Best laptops 2024 tested — April top picks

The best laptops are powerful enough to handle your day-to-day work and play, comfy enough to carry all day and efficient enough to ensure you won't run out of juice when you're in the lurch.

Not a lot to ask, right? Luckily lots of great laptops are on the market these days, but that abundance also makes finding the best laptop for you awful tricky. You can get a Chromebook or a compact, speedy Windows 11 laptop for not a lot of money, and those who can afford to spend a bit more have access to a slew of the best laptops from the likes of Apple, Dell, HP, Lenovo and more.

That's why we test and review dozens of laptops from top manufacturers every year, then gather the very best together here in one easy-to-read list to help you make a more informed purchase.

You can count on the fact that every laptop on this list has been tested and reviewed by myself or one of my colleagues, so you know a real person has used it in real life and really likes it. Whether you're shopping for a sleek new ultraportable, a cheap Chromebook, a new gaming laptop or the best MacBook for your needs, you'll find at least one great option here!

Written by
Alex Wawro
Written by
Alex Wawro

Alex Wawro is a lifelong journalist who's spent over a decade covering tech, games and entertainment. He oversees the computing department at Tom's Guide, which includes managing laptop coverage and reviewing many himself every year. 

The quick list

In a hurry? Here's a brief overview of the laptops on this list, along with quick links that let you jump down the page directly to a review of whichever laptop catches your eye.

The best laptops you can buy today

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The best laptop overall

The best laptop for the money

Specifications

Display: 13.6 inches; 2560x1664
CPU: Apple M3
GPU: 8-core or 10-core GPU
RAM: 8GB-24GB
Storage: 256GB-2TB SSD
Weight: 2.7 pounds

Reasons to buy

+
Powerful M3 performance
+
Bright and colorful display
+
Ultraportable design
+
Exceptional battery life
+
Dual monitor support

Reasons to avoid

-
Marginally better performance over M2
Buy it if

✅ You need a long-lasting laptop: The MacBook Air M3 lasted more than 15 hours in our battery test, which is longer than its predecessors. This laptop can last you all day and more.
✅ You want a small, fast MacBook: The M3 chip inside this MacBook Air gives it more than enough power for multitasking, and it pairs well with the long battery life and light weight. While it can't crunch video or play games as well as the MacBook Pros with M3 Pro and M3 Max chips, this is the ultimate MacBook for getting things done on the go.

Don't buy it if:

❌ You want to play games: While this laptop does a stellar job of running games optimized for Apple silicon, non-supported games have trouble running at acceptable frame rates. There's also the lack of developer support. If games are important to you, consider looking elsewhere.

❌ You own a MacBook Air 13-inch M2: The MacBook Air M3 is certainly powerful, completely outclassing its M1 counterpart. However, if you own an Air M2, you don't need its M3 variant since the performance difference between the two is minimal.

The bottom line

💻 The MacBook Air M3 is a bit pricey, but it justifies the premium with an unbeatable combination of performance, battery life, display quality and portability.

More like this

1. The best MacBook: See all models compared
2. The best laptops for battery life
3. The best 2-in-1 laptops, for when you can't decide between a laptop and a tablet

What you need to know
The MacBook Air M3 is an excellent all-rounder that feels truly worthy of the Air name. Though it's virtually indistinguishable from the excellent MacBook Air 13-inch M2 that previously topped this list, the M3 variant is hard to dismiss.

The MacBook Air M3 (from $1,099) is a breath of fresh you-know-what, and that’s because Apple paired that speedy M3 chip with the same ultraportable design of its predecessor. It's a potent blend of performance and portability, one we recommend as one of the best laptops for getting work done on the go for most folks.

Design: The MacBook Air M3 is so thin it could easily be mistaken for an iPad when closed (especially if the Apple logo is facing out). That’s how slim this notebook is. Measuring just 0.44 inches thick with the lid open, an everyday Bic pen looks chunky next to this machine.

Don't expect to get much in the way of ports, however. As before, you get just a pair of Thunderbolt 4/USB 4 ports along the left edge, alongside a MagSafe power adapter. At least you also get a headphone jack.

Display: The 13.6-inch display offers a 2,560 x 1,664-pixel resolution and gets nice and bright in person, so it's a pleasant place to watch videos, write emails, edit photos and whatever else you want to do.  

The MacBook Air M3 did well in our display tests, too. When we tested it with our light meter we found it delivers an average brightness of 476 nits, peaking around 496 when viewing HDR videos. That’s brighter than the Dell XPS 13 OLED’s 357-nit average.

Performance: On Geekbench 6, which measures overall performance, the MacBook Air M2 hit 3,082 on the single-core CPU test and 12,087 on multi-core. That’s faster than both its predecessors, though the performance gulf is widest between the old Air M1 and Air M3. For more details, check out our in-depth MacBook Air M3 benchmark results!

Battery life: The MacBook Air M3 is one of the longest-lasting laptops for the money. On the Tom’s Guide battery test, the new Air averaged 15 hours and 13 minutes, which is better than average.

Read the full review: MacBook Air 13-inch M3

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Ratings scorecard
TestNotesHow it stacks up
Battery life15:13 tested battery life★★★★★
PerformanceSpeedy, good for light work★★★★☆
DesignThin and elegant, light on ports★★★★☆
DisplayBright, colorful 13.6-inch panel★★★★☆

The best value laptop

Best laptop for the money

Specifications

Display: 13.3-inch 1080p OLED
CPU: AMD Ryzen 7 5700U
GPU: Integrated Radeon graphics
RAM: 8 GB
Storage: 512 GB
Weight: 2.5 pounds

Reasons to buy

+
Stellar battery life
+
Beautiful 1080p OLED display
+
Great performance

Reasons to avoid

-
Middling sound quality
-
Inconsistent webcam
-
No headphone jack
Buy it if

✅OLED is important: If you want a cheap, lightweight laptop with an OLED screen for under $1k, it's hard to find much better than the Asus Zenbook 13 OLED. While OLED displays are becoming more common in laptops and getting cheaper and cheaper, it's still rare to find one this good for this cheap.

✅ Battery life matters: The Asus Zenbook 13 OLED is one of the longest-lasting laptops we've tested, thanks in part to its power-sipping AMD CPU. While the latest CPUs from Apple and Intel are helping laptops last longer and longer, the Asus Zenbook 13 OLED remains a great choice if you want a lightweight, long-lasting Windows laptop.

Don't buy it if:

❌ You want a headphone jack: While Bluetooth headphones exist, those of us who prefer an old-fashioned physical 3.5mm audio jack are out of luck with the Asus Zenbook 13 OLED.

The bottom line

💻 The Asus Zenbook 13 OLED is a winning combo of price and performance. It's a zippy little ultraportable with a gorgeous display and oodles of battery life, and it can be yours for cheaper than most premium Windows laptops.

What you need to know
The Asus Zenbook 13 OLED remains one of the best values in Windows laptops despite its age, delivering good performance, great battery life and a beautiful OLED screen for under a grand.

Of course, you have to make some trade-offs along the way. The keyboard is unsatisfying, there's no headphone jack and the webcam sucks. But if you can live with those compromises you get a lot of laptop for not a lot of money with the Asus Zenbook 13 OLED. Of course, that's assuming you can find one —  we've kept this laptop on this list for years because it's such a great deal, but it's been superseded by newer, more expensive models that deliver less value, like the Asus Zenbook S 13 OLED.

Design: The Asus Zenbook 13 OLED looks good on a desk and is easy to carry, measuring 11.98 x 7.99 x 0.55 inches and weighing just over 2.5 pounds. 

