EXPERT INSIGHT & TRUSTED REVIEWS

EXPERT INSIGHT & TRUSTED REVIEWS

What in Tech is a user-supported site. When you purchase through our links, we may earn an affiliate commission at no additional cost to you. Learn more

The 8 Best Quiet Laptops for a Silent Setup in 2023

Finding a sweet spot between noise, performance and price

Quiet Laptop

We’ve updated this article to cover 2023.  After reviewing the latest laptops, many of our top picks have been changed to new offerings. It’s a good time to buy a quiet PC, with our top 3 choices, in particular, boasting fantastic performance and value alongside their low decibel count.

Hear a noise?

Me neither, because today’s feature is about finding peace and quiet!

Many laptop options look beautiful and run well, but unfortunately come at the cost of obnoxious decibel levels when performing tasks.

This guide will take you through the quietest laptops available today for a variety of needs and budgets.

1

microsoft surface pro x 2

Quietest Laptop for General Use

Microsoft Surface Pro X

Our Rating: 9.5/10

2

MSI Pulse GL66

Best Quiet Gaming Laptop

MSI GL66

Our Rating: 9.5/10

3

Macbook Air 2020

Quietest Macbook

Apple MacBook Air

Our Rating: 9/10

4

ASUS Chromebook Flip C434 3

Best Quiet Budget Laptop

ASUS Chromebook Flip C434

Our Rating: 8.5/10

microsoft surface pro x 2

Microsoft Surface Pro X

Quietest Laptop for General Use

SPECIFICATIONS*

CPU: Microsoft SQ1 | Graphics: Adreno™ 685 GPU | RAM: 16GB | Screen: 13″ – 2880 x 1920 | Storage: 512GB | Weight: 1.7lbs

REASONS TO BUY

+ Runs very quietly

+ Light, sturdy & beautiful build quality

+ Good specs for typical users

REASONS TO AVOID
– Slightly expensive
 
– Power users (gamers, producers, etc) will want to see our picks below
 

Our Rating: 9.5/10

2022 mid-year update: A new fanless Surface model, the Pro 9, has been released in 2023. It is notably superior with its new processor, graphics, and 5G features (although heavier and thicker than the Pro X).

The reason we’ve kept the Pro X as our top recommendation is that we’re currently seeing it run at a notably discounted price. At the time of writing, the most basic 16GB Pro 9 version is around 30-40% more expensive. While it’s a better laptop, we think that most of you will be more than happy with the Pro X’s performance.

The Pro X will likely be discontinued over the next year or so though, so if you’re reading this article and it’s out of stock, similarly priced or you’re a more serious user who will appreciate the performance bump, then pick up the Pro 9, it’s a fantastic machine.

For those serious about a quiet laptop that still offers great performance for the average user, nothing comes close to the Surface Pro X.

The edition we’ve featured here is, from our reviews, the best fanless laptops we’ve found on the market. This means instead of using traditional loud fan cooling, the Surface Pro X is intelligently designed to operate on passive cooling alone even at high loads (it’s able to maintain great temperatures during most activities, which is impressive in itself).

The Pro X is sharply designed to be incredibly light and portable while still offering a decent amount of screen real estate with a fantastic 2880 x 1920 resolution.

We specifically cite the 16GB SQ1 version as the best value for someone after a silent laptop with a bit of longevity. 512GB is also plenty of space in today’s cloud storage/streaming world providing you’re not playing many big games (if you’re after the best gaming laptop, see our next pick).

Microsoft Surface Pro X

Source: CAM

On a budget? We have cheaper choices further below, but if you still want the unparalleled design of the Pro X, you can go for the 8GB RAM/128GB version and still expect a decent machine for general use. We just encourage users to pick the 16GB version to get a smoother experience and a laptop that will last longer where possible.

It’s worth noting that some versions of the Surface Pro (e.g. all Pro 8 models and i7 Pro 7s) are not fanless laptops and will produce more noise. What really impresses us with the Pro X is how in previous iterations, it was the high-spec versions that needed fans while the budget choices were fanless. Now, Microsoft has managed to build an in-house processor that runs fanless even with a premium device. To put it simply: the Pro X doesn’t feel like you’re sacrificing performance for quietness.

Ports are one of the only areas we wish were a little stronger, with the Pro X having 2 x USB-C. We would’ve liked to see a traditional USB-A port remain. We know manufacturers are phasing these out, but there’s clearly still a demand for products with standard USB from many users (still, worst case if that’s you, a USB hub is an easy replacement).

Full teardown of the Pro X shows confirms no fans. Source: iFixit

We’ve specifically included the version without a keyboard or pen because these accessories tend to be cheaper individually. Some users may be fine with budget versions of the keyboard and pen, and we appreciate others may actually be perfectly fine without one/both and could act perfectly as a quiet tablet, or a tablet/laptop hybrid. Choose what combination fits your budget and needs best.

We will say that one of the other great USPs for the Pro X is that the official keypad (and likely many of its budget versions) is incredibly quiet. I found it much quieter than a traditional keyboard while still providing a great feel for longer typing sessions.

We love that this Microsoft offering doesn’t compromise in any significant way someone who needs less noise and performance.

With its decent specs to boot, the Pro X is a great option not just for general users, but also for studio builds, audio recording, or voice-over work.

With great performance capability, portability, a fantastic screen, and (of course) very low decibel production all for a very decent price, this is easily our choice for the overall best quiet laptop available today.