Best mini-LED laptops in 2023 – XDA Developers

Place your AD here

It’s hard to beat the mini-LED displays in these killer laptops.
The best laptops with a mini-LED display can deliver a picture that goes beyond laptops using standard IPS panels, allowing you to get a better picture without using an external monitor. Mini-LED laptops aren't just for playing video games though; they can also be a huge boon for creators, developers, editors, and other professionals who need deep contrast and many local dimming zones for more accurate color. Mini-LED screens aren't quite as good as OLED when it comes to color and contrast, but mini-LED tech does allow for more brightness as well as lower response times and higher refresh rates. These laptops don't come cheap, especially because they're usually paired up with cutting-edge performance technology for gaming or professional work. If you're ready to make the upgrade, I've collected the best of the best mini-LED laptops that you can buy right now.
Perfect for creators and editors
The MacBook Pro 16 (2023) has an incredible 16-inch mini-LED display with 2,554 dimming zones, a 3.5K resolution, up to 1,600 nits brightness, and excellent color coverage. The M2 processors can deliver more performance than most people need while remaining incredible efficient.
Apple's MacBook Pro for 2023 is an outstanding device for creators and editors who need a lot of power, long battery life, premium build quality, and a gorgeous display. Focusing first on the screen, it's sized at 16.2 inches with a 3456×2234 resolution. That works out to 254 pixels per inch (PPI). The screen uses Liquid Retina XDR tech to offer a contrast ratio up to 1,000,000:1, with brightness of up to 1,600 nits when viewing HDR content. It's capable of hitting a 120Hz refresh rate, and it covers the sRGB and P3 color gamuts. Apple doesn't explicitly say that its display is mini-LED in most documentation, but it indeed uses the tech and has 2,554 local dimming zones.
The 2023 MacBook Pro hasn't changed a lot from the 2021 version, but one major leap is in the form of the improved M2 processor. Apple's own ARM chips are incredible, delivering more performance than even most professionals will need while improving efficiency for longer battery life. XDA Senior Editor Ben Sin reviewed the MacBook Pro 16 (2023), noting that "even though this 2023 model has the same battery size as the 2021 model, the M2 Max's superior efficiency has improved battery life even more." He was able to get through an eight-hour workday with about half the battery left. Furthermore, he was able to run a two-hour Final Cut Pro session that only ate up about 15% of the battery capacity.
The keyboard is as good as ever, the touchpad is enormous and really doesn't get much better, and the laptop even received some port upgrades for this generation. HDMI now supports up to a 4K resolution at 240Hz or 8K at 60Hz, and the SD card reader got its speed bumped up for easier use of removable storage. This is an expensive option, but it should be the only laptop you'll need if you're a video editor or creator. Have a look at our choices for best MacBook Pro accessories if you'd like to complete the setup.
Even better when on sale
HP’s Omen Transcend is an evolution of the regular Omen lineup, offering a QHD+ mini-LED display with a 240Hz refresh rate and up to 1,180 nits of brightness with HDR enabled. The premium models do climb in cost, but HP has frequent sales that keep the price at a reasonable level.
HP recently expanded its Omen lineup of gaming laptops with the Transcend branch, going beyond the usual Omen customization options for power users who only want the best. The real star of the show is the 16-inch mini-LED display with 240Hz refresh rate, anti-glare finish, 100% DCI-P3 color reproduction, and up to 1,180 nits brightness with HDR 1000 support. HP does not specify how many local dimming zones it's using, but the bottom line is that it's going to make your games look better than they ever have on standard IPS monitors.
In the usual HP fashion, there are plenty of configuration options available, though you are limited if you stick with the mini-LED display. You'll get a 13th-generation Intel Core i9-13900HX CPU with Nvidia RTX 4070 laptop GPU with the mini-LED screen, with your choice of up to 2TB of M.2 PCIe 4.0 NVMe SSD storage space and up to 32GB of DDR5-5600MHz RAM. This laptop is going to absolutely crush even the more demanding modern AAA titles, and with everything configured for mini-LED, you can still expect to pay about $2,750. HP frequently holds sales events, and at the time of writing this model is down to $2,250. That's expensive compared to regular laptops, but for mini-LED, that's quite reasonable.
Bonus features include a 1080p webcam with an IR sensor and privacy shutter, while the dual speakers have DTS:X Ultra tuning. You can choose per-key or four-zone RGB lighting for the keyboard, and the laptop has Wi-Fi 6E and Bluetooth 5.3 for wireless connectivity. Ports include two Thunderbolt 4 connections, HDMI 2.1, RJ45 Ethernet, 3.5mm audio, and two USB-A ports. You could always connect to a high-end Thunderbolt dock, but the native port selection should get the job done for most people.
As premium as it gets
Razer’s Blade 16 for 2023 comes with performance enhancements in the form of 13th-generation Intel Core HX-series CPUs and NVIDIA RTX 40-series laptop GPUs. The 16-inch mini-LED display has a dual-resolution feature that allows it to run at UHD+ or FHD+ with separate refresh rates.
