We test a wide variety of laptops each year here at The Verge, and many of them are very good. But you can’t buy them all. So to help with your purchasing decisions I’ve done the very difficult (very difficult, trust me) task here of selecting 15 of the most exceptional devices out there for this Best Laptop of 2023 page. Whether you’re looking for a Chromebook, a gaming laptop, a 2-in-1 convertible, an ultralight notebook, or something that’s a little bit of each, I’ve got multiple options for you here. These aren’t necessarily the best laptops of all time, but they are, in my opinion, the best laptops you can buy right now.
My current pick for the best laptop of 2023 is the MacBook Air. It’s a device that does just about everything right. While it’s certainly not perfect, there are no major flaws. It’s a great pick for productivity, browsing, and even light gaming.
It’s getting harder to buy a bad laptop, but what separates the best laptops from good laptops is how they balance power, efficiency, portability, and comfort. The top laptop should have a fantastic keyboard and trackpad — after all, those are the two biggest reasons you’d choose a laptop over a smartphone or tablet. Its display should be easy on the eyes, bright, and sharp enough that you aren’t distracted by jagged edges and visible pixels. It should be powerful enough for most anything short of intensive video editing and advanced gaming. It should be easy to carry around from place to place, and it should be able to last all day without needing to be plugged in.
Our other picks for the best laptops, Chromebooks, and 2-in-1s include the the MacBook Pro 16 and the HP Spectre x360 14. Check out the full list of best laptop picks below or our roundup of the best gaming laptops, if you’re looking for a powerful machine that doesn’t sacrifice portability.
1. Apple MacBook Air (M2)
The best laptop of 2023
CPU: M2 / GPU: M2/ RAM: 8GB, 16GB, 24GB / Storage: 512GB, 1TB, 2TB / Display: 13.6-inch IPS display, 2560 x 1664, 60Hz, no touch option / Dimensions: 11.97 x 8.46 x 0.44 inches / Weight: 2.7 pounds
The latest MacBook Air, powered by Apple’s M2 processor, is the best laptop for most people.
The base model, which includes 8GB of memory, 256GB of storage, an 8-core CPU, and an 8-core GPU, starts at $1,199. A model with 512GB of storage, which is what we recommend for most people and will let you keep using the laptop for longer, costs $1,399.
The Air has lost the wedge-shape design that was its calling card for years but retains many of the other excellent features of years past, including MagSafe charging, Touch ID, and the scissor-switch keyboard, and adds a new 1080p webcam and two new color options.
The M2 processor inside isn’t as fast or powerful as the M1 Pro or M1 Max you get in the larger (and more expensive) MacBook Pro models, but it’s still mighty fast. In our testing, it was able to handle intense office workloads with little to no heat or slowdown. Given how thin and light this device is, it delivers a combination of power and portability that you’ll be hard-pressed to find in many other machines out there.
The M2 Air didn’t give us quite as much battery life as the 16-inch M1 Pro MacBook did in our rundown testing, but we would still expect it to last most people a full day of continuous use.
Apple is continuing to sell the M1 MacBook Air, which was released in 2020. If the M2 MacBook Air is out of your price range, we recommend that you consider the M1 model.
Read our MacBook Air review.
2. MacBook Pro (14-inch and 16-inch)
The best Macbook for creators
CPU: M1 Pro, M1 Max / GPU: M1 Pro, M1 Max / RAM: 16GB, 32GB, 64GB, 96GB/ Storage: 512GB, 1TB, 2TB, 4TB, 8TB / Display: 14.2/16.2-inch Liquid Retina XDR, 3024 x 1964/3456 x 2234, adaptive refresh up to 120Hz, no touch option / Dimensions: 12.31 x 8.71 x 0.61/14.01 x 9.77 x 0.66 inches / Weight: 3.5/4.7 pounds (M2 Pro), 3.6/4.8 pounds (M2 Max)
It may be confusing to see both the 2021 MacBook Pro models (with the M1 Pro and M1 Max chips) and the 2023 MacBook Pro models (with the M2 Pro and M2 Max chips) on this list. The 2023 models are more powerful devices — but because of their high price, they’re also more niche devices, and we recommend them mostly to professionals who need every ounce of power. We see the 2021 models, which can now be found at much lower prices, as better purchases for a more mainstream audience. That’s why they’re higher on this list.
In our benchmarks, which test a variety of creative tasks including encoding, playback, and export time, the MacBook Pro 16 did better than any laptop we’ve ever used — the only other machines that have come close to matching this thing in some of our benchmarks are high-end desktop PCs. The battery life is also record-shattering. The 16-inch configuration with the M1 Pro processor lasted 16 hours in my testing — making it the longest-lasting laptop we’ve ever reviewed. (The M1 Max configuration doesn’t last quite as long, but still got us through a work day.)
Elsewhere, we have basically no complaints about the 2021 MacBook Pro. It has a gorgeous display that can reach 1,000 nits when playing HDR content. It pairs that with the best set of speakers we’ve ever heard from a laptop. And these Pro models can output to multiple external displays, while the Air is limited to one.
If you’re looking for a machine that can accommodate a demanding workload while also serving as an excellent multimedia device when you’re off the clock, you’ll likely be satisfied with what the M1 Pro and M1 Max can do.
If you’re a creative professional who doesn’t quite want to pay the price of the MacBook Pro 16, or you’re looking for something more compact, you’re probably better suited to the 14-inch MacBook Pro. This device is smaller, lighter, and less expensive than its 16-inch counterpart, but it comes with the same monstrous processor options and the same stellar screen.
We didn’t see much of a difference in benchmark scores between the 14-inch and 16-inch MacBooks with the same processors — the 14-incher actually outperformed the 16-inchers in some of our tests. The primary difference to consider, apart from the sizes of these devices, is battery life. The 16-inch chassis allows for a significantly bigger battery, and the 16-inch M1 Pro model lasted several hours longer than the 14-inch M1 Pro model did in our testing.
Read our MacBook Pro 14 and 16 review.
3. Asus Zenbook Pro Duo 14
The best dual-screen laptop
CPU: Intel Core i9-13900H / GPU: Nvidia Geforce RTX 4050, RTX 4060 / RAM: 32GB / Storage: 512GB, 1TB, 2TB / Display: 14.5-inch OLED, 2880 x 1800, 120Hz + 12.7-inch IPS, 2880 x 864, 60Hz, touch option / Dimensions: 12.74 x 8.85 x 0.7 inches/ Weight: 3.86 pounds
Finally, there is a dual-screen laptop we can actually recommend buying. In the past, the dual-screen form factor has felt gimmicky, difficult to see, and difficult to use. But in the Zenbook Duo 14, Asus has angled the screen significantly higher than before, made it higher resolution, and given it an anti-glare etching that’s made it actually useful.
Using Asus’s ScreenXpert software, Zenbook Pro Duo users essentially have a small, crisp secondary OLED monitor on their keyboard deck. This second screen can also be turned into a giant touchpad (which is helpful since the actual touchpad the device comes with is pretty tiny. The device also comes with high-performance chips from Intel and Nvidia, and a roomy 16:10 primary screen. While the keyboard-in-the-front layout won’t be for everyone, this innovative device is the best choice for shoppers who want multiple screens in one.
Read our Asus Zenbook Pro 14 Duo OLED review.
