HomeBlogThe Best Laptops 2023 for Windows, MacBooks, and Linux

The Best Laptops 2023 for Windows, MacBooks, and Linux

HP Spectre x360 14

Buying a laptop is a big decision. With so many options available in the market, choosing the right laptop can be a daunting task. But worry not, as we have done the research for you and compiled a list of the best laptops you can buy in 2023.

When it comes to operating systems, Windows, MacBooks, and Linux are the most popular choices. Each has its own unique features and capabilities, catering to different needs and preferences. Let’s take a closer look at the best laptops for each of these operating systems.

For Windows users, the Dell XPS 13 is an excellent choice. It offers a sleek design, powerful performance, and a stunning display. The laptop is powered by the latest Intel processors and comes with ample storage and memory options. The XPS 13 also boasts an impressive battery life, making it perfect for those who are constantly on the go.

If you prefer MacBooks, the MacBook Pro 16-inch is the top pick. With its stunning Retina display, powerful performance, and outstanding build quality, the MacBook Pro is a favorite among professionals and creatives. It features an innovative Touch Bar and Touch ID, offering a seamless and secure user experience. The MacBook Pro also offers excellent battery life, allowing you to work for hours without having to worry about charging.

For Linux enthusiasts, the System76 Gazelle is a solid choice. Designed specifically for Linux OS, the Gazelle offers excellent compatibility and performance. It comes with the latest AMD or Intel processors, ample storage, and powerful graphics options. The laptop also features a customizable keyboard and a sturdy build quality, ensuring a smooth and reliable user experience.

Apart from these specific choices, there are a few laptops that excel across operating systems. The Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon is one such laptop. Known for its durability and reliability, the ThinkPad X1 Carbon offers impressive performance and a comfortable typing experience. It is equipped with the latest Intel processors, fast storage options, and a vibrant display. The ThinkPad X1 Carbon also has a great battery life, making it an ideal choice for business professionals.

If you are looking for a budget-friendly option, the Acer Aspire 5 is worth considering. With its affordable price tag, the Aspire 5 doesn’t compromise on performance. It offers a decent display, good battery life, and ample storage options. The laptop is powered by either AMD or Intel processors, depending on the model, and comes with sufficient memory for everyday tasks.

Best MacBook

Apple MacBook Air (13 and 15 Inch)

Apple MacBook Air (13 and 15-inch)
Both the 13-inch and 15-inch models of Apple’s most recent MacBook Air are rated 7/10 by Montentech. Both are extremely similar and are powered by the same second-generation M2 CPU from the manufacturer. They also have bigger, brighter displays, a 1080p webcam, a flatter, more contemporary look, and the return of the MagSafe connector, which is helpful if you frequently trip over the charging cord. One of the first less expensive MacBooks with a huge screen, having that much screen space is great for productivity. They are identical except that the larger machine features a somewhat louder six-speaker sound system.

Battery life continues to be superior to the competitors, and performance is fluid for the majority of standard workloads. If you run resource-intensive programs on your devices, you may occasionally experience some stuttering. However, if you increase the unified memory from the default 8 GB to 16 GB, this problem disappears. This Mac does have a tendency to run warmly despite its fanless design, which means you won’t feel like you’re in a jet. One major drawback? You cannot set up a dual-monitor arrangement because it can only connect to one external display.

Best Windows Laptop

Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 5

Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 5
Several years ago, Lenovo’s IdeaPad Flex 5 line offered incredible value, and this 2-in-1 model is no exception. There is a quick AMD Ryzen chip in addition to tablet mode and a 360-hinge that supports tent mode for enhanced movie viewing angles. These specs are sufficient for using standard office programs and web-based tasks, but they are insufficient for gaming or video editing. Two USB-A ports, an HDMI port, an SD card reader, one USB-C port, a headphone jack, and a charging port are all present. However, the USB-C port can also be used to recharge the laptop.

