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Article updated on June 12, 2024 at 7:10 AM PDT

Best Lenovo Laptop for 2024

Check out our favorites from Lenovo’s ThinkPad, Slim and Yoga lines, tested and reviewed by CNET's laptop experts.

Our Experts

Written by 
Matt Elliott
Our expert, award-winning staff selects the products we cover and rigorously researches and tests our top picks. If you buy through our links, we may get a commission. Reviews ethics statement
Matt Elliott Senior Editor
Matt Elliott is a senior editor at CNET with a focus on laptops and streaming services. Matt has more than 20 years of experience testing and reviewing laptops. He has worked for CNET in New York and San Francisco and now lives in New Hampshire. When he's not writing about laptops, Matt likes to play and watch sports. He loves to play tennis and hates the number of streaming services he has to subscribe to in order to watch the various sports he wants to watch.
Expertise Laptops | Desktops | All-in-one PCs | Streaming devices | Streaming platforms
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What to consider

Price

The current sweet spot for a reliable laptop to handle average work, home office or school tasks is between $700 and $800 and a reasonable model for creative work or gaming is $1,000 and up. Every brand of laptop can be found discounted online at one time or another, so it pays to track deals to find the lowest price.

Operating system

Most Lenovo laptops run Microsoft Windows with a few Chromebook offerings based on Google’s ChromeOS. A Chromebook is easier to use and usually cheaper than a Windows laptop but can’t run Windows software.

Size

Do you want a larger laptop with a bigger screen on which to work or play? Or is having a thinner and lighter and more portable laptop more important? Size is primarily determined by the display, which in turn factors into battery size, laptop thickness and weight.

Screen

When deciding on a screen, there are some considerations to keep in mind: size, resolution, what types of content you'll be looking at and whether or not you'll be using it for gaming or creative work. Higher resolutions are better for fitting more on a screen and look for a dot pitch of at least 100 pixels per inch (ppi) as a rule of thumb.

Processor

The processor, aka the CPU, is the brains of a laptop. Intel and AMD are the main CPU makers for Windows laptops with a staggering selection between them. Generally, the faster the processor speed and the more cores it has, the better the performance will be.

Graphics

For Windows laptops, there are two types of GPUs: integrated (iGPU) or discrete (dGPU). Because the iGPU splits space, memory and power with the CPU, it's better for smaller, lighter laptops, but it doesn't perform nearly as well as a dGPU. For things like video editing, gaming, design and so on, you'll need a dGPU.

Memory

We highly recommend 16GB of RAM, with 8GB being the absolute minimum. RAM is where the operating system stores all the data for currently running applications, and it can fill up fast. After that, it starts swapping between RAM and the slower storage drive.

Storage

You'll still find cheaper hard drives in budget laptops and larger hard drives in gaming laptops, but faster solid-state drives (SSDs) have all but replaced hard drives in most models. A 256GB SSD is the minimum, and 512GB will last longer without getting filled up. Opt for 1TB or more if you work with large video files or plan to store a large game library on your laptop.

Our Picks

$900 at Best Buy
Lenovo Slim Pro 7 laptop at an angle
Best overall Lenovo laptop
Lenovo Slim Pro 7
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$1,445 at Lenovo
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon Gen 11 laptop on a coffee table in front of a couch
Best Lenovo business laptop
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon Gen 11
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$1,303 at Lenovo
Lenovo ThinkPad Z13 Gen2 ultraportable against a gray wall
Best ThinkPad ultraportable
Lenovo ThinkPad Z13 Gen 2
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$1,710 at Best Buy
lenvovo-slim-pro-9i-4850
Best Lenovo laptop for creators
Lenovo Slim Pro 9i 14
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$1,050 at Best Buy
The 16-inch Lenovo Yoga 7i two-in-one laptop on a wooden table with a blue background.
Best two-in-one Lenovo laptop
Lenovo Yoga 7i 16
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$3,239 at Lenovo
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Fold 16 on a coffee table in front of a sofa
Best Lenovo foldable laptop
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Fold 16
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What's the best Lenovo laptop overall?