There's a spun-metal finish sporting an offset Asus logo on the lid, and inside you'll find subdued black plastic hues. Along the sides of this slim ultraportable you'll find a decent port array, including USB-C and USB-A ports, a microSD card reader and an HDMI out. The lack of a headphone jack hurts, but the laptop comes with a USB-C adapter if you want to plug some in.

Display: One of the biggest selling points of this laptop is its 13.3-inch 1080p OLED display, which looks lovely and vibrant in person. OLED displays often appear to display brighter brights, darker blacks and deeper contrasts between light and shadow than traditional IPS panels, and it's rare to get one this good on a laptop that costs under $1k.

But you should be aware that this laptop is difficult to use outside in direct sunlight, as it doesn't get terribly bright and the reflections make it hard to see what you're doing. If you're chiefly planning to use it indoors, then there's nothing to worry about.

Performance: The AMD CPU powering our Zenbook 13 review unit proved more than capable enough to tackle daily computing tasks without issue. It also managed to do so while only sipping battery power, which you'll notice when you look down at your battery testing charts.

Note that since there's no laptop GPU onboard and only 8GB of RAM this plucky little laptop is a pretty poor gaming machine, but it's but it's plenty good enough for work and simple games.

Battery life: The OLED-equipped Asus Zenbook 13 lasted roughly 15 hours in our battery test, which is incredible for a Windows laptop. It rivals the best MacBooks in that regard, and even lasted longer than Asus' advertised 13 hours.

That's excellent battery life, and it should help you feel more assured about leaving the house without a charger when you take your laptop on the go.

Read the full review: Asus Zenbook 13 OLED

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Ratings scorecard
TestNotesHow it stacks up
Battery life15 hours of tested battery life★★★★★
PerformanceFast enough for work, but no speed demon★★★☆☆
DisplayBeautiful OLED screen, though not super-bright★★★★☆
DesignSmall, elegant design (but no headphone jack)★★★☆☆

The best Windows laptop

The best Windows laptop

Specifications

Display: 15.6-inch OLED touchscreen (3,456 x 2,160 pixels)
CPU: Intel Core i7-13700H
GPU: Nvidia GeForce RTX 4060
RAM: 32 GB
Storage: 1TB SSD
Weight: 4.23 pounds

Reasons to buy

+
Gorgeous 3.5K OLED display
+
Impressive performance
+
Sleek, elegant design
+
Comfortable keyboard

Reasons to avoid

-
Sub-par 720p camera
-
Poor battery life
Buy it if

✅ You want a great Windows laptop: There are many great Windows laptops out there, but the Dell XPS 15 shines with its winning combo of great design, performance and portability. 

✅You want a great display: While the base XPS 15 is a solid laptop, adding the 3.5K OLED display upgrade really helps it shine. With bright lights, inky blacks and sharp contrasts, the XPS 15 OLED is easy on the eyes.

✅ You want to play games: It's not technically a gaming laptop, but you can pay to upgrade the XPS 15 with an Nvidia laptop GPU that makes it a pretty decent gaming machine. Sure, you won't be blasting through Cyberpunk 2077, but you'll have the option to have a lot of fun on long trips.

Don't buy it if:

❌ Battery life is critical: The Dell XPS 15's roughly 9-hour battery life isn't terrible, but you could do a lot better if that's what matters to you. 
❌ Ports are important: The XPS 15 sports 3 USB-C ports, microSD card slot and a headphone jack. That's better than some laptops, but not great if you need a variety of ports.

The bottom line

💻 The Dell XPS 15 is an excellent Windows laptop that's perfect for work and playing graphically-intensive games. It's the full package, especially if you upgrade it with an OLED display and a discrete Nvidia graphics card for gaming/video work.

What you need to know
The Dell XPS 15 hits a sweet spot between portability, price and performance in a Windows laptop. 

The 15-inch display lands almost right in the middle of the usual 13-inch to 18-inch screens we see on laptops. And while it's not as light as some ultraportables or as powerful as some gaming laptops, the XPS 15 is an excellent all-purpose Windows notebook that can be equipped with some pretty powerful components, if you're willing to pay for a top-tier model.

Though it does get pricey if you want the best model (the OLED display upgrade is especially worth getting if you can afford it, since it makes everything you do on the laptop look nicer), the XPS 15's great design and versatility make it one of the best Windows laptops you can buy.

Design: At 13.6 x 9.1 x 0.73 inches and roughly 4.2 pounds heavy, the Dell XPS 15 is pretty portable but still a bit heavier than laptops which prioritize thin-and-light designs. You can throw it in your backpack and carry it through a day of school or work, but you'll feel it in your shoulders by the end.

Display: The 15.6-inch display on the XPS 15 looks great and almost appears to hover in the the air thanks to the thin bezels of its InfinityEdge display. The big, beautiful screen is great for getting work done or watching movies, especially if you pay for the 3.5K OLED display upgrade.

Performance: The Dell XPS 15 is a capable machine, especially if you kit it out with the latest components. Our review unit was more than speedy enough at time of review thanks to its Intel CPU, 16GB of RAM and 512GB SSD.

Pay extra to cram some more RAM and a discrete Nvidia laptop graphics card in there and this all-purpose ultraportable becomes a decent gaming laptop, to boot.

Battery life: Our Dell XPS 15 review unit lasted just over 10 hours in our battery tests, which is good but not great when you consider that many MacBooks last 12-15 hours in the same tests.

However, it is much better than many Windows laptops, including the preceding XPS 15 (2021), which couldn't even last 8 hours in the same test. The newer XPS 15 also beat out both Windows ultraportables like the the Lenovo Yoga 9i Gen 7 (8:06) and gaming laptops like the Alienware x14 (5:35).

Read the full review: Dell XPS 15 OLED

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Ratings scorecard
TestNotesHow it stacks up
Battery life8:86 tested battery life★★★☆☆
PerformanceThe latest Intel CPUs give it plenty of speed★★★★★
DisplayShell out for the 3.5K OLED option if you can★★★★☆
DesignEasy to carry and plenty of ports★★★★★

The best Chromebook

The best Chromebook

Specifications

CPU: Qualcomm Snapdragon 7c Gen 2
RAM: 4-8GB
Storage: 64-128GB eMMC
Display: 11 inches, 2,000 x 1,200 pixels
Dimensions: 10.16 x 6.48 x 0.31 inches
Weight: 1.2/2.1 lbs (tablet only/tablet + cover)

Reasons to buy

+
Bright, sharp display
+
10+ hours of battery life
+
Packed-in keyboard cover is decent
+
Surprisingly loud for a Chrome tablet

Reasons to avoid

-
Still no headphone jack
-
Lackluster cameras
-
Keyboard cover uncomfortable for sustained typing
Buy it if

✅ You want a Chromebook that turns into a tablet: The Duet 3 is a Chrome tablet at heart, but the included snap-on keyboard turns it into a decent laptop that's good enough to get you through a day of class.

✅You prize screen quality: You can get Chromebooks for less, but many have dim, low-quality screens. Not so with the Duet 3, which sports an 11-inch 2K screen with great color reproduction that gets plenty bright. 

Don't buy it if:

❌ You plan to do a ton of typing: The detachable keyboard on the Duet 3 is good enough to type out some emails or even a paper, but if you'll be typing all day on it you'll want something a little more comfortable.

❌ You need a headphone jack: It's disappointing that you can't plug in a pair of inexpensive earbuds. You'll have to invest in one of the best wireless earbuds or best wireless headphones if you want to do any private listening (or Zoom calls) on the Duet 3.

The bottom line

💻 The Lenovo Chromebook Duet 3 is a remarkably versatile and well-made Chrome 2-in-1 for not much money. While it has some issues, including an uncomfortable keyboard and no headphone jack, we feel it's the best Chromebook for most people.

hat you need to know
The Lenovo Chromebook Duet 3 is a cheap, performant Chrome tablet with a great screen and a packed-in keyboard that makes it a surprisingly versatile 2-in-1.

The fact that the Duet 3 doubles as both a tablet and a laptop gives it remarkable versatility for the price, but you should know that detachable keyboards are not as comfortable to type on as a traditional clamshell laptop keyboard. So if you plan to do a lot of writing on your Chromebook, you might be happier with another of the best Chromebooks on the market. 

But if you like the idea of a Chrome tablet that you can type on when you want to knock out an email or a social post, the Duet 3 delivers great value in a slim package.

Design:  The Duet 3 sports a luminous 11-inch 2K (2,000 x 1,200 pixels) screen housed in a black aluminum chassis that, at 10.16 x 6.48 x 0.31 inches and just 1.14 pounds, isn't hard to hold. Sure, the Duet 3 isn't quite as thin or light as pricier tablets like the base iPad 2021 (0.29 inches, 1.09 pounds), but it's awful close and feels plenty light enough to carry around the house all day.

Display: The Duet 3's 11-inch 2K display on the Duet 3 gets nice and  bright, with good color accuracy. It's plenty responsive too, which you want in a touchscreen. 

It gets a bit reflective in direct sunlight, but remains plenty usable for most applications.

Performance: Our Duet 3 review unit is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 7c Gen 2 chip, and it feels plenty snappy for basic work. In my own day-to-day work and play I was able to open 2-0+ tabs in Chrome and stream music, watch videos on the Amazon Prime Video app, and play a game downloaded from the Google Play Store with no hitching or performance issues.

This tablet is no speed demon, but if you just need it for basic web browsing and entertainment you'll have no complaints.

Battery life: The Duet 3 lasted roughly 10 hours and 30 minute in our battery test, which is good enough that you can carry it to a day of classes without having to worry about plugging in. In my own hands-on time using the tablet at home, I found I could reliably use it sparingly for a few days and still count on having upwards of 70% battery life when I picked it up.

Read the full review: Lenovo Duet 3

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Ratings scorecard
TestResultsHow it stacks up
Battery life10:30 tested battery life★★★★☆
PerformanceIll-suited for much besides browsing and light work★★☆☆☆
Display11-inch 2K display looks nice and bright★★★★☆
DesignDetachable keyboard worse than a full keyboard, but it's nice to have the option to use it as a tablet too★★★☆☆

The easiest laptop to repair and upgrade

The most customizable, repairable and upgradable laptop

Specifications

Display: 13.5-inch 3:2 (2,256 x 1,504 pixels)
CPU: 13th Gen Intel Core i5 - i7 OR AMD 7040 series
GPU: Intel Iris Xe integrated graphics or AMD
RAM: 8GB - 64GB
Storage: 256GB - 4TB SSD
Weight: 2.8 pounds

Reasons to buy

+
Unparalleled ability to upgrade/repair
+
Useful Expansion Card port system
+
Great keyboard
+
Speedy performance

Reasons to avoid

-
Loud fans under load
-
Webcam not great
Buy it if

✅ You care about your right to repair: I've never seen a laptop that's easier to open up, fiddle around with and put back together. No other laptop on the market can match the Framework in this regard, so if you care about being able to repair and upgrade your laptop, this is the one for you.

✅ You're plagued by port envy: On most laptops, the ports it comes with are all you get. The Framework is different: you can change what ports it sports by buying hot-swappable Expansion Cards that you plug into 4 slots on the bottom of the laptop, and each can have one port on it. So you can swap out 2 USB-C and 2 USB-A ports for 1 USB-C, 1 USB-A, a DisplayPort out and an Ethernet jack, for example.

You like a tall screen: The 3:2 display ratio of the Framework's screen feels a bit taller than the displays found on most laptops, and it's great for working with "tall" things like long documents, emails, coding projects and more.

Don't buy it if:

❌ You're scared by pieces of your laptop coming off: The Framework is well-designed and sturdy, but because it's designed to be taken apart you may occasionally find yourself accidentally doing something like popping the bezel off the screen. This is a feature, not a problem, but it can unnerve new owners.

❌ You don't want to pay extra for ports: The Framework offers unrivaled port versatility thanks to its Expansion Card system, but it does entail buying a handful of Cards for all the ports and other options you want, some of which could be easily lost or misplaced.

The bottom line

💻 The Framework Laptop is a remarkable piece of tech. It's a great laptop for getting work done, but more than that it's a statement of purpose, a clear example that every other laptop maker could be building and selling us more repairable, sustainable laptops if they cared to as much as Framework does. Its a fantastic investment if you care about your right to repair and upgrade your own laptop.

What you need to know
When it came out we called the Framework Laptop the Anti-MacBook because it's everything Apple doesn't do in laptops: Repairable, upgradable and respectful of your rights as an owner.

I was initially excited about those promises but dubious the company could deliver on them without some glaring sacrifices. But now that I’ve used one myself, I’m happy to report the Framework Laptop is as good as advertised. The updated Framework Laptop 13 the company shipped in 2023 only reinforced my opinions. With its intentionally easy-to-repair design (you can pop pieces off this laptop and get at the innards in minutes, with no tools besides the spudger it comes with) and super cool swappable Expansion Card ports, the Framework Laptop 13 is a versatile ultraportable that's one of the best laptops you can buy if you care about your right to repair and tinker with your devices. 

Design: The Framework sports a simple silver aluminum chassis that blends right in with all the other laptops in the coffee shop, until you spot the Framework gear logo on the lid. At 11.67 x 9 x 0.62 inches in size and just 2.8 pounds, this DIY ultraportable is just as thin and even a hair lighter than Apple's MacBook Air with M1, an especially incredible feat when you realize the Framework achieves that 0.62-inch thinness while still being modular and full of easy to access, mostly user-replaceable parts that, unlike a MacBook, aren't needlessly soldered to the mainboard in a way that makes repairing or upgrading a MacBook nearly impossible. 

Display: The Framework's 13.5-inch display is sharp and functional, and its relatively7 rare 2,256 x 1,504 resolution (a byproduct of the 3:2 aspect ratio) is well-suited for viewing webpages and text. It also gets plenty bright in person, though you'll probably be frustrated if you try using it outdoors in direct sun.

Performance: While the Framework I tested performed well under pressure, the cooling fans are awfully loud and sometimes kick on even when doing light work like browsing the web. It also underperformed a bit in our performance benchmarks compared to a lot of its contemporaries. Our unit also fell a bit behind its contemporaries in our performance tests, so while it's great for work and some light gaming I wouldn't try taxing it with anything more serious.

Battery life: The Framework’s battery is good enough to get you through a day of work without needing to pack a charger, which is great to see in a productivity laptop. The Framework lasted 11 hours and 38 minutes in our battery test, which as you'll see from the chart of test results is quite good compared to some other laptops on this page.

Read the full review: Framework Laptop 13 (2023)

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Ratings scorecard
TestResultsHow it stacks up
Battery life11:38 tested battery life★★★★☆
PerformanceSpeedy enough for work and light gaming★★★☆☆
DisplayFunctional, sharp display★★★☆☆
DesignElegant, unassuming chassis belies useful complexity★★★★☆

The best gaming laptop

The best gaming laptop for most people

Specifications

Display: 14-inch (2,560 x 1,600 pixels) 120Hz
CPU: AMD Ryzen 9 6900HS
GPU: AMD Radeon RX 6700S - 6800S
RAM: 16GB
Storage: 1TB SSD
Weight: 3.79 pounds

Reasons to buy

+
Bright, vibrant 120Hz display
+
Compact, elegant chassis
+
Comfy keyboard
+
Good battery life

Reasons to avoid

-
720p webcam is bad
-
Gaming performance is good but not great compared to similarly-priced competitors
Buy it if

✅ You want a gaming laptop you can take to class: You can find gaming laptops with lower price tags, bigger screens or more powerful innards, but you won't find many with better battery life, or that look as good on a desk. The Zephyrus G14 stands apart from the crowd by being powerful to play the latest games, yet performant and low-profile enough to double as a work laptop.

