The Best Laptop Buyer’s Guide – Winter 2023

By Ari Altman | Published February 11, 2023 | Updated February 11, 2023

Asus Vivobook ProChoosing the Right Laptop, Made Easy!

Need a new laptop but haven’t quite kept up with all the latest product releases? Well, we’ve got you covered – this guide profiles a dozen of the best laptop on the market today, in a variety of categories, from home office to work on-the-go to enthusiast-level gaming.

The Best Laptops, Right Now!

For Winter 2023, every single one of our 12 picks is new, which goes to show how truly dynamic the market is. That’s in part due to renewed competition between Intel and AMD, each vying for dominance in the laptop processor market like never before. Translation: consumers win with every new CPU released! And that’s why you need this guide… so you don’t get stuck with last year’s also-ran, which many vendors will be more than happy to sell you!!!

And while there’s truly a great laptop for everyone on this list, not everyone needs the same thing. That’s why we have budget choices for families and students, ultra-light choices for serious travelers, content creation machines, and of course, gaming laptops, all of which are equipped with Nvidia’s RTX 3000 and RTX 4000-series GPUs. Anything less would be a mistake!

Key Things to Look For

As noted, Intel and AMD are now competing hard for the attention of laptop buyers, and we’ve incorporated the best from both companies in our selections. Notably, Intel called a “time out” in order to fight back against a renewed AMD, releasing nothing new in 2021, but coming storming back for 2022 with its 12th-Gen CPUs. With its latest 13th-Gen models, Intel stretches its lead, although Intel’s main advantage is at the very high end. Its hybrid architecture packs in efficiency and performance cores to beat AMD in both lightly-threaded and highly-threaded workloads.

One last thing: there’s been a lot of innovation with regard to laptop screens as well lately, and many high-end models offer features such as OLED or mini-LED panels, high-refresh rates, extreme resolutions, or work-friendly 16:10 aspect ratios. We’ve made sure to call these out in our recommendations so you know all the great tech you can get!

Parting Thoughts

We update this guide quarterly, as new laptops are constantly hitting the market, and Intel and AMD update their CPU offerings at least once a year. To help support continued development of this guide, please use the Amazon links we provide. They will auto-convert for readers in Canada, the UK, and parts of the EU, with automatic substitutions made where necessary based on regional variations.

Home/Small Office

  • The Touchscreen Chromebook

    Lenovo Flex 5

    Chromebooks took on a huge new life once so many people found themselves (and their kids) at home, because these devices can be ideal low-cost machines. The one concern we have is that they’ve become so popular that no-name models often sell for more than much more powerful Windows-based PCs. That’s why we strongly recommend the Flex 5, which is far and away the best Chromebook you can buy for a reasonable price. It has a feature that is simply critical from our point of view: a touchscreen, and a big 13.3″ one at that. We can’t believe so many Chromebooks are sold without touchscreens given the OS they are running comes from a smartphone! Also onboard are an Intel Celeron N5205U dual-core processor, 4GB of RAM, and a 64GB solid-state drive. You even get full 360-degree flip functionality with this Chromebook, another reason it is head-and-shoulders above all the similarly-priced competition!

    The Guru’s Tip

    Fun fact: Chrome OS is now the second most popular operating system in the world, behind Windows and ahead of macOS!

  • The Home Office Laptop

    Acer Aspire 5

    If you want the perfect work-from-home laptop at a great price, go with the Acer Aspire 5! It offers a 15.6″ 1920×1080 IPS screen, a potent AMD Ryzen 5 5500U six-core, 12-thread processor, 8GB of RAM, a 256GB solid-state drive, and Windows 11 Home. With a weight of 3.9lb, it’s a true thin-and-light, and a bargain one at that!

    The Guru’s Tip

    This laptop uses a Zen 2-based AMD CPU, the 5500U, which is a rebranded version of the older 4600U. That doesn't bother us one bit at this pricepoint!

  • The Work/School Laptop

    Acer Aspire Vero 1195G7

    If you want the most versatile laptop on a budget, go straight for the Aspire Vero. This model packs in a powerful Intel Core i5-1195G7 quad-core processor with Turbo Boost to 5GHz and Iris Xe graphics, a 15.6″ 1920×1080 screen, 16GB of DDR4 memory, and a 512GB PCIe-based solid-state drive. And it’s just 4lb, making it very portable!

    The Guru’s Tip

    We think touchscreens are seriously under-valued, as they make laptops so much more versatile and fun to use. Because of that, we consider this the perfect student laptop.

  • The Affordable Ultralight

    Acer Swift 3 SF314

    The Acer Swift 3 is an amazingly-light laptop at an equally-amazing price. It packs in a powerful Intel Core i5-1240P ten-core, 16-thread processor, along with a 14” touchscreen. It also includes 16GB of RAM (a necessity for serious multi-tasking), a 512GB solid-state drive pre-loaded with Windows 11, and a backlit keyboard. And despite weighing just 2.76lb., it still gets over 7 hours of battery life on a charge.

    The Guru’s Tip

    This laptop really hits the sweet spot in terms of price, performance, and portability!

  • The Ultimate Business Laptop

    ASUS Zenbook S 13 OLED 6800U

    The Zenbook line from Asus has defined elegance for years, setting the standards by which all others are judged. And the latest Zenbook S 13 OLED is no different – it’s the ultimate workstation for the professional on the go. Coming in at an ultra-portable 2.43lb, it still manages to come fully-loaded. It starts with the massively-powerful AMD Ryzen 7 6800U CPU, an 8-core, 16-thread CPU that cannot be matched in terms of performance in a slim laptop. Also on board are a gorgeous 13.3-inch 2880×1800 OLED touchscreen with a 16:10 ratio, 16GB of RAM, a 1TB solid-state drive, and Windows 11 Pro.