The best Lenovo laptop for most people is the Lenovo Slim Pro 7. It offers plenty of power and battery life inside a compact and durable all-metal chassis for a reasonable price. It costs $1,200 when it’s not on sale but can usually be found with a $300 discount at Best Buy, dropping the price to an attractive $900. It’s rare to find this mix of performance, portability and build quality for less than $1,000. The 14.5-inch, 2.5K display is large enough to work on for long stretches without feeling too cramped, and the 3.5-inch weight is light for regular travel. The combination of an AMD Ryzen 7 CPU and RTX 3050 graphics provides ample performance for most users, including content creators and media editors.

We also have favorites among Lenovo’s business-focused ThinkPad line and two-in-one Yoga series. At CNET, we test all kinds of laptops, from budget models for everyday tasks to high-performance laptops for gaming and content creation and everything in between. Each member of our team has decades of experience testing and reviewing laptops. We conduct performance testing under controlled conditions in the CNET Labs and extensive hands-on use to assess the design, features and performance of each laptop we review.

Suppose you can’t find what you are looking for from Lenovo. In that case, we also have many more picks in different laptop categories, starting with the best overall laptop and also including the best gaming laptop, best cheap gaming laptop, best budget laptop and best business laptop. We also have favorites from Lenovo’s chief rivals; check out the best Dell laptops and best HP laptops. Beyond Windows, we have recommendations for the best MacBook and best Chromebook.

Best Lenovo laptops of 2024

$900 at Best Buy

Best overall Lenovo laptop

Lenovo Slim Pro 7

The Lenovo Slim Pro 7 offers an uncommon combination of power, portability and affordability. It’s based on a 14.5-inch touch display with a crisp, 2.5K resolution and weighs a modest 3.5 pounds. Its duo of an AMD Ryzen 7 7000 series CPU and Nvidia GeForce RTX 3050 GPU is geared toward creators but is a useful setup for all users. Especially when you consider the laptop can usually be found for only $900. Most laptops with a dedicated GPU cost $1,000 and up. 

Most laptops with a dedicated GPU and high-powered CPU also offer below-average battery life, but the Slim Pro 7 has a long-lasting battery that ran for more than 12 hours on our battery test. The compact chassis offers military-grade ruggedness, which should allow the Slim Pro 7 to survive the daily bumps and bruises as your daily driver.

$1,445 at Lenovo

Best Lenovo business laptop

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon Gen 11

It delivers no surprises or revolutionary upgrades from past iterations, but the ThinkPad X1 Carbon's security features, build quality and performance remain excellent. Its 14-inch display and 2.5-pound weight are the sweet spot of enough screen space to work long stretches without needing to connect to an external display, while also being light enough for daily travel. With an industry-best keyboard, long battery life and greener construction, the X1 Carbon Gen 11 is a near-perfect business laptop.

Lenovo has increased pricing from previous Gen 11 to Gen 12 models to where we've reached a point where the latest ThinkPad X1 Carbon is no longer our recommendation for business execs unless your organization is large enough to qualify for volume pricing. For individual buyers, it's simply too expensive for the performance and battery life it provides. For most business users, the previous Gen 11 is the better buy.

$1,303 at Lenovo

Best ThinkPad ultraportable

Lenovo ThinkPad Z13 Gen 2

An outlier among ThinkPads, the Lenovo ThinkPad Z13 Gen 2 features an AMD processor inside an incredibly compact chassis with an optional flax fiber lid. Even without the funky lid cover, the Z13 Gen 2 doesn’t look like your typical ThinkPad. For one, the webcam comes encased in a module that protrudes from the front edge of the laptop with a contrasting, brushed aluminum finish. Inside, the touchpad represents a departure from the ThinkPad norm of including two mouse buttons above the touchpad for the TrackPoint pointing stick. Instead of physical buttons, a narrow top portion of the touchpad acts as mouse buttons for the pointing stick. This arrangement allows for a larger touchpad, and this larger touchpad is a joy to use with its accurate and customizable haptic feedback.

Even with these design departures, the Z13 Gen 2 still feels like a ThinkPad with its excellent keyboard and rock-solid build quality. The 13.5-inch, 2.8K OLED display is spectacular, but its presence means that battery life is merely average. 

