Our best laptops guide is a list that wasn't easy to make. These mobile machines come in thousands of configurations and setups for different uses, ranging in power and performance to overall value. With a bit of research and testing, however, the laptops we've selected aim to provide the best experience for the money.
While our best choice may be the best fit for some, different people need different things from their laptop. So while you might find the powerful, sturdy, battery-rich Apple MacBook Air (M1, 2020) at the top of our list it may not be the best laptop for everyone.
For Back to School shoppers, there's a variety of MacBooks and other laptops to browse through. Many make some of the best student laptops available today, but they'll also run a pretty penny. Some sales are on the horizon which should feature discounts on MacBooks, so keep a clear eye out over the coming weeks. Some of the best MacBooks you'll find on our list may just get a decent price drop soon.
For that reason, we've covered a wide range of options in our ranking. Whether you're looking for the best Windows 10 laptop, a top-rated system running macOS Big Sur, or the streamlined and snappy ChromeOS, an everyday workhorse or pro-level performer, we have the best laptop to suit your needs right here.
Best laptops 2022
Why you can trust T3 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.
"The MacBook Air (M1) is a small revolution. As much power as you could need in a light and silent design, with giant battery life." – T3's Apple MacBook Air review (opens in new tab)
As our MacBook Air (M1, 2020) review explains, Apple's cheapest laptop is the start of a revolution. Think thin and light laptops have to sacrifice power? Not any more. Or that big performance means smaller battery life? Nope. Or that getting all of these things in one machine would be expensive? Wrong again. This is the best of all worlds.
It's all thanks to the M1 processor – the first Apple-made chip for Macs. It's an eight-core chip that's as powerful as what you find in the high-end MacBook Pros or gaming PCs, but uses a fraction of the power. Combined with the fastest storage in the business, this laptop is fast. But it also runs cool enough that it doesn't need any fans at all, so it's silent.
It's even got pretty solid graphics performance, playing games far more smoothly than anything else with an integrated GPU (though, being a Mac, the selection is more limited). And it can give you around 15 hours of battery life in real-world use (for things like light browsing) – a huge leap over previous Macs.
Comfort and usability are top-notch too – the keyboard and trackpad are excellent, it's a great size and weight to be portable, and the all-aluminum build is solid and feels premium. The sharp screen is also a pleasure to use, with a good level of brightness.
It's a shame that it only has two USB-C ports (which also must be used to power it), since that means you'll probably need adapters, but maybe you're all in on wireless and cloud already anyway. There can also be some issues with software compatibility with the new processor, but these tend to only be with really niche stuff, so won't be a worry for the vast majority of people.
The base specs of 256GB storage and 8GB of RAM may also be too little for some people, but you can upgrade and customize when you buy (though you can't add more after purchase, we should note).
As long as you can live without Windows, the MacBook Air is a laptop that balances portability and power without compromises.
"The Asus VivoBook S15 doesn't excel in any one area – it excels in a whole bunch of them, from the internal specs to the external design. Whether it's the best laptop for you depends on your budget, but at this price we think this is a very difficult laptop to beat." – T3's Asus VivoBook S15 review (opens in new tab)
Wedded to Windows? The best mid-range Windows 10 laptop you can buy now is the Asus VivoBook S15. It's lightweight despite the 15.6-inch screen, it's stylish, and it wraps just about everything you could want in a laptop in one appealing package. The price is a little on the high side, but you do get a lot back for your money, including the latest 11th-gen Intel CPUs – i5 or i7 is the choice. Those chips will guarantee excellent performance without sucking up too much battery life, and unless you're wanting to play top-tier games or do some 4K video editing, this portable computer will cope with everything you've got to throw at it.
There are plenty of ports to play around with, and the fingerprint sensor built into the trackpad makes logging into Windows a breeze. Simply put, the Asus VivoBook S15 will be the perfect laptop for many users, combining a quality tech spec and everyday-versatile design at a very firmly mid-range price point.
"The Dell XPS 13 doesn't get top marks in every single category, but overall it's one of the laptops leading the field in the premium compact category – with a brilliant screen, excellent build quality and top specs, it's a difficult laptop for anyone else to beat." – T3's Dell XPS 13 review (opens in new tab)
The Dell XPS 13 series has consistently wowed us here at T3, and the latest version of the laptop continues that trend. In our Dell XPS 13 (2020) review we found it to be powerful, supremely well built, and compact – essentially just about everything you could possibly want in your search for the best laptop around at the moment.
With the latest 10th-gen Intel processors installed and up to 16GB of RAM installed, this is a portable computer that's going to be able to handle everything that you want to throw at it. From late-night Netflix to early-morning report writing, you'll find the Dell XPS 13 a capable and competent laptop.
