The best laptops of 2023

Whether you're a gamer, student, video editor, or need to work on the go, we've found the best laptops of the year.

A person using one of the best laptops

by Ryan Houghton |
Updated on

It seems a long time since we've seen a range of high-spec and affordable laptops blow our expectations out of the water - that is, until recently. So far this has been a fantastic year for some of the best laptops to hit the market. Gamers, editors, and casual users alike are spoiled for choice; thanks to more top-tier tech making its way into ever-leaner laptop cases than before.

Yes, technology gets more powerful over time, but it's only recently that we've found next-gen tech at sensible prices. As you'd expect, there's a wide choice when it comes to budget and capabilities, with plenty of great laptop deals too. No two laptops are made alike and much will depend on your budget. So, what's the best place to start when choosing from the best laptops out there?

Best laptops of 2023 at a glance:

Best overall laptop - ASUS TUF A15 FA507NV 15.6” Gaming Laptop - View at Amazon
Best budget laptop - Acer Aspire 5 A515-57 15.6 Inch Laptop - View at Very
Best office laptop -  2022 Apple MacBook Air laptop with M2 chip - View at Amazon
Best gaming laptop - ASUS ROG Strix G16 G614JZ Gaming Laptop - View at Amazon

Shop the best laptop deals on: Amazon | John Lewis | Currys | AO | Laptops Direct

Thankfully, that's where our experts come in. We've gathered the best laptops to suit all kinds of users and budgets. So, whether you're an avid gamer, need a laptop for video editing, or just looking to get office work done, we have you covered. Plus, we've answered some of your frequent questions and put together a buyer's guide at the end of the article to help you choose.

We think the best laptops have a perfect balance of pricing, features and build quality. And that goes for budget models too - even the best laptop under £400 can be a solid choice for many. And yes, while others are admittedly pricey, sometimes you need that extra power and future-proofing that only a high-end laptop can deliver. So, let's push those old and weighty slabs of silicone aside and get shopping for the best laptops that can deliver the speed, performance and cool features you've been looking for.

Best overall laptop of 2023

ASUS TUF A15 FA507NV 15.6” Full HD 144Hz Gaming Laptop 
Price: £952.57

Tough and durable, with an aesthetic that is timeless and effortlessly striking, the ASUS TUF A15 is the perfect laptop for those in need of serious power. With no end to the amount of beefed-up hardware, there is under the hood, the A15 is equipped with a phenomenal NVIDIA RTX 4060 GPU, a monster of a graphics card for such a reasonably sized laptop.

Alongside this powerhouse of a GPU, there's also AMD's Ryzen R7-7735HS - a sensational CPU that holds no brakes when it comes to instantaneous multitasking. There's also a solid amount of RAM onboard, so struggling with larger next-generation games will undoubtedly be a thing of the past.

As for the laptop screen itself, the ASUS TUF A15's full-HD screen runs at a staggering 144Hz, giving players exceptional smoothness and control precision compared to a standard 60Hz laptop. With this gaming grunt, there's close to nothing that can be thrown at the A15 that it can't handle - from heavy editing software to the latest next-generation games, it's just that good.

Pros

  • Extremely powerful hardware
  • Gorgeous design
  • Military-grade durability

Cons

  • Lower battery life

Best budget laptop

Acer has an incredible range of budget office laptops, and the Acer Aspire 5 is no exception. For a shade less than £700, such a high-quality laptop simply shouldn't exist. From the metal chassis, the thin body, and the big beautiful 15.6" full-HD display, the Acer Aspire 5 is a bargain through and through. It's also improved on the previous version by doubling the RAM from 8GB to a more formidable 16GB. The Intel processor is also a more advanced version.

