Best Laptops of 2024: High-End Laptops, Budget Laptops, Gaming Laptops, 2-in-1 Laptops, and More

Our experts have tested many laptops. These are the best ones.

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Picking up a brand new laptop can be a daunting experience. How much storage do I need? Which GPU suits my budget best? Just seeing the alphabet soup of model numbers is enough to make your heart race. If you’re unsure where to start, don’t worry, you’ve come to the right place. Whether you’re in the market for a lightning-fast gaming laptop or a lightweight 2-in-1 for office work, we’ve got options to suit all types of consumers.

Why you should trust us: Global PC takes pride in its laptop expertise and professional knowledge. We test over 70 laptops annually. All the selections below have been personally tested and reviewed by our experts, who not only apply performance benchmarks but also strict usability standards. We also strive to review laptops across various price ranges to help you find a machine that fits your budget.

The Best Laptops We’ve Tested


Dell Inspiron 14 Plus (2024) – Best overall

Pros:

  • Powerful performance
  • Excellent battery life
  • Wonderful typing experience

Cons:

  • CPU throttling under heavy load
  • No user upgrades

Why We Like the Dell Inspiron 14 Plus

The Dell Inspiron 14 Plus is one of the most well-rounded laptops you can buy. It offers strong performance, outstanding battery life, and a vibrant display. The best part is its price, around $1,000, which is a reasonable price point considering the value it offers. In fact, according to our testing, it performs admirably in the PCMark 10 benchmark test. It scored 7,061 in PCMark 10, surpassing the similarly specced Acer Swift Go 14 and the more expensive Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon. The Inspiron 14 Plus can sustain an impressive 17 hours on a single charge, which is longer than a full workday or school day. You won’t have to worry about finding a wall outlet to recharge.

Who Should Buy the Dell Inspiron 14 Plus

Anyone looking for a truly outstanding, fully-featured laptop. In addition to impressive performance and battery life, it also features a lovely 14-inch 1400p display. According to our review, “the display is great for office work and static images.” It boasts an impressive peak brightness level of 418 nits and an anti-glare coating, meaning you can use this laptop in various lighting environments. It might not have the most eye-catching design we’ve seen, but its hardware features and remarkable battery life make up for the lackluster aesthetics.


Acer Aspire 3 – Best budget laptop

Pros:

  • Reliable performance
  • 1080p display
  • HD webcam
  • Sturdy construction

Cons:

  • Speakers sound muffled when playing music
  • A bit heavy

Today’s Best Price: $299.99 on Amazon

Why We Like the Acer Aspire 3

The Acer Aspire 3 laptop offers reliable performance and sturdy construction at a very affordable price. It’s fast enough for everyday tasks like checking email, watching Netflix, and browsing the web. You also get a full-size keyboard and a 1080p screen. The Aspire 3 also outperformed the Acer Aspire Vero 14 with a Cinebench R15 score of 1,925, showcasing its competitiveness. Cinebench is designed to run all cores of a laptop CPU and determine how well the laptop handles processor-intensive multi-threaded workloads.

Who Should Buy the Acer Aspire 3

Anyone on a tight budget! Specifically, we think the Acer Aspire 3 is a good choice for students and remote workers. According to our review, it’s affordable and the HD webcam produces “clean, clear video,” meaning you’ll always look your best during video conference calls. It also offers great value for the price.


Dell Inspiron Plus 16 7630 – Best midrange laptop

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Pros:

  • All-day battery life
  • Good graphics performance
  • Reasonable price

Cons:

  • Ports light up
  • Gets warm under heavy workload

Why We Like the Dell Inspiron Plus 16

Thanks to the Intel Core i7-13700H CPU and Nvidia GeForce RTX 4060 GPU, the Dell Inspiron 16 7630 offers great value for its price. This machine can handle daily activities as well as some gaming. The RTX 4060 GPU actually scored an impressive 8,754 points in 3DMark Time Spy. It’s not the most cutting-edge graphics performance we’ve seen, but you should be able to play most games at medium or high graphics settings. The 1600p display also features a taller 16:10 aspect ratio screen, which is great for office work, and the battery can last for over 11 hours on a single charge.

Who Should Buy the Dell Inspiron Plus 16

The Dell Inspiron Plus 16 7630 is ideal for professionals, students, or anyone looking for a powerful and reasonably priced machine. The battery lasts all day and even longer, and it’s capable of gaming as well. Dell laptops often go on sale, so you might be able to snag this machine at a significant discount.


