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The best Ultrabooks of 2020: Top thin and light laptops reviewed

Best Ultrabooks
These are the top 5 Ultrabooks that we've reviewed so far, always updated
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Looking for a lightweight and slim laptop that you can carry around easily? Worry not. We’ve got the best ultrabooks lined up here. 

Ultrabooks are laptops that offer portability and usually come with 13-inch screens. They’re lightweight, thin, and can do mostly everything that bigger laptops do. A typical ultrabooks measures in at under an inch, in terms of thickness and usually weigh around 1.5Kg. This makes it ideal to put these laptops inside backpacks and carry around easily. And there’s not much to sacrifice in terms of performance either. The only trade-off is the bigger screen size that is available on bigger machines.

To make things easier, we've started the guide with a summary of the full list that we will be elaborating on further. 

Best Ultrabooks

1. Dell XPS 13

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

Specifications

CPU: Intel Core i5 – i7
Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 620
RAM: 4GB – 16GB
Screen: 13.3-inch FHD (1,920 x 1,080) – QHD+ (3,200 x 1,800)
Storage: 128GB – 512GB SSD

Reasons to buy

+
Same long-lasting battery
+
Great range of prices

Reasons to avoid

-
Still poor webcam position
-
No Windows Hello

The new, 7th-generation Intel Core i-powered Dell XPS 13 is nothing short of a miracle, in terms of both design and pricing. Once again, Dell has done the universe a favor by squeezing a 13.3-inch display into a measly 11-inch figure, and weighing in at only 2.9 pounds (1.29kg), the XPS 13 is blessed with extravagance. 

The Dell XPS 13 not only bears a lengthy battery life exceeding 7 hours in accordance with our in-house movie test, but it does so with a virtually bezel-less InfinityEdge display. 

What’s more, not only is the starting cost of the laptop relatively low, but the Dell XPS 13 is sold in a variety of different flavors, all the way up to an i7-7700U model. 

And to top it all off? It comes in Rose Gold.

Read the full review: Dell XPS 13

2. HP Spectre x360

An ultra-light Ultrabook now with Kaby Lake performance

Specifications

CPU: Intel Core i5 – i7
Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 620
RAM: 4GB – 16GB
Screen: 13.3-inch, FHD (1,920 x 1,080) – UHD (3,840 x 2,160)
Storage: 256GB – 1TB SSD

Reasons to buy

+
Ultra thin and light styling
+
Long-lasting and quick charging battery

Reasons to avoid

-
Lacks SD card reader
-
Especially thick bottom bezel

Among the first to sport 7th-generation Kaby Lake processors, the HP Spectre x360 is more than a CPU upgrade. Sure, the 2-in-1 zips by faster than it did last year, but it’s also thinner and lighter than it was before – not to mention more stylish. From the revamped HP logo on the outer shell to the higher quality keyboard, the Spectre x360 is a force to be reckoned with.

Two USB Type-C ports are present while only one traditional, USB Type-A port is onboard. Sure, this equates to better transfer rates, but it also necessitates the need for an onslaught of new cables and peripherals. 

The Spectre x360 is a thrifty little Ultrabook no matter what your use case, made even better by the recent addition of a 4K display option paired with an optional 1TB of SSD storage.

Read the full review: HP Spectre x360 

Best Ultrabooks

3. Asus ZenBook 13 UX333FN

A truly excellent ultrabook at a very agreeable price point

Specifications

CPU: Intel Core i5-(8265U)/Core i7-(8565U)
Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce MX150
RAM: 8GB/16GB
Screen: 13.3-inch, FHD (1,920 x 1,080)
Storage: 256GB/512GB/1TB SSD

Reasons to buy

+
Incredibly thin and light
+
Vibrant, glare-free screen

Reasons to avoid

-
Not the best speakers

Sporting an 8th-generation Intel Core i5 and Core i7 configurations comparable to the top-notch Dell XPS 13 and an all-aluminum shell, this is one of the few Asus laptops that can truly vie for the MacBook Air’s throne. 

And that’s thanks to the Asus ZenBook 13 housing all the latest ports, including USB Type-C, and the option of a gorgeous Full HD display, complete with 143-degrees of rotation and a serious case of the anti-glare.

 Read the full review: Asus ZenBook 13 (opens in new tab)

4. Acer Aspire S 13

One of the most affordable ways to get into Ultrabooks

Specifications

CPU: 6th Gen Intel Core i5 – i7
Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 520
RAM: 4 – 8GB
Screen: 13.3-inch FHD (1,920 x 1,080) touchscreen
Storage: 256GB – 512GB SSD

Reasons to buy

+
High performance for a low price
+
Non-reflective touchscreen

Reasons to avoid

-
Exterior feels a little cheap
-
Disappointing battery life

The Acer Aspire S 13 may not win prizes for being the thinnest or the lightest Ultrabook around, nor does it offer more than 10 hours of battery life. But it's an impressive machine none-the-less with speedy and reliable performance. It's nearly as affordable as the Asus ZenBook UX305 and the touchscreen is standard, something you won't find on most budget Ultrabooks.

Read the full review: Acer Aspire S 13

5. Acer Swift 7

Thin, light and handsome, if not short-lived

Specifications

CPU: Intel Core i5-7Y54
Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 615
RAM: 8GB
Screen: 13.3-inch FHD 1,920 x 1,080
Storage: 256GB SATA SSD

Reasons to buy

+
Beautiful design
+
Excellent feel

Reasons to avoid

-
Middling battery life
-
No keyboard backlight

It’s no surprise that the world’s thinnest laptop doesn’t come without its own share of port shortages; however, it’s also unfair to judge the Acer Swift 7 by its pair of USB-C twins alone. 

