Just like my recommended tablet list, these are laptops I have owned, tested and reviewed that come recommended by me. Since it’s 2017 I don’t recommend anyone by last years 2016 or even 2017 laptops powered by the older Atom x5 OR x7 Cherry Trail. The latest generation of laptops are not only better built (Some with full metal designs) But with options such as M.2 SSD slots, they have the Intel Apollo Lake series of chips powering with better GPU’s, native VP9 and HEVC decoding.
The Apollo Lake chips are good for light tasks, such as editing docs, multi tabs in Chrome, and Edge with many tabs open. Some light multitasking and older or light games such as Counter Strike and League of Legends on low resolutions and visual settings. They are not good for video editing, heavy gaming, and any demanding 3D work. One of the best features of the Apollo Lake laptops is the great battery life of 8 hours and in some cases even more and their price.
These are ideal for first notebooks too and secondary travel notebooks where someone already has a powerful PC for heavy tasks like gaming and video editing.
Recommended Apollo Lake powered notebooks:
Jumper EZbook 3 Pro:
The cheapest and best allrounder. The Jumper EZbook 3 Pro has full metal design, M.2 2242 SATA3 SSD support, 6GB of RAM, Intel wireless AC, 64GB eMMC 5a matte 1080p display and battery life good for 7-8 hours of web browsing.
- Currently $219 at Gearbest here with coupon BOOKPRO on checkout.
- Jumper EZbook 3 Review
- Jumper EZbook 3 hub
Chuwi Lapbook Air:
This newest model from Chuwi is the first to have a backlit keyboard, 8GB of RAM and 128GB eMMC 5.1 spec drive. The build is similar to other models. Full metal. Mini HDMI out, 2 x USB 3.0 ports and MicroSD reader and it also has the usual offerings, 37Wh battery good for up to 8 hours. Intel Wireless AC 3165 chipset with BT 4.1. The screen is the second best I’ve reviewed. A bright glossy glass-covered fully laminated display with a maximum of 560 lux. Due to the fully laminated process, blacks are deep and colors vibrant. Overall a Celeron N3450 great laptop, but the most expensive by far!
Chuwi Lapbook 12.3
The best screen in a budget notebook and best keyboard. Chuwi’s lapbook 12.3 has the same panel used in the 2017 Surface Pro and Surface Pro 4. As a result, the screen has 99% RGB coverage & 267 PPI. The keyboard is also the best I’ve used in an Apollo Lake to date. It’s powered by a Celeron N3450, 6GB LPDDR3 RAM, 64GB eMMC 5, Wireless AC and easy access M.2 2242 SSD slot.
Recommended Core M3 powered notebooks:
The Core M3’s pack a lot more power than the Apollo Lakes laptops and normally offer a more premium build and more RAM options. The only downside is the more powerful chip consumes more power so battery life isn’t as good as the Apollo Lakes.
Xiaomi Mi Notebook Air 12:
Now updated with the latest Core M3 the Kaby Lake 7Y30, Xiaomi’s Mi Notebook Air 12, comes with 4GB 128GB SATA3, 256GB NVMe and 8GB 256GB NVMe options. The build quality, backlit keyboard, and touchpad are excellent. The 1080p screen is bright and vivid covered with Gorilla Glass for notebooks. Depending on what model you buy there is either a spare SATA3 or NVMe bay for adding your own 2280 drive. It has Wireless AC, USB 3.1 Type-C port and quick charging.
- Currently $489 USD at Gearbest with coupon MIAIRNEW12 on checkout
- Xiaomi Mi Notebook Air 12 Review
- Xiaomi Mi Notebook Air 12 Hub
Cube Thinker i35:
The Cube Thinker i35, is a premium laptop from Cube. Powered by a Core M3-7Y30, 8GB of RAM and 256GB SATA3 SSD. Its standout feature is a brilliant fully laminated Surface Book screen. It also supports an N-Trig stylus, the same as the Surface Pro 4 and Surface Book. It has Wireless AC, a large touchpad and its screen folder back almost completely flat.