Storage-wise, you have a 512 GB SSD - excellent for booting Windows at lightning speed and for loading a few apps, but ideally, you'll need to invest in an external drive for storing lots of work or media. All-in-all, this is a fantastic deal on a great laptop that you will truly struggle to beat and is perfect for the office, for university, and for personal use, just don't expect to get much gaming use out of it. After all, in the battle of Laptop VS PC for gaming we all know a huge gaming rig is the way to go, but the Acer Aspire will handle casual light gaming just fine.

Pros

  • Great build quality with aluminium chassis
  • Solid performance thanks to a generous 16 GB of RAM
  • SSD for fast and reliable booting, storage and overall performance

Cons

  • Numeric keypad is a little cramped

Best office laptop

SAVE BIG

Love it or hate it, you cannot deny that Apple has style. This year's Apple MacBook Air, however, brings both the incredibly slick aesthetics and gorgeous ergonomic feel of the MacBook Air alongside some of the best performance from Mac computers yet.

Equipped with the latest and greatest Apple M2 chip with 50% more memory bandwidth than their M1 chip, alongside an 18% faster CPU and a 35% more powerful GPU - the M2 is a major performance leap from the previous MacBook generation and opens up a whole world of opportunity for Mac users looking to access some highly demanding programs such as editing software or even gaming.

Everything about 2022's MacBook Air seems to have been designed with the optimal user experience in mind, from its razor-thin 1.24 kg build design that belongs in a sci-fi film to the mind-blowing 500-nits 2560 x 1600p liquid retina display - which is far and beyond the best Mac display yet.

Then there's the battery life, which is downright unbeatable at 18 hours - so forget worrying about running out of charge during meetings or while hitting up your favourite cafe.

The 2022 MacBook Air may not be the most powerful laptop available. Yet, a combination of the ever-brilliant macOS, its incredibly lightweight build at 1.24 kg, and its stunning metal chassis makes it one of the most pleasant laptops to use, especially during those long office hours where comfortability and speed are paramount.

Pros

  • Gorgeous build quality
  • Fantastic macOS
  • Incredibly light

Cons

  • Low RAM
  • Small storage

Best gaming laptop

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ASUS ROG Strix G16 G614JZ 16.0 WUXGA 165Hz Gaming Laptop
Price: £1802.49 (was £2249.99)

For absolute gaming domination with the convenience of on-the-go portability, the ASUS ROG Strix G16 is one of the most powerful gaming laptops of the year so far. With no holds barred when it comes to sheer hardware - an Earth-shattering NVIDIA 4090 GPU, a 12th generation Intel i7 CPU and a chunky 1TB of SSD storage, the ASUS G16 is certainly a favourite of ours this year.

And then, there's the Republic of Gamers' aesthetic that the G16 wholeheartedly celebrates - a gunmetal colour coating, ultra-thin bezels and an ultra-wide display as an added bonus, ASUS's G16 not only performs well, it plays the part too.

As for portability, while the battery life of ASUS's ROG Strix G16 is fantastic at 8 hours, the sheer size of the laptop draws back from its ability to be taken from place to place, so you'll need a pretty sizeable backpack for any sort of on-the-go gaming.

Pros

  • One of the most powerful gaming laptops on the market
  • Terrific design
  • Solid battery life

Cons

  • A heavier laptop isn't great for those in need of portability

Best laptop under £500

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ASUS Vivobook 15 X515EA 15.6 Full HD Laptop
Price: £360 (was £479.99)

Practical, easy to set up and perfect for quick note-taking, the ASUS Vivobook is the embodiment of a great value laptop at less than £500.

Beautifully designed, practical and balanced with an incredibly solid 11th-generation Intel CPU and 500GB SSD, performance is great for office tasks, quick browsing and potentially some light gaming - students, this may be the laptop for you.

Of course, there are some setbacks - its lower 8GB of RAM certainly has its limitations, that being said - as one of the best laptop deals of the year, we can't deny it's a steal.

