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The Best 13-Inch Laptops of 2020: Portable Notebooks for Any Budget

13-inch laptops have soared in popularity and for good reason. These devices offer the best balance between portability and productivity. Students can effortlessly carry 13-inch laptops around campus and business professionals can slip these machines into briefcases when traveling. 

We've compiled the best 13-inch laptops, however, if you're not sold on this screen size, check out our best overall laptops page or the best 15-inch laptops and best 17-inch laptops pages. Students should see our best college laptops page, where they'll find the best notebook for their respective majors.

There are plenty of upcoming laptops that could find their way onto this list. We're especially excited about the new Dell XPS 13 and Samsung's Galaxy Chromebook, both of which were unveiled at CES 2020

Here are the best 13-inch laptops for every budget.  

The best 13-inch laptops 

best 13-inch laptop: Dell XPS 13 (Late 2019)

(Image credit: Laptop Mag)

1. Dell XPS 13 (Late 2019)

The best overall laptop

CPU: Intel Core i3/Core i5/ Core i7 | GPU: Intel UHD 620 | RAM: 4GB/8GB/16GB | Storage: 256GB/512GB/1TB/2TB | Display: 13.3-inch, 1080p or 4K | Size: 11.9 x 7.8 x 0.5 inches | Weight: 2.7 pounds

Premium design
Slim, compact chassis
Bright, vivid 4K display
Outstanding performance
Below-average battery life (4K model)

The best Ultrabook overall, the late 2019 XPS 13 is identical to the previous model but now packs 10th Gen processors. Those chips, especially the six-core Core i7 CPU, offers a significant boost in performance over 8th Gen processors. 

The 4K model we tested has a gorgeous 13.3-inch InfinityEdge display -- with practically no bezels -- and now the 'nosecam' webcam is no longer, as Dell's engineers managed to fit it in the notebook's top bezel, which is still super-thin. If you want long battery life, opt for the 1080p model as the 4K version lasted just under 8 hours on a charge, a decent if below-average result. 

See our full Dell XPS 13 (Late 2019) Review

Best 13-inch laptop under $1,000: HP Envy 13 (2019)

2. HP Envy 13 (2019)

The best laptop under $1,000

CPU: Intel Core i5/Core i7 | GPU: Intel UHD 620/Nvidia GeForce MX250 | RAM: 8GB/16GB | Storage: 256GB/512GB/1TB SSD | Display: 13.3-inch, 1080p or 4K | Size: 12.1 x 8.3 x 0.6 inches | Weight: 2.8 pounds

Attractive, lightweight chassis
Fast performance
Bright display
4K model has short battery life
No Thunderbolt 3

Starting at just $799, the HP Envy 13 is one of, if not, the best value in laptops right now. In many ways, the Envy 13 is a Windows 10 alternative to the MacBook Air, expect even better thanks to its longer battery life, stronger performance and lower price. Redesigned for this year, the Envy 13 also has a slim attractive aluminum chassis. Some handy security features --- a fingerprint sensor and webcam kill switch --- are just the icing on the cake.

See our full HP Envy 13 review.

(Image credit: Laptop Mag)

3. HP Spectre x360 (Late 2019)

The best 2-in-1 laptop

CPU: Core i5/Core i7 | GPU: Intel Iris Plus | RAM: 8GB/16GB | Storage: 256GB/512GB/1TB | Display: 13.3-inch, 1080p or 4K | Size: 12.1 x 7.7 x 0.7 inches | Weight: 2.7 pounds

Stunning, ultraportable design
Epic battery life
Bright, vivid display with thinner bezels
Fast overall performance
Lots of bloatware
Shrill speakers at max volume
Runs a bit warm

The Spectre x360 13 is HP's best 2-in-1 laptop ever. Updated with a 10th Gen CPU and a more modern design, the Spectre x360 13 is improved in almost every way over its excellent predecessor. Highlights of this laptop include a stunning design, a bright 1080p display, epic 13+ hour battery life and fast overall performance. 

See our HP Spectre x360 13 (Late 2019) review

Best 13-inch Ultrabook: Microsoft Surface Laptop 2

4. Microsoft Surface Laptop 2

The best ultraportable laptop

CPU: Intel Core i5/ Core i7 | GPU: IntelUHD Graphics 620 | RAM: 8GB/16GB | Storage: 128GB/256GB/512/1TB SSD | Display: 13.5-inch, 2256 x 1504-pixel | Size: 12.1 x 8.8 x 0.6 inches | Weight: 2.7 pounds

Beautiful screen
Elegant design
Solid battery life
Slow, pricey SSDs
No Type-C ports
Need to pay more for color options

The sophomore release of Microsoft's traditional clamshell laptop is a hit. The $999 Surface Laptop 2 has a lot going for it, including a gorgeous 13.5-inch display, a slim and sexy design, and 9 hours of battery life. The machine also comes armed with the latest 8th Gen Intel Core CPUs, which provide a significant performance improvement when compared to last year's model. The comfortable soft-touch Alcantara deck returns this year, except now there is a swanky matte black color scheme to choose from, along with the Burgundy, Cobalt Blue and Platinum.

See our full Microsoft Surface Laptop 2 review.

Best 13-inch laptop for gaming: Razer Blade Stealth (2018)

5. Razer Blade Stealth (2018)

The best gaming laptop

CPU: Intel Corei7-8565U | GPU: Nvidia GeForce MX150 GPU/Intel UHD Graphics 620 | RAM: 8GB/16GB | Storage: 256GB/512GB | Display: 13.3-inch 1080p or 4K | Size: 12 x 8.3 x 0.6 inches | Weight: 2.9 pounds

Sleek, attractive design
Powerful overall and graphics performance
Great Audio
Undersized keys
Runs hot

The Razer Blade Stealth is the best laptop for gamers who want to play on the go. The Stealth has a sleek, unibody aluminum chassis that can be easily slipped into a backpack. Somehow, Razer found a way to pack a dedicated GPU into this 13-inch machine. While the optional GeForce MX150 GPU can't play the most demanding games, you shouldn't have any problems running most AAA titles on low graphics settings. Oh yeah, and this year's model has surprisingly long battery life, at more than 8 hours.

See our full Razer Blade Stealth review.

Best 13-inch 2-in-1 laptop: Dell XPS 13 2-in-1

6. Dell XPS 13 2-in-1

The best 2-in-1 laptop

CPU: Intel Core i3/Core i5/Core i7 | GPU: IntelIris Plus | RAM: 8GB/16GB/32GB | Storage: 256GB/512GB | Display: 13.4-inch,1920 x 1200-pixel or 4K | Size: 11.7 x 8.2 x 0.5 inches | Weight: 2.9 pounds

Slim, ultraportable design
Strong performance
Bright, 16:10 display
Scant on ports
Shallow keyboard

Dell's new XPS 13 2-in-1 takes everything we love about the clamshell XPS 13 --- fast performance (thanks to 10th Gen CPUs), a sleek, lightweight design and very long battery life --- and put it in a flexible convertible chassis. You also get a unique 13.4-inch, 1920 x 1200-resolution display. No, that's no typo; The XPS 13 2-in-1's touch screen has a 16:10 aspect ratio, making it taller than almost every other 13-inch display. Better yet, that panel is both bright and vivid.

See our full Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 review.

Best 13-inch laptop for performance: Apple MacBook Pro with Touch Bar (2019)

7. Apple MacBook Pro with Touch Bar (2019)

The laptop with the best performance

CPU: Intel Core i5/ Core i7 | GPU: Intel Iris Plus Graphics 655 | RAM: 8GB/16GB | Storage: 256GB/512GB/1TB/2TB | Display: 13.3-inch, 2560 x 1600-pixel | Size: 12 x 8.4 x 0.6 inches | Weight: 3 pounds

Blazing-fast performance
Bright and colorful Retina display
Slightly improved keyboard
Thick bezels
Heavier than other 13-inch laptops
Battery life could be longer

If you prefer macOS to Windows 10, then there's only one 13-inch laptop you should consider: the Apple MacBook Pro (starting at $1,799). The biggest improvement to this year's model is the new keyboard, which should fix the various issues of the previous version. 

Other improvements include faster quad-core processors and the quickest SSD you'll find in a laptop. Of course, you still get everything that makes Apple's laptops so popular: a gorgeous unibody aluminum design, a sharp and fairly vibrant display, good speakers and solid battery life.

See our full Apple MacBook Pro review.

HP Elite Dragonfly

(Image credit: Laptop Mag)

8. HP Elite Dragonfly

The best business laptop

CPU: Intel Core i3/i5/i7 | GPU: Intel UHD 620 | RAM: 8GB/16GB | Storage: Up to 2TB | Display: 13.3-inch, 1080p or 4K | Size: 12 x 7.8 x 0.6 inches | Weight: 2.2 pounds

Gorgeous, lightweight design
Extremely long battery life
Comfortable keyboard
Solid performance
Bright, vivid display
Audio needs some tuning

HP's Elite Dragonfly redefined what it means to be a business laptop. This stunning laptop has a breathtakingly gorgeous chassis that flaunts a unique dark-blue finish.

 The design is as practical as it is attractive; The Elite Dragonfly has flexible hinges that convert the laptop into a tablet, and at 2.2 pounds, it's one of the most portable 13-inch laptops around. 

You'll somehow need to take your eyes off the Elite Dragonfly's aluminum body to appreciate its bright and vivid 13.3-inch display. But the Elite Dragonfly's greatness doesn't stop there. The laptop also has a surprisingly comfortable keyboard, fast performance and a host of security features, including an IR camera, a fingerprint sensor and MIL-SPEC-810 rated durability. 

See our full HP Elite Dragonfly review 

Best 13-inch laptop design : Lenovo IdeaPad 730S

9. Lenovo IdeaPad 730S

The laptop with the best design

CPU: Intel Core i5/Core i7 | GPU: Intel UHD 620 | RAM: 8GB/16GB | Storage: 128GB/256GB | Display Size: 13.3-inch, 1080p | Size: 12.1 x 8.3 x 0.5 inches | Weight: 2.4 pounds

Slim, elegant design
Very lightweight chassis
Strong performance
Below-average battery life

At 0.5 inches thick and 2.4 pounds, the extremely sleek IdeaPad 730S is one of the thinnest and lightest 13-inch laptops we've reviewed. Along with a portable chassis, it has a vivid and detailed 13.3-inch, 1080p display, and strong performance thanks to its Core i5 CPU and fast 256GB SSD. 

Impressive audio quality and a surprisingly capable webcam make the IdeaPad 730S a steal at less than $1,000,despite sub-par battery life.

See our full Lenovo IdeaPad 730S review.

Best 13-inch laptop for designers: Dell Inspiron 13 7000 2-in-1 Black Edition

10. Dell Inspiron 13 7000 2-in-1 Black Edition

The best laptop for designers and artists

CPU: Intel Core i7 | GPU: Intel UHD 620 | RAM: 16GB/32GB | Storage: 256GB/512GB | Display Size: 13.3-inch, 4K | Size: 12.1 x 8.5 x 0.6 inches | Weight: 3.1 pounds

Slim, stealthy design
Fast overall performance
Premium aluminum chassis
Dim display
Below-average battery life
Lackluster speakers

What sets the Dell Inspiron 13 7000 2-in-1 Black Edition apart from the competition is a nifty pen garage built into the stylus. Using a strong magnet, the slot holds the included stylus in place so you don't have to worry about losing it.Other things we love about the Inspiron 13 7000 2-in-1 are its sleek, stylish design, fast performance and competitive price.

See our full Dell Inspiron 13 7000 2-in-1 Black Edition review.

Credit: Laptop Mag