15 Best Overall Laptops to Buy Now

Laptop buyers look for different features to fit their specific requirements. Some need a laptop for gaming or creating graphics. Some users need a lightweight computer to carry around their school’s campus, and others look for an affordable but reliable device.

With all the different types and models of laptops available, it’s hard to decide which is the best one to buy. If you’re in the market for a new computer, several outstanding choices are available for all purposes.

1. MacBook Air M3

Image Credit: Apple Inc.

New and returning Apple customers will appreciate the MacBook Air M3. It’s a lightweight, mighty performer that’s an excellent all-purpose laptop. The MacBook Air M3 supports an external display and has stunningly vivid graphics.

The Air M3 is one of the thinnest devices on the market, and it is manufactured from 50% recycled materials. Although it’s more expensive than many Windows-based laptops, Apple’s quality is second to none.

2. Dell XPS 15

Image Credit: Dell Inc.

One of the most notable features of the Dell XPS 15 is its large 15.6-inch InfinityEdge touch monitor, which is appealing for streaming and graphics. Its Intel Core i9 central processing unit (CPU) is fast enough for nearly any application on the market.

The battery life is more than ten hours, putting it on the higher end of the spectrum, and it’s nice for users on the go. At 4.2 pounds, it’s slightly heavier than similar models, but the high performance is worth the extra weight.

3. HP Pavilion Plus 14z

HP Pavilion Plus 14z
Image Credit: HP Development Company, L.P.

HP’s 2023 iteration of the Pavilion Plus 14z is one of the best Windows-based laptops available today. The 14-inch monitor is large enough to get things done. It doesn’t feel too bulky and fits nicely in a backpack.

The Pavilion’s battery recharges incredibly fast — 50% in 30 minutes. Its multiple ports, including USB-Types A and C and HDMI 2.1, keep users connected. Users who want a little color in their devices can choose a case in natural silver, moonlight blue, or tranquil pink.

4. Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 5i Chromebook Plus

Image Credit: Lenovo.

Anyone who thinks of Chromebooks as basic computers for K-12 students may be missing out on a nice 2-in-1 device. The Flex 5i is only $500 but has the look and feel of a much more expensive model without being too showy. At just over three pounds, it weighs slightly more than other 2-in-1 computers, but it’s still portable.

This seventh-generation Flex 5i has a responsive touchscreen and a full HD display. The 16:10 aspect ratio is larger than the standard 16:9, offering a better viewing range for larger items like spreadsheets. Intel Wi-Fi 6E tiples the connectivity and streaming speeds, eliminating the frustration of lag times.

5. Dell Inspiron 16 Plus

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Dell’s Inspiron 16 Plus laptop is ideal for home, school, or work. It weighs a little over four pounds, making it easy to carry around, but it still has a solid, quality feel. It’s also designed, made with, and packaged in sustainable materials, which is fast becoming a welcome trend in laptop manufacturing.

It’s a fast-charging device, capable of attaining up to 80% battery power in an hour. The built-in artificial intelligence (AI) for graphics, video conferencing, and general performance elevate this laptop to the next level. The base model includes 16GB of memory and 1TB of storage, but more memory can be added at a cost.

6. HP Envy 17

Image Credit: HP Development Company, L.P.

Laptop users preferring a large screen for optimal graphics and sound to replicate a television or cinema-like streaming should take a serious look at the HP Envy 17. This laptop has a vibrant 17.3 inch diagonal display, which is larger than most screens, a Bang & Olufsen audio system, and a long battery life.

The device also comes with built-in security features, making it safer to use. The web camera has a privacy shutter to ensure it can only function when the user activates it. It’s also equipped with a walk-away lock that pairs with another device and automatically locks the laptop when the connected device is out of Bluetooth range.

7. Apple MacBook Air M1

Image Credit: Apple Inc.

The Apple MacBook Air M1 is the first generation of silicon-chip laptops released in 2020, but don’t let its age turn you off. It’s still a powerhouse device perfect for students and new Mac users.

Coming in at 2.8 pounds with an incredible 18 hours of battery life, users can work for hours without plugging in. Since it’s a MacBook, it seamlessly connects with other Apple products, including the iPhone, Apple Watch, and iPad.

8. HP Pavilion Aero 13z

Image Credit: HP Development Company, L.P.