Razer only knows one speed, and its refreshed Blade 16 is a perfect example. It uses a dual-mode mini-LED display with a 16:10 aspect ratio and two native resolutions to accommodate any game. It can run at a UHD+ resolution with a 120Hz refresh rate for ultimate gaming, or it can bump down to an FHD+ resolution with a 240Hz refresh rate for competitive gaming. The mini-LED feature comes with 1,000 local dimming zones for outstanding contrast and color, making it suitable also for some editing and design work.
The specific mini-LED model I'm highlighting here has a 13th-generation Intel Core i9-13950HX CPU with 24 cores, as well as an Nvidia RTX 4090 laptop GPU. This combination will tear through any games you enjoy, and it has plenty of DDR5 RAM (32GB) to keep up. A 2TB M.2 PCIe 4.0 NVMe SSD is onboard for plenty of speedy storage space. It's considered one of the best gaming laptops for a good reason, and it will absolutely have enough power to handle a more intensive workload. It's an expensive laptop, so being able to use it for other tasks is always appreciated.
The keyboard has customizable per-key RGB lighting in the usual Razer fashion, there are four quality speakers with two smart amps and THX Spatial Audio for times when a headset isn't required, and an FHD webcam with IR support and a privacy shutter is available for streaming or video conferencing. Ports include Thunderbolt 4, USB-C, three USB-A, HDMI 2.1, and a UHS-II SD card reader. It's all wrapped up in a sleek CNC aluminum chassis with a black finish. Be sure to check out the best Razer Blade 16 accessories if you decide to go with this model.
The Blade 16 should be a great pick for any gamers who want no compromises. It runs on the hot side, but it brings desktop-class gaming performance in a slim and stylish notebook.
AMD Ryzen 9 7940HS CPU
Love AMD? Want to stick with Ryzen performance? The Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 for 2023 comes with a Ryzen 9 7940HS CPU, Nvidia RTX 4090 laptop GPU, and a 14-inch Nebula QHD+ mini-LED display with 512 local dimming zones and a 165Hz refresh rate.
If you're a fan of AMD and would like to stick with the new Ryzen 7000-series mobile CPUs, the 2023 version of the Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 should be a hit. Models with an RTX 4090 mobile GPU (using product number GA402XY) come paired up with a 14-inch mini-LED "Nebula" display with QHD+ resolution, 165Hz refresh rate, 3ms response time, 600 nits of brightness, 100% DCI-P3 color reproduction, and 512 local dimming zones. That's not as many zones as some other options in this collection, but this is still going to make your games look incredible. This specific model seems to currently only be available at Best Buy with a starting price of around $3,300. There are similar models at other retailers, but the mini-LED screen seems to be tied into the RTX 4090 configuration.
Along with the mini-LED display and RTX 4090 mobile GPU, the laptop configuration at Best Buy has a fast AMD Ryzen 9 7940HS CPU with 8 cores and 16 threads, 32GB of DDR5 RAM, and a 1TB M.2 PCIe 4.0 NVMe SSD. If you're shopping at Amazon, there's also a model with a 2TB SSD that has a mini-LED screen. The whole thing only weighs about 3.8 pounds (1.73kg), making it much lighter than the larger gaming options in this collection. If you frequently travel, you won't be lugging around a brick in your backpack.
You get customizable RGB lighting for the keyboard, there are quad speakers for bumping sound, and an FHD webcam with IR support adds additional security. Ports include two USB-C, two USB-A, HDMI 2.1, a 3.5mm audio jack, and a UHS-II microSD card reader for removable storage. There's no Thunderbolt 4 due to the AMD configuration, but you should still be able to handle most connections with the native port selection.
Fans of AMD should love this laptop, and though it's on the pricey side, you'll still save some money compared to other Intel-based gaming laptops in this roundup.
Use it as a tablet or as a notebook
Gaming-class laptops with a convertible design are rare, but Asus has you covered if you enjoy splitting time between notebook and tablet. This model has a 16-inch QHD+ mini-LED touch display with 240Hz refresh rate, as well as enough performance hardware to easily handle modern AAA games.
High-end convertible laptops with a mini-LED display and this level of performance hardware are very rare, but Asus has you covered if you enjoy splitting time between a notebook and a (large) tablet. At 16 inches it won't be the most convenient handheld, but setting it up in stand or tent modes can be a great way to enjoy TV and movies when you aren't gaming.
The ROG Flow X16 (GV601VI) has a 16-inch "Nebula" mini-LED display with 2560×1600 (QHD+) resolution, 100% DCI-P3 color reproduction, 240Hz refresh rate, 3ms response time, Dolby Vision support, and 1,024 local dimming zones. It's also touch-enabled to go along with the convertible build that lets you rotate the screen around 360 degrees. This is an outstanding display if you're OK with not hitting 4K, and the 240Hz refresh rate can accommodate the performance hardware.
