Best laptop: top picks for Black Friday 2022
The best laptops you can buy in 2022 come from classic names – Apple, Microsoft and Dell – all of which have been in the computing game for decades
The best laptop to buy in time for Black Friday 2022 is never an easy choice. Laptops are expensive and yet they’re absolutely essential to your daily life. This is especially true if you’re like me and you have to use a laptop for both your personal and work stuff (often at the same time); you’re going to want a machine that’s not going to fizzle out on you after a week.
At the same time, there are so many laptops with ridiculous promises of performance, battery life and other in-demand notebook specs that shopping for the best laptop becomes a confusing mess. Luckily, I have the luxury of being able to use pretty much every laptop that comes to market for my laptop reviews, so I can help you find the perfect one for your specific needs. And if you don’t see your needs represented here, feel free to reach out to me through email or Twitter.
How to buy the best laptop
🥰 The most important thing is what you want
💽 Go for at least 16GB of RAM
📺 You don’t need a 4K display on a laptop
🎮 Gaming laptops are good for more than just gaming (hello video editors, I see you)
🎒 Get something you can comfortably commute with if you need that
1. MacBook Air (2022, M2)
The best laptop for most people
✅ Lots of power for the price
✅ Slim design
❌ Base storage isn’t worth it
CPU: Apple M2 | GPU: 8-core integrated GPU (configurable to 10-core) | RAM: 8GB, 16GB, 24GB | Storage (SSD): 256GB, 512GB, 1TB, 2TB | Screen Size: 13.6 inches | Screen Resolution: 2560 x 1664
The real pleasure of using any of the Apple silicon Macs, the supremely thin and light M2 MacBook Air included, stems from the chip’s efficiency. The 52.6wH battery, paltry by ordinary standards, seems to last forever, and I frequently leave my charger behind if I’m working at a coffee shop, even if I’m down to 50% remaining, because I know that no matter what I do, it’ll last the two or three hours I plan to spend there. The laptop also stays cool unless you push it to the extreme.
Yet it never feels hampered by its form factor – I’ve edited video, recorded music, played games, and opened countless tabs in multiple browsers on this machine and never, ever experienced slowdown. That’s thanks to the 24GB RAM it has, but generally (and to a lesser extent), that was also my experience with the old M1 MacBook Air with 8GB RAM.
The only shame about this laptop comes from the base 256GB SSD. It’s not just because of the slower, single-NAND SSD the company uses in those laptops – it’s because 256GB is simply too little for a laptop these days, and it’s pricey to upgrade. Still, the M2 MacBook Air has already seen some nice discounts and undoubtedly will again (Matt’s keeping you updated right here), taking the sting out. On the whole, if you want thin and light without compromising on power, and you’re a fan of Mac OS (or just Mac-curious), the M2 MacBook Air is the best computer you can buy.
2. Surface Laptop Studio
The go-to laptop for creatives everywhere
✅ Gorgeous and innovative design
CPU: Intel Core i5 – Intel Core i7 | GPU: Intel Iris Xe – Nvidia GeForce RTX 3050 Ti | RAM: 16GB, 32GB | Storage (SSD): 256GB, 512GB, 1TB, 2TB | Screen Size: 14.4 inches | Screen Resolution: 2400 x 1600
I have been using the Surface Laptop Studio as my main laptop for more than a year now, and even after all this time, it does not disappoint. Beyond being one of the most beautiful laptops I have ever had the pleasure to use, it has the most comfortable keyboard this side of a desktop PC.
But even if you don’t like using the keyboard, the spiffy easel-like screen design makes it a dream to use in whichever configuration is most natural for the work you’re trying to do. Artists especially will love that this laptop lets them create at a multitude of angles, although you’ll have to shell out for the $129 Surface Slim Pen 2 to fully take advantage of the Surface Laptop Studio’s creative chops.
A laptop is more than just a spiffy design, though, and while the 11th-generation Intel Core H-series processors are decidedly last-gen, I have never felt held back by the laptop, even when I’m at an event editing 20 photos at the same time. Microsoft has been on a roll with its laptops in the last few years, and the Surface Laptop Studio is a perfect example of that. Now, if only it didn’t cost an arm and a leg.
3. Dell XPS 13
An oldie but a goodie
✅ Thin and light
✅ Best screen in the game
CPU: 12th-gen Intel Core i5 – i7 | GPU: Intel Iris Xe | RAM: 8GB, 16GB, 32GB | Storage (SSD): 512GB, 1TB | Screen Size: 13.4 inches | Screen Resolution: 1920 x 1200
I’ve only had the latest Dell XPS 13 in my hands for a couple of days, but I’ve reviewed so many of them over the years, and let me tell you: they never change that much. This is still pretty much the Dell XPS we know and love, just with updated internals.
That’s not a bad thing, though. This is still the de facto choice for anyone who wants a thin and light laptop they can commute with, that still has enough horsepower to kick the shit out of some Excel spreadsheets. What’s more, the 1920 x 1200 “InfinityEdge” display is incredibly vibrant, with the smallest bezels you can find in a mainstream laptop.
I need a bit more time to see if there are any drawbacks to the laptop, but from what I’ve seen so far, this is the Ultrabook to beat in 2022.
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