Laptops. I’ve spent over a decade testing and reviewing them. It’s a passion of mine that puts me in a prime position to help in your quest to find the best laptop for you. Whether you’re looking for a sleek ultraportable for work, a Chromebook for school, a 2-in-1 that doubles as a tablet or a gaming laptop to decimate your foes, this is the place to find it. This page is constantly being updated to reflect the Laptop Mag staff’s current top laptop choices based on our latest reviews.
We have named the Galaxy Book 2 Pro 360 to our best laptop list, as this is now the best 2-in-1 laptop we have tested. It features a fast 13th gen CPU along with a dazzling OLED display.
We have also added the Asus ROG Strix Scar 18, which is now our top gaming laptop. This beast includes a Nvidia GeForce RTX 4090 GPU along with a 240Hz display in a futuristic design.
My best laptop recommendations are determined by rating, pricing and use case. We put every laptop through rigorous synthetic tests and we also use them in real-world situations, evaluating overall performance, display brightness, keyboard comfort and much more. We also run our own battery test to let you know how long these laptops last on a charge.
The laptops that earn a spot on this page are the best of the best and worthy of your hard-earned dollars. Read on to learn more about our top-rated laptops.
The best laptops you can buy today
Weighing a mere 2.7 pounds, Apple’s smallest laptop is also the best laptop for most people. There’s a lot to love about the MacBook Air M2, starting with its new look. This is one of the thinnest laptops around at only 0.4 inches thick, and yet it packs a big punch thanks to Apple’s M2 chip. This system handled most of our benchmarks with a breezy aplomb, outperforming most Windows laptops.
Other reasons to buy the MacBook Air M2 include a bright and colorful 13.6-inch display, a comfortable keyboard and over 14 hours of battery life based on our testing. Although the M2 chip won’t pull the numbers that its more powerful brethren (M2 Pro and M2 Max), the silicon is still more powerful than its predecessor.
Even better, it’s more powerful than the competition. For instance, the Air M2 crushed the Geekbench 5.4 test as well as the Handbrake video transcoding and BlackMagic Read/Write tests. That’s a lot of power for a relatively affordable price –– at least for a MacBook.
If that’s not enough, you also get a 1080p webcam. So what’s not to like? There’s only two Thunderbolt / USB-C ports, and the SSD is slower than we’d like. Overall, if you’re looking for an ultra lightweight laptop with power, the MacBook Air M2 deserves to sit at the top of your list.
See our full MacBook Air M2 review.
Acer consistently delivers laptops that deliver a great combination of performance and value. Case in point, the Acer Swift 5. It’s easy on the eyes with our reviewer proclaiming the Mist Green aerospace-grade aluminum system as “the most attractive notebook I’ve seen this year.” But the Swift 5 is about more than good looks.
Powered by a 12th Gen Intel Core i7 processor with integrated Intel graphics, the Swift 5 held its own against its competitors during our overall performance and file transfer tests. And it easily sailed past our category average. The Swift 5 had its best showing on the Geekbench 5.4 test where it scored an impressive 9,859. We were also surprised at how well the notebook’s integrated Intel Iris Xe graphics performed, notching 26 frames per second on the Sid Meier's Civilization VI benchmark. While it didn’t make our longest lasting laptop page, the Swift 5 still offers more than 11 hours of battery life. Other reasons to buy include a healthy smattering of ports and a bright, vivid 14-inch display.
But it’s not a perfect system, however, as the laptop has an inordinate amount of bloatware. The speakers also could have been better. However, these are minor issues for an otherwise outstanding Windows 11 laptop.
See our full Acer Swift 5 review.
If you’re shopping for a big-screen laptop with punch, the HP Envy 16 can do it all.. Just to drive home the point, our reviewer dubbed the system a “multifaceted dream machine.” With an Intel Core i9 processor, 32GB of RAM, a 2TB SSD and an Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 GPU, the HP Envy 16 can handle both work and play. The laptop really killed on the Handbrake video transcoding test and kept pace with the competition during the File Transfer test.
