Are you in the market for a new laptop? Then you are in the right place. With so many options out there, it’s hard to know which one to choose. That’s why I did the homework for you, and below is a breakdown of my top picks by type of usage.
Best for kids
While desktops usually don’t need to get replaced quite as often, laptops are generally more affordable to replace or upgrade. Plus, having a separate device you can set up with specific security settings for your kids is nice.
Check the list below for our top picks for kids:
Google Pixelbook Go. (Google)
· Great battery life: Works unplugged for up to 12 hours so you don’t need to carry a charger and just 20 minutes of charging get you 2 hours of use
· Made of magnesium (rare for a laptop), which makes it lightweight yet durable at barely 2 pounds
· Easy to carry: 13 millimeters thin with a wavy design on the bottom that provides more grip
· “Hush” keyboard for a new typist who is learning their way around a laptop
· Very rare 1080p duo webcam, which is usually only found on high-end and expensive laptops
· Affordable: Under $1K depending on specs
· The fanless design stays cool to let you comfortably use it on your lap
· 13.3″ LCD touchscreen display that offers either Full HD 1920×1080 (166ppi) or 4K Ultra HD Molecular Display 3840×2160 (331ppi) looks excellent and makes for an easier navigating experience for new and older users alike
· More built-in security: Titan C security chip and built-in virus protection help keep your data and passwords safe.
· No biometric login (many new laptops let users log into their device with just a fingerprint, which makes it easier to keep the device safer)
· Higher-spec models are pricey
· Really low storage and RAM offerings for their base model
· No SD card slot, so any external storage will have to be via a USB-C connection.
At the time of publishing, this product had 1,549 global ratings with 76% giving the product 5 stars.
Acer Spin 311-2H laptop model. (Acer)
· Very affordable – less than $400
· 11.6-inch HD 1366×768 16:9 IPS Touchscreen LED-backlit display
· 2-IN-1 TOUCHSCREEN for a full tactile experience
· Comes with a stylus
· Comes with a variety of ports: USB-C, DisplayPort, USB 2.0, 3.5mm combo jack headphone/speaker & Kensington Lock slot.
· On the low spectrum of Storage and RAM
At the time of publishing, this product had 398 global ratings with 68% giving the product 5 stars.
Best for gaming
Gaming is a popular pastime for people of all ages. However, it requires a certain amount of processing speed and storage space to handle the intensity of graphics and program complexities. Below are the top picks for gaming:
Acer Predator Helios 300 laptop model. (Acer)
· Great RAM base 16GB DDR4 3200MHz memory (2 DDR4 Slots Total, Maximum 32GB)
· Good refresh rate for a laptop 144Hz 3ms
· Good screen “real estate” 15.6″ Full HD 1920 x 1080 IPS LED-backlit display
· Good performance speed i7 core processor
· Comes with Windows 11 latest Windows OS
· 5th Gen AeroBlade 3D fan technology has 89 ultra-thin blades with bionic wing tip design to increase air intake helps keep the laptop cool
· Alexa is built in for compatibility.
· Expensive – it is comparable to some of its desktop counterpart
· Low storage offering for a gaming laptop 512GB PCIe Gen 4 SSD
At the time of publishing, this product had 3,586 global ratings with 80% giving the product 5 stars.
Acer Nitro 5 AN515-58-7583 gaming laptop. (Acer)
· Good RAM 16GB DDR4 3200MHz Memory
· Maximizing internet connection: Killer DoubleShot Pro with Ethernet E2600 and Killer Wi-Fi 6 1650 – Wi-Fi 6 enabled for fastest Wi-Fi connections; ability to use Ethernet and Wi-Fi at the same time
· More screen “real estate” 15.6-inch Full HD 1920 x 1080 IPS LED-backlit display
· Good performance speed i7 core processor
· Comes with Windows 11 latest Windows OS
· Excellent cooling: form of dual-fan cooling, dual-intakes top and bottom, and a quad-exhaust port design
· Decent refresh rate 144Hz; newer models are boasting 165Hz 3ms
· Mediocre storage 512GB SSD
· Maximum RAM is 32GB – other laptops can be upgraded to 64 GB
At the time of publishing, this product had 5,238 global ratings with 81% giving the product 5 stars.
