Best Laptops

Best laptop 2023: 5 best laptops tested and rated

BY:

Sangram Rana

Laptop Mag knows more about laptops than anyone else. We test dozens of new systems yearly to help shoppers choose the best laptop for their needs and budget. We test every laptop we review in our labs and the real world. Using our web surfing test, we look at everything from benchmark performance and screen brightness to how comfortable the keyboard is and how long the battery lasts.

And what you see on this list of the best laptops are the ones we think are the best.

There are many kinds of laptops, like ultraportables, 2-in-1 laptops, business laptops, and gaming laptops. We’ll help you find the right one for your needs.

And the same goes for operating systems; we’ll show you the best Windows laptops, MacBooks, and Chromebooks. Based on our years of experience and testing, these are the best laptops you can buy right now.

WHAT IS THE BEST LAPTOP TODAY

What’s the best laptop right now? It’s a relative answer, no doubt. We’re going to spend our money on the Dell XPS 13. It has a lot of power, a long battery life, and is easy to carry around.

For Apple fans, the latest MacBook Pro 14-inch (M2 Pro, 2023), which can be set up with the company’s new M2 Pro or M2 Max chips, is the new “must-have.” During our tests, the laptop beat out all of its competitors. It is now the laptop for mobile professionals, content creators, and gamers.

Looking for something more affordable? The Lenovo Chromebook Duet 5 2-in-1 has an OLED screen and a battery life of over 13 hours for less than $500. Check out the Asus ROG Strix Scar 18 if you want a gaming laptop. It’s the best one on the market right now.

1. Apple MacBook Pro 14-inch (M2 Pro, 2023)

  • CPU: Apple M2
  • GPU: Apple M2 GPU
  • RAM: 16GB
  • Storage: 1TB
  • Display: 14.2-inches, 1964
  • Size: 12.3 x 8.7 x 0.6 inches
  • Weight: 3.5 pounds

No matter how it’s set up, the MacBook Pro 14 is in its class. The laptop still has a beautiful design, loudspeakers, a high-resolution camera, and a comfortable keyboard. But the M2 Pro and M2 Max chips are the real stars of this show because they are even more powerful and efficient.

The M2 Pro and Max MacBooks always do better than their predecessors and the Intel-based competition, just like Apple said they would. Seriously, look at those benchmarks. Other than the part about the screen, the MacBook Pro 14 was almost always at the top of the list.

And if that wasn’t enough, Apple is finally getting into gaming by working with Capcom to make a port of Resident Evil Village that works just as well on PC or console as it does on Apple’s devices. All the company has to do now is add more AAA games to its list, and we’re having a fascinating conversation about what a Mac can and can’t do.

Pros

  • Impressive performance
  • Over 14 hours of battery life
  • Beautifully vibrant display with crisp detail

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Off-putting notch
  • Still no Face ID

2. Acer Swift 5 (2022)

  • CPU: Intel Core i7-1260P
  • GPU: Integrated Intel Iris Xe Graphics
  • RAM: 16GB
  • Storage: 1TB SSD
  • Display: 14-inch, 2560 x 1600
  • Size: 12.2 x 8.4 x 0.59 inches
  • Weight: 2.65 pounds

The Acer Swift 5 was so fast that it blew us away. It got a 4.5 out of 5 and an Editor’s Choice badge because of its fast speed. It did better in our tests than many of its competitors. It has a fast SSD, video transcoding, and file transfer rates. In short, the Swift 5’s Intel Core i7-1260P CPU makes it as fast as Roadrunner.

The Swift 5 is your guy if you want a fast laptop that costs less than $1,500. The days of lagging, slowing down, and waiting will be over. The only thing we don’t like about the Swift 5 is its quiet speakers. Besides that, it’s one of the best laptops we’ve seen. Its battery life is also perfect, lasting more than 11 hours in our tests.

Pros

  • Rival-beating performance
  • Zippy video transcoding
  • Fast file transfer rates
  • Ultra-fast SSD

Cons

  • Speakers could be louder

3. MacBook Air M2

  • CPU: Apple M2
  • GPU: Apple M2 GPU
  • RAM: 8 GB
  • Storage: 1TB SSD
  • Display: 13-inch, 1664p
  • Size: 12 x 8.5 x 0.4 inches
  • Weight: 2.7 pounds

The latest part of the story of the MacBook Air is interesting. The laptop ditches the old wedge shape for a look fitting with the MacBook Pro. But, as its name suggests, the Air is 20% smaller than its predecessor. This time, you can even choose from some fabulous new colours. Apple has also added a 1080p webcam, a new speaker setup, and a more prominent display, among other things.

But the M2 chip from Apple is the real star of the show. It has excellent performance for an ultraportable laptop. It’s faster and stronger than the model it replaces, and it’s perfect for anyone who wants a super-light workhorse. In our test, the battery lasted more than 14 hours and charged quickly. It’s a great combination of portability and performance, so it’s great for work and plays.

Pros

  • Elegant redesign
  • Good performance
  • Excellent battery life

Cons

  • Only two ports
  • SSD somewhat slower than M1 Air

4. HP Envy 16

  • CPU: Intel Core i9-12900H
  • GPU: Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060
  • RAM: 32GB
  • Storage: 2TB SSD
  • Display: 16-inch, 2400p
  • Size: 14.1 x 9.9 x 0.8 inches
  • Weight: 5.1 pounds

The latest part of the story of the MacBook Air is interesting. The laptop ditches the old wedge shape for a look fitting with the MacBook Pro. But, as its name suggests, the Air is 20% smaller than its predecessor. This time, you can even choose from some fabulous new colours. Apple has also added a 1080p webcam, a new speaker setup, and a more prominent display, among other things.

