Finding the best laptop can be tough. There are hundreds of excellent modern laptops out there for a wide variety of different niches – and it can be difficult to make sense of all the different models and features available. Finding the right laptop for you means tracking down a machine with the specs and capabilities you need at the best price possible.
In this guide, we’ll review the best-performing and most popular laptops for work, gaming, college, and everyday use and show you what factors you need to consider before making your final decision. We’ll go over details such as the laptops’ specifications, performance, and unique features, and show you how different models compare, so you can find the best laptop for you.
The Best Laptops Ranked
We’ve conducted detailed research into the best laptops available on the market today. Here’s our shortlist of the top picks for 2023, including machines for work, leisure, and gaming, with options to suit all budgets:
- Acer Aspire 5 — Overall, the best laptop for most people, offering stellar performance for the price.
- Apple MacBook Air M1 — Ultra-slim model with incredible performance benchmarks and a stunning retina display.
- Asus Vivobook L210 — Cheap and lightweight design with a 12-hour battery life, perfect for simple everyday tasks.
- Acer Nitro 5 — Lightning-fast gaming laptop with performance on par with the most powerful desktop PCs.
- Lenovo IdeaPad 3 — Affordable work laptop with a 15.6″ touchscreen and Stylus MC Pen support
- HP Pavilion Aero 13 — Superb performance with a fingerprint reader for enhanced security and fast access to your accounts.
- Asus ROG Strix G16 — Powerful ROG laptop for gamers who want a fully immersive, life-like visual experience.
- Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 5i — A 2-in-1 model that doubles as a tablet with a 13.3″ full HD touchscreen.
- HP Pavilion 15 — Fast work machine with a Full HD IPS display for incredible visuals.
- Dell XPS 7390 InfinityEdge — Business laptop for busy executives who need to get work done on the go.
- Asus ZenBook 13 — Super-slim model with an incredibly powerful processor and 13 hours of battery life.
Laptop Reviews – An In-Depth Look at the Top 11 Machines on the Market
In our full, in-depth reviews, we go into more detail about each of the 11 best and most popular laptop models, providing all the information you need to know about their features, functionality, pros, cons, and pricing. So what marks out the best laptop for this year?
1. Acer Aspire 5 — Overall, the Best Laptop for Most People
The Acer Aspire 5 is going to be the best option for the majority of people, simply due to the fact that it offers incredible performance at a great price.
|From $348||14.31 x 9.86 x 0.71 inches||AMD Ryzen R3 3350U — R7 3700U||Radeon Vega 6 Graphics — Vega 10||4 Gb DDR4||128 Gb SSD||15.6″|
The Acer Aspire 5 is also incredibly slim and is lightweight and portable – despite the formidable hardware on display – with an average of 10 hours of battery life. This makes it ideal for college, work, streaming online content, and other everyday tasks.
If you also want to game on the laptop then you can easily upgrade it with additional RAM, an external hard drive, and a more powerful processor. The most powerful CPU option is the AMD Ryzen 7 3700U, with a base clock speed of 2.3 GHz and integrated Vega 10 Graphics, which will allow you to play most modern games on high settings at 60 FPS without issue.
Another reason to opt for the Acer Aspire 5 is the stunning 15.6″ Full HD display that supports 1920 x 1080 resolution. The laptop is also equipped with the Acer Bluelight Shield, which protects your eyes from blue light emissions and reduces eye fatigue. The Acer Color Intelligence feature ensures that the display produces deeper shades and clearer contrast, meaning this laptop is excellent for photo editing as well.
Last but not least, the Acer Aspire 5 supports a dual-band Wi-Fi 6 connection, which is nearly three times faster than Wi-Fi 5 – so you’ll enjoy greater speed when browsing the web, downloading files, and watching your favorite TV shows and movies. All in all, it’s an affordable and extremely versatile machine – and it’s arguably the best Windows laptop out there and the best laptop under $500.
