The 10 Coolest Laptops Of 2017

Laptops To Love

Major PC vendors continued pushing the envelope on laptops in 2017. Sleek, highly portable designs were pervasive in the year's releases, while many laptops also broke ground in terms of business-friendly features. Brand-new models that came to market included the Google Pixelbook and Microsoft Surface Laptop, while updates also arrived in laptop lineups such as Apple's MacBook Pro, HP's EliteBook, Dell's XPS 13, and Lenovo's X1 series.

What follows are the 10 laptops that most caught our attention during 2017.

Get more of CRN's 2017 tech year in review.

Apple MacBook Pro

Starting price: $1,299 (13-inch without Touch Bar); $1,799 (13-inch with Touch Bar); $2,399 (15-inch)

What's cool about it: Apple's 2017 update to the MacBook Pro added seventh-gen Intel Core processors (aka Kaby Lake) — Core i7 for the 15-inch model and Core i5/i7 for the 13-inch models. The laptop integrates Apple's Touch Bar, a touch-sensitive display strip on the keyboard that provides controls for whatever app is being used. The latest MacBook Pro is also more portable than previous versions: The 13-inch version weighs 3 pounds and the 15-inch version weighs 4 pounds, shaving off a half-pound in both cases. The laptop is thinner than in the past,as well, with the 13-inch version measuring 0.59 of an inch thick and the 15-inch MacBook Pro at 0.61 of an inch thick.

Dell Latitude 7280

Starting price: $1,049

What's cool about it: This addition to the business-focused Latitude line of Dell laptops stands out for its portability, with the Latitude 7280 weighing just 2.61 pounds and measuring 0.67 of an inch thick. The 12.5-inch laptop has an option for an FHD (1,920 x 1,080 resolution) display as well as touch-screen capabilities, while the display also features Corning Gorilla Glass 4 for enhanced durability. Seventh-gen Intel Core processors and a variety of ports (USB-A, HDMI, DisplayPort over USB-C) are included, too.

Dell XPS 13 2-in-1

Starting price: $1,000

What's cool about it: Dell launched the first-ever 2-in-1 model of the XPS 13 this year. Along with sporting a 360-hinge for folding the display back, the laptop improves portability with a body that is 10 percent thinner and one-quarter of a pound lighter than the standard XPS 13. The 2-in-1 version also opts for lower-power processors -- the seventh-gen Y-series Intel Core processors. That helps enable up to 15 hours of battery life on the convertible. In addition, the XPS 13 2-in-1 display has practically no bezel on the top and sides, and the laptop features an option for a QHD+ (3,200 x 1,800) display.

Google Pixelbook

Starting price: $999

What's cool about it: Google debuted the Pixelbook this fall, which the company says is the first laptop to come with the Google Assistant built in. The Pixelbook includes a 12.3-inch display with 2,400 x 1,600 resolution, and the display can fold all the way back for use in tablet mode. The laptop is one of the thinnest on the market with a thickness of 0.4 of an inch, and it's also lightweight at 2.4 pounds. The Pixelbook runs Google's Chromebook operating system, Chrome OS, but Google says users will be able to store files on the local hard drive; internal storage options range from 128 GB to 512 GB. The laptop offers choices between 8 GB and 16 GB of RAM, and also between seventh-generation Intel Core i5 or i7 processors. In addition, the laptop works with a new digital pen, the Pixelbook Pen, which is sold separately.

HP EliteBook x360 1020 G2

Starting price: $1,379

What's cool about it: Described as "the world's thinnest and lightest business convertible" by HP, the EliteBook x360 1020 G2 weighs 2.5 pounds and measures 0.53 of an inch thick -- while also providing business-friendly features such as military-grade durability, seventh-gen Intel Core processors, and an optional integrated privacy screen (HP Sure View). Other differentiators include a bright 12.5-inch display (700 nits) and HP PhoneWise, a new application that enables users to respond to calls and text messages using the laptop.

HP Spectre x360 15

Starting price: $1,180

What's cool about it: HP's update for the Spectre x360 15 this year includes a tiny bezel on the left and right sides of the 15.6-inch display, which shrinks down the footprint of the machine. The UHD touch-screen display folds all the way back, and the latest Spectre x360 15 features a full-aluminum chassis and a full-size keyboard. The new version also promises up to 12.75 hours of battery life, and includes seventh-generation Intel Core processors as well as Nvidia GeForce 940MX graphics.

Lenovo X1 Carbon

Starting price: $1,070

What's cool about it: With the fifth generation of the X1 Carbon, key upgrades include the reduction of the bezel around the display—meaning that this is a 14-inch laptop display on roughly the size of a typical 13-inch laptop. Lenovo has also made the new X1 Carbon 6 percent lighter than the previous model, at 2.5 pounds. That makes it one of the lightest business laptops we've tried out, and it's pretty thin at 0.63 of an inch thick, as well. In addition, the battery life has been boosted to 15.5 hours from 11 hours previously. And for security, the X1 Carbon adds an IR camera with facial recognition to support Windows Hello log-in.

Lenovo X1 Yoga

Starting price: $1,154

What's cool about it: Lenovo has retained the OLED display option for the second generation of the ThinkPad X1 Yoga, making it still the only 14-inch OLED notebook currently available. The latest X1 Yoga adds seventh-generation Intel Core processors and offers battery life of 10.5 hours for the OLED model, or 16 hours for the non-OLED version. The X1 Yoga also now features two Thunderbolt 3/USB-C ports. The touch-screen laptop can be used with the re-designed ThinkPad Pen Pro and is being offered in a new silver color as well as black. And of course, the new X1 Yoga sports a 360-degree hinge for folding the display part or all of the way back.

Lenovo Yoga 920

Starting price: $1,197

What's cool about it: Along with the signature 360-degree watchband hinge, Lenovo's Yoga 920 features a sleek metallic design and optional 4K resolution for its 13.9-inch screen. The display works with Lenovo's Active Pen 2, marking the first time that a Yoga 900 series laptop supports the digital pen. And the Yoga 920 also includes boosted speeds as one of the first laptops on the market to feature the eighth-generation, Kaby Lake R Intel Core processors, which include a quad-core Intel Core i5 option. In addition, the laptop is highly portable, weighing 3 pounds and measuring 0.55 of an inch thick.

Microsoft Surface Laptop

Starting price: $999

What's cool about it: A brand new introduction to Microsoft's Surface line this year, the Surface Laptop is targeted at college students and serves as the flagship model for the new Windows 10 S operating system. The laptop features a high-res touch-screen display (2,256 x 1,504 pixels) and fast processors (seventh-gen Intel Core i5/i7), along with up to 14.5 hours of battery life and up to 1 TB of PCIe storage. It also weighs 2.76 pounds and measures just 0.57 of an inch thick, and features Alcantara fabric around its keyboard. One note: While Windows 10 S will only run apps that are downloadable from the Windows Store, Surface Laptop owners do have the option to upgrade to Windows 10 Pro if they like.