The best laptops are capable enough to tackle your day-to-day work, comfy enough to use all day and power-efficient enough to ensure you won’t run out of juice unexpectedly.
Finding the best laptop for you can be tricky because you’ve never had more choices. You can get a compact, speedy 13-inch ultraportable for not a lot of money, and those who can afford to spend a bit more have access to a smorgasbord of the best laptops from the likes of Apple, Dell, HP and more.
That’s why we test and review dozens of laptops from the top manufacturers every year, then gather the very best (4 stars or higher) together here in one easy-to-read list to help you make a smarter buying decision.
Whether you’re shopping for a new Windows 11 ultraportable, a Chromebook, a MacBook or a gaming laptop, you’ll find something great here!
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✅ You want a great Windows laptop: There are many great Windows laptops out there, but the Dell XPS 15 shines with its winning combo of great design, performance and portability.
✅You want a great display: While the base XPS 15 is a solid laptop, adding the 3.5K OLED display upgrade really helps it shine. With bright lights, inky blacks and sharp contrasts, the XPS 15 OLED is easy on the eyes.
✅ You want to play games: It’s not technically a gaming laptop, but you can pay to upgrade the XPS 15 with an Nvidia laptop GPU that makes it a pretty decent gaming machine. Sure, you won’t be blasting through Cyberpunk 2077, but you’ll have the option to have a lot of fun on long trips.
❌ Battery life is critical: The Dell XPS 15’s roughly 10-hour battery life isn’t bad, but you could do a lot better if that’s what matters to you.
❌ Ports are important: The XPS 15 sports 3 USB-C ports, microSD card slot and a headphone jack. That’s better than some laptops, but not great if you need a variety of ports.
💻 The Dell XPS 15 is an excellent Windows laptop that’s perfect for work and playing graphically-intensive games. It’s the full package, especially if you upgrade it with an OLED display and a discrete Nvidia graphics card for gaming/video work.
What you need to know
The Dell XPS 15 (starting at $1,449, $2,299 as tested) isn’t an innovative or revolutionary laptop. Aside from its updated internals, it’s virtually identical to the Dell XPS 15 OLED 2021. But while this machine isn’t shaking things up, it’s still one of the best Windows laptops you can buy.
Not only is this a stellar laptop for everyday use, but it’s also a competent gaming machine. Though it’s admittedly pricey, it’s hard to argue against its impressive performance. It can handle almost anything you throw at it, assuming you can afford to upgrade it the way you want.
Design: At 13.6 x 9.1 x 0.73 inches, the Dell XPS 15 is the definition of an ultrabook. Its machined aluminum chassis feels smooth and sturdy. It looks great at home, at a cafe or at the office. Save for the iconic Dell logo on its silver lid, the laptop is free of adornments. It’s somewhat heavy at 4.2 pounds but it’s still light enough to comfortably carry around.
The all-black interior features large keycaps and a spacious touchpad. Front-facing speakers flank the keyboard. The thin bezels surrounding the InfinityEdge display give the laptop another layer of elegance.
Performance: Thanks to its 12th gen Intel Core CPU, 16GB of RAM and 512GB SSD, our XPS 15 review unit was more than capable of handling heavy workloads. This is a multi-tasking beast, and if you pay to upgrade it with better components (including a discrete Nvidia GPU) it’s a pretty decent gaming laptop.
Battery life: On the Tom’s Guide battery test, which involves continuous web surfing at 150 nits of screen brightness, the XPS 15 lasted for 10 hours and 5 minutes. That’s a significant improvement over last year’s Dell XPS 15 OLED 2021, which lasted under 8 hours in the same test.
|Test||Results||How it stacks up|
|Handbrake video editing test||5:42||★★★★☆|
|Civilization 6 in-game benchmark||60 fps @1080p||★★★★★|