If you're looking for the best laptop in 2023 then look no further. We've curated a list of the best of the best (and it wasn't easy!), so you don't have to trawl the internet trying to find one to suit your needs.
Whether you need a laptop for work, school or gaming, no doubt you'll want one that's efficient and reliable, and for most of us, great value for money! Our top picks all have something great to offer, and we think you'll find something that suits you in this list. After lots of rigorous testing, we've detailed all of the best features, pros and cons to help you make the right investment in the best laptop.
And if you don't find what's right for you here, we also have a tailored list of the best student laptops that are perfect for all your school or college work. While some of these laptops are on the pricier side, they're in the list because they're worth every penny, so dive right in and see which one you like...
Best laptops 2023
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"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
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 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
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.
"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
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.
"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
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.
"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
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 LG Gram 16 is one of the best combinations of a large screen and a lightweight chassis – it's almost perfect if that's what you're looking for in a Windows laptop, especially if the MacBook Air M2 doesn't appeal to your operating system wants.
At close to the four-figure mark it's relatively good value for the specification on offer, too, especially with this much screen real-estate to really help sell this laptop. It's certainly going to be of interest to anyone in the market for a sleek, professional Windows 11 laptop, and it ticks a lot of boxes when it comes to performance, battery life and build quality.
Has this big-screen laptop sparked your interest? Read more about it in our full LG Gram 16 review.
As the name suggests, the Surface Laptop 5 is the fifth incarnation of this particular laptop, so Microsoft has had plenty of opportunity to get it right – and we think it's a real success story.
From the quality of the screen to the battery life, the Surface Laptop 5 gets plenty right. It's very configurable in terms of power, too, with Intel CPUs available, together with a wide-ranging choice of RAM and storage options. That means you can bend it to fit your budget best as possible.
Perhaps above all else, though, it's the style of this laptop that really appeals. We think the finish is arguably better-looking than a MacBook Air, making this a contender for the Windows crown.
Read our full Microsoft Laptop 5 review to find out the fulls highs and lows about this Windows machine
There are 2-in-1s and then there are Microsoft 2-in-1s. The long-established Surface series has evolved into the Laptop Studio, which is ideal for creators given the number of ways in which you can manipulate the screen for your advantage.
However, it's a rather pricey bit of kit, and you'll need to fork out extra in order to buy the stylus Surface Pen, too, further adding to the cost.
But we think it'll be worth every penny for creators, as this unique fold-over design is unlike anything else you'll find on the market. It's practical too.
Want to know more about the best laptop for creators? Read our full Microsoft Surface Laptop Studio review
We called Lenovo's IdeaPad Duet 5 Chromebook "a vision of beauty" in our review, which is high praise indeed for a Chromebook. But this is no ordinary Chrome OS laptop, really, as its 2-in-1 construction and super OLED screen set it apart from the typically cheap and cheerful options elsewhere on the market.
Chrome OS won't suit all, though, as it's more based around Google apps and Android apps, but that's fine for lightweight working, so idea for students and those who need to go big on word processing, browsing and streaming. It'll do all this no problems and last an age whilst doing so too.
Is Chrome OS and a Chromebook the best laptop pick for you? Read our full Lenovo IdeaPad Duet 5 Chromebook review to find out more
Well, well, where to begin with this beast? Because that's what Razer's 17-inch laptop is: an absolute powerhouse, with stacks of power to handle top-tier gaming and present it back to you on its massive 17.3-inch screen (resolution options range from Full HD to Ultra HD, it depends how rich you're feeling).
All that adds up to what we called "simply one of the best performing gaming laptops around" in our review. Such premium quality and scale doesn't come cheap though, so while it's very much in our top 10 best laptops, this Razer isn't going to be for the masses.
Read our full Razer Blade 17 review to see why this gaming laptop is such a superstar
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 of 2023 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.