Pros

  • Incredible value
  • Lightweight
  • Excellent functional laptop

Cons

  • Low RAM

Best video editing laptop

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HP OMEN Gaming Laptop 17 - one of the best laptops
Price: £1838.99 (was £1999)

When handling tonnes of raw footage and intensive programs such as Adobe Premiere Pro, you'll need as much RAM you can get, and for our money, HP's OMEN Gaming Laptop 17-ck2000na delivers more than enough for your editing needs. Yes, it's marketed as a gaming laptop, but it's exactly those specs that make it a super-powered beast for editors. Stacked with a gargantuan 16 GB of RAM, a fantastic i7 CPU, and the icing on the cake - a 1TB internal SSD. Perfect for storing loads of footage and those heavyweight editing apps.

The keyboard also really shines here, as it's a full-size one with per-key RGB backlighting - and NKRO Anti-Ghosting Key technology for gaming accuracy.

From its slick aluminium chassis, its beautifully thin design, and the superspeed USB Type-A ports, the HP OMEN is designed for pure performance. The only area that you'll find slightly lacking is the battery life - but that's more than acceptable when you look at the power needed for the serious performance it can muster.

Pros

  • Solid 16 GB RAM
  • Stunning QHD display
  • Lovely 1TB SSD
  • Dedicated graphics card

Cons

  • Low-ish battery life, but understood given the spec

Best budget video editing laptop

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 ASUS ZenBook Duo UX482EAR 14-inch Full HD Touchscreen Laptop - one of the best laptops
Price: £799.99 (was £899.99)

Certainly one of the most unique laptops we've encountered to date, the ASUS ZenBook Duo is equipped with an array of next-generation tech that'll blow your mind. It's not the solid 16 GB of RAM, the 512 GB of SSD storage, or the full-HD display that doesn't excite us, rather, it's the show-stopping screen pad that's caught our eye.

The ZenBook Duo's excellent screen pad is undeniably eye-catching but is more than mere flash - it's compatible with tons of editing programs, whether it's Adobe Premiere Pro, Photoshop, and more - giving you touchscreen controls for true hands-on control over your passion projects.

Say goodbye to a squashed screen made smaller by an array of dials and simply move them to the screen pad where you've got some proper control.

Our issues with the ASUS ZenBook Duo arise only when looking at the storage, which may fill up fairly quickly after you've transferred heaps of raw footage over for editing, along with your arsenal of programs that tend to be fairly large.

Pros

  • Incredible touchscreen
  • Great value
  • Lightweight

Cons

  • Small storage
  • Generic integrated graphics card

Best laptop for students

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2020 Apple MacBook Air Laptop: Apple M1 Chip - one of the best laptops
Price: £799 (save £150)

www.currys.co.uk

Despite being a couple of years old at this point, Apple's 2020 MacBook Air remains as brilliant as ever and is the perfect addition to any student's tech arsenal. So, you're heading to classes, going between cafes and libraries, heading to your mate's house – the last thing you want is to have a huge, heavy laptop that'll barely fit in your backpack alongside books and snacks – and that's precisely why the MacBook Air is such a heavenly laptop for students.

At 13.5" and weighing 1.2 kg, the MacBook Air is the epitome of lightweight – it's perfect for any backpack and isn't going to become burdensome throughout a long day of studying.

We all know Apple loves their lightweight, minimalistic design ethos, but how does it run? Despite having a mere 8 GB of RAM, the MacBook Air runs impeccably, with little-to-no startup bloat and excellent multitasking performance, and it's all thanks to their M1 chip.

Apple's M1 chip is a combination of both an 8-core CPU and a 7-core GPU, alongside a 16-core Neural Engine that makes the 2020 MacBook Air one of the most efficient computers ever made, so regardless of what you're doing, gaming, streaming, editing, or simply writing up your latest essay, you can firmly rely on the MacBook Air.

One of the most remarkable features of the MacBook Air is the astonishing lack of system fans onboard. Apple's M1 chip runs so efficiently that its advanced thermal sink design allows the MacBook Air to remain perfectly cool even under some seriously heavy stress.

