1. The list in brief
2. Best overall laptop
3. Best Chromebook
4. Best value laptop
5. Best Windows 11
6. Best 15-inch laptop
7. Best budget option
8. Best for work
8. Best 2-in-1 laptop
9. Best for gaming
10. Best large screen
11. Best OLED laptop
12. Best cheap gaming laptop
13. How to choose
14. How we test
The best laptops of 2023 are revolutionising what we've come to expect from these portable PCs, with some of the biggest brands, such as Apple, Dell, Lenovo and Asus launching some truly spectacular products for all budgets.
The excellent MacBook Pro 16-inch (2023) is the newest entry in this list thanks to its incredible performance, excellent screen and industry-leading battery life of almost 20 hours.
However, it's an expensive and powerful laptop that's aimed primarily at creative professionals, which means it won't be for everyone.
Laptops come in all shapes and sizes, but that doesn't mean buying a new laptop has to be difficult or confusing. We've listed below the best laptops for a variety of budgets and use cases, and every laptop has been thoroughly tested and reviewed by us, so you can be sure that if you buy any of the laptops below, you'll be getting an absolutely fantastic device.
With the cost of living rising, decent laptop deals are more welcome than ever, and we've made sure that we don't just include only high-end laptops in this list, but also the best cheap laptops and best Chromebooks as well. So read on for our list of the best laptops.
Matt has been reviewing laptops for the best part of 15 years, and has been using them for a lot longer. That means he knows the essential ingredients that make the perfect laptop – long battery lives, dependable performance, solid designs and above all value for money. He’s personally reviewed and used most of the laptops on this page.
The quick list
Want to cut to the chase and find out what the best laptops are? Below, you’ll find a roundup of our choices, and you can jump to a more detailed review of every pick, along with our price comparison tool to help you find the best deals.
Best of the best
The best laptop overall
Apple proves that you can improve on perfection with its new MacBook Air. With a thinner design, bigger screen and M2 chip, it's the laptop to beat.
Best budget laptop
The best cheap laptop
This 2-in-1 Chromebook offers incredible value for money, while also proving to be a versatile device that’s perfect for kids and students.
Best value for money
The best value laptop
The MacBook Air M1 remains a firm favorite, and an obvious choice if you want a top-end portable laptop for less than the MacBook Air M2's price.
Best Windows laptop
The best laptop for Windows 11
The Dell XPS 13 is a brilliant 13-inch laptop that runs Windows 11. It's thin, light and one of the most stylish laptops you can buy in 2023.
Best 15-inch laptop
The best 15-inch laptop
The latest Dell XPS 15 combines a gorgeous design with a roomy 15-inch screen and plenty of power for almost any task you want (except gaming).
Best cheap laptop
The best budget laptop in the world
If you're after a budget Windows 11 laptop then this is the one to get, offering good performance, a stylish design and a low price.
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Best laptop for creatives
The best laptop for productivity
Want the best laptop for productivity? The new 16-inch MacBook Pro (2023) gives you a choice of M2 Pro and M2 Max chips for incredible performance.
Best 2-in-1 laptop
The best 2-in-1 laptop
The Galaxy Book2 360 is a premium device without a premium price tag and a worthy choice as the best 2-in-1 laptop right now.
Best gaming laptop
The top laptop for gaming
Modern gaming laptops don't need to be big and bulky, as the Razer Blade 14 proves with aplomb. If you want a portable gaming device, get this.
Best 17-inch laptop
The best large-screen laptop
Looking for a huge screen to boost your productivity? The Dell XPS 17 combines the slim design of other XPS laptops with a 17-inch screen.
Best OLED laptop
The best OLED laptop
OLED screens looks gorgeous on laptops, and the ZenBook 13 is a top example of the difference it makes. It's slim, light and portable, too.
Best budget gaming laptop
The best affordable gaming laptop
The Asus TUF Dash F15 is ideal if you're looking for a machine that can play the latest games, but doesn't blow a hole in your bank balance.
The best laptops in 2023
Why you can trust TechRadar Our expert reviewers spend hours testing and comparing products and services so you can choose the best for you. Find out more about how we test.
Below you'll find full write-ups for each of the best laptops in our list. We've tested each one extensively, so you can be sure that our recommendations can be trusted.
The best laptop overall
✅ You want a thin and light laptop: The MacBook Air (M2, 2022) remains one of the best thin and light laptops you can buy, and with the new design, it’s now even more svelte, while looking impressively modern.
✅ You want an M2 MacBook: While the MacBook Pro 13-inch beat the new MacBook Air to the punch by being the first M2 MacBook, the MacBook Air (M2, 2022) is a much better buy for most people.
✅ You were considering the 13-inch MacBook Pro: Seriously, get the Air instead. It's thinner, lighter, has a bigger screen, similar performance and is cheaper.
❌ You’re after the cheapest MacBook: The new MacBook Air didn’t just get new hardware and a new design – but also a new, higher, price tag. The MacBook Air (M1, 2020) (read more) remains better value.
❌ You want ports: The thin and light design comes at a cost of ports, the new MacBook Air comes with just two Thunderbolt ports, which means you may need an adapter to plug certain peripherals in. The MacBook Pro 14-inch (2021) (info here) is a better pick if you want more ports.
❌ You can wait for deals: The launch price of the MacBook Air (M2, 2022) is undeniably high, but if you can wait a while to buy one, we expect some good deals in the next 12 months.
💻 The MacBook Air (M2, 2022) is Apple's follow-up to the best laptop it ever made. It's got a fantastic design, bigger screen and incredibly long battery life, but also a much higher price tag than the previous model. Think of it more as a replacement for the 13-inch MacBook Pro and it starts to make a lot more sense. ★★★★½
What you need to know
The Apple MacBook Air (M2, 2022) has big shoes to fill. Its predecessor was arguably the best laptop Apple ever made, and the new model, sporting a new design and a more powerful M2 chip that can handle pretty much any day-to-day task with ease, is a worthy successor. Perhaps its most impressive feature is the huge battery life, which lasted an impressive 16 hours in our tests. However, while it gets a lot right, it also gets a large bump in the price department, which may put it out of some people’s budget.
