6 Best Ultrabooks 2015: top thin and light laptops reviewed

TechRadar's top-ranking Ultrabook reviews

Best Ultrabooks

The term Ultrabook was coined by Intel, and it specifies laptops with particular specifications, separating them from other ultraportable laptops.

They all have Intel Core i3, Core i5 or Core i7 processors, fast SSD storage to some degree, and now USB 3.0 connectivity, for speedy file transfers.

Ultrabooks are made with design in mind, so they tend to start from around $999 (around £584, AU$1,064) in the lower end, going to nearly $2,000 (around £1,169, AU$2,131) at the very high end.

Ultimately, you're likely to spend between $899 and $1,500 for a newer model, though you can get some older models for good prices. Below are the six best Ultrabooks at the moment, based on our latest reviews.

Best Ultrabooks

Dell XPS 13

Possibly the best laptop on the planet, Dell's latest is a masterpiece

Best UltrabooksWe thought the Dell XPS 13 from 2014 was already a brilliantly thin and light 13 inch machine, but this year the company has really pulled all the stops with the 2015 model. The new Dell XPS 13 is a 13.3-inch notebook, but it has the small footprint of an 11-inch machine.

Fortunately for us, the XPS 13 isn't all beauty and no brains. This laptop features the horsepower to make work and play enjoyable, and it has just enough battery life to never leave you in a lurch. Regardless of whether you choose to upgrade to the touchscreen quad HD+ version, or if you stand pat with the full HD model, the Dell XPS 13 will provide you with a delightful experience for years to come.

Read: Dell XPS 13 review

Best Ultrabooks

Asus ZenBook UX305

A truly excellent ultrabook at a very agreeable price point

Best UltrabooksWhile the Asus UX305 does not necessarily break any new ground in the Ultrabook scene, it's a nearly flawless device, for an extremely affordable price and that in itself is worth high praise.

The ZenBook UX305 is a superbly-built, fully metal machine that's thin, light and very attractive. This lightweight system' also easily handled all my daily tasks whether I was browsing the web, watching video or editing images. What's more, you can get excellent battery life out of the machine considering its 1080p display.

Of course, the most striking thing about the UX305 is that it comes at a $699 or £649 (about AU$902) price. This is a great price for any mobile computing machine, but in this case you're getting a premium, full-metal Ultrabook with an excellent full HD display and a 256GB SSD to boot. While isnt' exactly a shining symbol of innovation in the Ultrabook space, it is the most affordable Ultrabook out today and it won't disappoint you.

Read: Asus ZenBook UX305 review

best ultrabook

Lenovo Yoga 3 Pro

A triumph for design, Lenovo's flagship is impressive if a little pricey

Best Ultrabooks

If you're all about style and don't need a super powerful machine, it doesn't get much better than Lenovo's latest flagship Ultrabook. While it may not be as punchy as its predecessor (thanks in part to its low-power, fanless Intel Core M chip), it can still manage all of the usual tasks you would throw at it.

And given its new metallic hinge and super thin design, the Yoga 3 Pro makes a better case than ever for its multitudes of usage modes. At any rate, this is one of the thinnest, lightest and sharpest Windows laptops to date. And while you'll certainly pay for it, the price for such panache will be worth it for style nuts.

Read: Lenovo Yoga 3 Pro review

Best Ultrabooks

Acer Aspire S7

Acer's luxurious ultrabook is an ultraportable superstar

Best Ultrabooks

For 2014, Acer has updated it's luxury laptop with a super sharp QHD display. This 2560 x 1440 panel is prepared for the day when hyper-HD content is finally viable to watch over wireless internet. In the now, text looks gorgeous, as do images – thus adding to the near-future feel of this device.

The build quality on display here, from the Aspire S7's aluminum and Gorilla Glass frame is palpable. That goes for the snappy keyboard, with its fancy electroluminescent lighting, too.

The Acer Aspire S7 (starting at $1,349, £1,199, AU$2,599) truly feels like a machine built for the now, 2014, and one that you won't mind using well into 2016, possibly longer. So, love the Aspire S7 for its cutting edge build, fine typing experience and premium specs.

Read: Acer Aspire S7 review

Best Ultrabooks

Samsung Ativ Book 9 Plus

With stunning performance and screen, it doesn't get much better than this

Best Ultrabooks

Samsung was one of the very first PC manufacturers to jump on the Ultrabook bandwagon. It's done a fine job of representing Intel's baby ever since, with some stunning offerings, including the Samsung Series 5 Ultra Touch and, more recently, the top-of-the-line Samsung Series 9 NP900X3D.

Samsung's new Ultrabook: the Samsung Ativ Book 9 Plus (starting at $1,399, £1,412, AU$2,259), might keep the company ahead of the game for a while, at least if its on-paper abilities are anything to go by.

It's a wonderful-looking unit. It's thin and carefully crafted, with shiny, chamfered edges lining its all-aluminium chassis. But its plain black exterior might lend some clues as to its intent: This is premium-priced Ultrabook focused as much on the business user as the coffee shop regular.

Read: Samsung Ativ Book 9 Plus review

Best Ultrabooks

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon

An excellent business laptop that (almost) has it all

Best Ultrabooks

The Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon (starting at $1,186, £1,198, AU$1,699) is a business laptop that straddles the line between form and function more than ever after this update. For those with a penchant for aesthetics, here's a brand new design with some fantastic new features. And to keep the no-nonsense business user happy, this is a plenty powerful piece of hardware.

The connectivity on offer through this Ultrabook's super slim design profile alone is impressive. And the adaptive keys, while divisive, add a ton of function in a limited amount of space and an attractive presentation. Look out, MacBook Pro, you're no longer the only thin and light business option on the block.

Read: Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon review