I test various laptops every year, and many of them are very good. But you can’t buy them all. So, to help you with your buying decision, here I am, selecting the 8 best laptops for our Best Laptops 2023 page.
I have several options for you. These aren’t necessarily the best laptops ever made, but in my opinion, they’re the best laptops you can buy right now.
- MacBook Air (M2): The best laptop of 2023
The latest MacBook Air is powered by the Apple M2 processor, and the base model includes 8GB of memory, 256GB of storage, 8-core CPU, and 8-core GPU. The model with 512GB of storage is the one we recommend for most people, allowing you to use the laptop longer.
The Air has lost the wedge-shaped design it had over the years but retains many of the other great features from years past, including MagSafe charging, Touch ID, and a scissor-switch keyboard, and adds a new 1080p webcam and two new color options. .
The M2 processor inside isn’t as fast or powerful as the M1 Pro or M1 Max in the larger MacBook Pro models, but it’s still very fast. In my testing, it was able to handle heavy office software with little heating or slowdown. Given how thin and light this computer is, it offers a combination of power and portability that you’ll be hard-pressed to find in many other laptops.
- MacBook Pro (14-inch and 16-inch): The best Macbook for creators
The distinction between 2021 MacBook Pro models (with M1 Pro and M1 Max chips) and 2023 MacBook Pro models (with M2 Pro and M2 Max chips) can be confusing.
he 2023 models are more powerful laptops, but due to their higher price, they are also more niche laptops that I would recommend primarily to professionals. I think the 2021 model, now priced much lower, is a better purchase for a more mainstream audience. That’s why they rank high on this list.
In my benchmarks, which measure a variety of creative tasks including encoding, playback, and export times, the MacBook Pro 16 performed better than any laptop we’ve used.
In my testing, the 16-inch configuration with the M1 Pro processor lasted 16 hours, making it the longest-lasting laptop I’ve reviewed.
Otherwise, I have basically no complaints about the 2021 MacBook Pro. It has a gorgeous display with up to 1,000 nits of brightness when playing HDR content. It pairs it with some of the best speakers I’ve ever heard on a laptop. These Pro models can output to multiple external displays, while the Air is limited to one.
If you’re looking for a machine that can handle demanding workloads while also serving as a great multimedia device after get off work, you’ll likely be pleased with the features of the M1 Pro and M1 Max. The 14-inch MacBook Pro is a great laptop in many ways, with a great display, a great keyboard, fast specs, and multiple useful ports.
If you’re a creative professional who’s not willing to shoulder the price of a MacBook Pro 16-inch, or you’re looking for something more compact, the 14-inch MacBook Pro might be a better fit for you. The laptop is smaller, lighter, and cheaper than its 16-inch counterpart, but comes with the same powerful processor options and the same great screen.
- MacBook Pro 16-inch (M2 Pro and M2 Max): The best laptop for video editing
If you’re a working professional looking for the best power, graphics, and battery life Apple has to offer, you need the 16-inch MacBook Pro with Apple’s new M2 Pro or M2 Max. It’s not cheap, but it’s one of the most powerful and durable laptops you can buy.
To reiterate, I think most creators should opt for the discounted M1 Pro or M1 Max laptops instead of this laptop—the latest M2 Pro and M2 Max are best for power users with deep pockets.
The 2023 MacBook Pro looks very similar to the 2021 MacBook Pro, with the same camera notch, the same port selection (including MagSafe charging), and the same great speaker system.
In testing, I found that the M2 Max provided several hours more battery life than the M1 Max that powers the 2021 MacBook Pro 16.
The M2 Max also has more multi-core and single-core CPU processing power, as well as more graphics processing power, than the M1 Max. For office tasks this won’t make any difference, but it can save you some time if your career requires a really powerful PC.
- MacBook Air 15-inch: The best 15-inch laptop
The MacBook Air 15-inch is the 15-inch laptop that many people have been waiting for. It has a big, gorgeous screen, but is lighter and cheaper than the 16-inch MacBook Pro models currently available.