✅ You want an all-AMD gaming machine: PC diehards have strong feelings about Intel vs. AMD vs. Nvidia components. If you prefer an all-AMD laptop, the Zephyrus G14 can deliver that, and the much-ballyhooed efficiency of AMD components may have something to do with this laptop's remarkable battery life.

Don't buy it if:

❌ You want more than 14 inches: The 14-inch (2,560 x 1,600 pixels) 120Hz display on the Zephyrus G14 is great, but it's a little small to really enjoy playing games to full effect. You could always hook the laptop up to one of the best gaming monitors, but if you want a larger canvas for gaming on the go you should look elsewhere.

❌ Webcam quality matters: The 720p webcam in the latest ROG Zephyrus G14 leaves a lot to be desired, and if you use it for streaming you'll hardly look your best. That said, earlier Zephyrus G14 models didn't even have webcams, so at least you get one this time around.

The bottom line

💻 The Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 is a great gaming laptop, delivering a potent blend of performance, portability and power efficiency. The bright 16:10 120Hz display makes games and movies look great, while the speakers sound good enough that you won't feel compelled to use headphones.

What you need to know
The Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 is one of the best gaming laptops on the market for most people because it's powerful, easy to carry and offers best-in-class battery life (for a gaming laptop). The newer models offer a better, brighter screen than earlier models, with good speakers and an AMD CPU/GPU combo that delivers solid gaming performance. This model also has a webcam built into the top bezel of the display, a convenience for video calls that earlier models lacked. 

However, the Zephyrus G14 can't always deliver better performance than similarly-priced gaming laptops, and the webcam isn't very good. Still, you'd have a hard time finding a better gaming laptop (that can also double as a work or school laptop) for this price.

Design: The Zephyrus G14 measures 12.28 x 8.94 x 0.77 inches, weighs 3.79 pounds and looks good in Asus’ bright Moonlight White color scheme. The rounded corners and tapered edges balance out the sharp diagonal vents scattered across the chassis, and the optional and eye-catching AniMe Matrix mini-LED display on the back of the lid is a $600 cosmetic upgrade that will definitely turn heads.

Display: The 14-inch WQXGA (2,560 x 1,600 pixels) display on the Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 (2022) looks great, and with its 16:10 aspect ratio I had no trouble juggling a lot of open windows on the desktop. The 120Hz refresh rate, 3ms response time and support for Dolby Vision HDR ensure the display is well-suited to making games and movies look their best.

Performance: Gaming performance is what matters in a laptop like this, and the 2022 Zephyrus G14 delivers if you configure it right. Our well-equipped review unit  to hit 30-40 frames per second in Cyberpunk 2077 on max settings. However, that was with the help of AMD's FidelityFX Super Resolution upscaling tech. In general, this laptop can run the best PC games quite well, and it has no trouble with basic productivity tasks.

Battery life:  The Asus Zephyrus G14 (2022) lasted roughly 10 hours and 14 minutes in our Tom's Guide battery test, and barely over an hour when gaming. That's great web browsing time for a gaming laptop, so this is a great choice if you want a gaming machine that can also last through a day of classes.

Read the full review: Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 (2022)

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Ratings scorecard
TestResultsHow it stacks up
Battery life10:14 tested (non-gaming) battery life★★★★☆
PerformanceGreat for work and gaming★★★★★
DisplayScreen looks good and accommodates high-framerate gaming★★★★☆
DesignSlim, unassuming design blends in at home or at work★★★★☆

The longest-lasting laptop

The best laptop when battery life matters

Specifications

Display: 14.2 inches Liquid Retina XDR (120Hz, 3024 x 1964)
Processor: Apple M3 (8-core CPU)
Graphics: Integrated 8-core M3 GPU | Integrated 10-core GPU
Memory: 8GB to 24GB
Storage: 512GB to 2TB
Weight: 3.4 pounds

Reasons to buy

+
Strong performance from M3 chip
+
Brighter display
+
Impressive graphics boost
+
Very long battery life
+
Great speakers

Reasons to avoid

-
Less ports than M3 Pro model
-
Supports just one external monitor
-
Space Black costs extra
Buy it if

✅ You want a fast MacBook: While it can't match the video-crunching power of the beefier M3 Pro and M3 Max MacBook Pros, the M3-equipped 14-inch MacBook Pro 2023 is one of the fastest laptops on the block.

✅Battery life is key: The 2023 MacBook Pro sets a high-water mark for battery life when we tested it, lasting over 17 hours in our battery endurance tests. That's one of the longest-lived laptops we've ever tested. 

You want Pro features for cheaper: In killing the 13-inch MacBook Pro, Apple is giving its cheapest pro that gorgeous 120Hz Liquid Retina XDR display, some of the best speakers we've heard on a laptop, and more ports.

Don't buy it if:

❌ You don't like the notch: With the benefits the adoption of the 14-inch model's design bring, one key drawback is the notch. If that's going to buy you, you may want to shop elsewhere.

❌ You're looking for additional Pro power: The standard 3nm chipset is good, but the M3 Pro and M3 Max do hold a lot more power potential — particularly in the graphics department.

❌ Price-to-performance matters: With a retail price of $1,599, the M3 MacBook Pro is relatively affordable. However, there are Windows machines at this price range that offer more horsepower like a dedicated GPU for gaming.

The bottom line

💻 The 14-inch MacBook Pro with M3 delivers blistering performance and an even brighter display along with surprisingly robust graphics and super-long battery life.

What you need to know
The new M3 MacBook Pro represents a big shift in Apple's laptop range, as the company (finally) killed off its 13-inch model with Touch Bar in favor of the far more premium 14-inch frame. 

Alongside this, it delivers mind-blowing performance along with a class-leading battery life, a Liquid Retina XDR display, full-height function keys, amazing speakers, and a class-leading battery life.

Design: The new MacBook Pro features that same unibody aluminum design that was previously reserved for the Pro and Max MacBook Pros. Gone is that classic look with the eyesore of a Touch Bar, and in its place is a utilitarian frame that comes with a somewhat distracting display notch.

Along the left side of the laptop you'll find the MagSafe charging port, two Thunderbolt / USB 4 ports and a 3.5mm headphone jack. Over on the right you’ll find the HDMI port and SD Card slot.

Display: The MacBook Pro M3’s 14-inch, mini-LED Liquid Retina XDR display is still one of the best you’ll find on any laptop, even if it’s not as rich as an OLED panel. And Apple has boosted the brightness on the latest model when viewing SDR (standard dynamic range) content to 555 nits in our own testing.

Performance: The MacBook Pro’s M3 chip is the latest and greatest slice of Apple silicon, which is why this is one of the most powerful laptops on this list if you care about demanding work like photo/video editing or game development.

Our testing reveals this beast is at least 20% faster than the 13-inch MacBook Pro M2, and it's a decent gaming laptop as well as it can run the latest titles like Lies of P at a smooth 60 FPS, with bells and whistles like hardware-accelerated ray tracing.

Battery life: In our battery testing our 14-inch M3 MacBook Pro lasted for 17 hours and 23 minutes. That's admittedly not quite as long as the 18:20 delivered the 13-inch MacBook Pro M2, but with that model now discontinued this is the new top dog of Apple's laptops when it comes to battery life.

