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The best new laptops to look forward to (December 2021)
Laptop launches are slowly returning to normal, but we still have plenty of virtual launches to salivate over. Virtual or not, the pandemic hasn’t slowed down new launches or exciting developments. There are plenty of powerful new machines hitting the market, and here are the best new laptops to look forward to.
Some of these machines are hot off the presses, so you may not be able to pick them up quite yet. Most of our picks are Windows machines, but Apple’s newly-released MacBook Pro machines with the M1 Pro and M1 Max chips make the cut here. Ready to learn more? Let’s get to it.
The best new laptops:
Editor’s note: We’ll be sure to add more new laptops to the list as they launch.
Samsung Galaxy Book Go
The Samsung Galaxy Book Go is designed to keep you lightweight and up to speed in near-silence. It doesn’t even rely on a fan, so you may never hear this new laptop coming.
While the lack of a fan might worry some power users, the Galaxy Book Go packs Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 7c Gen 2 processor, with the 5G version packing in the Snapdragon 8cx Gen 2 5G, for excellent performance management.
You’ll find a durable design with a 180-degree hinge to share your screen with the rest of your team. Samsung’s 18-hours of battery life should be more than enough to get through even your longest of workdays.
Alienware X15 and X17
The Alienware M15 and M17 have served as the backbone of Dell’s gaming power for a few years now, but it’s time for something new. While the names are changing, Alienware’s commitment to powerful and portable gaming machines sure isn’t.
You can now choose from the X15 or X17 gaming laptops and grab just about everything that Alienware has to offer. The main difference is whether you want a 15.6-inch display or a 17.3-inch version, but the internals are all about speed. You’re looking at an Intel Core i9-11900H processor, Nvidia’s GeForce RTX 3080 GPU, 32GB of DDR4 RAM, and more.
See also: The best Alienware laptops you can buy
However, Alienware laptops have never been the lightest or the thinnest on the market. The X15 and X17 don’t change that in a major way, but the evolution of Cryo-Tech makes this pair one of the company’s slimmest yet. You can harness the power of four fans instead of two, and Element 31 keeps your laptop running up to 25% cooler.
If you really want power, you can add a 240Hz Quad HD panel to your new Alienware gaming laptop and customize every last letter on your AlienFX keyboard.
HP Omen 16 and 17
The HP Omen 15 received a pretty impressive refresh back in 2020, and now the rest of the family has joined in.
We’ll start with the all-new Omen 16, with its 16.1-inch display and Intel or AMD internals. Should you choose Intel, HP can offer up to an 11th-gen Core i7 processor paired with Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070 graphics. You can pack your Omen with a Ryzen 9 5900HX processor and RDNA 2 GPU on the AMD side.
Outside of the core components, you’re looking at up to 9 hours of unplugged gameplay and a 165Hz display on both configurations. Both models also rely on Omen Tempest cooling to stay locked in under pressure.
If you want the larger Omen 17, you’re limited to Intel internals, but that’s not a bad thing. You’ll have an 11th-gen Core i9 processor at your fingertips and Nvidia’s GeForce RTX 3080 graphics to match. The screen is slightly larger at 17.3-inches, but you have Omen Tempest cooling and a little extra keyboard space to keep you locked in.
Dell XPS 15 and 17
As usual, Dell kicked off its recent refreshes with the most popular XPS 13 model. Now, the larger siblings have joined in the fun, and they’ve cemented their place as some of the best new laptops to buy. The changes aren’t massive, but there’s not usually too much to change once you’ve refined a machine as Dell has.
See also: The best Dell laptops to buy in 2021
The major move on both the XPS 15 and XPS 17 is the switch to 11th-generation Intel Core i7 and i9 processors and up to 64GB of RAM. You can take your choice from Nvidia’s GeForce RTX 3050 or 3050 Ti GPU on the XPS 15, while the larger model swaps the Ti for an RTX 3060 option.
Dell didn’t bring back too much in the way of ports, but the bezels are as slim as they’ve ever been, and the new XPS laptops continue to inch closer and closer to perfection.
Apple MacBook Pro 14 and 16-inch
We spent much of 2020 digging through rumors and waiting for solid information on the M1 MacBook lineup, and it was well worth the wait. Apple managed to pack heaps of power into its first ARM chip, and it has one-upped itself with round two. We got a 14-inch MacBook Pro and a refresh of the 16-inch model, both with upgraded Apple Silicon chips — M1 Pro and M1 Max.
There’s a lot of good here, with Apple bringing back many elements from the classic MacBook Pro design back for the new version. Both chips are available across both sizes, and you also get the new Mini-LED Liquid Retina XDR display. The only downside here is that the new MacBook Pros have a display notch, but it comes with thin bezels and a 1080p FaceTime camera.
We’re also getting the good old MagSafe back again. On the configuration side of things, you can max out these machines to up to 8TB of storage, and 64GB of memory. You also get some of the ports back, so it’s not all USB-C this time around. We have Thunderbolt 4, but also HDMI, and even an SD Card slot, making these great machines for the pros.
MSI Creator Z16
The new MSI Creator Z16 is here as a creator’s dream machine. It blends performance and style seamlessly to help you craft art on a laptop that looks just as good. MSI stayed true to its human-centric design philosophy on the Creator Z16, offering a rounded and fluid form that’s comfortable to tote around.
See also: The best MSI computers you can buy
You can expect 11th-gen Intel Core i7 CPU with Nvidia’s 30 Series graphics on the inside. MSI even went so far as to adopt a 16:10 display to get closer to the Golden Ratio. The optional touchscreen and Wi-Fi 6E help round out your overall experience and bring creative power back into your control. You shouldn’t have to worry about power too often either, thanks to a 90Whr battery complete with fast charging.
The MSI Creator Z16 comes peripheral-ready with two USB-A options as well as two USB-C ports. You also get a headphone jack and a microSD card reader for your creative pursuits. If you happen to drop this expensive new laptop, the MIL-STD 810G certification should offer a little peace of mind.
HP Victus 16
If you found yourself drawn in by HP’s Omen refreshes, you may want to check out the new Victus line. It matches the Omen 16 with a 16.1-inch display, making a few sacrifices to save on price. Like its more expensive sibling, you can choose between Intel and AMD hardware, though you’ll find an Nvidia GeForce GPU at home on either version.
You’ll even get a similar 165Hz display to the one you’d find on the Omen line, making the Victus one of the best new gaming laptops around. If you didn’t love the simple black finish on HP’s other gaming rigs, the Victus adds Mica Silver, Performance Blue, and Ceramic White options to the mix.
The all-new Victus isn’t quite as slim or light as a few others, but the trio of USB-A ports should work well for your legacy peripherals. Unfortunately, you’ll have to wait just a little bit longer to get your hands on this bad boy.
Lenovo Legion 7/7i
Not to be outdone, Lenovo has jumped on the upgrade game with its flagship Legion 7/7i. There’s a more affordable Legion 5i too, but the 7i is the cream of the crop. As always, you get what you expect with Lenovo, which is a clean design that still carries some gamer aesthetic elements, without appearing flashy.
It matches the MSI Creator Z16 with a 16:10 display with QHD resolution and up to 165Hz refresh rate. It tops out with an Intel Core i9-11980HK for the 7i, which is the Intel version, and AMD Ryzen 9 5900HX for the 7. You get options between the Nvidia RTX 3060 (7i only), 3070, and 3080 for the GPU Storage tops out at 2TB, and RAM at 32GB of DDR4 memory.
You’ll get Lenovo’s Coldfront 3.0 cooling technology to boot as well as a Corsair keyboard, Wi-Fi 6, and Bluetooth 5.1.