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Best laptop 2022: The top rated notebooks


Laptops come in all shapes and sizes these days, from simple 13-inch portables useful for students and office workers, to massive monsters built for gaming. But what are the best laptop options currently available? 

We’re in a great position to answer that question, as our team of experts reviews a large number of laptops every year. And rather than making you sift through all of our laptops reviews from the past few years, we’ve decided to help out and create a list of the top scoring laptops.

Every laptop that we review undergoes a vigorous testing process, as we spend at least a week with each product. We evaluate performance by using industry-standard benchmark software, and use professional equipment to determine the quality of the screen. We also perform battery tests, and check out all of the available features to see whether they improve the overall experience . 

We’ve also made sure to include a wide variety of laptops for this list, as we know that every person will have different requirements, whether they want to prioritise performance, portability or even on-screen colour accuracy if you need to edit video on the fly.

And if you have more specific needs from a laptop, then check out our other lists such as Best Budget Laptop, Best Student Laptop, Best Gaming Laptop, Best Chromebook and Best MacBook.

Or if you’d rather remain loyal to a certain brand, you can also have a look at our lists for Best Acer Laptop, Best Asus Laptop, Best Dell Laptop, Best Huawei Laptop, Best Microsoft Surface Laptop and more.

Best Laptop at a glance

How we test

Learn more about how we test laptops

Every laptop we review goes through a series of uniform checks designed to gauge key things including build quality, performance, screen quality and battery life. 

These include formal synthetic benchmarks and scripted tests, plus a series of real world checks, such as how well it runs the most frequently used apps. 

We also make sure to use every laptop we review as our primary device for at least a week to ensure our review is as accurate as possible.

Asus Zenbook S 13 OLED

Best Windows laptop


  • Excellent performance, even for gaming
  • Dazzling OLED screen
  • Remarkably thin and light
  • Great battery life


  • Poor port offering
  • Can run hot and loud under strain

The Asus Zenbook S 13 OLED is one of the best laptops we’ve ever tested. It’s flaunting AMD’s latest processor, which our benchmark tests show to offer some of the fastest speeds around for a productivity laptop, besting even the M1 chip inside the MacBook Air.

According to our tests, the chip even offers a decent gaming performance and a impressive battery life that surpasses the 13-hour mark. This makes it a more appealing laptop option compared to our previous favourite Windows laptop, the Dell XPS 13 OLED.

During testing, we were also very impressed by the vibrant OLED screen, comfortable keyboard and ultra-portable design that makes it ideal for working on the go. There a couple of negative points, such as the stingy port offering, but the Zenbook S 13 OLED nevertheless remains the best all-round Windows laptop that we’ve reviewed.

However, with the laptop only recently launching, it may be difficult to find the AMD Ryzen 7 6800U SKU that we have reviewed. But if you’re keen to purchase this outstanding laptop, then it’s worth waiting a couple more weeks. And if you need a new laptop right now, the Dell XPS 13 OLED is a fantastic alternative.

Reviewer: Ryan Jones
Full review: Asus Zenbook S 13 OLED review

MacBook Pro 16-inch (2021)

The best MacBook


  • Stunning display
  • Amazing performance
  • The ports and MagSafe are back


  • RAM upgrades are expensive

In our experience, there are plenty of reasons why you should opt for macOS over Windows. It works well with other Apple gadgets such as iPhones and iPads, and it’s arguably a more streamlined operating system if you’re not fussed about the greater versatility of Windows. 

The MacBook Pro is not only our favourite Apple PC right now, but it’s also our number one recommended portable for content creators, topping the charts in the performance benchmark tests that we run on every laptop. When we tested it, we found it could speed through heavy-duty tasks such as video editing and 3D animation, and our battery tests prove it can keep on working throughout the day. 

If you don’t need to edit video or engage with any other professional-grade workloads, then we think the MacBook Air or 13-inch MacBook Pro are better options. They use the same macOS operating system and similar classy design, but are even more portable thanks to the less powerful Apple Silicon processors.

Apple also offers the desktop-bound Mac Studio if you’re craving the most powerful performance available, but for us, the MacBook Pro remains the best option if you need to edit the likes of photos and videos on the go.