Pros

  • Fantastic minimalist design
  • Incredibly rapid performance
  • Incredible screen resolution

Cons

  • Low RAM

Best budget laptop for students

MSI Modern 15 Inch FHD Laptop - one of the best laptops
Price: £649

For students who aren't looking to break the bank to get some work done, this year's MSI Modern 15 has all the power you'll ever need to crush your assignments on the go.

Despite being on the larger side at 15.6", the MSI Modern 15 will fit comfortably in most backpacks and is only 1.7 kg, so it's perfect for the bustling morning commute.

While the MSI Modern 15 is certainly light for its size, it certainly isn't flimsy – in fact, it meets the impeccable standard of military-grade durability, so the occasional awkward backpack tumble isn't going to send shivers down your spine.

The laptop has a wonderfully understated aluminium chassis alongside a decent snappy membrane keyboard with some great precision. The MSI Modern 15's full-HD screen does the job perfectly well – and while you're probably not going to be astounded by the screen quality, it'll certainly look sharp enough for comfortable use.

Then there's the CPU – a brand new 12th generation i5-1235U which delivers some impeccable performance and props up the weaker RAM capabilities. Alongside the great CPU is some great SSD storage at 512 GB – giving you more than enough room for even some projects on the larger side.

Of course, for less than £1,000, there are going to be sacrifices – you've got a fairly generic yet solid Iris Xe integrated graphics card which works well enough for studying and office work, just don't expect to play the latest PC games with it.

When all's said and done, the MSI Modern 15 is a great deal, with some seriously impressive performance and build quality for what is a fraction of the cost of some higher-end laptops on the market**.**

Pros

  • Incredible 12th gen Intel CPU
  • Excellent build quality
  • Unbeatable value

Cons

  • Low RAM

Best 2-in-1 laptop

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If you're struggling to decide whether you'd like a laptop or a tablet, then why not settle for both? HP's 2-in-1 Spectre laptop combines the convenience of a tablet with the power and versatility of a laptop all in one wonderfully designed laptop.

Sporting a 3,000 x 2,000 p 13.5" touchscreen display, videos and pictures are, needless to say, vivid and beautiful - making it a perfect laptop for some digital drawing, along with some serious photo editing.

With Intel's Evo platform and an 11th gen Intel Core i7, you can get stuck into work instantly, with startup taking less than one second. Just, wow. For rapid performance, gorgeous screen resolution, and plenty of space for storage, you cannot go wrong with the HP Spectre.

Pros

  • Fantastically versatile
  • Great screen resolution
  • Perfect for the office

Cons

  • The keyboard isn't very appealing

Best laptops of 2023: Buyer's guide

Consider your needs carefully

Having a smartphone is all well and good, but when you need to get work done (or immerse yourself in the latest games) you're going to need more power.

And while you may be tempted to pick up a hugely expensive gaming PC, it's often cheaper and more convenient to invest your cash into an all-in-one package deal: the humble laptop.

That said, laptops can be hugely expensive and unnecessary if you're not going to use all of the features. So, take your time thinking about it and maybe wait for a big sale.

Lastly, pay careful attention to battery life. If you're spending a lot of time away from a mains socket, make sure that the laptop you're interested in can deliver the power you need.

Apple versus Windows

A hotly debated issue amongst tech enthusiasts - is Apple's rather simple yet easy-to-use macOS or good old Windows the best?

There are pros and cons to both operating systems. But, if you're going to be gaming and/or using a lot of programs and tools, a Windows computer generally has much better software support.

But, if you're looking to get some work done, be creative or simply stream some videos, macOS is delightfully quick. It's slick and isn't bogged down with a plague of built-in bloatware. Plus, they tend to hold their performance for a much longer period than Windows.

Laptop versus desktop

This depends entirely on what exactly you're aiming to do with your brand-spanking new device. While a standard laptop can easily handle office work, streaming, and light editing; you'll find that tasks that demand heavier performance ultimately won't work - not unless you get yourself something a little beefier.

