Monthly Archives: November 2017

Wolfenstein 2: The New Colossus review

Wolfenstein 2: The New Colossus was announced by Bethesda at E3 2017, and is the sequel to 2014’s hugely popular Wolfenstein: The New Order. It’s set in an alternate timeline where the Nazis occupy the US, and carries on from the events in the first game. Will William J. Blazkowicz be finally able to spark the second American Revolution and drive the Nazis from the US?

We spent some time playing Wolfenstein 2: The New Colossus, and here’s what we thought about the OTT first-person shooter.

Wolfenstein 2: The New Colossus release date and deals

Wolfenstein 2: The New Colossus launched on Xbox One, PS4 and Steam (PC) on 27 October 2017.

You can buy the Xbox version from Microsoft’s website or for PS4 from the PlayStation Store for £49.99/$59.99, while on PC you can grab it from Steam or Green Man Gaming for £34.99/$59.99.

If you’d rather a physical edition, both Amazon and Game are taking orders now, as is GameStop in the US.

If you’re willing to spend a little more, there’s also a deluxe edition is available for Xbox, PS4, or PC, and includes both the base game and the DLC season pass – you can find out more about upcoming DLC in our Wolfenstein 2 hub.

Wolfenstein 2: The New Colossus review

Wolfenstein 2: The New Colossus is the sequel to 2014’s Wolfenstein The New Order, and picks up where the last game ends, (SPOILER) following protagonist William J. Blazkowicz’s fight with Deathshead where he was severely injured. He wakes up on Eva’s Hammer, the U-Boat he stole, and wants to continue the fight against the Nazis to spark the second American Revolution. Sound good so far? Great.

That set-up pays off in an early party of the game, where Blazkowicz is in a wheelchair, providing a challenge – especially when it’s being attacked by Nazi soldiers.

While you’d usually be able to run up a flight of stairs or jump over obstacles to escape, that’s not an option. You have to instead explore and find alternative routes (that may involve moving gears and conveyor belts) using a combination of stealth and action to reach the desired location. It’s a good way to get players thinking about alternative routes and tactics early on in the game, as it’s much more challenging than its predecessor.

That’s much more apparent later in the game, like when trying to infiltrate Area 52, near Roswell. Blazkowics is tasked with blowing up the facility, and in true Wolfenstein fashion, has to fight his way through waves of Nazis with varying skills and abilities.

While I don’t want to admit it, I found it to be quite a challenge on the second-easiest difficulty. Part of the charm of the first Wolfenstein game was that as well as playing it smart, you could also throw caution to the wind and run in all guns blazing, creating utter carnage.

It doesn’t feel the same in the second game – it seems as if stealth and tactical thinking are rewarded more, and I’m not sure if that’s a change I like. You’ve still got the option to dual-wield your weapons, and while that is fun, ammo seems to be more limited and I found myself completely out of ammo on more than one occasion.

That might just be because I’m not very good at the game, but hey! It’s what happened.

It might also be because I struggled to find the commanders, NPCs that continuously call for backup until killed. While you’ll get a rough compass icon and a distance icon when commanders are nearby and you haven’t been spotted, it becomes near impossible to find them once the alarm has been sounded.

There’s no icon to help find them and all you have to go on is a distance meter – not very helpful if the commander is on another floor, as I’ve found out first-hand. Couple that with wave upon wave of Nazis coming at me, and it becomes a difficult (and even frustrating) process.

But even at its most frustrating, the combat is incredibly enjoyable. The mechanics take a little bit of getting used to, as does the style of play, but once it falls into place it just works. The ability to run into a room of Nazis and gun them down while dual-wield submachine guns never gets boring or annoying, even if I’m killed over and over again.

It’s almost Doom-esque in design – and that should tell you all you need to know. It could be the over-the-top blood effects, it could be the gory Hatchet takedowns or it could be the surprisingly fluid movement – whatever it is that gives Wolfenstein 2’s combat the edge that it has, we approve.

