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The 7 Best Laptop Brands - Spring 2023 Reviews

Best Laptop Brands

Shopping for a laptop can be challenging. Tons of models are released yearly from over a dozen major manufacturers; even the best laptop brands sometimes produce an inferior product. We're also often bombarded with complaints of poor quality control, inadequate after-sale customer support, and other issues associated with a particular manufacturer. While no company is perfect, quite a few, like Apple, ASUS, Dell, and Microsoft, stand out among the crowd.

We've bought and tested over 70 laptops, including models from over a dozen brands, and below are our recommendations for the best brands for laptops. The order in which these laptops appear in the article doesn't represent any ranking; they're listed alphabetically. For more options, check out our recommendations for the best laptops, the best business laptops, and the best gaming laptops.

  1. Acer

    Acer is a Taiwanese company founded in 1976 as Multitech and was renamed Acer in 1987. Although it was known for making affordable, budget laptops for a long time, it now has one of the widest selections of models, with multiple laptop lineups like Aspire, Swift, Nitro, Predator, Concept, and more. Acer is one of the biggest Chromebook manufacturers, producing popular models like the Acer Chromebook Spin 713 (2020). Our pick for the best Acer laptop is the Spin 713's successor, the Acer Chromebook Spin 714 (2022).

    The Spin 714 is a well-built 2-in-1 convertible Chromebook. It has a bright, sharp 14-inch screen, a spacious, tactile keyboard, and an outstanding 1080p webcam. Its 360-degree hinge lets you set the laptop in tent mode for media consumption or use it as a tablet. You can also take handwritten notes with its included stylus. Plus, there's a spot on the front of the laptop to store and charge the pen. Its Intel 12th Gen. CPU provides a smooth experience on Chrome OS, and its battery lasts well over 13 hours of light use. If you prefer a Windows laptop or need more processing power, the Acer Swift 14 (2023) is a great alternative. Its battery life isn't as good as the Spin 714, but its Intel 13th Gen. H-series CPU can handle significantly more intensive tasks.

    See our review

  2. Apple

    Apple is one of the most recognizable electronics companies in the world. Apple products have become synonymous with exceptional build quality, and the company is well-known for its amazing customer support and service. Since 2020, Apple has switched to producing its own SoCs (System on Chip) instead of relying on Intel x86 processors. This move gives the company near total control of the hardware and software on MacBooks, resulting in amazing performance and efficiency. Another advantage of MacBooks is their integration with other products within the Apple ecosystem. You can use your iPhone as a webcam through Continuity Camera, transfer files wirelessly via Airdrop, use your iPad as a second display, and so on. While other companies have attempted this approach, it's safe to say that no one does it as well as Apple. The downside of MacBooks is that they just aren't designed for gaming, so if you want to play games, it's best to look elsewhere.

    The best Apple laptop we've tested is the Apple MacBook Pro 14 (2021). This premium mobile workstation has nearly everything you'd want on a laptop: a sturdy build, a thin and light design, plenty of processing horsepower, and long battery life. It has a sharp Mini LED display, a comfortable keyboard, an easy-to-use haptic touchpad, and tons of ports, including three USB-C/Thunderbolt 4 ports, an HDMI, and a full-size SD card reader. If you want a larger screen and don't mind paying more, the Apple MacBook Pro 16 (2021) is essentially the same device but with better-sounding speakers and longer battery life. Of course, we can't talk about Apple without mentioning the ever-popular Apple MacBook Air 13 (2022). This 13.6-inch ultraportable is a great option if you only need to perform light productivity tasks like text processing, web browsing, and video playback. A few tradeoffs exist, like its limited port selection and single external monitor support. See our recommendations for the best Apple laptops here.

    See our review

  3. ASUS

    ASUS, also known as ASUSTek, was founded in 1989 by four members that had previously worked at Acer. It's currently one of the largest laptop manufacturers in the world. It's also one of the best gaming laptop brands and frequently sponsors esports events and players. ASUS makes a wide range of laptops, including ultraportables, mobile workstations, gaming laptops, and Chromebooks. Like Lenovo, ASUS often experiments with new form factors and features, like dual-screen laptops, touchpads with an integrated Numpad, a customizable dial (like the ASUS ProArt Studiobook Pro 16 OLED (2021)), and 2-in-1 gaming tablets like the ASUS ROG Flow Z13.

