For anyone at home starting to notice their laptop might not be quite up to the task (whether that's work or play), this page will help you find the most appropriate portable machine for your needs, at a reasonable price.
Here at TechRadar, we get to review the full breadth and width of currently-available laptops, so we're well and truly across what's worth the dosh and what's not, helping you get a deal.
Whether it's Apple's freshest M2-powered MacBook Air, the latest in the Dell XPS range, or one of HP's sleek Spectres, we've painstakingly compared and contrasted each one in order to give you a rundown on the laptop with the best value.
We've taken into account ultrabooks, gaming laptops, 2-in-1s, and every other shape and size that laptops come in these days – so don't worry if you're in it for work or play, we've got you covered.
For those that aren't sure what type of laptop would suit their needs best, scroll down to the foot of the page to find a guide comparing the different types.
Best laptops in Australia 2022 at a glance
- Apple MacBook Air (M2, 2022)
- Dell XPS 15 (2022)
- Apple MacBook Pro 16 (M1 Max, 2021)
- Dell XPS 13 Plus (9320)
- Lenovo Yoga Slim 7 Pro 14” AMD
- Asus Vivobook Pro 16X OLED
- Microsoft Surface Studio Laptop
- Asus ROG Zephyrus m16
- MSI Prestige 14 (2022)
- Asus ZenBook 13
- Microsoft Surface Pro 8
- Surface Laptop 4 13”
- LG Gram 17 (2021)
The best laptops of 2022:
As we had hoped, the new Apple MacBook Air (M2, 2022) improves on the already excellent 2020, M1 model (above), offering a range of upgrades in important areas.
It's got a brand-new design that gives it a more modern feel, while making it thinner and lighter, and in our review, we loved the fact that it also features a larger, brighter, screen. It also includes a larger Touch ID sensor for logging in with your fingerprint, and a 1080p webcam, which makes the new MacBook Air a brilliant laptop for people who make a lot of video calls – and these days, that's most of us. Meanwhile, the new MagSafe charging port makes topping up the battery of the new MacBook Air easy, safe and fast.
The insides of the MacBook Air are just as revolutionary as the outside, with the powerful new M2 chip offering excellent performance for a range of tasks such as 4K video editing. The MacBook Air (M2, 2022)'s battery life is also absolutely fantastic, lasting over 16 hours in our tests, so if you're looking for a laptop that is thin, light and powerful, and can be taken almost anywhere, this is for you.
However, it is more expensive than the previous model, by quite a bit, which is why we still recommend the still-excellent MacBook Air (M1, 2020) for most Aussies as it's more than capable at covering most users' daily needs. There's no doubt the M2 model is an upgrade, but check out our detailed review to see if the price difference is worth it for you.
Read the full review: MacBook Air (M2, 2022)
While the Dell XPS 15 misses out on the developments you’ll see on the XPS Plus 13 below, by using the existing XPS chassis Dell is able to pack in even more premium components while keeping the price down. This is by no means a compromise either since the cool carbon fibre clad chassis is sleek and functional.
One of the biggest perks is a 14-core i7-12700H CPU which outpaces Apple’s M1 Max processors in some benchmarks. This CPU is backed by a Nvidia GeForce RTX 3050 Ti GPU, 16GB of RAM, a 512GB SSD and a 1080p screen in the entry level configuration. The RRP for this unit is $3,499, but interestingly we’ve seen solid discounts on equivalent models with a 3.5K OLED touch or 4K 500nit touchscreen displays that bring them down to around $3,000 direct form Dell, so it’s worth keeping an eye out for a discount.
While the M1 Pro has a lower wattage than the i7-12700H the XPS 15 seems to be benefiting from Nvidia’s new Optimus GPU switching tech since its battery life has jumped from around 6 hours of 1080p movie playback on the last generation to over 10 hours on the new generation. And while this is a way off the MacBook Air M2’s 19 plus hours it actually manages to outlast the MacBook Pro 16 with a M1 Max processor.
While the i7 CPU is already one of the most powerful available you can up it to an i9 for an additional $400. Both will be able to handle any workload you’ll throw at it and when paired with the 40W 3050 Ti you’ll get playable 30fps plus framerates on modern titles with 1080p Ultra settings. With 32GB or 64GB of RAM this configuration will be one of the most powerful Ultrabooks you can get this year.
The two higher resolution screens are some of the best available offering either a 3.5K OLED at 400 nits or an UltraHD display at a brighter 500 nit peak brightness. Dell doesn’t advertise the color specifications of these displays, but you can apparently opt for Adobe RGB calibration, so you’ve got the option for professional colour grading capabilities if you need it.
Read the full review: Dell XPS 15 (9520)