A new laptop may be in order if you want to get organized in the next year. After all, we use laptops to manage our lives: work, school, ordering needs, paying bills, and keeping track of our schedules.
And, because many laptops appear to be the same, you’ll need to delve into computer specs and details to grasp the differences between models in order to choose the finest laptop for your needs. If you’re undecided about which laptop manufacturer to buy – that is, if you’re not a die-hard lover of Dell, Apple, Lenovo, or Microsoft Surface – your options are nearly unlimited.
Our computer specialists have tested and reviewed laptops for decades, covering everything from performance to pricing to battery life. This hand-picked list includes the finest laptops in a variety of sizes, designs, and price ranges, as well as those that run Windows, macOS, and Chrome. (Microsoft has published the entire version of its Windows 11 operating system, and all of the laptops on this list should be able to run it.)
If you want more options in a specific category, we have specialized lists for you to look at, such as the best gaming laptops, best 15-inch laptops, best two-in-ones, and best Chromebooks, as well as the best laptops for college students, best laptop for creatives, and best MacBook Pro alternatives. And, if you want to keep the cost of a new laptop computer as low as possible, have a look at our recommendations for the best budget laptops and best budget gaming laptops.
Microsoft Surface Pro 8
Best Surface Laptop
Despite the fact that this Microsoft Surface laptop is not the Surface Laptop, the Surface Pro continues to hit all the right notes if you’re seeking a do-it-all Windows tablet that also functions as a Windows laptop. Microsoft recently redesigned it for the Surface Pro 8, which features a bigger 13-inch display, 11th-generation Intel Core CPUs, and two Thunderbolt 4 USB-C connectors. The Surface Pro 7 is still available at a discount for the time being, and an upgraded version called the Surface Pro 7 Plus will remain in the lineup, allowing you to enjoy the iconic Pro design but with new CPUs.
Lenovo Yoga 7i (14-inch)
Best MacBook Air alternative
This sleek, 3-pound convertible is an excellent alternative for anybody who needs a laptop for business or academics and is often available for less than $800. It features a quality appearance and feels thanks to the all-metal chassis, as well as a comfortable keyboard and a quick, smooth precision touchpad. Though it lacks the added features of its premium linemate, the Yoga 9i, it does sport one of Lenovo’s sliding shutters for its webcam, which provides privacy when desired. It also has long battery life.
HP Spectre x360 14
Best small 2-in-1
The Spectre x360 14 we examined, which was co-engineered with Intel for its Evo platform, featured quick performance and a battery life of more than 14 hours. This HP laptop includes a bright, 1,920×1,280-pixel-resolution, 13.5-inch touchscreen with a 3:2 screen ratio, which is approximately the same as a typical A4 sheet of paper and provides you around 20% more vertical viewing area than a 16:9 display. That implies you’ll be scrolling less while working. It also makes using it as a tablet more comfortable, especially with the accompanying active pen.
Dell Inspiron 16 Plus
Best 16-inch laptop for creators on a budget
There are lots of 15.6-inch laptops on the market, but 16-inch devices like the Dell Inspiron 16 Plus are uncommon. The 16-inch display is a wonderful size because the laptop is a little larger than a 15.6-inch model, but you get extra workspace as well as a larger keyboard and touchpad. Dell packed in performance parts for this Inspiron, including Nvidia discrete graphics (though it’s nearly half the price if you go with Intel integrated graphics), and the display covers 100 per cent sRGB and 81 per cent AdobeRGB colour gamuts, which is sufficient if you’re just getting started with web content creation. In addition, the laptop features a higher-quality fit and finish than we’re used to seeing from the Inspiron range.
Acer Chromebook Spin 713
Tired of squinting at papers or spreadsheets on a tiny widescreen display? The Acer Chromebook Spin 713 has a 13.5-inch 2,256×1,504-pixel touchscreen with a 3:2 aspect ratio, which is one of Acer’s brilliant VertiView displays. It provides you extra vertical workspace, as the name indicates, but it still has the width of a conventional 13.3-inch laptop with a 16:9 aspect ratio. With that plus its battery life, which lasted over 13 hours in our tests, you’ll be able to get more work done in a day with this Chrome OS laptop – and it’s still small and light enough to carry around with you.
The most recent edition of this Chromebook is the first to gain Intel’s Evo certification, which means you’ll have the greatest mobile experience available with this model. It’s also the first to enable Thunderbolt 4, which allows you to connect to several external screens while also enabling high data rates and networking.
Dell XPS 13
Best small laptop
The Dell XPS 13 is a long-time favourite due to its size, weight, and performance, as well as its overall attractive aesthetics. Dell reduced the size of the laptop even more in 2020 while enhancing performance for both CPU and graphics-intensive applications. Although it is not a significant improvement, the Dell XPS remains the finest in its class. For those looking for the most up-to-date Intel CPUs, the Dell XPS 13, as well as the company’s XPS 13 2-in-1 (also a wonderful choice), are available with the chipmaker’s 11th-generation Core processors, with Intel Core i3, Core i5, and Core i7 choices. This Dell also comes with a variety of solid-state storage and memory configurations, beginning with a 256GB SSD hard drive and 8GB of RAM.
