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Computer of the Year: Dell XPS 13 Laptop

So much for the much-hyped post-PC era. Rather than serving as the final days of the laptop, 2015 brought us some of the best laptops ever created, with an eye toward beautiful design. And at the top of the heap was Dell’s fantastic XPS 13. Yes, dude. Dell just got Best Laptop of the Year.

With its stunningly lightweight and beautiful design, the Dell XPS 13 absolutely blew away the competition. That’s because the XPS 13 crams a 13-inch display into the body of an 11-inch laptop. Heck, this thing makes Apple’s 13-inch MacBook Air look like a giant.

If you’ve got the cash ($1,600), you can outfit the XPS with a slew of impressive features, including a powerful Intel Core i7 processor, 8 gigabytes of RAM, a superfast 256-gigabyte solid-state drive, and a gorgeous 3200-by-1800-pixel touchscreen display.

You don’t have to spend that much on the XPS 13, though. Dell offers an $800 version that, while less powerful, is still every bit as attractive. Oh, and did I mention it runs Windows 10?

Yes, this Dell is fantastic.

The runners-up

Dell blew away its competitors this year, but that doesn’t mean theirs was the only great laptop out there. In fact, none other than Microsoft created one of the most interesting and versatile laptops of 2015 with its Surface Book.

Part laptop, part tablet, the Surface Book has a detachable display that turns into a 13-inch slate for watching movies or using as a clipboard with the $60 Surface Pen stylus. But with a starting price of $1,500, the Surface Book is anything but cheap.

You can’t make a best laptops list without mentioning Apple’s incredible MacBook Pro 13-inch. Though the notebook received largely minor updates for 2015, Apple did add its new Force Touch trackpad to the mix, which could eventually provide a new way to interact with apps and programs.

Not to be outdone, Lenovo also introduced an impressive new laptop this year with its LaVie Z. Built in cooperation with NEC, the LaVie Z is both impossibly light and ridiculously thin. And whereas most thin and light notebooks come packed with underpowered processors, the LaVie Z rocks a high-speed Intel Core i7 chip.

What’s coming in 2016?

As we did in 2015, we will continue to see a blurring of the line between laptops and tablets next year, specifically when it comes to Windows 10 machines. You can also expect a significantly updated MacBook from Apple, rather than the minor refreshes we saw in 2015.

Email Daniel at dhowley@yahoo-inc.com; follow him on Twitter at @DanielHowley or on Google+.