As it pertains to gaming, the Envy 16’s discrete RTX 3060 GPU ensures that it can play most games, even AAA titles –– just not at the highest settings. What we can say is that while the Envy 16 didn’t come out on top on most of our gaming benchmarks, it always stayed above our 30 frames-per-second playability threshold.
And speaking of gaming, take a good, long look at the 4K display while enjoying the better-than-average speakers. Just be sure to keep it plugged in while gaming as we only saw 1 hour and 20 minutes of battery life. However, during regular tasks, the laptop lasted 9:28. A jack of all trades and a master of some, be sure to check out the HP Envy 16.
See our full HP Envy 16 review.
The next entrants in Apple’s M2 series silicon are here and those who poo pooed the initial M2 chip are eating crow. The MacBook Pro 14 I reviewed was outfitted with Apple’s M2 Pro processor with 32GB of unified memory, a 2TB SSD and an Apple M2 GPU and it did not disappoint. The laptop consistently outperformed its challengers in overall performance. On the Geekbench 5.4, the laptop reached 14,965, scorching the premium laptop average.
On the BlackMagic Read/Write test, the speedy SSD produced 5,293.3/6,168.4MBps, smoking the category average and the challenging notebooks. It was a toss up during our gaming test, but good news everyone, you can actually game on this bad boy as I discovered on optimized versions of Resident Evil Village and No Man’s Sky.
And as cool as the M2 Pro chip is, I’d be remiss if I didn’t shout out the gorgeous 14.2-inch Liquid Retina XDR display with its plethora of vivid colors and crisp details. Then you have the excellent six speaker setup with its spatial audio capabilities. Plus, there’s the super comfortable Magic keyboard nestled into that iconic silver aluminum chassis that graces many a coffee shop and office space. And whether you’re working, watching video or playing games, the MacBook Pro 14 can go the distance serving up an impressive 14 hours, making it one of the best laptops for Mac users.
See our full Apple MacBook Pro 14-inch (M2 Pro, 2023) review.
If you’re in the market for a Chromebookk, you can’t do better than the Lenovo Duet 5 Chromebook. Based on our testing, you get over 13 hours of battery life, a showstopping OLED display and Qualcomm’s speedier Snapdragon 7c Gen 2 processor, which is a marked improvement over its predecessor.
Is the price a little high in my opinion for a Chromebook? But this is a really good value for under $500. And unlike some detachable laptops, Lenovo actually includes the keyboard cover with the system. However, the company stopped short of including the stylus, which is frustrating.
In everyday use, the Duet 5 Chromebook consistently delivered zippy performance, which is what you really want out of any laptop. This is why it’s been named our current best Chromebook.
See our full Lenovo Duet 5 Chromebook review.
Bend it, shape it, any way you want it, the HP Spectre x360 13.5-inch has earned its place on our best laptops page not only for its versatility as a 2-in-1 laptop, but also its excellent performance, phenomenal OLED display and it’s all-day battery life. Let’s start with the design, outside of the 360-degree hinges, the Spectre x360 is just a stunning laptop to behold with its aluminum Nightfall black chassis with pale brass contrasting accents. I’m a fan of the diagonally cut corners as they help the Spectre x360 stand out in a crowd while still being functional by housing a headset jack and Thunderbolt 4 jack.
Okay, now onto the performance. The laptop was nearly unstoppable with its Intel Core i7-1255U CPU, keeping all challengers at bay with the exception of the extremely polarizing Dell XPS 13 Plus. If not for that notebook, the Spectre x360 would have a shut-out. The convertible lasted over 10 hours on a charge which gives you plenty of time to truly enjoy that stunning 13.5-inch, 3000 x 2000-pixel OLED display that our reviewer described as “vivid, bright, colorful, and crisper than deep-fried rolled tacos” after work.
The laptop also has several security features including one where the screen blurs as soon as it detects someone behind you. It’s a really great laptop, but I wish there was a discrete GPU option and it wasn’t so expensive. But if you want premium features, you’re going to pay a premium price.
See our full HP Spectre x360 13.5-inch (2022) review.
