The Indian Gadget Awards 2021, the country’s largest tech awards, are right around the corner and we are about to witness a vast pool of tech experts, creators, publications, and influencers join hands to acknowledge the best devices that launched this year. This time around, we have 30 award categories and almost 200 nominees for the same. Clearly, things could not be more exciting than this.
In this category, we will be taking a look at the finest laptops released this year and rewarding four of them. Laptops priced under Rs 60,000 have been considered for the Mainstream category, while there is no price limit for the Premium category. Then there will be gaming laptops, with the mainstream models under Rs 1 lakh and the premium gaming laptops priced above the Rs 1 lakh mark.
Let’s take a look at the winners for this award category.
Best Laptop of 2021 — Mainstream
It was a big year for laptops, especially affordable ones. Keeping things chugging along for us, be it education or office work, these laptops played a big role in our lives. Let’s find out which model got the most love in this category:
Winner: Xiaomi Mi NoteBook Pro
Runner-up: ASUS VivoBook K15 OLED
For the full list of nominees, scroll down.
This lightweight and super slim laptop is a treat to operate and also features a nice design. This particular model ships with the 11th-Gen Core i5 CPU at its heart, though there’s even a cheaper i3 version available to buy. You get 8GB of RAM and 512GB of SSD storage on this Windows machine. Its 14-inch display showcases its visuals in 2K resolution and is surrounded by really thin bezels. The laptop boasts 11 hours of battery life and comes with a dual-fan cooling system designed for sustained performance.
Xiaomi’s RedmiBook is another strong contender for this award, with its Tiger Lake CPU, 8GB of RAM, and 512GB of SSD storage. Its 15.6-inch full HD screen is great for everyday tasks as well as content consumption. And the same can also be said for its dual stereo speakers. It’s got a stellar keyboard with ample key travel and its overall lightweight design is a big plus. This laptop is able to dish out 10 hours of battery life. It comes with Windows 10 Home edition preinstalled and also features a copy of Microsoft Office Home and Student Edition 2019.
Built with a 16.9mm aluminium chassis, this machine from MSI is a workhorse in every sense of the term. Aside from offering the 11th-Gen Intel Core i5 processor, it comes with 8GB of RAM and 512GB of storage. MSI has also added MIL-STD-810G military standard protection to ensure sturdiness and reliability. Preinstalled on it is the MSI Center with its adjustable system modes and a resource management system for different kinds of tasks. The laptop also boasts an ergonomic backlit keyboard with a 1.5mm key travel and high responsive feedback.
The IdeaPad Slim 3i from Lenovo offers a 14-inch FHD display and Dolby Audio certified stereo speakers. You also get 512GB of SSD storage and 8GB of RAM along with its Core i5 CPU. Its 720p webcam has been equipped with a privacy shutter, and there’s even a fingerprint scanner onboard for secure access. Its battery is good enough for 12 straight hours of full HD video playback. Its makers have also equipped it with the Lenovo Aware suite that includes certain features designed for healthy laptop usage, like break reminders, screen distance reminders, posture reminders, smart noise cancelling, and more.
Xiaomi calls this laptop the lean, mean machine and for good reason. Its thin and light chassis is made from Series 6 Aluminium and it offers strong everyday performance on the back of its 11th Gen Core i5 chip that’s paired with 8GB of RAM. But its crown jewel is definitely the 14-inch TrueLife Display with a 2.5K resolution of 2,560 x 1,600 pixels. It’s got an admirable array of ports as well. They include a USB Type-C port and even a Thunderbolt 4 port for connecting two external 4K displays, one 8K display, or an eGPU.
HP has opted for the AMD Ryzen 5 processor for this Pavillion laptop. It offers remarkable performance and its Radeon GPU delivers respectable graphical performance. Like most laptops in his nominee list, this one too comes with 512GB of SSD storage and 8GB of RAM. A 14-inch FHD display is present on this machine, along with a dual speaker system powered by Bang & Olufsen. The large battery of this device is rated for more than 10 hours of video playback.
Dell’s Vostro 3400 is a machine made for professionals demanding strong everyday performance and a reliable build. The combination of the 11th Gen Core i5 CPU and 8GB of RAM powers it from within, while its visuals are displayed on a 14-inch FHD panel. Dell has even equipped it with a TPM 2.0 chip that offers hardware-level security and encryption. Another big highlight is its ExpressCharge feature that can charge its battery from 0 up to 80 percent within one hour.
This stylish and ergonomic laptop from Acer is powered by the Tiger Lake GPU and features a 14-inch display with an FHD resolution. There’s a 512GB SSD inside it, aside from 8GB of RAM. Its 48Wh battery is capable of delivering 10 hours of battery life. Dual microphones, an HD webcam, and a backlit keyboard are some of its highlight-worthy features. Moreover, its dual stereo speakers are powered by the Acer TrueHarmony technology that delivers lower distortion, a wider frequency range, headphone-like audio, and powerful sound.
ASUS VivoBook K15 OLED K513EA-L301TS
As its name suggests, this ASUS laptop offers a beautiful OLED display despite its affordable price. This 15.6-inch FHD screen is perfect for binging on your favourite movies and TV shows and its Harman Kardon-certified speakers make that experience even more pleasant. This laptop benefits from the ASUS Intelligent Performance Technology (AIPT), which is an efficient thermal design and power-saving solution that provides all-day battery life. At just 1.7kgs, it’s also an extremely lightweight laptop.
Best Laptop of 2021 — Premium
Delivering dollops of oomph and scoring high on all aspects, these premium laptops are quite loaded. But when money is no bar, one really covets the best. Our jury picked the M1 Max-powered MacBook Pro 16-inch as the best premium laptop of the year!
Winner: Apple MacBook Pro 16-inch (M1 Max)
Runner-up: Dell XPS 15 9510
Here are all the nominees for this category.
There’s just no beating Apple when it comes to releasing powerful professional-grade laptops, is there? This year, the company came up with the ultra-powerful M1 Max chip, which features 10 CPU cores, up to 32 GPU cores, and a 16-core Neural Engine. Moreover, it supports up to 64GB of unified memory. This setup also enables the laptop to dish out mind-blowing battery life. Its Liquid Retina XDR display features ProMotion support, allowing a refresh rate of up to 120Hz. The laptop also marks a return of ports to the Pro range. Everything about this laptop is truly loaded, except for its awkward notch to house the webcam.
In the world of convertibles, this HP machine created a huge disruption upon its arrival. Its most striking feature is the 3:2 aspect ratio of its 13.5-inch OLED display. Powered by the 11th Gen Intel Core i7 processor, it offers 16GB of RAM and 1TB of SSD storage. This exquisitely-designed convertible also features two Thunderbolt 4 ports, among other inputs. Quad speakers powered by Bang & Olufsen also make their way into it. Its 4-cell, 66Wh Li-ion polymer battery offers long hours of usage and its support for fast charging support allows it to charge up to 50 percent within 30 minutes.
Dell XPS 15 9510
This Fujitsu laptop came as a surprise. It’s a powerful 2-in-1 convertible with a stylus that can be stored in its body. Plus, it is also being marketed as India’s lightest convertible notebook, as it doesn’t even weigh a kilogram. Its 13.3-inch display comes with FHD resolution. Two cameras make their way into this laptop, with one being placed on the front as a webcam and the other on its rear surface. Coming to the internal setup, it consists of an 11th Gen Intel Core i7 processor, 16GB of RAM, and 1TB of SSD storage.
ASUS ExpertBook B9 (B9400)
The Lenovo Yoga Slim 7i Carbon is another slim and lightweight tablet with military-grade durability. It’s got a 13.3-inch display that offers UHD resolution and supports Dolby Vision. This laptop is powered by the 11th Gen Core i7 chip and features 16GB worth of RAM and 1TB of SSD storage. The Yoga Slim 7 Carbon offers great battery life as well as fast charging support. Moreover, Lenovo has added several smart AI features to this machine that enhance its user experience by leaps and bounds.
Best Gaming Laptop of 2021 – Mainstream
Gaming is serious business. When one is on a budget (say under Rs 1 lakh), the requirement is to balance performance, gaming features, and price.
Winner: ASUS Zephyrus G14
Runner-up: ASUS TUF Dash F15
All the contenders were great options, but there could only be one winner. Full list of nominees below:
Acer Nitro 5 AN515-57 (Core i7 11th 11800H)
The Acer Nitro 5 sports a 15.6-inch IPS LCD panel with a 144Hz refresh rate, and 1,920 x 1,080 pixel resolution. It’s a fairly competitively priced laptop, providing the users with an Intel Tiger Lake Core i7 processor. Coupled with the processor is 16GB DDR4 RAM (3200MHz) and 1TB SSD storage (WDC PC SN530). The laptop has a solid 58Whr battery, which will ensure that its lights are on for a significant period. Another thing that makes the Acer Nitro 5 a worthy nominee is its stereo speaker setup, which enhance the users’ gaming and multimedia experience.