$1,710 at Best Buy

Best Lenovo laptop for creators

Lenovo Slim Pro 9i 14

The highlight of the Slim Pro 9i 14 is its DisplayHDR 1000 mini LED display but it also offers a host of other attractions, including a sturdy build, simple but striking design, comfortable keyboard and touchpad, solid performance and excellent sound. In HDR mode, the 14.5-inch mini LED display looked extremely good, delivering accurate color and effectively zero-nit blacks.

For $1,800, the Slim Pro 9i 14 comes equipped with upper midrange processors -- Intel Core i7-13705H CPU and Nvidia GeForce RTX 4050 GPU -- plus an ample 32GB of RAM and a roomy 1TB SSD. It competes with the 14-inch MacBook Pro, which is a lot more expensive once you've added memory and storage to match.

$1,050 at Best Buy

Best two-in-one Lenovo laptop

Lenovo Yoga 7i 16

The Lenovo Yoga 7i 16 serves up plenty of screen real estate and two-in-one versatility along with strong performance and a lengthy runtime -- and does so for a reasonable price of $1,000. Lenovo's largest convertible features a roomy 16-inch, 16:10 display that makes it a good fit as a home or work laptop where you aren't connected to an external monitor. And despite its large display, the Yoga 7i 16 offers outstanding battery life.

Like any large-screen convertible, the Yoga 7i 16 can feel unwieldy in tablet mode but is a good pick for two-in-one shoppers who will use the system more as a laptop than a tablet. You’ll enjoy the roomy display when used as a tablet, but we suggest choosing a model with a higher-resolution display than we tested -- it's a small price to pay for crisp text. We tested the previous-generation model; you can now get an Intel Core Ultra-based unit with a 2K display at Best Buy for roughly the same price as the system we reviewed last year.

$3,239 at Lenovo

Best Lenovo foldable laptop

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Fold 16

This one’s a bit of a cheat since the X1 Fold is Lenovo’s only foldable laptop. But it’s the best foldable laptop we’ve seen to date, even if it’s still more of a proof-of-concept product than a mass-market device. It feels cramped in laptop mode when the display is folded into a small, 12-inch screen. It works better as an all-in-one with the 16.3-inch OLED display unfolded and propped up against the separate kickstand with the Bluetooth keyboard in front of it. The kickstand can hold the display in either landscape or portrait mode, and it works well in either orientation. 

The ThinkPad X1 Fold 16 puts us one step closer to getting a foldable laptop that's more than just a curiosity for deep-pocketed early adopters. Its design is sleeker than that of Asus’s thick and clunky Zenbook 17 Fold. Its price is much more reasonable than HP’s $5,000 Spectre Foldable PC.

Other laptops we've tested

Acer Aspire Go 14: You could do worse for $300.

Asus Zenbook 14 OLED Q425: It's a boon to get an OLED display in such a portable package with great battery life for roughly $1,000, but the fit and finish feel decidedly midrange.

Lenovo Slim 7i: With an OLED display and a solid build, this is a rugged option for mainstream shoppers, but other touches fall in the middle of the pack.

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon Gen 12: The latest X1 Carbon has many charms, but they will remain out of reach for many business buyers constrained by budgets.

Dell XPS 14 9440: The radical look is sure to turn heads, but some of the daring design elements could be turn-offs. 

HP Omen Transcend 14: Neither a featureless slab nor a carnival of lights, HP's latest 14-inch Omen has its own unique flair. It doesn't scrimp on substance, either.

Acer Predator Triton 14: With fast performance and a bright HDR screen, this mainstream 14-inch gaming laptop can be a great gaming value.

M3 MacBook Air 13: Apple's 2024 MacBook Air update is a straightforward performance boost to power you through the future of work, school and play at home or away.

Lenovo LOQ 15: Lenovo's entry-level model is the opposite of flashy, but it's got good performance and it's one of the cheapest RTX 4050 models (at least on sale).

HP Victus 16: It’s speedy and svelte, but gamers on tight budgets deserve more than this laptop's basic 60Hz panel.

