Annually at pwdwb.in, we delve into the vast world of laptops, assessing a multitude of models to guide your buying decisions. This year’s task was particularly challenging (and believe me, it was tough!) as we narrowed down our picks to the top 10 for the ‘Best Laptop of 2024‘ feature.
From versatile Chromebooks and powerful gaming laptops to sleek 2-in-1 convertibles and ultralight notebooks, our list caters to a diverse range of needs and preferences. While these laptops may not be the all-time greatest, they stand out as the most remarkable choices available currently.
Our standout selection for 2024? The MacBook Air. This laptop strikes a balance in nearly every aspect. Although not without its imperfections, it lacks any significant drawbacks, making it an excellent choice for a variety of tasks including productivity, web browsing, and even casual gaming. This model exemplifies our commitment to providing you with laptops that not only meet but exceed expectations in various categories.”
In today’s market, it’s a rare find to come across a subpar laptop, but the cream of the crop distinguish themselves through a harmonious blend of power, efficiency, portability, and user comfort. The ideal laptop is defined not just by its specs but by its user experience – a superb keyboard and trackpad are crucial, as they are the primary interfaces over a smartphone or tablet.
A top-tier laptop captivates with a display that’s gentle on the eyes yet vivid and crisp, ensuring no distractions from rough edges or visible pixels. It’s adept at handling nearly all tasks, barring heavy-duty video editing or high-end gaming. The essence of a laptop lies in its mobility; it should be your effortless travel companion, requiring no frequent tethering to a power source.
Among our curated selections, including the best laptops, Chromebooks, and 2-in-1s for 2024, the MacBook Pro 16 and HP Spectre x360 14 stand out. Dive into our comprehensive list below for the crème de la crème of laptops, or explore our selection of the finest gaming laptops that marry robust performance with sleek portability.
When assessing laptops for our recommended list:
we prioritize a blend of quality and affordability. Value is paramount; we seek laptops that stand out in their price range, offering exceptional features for their cost. High-priced laptops must justify their cost through extraordinary capabilities.
Performance is crucial. We expect ultraportable laptops to manage everyday tasks efficiently, without overheating or loud fan noise. Gaming laptops should smoothly run current popular games.
Screen quality matters to us; we prefer displays that offer color accuracy and brightness.
In design, we look for durability and resilience to everyday wear and tear. As laptops are chosen for their mobility over desktops, battery life becomes a significant criterion, providing users with the freedom and reliability for travel and remote work.
Port selection also weighs in our consideration – the more, the better.
Our recommendations remain up-to-date, though we might favor an older model over a newer one if the latter falls short in performance. We typically don’t recommend devices over two years old, ensuring our picks stay relevant and reliable.
The best laptop of 2024
1. Apple MacBook Air (M2)
The revamped MacBook Air redefines sleek efficiency with its ultra-thin profile, now powered by Apple’s latest innovation, the M2 chip. This model significantly upgrades with a 1080p webcam and an enhanced display, maintaining its renowned long battery life and MagSafe charging feature. Starting at $1,199, the base model is equipped with 8GB of memory, 256GB of storage, and an 8-core CPU and GPU. For extended usability, we recommend the $1,399 model, which boasts 512GB of storage.
Gone is the iconic wedge-shape, yet the MacBook Air still impresses with its MagSafe charging, Touch ID, scissor-switch keyboard, and introduces a new 1080p webcam and fresh color choices. While the M2 chip may not rival the M1 Pro or M1 Max of the pricier MacBook Pro versions, its performance is remarkably robust. Our tests showed it effortlessly handling intense workloads, with minimal heat or slowdown, a testament to its balance of power and portability. Although the M2 Air’s battery life slightly trails behind the 16-inch M1 Pro MacBook, it should comfortably last a full day’s use.
For those finding the M2 Air beyond their budget, Apple continues to offer the 2020 M1 MacBook Air as a viable alternative.
