Why pay more for a laptop than the £200 or less you can snag one for? Well, if you want the best build quality, the most effective processors, the highest resolution display or the nicest design, a cheap model just won’t cut it – even if it’s perfectly good for emails and light web browsing. Paying more usually means you’ll have better battery life, too.

There are also other considerations to think about. You want a keyboard that responds perfectly under your fingers, with decent travel but a firmness and lack of wobble. Pricier laptops tend to have displays that stretch further to the edges of the laptop lid, with tiny bezels so it’s almost all-screen. 

There are three operating systems to choose from: Windows, which is the most widespread and has the most programs, Google Chrome which used to be the budget option but is now found on more advanced laptops, too, and Apple’s macOS which is perhaps the most intuitive and elegant. Knowing which programs you need onboard may help you choose.

We’ve tested laptops with various programs, noting battery life, ease of use, resilience of build, lightness, slimness and smartness of design. All the models here apart from the Apple macbook pro and macbook air also have touch-sensitive screens.

You can trust our independent reviews. We may earn commission from some of the retailers, but we never allow this to influence selections, which are formed from real-world testing and expert advice. This revenue helps to fund journalism across The Independent.

The verdict: High-end laptops

When you’re aiming to spend a decent amount on a laptop, you’re entitled to expect the best of everything. That includes slick design: there are several here that excel for the way they look, but none more so than the sleek and classy Apple macbook pro. The Huawei matebook pro is a triumph with great looks and real power in a remarkably thin profile laptop. The most affordable high-end computer here is the Google pixelbook go – though if you want to spend more, you can easily by adding storage, operating memory and so on.

IndyBest product reviews are unbiased, independent advice you can trust. On some occasions, we earn revenue if you click the links and buy the products, but we never allow this to bias our coverage. The reviews are compiled through a mix of expert opinion and real-world testing.