The best MacBook for each person will differ, but there's a great option for virtually anyone in Apple's laptop lineup in 2023. Apple's ARM-based M1 chip kicked off a new era for MacBooks in 2020 and it hasn't taken its foot off the accelerator. Apple's in-house SoC brought massive performance and battery life improvements to the entire MacBook range.
Now joined by the M1 Pro, M1 Max, M2, M2 Pro, and M2 Max, Apple has you covered regardless of your needs. The M2 MacBook Air and Pro are among the best laptops available today and the latest 16-inch and 14-inch MacBook Pro models are once again setting a high bar for creator laptops early in 2023.
One category that Apple won't be competing in any time soon is our laptops under $500, so prepare to spend at least $800 for even the most affordable MacBook, but if you can make your peace with that pricing these are all outstanding laptops.
The MacBook Air M1 remains the best MacBook for most people. What about the MacBook Air M2 It's a fantastic laptop that we'll cover next on this list, but the reality is that for the majority of users the upgrades aren't necessary and Apple is keeping it around in order to maintain that sub-$1,000 starting price. Best of all you can often find it for $899 or less.
The performance still outclasses every comparably priced thin-and-light Windows laptop and it manages to deliver 14 hours and 41 minutes of battery life in our testing. For any typical computing tasks, the MacBook Air M1 is more than equal to the challenge and will outlast most competitors too.
As long as you don't mind the older design, the MacBook Air M1 remains one of the best laptop deals even when it's not discounted and should draw strong consideration from anyone considering a new MacBook.
And despite cramming so much power into such a slim and sleek chassis, the Pro lasted for an almost unbelievable 18 hours and 20 minutes on our battery test, which simulates real-world testing. That was enough to land it atop our list of laptops with the best battery life.
The M2 does more than improve speeds and endurance. With a yet again improved image processing unit, the webcam (sadly, still 720p) is better than before and since it runs on Apple's ARM-based architecture, iPad and iPhone apps are available on Mac. Yep, you can run all your favorite iOS games and apps on your laptop.
Starting at $2,499 for the M2 Pro model and $3,099 for the M2 Max model, the 16-inch MacBook Pro isn't for everyone. However, if you are a creative professional or someone that just wants the biggest and best without concern over cost this absolutely belongs on your short list.
While I still would recommend a gaming laptop with a discrete GPU for those that want the best overall gaming experience, but 16-inch MacBook Pro is finally at least competing in this realm enough that casual gamers will be happy.
We use a Klein K10 colorimeter to detect the brightness and DCI-P3 color gamut of a laptop's display. For performance benchmarking, we run the laptop through a gauntlet of benchmarks, including Geekbench 5.4 and 3DMark professional graphics tests.
To determine real-world performance, we task the laptop to convert a 4K video to 1080p resolution and to duplicate a 25GB multimedia file. Our real-world graphics tests include Assasin's Creed Valhalla, Far Cry New Dawn, Sid Meier's Civilization VI: Gathering Storm and Shadow of the Tomb Raider with 1080p or higher resolution when the display supports it.
If you're looking for the best laptops of 2023, then we can help. This year has seen some truly excellent laptops released, and we're only just over a quarter of the way through it. So far, massive laptop brands such as Apple, Dell, Lenovo and Asus have launched some truly spectacular products for all budgets.
Samsung has also been putting out some brilliant laptops recently, and we've just added the excellent Galaxy Book3 Ultra to this list. It's pricey, but it's also packed with some of the very best mobile tech you can buy right now.
If the Samsung Galaxy Book3 Ultra is out of your price range, don't worry, as on this page we've listed the best laptops for a variety of budgets and use cases, and every laptop has been thoroughly tested and reviewed by us, so you can be sure that if you buy any of the laptops below, you'll be getting an absolutely fantastic device.
With the cost of living rising, decent laptop deals are more welcome than ever, and we've made sure that we don't just include only high-end laptops in this list, but also the best cheap laptops and best Chromebooks as well. So read on for our list of the best laptops.
Air, which is a shame, as one of the best things about the 2020 MacBook Air was its low price and excellent performance. The MacBook Air M1 (2020) is still available to buy for $999 / 999 / AU$1,499 and you can read more about it here.
Value for money: As far as Chromebooks and 2-in-1 laptops go, this is hands down the best value you're going to find in a portable device of its kind. It's the computer that last decade's netbooks promised to be - but couldn't quite become - while taking the Chromebook to its next logical step.
