Best laptops in 2022: 12 best laptops for all budgets

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Grab the best laptops at the best prices for your budget in our expert guide with lab-tested laptops.

In the modern world, a laptop that suits your needs is extremely important. However, whether you’re in need of a productivity machine or prefer to game on the go, finding the best laptops for your needs can be tricky. That’s why we’re here to help.

Without further ado, here are the best laptops money can buy in 2022.

Best laptop overall: Apple MacBook Pro

Apple MacBook Pro

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Pros

  • Great design
  • Excellent performance
  • Solid port selection

Why we picked it

The new MacBook Pro takes the best things about previous-generations MacBooks, and includes them all in one laptop. The laptop feels a little like Apple’s apology — it returns to a slightly thicker build, brings a good port selection back, and offers a great keyboard.

Perhaps the best thing about the laptop, however, has to do with the fact that it offers Apple Silicon. There are options for either the already-great Apple M1 Pro, or the even better Apple M1 Max. Both chips offer great performance, but the M1 Pro offers slightly better battery life, while the M1 Max offers better performance. You’ll have to decide for yourself which is right for you. Regardless, the long battery life is worth it too.

What to note about it

So what are the downsides to the MacBook Pro? Well, there aren’t many — but perhaps the main one is that it’s still a little pricey, especially if you want to upgrade to higher-end chips and more RAM. There’s also the fact that it has a notch at the top of the display, however, you’ll barely notice it at first, and within an hour of using the laptop, you’ll forget about it altogether. And neither of those two things can take away from the fact that, in our opinion, the MacBook Pro is the best laptop you can get right now.

Best portable Apple laptop: 2022 Apple MacBook Air

Apple MacBook Air

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2022 MacBook Air Main

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Pros

  • Great design
  • Excellent performance
  • Good display and webcam
  • Solid speakers
  • Great keyboard and trackpad

Cons

  • More expensive than previous years

Why we picked it

If you simply want a high-quality laptop that can get the job done for 99% of people, the Apple MacBook Air is the way to go. With the new design this time around, Apple breathed new life into one of the best laptops, the Apple MacBook Air.

The edge shape is gone yet it’s still super thin and easy to bring with you where you go. This design is more like the MacBook Pro with less thick edges. The keyboard and touchpad are excellent as Apple remains the best in the business in those aspects. You can still opt for the M1 chip that radically changed how the MacBook Air performed in its previous iteration. But now the M2 chip is available for this MacBook Air which, according to Apple, offers an 18% faster CPU and 35% faster GPU. The MacBook Air M2 2022 moves as fast as you need it to.

Not only is the laptop able to handle more than ever before, but it also has an amazing battery life. In fact, the vast majority of users will be able to get away without charging their MacBook Air throughout the entire day.

Under the hood, apart from the M2 chip, the MacBook Air base model gives you an 8-core CPU and 8-core GPU, but you can upgrade to get a 10-core GPU if you want more in the graphics department. The base model also has 8GB of RAM, but you can upgrade to up to 24GB.

What to note about it

The MacBook Air is a great machine, but it’s not perfect. Notably, the laptop only has two Thunderbolt ports, which may not be enough for many users. And, while it’s not overly expensive, it’s still not cheap. It is $200 more than the M1 MacBook Air.

Best Windows laptop: Dell XPS 13 Plus

Dell XPS 13 Plus

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Dell XPS 13 Plus Main

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Pros

  • Portable
  • Powerful
  • Great display
  • Great keyboard
  • Excellent design

Cons

  • Short battery life
  • Webcam could be better

Why we picked it

The Dell XPS 13 has long been one of the best laptops out there, and the XPS 13 Plus is even better. The laptop boasts excellent performance and a powerful one to boot. It takes care of demanding tasks without much issue. The design is particularly notable, as it is minimalistic in nature. There aren’t many ports and the touchpad is embedded in the computer.

The display is stunning and there are different options for you to pick from. The entry-level model offers a 1,920 x 1,200 non-touch display, a 1,920 x 1,200 touch display, a 3,456 x 2,160 OLED touch display, and a 3,840 x 2,400 touch display. It boasts amazing color accuracy. The touchpad and keyboard are completely different compared to different versions.

The base model of the laptop comes with an Intel Core i5-1240P, which will probably perform well enough for most. Other options include an Intel Core i7-1260P and an Intel Core i7-1280P. You can get 8GB, 16, or 32GB of RAM too if wanted for your Windows laptop.

What to note about it

So what are the downsides? Well, the main one is that it’s expensive, especially if you upgrade the specs on offer. It only has two ports and gives you a USB-C to USB-A adapter and a USB-C to headphone jack adapter that you need to keep track of.

It does not have a long battery life, as the battery life is shorter than you’d prefer for a Windows laptop that costs this much. Regardless, this is one of the best Windows laptops.

