The most innovative laptop of 2023

Laptops had to fight hard in 2023. For the first time in years, we saw a decline in units sold – and a lack of momentum in the sector in general. But that doesn’t mean there weren’t some that really excited me. The three laptops listed below show how adventurous laptop makers are getting, and my top pick really takes it to the extreme.

So, while these aren’t the best new laptops coming in 2023 that everyone should go out and buy, they do show some serious innovation in engineering and design.

Want to see the rest? Check out our full list of the hottest innovative tech products of 2023!

Winner: Lenovo Yoga Book 9i

Lenovo Yoga Book 9i wins Digital Trend's Most Innovative Laptop of 2023 award.
digital trends

Ah, dual-screen laptops. It was a concept that was scrapped before it even had a chance to see the light of day. I’m talking about the Surface Neo, of course, the announced-then-canceled project from Microsoft, which consisted of two screens that could be used in different modes. After years of silence, Lenovo came along this year and revived the idea with the Yoga Book 9i, which was one of the company’s most successful experiments in years. When I saw it for the first time at CES earlier this year I knew it was something fresh.

So, what’s so innovative about two screens on one hinge? The answer is that Lenovo’s designers take advantage of that concept in all sorts of ways. For starters, you can use it in a few different laptop modes, either with a virtual keyboard or in different configurations with the excellent detachable keyboard accessory.

Things get really fun when you use a foldable “origami stand”. Using strong magnets, the stand folds so you can actually use both of the Yoga Book 9i’s screens together – either side-by-side or stacked vertically. This is where the Yoga Book 9i really starts to feel refreshing, allowing Windows to treat the two screens like two external monitors. Now, you can do this with a standard laptop and a portable display, but it’s quite streamlined to have it all in one package. Vertical mode is also neat, if a little impractical. But for example, if you want to watch a YouTube video while keeping the second screen free for use, this is great. It’s nothing special in performance, battery life, or other basic laptop features – but it doesn’t toss them aside in pursuit of its unique design. It’s amazingly capable.

The most amazing thing about the Yoga Book 9i is that it doesn’t cost too much. There is only one configuration (with 16GB of RAM and 512GB of storage), and it costs $2,000. Not exactly cheap, but it’s nice to see some legitimate innovation that doesn’t excuse the exorbitant price tag.

Runner-up: HP Specter Folding PC

Top-down view of the HP Specter foldable PC showing tablet mode and keyboard.
Mark Coppock/

HP is late to gaming on laptops with foldable screens. The Lenovo ThinkPad But the HP Specter foldable PC has perfected the formula. Reducing the thickness of the device to 0.33 inches makes it far more useful and portable than its competitors, which is important for the convenience of using a device like this. Additionally, there’s a new mode that’s hard to describe, but it lets you attach the detachable keyboard to the bottom of the device in laptop mode. It adds even more ways to use this interesting concept by trying to expand on it in new ways.

the only problem? Its ridiculous price of $5,000 makes it almost impossible to recommend. I believe that’s the price of innovation, but as the Yoga Book 9i above shows, it’s not always that way.

Honorable Mention: HP Dragonfly Pro Chromebook

Rear view of the HP Dragonfly Pro Chromebook showing the lid and logo.
Mark Coppock//Mark Coppock/

I know what you’re thinking. A Chromebook, really? well yes. But not just any old Chromebook – the HP Dragonfly Pro Chromebook is the best Chromebook ever. It brings a handful of high-end features to the Chromebook world that we’ve never seen before, including an 8-megapixel webcam, Thunderbolt 4 connectivity, a 14-inch 2,560 x 1,600 screen, a haptic feedback trackpad, and even a also includes. RGB-backlit keyboard. It’s the complete package, and a bold symbol of confidence from HP in the Chrome OS platform. And finally, there are the specifications. A Core i5-1235U, 16GB of RAM, and a 256GB SSD may seem like a typical Windows laptop — but for a Chromebook, this is as premium as it gets.

Now, none of this may sound like much of a first-time innovation – and you’re right, it’s not. But in terms of innovation on the Chrome OS platform, this is the biggest leap we’ve seen in years.

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