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The best Ultrabooks in Australia for 2020: top thin and light laptops reviewed

Best Ultrabook
(Image credit: TechRadar)

As we settle in for the 'work at home' long-haul, it's never been more important to have access to a powerful Ultrabook that can handle any task you throw at it. 

We can largely thank Apple and its MacBook Air for the Ultrabook trend we're seeing. Where large, clunky laptops aren't sleek enough, and thin, portable tablets aren't powerful enough, the Ultrabook shines.

A unibody chassis packed with some of the best SSDs, processors and battery life available to devices this size, the Ultrabook is a thin and portable marvel that'll let you get on with your business, browsing or buffering without the lengthy wait times.

With TechRadar's extensive reviewing and lab testing, we've got a strong idea of what's going to cut it in today's Ultrabook landscape, and on this page we've ranked the best of the best so that you can find yourself a bargain on the cream of the crop.

Whether you're chasing the well-known brands like Dell, HP, Microsoft and Lenovo, or some surprise entrants like Huawei and Razer, we've got you covered.

Best Ultrabooks in Australia at a glance

  1. Dell XPS 13
  2. HP Elite Dragonfly
  3. Huawei MateBook 13
  4. MacBook Air (2020)
  5. MacBook Pro (13-inch, 2019)
  6. Surface Laptop 3
  7. Huawei MateBook X Pro
  8. Lenovo Yoga C930
  9. HP Spectre 13
  10. Razer Blade Stealth
  11. HP Spectre x360
  12. Lenovo Yoga 730

If you want to know exactly what to consider before buying an Ultrabook, check out our video below:

(Image credit: Future)

1. Dell XPS 13

New and improved for 2019

CPU: 8th generation Intel Core i5 – i7 | Graphics: Intel UHD Graphics 620 | RAM: 8GB – 16GB | Screen: 13.3-inch FHD (1,920 x 1,080) – 4k (3840 x 2160) | Storage: 256GB – 1TB SSD

Centered webcam
Battery life better than ever
Beautiful optional 4K display
2019 update isn't huge
Expensive

What is it about the Dell XPS 13 that's kept it in pole position on our best ultrabook list for three years running? In short, it really is the PC response to the MacBook. The 2019 Dell XPS 13 hasn't improved too much over last year's already-great model, but there's some more juice in the battery and the camera has finally been put where it belongs – above the screen! With its bezel-less ‘Infinity Edge’ display and solid performance, this Dell XPS 13 continues to be the most popular Windows laptop in the world. What’s more, there’s a wide range of customisation options, so you can really make the Dell XPS 13 the best laptop for your needs. 

Read the full review: Dell XPS 13

HP Elite Dragonfly

(Image credit: HP)

2. HP Elite Dragonfly

One of the best Ultrabooks for the travelling professional

CPU: 8th-generation Intel Core i5 – i7 | Graphics: Intel UHD Graphics 620 | RAM: 8GB - 16GB | Screen: 13.3" diagonal Full HD touch display – Full HD touch Sure View display | Storage: 256 GB SSD

Impeccable design
Excellent battery life
Pretty expensive

If you’re a traveling professional, and you’re looking for the best of the best this 2020, then you will be hard-pressed to find anything that will rival the HP Elite Dragonfly outside of the aforementioned Dell XPS 13. Garnering our coveted five-star rating, this can be found near the top of many of our lists this year, including this best Ultrabooks list. It’s no surprise, as it delivers a deadly combination of incredible features like a sublime keyboard and amazing speakers, raw power, portability, a beautiful design and a long battery life. Admittedly, it’s pricier than many competing laptops, but if you’ve got the funds, it’s worth every penny.

Read the full review: HP Elite Dragonfly

Huawei MateBook 13

(Image credit: Future)

3. Huawei MateBook 13

One of the best Ultrabooks in the world

CPU: 8th generation Intel Core i5 – i7 | Graphics: Intel UHD Graphics 620 , Nvidia GeForce MX150 2GB GDDR5 | RAM: 8GB | Screen: 13-inch 1440p (2,160 x 1,440) | Storage: 256GB - 512GB SSD

Great performance
Nvidia graphics
Excellent value
Only 8GB RAM
No Thunderbolt 3

Our pick for the pinnacle of laptops you can buy in Australia for 2020 would be the Huawei MateBook 13, were it not for the ongoing issues the company faces. Like the MateBook X Pro before it, the MateBook 13 packs some of the latest components and tech into a nifty lightweight package at an affordable price. It's this deft balance that would give it the slight edge over the reigning champs, if it weren't for the unknown future of support for the device. 