Best gaming laptop: Razer Blade 15 Advanced

Razer Blade 15 Advanced

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Pros

  • Fast
  • Great design
  • Great keyboard and trackpad
  • Stunning display

Why we picked it

If you’re a gamer, it can be a struggle to find the best gaming laptop. There are gaming laptops with desktop-like performance, but they tend to be overly chunky and expensive. The Razer Blade 15 Advanced offers a great compromise between portability and performance. Note, there are two Razer Blade 15 models — the Razer Blade 15 Base and Razer Blade 15 Advanced. They both come in a range of configurations.

The base model of the Razer Blade 15 comes with an Intel Core i7-11800H processor, with 16GB of RAM, 512GB of storage, and an Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 graphics card. Impressive. The Advanced model can offer even more advanced specs such as NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080 a graphics card for a more impressive look at your game. It also comes with 32GB of RAM and 1TB of SSD storage.

On the Base model, you’ll get three USB-A 3.2 Gen 2 ports, one Thunderbolt 3 port, one USB-C 3.2 Gen 2 port, one HDMI 2.1 port, and one Ethernet port. That should be more than enough ports for most users. The 15.6-inch display makes this one of the best gaming laptops.

What to note about it

So what are the issues with this laptop? Well, it’s not cheap, even when you buy the base model. That said, considering its excellent performance, it will be worth the cash for those that can afford it. It’s not a particularly light laptop and could have longer battery life.

Best budget gaming laptop: Dell G15 Gaming Laptop

Dell G15 Gaming Laptop

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Dell G15 Gaming Laptop

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Pros

  • Great performance
  • Good battery life
  • Great sound

Why we picked it

Not everyone has the cash to spend on the Razer Blade 15. Thankfully, if you want a great gaming laptop, you don’t have to spend a ton to get quality. The Dell G15 gaming laptop offers excellent performance and plenty of features for the money. If you’re looking for one of the best laptop deals, this is a good bet. This is a powerful gaming laptop.

The base model of the Dell G15 comes with an Intel Core i5-11400H processor, coupled with 8GB of RAM, 256GB of solid-state storage, and an NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3050 graphics card. It can, however, be upgraded to offer up to an Intel Core i7-11800H, with 16GB of RAM, 512GB of storage, and an NVIDIA RTX 3060 graphics card. Of course, you’ll pay to upgrade the machine. There are multiple other versions of the Dell G15 that advance the laptop.

The laptop has other things going for it too. It may be a little chunky, but you’ll get a decent port selection around the edges and on the back. It’s also got a nice, sleek black look.

What to note about it

So what are the downsides to the Dell G15 gaming laptop? Well, as mentioned, it’s not the lightest machine. Also, while it’s cheaper than the likes of the Razer Blade 15, it’s still not the cheapest laptop out there. That said, if you’re a gamer, you will need the performance on offer by the G15. It is a more affordable laptop though.

Best laptop for college: HP Envy x360 13t

HP Envy x360 13t

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Pros

  • Sleek and portable
  • Relatively powerful

Cons

  • Glossy display is reflective

Looking for a decent, portable laptop for college that doesn’t cost as much as the MacBook Air or Dell XPS 13? The HP Envy x360 13t is a great option. The laptop isn’t cheap, but it’s also not overly expensive and offers almost everything an average college student would need.

The base model of the HP Envy x360 13t comes with an Intel Core i5 processor, coupled with 16GB of RAM and 256GB of storage. That should be more than enough for the vast majority of users, including those who need to access web apps, edit documents, and so on. But you can also customize it if you want better processing or more storage, as the Intel Core i7 processor is available.

This Windows laptop isn’t very expensive either. At the time of this writing, the base model came at $939.99, which isn’t bad at all. It’s also perfectly suited to light gaming and plenty great for web browsing.

What to note about it

But what about the downsides? Well, the Envy x360 13t’s display isn’t the best out there, though it’s also not bad. And, you can’t upgrade the memory — so make sure to get as much RAM as you’ll need when you buy. Still, if you can look past those things, the HP Envy x360 13t is a great option.

Best cheap laptop: Acer Aspire 5

Acer Aspire 5

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Acer Aspire 5 Laptop

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Pros

  • Inexpensive
  • Lots of ports
  • Big display
  • Amazon Alexa enabled

If you want a solid laptop that comes at the lowest price possible, then the Acer Aspire 5 is probably the laptop to go for. There are models as low as $332 on sale right now, and you’ll still get a decently high-quality device.

The base model of the laptop, the Acer Aspire 5 (A515-56-36UT), comes with an Intel Core i3 processor, coupled with 4GB of RAM and 128GB of storage. There are tons of configurations and options for the laptop, and if you can afford it we definitely recommend upgrading the processor and RAM.

Around the edges of the laptop, there should be enough ports for most users. You’ll get a HDMI port, a USB 2.0 port, two USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-A ports, and a USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-C port. More USB-C ports might have been nice, though most will still be perfectly happy with what’s on offer here. Also, the laptop comes with Windows 11 Home in S Mode.

What to note about it

As you might expect from a lower-cost laptop, there are some compromises here. Notably, the laptop is still lower-performing, and as a result, it’s not for those that need extra oomph. That said, it should still easily handle things like web browsing, word processing, and basic tasks like that. It’s a bit scaled back, but you can upgrade it.

