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Best laptop 2022: 15 best laptops you can buy

Best laptop 2022: 15 best laptops you can buy

1. MACBOOK AIR

THE BEST LAPTOP OF 2022

The MacBook Air, powered by Apple’s M1 processor, is the best laptop you can buy. The base model, which includes 8GB of RAM and 256 GB of storage, starts at $999.

Appearance-wise, this laptop has a lot in common with the Intel-powered MacBook Air that Apple released earlier this year, including the same 2560 x 1600 screen, Touch ID, 720p webcam, fingerprint sensor, and scissor-switch keyboard.

But the new processor is the star of the show here; it’s fast. In our testing, it handled intense photo- and video-editing workloads better than almost any Intel-powered laptop we’ve tried this year. It was also able to run Shadow of the Tomb Raider at close-to-playable frame rates, which is quite a feat for integrated graphics. At launch, these apps hadn’t yet been optimized for the M1 processor and were running through Apple’s Rosetta 2 translation layer — but they still worked fine.

And the processing power didn’t even weigh down the battery life: we got between eight and 10 hours of sustained work.

Another benefit of the M1 processor is that it enables the MacBook Air to run iPhone and iPad apps natively on macOS. As of this writing, there still isn’t a huge selection of mobile apps available, and some that have been released aren’t quite optimized for the laptop screen. Still, it’s a benefit we can look forward to as time goes on.

Overall, there’s no reason that a general-use customer shouldn’t consider the MacBook Air. It’s a reliable device with excellent performance, as well as the excellence in build quality for which Apple is known. Power users who need a MacBook Pro probably know who they are; the Air should be fine for everyone else.

Best laptop 2022: 15 best laptops you can buy

2. MACBOOK PRO (16-INCH)

THE BEST CREATOR LAPTOP

The 16-inch MacBook Pro is the most powerful laptop Apple has ever made. If you’re willing to pay the price (and it’s a steep price), you’ll almost certainly be satisfied with what this machine can do.

In our benchmarks, which test a variety of creative tasks including encoding, playback, and export time, the MacBook Pro 16 did better than any laptop we’ve ever used — the only other machines that have come close to matching this thing in some of our benchmarks are high-end desktop PCs. The battery life is also record-shattering. The 16-inch configuration with the M1 Pro processor lasted 16 hours in my testing — making it the longest-lasting laptop we’ve ever reviewed. (The M1 Max configuration doesn’t last quite as long, but still got us through a work day.)

Elsewhere, we have basically no complaints about the newest MacBook Pro. It has a gorgeous display that can reach 1,000 nits when playing HDR content. It pairs that with the best set of speakers we’ve ever heard from a laptop. If you’re looking for a machine that can accommodate a demanding workload while also serving as an excellent multimedia device when you’re off the clock, the MacBook Pro 16 is the best device for you.

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