Acer Nitro 16: With a roomy 16-inch, 16:10 display that's surprisingly bright and vibrant and powered by a full-octane RTX 4050 GPU, the Nitro 16 delivers the goods for gamers on tight budgets.

Acer Predator Helios Neo 16: The Helios Neo 16 is essentially a gussied-up version of the Acer Nitro 16. It just so happens to also have ample 3D performance for its budget-friendly price.

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How we test laptops

The review process for laptops consists of two parts: performance testing under controlled conditions in the CNET Labs and extensive hands-on use by our reviewers. This includes evaluating a device's aesthetics, ergonomics and features with respect to price. A final review verdict is a combination of both objective and subjective judgments. 

We test all laptops with a core set of benchmarks, including Primate Labs Geekbench 6Cinebench R23PCMark 10, a variety of 3DMark benchmarks (whichever can run on the laptop), UL Procyon Photo and Video (where supported), and our own battery life test. If a laptop is intended for gaming, we'll also run benchmarks from Guardians of the GalaxyThe Rift Breaker (CPU and GPU) and Shadow of the Tomb Raider.

For the hands-on, the reviewer uses it for their work during the review period, evaluating how well the design, features (such as the screen, camera and speakers) and manufacturer-supplied software operate as a cohesive whole. We also place importance on how well they work given their cost and where the manufacturer has potentially made upgrades or trade-offs for its price.

The list of benchmarking software and comparison criteria we use changes over time as the devices we test evolve. You can find a more detailed description of our test methodology on our How We Test Computers page. 

Factors to consider when buying a Lenovo laptop

Lenovo sells a wide variety of laptops, and many models are available in multiple configurations to match your performance and budget needs. If you need help finding the right Lenovo laptop, we can help. Here are the main considerations to keep in mind when shopping for a new laptop.

Price

The search for a new laptop for most people starts with price. If the statistics chipmaker Intel and PC manufacturers hurl at us are correct, you'll be holding onto your next laptop for at least three years. If you can afford to stretch your budget a little to get better specs, do it. That stands whether you're spending $500 or more than $1,000. In the past, you could get away with spending less upfront with an eye toward upgrading memory and storage in the future. Laptop makers are increasingly moving away from making components easily upgradable, so again, it's best to get as much laptop capability as you can afford from the start. 

Generally speaking, the more you spend, the better the laptop. That could mean better components for faster performance, a nicer display, sturdier build quality, a smaller or lighter design from higher-end materials or even a more comfortable keyboard. All of these things add to the cost of a laptop. I'd love to say $500 will get you a powerful gaming laptop, for example, but that's not the case. Right now, the sweet spot for a reliable laptop that can handle average work, home office or school tasks is between $700 and $800, and a reasonable model for creative work or gaming is upward of about $1,000. The key is to look for discounts on models in all price ranges so you can get more laptop capability for less. Like other vendors, Lenovo is constantly rotating sales on laptops on its site.

Size

If you are taking your laptop with you to class or work or just down to your local coffee shop most mornings, then you'll want a smaller and lighter laptop; something with a 13-inch or 14-inch screen. If you're buying a laptop for your home or work and don't plan on traveling with it with any great frequency, then it might serve you well to get a larger 15-inch, 16-inch or even a 17-inch display that gives you more room to work, play and multitask. 

Display

When deciding on a display, there are many considerations: How much you need to display (which is surprisingly more about resolution than screen size), what types of content you'll be looking at, and whether you'll be using it for gaming or creative endeavors. 

You really want to optimize pixel density; that is, the number of pixels per inch the screen can display. Although there are other factors that contribute to sharpness, a higher pixel density usually means sharper rendering of text and interface elements. (You can easily calculate the pixel density of any screen at DPI Calculator if you don't feel like doing the math, and you can also find out what math you need to do there.) We recommend a dot pitch of at least 100 pixels per inch as a rule of thumb.

Because of the way Windows can scale the display, you're frequently better off with a higher resolution than you'd think. You can always make things bigger on a high-resolution screen, but you can never make them smaller -- to fit more content in the view -- on a low-resolution screen. This is why a 4K, 14-inch screen may sound like unnecessary overkill, but may not be if you need to, say, view a wide spreadsheet. 

