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Best laptop 2022: top picks for every user and every budget

PRICE
VERDICT
REASONS TO BUY
REASONS TO AVOID
VERDICT
REASONS TO BUY
REASONS TO AVOID
New MacBook Air (M2, 2022) with the screen open
(Image credit: Future / Apple)
Editor's note: October 2022

This time of year is a great time to start shopping around for your next laptop. We've got some major shopping events coming up, including Amazon's Prime Early Access Sale, which runs from October 11 - 12, and could see some decent sales on laptops.

After that, we'll likely start seeing early Black Friday deals crop up - so there may be plenty of opportunities to save money when buying a laptop.

We still expect the best Black Friday laptop deals to land in November, so if you can hold on until then, you may find even lower prices for many of the laptops that are on this page.

To help you pick the best laptop for your needs, we've gathered some excellent choices below, and with our built-in price comparison tool, we'll show you the top deals across the internet.

- Matt Hanson, Managing Editor, Computing and Entertainment

The best laptop on the market is going to be the one that best suits your needs at a price you can afford, and with so many options out there, there is a laptop that easily fits the bill.

The problem, of course, is finding that laptop. With literally hundreds of laptops to choose from, it can often be overwhelming to shop for a new notebook. With everything from the best gaming laptops to the best MacBooks and best Ultrabooks providing their own unique trade-offs, it's essential to know what kind of laptop you really need.

If you're looking to game on the go but money is tighter than you'd like, then the best cheap gaming laptops will have a lot to offer. If you're just looking for something to get you through school, then the best student laptops or best 2-in-1 laptops will likely serve you well.

Whatever you're after though, we're here to help you find the laptop you're looking for. We've tested the best laptops out there across all categories and we've pulled together our top picks to help make your buying decision easier than ever, whatever your need and budget.

The best laptops 2022

The new best laptop of 2022

Specifications

CPU: Apple M2
Graphics: Integrated 8-core /10-core GPU
RAM: 8GB – 24GB
Screen: 13.6-inch (diagonal) 2,560 x 1,664 LED-backlit display with IPS technology
Storage: 256GB – 2TB SSD
Dimensions: 11.97 x 8.46 x 0.44 inches (30.41 x 21.5 x 1.13cm; W x D x H)

Reasons to buy

+
Great new design
+
Long battery life

Reasons to avoid

-
Much more expensive than previous model
-
New colors are a bit tame

As we had hoped, the new Apple MacBook Air (M2, 2022) is the best laptop you can currently buy, improving on Apple's previous model (which is still on this list), in a range of important ways.

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.

There's even more good additions with this new model, including 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, so if you're looking for something more affordable, consider the still-excellent MacBook Air (M1, 2020), which is our pick as the best value laptop of 2022.

Make sure you check out all the best MacBook Air deals and sales available now before you buy.

Read the full review: MacBook Air (M2, 2022)

The best affordable laptop around

Specifications

CPU: MediaTek Helio P60T Processor
Graphics: ARM G72 MP3 800GHz
RAM: 4 GB LPDDR4X
Screen: 10.1" FHD (1920 x 1200) IPS, glossy, touchscreen, 400 nits
Storage: 64 GB eMMC

Reasons to buy

+
Lightweight and portable
+
Long battery life

Reasons to avoid

-
Tiny keyboard and finicky trackpad
-
Charger and headphones share a single port

The brilliant Lenovo IdeaPad Duet Chromebook proves how good modern Chromebooks are these days. It can be used as a laptop or a tablet, and it's backed up by some very impressive specs.

Is it a Chromebook or is it a tablet? Well, luckily, you won’t have to decide with the brilliant Lenovo IdeaPad Duet Chromebook. True to its name, this Chromebook delivers two form factors in one, while utilizing the versatility of the Chrome OS and setting you back much less than many of the top Windows tablets out there. 

Like all the best Chromebooks, its battery packs an incredibly long life of almost 22 hours – so you could pull an all-nighter, work through the day and mid-afternoon, and you’ll still pass out before it runs out of juice. 

For this price, sacrifices have to be made, naturally – in our review, we noted that the keyboard is tiny, the trackpad isn’t as reliable, and the charger and headphones share one port. However, if budget is your top priority, those are definitely not deal-breakers.

Read the full review: Lenovo IdeaPad Duet Chromebook