Best Linux Laptop

System76 Pangolin Laptop

System76 Pangolin Laptop
 The 15-inch Pangolin laptop from System is an AMD-powered monster (8/10, Montentech Recommends). It is built around an AMD Ryzen 7 6800U, which has a 250 GB SSD and 32 GB of soldered RAM. The Pangolin includes every connector a sysadmin could want, including a single USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-C port, three USB-A ports, a 3.5-mm headphone/microphone combo line, a full-size SD card reader, HDMI 2.0, and Gigabit Ethernet. It can be configured with up to an incredible 8 terabytes of storage. In most situations, the battery life is excellent for the size and lasts all day. The keyboard is also excellent, though I didn’t like how the trackpad was off-center. Other than that, this Linux computer is a monster.

Best Budget Laptop

Asus Zenbook 14 (2023)

Asus Zenbook 14 (2023)
 Budget laptops aren’t known for being very impressive, but Asus defies expectations with a Windows laptop that costs only $700 and provides a solid balance of performance, long battery life, and an OLED display (8/10, Montentech Recommends). The device we choose has an AMD Ryzen 5 7530U CPU, 8 GB of RAM, and a 256 GB SSD. Even though it might not seem like much, we were pleased with the performance, especially considering the cost. The battery life is excellent, coming in at about 12.5 hours (tested by looping a YouTube video at full brightness), however, the graphics and games aren’t totally usable, with very dismal frame rates throughout.
It weighs 3.1 pounds and is 19 mm thick, yet despite its tiny design, it manages to fit in a lot of ports. There are two full-size USB 3.2 ports, one full-size HDMI output, two USB-C ports (one of which is required for charging), and a microSD card reader. The keyboard is pleasant to type on but has tiny arrow keys. For not much more, you may upgrade to the model with 16 GB of RAM and a 512-GB SSD if you desire more specifications.

Best Repairable, Upgradeable Laptop

Framework Laptop 13 (2023)

Framework Laptop 13 (2023)
 Framework’s Laptop 13 or 15 (8/10, Montentech Recommends) is the only laptop you need to buy if you want to retain it for five, possibly ten years. The user-repairable and upgradeable Framework Windows laptop is available in a variety of configurations (it also supports Linux), but we like the DIY build choices because they let you assemble the device yourself by screwing in SSD, RAM, the screen bezel, and other components. The 2023 Intel version has a fantastic matte 3:2 screen and significantly longer battery life. The flexible, hot-swappable port system allows you to add and delete ports as necessary. You can upgrade your laptop rather than purchase a completely new one when a new chipset is launched.

The AMD variant is now unavailable, and when completely customized on Framework’s website, the high-end models are expensive relative to what you receive.

Best MacBook Upgrade

Apple MacBook Pro (16-Inch, 2023)

Apple MacBook Pro (16-Inch, 2023)
The most recent MacBook Pro models from Apple (9/10, Montentech Recommends) aren’t revolutionary; in fact, they hardly fit on gleaming new wheels. The M2 chips make a significant internal difference, but all the modifications occur there. You don’t need to upgrade if your MacBook Pro is an M1 Pro or M1 Max. Otherwise, if you want to purchase a powerful Apple laptop, you should purchase these variants.
If you’re a serious productivity user or content creator—if you frequently have more than 20 tabs open in Chrome, dabble in multitasking, or do some light video editing—get the new M2 Pro. If you want considerable power for difficult creative and production jobs, such as 3D modeling and intricate video editing, have a look at the M2 Max. Compared to the 14-inch model, the 16-inch screen will provide you with better battery life and a bigger display. The keyboard and trackpad are good, albeit with less travel than in prior models. The show is opulent and vibrant. Most people will be able to enjoy a welcome dongle-free life thanks to the new array of ports.