Text and the edges of images can look fuzzy on a lower-resolution display. Look for a Full HD 1,920x1,080-pixel resolution at a minimum -- or a 1,920x1,200-pixel resolution on laptops with 16:10 aspect ratios that are taller than traditional 16:9 widescreen displays and provide more vertical screen space for work without significantly increasing the footprint. A Quad HD (QHD) resolution of 2,560x1,440 pixels (2,560x1,600 on a 16:10 display) will result in crisper text and images and will likely suffice on a 13- or 14-inch laptop display -- you don't necessarily need a 4K display.

Processor

The processor, aka the CPU, is the brains of a laptop. Intel and AMD are the main CPU makers for Windows laptops. Both offer a staggering selection of mobile processors. Making things trickier, both manufacturers have chips designed for different laptop styles, like power-saving chips for ultraportables or faster processors for gaming laptops. Their naming conventions will let you know what type is used. You can head to Intel's or AMD's sites for explanations so you get the performance you want. Generally speaking, the faster the processor speed and the more cores it has, the better the performance will be. 

Graphics

The graphics processor, or GPU, handles all the work of driving the screen and generating what gets displayed, as well as speeding up a lot of graphics-related (and increasingly, AI-related) operations. For Windows laptops, there are two types of GPUs: integrated (iGPU) or discrete (dGPU). As the names imply, an iGPU is part of the CPU package, while a dGPU is a separate chip with dedicated memory (VRAM) that it communicates with directly, making it faster than sharing memory with the CPU.

Because the iGPU splits space, memory and power with the CPU, it's constrained by the limits of those. It allows for smaller, lighter laptops, but doesn't perform nearly as well as a dGPU. There are some games and creative software that won't run unless they detect a dGPU or sufficient VRAM. Most productivity software, video streaming, web browsing and other nonspecialized apps will run fine on an iGPU.

For more power-hungry graphics needs, like video editing, STEM and design applications as well as gaming, you'll need a dGPU; there are only two real companies that make them, Nvidia and AMD, with Intel offering some based on the Xe-branded (or the older UHD Graphics branding) iGPU technology in its CPUs.

Memory

For memory, we highly recommend 16GB of RAM, with 8GB being the absolute bare minimum. RAM is where the operating system stores all the data for currently running applications, and it can fill up fast. After that, it starts swapping between RAM and SSD, which is slower. A lot of sub-$500 laptops have 4GB or 8GB, which, in conjunction with a slower disk, can make for a frustratingly slow Windows laptop experience. Also, many laptops now have the memory soldered onto the motherboard. Most manufacturers disclose this, but if the RAM type is LPDDR, assume it's soldered and can't be upgraded. 

Some PC makers will solder memory on and leave an empty internal slot for adding a stick of RAM. You may need to contact the laptop manufacturer or find the laptop's full specs online to confirm. Check the web for user experiences, because the slot may still be hard to get to, it may require nonstandard or hard-to-get memory or other pitfalls, including voiding the warranty.

Storage

You'll still find cheaper hard drives in budget laptops and larger hard drives in gaming laptops, but faster solid-state drives have all but replaced hard drives in laptops. They can make a big difference in performance. Not all SSDs are equally speedy, and cheaper laptops typically have slower drives. If the laptop only has 8GB of RAM, it may end up swapping to that drive and the system may slow down quickly while you're working. 

Get what you can afford, and if you need to go with a smaller drive, you can always add an external drive or two down the road, or use cloud storage to bolster a small internal drive. The one exception is gaming laptops: We don't recommend going with less than a 512GB SSD unless you really like uninstalling games every time you want to play a new game. 

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Laptop FAQs

How much do good laptops cost?

Setting a budget is a good place to start when shopping for the best laptop for yourself. The good news is you can get a nice-looking, lightweight laptop with excellent battery life at prices under $500. If you're shopping for a laptop around $500 or less, check out our top picks here, as well as more specific buying advice for that price range.

