In the market for the best 13-inch laptop your bank account can afford? Well, you’ve come to the right spot.
Having one of the best laptops is almost as essential these days as having a smartphone, whether you're in the market for a MacBook Pro or one of the best Acer laptops that boast affordability. But, there’s only one real reason to go for one of the best 13-inch laptops: portability. While 15-inch laptops are too large and anything than 12-inches will have you squinting, the best 13-inch laptops hit that sweet, space-saving spot.
In other words, they’re ideal for getting your work done while on the go, as well as enjoying movies on Netflix at the end of the day.
As with everything else, choosing one of the top 13-inch laptops for you will depend on your individual preference and needs. Do you need a 2-in-1 laptop that can turn into one of the best Windows tablets with just a flip of the display? Or do you want to skip Windows 10 entirely, and opt for one of the best Macs, backed up by macOS Mojave (or soon, macOS Catalina)?
There are a few excellent 13-inch laptops to choose from. Whatever your needs are, you’ll find the ideal match on this list.
1. Huawei MateBook 13
Coming for the throne
CPU: Quad-core Intel Core i5 – i7 | Graphics: Intel UHD Graphics 620; Nvidia GeForce MX150 (optional) | RAM: 8GB – 16GB | Screen: 13.3-inch QHD (2,560 x 1,440) | Storage: 256GB – 512GB SSD
It’s not often that we find a 13-inch laptop that ticks all the right boxes with very little compromise. The Huawei MateBook 13 is one of those very few devices. Rocking the latest Intel Whiskey Lake processors and Nvidia MX150 graphics in a chassis that really should be too small to fit them all in, the Huawei MateBook 13 is a powerful machine that can easily slip into most backpacks or medium-sized tote bags. Even better for users who cannot afford to splurge, it’s budget-friendly. What more could you ask for?
Read the full review: Huawei MateBook 13
2. Dell XPS 13
Best-in-class like you’ve never seen it before
CPU: Quad-core Intel Core i3 – i7 | Graphics: Intel UHD Graphics 620 | RAM: 8GB – 16GB | Screen: 13.3-inch FHD (1,920 x 1,080) – 4K (3,840 x 2,160) | Storage: 256GB – 2TB SSD
While its changes over last year’s model are subtle, there’s no doubt that the Dell XPS 13 is still one of the best 13-inch laptops money can buy. On the high end, the 4K display delivers a sharper picture across the board. But, even if you can’t afford the highest end model, the dashing design, long battery life and SD card slot aren’t going anywhere. More importantly, you’ve got a quad-core processor regardless of configuration you end up with. The Dell XPS 13 is, without a doubt, one of the best 13-inch laptops right now.
Read the full review: Dell XPS 13
3. HP Spectre x360
Working in style
CPU: Intel Core i5 – i7 | Graphics: Intel UHD Graphics 620 – Nvidia GeForce MX150 | RAM: 8GB – 16GB | Screen: 13.3-inch full HD (1,920 x 1,080) – UHD (3,840 x 2,160) touchscreen | Storage: 256GB – 2TB PCIe SSD
One look at the HP Spectre x360, and you’ll find it to deny that it’s one of the most beautiful laptops on the market today. That gem-cut build means it’ll get your work done in style. It’s not all skin-deep, however. This stunning 13-inch laptop is packed with the latest Intel hardware as well, so you know it can get your work done. And, if that’s not enough, it can also be flipped around into tablet mode. The HP Spectre x360 really is one of the best 13-inch laptops out there.
Read the full review: HP Spectre x360
4. Microsoft Surface Book 2 (13.5-inch)
Bigger isn’t always better: a memoir
CPU: Intel Core i5 – i7 | Graphics: Intel UHD 620 – Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 | RAM: 8GB – 16GB | Screen: 13.5-inch, 3,000 x 2,000 PixelSense display | Storage: 256GB – 1TB SSD
While the 13-inch version isn’t the most powerful Surface Book 2, it still makes for one of the best 13-inch laptops on the market. Whether you’re a professional or a creative or even a student, the Surface Book 2 will handle your daily workload effortlessly and in style. What’s more, the dynamic fulcrum hinge is much improved this time around, complementing the robust quad-core processor. And, unlike many other 2-in-1 laptops, the keyboard is removable to make it much more manageable, as well as thinner, when in tablet mode.
