Your browser is not supported or outdated so some features of the site might not be available.

The 6 Best Laptops - Spring 2023 Reviews

Best Laptops

Shopping for a laptop can be a daunting task since there are tons of options to choose from. Also, most laptops have various display, CPU, GPU, and memory configurations, making the choice even harder. To help you narrow down your options, we've compiled a list of our top picks for different uses, and hopefully, you can find something that interests you.

We've tested more than 70 laptops, and below, you'll find our recommendations for the best laptops you can buy. You can also see our picks for the best Chromebooks, the best 2-in-1 laptops, and the best business laptops.

  1. Best Laptop

    The best laptop we've tested is the Apple MacBook Pro 14 (2021). This mobile workstation feels incredibly premium and provides plenty of processing horsepower to handle demanding tasks. It has a sharp and bright Mini LED display, a spacious and tactile keyboard, and a gigantic and responsive touchpad. The speakers are among the best on the market, and the same can be said about the webcam. It's great for video editing and other color-critical work, as the display covers the full DCI P3 color space, and its calibration is superb out of the box. You get plenty of ports, including three USB-C/Thunderbolt 4 ports, an HDMI, and a full-size SD card reader.

    If you want more screen space and don't mind paying more, you can get the Apple MacBook Pro 16 (2021). It's the same device but with better-sounding speakers and a slightly longer battery life. Before you make any purchasing decision, though, know that Apple has released the M2 MacBook Pro 14 and 16. They're identical to the M1 models in design; you just get a faster M2 SoC, HDMI 2.1, and increased memory support (up to 96GB). If you're willing to shop around, you can likely find a good deal on an M1 model through a third-party seller, marketplace, or even Apple's own refurbished section. Otherwise, go with an M2 model.

    For Windows users, we recommend the MSI WS76 (2021). This 17.3-inch model is available with Intel 11th Gen. processors and NVIDIA discrete GPUs. It has multiple display options, including a 4k 120Hz panel with full Adobe RGB and DCI P3 coverage, so it's a good option for content creators. It performs exceptionally well and can handle demanding workloads; however, it isn't as portable as the MacBook Pro 14 as it's bulkier and heavier. Also, its battery lasts less than eight hours of light use.

    See our review

  2. Best Upper Mid-Range Laptop

    If you only need a laptop for light tasks like text processing, web browsing, and video playback, get the Apple MacBook Air 13 (2022) instead, one of the best laptops for home use we've tested. Replacing the very popular Apple MacBook Air 13 (M1, 2020), this M2 model has a fresh new design, a better 1080p webcam, and a more powerful SoC. The main drawback is its limited port selection, as it's still limited to two USB-C/Thunderbolt 3 ports with support for one external display only, although the new MagSafe charging port does free up the USB-C you would otherwise use for charging.

    A cheaper alternative would be the Apple MacBook Air 13 (M1, 2020), which is still available alongside the newer model. It starts at a lower price for the base configuration, and because it's an older model, you can often find it on sale. Its M1 SoC can still go toe-to-toe against newer CPUs and is more than powerful enough to handle general productivity tasks. The display is slightly dimmer than the M2 MacBook Air's, but it isn't a problem unless you're in the sun.

    If you prefer a Windows laptop, get the Microsoft Surface Laptop 5 (2022), a premium ultraportable available in 13.5- and 15-inch sizes. You can configure it with an Intel 12th Gen. Core i5 or i7 CPU and up to 32GB of memory and 1TB of storage. There are some limitations to the configurations, so make sure to check out our full review for more details. This laptop provides an amazing user experience and can easily handle general productivity tasks. Its port selection is arguably better than the MacBook Air's, as it has USB-A and Thunderbolt 4 support, but its battery life isn't quite as good.

    See our review

  3. Best Mid-Range Laptop

    For a more modest mid-range option, we recommend the Acer Chromebook Spin 714 (2022). This 14-inch laptop provides a good user experience and has way more processing power than you would need on a Chrome OS device. The display gets bright enough for use in most indoor settings, and since it's a 2-in-1 convertible, you can flip the screen all the way around and use it as a tablet. It also supports pen input and comes with a stylus that you can dock into its charging slot for transport. Port selection is decent; you get one USB-A, two USB-C/Thunderbolt 4, and an HDMI port.