The Best Macbook for Creators
2. MacBook Pro (14-inch and 16-inch)
The latest 16-inch MacBook Pro redefines creative and professional computing, powered by Apple’s cutting-edge silicon options: the M1 Pro or M1 Max. Its notable feature is the ability to connect to three external displays and a 4K TV simultaneously, thanks to its extensive port selection. The 2021 and 2024 MacBook Pro models, with their respective M1 and M2 series chips, cater to different user segments. The 2024 models boast more power but come at a higher price, making them ideal for professionals requiring top-tier performance. Conversely, the 2021 versions, now more affordable, are excellent for a broader audience.
In benchmark tests for creative tasks, the MacBook Pro 16 outperforms all competitors, rivaling even high-end desktop PCs. It also sets new standards in battery life, with the M1 Pro variant lasting an impressive 16 hours. This model features a stunning display with HDR support up to 1,000 nits, outstanding speakers, and the capability to support multiple external displays, contrasting with the Air’s single display limit.
For those seeking a laptop that excels in heavy-duty tasks and doubles as an exceptional multimedia device, the M1 Pro and M1 Max models of the MacBook Pro 16 are unparalleled choices.
14-inch MacBook Pro (2021)
The 14-inch MacBook Pro stands out as an exceptional choice, especially for creative professionals seeking a balance between performance and portability without the premium price of the 16-inch model. It dazzles with a brilliant display, efficient keyboard, high-speed specifications, and a variety of useful ports. Compact yet powerful, it offers the same high-performance processor options and impressive screen quality as the 16-inch variant, but in a smaller, lighter, and more affordable package.
In our tests, the 14-inch model consistently matched or even exceeded the performance of the 16-inch version with equivalent processors. The notable difference lies in battery life; the larger 16-inch model benefits from a bigger battery, resulting in longer usage times compared to the 14-inch variant.
The Best Dual-Screen Laptop for 2024
3. Asus Zenbook Pro Duo 14
The Asus Zenbook Pro Duo 14 OLED is a game-changer in the dual-screen laptop arena, offering a unique experience for users who prefer the keyboard at the front. This laptop stands out as our top recommendation for dual-screen models. Previous dual-screen designs often seemed gimmicky and impractical, but the Zenbook Duo 14 revolutionizes this with a higher, more ergonomic screen angle, enhanced resolution, and anti-glare technology, making the second screen genuinely useful.
Equipped with Asus’s ScreenXpert software, it provides a crisp secondary OLED monitor right on the keyboard deck. This screen can also transform into a large touchpad, a clever workaround given the device’s smaller actual touchpad. Powered by high-performance Intel and Nvidia chips and featuring a spacious 16:10 primary screen, this laptop is ideal for those seeking the productivity boost of multiple screens in a singular, innovative device.
The Best Gaming Laptop in 2024
4. Asus ROG Zephyrus G14
The Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 redefines gaming on the go as the best gaming laptop available. It packs a punch with its AMD Ryzen 9 processor and GeForce RTX 3060, delivering top-notch graphics on its QHD display, not just for gaming but also for various tasks. Weighing in at just 3.79 pounds and measuring 0.77 inches in thickness, it’s the epitome of portable gaming power.
Be discerning when choosing your model; the $1,649.99 variant with the 6700S GPU stands out as the best value. It boasts an excellent keyboard, touchpad, port selection, and screen. Our tests showed impressive frame rates and all-day battery life – a rare find in gaming laptops.
For those who love customization, higher-priced models feature Asus’s AniMe Matrix, allowing personalized displays of words or images and even a virtual pet. While these models come at a premium, they add a touch of personal flair to your gaming experience.
The best Chromebook for 2024
5. Asus Chromebook Flip CX5
The Asus Chromebook Flip CX5 stands out as the best Chromebook, offering premium features at a higher price point. Priced at $800, this Chromebook impresses with its robust build quality and sleek design, rivaling higher-priced Windows laptops. Its distinctive smooth texture adds to its appeal. The CX5 is powered by a 57Wh battery, ensuring speedy performance, extended battery life, and rapid charging. Equipped with a comprehensive range of ports, including HDMI and microSD slots, it also boasts high-quality speakers and a comfortable keyboard. If a large-screen Chromebook is what you seek, the Asus Chromebook Flip CX5 is the definitive choice.