4. Asus ROG Zephyrus G14
The best gaming laptop
CPU: AMD Ryzen 9 6900HS / GPU: AMD Radeon RX 6700S / RAM: 8GB / Storage: 1TB / Display: 14-inch IPS, 2560 x 1600, 120Hz, no touch option / Dimensions: 12.28 x 8.94 x 0.73/ Weight: 3.64 pounds
You want to be careful with this one, because some of the models are too expensive for what they offer. Make sure that you’re buying the $1,649.99 SKU with the 6700S GPU. We feel that this model, specifically, is the best 14-inch gaming laptop you can buy. It’s a perfectly portable device at just 3.79 pounds and 0.77 inches thick, and it comes with a great keyboard, touchpad, port selection, and screen. The frame rates it produced in our testing were solid, and we didn’t see a huge difference in performance between the 6700S and 6800S models. And we got all-day battery life, which you don’t see in gaming laptops every day.
If you are interested in having an animated grid of colored lights on your computer, you can also pay more for a model that has Asus’s AniMe Matrix. We don’t think these models offer particularly good value for their price, but they do have some cute benefits – you can customize them to display words or images of your choice, and there’s a virtual pet on it that you can play with.
Read our Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 review.
5. Asus Chromebook Flip CX5
The best Chromebook
CPU: Intel Core i5-1135G7 / GPU: Intel Iris Xe / RAM: 16GB / Storage: 128GB / Display: 15.6-inch IPS, 1920 x 1080, 60Hz / Dimensions: 14.08 x 9.48 x 0.73/ Weight: 4.3 pounds
Asus surprised us with its Chromebook Flip CX5, a gorgeous $800 laptop that happens to run Chrome OS. It’s as sturdy and well-built as all kinds of Windows laptops at higher price points, and sports a unique smooth texture. It includes fully-fledged laptop specs, including a 57Wh battery, which provide speedy performance, long battery life, and quick charging.
You get all kinds of ports, including an HDMI and a microSD slot. The speakers sound great, and the keyboard is comfortable. Asus hasn’t skimped on CX5’s chassis or its performance — it’s absolutely the product to buy if you’re looking for a Chromebook with a big screen.
Read our Asus Chromebook Flip CX5 review.
6. MacBook Pro 16 (M2 Pro and M2 Max)
Best video editing laptop
CPU: M2 Pro, M2 Max / GPU: M2 Pro, M2 Max / RAM: 16GB, 32GB, 64GB, 96GB / Storage: 512GB, 1TB, 2TB, 4TB, 8TB / Display: 16.2-inch Liquid Retina XDR, 3456 x 2234, adaptive refresh up to 120Hz, no touch option / Dimensions: 14.01 x 9.77 x 0.66 inches / Weight: 4.7 pounds (M2 Pro), 4.8 pounds (M2 Max)
If you’re a professional with a heavy workload looking for the best in power, graphics, and battery life that Apple has to offer, you want the 16-inch MacBook Pro with Apple’s brand-new M2 Pro or M2 Max. It won’t come cheap – models start at $2,499 – but it is one of the most powerful and longest-lasting laptops you can buy. To reiterate, we believe that most creators should go for a discounted M1 Pro or M1 Max laptop over this one — the newest M2 Pro and M2 Max are best for the most deep-pocketed of power users.
The 2023 MacBook Pro looks very similar to the 2021 MacBook Pro, with the same camera notch, the same port selection (including MagSafe charging), and the same exceptional speaker system.
In testing, we’ve found that the M2 Max provides several additional hours of battery life over the M1 Max that powered the 2021 MacBook Pro 16. The M2 Max also has more multicore and single-core CPU power, and a lot more graphic power, than the M1 Max did. That won’t make a difference for standard home and office tasks, but can save you some time if your occupation requires a really powerful PC.
For more guidance on which M2 MacBook to buy, we’ve got a video breaking down the M2 lineup.
Read our MacBook Pro 16 review.
