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The top rated laptops available right now

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The top rated laptops available right now

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Introduction

A new laptop can make a huge difference to your productivity, whether you’re a student typing up essays or a professional photographer editing your masterwork. But what is the best laptop you can buy right now?

That’s not an easy question to answer, as there’s a range of different laptops you can buy that suit different needs. And so we’ve assembled a team of experts to review a wide range of laptops. We use professional-grade benchmarks and equipment to test every laptop we review, so you can be confident in our analysis.

Any laptop that is given at least a 4-star rating is considered for this best list, so you can see all of the top-rated laptops in one convenient place.

Can’t find what you’re looking for? There’s no need to worry, as we will be updating this list as soon as we review more high-scoring laptops. We also have other round-ups for you to check out if you fancy something more specific, including Best Student Laptop, Best Budget Laptop, Best Chromebook or Best Gaming Laptop.

And if you’d rather stick to a brand that you trust, then you can also check out these round-ups: Best MacBook, Best Asus Laptop, Best Microsoft Surface Laptop, Best Acer Laptop, Best Dell Laptop and Best Huawei Laptop.

Best Laptop at a glance

How we test

Learn more about how we test laptops

Every laptop we review goes through a series of uniform checks designed to gauge key things including build quality, performance, screen quality and battery life. 

These include formal synthetic benchmarks and scripted tests, plus a series of real world checks, such as how well it runs the most frequently used apps. 

We also make sure to use every laptop we review as our primary device for at least a week to ensure our review is as accurate as possible.

Apple MacBook Air 15-inch

Best overall laptop

Pros

  • Thin and light with a huge screen
  • The M2 remains a powerful chip for everyday tasks
  • Not a huge price increase over the 13-inch model

Cons

  • Annoying port placement
  • Internal upgrades are expensive
  • M2 not a massive jump over M1

The Apple MacBook Air 15-inch is our pick for the best overall laptop you can buy. The latest Air model builds on its, already excellent, smaller sibling by accommodating an improved viewing experience with its larger display.

The MacBook Air range has been a tremendous showcase of Apple Silicon since the launch of the first M1 model and the latest version is no different. The new 15-inch model offers tremendous productivity performance, if you’re using this for writing essays, browsing the web and watching multimedia, it’ll be a delightful breeze for you to use from the moment you turn it on. With no fan onboard either, it runs silently.

All this is backed up by excellent battery life, coming in at well over a work day in our real-world testing and managing 14 hours in our battery benchmarking test. The results are similar to the 13-inch MacBook Air as, despite the 15-inch model having a slightly larger battery, it seems to be offset by the larger display. The larger screen is absolutely a welcome addition, providing a more multitasking-friendly canvas as well as a more immersive panel for watching movies.

Movie-watching and the overall audio experience is boosted from the 13-inch too, which already donned class-leading sound. The larger chassis enables additional speakers and it’s mightily impressive, with strong bass chops and solid vocal clarity. The entire package makes this the best laptop for most people, dominating the productivity category.

Reviewer: Max Parker
Full review: Apple MacBook Air 15-inch review

Samsung Galaxy Book 3 360

Best Windows laptop

Pros

  • Strong productivity performance
  • Best-in-class Full HD AMOLED display
  • High-quality design
  • Great typing experience

Cons

  • Awkward keyboard and trackpad placement
  • Basic speakers

The Samsung Galaxy Book 3 360 is the dark horse of the laptop world in 2023. It hasn’t been touted by Samsung all that much, overshadowed by the Galaxy Book 3 Pro and new Galaxy Book 3 Ultra. But, when it comes to broad appeal and value, it’s comfortably the best of bunch.

Despite, it’s lower price than many key rivals, the 13th Gen Intel Core P-series chip inside provides plenty of productivity performance, no less than you need for a student or word processing workload. And, it’s aided by a display that may look under-specced initially. Coming in at just Full HD, the screen redeems itself through Samsung’s AMOLED panel, that is crisp and lush. With a 16:9 aspect ratio and 360-degree hinge, this is a laptop that’s ideal for media consumption too.