Best Video Editing Laptop in 2024
6. MacBook Pro 16 (M2 Pro and M2 Max)
“The MacBook Pro 16, equipped with the M2 Pro and M2 Max chips, stands as the pinnacle of video editing laptops. It’s designed for professionals who demand the utmost in power, graphics, and battery life. Starting at $2,499, this model isn’t the most budget-friendly, but it’s unrivaled in performance and endurance. While we suggest the M1 Pro or M1 Max models for most creators due to their better value, the latest M2 versions are tailored for those who need top-tier power without budget constraints.
Visually similar to its 2021 predecessor, the 2024 MacBook Pro enhances user experience with longer battery life, thanks to the M2 Max chip, and significantly improved CPU and graphic capabilities. Ideal for demanding professional use, it offers a substantial upgrade for those requiring a laptop that can keep up with intense workloads.
The Best 15 Inch Laptop in 2024
7. MacBook Air 15
The MacBook Air 15 emerges as the best 15-inch laptop, balancing screen size with portability and price. It features the same M2 chip as the 13-inch model but benefits from a larger display and enhanced cooling. This model is the answer for those who desire the lightweight ease of the 13-inch Air, coupled with more screen real estate.
While it makes some compromises in port selection and external display support compared to the Pro models, its blend of affordability, portability, and performance makes it an ideal choice for many. The MacBook Air 15 stands as a testament to Apple’s commitment to versatile, high-quality computing solutions.
Repairable Laptop for DIYers
8. Framework Laptop
The Framework Laptop 13 is a dream come true for DIY enthusiasts seeking a fully customizable experience. It stands out with its unparalleled user-upgradeability, allowing changes to everything from the processor to the keyboard. Beyond its repairability, the laptop impresses with a bright, high-resolution display, excellent speakers, and a lightweight chassis under three pounds. Its 3:2 aspect ratio screen is a bonus in today’s market. While it may not top the charts purely based on performance and build, its commitment to sustainable, user-friendly design is commendable, setting a new standard in the laptop industry.
The Best Windows Laptop
9. Dell XPS 13
Dell’s XPS 13 redefines the essence of a Windows laptop with its impeccable design and performance. This thin-and-light clamshell model combines sleekness and functionality, featuring a superb keyboard, trackpad, and remarkable performance. It’s particularly suited for general-purpose users, thanks to its stunning 16:10 display and solid build. Weighing under three pounds and only slightly over half an inch thick, it’s perfect for travel and mobile work.
Our test unit with a Core i5 processor adeptly handled work tasks. For quieter operation, the Silent cooling profile is recommended. The Dell XPS 13 Plus, a higher-end variant with an OLED display and enhanced features, is also available. While it’s a more advanced option, the standard XPS 13 remains the top recommendation for most users.
The best OLED Laptop
10. Asus Zenbook S 13 OLED
The Asus Zenbook S 13 OLED is a prime choice for those valuing a lightweight laptop with a superior screen. Equipped with Intel’s latest 13th-Gen processors, it stands out with its ultra-light build and distinctive design. A unique feature is its fingerprint-resistant lid, a rarity among dark-colored laptops.
Its compact form doesn’t compromise on connectivity, boasting HDMI 2.1, USB-A, and multiple Thunderbolt ports. The OLED screen offers sharp, vibrant visuals, enhancing the user experience. While the laptop handles multitasking with ease, its Whisper Mode is a welcome feature for quieter operation during everyday tasks, aligning perfectly with its intended use.
Final Thoughts: Choosing the Ideal Laptop for 2024
In conclusion, the laptops selected for 2024 stand out for their blend of performance, value, and user experience. From the versatile MacBook Air, ideal for a range of tasks, to specialized models like the Asus ROG Zephyrus for gaming, each laptop offers unique strengths catering to different user needs. This list, emphasizing a mix of quality, affordability, and cutting-edge features, is designed to guide consumers in choosing a laptop that not only meets but exceeds their expectations, ensuring relevance, reliability, and satisfaction in an ever-evolving technological landscape.
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