7. MacBook Air 15
The best 15-inch laptop
CPU: M2 / GPU: M2 / RAM: 16GB, 16GB, 24GB / Storage: 256GB, 512GB, 1TB, 2TB / Display: 15.3-inch IPS display, 2880 x 1864, 60Hz no touch option / Dimensions: 13.4 x 9.35 x 0.45 inches / Weight: 3.3 pounds
The MacBook Pro 15 is the 15-inch laptop that a lot of people have been waiting for. It’s got a large, gorgeous screen, but it’s much lighter and less expensive than the 16-inch MacBook Pro models that are currently available. It has the same M2 chip that powers the 13-inch MacBook Air further up this list, but its larger chassis allows for a bit of extra cooling (and therefore, slightly more performance). For those who like the portability of the 13-inch MacBook Air but want more screen space to work with, the Air 15 is the option.
The 15-inch Air does have a few compromises that the 14-inch and 16-inch Pro don’t. Most importantly, its port selection is limited to two USB-C Thunderbolt, one MagSafe, and one headphone jack, and all but the headphone jack are crammed onto the left side. It also only supports one external display, which is a frustrating limitation for some. Nevertheless, as a more affordable and portable option than Apple’s other big-screen offerings, the Air will still be the best choice for a lot of people.
Read our MacBook Air 15 review.
8. Framework Laptop
A repairable laptop for DIYers
CPU: Intel Core i5-1340P/i7-1360P/17-1370P, AMD Ryzen 7 7840U / GPU: Intel UHD/Iris Xe, Radeon 700M / RAM: 8GB, 16GB, 32GB, 64GB / Storage: 250GB, 500GB, 1TB, 2TB / Display: 13.5 inch IPS, 2256 x 1540, 60Hz, no touch option / Dimensions: 11.68 x 9.01 x 0.62 inches / Weight: 2.87 pounds
If you want a 13-inch laptop that you can configure and assemble yourself, from the ground up, the Framework Laptop 13 is pretty much your only option. The Framework is a modular laptop that users can repair and upgrade over the length of their ownership. Everything from the RAM, to the storage, to even the processor can be upgraded down the line. The company has even come out with upgrades for parts like speakers and hinges that you can install yourself. Not only can you buy it as a prebuilt system, but you can also order it as a DIY kit, allowing you to assemble the entire thing yourself and swap out parts as you please.
Repairability aside, the Framework has a number of laudable features as a laptop itself. The display is bright and high-resolution, the speakers are great, and the chassis is quite portable, coming in at under three pounds. The 3:2 aspect ratio provides a lot of room to work, and still a somewhat rare find on today’s market.
That said, I won’t pretend that this is the best 13-inch laptop you can buy; on its own merits, it is an unremarkable system with a somewhat generic look and plasticky build, particularly compared to others in its price category. Nevertheless, the Framework’s standout feature is the unprecedented access it allows its users to replace and repair its parts. We’d love to see more companies make that kind of commitment to sustainable design.
Read our Framework Laptop 13 review.
9. Dell XPS 13
The best Windows laptop
CPU: Intel Core i7-1250U / GPU: Intel Iris Xe / RAM: 8GB, 16GB, 32GB / Storage: 512GB, 1TB / Display: 13.4 inch IPS, 1920 x 1200, 60Hz, touch option / Dimensions: 11.63 x 7.86 x 0.55 inches / Weight: 2.59 pounds
The Dell XPS 13 is a compact and reliable laptop. Its beautiful chassis, excellent 16:10 display, and great performance make it an excellent choice for general-purpose users. At well under three pounds and just over half an inch thick, it’s a dream for travel and on-the-go work.
The specs of our test unit (a Core i5 configuration) were just fine for the work tasks I needed to do. I do recommend using the Silent cooling profile if you don’t need heavyweight performance, as the fans get going very easily on this model.
There is also a fancier Dell XPS 13 Plus available for purchase, which includes all kinds of new features the XPS 13 doesn’t have including an OLED display option, borderless haptic touchpad, and LED touch function keys, as well as a more powerful P-series processor. I don’t recommend that model over this one for most people, but it’s worth looking into if you want something a bit funkier with a higher-resolution screen.
Read our Dell XPS 13 review.