In short, the M3 MacBook Pro can easily last you through a full day of work and beyond. If you need great battery life, this is the longest-lasting laptop on this list.

Read the full review: MacBook Pro 14-inch (M3, 2023)

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Ratings scorecard
TestResultsHow it stacks up
Battery life18:20 hours of tested battery life★★★★★
PerformanceSpeedy at prosumer tasks★★★★☆
DisplayGorgeous mini-LED★★★★★
DesignPremium, durable design★★★★★

The best MacBook Air alternative

The best MacBook Air alternative

Specifications

Display: 14-inch WQXGA (2,560 x 1,600) touchscreen
CPU: Intel Core i7-1260P
GPU: Intel Iris Xe Graphics
RAM: 16GB
Storage: 1TB SSD
Weight: 2.65 pounds

Reasons to buy

+
Dazzling design
+
Gorgeous display
+
Plenty of power
+
Super speedy SSD

Reasons to avoid

-
Lots of bloatware
-
Speakers just OK
Buy it if

✅ You love 1600p resolution: The Swift 5 is a great all-rounder, but one thing that sets it apart is its unique 2,560 x 1,600 display. That's effectively the 16:10 equivalent to 1440p, and if you love the idea of a taller, higher-res display on your Windows laptop this is one of the few to deliver it.

✅ You want a MacBook Air M2 competitor for less: Acer gave the 2022 Swift 5 a smart redesign and a component upgrade that helps it rival premium ultraportables like Apple's MacBook Air or Dell's XPS 13, but the Swift 5 costs a bit less than either. 

Don't buy it if:

❌ You want to play a lot of games: The beautiful 1600p display makes what you do on the Swift 5 look great, but you won't be doing a lot of high-intensity gaming with just an Intel CPU and no discrete GPU.

❌ You hate bloatware: Almost every new PC comes with some software pre-installed, but Acer really takes it up a notch. You’ll find unnecessary apps like Booking.com, Simple Mahjong, Planet9 Link, Aura Privacy, ExpressVPN, Forge of Empires, and other programs that aren’t part of a vanilla Windows 11 install on a new Swift 5, which is a hassle to clear out.

The bottom line

💻 The Acer Swift 5, with its great 1600p display, fast SSD, a great design — and a good price — represents a very strong value compared to similarly-specced competitors. Those looking for a productivity notebook will especially appreciate its 16:10 display, which makes it easier to view documents and spreadsheets. However, it's not an ideal gaming platform, and its battery life could be better. 

What you need to know
The Acer Swift 5 (2022) is a svelte Windows laptop sporting a slick design, a gorgeous 1600p display and a speedy enough 12th-gen Intel chip onboard to get you through  a day of work. It’s also cheaper than its chief rivals when comparably equipped. 

While this laptop has some flaws, it's a great machine that delivers a lot of value for its sub-$2k price tag. 

Design: While older Swift 5 laptops looked pretty generic, the 2022 model has a beautiful design with eye-catching edges decked out in a double-anodized gold treatment. 

Measuring 12.2 x 8.4 x 0.59 inches and weighing just 2.65 pounds, the Acer Swift 5 is thicker than Apple's MacBook Air but also a hair lighter. The Acer Swift 5 feels sturdy despite its light weight thanks to its resilient aluminum chassis, and our review unit had a beautiful diamond pattern traced on it in gold lines that are as thin as a human hair, according to Acer.

Display: The Acer Swift 5’s 14-inch panel looks beautiful, and its WQXGA resolution (2560x1600, or 1600p) ensures it can deliver more pixels on-screen than more traditional 1080p or 1440p laptop displays.

The display offers a 16:10 aspect ratio, and in our testing the big, wide screen was easy to digest at a glance and made the games and movies we watched on it look great. 

Performance: The Acer Swift 5 is plenty speedy thanks to its Intel CPU and 16GB of RAM. While this machine can't achieve the same speeds as other, more expensive laptops on this list, like the M3 MacBook Pro, it's plenty powerful enough for getting work done.

And while you shouldn't expect to play the latest and greatest games at max settings on this laptop, less demanding games like Fortnite, Rocket League, and League of Legends can be enjoyed for hours with decent-looking graphics courtesy of the laptop's integrated Intel Iris Xe graphics chipset.

Battery life: Sadly, we've hit the one disappointing point in this otherwise glowing overview. While the Acer Swift 5 is a stunning little Windows laptop that's plenty good enough for what it costs, the fact that it barely lasted over 11 hours in our battery test was a little disappointing.

Don't get me wrong, it's still longer-lasting than most Windows laptops, including a few on this list. But our battery test is done under controlled conditions with the screen kept quite dim, and in the real world when you're perhaps using it in the bright sun or playing games on it, it will last a lot less time. In our review we noticed that using the laptop normally at max brightness caused it to conk out in about 5 hours, which is disappointing. Thankfully, it does charge quickly.

Read the full review: Acer Swift 5 (2022)

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Ratings scorecard
TestNotesHow it stacks up
Battery life11:25 tested battery life★★★★☆
PerformanceSpeedy but not great for gaming★★★★☆
DisplayTall, beautiful screen★★★★☆
DesignElegant, striking design with plenty of ports★★★★☆

The best 2-in-1 laptop

The best Windows 2-in-1

Specifications

Display: 14-inch 2.8K (2,880 x 1,800) OLED 16:10 touch
CPU: 13th Gen Intel Core i5/i7
RAM: 16 GB
Storage: 512GB
Weight: 3.3 pounds
Size: 12.2 x 8.8 x 0.6 inches

Reasons to buy

+
Excellent price
+
Thin and light design
+
Gorgeous OLED display
+
LED Numpad

Reasons to avoid

-
Sub-10-hour battery life
-
Mediocre 720p webcam
Buy it if

You love ultraportables: The Asus Zenbook 14 Flip OLED is one of the thinnest laptops out there — which is impressive for a 2-in-1. Because of its svelte design and light weight, it's easy to carry around wherever you go.

You want an OLED display: You don't usually see OLED panels on laptops under $1,000 — which makes the Zenbook 14 Flip all the more attractive. This display doesn't get too bright, but its rich picture quality makes up for that.

You want a 2-in-1: This one is obvious, but if you want a device that's both a laptop and tablet, the Zenbook 14 Flip OLED is worth considering, especially for its excellent $999 asking price.

Don't buy it if:

❌ You need long battery life: 9 hours of battery life used to be great, but not so in a world of MacBooks that can last 15 hours or more. So if you want more than 12 hours of battery life, you might want to look elsewhere.
❌ You want a good webcam: If you want to look your best during video calls, then this Zenbook 14 Flip OLED's ancient 720p won't do you any favors.

The bottom line

💻 The Asus Zenbook 14 Flip OLED is a premium 2-in-1 because it's sturdy, looks great on a desk and comes with plenty of power (and plenty of ports) to get things done. The vivid 2.8K OLED display is the cherry on top that makes everything you do on this laptop look nice. It doesn't have the muscle for serious gaming, but if you want to browse the web, watch movies and read comics this is a great 2-in-1 for you.

What you need to know
The Asus Zenbook 14 Flip OLED has a gorgeous display that's ideal for watching videos, and it has one of the best laptop keyboards we’ve tested in a long time. It's also a decent performer, so you don't have to deal with the slow loading and weak gaming potential of some other 2-in-1 laptops.

However, it's not perfect. The webcam isn't great, and the battery life can leave you wanting. The light-up LED number pad on the touchpad is a nice touch, but it can be annoying if you don't like it. 