The model that I'm highlighting here has a 13th-generation Intel Core i9-13900H CPU with 14 cores and 20 threads. It's not as fast as Intel's HX-series chips, but the system will better handle cooling. The CPU is joined by 32GB of DDR5-4800MHz RAM, an Nvidia RTX 4070 laptop GPU, and 1TB of M.2 PCIe 4.0 NVMe SSD storage. This laptop flies while remaining versatile and relatively lightweight at 4.41 pounds (2kg).
Above the display is an FHD webcam with an IR sensor for added security via facial recognition, its quad speakers support Dolby Atmos for awesome sound, and it has customizable RGB lighting for the keyboard. Port selection is also quite generous, with Thunderbolt 4, three USB-A 3.2 (Gen 2), HDMI 2.1, USB-C 3.2 (Gen 2), and a 3.5mm audio jack. You should have no issues connecting your favorite accessories with this selection, and you can always connect to a great Thunderbolt 4 dock.
The ROG Flow X16 is a rare convertible laptop that brings high-end gaming performance while keeping the versatility of a display that rotated around completely.
Beastly mobile workstation
This mobile workstation from MSI brings an ungodly amount of power to handle professional workloads. It has a bunch of ISV certifications, it has an Ada-class RTX GPU, and the 17.3-inch UHD display uses mini-LED tech for tons of brightness and perfect color.
Creators, developers, and engineers looking for a great workstation laptop with a mini-LED display should check out MSI's CreatorPro X17HX (A13VM). It's a rather large laptop best used on a desk, but it's dripping with high-end features that professionals will love. These include a 17.3-inch 3840×2160 (UHD) mini-LED display with HDR 1000 support, 144Hz refresh rate, and excellent color with 100% DCI-P3 coverage. MSI doesn't specify how many local dimming zones there are, however.
It's equipped with a 13th Gen Intel Core i9-13980HX CPU with 24 total cores and 32 threads for awesome performance, and an Nvidia RTX 5000 Ada GPU made specifically for professional applications is onboard to handle specialized workflows. These pieces are joined by 128GB of DDR5 RAM and 2TB of M.2 PCIe 4.0 NVMe SSD storage for an overall killer setup. The laptop has a 99.9Wh battery, but don't expect it to run long without AC power, especially when you're pushing the system.
Extra features include an IR camera and fingerprint reader for added security through Windows Hello, there's a quad-speaker setup with quality sound, there's per-key customizable RGB lighting, and Wi-Fi 6E and Bluetooth 5.3 connectivity handle internet and wireless accessories. There are two Thunderbolt 4 ports, three USB-A 3.2 (Gen 2), HDMI 2.1, Mini-DisplayPort, RJ45 Ethernet, and an SD card reader for removable storage.
The laptop comes with an array of ISV certifications to prove it can run most popular design and development software without issue. This again is a very expensive laptop, but professionals will find that it has what they need to get the job done.
The number of laptops employing a mini-LED display continues to grow, and we're still looking forward to the full release of some hot items like the Lenovo Slim Pro 9i. When shopping for a mini-LED laptop, it's important to pay close attention to the device's specs. Many manufacturers are offering the same laptops with and without mini-LED screens, and third-party store listings can be particularly confusing. The Acer Predator Triton 14 is a good example of this; third-party listings do not match manufacturer listings, so it's nearly impossible to tell if the laptop actually has a mini-LED display. Price is a good indicator that the laptop you're looking at has a mini-LED display, as the tech certainly doesn't come cheap compared to standard IPS screens.
While most of the mini-LED laptops currently available have a strong focus on gaming, there are some quality workstations and creator laptops available. Our top pick, the MacBook Pro 16 (2023), is an ideal laptop for developers and software engineers thanks to its incredible performance delivered by Apple's M2 CPUs. It will crush just about any workload while also sipping battery for all-day life and beyond. The craftsmanship is exquisite (though the aluminum build is on the heavy side), the keyboard is comfortable, and it has a massive touchpad for easy pointing.
The real jewel is the 16-inch mini-LED display with 2,554 local dimming zones, 3.5K resolution, up to 1,600 nits brightness, maximum 120Hz refresh rate, and precise color reproduction. Unless you're looking for a true gaming laptop or want to stick with Windows, this should be a top choice for most people.
The MacBook Pro 16 (2023)’s gorgeous 16-inch mini-LED display has 2,554 dimming zones, a 3.5K resolution, up to 1,600 nits brightness, and wide color coverage. Its M2 processor has an inordinate amount of power while remaining efficient enough to offer all-day battery life.
Cale has been testing and reviewing laptops, PC hardware, and accessories for more than six years, with hundreds of reviews to his name. He is a multi-platform user with no real staked allegiance, though he does have a soft spot for Windows laptops and PC gaming.


Share this article


More from this Author