Best Windows Laptop for 2023:
Windows laptops remain some of the most popular on the market for good reason: The best Windows laptops offer exceptional performance for most people’s needs. We’ve rounded up some of the best laptops out there from top brands such as Asus, Dell, Lenovo, HP, Acer, Microsoft and more. All the laptops on this list use the latest Windows 11 OS, and have all been tested and approved by CNET’s team of experts. Read on if you’re looking for the best Windows laptop 2023 has to offer, or check out our roundup of the best overall laptops for 2023 if you’re also interested in Chromebooks and Apple models.
Right now, the best Windows laptop for most people is the Dell XPS 13, for its excellent combination of performance, amazing battery life and portability. Our favorite budget-priced alternative at the moment is the Acer Swift 3. The best part of getting a Windows PC is the amount of variety available, which is widely covered with the other picks on this list. This best Windows laptop list is updated periodically as new models are tested, reviewed and make the cut.
Dell XPS 13
The Dell XPS 13 is a perennial favorite for its size, weight and performance and just overall good looks. In 2020, Dell made the laptop smaller while making the screen larger and increasing performance for both CPU and graphics-intensive tasks. For 2022, it made the XPS 13 even smaller and lighter, kept its $999 starting price the same and dropped in the latest 12th-gen Intel processors.
We found it reasonably priced and with excellent battery life, if somewhat underpowered. Bear in mind, if you want to save money, the 2021 XPS 13 with 11th-gen Intel chips is available for less now.
Acer Swift 3
Available with either AMD Ryzen or Intel Core processors, this 14-inch laptop gives you more screen to work on than 13-inch laptops, but is still incredibly lightweight — less than 3 pounds. The bigger display is nice, too, covering 100% sRGB color gamut (better than you typically find at its starting price under $700). It also has a backlit keyboard, a fingerprint reader and USB Type-C and HDMI ports, too. The 2022 version of the Swift 3 falls just under $1,000 with 12th-gen Intel Core i-series CPUs. But the 2021 models are still widely available for around $600.
HP Pavilion Aero 13
HP packed a lot of value into the Aero 13: Eye-pleasing magnesium-aluminum chassis, strong processing performance, long battery life, a bright, colorful display and a weight of just 2 pounds (0.94 kilograms). Amazingly, considering all that it offers, it has a regular starting price of less than $800 but it’s regularly on sale for less than $700.
Lenovo Yoga 7i
This thin, 3-pound convertible is a solid choice for anyone who needs a laptop for office or schoolwork. The all-metal chassis gives it a premium look and feel, and it has a comfortable keyboard and a responsive, smooth precision touchpad. Though it’s light on extra features compared to its premium linemate, the Yoga 9i, it does have one of Lenovo’s sliding shutters for its webcam that gives you privacy when you want it. And it has a long battery life to boot at 12 hours, 45 minutes in our tests. The latest version with 12th-gen Intel processors starts at $999 (although you can find it on sale for less). The 2021 models are still available, too, at reduced prices.
HP Victus 16
HP’s Victus 16 is a surprisingly robust and powerful gaming laptop that keeps up with the latest games at a more affordable price. Compared to HP’s high-end Omen gaming laptop line, the Victus is more of an all-purpose laptop but still configured for gaming with a price starting at less than $900. HP offers several configurations with graphics chip options ranging from Nvidia’s entry-level GeForce GTX 1650 up to a midrange RTX 3060 or AMD Radeon RX 6500M.
Microsoft Surface Pro 8
Although this Microsoft Surface laptop is not the Surface Laptop, the Surface Pro continues to hit all the right notes if you’re looking for a do-it-all Windows tablet that doubles as a Windows laptop. Microsoft recently overhauled it for the Surface Pro 8, which has a larger 13-inch display, 11th-gen Intel Core processors and two Thunderbolt 4 USB-C ports. The Surface Pro 7 is still around for the time being at a discount, and an updated version called the Surface Pro 7 Plus will stay in the lineup, so you’ll still be able to get the classic Pro design but with new processors.
Asus ROG Strix G15 Advantage Edition
We’re big fans of the ROG Strix line and you really can’t go wrong with any of them. However, Asus’ $1,829 all-AMD Strix G15 gaming laptop delivers excellent performance and battery life, with a top-of-the-line Ryzen 9 5900HX CPU and Radeon RX 6800M GPU — and that’s before you realize that the performance and components are way above its price class. It runs cool and quiet, even running close to full tilt. At higher prices, it’s not such an obvious call, though.
Razer Blade 14
There’s a lot to love with the Razer Blade 14, which incorporates one of the fastest mobile CPUs available (for now, at least), the AMD Ryzen 9 5900HX, and top-end mobile graphics with the GeForce RTX 3070 or 3080. Its display can go pixel-to-pixel with the MacBook’s. And its high-quality build is up there with the best MacBooks but, like an Apple, it’s not necessarily the best laptop deal, even compared to other premium laptops.
Asus ROG Flow X13 with XG Mobile
The Flow X13 keeps you from having to choose between getting a 13-inch two-in-one and a powerful gaming laptop. The little laptop is great for productivity, but its unique external USB-C hub has an Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 mobile GPU inside for when you need a graphics boost for gaming or content creation.
Lenovo Yoga 9i Gen 7
Lenovo launched the Yoga line 10 years ago with Windows 8 and now, with Windows 11, the flexibility of the design has only gotten better. The company’s flagship 14-inch Yoga 9i Gen 7 has an updated look with comfortable, rounded edges and 12th-gen Intel processors that give it a big multicore performance jump. A beautiful OLED display and improved audio make it excellent for work, video conferences and entertainment. Lenovo includes an active pen and a laptop sleeve to complete the premium package.
The powerful speakers do add some vibration to the palm rests when turned up and Lenovo has cluttered the laptop with pitches for optional services and software. But, overall, the latest Yoga 9i is the two-in-one convertible laptop to beat..
Dell XPS 17 9720
The XPS 17 combines the same slim, premium design of its 13-inch linemate but with increased performance possibilities. It can be configured with up to a 12th-gen Intel Core i9 processor, 64GB of memory and a 6GB Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 graphics chip. The best part: Dell trimmed up the chassis so much that you get a 17-inch display in a body that’s the size of an older 15-inch laptop. You’re getting a lot of power and a big screen in the smallest possible package.
Asus ZenBook Duo 14
If you’ve ever wished for just a little extra screen space on your thin-and-light laptop, your wish is granted. The Duo 14’s 12.6-inch secondary touchscreen behaves just like any other attached display except it’s built into the body above the keyboard. You can use it for extending the main 14-inch display so it works like one large screen, or use it for apps that would normally be buried behind what you’re working on. If that’s not enough, it’s pen-enabled so you can write and draw on it with the included pen. Plus, Asus’ ScreenXpert software lets you turn it into a giant touchpad, a number pad or even a tool deck for Adobe Creative Cloud software.
How we test computers
The review process for laptops, desktops, tablets and other computer-like devices consists of two parts: performance testing under controlled conditions in the CNET Labs and extensive hands-on use by our expert reviewers. This includes evaluating a device’s aesthetics, ergonomics and features. A final review verdict is a combination of both those objective and subjective judgments.