Read the full review: Huawei MateBook 13

MacBook Air (2020)

(Image credit: Future)

4. MacBook Air (2020)

New and improved for 2020

CPU: 1.1GHz Intel Core i3-1000NG4 (dual-core, 4 threads, 4MB cache, up to 3.2GHz) | Graphics: Intel Iris Plus | RAM: 8GB (3,733MHz LPDDR4X) | Screen: 13.3-inch, 2,560 x 1,600 Retina True Tone display (backlit LED, IPS) | Storage: 256GB PCIe SSD | Dimensions (H x W x D): 30.41 x 21.24 x 1.61cm

Lower price of entry
New 10th generation processors
Improved keyboard
Screen colours a little muted
Battery life only OK
Webcam still just 720p

Addressing a number of complaints we’ve had about previous releases of Apple’s affordable thin and light laptop – particularly its keyboard on last year's model – The MacBook Air (2020) feels like a considerable step up almost every area of note. Gone are the old butterfly switches, which were too shallow for many people, and prone to failing if debris, such as dust and crumbs, fell between the keys, and in its place is the new Magic keyboard, which first appeared with the MacBook Pro 16-inch. Thanks to the long-overdue inclusion of new components, Apple's 2020 MacBook Air has received a decent uptick in performance, too, making it an easy Ultrabook to recommend.

Read the full review: MacBook Air (2020)

MacBook Pro (13-inch, 2019)

(Image credit: Future)

5. MacBook Pro (13-inch, 2019)

No longer a compromise?

CPU: 1.4GHz quad-core Intel Core i5 – 2.8GHz quad-core Intel Core i7 | Graphics: Intel Iris Plus Graphics 645 – 655 | RAM: 8GB – 16GB | Screen: 13.3-inch (diagonal) 2560 x 1600 LED-backlit display with IPS technology | Storage: 128GB – 2TB SSD | Dimensions (H x W x D): 0.59 x 11.97 x 8.36 inches

Good build quality
Thin and light design
Decent performance
Excellent battery life
Expensive
No option without Touch Bar
Same Butterfly keyboard switches

The 13-inch MacBook Pro 2019 has perhaps received the biggest update out of the three MacBook revisions that Apple rolled out in 2019. Next to the MacBook Pro 15-inch and the MacBook Air 2019 models, the MacBook Pro 13-inch has certainly come out the winner. In terms of upgrades from previous models, the inclusion of updated components and Apple's Touch Bar are arguably the most notable, this all makes the new MacBook Pro 13-inch (2019) feels less like a compromise for those who don't want to shell out for a larger and more expensive model. If you’re looking for a compact MacBook Pro that still offers plenty of oomph, the MacBook Pro 13-inch (2019) is the one for you.

Read the full review: MacBook Pro (13-inch, 2019)

(Image credit: Future)

6. Surface Laptop 3

Longer-lasting than most

CPU: Quad-core 10th Gen Intel Core i5 – i7 | Graphics: Intel Iris Plus Graphics | RAM: 8GB – 32GB | Screen: 15” 2496 x 1664 PixelSense Touch Display | Storage: 128GB – 1TB

Excellent battery life
Exciting AMD flagship debut
Far too few ports
Lacking in power

With an impressive, reasonable price tag and some of the best battery life we’ve experienced in a 15-inch laptop, the Surface Laptop 3 certainly has a lot going for it. That also includes the fact that it’s got a great look and feel, as well as a weight that surprisingly light for a product its size. Performance-wise, it certainly knocks it out of the park. While it isn’t the most powerful 15-inch laptop out there, it has Intel’s 10th-generation chips and the Iris Plus graphics. That’s more than enough to make it one of the best Ultrabooks out there for 2020.

Read the full review: Surface Laptop 3 

Huawei MateBook X Pro

(Image credit: Future)

7. Huawei MateBook X Pro

One of the best new Ultrabooks around

CPU: 8th-generation Intel Core i5 – i7 | Graphics: Nvidia GeForce MX150 (2GB), Intel UHD Graphics 620 | RAM: 8GB – 16GB | Screen: 13.3-inch 3K (3,000 x 2,000; touch) | Storage: 256GB – 512GB SSD

Gorgeous design
Fantastic performance
Weird webcam placement

The Huawei MateBook X Pro's recent arrival had put it firmly in the top place of our Australian ultrabook list, but its been bested by its more affordable successor, and recent controversies cast doubt on the future of its support. This gorgeous laptop brings high-end components into an elegantly-designed package that puts even the MacBook Pro to shame – all this on a decent battery life to boot. And, with its 3K touchscreen, the Huawei MateBook X Pro has a display that’s just as nice to look at as the chassis. It’s really the best Ultrabook you can buy today. 