2. Apple MacBook Air M1 — Ultra-Slim Model with Incredible Performance
The Apple MacBook Air M1 is by far the most popular MacBook Air model in 2023, and it’s easy to understand why. With the introduction of the Apple M1 chip, it achieves three times faster CPU speeds and up to five times faster GPU speeds than previous Apple laptops.
|From $999||11.97 x 8.36 x 0.63 inches||SoC Apple M1 Chip (eight-core CPU)||Apple 7-core — Apple 8-core GPU||8 Gb||256 Gb SSD||13.3″|
The M1 System-on-a-Chip (SoC) integrates an eight-core CPU, a seven- or eight-core GPU, and a Neural Engine onto a single, power-efficient chip. This means that you’ll be able to easily perform resource-intensive tasks, from video editing and 3D modeling to gaming – and it’s also a strong contender for being the best laptop for programming.
The CPU is perfectly balanced with performance- and efficiency-oriented cores, providing extraordinary processing power while using as little as a tenth of the CPU’s maximum for everyday tasks.
The Apple MacBook Air M1 also features machine learning (ML) tools, which you can use to automatically retouch photos and videos and edit audio. Thanks to the 13.3″ Retina display and a P3 wide color gamut, you’ll be able to enjoy brighter, more vibrant colors and sharper visuals. This makes the MacBook Air M1 ideal for creative professionals, such as photographers, graphic designers, and videographers.
Another advantage of the Apple MacBook Air M1 over an older Apple computer laptop is that it runs on macOS Big Sur, which offers a number of performance benefits, as well as app updates, and ironclad security features.
The laptop has an average battery life of 18 hours, which is particularly impressive considering the amount of processing power that the machine offers.
3. Asus Vivobook L210 — Best Cheap Laptop for Simple Everyday Tasks
The Asus Vivobook L210 is the best budget laptop for college students and people who are always on the go and need quick and easy access to the internet, their inbox, and their files and documents.
|From $159.99||11 x 7.5 x 0.67 inches||Intel Celeron N4020||Integrated Intel UHD Graphics 600||4 Gb DDR3||64 Gb eMMC||11.6″|
While it wouldn’t be considered powerful by any stretch of the imagination, the Asus Vivobook L210 offers solid performance when executing everyday tasks. It’s great for taking notes, writing in Google Docs, creating presentations and spreadsheets, attending video calls, and doing online research. So, if you don’t plan on running any resource-demanding apps, at just $160, the Asus Vivobook L210 is a great, budget-friendly option and is one of the best small laptops.
The laptop is thin and portable, with a 12-hour average battery life, which gives you a huge amount of leeway before you need to find a power outlet. The fanless CPU, meanwhile, ensures that the laptop remains silent, so you can take it with you to classes, the office, the library, the local coffee shop, or pretty much anywhere.
One of the unusual features of the Asus Vivobook L210 is the dual-functionality touchpad that doubles as a number pad. You can switch between the two modes with a single tap and use the numpad whenever you’re working in Excel or doing any advanced calculations. These details – and the affordable price – makes this perhaps the best laptop for college on our list, though the Acer Aspire 5 is still marginally cheaper.
The Asus Vivobook L210 comes with Windows 10 Home in S mode and a one-year license for Office 365 Personal, and it’s a definite candidate for best cheap laptop. If you want to research further, check out our review of the best laptops for college.
4. Acer Nitro 5 — Lightning-Fast High-End Gaming Laptop
The Acer Nitro 5 is a high-end gaming laptop, capable of running even the most demanding AAA titles at 120 FPS on high or even ultra-high visual settings.
|From $2,200||14.19 x 10.67 x 1.06 inches||Intel Core i7-12700H||GeForce RTX 3070 Ti||16 Gb DDR4||2 Tb SSD||15.6″|
The Acer Nitro 5 delivers stunning visuals, thanks to a 15.6″ QHD IPS display with a 165 Hz refresh rate. The average response time of the display is 3ms, so you won’t experience any ghosting, lag, stuttering, or broken images while gaming.
The GPU also supports RTX with new Ray Tracing capabilities, Tensor Cores, and streaming multiprocessors, and it supports DirectX 12, so you can expect superb gaming performance from this i7 Windows laptop. In short, you’ll be sitting pretty comfortably in your gaming chair.