It's that 13.4-inch display with the super-thin bezels that really makes the XPS 13 stand out though: if you want to, you can go all the way up to a 4K resolution, but the 1,920 x 1,080 resolution models still look fantastic (4K doesn't make a huge amount of difference on a laptop display this size).
See how it shapes up against our top pick in our Dell XPS 13 (2020) vs Apple MacBook Air (M1, 2020) showdown.
"The MacBook Pro 14-inch and 16-inch models offer a screen to die for, class-leading power, and long battery life. The 16-inch is a big beast that's probably overkill for anyone other than genuine creative pros, but the 14-inch is a compact rocket that's the ultimate do-anything, go anywhere laptop of today." – T3's Apple MacBook Pro review (opens in new tab)
Apple has updated its top-tier 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro laptops with its new M1 Pro and M1 Max processors, and the results are quite stunning – top-level performance and yet hugely impressive battery life all in the same machine. If you want the very best laptops that Apple has to offer, then these are the ones to go for, provided you have deep enough pockets.
The high prices – especially as you start to ramp up the RAM and the SSD storage – are the only potential downside here, but we don't think you're going to be disappointed with one of these no matter how much you spend. These MacBook Pros really are a significant step forward from their predecessors.
Apple has even got all of the little touches right as well, from the 1080p webcam upgrade to the removal of the Touch Bar (which never seemed like a well thought-through idea). Windows laptop manufacturers, it's over to you, because this is some seriously stiff competition that you're up against.
"The Dell XPS 15 is a fantastic laptop and a no-brainer purchase for anyone who wants a laptop that lives primarily on a desk at home or in the office. It's cheaper and more highly specc'd than a MacBook Pro and makes far more sense to buy than something like a Microsoft Surface Pro 3." – T3's Dell XPS 15 review (opens in new tab)
The Dell XPS 15 is more of a niche recommendation as a premium laptop choice than our best premium laptop, the Dell XPS 13. And this is despite the fact that it can be scaled up to a superior spec. The reason it doesn't get the nod over its younger brother is that, for most users, the power and performance delivered by a maximum spec Dell XPS 15 is just not necessary, and unless you have to have the 15.6-inch screen size, we'd recommend the 13 instead.
If you are a power user who does want the 15-inch screen size then the Dell XPS 15 is undoubtedly a brilliant choice, though. At maximum spec it delivers a 10th Gen Intel Core i9 CPU, Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650 Ti GPU, 64GB of RAM, a 1TB SSD and a 4K Ultra HD+ screen. In layman's terms, it is an absolute beast of a system and one that will crush any application you throw at it. This is the sort of system that, if specced in its upper echelons, can edit 4K and even 8K video. And, thanks to a strong internal cell stack, the battery life on it is great, too, meaning you can do high-level processing on the go.
All of this awesomeness costs, though, and shoppers will be blasting over $2500 to bring the system home. Is it worth it? Yes, you are getting a superb powerhouse laptop – but we still think most users looking for a premium laptop would be better off with a Dell XPS 13.
"The Razer Book 13 is an excellent Windows 10 productivity laptop that gets just about everything right, from the quality of the display to the specs and performance. This is a genuine rival to the 13-inch MacBook Pro and the Dell XPS 13 – it really is that good." – T3's Razer Book 13 review (opens in new tab)
Razer is of course better known for its gaming laptops, but the Razer Book 13 is something rather special in the non-gaming category: it lacks the GPU of Razer's other portable computers, but it keeps the solid build quality, the customizable keyboard backlighting, and the strong performance.
The premium nature of the Razer Book 13 is evident as soon as you turn the 13.4-inch display on. You can get this configured with up to a 4K resolution, and whether you're browsing the web or binge-watching movies, everything is vivid and smooth. In short, it's a pleasure to use, including the typing experience.
With 11th-gen Intel processors inside, this laptop can handle its fair share of demanding tasks, and can even cope with some light, dialed-down gaming if necessary. If you decide to splash your cash on the Razer Book 13, then you're not going to be disappointed.
"The Asus ZenBook Duo 14 scores highly in a lot of key departments but it is obviously all about that second screen – if you're going to find that display useful then it's a great option for your next laptop, otherwise you'll probably want to look at something else." – T3's Asus ZenBook Duo 14 review (opens in new tab)
The main party trick offered by the Asus ZenBook Duo 14 – and it's a good one – is a second screen just below the main one. You can use it for whatever you like, from Photoshop dialog boxes to Spotify playlists to social media feeds, and Windows will treat it just like any other second display.
It's fair to say that this laptop isn't going to have the same appeal if you can't see yourself using that second screen on a regular basis, but it's also very well built and well-specced, with a fantastic main display. Battery life is good too, so you don't have to worry about lasting a day away from the office.