Reviewer: Max Parker
Full review: MacBook Pro 16-inch review

Acer Chromebook Spin 513

Best Chromebook


  • Super-light and portable design
  • Sharp display with decent colours
  • Outstanding battery life
  • Whisper-quiet performance


  • Flat speakers
  • Mediocre performance
  • No keyboard backlight

Chromebooks are a great option for those who want a cheap laptop with a simple operating system. We’d recommend a Chromebook to anyone who is happy to stick to popular apps such as Google Docs, Spotify and Netflix. But if you need to download more obscure software, then it’s safer to opt for a Window laptop instead.

The Acer Chromebook Spin 513 is our current favourite Chromebook. We found that the Snapdragon chip’s benchmark results weren’t as impressive as processors made by AMD or Intel, but was still capable of dealing with basic tasks such as web browsing, video streaming and essay write-ups without noticeable slowdown. 

Unlike many other Chromebooks we’ve tested, this laptop is also very light at just 1.2kg. This means you don’t need to worry about getting back pains when porting this laptop around, which can’t be said about other Chromebooks.  

There are plenty of other Chromebooks worth considering too, such as the Lenovo Chromebook Duet that can double up as a tablet, and the Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 5 which packs an Intel Core chip for an even faster performance. But we still think the Acer Chromebook Spin 513 represents the best all-round value.

Reviewer: Reece Bithrey
Full review: Acer Chromebook Spin 513 review

Apple MacBook Air M2 (2022)

Best lightweight MacBook


  • Fantastic performance
  • Sleek, updated design
  • Excellent keyboard and trackpad
  • Long battery life


  • Expensive starting price and upgrades
  • More colours would have been nice
  • The M1 version remains an excellent buy for less

The Apple MacBook Air is one of the most iconic laptops around, and the new MacBook Air M2 (2022) is one of the best versions of this machine we’ve tested.

This sits in the middle of Apple’s current MacBook line. It lacks the high-end chipsets and stunning screen of the MacBook Pro 14 and 16, but it has a sleeker design, improved webcam and a 13.6-inch display that you won’t find on the cheaper MacBook Pro M1.

At the heart of this machine is the M2 chip, While not as speedy as the M1 Pro or M1 Max, or even a huge jump over the still very capable M1, this remains an excellent chipset that makes this laptop one of the fastest around when you consider its sleek body and minimal weight. During our in-depth review process, we found the machine could easily handle 4K video editing and even some gaming.

The 13.6-inch display does lack some of the higher-end features of other laptops on this list. It’s not an OLED panel, doesn’t support true HDR and sticks to a standard 60Hz refresh rate. There’s also no touchscreen here, which is the norm for Apple’s laptop range but should put you off if you want a machine for drawing on. With that being said, our reviewer was impressed with the display, especially its high level of brightness and punchy colours. There is a notch jutting into the screen, but it doesn’t really cause any issues.

Our reviewer managed to comfortably get through a full workday on a single charge and there’s the magnetic MagSafe charging port for getting back to 100%. Two Thunderbolt 3 ports sit on one side, while Apple’s excellent Magic Keyboard remains. However, it’s still worth considering the MacBook Air M1 due to its more affordable price, especially if you’re not too fussed about the graphics upgrade found with the M2.

Reviewer: Max Parker
Full review: Apple MacBook Air M2 (2022)

Microsoft Surface Laptop Go 2

Best budget Windows laptop


  • Fantastic value for money
  • Extremely portable design
  • Smooth performance for basic tasks
  • Better battery life than the original


  • Low-resolution display
  • Lack of keyboard backlight
  • No fingerprint scanner on base configuration

The Microsoft Surface Laptop Go 2 is a dinky 12-inch touchscreen laptop that’s available for less than $600/£530, making it an ideal option for students or anyone else on a tight budget.

Despite its low price, it boasts excellent build quality and offers a nippy performance for basic day-to-day workloads. Microsoft has opted for a new processor for this sequel, which has even given it a battery life boost compared to the original laptop. During our standard battery test, it managed to keep running for 9 hours and 11 minutes.

Of course, the Surface Laptop Go 2 isn’t as powerful as some of the other laptops on this list and will struggle with the likes of gaming and content creation, but it’s not expected to cope with such workloads at this budget-friendly price.