MacBook Air (M3) – Best MacBook

Pros:

  • Excellent battery life
  • Perfect combination of price, features, and performance
  • 256GB SSD now with two NAND chips, maintaining performance

Cons:

  • Expensive memory upgrades
  • Dual external display support requires closing the lid

Today’s Best Price: $1,634 on Amazon

Why We Like the MacBook Air (M3)

With a price tag of $1,299, there are plenty of options for the MacBook Air (M3). In fact, it has garnered comprehensive high scores due to its 8-core CPU (M3) and 10-core GPU. It’s capable of handling office work as well as casual tasks. While its performance is on par with the MacBook Pro (M3), there’s one difference: the presence of a fan. The MacBook Air has no fan, so it runs quieter during heavy tasks before putting more stress on the chip. That said, the real highlight is the battery life. The MacBook Air (M3) can last up to 19 hours on a single charge, making it perfect for busy schedules.

Who Should Buy the MacBook Air (M3)

Anyone who prefers MacOS over competing operating systems. The battery life is excellent, and the laptop itself is thin and light, weighing just over three pounds. The 15-inch Liquid Retina (LED) display might be considered a downgrade from the MacBook Pro Liquid Retina XDR (mini-LED) display, but that doesn’t mean its screen quality is poor. It still looks great for everyday use. The $1,299 price tag is reasonable for the performance and features you get.


Lenovo Flex 5i Chromebook Plus – Best Chromebook

Pros:

  • Agile performance for daily use
  • Versatile 2-in-1 design
  • Good typing experience

Cons:

  • Does not include a stylus
  • Heavier than expected

Why We Like the Lenovo Flex 5i Chromebook Plus

From its convertible design to its gorgeous touchscreen, the Lenovo Flex 5i Chromebook Plus has many advantages, especially considering its price of under $500. The 2-in-1 design allows you to rotate the screen and use the laptop like a tablet, enhancing its versatility. You can also expect swift daily performance and lightning-fast startup times.

Who Should Buy the Lenovo Flex 5i Chromebook Plus

If you’re looking to purchase a premium Chromebook for work or personal use, then the Lenovo Flex 5i Chromebook Plus is a great choice. While the $499 price tag may seem high-end for a Chromebook, we believe its overall versatility, design, and performance make it worth the extra money.


Alienware m16 R2 – Best gaming laptop

Pros:

  • Stable gaming performance
  • Robust and durable build quality
  • Good battery life

Cons:

  • Display is darker than desired

Why We Like the Alienware m16 R2

The Alienware m16 R2 offers powerful graphics performance and good battery life. This particular model is equipped with an Intel Core Ultra 7 155H CPU and Nvidia GeForce RTX 4070 GPU, which is quite formidable. It can sustain for 11 hours and 15 minutes on a single charge, averaging 144 frames per second in the benchmark test of “Shadow of the Tomb Raider”. According to our review, it’s only “four frames slower than the Razer Blade 16,” which comes with an RTX 4090 GPU and costs over $3,000.

Who Should Buy the Alienware m16 R2

Anyone in search of an excellent gaming laptop. You’ll get powerful graphics performance and longer battery life, which is uncommon for gaming laptops as most tend to run out of battery in around six hours. The 16-inch IPS display has a resolution of 2560×1600 and a refresh rate of 240Hz, so games should run smoothly. The picture quality is good, though it’s not an OLED panel. While it may not be the brightest or most color-rich display we’ve seen, it’s great for gaming. Plus, you can always plug in an external monitor if needed.


Asus TUF Gaming A16 Advantage Edition – Best budget gaming laptop

Pros:

  • Impressive all-day battery life
  • Gorgeous 16:10 display
  • Sturdy chassis

Cons:

  • Keys feel a bit soft
  • 720p webcam has almost no downsides

Why We Like the ASUS TUF Gaming A16

The ASUS TUF Gaming A16 Advantage Edition is a unicorn, meaning it achieves the best in a way. This particular machine boasts powerful graphics performance and a longer battery life. Long battery life? In a gaming laptop? How absurd. Well, not anymore! The ASUS TUF can last for an incredible 11 and a half hours on a single charge. Additionally, thanks to the Nvidia GeForce RTX 4050 GPU, this laptop achieves 123 frames per second in the benchmark test of “Rise of the Tomb Raider”. That’s impressive, especially for a gaming machine priced below $1,000.

Who Should Buy the ASUS TUF Gaming A16

For those on a tight budget, the ASUS TUF Gaming A16 Advantage Edition is a solid choice. For less than a grand, you get reliable graphics performance, a spacious keyboard, and a longer battery life. It also serves well as a general-purpose machine. According to our review, its Cinebench R20 score is 589, meaning “running lightweight applications and programs should be no problem”.


