Last quarter we saw the arrival of the first laptops with Intel’s new Alder Lake-P processors. It defines a new performance class right between the H-series (45W TDP), which are primarily used for larger and more powerful systems like gaming machines, and the U-series (15W TDP), which is designed for compact and lightweight laptops. The TDP of the new Alder Lake-P chips is specified at 28W. We already reviewed the chip extensively and the performance is good, but Alder Lake-P lacks efficiency compared to the rivals.
Apple’s M2 processor is an improved or "pumped up" version, respectively, of the familiar M1 chips. The ARM processor is basically identical to its predecessor, but the CPU performance is a bit higher based on our initial results. The biggest improvement, however, is the GPU part (up to 40% faster than before). We can also observe increased power consumption, which makes it harder to keep the chip cool, which makes the new MacBook Air M2 with the passive cooling solution very interesting.
Two laptops managed an excellent overall rating last quarter with 92 % and managed to secure a top spot in our ranking: The Apple MacBook Pro 14, reviewed in the high-end spec with the M1 Max, is noticeably faster than the base model, but it also shows the limitations of the processor. It is still a great overall package, even though the base model is probably the better choice for the majority of users. The MacBook Pro 13 2022 was the first laptop with Apple new M2 CPU and the overall performance was very good. The familiar chassis design including wide bezels looks a bit outdated, but it is still a compact and also very powerful device that can convince in all relevant areas. Users mainly benefit from a faster GPU, but the question is how long the MacBook Pro 13 will be available. The MacBook Pro 14 (thinner bezels, notch camera) is pretty close to the MBP 13 in terms of form factor, while the new MacBook Air M2 is very close in terms of performance.
Razer’s Blade 17 2022 is a highlight for gamers. Despite its slim chassis (less than 20 millimeters), the Blade 17 is equipped with Core i7 or Core i9 Alder Lake processors and Nvidia’s GTX 3080 Ti GPU, so it offers the most powerful components you can get. There are also different display options, so the laptop can be a good choice both for content creators as well as hardcore gamers.
One of the best laptops we reviewed was the Lenovo Yoga 9i 14, a high-end convertible with 4K OLED screen, Alder Lake-P processor and stylus inputs hardly leaves anything to be desired in the 2-in-1 segment.
There are three more very good devices, which managed an excellent overall rating of 90 %. Lenovo’s ThinkPad X1 Carbon G10 left a good impression during our review, even though the i5-1250P could not meet our expectations. Dell’s option for the high-end business customer is the Latitude 7420, which offers a well-balanced package, even though (or maybe because) Dell still uses 11th generation CPUs from Intel. The Razer Blade 17 with the RTX 3070 Ti also managed an overall score of 90 %.
The significantly more compact Razer Blade 14 with the Ryzen 6900HX and the RTX 3070 Ti got a total score of 89 % and is a very interesting option for ultra-mobile gaming. Lenovo’s Yoga 9 14i in the spec with the 2.8K OLED screen is not as good as the 4K high-end model (see above). Business customers who want a convertible should look at the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga G7, which also managed 89 % in our review. Dell’s XPS 17 in the current version with the 12700H CPU, RTX 3050 GPU, and 4K display also scored 89 %.
Alienware’s x17 R2 promises plenty of gaming power in the ultimate spec with the i9-12900HK CPU and RTX 3080 Ti with 175W TDP. The performance during our review is excellent and it dominates almost every benchmark comparison. The current XPS 15 9520 moves to a new hardware generation and uses the latest Intel Alder Lake processors in the familiar chassis. The result: More performance and higher prices with 89 % in our review. The XPS 17 9720 with the 12700H CPU, 3060 GPU and 4K screen also managed 89 %.
The Razer Blade 15 (Advanced) 2022 combines the advantages of a thin and compact laptop with extreme gaming performance. Our review shows that this compromise really works with a very good total score of 88 %. A gaming laptop with two displays? Sounds like Asus, and it is from Asus. The ROG Zephyrus Duo 16 offers a powerful AMD Ryzen 9 6900HX CPI, the RTX 3080 Ti GPU, a 16-inch main screen (4K) and a secondary screen above the keyboard. Depending on your workflow, the secondary screen be very valuable, but the Zephyrus Duo also performs very well in all other segments.
Samsung is still a comparatively new player on the notebook market (since its return), but the Korean manufacturer already offers some interesting options. The Galaxy Book2 Pro 360 13 is a compact 13-inch convertible with good mobility and low emissions. Convertibles with larger screens are getting more popular as well. The Asus Zenbook Flip 15 offers a great 3K OLED screen, Intel Alder Lake CPU and it is one of the first laptops with Intel’s dedicated Arc A370M GPU. Our verdict: Very Good, 88 %.
Based on the scores achieved in this time period we ask our senior editors for their favorites and assign editors’ choice awards. As usual we reward laptops that stand out from the competition by their overall package, their individual performance in specific categories, or their particularly noteworthy price-performance ratio, and that our editors considered to represent particularly attractive options in their respective categories.
Even though the Asus ROG Zephyrus Duo 16 is designed as a gaming laptop, it can also be an interesting choice for content creators. The secondary screen above the keyboard is ideal for tool bars and additional windows, so the large and matte 4K screen with its generous 16-inch diagonal size can be used for the working space or the gaming window. Brightness, contrast ratio, color accuracy, and color gamut (98 % P3) meet highest expectations.
But that’s not all, the hardware of our review unit with the AMD Ryzen 9 6900HX and the Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 Ti delivers excellent performance and can handle creative workflows as well as gaming. The only problem: There is no Thunderbolt 4 support and the mobility is a bit limited due to the comparatively large dimensions.
The good package comes at a price, though: The Zephyrus Duo starts at around 3500 Euros, and the high-end SKU even costs more than 5000 Euros.
Convertible laptops are no niche products anymore and are pretty common nowadays. The Lenovo Yoga 9i 14 is a high-end convertible and it is currently one of the best products you can get. Our review showed that the display (14-inch OLED, 3840 x 2400 pixels) convinces with high brightness, excellent contrast, wide color gamut (98 % P3) and accurate colors. We also really liked the case, the input devices as well as the port situation.
Inside the chassis is a brand-new Alder Lake-P CPU with plenty of performance, but it also consumes a lot of power in return. The Yoga 9i manages battery runtimes between 6-12 hours in practical scenarios, so it works well on the go. A stylus is included; it offers 4096 pressure levels and also worked well during our review.
Lenovo offers multiple versions of the Yoga 9i 14 and prices start at around 1600 Euros.
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The table above depicts all notebooks reviewed during the above-mentioned period with their total score as well as category scores as achieved during our extensive review as well as a selection of important paramenters and benchmarks. All scores and details can be found in the respective reviews.
This table can be sorted by each column by simply clicking the column title, e.g. weight.