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Best Laptops and Tablets to Give as Holiday Gifts for 2023

Whether it's for gaming, travel, content creation, entertainment or all of the above, these are our top picks for laptop and tablet gifts.

Joshua Goldman Managing Editor / Advice
Managing Editor Josh Goldman is a laptop expert and has been writing about and reviewing them since built-in Wi-Fi was an optional feature. He also covers almost anything connected to a PC, including keyboards, mice, USB-C docks and PC gaming accessories. In addition, he writes about cameras, including action cams and drones. And while he doesn't consider himself a gamer, he spends entirely too much time playing them.
Expertise Laptops, desktops and computer and PC gaming accessories including keyboards, mice and controllers, cameras, action cameras and drones Credentials
  • More than two decades experience writing about PCs and accessories, and 15 years writing about cameras of all kinds.
Joshua Goldman
3 min read
$599 at Dell
Sponsored - Dell XPS 13 Laptop
Limited-time deal: Save an additional $200
$550 at HP
The 2023 HP Pavilion Aero 13 laptop open and facing to the right and sitting on a dark blue couch.
HP Pavilion Aero 13
$900 at Dell
Dell G15 Gaming Laptop
$329 at B&H Photo-Video
9th Gen iPad with accessories sits on gray surface with green background.
Apple iPad (10.2-inch, 9th Gen)
$269 at Best Buy
Lenovo Duet with a colorful splash image onscreen
Lenovo Chromebook Duet 3

Giving the perfect tablet or laptop as a gift can be a harrowing process if you're not sure what your gift recipient needs it for -- everyone's requirements are different. Given the variety of options on the market, different types of budgets and distinct types of laptop users there are out there, we've picked numerous options for the best laptops and tablets to give as holiday gifts. 

If you're looking to score a great deal on a new device, the holidays are the perfect time to look. Most, if not all, of these tablets and laptops will be discounted throughout the holiday shopping season. The costs listed below reflect the best prices we discovered at the time of publication. That said, deals come and go and prices tend to fluctuate, so we'll be updating this list with sale prices as we spot them. If you're looking for more selections than the ones featured below, take a look at our entire list of the best laptops of 2023, where you'll also find links to our top faves across all categories of laptops. 

Apple MacBook Air M1 laptop open on a gray table with a blue sofa in the background.
Josh Goldman/CNET
Battery Life/Runtime 1,026 minutesWeight 2.8 poundsDisplay size/type 13-inch, 2560 x 1600 IPS LCDProcessor tested Apple M1 8‑coreGraphics tested Apple M1 7-core

The newer M2 MacBook Air has advantages over its older M1 Air sibling: a larger display (13.6 inches versus the previous 13.3 inches), a faster M2 chip and an upgraded higher-res webcam. However, the entry-level M1 MacBook Air remains our top choice for gift-giving because its performance is good enough for everyday school and home office use, and it's more affordable. It regularly gets discounted, too. 

Read our Apple MacBook Air M1 (Late 2020) review.


Light, thin and fast, the sleek 13-inch XPS is great for a Windows lifestyle on the move. Expect long battery life (up to 12 hours) on the non-touch display model, even when streaming media on the go. You'll also have options to customize processor, memory, storage and keyboard settings to build the perfect machine for your needs.

At 2.59 pounds and just 0.55 inch thick, the XPS slips nicely into a backpack or carry-on, without sacrificing playback quality or computing power. CNET in its review declared it "certainly powerful enough for everyday tasks" and "a great coffee shop computer."

The 2023 HP Pavilion Aero 13 laptop open and facing to the right and sitting on a dark blue couch.
Josh Goldman/CNET

HP packed a lot of value into the Aero 13: Eye-pleasing magnesium-aluminum chassis, strong processing performance, long battery life, a bright, colorful display and a weight of around 2 pounds (0.91 kilograms). Amazingly, with all that it offers though, it has an affordable starting price.

Read our HP Pavilion Aero 13 review.

Dan Ackerman/CNET

Dell's G15 has been a favorite budget gaming laptop for the past few years, along with the HP Victus line. It was joined this year by a 16-inch version, the G16. We tested both and were impressed with what each offers. 

If you're looking for a gaming laptop bargain, the G15 is the way to go. But if you can afford to spend a couple hundred dollars more, the G16 is a better bet for longevity. Either way, you'll get a good gaming laptop for the money, but we strongly recommend waiting for a sale. 

Read our Dell G15 and G16 Gaming Laptop review.

9th Gen iPad with accessories sits on gray surface with green background.
Scott Stein/CNET

Despite not being the latest and greatest iPad, the ninth-gen entry-level iPad is still our pick for gifting, and not just because it's the least expensive. It improved a lot over its predecessor, doubling the base storage to 64GB, adding a faster A13 chip and better cameras (most importantly, a wider-angle higher-res front-facing Center Stage camera that tracks your face via digital pan and zoom). It still uses the first-gen Apple Pencil, which is fine for the money, and it's still compatible with a range of keyboard cases. 

Read our Apple iPad 2021 review.

Lenovo Duet with a colorful splash image onscreen
Dan Ackerman/CNET

The Lenovo Chromebook Duet 3 is an awesome little 11-inch ChromeOS tablet with a detachable keyboard and touchpad. Its small size and performance aren't ideal for full-time use. But the Chromebook Duet 3 is a good pick if you're looking for an affordable ultraportable device to get some work done on the go, sketch or jot down notes in class or do simple stuff like email, web browsing, mobile or cloud gaming, reading and streaming video.

Read our Lenovo Chromebook Duet 3 review.