Top 10 laptops of 2016

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Top 10 laptops of 2016
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Microsoft Surface Pro 4

Price: from $1,349  

Screen 12in (2,736 x 1,824 pixels) touchscreen
Processor Intel Core m3-6Y30, i5-6300U or i7-6650U 
Storage 128GB–1TB SSD
RAM 8–16GB
Weight 1.05kg (including Type Cover)

Microsoft has taken the tried-and-tested Surface Pro 3 and improved it in almost every way. Given that its predecessor was already a fantastic hybrid, capable of doing a decent impersonation of a laptop and making for a superlative tablet, the Surface Pro 4 is an absolute delight.

As you'd hope, the high-resolution screen is amazing: with oodles of brightness and superb colour accuracy, it's brilliant for everything from photo editing to watching movies. Factor in the comfy, accurate Surface Pen and the Surface Pro 4 impresses before you even reach for the optional Type Cover. 

The Type Cover still costs another $199.95 on top, which irks slightly, although that’s more than offset by the current sale (at the time of writing) with the Surface Pro 4 priced from as low as $1,146.65.

The kickstand at the tablet's rear is now fully adjustable – rather than being limited to two positions – it's far easier to use the Surface Pro 4 comfortably in a variety of scenarios. It's still very top-heavy on your lap, but the strong magnets do their bit to stop the tablet toppling backwards, and it's better than before. Plus, if security is top of your shopping list, you can splash out $249.95 on the Type Cover with Fingerprint ID instead.

In terms of performance, the Core i5 and Core i7 models do a good job – especially so considering how thin the tablet is – and the Core m3 version provides a cheaper, low-powered option if you're that way inclined. Battery life isn't mind-blowing, but it's good enough. The only shame is that Microsoft hasn't yet adopted the versatile USB Type-C or Thunderbolt 3 standards.

Next review: Dell Inspiron 11 3000 Series 2-in-1.

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