Design: One of the most radical design overhauls we’ve seen Apple make to an iconic product has reinvigorated the MacBook Air. It’s not just thinner and lighter, but it has a larger screen than before as well. The screen is also brighter than the previous model, making it a great choice for digital creatives who don't want to splash out on a MacBook Pro. Its modern design puts Apple back at the top when it comes to good looking laptops, and while the new color options aren't as vibrant as many were hoping, they still give a touch of personality to Apple's thin and light laptop.
Performance: During our time reviewing the MacBook Air, it performed incredibly well. The pre-installed macOS Monterey boots quickly and runs well, while also looking fantastic on the new screen. Browsing the web in both Safari and Chrome was fast and responsive, even with multiple tabs open, and typing up documents on the slightly redesigned keyboard feels nice and comfortable.
Battery life: In our tests, the MacBook Air (M2, 2022) lasted a huge 16 hours on battery while playing a 1080p video – 30 minutes longer than the MacBook Pro 13-inch (M2, 2022), and substantially longer than the MacBook Air (M1, 2020), which lasted 11 hours in the same test. You can easily use the MacBook Air (M2, 2022) throughout an entire workday, or on a long flight, and still have battery life left. It's not the longest life you'll find in a MacBook - the new MacBook Pro 16-inch (2023) almost hits 20 hours on a single charge.
Value for money: The MacBook Air starts at $1,199 / £1,249 / AU$1,899, a substantial leap from the older MacBook Air’s launch price. The price rise is understandable, but it means it feels like poorer value than the older MacBook
Air, which is a shame, as one of the best things about the 2020 MacBook Air was its low price and excellent performance. The MacBook Air M1 (2020) is still available to buy for $999 / £999 / AU$1,499 and you can read more about it here.
Read the full review: MacBook Air (M2, 2022)
|Price||A lot more expensive than previous model||★★★☆☆|
|Design||New design looks great, with a bigger screen||★★★★★|
|Performance||The M2 chip offers excellent performance||★★★★☆|
|Battery life||At 16 hours it outlasts many rivals||★★★★★|
The best Chromebook
✅ You want a lightweight and portable 2-in-1 laptop: The Duet is one of the most portable Chromebooks you're going to find right now. Its compact form factor and negligible weight make it the kind of 2-in-1 that you can easily carry with you in any circumstance.
✅ You're on a strict budget: The Lenovo Duet we tested sells for $299, making it one of the most affordable 2-in-1 laptops you're going to find anywhere.
✅ You want a more robust system than Android or iOS can offer: As powerful as Android and iOS have become, mobile operating systems are still far more restricted than Windows, MacOS, or Linux OS.
❌ You have more limited manual dexterity: Some may find the Duet's smaller-than-standard keyboard a bit fiddly. If that's likely to be the case for you, a larger laptop such as the Acer Swift 3 (skip to that entry) may be a better option.
❌ You want a high-performance system: If you want a 2-in-1 laptop that can multitask with the best of them or you're the type of person who opens up dozens and dozens of Google Chrome tabs just to see the world burn, the Lenovo Duet is not the Chromebook for you.
❌ You want a traditional laptop OS: Chrome OS isn't as robust as Windows 10 or MacOS and it isn't meant to be. If you want a traditional laptop environment, a Chromebook will only get you part of the way there, which may not be enough to satisfy your needs.
💻 The Lenovo IdeaPad Duet Chromebook strikes the perfect balance between tablet portability and Chromebook utility, all while keeping the price ridiculously low - and somehow packing in a heck of a battery that simply refuses to die. ★★★★½
What you need to know
The Lenovo IdeaPad Duet Chromebook is the best ultra-low price laptop you can buy. While it’s been out for a while, Chromebooks don’t date as quickly as Windows laptops, and it's still one of the best Chromebooks we've used. If you're a Chromebook skeptic, the IdeaPad Duet Chromebook just might convert you. It can be used as both a laptop and a tablet thanks to its detachable keyboard, while also boasting an impressively long battery life. You're simply not going to find a Windows 11 laptop that can outlast the 20-hour battery life the Lenovo IdeaPad Duet Chromebook offers – especially at this price. It’s a particularly good choice for students who want something reliable, flexible and affordable.
Design: Aesthetically, the Lenovo IdeaPad Duet Chromebook has a certain minimalist charm to it, with its near-total absence of ports and buttons along the sides. The 10-inch FHD (1920 x 1200) IPS display is bright and vibrant, and the Chrome OS interface is simple to navigate. The keyboard is a bit too small, but it can be easily detached to turn the Lenovo IdeaPad Duet Chromebook into a tablet device. And with Android apps available in Chrome OS, you have access to a huge library of touch-optimized software ranging from productivity tools to games.
Performance: When it comes to general web browsing, video streaming, and basic productivity use, the Duet does exactly what you want it to do without so much as a hiccup. You can't load up on Chrome tabs with reckless abandon, but you can still have a handful going at once and not grind everything to a halt.
Battery life: While Chromebooks on average get about 10 hours of life on a fully-charged battery, the Lenovo Duet lasted nearly an entire day of looped HD video during our review. In fact, we got 21 hours and 29 minutes from it, making it one of the longest-lasting laptops we’ve tested.
Value for money: As far as Chromebooks and 2-in-1 laptops go, this is hands down the best value you're going to find in a portable device of its kind. It's the computer that last decade's netbooks promised to be - but couldn't quite become - while taking the Chromebook to its next logical step.
Read the full review: Lenovo IdeaPad Duet Chromebook
|Price||It's by far the best budget laptop around||★★★★★|
|Design||The design is simple, but it does the job||★★★★☆|
|Performance||Dependable rather than ultra powerful||★★★☆☆|
|Battery life||At almost 22 hrs, it lasts far longer than most||★★★★★|
The best value laptop
✅ You want an affordable MacBook: The MacBook Air (M1, 2020) isn't just one of the best MacBooks Apple has ever made, it's also the cheapest. This is fantastic value.
✅ You want a powerful thin and light laptop: The MacBook Air M1's performance is so impressive that many people thinking about buying a MacBook Pro should actually consider this instead.
✅ You want a long-lasting battery: The MacBook Air (M1, 2020) has a brilliant battery, and will be able to power through a work or school day with ease. Really impressive stuff.
❌ You want a budget laptop: The MacBook Air (M1, 2020) is a great value laptop, but it is still very expensive. There are some brilliant budget laptops out there these days that offer excellent performance for a lot less.
