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5 Best Laptop Brands in South Africa for 2021

Buying a new laptop is a little scary. Exciting, yes, but also definitely scary.

No matter who you are, after all, that machine will become an extension of yourself for the next couple of years — and if you get it wrong, there’s not much you can do to upgrade or customize your laptop, as you would be able to do with a PC build.

When you’re making a significant investment, the last thing you want is to end up with a poorly constructed, laggy, dud. Whether you’re a gamer, working professional, student, or even all those things rolled into one, you need a reliable laptop. 

The kind of workhorse that you don’t even think about because you know it’ll always do what it’s meant to. You need the right laptop brand, in other words, and the right machine. How do you know what that is, though? That’s the part where buying a new laptop is a bit intimidating.

I’m sure we’ve all made awful missteps in the past. I’ve prepared this quick round-up of the best laptop brands in South Africa to make sure you choose right this time! We’ll be looking at the best laptops in each category — including powerful gaming laptops, the best laptops for working professionals and students, and the top budget-friendly laptops that will serve you well without breaking the bank.

Best Laptop Brands in South Africa

1. HP Laptops: Best for Business Users

Hewlett Packard has been at the frontier of the laptop revolution since the get-go, and this brand is still going strong for a reason — HP laptops are a prime choice for large companies that are equipping their entire workforce with the best laptops, because these machines are extremely reliable and almost indestructible. The fact that HP emphasizes security is another key reason to choose this brand if you have sensitive data to protect. Many models are now set up with easy fingerprint readers that ensure only you can open your laptop.

Yup, HP laptops do tend to be on the steeper end of the price spectrum, but you’ll also get quality displays that are perfect for folks who will be staring at them pretty much all day. Despite their sturdiness, the latest HP laptops tend to be surprisingly lightweight, allowing users to rely on them on the go. Most HP laptops fall into the 13-inch category. Goldilocks zone! Not too big, and not too small, but just right!

Premium HP laptops may be a top choice for working professionals in South Africa, but that doesn’t mean other people — yes, even gamers! — can’t enjoy them, too. 

If you’ve already settled on an HP laptop, here’s a quick guide to their ranges:

  • You could go for a laptop in the HP Elitebook range if you’re looking for a premium laptop with a powerful Intel Core i7 processor, 8 GB of RAM, or even 16, and a cutting-edge SSD hard drive with plenty of space. These machines can be equipped with non-glare screens that literally make them easy on the eye, and boast a sleek design to indulge your aesthetic preferences as well. 
  • You should consider a HP Probook if you want a very decent laptop that performs well, but you’re after something a little more budget-friendly for your everyday word processing needs.
  • Gamers would be better off with a HP Envy laptop that features either an i7 processor or a Ryzen 5 or 7 processor designed especially with gaming in mind. HP’s gaming laptops can be equipped with an AMD Radeon graphic card or an Intel Iris Xe graphics card. Some models offer 16 GB of RAM. The HP Omen 15 is unique for those gamers who want the best graphics quality possible, and one of its best perks is that it comes with a 240 Hz screen for your gaming needs.

2. Lenovo: Best Laptops for On the Go

Lenovo is one of the best laptop brands for students and working professionals who absolutely need a reliable laptop they can hammer away on all day — and who also want a laptop that won’t be a chore to lug around. 

The Chinese brand took over from IBM and continues to produce the ThinkPad series that are so popular among people who need ultra-lightweight laptops that are barely heavier than a chocolate bar. Back pain not included, even if you walk around with these laptops all day.

Some users might love that quirky red button, but even those who don’t will be quite impressed with the longevity of Lenovo’s keyboard designs. Oh, by the way, Lenovo ThinkPads and IdeaPads have very decent sound quality as well, unusual for laptops.

Lenovo laptops can be ultra-reliable workhorse computers, but the brand also offers more innovative features to suit nearly everyone’s needs:

  • Lenovo’s Yoga and Flex laptops are super flexible — both literally and metaphorically. These beauties work as laptops, but also double as tablets that feature touchscreens!
  • If security is your top concern, you’ll be happy to know that most Lenovo Thinkpads now come with fingerprint readers!
  • Lenovo doesn’t leave gamers out in the cold, either! This handsome Lenovo ThinkPad can, for instance, handle more than a little light gaming with a powerful Intel Core i7 processor and an impressive 16 GB of RAM!