That said, this is inarguably one of the best 2-in-1 laptops on the market because it performs well, looks great and offers plenty of ports for a price that never gets higher than $1,300.

Design: Measuring 12.2 x 8.8 x 0.6 inches and weighing 3.3 pounds ensures the Zenbook 14 Flip is a great travel laptop. While it's not as thin and light as the 13-inch MacBook Air M2 or some other laptops on this list, it's easy to carry from room to room and not a hassle to throw in a backpack to take with you to school.

Display: One of the main selling points of this laptop is its 14-inch 2.8K OLED panel, and it delivers both in our own hands-on testing and in our performance testing lab, achieving bright brights, deep darks and beautiful contrasts between light and shadow. A good OLED panel makes everything you do on it look better, and this laptop is no exception.

Performance: The 13th Gen Intel Core CPU and 16GB of RAM in our Asus Zenbook 14 Flip OLED review unit ensure that this thin-and-light laptop doesn't straggle when it comes time to work. While this laptop can't exactly tear through big video editing projects or play the latest and greatest games at ultra-high settings, it's more than good enough for work and play.

Battery life: In our battery test the Asus Zenbook 14 Flip OLED lasted for 8 hours and 53 minutes, which is good but not great. It's acceptable and not a huge hassle if you don't plan to carry it around for a full day, but if you do it's kind of a bummer that you need to bring a charger with you or else risk running out of juice at a key moment.

Read the full review: Asus Zenbook 14 Flip OLED.

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Ratings scorecard
TestNotesHow it stacks up
Battery life8:53 tested battery life★★★☆☆
PerformancePlenty of power for everyday computing★★★★☆
DisplayVivid OLED display★★★★★
DesignThin and light design★★★★☆

The best MacBook Pro alternative

The best MacBook Pro Alternative

Specifications

Display: 16-inch 3K (2,880 x 1,800) 120Hz AMOLED
CPU: Intel Core i7
RAM: 16 GB
Storage: 512 GB - 1 TB
Weight: 3.9 pounds
Size: 13.9 x 9.8 x 0.6 inches

Reasons to buy

+
Gorgeous 16-inch AMOLED display
+
Thin, lightweight design
+
Powerful performance
+
Roomy keyboard

Reasons to avoid

-
Samsung features superfluous for some
Buy it if

You want a laptop that does it all: From getting work done to gaming to watching videos, the Galaxy Book3 Ultra is great for all of it. It's a potent blend of beauty and power with good battery life and an affordable price tag.

✅ You love gaming on OLED:
OLED displays deliver remarkably bright brights, inky blacks and striking contrasts. The Samsung Galaxy Book3 Ultra's 3K 120Hz AMOLED screen looks great, and its beefy internals ensure games look great on it.

✅ You're already enmeshed in Samsung's ecosystem: The Galaxy Book3 Ultra is great at gaming and getting work done, especially if you own other Samsung Galaxy devices. That's because Samsung Galaxy designs them to work well together, so you have an easier time sharing files between devices and generally making better use of them in concert.

Don't buy it if:

❌ You hate Samsung bloatware: The Galaxy Book2 Pro 360 comes with a ton of Samsung software pre-installed, and its all bloatware if you don't own any other Samsung devices.

❌ You love customizability: This is a great all-around laptop but it only comes in a very limited number of configs, so you don't get much variety in terms of RAM, storage, etc.

The bottom line

💻 The Samsung Galaxy Book3 Ultra is one of the best Windows laptops you can buy, delivering great performance, a gorgeous display and a comfy keyboard for not too much money, especially when you consider it packs a discrete Nvidia 40-series laptop GPU.

What you need to know
The Samsung Galaxy Book 3 Ultra (starting at $2,199) isn’t just the first Samsung laptop with Ultra branding. It’s the company’s direct answer to the MacBook Pro 16-inch (2023). With a 16-inch OLED display, an Intel 13th Gen Core CPU and an Nvidia RTX 40-series GPU, Samsung’s laptop seems to have what it takes to challenge Apple’s powerful premium notebook.

Comparisons aside, the Galaxy Book 3 Ultra has a lot to offer. Its powerful specs make it suitable for video editing and for playing the best PC games. In fact, this is one of the best gaming laptops we’ve tested. Toss in interoperability with Samsung phones and tablets, and this could be a brilliant laptop for folks invested in the Samsung ecosystem.

Design: The Galaxy Book 3 Ultra is a sleek and elegant laptop that’s well-suited for work and play. At 13.9 x 9.8 x 0.6 inches and weighing 3.9 pounds, this machined aluminum notebook is easy to hold and carry around. Not only is it a bit thinner than the MacBook Pro 16-inch 2023, but it’s almost a pound lighter.

Display: The Galaxy Book 3 Ultra's gorgeous 120Hz AMOLED display makes everything you do on it look better. It really impressed when gaming, with the likes of Cyberpunk 2077's Night City looking incredible thanks to the vibrant neon colors and lights of the game popping on the Book 3 Ultra's OLED screen. Once you've experienced a high-quality OLED display on a laptop, you'll be hard pressed to go back to all but the finest LCD laptop screens. 

Performance: The Book3 Ultra is uniquely well-suited to both work and play thanks to its speedy CPU and discrete GeForce RTX 40-series laptop GPU, which give it enough power to double as a decent gaming laptop. The 16GB of included RAM make it feel plenty snappy for a productivity notebook.

Battery life: The Galaxy Book3 Ultra lasted for a smidge over 10 hours in our battery test, which is great for a gaming laptop but pretty unremarkable when compared to the other laptops on this list. It will probably get you through a work day, especially if you don't tax it too hard, but you might want to carry a charger just in case.

Read the full review: Samsung Galaxy Book3 Ultra

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Ratings scorecard
TestNotesHow it stacks up
Battery life10:01 tested battery life★★★★☆
PerformanceGreat at gaming and work★★★★☆
DisplayBeautiful AMOLED display★★★★☆
DesignSlim, beautiful chassis★★★★☆

The best powerful MacBook

The best powerful MacBook

Specifications

Display: 3,456 x 2,234 | 120Hz
CPU: M3 Max (14-core CPU, 30-core GPU)
RAM: 36GB
Storage: 1TB
Weight: 4.8 pounds (M3 Max)
Size: 14.0 x 9.7 x 0.6 inches

Reasons to buy

+
Blazing-fast performance
+
Bright and colorful display
+
Sleek, durable design
+
Incredible battery life
+
Alluring Space Black color option

Reasons to avoid

-
Steep asking price
Buy it if

You need to edit 8K videos: If you're a professional video editor, there's no Apple laptop more powerful than the MacBook Pro 16-inch with M3 Max. This laptop will likely pay for itself over time with how much time it could save you.

✅ You like playing high-end games on Mac:
Gaming on Macs has always been dubious but it's better than ever thanks to the M3 family of chips. Games like Baldur's Gate 3 and Lies of P showcase how fast and fluid games can run on the latest Macs.
 
✅ You want a MacBook that'll last for years: M1 MacBooks are still viable so it stands to reason that M3-driven notebooks could potentially last you even longer. This should justify the admittedly high initial price.

Don't buy it if:

❌ You don't want to spend so much money: The MacBook Pro 16-inch with M3 Max starts at $3,499 and can get as high as $7,199 when fully decked out. This is not a machine for those on a budget.

❌ You own a MacBook Pro M2 Max: The M3 Max MacBook Pro is roughly 20% faster than its M2 Max-driven predecessor. While that's impressive, it means you don't have to update to M3 Max if you have an M2 Max laptop.