Beyond the difficulty, it’s a Wolfenstein game through-and-through, with it’s over-the-top storylines, unique characters and constant plot twists. I found myself chuckling at remarks made by NPCs throughout the world, be it from passers-by in a Nazi parade in Roswell to the crazy conspiracy theorist that is convinced that aliens helped the Nazis develop technology in some form.

But while the overall story is engaging and exciting, it does get a little raw at times – so raw that we started to feel a little uncomfortable. And yes, I know this is a game about Nazis set in an alternate timeline, but is there any value to featuring adult themes including child- and domestic abuse in such a prominent way? We’re going to say no. Next time, stick to describing the thoughts and feelings of oppressed Americans – it’s what Wolfenstein does well. 

Moving on from the slightly over-emotional storyline, Wolfenstein 2 is a beautifully detailed game – environments are detailed, facial animations are incredibly realistic and the voice acting is nothing short of superb. You’ll want to explore each and every environment that you come across, not only for the varying visuals but also to find little trinkets and other collectibles too. 

Additional Body Benefits to Consider When Selecting the Best Meal Replacement Shakes 

If you haven’t yet started using meal replacement shakes, my assumption is that creating delicious, home-cooked meals is the reason why. If you are a faithful follower of this exciting diet plan, then congratulations are in order. You are one among many who have discovered the secret to a long, satisfying life. 

Just imagine what it is like to live a less stressful life that does not involve hurried bi-weekly visits to the grocery store, or, constant aches and pains that make the vigor of youth seem ancient. What would your legs say if they were not obligated to stand at the kitchen counter every few hours between sunrise and sunset? 

That kind of life is nothing but a distant memory for most women today. They spend less time standing in the kitchen, and more time improving themselves. If a day spent at home feels torturous, then you are a candidate for change. Read on and find out what you can do to share in their delight. 

The Secret Revealed

First things first, l know what you are thinking… you are not trying to lose excess weight, in fact, you are quite fit for the average mom. Congratulations to you as well, however, l would like to burst the bubble and let you in on a rarely spoken aspect of meal replacement options. 

The truth is, the best meal replacement shakes, for example, do more than just help people shed weight. They additionally support an existing diet plan for those who are fit. (Read you…) 

So if you have been giving them the cold shoulder, maybe it’s time you gave them an ear instead. This is what you might be missing out on: 

  • Normalized blood sugar levels
  • Fairer skin
  • Reduced meal preparation time
  • Retention of lean body mass(muscle)
  • An opportunity for weight maintenance

Benefits of Meal Replacement Shakes Explained

Not even this diet option works like a magic bullet, therefore, consistency and discipline are what determines the kind of results that each individual eventually experiences. 

  1.  Enhanced Beauty

When you start using shakes, you will notice a change in complexion or in fairness. This is happening because the skin is now receiving the much-needed vitamins and nutrients that it may have otherwise been lacking. The nutrients found in diet shakes are balanced in such a way that they provide just the right amounts to your body. 

Fruit extracts and organic ingredients found in most shakes additionally add strength and shine to your hair and skin. 

  1.  Muscle building

Whenever you undergo a vigorous work-out session, your body reacts by tearing down muscles. As a preventive measure, you can feed the body what it requires to repair those muscles within an hour after working out. 

What it needs is protein, and shakes provide a ready option that can be quickly absorbed by the body. Meal replacement shakes contain whey, milk and soy proteins which contain the necessary amounts of amino acids that are paramount for muscle repair and growth. 

  1.  Supporting blood sugar levels

When you take meal replacement shakes, you feel fuller because it replicates an actual meal. Even more important is that it should contain zero or natural sugar. As a result, glucose is released slowly into your system, and this stabilizes your blood sugar levels. 

This kind of process significantly reduces the risk of getting type 2 diabetes. 

  1.  Weight maintenance

When shakes are part of your normal diet plan, your body benefits from the extra nutrients that it provides by enhancing your body functions. In addition to that, meal replacements prevent the loss of muscle mass that could otherwise cause your weight to flop. 