Sometimes, you don’t need a complete overhaul, just a little logistical tweak there and some upgraded components here and you’ve got a laptop with great battery life and plenty of performance power. Such is the case for the Microsoft Surface 4. We reviewed both the Intel and AMD versions of the laptop. However, the AMD iteration proved more impressive thanks to its sleek design, gorgeous 15-inch, 2256 x 1540-pixel display and swappable SSD, which makes a return from the previous generation.
But it’s more than that. Equipped with an AMD Ryzen 7 4980U processor with integrated AMD graphics, the Surface 4 proved to in our reviewer’s words a “real Intel killer.” The notebook crushed on the Geekbench overall performance test as well as our video transcoding test. On our battery test, the laptop lasted 12:14, ensuring it will last an entire work day and then some.
As rosy as that picture is, we do have a few complaints such as the thick bezels and measly port selection. Our biggest qualm lies with the lack of a discrete GPU option which would really push the Surface 4 into a new stratosphere.
See our full Microsoft Surface Laptop 4 (15-inch, AMD) review.
One of the first laptops with one of Intel’s 13th Gen processors we’ve reviewed, the Samsung Galaxy Book 3 Pro 360 has a lot to live up to. Thankfully, the convertible laptop rises to the challenge and excels. The Galaxy Book 3 Pro 360 is powered by an Intel Core i7-1360P CPU, a middle-of-the-road chipset with 12 cores (4 performance, 8 efficiency) and runs at 28W of power.
While not as powerful as Intel’s H-series chips, the Pro 360 kept pace with its competitors, even coming close to matching the likes of the MacBook Air M2. But where the Pro 360 really impressed our reviewer was gaming. No, you’re not going to play AAA titles, at least not the newer or more taxing ones. However, they reported reaching 60 fps on F1 Manager 22 –– that’s double our 30-fps playability threshold.
Outside of performance, the Galaxy Book 3 Pro 360 is extremely versatile thanks to its sturdy 360-degree hinges. It allows the notebook to seamlessly transition from a traditional clamshell to a 16-inch tablet with a few modes in between. It even comes with an S Pen, although it annoyingly lacks a silo to house the nifty peripheral, but you can magnetically attach it to the handsome aluminum chassis. Speaking of that 16-inch, 3K AMOLED display, we were disappointed to learn that it wasn’t as bright as last year’s model. The laptop also posted lower battery life than its predecessor.
However, the Samsung Galaxy Book 3 Pro 360 is our pick for best 2-in-1 laptop based on its performance, versatility and sleek design.(opens in new tab)
Lenovo’s X1 Carbon series is a perennial mainstay on our best laptop page with good reason. They’re lightweight, powerful and serve up plenty of endurance. The Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon (9th Gen) follows in this vaunted heritage, starting with its looks. Our best business laptop is indeed office ready with its handsome matte black soft-touch surfaces. Weighing a scant 2.6 pounds with a thickness of only 0.6 inches, the X1 Carbon is commute ready. Plus, it’s MIL-SPEC tested so it can take a drop or two or some spillage.
Realizing that mobile professionals need an added measure of security, the laptop has a fingerprint reader and a TPM 2.0 chip to encrypt sensitive data. The Windows Hello-compatible IR camera isn’t standard, unfortunately, but can be added for an added cost. And when it’s time to get to work, the ThinkPad X1 Carbon has plenty of ports to create a full workstation. The 14-inch display isn’t as vivid as we would like, but it’s plenty bright. Meanwhile, the audio is loud and crisp and the world-renowned keyboard is just as comfortable as we’ve come to expect. However, the touchpad is smaller than we would like.
The X1 Carbon lasted a whopping 15.5 hours on our battery test and when it came to our benchmarks, there was no stopping this system. As a business laptop, the ThinkPad X1 Carbon (9th Gen) is an undeniable powerhouse with a few minor cons such as the 720p webcam, which in a world of remote work falls short of the mark. But the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon (9th Gen) is a force to be reckoned with.
See our full Lenovo ThinkPad Carbon X1 (Gen 9) review.