HP Victus 16d0003TX (Core i5 11th Gen + RTX 3050)
The HP Victus 16d0003TX is yet another powerful gaming machine with a wide array of multimedia features. Starting with the display of the laptop, the HP Victus 16d0003TX sports a 16.1-inch FHD+ display with a resolution of 1,920 x 1,080 pixels. Under the hood, the HP Victus 16d0003TX is powered by an Intel Core i5 processor, which is clubbed with 8GB of RAM and 512GB of SSD storage. The HP Victus 16d0003TX weighs in at 2.48KG and is 23.5mm thick, making it a fairly compact laptop (by gaming standards). There are four USB ports that come in handy considering it’s a gaming laptop, so connecting various accessories to the laptop is not too difficult with the HP Victus 16d0003TX. Coming to the pricing, the HP Victus 16d0003TX is priced at Rs. 81,499 in India, making it one of the most compelling deals out there.
ASUS TUF Dash F15 FX516PM-HN156TS (Core i5 11th Gen + RTX 3060)
ASUS TUF Dash F15 has a lot going on in its favour when it comes to the best gaming laptops that launched this year. It’s priced at less than Rs. 1,00,000, which makes it a pretty compelling choice for a gaming laptop. The ASUS TUF Dash F15 has a 15.6-inch FHD+ display with a 1,920 x 1,080 pixel LED display with a 141ppi pixel density. The laptop has an anti-glare display with a 144Hz refresh rate. Clearly, for those who are looking out for a high refresh rate display laptop, the ASUS TUF Dash F15 could easily be an ideal choice. Under the hood, the ASUS TUF Dash F15 is powered by an Intel Core i5 processor, which is clocked at 3.1GHz. The processor is paired with an NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060 GPU, 16GB of DDR4 RAM and 512GB of SSD storage. Weighing in at just 2Kg, the ASUS TUF Dash F15 is a handy gaming machine.
ASUS Zephyrus G14 GA401QH-HZ076TS
Next up in the nominees list is the ASUS Zephyrus G14 GA401QH-HZ076TS. Costing a tad bit under Rs 1,00,000, the ASUS Zephyrus G14 is a lightweight laptop, weighing in at 1.6kg. It comes with a 14-inch 1,920 x 1,080p LED anti-glare display with a pixel density of 157ppi. Under the hood, the ASUS Zephyrus G14 comes equipped with a 2.8GHz AMD Octa-Core Ryzen 7 5800HS CPU, an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 GPU, 8GB DDR4 RAM, and 1TB SSD storage. Connectivity features include 2 USB 3.0 slots, a headphone jack, and a microphone jack. There’s a native webcam that supports (720p HD) and has dual speakers. As compared to the other nominees, the ASUS Zephyrus G14 is a fairly compact gaming laptop.
MSI Katana GF66 11UC – 477IN (Core i7 11th Gen + RTX 3050)
The last nominee in this category is MSI’s MSI Katana GF66 11UC – 477IN. It features Intel’s Core i7 processor (11th gen), and NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3050Ti graphics. On the display front, the laptop flaunts a 15.6-inch FHD display with a 144Hz refresh rate for a buttery-smooth gaming experience. It also has a native webcam, which can capture 720p video at 30fps. The MSI Katana GF66 offers a vast array of connectivity options, making it a versatile gaming machine. The soft metal finish of the laptop makes it an eye-pleasing device on top of providing it with solid durability.
Best Gaming Laptop of 2021 – Premium
True gamers know they need to spend big bucks when out in the market for a new gaming machine. These may be portable machines, but they do have what it takes to deliver an immersive gaming experience. While figuring out the true gaming champ of 2021 was a touch task, Lenovo Legion 5 Pro eventually pushed past the competition to take the crown home.
Winner: Lenovo Legion 5 Pro
Runner-up: ASUS ROG Strix Scar 15
Here goes the full list of contenders.