❌ You don't like Macs: The MacBook Air doesn't have a revolutionary design, nor does it try to win over Windows users too much. If you weren't a fan of previous MacBook Airs, the 2020 model won't really persuade you otherwise.
❌ You want the latest MacBook Air: If you want the latest model, then go for the MacBook Air (M2, 2022). Be warned, though, as it's much more expensive.
💻 The MacBook Air (M1, 2022) is easily one of the most exciting Apple laptops of recent years. Its M1 chip is a real game-changer, and the ability to run both legacy apps, M1-optimized apps and iOS apps is very impressive. Battery life is also great, and performance is excellent as well. ★★★★½
What you need to know
With the MacBook Air (M1, 2020), Apple has gave its thinnest and slimmest laptop a huge performance upgrade. The 2020 Air runs on the Apple M1 processor, the manufacturer’s highly acclaimed ARM-based chip, giving it the power boost it’s long deserved.
Design: The MacBook Air's design is iconic, so the fact that the 2020 model keeps the same look as older Airs is not necessarily a problem. If you do want a newer design, you'll need to look at the much more expensive MacBook Air 2022.
Performance: As soon as we began using the MacBook Air (M1, 2020) we were impressed. It boots up quickly (an additional benefit of the M1 chip), macOS is fast and responsive, and all the applications that you usually run in macOS on Intel-based MacBooks should work fine with the MacBook Air (M1, 2020), thanks to some software wizardry using Apple's Rosetta 2 tool, which allows apps to run on the new architecture.
Battery life: We’ve been very impressed with the MacBook Air’s battery life – after a few hours of work, the battery only dropped a few percentage points. You can leave it on standby for a day and the battery level will remain high. In our official battery test, the 2020 Air lasted an impressive 11 hours and 15 minutes. This means you shouldn't have to worry about plugging it in during an entire work or school day. If you want a longer battery, however, check out the MacBook Air (M2, 2022) model, which outlasts this one by five hours.
Value for money: Prices for the MacBook Air (M1, 2020) start at $999 / £999 / AU$1,599, and it easily outperforms competitors that cost much more, making it brilliant value for money. That's even more true if you can find it in a sale. With Apple having released a new model of the MacBook Air (and with rumors swirling that another updated model could launch in the next few months), it means you can often find the MacBook Air (M1, 2020) going for some incredibly impressive prices at the moment.
Read the full review: Apple MacBook Air (M1, 2020)
|Price||Amazing value for money||★★★★★|
|Design||Iconic, albeit not as fresh as 2022's model||★★★★☆|
|Performance||The M1 chip is plenty for most tasks||★★★★★|
|Battery life||Excellent day-plus battery life||★★★★★|
The best for Windows 11
✅ You want a great looking laptop: The Dell XPS 13 (2022) looks fantastic, objectively speaking, so you shouldn't have any qualms about showing this one off.
✅ You want ultraportability: There are very few laptops out there that are as easy to carry around as the new Dell XPS 13.
✅ You want great value: The Dell XPS 13 (2022) feels like a very premium item that was mistakenly given a budget-friendly price.
❌ You want pure performance: The Dell XPS 13 (2022) is a great everyday performer that will handle just about anything that most consumers wlli throw at it, which is mostly web browsing, video streaming, and some productivity work. Beyond that, this laptop is going to struggle.
❌ You loved the older XPS 13 design: If you're a fan of the old XPS 13s, it is very likely that you aren't just going to dislike this laptop - you'll probably hate it.
❌ You love macOS: While the Dell XPS 13 is a brilliant Windows 11 device, the MacBook Air (M2) (full info here) is a much better buy, so long as you are happy to switch to macOS.
💻 Dell XPS 13 (2022) has updated hardware, a new color option, and some controversial design changes, but overall it's a fantastic laptop for everyday use at a great price. It isn't the right choice for power users, but for many people it will hit the right spot between portability, value and looks. ★★★★☆
What you need to know
The Dell XPS 13 (2022) had its work cut out to really impress us. Its predecessors have often made it to the top of our best laptops list, but recently its competitors such as HP and Apple have really caught up when it comes to making desirable thin and light laptops. To put the XPS 13 back in its rightful place towards the top of our best laptops list, Dell has made some big changes. While the boost in performance thanks to cutting-edge components is welcome, some people will be sorely disappointed by the other changes Dell has made to the 2022 version.
Design: The Dell XPS 13 (2022) gets a new design, which may upset people who loved the old look, but it's fresh and modern and comes with a new color option, Umber (a bluish-purple), in addition to Sky, which is the standard silver color for the XPS laptop line. It's impressively thin and light, and the screen is bright, albeit not up to OLED standards. One design decision that may not please everyone, however, is the lack of carbon fiber palm rests in favor of a more svelte aluminum keyboard deck. We quite like the change, but others may find the aluminum deck less comfortable to use.
Performance: The Dell XPS 13 (2022) is designed to be an affordable, ultraportable laptop that can do what most people need it to do: some web browsing, video streaming, and maybe messing around with a couple of spreadsheets for work.
Battery life: The battery life on the Dell XPS 13 (2022) is not great, if we compare it to its predecessor. On our PCMark 10 battery test, it lasted on average about seven hours and 31 minutes. It did better on our looped video test, managing an average nine hours and eight minutes. That's less than the last model, and nowhere near Apple's M1 and M2 MacBooks.
Value for money: This XPS 13 model is more oriented towards value than performance - the Dell XPS 13 Plus is the version to pick if you want power. With that in mind, prices start at a very reasonable $899 / £854 / AU$1,898.
Read the full review: Dell XPS 13 (2022)
|Price||One of the best value Ultrabooks available||★★★★★|
|Design||Objectively beautiful, potentially divisive||★★★★☆|
|Performance||Favors portability and value over performance||★★★☆☆|
|Battery life||A major step back from its predecessor||★★★☆☆|
The best 15-inch laptop
✅ You want the best-looking Windows laptop around: The new Dell XPS 15 sets the standard for stylish Windows laptops, combining a large 15-inch screen with a gorgeous thin body and excellent build quality.
✅ You want outstanding performance: With the latest 12th-gen Intel chips and up to RTX 3050 Ti graphics, the Dell XPS 15 is a monster of a laptop.
✅ You want all-day battery life: With so much power on offer, you might expect battery life to suffer here - but no. The XPS 15 is an all-day machine and puts the Dell XPS 13 to shame in this department.