10. Asus Zenbook S 13 OLED
The best OLED laptop
CPU: Intel Core i7-1355U / GPU: Intel Iris Xe / RAM: 32GB / Storage: 1TB / Display: 13.3-inch OLED, 2880 x 1800, 60Hz, no touch option / Dimensions: 11.66 x 8.52 x 0.43 inches / Weight: 2.2 pounds
If your top priority is a lightweight laptop with an excellent screen, look no further than the Asus Zenbook S 13 OLED. Powered by Intel’s new 13th-Gen processors, it’s an astonishingly lightweight device with a neat, unique design. The lid doesn’t pick up fingerprints, which is a very rare thing to be able to say about dark laptops.
In addition to its compact build, the Zenbook S 13 has a solid port selection including HDMI 2.1, USB-A, and multiple Thunderbolt ports. The OLED display is sharp and roomy, and looks quite nice.
The Intel processor in my test model did an excellent job with my multitasking workload. It can get loud while completing heavier tasks like gaming, but a built-in Whisper Mode will keep it quiet during everyday productivity work (which is the sort of workload this device is best suited for).
Read our Asus Zenbook S 13 OLED review.
11. Lenovo Chromebook Duet 3
The best laptop under $400
CPU: Snapdragon 7c Gen 2 / GPU: Qualcomm Adreno graphics/ RAM: 4Gb, 8GB / Storage: 128GB / Display: 10.95-inch IPS, 2000 x 1200, 60Hz, touch option / Dimensions: 10.16 x 6.48 x 0.31 inches / Weight: 1.14 pounds
The Lenovo Chromebook Duet 3 is a great, tiny laptop for budget shoppers. It comes with a magnetic detachable keyboard that’s a breeze to pop on and off. The screen also supports USI styluses, though a stylus is not included in the price. The keyboard is included in the price, however, as is the magnetic back cover and kickstand.
Day-to-day, this laptop is quite usable for light work and leisure. It has a sharp, bright 11-inch screen and a surprisingly comfortable keyboard and touchpad. The battery life is close to all-day. But the real draw of this device is its portability — it’s just 2.09 pounds with the keyboard attached, making it quite convenient to carry around and whip out to use on the go.
Read our Lenovo Chromebook Duet 3 review.
12. Microsoft Surface Laptop 5 (13.5-inch)
A lower-cost thin and light option
CPU: Intel Core i5 1235U, Core i7-1255U / GPU: Intel Iris Xe / RAM: 8GB, 16GB / Storage: 256GB, 512GB / Display: 13.5-inch IPS, 2256 x 1504, 60Hz, touch option / Dimensions: 12.1 x 8.8 x .57 inches / Weight: 2.8 pounds
The Surface Laptop 5 looks and feels quite similar to last year’s Surface Laptop 4. Like its predecessor, the Laptop 5 is thin, light, and well built, with Microsoft’s signature elegant style. Newly this year, the Laptop 5 supports Thunderbolt 4 — but unlike last year, there are only Intel models, with no AMD ones available.
Inside, the 12th-Gen processors delivery satisfactory performance, particularly single-core tasks. We felt no heat or fan noise during our testing, which was remarkable considering the device’s thin profile. Our tasks looked quite sharp on the 3:2, 13-inch display as well. Our primary complaint was the battery life, which is okay, but not amazing, and a decrease from last year’s results.
Read our Surface Laptop 5 review.
13. Razer Blade 16
The best laptop for AAA gaming
CPU: Intel Core i9-13980HX, Core i9-13950HX / GPU: Nvidia Geforce RTX 4060, RTX 4070, RTX 4080, RTX 4090 / RAM: 16GB, 32GB / Storage: 1TB / Display: 16-inch Mini-LED, Dual UHD/FHD+, 120Hz/240Hz / Dimensions: 13.98 x 9.61 x 0.87 inches / Weight: 5.4 pounds
The Razer Blade 16 is an incredible purchase for gamers with very, very deep pockets. Equipped with top-end chips from Nvidia and Intel, it can run most of today’s’ most demanding games at their highest settings with all the effects you want. Add Razer’s signature suave chassis and fun (but unobtrusive) RGB keyboard, and there’s little to complain about.
