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Best Intel 12th gen laptop in 2023

The best Intel 12th gen laptops available to buy right now
Last Updated on May 19, 2023

If you’re looking for the best Intel 12th gen laptop models of 2023 then boy howdy have we got a selection for you. No longer the latest generation of Intel’s CPUs, they still represent powerful options whether you’re gaming, looking or a workstation machine, or doing creative workflows. Best of all they’re now available at a reduced price.

We’ve used our expertise to assemble a few selections for you covering different needs and use-cases, so let’s dive right in and take a look!

Products at a Glance

Our Recommended

Best Intel 12th gen laptop in 2023

  • High TGP graphics card options
  • MUX Switch
  • Very high 360Hz refresh rate option
  • Fast response time
  • Good value for money
  • No G-Sync
  • Poor battery life
  • Peak brightness could be higher

The MSI Vector GP66 is essentially a more affordable version of MSI’s flagship high-end gaming laptop – the MSI Raider. It doesn’t have the same peripheral premium features like Thunderbolt 4 support, an SD card reader, USB-C charging, and the front RGB light strip, plus the battery life isn’t as good (lasting a mere 4 hours), however it packs a punch in in-game FPS terms and that’s what really matters in a gaming laptop.

The inclusion of the MUX Switch in particular helps you get the most out the already powerful Nvidia 30-series GPU options, plus the 12th gen Intel Core i7-12700H or i9-12900H processors.

The excellent 1080p 360Hz display on this particular model has minimal ghosting thanks to its impressive response time (with the Overdrive feature enabled) which is ideal for competitive gamers. The color replication on the 1080 version is good for gaming, but falls slightly short of the 99% sRGB found in the 1440p version (though this is capped at a 120Hz refresh rate). Both are fine machines though.

With a peak brightness of just under 300 nits, this laptop not ideal for use in direct sunlight, and the contrast ratio is only satisfactory, the webcam, microphone, keyboard, and trackpad are decent but not exceptional.

  • The highest TGP graphics card options you'll find in a laptop
  • MUX Switch
  • Great optomechanical keyboard & trackpad
  • SD card reader
  • Superb onboard software
  • No G-Sync
  • Poor speakers
  • Sub-par webcam & mic

The Eluktronics MECH-15 G3 aka the XMG Neo 15 E22 (as it’s branded in Europe) is a lesser known laptop but it offers impressive performance at a good value for gaming enthusiasts.

These laptops always come with the highest TGP graphics cards, meaning they have the most powerful variants of the RTX 3070 Ti or RTX 3080 Ti or whatever SKU you’re looking at. Although the Intel 12th gen i7-12700H processors, they’re equipped with aren’t as powerful as that of our top pick, they still deliver excellent gaming performance.

The 1440p display with a 240Hz refresh rate provides a high-quality gaming experience, and has respectable color replication, although it may not satisfy creative professionals in this latter area due to slight panel uniformity issues. The laptops offer upgrade options for SSD and DDR5 RAM, a comfortable keyboard with a numpad, and a high-quality glass trackpad. The optional external liquid cooling solution, XMG OASIS, improves performance and longevity.

The laptop’s speakers are subpar, and its design is unremarkable, but overall, it’s a compelling a great for a high-end Intel 12th gen gaming laptop at good value for money.

  • Powerful CPU for an Ultrathin notebook
  • Very thin & light
  • Great speakers
  • Good battery duration
  • Looks fantastic
  • Expensive (though cheaper than a MacBook Pro)

The Dell XPS 13 Plus stands out with its minimalist design, featuring a glass touchpad and capacitive function keys. It rivals the aesthetics of a MacBook and offers a satisfying typing experience. Under the hood, it packs the powerful Intel Core i7-1260P or i7-1280P, part of Intel’s 12th gen Alder Lake-P lineup, providing double the processing power of the regular XPS 13 and outperforming even the MacBook Pro 13 with M1 Pro chip. The integrated Intel Iris Xe iGPU supports less demanding gaming.

