The best laptop 2024: top portable picks for all budgets

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If you're looking for the best laptops of 2024, then we're here to help. Each year, we review a huge amount of laptops across every category, and we're constantly updating this guide to give you the very latest buying advice, no matter what your budget is.

We've only just started 2024, so a lot of the laptops on this page were released last year – but that doesn't mean they are outdated, with many coming with cutting-edge components. And, at CES 2024, the huge tech show in Las Vegas that ran at the beginning of January, we got an exciting glimpse of what the future holds for laptops.

But, if you want to know what the best laptop you can buy right now is, then our choice remains the MacBook Air (M2), which is available in both 13-inch and 15-inch models. This standout in the best MacBook category merges a sleek, contemporary design with an impressive screen, stellar performance, and exceptional battery life. The 13-inch model is particularly great value, especially after its price reduction since the launch of the 15-inch model.

If you don't fancy a MacBook, don't worry, as we have a huge range of other options, from Windows 11-powered laptops, to budget Chromebooks, powerful gaming laptops and everything in between. Each laptop on this page has been carefully reviewed by our team of experts, where we spend weeks using these laptops in day-to-day activities to assess their real-world performance. This comprehensive approach ensures that our recommendations on the best laptop options are based on extensive, firsthand experience, offering you advice you can trust.

What to look for

Battery life: The best thing about laptops is that they allow you to break free from your desk and use them almost anywhere - which is why checking the battery life is essential. For pure battery life, Chromebooks are the best laptops you can buy – but Apple’s latest MacBooks with M1, M2 and brand-new M3 chips come close, offering well over 10 hours of battery life. Meanwhile, gaming laptops usually sacrifice battery life for performance instead.

Performance: When looking to buy the best laptop for your needs, you should consider the performance a potential purchase offers. You don’t want to be stuck with a laptop that starts lagging after a few years. For Windows laptops, look to get one with a modern 14th generation (or 13th) Intel processor, or AMD Ryzen 7000 series. With a MacBook, go for an M1, M2 or new M3 model – which are Apple’s powerful chips made specially for its laptops.

You should also go for a minimum of 8GB of RAM, though 16GB is more future-proof. Recently, Microsoft suggested that 16GB of RAM would be the minimum requirement for the next generation of 'AI laptops'. For Chromebooks, however, 4GB of RAM is fine.

Written by
Matt Hanson
Written by
Matt Hanson

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.

The best laptops in 2024

Why you can trust TechRadar We spend hours testing every product or service we review, so you can be sure you’re buying the best. 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