Top laptops to buy in 2024

2024 has started with a bang, as Intel, NVIDIA, and AMD have released a plethora of new processors, hinting at the arrival of many refreshed laptops. This year, the buzzword is AI PCs, featuring neural processors tailored for accelerating AI tasks. While buying a laptop solely for AI may not be necessary, keeping an eye on this trend for future-proofing is a wise move, especially as more companies integrate AI tools like Microsoft’s Copilot or ChatGPT. Some laptops even boast dedicated Copilot buttons on the keyboard for easy access to generative AI assistance.

But as you navigate the laptop market, there are plenty of other factors to consider. Should you invest in more memory or opt for a bigger screen? We’ve rigorously tested and reviewed numerous laptops, including the latest M3 MacBook Air from Apple, to curate a list of the best laptops you can purchase right now, accompanied by expert buying advice to simplify your decision-making process.

Factors to consider before purchasing a laptop:

Price: Premium laptops with top-tier specs typically fall within the $1,800 to $2,000 bracket, while solid options with Intel Core i3 or i5 processors can be found starting at around $1,000. For budget-conscious buyers, configurations with AMD processors offer reliable performance at a lower cost.

Operating System: Apple MacBooks are powered by the M-series chips, while Windows laptops predominantly feature Intel or AMD processors. Chrome OS is a popular choice for those who primarily use their laptops for basic tasks like browsing and document editing.

Connectivity: Most laptops now offer WiFi 6 or 6E, Bluetooth 5.0 or later, and USB-C ports, though some models might omit headphone jacks.

Display Size: Consider the portability and performance trade-offs when selecting a screen size, with options ranging from 12-inch ultraportables to 16-inch powerhouses. A 14-inch screen often strikes a balance for most users.

Photo by Devindra Hardarwar / Engadget

In the midst of these considerations, we have selected a range of top laptops across various price points and categories:

1. Apple 13-inch MacBook Air M3: Featuring a faster M3 chip, dual external monitor support, and exceptional battery life, this MacBook Air retains its title as a stellar choice for users seeking a blend of performance and portability.

2. Dell XPS 13 Plus: Dell’s flagship XPS 13 series delivers stunning design, OLED display, and solid performance, making it a top pick for Windows laptop enthusiasts.

3. ASUS ROG Zephyrus G14: Boasting compact design, 144Hz refresh rate, and stellar performance, the Zephyrus G14 ranks among the best gaming notebooks available.

4. Lenovo Flex 5 Chromebook: A tremendous value Chromebook with a versatile design, touchscreen display, and solid performance, ideal for Chrome OS fans and budget-conscious buyers.

5. HP Pavilion Aero: Offering good performance, lightweight design, and excellent battery life, the Aero 13 is a standout budget laptop priced around $800.

6. Microsoft Surface Pro 9: For those in need of a versatile 2-in-1 laptop, the Surface Pro 9 delivers excellent hardware, a gorgeous display, and seamless transitions between laptop and tablet modes.

To help answer common queries, we’ve addressed FAQs on topics like battery life and storage capacity. Remember, there is no one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to laptops, and considering your specific needs and preferences is crucial in finding the perfect device for your usage patterns.

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