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The best laptops of CES 2022

Lenovo ThinkPad Z13 on a table
(Image credit: Future)

CES 2022 is in full swing, and that means we're spending the week watching some of the world's biggest PC makers unveil a boatload of new laptops, including Acer, Dell, HP, Lenovo and Samsung.

2022 is shaping up to be an exciting year for computing enthusiasts, as both Intel and AMD are planning to bring new chips to market that will help laptops achieve new heights of performance and power efficiency: Intel unveiled the first Alder Lake laptop chips (with power to rival Apple M1 Max), while AMD announced its new Ryzen 6000-series mobile CPUs.

These advancements will help laptop makers ship thinner, more powerful laptops, and at CES this week we're getting a sneak peek at some that will be debuting this year. In this article we'll highlight the laptops announced at CES 2022 that we're most excited about, and hopefully that will give you a better idea of what to look forward to in 2022.

Of course, we'll keep updating this list throughout CES 2022 as new laptops are unveiled and we learn more about their capabilities. Stay tuned, and make sure to check out our CES 2022 live blog for all the latest news out of this year's show!

Acer Predator Helios 300

Acer Predator Helios 300 (2022)

(Image credit: Acer)

The Acer Predator Helios 300 stormed CES 2022 with its potent combo of 12th Gen Intel CPUs, up to an Nvidia RTX 3080 GPU and up to 32 GB of RAM. Acer's shipping both 17-inch and 15-inch models of this laptop in 2022, and each is configurable with IPS displays of up to QHD (2,560 x 1,440 pixels) resolution with up to a 165Hz refresh rate.

That means the 2022 Acer Predator Helios 300 will be available in a variety of configurations to suit a range of budgets, and even the cheaper models should have no trouble playing the latest PC games at respectable framerates. A fully tricked-out 2022 Helios 300 should be an absolute beast of a gaming laptop, and we can't wait to get one in for review so we can try it out for ourselves.

Acer Predator Triton 500 SE

Acer Predator Triton 500 SE

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

The Acer Predator Triton 500 SE is an updated version of the Acer Predator Triton 500 we reviewed almost two years ago, and now it's configurable with up to a 12th gen Intel Core i9 processor, an Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 Ti laptop GPU and 32GB of RAM. This is easily one of the most powerful gaming laptops unveiled at CES 2022. 

We're excited to see how the latest games look on the laptop's 16-inch 16:10 (2,560 x 1,660 pixels) display, which can achieve a 240Hz refresh rate with as little as a 3 ms response time. Plus, the laptop has a triple-fan system to keep things cool, and Acer’s Vortex Flow technology should help redirect the airflow those fans generate to critical components. Strategically-placed thermal foam, liquid-metal thermal grease on the CPU and four heat pipes also improve cooling, and we can't wait to get one in for ourselves so we can see how cool it stays under pressure.

 Alienware m17 R5 Ryzen Edition 

Alienware m17 R5 Ryzen Edition

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

The Alienware m17 R5 Ryzen is no slouch when it comes to delivering raw power. It’s clear that Alienware went all out with this 17-inch gaming machine, and the fact that you can configure it with the latest AMD CPUs and either an AMD Radeon RX 6000-series or Nvidia GeForce RTX 30-series GPU makes this one of the beefiest gaming laptops yet unveiled at CES 2022.

In our Alienware m17 R5 Ryzen Edition hands-on we were especially impressed by the m17 R5's eye-catching design and large 17.3-inch screen, though since it weighs over 7 pounds it seems like a gaming laptop best kept firmly planted on a desk.

 Alienware x14 

Alienware x14 display

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

While the Alienware m17 R5 Ryzen Edition is all about power and performance, the Alienware x14 focuses on portability as its the thinnest Alienware ever. Sure, a starting price of $1,799 still stings, but it’s not wildly expensive for a 14-inch gaming laptop. 

Given its slick design, crisp 14-inch display, 12th Gen Intel CPUs and RTX 30-series GPUs, this is an ideal rig for folks looking to get into laptop gaming or who want a machine that won’t completely obliterate their bank accounts. In our Alienware x14 hands-on review we were impressed by its slick design and vibrant screen, though we'll have to wait until after CES 2022 to get one in for testing and perform an in-depth review. 

Asus ROG Flow Z13

Asus ROG Flow Z13 on pastel background

(Image credit: Asus)

The Asus ROG Flow Z13 is a follow-up to the ROG Flow X13 gaming laptop/tablet hybrid Asus unveiled at CES 2021 last year, and it looks like the company has made some smart changes to help better deliver gaming laptop power in a thin, light and versatile design. 

The ROG Flow Z13 will ship in 2022 with Windows 11 and the latest Intel 12th Gen CPUs, along with up to an Nvidia RTX 3050 Ti graphics card, 16GB of LPDDR5 RAM and up to a 1TB SSD. Its 13.4-inch 16:10 touchscreen can be configured as either a FHD (1,920 x 1,200 pixels) 120Hz screen or a 4K (3,840 x 2,400) 60Hz display, and it doubles as a gaming tablet when detached from the keyboard. You can pop out the built-in kickstand and wirelessly pair a gamepad to it for some Nintendo Switch-like tablet gaming action on the go or reconnect it to the keyboard and hook up Asus’ ROG XG Mobile eGPU enclosure (sold separately) to access the extra power of an external GPU (up to an Nvidia RTX 3080 or AMD Radeon RX 6850M XT) in gaming laptop mode. 