  1.  Reduction in time used for meal preparation

The best meal replacement shakes require little to no effort preparing, as most are ready to drink, while others require a bit of mixing up with other liquids. Preparing shakes takes very little of your time as compared to traditional meals that require planning, buying, preparing, and eventually cooking. 

Considering all of the above, it is safe to say shakes require less time and money, unlike regular meals. 

What to watch out for

Despite their amazing benefits, the best meal replacement shakes can be the cause of your pain if you do not read labels properly. Seek out shakes that are allergen free if you are intolerant to gluten, soy or dairy. There are varieties that have been formulated with your needs in mind. 

Consider speaking to a dietitian or a doctor first before incorporating shakes as part of your daily routine. 

The best TV shows to stream on Stan

Sure, the original Twin Peaks series has been on this list for quite some time, so you may be asking yourself why the much-hyped series return would warrant its own entry. Those who have seen the first episodes of the 2017 version however, can certainly attest to this being an entirely different animal indeed. Darker and more twisted than before, the new Twin Peaks eschews the soap opera stylings of the ’90s version in favour of something more akin to co-creator David Lynch’s cinematic accomplishments. Prone to long stretches without dialogue and numerous trip-out sequences, this Twin Peaks recalls Lynch’s own films Lost Highway, Inland Empire and even his feature-length debut, Eraserhead. Of course, Lynch has also stated that his polarising Twin Peaks follow-up, Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me, is the key to understanding this new series, so that may offer some insight into what this new show is attempting to do. Both the original TV series and its cinematic sequel are available to stream on Stan, so you may want to catch up on those before jumping straight into this mind-bending revival. The new Twin Peaks is bound to divide audiences once again, but the only way you’ll only know which side you fall on is to take the plunge into this tenebrous abyss. 

Seasons on Stan: 1

Hands-on: HTC U11 Life review

As well as announcing a bigger and better version of it’s flagship phone, HTC has also effectively launched the smaller and cheaper U11 Mini. Here’s our initial hands-on HTC U11 Life review.

Mini versions of phones have all but gone away with only really Sony offering this type of device with, most recently, the Xperia XZ1 Compact.

The HTC U11 Life isn’t quite the same deal in terms of specs but offers some of the flagship’s design and features in a mid-range handset. It’s a bit like the HTC U Play but with some U11 bits and pieces thrown in. Read about both new HTC phones here.

HTC U11 Life Price

With the HTC U11+ priced at £649, it’s unsurprising if it’s the kind of phone which is appealing but simply out of your budget. The cost of smartphones has gone up a lot in the last year or so.

With that in mind, the HTC U11 Life price of just £349 is very affordable, making it very much a mid-range effort – you can pre-order now. It’s impressive that in the UK, that price gets you the higher spec model. See below for details.

Whether or not it can compete with great value phones like the £379 Honor 9 is another question, though.

HTC U11 Life design and build

The best way to think about the U11 Life is a mini version of the U11. It looks very similar in style but in a more manageable size so if even a phone like the original U11 is too big, then the Life version might suit.

We like the look and feel of the U11 Life, it’s an attractive mid-range phone. HTC has used the same design language from the flagship so it’s got a striking curved shape.

This time, though, the rear cover is made from acrylic instead of glass. The colour still looks good, particularly the Sapphire Blue option, but it doesn’t feel as luxurious or expensive.

That’s understandable but the phone still feels nice in the hand and the acrylic is offers much more grip compared to glass and is more likely to fare well in an accidental drop.

We’d also understand no waterproofing at this price point but the U11 Life is IP67 like its bigger brother.

At the front things are fairly standard with regular sized bezels which below the screen make room for navigation buttons and a fingerprint scanner that’s also the home button.

A key feature from the flagship U11 is Edge Sense – pressure sensors on the side of the phone as another way of interaction. This didn’t blow us away in our U11 review but can now be programmed to do whatever you want – zoom on Google Maps, turn a page on the Kindle app etc.

Overall, this is an impressive start for a £349 phone.