Best 2-in-1 Laptop

HP Spectre x360 14

HP Spectre x360 14
The form of this HP Spectre x360 14 Windows laptop is more rounded, which is a great improvement over the previous, more angular model, which was uncomfortable for your wrists to rest on. Additionally, HP has improved the port options, which is something I will never criticize. Performance is quick; you may browse Chrome with up to 20 tabs open without experiencing any lag. A keyboard that has the average feel and a surprisingly good amount of travel matches this. With an OLED panel that offers a 3,000 X 2,000-pixel resolution, the display is clear, bright, and opulent. The speakers are set up to produce a louder sound than luxury. High levels don’t change the detail, however, the treble gets a touch harsh.
This is expensive for what you get, but it has a 2-in-1 design that allows you to use the touchscreen in tablet form or push it up in tent mode to view movies. To learn more, see our guide to the Best 2-in-1 Laptops.

Best Cheap MacBook

Apple MacBook Air (M1, 2020)

Apple MacBook Air (M1, 2020)
One of the top laptops now available is the 13-inch MacBook Air from 2020 (9/10, Montentech Recommends). It was the first Apple product to replace Intel processors with the brand-new M1 processor. This older model of the MacBook Air is still desirable despite the new model’s M2 processor (see above), given that it is frequently offered for $900 or less (particularly with the education discount).
With this MacBook over the most recent Air, we’ve had fewer speed hitches (and fewer thermal concerns), and the battery life is excellent, easily lasting more than a full workday. Although it isn’t as sleek as the most recent Macs, it is still small and light, and it has terrific speakers, a great keyboard, and a lovely screen. I adore the fact that it now wakes up right away from sleep, much like an iPhone or iPad. This is the MacBook you want if you want a Mac but don’t intend to use it for any demanding jobs like video editing.

Best Chromebook

Asus Chromebook Flip CX5

Asus Chromebook Flip CX5
This Asus Chromebook has a lot to recommend it. To begin with, the keyboard is wonderful. When companies want to save costs, typing is frequently the first thing to go, but Asus has clearly paid attention to this area because there is a ton of travel and a nice click. On this keyboard, I could gladly type for hours on end. The interior material is equally superb, having a smooth texture and a gentle touch. Nothing else on the market comes close to that.
I’ll get right to it. Our review model boasts a lot of horsepower for a computer that will only be used for web browsing and productivity tasks, with 16 GB of RAM and an 11th-Gen Intel Core i7 processor. A tab hoarder’s wonder, this laptop. Although the screen won’t blow you away, it is one of the nicer 1080p panels I’ve used and gets bright enough for the majority of everyday situations. Strong port options are available, with an emphasis on variety. There are two USB-C ports, one USB-A, one HDMI port, one microSD port, and two USB-C ports.

Best for Big Screen Productivity

LG Gram 15.6-Inch SuperSlim

LG Gram 15.6-Inch SuperSlim
How could the LG Gram SuperSlim (7/10, Montentech Recommends) not remain our favorite big laptop? It weighs only 2.2 pounds and is absurdly thin—about 15 mm thick when the elevating standoffs under the chassis are included. It yet manages to be a sturdy machine in spite of its light, thin frame. The CPU, an Intel Core i7-1360p running at 2.2 GHz, is the same regardless of the model you choose to purchase; the only difference between them is the quantity of RAM and storage.
Performance must be sacrificed in exchange for that thinness. The Gram performed poorly on business apps and only marginally better on graphics performance than the $700 Asus above. The 15.6-inch screen is still incredibly bright, and the fans are so quiet you hardly notice them. Additionally, we were able to get an incredible 10.5 hours of YouTube playback from the Gram’s battery, which is remarkable given how brilliant the screen is.

Windows for Budding Creators

Acer Swift 3X

Acer Swift 3X
The Acer Swift 3X is one of the first devices to feature Intel’s XE Graphics technology, which is in the midst of a graphics revolution. The GPU won’t give you high-end gaming performance—far from it—but it will give your graphics a boost, enabling you to create basic content on this tiny and light system. Although it is expensive for the quality, students studying creative and design fields benefit greatly from the combination of performance and small size. It doesn’t compare to Apple’s M1 (or M2) MacBook Air, but if you don’t want to step foot in Apple’s garden, there is a comparable Windows alternative.