When it comes to connectivity, the Acer Nitro 5 lets you simultaneously connect to Wi-Fi and ethernet (via a dedicated ethernet cable port), so you’ll have full control over priority traffic and bandwidth. The ability to connect via an ethernet cable is crucial when downloading large games, movies, or entire seasons of TV shows, as well as when streaming online content. To compare this model to the rest of the market, take a look at our complete guide to the best gaming laptops.
5. Lenovo IdeaPad 3 — Great Budget Option for Work
The Lenovo IdeaPad 3 is a great, affordable laptop for work, offering solid performance at a reasonable price.
|From $379||16.3 x 11.2 x 1 inches||Intel Core i3-1115G4||Integrated Intel UHD Graphics||8 Gb DDR4||256 Gb SSD||15.6″|
While not really suitable for playing visually demanding games, it’s more than powerful enough to run all the programs that remote workers commonly use, such as Slack, Zoom, time-tracking tools, and the G-Suite apps.
With 8 Gb of DDR4 RAM and a 256 Gb SSD, the Lenovo IdeaPad 3 boots up in seconds, lets you transfer files at lightning speeds, and loads apps and web pages near-instantly.
The 15.6″ display ensures stunning visuals and acts as both a monitor and a touchscreen, letting you take advantage of hands-on controls as well as the Stylus MC pen to navigate your OS, web pages, and apps.
The Lenovo IdeaPad 3 also comes with a built-in HD webcam and microphone, as well as two Dolby stereo speakers, so it’s perfect for video conferencing.
The one downside of the laptop is the 7-hour average battery life, so you will have to actively think about finding a power outlet if you’re planning on working from a coffee shop or a coworking space for an extended period of time.
6. HP Pavilion Aero 13 — Features a Fingerprint Reader for Enhanced Security
The HP Pavilion Aero 13 is the best laptop under $1,000, offering great performance without brining a hole in your wallet – and it’s probably the best HP laptop out there.
|From $812||11.72 x 8.23 x 0.67 inches||AMD Ryzen 5 5625U||Integrated AMD Radeon graphics||8 Gb DDR4||512 Gb SSD||13.3″|
When it comes to connectivity, the laptop offers both Bluetooth and Wi-Fi 6, allowing you to quickly download and transfer files as well as stream your favorite online content without buffering.
A major advantage of the laptop over other models in its price range is that it supports fast account logins through a 3D fingerprint reader. This not only saves you valuable time when accessing all your important documents but also prevents unauthorized access to your machine if it gets lost or stolen.
The laptop’s battery lasts a little over 10 hours on average, but thanks to the HP Fast Charge technology, you can go from 0% to 50% charge in as little as 30 minutes. Given all this, we’d say it’s likely the best work laptop on the market.
7. Asus ROG Strix G16 — Powerful ROG Laptop for Gamers
The Asus ROG Strix G16 is one of the newer models in the ROG (Republic of Gamers) series, boasting an i9 Intel processor and a GeForce RTX 4070 GPU – and providing incredible performance.
If you’re looking for a reliable, powerful laptop optimized for gaming that can run even the most demanding of current-gen games without issue then look no further.
|From $1,999||13.94 x 10.39 x 0.89 inches||Intel Core i9-13980HX||GeForce RTX 4070||16 Gb DDR5||1 Tb PCIe SSD||16″|
Thanks to AI-powered DLSS 3, the powerful GeForce 40 series GPU delivers superb gaming performance at higher FPS and helps you fully immerse yourself in life-like visuals with full Ray Tracing.
The Asus ROG Strix G16 has a 90% screen-to-body, Full-HD display, with a 165 Hz refresh rate. It also supports Nvidia G-Sync, which eliminates ghosting, image tearing, and stuttering effects while gaming.
The laptop is outfitted with the ROG Intelligent Cooling system, consisting of full-surround air vents, three fans, and a full-width heatsink. This ensures that the laptop’s components stay cool even when playing the most resource-hungry games, and while remaining dead quiet.