❌ You're on a budget: The XPS 15 starts pretty pricey and only gets more expensive from there.
❌ You don't want to carry around a USB hub: With a mere three USB Type-C ports, there isn't much room for a whole lot else, namely USB Type-A peripherals.
❌ You want portability: While the Dell XPS 15 is thin and light for a 15-inch laptop, it's still bigger than a 13-inch device. If portability is your main concern, go for the Dell XPS 13 or MacBook Air (M2, 2022) instead.
💻 Dell XPS 15 (2022) remains one of the best laptops ever made, with new Intel Alder Lake processors and RTX GPUs packed into the classic XPS laptop design. It is a productivity powerhouse that is even capable of some moderate gaming. All in all, it's arguably the perfect computer for most Windows users; but if you want the very best, expect to pay a premium for the privilege. ★★★★★
What you need to know
The Dell XPS 15 has been updated with new hardware and that classic XPS style to defend its claim as the greatest 15-inch laptop around. If you find 13-inch laptops are a bit too small to work on comfortably (like its smaller sibling, the Dell XPS 13), but larger 16-inch and 17-inch laptops are too hard to carry around, then the Dell XPS 15 offers the perfect balance. While the outside remains unchanged, Dell has upgraded the internals to include new Intel Alder Lake processors and faster RAM.
Design: The Dell XPS 15 (2022) sports that classic XPS look, brushed aluminum and all, and is therefore among the most attractive laptops around. It's also impressively lightweight for a 15-inch model, and incredibly thin: the chassis is just under 3/4ths of an inch thick. This is a laptop that's both easy to carry around, and comfortable to work on thanks to its larger screen and keyboard. Wisely, Dell has retained the series' iconic carbon fiber palm rests, which helps make it one of the more comfortable laptops to use, too.
Performance: Our test model features an Intel Core i7-12700H CPU and Nvidia GeForce RTX 3050 Ti Mobile graphics, and it blasted though everyday tasks with ease. It's no gaming laptop, but it still turned in respectable results in our testing. While these are no longer the latest generation for either CPU or GPU, they still perform brilliantly, though we're also sure Dell will update the Dell XPS 15 this year with the very latest hardware as well.
Battery life: The Dell XPS 15 can easily clear a full workday on a charge, lasting 12:01 on average in our PCMark 10 test, and about two hours less (10:07, specifically) in our HD movie test. While this isn't the longest battery life in a laptop in this guide, it's an impressive showing for a Windows 11 15-incher.
Value for money: The Dell XPS 15 (2022) starts at $1,449 / £1,549 / AU$3,229, and there's no getting around the fact that this is a premium device that only gets more expensive as you configure the specs. This is a laptop for people who want power, rather than a budget price.
Read the full review: Dell XPS 15 (2022)
|Price||Not cheap, but fares well against rivals||★★★★☆|
|Design||Svelte and gorgeous in equal measure||★★★★★|
|Performance||Simply outstanding across every workload||★★★★★|
|Battery life||You'll get a day plus, and that's impressive||★★★★★|
The best budget laptop
✅ You regularly work on the go: The anti-glare display does a good job cutting down on reflections and gets plenty bright, making it easier to work in brightly lit conditions and in the outdoors. It doesn’t hurt that you won’t need to camp out near a power outlet, thanks to the excellent battery life…
✅ You want a laptop with stamina: The Acer Swift 3 can go the distance whether you’re working or kicking back with Netflix. You'll get a full day from it, no problem.
✅ You value performance over looks: The Acer Swift 3 may not be as attractive as some of its competitors, but it makes up for it by outperforming them while running on the same hardware.
❌ You do a lot of typing: The Acer Swift 3’s keyboard is lackluster, with cramped and error-inducing arrow keys and a general mushiness to every press.
❌ You have the occasional spill: Some computers might not struggle with a drop of water here and there, but the exhaust vent sits directly above the keyboard on the Acer Swift 3 and looks ripe for an accident.
❌ You care about aesthetics: The Swift 3 may be a capable performer, but it’s not a looker. It has a dated hinge design, dull looks, and a metal chassis that almost leaves us wishing it were plastic.
💻 The Acer Swift 3 is a good budget laptop that makes capable performance more accessible than a lot of its ultrabook competitors. It’s a speedy Windows machine and has a reliable display and battery. If you want more style, the Acer Swift 3 OLED (2022) brings the goods – but at a higher price. ★★★½
What you need to know
Acer has updated its more affordable ultrabook line with some considerable under-the-hood upgrades, especially where battery life is concerned. If you're after a dependable laptop that won't cost a lot of money, but can handle day-to-day tasks (without feeling too cheap), then the Acer Swift 3 remains the best cheap laptop you can buy.
Design: The Acer Swift 3 is cased in aluminum and a magnesium-aluminum alloy, and comes in a not-very-exciting gray colorway. There are a few jazzier options, but they're only available in specific configurations. While it's not an exciting design, it's solidly built, especially for the price. At 2.65 pounds (1.2kg), it's heavier than more expensive rivals, but the fact that it comes with a 14-inch screen, rather than the 13-inch found in the MacBook Air and Dell XPS 13, means this weight increase is understandable. One issue we do have with the design is the placement of the cooling vent, which sit below the screen and face upwards. If you spill any liquid near there, there's a real danger that it could enter the vent and damage the internal components of the laptop.
Performance: The Acer Swift 3 puts in a solid performance for day-to-day tasks such as browsing the internet and creating documents. It can't compete with more expensive laptops, and the MacBook Air (M1, 2020) runs rings around it despite its price tag not being much higher, but if you keep your expectations in check, you'll be pleased.
Battery life: The Acer Swift 3 proved to be a monster in our battery life benchmarks, lasting 14 hours and 31 minutes in our PCMark 10 Battery Life test and just passing the 9-hour mark in our video playback test. We spent a whole day writing, editing, reviewing, and YouTubing on Chrome, with way too many tabs open, and still didn't need to find a power outlet until long after we should have stopped working.
Value for money: While it's not quite as cheap as previous Acer Swift 3 models, the 2021 model remains excellent value for money, offering performance that compares well to more expensive rivals. The design is solid, and the battery life is definitely impressive for a laptop as cheap as this.