Lenovo is synonymous with business. Which is why the versatile Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga (Gen 6) graces this list. You’re essentially getting all the bells and whistles of the X1 Carbon with the added cherry of seamlessly transitioning from a clamshell, to tent, presentation and tablet modes. You still get the understated good looks of a ThinkPad with the durability of MIL-SPEC certification and the security of a fingerprint reader, TPM 2.0 and a physical camera slider. Plus, our review unit came with an IR camera for Windows Hello facial recognition logins.
The X1 Yoga is packed with ports, including USB-A ports and there’s that super comfortable keyboard with the red trackpoint in the center. And you get an embedded stylus. In terms of performance, the X1 Yoga packs a potent punch, at times even beating its cousin, the X1 Carbon on our video transcoding and file transfer tests.
This is a business laptop, so while you can’t play more demanding games, the laptop did serve up 34 fps on the Sid Meier Civilization VI benchmark. During the Laptop Mag Battery test, the X1 Yoga lasted nearly 15 hours, which is very impressive.. There are a few drawbacks such as the lack of a SD card slot but overall the X1 Yoga is a winner.
See our full Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga (Gen 6) review.
Wanna see magic happen? Then you should get your hands on the Asus ZenBook 17 Fold OLED unfurl from a 12.5-inch OLED display to a 17.3-inch, 2560 x 1920 marvel. One of the first foldable laptops to hit the market, the ZenBook 17 Fold is hands down one of the most innovative notebooks I’ve seen in a long while. But it’s more than just a gimmick. It’s an incredibly compelling system capable of serving as a legitimate productivity machine as well as an entertainment vehicle.
But before you get lost in all that green real estate, let’s take a moment to appreciate the specs. Asus managed to fit a Intel Core i7-1250U processor, 16GB of RAM, a 1TB PCIe 4.0 x4 NVMe M.2 SSD and an integrated Intel Iris Xe GPU into this bendy contraption. The U-series chip, typically found in premium ultraportable laptops, allows the ZenBook 17 Fold to stay well above the premium laptop average for most of our benchmarks. It’s not powerful enough to beat the more powerful Intel H-series chips or Apple’s M2 chip, but it definitely gets the job done.
In terms of battery life, we saw 7:56 on our battery test, which is below the average, but it’s only a few minutes short of a full work day. But playing on the cutting edge of technology doesn’t come cheap as the $3,500 price tag shows. It’s one of the major cons of the ZenBook 17 Fold OLED as the price means that only the most deep pocketed tech enthusiasts will have the opportunity to put this new class of laptop through its paces.
See our full Asus Zenbook 17 Fold OLED review.
When it’s time to game, and I mean really game — like obliterate everything in the level with wild abandon — look no further than the Asus ROG Strix Scar 18. This behemoth with a 18-inch, 2560 x 1600 display with 240Hz refresh rate is the way to go for buttery smooth rendering, which in those crucial moments can mean the difference between getting the kill shot or receiving it.
But the destruction you’re going to unleash comes by way of the 13th Gen Intel Core i9-13900HX and the Nvidia GeForce RTX 4090 GPU with 16GB of VRAM. Both chips are the latest and greatest and very overclockable so you can squeeze every inch of power out of them. And while we’re here, I can’t overlook the pair of 1TB SSDs in RAID 0 configuration. This treacherous triad destroyed just about every benchmark we threw at it on both the overall and gaming performance.
Where the Strix Scar 18 hit a bit of a hiccup is the File transfer test and battery life. But about 4.5 hours is still pretty good for a laptop packing this much power. Outside of this, my only complaint about this system is the 720p webcam, which if I’m paying nearly $4,000, I expect 1080p –– hell 4K. But overall this is the gaming laptop to beat.
Read our full Asus ROG Strix Scar 18 review.
AMD has been having a year. Hell, the chipmaker has been having several years, only getting better with the passage of time. The AMD Ryzen 7 5800U processor with its 16GB of RAM and integrated AMD Radeon Graphics earned the Lenovo IdeaPad Slim 7 Carbon a strong performance rating as one of its pros. The 14-inch notebook served up win after win versus competing systems on overall performance and stayed well above our mainstream averages. Just don’t expect strong gaming frame rates from this laptop.
