Best laptops of CES 2023: Dell, Asus, Lenovo, and more

CES is the biggest laptop show of the year—and it’s not even close. There are dozens of new laptop launches and updates, and every major (and minor) laptop maker joins in on the fun.

This year was full of interesting concepts, some that even stretch the definition of a laptop. I’ll save the best gaming laptops of CES 2023 for another list entirely (because there’s a lot), but these are the best laptops of CES 2023 outside of the gaming space.

lenovo yogabook 9i

Two displays of Yoga Book 9i on a table.

Remember laptops with foldable screens? Yep, that was so 2022. The Yoga Book 9i represents another take on the same concept, combining a single foldable screen with two 13.3-inch 2.8K OLED screens connected by a hinge. And while you don’t get the smooth continuous experience of a single screen, the YogaBook 9i certainly has a few tricks up its sleeve.

First, these two screens can be stacked vertically by the origami stand. The two screens can even sit side-by-side, and finally, it can be used in classic laptop mode. You can use the detachable keyboard and virtual touchpad in this mode, but surprisingly, the haptic feedback touch keyboard Lenovo built for this laptop is surprisingly good.

I was surprised by how well thought out and premium this device is, especially how strong all the magnets are. It’s definitely a niche product, but it’s undoubtedly a very interesting laptop.

hp dragonfly pro chromebook

Digital Trends HP Dragonfly Pro Chromebook with main page loads.
Fiona Egomuoh/Digital Trends

The Dragonfly Pro Chromebook is easily the most premium Chromebook ever. Last year’s Elite Dragonfly did the same thing, but the Dragonfly Pro takes it a step further. First, it has an 8-megapixel webcam, which makes it the fastest webcam ever put in a Chromebook like this one. But this is really only the tip of the iceberg.

Beyond the webcam, it features a high-resolution 2560 x 1600 screen, a haptic feedback trackpad, RGB backlit keyboard, four speakers, and four Thunderbolt 4 ports.

Performance looks good too, thanks to the base offering of 8GB of RAM, 256GB of storage and a 12th-gen Core i5 processor. Then again, for a Chromebook, it can’t get much better than this. You might expect to pay well for this type of Chromebook, but there’s no doubt that this was one of the standout laptops at the show.

Asus ProArt StudioBook with 3D OLED display

When I heard that Asus was putting a 3D screen on a laptop, I couldn’t contain my interest. But when I actually sat down to demo this 3D screen on the ProArt StudioBook, I was thoroughly impressed. The glasses-free stereoscopic 3D effect is more than just neat — it was concrete, The 3.2K resolution, 120Hz refresh rate, and vivid OLED panel all help in that regard, and really make these images pop off the screen.

Asus also had a demo set up that used a stylus that was tracked in 3D space with a separate camera, effectively letting me interact with objects on the screen, which is more than I thought It was much colder than it was.

Beyond the 3D screen, these ProArt StudioBooks are packed with high-end specs and advanced features, including a haptic feedback trackpad, ASUS Dial rotary controls, up to 64GB of upgradeable memory, and the latest RTX 40-series graphics. Whether you choose the 3D screen or not, you’re getting one of the more impressive and powerful-looking pieces of kit announced at CES this year.

lenovo thinkbook plus twist

The e-ink screen on the front of the ThinkBook Plus Twist.

Lenovo’s been experimenting with e-ink screens on the ThinkBook Plus laptops over the past few years, but this might be the most eye-catching design yet. The lid houses a 12-inch e-ink screen on the back and a traditional 13-inch OLED screen on the front. We’ve seen this before, like on the ThinkBook Plus Gen 2.

But this time, Lenovo has reworked the hinge to do a full 360-degree “twist.” Now, here’s something we’ve never seen before. The idea is that with the ThinkBook Plus Twist, you can more easily switch between the e-ink screen and the OLED screen, all without losing access to the keyboard and trackpad.

The design of the hinge may be more interesting than the product itself, but there’s no doubt that it’s a truly innovative idea that pulled off a lot of smart engineering.

ROG Zephyrus M16

ROG Zephyrus M16 on the demo table.

Okay, okay – I had to sneak a gaming laptop on the list. And the reason for this is to highlight the incredible work Asus is doing to bring proper HDR panels to laptops in 2023. Through its Nebula HDR program, it’s putting more and more mini-LED displays on laptops, and the ROG Zephyrus M16 is one of the best. bunch. It has 1,024 local dimming zones, which means a brighter, higher-contrast screen. It’s not quite the same as the 2,500 zones seen on the MacBook Pro’s Liquid Retina XDR screen, but it should still be capable of some really great HDR performance.

Obviously, on a laptop like the Zephyrus M16, HDR performance is going to be mostly about gaming. But this applies to watching movies and videos as well as content creation. All this could make the Zephyrus M16 a great do-it-all laptop, as well as a great gaming device.

And more than anything, the Zephyrus M16 is a really good sign for the Windows ecosystem as a whole. If it hopes to live up to what Apple is doing with its Macs (or even the TVs it’s offering console players), then competitive HDR performance is crucial.

Lenovo ThinkBook 16p Gen 4

Magic Bay webcam attached to the top of the ThinkBook Plus Gen 4.

When we reviewed the ThinkBook 16p Gen 3, our reviewer claimed that the laptop didn’t have exceptional features to justify the price. Well, Lenovo must have heard our complaints, because the ThinkBook 16p Gen 4 has a unique feature we’ve never seen before.

Lenovo calls this the Magic Bay, and essentially, it’s a magnetic pogo pin connector at the top of the display. The Magic Bay allows you to swap out different modules or accessories that can boost certain aspects of your laptop’s capabilities. Some examples include the Magic Bay 4K Webcam, Magic Bay Lite, and Magic Bay LTE.

Each of these accessories can be snapped onto the top of the laptop, just like a keyboard snaps onto the bottom of a 2-in-1 tablet. It’s a tempting idea, especially since there’s no good way to build a 4K webcam or ring light into your laptop’s top bezel. These three Magic Bay accessories feel like the tip of the iceberg of what could be offered if this kind of laptop becomes popular, and I’d love to see Lenovo adding modularity to laptop design that wouldn’t be possible otherwise.

Aside from that Magic Bay feature, the ThinkBook 16p Gen 4 looks like a very well-stacked laptop. It comes with 3.2K IPS display and 120Hz refresh rate. And the ThinkBook 16p Gen 4 switches from AMD to Intel, embracing 13th-generation H-series processors and also Nvidia’s latest RTX 40-series graphics.

lg gram style

The LG Gram Style on a demo table at CES 2023.

LG came to the show this year with two new Gram laptops — but these aren’t your average Grams. The gram Ultra Slim is that much thinner than the M2 MacBook Air, which is amazing. But the most attractive design is in Village Style. Taking a page out of the Dell XPS 13 Plus’s handbook, the LG Gram Style uses a seamless single pane of glass over the palm rest and haptic feedback touchpad. It is quite sleek in appearance. It also has a gorgeous, iridescent sheen, which reflects light in a variety of colors.

Plus, the LG Gram Style has a gorgeous 16:10 3,200 x 2000 screen that makes it one of the sharpest clearest laptop displays we’ve seen at CES this year. All of this marks a surprising turn for a company that has been a laggard on its laptop design over the past few years. The LG Gram Style finally feels like the company is getting serious about flagship laptops, and the results so far are impressive indeed.

Editors’ Recommendations

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