A Dual-Screen Dream Machine

Lenovo Yoga Book 9i (2023)

Lenovo Yoga Book 9i (2023)
Although adding a second screen to a laptop is not new, the Lenovo Yoga Book 9i (8/10, Montentech Recommends) may be the first to do so successfully given its fairly specialized design. “Second screen” with the Yoga Book 9i refers to a complete screen. The entire laptop is a touchscreen, including the lower portion, therefore there is no keyboard at all. You can get the idea by sandwiching two 13.3-inch OLED displays with a hinge in between.
The Yoga Book may be used as two separate Windows tablets or as one enormous one, with distinct apps placed on either side and is held in the same way as a large book. That may sound trivial, but the Yoga Book 9i is surprisingly well suited for completing genuine business tasks, and may even succeed in this regard more effectively than a typical laptop. It is a transportable dual-screen configuration that largely functions. Even a Bluetooth keyboard and mouse are included. The cost and occasionally awkward interactions between screens are drawbacks. Additionally, performance is subpar given the cost.

Honorable Mentions

Lenovo Slim Pro 7 AMD for $1,200
Lenovo Slim Pro 7 AMD

The laptops of Lenovo’s Slim series are good. This AMD model is particularly wonderful with good battery life and impressive performance, especially in graphics-intensive activities (8/10, Montentech Recommends). It features an aluminum frame, a 2.5K, a 16:10 screen, and numerous connectors.

Dell XPS 13 Plus for $1,299

Dell XPS 13 2022

Dell divided their line-up of premium laptops in 2022, and the results weren’t spectacular. Although the XPS 13 Plus (7/10, Montentech Recommends) incorporated numerous innovative innovations, its exorbitant price could not be defended. Then, the usually top-notch Dell XPS 13 (5/10, WIRED Recommends) experienced a decline in quality. If you’re set on getting a Dell, neither of these machines should be fully discounted, but take these competitors into consideration first.

Microsoft Surface Laptop 5 for $1,000

Microsoft Surface Laptop 5

It’s time for the Microsoft Surface team to exercise its finger. The machine’s obscenely large bezels are the most obvious example of how little the design has altered since it was first introduced. It’s a shame because the Laptop 5 has a good keyboard and an attractive, though rather dated, exterior. Given its flaws, the new model’s pricing is difficult to defend. Save some money on it instead since not much has changed since the Surface Laptop 4 (7/10, Montentech Recommends).

Laptop Buying Tips

How to Choose the Right Laptop for You
It’s okay if none of these computers quite tickles your fancy. More laptops are available than we have time to test. A thorough laptop purchase guide was put together by us to assist you in making informed decisions. We advise adhering to these rules:
  • RAM: Make sure you get at least 8 GB of RAM—16 GB would be even better.
  • 10th-generation or higher: There are dozens of chips on the market, but we prefer 10th-generation or higher Intel chips (we’re currently in the 13th generation).
  • Core i5 or higher: We suggest going with at least an Intel Core i5, though an i7 will give you more power, which you’ll be glad you have if you’re doing anything taxing, like editing video or even processing large batches of photos. AMD has wisely elected to follow a similar naming convention, and we suggest a Ryzen 5 chip—though again, for more processor-intensive tasks the Ryzen 7 is the better choice. Currently, the newest chips are Intel’s 13th-generation Core chips and AMD’s 7000 series Ryzen chips.
  • Screen resolution: The display depends on the size of the laptop. A 1080p (HD) screen on a 13-inch laptop looks good enough. A 1080p screen on a 15-inch laptop does not. If you spend all day staring at your screen, a higher-resolution screen (like a 4K screen) can ease eyestrain.
  • 10 hours of battery: Make sure it’s advertised to get at least 10 hours of battery life if not more. Realistically, that should be enough to get you through a workday.

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