The keyboard experience is excellent, you can spend hours comfortably typing away on the Galaxy Book 3 360. And, you’ll be proud to do it in whatever setting, with the design matching that of most high-end, and more expensive machines, with an all-metal build. The top-notch S Pen is included too, for breezy drawing and handwriting capabilities.

Reviewer: Adam Speight
Full review: Samsung Galaxy Book 3 360 review

Microsoft Surface Laptop Go 2

Best budget Windows laptop

Pros

  • Fantastic value for money
  • Extremely portable design
  • Smooth performance for basic tasks
  • Better battery life than the original

Cons

  • Low-resolution display
  • Lack of keyboard backlight
  • No fingerprint scanner on base configuration

The Microsoft Surface Laptop Go 2 is a dinky 12-inch touchscreen laptop that’s available for less than $600/£530, making it an ideal option for students or anyone else on a tight budget.

Despite its low price, it boasts excellent build quality and offers a nippy performance for basic day-to-day workloads. Microsoft has opted for a new processor for this sequel, which has even given it a battery life boost compared to the original laptop. During our standard battery test, it managed to keep running for 9 hours and 11 minutes.

Of course, the Surface Laptop Go 2 isn’t as powerful as some of the other laptops on this list and will struggle with the likes of gaming and content creation, but it’s not expected to cope with such workloads at this budget-friendly price.

Our only major gripe with this ultra-portable laptop is its screen quality. With a low 1536 x 1024 resolution, images and video don’t look sharp, making it a substandard option for the likes of Netflix. And that tiny 12.4-inch may make this laptop super portable, but it’s also difficult to have multiple browser windows and apps open simultaneously.

We recommend checking out the similarly priced Acer Swift 3 if you really care about the screen quality. But if you can overlook those drawbacks, then we still think the Surface Laptop Go 2 is one of the absolute best Windows laptops at this price point.

Reviewer: Ryan Jones
Full review: Surface Laptop Go 2 review

Apple MacBook Pro 14-inch (2023)

The best MacBook

Pros

  • Huge amount of internal options
  • Stunning screen
  • Stays quiet and cool

Cons

  • Even more expensive than before (for those in the UK)
  • Lack of Face ID makes the notch feel dated already
  • Pricey to upgrade the memory

The MacBook Pro 14-inch (2023) isn’t just the best laptop that Apple has created so far, but it’s also our top recommendation for anyone who wants to edit photos or videos, or engage in any other intensive task.

The new 2023 iteration has seen a processor upgrade, with Apple offering the M2 Pro and M2 Max chips. Our tests show these chips to offer a relatively minor performance boost compared to their predecessors, so probably aren’t worth upgrading to if you already own an M-chip MacBook Pro.

However, our benchmark tests also showed the MacBook Pro (2023) to boast a massive performance jump on a Windows laptop powered by an RTX 3050. If you want a heavy-duty portable for content creation, the Pro is your best bet.

We were also impressed by the Mini LED display and stylish design. Sadly, Apple has upped the price in the UK, with a starting price of £2149/$1999. With that in mind, it may be worth seeing if you can find the MacBook Pro (2021) with a discount, as it remains an excellent laptop.

Reviewer: Max Parker
Full review: MacBook Pro 14-inch (2023) review

Acer Chromebook Spin 513

Best Chromebook

Pros

  • Super-light and portable design
  • Sharp display with decent colours
  • Outstanding battery life
  • Whisper-quiet performance

Cons

  • Flat speakers
  • Mediocre performance
  • No keyboard backlight

Chromebooks are a great option for those who want a cheap laptop with a simple operating system. We’d recommend a Chromebook to anyone who is happy to stick to popular apps such as Google Docs, Spotify and Netflix. But if you need to download more obscure software, then it’s safer to opt for a Window laptop instead.

