The Best Laptops To Keep You Working, Gaming And Streaming (2024)

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Jon Martindale

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With more powerful processors and graphics cards, the latest laptops have innovations that are worth the upgrade. The best laptops are efficient enough to handle virtually any computing task, whether you’re at school, on the job or a creator making your next masterpiece. Plus, they’re great for watching movies or playing games.

To find the best laptop for your needs, think about your non-negotiables when shopping. If a light weight and brilliant screen are your parameters, consider our pick for best laptop overall, the Asus ZenBook S 13 OLED. And if you’re a creative and require the features of a computer and tablet, the Lenovo Yoga 9i could be the best fit for you. We combined our extensive first-hand experience with in-depth research to find the best laptops available today.

Best Laptop Overall

Next-Gen Performance In An Ultralight Chassis

MOST POPULAR

Asus ZenBook S 13 OLED

CPU: Intel Core i7-1355U | RAM: 32GB LPDDR5 | Graphics: Intel Iris Xe | Storage: 1TB SSD | Display: 13.3-inch OLED | Resolution: 2,880 x 1,800 | Refresh rate: 60Hz | Battery: Up to 10 hours | Weight: 2.2 pounds

Best for: Everyday web browsing, office use and watching movies on a brilliant, sharp screen.

The Asus ZenBook S 13 OLED has a thirteenth-generation Intel processor and comes with a boatload of memory—32GB of DDR5 RAM—making it perfect for heavy multi-tasking and having as many browser tabs open as you want. To top it all off, it has a 2.8K OLED screen, so images look ultra crisp with inky blacks and vibrant colors. That makes this laptop the perfect tool for work, entertainment and content creation.

This laptop doesn't let you down elsewhere, either. Battery life gets you an average of 10 hours of mixed use, and at only two pounds, this laptop is super light and portable.

Pros:

  • Great performance
  • Crisp, vivid OLED display
  • Extremely light

Cons:

  • Lacks an onboard GPU for gaming

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Best Gaming Laptop

A Sleek And Speedy Modern Machine

Lenovo Legion Pro 5

CPU: AMD Ryzen 7 7745HX | RAM: 16GB DDR5 | Graphics: Nvidia GeForce RTX 4060 | Storage: 1TB SSD | Display: 16-inch touchscreen | Resolution: 2560 x 1600 | Refresh rate: 165Hz | Battery:Up to 8 hours| Weight:5.45 pounds

Best for: Gaming at high detail and high frame rates.

The latest generation of the Lenovo Legion Pro 5 is a lesson in performance and efficiency. It has enough power to drive high-fidelity gaming at 1600p resolution, all while offering impressive battery life for a gaming laptop. It won't outlast true efficiency kings like Apple's MacBooks, but for a gaming machine? This laptop goes and goes, and goes hard. It has Ryzen 7 CPU from AMD featuring the latest Zen 4 cores on a tiny 5nm process node, and with eight cores and a high clock speed, there's nothing this chip can't handle. Paired with an Nvidia RTX 4060, and it can not only pump out high frame rates in any game you choose, but it supports both DLSS and its new DLSS 3 frame generation feature, which helps mid-range GPUs punch well above their weight in compatible games.

It has a gorgeous 16-inch display with a high refresh rate, above-average brightness and resolution, making it look crisp and vibrant. It's a touchscreen too, so in compatible games or apps you can enjoy that additional input option. You still won’t get a ton of battery life when gaming at high detail settings, but if you lower the screen brightness and limit the frame rate in casual games, you should be able to get a few hours of of this machine without difficulty. It also comes at an affordable price, making this a gaming laptop that almost anyone can enjoy.

Pros:

  • Excellent gaming performance, with DLSS 3 support
  • Fast and responsive display
  • Storage and RAM are fast and upgradeable

Cons:

  • Heavy
  • Battery life could be better

Best Affordable Laptop

Do Almost Anything Without Breaking The Budget

Dell Inspiron 14

CPU:Intel Core i7-1355U |RAM: 16GB LPDDR5 |Graphics: Intel Iris Xe | Storage: 1TB | Display:14-inch | Resolution: 1,920 x 1,200 | Refresh rate: 60Hz | Battery: Up to 11 hours | Weight: 3.5 pounds

Best for: Budget buyers looking for a capable performer for under $1,000.

This Dell Inspiron 14 has everything you need for a whole range of simple tasks, whether it's office work, web browsing and research or even casual gaming. It has thirteenth-generation Intel Core i7 processor with 10 cores. That gives it excellent multi-tasking performance if you're a heavy web browser or want to run a few different apps at once. The onboard graphics can run older and casual games. And with 16GB of fast memory and a 1TB SSD, the system is snappy and responsive.

