Best Ultrabooks in 2024: All the bite, but thin and light

"Ultrabook" ain't just a fancy label. It's reserved for the elite of laptops, the Intel-powered machines so thin and powerful they dance between all-day marathons and peak performance. Whether you're a caffeine-fueled nomad or a jet-setting pro, an Ultrabook's your perfect partner, keeping pace with your relentless hustle. Forget clunky beasts weighing you down – these sleek speedsters let you conquer your to-do list with style and stamina. Think thin, think powerful, think Ultrabook.

But, beyond thin and light, what is an Ultrabook? An Ultrabook used to mean a laptop would follow suit to very particular standards laid out by Intel themselves. Nowadays, however, the moniker has somewhat been watered down, with the term loosely applied to premium laptops that meet the thin and light standards.

Our selection isn't too much different, however, we've also tried our best to pick Intel Evo certified laptops — a more modern Intel platform that requires premium laptops to adhere by a strict set of standards including energy efficiency, fast charging, and responsiveness.

Note that most of these laptops are Intel Evo certified, but a massive update is coming now that the Intel Ultra Core chipset has been launched. The days of having to suffer through Intel's Iris XE integrated GPU struggling with graphics are a thing of the past. The new EVO-certified laptops, like the MSI Prestige 16 AI EVO, will feature potent Core Ultra CPUs and integrated Arc GPU that bring performance and hugely improved battery life into the equation. 

If you need a work machine, see our best business laptops rankings. Or if you're a student, we've put together a list of the best laptops for college. It's also worth checking out our best 13-inch laptops page as most of those listed below fall into this category, along with our list of best laptops under $1,000.

However, if you're still of mind for something thin, light, powerful, and portable, read on for our selection of the best Ultrabooks in 2024.

The Quick List

Best Ultrabook overall

(Image credit: Future)

1. Asus Zenbook S 13 OLED

Best Ultrabook overall

Specifications

CPU: Intel Core i7-1355U
GPU: Intel Iris Xe Graphics
RAM: 32GB
Storage: 1TB SSD
Display: 13.3-inch, 1800p
Size: 11.6 x 8.5 x 0.4 inches
Weight: 2.2 pounds

Reasons to buy

+
One of the best looking Ultrabooks
+
Great keyboard and touchpad
+
Gorgeous OLED display

Reasons to avoid

-
Middling performance
-
Only decent battery life
-
Thermal throttling

Asus' Zenbook S 13 OLED takes thin and light to new extremes with a 0.4-inch depth and 2.2 pounds weight making it one of the most ultra-thin Ultralights on the market today. If looks could kill, the Asus Zenbook S 13 OLED would be locked behind bars as we speak. Thankfully, this slim and trim beauty's killer instinct is reserved solely for tackling your workload.

Despite that wafer-like frame, the S 13 OLED still manages to pack in a considerable level of punch from its 13th Gen Intel Core i7 processor backed by up to 32GB of RAM, 1TB of SSD storage and integrated Iris Xe graphics. That's enough to provide decent, but not groundbreaking, performance across a multitude of needs, all of which undertaken in comfort thanks to a fantastic keyboard and touchpad combo.

But the praise continues with the Zenbook's jaw-dropping 13.3-inch OLED display. Bright, vibrant, and dazzling to the eye, the S 13's OLED panel offers incredible contrasts and hues to be enjoyed in media and accurately represented during creative tasks.

See our full Asus Zenbook S 13 OLED review.

Best All-Purpose Ultrabook

(Image credit: Future)
Best all-purpose Ultrabook

Specifications

CPU: Intel Core i7-13700H
GPU: Intel Iris Xe Graphics / Nvidia GeForce RTX 4070
RAM: 32GB
Storage: 1TB M.2 PCIe NVMe SSD
Display: 15.6-inch, 3456 x 2160 OLED Touch
Size: 13.6 x 9.1 x 0.7 inches
Weight: 4.2 pounds

Reasons to buy

+
Great overall and gaming performance
+
Excellent audio
+
Vivid, OLED display

Reasons to avoid

-
Mushy keyboard
-
Below-average battery life

Dell's lineup of XPS laptops is still among the best you can buy, and the XPS 15 (9530) is a clear example of why. If you're not looking for a laptop to cater to any one task, then the XPS 15 is an ideal catch-all solution to your every day computing needs.