    The best ASUS laptop we've tested is the ASUS ROG Zephyrus G14 (2022). This 14-inch gaming laptop has a powerful AMD Ryzen 9 6900HS CPU, and you can configure it with an AMD Radeon RX 6700S or 6800S GPU. Its 120Hz IPS display has a fast response time to deliver a clear image and supports FreeSync variable refresh rate to reduce screen tearing. The display also has full DCI P3 coverage, making it suitable for viewing and producing HDR content. Its varied port selection includes two USB-As, two USB-Cs, and an HDMI port, although the USB-Cs don't support Thunderbolt 4 or USB4. Battery life sits around ten hours of light use or a little over an hour when gaming.

    See our review

  4. Dell

    Dell is an American company founded in 1984 by Michael Dell. The company makes desktops, laptops, workstations, monitors, and a wide range of computer peripherals. It's one of the largest laptop manufacturers, with well-known brands like XPS, Precision, Latitude, and Inspiron. In 2006, Dell acquired Alienware, now considered one of the best gaming laptop brands on the market. High-end Dell laptops like the XPS, Precision, and Alienware models often have unique designs that stand out among the crowd and generally provide a great user experience. A common criticism of Dell is its use of proprietary parts, which make repairs and upgrades challenging for the average user.

    Like other laptop brands in this article, it's hard to say which laptop is best from a specific manufacturer, as it depends entirely on your use case. For general productivity like web browsing, text processing, spreadsheets, and video playback, we recommend the Dell XPS 13 Plus (2022). This sleek ultraportable feels exceptionally well-built and is easy to carry around. It's available with Intel 12th Gen. CPUs, which are plenty fast for light productivity tasks, and you can choose among multiple display options, including a bright and colorful 3.5k OLED panel. Biometrics include a fingerprint sensor and a Windows Hello facial recognition IR camera. Unfortunately, its port selection is very limited, as it only has two USB-C/Thunderbolt 4 ports, and its battery life is pretty short at around six hours of light use.

    See our review

  5. HP

    HP, also known as Hewlett-Packard, is an American company founded in 1939. As one of the oldest tech companies in the world, HP has produced a wide range of products, including calculators, digital cameras, personal digital assistants, scanners, printers, desktop computers, and laptops. It's currently among the top three laptop manufacturers in market share. Its laptop lineup is varied and includes popular brands like ENVY, Spectre, Pavilion, EliteBook, ZBook, Victus, and OMEN. HP also makes a large number of Chromebooks, offering both budget-friendly and premium models like the HP Chromebook 14 (2021) and the recent HP Dragonfly Pro Chromebook.

    The best HP laptop we've tested is the HP ENVY x360 13 (2020). It has a sturdy build, a thin and light design, and excellent battery life. You can configure it with an AMD Ryzen 5000 or Intel 11th Gen CPU, and you can also choose between various 1080p displays, including one that's bright enough for outdoor use. Plus, since it's a 2-in-1 convertible, you can flip the screen around and use it as a tablet. Its wide port selection includes a USB-C/Thunderbolt 4 port, allowing you to transfer files quickly and connect up to two 4k displays at 60Hz with a single cable. Unfortunately, the speakers sound unnatural, and the webcam's video quality is sub-par.

    If you're looking for an HP gaming laptop, we recommend the HP OMEN 16 (2022). This 16-inch laptop has Intel 12th Gen. CPUs and various NVIDIA GPUs, from an entry-level GTX 1650 to a powerful RTX 3070 Ti. There are also multiple display options, including a QHD panel with a 165Hz refresh rate. The keyboard feels great to type on, and there are many ports, including an Ethernet port for a stable internet connection when gaming online. Battery life is short at around seven hours of light use or a little over an hour of gaming, so you'll have to play with the laptop plugged in most of the time.

    See our review

  6. Lenovo

    Lenovo is a Chinese company and one of the largest laptop manufacturers in the world. Lenovo's current laptop lineup is vast and includes popular brands like IdeaPad, Legion, Yoga, and ThinkBook. The company is often at the forefront of new technology and experiments with more unique form factors and features, like laptops with an e-ink display on the lid, dual-screen laptops, and ultrawide laptops with a 21:9 display. Lenovo's laptops are often among the best value models you can get, whether you're looking for a cheap Chromebook or a premium mobile workstation. A source of frustration with Lenovo is its tendency to give the same product multiple names, confusing the average consumer.