    As for the configurations, although it's available with various Intel 12th Gen. CPUs, availability seems to be scarce. The Core i5 model with 8GB of memory and 128GB of storage is the easiest to find in stock. Don't worry; the Core i5 is plenty fast for Chrome OS. Battery life is outstanding; we're talking around 13 to 14 hours of light use. Unfortunately, there's no fingerprint sensor or a facial recognition IR camera for quick logins. One last thing: Chrome OS is more limited than Windows or macOS in the types of applications you can install, so you need to make sure that you can do everything through a Chrome browser or Android apps.

    If you have to use Windows, go with the Acer Swift 3 14 (2020). It's easy to carry around, feels well-built, and has around the same battery life as the Spin 714. You can get it with an Intel 11th Gen Core i5 or i7 and up to 16GB of memory and 512GB of storage. It has a great port selection, including two USB-As, one USB-C/Thunderbolt 4, and a full-size HDMI. We have two complaints: the first is that the screen doesn't get very bright, meaning you may have trouble with visibility in well-lit rooms. Second, the webcam is bad; the image is underexposed, and the microphone sounds staticky.

    See our review

  4. Best Budget Laptop

    If you're shopping on a small budget, get the Lenovo Chromebook C340 15 (2020), a 15.6-inch 2-in-1 convertible with a sturdy build and long battery life. You can get this laptop with an Intel Core i3 or Pentium Gold CPU, both of which are getting a little long in the tooth but still powerful enough to provide a smooth experience on Chrome OS. That said, you can only get a maximum of 4GB of memory, so you have to limit the number of applications or Chrome tabs you open at once.

    As with most budget laptops, the display is where Lenovo makes some compromises. Its IPS panel doesn't get very bright, meaning you'll have trouble with visibility in very well-lit environments, and due to its narrow color gamut, most content looks slightly washed out. Images and text look decently sharp, and there's plenty of screen real estate for split-screen multitasking. The keyboard feels great to type on, and while the touchpad is small, it tracks all movements and gestures well.

    See our review

  5. Best Gaming Laptop

    The best laptop with gaming in mind that we've tested is the Razer Blade 14 (2022), a premium model with a solid aluminum chassis and a minimalistic, Apple MacBook-esque design. You can choose between three preset configurations: a 1080p 144Hz display with an NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060 GPU, a 1440p 165Hz display with an RTX 3070 Ti, or a 1440p 165Hz display with an RTX 3080 Ti. All three configurations deliver a smooth gaming experience in graphically demanding AAA titles, so it's just a matter of resolution preference. We recommend getting the RTX 3060 or the 3070 Ti variant, as the RTX 3080 Ti model is significantly more expensive and a poor option value-wise.

    It has a great keyboard with per-key RGB lighting, a wide port selection that includes an HDMI 2.1 port, and a fast Wi-Fi 6E wireless adapter for low-latency online gaming. As for upgradeability, the storage drive is replaceable, but not the memory, as all three configurations come with 16GB of soldered RAM. The battery lasts about an hour or so when gaming, typical for any laptop with a powerful GPU, so you'll need to keep the charger close. The keyboard gets a little hot under load, but the fans aren't overly loud or distracting.

    While the Razer Blade 14 is an excellent gaming laptop, it's also very expensive. A cheaper alternative would be the ASUS ROG Zephyrus G14 (2022). Its QHD display has a slightly lower refresh rate of 120Hz, but it gets much brighter to combat glare. It has an AMD Ryzen 9 6900HS CPU, and you can choose between an AMD Radeon 6700S or 6800S GPU, both powerful enough to provide smooth gameplay. It gets hotter and louder under load, though, and its overall build doesn't feel as premium as the Razer.

    See our review

  6. Best Budget Gaming Laptop

    We recommend the Lenovo Legion 5 Gen 6 15 (2021) for those on a tight budget. It's an affordable model with multiple GPU options, from an entry-level NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 to a powerful NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070. You can choose between an AMD Ryzen 5 5600H or Ryzen 7 5800H CPU, both powerful enough to provide smooth gameplay. It has a sturdy build, a spacious keyboard with backlit keys, and a wide port selection that includes six USB ports and an HDMI 2.1 port. It's bulky, though, so it isn't very portable.