HTC U11 Life colours

HTC U11 Life specs and hardware

Although we’re impressed with the design of the U11 Life, it’s the specs on offer that really show why it’s a lot cheaper.

Screen

The display is a bit smaller than the U11 at 5.2in and the resolution drops to Full HD. That’s understandable for the price tag and the screen looks perfectly acceptable for a mid-ranger.

During our hands-on time the screen looked bright and crisp.

HTC U11 Life screen

Processor, memory and storage

There are various differences when it comes to the internals that help HTC achieve a lower price point. Starting with the Qualcomm Snapdragon 630, a mid-tier processor.

Again, it’s an understandable choice and the U11 Life appears to run pretty smoothly on the Android One system – see software below for details. We’ll test out performance including benchmarks soon.

There’s either 3GB of RAM with 32GB of storage but for the asking price, we get 4/64GB as standard in the UK which is impressive. There’s also a microSD card slot should you need to add more.

Audio

There might not be HTC’s BoomSound speakers here but there are still some features for audio fans.

A lack of headphone jack is a bit of a shame but HTC includes its USonic headphones in the box which use USB-C. There’s also an adapter should you want to use a set of cans with a regular 3.5mm jack.

For such a cheap phone, it’s great to see the U11 Life supports 24-bit Hi-Res audio playback.

HTC U11 Life camera

Cameras

Like the HTC U Play, the U11 Life has a 16Mp camera instead of the UltraPixel 3 found on the U11. It’s got an f/2.0 aperture, HDR Boost and can even record video in 4K – not bad for a pretty cheap phone.

At the front is also a 16Mp camera with f/2.0 and HDR Boost. It’s limited to 1080p video, though.

We need time to test the cameras properly but they seem to be decent after some hands-on time.

Battery Life

Inside the U11 Life is a 2600mAh battery, not too much smaller than the 3000mAh one found in the U11. You’ll need to charge over USB-C and the phone supports Quick Charge 3.0.

We’ll test out battery life soon but for now HTC claims you’ll get an extra two hours of video playback or web browsing compared to the HTC 10.

HTC U11 Life software

HTC U11 Life Software

When it comes to software the U11 Life comes with Android 8.0 Oreo. Getting the latest version is great but it’s also an Android One phone, as the logo on the back shows.

This means that instead of coming with the HTC Sense interface, it’s pure stock Android. You’re getting a device like a Pixel 2, without any additional apps and all the handy Google things like Assistant.

You also get monthly security patches for up to three years and guaranteed OS updates for two years.

Having stock Android means you don’t get things like the handy app wheel found on the U11+, but the phone does have Edge Sense so you can squeeze it to do various things.

Nitro Concepts S300 gaming chair review

 

Nitro Concepts is back again with the latest in its gaming chair range, the Nitro Concepts S300. Sporting a design reminiscent of a racing car seat and an interesting use of fabric material, is it enough to tempt you out of your hard-earned cash and find its place as one of the best gaming chairs of 2017? We’ve spent some time with the Nitro Concepts S300 gaming chair, and here’s what we think.

Nitro Concepts S300: UK pricing and availability

The Nitro Concepts S300 is a mid-range gaming chair with a price tag to match, setting potential consumers back £229.99 in the UK. It offers a more premium experience than Nitro Concepts’ £145 C80 with a wider seat height range, better recline angles and an all-round improved design.

If you’re looking to pick up the Nitro Concepts S300 in the UK, you’ll have to head to the exclusive UK stockist, Overclockers UK.

Nitro Concepts S300 review

After you’ve put the gaming chair together (a simple process that took around 20 minutes in total), the first thing you’ll notice about the S300 is the material it’s made from. While many gaming chairs are made from leather (or PU leather), the S300 features fabric upholstery.

The use of fabric gives the chair a different feel from other gaming chairs, and once you get over the fact that it attracts cat hair like a magnet, it provides a soft, comfortable seating experience that’s much cosier than what’s offered by PU leather-clad chairs. Fabric feels much nicer on the skin too, and is a better option for those hot summer afternoons playing PUBG.

