Best laptops 2024 tested — June top picks

The best laptops are fast enough to handle both 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!

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