The bottom line

💻 The MacBook Pro 16-inch (M3 Max, 2023) retains the same fetching design and gorgeous mini-LED display as the previous M2 Max model, this premium laptop’s performance is currently second to none. That hefty $3.5k starting price tag is a significant chunk of change, but professional creatives and even gamers will get their money’s worth.

What you need to know: The 16-inch MacBook Pro with the M3 Max chip is one of the most powerful laptops we’ve ever tested. That's not a huge surprise since we said that about its predecessor the MacBook Pro 16-inch with the M2 Max chip, but it remains amazing that Apple's own chips can deliver this much power and efficiency in a laptop.

The M3 MacBook Pro 16-inch is basically identical to its predecessors in all the other ways too, right down to the size, screen and number of ports. The only new thing besides the M3 chips is a new Space Black color scheme for the top-tier models, which admittedly does look stellar. 

Design: The MacBook Pro M3 Max measures 14.01 x 9.77 x 0.66 inches and weighs 4.8 pounds (or a slightly lighter 4.7 for the less powerful M3 Pro model). That is pretty big and heavy, but at least the laptop's squared-off aluminum chassis feels durable in your hands.

Display: The 16.2-inch Liquid Retina Display (3,456 x 2,234) on the MacBook Pro M3 Max looks just as good as it did on previous models, and the 120Hz refresh rate can help make scrolling feel smoother and allow some games to run at a very high framerates. Admittedly some people don't like the notch that hangs down from the top bezel, where it contains the camera equipment, but I find that you quickly stop noticing it once you get used to it.

Performance: The MacBook Pro 16-inch M3 Max is the most powerful laptop we've ever reviewed as of the end of 2023, though we expect that to change in the months ahead. But even if it does eventually lose that title, there's no question that the 16-inch MacBook Pro is a powerhouse. You can get better performance out of the M3 Max model than the weaker M3 Pro version, but both are plenty powerful enough for demanding work like video editing and programming.

Battery life: The 16-inch MacBook Pro M3 lasted roughly 17 hours in our in-house battery tests, which is remarkable. While it's not the longest-lasting MacBook on this list, it lasts hours longer than any competing Windows laptop. No need to lug the charger with you when taking this out for a day at the office.

Read the full review: MacBook Pro 16-inch (M3 Max, 2023)

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Ratings scorecard
TestNotesHow it stacks up
Battery life17:11 tested battery life★★★★★
PerformanceGreat for video editing★★★★★
DisplayGorgeous mini-LED display★★★★★
DesignPremium, durable design★★★★★

The best dual screen laptop

The best dual screen laptop

Specifications

Displays: Dual 14-inch 3K OLED, 16:10 aspect ratio, 120Hz refresh rate, 500 nits peak brightness
CPU: Intel Core Ultra 7 155H (upgradeable to Ultra 9 185H)
RAM: Up to 32GB LPDDR5x
Storage: 1TB
Weight: 3.6 pounds
Size: 12.3 x 8.5 x 0.8 inches

Reasons to buy

+
Two beautiful 14-inch OLED displays
+
A powerful multitasking revolution
+
Sleek, structurally sound build
+
Best Keyboard and touchpad on a dual-screen laptop
+
Value for money at $1,499

Reasons to avoid

-
Speakers are tinny
-
Does heat up fast
-
Webcam is more like a Game Boy camera
-
Give me more ports, please!
Buy it if

Your workload requires two screens: Let's be honest — two screens are better than one for multitasking, and the Asus Zenbook Duo packs two stunning 14-inch panels. Pair that with the best keyboard and trackpad on a laptop of this class, and you'll fall in love with getting stuff done on this mini machine.

✅ You've wanted a dual-screen laptop, but have always felt nervous about durability:
It's easy to get anxious about the durability of dual-screen laptops. With this, you won't feel a hint of nervousness, as the military grade-tested chassis and strong kickstand ensure confidence.
 
✅ You're adding AI to your workload: The Intel Core Ultra CPUs on offer in the Zenbook Duo do well to speed up graphics-based tasks, but the secret sauce is in that NPU for handling any AI-based tasks.

Don't buy it if:

❌ You want a decent amount of ports: With just two Thunderbolt 4, one USB-A and HDMI 2.1 ports, you can easily find yourself missing the likes of an SD card reader.
❌ You're looking for the best battery life: It's a dual-screen laptop, so of course that second panel will impact the battery life — specifically, you're getting just over 8 hours of runtime in our own testing.

The bottom line

💻 The Asus Zenbook Duo (2024) polishes the dual-screen laptop formula with key refinements that makes this category feel like less of a gimmick, and more of a real recommendation. From it's impressive value for money to the versatility of how you can use this, you will more than get your money's worth.

What you need to know: The Asus Zenbook Duo (2024) could be easily mistaken for a gimmick — most dual-screen laptops are. But this is the one that transcends that label with a finely tailored UI, sleek and durable hardware, and two gorgeous 14-inch OLED displays, to become one of the best laptops you can buy today.

Moving away from the awkwardly sandwiched second display of its predecessors, the new Zenbook Duo takes inspiration from the likes of the Lenovo Yoga Book 9i and HP Spectre Fold, while refusing to compromise on key specs and offer it all at an affordable $1,499 price.

Design: The Asus Zenbook Duo measures in at 12.3 x 8.5 x 0.8 inches and weighs 3.6 pounds. That additional thickness is down to the detachable keyboard and trackpad deck for full dual-screen action. For those who are worried about the durability of a dual-screen laptop, fear no more — the hinge and kickstand are super strong.

Display: With two 14-inch OLED panels, the Asus Zenbook Duo provides great color and a crisp contrast to all visuals — lending itself to instilling confidence in you when editing photos. Plus, with a 16:10 aspect ratio and 120Hz refresh rate on both, they feel silky smooth to interact with. Be it with the trackpad or your fingers for multi-touch gestures. 

Performance: The Asus Zenbook Duo packs up to an Intel Core Ultra 9 chipset, which guarantees a decent amount of power for chewing through even the most intensive of workloads. This comes down to two key strengths: that NPU taking on some of the AI-driven tasks, and a boost in graphics with that ARC-inspired iGPU meaning that more visual-intensive workloads are handled effectively.

Battery life: The Asus Zenbook Duo does fall down slightly when it comes to battery life, which is expected given the 75Wh cell is powering two panels. Specifically, you're hitting just over 8 hours on one charge (10 hours if you're using this in single-screen. Make sure you keep a charger around with you.

Read the full review: Asus Zenbook Duo (2024)

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Ratings scorecard
TestNotesHow it stacks up
Battery life10:10 in single screen - 8:21 in dual screen tested★★★★
PerformanceIntel Core Ultra keeps things zippy★★★★
DisplayGorgeous dual OLED displays★★★★★
DesignStructurally sound, sleek design★★★★★

Battery benchmarks: comparison

We run every laptop we review through a series of battery tests to see how long it actually lasts on a full charge, which is one of the key deciding factors for most people when buying a laptop. You want to know about how long a laptop will actually last on a full charge so you know when to carry a charger with you, and when you're safe to leave it at home.

Note that these tests do not reflect real-world use patterns since we have to set every laptop to the same settings in order to do fair comparisons. Thus, while the times listed here are accurate and useful as a comparison point, your own experience with a laptop's battery life will likely vary quite a bit.

This is because when we run our battery test we set the laptop's display to 150 nits of brightness and have it endlessly browse the web via Wi-Fi until it dies. However, when you use your laptop you're likely adjusting brightness on the fly, doing all sorts of different tasks while perhaps listening to music or watching a video at the same time, and generally putting the machine through more of a workout than it gets in our test.

So while I stand by our testing and the battery life results we compare in the chart below, I want to be clear that your own experience will vary! 