Despite its power, the XPS 13 Plus maintains a slim profile and lightweight design. The haptic keys enable efficient cooling, resulting in quiet fan operation. Display options include a bright FHD with 99% sRGB coverage or a vivid, high-resolution 3456 x 2160 OLED with 100% sRGB and 98% DCI-P3. Both variants are touchscreen. Battery life is excellent, offering around 10-11 hours of usage for the FHD version. The XPS 13 Plus features impressive speakers and a nicer build quality overall compared to the non-Plus variant but comes with a higher price tag, albeit still cheaper than a MacBook.

  • Very powerful CPU options
  • Advanced Optimus / MUX Switch
  • Good keyboard
  • 165Hz 1600p display
  • Expensive at full price
  • No SD port

This Lenovo Legion 7i Gen 7 gaming laptop which came out towards the end of 2022, boasts CPU options that include the very powerful Intel Core i9-12800HX and the Intel Core i9-12900HX, two of the biggest hitters of the 12th gen series, delivering great performance with their increased cores and threads. Paired with Nvidia RTX 3070 Ti or 3080 Ti graphics cards, this laptop handles gaming and demanding multi-core tasks effortlessly. The inclusion of Advanced Optimus (essentially an automatic MUX Switch) enhances performance without requiring a reboot.

The 165Hz 16:10 2560 x 1600 screen, though not a 240Hz option, provides a solid gaming experience, while 100% sRGB coverage and VESA Display HDR ensure good color accuracy and brightness. The array of ports, including Thunderbolt 4, is commendable, but the absence of an SD card reader is disappointing. The build quality is sturdy, aesthetics are appealing, and the keyboard offers unique features like force-sensitive WASD keys and removable keys for easy maintenance and customization.

The regular 7i lacks some of the premium features of the Legion Pro variant – such as the greater metallic build and higher TGP graphics cards, though for us it’s the better value option. That being said, it’s still quite expensive at full price. We’d advise only picking it up if it’s on offer (which it often is).

What to think about before buying AMD Ryzen 7000 series laptops

Intel 12th gen laptops vs Ryzen 6000 series laptops

In comparison to their big rival AMD, Intel won the battle of the most powerful laptop CPUs in 2022 with the Intel 12th gen series – outperforming in both single-core and multicore performance on the top-end SKUs. This is not to say that the AMD Ryzen 6000 series laptops aren’t worth buying – AMD still kept the edge in the market for lower-powered laptops, plus all Ryzen 6000 series laptop CPUs had excellent battery life – better than the Intel 12th gen options by a considerable margin.

12th gen Intel HX series processors

The Intel HX series of CPUs are a sub-range of the Intel 12th gen line, which came out later in the year than the main line (towards the end of May, 2022). Whereas previously Intel 12th gen laptop CPUs topped out at 6 performance cores and 8 efficiency cores (20 threads all told) as in the i9-12900K, the i9-12900HX comes with a total of 16 cores (8 performance cores and 8 efficiency cores) equating to a total maximum 24 threads. These beastly processers extended the performance lead of Intel even more in 2022

Best Intel 12th gen laptop FAQs

Are there laptops with Intel 12th gen?

There certainly are laptops with Intel 12th gen CPUs, in fact they represented the most powerful laptop CPUs of 2022 overall: representing a massive jump in performance over the previous generation.

Although they’re no longer the latest tech, the difference between them and the Intel 13th generation wasn’t as big, so they’re still very viable options, now available at a more affordable price.

What year did 12th gen laptops come out?

12th gen laptops first arrived in 2022; specifically they were announced and revealed in January 2022 and first hit the shelves at the end of February.

The most powerful Intel HX series within the 12th gen range came out in May 2022.

Our Verdict

All the selections on this page are contenders for the best Intel 12th gen laptop, however the Dell XPS Plus 13 is the best choice if you’re after a general use or creative machine, rather than a gaming rig.