At just 3.5 pounds, you can take this light, compact laptop just about anywhere without weighing you down. The battery lasts about 11 hours, which is more than enough for a workday and then some. The 16:10 aspect ratio display makes it more comfortable reading longer documents and web pages, too.

Pros:

  • Good performance at an affordable price
  • Attractive 1080p display
  • Lots of fast storage space

Cons:

  • No dedicated GPU for gaming

Best 2-In-1 Laptop

Stylish Look, Lightweight Design

Lenovo Yoga 9i

CPU: Intel Core i7-1360P |RAM: 16GB LPDDR5 |Graphics: Intel Iris Xe | Storage: 512GB SSD | Display: 14-inch OLED touchscreen | Resolution: 2,880 x 1,800 | Refresh rate: 60Hz | Battery: Up to 11 hours | Weight: 3.1 pounds

Best for: Laptop and tablet work—and casual gaming, too.

The Lenovo Yoga 9i 14-inch delivers almost everything you’d want in a modern 2-in-1 laptop, with solid performance from its internal hardware and above average battery life. The Intel Core i7-1360p at the heart of this machine delivers excellent performance in both lightweight and more demanding tasks, partly thanks to its 16GB of high-speed LPDDR5 memory, which offers much greater bandwidth than previous generation 2-in-1s. It lacks dedicated graphics, so this isn't a 2-in-1 for gamers, but the Intel Iris Xe is enough for older indie and esports games.

The responsive 2.8K touchscreen OLED display produces crisp images, and its taller 16:10 aspect ratio makes it great for browsing longer documents or websites. Like all OLED displays, the Yoga 9i’s screen showcases inky blacks and vibrant colors that make every image, movie and TV show look stellar. Adjust this model to use it in multiple ways, thanks to its 360-degree hinge, which lets you use it as a tablet. It's heavier than detachable tablets at just over 3 pounds, but it’s still one of the lightest laptops for a 2-in-1 of this size.

Pros:

  • Powerful internal hardware
  • Vibrant OLED 2K display
  • 16:10 aspect ratio

Cons:

  • Lacks high-end graphics for gaming

Best Gaming Laptop For Students

Lightweight But Still Powerful

ASUS ROG Zephyrus G14

CPU: AMD Ryzen 7 7735HS | RAM: 16GB DDR5 | Graphics: Nvidia RTX 4050 | Storage: 512GB SSD | Display: 14-inch | Resolution: 2560 x 1440 | Refresh rate: 165Hz | Battery:Up to 10 hours| Weight:3.64 pounds

Best for: Gaming on the move.

Gaming laptops are typically heavy, but they don't have to be. The latest generation Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 is both high-performance and pretty lightweight for a gaming machine, weighing in at just over 3.5 pounds. That makes it great for lugging around at college, only to whip it out when you fancy a game. Its battery will last all day, too, which you won't find on almost any other gaming laptops. You'll be able to play most games at high detail with the Ryzen 7 CPU and RTX 4050 graphics, especially in games that support DLSS 3 frame generation. However, this isn't a high-end gaming machine, so while it will make your games look great at 1440p, you might need to lower some settings to maintain high frame rates in AAA titles.

If you can get a high frame rate, you'll really appreciate how smooth this gaming laptop looks, too. It has a 165Hz refresh rate display which will make your games look buttery smooth. It uses Mini-LEDs, so it gets very bright, helping HDR elements pop off the screen and making colors rich and vivid. It also has plenty of fast storage space, and a wide selection of ports, including USB-A, USB-C (one of which is USB4) and HDMI 2.1. It also has an SD card reader and a headphone jack.

Pros:

  • Bright and fast display
  • Extremely portable for a gaming machine
  • Long battery life

Cons:

  • Lacks high-end performance

Best 4K Laptop

Fast Hardware And A Beautiful Display

Dell XPS 17

CPU: Intel Core i9-13900H | RAM: 32GB LPDDR5 | Graphics: Nvidia GeForce RTX 4070 | Storage: 1TB | Display: 17-inch touchscreen | Resolution: 3,840 x 2,400 | Refresh rate: 60Hz | Battery: Up to 10 hours | Weight: 5.1 pounds

Best for: Getting a gorgeous picture on a 17-inch display.

The Dell XPS 17 bumps the processor to a thirteenth-generation Intel Core i9, memory from 16GB to 32GB, adds a step-up graphics card and doubles the storage to 1TB. This boosts make the Dell 17 up to almost any computing task. Its sleek design looks clean and professional, and though it's not a light laptop, it's not as heavy as some of the bulky gaming laptops.