    The best Lenovo laptop we've tested is the Lenovo Yoga 9i 14 (2021). It has a sturdy aluminum chassis and is easy to carry around, thanks to its thin and light design. Like other 2-in-1 convertibles with a 360-degree hinge, you can set up the laptop in tent mode or flip the screen around and use it as a tablet. You can configure it with a 1080p or 4k display, an Intel Core i5 or i7 CPU, and up to 16GB of memory. Biometrics include a Windows Hello-compatible IR camera and a fingerprint sensor. Another worthy mention is the Lenovo Chromebook Duet 5 (2021). This 13-inch 2-in-1 tablet is great for media consumption and is one of the most affordable devices with an OLED display. However, it could be better for productivity as the keyboard feels cramped, and its SoC can only handle light tasks. See our recommendations for the best Lenovo laptops here.

    See our review

  7. Microsoft

    Microsoft is well-known as the creator of the Windows operating system. Although it has made computer peripherals since the 1980s, its Surface line of personal computers is relatively young, as the first Surface device was released in 2012. Microsoft popularized the 2-in-1 tablet form factor with its Surface Pros and make laptops with unique features, like the Surface Laptop's Alcantara-covered keyboard deck and the Surface Book's detachable display. Like Apple, Microsoft has a relatively small laptop lineup, focusing almost solely on productivity and media consumption devices. Microsoft laptops are usually well-built and provide a great user experience overall, but they tend to be more expensive than similar Windows laptops from other brands.

    Our pick for the best Microsoft laptop is the Microsoft Surface Laptop 5 (2022), a premium thin and light model in a 13.5-inch or 15-inch size. This well-built model provides an amazing user experience with its sharp display, comfortable keyboard, and responsive touchpad. The webcam is excellent even though it's limited to a 720p resolution, and there's also an IR camera for quick logins via facial recognition. You can configure it with an Intel 12th Gen. Core i5 or i7 CPU; both are fast enough for general productivity tasks. Unfortunately, its port selection is limited, and the battery lasts only around eight hours of light use.

    Another device worth mentioning is the Microsoft Surface Pro 8 (2021), a 2-in-1 tablet PC. Its form factor is very versatile, as it allows you to detach the keyboard to save space or make the device easier to hold, and you can pop the keyboard back on when you need to type something out. You can also take handwritten notes or draw with a stylus, although you'll have to buy the pen separately, and the same goes for the keyboard. It has a sharp, bright 120Hz display, an excellent 1080p webcam, and clear-sounding speakers. Battery life sits around seven hours of light use, which isn't a lot but still decent for a tablet.

    See our review

Recent Updates

  1. May 24, 2023: Verified that all picks are still valid. No change in recommendations.

Notable Mentions

  • Framework: Framework is a relatively new laptop company. It makes modular laptops that are easy to service and upgrade to reduce environmental waste. Their laptops also have a modular port system that lets you swap out the ports on the fly for whatever you want.
  • LG: Although LG has been making electronics and appliances for some time, it only started making laptops in 2009. The most popular LG laptop lineup is the LG gram, which includes models well-known for their lightweight design.
  • MSI: Like Acer, ASUS, Dell, and HP, MSI makes a wide range of laptops, including ultraportables, creator laptops, and gaming laptops. MSI laptops are often tuned to provide the best performance possible, even at the cost of high thermals and loud fans.
  • Razer: Razer is an American-Singaporean company well-known for its PC gaming peripherals. It makes productivity and gaming laptops, but its lineup is fairly small and only includes premium models.
  • Samsung: Samsung is one of the largest electronics manufacturers in the world. It mainly makes productivity Windows laptops and Chromebooks. Like Apple, Samsung has built an ecosystem that allows various Samsung devices to work together.

All Reviews

Our recommendations above are what we think are currently the best laptop brands and the best laptops available to buy for most people, in various price ranges, from the seven biggest laptop brands.

If you prefer to make your own decision, here's the list of all of our laptop reviews, sorted by price from low to high. Most laptops are available in various configurations, and the table only shows the results of the model we tested, so it's best to see the full review for information about other variants.