With the latest 11th-gen Intel laptops inside, the ZenBook Duo 14 will give you plenty of power under the hood, although serious gamers will need more oomph in the GPU department. A laptop with a crazy gimmick that's actually not that gimmicky, and currently one of the best laptops around.
"The Microsoft Surface Pro 8 is a 2-in-1 laptop and tablet that works just as well in both forms. It packs in plenty of power as well as a stunning touchscreen display, and it runs on the most recent Windows 11. It won't be for everyone but it's a truly fantastic piece of kit." – T3's Microsoft Surface Pro 8 review (opens in new tab)
The Microsoft Surface Pro 8 is the best laptop for switching between work and play because you can use it as a laptop or as a tablet, and it works just as well in either form as long as you buy the optional Surface Type Cover.
To transform it into a tablet you just need to pull the screen away from the keyboard, and it’ll magnetically snap back on when you need it to. The keyboard feels comfortable to type on because you can angle it to a more comfortable position although it’s not quite as sturdy as a standard keyboard.
Running on Windows 11 with a powerful 11th Gen Intel Core processor and up to 32GB of RAM, it’ll be sure to speed up your workflow day-to-day even though it may not quite match up to the performance of some of the top-end PCs on this list. You’ll be able to do everything you need to without any problems, which even includes more demanding tasks like photo editing and gaming. You’ll be able to download Android apps if you want to as well.
The 13-inch touchscreen is very responsive and it looks stunning with bright colors and impressive detail. If you buy the Surface Pen 2 you’ll really be able to make the most of it, it’s one of the most satisfying screens to take quick notes or draw on.
"As this Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 review shows, this gaming laptop is just a beautiful thing. A laptop that's small and tough, powerful and slick, detailed and desirable. If you can find one - particularly the spin we have on test here - you're in for a treat even if you're not a full-on gamer." – T3's Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 review (opens in new tab)
The Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 does what a lot of laptops strive to but don't pull off – it delivers a portable and powerful system that also has some genuine gaming chops.
Yes, this is a system that thanks to its Nvidia RTX 2060 graphics card can play the latest AAA PC games like Cyberpunk 2077 with state-of-the-art special effects like real-time ray tracing turned on, but also be transported with ease.
It also looks professional, too, making it useable in a business setting, meaning it is just as at home in the office as it is at the heart of a battle station.
Its internal specs read incredibly well, with a Ryzen 7 processor joined with 16GB of RAM and a massive 1YB NVMe SSD.
The only downside to this system is that it does not come with a webcam built-in, so streamers and those who need to partake in office meetings will need to invest in a separate webcam if they ring this system up.
Overall, though, the Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 ticks basically every box you could want from a best laptop, and also throws in some strong gaming functionality, too.
"While the Lenovo IdeaPad 3 has its weaknesses, it also has some strengths too – not least the low price that you can now pick the laptop up for. If you're primarily concerned with day-to-day computing tasks, affordability and durability, it definitely ticks those boxes." – T3's Lenovo IdeaPad 3 review (opens in new tab)
When it comes to value-for-money laptops, it's difficult to beat the Lenovo IdeaPad 3: it's lightweight, it's stylish, and yet it won't cost you much at all. Not everyone needs the laptop with the biggest screen, or the most powerful components – some people want a lot of bang for their laptop buck first and foremost, and that's where the IdeaPad 3 delivers. Everything else falls into place around that.
As cheap as the IdeaPad 3 is, it still looks great and will handle all the everyday tasks you need it to very nicely indeed. As long as you're sticking to some light web use and office work, you won't be disappointed with what this laptop has to offer, and the dedicated battery saving mode comes in handy too. A variety of different spec configurations are available, which affect the price accordingly – but whatever model you go for, you get a reliable and attractive 14-inch laptop.
See how it compares to our best premium Windows 10 laptop in our Dell XPS 13 vs Lenovo IdeaPad 3 head-to-head.
"The Dell XPS 17 is a powerful laptop with screen real estate to spare, but it is large in size and has a price tag to match." – T3's Dell XPS 17 review (opens in new tab)
Dell makes arguably the finest laptops in the world, and if you are a Windows 10 user who is looking to invest in a large-screened, powerful laptop upgrade, you must check out the Dell XPS 17. At maximum spec, the XPS 17 delivers what could be the best screen on any laptop, ever, in the form of a 17.0" UHD+ (3840 x 2400 resolution) InfinityEdge Touch panel, which also comes with an Anti-Reflective coating. The screen, in partnership with tiny bezels, means real estate is bountiful and thanks to the Ultra HD resolution, everything on it is absolutely pin-sharp. It is truly a stunning display.
