The Best Laptop Buyer’s Guide – Fall 2023

By Ari Altman | Published December 1, 2023 | Updated December 15, 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 the 10 best laptops 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 Fall 2023, you can get more performance than ever before, thanks 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 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 biggest 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 panels for intense colors and ultra-deep blacks, high-refresh rates starting at 144Hz, 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 several times a year, 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 Home Office Laptop

    ASUS Vivobook 14 1165G7

    If you want the perfect work-from-home laptop at a great price, go with the Asus Vivobook! It offers a 14″ 1920×1080 IPS screen, a potent Intel Core i7-1165G7 quad-core, 8-thread processor, 16GB of RAM, a 512GB solid-state drive, and Windows 11 Pro. With a weight of 3.31lb, it’s a true thin-and-light, and a bargain one at that!

    The Guru’s Tip

    This laptop uses an older high-end Intel processor, which would be a problem if the price were high, but here it's been lowered to make it an exceptional deal, and a perfect use of an older but still impressive CPU.

  • The Work/School Laptop

    Acer Swift Go 1355U

    If you want the most versatile laptop on a budget, go straight for the Aspire Swift Go. This model packs in a powerful Intel Core i7-1355U ten-core processor, including two performance cores and 8 efficiency cores, plus Turbo Boost to 5GHz and Intel Xe graphics. The 14″, 1920×1200 screen is the perfect size and resolution for getting work done, and offers touch functionality as a bonus. With 16GB of RAM and a 512GB PCIe-based solid-state drive, the Swift Go will feel fast today and long into the future. And the best part: it’s just 2.76lb, making it ultra-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

    LG Gram 16 1360P

    LG’s Gram series has defied reality since the beginning, offering insanely-low weight with tremendous power. The latest LG Gram is a shining example of that, packing in an awesomely-powerful Intel Core i7-1360P ten-core, 16-thread CPU and a 16″ 2560 x 1600 display into a chassis that weights just 2.64lb. It also includes 16GB of RAM (a necessity for serious multi-tasking), a 512GB solid-state drive pre-loaded with Windows 11, and a massive 80Wh battery for up to 20 hours of video playback!

    The Guru’s Tip

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

  • The Ultimate Business Laptop

    ASUS Zenbook 15 OLED 7735U

    The Zenbook line from Asus has defined elegance for years, setting the standards by which all others are judged. And the latest Zenbook 15 OLED is no different – it’s the ultimate laptop for the professional on the go. Coming in at an ultra-portable 3.09lb, it still manages to come fully-loaded. It starts with the powerful AMD Ryzen 7 7735U 8-core, 16-thread CPU. Also on board are a gorgeous 15.6-inch 2880×1800 OLED screen with a 16:10 ratio, 32GB of ultra-fast DDR5-6400 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 13980HX/4070

    Welcome to the ultimate productivity laptop! This model is bursting with power, despite a weight of just 4.19 pounds! It all starts with the shockingly-fast Intel Core i9-13980HX 24-core, 32-thread processor, the most powerful mobile CPU on the market, which will rip through anything you can throw at it. Backing this CPU up is an Nvidia GeForce RTX 4070 8GB GPU, perfect for accelerating any content creation app along with 32GB of RAM, and a 1TB PCIe SSD. The icing on top is the gorgeous display: a 16” 2560 x 1600 screen with an enhanced 16:10 aspect ratio.

    The Guru’s Tip

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


  • The Budget Gaming Laptop

    Lenovo Ideapad 7735HS/RTX 4050

    This system offers up shocking specs for the price, with an AMD Ryzen 7 7735HS 8-core, 12-thread CPU, along with Nvidia’s GeForce RTX 4050 video card. Also on board is 16GB of RAM and a 512GB solid-state drive. The 15.6″ 1920 x 1080 screen will provide smooth frames thanks to the 120Hz refresh rate.

    The Guru’s Tip

    This is a great way to get into gaming at an affordable price.

  • The Budget Gaming Laptop, The Midrange Gaming Laptop

    Acer Nitro 16 7840HS/RTX 4060

    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 AMD Ryzen 7 7840HS 8-core, 16-thread CPU, this system gives up little to the giants. It also packs in a Nvidia GeForce RTX 4060, 16GB of DDR5 RAM, a 512GB PCIe SSD. The screen is also impressive, measuring 16″, with a 1920 x 1200 resolution and an incredible 165Hz refresh rate, 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 High-End Gaming Laptop

    MSI Katana 15 13620H/RTX 4070

    This gaming laptop from MSI is truly packed with power. It all starts with the Raptor Lake-based Intel Core i7-13620H 14-core, 20-thread CPU, which can boost up to 4.9GHz. 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 4070 8GB GPU, which in turn is driving an amazing 15.6″ 1920×1080 IPS screen with a 144Hz 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

    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!

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