 

It’s available in seven colour combinations: Stealth Black, Inferno Red, Radiant White, Horizon Orange, Galactic Blue, Atomic Green and Astral Yellow. While the coloured fabric is bright, vibrant and in your face, Nitro Concepts has also paid attention to the smaller details like the embroidery matching the strips on the chair legs. It’s all these little considerations that make the S300 shine.

Beneath the fabric upholstery you’ll find moulded cold foam, which is softer, more breathable and should be much more durable than the foam scraps used in budget gaming chairs from the likes of Amazon. The chair itself is modelled after bucket racing car seats, and provides more than enough support thanks to the ergonomic design.

Diving a little deeper into what’s on offer, the S300 offers 130mm of height adjustment along with 13cm of seat height adjustment, from 48-61cm. There’s also 14 degrees of rocking, allowing you to rock gently in the chair using your body weight.

 

The only issue? It lacks a lockout, so you can’t keep the chair in a leaned-back position. It can also recline to 135 degrees, which isn’t as far back as other chairs go, but still provides a relatively easy way to have a quick nap during lengthy gaming sessions.

It also comes with two ergonomic support cushions for the neck and lumbar regions, but we found the chair to be much more comfortable without the latter present. As is the case with most gaming chairs, the lumbar pillow is much too thick in our opinion, causing discomfort in the lower back region (and we also noticed it’d slant to one side after brief periods). It’s easy to remove, though, and the neck pillow provides decent support during long gaming sessions.

It features 3D armrests that, as the name suggests, allows them to be moved in three directions – up and down, forwards and backwards and inwards and outwards. While it allows you to find the perfect position for your setup, the arms don’t lock into place.

This means that you’ll find the arm rests often sliding forwards/backwards with a bit of pressure from leaning. We’d have preferred a simple locking mechanism like that offered for vertical adjustments, but sadly it’s not the case.

 

But while the overall build quality of the £229 Nitro Concepts S300 is decent, the plastic parts like the arm rests and joint covers rattle a bit when knocked. It’s not a huge annoyance, but it’s somewhat surprising just how loose some of the components feel on a £200+ chair.

Oh, and beware of the Radiant White colour option as, being fabric, it’ll get dirty fairly quickly and it isn’t the easiest material to clean.

Apple’s WatchOS 4.1 update adds phone-less music streaming, GymKit

Why it matters to you

WatchOS 4.1 makes it even easier to leave your phone at home when going for a run or to the gym.

Got an Apple Watch? Apple just released WatchOS 4.1 for all users today, and the spotlight feature is support for GymKit. It enables the Apple Watch to pair with supported gym equipment, so you can track more accurate fitness data.

GymKit allows two-way data sharing between gym equipment and the Apple Watch, enabling Apple to better estimate distance and energy burn metrics. Currently, LifeFitness, Cybex, Star Tac, StairMaster, Matrix, and TechnoGym have partnered with Apple to support GymKit, but more gyms and hardware manufacturers are expected to be announced in the near future.

WatchOS 4.1 also brings access to the iCloud Music Library. The Apple Watch was previously limited to synced playlists from the iPhone over Wi-FI, but the latest update allows Apple Music subscribers access to their entire library. Watch Series 3 with LTE users have the added benefit of being able to stream music over cellular.  To make it even easier to find your favorite music on the Apple Watch, the WatchOS 4.1 update now allows you to use Siri to search for songs, playlists and albums.

There’s also a new app included with the update: Radio. The app lets you stream Apple’s own Beats 1 radio station, in addition to NPR, ESPN and a few other stations. While access to Beats 1 is free, other stations require an Apple Music subscription.  Streaming via Wi-Fi or LTE is also available for the Radio app.

One welcome update for many Apple Watch Series 3 LTE users is the addition of a Wi-Fi toggle button in the Control Panel.  The Wi-FI toggle allows users to default to LTE service when they’re in an area with patchy Wi-FI service.  While Apple already released a WatchOS update to address issues with the Apple Watch becoming stuck on public Wi-Fi networks, the Wi-Fi toggle button gives Watch Series 3 LTE users the option to rely solely on cellular service even when their phone is on a Wi-Fi network.