HP Pavilion Aero 13
Best small laptop under $1,000
HP crammed a lot of value into the Aero 13: a visually appealing magnesium-aluminium chassis, powerful processing capability, extended battery life, a brilliant, vivid display, and a weight of about 2 pounds (0.94 kilograms). Despite all of this, it has a usual beginning price of $800 and presently starts at $600.
Acer Swift 3
Best laptop on a budget
Thanks to the new AMD Ryzen 5 and Ryzen 7 CPUs, you may get a fantastic value for simple activities like email, word processing, and much more. This low-cost laptop also includes a backlit keyboard, a fingerprint reader, and a USB Type-C connector. The Acer Swift 3 is also a remarkably light laptop (less than 3 pounds) for a computer that costs less than $700.
Aside from this Acer Swift, we also like the Acer Aspire 5, which has a bigger 15.6-inch display. The Acer Aspire 5 comes in a range of configurations starting at $400 and going up to $690 if you want entry-level discrete graphics for basic gaming and content production.
Apple MacBook Air M1 2020
Best MacBook Air
This is our top choice for individuals looking for a macOS laptop for regular usage. In the first half of 2020, the MacBook Air was upgraded with new Intel CPUs and, most crucially, a redesigned keyboard. However, Apple revealed in November that its new domestic M1 processors will replace Intel’s CPUs in the Air. Using Apple’s M1, the startup promises an operating system with improved performance and up to 18 hours of battery life. The Intel-based variants, on the other hand, will remain available, and regardless of which processor powers the Air, you’re getting a wonderful small Mac laptop beginning at $999.
Apple MacBook Pro (2021, 16-inch)
Best MacBook Pro
New Apple silicon, a new display, a new design, and all the connectors we’ve been requesting: Apple’s new 16-inch MacBook Pro is the greatest Pro ever. The combination of the bigger MacBook Pro’s technology with MacOS takes the most performance from the components while maintaining outstanding battery life. The new mini-LED high-resolution display is very stunning. If an HDMI output and an SD card reader were on your wish list, you’ll find them here as well.
However, you must pay for it: The base pricing for this premium laptop’s 16-inch variant is $2,499.
Razer Blade 14
Best MacBook Pro 14-inch alternative
The Razer Blade 14 has a lot to like, including one of the fastest mobile CPUs available (for now), the AMD Ryzen 9 5900HX, and top-tier mobile graphics with the GeForce RTX 3070 or 3080. Its display is pixel-for-pixel compatible with the MacBook’s. And, while its build quality is comparable to that of the greatest MacBooks, it isn’t necessarily the best laptop value, even when compared to other premium laptops.
LG Gram 17
Best 17-inch lightweight laptop
There are no other 17-inch laptops that are as light and have such long battery life. The Gram 17 lasted 13 hours on our streaming video test, outlasting the previous year’s model by 47 minutes. The inclusion of a 10th-generation Intel Core i7 CPU boosts processing performance somewhat over the 2019 version. This is paired with more powerful Intel Iris Plus integrated graphics, providing a bit more speed for picture and video editing as well as casual gaming.
Lenovo Yoga 9i
Best 14- and 15.6-inch 2-in-1
Although HP and Dell make outstanding premium two-in-one convertible laptops, their displays are smaller (13.5- and 13.4-inch). If you need a little extra space for work or enjoyment, the Yoga 9i is a terrific option. It comes in 14- and 15.6-inch sizes and a range of configurations, and everything about these Lenovo laptops is speedy. Except for their battery life, which is excellent and lengthy. They also include pens that charge and are kept in the body.
Best entry-level gaming laptop
Dell reduced the number of models in its G-series gaming laptops from three to one – and it’s all for the better. Instead of having to decode the different features and quality variations, there is just one chassis available in a range of configurations with up to an 11th-generation Intel processor or AMD Ryzen 5000 H-series processor. All CPUs may be combined with up to a 6GB Nvidia RTX 3060, 8GB or 16GB of memory, and up to 1TB of storage. They’re simply more budget-friendly versions of its Alienware division’s laptops, but they’re still capable of playing the newest AAA blockbusters. Prices fluctuate due to supply concerns, but they often begin under $1,000.
Razer Blade Pro 17
The best gaming laptop for impressing at work
If you want to be the best, go large. Yes, there are quicker 17-inches, but I’m not a fan of twin massive power bricks. The Blade Pro is quick and powerful in gaming, thanks to an Intel Core i7 CPU and Nvidia GeForce RTX 30-series graphics, yet it doesn’t sacrifice its slim profile. While I suggest this Blade Pro laptop for creators because of its 4K-resolution display option, gamers will want to acquire the display with a 360Hz refresh rate that Razer provides for this model.