The Acer Chromebook Spin 513 is our current favourite Chromebook. We found that the Snapdragon chip’s benchmark results weren’t as impressive as processors made by AMD or Intel, but the laptop was still capable of dealing with basic tasks such as web browsing, video streaming and essay write-ups without noticeable slowdown. 

Unlike many other Chromebooks we’ve tested, this laptop is also very light at just 1.2kg. This means you don’t need to worry about getting back pains when porting this laptop around, which can’t be said about other Chromebooks.  

There are plenty of other Chromebooks worth considering too, such as the Lenovo Chromebook Duet that can double up as a tablet, and the Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 5 which packs an Intel Core chip for an even faster performance. But we still think the Acer Chromebook Spin 513 represents the best all-round value.

Reviewer: Reece Bithrey
Full review: Acer Chromebook Spin 513 review

HP Dragonfly Pro Chromebook (2023)

Best high-end Chromebook

Pros

  • Excellent performance
  • Top quality build and great keyboard
  • Super bright display with capable touchscreen
  • Surprisingly good (and loud) speakers

Cons

  • Middling battery life
  • No headphone jack
  • Twice the price of other good Chromebooks

The HP Dragonfly Pro Chromebook (2023) is a rare ChromeOS device that justifies its higher price, successfully offering an excellent all-round experience that few comparative Chromebooks have since the Pixelbook Go. Unfortunately, it isn’t available in the UK but can be purchased in the US.

ChromeOS isn’t a demanding platform but this laptop squeezes every smidgen of performance out of it. It’s an ideal machine for productivity use. This is only aided by a great keyboard, that’s ideal for any long typing sessions. The, admittedly, higher price for a Chromebook, at $1000, gets you a top quality build. It offers a stylish off-white matte finish or a sparkling black option. It’d sit nicely on the desk of any student or nestled in any home office.

The audio is up to snuff too, presenting a pleasing pair of Bang & Olufsen speakers that are detailed and offer a surprising amount of bass for an averagely sized laptop.

Reviewer: Chris Smith
Full Review: HP Dragonfly Pro Chromebook (2023) review

Asus Zenbook 15 OLED (2023)

Best 15-inch laptop

Pros

  • Superb OLED screen
  • Fast Ryzen 7 CPU with integrated RDNA2 GPU
  • Comfortable keyboard and accurate touchpad
  • Excellent connectivity

Cons

  • Battery life is good, not great
  • Fan gets noisy at full tilt

Asus didn’t quite nail its flagship Zenbook S 13 OLED this year, with its switch to an Intel chip and an ambitiously slim design having key consequences, but the same can’t be said for the excellent AMD-powered Asus Zenbook 15 OLED (2023).

It may not be as trim as its smaller sibling but the Zenbook 15 OLED brings many of the same benefits, without the power limitations. The fast Ryzen 7 chip is a versatile option, providing snappy productivity use and enough graphical juice for some light creative work and low-end gaming. The keyboard and trackpad are a potent combo, with the former being comfortable to type on the latter offering an accurate response.

One of the stars of the show is the glorious OLED screen. Coming in at 15.6-inches and a QHD+ resolution, you can a broad canvas to accommodate multi-window work as well as stunning colour and detail.

Reviewer: Stuart Andrews
Full Review: Asus Zenbook 15 OLED (2023) review

Asus ROG Strix Scar 16 (2023)

Best gaming laptop

Pros

  • Huge levels of processing power
  • Awesome gaming performance
  • Stunning 16-inch Mini LED screen
  • Strong overall spec

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Trackpad could be better
  • Very heavy

Not only did the Asus ROG Stix Scar 16 (2023) make it onto this Best List, but it also managed to score the top spot on our best gaming laptop round-up. We gave this laptop a faultless five-star review and maintain that this is one of the best gaming laptops money can buy, thanks to its huge levels of processing power and impressive gaming performance.