Higher-end components like Intel Core i-series and AMD Ryzen processors and premium design touches like thin-display bezels and aluminum or magnesium bodies have made their way to laptops priced between $500 and $1,000. You can also find touchscreens and two-in-one designs that can be used as a tablet or a laptop -- and a couple of other positions in between. In this price range, you'll also find faster memory and SSD storage -- and more of it -- to improve performance. 

Above $1,000 is where you'll find premium laptops and two-in-ones. If you're looking for the fastest performance, the best battery life, the slimmest, lightest designs and top-notch display quality with an adequate screen size, expect to spend at least $1,000. 

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Which is better: MacOS or Windows?

Deciding between MacOS and Windows laptops for many people will come down to personal preference and budget. Apple's base model laptop, the M1 MacBook Air, starts at $999. You can sometimes find it discounted or you can get educational pricing from Apple and other retailers. In general, it'll be at least $1,000 for a new MacBook, and the prices just go up from there. 

For the money, you're getting great hardware top to bottom, inside and out. Apple recently moved to using its own processors, which resulted in across-the-board performance improvements compared to older Intel-based models. The company's most powerful laptop, the 16-inch MacBook Pro, still hasn't been updated to Apple silicon. 

Again, that great hardware comes at a price. Also, you're limited to just Apple laptops. With Windows and Chromebooks (more on these below), you get an amazing variety of devices at a wide range of prices. 

Software between the two is plentiful, so unless you need to run something that's available on only one platform, you should be fine to go with either. Gaming is definitely an advantage for a Windows laptop.

MacOS is also considered to be easier and safer to use than Windows, especially for people who want their computers to get out of the way so they can get things done. Over the years, Microsoft has done its best to follow suit and, with Windows 11 hereit's trying to remove any barriers. Also, while Macs might have a reputation for being safer, with the popularity of the iPhone and iPad helping to drive Mac sales, they've become bigger targets for malware.

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Are Chromebooks worth it?

Yes, they are, but they're not for everyone. Google's Chrome OS has come a long way in the 10-plus years since they arrived and Chromebooks -- laptops that run on Chrome OS -- are great for people who do most of their work in a web browser or using mobile apps. They are secure, simple and more often than not, also a bargain. What they can't do is natively run Windows or Mac software.

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What's the best laptop for home, travel or both?

The COVID-19 pandemic changed how and where a lot of people work. The small, ultraportable laptops valued by people who regularly travel may have suddenly become woefully inadequate for working from home. Or maybe instead of needing long battery life, you'd rather have a bigger display with more graphics power for gaming.

If you're going to be working on a laptop and don't need more mobility than moving it from room to room, consider a 15.6-inch laptop or larger. In general, a bigger screen makes life easier for work and is more enjoyable for entertainment, and it also is better if you're using it as an extended display with an external monitor. It typically means you're getting more ports too, so connecting an external display or storage or a keyboard and mouse is easier without requiring a hub or dock. 

For travel, stay with 13- or 14-inch laptops or two-in-ones. They'll be the lightest and smallest while still delivering excellent battery life. What's nice is that PC-makers are moving away from 16:9 widescreens toward 16:10- or 3:2-ratio displays, which gives you more vertical screen space for work without significantly increasing the footprint. These models usually don't have discrete graphics or powerful processors, although that's not always the case.

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Which laptop is best for gaming or creating?

You can play games and create content on any laptop. What games you play and what content you create -- and the speed at which you do them -- varies greatly depending on the components inside the laptop. 

For casual browser-based games or streaming game services like Nvidia GeForce Now and Xbox Cloud Gaming, you don't need a powerful gaming laptop. Similarly, if you're trimming video clips, cropping photos or live-streaming video from your webcam, you can get by with a modestly priced laptop or Chromebook with integrated graphics. 

For anything more demanding, you'll need to invest more money in discrete graphics like Nvidia's RTX 30- or 40-series GPUs. Increased system memory of 16GB or more, having a speedy SSD of at least 512GB for storage and a faster processor such as an Intel Core i7 or AMD Ryzen 7 will all help you get things moving faster, too. 

The other piece you'll want to consider is the display. For gaming, look for screens with a high refresh rate of 120Hz or faster so games look smoother while playing. For content creation, look for displays that cover at least 100% sRGB color space or, better yet, 100% DCI-P3. 

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