HP released the updated Pavilion Aero 13z in 2023, and it makes a great gift for the student in your life. It has a full-size keyboard and wide-vision high-definition web camera, which is ideal for classes and study sessions over Zoom. The fingerprint reader adds an additional layer of security.

The Aero’s 13’s fast Wi-Fi speeds, AMD processor, and rapid charging capabilities contribute to its high performance. Its impressive design matches its performance. HP offers the device in four colors: natural silver, warm gold, ceramic white, and pale rose gold, housed in a lightweight (2.2 pounds) compact body.

9. Lenovo Chromebook Duet 3

Image Credit: Lenovo.

Buyers wanting a 2-in-1 device without breaking the bank are in luck. Since the keyboard detaches, the Lenovo Chromebook Duet 3 works as a laptop and tablet. It weighs under two pounds and has an 11-inch responsive touchscreen, making it the perfect size for both uses.

The 10-plus-hour battery life makes the Lenovo Chromebook Duet 3 a nice option for students or anyone else on the go who can’t readily charge. It’s not the fastest device on the market, but it’s good for basic use, including streaming and playing downloadable games from the Google Play Store.

10. Acer Aspire 5

Image Credit: Acer Inc.

Another quality laptop for budget-minded buyers is the Aspire 5 from Acer. This laptop has several customizable options to suit multiple uses. Acer offers the Aspire 5 in 15, 16, and 17-inch displays with rich colors.

Advanced background blurring, gaze correction, and automatic framing make video collaboration with peers easier. These easy-to-employ features help users convey a confident professional image.

11. Asus ZenBook 14 OLED

Asus ZenBook 14 OLED
Image Credit: ASUSTeK Computer Inc.

The Asus ZenBook 14 OLED is slim and weighs less than three pounds. It is a perfect blend of style and functionality. It can run on battery power for over 15 hours, and the artificial intelligence-powered engine supports reduced power usage.

The ZenBook has a smooth touchscreen that displays bright colors and provides massive sound with super-linear speakers. It’s also fast charging; it achieves 60% battery life in 49 minutes. Built with sustainability in mind, it’s a laptop you can feel good about owning in every way possible.

12. HP Spectre x360 14

Image Credit: HP Development Company, L.P.

This 2-in-1 laptop launched in January 2024 is on the higher end of HP’s price range (before promotional discounts), but its performance and features more than justify the cost. The Spectre x360 14 is ideal for content creation and gaming and has integrated AI technologies.

The 9-megapixel webcam and high-resolution OLED display are significant upgrades over other HP models. HP equipped the computer with Intel Unison, an app that facilitates seamless connection with Android devices. Plus, it’s Energy Star certified and built with recycled material.

13. Microsoft Surface Pro 9

Image Credit: Microsoft.

Microsoft’s Surface Pro 9 is a 2-in-1 that’s so versatile that having a full-sized laptop almost seems redundant. It weighs less than two pounds, making it effortless to carry, and has a 13-inch screen that’s nearly edge-to-edge.

The base Pro 9 Wi-Fi model’s battery life is 15.5 hours, while the Pro 9 with 5G manages nearly 19 hours of battery power. The device’s performance supports complete desktop productivity, especially when the keyboard (purchased separately) is attached.

14. Alienware m18 R2

Image Credit: Dell Inc.

Dell is best known for making desktops for the home and workplace, but pay attention to its gaming computer line. The 2024 launch of its Alienware m18 R2 gaming laptop shows they’re not playing around.

A high-performance device supporting even the most formidable gaming, the Alienware m18 R2’s two available displays are designed to minimize screen tearing and display vivid, clear images. The configuration allows users to add storage and random access memory (RAM). The responsive touchpad and large keyboard are terrific attributes.

15. Apple MacBook Pro

Apple MacBook Pro
Image Credit: Apple Inc.

Apple’s MacBook Pro is among the strongest contenders for the best laptops because of its unique features and overall quality. This laptop comes in 14- and 16-inch sizes and is customizable in nearly all aspects. Its silicon chips give the MacBook Pro exceptional performance and visuals for content creation and gaming.

This newest model sustains impressive battery life, with nearly 15 hours of wireless web browsing battery life and upwards of 22 hours of video playback. The six-speaker sound system and liquid retina Extreme Dynamic Range (XDR) make the MacBook Pro a must-have.

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