    The Guru’s Tip

    This slim and light laptop truly fits the description of a portable workstation, and will be the perfect choice for mobile professionals needing power and portability in equal measure.

  • The Ultimate Content Creation Laptop

    ASUS VivoBook Pro 16X 6900H/3050 Ti

    Welcome to the ultimate productivity laptop! This model is bursting with power, despite a weight of just 4.4 pounds! It all starts with the shockingly-fast AMD Ryzen 9 6900H 8-core, 16-thread processor, which will rip through anything you can throw at it. Backing this CPU up is an Nvidia GeForce RTX 3050 Ti GPU, perfect for content creation, along with 32GB of RAM, and a 1TB PCIe SSD. The icing on top is the gorgeous display: a 16” WQXGA+ (3840 x 2400) OLED screen with an enhanced 16:10 aspect ratio and an impressive 400 nits of brightness.

    The Guru’s Tip

    While many high-end laptops are created specifically for gaming, this was was created for creators!


  • The Lightweight Gaming Laptop

    ASUS TUF Dash F15 12650H/RTX 3060

    Gaming laptops have come a long way in a short time, and this is a perfect example of how much you can now get in the mainstream market. Powered by the cutting-edge Intel Core i7-12650H 10-core, 16-thread CPU, this system gives up little to the giants. And yet at just 4.41lb, it’s quite svelte. Even so, it packs in a Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060, 16GB of DDR5 RAM, a 512GB PCIe SSD, Thunderbolt 4, Wi-Fi 6, and Windows 11 Home. Also on board is a 15.6” 144Hz 1080p display, which will provide great smoothness in gaming!

    The Guru’s Tip

    This laptop's weight nearly qualifies it as a true thin-and-light, impressive for a gaming model!

  • The Mid-Range Gaming Laptop

    MSI Pulse GL66 12700H/RTX 3070

    MSI knocks it out of the park in terms of value with the GL66. This is truly the perfect moderately-priced, high-powered gaming laptop. It features a potent Intel Core i7-12700H 14-core, 20-thread processor, 16GB of RAM, a 512GB solid-state drive, an Nvidia RTX 3070 8GB video card, and a 15.6″ 1920×1080 IPS screen with a smooth 144Hz refresh rate.

    The Guru’s Tip

    If you have the budget for it, this is a really nice upgrade from the model above. The only real tradeoff is that it's heavier.

  • The High-End Gaming Laptop

    Gigabyte Aorus 15 XE5 12700H/RTX 3070 Ti

    This gaming laptop from Gigabyte is truly packed with power. It all starts with the Alder Lake-based Intel Core i7-12700H 14-core, 20-thread CPU, which can boost up to 4.7GHz. To get to its impressive core count, it uses six multi-threaded performance cores and eight single-threaded efficiency cores. Put together, it simply decimates anything that has come before it, including anything from Intel. It’s backing up Nvidia’s potent GeForce RTX 3070 Ti 8GB GPU, which in turn is driving an amazing 15.6″ 2560×1440 IPS screen with a 165Hz refresh rate. Also onboard is 16GB RAM and a 1TB PCIe solid-state drive.

    The Guru’s Tip

    AMD forced Intel's hand with its Ryzen chips, but Intel is now firmly back in the driver's seat!

  • The Extreme Gaming Laptop

    Gigabyte Aero 17 YE5 12700H/3080 Ti

    The Gigabyte Aero 17 is marketed as a content creation workstation, but it delivers the goods for gaming as well! It’s packing in Intel’s latest Core i7-12700H 14-core, 20-thread processor, the blazing-fast Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 Ti 16GB GPU, 32GB of DDR5 RAM, a 2TB solid-state drive, and a mesmerizing 17.3″ 4K mini-LED 120Hz display capable of displaying HDR1000!

    The Guru’s Tip

    This is an unbelievable deal. It's technically "last-gen," but the discount makes it a shocking value!

  • The Extreme Gaming Laptop

    MSI Stealth 17 Studio 13900H/RTX 4080


    MSI packs an incredible amount of power the Stealth 17 Studio while offering it at a reasonable price. This model features Intel’s shockingly-powerful Core i9-13900H 14-core, 20-thread CPU with boost up to 5.4GHz. Also on board is the mighty Nvidia GeForce RTX 4080 12GB GPU. It’s put to good use in this system, driving a 17.3″ 2560 x 1440 IPS screen with an impressive 240Hz refresh rate. Also on board is a 1TB PCIe Gen 4-based SSD and 32GB of DDR5 RAM.

    The Guru’s Tip

    AMD doesn't have anything in its stable that can counter the 13900H!

  • The Ultimate Gaming Laptop

    MSI Raider GE78 13980HX/RTX 4090

    If you’re ready to take everything to the max, the Raider GE78 is the laptop for you! Featuring Intel’s range-topping Core i9-13980HX, it offers a shocking 24 cores, 32 threads, and a boost speed of 5.6GHz! It’s backing up the fastest mobile GPU on the market, Nvidia’s GeForce RTX 4090 16GB, which is driving an impressive 17.3″ 3200×1800 Mini-LED screen with the best colors in the industry and an ultra-smooth 240Hz refresh rate. Also on board is 32GB of DDR5 RAM and a 2TB PCIe Gen 4 solid-state drive, along with HDMI 2.1 and Thunderbolt 4.

    The Guru’s Tip

    The RTX 4090 used in laptops is based off the RTX 4080 used in desktops. Some people may wonder why, and the answer is that the desktop 4090 is a 450W GPU... that's never going to work in a laptop!

Pin It on Pinterest