Read the full review: Huawei MateBook X Pro

Lenovo Yoga C930

8. Lenovo Yoga C930

A 2-in-1 laptop experience with little to no compromise

CPU: 8th-generation Intel Core i5 – i7 | Graphics: Intel UHD Graphics 620 | RAM: up to 16 GB DDR4 | Screen: 13.9-inch FHD (1,920 x 1,080) – UHD (3,840 x 2,160) | Storage: up to 2 TB PCIe SSD

Strong build quality
Robust feature set
Excellent battery life
Weak graphics performance
Pricey upgrade options

The Lenovo Yoga C930 has many of the makings of the best ultrabook – from a whopping 14.5 hours of battery life and dual Thunderbolt-enabled USB-C ports to internal components that will breeze through those daily productivity tasks. That’s without even mentioning a 2-in-1 that offers form versatility so you can squeeze in some light gaming and movie-watching post-productivity. It has a few cherries on top as well, namely the integrated self-charging stylus and the fab speaker system.

Read the full review: Lenovo Yoga C930

9. HP Spectre 13

Bringing quad-core with style

CPU: Intel Core i5 – i7 | Graphics: Intel UHD Graphics 620 | RAM: 8GB | Screen: 13.3-inch FHD (1,920 x 1,080) | Storage: 256GB – 1TB NVMe M.2 SSD

Beautiful design 
Powerful hardware 
 Light on ports 

When you lay your eyes on the HP Spectre 13 for the first time, you might be blinded by its sheer beauty. HP has taken the already-beautiful Spectre, and spruced it up with gold trim and packed it with internal specs that blow the competition out of the water. One of the first Ultrabooks packing a quad-core CPU, the 2017 Spectre 13 more than doubles the CPU performance of most of its competitors. It comes at the cost of battery life, but clocking in at just under 6 hours – the battery is still passable. 

Read the full review: HP Spectre 13 

10. Razer Blade Stealth

Don’t be fooled: this is more than a gamer’s laptop

CPU: Intel Core i7 | Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 620 – Intel UHD Graphics 620 | RAM: 16GB | Screen: 12.5-inch UHD (3,840 x 2,160) – 13.3-inch QHD+ (3,200 x 1,800) | Storage: 256GB – 1TB PCIe SSD

Larger, brighter display
Subtler aesthetics on gunmetal version
Shorter and shorter battery life
No 4K display option in sight

Razer has to deal with the common misconception that it’s solely a gaming laptop and peripheral company, a reputation it subverted when it introduced the Blade Stealth back in 2016. And, if you’re unconvinced, the latest edition of the Razer Blade Stealth may change your mind by turning into a 13.3-inch, QHD+ beauty. There’s no longer the option for 4K, but the performance this Ultrabook delivers is worth the compromise. 

Read the full review: Razer Blade Stealth

11. HP Spectre x360

The versatile and venerated people pleaser

CPU: Intel Core i5 – i7 | Graphics: Intel UHD Graphics 620 | RAM: 8GB – 16GB | Screen: 13.3-inch, FHD (1,920 x 1,080) – UHD (3,840 x 2,160) touch panel | Storage: 256GB – 1TB SSD

Stylus included
Stunning speakers
Weak hinges
Annoying keyboard layout

Rarely does a company think of everything when designing a laptop, but for what it’s worth, the HP Spectre x360 comes surprisingly close. It’s a 2-in-1 convertible laptop, which by default makes it not for everyone. Still, for those right-brained users out there, it comes bundled with a Windows Ink-compatible stylus, unlike the vast majority of hybrids. That would mean very little if the HP Spectre x360 didn’t have great sound and visuals, though it evidently does.

Read the full review: HP Spectre x360

12. Lenovo Yoga 730

Thin, portable, affordable

CPU: Intel Core i5 - i7 | Graphics: Intel UHD Graphics 620 | RAM: 8 - 16GB | Screen: 13.3-inch FHD (1,920 x 1,080) IPS (multi-touch, anti-glare) | Storage: 256GB - 512GB PCIe SSD

Budget-friendly 
Powerful enough
Fast charging
Short battery life 
Weak speakers

If you’re looking to get your hands on an entry-level Ultrabook that can get some work done (without spending a fortune), the Lenovo Yoga 730 should be at the top of your list. Sure, it doesn’t have the longest battery life, but with how much (or how little) this device will set you back, it’s a worthy trade off – especially considering the speedy SSD storage, quad-core processor and 8GB of RAM you’re getting at the entry level. For anyone on a budget, the Lenovo Yoga 730 is certainly one of the best Ultrabooks around right now.

Read the full review: Lenovo Yoga 730