It features a 13th-generation Intel Core i9-13980HX processor, which on paper is one of the fastest mobile CPU chips Intel has ever made. It packs 16 E-Cores and eight P-Cores and can monster its way through 24 simultaneous threads, with our Geekbench 5 and PCMark 10 benchmark results proving how powerful this machine truly is. This translated very well to real-world applications, with a multitude of games running smoothly thanks to the inclusion of the RTX 4080 GPU. Borderlands 3 managed to reach 106fps at a native screen resolution (2560×1600) with everything maxed out, while Horizon Zero Dawn hit 120fps.

The battery life was more than reasonable when you take the specs into consideration, lasting five hours and 51 minutes in PCMark 10’s Battery benchmark. While we wouldn’t recommend gaming on this laptop when it’s not on charge, the battery life will allow users to engage in productivity work from time to time. However, the bulky 2.5kg weight means that this is not a laptop you’ll want to take on the go, although the sizeable mass does make it feel like a very robust machine. 

Connectivity is also more than suitable, with two USB-C ports – one of which supportsThunderbolt 4 – alongside an HDMI 2.1 output, 2.5GbE Ethernet port, 3.5mm audio jack and two USB 3.2 ports. That’s more than enough to cover you for external displays, peripherals and storage, with Wi-Fi 6E also on board to ensure that you can game online without any issues. 

All in all, this is one of the best gaming laptops that money can buy. With formidable internals and a striking design, anyone that’s looking for their next gaming device should seriously consider the Asus ROG Strix Scar 16 (2023). 

Reviewer: Stuart Andrews
Full Review: Asus ROG Stix Scar 16 (2023) review

Asus Zenbook Pro 14 OLED (2023)

Best content creation laptop

Pros

  • Powerful, and ready to play games
  • Pixel-rich OLED screen
  • Quality keyboard and touchpad
  • Unusual DialPad virtual rotary controller

Cons

  • High-pitch fan noise
  • Portable design does involve performance concessions

The Asus Zenbook Pro 14 OLED may look like any other laptop but it’s hiding a wide range of capabilities. The OLED technology comes with fantastic colour depth and a 2880×1800 resolution, which we found to be more than crisp enough for watching video content. 

It’s also deceptively powerful, featuring an Intel Core i9-13900H CPU, an Nvidia RTX 4070 GPU alongside 32GB RAM and a 2TB SSD. These internals make the Zenbook Pro 14 OLED an all-rounder, with the GPU giving users the ability to play high-end games. Intensive graphical tasks such as 3D modelling are also well-within reach, although we would recommend that you keep it plugged in to reach its maximum performance. 

When you consider the 1.65kg weight, this is an incredibly portable device for all the power. We were able to carry this around in a backpack without any issues, potentially making it a great pick for anyone who regularly likes to work on the go. 

Looking at the keyboard, we found it to feel very deep and substantial, even if the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon Gen 10 can reach better heights in this category. Other than the space bar being oddly loud, we found that this was a joy to type on, making it ideal for anyone looking to smash out their next essay. 

The touchpad felt velvety to use and was very responsive. The trackpad features a DialPad in the corner, which looks like a circular dial. You can use it to scroll through shortcut tools; in basic Windows, these are screen brightness and volume, but in the ProArt Creator app you can choose what the dial does, per app, giving it a lot of versatility. 

Overall, the Asus Zenbook Pro 14 OLED is one of the best, if not the best, Windows device for content creation. It is fantastically adaptive thanks to the high-end internals and comes with a vibrant OLED display, with a reasonable asking price of £1,499. 

Reviewer: Andrew Williams
Full Review: Asus Zenbook Pro 14 OLED (2023) review 

Medion Erazer Major X20

Best value gaming laptop

Pros

  • Extraordinarily good value
  • Strong gaming and productivity performance
  • Excellent mechanical keyboard
  • Bright 240Hz WQXGA display

Cons

  • Battery life is very poor

Ever heard of Medion? If you haven’t and are after a top-notch bang-for-your-buck gaming laptop then you need to pay attention to them. The Medion Erazer Major X20 is the stand-out in its excellent value range and gained a rare 5-star review from us.