Where this laptop really distinguishes itself is with its 4K touchscreen display. At 17-inches, the display has lots of screen space for multiple windows if you're multi-tasking. It’s also very bright, hitting as high as 500 nits in HDR movies and games. The battery can run for up to 10 hours of mixed use.

Pros:

  • Excellent performance
  • Big and bright 4K display
  • Strong battery life

Cons:

  • Expensive
  • Not very portable

Best MacBook Laptop

Lightweight Yet Powerful MacBook

Apple MacBook Air 13-Inch (M2)

CPU:Apple M2 |RAM: 8GB |Graphics: Apple M2 GPU | Storage: 512GB SSD | Display:13.3-inch | Resolution: 2,560 x 1,664 | Refresh rate: 60Hz | Battery: Up to 18 hours | Weight: 2.7 pounds

Best for: Completing lightweight tasks at blazing speed, or for Apple fans who want to stay in the ecosystem.

The Apple MacBook Air 13-inch (M2) builds on the success of the M1 generation Air with greater performance and a bright 500 nits, 2K display. This model’s aluminum body design presents as a classy and understated look. While you can use this laptop for everyday tasks including image and video editing, it is best suited to more lightweight tasks as the M2 can get warm during extensive, heavy use.

At just 2.7 pounds, the lightweight MacBook Air 13-inch (M2) is the best MacBook available for use on the go. This isn't the least expensive configuration of the MacBook Air 13-inch (M2), but the 256GB version ($300 less) has a slower SSD, making it less easy to recommend.

Pros:

  • One of the most affordable M2 MacBooks you can buy
  • Terrific performance
  • More than a full work-day of battery life

Cons:

  • Can get warm during high-computing tasks

Best Laptop For Kids

All They Need To Get Started

Acer Aspire 3

CPU: AMD Ryzen 5 7520U |RAM: 8GB LPDDR5 |Graphics: AMD Radeon | Storage: 512GB SSD | Display: 15.6-inch touchscreen | Resolution: 1920 x 1080 | Refresh rate: 60Hz | Battery: Up to 11 hours | Weight: 3.9 pounds

Best for: The first laptop you give to your kids.

For parents searching for their kids’ first laptop, take a look at the Acer Aspire 3. It's a relatively lightweight and portable design, with impressive performance from its new-generation Ryzen 5 CPU and 8GB of fast DDR5 memory. This is backed up by 512GB of fast SSD storage, so there's enough space there for all your child's applications, games, files and folders. The 15.6-inch touchscreen is only 1080p, but that helps keep the battery life high, and its touchscreen allows for additional interaction options. It's not a fold-flat 2-in-1, though, so you can't use this as a tablet.

The battery lasts all day for up to 11 hours of mixed usage, so you won't always be looking for a charge point or power bank. It charges fast when you do plug it in, though, and it offers excellent connectivity. There's USB-C and USB-A, with a headphone and microphone jack, Bluetooth and Wi-Fi 6 support, and a built-in webcam to help them stay in touch with friends and family.

Pros:

  • Great performance
  • Lots of storage space
  • Decent battery life

Cons:

  • A little heavy for younger children

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Why Trust Forbes Vetted

The Forbes Vetted tech team is well-versed in all things digital, having written articles and in the category (a couple of staffers, including Dave Johnson, our deputy editor, have even authored books). The tech section is overseen by Consumer Tech & Electronics Editor Rebecca Isaacs, an industry veteran who has been covering consumer technology for over four years.

Jon Martindale, the writer of this story, is a regular Forbes Vetted tech contributor who has bylines in digital publications including Digital Trends and PCGamer, and formerly ran his own PC hardware review website. Needless to say, we’ve collectively conducted extensive research and testing on laptop models designed for home use, work, gaming and everything in between.

How We Chose The Best Laptops

We sourced the best laptops of 2024 from reputable, top-rated brands and examined critical features of each model including battery life, visual display, processors and overall value. We looked at customer reviews as well, ensuring each pick had an average rating of at least 3.5 stars out of 5. And we considered our experience with laptops in each category.

We also included options to fit everyone's lifestyle when assembling our list. For those who do more photo and video editing, the Apple MacBook Pro 16 M2 has a large screen, color accuracy and ample storage space. For people who prefer something less expensive, we included the Dell Inspiron 14, which is under $1,000, lightweight and has great battery life.

We frequently update this story to ensure accuracy and it was last edited in January 2024.

The Best Laptop By Category

Looking for more options? We’ve got a list to help you find the best laptop for your lifestyle. From MacBooks and Chromebooks, to models under $500, we've got you covered.