Outfitted with a fantastic 13th Gen Intel Core i7 CPU, the XPS 15 impressed during our review, offering solid performance and showcasing some real multitasking potential. Backed up by 32GB of RAM and 1TB of rapid SSD storage, the XPS 15 also houses Intel Iris graphics on lower configurations, but up to an Nvidia GeForce RTX 4070 on pricier models — further bolstering its potential as a decent gaming platform.

That's all without mentioning the XPS 15's dazzling 3.5K OLED display that can be relied upon to deliver sharp, vivid, and all together stunning pictures.

See our full Dell XPS 15 (9530) review.

Best 2-in-1 Ultrabook

(Image credit: Future)
Best 2-in-1 Ultrabook

Specifications

CPU: Intel Core i7-1360P
GPU: Intel Iris Xe
RAM: 16GB
Storage: 512GB SSD
Display: 14-inch, OLED, 2880 x 1880 touchscreen @ 90H
Size: 12.5 x 9.1 x .6 inches
Weight: 3.09 pounds

Reasons to buy

+
Breathtaking 2.8K OLED display
+
Great productivity performance
+
Blisteringly fast SSD
+
Loud and impactful audio
+
Decent battery life

Reasons to avoid

-
Display could be brighter

Dazzling display, powerful performance, and a versatile convertible form-factor make the Lenovo Yoga 9i (Gen 8) one of the best 2-in-1 laptops you're likely to come across. The previous iteration of the Yoga 9i left us wanting due to its middling performance and battery life, but the latest revision has only left us thirsty for more.

 The eight-generation of Lenovo's iconic 2-in-1 features a mighty 13th Gen Intel Core i7-1360P CPU, Intel Iris Xe graphics, 16GB of RAM, and 512GB of SSD storage. The grand sum of which equates to a performance powerhouse with enough muscle to tackle everything from work, to school, and entertainment.

When it comes to entertainment especially, the Yoga 9i features a jaw-dropping 2880 x 1880 OLED display with dazzling pictures thanks to its awesome vibrancy and contrast. Lenovo then flexes its engineering skill with an expertly designed speaker within the laptop's hinge that delivers Bowers & Wilkins audio for fantastic bass, crisp sound, and awe inspiring soundscapes.

See our full Lenovo Yoga 9i (Gen 8) review.

Best Ultrabook for Business

The HP Elite Dragonfly G3 has a great webcam and even better battery life (Image credit: Laptop Mag/Momo Tabari)
Best Ultrabook for business

Specifications

CPU: Intel Core i7-1255U
GPU: Intel Iris Xe
RAM: 32GB
Storage: 2TB Samsung PM9A1 M.2 SSD
Display: 14-inch 1920x1080-pixel IPS
Size: 12.6 x 7.99 x 0.59 inches
Weight: 2.23 pounds

Reasons to buy

+
Great battery life
+
Sturdy and durable
+
Decently vivid and bright
+
Swift SSD speeds
+
Excellent speakers

Reasons to avoid

-
Price doesn’t match its quality
-
Some performance mishaps

The ExpertBook B9 is the Ultrabook of choice for the busiest of business users, offering lightweight portability, and some impressive benchmark scores that keep it more than relevant for most workloads. There's 2 terabytes of excellent SSD performance on show here with excellent reading and writing speeds, as well as 12th Gen Intel Core i7 performance backed up by 32GB of RAM and a bright and vivid 14-inch, 1080p, IPS panel.

Asus' ExpertBook comes equipped with a range of free tools including Secure Guard, Secure Storage, System Backtrack, File Shredder, and the Asus Business Manager. All of which offer impressive security and productivity enhancements – and make the ExpertBook an ideal platform to handle even the most sensitive of documents with peace of mind.

