, if you’re looking for a desktop replacement, the Helios 300 (below) is better than this PC in a few key aspects.
- For more serious gamer, this PC ramps things up a bit; can play games at medium to high settings
- Upgradeable RAM and SSD
- Speakers are actually usable
- Nice construction
- Runs popular titles like Overwatch and League of Legends well
- No disc reader
- Trackpad is in a strange position, slightly off center
- For max performance, one ought to clean all the bloatware off it
8. Acer Predator Helios 300
Processor / Passmark Speed i7-7700HQ / 8948 | Random Access Memory (RAM) 16GB DDR4 | Video Card GTX 1060 6GB / 8714 | Storage 256GB SSD | Weight 5.95lbs | Display 15.6″ 1080P, Matte |
This PC is so great, Let’s just start with the two minor bad things about this otherwise superb deal in gaming PCs. The display is a bit dim and it’s heavy (6lbs or so, but that’s not really heavy for a gaming laptop). Negatives out of the way, this is quite simply the best deal in gaming PCs on the market right now. It has the fastest mobile processor on the market, the 7700HQ, an extremely powerful GTX 1060 which can play modern games at high to ultra settings, and it has a ton of RAM, for virtually any multitasking needs.
This PC has it all. It’s a great desktop replacement. It’s a beast. It’d be a wonderful thing to wake up to for many people on Christmas morning. There’s really nothing it can’t do. For the gamers out there, this is the way to go. This PC is also practical since it’s more than powerful enough to be desktop replacement. That’s a great deal on every level.
- Unreal value for the price
- Monster performance means it’s a viable desktop replacement
- Quick SSD with lots of RAM
- Stunning aluminum body
- Keyboard is backlit
- Dim display can be a buzzkill
9. LG Gram 14″ Touchscreen
Processor / Passmark Speed i5-7200U / 4700 | Random Access Memory (RAM) 8GB | Video Card Integrated | Storage 256GB SSD | Weight 2lbs | Display 14″ 1080P, IPS |
While this PC is approaching a Macbook in price, it doesn’t quite get there (The baseline Macbook is $1,299) and brings a lot more to the table. For one, it has a touch screen, a faster processor, and almost double the storage space of a baseline Macbook. It’s about the same size, but it also weighs less at a mere 2lbs. For those who want the Macbook experience but in a nicer shell with more powerful hardware, this LG Gram brings it to the table. That said, for the price, this is a fairly limited PC; it’s really only for document creation and student or office applications.
- Keyboard is lit for night usagae
- Accepts USB-C input
- Solid battery life
- Bezel around display is slim; nice IPS display
- Very lightweight laptop
- Can’t be used for gaming
- Pricey for the performance
- Best for someone who demands a light computer
10. CUK 4K Notebook
Processor / Passmark Speed i7-7700HQ (2.8 – 3.5GHZ) | Random Access Memory (RAM) 32GB | Video Card GTX 1050 (4GB) | Storage 512GB NVME SSD, 2TB HDD | Display 15.6″ 4K |
This CUK notebook brings many superb features to the table. While it doesn’t have the raw graphical power of the Helios 300, it bring a more well-rounded seat of features that is better for the more creative types. 32GB of RAM is a godsend for those looking to use multiple apps at once. This PC is still plenty powerful as a desktop replacement. It also has a much more detailed 4k screen, which means it’s easier to do multiple things on the screen at once. The best part about this PC are its massive hard drives. Boasting a 512GB SSD and a two terabyte hard disk drive, it will leave no one wanting for more. It’s an expensive PC, but for the right users, it’s a great investment, and the perfect gift for those looking to mix productivity, creativity, and play.
- 3 year warranty from manufacturer
- Very powerful PC
- Screen is nice for editing 4K and other graphical purposes
- Enormous amounts of RAM
- Unparalleled for multitasking
- Fast SSD that’s also large 512GB
- Graphics card on Helios is better
- Slow data drive