 

Best Australian deals: Cheap laptops to buy in November 2017

If you’re looking for a cheap laptop or a mammoth saving on a premium portable computer, you’ve come to the right place. We’ve scoured the web for savings – from the usual suspects to the niche deal sites – and rounded up all the genuine and worthwhile specials in one neat place. We’ve covered everything from budget browsing machines to high-performance powerhouses, so you’ll no doubt find something to match your needs.

Up the top, we’ve highlighted a selection of the latest deals that we’ve sniffed out, so you can reap the rewards of having your finger on the pulse. Below that we’ve covered some of the more popular laptops that often come up on special, and then included a quick list of the best prices on TechRadar’s pick of the latest best laptops.

If you’re from the US or the UK, check out our selections of the top laptop deals in the US or in the UK.

Best laptop deals this week

Apple MacBook Pro with Touch Bar 256GB 13-inch laptop ($2,063.20): It’s great news when an Apple product goes on sale, meaning you can get a premium machine for lesser. This particular model of the 13-inch MacBook Pro with Touch Bar comes with 256GB of storage and 8GB of RAM, alongside a 20% discount on the listed price on eBay. To avail the discount, use the code PIXELS at checkout and the 13-inch MacBook Pro with Touch Bar can be yours for just $2,063.20, saving you over $515 on the listed price. Sale ends November 6.

Apple MacBook Pro 13-inch 256GB 2017 model ($1,711.20): Got no need for the Touch Bar? You can still get a 2017 13-inch MacBook Pro for lesser than its retail value by heading to eBay and getting 20% off the listed price. Currently the 256GB 13-inch MacBook Pro is available for $1,711.20, down from a listed price of $2,139. But this discount is only available if you use the code PIXELS at checkout until November 6.

Apple MacBook Air 2017 13-inch 128GB laptop ($1,087.20): Looking for a lighter option than the MacBook Pros? You can save $271 on the 2017 model of the MacBook Air featuring 8GB of memory and 128GB of storage. Head to eBay, apply the code PIXELS at checkout and grab yourself a brand-new MacBook Air for just $1,087.20. Offer ends November 6.

Dell XPS 13 256GB 13-inch laptop ($1,439.20): Dell has managed to cram a 13-inch display into a 11-inch chassis by making the screen practically bezel-less. The 13.3-inch InfinityEdge display on the XPS 13 boasts Full HD (1920 x 1080) resolution, plus there’s a promise of great battery life, topping our list of the 10 best Ultrabooks of 2017. This XPS 13 laptop come with 8GB of RAM and 256GB of storage, powered by a 7th-generation Intel Core i5 CPU. This flavour retails for $1,999 on Dell’s website, but the company’s eBay store has it already discounted by 10%. For an additional 20% off, add the code PIXELS at checkout to get the XPS 13 laptop for $1,439.20, saving you nearly $560. This offer ends November 6.

Dell Inspiron 15 7000 series 512GB 2-in-1 laptop ($1,279; usually $2,199): If you’re not too enthused with a traditional laptop and are in the market for a brand-new 2-in-1, you should head to eBay and consider this 15-inch Dell Inspiron. Featuring a 7th-generation Intel Core i7 CPU, 16GB RAM, a massive 512GB SSD, a Full HD display and an infrared camera for facial recognition, this machine usually comes with a premium price tag of $2,199. But until November 6, you can apply the code PIXELS at checkout and get the Inspiron 15 7000 2-in1 for just $1,279. That’s a massive savings of $920.

We’ll keep on updating the list of deals as and when we find them. Below, you’ll find up to date prices on five of TechRadar’s favourite laptop, so keep an eye out for those savings.

