Best Windows Laptops of 2023

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These laptops from HP, Microsoft, Samsung, and others get a thumbs-up from CR's testers

Whether you use your laptop for gaming or for work, there’s probably a Windows-based device that fits your needs and your budget.

By Nicholas De Leon

One of the primary benefits of choosing a Windows PC over a Mac is the wealth of options.

Manufacturers like Acer, Dell, HP, LG, and Samsung make a wide range of laptops. Some are hugely powerful, offering near desktop-like performance to tackle demanding tasks like high-res video editing or high-level gameplay. 

Other laptops are more modest, focusing on portability instead of raw power. You don’t really need a top-of-the-line processor or heaps of storage space if you rarely do more than browse the web with Chrome, keep track of your finances with Excel, or videochat with your friends and family on Zoom.

Laptops known as 2-in-1 convertibles can function as tablets, too. They have touchscreens and hinges that allow you to swivel the keyboard out of reach, which is something you can’t do with an Apple MacBook. (An iPad is the closest you can get to a Mac-like experience with a touchscreen.) A 2-in-1 detachable gives you even greater flexibility, letting you remove the keyboard entirely.

Of course, Windows laptops are available at many prices, allowing you to easily find the right model for your budget.

Each year we buy dozens of laptops at retail stores. That ensures that manufacturers don’t influence our ratings by giving us handpicked units primed to perform better than others.

We run those test samples through our labs, evaluating such aspects as battery life, display quality, and overall performance.

The following models, arranged by size, are among the best Windows laptops we’ve tested in recent months. For each size category, we highlight our pick and a few alternatives.

Best 17-Inch Laptop: LG Gram 17 2022

One of the highest-scoring laptops in our ratings in any size, this 17-inch LG Gram comes with an Intel Core i7 processor, 16 gigabytes of memory, and 512GB of solid-state storage.

The performance, display quality, and portability are all admirable. In fact, the light weight (2.9 pounds) and long battery life (16.5 hours) make this a very good choice for those who need a laptop with a big screen for travel. 

If you want something smaller, LG also makes the Gram in several other sizes, including 16 inches, 15 inches, and 14 inches

If this 17-inch Gram is outside your budget, you might also consider the Dell Inspiron or the MSI GE75 Raider. Both perform well in our tests but score slightly lower for portability. The MSI offers the added benefit of a dedicated graphics card, which makes it suitable for playing games.

One final note: The 2023 models of the LG Gram may already be on some store shelves by the time you read this, but we’ll need a few more weeks before we’ve wrapped up our testing on them. For now, we’ll keep pointing you toward the 2022 models.

LG Gram 17 (2022)

Dell Inspiron i7706-7821SLV

MSI GE75 Raider

Best 15- to 16-Inch Laptop: LG UltraPC AMD

There are a lot of highly rated laptops between 15 and 16 inches, so much so that it’s somewhat difficult to highlight just one. But for now, we’ll suggest you take a look at another LG model, the 16-inch UltraPC

Like the “Gram” in LG Gram, the “Ultra” in LG Ultra hints at the underlying idea here: a laptop where the emphasis is on power. It has an AMD Ryzen 7 processor, 16GB memory, 1 terabyte of solid-state storage, and a dedicated AMD graphics card, which makes this more suitable for gaming than the portability-focused Gram. It weighs about 3.5 pounds and has a battery that lasts a little more than 11 hours, which is better than average for this size.

As for other laptops you might consider around this size, there are several: There’s the aforementioned 15-inch LG Gram if you want something even lighter; the 15.6-inch Samsung Galaxy Book Pro 360 if the idea of a 2-in-1 convertible that can function like a tablet sounds interesting; and the 15.6-inch Asus ZenBook Pro for another spin on the idea of a reasonably light but quite powerful laptop, yet one that also has a touchscreen.

LG UltraPC 16 (AMD Ryzen)

Samsung Galaxy Book Pro 360

Asus ZenBook Pro UM535QE-XH91T

Best 14-Inch Laptop: MSI Sume

The MSI Sume should be near the top of your wishlist if you’re looking for a 14-inch laptop. It has an Intel Core i5 processor, 16GB of memory, and 512GB of solid-state storage. The Sume is a 2-in-1 convertible as well, giving it the flexibility to be used as a tablet.

It weighs about 3.5 pounds and has a battery that should last more than 15 hours on a single charge, both of which are better than average for a laptop this size.

Another option here might be the Acer Spin 3, which is a few hundred dollars less than this MSI model. It’s also a convertible but is a smidge less powerful—namely, it has half the memory and about an hour less battery life.

MSI SUME1412017

Acer Spin 3 SP314-55N-53GS

Best 13-Inch Laptop: Samsung Galaxy Book2 360

At 13 inches and weighing 2.2 pounds, the Galaxy Book2 360 is probably the Windows laptop to beat for its balance of portability and power. It has an Intel Core i7 processor, 16GB of memory, and 512GB of solid-state storage. And yes, the “360” in the name lets you know that this is a 2-in-1 convertible.

Samsung makes some of the best displays on mobile devices, including phones and tablets, and that carries over to its laptops as well. This model’s display provides bright, accurate colors according to CR’s testers, and its wide viewing angles mean you don’t have to worry about the screen washing out if viewed on an angle.

You might also consider the Lenovo Slim 7i Carbon, which similarly combines healthy battery life (nearly 16 hours) with competitive specs (including an Intel Core i7) in a decent little package. It isn’t convertible, though.

Samsung Galaxy Book2 360

Lenovo Slim 7i Carbon 13

Best 10- to 11-Inch Laptop: Microsoft Surface Go 3

There aren’t many laptops that fall into the 10- to 11-inch bucket. Given the lack of choice, you may be better served with a 12- to 13-inch model unless you absolutely need something this small. In that case, the Surface Go 3 is your best bet.

Yes, it has modest specs, including an Intel Pentium processor, 4GB of memory, and 64GB of flash storage (which is similar to but slower than solid-state storage), but it weighs under 2 pounds and the battery lasts close to 14 hours in our tests. 

In other words, it’s a highly portable laptop as long as you’re okay with so-so performance.

HP’s highly portable Stream 11 scored lower in our performance tests, but it sells for less than half the price. It’s no speed demon but might work if you just need a device for basic office chores that’s small and light enough to tuck into a backpack.

Microsoft Surface Go 3 (Pentium)

HP Stream 11-AK0012DX

Consumer Reports is an independent, nonprofit organization that works side by side with consumers to create a fairer, safer, and healthier world. CR does not endorse products or services, and does not accept advertising. Copyright © 2023, Consumer Reports, Inc.

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