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 nearly 12 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
As powerful as a MacBook Pro that costs $1,000 more, the 15-inch ZenBook Pro comes packed with the high-end features a creative professional needs. Its 3840 x 2160 UHD touchscreen is even sharper than the Mac's while a powerful Intel Core i7 CPU and Nvidia GTX 960M GPU provide enough oomph for editing 4K videos. Potent performance, good looks and a great piece? What's there not to love?
The best gaming laptop has gotten even better -- and faster. The Alienware 17 R3 keeps the sleek sci-fi design and colorful keyboard of its predecessor while adding an Intel 6th Generation Core i7 CPU and an optional 4K display that's one of the best we've seen. If the laptop's top-of-the-line Nvidia GeForce GTX 980M mobile GPU isn't quick enough for you, add Alienware's $300 Graphics Amplifier and insert any desktop graphics card for true future-proof power.
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.
One of the best laptop values around, the 13-inch ZenBook UX303UA packs a vibrant 1080p touch screen, speedy Core i5 CPU and spacious 256GB SSD into a svelte, 3.4-pound body for only $829. Add in a snappy keyboard and more than 8 hours of endurance and you have a winner.
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.