Read the full review: Acer Swift 3 (2021)
|Price||11th-gen Intel chips for less than you'd think||★★★★★|
|Design||Dull but solid. It doesn't feel cheap at all||★★★☆☆|
|Performance||Unspectacular but does the basics well enough||★★★☆☆|
|Battery life||You'll get a whole work day on a single charge||★★★★☆|
The best productivity laptop
✅ You want the best display on a laptop: We really can’t emphasize enough just how good the screen is on the MacBook Pro 16-inch, and Apple’s larger model really shows it off in all its glory.
✅ You want a mobile workstation that lasts for hours: The battery life of this thing is incredible. You could go two work days, or even a few long haul flights, on a single charge.
✅ You’re looking to upgrade your Intel-based MacBook Pro: The MacBook Pro 16-inch (2023) improves on the Intel-based 2019 model in every way, from port selection to performance and battery life. It’s a huge leap.
❌ You want a slimline, portable, laptop: The large screen and healthy amount of ports comes at a price: portability. This is a large and chunky laptop that some may struggle with, so check out the MacBook Air (M2, 2022) (details here) instead.
❌ You don’t need the power: Even the base model of the MacBook Pro 16-inch (2023) is incredibly powerful, and not everyone is going to get the most out of it. Unless you’re going to be doing heavy creative workloads, there are better-value laptops out there.
❌ You have the 2021 model: If you have the 2021 model, you really should think twice about buying the 2023 version – sure, it’s more powerful, but not by an amount that will make the upgrade worth it.
💻 The MacBook Pro 16-inch (2023) is the best laptop for creative professionals right now. It offers amazing performance, even when running on its battery, and comes with the best screen you’ll find on a laptop. For video editors, programmers, music producers and photographers, there's no better laptop. ★★★★★
What you need to know
The MacBook Pro 16-inch (2023) is hands-down the best laptop for creative professionals we’ve ever tested. It's powered by a choice of the new M2 Pro and M2 Max chips, Apple's latest and most powerful hardware. From its display to its design to its battery life, this is a truly superb mobile workstation laptop, especially for creative professionals that need a seriously powerful machine to work on. If the high price and large body puts you off, then the MacBook Pro 14-inch (2023) is a great alternative - it features the same M2 Pro and M2 Max chips and offers very similar performance, but with a smaller screen and lower price tag.
Design: Thin bezels help keep the frame impressively small, although the chassis is quite thick in order to accommodate a bevy of ports including 3x Thunderbolt 4, 1x HDMI and 1x SDXC. That's a fair compromise in our book. The notch in the screen is divisive, but in practice it's not a big deal.
Performance: Both the M2 Pro and M2 Max are big leaps over the existing M2 chip, and the M2 chip was no slouch to begin with. The 16.2-inch Liquid Retina XDR display, meanwhile, features mini-LED technology and is a joy to look at. Its high refresh rate makes scrolling a joy and it's super sharp, too. This kind of performance comes at a cost, however, and unless you're thinking of doing some heavy-duty video editing or 3D rendering, the MacBook Pro 16-inch (2023) is likely overkill for your needs. For non-visual creatives, the MacBook Pro 13-inch may be a wiser investment, and if you want a MacBook for day-to-day work, the MacBook Air will be the one for you.
Battery life: Apple claims that the MacBook Pro 16-inch can hit up to 22 hours when playing fullscreen videos, and in our own battery benchmark tests, where we played a looped 1080p video until the battery ran out, we found it lasted a very impressive 19 hours and 39 minutes.
Value for money: The MacBook Pro 16-inch (2023) is an incredibly ambitious laptop both in terms of hardware and design, and it’s aimed at creative professionals who need powerful mobile hardware. Yes, it's an expensive laptop - but if you need all that power, it's well worth paying for it.
Read the full review: MacBook Pro 16-inch (2023)
|Price||Same as previous model in the US, but UK and Aus get price rises||★★★☆☆|
|Design||No new design, but display remains the best on a laptop||★★★★☆|
|Performance||Incredible performance, even when on battery||★★★★★|
|Battery life||Very impressive, at 20 hours-plus||★★★★★|
The best 2-in-1 laptop
✅ You want versatility: The convertible, lightweight design of the Samsung Galaxy Book2 360 lets you use it as a conventional laptop or as a tablet. Its attractive AMOLED display also works a treat for web browsing, playing video and other forms of entertainment.
✅ You want portability: The Samsung Galaxy Book2 360 measures just 12.9mm thick and weighs 1.16kg, making it one of the most affordable ultra-portables. It’s sturdily built, too, so it can cope with life on the road.
✅ You want all-day battery life: With more than 11 hours of battery life, the Samsung Galaxy Book2 360 will last you all day long - and then some. There aren’t many laptops in this price range that can make that boast, so the Book2 360 provides really good value for money.
❌ You make lots of Zoom calls: The 720p webcam in the Book2 360 boasts features such as auto-framing - which keeps you in the center of the image - but image quality is disappointing, and it can’t handle harsh lighting well.
❌ You're a gamer: The integrated Iris Xe is fine for video, and maybe casual gaming action, but serious gamers will need a discrete GPU for high-speed gaming action.
❌ You want to spec up: There are just two versions of the Samsung Galaxy Book2 360, one with an i5 processor and one with an i7.
💻 The Galaxy Book2 360 proves Samsung can make great laptops. Its convertible design works well in both laptop and tablet modes, yet it still manages to be highly portable. The impressive battery life and eye-catching AMOLED display round off a great package. ★★★★½
What you need to know
If you're looking for a versatile laptop then the Samsung Galaxy Book2 360 could be the best purchase you'll make in a long time. Not only can it convert into tablet form, but it also has an excellent AMOLED screen that makes it a great choice for entertainment. With decent battery life and enough power for most people, this is a real all-rounder. It runs Windows 11, and Microsoft has worked hard these past few years to make the operating system work well with touchscreen devices.
Design: The Galaxy Book2 360 won't win any awards for original design: it bears a marked resemblance to the MacBook Air, with its 13.3-inch display, silvery gray casing and tapering profile. But, of course, the Book2 360 is far more versatile, thanks to its touchscreen controls and convertible design. The AMOLED screen is a particular delight, despite its relatively modest 1920 x 1080 resolution, and it works a treat for watching video or doing a spot of photo-editing work.
Performance: The Intel Core i5 processor that powers the Samsung Galaxy Book2 360 is a versatile 10-core chip providing all the power you need for web browsing and productivity software such as Microsoft Office. You might even be able to manage casual gaming, thanks to the integrated Iris Xe graphics that punches above its weight.
Battery life: The Samsung Galaxy Book2 360 keeps going for a respectable amount of time when unplugged. When we reviewed it, we got it to breeze past 11 hours while watching videos, and during day-to-day use, we found it could easily last an entire workday. While the MacBook Air and Surface Laptop 4 can match it for battery longevity, they’re both more expensive than the Book2 360.
Value for money: Starting at $899.99/£849, this premium 2-in-1 laptop is very fairly priced, offering a build quality, design and performance that matches - and even outstrips - more expensive rivals. It's great to see Samsung bring some of its premium Galaxy style to an affordable laptop like this.
Read the full review: Samsung Galaxy Book2 360
|Price||Excellent value for money given all you get||★★★★★|
|Design||Gorgeous MacBook-style looks||★★★★☆|
|Performance||Good for day-to-day use but not much more||★★★☆☆|
|Battery life||You'll manage a full work day on a charge||★★★★☆|
The best laptop for gaming
✅ You want a portable gaming laptop: At 0.66 inches thick and just under 4lb, the Razer Blade 14 is easy to just slip into your backpack and take wherever you want.
✅ You want something solid: As with any other Razer laptop, the Razer Blade 14 has an excellent aluminum unibody chassis that will put up with a lot of punishment.
✅ You want a premium gaming laptop: There aren’t many gaming laptops out there that feel like luxury products – at least outside of frame rates – but the Razer Blade 14 is a truly luxe device. You’ll want to show it off.
❌ You’re on a budget: There are no cheap options in Razer's lineup and even the most basic model costs $1,799 (£1,799, AU$3,099).
❌ You only care about performance: The Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 in the Razer Blade 14 is able to power all the latest games at native resolution, but it won’t be as powerful as the same GPU in more meaty laptops.
❌ You want to travel really light: While thin compared to most gaming laptops, the Razer Blade 14 has a chunky power brick. Yes, you can use USB-C instead, but it won’t supply enough power to keep up when gaming.
💻 The Razer Blade 14 should be the go-to option for anyone who wants a luxury gaming laptop. It’s powerful enough to play any games out there, while being beautiful enough to show off wherever you go. The thin and light chassis is just a bonus. ★★★★☆
What you need to know
The Razer Blade 14 is, as the name suggests, a 14-inch gaming laptop, and while there are plenty of 13-inch gaming laptops like Razer’s own Blade Stealth 13 series, the aim here is to pack incredible performance into a thin form. Razer does this with aplomb, serving up an impressively thin and light laptop that looks and feels incredibly premium, while also allowing you to play the latest PC games with ease. The Razer Blade 14 proves gaming laptops don't have to be big and bulky.
Design: Razer though and through: you get an all-black aluminum chassis and signature green Razer logo. The chassis is just 0.66 inches thick, and the laptop weighs just 3.92lb. Despite that, it's well stocked with ports and has an excellent keyboard, trackpad and display. The design is also quite subdued for a gaming laptop, and you can tone down the RGB lighting, so this is also a powerful laptop that wouldn't look out of place if you whipped it out in the office or in a meeting.
Performance: Compromises had to be made to keep the Razer Blade 14 so thin, and while the model we tested has an Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080, it’s far from the fastest version of that GPU in a laptop today. Still, you're going to be able to play pretty much any modern games at high settings with this GPU, so the fact that it's also thin and light, makes this an incredibly impressive modern gaming laptop.
Battery life: While some gaming laptops are starting to break the 8-hour battery life barrier, the Razer Blade 14 isn’t one of them. In the PCMark10 battery test, which simulates a bunch of real-life workloads like word processing and video calls, the Razer Blade 14 lasted 7 hours and 31 minutes. It lasted even less in our video playback test, dying after 6 hours and 31 minutes.
Value for money: The Razer Blade 14 starts at $1,799 (£1,799, AU$3,099). That makes it a pricey gaming laptop, but with the build quality and performance on offer, that isn't outrageous.
Read the full review: Razer Blade 14
|Price||Not cheap, but it packs plenty of power||★★★☆☆|
|Design||Compact and portable as gaming laptops go||★★★★★|
|Performance||It can handle modern games with ease||★★★★☆|
|Battery life||All that power takes a toll on its stamina||★★★☆☆|
The best 17-inch laptop
✅ You love great design: The Dell XPS 17 (2022) is a gorgeous machine made out of high quality materials. The design may be a couple of years old, but with uber-slim bezels, it’s still bang up to date and very slick indeed.
✅ You want the latest Intel chips: The XPS 17 has been updated for 2022 with Intel’s latest 12th Gen Alder Lake CPUs delivering outstanding performance, thanks to a mix of performance and efficiency cores.
✅ You need decent battery life: Despite its large screen and beefy CPU performance, the Dell XPS 17 still delivers over 10 hours of battery life away from the mains.
❌ You want a true gaming laptop: The Dell XPS 17 can be had with Nvidia RTX 3050 or 3060 graphics, which are decent for casual gaming. But serious gamers can get better performance with the Razer Blade 14 (click for details).
❌ You want maximum bang for your buck: The Dell XPS 17 is a great performer, but it will cost you. You can have similar performance, but with a less pleasing design, for a lot less cash. The slick looks and engineering add cost.
❌ Portability is a priority: Inevitably, this 17-inch model isn’t the most portable laptop around. Weighing in at well over 2kg and measuring more than 14 inches across, this is not a laptop you’ll want to lug around daily.
💻 The Dell XPS 17 (2022) looks identical to last year’s model, but it's still one of the slickest and sleekest 17-inch laptops around and now packs Intel’s latest 12th Gen CPUs for epic performance and surprisingly good battery life. ★★★★½
What you need to know
If the Dell XPS 17 (2022) looks familiar, that’s because it is. Physically, this revised 2022 model is a dead ringer for last year’s Dell XPS 17 - and the one from 2020, too. But that’s no bad thing given this is one of the slickest and sleekest laptops around. That doesn't mean there's nothing new with the latest model, however. Dell has done a lot of work updating the internal components of the XPS 17, and it's now powered by Intel's 12th generation processors. You can configure it with an Nvidia GeForce GPU as well, and that means, if you're after a large-screen laptop that's stylishly designed and can keep up with even the most demanding of workloads, then the Dell XPS 17 (2022) is definitely worth considering.
Design: The Dell XPS 17 is super sleek and beautifully built, with the main chassis and screen covered in machined aluminum and the palmrest in carbon fiber. It still looks modern, too, thanks to ultra-slim bezels on all four sides of the display. And all that's despite it still squeezing in a 720p webcam up top with Windows Hello facial recognition support.
Performance: As far as performance goes, this laptop has everything you could ask for. It’ll tear through everything from video encodes to 3D renders with ease. Intel Alder Lake’s world-beating single-core performance also guarantees that this laptop feels snappy in day-to-day tasks like web browsing. If there is an exception, it involves graphics performance and gaming, unless you splash out on a truly high-end configuration. Even then, remember that this is not designed to be a gaming laptop.
Battery life: Large powerful laptops like the Dell XPS 17 (2022) used to be nailed-on certainties for awful battery life. Not these days. In light workloads like watching video and web browsing, you can expect over 10 hours of battery life. Whilst reviewing the Dell XPS 17, we found we could just about manage a whole workday on a single charge.
Value for money: The Dell XPS 17 (2022) kicks off at $1,749 in the US, £2,099 in the UK and AU$3,999, and costs can quickly mount when you start configuring it with yet more powerful specs.
Read the full review: Dell XPS 17 (2022)
|Price||Not cheap at entry and pricier as you spec up||★★★☆☆|
|Design||Sleek and beautifully built but lacks ports||★★★★☆|
|Performance||Packs a punch, but graphics are lacking||★★★★☆|
|Battery life||10hrs plus is impressive given all the power||★★★★☆|
The best OLED laptop
✅ You need a multitasking champ: The AMD Ryzen 5000-series processors are as good as it gets for general-purpose multitasking and productivity work.
✅ You want outstanding battery life: The ZenBook 13 has some of the best battery life in a laptop class known for exceptional longevity.
✅ You want a very portable laptop: At just 2.51 pounds (1.14kg), this incredibly thin ultrabook is more portable than most of its rivals.
❌ You want better than a 1080p display: The ZenBook 13's OLED panel is gorgeous, but it's only 1080p and has a 16:9 ratio, rather than the arguably more useful 3:2. Want the absolute best screen on a laptop? Get the MacBook Pro 14-inch instead.
❌ You don't have a Bluetooth headset: Without a headphone jack, you'll need a USB or Bluetooth headset if you want to keep things quiet and/or private.
❌ You need high-quality graphics performance: Don't let the gorgeous OLED display fool you - this isn't the kind of ultrabook that's going to perform intensive creative work such as video editing or 3D rendering.
💻 The Asus ZenBook 13 is a light and powerful ultraportable laptop with the latest AMD Ryzen processors and a gorgeous OLED display. Battery life is also great, and only its graphics let it down. ★★★★½
What you need to know
The Asus ZenBook 13 is back, loaded with AMD Ryzen 5000 series processors for outstanding performance and sporting a full HD OLED panel for gorgeous, vibrant colors. From its excellent design and lightweight chassis to its bright and vibrant 400-nit OLED display, this is one of the best looking ultrabooks going that isn't the Dell XPS 13 and Apple MacBook Air (M1,2020). While it's an undeniably stylish laptop, this does mean that some compromises have been made when it comes to port selection. If you want more choice for plugging in peripherals without having to use an adaptor, then look elsewhere.
Design: The ZenBook 13 is a seriously thin and light machine: just 0.55-inches thick and weighing a mere 2.51 pounds. It's also reasonably attractive and has a decent ports selection including two USB Type-C ports, a USB Type-A, and a microSD slot. The real star of the show, design-wise, however, is the gorgeous 13.3-inch 1080p OLED display, which offers bright and vibrant image quality.
Performance: Performance is something of a mixed bag. It simply blows away competing Intel Core i7 chips like the i7-1165G7 in multicore performance, meaning it's great at multitasking. However, it lacks the single-core power for high-end graphics work or serious gaming.
Battery life: With a time of nine hours and nine minutes in our HD movie test, the ZenBook 13 isn't far behind the MacBook Air M1's 11 hours and 15 minutes. It's even better in normal mixed use, and you could potentially get an impressive 14 hours from it. For a Windows 11 laptop, that's particularly impressive.
Value for money: The Asus ZenBook 13 (2021) cost $749 / £899 ($999 / £1,099 as reviewed) at launch, so it's not the cheapest in this list. Then again, you're getting a stylish premium laptop with an OLED display, making it a good value even so.
Read the full review: Asus ZenBook 13 (2021)
|Price||Aggressively priced to rival the MacBook Air||★★★★☆|
|Design||Thin and light with a stunning OLED display||★★★★★|
|Performance||Good for multitasking but not quite a beast||★★★★☆|
|Battery life||Excellent, MacBook-like stamina levels||★★★★☆|
The best affordable gaming laptop
✅ You want to play games on the go: At under an inch thick and less than 5lbs, this is a gaming laptop you can easily carry it around.
✅ You want a cheap gaming laptop that doesn't suck: The Dash F15's starting configuration gives you an Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 and a Core i7 processor. That level of performance at just a bit more than a thousand bucks is genuinely a great deal.
✅ You want a long battery life: Nine hours may not be a lot compared to some options in this list, but for a gaming laptop it's excellent.
❌ You need a webcam: The Asus TUF Dash F15 doesn't have one - so you'll need to either buy a standalone or do without.
❌ You don't like the color teal: The Asus TUF Dash F15 doesn't have an RGB keyboard, which is fine at this price. However, Asus did opt for a colored LED behind the keyboard, so you're going to want to make sure it's a color you like, because you won't be able to change it.
❌ You want maximum performance: As an affordable gaming laptop, the Asus TUF Dash F15 doesn't offer the most powerful components out there. For that, you should spend more on the Razer Blade 14 (read more).
💻 The Asus TUF Dash F15 is a masterclass in mixing an attainable price with an elegant form factor. It has strong performance in a chassis that won't weigh you down when you need to go somewhere. And it doesn't hurt that it has some of the longest battery life in a gaming laptop today. ★★★★½
What you need to know
The Asus TUF Dash F15 brings a luxurious gaming experience to an affordable price point. There are a couple of compromises made to make this laptop work at this low price, though. The most noticeable is going to be the lack of a webcam. However, the starting configuration gets you an Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 GPU and an Intel Core i7 processor, which aren't bad at all, considering the relatively low price of the Asus TUF Dash F15. This will offer enough power to play most of the latest PC games at medium to high settings. It's not the most powerful gaming laptop you can buy in 2023, but the value for money it offers means it's a great first gaming laptop, especially for students.
Design: This laptop is just 0.8 inches thick and weighs a mere 4.5lb, making it extremely thin and light for a gaming laptop. Both the keyboard deck and the lid of the laptop are made of aluminum with a gorgeous gray colorway, so it doesn't lose rigidity for the sake of portability. Despite its lower price, there's nothing about the design of the Asus TUF Dash F15 that makes it feel cheap. Instead, you get a solid build quality that means you can confidently carry this laptop around in a bag or backpack without worrying about damaging it.
Performance: While it packs the latest silicon from both Intel and Nvidia, the hardware is configured in such a way that it won't burst into flames in such a tiny chassis. As a result, you're not going to get the fastest laptop on the market here. That doesn't mean that the Asus TUF Dash F15 can't tear through the latest AAA games, though.
Battery life: The Dash F15 proves that gaming laptops no longer have to make a trade-off when it comes to staying power, offering around 9 hours of battery life. That's incredibly impressive, though you should expect the battery to drain much more quickly when playing games.
Value for money: This is probably one of the best value laptops with an RTX 3000 GPU right now, especially when you consider the TUF Dash F15's long battery life and super-portable design.
Read the full review: Asus TUF Dash F15
|Price||You won't get a better gaming laptop for less||★★★★★|
|Design||Impressively stylish at this price||★★★★☆|
|Performance||Punches well above its weight when gaming||★★★★☆|
|Battery life||Incredibly impressive for a gaming laptop||★★★★☆|
How to choose the best laptop for you:
What are the best laptop brands? The best brands for laptops include Apple, Dell, Lenovo and HP, and they all have their strengths. For example, Apple make brilliantly-designed slim and light laptops, while Dell does a great range of high-end ultrabooks, as well as affordable devices and Chromebooks as well. Lenovo's well known for making solidly-built business laptops (and some great 2-in-1 laptops as well), and HP’s also been making some gorgeous laptops recently that are some of the best laptops in the world.
When it comes to gaming, the best laptop brands include Alienware, Asus and Acer.
How much RAM does a laptop need? RAM (Random Access Memory) is an important specification to look for in a laptop. You’ll want 4GB at the very least for a Windows laptop – though we’d actually recommend for many people to go for 8GB. That will ensure that the laptop runs well for years to come. Budget Chromebooks can get away with less RAM, such as 1GB or 2GB.
Battery life considerations Finally there’s battery life. This is likely to be one of the most important considerations you have when choosing what laptop to buy. The best laptops need to be able to let you work - and play - for hours on end without you having to scramble for a power adapter. Modern laptops are getting ever more power-efficient, which has led to longer battery lives. For a laptop to be included in our best laptops list, it needs to offer a battery life of five hours or more.
Which type of laptop is best for you?
General laptops: Where the best cheap laptops (opens in new tab) are found, devices that focus more on practicality than style, portability or power. That’s not to say they can’t be fast, but you’ll typically find a non-Ultrabook clamshell laptop with an HD screen and spinning drive-based storage for less than $600 or £400.
Ultrabooks: Where you’ll find thin-and-light notebooks sporting SSD storage and display resolutions that exceed 1080p. Paired with powerful, albeit mobile-centric components and especially long battery life, the best Ultrabooks (opens in new tab) will cost a pretty penny – $700 or £500 to $2,000 or £1,800.
2-in-1 laptops: Where notebooks that double as tablets are located. The Surface Book 2 might be a ways off (opens in new tab), but many of the best 2-in-1 laptops (opens in new tab) are available right now. Outfitted with both detachable and 360-degree rotating hinges, these hybrids are the most versatile way to experience Windows 10 (or Chrome OS) on a touchscreen.
Chromebooks: Where you’ll find the best Chromebooks (opens in new tab) running Chrome OS. These do much of what Windows and macOS can in the browser, focused on cloud storage over local, while recently getting Android app support for touchscreen models. They generally cost less than $300 or £200 and some can even withstand (opens in new tab) a slight tussle.
Gaming laptops: Need a laptop to play games (almost) just like a shiny desktop PC can? Then you’ll want one of the best gaming laptops (opens in new tab). These machines generally cost from $800 or £600 to upwards of $3,000 or £2,800 and they’ll likely be the ones to take advantage of AMD’s laptop-grade Ryzen processors (opens in new tab) first. If you're really on a budget, then you can check out the best cheap gaming laptop deals (opens in new tab).
Laptop-tablet hybrids: Designed from the tablet-first approach to laptop-tablet hybrids, the best Windows tablets (opens in new tab) pack beyond-HD touchscreens, sometimes with kickstands in their frames or provided via keyboard covers. These generally shine with a stylus, and range from the budget to the premium price ranges.
How we tested these laptops
How we test the best laptops
We know that buying a new laptop can be a huge investment, so every laptop in this list has been extensively tested by us. When we test laptops, we use them in our day-to-day lives to see who they perform. We look at their design, including how stylish they are, or if they are thin and light enough to carry around with, and how comfortable they are to work on.
When it comes to performance, we use a mix of real-world tests and synthetic benchmarks to see how powerful (or not) these laptops are. This means using Windows 10 (or Chrome OS on Chromebooks and macOS on MacBooks) and running various apps and seeing how fast they load, noting down any problems.
These days, the webcam and microphone in a laptop is also incredibly important, so we take time to test out these as well. When it comes to gaming laptops, we’ll run more benchmark tests, as well as fire up games to play on them as well (it’s a hard job, isn’t it?)
Battery lives are also important, so we’ll keep track on how long we can use the laptop without needing to charge. We also run our own battery life benchmark that plays a looped 1080p movie until the battery dies. We also run the PC Mark 10 battery life benchmark, which replicates real-world usage, such as web browsing and document creation. These tests give us an excellent idea of how long the batteries in these laptops last.
We then take everything we’ve learned about the laptop and compare it to its price, to see if it offers the best value to customers.