Apple announced the newest member of its laptop lineup at its Worldwide Developer’s Conference (WWDC) earlier this month: the 15-inch Macbook Air. With a starting price of $1,299 ($100 above last year’s impressive 13-inch iteration), the 15-inch Macbook Air includes an M2 chipset, 18-hour battery life, and a lightweight form factor.

These specs, coupled with Apple’s integrated ecosystem and new MacOS features, may have you wondering whether the price tag is worth it for your productivity or creative needs. But you also might be looking at which laptops stack up against it, and on the note of productivity and creative needs, the Lenovo Yoga Book 9i’s dual OLED displays make it a contender.

Some Best Laptops of 2023

Some Best Laptops of 2023

MacBook Pro (M2 Max 2023)-16 inch The best laptop overall

MacBook Pro M2 Max-16 inch specs: Display size: 16.2-inches | Display type: Liquid Retina | Resolution: 3456 x 2234 | Refresh rate: 240Hz | RAM: Up to 96GB | Storage: Up to 8TB | CPU: 12-core M2 Max | GPU: 38-core M2 Max | Battery life: Up to 22 hours of movie playback

Hitting the market earlier this year, the newest 16-inch MacBook Pro is powered by Apple’s powerful M2 Max chip, which promises faster connectivity than the earlier generation — M1– chip. ZDNet went hands-on with the laptop and sports editor and producer Tom Filip to test out the powerhouse features.

Ultimately, ZDNET’s Technology Editor, June Wan, and Filip found that the laptop touted faster performance when powering through pro-grade apps and services, making workflow even more efficient with an upgraded battery life. In what June calls a “testament to Apple’s golden age of mobile computing,” the $3,499 laptop is fast and impressive but could do with some upgrades like a lighter form factor and a notch that isn’t as complacent with older, dated models.

Macbook Air M2-15 Inch The Best Lightweight Laptop

MacBook Air 15-inch specs: Display size: 15.3 inches | Display type: Liquid Retina | Resolution: 2560 x 1664 | Refresh rate: 60Hz | RAM: Up to 24GB | Storage: Up to 2TB SSD | CPU: Apple Silicon M2 | GPU: Apple Silicon M2 | Battery life: 18 hours

Will Apple’s MacBook Air go two for two with winning ZDNET’s title of product of the year? It might be a little early to tell, but 2023’s 15-inch model looks quite impressive so far. Powered by an M2 chipset, packing in 24GB of RAM, a 1080p camera, and what looks to be a bright Liquid Retina display with an 18-hour battery life to boot, the 3.3-pound model sounds like a lightweight powerhouse. Stay tuned for our final verdict after some hands-on testing, but at a $1,299 price point and followed by a fan favorite, we have some (reasonably) high expectations. The 15-inch MacBook Air with an M2 chip is now available in stores and to order online.

Dell XPS 17 Best Windows Laptop

Dell XPS 17 specs: Display size: 17 inches | Display type: LED | Resolution: 4K | CPU: Up to 13th Gen Intel Core i7 | Graphics: Nvidia GeForce RTX 30 or 40 series | RAM: Up to 64GB | Storage: Up to 8TB SSD | Connectivity: 4x Thunderbolt 4, 3.5mm AUX, SD reader, Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth | Battery life: 10 hours

ZDNet reviewed the Dell XPS 17 in 2021 and gave it our top spot in our list of 17-inch laptops. The latest iteration of XPS 17 has tons of configuration options with either a 12th or 13th-generation Intel Core CPU, up to an Nvidia GeForce RTX 4080 graphics card, up to 64GB of RAM, and up to 8TB of storing.

It also features a 4K LED Display for crisp, clean detailing and rich colors for more lifelike images. The Display also works with touch inputs to control your laptop and use your favorite programs. With Wi-Fi 6 compatibility, you’ll get super-fast wireless internet speeds for smoother streaming, gaming, and virtual work or learning.

Lenovo Yoga Book 9i is the Best dual-screen laptop

Lenovo Yoga Book 9i specs: Display size: 2×13 inches | Display type: OLED | Resolution: 2800×1800 | CPU: Intel 13th Generation Core i7-1355U | Graphics: Intel Iris Xe | RAM: 16GB | Storage: 512GB SSD | Connectivity: Bluetooth 5.1, Wi-Fi 6E 802.11 AX, Thunderbolt | Battery life: 7.3 hours

Have you ever seen a laptop like this? We hadn’t until it arrived on our desk. Since the laptop swaps a traditional keyboard and trackpad combo for two 13-inch OLED touchscreens, there is a bit of a user learning curve.

Regarding brief periods of work time, we found it useful to use a series of taps and gestures to trigger a digital keyboard and trackpad on the bottom Display. However, you’ll want to use the included Bluetooth keyboard, mouse and folio stand for longer work sessions. This combination allows you to use both displays on the Yoga Book 9i for ample workspace and multitasking.

What is the best laptop?

What is the best laptop_

ZDNET’s top pick for the best laptop is Apple’s 16-inch MacBook Pro, powered by Apple’s new M2 Max chip, which features a beautiful Liquid Retina display and promises 14 hours of battery life. This chart compares it with other laptops’ top features, including price, CPU/GPU, display size, and resolution.

How did we choose these laptops?

Our extensive research and hands-on testing made us choose laptops with superior design, performance, and practical storage and RAM. We also considered the different purposes for which you may need or use your laptop and the ultimate value (including the price point) that the laptop promises.

  • Design: Whether your laptop is your ultimate workstation or source of entertainment, its design, Display, and portability determine how you interact with the unit.
  • Performance: For many, laptops are essential for workflow and communication. The best laptops promise efficient speed and performance, powered by the latest chipsets (like the Apple M2 Max).
  • Storage and RAM: You’ll likely use a laptop to store critical documents or memories, and the best models have plenty of room for you to do so.
  • Purpose: We strive to answer the question, “What laptop should I get if ” as we know, you have different workflow and entertainment needs and preferences, from graphic design to gaming.
  • Value: The best laptop can be a pricey investment, so we considered qualities that assure you’ll get your money’s worth.

Which operating system should you choose: Windows, MacOS, Chrome OS, or Linux?

While every computing platform has its loyal supporters, most people use a particular operating system because of critical applications running on it, employer preferences, or budgetary constraints. Windows, which ranges from budget to premium, and Apple’s MacOS, available primarily in premium devices, cover a broad spectrum, while Chrome OS is limited mainly to affordable devices.

All Windows devices listed here meet the requirements for Windows 11. If you purchase a device with Windows 10 installed, you can upgrade to version 11 if you choose to do so. Note that after October 14, 2025, Windows 10 support will end, and there will be no further security patches or feature updates.