So to give you a little taste of how well the IdeaPad Slim 7 Carbon performs, the notebook nailed down 6,241 on our overall performance test, surpassing the category average. The winning streak continued on the video transcoding test with an agile time of 8:51. Still not convinced? Check out the 800MBps the Carbon pulled on the File Transfer test. It’s slim, but mighty.
I was a bit surprised at the nearly 10 hours of battery life, as some competing systems last longer on a charge.. It’s the only cloud in an otherwise sunny picture, including a bright, vivid display, comfortable typing experience and great audio quality,
See our full Lenovo IdeaPad Slim 7 Carbon review.
Whether you’re shooting TikToks, flexin’ for the Gram or doing it big for YouTube, the demand for creator-class laptops is on the rise. And if you’re not on the Mac bandwagon, you definitely need to give the Microsoft Surface Laptop Studio a look. First things first. Even though the Surface Laptop Studio is a 2-in-1 machine, it’s not your typical convertible thanks to Microsoft’s special hinge that gives access to new modes. One of my favorites lets you pull the display over the keyboard, just in front of the touchpad allowing you to get up close and personal with the display.
The 14.2-inch display with a 120Hz refresh rate is gorgeous and great for any video or photo editing tasks you have on tap. We also like the quad Omnisonic speakers, which produced clear and balanced audio. And while the Surface Laptop Studio didn’t win every benchmarking round, it shined on our File Transfer Test, Sid Meier Civilization VI benchmarks and managed to last almost 11 hours on our battery test.
Now if I can be nitpicky for a moment, I’m not a fan of the thick bezel, skimpy port offering and Microsoft’s confounding choice to not include the excellent Slim Pen 2. No need to nickel and dime us, Microsoft. But if you’re looking for a cool looking convertible that goes beyond the average 2-in-1 with content creation in mind, the Microsoft Surface Laptop Studio is the way to go.
See our full Microsoft Surface Laptop Studio review.
Why trust Laptop Mag
Why you can trust Laptop Mag 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.
Laptop Mag reviews over a hundred different laptops every year, from paperweight ultralights to everyday workhorses to lumbering gaming notebooks that scorch the frame rates of even the hottest AAA games. We're not just experts in the laptop field, as we go one step further by meticulously testing smartphones, tablets, headphones, PC accessories, software, and even the latest in gaming.
We are 100% independent and have decades of experience to help you buy with confidence. In fact, Laptop Mag has been testing and reviewing products for three decades, and we continue to deliver trustworthy reviews you can rely on.
Our experienced team of writers and editors scour the available information about the laptop and put it through its paces to determine which is best for you. But before they start, the testing team subjects each system to a rigorous regimen of synthetic and real-world tests to see how a system handles the type of work and games you’re most likely to throw at it.
Our editorial trustworthiness is enforced by one of the world's largest technology publishers, Future Publishing. As a company, we have unrivaled experience across every tech sector — and we're the group's specialist for all things mobile tech.
How we test laptops
Over the course of a year, we review over 150 laptops covering every price point and use case. Whether you’re looking for a productivity workhorse, a badass gaming system, or a multimedia machine to kick back and watch a movie or two, we can help you find your ideal match.
In order to make our best laptop of 2023 list, the system needs to score at least 4 out of 5 stars on our reviews and deliver on the things shoppers care about most. In our evaluations, we focus on design and comfort, display quality, the keyboard and touchpad, performance, battery life, and especially value.
Our expert reviewers also use each product to see how it looks, feels, and performs in everyday situations. Because we see so many different notebooks, we can compare each to its direct competitors and give you an idea of how it stacks up to the average laptop in its price band.
When we bring a laptop into our laboratory, our goal is to see how it would work if you brought it into your home or office. While we use a number of industry standard benchmarks such as Geekbench and 3DMark, we focus heavily on real-world tests that we have developed in-house.
