Thanks to a razor-thin bezel, the Dell XPS 13 crams a vibrant and sharp 13-inch screen 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 7th Generation Core (Kaby Lake) processor and PCIe SSD. The non-touch-screen version of this machine lasted nearly 14 hours on a charge, giving you epic endurance.
The latest version also offers better Wi-Fi performance, and you can get it in rose gold. Dell sells a version with a sharper, quad-HD touch display, too. Overall, the new XPS 13 is the best lightweight laptop for the money.
|Best Laptops 2017|
|Dell XPS 13 (Kaby Lake CPU)||Top Laptop Overall||4.5 out of 5|
|HP Spectre x360||Best 2-in-1||4.5 out of 5|
|Asus ZenBook UX330UA||Best Value||4 out of 5|
|Alienware 13 (OLED Display)||Best Gaming Laptop||4 out of 5|
|Lenovo Yoga 910||Best 14-inch Laptop||4.5 out of 5|
|Microsoft Surface Book with Performance Base||Best Video/Photo Editing Laptop||4.0 out of 5|
|Asus VivoBook E403SA||Best Sub-$500 Laptop||4.5 out of 5|
|Lenovo ThinkPad 13||Best Small Business Laptop||4.5 out of 5|
|Lenovo ThinkPad X260||Best Battery Life||4 out of 5|
|MacBook Pro 13-inch (2016)||Best Apple Laptop||4 out of 5|
|Lenovo ThinkPad T460||Best Business Laptop||4 out of 5|
|Asus Chromebook Flip C302CA||Best Chromebook||4 out of 5|
|Asus Chromebook C202||Best Laptop for Kids||4 out of 5|
|Dell XPS 15||Best 15-inch Laptop||4 out of 5|
|Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon (2017)||New and Notable||N/A|
HP's Spectre x360 has taken 2-in-1s to new heights. This 2.8-pound aluminum beauty has all the power of a 7th-generation Kaby Lake laptop, but in a deliciously thin body that can transform from tablet to notebook and back again. We also love the Spectre's quad-speaker audio and it's great 10-hour battery life. The smaller side bezels for the 13-inch screen show how much thought HP has put into making what is now the best 2-in-1 on the market.
You'll never find a laptop of any size with a screen as vibrant as the one on the Alienware 13 with OLED. This 5-pound laptop also features a quad-core Intel Core i5 or Core i7 CPU and an Nvidia GTX 1060 graphics chip, which is more than good enough to work with an Oculus Rift or HTC Vive.
Lenovo's Yoga 910 is a nearly flawless 2-in-1. It packs one of Intel's latest 7th-gen Core i7 CPUs and nearly 11 hours of battery life, and what is still the best 2-in-1 hinge on the market. And because the Yoga 910's screen has almost no bezels on its top and sides, you get a system with a 13.9-inch display that's barely bigger than systems with 13.3-inch screens. You even have the option of a 4K display.
In a time when some laptops are designed for Pros in name only, the Surface Book with Performance Base truly delivers. It has got good battery life, great performance, and a rare feature among ultraportables: a real GPU. Depending on the app, the Surface Book with Performance Base offers 2 times the 4 the graphics performance as a 13-inch MacBook Pro, and since the Surface has both traditional USB ports and a an SD card reader, it'll be easier to connect all your peripherals. And with a spectacular detachable 13.5-inch screen with both touch and stylus support, there's ton of ways to make the Surface Book with Performance work for you.
For just $399, the 14-inch Asus VivoBook E403SA provides a full 1080p screen, a brushed-aluminum lid, a USB-C port and over 9 hours of battery life. A Pentium processor and 4GB of RAM offer just enough performance for productive multi-tasking. And, at 3.2 pounds, the E403SA won't weigh down your bag or your lap.
The ThinkPad 13 offers Fortune 500 features at prices even a startup can afford. For a little more than $600, you get a durable, MIL-SPEC-tested chassis, a 1080p display, an SSD and over 9 hours of battery life. Even better, the ThinkPad 13's keyboard is one of the best we've tested on any laptop.
With its optional extended battery on board, the ThinkPad X260 lasts over 17 hours on a charge. That's long enough to spend an entire trans-continental flight crunching spreadsheets or writing reports on this powerful 12.5-inch business laptop. And at just 12 x 8 inches and 3.2 pounds, the X260's durable chassis is small enough to fit on most airline tray tables.
The best combination of performance, price and portability in Apple's lineup, the MacBook Pro 13-inch weighs just 3 pounds, is thinner than the Air and lasts over 12 hours on a charge. Though it doesn't have the innovative Touch Bar you get with its more expensive siblings, this $1,499 laptop has solid 6th-gen Core i5 performance, a speedy PCIe SSD and a vibrant Retina display.
With over 13 hours of battery life, a best-in-class keyboard and strong performance, the 14-inch ThinkPad T460 will make you more comfortable and productive. The laptop's tough-as-nails chassis can take a beating, having passed MIL-SPEC 810G durability tests for extreme temperatures, shocks and vibrations.
If you want the most versatile Chrome OS device on the market, look no further than the Chromebook Flip C302CA. This powerful 2-in-1 features an aluminum design, great multitasking performance, nearly 9 hours of battery life and a touch screen to help it support Android apps in the future.
Kids will drop anything and everything, but the 11.6-inch Asus Chromebook C202 will stand up to little butterfingers. The $199 laptop can withstand drops up to 3.9 feet and has a spill-resistant keyboard. The Intel Celeron N3060 processor and up to 4GB of RAM provides more than enough performance for even the most challenging homework.
The Dell XPS 15 is a powerhouse of a laptop with an optional 2.8-GHz Intel Core i7 CPU, up to 32GB of RAM and an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 GPU. The 4K display option is bright and vivid - one of the best we've seen short of OLED -- and the entry-level gaming you can do with this machine looks great on the panel. The battery will last you all day, and if you need something cheaper than our $2,075 config, other models start at $999.
The leading super-slim business Ultrabook is getting even better. For 2017, the ThinkPad X1 Carbon is upgrading to a powerful 7th Gen Core series CPU and a slightly-larger battery while actually lowering its weight by 0.1 pounds. The refreshed Carbon also features dual Thunderbolt 3 ports for charging and data. When it ships later this quarter, the laptop will be available in silver for the first time, but we prefer the black color and its new soft-touch finish.