When kitted out to maximum, this laptop's hardware spec is also incredibly powerful, with buckets of performance on tap no matter what application or game you are running. A titanic 64GB of RAM in partnership with an Intel Core i9 handles even 8K video editing with ease. Working in Photoshop? You can edit huge TIF files side-by-side without the Dell XPS 17 breaking sweat. And an Nvidia GeForce RTX2060 6GB ensures that modern AAA games are crushed.
Throw in the rest of the typical Dell package – which includes a fantastic fit and finish, excellent connectivity options, a built-in webcam and microphone, a stereo woofer and multiple speakers, and a full-fat copy of Windows 10 Home 64-bit – and it becomes easy to see how this laptop will serve its owner for years to come.
"LG has worked wonders in getting such a big screen inside a laptop so thin, and if you add in a stylish, understated design and a decent Intel CPU, then this is a laptop well worth checking out for all kinds of uses – even with a relatively high price and built-in graphics." – T3's LG Gram 17 review (opens in new tab)
The LG Gram 17 is an impressive laptop on many levels, not least with that gorgeous 17-inch, 2560 x 1600 pixel screen. Despite that large screen (well, large for a laptop anyway), this is an incredibly portable machine – in fact, it has earned a place in our best lightweight laptop guide. It's the sort of laptop that you'll barely notice you've got in your bag, and when you pick it up, it feels as though there are some components missing. Everything from the metal alloy finish to the backlighting on the keys is well judged and well done.
You get some up-to-date Intel processors, and plenty of RAM and SSD storage space if you're willing to pay for it – it's capable of taking on most tasks with aplomb. The integrated graphics card is perhaps the only weak spot, but as long as you're not doing any gaming or any heavy video editing, it'll serve you well.
Overall, the LG Gram 17 is a super stylish and lightweight system that will suit just about anyone other than those who necessitate proper gaming credentials. Its build quality and overall fit-and-finish are first-rate, and its remaining hardware will ensure plenty of future-proofing, too.
"The Razer Blade Stealth 13 is going to fall between two stools for some people, but for others it could just be the perfect blend of portability, creativity and gaming. Make sure you check out the various configuration options before parting with your cash." – T3's Razer Blade Stealth 13 review (opens in new tab)
With the Blade Stealth 13, Razer has managed to take the gaming expertise that it's known for and mix in other influences to create a laptop with broad appeal. Yes, it can play games better than pretty much any other laptop of this size, but it's also going to appeal to creatives and professionals with a clean design and a 4K touchscreen display.
There's a reason that just about every gaming laptop out there is 15 inches or above in terms of its display size: the extra room is needed for heat dissipation. The Blade Stealth 13 does its best in packing an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650 Ti Max-Q 4GB inside its compact frame, though you will notice it getting hot during gaming (and battery life isn't great either). That GPU won't give you frame rates up there with the best gaming laptops on the market, but you can still play top-tier games at reasonable quality and at very decent frame rates. Add to that a really nicely designed laptop with a fantastic screen that excels at other tasks too, and Razer has another winner on its hands.
"The Yoga Slim 7 is another excellent laptop from Lenovo that's well worth considering as your next upgrade: it brings with it really good battery life, decent performance, and an overall design that we find hard to fault apart from one or two minor annoyances." – T3's Lenovo IdeaPad Slim 7 review (opens in new tab)
Another excellent Windows laptop, the Lenovo IdeaPad Slim 7 comes in so many different configurations that you can really tailor it to suit your own particular needs and budget – there's even a choice of 14-inch or 15.6-inch displays, with resolutions up to 4K, so you can decide whether you want to prioritize portability or screen space. There aren't many laptops that give you the option of AMD or Intel chips, and you've got a few choices when it comes to integrated or discrete graphics as well. At the very top level spec, the laptop will be able to take everything you can throw at it, and it can even cope with some light gaming.
You've got further options when it comes to the design: a fabric-covered model is available alongside the standard aluminum, for example, and you can pick opt for slate grey or a more striking orchid as the basic color. Whichever configuration you go for, the laptop looks really good. Add in an impressive level of battery life, plenty of ports for your peripherals and external monitors, and a competitive price, and the Lenovo IdeaPad Slim 7 looks like a great all-round package. Whatever you're looking for in a laptop, it's worth giving this one some serious consideration.
"The Samsung Galaxy Book S is one of those laptops that's really good for some people and some use cases, while also having weaknesses that are going to put certain people off. If you need what this laptop can offer, then it's worth its admittedly high asking price." – T3's Samsung Galaxy Book S review (opens in new tab)
The Galaxy Book S from Samsung earns a place in our best laptop ranking for a number of reasons: it's really lightweight and stylish, the battery goes on and on between charges, and it offers cellular connectivity which means you can always be online (data plans and signal coverage permitting). You've got the option of a Qualcomm Snapdragon chip (as in our Samsung Galaxy Book S review), which means it can wake up and get online very quickly, but it also means performance isn't quite on a par with similarly priced Windows laptops.
