|Check out our complete coverage of CES 2024
CES 2024 in Las Vegas had all kinds of tech, from attention-grabbing AI gadgets to, uh, whatever this is. There were also a whole bunch of laptops. Like, an endless array of laptops. So many laptops, in fact, that we had a real tough time deciding between them to choose our best of CES award winners.
These weren’t just any laptops with minor spec bumps. The theme of the year was, of course, AI, with many computers adopting dedicated AI chips. OLED displays with speedy refresh rates were also all over the show floor and, of course, there were several unique designs that just about defy description. We’ve gone through them all and come up with a list of the best laptops at CES.
ASUS Zenbook Duo
The dream of a dual-screen laptop isn’t dead! The ASUS Zenbook Duo is a technical marvel, with a dual-screen display and a detachable Bluetooth keyboard. In other words, you can use it in a traditional clamshell mode, with a keyboard in front of one of the displays, or you can balance the screens on top of one another. This is great for those who want the convenience of a laptop, but with added screen real estate.
The aesthetics are on point and the Duo includes high-end hardware like Intel’s Core Ultra chips and gorgeous OLED screens. The price is also fairly reasonable, given the tech, as this laptop starts at $1,500.
ASUS ROG Zephyrus G14 and G16
ASUS strikes again. The ROG Zephyrus G14 and G16 line has gotten a full redesign, with an attractive aluminum chassis and plenty of power underneath the hood. These laptops can run just about any AAA game on the market, thanks to its AMD Ryzen 8000 series processors and the optional NVIDIA RTX 4070 GPU at the high end.
We called it a “grown up” and “sophisticated” gaming laptop because, well, that’s what it is. It’s incredibly sleek and would feel at home in an office and in a basement-turned-gaming-paradise. It’s also lighter than previous generations, making it more portable. Each model ships with a simple LED slash across the front that can be programmed to glow in gray or white, instead of the typical Skittles rainbow of colors found with most gaming laptops. There’s no pricing on these yet.
HP Omen Transcend 14
There’s a new record-breaker in town. The HP Open Transcend 14 is the lightest 14-inch gaming laptop in the world, weighing just 3.5 pounds. Even cooler? HP seems to have hit this milestone without cutting too many corners. Despite being closer in size and weight to an ultraportable than an average gaming laptop, you still get support for the 14th-gen Intel Core Ultra 7 or Ultra 9 processor, up to 32GB of DDR5 RAM, 2TB of storage and an RTX 4070 GPU. This thing won’t struggle to play modern games.
Despite the teeny-tiny dimensions, you still get two USB-A and two USB-C ports (one of which supports Thunderbolt 4) plus a full-size HDMI 2.1 jack on the back. You’ll also have the option to upgrade to Wi-Fi 7 card with Bluetooth 5.4. This laptop starts at $1,600 and goes on sale later this year.
Dell’s new XPS line
Dell has upgraded its entire XPS line, with form factors that resemble last year’s XPS 13 Plus. The redesign covers the new XPS 13, 14 and 16, and there’s no longer a Plus line. Each of these laptops boasts a glass wrist wrest that hides an invisible haptic touchpad. There’s also touch-sensitive function buttons above the keyboard and large key caps for comfortable typing.
The XPS line includes Intel’s Core Ultra chips, which feature NPUs for AI tasks. The ports are on point, with the XPS 14 and 16 boasting a headphone jack, three Thunderbolt 4 USB-C slots and a microSD card reader. The minimalist design here is gorgeous and these laptops nearly made our best of CES list, but not quite. Once these are out in the wild, however, they could wind up on our list of the best laptops in 2024, just like the XPS 13 Plus.
Lenovo ThinkBook Plus Gen 5
We promised unique and funky designs, and here’s one. The Lenovo ThinkBook Plus Gen 5 is a Frankenstein’s monster of sorts, with a design that’s basically two gadgets smashed together. This is anything but your typical 2-in-1 device. At first glance, the ThinkBook Plus looks like an ordinary clamshell, but the display lifts right off and becomes a 14-inch tablet.
Not that big of a deal right? Here’s where things get interesting. Once removed, both components remain fully functional. So you can use the tablet as a standalone Android device, a wireless monitor for the laptop base or a Wacom-like inking display via Lenovo’s Freestyle app. Meanwhile, you can also use the deck as a mini desktop by plugging in an external screen. Now that’s some modular thinking. This thing starts at $2,000, however, which is fairly steep.
There were many laptops that just missed this list, but still deserve mention.
MSI 18-inch laptops – The company went big this year, introducing a trio laptops with 18-inch displays. Now you won’t have to sacrifice screen real estate for portability.
Acer Predator Helios 18 – This is another large laptop with an 18-inch screen. However, the Predator Helios 18 also features a uniquely-designed hinge absolutely stuffed with RGB lights.
Acer Swift and Aspire – These are basic refreshes that don’t offer much by way of innovation, but will certainly sell like absolute hotcakes. They are stuffed with AI, however, with Intel’s new Core Ultra processors and dedicated keys that can summon Microsoft’s Copilot AI assistant.
Alienware m16 R2 – What would CES be without some Alienware goodness? The m16 R2 is a sleek gaming laptop with a large 90 Whr battery, slim bezels and a beefy touchpad – all in a package with a 15 percent smaller footprint than previous iterations.
Lenovo Legion updates – Lenovo announced a slew of new Legion gaming laptops at CES, each featuring proprietary cooling technology and performance-enhancing AI chips. These all ship with Windows 11 and come with three free months of Xbox Game Pass Ultimate.
Sightful Spacetop – Well, here’s another funky one. The Spacetop doesn’t have an actual screen. It ships with AR glasses that allow for a 100-inch virtual display. The design is nifty, but the execution is iffy.
We’re reporting live from CES 2024 in Las Vegas from January 6-12. Keep up with all the latest news from the show here.