Our our only major gripe with this ultra-portable laptop is its screen quality. With a low 1536 x 1024 resolution, images and video don’t look sharp, making it a substandard option for the likes of Netflix. And that tiny 12.4-inch may make this laptop super portable, but it’s also difficult to have multiple browser windows and apps open simultaneously.

We recommend checking out the similarly priced Acer Swift 3 if you really care about the screen quality. But if you can overlook those drawbacks, then we still think the Surface Laptop Go 2 is one of the absolute best Windows laptops at this price point.

Reviewer: Ryan Jones
Full review: Surface Laptop Go 2 review

LG Gram 16 (2022)

Best 16-inch laptop


  • Unbelievably light design
  • Big, bold and beautiful display
  • Excellent port selection
  • Super speedy SSD


  • Not as fast as other modern laptops
  • Shorter battery life than predecessor
  • Noticeable deck flex

There are plenty of good reasons to opt for a 16-inch laptop, for having more screen space for videos to being able to have multiple apps and web browsers simultaneously. The only problem is that such laptops are usually extremely heavy. The LG Gram 16 (2022) is an exception, weighing even less than the 13-inch MacBook Air.

LG has needed to compromise on build quality to achieve this lightweight form, which we found to be noticeable when pushing down on the deck. But our testing still found this laptop to be robust enough to survive multiple trips in a rucksack.

But such compromises are well worth it if you like to watch video, as we were highly impressed with the 16-inch panel with its 2560 x 1600 resolution and excellent colour coverage. The 16:10 aspect ratio is also ideal for office workloads, with plenty of vertical space for spreadsheets and documents.

For the 2022 iteration, LG has upgraded the laptop with Intel’s 12th Generation chip. This is comfortably speedy enough for day-to-day workloads, and is even capable of entry-level content creation. However, the likes of the Huawei MateBook D 16 (2022) offer an even faster performance while also flaunting a huge 16-inch screen.

But in terms of hitting the sweet spot between portability and having a large screen, there’s no better option than the LG Gram 16.

Reviewer: Ryan Jones
Full review: LG Gram 16 (2022) Review

Dell XPS 13 Plus

Best looking laptop


  • Gorgeous, cutting-edge design
  • Bright and vibrant display
  • Haptic feedback trackpad feels great
  • Light, portable and premium


  • Battery life is poor
  • Very expensive
  • Not as fast as rival laptops
  • Poor selection of ports

The Dell XPS 13 Plus is the best looking laptop we’ve ever reviewed. Dell has always pushed the boat out when it comes to cutting-edge design, but the company has gone a step further with its latest laptop.

Its edge-to-edge keyboard covers the entire width of the laptop, with no gaps in-between each key. There’s also no physical trackpad here, with Dell instead using haptic feedback vibrations to simulate presses. We were impressed with how natural the experience felt, while also allowing for a sleek glass interior design. 

You’ll also find a Touch Bar above the keyboard, which lacks the complex functionality of Apple’s Touch Bar on the MacBook Pro, but makes swapping between shortcuts and function keys more pleasing to the eye. 

Beauty does come at a cost though, as the laptop is so thin that it’s lacking in the port department and features a smallish battery which comprises this portable’s longevity on a single charge. But if you want the best looking laptop available, as well as the bragging rights to some cutting-edge features, then the Dell XPS 13 Plus is one of the best laptop options available.

Reviewer: Ryan Jones
Full review: Dell XPS 13 Plus Review

Microsoft Surface Laptop Studio

Best 2-in-1 laptop


  • Versatile hinge is great for digital artists
  • Sharp and vibrant display
  • Top-class design and keyboard
  • Surprisingly good battery life


  • Weak graphics power compared to rivals
  • Screen lacks pro-grade colour accuracy
  • Stylus isn’t bundled in

If you want a laptop that can double up as a makeshift tablet, then you’ll want to look at 2-in-1 devices. We think the Microsoft Surface Laptop Studio is one of the best options with such a form factor, although it has a very specific use case given its hefty weight. 