Asus has yet to announce a price or release date for the Z13, but it will likely cost at least as much as last year’s X13, which had a starting price of $1,499 but could easily cost over $3k if you also bought the XG Mobile eGPU kit with a beefy Nvidia GPU inside. 

Asus Zenbook 17 Fold OLED

Asus Zenbook 17 promo image

(Image credit: Asus)

Probably the most innovative device on this list, the Asus Zenbook 17 Fold OLED is more than just a laptop. The clue to this device's versatility is its name, in that the 17-inch OLED display is foldable. This means it can be folded in a laptop-like mode, folded flat like a large tablet or propped up by a stand in a form of 4:3 aspect ratio portrait mode so that it can be used with a Bluetooth keyboard as a mini all-in-one PC. 

But despite its folding prowess, the Zenbook 17 Fold features solid specs, from a 12-gen Core i7 U-series processor to 16GB of RAM and a 1TB SSD. There's no pricing for the Zenbook 17 Fold, but don't expect it to be cheap when it arrives in the second quarter of 2022. Nevertheless, this laptop shows we're entering a new era of foldable devices that have grown beyond the best foldable phones

 HP Elite Dragonfly G3 

HP Elite Dragonfly G3

(Image credit: HP)

The HP Elite Dragonfly G3 looks like it could be the perfect laptop for those who want to be more productive in the brave new hybrid work world we now live in. With the latest 12th Gen Intel CPUs it should have plenty of power to tackle your to-do- list, and its 13.5-inch Full HD (1920 x 1080) display with a 3:2 aspect ratio should be more than good enough to get you through reading emails and knocking out spreadsheets. If you want something nicer, you can upgrade the Dragonfly G3 to an OLED touchscreen display for better image quality.

Other standout features include Dynamic Voice Leveling that optimizes voice clarity, AI-based background noise reduction, Auto Frame face tracking that keeps you in-frame and AI-driven power management. For these reasons and more the HP Elite Dragonfly G3 may be the ultimate hybrid work laptop, one we're excited to check out for ourselves.

Lenovo ThinkBook Plus Gen 3

Lenovo ThinkBook Plus Gen 3 front

(Image credit: Future)

The ThinkBook Plus Gen 3 is a serious contender for the most innovative laptop unveiled at CES 2022 thanks to its eye-catching ultrawide 17.3-inch display, complemented by the smaller 8-inch touchscreen built into the keyboard.

When we went hands-on with the Lenovo ThinkBook Plus Gen 3 during CES, we were impressed by how well the dual screens are integrated into its thin-and-light design. With cutting-edge 12th gen Intel Core H-Series CPUs, up to 32GB of RAM and up to a 1TB SSD for storage, the Plus Gen 3 looks good enough to compete for a spot among the best laptops on the market. 

We'll find out in May 2022, when the Plus Gen 3 is slated to go on sale in the U.S. for a starting price of $1,399. We can't wait to see how the small LCD touchscreen (1280 x 800 pixels) pairs with the ultrawide 3K, 120Hz main display (3072 x 1440 pixels, 21:10) — and whether it truly makes this a great laptop for creators.

Lenovo ThinkPad Z13

Lenovo ThinkPad Z13 on a table

(Image credit: Future)

The Lenovo ThinkPad Z13 is one of the first laptops in Lenovo's new Z-series of ThinkPads, and it sports a slick redesign that gives it a striking new look. The bezels around the 13.3-inch screen have been thinned (Lenovo claims the Z13 has a screen-to-body ratio of 91.6%) to help the display pop, and it should look pretty great if you're willing to spring for the upgrade to OLED. There's also new Communications Bar embedded in the center of the top bezel extends out beyond the top edge of the laptop, housing the IR webcam and giving the Z13 an idiosyncratic style.

But the most striking aspect of the Z13's design is its optional black vegan leather trim, which Lenovo pairs with a Bronze chassis hue. It's a real love-it-or-hate-it feature, and we're looking forward to checking one out for ourselves in greater detail.

Lenovo ThinkPad Z13 and ThinkPad Z16 on a pastel background

(Image credit: Lenovo)

Oh, and with the latest AMD Ryzen 7 PRO U-Series CPUs the Z13 should have plenty of power for just about any business case. And if you want more power, Lenovo also unveiled a larger 16-inch ThinkPad Z16 that will be configurable with beefier AMD CPUs and an optional discrete Radeon GPU for gaming. Unfortunately, the Z16 doesn't come in a leather trim option (yet).

 Razer Blade 15 (2022)

Razer Blade 15 (2022) opened up

(Image credit: Razer)

The new Razer Blade 15 boasts an RTX 3080 Ti GPU and 4K display, making for a pretty solid refresh of this steadfast gaming laptop. With 12th Gen Intel CPUs and the latest RTX 30-series laptop GPUs, the 2022 Blade 15 should make games look and run at their best. 

While there aren't any standout new features on the 2022 model, this is still a pretty exciting laptop to see at CES. We’re fans of the Razer Blade 15 because it delivers impressive gaming performance in a remarkably thin package (though you'll pay for the privilege), and the 2022 Blade 15 looks like it will be the best model yet.

Alex Wawro is a lifelong tech and games enthusiast with more than a decade of experience covering both for outlets like Game Developer, Black Hat, and PC World magazine. He currently serves as a senior editor at Tom's Guide covering all things computing, from laptops and desktops to keyboards and mice.