Best Laptops By Brand

  • Best Dell Laptops
  • Best Lenovo Laptops
  • Best HP Laptops
  • Best MacBooks
  • Best Chromebooks

Best Laptops By Type

  • Best Gaming Laptops
  • Best 2-In-1 Laptops
  • Best Laptops For College Students
  • Best 17-Inch Laptops

Best Laptops By Price

  • Best Laptops Under $500
  • Best Affordable Laptops

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Jon Martindale

The Best Laptops To Keep You Working, Gaming And Streaming (2024)

FAQs

Are gaming laptops good for streaming and gaming? ›

Overall, the powerful CPU and GPU components of gaming laptops make them the best choice for live streaming. Gaming laptops are incredibly portable, which is one of their main advantages. Unlike desktop PCs, gaming laptops are designed to be lightweight and easy to carry around.

What laptop specs do I need for streaming games? ›

A minimum of 16GB of RAM is recommended to ensure a seamless experience. GPU (Graphics Processing Unit): Your graphics card plays a vital role in streaming. A dedicated GPU is an absolute necessity so your laptop should be equipped with at least an NVIDIA® GTX™ 1660 Ti or AMD Radeon™ RX 5500M for reliable performance.

What kind of PC do you need for gaming and streaming? ›

For a streaming PC, 16GB DDR4 RAM is recommended with as high a clock speed as you can get. OBS - the most commonly used streaming software - eats around 300MB RAM when using it to stream high quality game video, and chat windows may use around 200MB, too.

What is the most important part of a PC for streaming? ›

Doing all that in real time takes horsepower, so let's look at the four main areas of hardware components that will affect your streaming capacity and performance:
  • CPU and RAM.
  • Motherboard.
  • GPU (graphics and the potential for encoding streams)
  • Storage (for both operating system and media)
Dec 12, 2019

What specifications to look for when buying a laptop for gaming? ›

Here are the 3 main components you should look at for your first gaming laptop: Forget about lights and eccentricities (for now). What you really want to pay attention to when purchasing a gaming laptop is: a good graphics card, a processor that can handle the card, and a RAM that does the work.

How strong of a computer do you need to stream? ›

A Windows PC running Windows 7 or newer (Windows 10 recommended) A 2 GHz dual-core processor or better (Intel Core i7 at 3 GHz or higher recommended) 1 GB, DDR2, or faster RAM (8 GB recommended) A 7200 RPM hard drive (SSD recommended)

What is the best affordable laptop for gaming? ›

The Best Cheap Gaming Laptop
  • Our pick. Gigabyte Aorus 16X (9KG-43USC54SH) The best cheap gaming laptop. ...
  • Budget pick. Acer Nitro V 15 (ANV15-41-R2Y3) Cheaper, less powerful. ...
  • Also great. Gigabyte G6X (9KG-43US864SH) If our top pick is unavailable.
5 days ago

Which brand makes the best gaming laptops? ›

  1. Razer. The MacBook of gaming laptops. Razer Blade 14. ...
  2. Asus. It's called the Republic of Gaming for a reason. ROG Strix SCAR 18 (2024) ...
  3. Alienware/Dell. Alienware is still great, even in 2024. Alienware m18 R2. ...
  4. Lenovo. The underdog pick. Legion Pro 7i. ...
  5. MSI. Embracing the 'gamer' aesthetic. MSI Stealth 18 AI Studio.
Jun 4, 2024

Are gaming laptops OK for gaming? ›

Gaming laptops, meanwhile, often have high-end hardware that allows for competitive and AAA gaming wherever you are. Laptops run on a battery and have a built-in display, along with an onboard keyboard and trackpad, but you can also have a desktop-like experience at home with the right peripherals.

What is the downside to gaming laptops? ›

Gaming laptops are usually more expensive than their desktop counterparts. These machines usually come with a dedicated cooling chamber and dedicated graphics card, adding to the cost. Additionally, one must buy several accessories to ensure the best gaming experience, again driving expenses.

Is it better to get a gaming laptop or a regular laptop? ›

Are gaming laptops worth it? It really depends on what you need. If you're looking for serious power, then a gaming laptop could be perfect for you. However, if you don't plan on pushing your games too hard or just need something for occasional computing tasks then a regular laptop might be more suitable.

Are gaming laptops good for other things? ›

So, can gaming laptops be used for work? Absolutely. These laptops are equipped with powerful processors, fast solid-state drives (SSDs), and advanced cooling technology to provide a computing solution that blends productivity and entertainment in one package.

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