When it comes to the keyboard, each key is individually backlit, and there are various RGB backlighting options at your disposal. The laptop also supports a variety of gaming hotkeys, so you can easily set up macros for your favorite games to gain a competitive edge. If you’re investing in a high-end machine, you might also consider buying a high-quality gaming keyboard, many of which have options for setting macros and custom key functions.
8. Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 5i — An Affordable 2-in-1 Laptop Doubling as a Tablet
The Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 5i is a two-in-one Chromebook that you can use both as a laptop and as a tablet, thanks to its 13.3″ Full HD touchscreen.
|From $353||12.2 x 8.43 x 0.67 inches||Intel Core i3-1115G4||Integrated Intel UHD Graphics||8 Gb LPDDR4X||128 Gb SSD||13.3″|
The Chromebook is equipped with a mid-range Intel Core i3-1115G4 processor, so you can use it for everyday tasks like casual browsing, writing in Google Docs, creating spreadsheets, and attending video conferences. It can also reliably run all the apps on the Google Play store.
Its compactness and flexibility make it a great option for college or for people who need to use a laptop on the go and can benefit from the dual tablet-laptop functionality.
If you need a laptop that can handle more resource-intensive apps and particularly demanding tasks, though, then you should look at more powerful alternatives on the market.
9. HP Pavilion 15 — Fast Work Model with a Full HD IPS Display
The HP Pavilion 15 is a great option for anyone who wants a fast work laptop that also offers stunning graphics and impressive audio for streaming TV shows and movies.
|From $599||14.18 x 9.21 x 0.7 inches||Intel Core i7-1165G7||Intel Iris Xe Graphics||16 Gb DDR4||512 Gb SSD||15.6″|
The HP Pavilion 15 comes with Intel Iris Xe Graphics and a Full HD IPS micro-edge display, so you’ll enjoy crisp visuals. This makes it ideal for graphic designers, photographers, videographers, animators, and anyone else working with image and video processing.
The one potential downside of this laptop is the eight-hour battery life, but the good news is that you can go from 0% to 50% battery in just 45 minutes, thanks to HP Fast Charge technology.
10. Dell XPS 7390 InfinityEdge — Business Laptop for Busy Executives
The Dell XPS 7390 is a powerful, flexible laptop with a 13.3″ Full HD multi-touch touchscreen. Unlike Chromebooks, this laptop runs on Windows 10, so you’re not limited to apps from the Google Play Store, meaning you can install virtually any app, program, or game – and we rate it as the best business laptop on the market.
|From $1,299||11.7 x 8.2 x 0.5 inches||Intel i5-10210U||Intel UHD Graphics||8 Gb DDR4||256 Gb SSD||13.3″|
With a 10th Gen Intel i5-10210U and 8 Gb of DDR4 ram, the Dell XPS 7390 offers solid performance, without sacrificing portability.
The laptop also comes with a built-in webcam and microphone, so you can attend video conferences or hop on quick calls with your colleagues at work without having to worry about carrying a headset and a USB webcam with you, whether you’re at your desk or out and about.
11. Asus ZenBook 13 — Ultra-Slim Laptop with a Powerful Processor
The Asus ZenBook 13 is an ultra-slim laptop with impressive performance benchmarks, so it’s an excellent choice if you need power but don’t want to sacrifice portability. What’s more, it has an impressive 16-hour battery life and can reach 60% charge in just 40 minutes, making it ideal for traveling and extended use away from convenient outlets.
|From $749||11.97 x 7.99 x 0.55 inches||AMD Ryzen 7 5700U||Integrated AMD Radeon Graphics||8 GB LPDDR4X||512 Gb SSD||13.3″|
You also get a 512 Gb SSD and 8GB of LPDDR4X RAM, so you can have several apps open simultaneously without the laptop showing any signs of slowing down – all while remaining completely silent.
The monitor is a compact 13.3-inch OLED display with a thin bezel, which can run full HD at 1920 x 1080.
Another huge advantage of the Asus ZenBook 13 is its built-in IR camera with facial recognition sign-in, which adds another layer of security and ensures that nobody else can log in and use your laptop.