Alternatively, there's the more traditional Intel processor (which earned this laptop a full five stars in our Galaxy Book S (Intel) review). It all depends on what you want most from a laptop, and we think the Galaxy Book S is going to appeal to a lot of people.
As more and more Windows applications are optimized to run on ARM chips, the usefulness of the Galaxy Book S should increase. In our eyes, it's a case of the positives far outweigh the negatives on this laptop – just don't try to do any 4K video editing with it.
"The third generation of the Microsoft Surface Book 3 remains a stunning physical specimen with world-beating engineering and a unique feature set. However, it's very expensive compared to the conventional laptops that will be a better fit for most user's needs." – T3's Microsoft Surface Book 3 review (opens in new tab)
For the best of both worlds, the Microsoft Surface Book 3 is one of the best 2-in-1 laptops around. Yes, the screen can be detached and used as a tablet, but that doesn't mean this isn't an absolute beast of a laptop. The Surface Book 3 can be packed full of power as well – you can fit an Intel Core i7 processor and an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650 graphics chipset in this laptop if you need to, and multiple configurations are available (so you don't necessarily need to max out on the internal components).
You've got a choice of 13.5-inch and 15-inch screens, which gives you even more options when it comes to deciding which Surface Book 3 model is right for you, and as usual for Surface hardware, the build quality is excellent.
See how it compares to another popular 2-in-1 in our Asus ZenBook Flip 13 vs Microsoft Surface Book 3 face-off, or for more info, head to our Should I buy the Surface Book 3? article.
We've also compared this premium 2-in-1 to Dell's best offering, too, so if you're torn between the two brands check out our Microsoft Surface Book 3 vs New Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 comparison feature.
"Though the Apple MacBook Pro 16-inch is edged out by other machines on pure specs, Apple’s appeal has always been about the whole package, which is excellent here – and it fixes the keyboard issues that overshadowed its predecessors." – T3's Apple MacBook Pro 16 inch review (opens in new tab)
Before the M1 Macs came along, the 16-inch MacBook Pro was the best Apple laptop you could buy, and it's still a great computer for pro and power users. As you would expect from a high-end Apple laptop, the MacBook Pro 16-inch is supremely slick and powerful, built with a best-in-class fit and finish, and loaded with a vastly improved keyboard that's leaps and bounds better than previous incarnations.
The fact the system runs the very latest version of macOS, Big Sur, which delivers a plethora of exclusive, quality apps, and that it is supported by Apple's first-rate support network if anything goes wrong, adds a layer of sheen that many Windows 10 machines can't compete with.
On raw specs alone the MacBook Pro 16-inch is pipped to the post slightly by the Dell XPS 15, which can be outfitted with a 4K OLED screen, 32GB of RAM, 1TB of storage, and a more powerful Nvidia GPU, but it is the overall package and user experience where the MacBook Pro shines. The M1 Macs may be getting all the attention right now, but the 16-inch MacBook Pro remains a powerhouse computer for pro-level apps.
"Loaded with a suite of state-of-the-art hardware and boasting an incredibly premium design, the Asus ROG Zephyrus S GX701 is a dream gaming laptop, with its monstrous power capable of crushing even today's most graphically demanding AAA PC games without compromise." – T3's Asus ROG Zephyrus S GX701 review (opens in new tab)
As we noted in our Asus ROG Zephyrus S GX701 review, this is absolutely the best laptop for playing games on the market today in 2022. Building on last year's competition-slaying GX501, the new Zephyrus ensures it stays on the gaming laptop throne by dialing things up to 11. That means the system rocks an Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 graphics card (Ray Tracing bliss!), a juiced-up Intel Core i7-8750H CPU capable of running up to 4.1GHz and a 24GB stack of DDR4 RAM.
The result of all this top-end gaming hardware is, for a portable machine, ludicrous levels of AAA gaming performance. Metro Exodus, with all graphics settings turned up to maximum, and with the gorgeous Ray Tracing lighting tech-enabled, looked absolutely stunning and ran like a dream. And, the GX701 crushed our 3DMark benchmark tests, too. A gorgeous and thin magnesium chassis, fantastically engineered vent cooling system, and a 17.3-inch, Full HD (1,920x1,080) IPS, Pantone Validated, 144Hz refresh rate with Nvidia G-Sync panel complete the package.