Gaming PCs are the epitome of gaming tech. A high-end gaming PC surpasses any laptop or console on the market at the cost of a small fortune, however. To match such performance on a laptop, you'd have to spend considerably more to compete with a top-tier PC - quite a price for convenience.

For our money, if it's simple tasks like office work, streaming and fairly simplistic gaming, we'd go for a laptop. But if it's serious gaming you're after, with high frame rates and all the frills, there's no better choice than a proper gaming PC.

Unlike a laptop, you also have the choice of building your very own gaming PC from scratch. This can be daunting initially, but it's worth it. You can be sure to buy the very best components for your budget and save on build costs.

Laptop versus tablet

Some office-goers have recently been switching over to tablets for their simple convenience. They're light, easy to use, and a touchscreen keyboard certainly has its benefits, but are they better than laptops?

We'd rather stick to our laptops, but why? Well, firstly, a laptop has a much wider library of access to programs that are useful if working or gaming.

Then there's battery life. Laptops generally have much better battery life than their tablet counterparts (but of course, this varies widely).

However, if you're not looking to work or game. but want to catch up on Netflix, a tablet is a much cheaper option. They're also a lighter, and easier-to-use option for your money.

GETTING OUT AND ABOUT WITH YOUR LAPTOP IS ONLY AS GOOD AS YOUR BATTERY LIFE © GETTY IMAGES

Best laptops of 2023: FAQs

Which brand of laptop is best?

As with most tech and gadgetry, this is really subjective. We always go for well-established and well-reviewed brands, such as HP, Samsung, Dell and Apple. But, that's not to say that some of the up-and-coming brands like Huawei can't also tick the same boxes when it comes to quality and can often cost a little less.

Do I need a laptop if I have an iPad?

As we mentioned above, there are pros and cons when it comes to comparing laptops with tablets. Really, this all comes down to how you plan to use it. If you're mainly taking notes, keeping tabs on schedules and browsing there's no reason why an iPad won't do. The higher-spec models are extremely capable too, with additions like larger screens and Apple Pencil for creativity and more. But, once you've spent the equivalent of a very good laptop on an iPad you're stuck in the Apple ecosystem. That means that if you rely on Windows applications or specialist apps they may not run on an iPad. And if it's very processor-intensive work, like video editing, it's likely you'll find the tablet experience limiting.

Do laptops come with MS Office?

Older Windows laptops came with a trial version of Microsoft Office, but now things have moved to the Cloud. Microsoft offers most of its products online via its 365 service. If your laptop doesn't come with it, you can get a great deal on Microsoft 365. Right now it comes with free antivirus too.

Best laptops of 2023: Jargon explained

HDD

HDD or Hard Disk Drive is a rather old-fashioned yet still widely used method of data storage used in a wide array of tech - it uses an arm to mechanically read and write data.

SSD

SSD stands for Solid State Drive, and uses flash memory, much like you'd find in a USB stick or microSD card.

RAM

RAM is short for Random Access Memory and acts as a computer's short-term memory, storing temporary data files that are in constant use.

GPU

GPUs are Graphical Processing Units that handle the rendering of images on your computer screen

Clock speed

Clock speed is the measurement of a component or computer's operating speed, measured in cycles per second, or megahertz.

Resolution

Resolution is the measurement of pixels on your screen, the higher the pixel count, the greater the resolution of your screen.

Screen ratio

Screen ratio is simply the proportion of height and width on your screen - your standard 24" monitor, for example, typically has a ratio of 16:9.

Ryan Houghton is a commercial content writer for What’s The Best with a knack for gaming, smartphone, audio and television technology. When Ryan isn’t writing hands-on reviews of the latest smart technology, he fills his spare time reading fantasy novels or losing himself in the latest RPGs, preferably with an ale in hand.

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