The best deals on our favourite laptops

Over the years we’ve reviewed plenty of laptops and, as a result, we’ve seen what to avoid and what to jump on when there’s savings to be had. We’ll keep track of the prices of some of the best we’ve seen so that you can snatch up a bargain when they do show up. Check out the prices below and see if anything has dropped enough to tickle your fancy.

1. Dell XPS 13

Dell’s latest Ultrabook is simply the best laptop in the world

CPU: Intel Core i3 – i7 | Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 520-620 | RAM: 8GB-16GB | Screen: 13.3-inch QHD+ (3200 x 1800) | Storage: 128GB-512GB SSD

Gorgeous bezel-less display

Faster than ever

Lightweight, compact frame

Saying that we’re very happy with Dell’s XPS 13 is a huge understatement. The slim profile, revolutionary design and small frame bely its powerful performance and gorgeous 13-inch screen. Typically you’d have to weigh up portability and performance, but the XPS 13 has managed to strike a fine balance between the two. With Intel’s latest Skylake processors plus lighting, quick storage and memory, the XPS 13’s starting price is certainly an impressive one. We’re so chuffed with it that it’s taken the top slot as the best Ultrabook, the best Windows laptop and the best overall laptop.

Read the full review: Dell XPS 13

2. Dell Inspiron 15 Gaming

This gaming that doesn’t cost a fortune

CPU: Intel Core i5 – i7 | Graphics: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 – 1050 Ti | RAM: 8GB – 16GB | Screen: 15.6-inch, FHD 1920 x 1080 – UHD 3840 x 2160 anti-glare LED backlit | Storage: 1TB SSHD 8GB – 1TB HDD, 128GB SSD

Stellar battery life

Ports for days

Great value

There are some seriously expensive gaming laptops out there, once you get involved in the optimisation and the latest GPUs, things start get pricey. But if you’re after a capable machine on a budget, try out the Dell Inspiron 15-inch gaming laptop.

Read the full review: Dell Inspiron 15-inch gaming laptop

3. Asus ZenBook UX310UA

Feel old yet, MacBook Air?

CPU: 7th generation Intel Core i3 – i7 | Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 620 | RAM: 4GB – 16GB | Screen: 13.3-inch FHD (1,920 x 1,080) – QHD+ (3,200 x 1,800)

All aluminium body

Backlit keys

Bendy keyboard

Meh battery life

A seriously sleek all-aluminium chassis, a higher resolution than the discontinued Asus ZenBook UX305, and an impressive swath of ports, including the latest USB-C interface, the latest UX310UA ZenBook is a serious contender for the MacBook Air and, if you’re a Windows person, is much better value.

Read the full review: Asus ZenBook UX310

4. Lenovo Yoga Book

Is this the netbook of the future – the ultra netbook?

Insanely thin and light

Halo Keyboard surprisingly accurate

Excellent display

Clever Create Pad

Although the specs are modest, the forward-thinking design of Lenovo’s Yoga Book makes it a decent option for creative types and those that want a little more out of their laptops. Sacrificing a bit of raw power means you’ll get an innovative digital touchpad and drawing surface for a much more intuitive and precise approach to graphical art.

Read the full review: Lenovo Yoga Book

5. Microsoft Surface Pro 4

The tablet that can replace your laptop

Weight: 766g/786g | Dimensions: 292.10 x 201.42 x 8.45mm | OS: Windows 10 Pro | Screen size: 12.3-inch | Resolution: 2736 x 1824 | CPU: Various | RAM: 4GB/8GB/16GB | Storage: 128GB | Battery: up to 9 hours | Rear camera: 8MP | Front camera: 5MP

Larger, sharper screen

Vastly improved Type Cover

Built in kickstand

We know this is technically not a laptop, but it does come close to being a 2-in-1 (if you get the Type Case) and, most importantly, it has the power to get in the ring with some of its non-tablet competitors. Running the full-blown version of Windows 10 and having the option for a powerful Intel Core processor, this is by far the laptoppiest tablet available, and the price certainly isn’t that bad.

Read the full review: Microsoft Surface Pro 4

If you’re after some more further info on the best laptops, check out some of our other dedicated articles: