If you're in the market for one of the best laptops, you should seriously consider the MacBook Air 2022, our number one pick. Apple also just announced a new 15-inch MacBook Air, an ultra-thin option with a bigger screen running on the same M2 processor. Beyond the Macbook Air, we’ve included various types of laptops in this guide for specific use cases, ensuring everyone can find the best device for their needs.
TL;DR – These are the Best Laptops:
- Apple MacBook Air 2022
- Asus ROG Zephyrus G14
- Samsung Galaxy Book3 Pro 360
- Microsoft Surface Pro 9
- Lenovo Flex 5i Chromebook
- Apple MacBook Air 2020
- HP Pavilion Aero 13
- Framework Laptop 13
- Gigabyte Aero 16
With collective decades worth of experience reviewing and testing laptops, we’ve gathered the absolute best laptops, from versatile 2-in-1 models to gaming-ready powerhouses. Regardless of what you’re looking for, we’ve found a top laptop pick for you in 2023.
Apple MacBook Air 2022
Best Laptop Overall
The latest leading laptop from Apple is fresh for 2022, complete with a new (but familiar) design and the company’s latest M2 processor. Anyone that follows Apple closely will notice that the new MacBook Air design is an adaptation of the latest MacBook Pro models.
This means not only the return of MagSafe charging, but a larger, brighter, and sharper screen. The series of improvements includes a massive 18-hour battery life, maintaining the $1,200 MacBook Air’s status as the top laptop everyone is trying to beat and one of the best MacBook models.
Asus ROG Zephyrus G14
Best Gaming Laptop
Already sitting atop our list of the best gaming laptops, the $2,249 Asus Zephyrus G14 can play the latest games at high quality settings and resolutions with steady frame rates. The 120Hz display also makes this laptop ideal for high-speed gaming, like FPS and racing titles.
What’s especially lovely is the laptop’s compact size and lightweight relative to its beefy performance. This combination of high power and high portability makes the Zephyrus G14 the best gaming laptop for most people.
Samsung Galaxy Book3 Pro 360
Best 2-in-1 Laptop
When it comes to 2-in-1 laptops, Samsung created a device that continues to shine with each new iteration, the Galaxy Book3 Pro 360. With it comes a stunning and crisp AMOLED display offering a 120Hz refresh rate for smooth scrolling. Being a convertible laptop, you can flip that screen around 360 degrees—hence the name—delivering a massive 16-inch tablet-like experience with S-Pen support perfect for taking notes or sketching.
The Galaxy Book3 Pro 360 packs in some impressive internals to power that screen and handle all your everyday computing needs. You get the latest 13th gen Intel Core i7 processor and 16GB of LPDDR5 RAM, ensuring a snappy performance even while multitasking. The battery life doesn’t disappoint either, lasting an entire day with average usage, all while the machine keeps a super thin form factor for ultimate portability.
Microsoft Surface Pro 9
Best Detachable Laptop
Microsoft continues to set the standard for detachable laptops with its Suface lineup, and the Surface Pro 9 is a shining example of just how portable and powerful these devices can be. Our favorite model delivers an ARM-based processor, the SQ3, to take advantage of 5G built-in, AI features for video calls, and a longer battery life—an impressive 19 hours.
The Surface Pro’s 13-inch ultra-crisp touchscreen rivals Apple in terms of color quality and touch accuracy, and it’s even rocking a 120Hz refresh rate for super smooth scrolling. If you’re looking to take this device on the go, it has a lightweight, sturdy chassis with two USB-C ports for peripherals. However, the Pro 9 doesn't include a keyboard, so you'll need to pick up the $180 Surface Pro Signature Keyboard.
Lenovo Flex 5i Chromebook
Topping our list of the best Chromebooks, this $549 2-in-1 device from Lenovo brings power, portability, and flexibility to the Chrome laptop category at a fantastic price. The IPS display is also a joy to look at thanks to its Full HD resolution and wide viewing angles.
This makes the Flex 5i ideal for both work and leisure, which is where Chromebooks shine the most: inexpensive laptops for basic work tasks and streaming video. Lenovo’s latest laptop does that, with relatively lots of power behind it, for about a work day before you’ll need to charge it again – not bad at all.
Apple MacBook Air 2020
Best MacBook for College
While Apple’s laptops are arguably prohibitively expensive, they’re also the highest-quality in the industry and can last for more than five years if cared for well. That’s why we find it safe to recommend the previous-generation $999 MacBook Air for most college students.
This 2020 model brings with it several major benefits of Apple’s first M1 processor, like longer battery life and stronger graphics power than most similarly-priced Intel laptops. With the student discount, this MacBook Air becomes hard to resist to pick up at the start of a college career, and it’s built to last throughout even after you graduate.
HP Pavilion Aero 13
Best Laptop for College
Available for less than most premium Windows laptops, like the Dell XPS 13, the $770 Pavilion Aero 13 from HP offers similar power and features for a lot less – topping our best college laptops list. That should be music to students’ ears looking to save as much as possible without compromising on their essential equipment.
With enough power to handle most basic student workloads, the Pavilion Aero 13 also has enough storage for lots of projects and other files, which is rare at its price point. Throw in up to 10 hours of battery life, and you have an affordable, powerful college laptop that can last through each day of classes and then some.
Framework Laptop 13
Best Upgradable Laptop
Most laptops are only good for five or six years after you purchase them because they aren't terribly upgradable. PCs can be updated with new processors and graphics while adding more memory and storage is a cinch too – but none of these things are true for a laptop. Except for the Framework Laptop 13 that is.
The Framework Laptop 13 is an immensely upgradable laptop that makes replacing everything easy from the memory, storage, to even replacing the whole main logic board and display. All these components and the outer panels of the laptop are secured with just a few latches and screws, so upgradability is a cinch. You can also replace all the ports as they plug into the laptop with USB-C connections. Plus, while you're trading out all these parts you can add a bit of personalized flair with colorful keyboards and screen bezels.
Gigabyte Aero 16
Best Laptop for Video Editing
Looking for the best laptop for video editing? You'll need two things primarily: a super-sharp screen and a graphics processor to back it up. The $1,999 Gigabyte Aero 16 delivers both as well as plenty of memory, lots of storage, and a fast processor.
Of course, the Aero 16 is heftier than most laptops on this list, but it’s also the most powerful. This laptop would be just as ideal for gaming sessions between video edits with this spec sheet. Just don’t expect stellar battery life, which isn’t our primary concern here.
What to look for in a laptop
Before beginning to search for a laptop to buy, the most important thing to remember is that what you get is likely what you will be stuck with for several years. Laptops are not nearly as upgradeable as desktops, and generally are replaced rather than updated with new parts.
This includes all of the usual hardware specs, like display resolution, processor, memory, and graphics. However, it also includes the webcam, the keyboard, and the trackpad. These can be improved by accessories, but why spend extra money you don’t have to?
When it comes to more predictable hardware specs, we recommend at least 256GB of storage and 8GB of memory, or RAM. As for the processor and graphics, that depends on your specific needs. Gamers and multimedia editors are going to need the topmost, discrete hardware from Intel and Nvidia (or more rarely, AMD) combined, while most people could get away with a single processor running everything, as with MacBooks and most mainstream Windows laptops.
Joe Osborne is a writer and editor with more than a decade of experience in games and tech media. You can find his work elsewhere at Insider, TechRadar, Laptop Magazine, Tom’s Guide, and more.