But it’s not just the performance that stands out — games also look great. The Blade comes with an optional Mini LED screen. Not only does the panel deliver rich and vivid colors, but it also has a dual-mode feature that allows you to swap between native UDH Plus /120Hz and FHD Plus/240Hz modes with one click.
You don’t need to spend this much on a gaming laptop in order to get a good gaming experience, as some of the entries earlier on this list prove. But if you’re looking for the best performance and best display you can squeeze out of the 16-inch form factor, this is the choice for you. It’s a luxury gaming experience for a luxury price.
Read our Razer Blade 16 review.
14. HP Dragonfly Pro
The best business laptop
CPU: Intel Core i5-1235U, AMD Ryzen 77736U / GPU: Intel Iris Xe, AMD Radeon/ RAM: 16GB, 32GB / Storage: 256GB, 512GB, 1TB / Display: 14-inch IPS, 1920 x 1200/2560 x 1600, 60Hz, touch option / Dimensions: 12.39 x 8.78 x 0.72 inches / Weight: 3.42 pounds
While part of HP’s Dragonfly business line, the Dragonfly Pro isn’t being sold to IT departments — it’s tailored to self-employed individuals and freelance workers. It’s powered by AMD’s Ryzen 7000 series, and its performance rivaled that of the M2 MacBook Pro in our testing. Battery life, while not quite M2-level, was enough to power through a full day unplugged. There’s little to object to among the other features as well. The speakers sound good, the webcam delivers a detailed picture, the keyboard is comfortable, and the screen is quite bright. In typical HP fashion, the chassis is quite well built with a sleek and professional look.
The Dragonfly Pro comes with an optional 24/7 live support service, which you can access via a hotkey on the right side of the keyboard. It’s included with the first year, and then it’s $10.99 per month. This isn’t something we think most people will need, but if you’re interested in having access to that sort of program, this is the laptop for you.
Read our HP Dragonfly Pro review.
15. HP Spectre x360 13.5
The best convertible Windows laptop
CPU: Intel Core i5 1235U, Core i7 1255U, Core i7-1355U / GPU: Intel UHD, Iris Xe / RAM: 8GB, 16GB / Storage: 512GB, 1TB / Display: 13.5-inch IPS, 60Hz, 1920 x 1280/OLED, 3000 x 2000, touch option / Dimensions: 11.75 x 8.67 x 0.67 inches / Weight: 3.01 pounds
The HP Spectre x360 13.5 is a drop-dead gorgeous machine with a sturdy build and a premium look and feel. It’s got a roomy 3:2 OLED screen with adaptive refresh rate up to 120Hz that’s vivid, crisp, and bright. You also get a comfortable keyboard, clear and bass-heavy audio, and a practical port selection. (There are even ports on the corners.) HP ships it with a number of webcam features via its GlamCam package, which you can use to “glam” your video calling experience if that is of interest.
Performance (on the unit we received) was quite speedy, and was cool and quiet throughout much of our day-to-day testing. If you’re looking for a sleek and beautiful device, you should look no further than HP’s Spectre line.
This machine comes with a couple major caveats, however. First, the battery life is not great. We averaged between four and five hours of continuous use. That’s not necessarily unexpected given the screen’s high resolution and refresh rate, but it will still make the Spectre an impractical buy for some people. We’d expect many of the laptops that are higher on this list to last at least a couple hours longer to a charge.
The other thing to note is that this package doesn’t come cheap. Many customers will find better battery life and similar performance in any number of less expensive products. The Spectre is worth a splurge only if you really need a 2-in-1 convertible (a form factor that’s become much harder to find these days), if battery life isn’t a priority for you, and if you value beauty and craftsmanship above all else.
Read our HP Spectre x360 14 review.