The Creative Bloq Awards 2023 is recognising the best in creative tech in more than 40 categories, from game design to digital making and design software. We're announcing the winners throughout the week, two categories each day (see the full schedule below) and the week kicks off with today's announcement of the winners in the computing and laptops categories.
This section of the awards saw fierce competition among laptops, desktop computers, workstations, monitors, GPUs, headphones, tablets and mobile phones. After public nominations, our expert panel of judges handed awards to a range of brands. Apple and Asus won big with several awards each, while Nvidia, Dell, Acer, Framework, Panasonic and Nothing also clinched awards.
The Creative Bloq Awards 2023: computing and laptops winners
Desktop computer of the year: Apple Mac Studio M2 Ultra
Apple did it again this year. After winning the same category in 2022 for the M1 Ultra model, it's retained the desktop computer of year award with the M2 Ultra-sporting update. The judges appreciated Apple's clear, sustained focus on creative professionals and the amount of power on offer in a very compact form.
Read our Apple Mac Studio M2 Ultra review.
Best workstation: Apple Mac Studio M2 Ultra
There's perhaps little surprise that the Mac Studio also retained the title of Best Workstation in this year's awards. The M2 Ultra-chipped version of the Mac Studio won over our judges with its combination of sleek, compact aesthetics, superb performance and the vast range of configurations on offer.
Read our Apple Mac Studio M2 Ultra review.
Best GPU: Nvidia GeForce RTX 4080
Our judges expected the RTX 4080 to provide a small bump over the previous-generation RTX 3080 Ti, but found that actually it knocked it out of the park, with almost twice the output in games thanks to the DLSS Frame Generation magic. We were also impressed with its performance in creative applications thanks to ray tracing support, 16GB of memory and close to 10,000 CUDA cores.
Read our guide to the best graphics cards.
Best 4K monitor: ASUS ProArt Display PA32DC
The first of several wins for ASUS at this year's awards, the ASUS ProArt PA32DC impressed the judges with a range features designed with designers and content makers in mind, including excellent colour coverage and accuracy, great contrast, numerous inputs and the included calibration tool.
Read our guide to the best 4K monitors.
Best monitor: ASUS ROG Swift 360Hz PG27AQN
Offering 1440p gaming at a blazing fast 360Hz, the 27-inch Asus ROG Swift PG27AQN is the leading edge in gaming monitors. The judges recognised that many gamers may find the expense hard to justify, but there's no other monitor offering these specs.
Also read our guide to the best monitors for photo editing
Best monitor innovation: Acer SpatialLabs View Display
Our judges were impressed by Acer's slim and sleek glasses-free portable stereo 3D displays and the possibilities they offer for developers, marketers and educators looking for immersive ways to engage audiences. The screens are great for transforming Unreal Engine projects directly into stereo 3D and integrating hand gesture interactions with Ultraleap support.
Read our article on 3D laptops
Best headphones: Technics EAH-AZ80
Our judges found the Panasonic Technics EAH-AZ80 to represent a paradigm shift in earbuds, with sound quality on the par with top-spec over-ear headphones, highly effective ANC and great voice-isolation tech. They're even quite comfortable to wear.
Read our Technics EAH-AZ80 review
Best tablet: iPad Pro M2
Faster and more capable than ever before, the 2022 iPad Pro 12.9-inch (M2) was our judges' pick as the best tablet of the year. With more power than some laptops, an excellent display and superb Apple Pencil support, our judges found it to be the most powerful and useful tablet around.
Read our iPad Pro M2 2022 review
Best mobile phone design: Nothing Phone (2)
Nothing is a smartphone maker that loves to be a bit different. It does what you want from a phone, but it looks unique and puts a strong focus on its mindfulness settings. We like the clever Glyph UI and found the phone to be smart, light and great for everyday use.
Read our Nothing Phone (2) review
Laptop of the year: MacBook Pro 16 M2
The latest MacBook Pro 16-inch refined both power and performance to create one of the most capable laptops available for creatives. With the Liquid Retina display one of the brightest and best of any laptop, and now with micro LED backlighting, various ports and 22 hours of battery life, our panel struggled to find anything not to like.
Read our MacBook Pro 16 (2023) review
Best laptop for gaming: Alienware M17 R5
Our panel viewed the Alienware m17 R5 as a classy and capable update to an established gaming performer. They were impressed with performance offered for both gaming and creative work thanks to the 6000-series AMD Ryzen processor and Radeon graphics card.
Read our Alienware M17 R5 review
Best lightweight laptop: ASUS Zenbook S 13 OLED
When it compares to weight and portability, the ASUS Zenbook S 13 OLED triumphs, offering performance on a par with much bulker rivals and a super-sharp 2.8K screen that our judges found a pleasure to work on.
See our ASUS Zenbook S 13 OLED review
Best Chromebook: Acer Chromebook Vero 514
Chromebooks aren't often hugely interesting in design terms, but our panel found the Vero 514 to be a Chromebook like no other. It stood out from the pack for both its unique and stylish textured design and its strong eco-friendly credentials.
Read our Acer Chromebook Vero 514 review
Best laptop innovation: Framework laptop
Speaking of eco-credentials, we're very much in favour of more repairable and upgradable future-proofed tech, and Framework really won us over with its modular laptop, which allows users to easily change and upgrade everything from the screen bezel to the motherboard and ports.
Read our Framework laptop review
Best 2-in-1 laptop: Dell XPS 13 9315 2-in-1
The judges praised the Dell XPS 13 9315 2-in-1 for its superb balance of performance, portability and sleek design. It's an ideal laptop for general creative work on the go, and the detachable screen makes it highly versatile.
Read our Dell XPS 13 9315 2-in-1 review
Best powerful laptop: ASUS ProArt Studiobook OLED (H7604)
Concluding the laptops category in the Creative Bloq Awards 2023 is the power category, and ASUS scooped another win with this superb professional laptop. Making light work of 4K video and 3D, the ProArt Studiobook OLED impressed with great connectivity, a lush 16in OLED display and good looks too.
Read our ASUS ProArt Studiobook OLED (H7604) review
We'll be announcing the rest of the Creative Bloq Awards 2023 winners this week as follows: