The ultimate combination of portability, longevity and usability, Dell's XPS 13 lasts close to 14 hours on a charge, even though it weighs just 2.7 pounds and is only 0.6 inches thick. Even more impressive, Dell's Ultrabook squeezes a gorgeous 13-inch screen into what's normally an 11-inch lid by nearly eliminating the bezel. The XPS 13 starts at a reasonable $799 with a Core i3 processor standard, but we'd opt for the Core i5 CPU that starts at $999 to give you better performance. The latest models come with Intel 7th Generation Core Series (Kaby Lake) processors, Killer 1535 Wi-Fi cards and a Rose Gold color option.
No other ultrabook crams this much power and endurance into as sexy a design. Weighing 2.8 pounds and measuring just 0.54 inches thick, the HP Spectre x360 easily transforms from laptop to tablet, and it's 13-inch display is bright and colorful. The best part is the combination of 7th-generation Intel Core speed and more than 10 hours of battery life.
Getting good graphics performance from an Ultrabook is an incredibly rare thing. But on top of having one of the most stylish and innovative designs on the market, Microsoft's Surface Book with Performance Base features a discrete Nvidia 965m GPU, a Core i7 CPU, and up to 1TB of SSD storage. Starting at $2,399, it's not cheap, but when you stack it up against pretty much every other 13-inch system on the market, there's nothing like the Surface Book with Performance Base.
You're not going to find a better Ultrabook bargain for $749. The Acer Aspire S 13 gives you full Core i5 power, a 256GB SSD and more than 9 hours of battery life for a great price. The colorful full HD display, Dolby-powered stereo speakers and slick obsidian black finish seal the deal.
The HP Spectre is the quintessential ultrabook. It's fast, it's light and at just 10.4mm, it's thinner than any other notebook on the market. With its stylish copper and black design, the 13-inch Spectre might also be best looking laptop right now. Starting at a reasonable $1,170 for a full Core i5 CPU, 8GB of RAM and a 256GB SSD, the Spectre has one of the best notebook keyboards to go with its solid performance and light chassis. Only subpar battery life and warm bottom temps keep it from topping our list.
Roughly 10 percent thinner than a 12-inch MacBook and almost as light, the HP EliteBook Folio G1 sets a new standard for business laptop portability. Though its battery life is below average, HP's svelte system has a slew of business-friendly features, including a snappy keyboard, facial recognition logins, vPro manageability and the ability to survive 30-inch drops.
The 2.6-pound ThinkPad X1 Carbon is so light that we couldn't tell when it was in our backpack. However, despite its svelte size, Lenovo's laptop has a 14-inch display that shows over 100 percent of the color gamut, a snappy full-size keyboard and over 9 hours of battery life.
To keep you working all day and then some, the ThinkPad X260 provides a full 17 hours of endurance with its optional extended battery. At 3.2 pounds (3.6 with extended battery), the 12.5-inch X260 is light enough to carry anywhere while its 12 x 8-inch frame fits on even the smallest tables. However, unlike many other Ultrabooks, Lenovo's laptop leaves plenty of room for ports, including an Ethernet connector and SD card reader, and high-capacity batteries.
While most 15-inch laptops feel bulky, Dell's XPS 15 weighs just 4.4 pounds and measures only 0.66 inches thick, making it even more svelte than the MacBook Pro. This lightweight laptop has a nearly bezel-free Infinity display, similar to its little brother's. But the 15-incher one-ups the XPS 13 by offering an optional 4K resolution panel, which reproduces a stunning 191 percent of the sRGB color gamut.
Apple's new 13-inch MacBook Pro embodies everything that's great about this class of laptop. Weighing 3 pounds and measuring less than 15mm thick, the new MacBook Pro 13 is even more portable, and with an upgraded 6th-gen Intel Core Series CPU and Iris Pro graphics, it's more powerful, too. Save a few dollars by getting the version without the Touch Bar.