"The Asus ZenBook Pro 14 sits rather snugly in the middle of the budget laptops and the high-end laptops – you get some very good specs, a really rather tasteful design, and a quirky touchpad feature for your money. It's not perfect but it gets a lot of things right." T3's Asus ZenBook Pro 14 review (opens in new tab)
As we note in our official Asus ZenBook Pro 14 review, this "is a laptop that scores highly in a lot of departments. It looks really nice, it has plenty of power under the hood, and the price you're going to pay represents decent value for what you get in return." And, really, that sums it up. Well, that is apart from this system's unique feature: its ScreenPad.
The ScreenPad is a large touchpad that can also operate as a second screen, with Windows extendable and certain apps like Microsoft Office and Spotify granting you extra information or controls. It feels indebted to Apple's TouchBar.
Specs-wise the Pro 14 really is a rock-solid all-rounder, coming with an 8th-gen quad-core Intel Core i7-8565U processor, 8GB of RAM, and 256GB of SSD storage, as well as an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 Max-Q chipset with 2GB of video RAM. In short, it is a powerful machine that will handle most computing tasks with ease.
"The Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 is one of the most complete hybrids ever made, scoring big across the board and leaving no obvious weak point for rivals - and critics - to launch a major counter attack. A premium all-rounder 2-in-1 that should appeal to creative tech enthusiasts looking to both work and play hard." – T3's Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 review (opens in new tab)
As we note in our full Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 review, "the Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 is one of the most complete hybrids ever made, scoring big across the board and leaving no obvious weak point for rivals – and critics – to launch a major counter-attack. A premium all-rounder 2-in-1 that should appeal to creative tech enthusiasts looking to both work and play hard."
A shoo-in on our best laptops 2022 list if ever we saw one, then, and a machine that should be at least considered by anyone who is looking for a premium upgrade right now. Yes, the Surface Book 2 does have a little bit more power-wise, and obviously has the ability to eject its screen, too, but the Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 is almost half the price.
"The Google Pixelbook Go isn't perfect – and it's possibly a little overpriced – but it's one of the best Chromebooks in terms of how much fun it is to use." – T3's Google Pixelbook Go review (opens in new tab)
When it comes to Chromebooks and Chrome OS, you've got a huge number of models to choose from – and the Pixelbook Go from Google is one of the best Chromebooks around right now. It's stylish, it's lightweight, and you can customize the specs of the device to meet your exact requirements as well. Every Pixelbook Go comes with a 13.3-inch screen: it runs at a 1,920 x 1,080 resolution on the cheaper models but does go up to 4K if you're willing to pay for it. The other internal components can be specced out as required, so it's really up to you how much you spend.
We like the black and pink color options, we like the grippy rubber on the bottom to keep the laptop in place, and we like the smooth and subtle lines of the design as well. You're not going to be embarrassed to pull this Chromebook out at a coffee shop or your next meeting at work. And as for Chrome OS, it continues to get better and better. It doesn't slow down, it's easy to use, and the addition of Android apps means that it's now more versatile than ever before.
"Be it for business or academia, the Lenovo Yoga 9i 14 is sure to help boost your productivity. It’s a good-looking and powerful machine with a fantastic keyboard as well as a stunning touchscreen display. The battery life might be mediocre but this PC is far from average overall." – T3's Lenovo Yoga 9i 14 review (opens in new tab)
A premium laptop through and through, the Lenovo Yoga 9i 14 has a leather coating over the lid and a glass touchpad integrated into the matching palm rest. It may seem a little over the top but anyone who loves a touch of class is sure to appreciate how sophisticated the design actually is.
What makes it ideal for streaming video is the combination of its high-quality 4K display paired with its very own miniature soundbar with Dolby Atmos, which produces ultra-clear 360-degree audio. That's not something you see very often and the difference really shows.
Business users will also appreciate the sheer speed of it, this laptop is perfect for productivity. Packing the 11th Gen Intel Core processors, it's seriously fast and can cope with just about anything. Helping you get work done, the low-profile keyboard is a joy to type on, and you'll be able to convert this PC into a tablet as well by pushing the screen backwards. There's even a stylus that comes garaged in the body of the laptop.
Admittedly, the battery life could be better and the touchpad wasn't always that efficient but those are just minor downsides in an otherwise outstanding piece of kit. The Lenovo Yoga 9i 14 will best suit business users, and could also be a great choice for students who are willing to splash out on a high-end PC.
"The Surface Laptop 4 is another superb laptop from Microsoft. The drawbacks are very minor, and the list of plus points is a lengthy one. Give this a serious look if you want a stylish Windows laptop that can go just about anywhere and do almost anything." – T3's Microsoft Surface Laptop 4 review (opens in new tab)
As the name suggests, the Surface Laptop 4 is the fourth incarnation of this particular laptop, so Microsoft has had plenty of opportunity to get it right – and we think it has got it right, very much so. The Surface Laptop 4 excels in pretty much every area, from the quality of the screen to the battery life.
