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Stiftung Warentest 2021: Notebooks in the test - one can keep up with Apple's top model

Fast, light and a lot of storage capacity: that's what a good notebook has to do. The Stiftung Warentest last examined 17 devices in October 2020. The notebook test has now been expanded to include three premium models. You can read all the results of the current test issue 2/2021 here.

Classic laptops face competition from all sides: on the one hand from light and stylish tablets, on the other hand from versatile convertibles. Traditional notebooks are still popular, especially in the price segment between 500 and 1,000 euros. Together with an outlier, the Stiftung Warentest tests the best-selling laptop size.

Which notebooks are being tested?

For their test, Stiftung Warentest selected the classic notebooks: models with 15.6 inches and XXL laptops with a screen diagonal of 17 inches. Surprise: Not only Windows computers are included. With the MacBook Pro, an Apple notebook is also being tested.

The 2,600 euro laptop is one of the premium models - the notebook from Dell that was newly tested in January can keep up with it. The two other new candidates from Asus and Lenovo are just behind in the test. The remaining notebooks examined with Windows 10 as the operating system are between 15 and 17 inches in size and cost 500 to 1,000 euros.

The models were examined with regard to functions such as office applications and 3-D games, the display, the battery, the handling and the versatility. In contrast to tablets, the notebooks are also suitable for playing more complex games because of their good graphics cards.

Stiftung Warentest: These are the best notebooks

The 16-inch MacBook Pro clearly beats most of the competition for Windows laptops. The testers awarded the test quality rating "Good (1.8)". Only the now tested Windows laptop Dell XPS 15 9500 NCFMG can keep up and achieve the same overall rating. With a retail price of well over 2,000 euros, however, both models are also among the most expensive notebooks in the test. The devices from Asus and Lenovo in second place are also among the expensive premium notebooks.

Acer, Asus and Dell are ahead of the cheaper laptops that were already tested in October. However, these models are currently difficult to find. In contrast to the MateBook D 15 from Huawei, which also does well with a grade of "2.5". The HP Envy 17-cg0305ng emerged as the winner of the examined laptops with 17-inch screens ("Good (2.2)").

The test winner from Apple: MacBook Pro

Chic, powerful, modern, but also expensive: The MacBook Pro costs three to four times as much as the other models in the test. However, it clearly beats the competition. The testers praise: "The MacBook Pro is in a class of its own". Apple delivers the best display, the best battery and the best performance in the test and receives the test victory with the grade "Good (1.8)".

With 512 gigabytes of memory, an Intel Core i7 processor, 16 gigabytes of RAM and the brilliant display, it offers extensive equipment. The connections are also a special feature: Apple relies almost entirely on the universal USB-C connection, with which you can connect monitors, USB sticks and other accessories. Buyers should keep in mind, however, that this model is one of the last with an Intel processor. In the next generation, Apple will rely on its own processor.

The test winner from Dell: Windows notebook XPS 15 9500 NCFMG

If you are not a fan of Apple, but still want a well-equipped premium notebook, you will find an alternative in the test winner from Dell. It also achieved the test quality rating of "Good (1.8)" and was praised by Stiftung Warentest for its long-lasting battery and the very good touchscreen. In terms of handling, it is even ahead of Apple's MacBook Pro. The memory is also impressive: with the 1,024 gigabyte SSD hard drive, the Dell model offers twice as much storage space as all other notebooks in the test.

The laptop works with the Intel Core processor i7-10750H and 16 gigabytes of RAM. It offers a USB 3.2, two Thunderbolt and a headphone / microphone combo port. With its equipment and the pre-installed Windows 10 Home operating system, it is ideally equipped for all everyday tasks and can also do significantly more.

The second-placed notebook: Asus ZenBook Pro Duo

In shared second place, next to a model from Lenovo, is the ZenBook Pro Duo from Asus with an overall rating of "Good (2.0)". It even performs better than the Dell laptop in the test point for functions, but weakens in comparison with the battery. This lasted a maximum of 7.5 hours in the test, while the test winners managed well over ten hours.

But the notebook has the best display in the test, it is also touch-sensitive and can therefore be used for control. Another small highlight is the second display above the keyboard: it is easy to work on with the pen supplied.

The Intel Core processor i7-10750H with six cores is built into the Asus. It has 16 gigabytes of RAM and 512 gigabytes of SSD storage. Two USB 3.0 ports, one USB 2.0 and one microHDMI each, as well as a display port are available.

Inexpensive alternative: Huwai MateBook 20 D

Huawei's MateBook is one of the cheapest, well-tested notebooks in the test. Among other things, it scores with good functionality and a good display and achieved the test quality rating of "Good (2.5)". There are only deductions for the merely satisfactory handling and the somewhat weak battery. Like the Asus notebook, it lasted 7.5 hours in the test. The charging time is good at 2 hours.

The AMD Ryzen 7 processor 3700U Mobile is responsible for the performance. It clocks at up to 4.0 gigahertz. A fast SSD hard drive with 512 gigabytes of storage space lets the Huawei notebook start up and open programs quickly. With a total of four USB ports as well as one HDMI and headphone / microphone port, there are sufficient connections. With its equipment and the pre-installed Windows 10 Home, the laptop is well equipped for all everyday tasks.

The XXL test winner with a 17-inch screen: HP Envy