Sporting an Core i5 processor from Intel’s 7th-gen Y-series lineup (previously Core M), the Swift 7 is by no means a powerhouse, but it doesn’t need to be, really.

The Acer Swift 7 is a testament to just how luxurious a laptop can look and feel without facilitating a lofty price tag. It also serves as a reminder that everything looks better in gold. Though admittedly short on battery life, clocking in at only 5 hours and 41 minutes in our in-house movie test, the Acer Swift 7 soars in areas such as portability and style.

Read the full review: Acer Swift 7

6. Lenovo Yoga 910

Elegance meets horsepower with this hardy 2-in-1

Specifications

CPU: Intel Core i7
Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 620
RAM: 8GB – 16GB
Screen: 13.9-inch FHD (1,920 x 1,080) – UHD (3,840 x 2,160)
Storage: 256GB – 1TB SSD

Reasons to buy

+
Substantially larger screen
+
Rocking speakers

Reasons to avoid

-
Heats up (and gets loud) fast
-
Disappointing battery life

The Lenovo Yoga 910 is a fine example of a laptop that takes two steps forward and one step back. It may be heavier and colder to the touch than the Yoga 900, no thanks to its aluminum finish, but it’s also substantially more stylish. Not only that, but Lenovo even managed to keep the same frame size and fit a larger, 14-inch screen inside it. 

As a result, it’s still not perfect, but the Yoga 910 is – rest assured – a clear upgrade over its predecessor. Because it’s wholly adorned with sharp angles galore, the Yoga 910 is a feat in fashion. Plus, it doesn’t hurt that it’s outfitted with a 7th-generation Intel Core i7 processor and the option of a 4K screen. Unfortunately, even though the battery is larger, its longevity is underwhelming.

Read the full review: Lenovo Yoga 910

Best Ultrabooks

7. HP Spectre

Thin, powerful and delightfully chic

Specifications

CPU: Intel Core i5 – i7
Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 520
RAM: 8GB
Screen: 13.3-inch FHD (1,920 x 1,080) IPS UWVA WLED
Storage: 256GB – 512GB SSD

Reasons to buy

+
Tasteful glitz and glam
+
Tactile keyboard

Reasons to avoid

-
Below average battery life
-
Spongy trackpad

One glance at the HP Spectre, and you'd think it belongs in a mansion. As if looks weren't enough, this gilded machine is actually more powerful than the latest MacBook and for a lower price at that.

You won't find laptops thinner than this and with an optional Intel Core i7 configuration to the trio of USB-C ports, it's supremely capable and not to mention future-proof. Even when it only boasts a 1080p screen, it renders deeper blacks and brighter colors than most.

If there were ever a such thing as a MacBook killer, it would be called the HP Spectre – front and center, folks.

Read the full review: HP Spectre

Black Friday macbook deals

(Image credit: Apple)
The best option from Apple

Specifications

CPU: 1.6GHz Intel Core i5-8210Y
Graphics: Intel UHD Graphics 617
RAM: 8GB (2,133MHz LPDDR3)
Screen: 13.3-inch, 2,560 x 1,600 Retina display (IPS)
Storage: 128GB/256GB PCIe SSD
Weight: 2.75 pounds (1.25kg)
Size: 11.97 x 8.36 x 0.61 inches

Reasons to buy

+
Small, lighter design
+
Beautiful Retina display
+
Good value for a MacBook

Reasons to avoid

-
Sometimes feels underpowered
-
Only two Thunderbolt 3 ports

Apple’s MacBook Air (2017) was already one of the most affordable and powerful ultrabooks and the MacBook Air (2018) builds upon that with a thinner and lighter design. The 8th-gen Core i5 isn’t as substantial an upgrade as we would’ve liked but that’s not why the Macbook Air is on this list. 

It’s the longevity of software and performance that is usually associated with MacOS machines. It rocks a Core i5 (8th-gen) meaning it will feel under-powered at times. It is especially not for gamers or graphics editors. For most other casual tasks, this Apple laptop won’t disappoint. 

Read our Apple MacBook Air (2018) review (opens in new tab)

Buy Apple MacBook Air (2018) from Amazon (opens in new tab)

(Image credit: Future)

Specifications

CPU: 1.7GHz Intel Core i5-8250U
Graphics: Intel UHD Graphics 620
RAM: 8GB LPDDR3
Screen: 13.5-inch, 2,256 x 1,504 resolution
Storage: 256GB SSD
Weight: 2.76 pounds (1.25kg)
Size: 12.13 x 8.79 x 0.57 inches

Reasons to buy

+
Lovely new black color scheme
+
Quieter keyboard
+
No more Windows 10 S Mode

Reasons to avoid

-
No Thunderbolt 3 option
-
Too few ports for its size

The Surface Laptop 2 is an upgrade over the original version in all the good ways. It's got a slick design, a better keyboard, and a full version of Windows 10 out of the box finally.  And of course, the touch screen is a really good option to have. 

However, its downside is its performance similar to the MacBook Air (2018). Don't get us wrong. It's good enough for both general users, and perhaps low-touch professionals. But it won't be able to do resource-intensive tasks. The bloat-free Windows 10 desktops OS is another big plus.  Although a more modern set of ports would've been a very nice addition too.  

Read our full Microsoft Surface Laptop 2 Review  (opens in new tab) 

Buy Microsoft Surface Laptop 2 from Amazon (opens in new tab)

Abdul Q
Abdul Q

Abdul Q is a Content editor at Techradar India. Formerly.