Serious gamers and video editors are going to want a bit more oomph in the processor and graphics departments, but we think everybody else is going to be more than happy with what the Surface Laptop 4 has to offer. Not only is there plenty of power under the hood, but the computer looks great too, and there's a choice of appealing colors to pick from.
Another reason to go for the Surface Laptop 4 is that you've got so many different configurations to pick from – Intel and AMD CPUs are offered with this laptop, together with a choice of RAM and storage options, so you can pick the perfect one to match your needs and budget.
"While expensive, the HP Spectre x360 14 2-in-1 Windows laptop's combination of gorgeous screen, lovely keyboard and fantastic audio offers very good value. Just be aware of the 3:2 screen ratio, and limited number of ports." – T3's HP Spectre x360 14 2-in-1 review (opens in new tab)
The Spectre just keeps getting better with every new version, boasting an 11th generation Intel Core processors and improved graphics in the form of Intel Iris Xe.
The Spectre retains the 2-in-1 design and spectacular good looks of its processor, and in terms of build quality its closest rival is Apple’s M1 MacBook Pro: this is in a whole different league from other Windows 10 laptops. The keyboard is superb, the screen is bright and clear and it’s a genuinely good-looking machine with good ergonomics and strong security, and the only real criticism we can think of is that the fans can get a bit noisy when you drive it hard.
This isn’t a gaming laptop, but it’s perfectly powerful for other kinds of computing. It’s capable of 13 hours from a single charge and transforms from a laptop into a tablet, and there are lots of configuration options. It’s not the cheapest Windows laptop around but deals will be out there if you shop around.
"If you're a creative student, or content creator at the start of their career, this mid-priced laptop is an excellent choice. Designed with creatives in mind, it has some unique functionality to help you use software such as Photoshop, a beautiful 2.8K-resolution screen, and decent (if not earth-shattering) levels of performance, connectivity and battery life. Be aware, though, that there's no touchscreen or pen input." – T3's Asus Vivobook Pro 14X OLED review (opens in new tab)
If you're a creative at the start of their career, you'll ideally want one of the more expensive laptops on this list. But if your budget is tight, this mid-priced laptop is a good compromise to make.
Designed with creatives in mind, it has some unique functionality to help you use software such as Photoshop, including a sensitive trackpad and a virtual dial for making small tweaks to fine detail. It also boasts a beautiful high resolution screen, that beats the picture quality of more expensive models.
Be aware, though, that there's no touchscreen or pen input. And while it bats above its weight with its screen, its processor, graphics performance and battery are more what you'd expect from a mid-ranger.
"Sleek, long-lasting and mightily powerful, the MacBook Pro 13-inch (M1, 2020) puts Apple's new M1 chip to brilliant use. This is an excellent showcase for what Apple hardware can do, and if you're a creative professional that wants a portable powerhouse to work on while travelling, this is a top choice." – T3's Apple MacBook Pro 13 inch review (opens in new tab)
We've already mentioned the 14-inch and 16-inch M1 MacBook Pros, but these laptops are so good that we want to mention the 13.3-inch model too. It has a more powerful 8-core GPU than the MacBook Air, and it has a fan – so where the MacBook Air has to throttle performance to stay cool under sustained load, the MacBook Pro doesn’t. You won’t notice the difference or hear the fan in everyday computing, but for intensive tasks such as video rendering the Pro is significantly faster than the Air.
There are some obvious trade-offs between this MacBook Pro and the newer ones, not least the screen size: a 13.3-inch screen is nice and portable but it obviously lacks the screen area of the larger models. The more expensive models offer more configuration options too, and have more ports; here you’re stuck with two. But this M1 Mac boasts excellent battery life, which makes a huge difference for pros on the go. This is a Pro laptop that really does last all day on a single charge.
"When everything is tallied up, the Acer Swift 3 definitely ends up in credit – we do have a few reservations about the laptop, but in general we think it's one of the best options you've got at this size and price point, continuing a strong run of Acer Swift laptops." – T3's Acer Swift 3 review (opens in new tab)
There's a lot of competition in the market if you're wanting to spend more than $500, and the Acer Swift 3 is one of the best sub-$1,000 laptops. This 14-inch compact star really shines in terms of its design and lightness, and the internal specs mean it can cope with just about anything you want to do with your portable computer too, excluding the more demanding games and video renderings.
In our Acer Swift 3 review we were impressed with how snappy and responsive the laptop was while watching movies and browsing the web (even as the number of open tabs started to rack up).
Okay, the battery life isn't fantastic, but it should still get you through the working day quite comfortably, and given the pedigree of previous Acer machines, we'd bet that the Swift 3 is going to serve you well for a number of years. A variety of configurations are available (with many falling under that $1,000 mark), so you can tailor it to suit your budget and needs.