The Best Laptops for 2023 Compared
If you’re still not sure which model is the best for you, here’s a laptop comparison table to provide a clear overview of what each laptop offers for the price. What’s most important to you – the CPU, GPU, hard drive, or the display size?
|Acer Aspire 5||From $348||14.31 x 9.86 x 0.71 inches||AMD Ryzen R3 3350U — R7 3700U||Radeon Vega 6 Graphics — Vega 10||4 Gb DDR4||128 Gb SSD||15.6″|
|Apple MacBook Air M1||From $999||11.97 x 8.36 x 0.63 inches||SoC Apple M1 Chip (eight-core CPU)||Apple 7-core — Apple 8-core GPU||8 Gb||256 Gb SSD||13.3″|
|Asus Vivobook L210||From $159.99||11 x 7.5 x 0.67 inches||Intel Celeron N4020||Integrated Intel UHD Graphics 600||4 Gb DDR3||64 Gb eMMC||11.6″|
|Acer Nitro 5||From $2,200||14.19 x 10.67 x 1.06 inches||Intel Core i7-12700H||GeForce RTX 3070 Ti||16 Gb DDR4||2 Tb SSD||15.6″|
|Lenovo IdeaPad 3||From $379||16.3 x 11.2 x 1 inches||Intel Core i3-1115G4||Integrated Intel UHD Graphics||8 Gb DDR4||256 Gb SSD||15.6″|
|HP Pavilion Aero 13||From $812||11.72 x 8.23 x 0.67 inches||AMD Ryzen 5 5625U||Integrated AMD Radeon graphics||8 Gb DDR4||512 Gb SSD||13.3″|
|Asus ROG Strix G16||From $1,999||13.94 x 10.39 x 0.89 inches||Intel Core i9-13980HX||GeForce RTX 4070||16 Gb DDR5||1 Tb PCIe SSD||16″|
|Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 5i||From $353||12.2 x 8.43 x 0.67 inches||Intel Core i3-1115G4||Integrated Intel UHD Graphics||8 Gb LPDDR4X||128 Gb SSD||13.3″|
|HP Pavilion 15||From $599||14.18 x 9.21 x 0.7 inches||Intel Core i7-1165G7||Intel Iris Xe Graphics||16 Gb DDR4||512 Gb SSD||15.6″|
|Dell XPS 7390 InfinityEdge||From $1,299||11.7 x 8.2 x 0.5 inches||Intel i5-10210U||Intel UHD Graphics||8 Gb DDR4||256 Gb SSD||13.3″|
|Asus ZenBook 13||From $749||11.97 x 7.99 x 0.55 inches||AMD Ryzen 7 5700U||Integrated AMD Radeon Graphics||8 GB LPDDR4X||512 Gb SSD||13.3″|
Factors to Consider When Choosing the Best Laptop for You
As you’ve seen from our reviews, even among the best laptop brands, different models serve different use cases. So, depending on what you’re planning on using your laptop for and your budget, some models are likely to be a much better fit than others. The best budget laptop for browsing the internet is a very different one to the fastest gaming machine, sitting on the bleeding edge of technology, after all.
Here, we’ll look into some of the most important factors that you should look into when considering buying a laptop – from power to price to portability:
CPU and GPU
The processor and the graphics card directly impact the laptop’s performance. The more powerful the components, the better the laptop will perform when executing complex tasks and running resource-intensive apps.
That said, the best laptop for college doesn’t need to have an eight-core processor if you only plan to use it for writing essays, online research, and some light browsing. On the other hand, the best gaming laptop needs a fast processor and a powerful graphics card to run newer games.
If you want to run recent games at a high resolution and with high frame rates – and without lag, stuttering, or image tearing – then you’ll need a high-end graphics card. You can check out our guide to the best graphics cards available today to get a picture of the hardware you may need to invest in, though not all cards will be suitable for laptops.
The larger the SSD, the more files and apps you’ll be able to store on your laptop. A 512 GB hard drive will typically be more than sufficient for the average individual. However, you may be able to cope with less if you don’t have large software downloads or libraries of digital photos taking up space on your machine.
That may be especially true, also, if you use cloud storage for your documents and folders – and it’s a recommended option to provide a backup in case your device gets lost, damaged, or stolen. No one wants to lose their family photo album, after all.