To test endurance, the Laptop Mag Battery test surfs the web at 150 nits of brightness until the system runs out of juice. To judge pure processing power, we use a giant spreadsheet macro that matches 65,000 names with their addresses, a video transcoder that converts a 4K video to 1080p, and the Geekbench 5 synthetic test. We measure graphics prowess with both 3DMark Ice Storm / Fire Strike and a series of games including Assassin's Creed: Valhalla, Metro: Exodus, Grand Theft Auto V and Red Dead Redemption just to name a few.
We use a colorimeter to measure screen brightness and color gamut while other instruments help us determine a laptop's key travel and ambient heat. See this page on how we test laptops for more details on our benchmarking procedures.
How to find the right laptop
When shopping for a laptop, there's a lot to consider. To help you choose a system, we've put our up-to-date list of favorite notebooks above, along with five points to keep in mind when choosing a system.
Budget: What you get for the money.
You can find good cheap Windows laptops and high-quality Chromebooks for under $500. However, better mainstream laptops usually cost more than $700 and premium Ultrabooks can run over $1,000. The best gaming laptops can cost $2.000 and up, but you can play the latest titles at decent frame rates on gaming laptops under $1,500 as well as the best gaming laptops under $1,000.
Screen Size: 12 to 14 inches for Portability
Knowing a laptop's screen size tells you a lot about its portability overall. If you want to use your computer on your lap or carry it around a lot, go for one with a 12, 13 or 14-inch display. If you want to use the computer on tables and desks and won't carry it around much, a 15-inch model may give you more value. Some gaming rigs, media machines and workstations even have 17 or 18-inch screens, but those are hardest to carry.
2-in-1 or Clamshell?
More and more of today's laptops are 2-in-1s with screens that either bend back 360 degrees or detach so you can use them as tablets. If you like the idea of using your laptop in slate mode for drawing, media consumption or just using it standing up, a 2-in-1 could be for you. However, you can often get better features or a lower price by going with a traditional clamshell-style laptop.
Battery Life: 8+ Hours for Portability
Unless you only plan to use your laptop on your desk, battery life matters. Even within the home or office, having plenty of juice enables you to work on the couch or at the conference table, without being chained to the nearest outlet. For the best portability, we recommend getting a laptop that lasted over 8 hours on the Laptop Mag Battery Test. The longest-lasting laptops endure for over 10 hours.
Specs: 1080p / Core i5 / 8GB Are Best Bets
You can spend a lot of time delving into specs, but here are the key components to think about. If you just want really good mainstream performance, go for a Core i5 CPU, 8GB of RAM, a 256GB SSD and a 1080p screen.
- Screen Resolution: Unfortunately, 66 percent of consumer laptops and 51 percent of business systems have low-res screens. If at all possible, get a display with a 1920 x 1080 (aka 1080p or full HD) or higher resolution. If you're a content creator, you'll want to look into at least a 2.5K resolution panel. And if you're a gamer, definitely pay attention to the refresh and response rate. We recommend 144Hz and 3-millisecond, respectively.
- CPU: An Intel Core i5 provides good mainstream performance. Some budget systems will come with Core i3, Celeron or Pentium CPUs which are good enough for basic tasks, but not heavy mutltiasking. Get a Core i7 or a quad core processor (serial number ends in HQ or HK) for gaming or high-end productivity tasks such as video editing and 3D modeling. AMD is enjoying a renaissance with its Ryzen line of processors. Ryzen 7 is the middle-of-the-road chip that will bring mainstream performance while Ryzen 5 and 9 cover your entry level and power user needs. And of course we can't forget Apple with its M-series chips based on ARM architecture that has taken the industry by storm.
- RAM: 8GB is ideal for most users. 4GB is acceptable for budget systems. Secondary laptops and Chromebooks may have less.
- Storage: Unless you're a gamer or a power user, 256GB of internal storage is probably enough. If at all possible, get an SSD (Solid State Drive) rather than a hard drive, because it's going to make your entire computer a lot faster.
- Graphics Chip: Gamers and creative professionals need to do some research and figure out which discrete GPU is good enough to run their favorite software. Everyone else will be happy with the built-in Intel HD Graphics that come on the CPU.