It has the same M2 chip as the 13-inch MacBook Air, but its larger chassis allows for additional cooling (and, therefore, slightly higher performance). For those who like the portability of the 13-inch MacBook Air but want more screen real estate, the Air 15-inch is a good choice.
The 15-inch Air does have some compromises that the 14-inch and 16-inch Pro don’t have. On top of that, its port selection is limited to two USB-C Thunderbolts, a MagSafe, and a headphone jack, and all but the headphone jack are squeezed onto the left side.
It also only supports one external monitor, which may be a frustrating limitation for some. Still, as a more affordable and more portable option than Apple’s other large-screen products, the Air is still the best choice for many people.
- Dell XPS 13: The best Windows laptop
The Dell XPS13 is a compact and reliable laptop. Its beautiful body, excellent 16:10 display, and excellent performance make it a great choice for general-purpose users. Weighing well under three pounds and just over half an inch thick, it’s a dream for travel and on-the-go work.
The specs on my test model were perfect for the job tasks I needed to accomplish. If you don’t need heavyweight performance, I do recommend using the Silent Cooling profile as the fans run very easily on this model. There’s also a fancier Dell XPS 13 Plus available, which includes a variety of new features not found in the XPS 13, including an OLED display option, an edge-to-edge tactile touchpad and LED touch function keys, as well as the more powerful P-Series processor. I wouldn’t recommend this model for most people, but if you want something sleeker with a higher screen resolution, it’s worth considering.
- Surface Laptop 5: A cheaper, thinner option
The Surface Laptop 5 looks and feels very similar to last year’s Surface Laptop 4. Like its predecessor, the Laptop 5 is thin and well-built, with Microsoft’s signature elegance. This year’s new Laptop 5 supports Thunderbolt 4, but unlike last year, there are only Intel models and no AMD models.
Internally, the 12th-generation processor delivers satisfactory performance, especially for single-core tasks. We didn’t feel any heat or fan noise during testing, which is excellent considering the device’s thin profile.
My tasks also looked pretty sharp on the 3:2, 13-inch display. My main complaint is battery life, which is okay but not amazing and is down a bit from last year’s results.
- Razer Blade 16: The best laptop for AAA gaming
For gamers with deep pockets, the Razer Blade 16 is an incredible buy. Equipped with high-end chips from Nvidia and Intel, it can run most of today’s most demanding games at the highest settings and deliver all the effects you want. Add Razer’s signature mild chassis and fun (but unobtrusive) RGB keyboard, and there’s nothing to complain about.
But it’s not just the performance that stands out – the games look great too. The Blade comes with an optional Mini LED screen. Not only does this panel offer rich and vivid colors, it also has dual-mode capabilities.
As some of the previous entries on this list prove, you don’t need to spend that much on a gaming laptop to get a good gaming experience. But if you’re looking for the best performance and best display you can squeeze out of a 16-inch form factor, this is the one for you. This is a luxury gaming experience at a luxury price.
- HP Specter x360: The best 2-in-1 laptop
The HP Specter x360 is an extremely gorgeous laptop with a solid build and a premium look and feel. It is equipped with a large 3:2 OLED screen with an adaptive refresh rate of up to 120Hz, which is vivid, clear and bright. You also get a comfortable keyboard, clear bass audio, and a useful selection of ports.
Performance is very fast, and it stayed cool and quiet during most of my daily testing. If you’re looking for a stylish and beautiful laptop, look no further than the HP Specter series.
However, this machine has several major drawbacks. First, the battery life isn’t very great. I average four to five hours of continuous use.
That’s not necessarily a surprise given the screen’s high resolution and refresh rate, but for some people, buying a Specter may still be impractical. We expect many of the laptops at the top of this list to last at least a few more hours between charges.
Another thing to note is that this laptop isn’t cheap. Many customers will find longer battery life and similar performance in many less expensive products. When you do need a 2-in-1 laptop, if battery life isn’t your top priority, and if you value beauty and craftsmanship, the Specter is only worth the splurge.