    For the display, we recommend getting the 165Hz 1080p or 1440p panel for the best visual experience; make sure you pair the 1440p panel with an RTX 3070 to get the most out of it. Any GPU will do for 1080p gaming, although the GTX 1650 can only reach 60 fps at low settings and might not reach reasonable frame rates in the newest AAA titles. The memory and storage are user-replaceable, so you can get a cheaper configuration and upgrade it later. That way, the bulk of your budget can go towards the best CPU, GPU, and display configuration, as they aren't replaceable.

    See our review

Notable Mentions

  • Acer Swift 14 (2023): The Acer Swift 14 (2023) is a great alternative to the Apple MacBook Pro 14 (2021) if you need a high-performance CPU but don't need lots of graphical processing power, like programming and music production. However, its keyboard doesn't feel as comfortable to type on, and its battery life is shorter at only nine hours of light use. See our review
  • Framework Laptop (2022): The Framework Laptop (2022) is a great alternative to the Apple MacBook Air 13 (2022) if you want a laptop that's easier to repair and upgrade. It has a better port selection than the MacBook Air, as its modular port system lets you swap the ports on the fly, and nearly all components are user-replaceable. The downside is that its battery lasts less than seven hours of light use. Also, this laptop is only available through Framework's website in select countries. See our review
  • Dell XPS 13 Plus (2022): The Dell XPS 13 Plus (2022) is a good Windows alternative to the Apple MacBook Air 13 (2022). It's also a premium ultraportable that provides a great user experience. However, there are a couple of tradeoffs, like its shorter battery life, lower-quality webcam, and worse-sounding speakers. See our review
  • Microsoft Surface Pro 8 (2021): The Microsoft Surface Pro 8 (2021) is a good alternative to the Apple MacBook Air 13 (2022) if you want a 2-in-1 tablet with a kickstand and detachable keyboard. It's one of the best laptops for home use as you can detach the keyboard when consuming media or when you don't have much space, like on a kitchen counter. However, you have to buy the keyboard separately. See our review
  • Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 5i 14 (2022): The Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 5i 14 (2022) is a good alternative to the Acer Chromebook Spin 714 (2022) if you want a 2-in-1 Windows device. It has a better keyboard and a fingerprint sensor, but the display doesn't get as bright, and its battery lasts only around eight hours of light use. It's also hard to find. See our review
  • Lenovo Chromebook Duet 5 (2021): The Lenovo Chromebook Duet 5 (2021) is a good alternative to the Lenovo Chromebook C340 15 (2020) if you just want a device for media consumption. It has a much nicer OLED display, and you can detach the keyboard to make it easier to hold as a tablet. However, it isn't as good for productivity because the keyboard feels cramped, and its ARM-based SoC can only handle very light workloads. See our review

Recent Updates

  1. May 03, 2023: Verified the accuracy of picks. Added the Acer Swift 14 (2023) and the Dell XPS 13 Plus (2022) as Notable Mentions.

  2. Apr 07, 2023: Minor text changes to include the Microsoft Surface Laptop 5 (2022) as an alternative to the Apple MacBook Air 13 (2022). No change in recommendations.

  3. Mar 08, 2023: Minor text changes. Replaced the Acer Swift 3 14 (2020) with the Acer Chromebook Spin 714 (2022) because it provides a better user experience overall. Added the Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 5i 14 (2022) as a Notable Mention.

  4. Feb 10, 2023: Small text changes to provide more information regarding the M2 Apple MacBook Pro 14 and 16. Removed the Lenovo IdeaPad 3 15 (2021) because it's almost the same price as the Acer Swift 3 14 (2020).

  5. Jan 13, 2023: Minor text changes to improve clarity and readability. No change in recommendations.

All Reviews

Our recommendations above are what we think are currently the best laptops to buy for most people. We factor in the price (a cheaper laptop wins over a pricier one if the difference isn't worth it), feedback from our visitors, and availability (no laptops that are difficult to find or almost out of stock everywhere).

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. Keep in mind that 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.