Read the full review: Microsoft Surface Book 2
5. Razer Blade Stealth
Fancy an Ultrabook for more than just gamers
CPU: Quad-core Intel Core i7 | Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 620; Nvidia GeForce MX150 (optional) | RAM: 8-16GB | Screen: 13.3-inch FHD - 4K UHD (3,840 x 2,160) touchscreen | Storage: 256GB – 512GB SSD
You may be expecting a gaming laptop, especially given Razer’s reputation. But in reality, the Razer Blade Stealth just happens to be one of the best 13-inch laptops to buy today. It’s thin, light, and packed with the latest Ultrabook-class internals – including dedicated MX150 graphics so you can play your favorite titles on the go. The 8th-generation Intel Whiskey Lake Processor makes this laptop a force to be reckoned with. Of course, that comes at a cost. However, the sheer style and build quality might be worth it.
Read the full review: Razer Blade Stealth
6. Asus ZenBook 13
Thin. Blue. Beautiful.
CPU: Intel Core i5-8250U | Graphics: Intel UHD 620; Nvidia GeForce MX150 | RAM: 8GB | Screen: 13.3-inch, FHD (1,920 x 1,080) wide view touch display | Storage: 256GB – 1TB SSD
If you’re looking for a speedy and svelte 13-inch laptop to schlep around with you – and you don’t mind giving up some premium features, then you’ll love the Asus ZenBook 13. Coming in at just half an inch thick and weighing only 2.5 pounds, this is the ideal laptop for traveling. But, don’t think you have to compromise on power with all this portability. The Asus ZenBook 13 boasts quad-core Intel chips, 8GB of RAM and up to 1TB SSD. Its combination of power, portability and pretty easily makes it one of the best Asus laptops around. The only thing you’re missing here is a USB-C port, but it’s easy to overlook, especially on a laptop as stylish as this.
Read the full review: Asus Zenbook 13
7. HP Envy x360 13 (2019)
HP gives its slimline laptop an AMD upgrade
CPU: AMD Ryzen 3 3300U – AMD Ryzen 7 3700U | Graphics: AMD Radeon Vega 6 – Radeon Vega 10 | RAM: 8GB – 16GB | Screen: 13.3" diagonal FHD IPS (1,920 x 1,080) | Storage: 256 GB – 1TB SSD
Thanks to its sleek 13-inch design, this 2-in-1 is slimmer that you would have expected, which works in your favor when using it in tablet mode. There are other excellent reasons why you must consider the HP Envy x360 (2019) when sorting through the best 13-inch laptops on the market. This one boasts a premium build, 9 hours of video playback and a performance that will get you through most of your schoolwork and project, all without burning a hole in your pocket.
Read the full review: HP Envy x360 (2019)
8. Surface Laptop 2
Faster. Better. Stronger.
CPU: 8th generation Intel Core i5 – i7 | Graphics: Intel UHD Graphics 620 | RAM: 8GB – 16GB | Screen: 13.5-inch, 2,256 x 1,504 PixelSense display | Storage: 128GB – 1TB SSD
The early Surface Laptop had our vote for one of the best 13-inch laptops, due to its stunning screen, competent internals and solid build quality. We are, therefore, happy to see its sequel, the Surface Laptop 2, doing everything better and taking some features to a new level. You won’t find any major changes, but the faster 8th-generation CPUs, 8GB of RAM and, most importantly, the removal of Windows 10 S all add up to making the Surface Laptop 2 one of the best 13-inch laptops right now.
Read the full review: Surface Laptop 2
9. Lenovo Yoga C930
A 2-in-1 experience with little to no compromise
CPU: up to 8th-generation Intel Core i7 | Graphics: Intel UHD Graphics 620 | RAM: Up to 16 GB | Screen: 13.9-inch UHD (3840 x 2160) - 13.9-inch FHD (1920 x 1080) IPS Glossy Multi-touch with Dolby Vision | Storage: Up to 2 TB PCIe SSD
While slightly bigger than your usual 13-inch laptop, this nearly 14-inch 2-in-1 challenger has a few aces up its sleeve – including longevity, power and durability. This means that the latest Lenovo Yoga C930 will last users long enough to get through their day-to-day workload and squeeze in some entertainment at the end of each day. To round it all out, this device also has a nice display with deep colors, a great keyboard and a decent trackpad. It may not have the best graphics performance, but it definitely more than makes up for that, making it one of the best 13-inch laptops 2019 has to offer.
Read the full review: Lenovo Yoga C930
10. 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
The MacBook Pro (13-inch, 2019) is a minor update to last year’s model, with slightly tweaked internals. However, seeing as the 2018 model took a spot on our best 13-inch laptops list, the 2019 refresh with its small improvements is just as deserving of that spot. The design remains the same, which is good news if you’re a fan of previous MacBook Pros, but with slightly more powerful components so if you’ve been looking to upgrade your aging MacBook Pro, this one affords you that chance.
Read the full review: MacBook Pro (13-inch, 2019)
Bill Thomas, Gabe Carey and Michelle Rae Uy have also contributed to this article
- Want more choices? Check out our list of the best laptop 2019