How to choose the best laptop for you
The laptop market continues to evolve, with new components and price pressure from low-end Chromebooks meaning you can now get more bang for your buck than ever before: it really is a great time to be choosing a laptop.
Picking the best laptop for 2022 for you is all about compromise, though – if you want something as powerful as possible, then it's going to be bigger and less easy to lug around on your travels. If you want something slim and ultra-light, then you simply can't pack in as many components.
Another important consideration is which operating system you're going to go with: you may already have a favorite, but Windows is best for gaming, macOS is great for creatives, and Chrome OS is brilliant as a lightweight computing platform. Look at the strengths and weaknesses of each before committing.
Make sure you've weighed up exactly what you need to do with your laptop and the features that it needs to have before parting with any cash – otherwise you could be looking for an upgrade sooner rather than later.
Of course, price is going to play a big part in your decision-making as well, and with that in mind, we've included links to all the latest and greatest deals on the web for easy reference. Keep checking back here often as we update our guide with newer models.
If you need some extra guidance deciding, take a look at our guide on how to choose the right laptop for you.
For example, if you're a student looking for an affordable system to take to university then you'll want to check out the best student laptops and best Chromebooks on the market. While if you're a passionate gamer and need serious pixel-pushing power then one of the best gaming laptops will be more suitable.
If you're a creative, though, then one of the best 2-in-1 laptops will likely offer you the flexibility you need, while busy professionals will likely warm to the best lightweight laptops, as they are easy to lug around from meeting to meeting. If you want more information on any of these head on down to the section entitled 'Laptop types explained'. We've also got a brand-specific roundup for Dell, so if you're looking for one of the best Dell laptops head on over there.
Regardless of what laptop you're looking for, though, be sure to consider one of the best webcams to go with it.
Looking for laptops on sale? Check out our best laptop deals guide for the best deals on laptops this month.
What is the best laptop brand?
While we've ranked Apple as the best in the biz, there's a good amount of great laptop brands out there. Each tends to deliver quality machines all-around, but their purpose may be better suited to specific niches' depending on what you're after.
Are you a creative type that likes to draw, edit photos or even create them in Photoshop? Apple MacBooks may be a good choice for you. Are you a gamer looking to get a solid mobile machine? Options from brands like Alienware, Razer and ASUS may be what you're looking for.
Check out our reviews for more details into just what each laptop is best at!
What different types of laptops are there?
General-purpose laptops: These laptops come in a variety of types, from the best cheap laptops to serious, silicon-stuffed systems that deliver massive power and performance. These sorts of systems work well if you're just looking for a solid all-round system that is geared mostly toward work and productivity.
Gaming laptops: The best gaming laptops are ideal for serious gamers, as they come with dedicated graphics cards. These dedicated GPUs mean that you can play video games at higher resolutions and higher framerates, as well as enjoy advanced graphical effects like real-time ray tracing. They tend to have a higher entry price than general-purpose laptops.
Ultraportable laptops: Ultrabooks and the best lightweight laptops are specialists at portability, and often come with thinner and lighter designs than general-purpose or gaming laptops. These systems are a good choice for working professionals who need to carry their laptop around with them and travel frequently. Specs vary, but due to the lithe designs these laptops tend to retail for more than general-purpose laptops.
Hybrid laptops: The best 2-in-1 laptops on the market offer two-fold functionality, capable of being used both as a laptop and a tablet. This obviously makes them very versatile and can also be a great way to save money, as you can buy one product instead of two. Some 2-in-1 laptops have fixed screens that can be rotated all the way around on 360-degree hinges, while others have screens that actually detach from their keyboard base.
Chromebooks: If you find yourself shopping on a budget for a new system then scoping out the best Chromebooks is a smart call. That's because these systems are cheap to buy and typically highly portable. Where they differ to other laptops is that they run Google's Chrome OS, which is designed primarily for use while connected to the internet. Chrome OS isn't as feature-packed as Windows or macOS, but it is streamlined and offers excellent access to all of Google's G-Suite apps such as Gmail, Gdocs and Google Calendar.
Student laptops: As you would expect, the best student laptops tend to ring in cheaper than other specialist laptops, and there is often crossover to Chromebooks due to this. Student laptops tend to offer small to medium-sized laptop screens and mid-tier specifications, although more premium recommendations can stretch into Apple MacBook Air territory. These laptops aren't the most powerful on the market, but they're designed to do the basics well and not cost too much, while also remaining portable.
- Best laptop bags
- Best tablets
- The best office chairs
- Best external hard drives
- Dell XPS 13 vs Dell XPS 15: which of Dell's premium portables is better?