The Dell XPS 13 (2022) had its work cut out to really impress us. Its predecessors have often made it to the top of our best laptops list, but recently its competitors such as HP and Apple have really caught up when it comes to making desirable thin and light laptops. To put the XPS 13 back in its rightful place towards the top of our best laptops list, Dell has made some big changes. While the boost in performance thanks to cutting-edge components is welcome, some people will be sorely disappointed by the other changes Dell has made to the 2022 version.
Design: The Dell XPS 13 (2022) gets a new design, which may upset people who loved the old look, but it's fresh and modern and comes with a new color option, Umber (a bluish-purple), in addition to Sky, which is the standard silver color for the XPS laptop line. It's impressively thin and light, and the screen is bright, albeit not up to OLED standards. One design decision that may not please everyone, however, is the lack of carbon fiber palm rests in favor of a more svelte aluminum keyboard deck. We quite like the change, but others may find the aluminum deck less comfortable to use.
Performance: The Dell XPS 13 (2022) is designed to be an affordable, ultraportable laptop that can do what most people need it to do: some web browsing, video streaming, and maybe messing around with a couple of spreadsheets for work.
The Dell XPS 15 has been updated with new hardware and that classic XPS style to defend its claim as the greatest 15-inch laptop around. If you find 13-inch laptops are a bit too small to work on comfortably (like its smaller sibling, the Dell XPS 13), but larger 16-inch and 17-inch laptops are too hard to carry around, then the Dell XPS 15 offers the perfect balance. While the outside remains unchanged, Dell has upgraded the internals to include new Intel Alder Lake processors and faster RAM.
Design: The Dell XPS 15 (2022) sports that classic XPS look, brushed aluminum and all, and is therefore among the most attractive laptops around. It's also impressively lightweight for a 15-inch model, and incredibly thin: the chassis is just under 3/4ths of an inch thick. This is a laptop that's both easy to carry around, and comfortable to work on thanks to its larger screen and keyboard. Wisely, Dell has retained the series' iconic carbon fiber palm rests, which helps make it one of the more comfortable laptops to use, too.
Performance: Our test model features an Intel Core i7-12700H CPU and Nvidia GeForce RTX 3050 Ti Mobile graphics, and it blasted though everyday tasks with ease. It's no gaming laptop, but it still turned in respectable results in our testing. While these are no longer the latest generation for either CPU or GPU, they still perform brilliantly, though we're also sure Dell will update the Dell XPS 15 this year with the very latest hardware as well.
Battery life: The Dell XPS 15 can easily clear a full workday on a charge, lasting 12:01 on average in our PCMark 10 test, and about two hours less (10:07, specifically) in our HD movie test. While this isn't the longest battery life in a laptop in this guide, it's an impressive showing for a Windows 11 15-incher.
Value for money: The Dell XPS 15 (2022) starts at $1,449 / 1,549 / AU$3,229, and there's no getting around the fact that this is a premium device that only gets more expensive as you configure the specs. This is a laptop for people who want power, rather than a budget price.
Acer has updated its more affordable ultrabook line with some considerable under-the-hood upgrades, especially where battery life is concerned. If you're after a dependable laptop that won't cost a lot of money, but can handle day-to-day tasks (without feeling too cheap), then the Acer Swift 3 remains the best cheap laptop you can buy.
Design: The Acer Swift 3 is cased in aluminum and a magnesium-aluminum alloy, and comes in a not-very-exciting gray colorway. There are a few jazzier options, but they're only available in specific configurations. While it's not an exciting design, it's solidly built, especially for the price. At 2.65 pounds (1.2kg), it's heavier than more expensive rivals, but the fact that it comes with a 14-inch screen, rather than the 13-inch found in the MacBook Air and Dell XPS 13, means this weight increase is understandable. One issue we do have with the design is the placement of the cooling vent, which sit below the screen and face upwards. If you spill any liquid near there, there's a real danger that it could enter the vent and damage the internal components of the laptop.
Performance: The Acer Swift 3 puts in a solid performance for day-to-day tasks such as browsing the internet and creating documents. It can't compete with more expensive laptops, and the MacBook Air (M1, 2020) runs rings around it despite its price tag not being much higher, but if you keep your expectations in check, you'll be pleased. 59ce067264