RAM is another crucial component that impacts the laptop’s speed. With less than 8 GB of RAM, the laptop might struggle to keep up with multiple apps and a dozen browser tabs running simultaneously.
So, the more RAM you have, the more tasks you’ll be able to perform at once. We strongly recommend having at least 16 Gb of RAM, as that will let you comfortably browse the web, run resource-hungry apps, and play games on your laptop.
Size and Weight
The core advantage that laptops have over desktops is that you can use them wherever and whenever you want – which can be great for work, for college students, and for people on the go. If you plan to frequently travel with your device, then you should consider small, lightweight laptops that will be easy to pack and carry.
You might even opt for one of the Chromebooks that doubles as a tablet since they’re typically smaller, and also offer a lot more flexibility.
When looking at brands, some buyers might ask questions like, “Is Lenovo better than Dell?” Generally, Lenovo’s machines are reported to be more durable and are better able to cope with wear and tear. This can be great if you want to get to work wherever you may be, whether in a coffee shop or on a park bench. Of course, other brands make models that are considered to be more aesthetically pleasing.
Before making a decision to buy a laptop, it’s worth checking its battery life. Laptops with a battery that will last for more than 10 hours are great, as you’ll be able to use them for a whole working day without having to go in search of a power source, which can often be hard to find when traveling or using a machine out of doors.
Another thing to be on the lookout for is laptops with fast charging technology, which can enable you to get to 50% charge in under an hour. Of course, this may be less of an issue if you expect to consistently be using the laptop from locations with a dedicated power outlet, such as your home and your office.
It goes without saying that you should opt for a laptop that fits within your budget. However, aside from the price alone, you should consider the value for money that you’re getting with different models. Carefully compare the specifications of the laptops that you’re interested in to see which one gives you more bang for your buck.
Another thing to keep in mind is that you shouldn’t necessarily buy an expensive laptop with powerful specifications if you don’t need substantial processing power or next-gen graphics.
Getting a $2,000 laptop that you’re only going to use to send a few emails a day and watch YouTube clips is likely not the best use of money when many relatively inexpensive laptops will be able to do that job for you just as well.
Of course, an expensive laptop does carry a certain level of cachet – but if you’re buying devices for your whole team, then the savings will quickly stack up if you’re able to purchase more affordable devices.
Finally, you should check whether or not the laptop you’re planning on buying can be upgraded in the future with more RAM or more storage, which will mean it remains useful for much longer.
When it comes to CPU and GPU, you typically have to stick with what you get, although some models let you choose between different generations of CPUs when placing your order. At the very least, you might check whether the laptop comes with plenty of ports or features like a built-in card reader. Not having enough USB ports can be a big problem, so is something to watch out for.
Best Laptop Guides
Our experts have put together a wide range of guides for laptops for different use cases – you can find them here:
- The best business laptop
- The best HP gaming laptop
- The best Windows laptops
- The best laptops for coding
- The best laptop cooling pad
- The best external hard drive
- The best laptop for the UK
- The best gaming laptop for the UK
- The best laptop for students in the UK
- The best graphics card for the UK
- The best laptop for Australia
- The best gaming laptop for Australia
- The best laptop for students in Australia
- The best graphics card for Australia
- The best laptop for India
Conclusion – What’s the Best Laptop You Can Buy in 2023? Acer Aspire 5
There are dozens of excellent laptops on the market, whether you need the best business laptop or the best HP laptop, so what will be the best laptop for you is highly specific to your needs. Depending on your requirements and budget, some laptop computers will be a better fit than others, so it’s up to you to compare different models and find the ideal laptop for you.
That said, we strongly recommend the Acer Aspire 5, as it’s the best option for most people. It’s affordable – and especially so considering the fact that it comes with a powerful AMD Ryzen R3 3350U processor, so you can use it for work, gaming, and streaming online content, as well as for casual browsing.
It’s also light and portable, with a battery life of over 11 hours, so a single charge should last for the entire day. Another major advantage that this laptop offers is the Acer BlueShield technology, which reduces the strain on your eyes so you should experience less eye fatigue even after prolonged use.