Swipe to scroll horizontally
LaptopBattery life (tested)
Dell XPS 13 OLED7:59
Asus Zenbook 13 OLED15:00
MacBook Pro 13-inch (M2, 2022)18:20
MacBook Air 15-inch M214:59
M1 MacBook Air14:41
MacBook Pro 2021 (14-inch)14:09
Microsoft Surface Laptop Studio10:30
Framework Laptop10:17
Samsung Galaxy Book3 Ultra10:01
Microsoft Surface Laptop 410:46
Acer Swift 311:09
Microsoft Surface Pro 89:06
Dell XPS 15 OLED6:58
MacBook Pro 2021 (16-inch)15:31
Lenovo Yoga 9i11:15
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Nano12:00
Alienware m15 R44:01
HP Elite Dragonfly12:25
Asus Zenbook Duo 1410:37
Lenovo IdeaPad Chromebook Duet12:47
Google Pixelbook Go11:29
Acer Chromebook Spin 71311:54

How to choose the best laptop for you

What kind of power do you want? If you only need something basic for surfing the web, consider a Chromebook or a cheap Windows laptop with an Intel Core i3 processor and 4GB of RAM, because that's the minimum you should expect from a modern laptop. If you want something that feels speedy and can handle more than basic writing and web browsing, look for beefier laptops with at least an Intel Core i5 CPU from the past few years, 8 to 16GB of RAM and a 256GB to 512GB SSD for storage.

What kind of games do you want to play? Most laptops feature integrated graphics chipsets that are built into their CPU, which usually struggle to run demanding modern games but can often handle old or less graphically-demanding games. But if want to play the latest and greatest games on your portable PC you'll want a dedicated gaming laptop, because they come with more powerful discrete laptop graphics cards, more RAM, better cooling systems and other advancements designed to make them decent gaming machines. Of course, you have to make compromises when buying a gaming laptop that you don't have to make when buying one of the best gaming PCs, since your laptop needs a beefy battery and enough room to be able to discharge heat effectively without cooking its innards.

How big of a laptop do you want? Think about how often you might carry this laptop around. Machines such as the Dell XPS 13 and MacBook Air are remarkably light and slim, but their 13-inch screens are on the small side. You can get a larger 15-inch display on a premium ultraportable like the XPS 15 and still not have to worry about weight too much, but once you start getting up into the realm of 16-inch to 18-inch screens, expect your laptop to weigh at least 3-5 pounds. As mentioned above gaming laptops are almost always several pounds heavier than thin-and-light ultraportables because they need more room for beefier components, but they offer big power in exchange.

Do you want Chrome, macOS, or Windows? Windows is the most common operating system, while macOS is more ideal for folks already tied into Apple's ecosystem. ChromeOS is Google's minimal operating system, which has the advantage of being decent and cheap but the disadvantage of requiring an Internet connection to take advantage of its full features. 

So if you don't think you'll be online often, a Chromebook is a poor choice and you should go with Windows or macOS instead. On the other hand, if you just need a low-powered laptop or tablet for browsing the web, writing emails and watching videos, ChromeOS will do you just fine.

Whichever system you decide on, you may also want to consider investing in the best mouse and best keyboard for your needs so you can have some more ergonomic options for getting work done on your new laptop. I also recommend getting yourself an affordable laptop stand, as a $45 stand revolutionized the way I work on the go.

Frequently asked questions

How do I find the best laptop deals?

We've scoured the internet and given you the best deals on our favorite laptops just above, but we know they're not going to be the best options for everyone! If you're shopping around for something more suited to your tastes, here's how our team go about finding stellar savings.

First things first, establish what you're looking to buy and set a budget. It's easy to watch costs spiral and before you know it, you've dropped thousands of dollars on additional power and features you may not need. Figuring out what you want to do with your laptop and how much money you're comfortable spending is the best option. For example, saying "I want a good gaming laptop for under $1,000" will net you a whole host of great budget-to-mid-range choices.

Second, retailers are going to work really hard to make its deals look super attractive with huge percentage discounts, but don't fall for it. We've already spotted numerous deals that have actually been cheaper in the past, but just look better now because the original retail price was jacked up just before Black Friday. 

As a good sense check for this, take a look at downloading the Camelizer — a Chrome extension that can run an extensive historical price check on any Amazon product. With that line graph, you can see whether that Cyber Monday laptop deal is actually a deal.

And finally, within your choice, have a think about what particular features of a laptop matter to you. If you're someone who cares about screen real estate, the choice is obvious. But if you can really stretch the graphical capabilities of that silicon with your workload, think again.

Or maybe you want the vastly increased amount of app support and customization opportunities of Windows 11, which will also net you better value for money than the MacBooks, but also lacks the simplicity of macOS. Just take a breather, think about what things matter — the software, the keyboard being good to type on, etc — and make the best judgement for you.

What kind of laptop should I buy?

Laptops are so diverse now that it's impossible to know what you should buy without knowing your unique needs, but you can ask yourself some questions to help narrow down your options.

Where will you use this laptop? If you need something to carry to work or school you'll want something that's light and lasts at least 10+ hours on a charge, like the MacBook Air or Acer Swift 5. 

What do you want to do with it? If you care about playing games, making games or doing video work you'll want a laptop with a discrete graphics card like the Samsung Galaxy Book3 Ultra. True gamers will want to consider the best gaming laptops as well, but be warned most are heavy and barely last a few hours on a full battery.

Which operating system fits your life best? MacBooks are best if you're going to be working with others on Macs, and they've got great integration with your iPhone and iPad. Windows laptops are also great, and much easier than MacBooks to integrate into an office or school full of Windows machines. But don't overlook Chromebooks, as these ChromeOS-powered laptops are typically cheaper than the competition yet are perfectly fine for browsing the web, basic productivity work and even light gaming. 

How much RAM do I need?

This can be tricky to know because it's not like storage, where you can sort of predict how much you'll store on the laptop and plan accordingly. RAM is the memory your laptop moves files in and out of in real time while you're using them, so having more of it improves game performance, multitasking speed and generally makes everything feel snappier.

In general, I recommend you get a laptop with at least 8MB of RAM if you don't want it to feel sluggish. If you plan to do a lot of multitasking or running demanding apps and games, try for at least 16GB of RAM. 

If you plan to play a lot of fast-paced modern games it's not a bad idea to get a laptop with as much RAM as you can afford, as much as 32MB or more.

How we tested these laptops

How we test the best laptops

In our never-ending quest to find the best laptops we put every computer we test through a barrage of synthetic and real-world tests to benchmark how well it performs compared to the manufacturer's claims, and compare how good it is relative to the competition.

These tests include, but are not limited to: measuring the average brightness and color quality of each laptop's display using our in-house colorimeter, using a heat gun to measure the heat generated by the laptop after 15 minutes of strenuous work, and using a mix of real-world and synthetic benchmarks to test how well a laptop performs at various day-to-day tasks. We run all laptops through the Geekbench CPU performance benchmark tests as well as various 3DMark tests to measure graphics capabilities. We also run a file transfer test to measure how fast a machine's hard drive is, a video transcoding test to gauge how well a laptop can cut video and a custom battery test that has the machine browse the internet over Wi-Fi until it runs out of juice.

We also run every laptop we test through a basic game test using Sid Meier's Civilization VI: Gathering Storm to gauge how good it is at running games compared to other laptops. We use this old game because it runs on a wide variety of laptops across different prices, sizes and operating systems, so it's great for comparing performance. 

Of course when testing dedicated gaming laptops we run benchmarks for many more demanding and popular games, including Assassin's Creed Valhalla, Cyberpunk 2077 and Red Dead Redemption 2. For more information on our testing process, check out our guide to how we test.