The Best Laptops In 2023

The best tablets are more capable than ever, but sometimes, you just need a full computer. That’s why the laptop is still very much alive, versatile enough to serve needs from gaming to 3D modeling to simply having a convenient all-in-one experience. Some even come with their own graphics cards and are strong enough to replace desktops. And even more, like 2-in-1s, stretch what the form factor is capable of, bringing in some tablet like convenience with touchscreens and the ability to fold the keyboard out-of-sight.

But that means it can be hard to tell the best laptops apart from each other. Let’s walk through which product is best for you.

What laptop should I buy?

Your laptop buying decision should really be defined by what you plan to do with the device, and how much money you have to spend. If it’s going to be your primary computer, sit on a desk, and never really move around or get packed in a bag, you don’t need to worry about size and weight. If you want to play video games, you’re going to need a faster processor. If you’re a road warrior, you want something small and light and hard to break.

In our list below, we’ve identified several of those use cases and identified our top laptop pick for you. If money’s no object, you don’t have niche power user concerns like financial modeling, and you don’t care what operating system the hardware runs, go for our best overall laptop. Anything else, read on.

Finally, keep in mind that one of the rules of consumer electronics is that as soon as you buy a new gadget, it will immediately be eclipsed by a newer, faster, better model. We can say with confidence that chipmakers will continue to release powerful new processors in 2023, and laptop makers will roll out new products. But generally speaking, the first few months of the year are when we see the most new products announced and released.

The editorial staff of Gizmodo independently test and review each product found in our Buyer’s Guides. If you purchase something using our affiliate links, G/O Media may earn a commission. Affiliate linking does not influence our editorial content.

Best Overall Laptop — MacBook Air with M2

MacBook Air M2

Photo: Michelle Ehrhardt/Gizmodo

Windows fans (let’s be honest, Apple haters), we’re sorry. But we can’t deny it. While the Dell XPS 13 usually gives Apple a run for its money when it comes to the best overall laptop for any given year, that machine’s higher-end models now sport a design revamp that we didn’t exactly love. More importantly, though, the M2 processor is just too impressive to count out, and the new MacBook Air gives it a lovely shell that makes older MacBooks feel immediately antiquated.

The new Air’s not without its faults, coming out to generally positive reviews but also complaints from power users about throttling and faulty cooling hardware. But for general purpose tasks and some light prosumer work, it’s slick, fast, and surprisingly competitively priced with its Windows competitors.

Thin bezels, a 1080p FaceTime camera, a new flat shape that’s thinner than ever, a full function row, and MagSafe 3 charging are all here to freshen up how you interact with the device, plus there’s some new colorways. For the performance-minded, you can expect to get about 8,975 points in Geekbench’s multi-core tests and finish Blender benchmarks in about 4 minutes and 33 seconds. Battery life lasted over 14 hours in our tests, too.

A starting price of $1,199 also doesn’t make it cheap, but puts it in the same ballpark as competitors like the Dell XPS 13 or our next entry, the Asus Zenbook S 13. Our model was highly performant at $1,499. If you want to avoid the cooling issues that some have complained about, you can get the MacBook Pro 13-inch with an M2 processor, which has a fan, but you’ll miss out on the revamped design that helps make this Air so tantalizing. There are now larger MacBook Pro models with M2 chip variants, fans, and a more modern design, although they start to edge into a different price category.