ASUS ROG Strix Scar 15 G533QS-HF210TS
The ASUS ROG Strix Scar 15 G533QS-HF210TS is a premium gaming laptop. The device sports a 15.6-inch IPS LCD anti-glare panel with FHD resolution and 300Hz refresh rate. Under the hood, the ASUS ROG Strix Scar 15 G533QS-HF210TS is powered by an octa-core AMD Ryen 9 5900HX Mobile Processor, which can go up to 4.6GHz. The processor is coupled with an NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080 GPU, 8GB GDDR6 RAM, and 1TB M.2 NVMe PCIe 3 SSD storage. If you are on the lookout for a gaming laptop with an impressive keyboard, the ROG Strix Scar 15 is one of the best out there. The laptop features an optical mech keyboard and has a per-key RBG light support, making gaming a delight.
Lenovo Legion 5 Pro 82JQ009DIN
Next up is the Lenovo Legion 5 Pro 82JQ009DIN. The Lenovo Legion 5 Pro is certainly a deserving candidate owing to its super smooth display. The laptop sports a 16-inch IPS LCD panel with a 2,560 x 1,600 pixel resolution and 165Hz refresh rate. The panel is fairly bright, as the Lenovo Legion 5 Pro 82JQ009DIN offers 500 nits brightness. Furthermore, the laptop supports DC dimming support and is among the best out there when it comes to an impressive display. While the display of the Lenovo Legion 5 Pro 82JQ009DIN is impressive, its processing power isn’t a slouch by any means, as the laptop sports an AMD Ryzen 7 5800H processor clocked at 3.2GHz. Priced at around Rs 1,75,000, the Lenovo Legion 5 Pro 82JQ009DIN is a solid piece of machinery and is a deserving candidate by all means.
MSI GE 66 Raider 10UG
The MSI GE 66 Raider 10UG is yet another solid contender, as the laptop offers some seriously powerful specifications and features for gaming enthusiasts out there. Under the hood, the MSI GE 66 Raider 10UG is powered by up to 10th Gen Intel Core i9 processor, which is paired with NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 GPU, 8GB GDDR6 RAM, and 2x M.2 SSD storage slots. The laptop comes with a 15.6-inch UHD IPS-level panel with a resolution of 2,840 x 2,160 pixels. The laptop flaunts a full HD webcam, which can shoot 1080p videos at 30fps. Priced at around Rs 1,80,000, the MSI GE 66 Raider 10UG is easily a compelling choice for hardcore gamers.
ASUS Zephyrus M16 GU603HR-K8004R
The ASUS Zephyrus M16 GU603HR-K8004R comes with an 11th Gen Intel Core i9 processor, which is clubbed with NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 GPU, 16GB DDR4-3200 RAM and 2TB M.2 NVMe PCIe 4 SSD storage. The laptop has a visually pleasing 16-inch WQXGA display with 165Hz refresh rate and a 16:10 aspect ratio. The laptop features a backlit chiclet keyboard with RGB support. The Zephyrus M16 covers another important aspect crucial for an immersive multimedia experience – audio. For audio, the laptop features 4x 2W woofers with smart amp technology and support for Dolby Atmos.
ASUS ROG Flow X13 GV301QH-K5040T
The ASUS ROG Flow X13 GV301QH-K5040T is a powerful machine that clearly deserves to be on the list, owing to its relatively compact 13.4-inch WQUXGA panel with a 3,840 x 2,400 pixel resolution. The laptop is powered by an AMD Ryzen 9 5000 series processor, which is combined with an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 GPU, 1TB M.2 2230 NVMe PCIe 3 SSD storage, and 16GB LPDDR4X RAM on board. As far as the keyboard is concerned, the ROG Flow X13 features a backlit chiclet keyboard, which provides for a pretty impressive tactile experience. The laptop features a 2-speaker system with smart amp technology and has support for DAC and Dolby Atmos. When it comes to compact gaming laptops, the ROG Flow X13 has little to no competition, making it a deserving contender.
Dell Alienware X17
The fun does not end yet and we have one last nominee – the Dell Alienware X17. The laptop weighs in at 3.02kg and is certainly not a lightweight offering. It features a large 17.3-inch IPS LCD panel with a 1,920 x 1,080 pixel resolution, 127ppi pixel density, and 165Hz refresh rate. Under the hood, the Dell Alienware X17 comes equipped with an Intel Core i9 processor, which is paired with an NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060 GPU, 16GB GDDR6 RAM, and 256GB/512GB SSD storage. The Alienware X17 takes things to the extreme end of the spectrum with its ultra-high refresh rate display, which doesn’t just provide a smooth experience, but also provides a large real estate with its 17.3-inch panel.