Best for heavy processing
For individuals who find themselves working on processor-intensive programs like photo editing, video editing, or design programs, laptops are not only going to need excellent screens with rich color and high resolutions – yet also enough storage, ram, and processor speed to handle the intensity of these media and workload-heavy programs. Below are the top picks for laptops that can handle the work:
2023 Apple MacBook Pro Laptop (14″) model. (Apple)
· M2 Pro has up to 12 CPU cores, up to 19 GPU and up to 32 GB unified memory
· Long battery life: up to 18 hours
· Liquid Retina XDR display features Extreme Dynamic Range 1000 nits brightness sustained full-screen compared to last year’s model with 500 nits brightness
· Finally, an upgrade to the MacBook Pro camera: 1080P (Last year’s model was still at 720P)
· Biometric access for additional security with Touch ID
· Wi-Fi 6E enabled for the fastest Wi-Fi technology available (802.11ax)
· Very light for the amount of power it embodies as well as being an all-aluminum unibody at 3.5 pounds
· Finally, ports have returned to the Macbook Pro with an SDXC card slot, 3 thunderbolt 4 ports, headphone audio jack and HDMI port so you can ditch the port docks.
· Expensive (At the time of publication, it costs $1,999 for the base model)
· Mediocre base storage 512GB SSD
· Color selection is limited: Only two colors which are shades of grey
· If you are looking for more portability of a smaller size like the 13-inch, the upgrades for 2023 (to date) are only for the 14″ and 16″ MacBook Pros.
Product was released on January 24, 2023 so it has not yet been rated.
Dell XPS 13 9310 Touchscreen laptop. (Dell)
· 11th Generation Intel Core i7-1195G7 Processor
· Energy Star certified
· Windows 11 pro
· Advanced Thermal Engineering distributes heat better for better performance
· Biometric locking – fingerprint reader
· Carbon fiber makes it strong but light at 2.8 LBS
· Integrated eyesore display technology reduced glare from blue light
· Includes a microSD reader
· 100% sRGB and 90% DCI P3 color gamut, 500-nit brightness 0.65% anti-reflective coating cuts the glare of a glossy screen.
· Full HD with a very thin bezel, which means for screen “real estate” for the size – touchscreen
· DELL WARRANTY SUPPORT: Including 2 Year On-Site/In-Home and 6 months Dell Migrate. Easily move your files and settings from your old PC to your new Dell.
· 720p at 30 fps HD RGB camera, 400p at 30 fps IR camera, dual-array microphones
· Really small base storage for a power-horse, processing-heavy laptop – 512 GB SSD (1 TB should be starting).
At the time of publishing, this product had 210 global ratings with 71% giving the product 5 stars.
Best for working from home
While you may or may not already have a desktop at home, you might consider a laptop to complement or replace your aging desktop. Or perhaps you are working from home and need the ability to move around your living space to get work done.
Maybe you need a device that has more computing capabilities than a tablet yet less intense than your desktop? Below are some top picks of a balanced laptop for work and play:
2022 Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon Gen 10 laptop. (Lenovo)
· Intel Core i7 is a fast processor
· Good RAM 16 GB installed
· Good Storage 1 TB SSD
· Low blue light display which may ease eye strain
· Narrow bezel means maximizing screen “real estate”
· A lot of ports to connect with peripherals as well as external displays
· Excellent specs for webcam HD 1080P with 90-degree wide-angle option
· Windows 11 Pro installed
· Biometric fingerprint reader to log into the laptop
· Wi-Fi 6 is the fastest Wi-Fi technology.
· Intel is well on to its 11th & 12th gen processors, and this laptop comes with 10th generation i7 core processor.
At the time of publishing, this product had 22 global ratings with 74% giving the product 5 stars.
An HP 17-inch laptop. (HP)
· Big 17.3″ screen is great if this is a desktop replacement or your primary work laptop
· Latest operating system Windows 11 Home
· Good port options:
· USB Type-A is convenient to connect to older technology without using an adapter
· USC Type-C
· Wi-Fi 6 is the fastest Wi-Fi technology
· Fast charge: From 0% to 50% charged in 45 minutes
· Very affordable for a laptop of this size that’s under $700.
· 11th Gen intel core i5 processor is not the latest or fastest available but plenty of power for general office work
· Not much RAM for a computer of this size (8 GB of RAM)
· Not much storage with based 512 GB SSD
· Not the longest battery life of only 8 hours & 45 min on a full charge whereas some other laptops boast 20 hours of battery life on a single full charge.
At the time of publishing, this product had 372 global ratings with 75% giving the product 5 stars.
If you’re still not sure what to look for in a new laptop, you can use our Laptop buying guide. If you’re building a setup for the new year, you might want to also check out our article on the best portable monitors.
Are you thinking about replacing an old laptop or desktop? Is there a model you love that we didn’t cover above? Comment below.
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Kurt “CyberGuy” Knutsson is an award-winning tech journalist who has a deep love of technology, gear and gadgets that make life better with his contributions for Fox News & FOX Business beginning mornings on “FOX & Friends.” Got a tech question? Get Kurt’s CyberGuy Newsletter, share your voice, a story idea or comment at CyberGuy.com.