Acer Chromebook 516 GE – Best gaming Chromebook

Pros:

  • Rigid structure
  • Excellent CPU performance
  • Ample wired and wireless connectivity
  • High-resolution 1600p display

Cons:

  • Disappointing speakers and microphone
  • Display lags behind in contrast and color vibrancy
  • Mediocre keyboard and touchpad

Why We Like the Acer Chromebook 516 GE

The Acer Chromebook 516 GE earns a lot of brownie points for its reliable performance with an Intel Core i5-1240P CPU and a fast 120Hz refresh rate on its 16-inch 1600p display. Its price is also reasonable compared to some Windows laptops. It not only handles daily tasks with ease but also excels as a great machine for cloud gaming. As long as you have a stable internet connection and are subscribed to streaming services like Nvidia GeForce Now or Amazon Luna, you can breeze through most AAA games. In fact, according to our review, “the gaming experience is very smooth,” and “Nvidia’s GeForce Now diagnostic panel didn’t flag any issues.”

Who Should Buy the Acer Chromebook 516 GE

Anyone looking to give cloud gaming a try or just in need of a reliable machine for daily use – the Acer Chromebook 516 GE can handle both tasks with aplomb. Besides its smooth cloud gaming performance, it offers multiple connectivity options: 2 USB-C 3.2 Gen 2 ports, 1 HDMI port, 1 Ethernet port (wired connection is particularly useful for cloud gaming), and 1 3.5mm combo audio jack. Other nice touches include a 1080p webcam, a 65Wh battery, and a sturdy, durable design.


Asus Zenbook 14 Flip OLED – Best 2-in-1

Pros:

  • Long battery life
  • Connectivity includes two Thunderbolt 4 ports
  • Fast performance

Cons:

  • Small function keys
  • Display is somewhat dim

Why We Like the ASUS Zenbook 14 Flip OLED

When it comes to 2-in-1 laptops, the ASUS Zenbook 14 Flip OLED shines. It features a gorgeous OLED display, a versatile Intel Core i7-1360P CPU, and a multifunctional convertible design. You can flip the screen 360 degrees to use it like a tablet, or if you prefer, prop it up like a tent. According to our review, the colors on the 1800p OLED display are also “very bright and saturated”. The battery can even last up to 12 hours on a single charge, outperforming laptops with similar hardware like the Lenovo Yoga Book 9i and Acer Aspire Vero 14.

Who Should Buy the ASUS Zenbook 14 Flip OLED

The ASUS Zenbook 14 Flip is a great choice for business professionals due to its convertible, lightweight design and stunning OLED display. You can carry this machine with you without worrying about finding an outlet to charge. How could you go wrong?


Asus Zenbook 14 OLED – Best OLED display under $1,000

Pros:

  • Sturdy build quality
  • Attractive OLED touchscreen
  • Good CPU and integrated GPU performance
  • Excellent battery life

Cons:

  • Clunky design
  • Keyboard not very memorable
  • Mediocre connectivity options

Why We Like the ASUS Zenbook 14 OLED

The ASUS Zenbook 14 OLED impresses with its fast CPU performance, amazing battery life, and eye-catching OLED touchscreen display. According to our review, movies and games look “vivid and vibrant” on the 1200p OLED touchscreen, although using it in bright environments might be challenging due to surface reflections. With a battery life of up to 16 hours on a single charge, this is definitely wild! This result indeed outperforms competitors like the Lenovo Slim 7 14 Gen 9 and HP Pavilion Plus Laptop 14. In terms of performance, the ASUS Zenbook 14 OLED thoroughly beats the PCMark 10 benchmark with a commendable score of 6,772. This means it’s very fast and responsive for actual tasks like web browsing and video conferencing.

Who Should Buy the ASUS Zenbook 14 OLED

Anyone looking for a powerful, reasonably priced laptop with an OLED display! But its features go far beyond just the OLED screen. The build quality is excellent, and everyday performance is very fast. Additionally, with its long battery life, you won’t need to hunt for outlets frequently. The connectivity options are a bit limited, but that’s not uncommon for laptops in this price range. Overall, it’s a fantastic Windows machine that checks all the boxes.

How We Test Laptops

The Global PC team subjects each Windows laptop to a series of benchmark tests, testing GPU and CPU performance, battery life, etc. Our idea is to push the laptop to its limits and then compare it with other laptops we’ve tested. On the other hand, Chromebooks undergo a series of network-based tests. It would be unfair or impossible to run the same types of tests on Chromebooks since they are computers based on the Chrome OS.

