It should be no surprise that the laptops we’re looking forward to most in 2024 (at least for the first half of the year) were all announced at CES in January. The companies behind the chips are focused on AI, and that’s what you’re going to hear a lot about in 2024, as they try to use it to differentiate these newer premium models from older generations (to try to sell you on upgrading).
We’ve already gotten a chance to review the Asus ROG Zephyrus G14, which incorporates the latest top-of-the-line AMD Ryzen 8000 series laptop CPU announced in December 2023, as well as the Acer Swift Go 14 and HP Spectre x360 14, both based on the Intel Core Ultra 7 announced in December.
Upcoming models will also include Intel’s gaming-focused 14th-gen Core HX series, launched at CES, although the HX series isn’t based on the most recent Intel Meteor Lake architecture. Expect some refreshes offering upgraded screens — a typical year-over-year enhancement — such as the new 16-inch, 240Hz OLED panels.
The most notable new designs also take advantage of new features, such as more compact cooling systems to make the laptops smaller and lighter, or incorporating the latest Wi-Fi 7 wireless. These are the models we think went the extra mile.
Lenovo ThinkBook Plus Gen 5 Hybrid
Lenovo’s been playing around with offbeat laptop designs for a while, and its dual Android and Windows ThinkBook seems almost conventional compared to some of its previous concepts.
The device has a processor in each half: a Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1 processor powering the tablet and its 14-inch, 2.8K OLED screen, and an Intel Core Ultra 7 chip in the base. That means the base can function as a Windows system when connected to an external monitor. The question is, do enough people want two different operating systems sharing the same hardware for it to get any traction? We’ll find out when it ships in Q2 2024, at $2,000.
Asus Zenbook Duo
Asus helped pioneer the concept of the dual-screen laptop, but historically that second screen has been only a slice of the depth of the notebook and tended not to match up. With the 2024 model, Asus has expanded to two matching full-size OLED touchscreens, allowing it to create the equivalent of an almost 20-inch monitor.
The screens are 120Hz, 2,880×1,800-pixel panels linked by a hinge that lets it lie flat and a detachable keyboard. There’s also a built-in kickstand; without one I’m not sure the design would work. You’ll be able to configure it with up to an Intel Core Ultra 9 H-series CPU, up to 32GB of memory and up to 1TB of storage. Ports include two Thunderbolt 4, a USB Type-A, HDMI out and a headphone jack. Ship date is still a mystery, but prices will start at $1,500.
If you strip out the computational power, it’s like looking at the ZenScreen Fold OLED.
Alienware m16 R2
Alienware’s M series has been an awkward fit in the product line ever since the company launched its svelte X series. This year, the company took the opportunity to scale it back in several ways to fix that. Most noticeably, it got rid of the forward-hinge design, basically lopping off a lot of the extra airflow it needed to cool the system.
To make that work, Alienware also scaled back on the components, especially the GPU, which tops out with a GeForce RTX 4070 rather than the RTX 4090 it previously could support. By making it a smaller, lighter and less expensive system, Alienware now has a true midtier line. It’s shipping now starts at $1,650, although we haven’t yet had a chance to review it.
HP Omen Transcend 14
The new 14-inch model in HP’s Omen Transcend line is designed to straddle work and play, cutting back drastically on the RGB glitz and sharp corners we’re used to with gaming laptops. An interesting addition is a built-in wireless receiver compatible with the excellent HyperX Cloud 3 Wireless gaming headset (HP owns HyperX), so that’s one less dongle you need to worry about.
It’s light enough for your commute but doesn’t skimp on the power. You can configure it with up to an Intel Core Ultra 9 185H and up to a GeForce RTX 4070, and is built around a 14-inch, 2.8K OLED display with a 48-120Hz variable refresh rate. The Core Ultra7 model starts at $1,500 and is available now; the Core Ultra 9 modelisn’t shipping yet, but will start at $2,250.
MSI Titan 18 HX
MSI redesigned its most mammoth gaming laptop, streamlining it without the huge forward hinge, and beefing up the display to a new 120Hz, 4K mini-LED panel that’s DisplayHDR 1000-certified and has Calman Verified color. Check out the touchpad; we’re big fans of illuminated pads.
As you’d expect from a power gaming laptop, it incorporates the latest components, in this case, up to the Intel Core i9-14900HX and GeForce RTX 4090. MSI has also opted to incorporate Wi-Fi 7, which is optional (versus Wi-Fi 6E) for that CPU’s chipset. It’s available now, but at $5,400, I don’t expect it to be a runaway bestseller.
Razer Blade 16
The 2024 Blade 16 incorporates one of the new 2,560×1,600-pixel, 240Hz OLED displays or the company’s dual-refresh mini-LED IPS screens that can switch between 4K (4000 pixels), 120Hz and 1200 pixels, 240Hz. The OLED display is rated ClearMR 11000 (a new measure of motion blur sponsored by VESA) and DisplayHDR True Black 500-certified, which is pretty much top-of-the-line for a laptop screen.
It also incorporates the new Intel Core i9-14900HX and up to a GeForce RTX 4090. It starts at $3,000 and you can buy it now.
Dell XPS line
It’s been a while since Dell updated the design of its XPS laptops. Last year’s 13-inch “Plus” model was the first in a long time, and it must have been a success because now the entire line boasts the signature look: the lattice-free keyboard and a touch function key row that lights up when you want it and goes dark when you don’t, and a seamless glass touchpad with haptic feedback.
All the models will incorporate the Core Ultra CPUs; the 13-inch will use the chip with integrated Arc graphics, while the other two support discrete Nvidia RTX 40-series graphics. They’re expected to ship soon, starting at $1,300 for the XPS 13, $1,700 for the XPS 14 and $1,900 for the XPS 16.
Asus ROG Zephyrus G16
The ROG Zephyrus are well-designed and well-liked gaming laptops, and the 2024 models look like they’ll continue that trend. As you’d expect from the 16-inch, it incorporates the 240Hz version of the OLED screen; OLED is new to the Zephyrus series, first arriving in the G14, along with the LED slash on the top cover.
As is the norm for the G series, the 16-inch model is Intel-based, in this case up to a Core Ultra 9 185H and up to a GeForce RTX 4090. It hasn’t started shipping, but we’re expecting our evaluation unit relatively soon.
Acer Predator Helios 16 and 18
Acer’s latest Predator Helios 16 and 18 models have incorporated swappable mechanical switches (for the WASD keys, only) that provide tactile feedback and faster response time where you need it. Three sets of switches are included in the box so gamers can dial in the right feel. Both the 16- and 18-inch models also feature 250Hz mini-LED display options.
In addition to getting updated with the latest 14th-gen Intel HX silicon, they can be configured with up to RTX 4090 graphics. The Predator Helios 16 (PH16-72) should be shipping soon starting at $3,000 for the 14th-gen model. The Predator Helios 18 (PH18-72) with the 14th-gen chip will start shipping in March starting at $2,500.
Razer Blade 18
This one was just a teaser, but it holds a special place in my heart because it’s one of the few new models that plans to offer Thunderbolt 5 support — higher bandwidth for docks, faster external drives and the ability to drive three 4K monitors are pretty compelling — in addition to the few new capabilities provided by Intel’s 14th-gen HX chipset.
Plus, you’ll be able to configure it with the newest 165Hz 4K OLED screen, which is a nice perk. In addition, it retains the same black-slab, work-or-play design that the Blades are known for.