The Surface Laptop Studio’s screen can be folded flat on top of the keyboard, allowing you to use the device as some sort of graphics tablet if you buy the Surface Pen stylus. During testing, we were really impressed by the seamless ability to sketch and doodle directly onto the screen, making it a great option for digital artists. 

But if you want to use your 2-in-1 laptop just like an iPad, so you can carry it around and hold it in one hand, then you’ll need something else. We really like the Surface Pro 8, although you’ll need to buy the magnetic clip-on keyboard separately in order to use it like a laptop. The HP Spectre x360 13 (2021) offers a great middle-ground, with the hinge allowing the keyboard to be flipped so it’s resting on the screen’s rear. 

Which 2-in-1 design you should go for depends largely on what you need the device for. In our opinion, the Surface Laptop Studio is superb for content creation, while the Surface Pro 8 and HP Spectre x360 are optimised for productivity workloads.

Reviewer: Ryan Jones
Full review: Microsoft Surface Laptop Studio review

Razer Blade 14 (2021)

The best gaming laptop


  • Slim, smart and robust 14in design
  • Powerful RTX 3070 graphics core
  • Superb AMD processor
  • High-quality 1440p display


  • Exterior sometimes gets hot
  • Expensive considering the components
  • No numberpad

Gaming laptops differ greatly to the other categories on this list, as they need discrete GPUs in order to play demanding games at a stable performance. There are a lot of different options here, so it’s worth checking out our best gaming laptop list, but our current favourite is the Razer Blade 14 since it excelled in all of our tests.

Our benchmark tests showed it to be incredibly powerful, while also featuring a 1440p screen resolution so games look sharp and vibrant. And like with most gaming laptops we’ve tested, it features an RGB keyboard backlight that we were able to personalise with a range of colourful lighting in just a couple of clicks. 

There are plenty of alternative gaming laptops to choose from, including the Gigabyte Aorus 17G with its huge 17-inch display and the more portable Asus ROG Flow X13 that can be bundled with an external GPU. 

But you’ll need to be sure you really want a gaming laptop before hitting checkout, as our years of testing has shown that they’re often heavier and more expensive than your standard portable. They also struggle in our battery benchmark tests, rarely surpassing the 5-hour mark for basic productivity workloads.

If you plan on only playing Fortnite and Minecraft, stick to a more conventional laptop – a gaming laptop is only really worthwhile for more demanding titles.

Reviewer: Ryan Jones
Full review: Razer Blade 14 review


What is an SSD?

The SSD (solid state drive) is essentially the component that determines how much storage your laptop has. A 512GB SSD is the norm these days, with anything less making storage space feel cramped if you download a lot of music, photos and videos.

What is a 2-in-1 laptop?

A 2-in-1 laptop is a device that has a flexible hinge, allowing it to be folded up into a tablet form. These laptops often have stylus support too, making them good options for doodlers and creatives.

What is RAM?

RAM (Random Access Memory) is computer memory that helps the processor offer a smooth performance. 8GB seems to be the default for laptops these days, with anything less potentially seeing noticeable slowdowns for your computer when performing multiple tasks.

What is Thunderbolt?

Thunderbolt is a port technology that is typically found through USB-C connections. Thunderbolt is signalled with a small lightning bolt icon, and can allow for multi-purpose functions such as power delivery, display output and data transfer for an all-in-one solution.

Specs compared








Screen Size

Storage Capacity

Front Camera


Battery Hours

Size (Dimensions)



Operating System

Release Date

First Reviewed Date

Model Number

Model Variants



Refresh Rate


Audio (Power output)





Display Technology

Screen Technology

Touch Screen


Bin capacity

Trusted Reviews test data

PCMark 10

Geekbench 5 single core

Geekbench 5 multi core

3DMark Time Spy

CrystalDiskMark Read speed

CrystalMarkDisk Write Speed


Black level


White Visual Colour Temperature


Adobe RGB


PCMark Battery (office)

PCMark Battery (gaming)

Battery Life

Borderlands 3 frame rate (Quad HD)

Borderlands 3 frame rate (Full HD)

Horizon Zero Dawn frame rate (Quad HD)

Horizon Zero Dawn frame rate (Full HD)

Dirt Rally (Quad HD)

Dirt Rally (Full HD)

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