Best big screen laptop: Dell XPS 17

Dell XPS 17

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Dell XPS 17

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Pros

  • Big display
  • Great for creative apps
  • Immersive sound

Why we picked it

This utilizes more of the great XPS lineup of Dell laptops. The exterior is built from aluminum and it looks and feels great. On the inside, you’ll get a carbon fiber palm rest and black finish all around. The look matches the feeling of quality.

There are four Thunderbolt 4 ports and an SD card slot. There is also a USB-A to HDMI adapter. It doesn’t weigh a lot for being 17″ in size. This has a 16:10 4-sided InfinityEdge display to give you the edge-to-edge view you want. The fingerprint sensor may take some getting used to if you haven’t utilized it before.

There are multiple configurations you can pick from, including one with an Intel Core i5 processor. But the better option is the Intel Core i7 processor with a NVIDIA RTX graphics card. The 16GB of RAM and 1TB of SSD storage is built for a lot of use.

What to note about it

If you’re looking for a touchscreen laptop, this isn’t it. The battery life could be longer as well. But if you want a big display, this is a good bet.

More laptops to consider

There are plenty more options to consider when you’re trying to find the best laptops you can buy. We’ve also loved these.

Best Chromebook: Acer Chromebook Spin 713

If you prefer to use a Chromebook, get this Acer Chromebook Spin 713. This is one of the best laptops as it has a touchscreen display and eMMC flash memory to go along with 4GB of DDR4 memory, meaning you’ll be set up for success. This is also a best budget laptop pick for you.

Acer Chromebook Spin 713: Intel Core i3-10110U, 4GB DDR4, 64GB eMMC, 13.5″ 2K VertiView Touchsc… Price: Buy Now Available from Amazon, BGR may receive a commission

Best 2-in-1 laptop for work: Microsoft Surface Pro 8

You may think you want an Apple MacBook Air, but a 2-in-1 can be much more functional than a regular laptop. For those who want to have a computer that is more or less a tablet that you can attach a keyboard to, the Microsoft Surface Pro 8 is at the top of the list.

This Microsoft Surface laptop is thin and easy to bring with you and offers a lot of flexibility for creatives in regular or tablet mode. The external display is sharp as well. The Intel i5 4-Core processor keeps up with you as you grab your keyboard and go. It has a long battery life too, boasting up to 16 hours of use between charges. It’s also much more affordable than the Microsoft Surface Laptop Studio.

Microsoft Surface Pro 8-13″ Touchscreen – Intel® Core™ i5-8GB Memory – 128GB SSD – Device Only… List Price:$1,099.99 Price:$799.99 You Save:$300.00 (27%) Buy Now Available from Amazon, BGR may receive a commission

Best business laptop: Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon Gen 10

Ideal for those who run a small business or just need to use their computer for their entire working life, the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon Gen 10 is a stellar unit. There are a ton of configurations, allowing you to get exactly the business laptop you need for your business work. The backlit keyboard, 14″ display, and multiple ports make your life easier. This is a business laptop with amazing battery life that will help you succeed. If you have demanding tasks, you can tackle them with one of the best Windows laptops.

NewLenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon Gen 10 Ultrabook Laptop, 14.0″ FHD+ Touchscreen, 12th Gen Intel Co… Price:$2,099.00 Buy Now Available from Amazon, BGR may receive a commission

Best laptop for streaming: HP 17 Laptop

Just looking for a laptop to get you through the day and maybe do the occasional streaming? The HP 17 Laptop is a solid choice. This offers a 17.3″ HD screen, making it a huge display to watch shows on. With AMD Radeon graphics, you’ll enjoy plenty of shows and movies in stunning colors. There are a bunch of configurations in terms of memory and storage for you to pick from. This is one of the better budget laptops as well as a top option for the best Windows laptop.

Newest HP 17 Laptop, 17.3″ HD+ Screen, AMD Athlon Gold 3150U Processor, 32GB DDR4 RAM, 512GB PC… Price:$629.00 Buy Now Available from Amazon, BGR may receive a commission

Things to consider when buying a new laptop

Close Up on Hands of a woman Working on Laptop Computer
Close up of a woman’s hands working on a laptop computer. Image source: Adobe/Gorodenkoff

There are tons of things to consider when buying a new laptop, or computer of any kind, really. For starters, you’ll want to think about how high-performance of a great laptop you need. If you’re mostly managing emails, using Microsoft Word, and perhaps editing the occasional spreadsheet, you can probably get by with a lower-performing laptop — though keep in mind that lots of browser tabs can clog up your computer real quick. The amount of RAM also impacts performance, especially if you multitask a lot.

Some people will also want to consider graphics performance. That’s mostly true for those who want their laptop for gaming and video editing. Other things to consider include the type and size of the display, and the ports around the edges. It needs to have good battery life because if you’re taking a laptop around with you, it has to have good battery life if not great battery life.

Lastly, you’ll want to keep in mind that a laptop is a portable machine. That means that the thickness and the weight of the device may be important for you, especially if you plan on taking it to school or work.

More laptop coverage: Check out the best laptop deals this month!





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