The 2022 MacBook Air is almost here. Better display, crisper camera, and MagSafe support are just a few of the ways in which the newest iteration of Apple’s popular laptop improves upon its predecessor, the MacBook Air with M1, which was announced at WWDC 2022.
The new laptop also features an M2 CPU, which is the second iteration of the chip and should be more powerful than its predecessor. We found the MacBook Air 2022 to be a significant improvement over its predecessor, as we mentioned in our hands-on preview.
Although the 2022 MacBook Air seems like it could be a better laptop than the 2020 model, it still might not be the right laptop for you. It costs $1,199, which is more than previous MacBook Air models, and only allows for one external display. People, especially Windows users, may start to question whether there are any other comparable laptops out there that aren’t so prohibitively expensive.
Therefore, we have chosen many ultra-thin Windows laptops that are suitable substitutes for the MacBook Air 2022. It is important to note that we are comparing similarly priced machines that excel at common computing tasks like word processing and video viewing.
Our tests show that the M1 chip performs as well as (or better than) comparable Intel central processing units. In the same way, we anticipate M2 to behave similarly.
Samsung Galaxy Book2 Pro 360
If you want something as slim as possible, go no further than the Samsung Galaxy Book2 Pro 360. Despite being so slender, it delivers a powerful performance. The fact that it can also function as a tablet makes it one of the best 2-in-1 laptops.
In our Samsung Galaxy Book2 Pro 360 review, we said, “The Samsung Galaxy Book2 Pro 360 is an ultra-thin 2-in-1 laptop that is tailor-made for folks who are always on the go.” The stunning AMOLED display is back from last year’s Samsung Galaxy Book Pro 360, and it’s better than ever. Due to its lightning-fast processing, it is also great for use at the office.
Although fundamentally a Windows laptop, the Samsung Galaxy Book2 Pro 360 is bundled with a variety of Samsung applications. Depending on your level of commitment to the Samsung ecosystem, this might be good or bad news.
If you’re looking for a powerful, portable laptop that works well with Samsung devices, we recommend the Samsung Galaxy Book2 Pro 360 despite its lackluster webcam and Samsung bloatware.
Dell Xps 13 (2020, 11th Gen)
For a long time, the Dell XPS 13 series has been a top pick of ours, so including it here was a no-brainer. Though the 2019 Dell XPS 13 OLED would have been a fine choice, we went with the 2020 model because it’s less than the 2022 MacBook Air. Despite its age, this laptop is among the best available, and its 11th-generation Intel processor is more than capable of handling your typical workday.
An excerpt from our evaluation of the Dell XPS 13 (2020, 11th gen): “The Dell XPS 13 (11th Gen) generally makes the greatest laptop around even better, offering even better speed and better graphics performance in most cases.
Along with the many other upgrades Dell made to the XPS 13 this year like a completely bezel-less InfinityEdge display and a more ergonomic keyboard and touchpad, this is a major selling point for the laptop.
A few performance issues, though, prevent the XPS 13 from being flawless. However, the battery life of the 10th Generation XPS 13 was even longer, at 13 hours. To top it all off, our benchmarks showed that Tiger Lake has fallen short in certain key areas where we’d want to see advancements from a new generation of processors.
The new MacBook Air with Apple’s speedy M1 CPU is highly recommended for anyone who values both speed and battery life but is open to making the jump to macOS. Nonetheless, the most recent XPS 13 shines brightest in typical usage and is still the greatest Windows notebook money can buy.
Asus Zenbook 13 Oled
The Asus Zenbook 13 OLED is a good option for a less expensive laptop. It’s a steal at under a grand, considering it has outstanding value, fantastic performance, exceptional battery life, and a gorgeous OLED screen.
From our Asus Zenbook 13 OLED review: “There is a new model of Asus Zenbook on the market sporting a vibrant OLED display and the latest CPUs from Intel and AMD, but the real kicker is the price: it starts at just $800, making this quite likely the cheapest OLED-equipped laptop around, and one of the best 13-inch laptops you can buy, and indeed, one of the best laptops period.
After spending a few weeks with an AMD-equipped Asus Zenbook 13 OLED ($799 to start, $899 as reviewed), I can assure you that you are not losing performance, battery life, or build quality for that price. This laptop has a few flaws, but it’s still a great buy and should serve you well for years of work and play.
The speakers aren’t great, the webcam isn’t great, and there isn’t a headphone port, but these are minor inconveniences. You can’t beat the OLED-equipped Asus Zenbook 13 at this price if you need a speedy tiny ultraportable with a fantastic screen that will last you all day long.
Microsoft Surface Laptop 4
When it comes to high-end Windows laptops, the Microsoft Surface Laptop 4 is a strong contender. This 2021 refresh to Microsoft’s Surface Laptop range includes a clean, bloatware-free installation of Windows 10, as well as premium components housed in a sleek chassis. Of course, Windows 11 is always an option.
As stated in our review of the Microsoft Surface Laptop 4, we found that this model was an improvement over its predecessor in many respects, providing Windows enthusiasts with a bloatware-free ultraportable that had premium components housed in a sleek, lightweight chassis.
Although I would have liked to see Microsoft try some more substantial changes to the Surface Laptop formula, the Surface Laptop 4 is one of the greatest Windows laptops you can purchase thanks to its fantastic speakers, greater battery life, and under-the-hood updates.
To paraphrase, “the Surface Laptop 4’s tall screen, a comfortable keyboard, and svelte, sturdy design make it a great choice for anyone looking to get work done at home or at the coffee shop,” but with a laundry list of improvements, we’d like to see in a sequel (thinner bezels, a better webcam, Thunderbolt 4 support, and more ports in general).