3. Dell: Best Budget-Friendly Laptops

Dell laptops are a prime choice for everyday users who need a Windows laptop — quickly, without hassle, and ready to use right out of the box… for a long time, because these machines are also famous for their excellent battery life. If you want an inexpensive machine you can use for your daily browsing needs, or to buy for your kids, the Dell Inspiron 3501 is a great pick at only 8,624 Rand. 

Willing to get a little (OK, a lot) more spendy? Then, we’d recommend you go with a laptop from the Dell Inspiron range to get a more powerful laptop with a long battery life. The Dell Inspiron 77000 offers a solid Intel Core i5 processor, a 512 GB SDD that will power your computer up in seconds, and also a very nice graphics card, the GTX 1160 Ti. That means, ultimately, that your laptop won’t burn out, and can handle nearly anything you throw at it, whether you’re gaming or editing videos in Blender.

4. Asus: Best Laptops for Gamers

Asus has worked very hard to put out laptop models that take your gaming experience to the next level. In recent years, and today, Asus laptops are some of the very best gaming laptops on the market in South Africa and beyond. These laptops don’t just look cool — although that’s definitely a perk, too! — but they’re also built to last. 

Armed with a Ryzen 7 processor, 16 GB of RAM, a nice SDD, and a graphics card that would make some PC owners jealous, the Asus ROG Strix G15 is a very impressive choice, to name one example. Why, yes? I do wish I had this gaming laptop!

5. Mac Laptops: Best for Creative Professionals

Apple has always been the top choice for graphic designers, photographers, video producers, and other creative professionals — and that hasn’t changed one bit in the last few years. 

This brand makes absolutely no secret of the fact that budget users aren’t their target audience (let’s be honest, some laptops are cheaper than their headphones), so if you want value for money, we’d advise you to scroll right past. 

If you are willing to fork out for the best in the field, though, pick a Mac. Specifically, I’d say to opt for a MacBook Air if you often travel for business or need a laptop to take to school, and go with a MacBook Pro (now featuring i9 processors) if you’re a heavy-duty user.

6. Huawei Laptops: Best for Students Maybe another brand to fill out the words

Chinese tech giant Huawei first entered the market as a smartphone manufacturer, but they’ve recently taken the laptop market by storm as well. Huawei laptops are a particularly great choice for students, among other reasons because their battery life is at least four hours long — after a quick 30-minute charge, you’ll be able to complete your coursework on the beach or in the park. 

Did we mention Huawei laptops are lightweight, pretty (manufactured in a range of modern colors), and come with quality microphones, too? 

If you’re not sure where to start, just take a peek at this Huawei MateBook X 2021!

How Do You Pick Your Laptop Brand?

Just how do you choose what laptop brand to go with? First, be honest with yourself about what you’re going to do with your new laptop. Although you’ll inevitably need to consider your budget, we all know that choosing value (read: cheapness) over specs can lead to serious disappointments.

You might need a premium business laptop if you’re going to work with demanding software on a daily basis — and, all day long. I’d recommend one of the top-range HP laptop models in that case, although a powerful MacBook Pro would be a great choice too, especially if you’re looking to use Mac-specific creative software.

If you’re constantly on the go, and are, for instance, a student who’s going to carry the laptop in your backpack (while skating, maybe) all the time, you need a sturdy model that can easily withstand a few knocks. Choose a Lenovo ThinkPad, or think about grabbing one of Huawei’s MateBook laptops instead for a slightly friendlier price.

Are you just going to browse the internet and send some emails? If it’s value for money you’re after, and it should be if you’re only a casual laptop user, Dell’s your brand.

Gaming? You can’t go wrong with one of Asus’ high-end gaming laptops, which offer the latest and greatest specs to make sure you can keep gaming for a good few years. Yes. On the highest settings.

And there you have it — the best laptop brands in South Africa for the year 2021! What are you buying?

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