But the M2 chip from Apple is the real star of the show. It has excellent performance for an ultraportable laptop. It’s faster and stronger than the model it replaces, and it’s perfect for anyone who wants a super-light workhorse. In our test, the battery lasted more than 14 hours and charged quickly. It’s a great combination of portability and performance, so it’s great for work and plays.

Pros

  • Gorgeous 4K OLED display
  • Strong web surfing battery life
  • Surprisingly great gaming performance

Cons

  • Below-average battery lifeNo Ethernet port

5. Microsoft Surface Laptop 4 (15-inch, AMD)

  • CPU: AMD Ryzen 7 4980U
  • GPU: AMD Radeon
  • RAM: 16GB
  • Storage: 512GB SSD
  • Display: 15-inch, 1504p
  • Size: 13.4 x 9.6 x 0.6 inches
  • Weight: 3.4 pounds

Yes, the Surface Laptop 5 is now available, but Microsoft’s latest update was a step back, so we still recommend the Surface Laptop 4 for most users. The 15-inch Surface Laptop 4 is still one of Microsoft’s best products. It has a sleek design, a colourful screen, and an excellent keyboard and touchpad. It is one of the best laptops on the market and should be on every shopper’s shortlist.

The Surface Laptop 4 fixed our main problems with the Surface Laptop 3 by making it run faster and last longer on a single charge. If you get the right CPU, the Surface Laptop 4 is a laptop that doesn’t have many problems. The slim, sturdy design is still as stylish as ever. The 15-inch screen is bright and clear, and the keyboard and trackpad are almost the best in their class.

If that higher number makes you curious, here’s why we think the Surface Laptop 4 is better than the Surface Laptop 5.

Pros

  • Speedy performance
  • Long battery life
  • Great 15-inch display

Cons

  • Short on ports
  • No discrete graphics option
  • Bezels could be thinner

How to find the right laptop

When shopping for a laptop, there’s a lot to consider. We’ve put the most recent list of our favourite notebooks and five things to consider when choosing a system above to help you decide.

What you get for the money you spend.

You can find cheap Windows laptops and high-quality Chromebooks for under $500. But most good mainstream laptops cost over $700, and high-end Ultrabooks can cost more than $1,000. The best gaming laptops can cost $2,000 or more, but you can play the latest games on gaming laptops under $1,500 and the best gaming laptops under $1,000 with decent frame rates.

12 to 14 inches is a good size for a portable screen.

The size of a laptop’s screen tells you a lot about how portable it is. Choose a computer with a 12, 13, or 14-inch screen if you want to use it on your lap or move it around a lot. If you want to use the computer on tables and desks and will only be moving it around a little, a 15-inch model might be a better deal. Some gaming systems, media machines, and workstations have screens as big as 17 or 18 inches, but those are the hardest to move.

Double-duty or Clamshell?

More and more laptops today are 2-in-1s that can be used as tablets or laptops. Their screens either fold back 360 degrees or come off so you can use them as tablets. A 2-in-1 could be for you if you like using your laptop in slate mode to draw, watch videos, or stand up. But if you choose a traditional laptop with a flip-open lid, you can often get better features or pay less.

8 or more hours of battery life for portability

Battery life is essential if you don’t just want to use your laptop at your desk. 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. We recommend getting a laptop that lasted over 8 hours on the Laptop Mag Battery Test for the best portability. The longest-lasting laptops endure for over 10 hours.

The best specs are 1080p, Core i5, and 8GB.

You can spend a lot of time looking at specs, but here are the most important things to consider. Go for a Core i5 CPU, 8GB of RAM, a 256GB SSD, and a 1080p screen if you want excellent mainstream performance.

Screen Resolution: Unfortunately, 66% of consumer laptops and 51% of business systems have low-resolution screens. Get a display with a 1920 x 1080 (1080p or full HD) or higher resolution. If you make content, consider a 2.5K resolution panel. And if you play video games, you should pay close attention to the refresh rate and response time. We suggest 144 Hz and a 3-millisecond delay.

CPU: An Intel Core i5 is a good choice for most people. Some low-cost computers have Core i3, Celeron, or Pentium CPUs, which are acceptable for basic tasks but not for heavy multitasking. Get a Core i7 or quad-core processor (the serial number ends in HQ or HK) if you want to play games or do high-end work like editing videos or making 3D models. The Ryzen line of processors is giving AMD a second chance. Ryzen 7 is a middle-of-the-road chip with average performance. Ryzen 5 and 9 are for beginners and power users, respectively. And, of course, we must remember Apple’s M-series chips based on ARM architecture that has taken the industry by storm.

RAM: Most users will be fine with 8GB. 4GB is acceptable for budget systems. Chromebooks and second laptops may have less.

Storage: 256GB of internal storage should be enough unless you are a gamer or a power user. Get an SSD (Solid State Drive) instead of a hard drive if you can. It will make your computer run much faster.

Graphics Chip: Gamers and creative professionals must research which discrete GPU is good enough to run their favourite software. The Intel HD Graphics with the CPU will be OK for everyone else.

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