We loved this laptop as it provides a stunning amount of gaming performance for a price far lower than most similarly specced devices from rivals, at under £2000 for a 13th Gen Intel Core i9 and Nvidia GeForce RTX 4070 combination. The team-up gives you QHD+ performance at high settings across a range of titles, netting 55fps in Returnal, 46fps in Cyberpunk 2077 and 79fps in Borderlands 3.

You’ll find better performance in gaming laptops that don the more powerful RTX 4080 and RTX 4090 chips but the jump isn’t typically significant enough to warrant the massive rise in cost.The gaming experience is boosted by an impressive set of Cherry MX switches for the keyboard, with 1.8mm travel along with pleasing and precise feedback.

The display itself gets plenty bright, at around 411 nits, and offers crisp visuals through its QHD+ IPS panel. It’s well equipped for competitive gaming too, with a 240Hz refresh rate. Surprisngly, the screen is matched by decent sound, especially for a value-focused gaming laptop. The speakers get plenty loud and offer acceptable quality. There’s even a good amount of bass too.

Reviewer: Alun Taylor
Full Review: Medion Erazer Major X20 review

FAQs

What is an SSD?

The SSD (solid state drive) is essentially the component that determines how much storage your laptop has. A 512GB SSD is the norm these days, with anything less making storage space feel cramped if you download a lot of music, photos and videos.

What is a 2-in-1 laptop?

A 2-in-1 laptop is a device that has a flexible hinge, allowing it to be folded up into a tablet form. These laptops often have stylus support too, making them good options for doodlers and creatives.

What is RAM?

RAM (Random Access Memory) is computer memory that helps the processor offer a smooth performance. 8GB seems to be the default for laptops these days, with anything less potentially seeing noticeable slowdowns for your computer when performing multiple tasks.

What is Thunderbolt?

Thunderbolt is a port technology that is typically found through USB-C connections. Thunderbolt is signalled with a small lightning bolt icon, and can allow for multi-purpose functions such as power delivery, display output and data transfer for an all-in-one solution.

Specs compared

UK RRP

USA RRP

EU RRP

CA RRP

AUD RRP

CPU

Manufacturer

Quiet Mark Accredited

Screen Size

Storage Capacity

Front Camera

Battery

Battery Hours

Size (Dimensions)

Weight

ASIN

Operating System

Release Date

First Reviewed Date

Model Number

Resolution

HDR

Refresh Rate

Ports

Audio (Power output)

GPU

RAM

Connectivity

Colours

Display Technology

Screen Technology

Touch Screen

Convertible?

Trusted Reviews test data

PCMark 10

Cinebench R23 – multi core

Cinebench R23 – single core

Geekbench 5 single core

Geekbench 5 multi core

Geekbench 6 single core

Geekbench 6 multi core

3DMark Time Spy

CrystalDiskMark Read speed

CrystalDiskMark Write Speed

Brightness (SDR)

Black level

Contrast

White Visual Colour Temperature

sRGB

Adobe RGB

DCI-P3

PCMark Battery (office)

Battery Life

Battery discharge after 60 minutes of online Netflix playback

Battery recharge time

Borderlands 3 frame rate (Quad HD)

Borderlands 3 frame rate (Full HD)

Horizon Zero Dawn frame rate (Quad HD)

Horizon Zero Dawn frame rate (Full HD)

Cyberpunk 2077 (Quad HD)

Cyberpunk 2077 (Full HD + RT)

Returnal (Quad HD)

Returnal (Full HD)

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Harmony Evans is an award-winning author of Harlequin Kimani Romance, African-American romance, and so on. Harmony Evans is an award-winning author for Harlequin Kimani Romance, the leading publisher of African-American romance. Her 2nd novel, STEALING KISSES, will be released in November 2013. Harmony is a single mom to a beautiful, too-smart-for-her-own-good daughter, who makes her grateful for life daily. Her hobbies include cooking, baking, knitting, reading, and of course, napping and also review some of the best-selling and popular brands and services in the market and also write comprehensive blogs.

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