Black Friday Weekend Update: Some of our favorite laptops are now on sale, including the ThinkPad T450s for $794 (reg $950) and the Ideapad 100S for $179 (reg $199). For more bargains, see our Best Laptop Deals page, updated daily.
Thanks to a razor-thin bezel, the Dell XPS 13 crams a vibrant and sharp 13-inch display into an 11-inch chassis, making it one of the most compact ultraportables ever. This 2.7-pound laptop also delivers fast performance, thanks to its Intel 6th Generation Core processor and SSD. The non-touch-screen version of this machine lasted over 9.5 hours on a charge, giving you plenty of endurance. Dell also sells a version with a sharper, quad-HD touch display. Overall, the new XPS 13 is the best lightweight laptop for the money.
Despite its sub-$200 price, the Ideapad 100S looks and feels anything but cheap. This 11.6-inch Windows 10 laptop offers good build quality, a bright screen, solid multitasking performance and over 9 hours of battery life. It even comes with a free year of Office 365 Personal.
Although the new 12-inch MacBook is sleeker, the MacBook Air 13-inch is a better deal overall. This 3-pound aluminum ultraportable lasted 14 hours on the Laptop Mag Battery Test, which is well above the category average. Although the screen resolution could be sharper (it's just 1,440 x 900p) the Air's comfortable keyboard, superfast flash storage and sub-$1,000 price tag make it one of the best laptops on the market.
Lenovo's ThinkPad T series line of business laptops have long been known for their powerful performance, long battery life and superior usability. The 14-inch ThinkPad T450s builds on that rich tradition, offering a gorgeous, 1920 x 1080-pixel touch screen; a durable, MIL-SPEC-tested design; and the most responsive keyboard on the market. With more than 15 hours of endurance with the extended battery, this lightweight powerhouse lets you get your work done in style, anywhere at any time.
For a limited time, this laptop starts at just $794, over $150 off the regular price. We recommend configuring it with the 1080p display ($60) and an 802.11ac Wi-Fi card.
Why buy a traditional laptop when a 2-in-1 can do so much more? Lenovo's Yoga 900 features a powerful 6th-gen Intel Core i7 CPU; a pixel-rich, 13.3-inch 3200 x 1800 display; and a striking watchband-style hinge that lets it transform from a laptop to a tablet and anything in between at a moment's notice. And unlike the hybrids of yesteryear, the Yoga 900 is stylish and compact in a way that puts most traditional laptops to shame. Lenovo can even match the paint on the hinge with whatever color you choose for the outside. How's that for attention to detail?
This gaming laptop doesn't need a light show -- it is the light show. The Alienware 17 is back in all of its customizable backlit glory. This time around, the machine has been updated with an Nvidia GeForce GTX 980M GPU, making it a beast when it comes to churning out high frame rates. But if you need a little more oomph, there's the optional Graphics Amplifier, which brings in the big guns in the form of a desktop GPU. Combined with the gorgeous 1080p display and powerful Core i7 processor, you've got a laptop that can talk the talk and walk the walk.
If you're looking for a lightweight laptop with long battery life that won't strain your budget, you need to consider the Toshiba Chromebook 2 CB35. From its bright, accurate 13.3-inch full-HD display to its 10-plus hours of endurance, the CB35 is practically a steal at $330. Its elegant silver deck looks like it belongs on a much more expensive laptop, and its keyboard will make crunching away on Google Docs and email a breeze.
The Inspiron 15 5000 stands out from the budget laptop crowd with a premium design that features a colorful, textured lid and a comfy, soft-touch deck. With a Core i3 CPU and a 500GB hard drive, this 15-inch system has more than enough oomph for everyday tasks.
The 12.5-inch ThinkPad X250 crams the power and versatility of a high-end productivity system into a 2.8-pound laptop with 15+ hours of battery life. Features like a high-res 1,920 x 1,080 display, comfortable keyboard and speedy Intel 5th Generation Core Series CPU help you get work done. A full array of ports, including Ethernet and an SD card reader, means that you don't have to compromise on functionality to gain portability.
When you're editing video, you not only need a sharp screen, but also a GPU capable of pushing all those pixels. The Asus UX501J has a gorgeous 4K display, backed by an Nvidia GTX 960M GPU, a Core i7 processor, and a 512GB SSD, all wrapped in an attractive aluminum body. Its affordable price tag also means you won't need the backing of a major studio to finance your purchase, either.