Windows Laptops

  • PCMark 10: PCMark 10 is a standard for determining a laptop’s ability to handle light tasks like web browsing, word processing, spreadsheets, etc.
  • HandBrake: HandBrake is more intensive than PCMark 10. It essentially measures the time it takes for a laptop’s CPU to encode a powerful 30GB file.
  • Cinebench: Cinebench is a brief stress test of CPU cores. It accomplishes this by rendering a 2D scene in a short amount of time.
  • 3DMark: 3DMark checks if 3D performance remains consistent over time by running graphics-intensive clips.
  • Video drain test: To measure battery life, we use Windows 10’s Movies & TV app to loop a 4K video until the laptop runs out of power.

Chromebook

  • CrXPRT 2: CrXPRT 2 benchmark tests Chromebook battery life.
    Speedometer 2.0: This test determines a Chromebook’s browser performance. It simulates this by adding, completing, and deleting a to-do list.
  • Basemark Web 3.0: This benchmark measures a Chromebook’s ability to handle web-based applications.
  • Kraken 1.1: Kraken 1.1 is a JavaScript performance benchmark.
  • Jetstream 2: Jetstream 2 is a combination benchmark for WebAssembly and JavaScript. It’s a way to measure a Chromebook’s performance when running advanced workloads.

FAQs

1.What form factor is best for a laptop?

The first question you should ask yourself is what kind of laptop you’re looking for. There are traditional clamshell laptops, 2-in-1 laptops, Chromebooks, and so on. For instance, convertible laptops (also known as 2-in-1 laptops) have screens that can rotate around 360 degrees. This allows you to use the laptop like a tablet. They can also prop up like a tent, useful for watching movies or participating in video calls. On the other hand, Chromebooks run specifically on Google’s web-centric Chrome OS, typically used for everyday tasks. All have their pros and cons. Chromebooks are affordable and often have longer battery life, while convertibles are typically lightweight and versatile.

2.How much processing power do I need in a laptop?

If you’re looking for CPU performance, look for processors with higher numerical names. Compared to everyday tasks, Core i7 is better for gaming and more intensive work. Intel processors come in Core i3, Core i5, Core i7, and Core i9 versions. The higher the number, the more powerful the CPU. If you don’t need a lot of power, Intel Core i5 processors are your best bet, as they offer good performance at a reasonable price. Basic office and web work run fine on Core i3. As for AMD options, Ryzen 3 is suitable for basic productivity and web browsing, while Ryzen 5 chips are comparable to Intel Core i5 and are reliable all-around chips. If you need more capability, Ryzen 7 chips are great for content creation like video editing. Finally, if you’re dealing with 4K video, go for Ryzen 9.

3.Dedicated graphics card vs integrated graphics?

You need a dedicated graphics card for hardcore gaming or video editing. It’s separate from the processor, so you can expect it to have higher performance. On the other hand, integrated graphics are connected to the CPU, so they consume less power. They’re great for everyday tasks, especially if you’re not doing anything graphically intensive.

4.How much RAM does my laptop need?

8GB of RAM is enough for general use. If you have a gaming laptop, then 16GB of RAM is your best bet, while content creators will want more.

5.Do I need a large display for my laptop?

If you’re a video editor or do a lot of multimedia work, you’ll want a 15 to 17-inch display. However, the ideal size is actually between 13 and 14 inches. The larger the screen, the heavier the laptop. For portability and value, a 13 or 14-inch display is best.

6.How long should my laptop’s battery last on a single charge?

If you plan to carry your laptop around, aim for one that can last 10 to 12 hours on a single charge. That’s more than a full workday, so theoretically, it should help you get through long flights or a day of classes. Obviously, the more, the better.

7.How much should a

good laptop cost?

Many quality laptops are priced between $500 and $750, but the actual price depends on your budget. If you’re tight on cash (trust me), go for a Chromebook or entry-level business laptop. You can find reliable options for under $500. Spending $750 to $1,000 can get you better displays, higher performance, more storage, and better designs. If you’re willing to splurge on a laptop that costs over $1,000, you typically pay for premium build quality, excellent additional features, and top-notch performance.

Gaming laptops are a different story. Sometimes you can find gaming laptops with entry-level dedicated graphics cards for around $850, but you usually need to spend at least $1,000 to buy a system with decent 1080p gaming performance. You can pay more (often a lot more) to get better graphics firepower and better displays, but costs can escalate rapidly depending on the hardware you choose. Some fully loaded gaming laptops may cost thousands of dollars, but you’ll get a return comparable to a desktop replacement. Spending $1,200 to $2,000 usually gets you a very good gaming laptop.

8.Are connectivity options important for a laptop?

In my opinion, having multiple ports is always a plus as it eliminates the need for adapters. I recommend a laptop that has both USB-C and USB-A ports. An HDMI port is also good. This is especially useful when you want to connect to an external monitor.

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