See our full Asus ExpertBook B9450 review.

Best 16-inch Ultrabook

(Image credit: Laptop Mag)
Best 16-inch Ultrabook

Specifications

CPU: Intel Core i7-1260p
GPU: Intel Iris Xe graphics
RAM: 16GB
Storage: 1TB M.2 NVMe SSD
Display: 16-inch, 2560 x 1600 IPS
Size: 14 x 9.5 x 0.66 inches
Weight: 2.5 pounds

Reasons to buy

+
13+ hours of battery life
+
Astoundingly light
+
Vibrant 16-inch display

Reasons to avoid

-
Display could be brighter
-
Weak audio experience

I couldn't tell you what the LG headquarters looks like without Googling it, but if I had to make an educated guess, I'd bet it looks something like Hogwarts. It'd have to be, because clearly there's magic involved when it comes to the design of the LG Gram 16. A bold 2560 x 1600, 16-inch display; an ultra slim and lightweight chassis at just 2.5 pounds; and a battery life of over 13 hours? Wizardry. Wizardry, I tell you.

With performance spearheaded by a solid 12th Gen Intel Core i7 processor, the LG Gram 16 is capable of great things. Greater so when backed by 16GB of RAM, 1TB of SSD storage and Intel Iris Xe graphics. You won't be burning through the latest AAA games or toppling any graphics demanding workloads any time soon, but it will have you covered for just about everything else you'd want a laptop to do for you.

See our full LG Gram 16 (16Z90Q) review.

Best RTX 4050 Ultrabook

(Image credit: Laptop Mag)
Best RTX 4050 Ultrabook

Specifications

CPU: Intel Core i7-13700H
GPU: Nvidia GeForce RTX 4050
RAM: 16GB
Storage: 1TB NVMe PCIe 3.0 SSD
Display: 16-inch, 2880 x 1800 Super AMOLED 2X @ 120Hz
Size: 14 x 9.86 x 0.65 inches
Weight: 3.95 pounds

Reasons to buy

+
Stunningly accurate 16-inch AMOLED display
+
Strong performance for its size
+
Blistering fast SSD

Reasons to avoid

-
Below 10 hours of battery life
-
Disappointing webcam

Samsung's prowess when it comes to phones and foldables is evident, but its laptops aren't too shabby either. In fact, the Galaxy Book 3 Ultra is one of the best Ultrabooks you can find today thanks to its stunning 16-inch screen and quality performance.

Outfitted with a 13th Gen Intel Core i7 processor, Nvidia GeForce RTX 40-Series graphics, 16GB of RAM, and a lightning fast 1TB of SSD storage, the Galaxy Book 3 Ultra has an incredible amount of power tucked away within a chassis that's just 0.65 inches thick.

When you take in to account the Book 3 Ultra's dazzling 2880 x 1800-pixel, 120Hz, Super AMOLED 2X display you end up with a laptop that won't disappoint by any standards. It may be a little heavier than most of our selection at 3.95 pounds, and its webcam and battery could be better, but the Book 3 Ultra is otherwise flirting with perfection.

See our full Samsung Galaxy Book 3 Ultra review.

Best 14-inch Ultrabook

(Image credit: Future)
Best 14-inch Ultrabook

Specifications

CPU: Intel Core i7-13700H
GPU: Intel Iris Xe
RAM: 16GB
Storage: 512GB SSD
Display: 14-inch 2,880 x 1,800-pixel OLED
Size: 12.3 x 8.6 x 0.6 inches
Weight: 2.9 pounds

Reasons to buy

+
Incredible performance
+
Most vivid screen I’ve ever seen
+
Phenomenal display
+
Affordable
+
Satisfying keyboard

Reasons to avoid

-
Runs a bit hot
-
Subpar battery life

The term "MacBook killer" gets bandied about a lot, but the Acer Swift Go 14 is once of the few instances where this label truly applies. Offering powerful 13th Gen Intel Core i7 performance with 16GB of RAM and a speedy 512GB of SSD storage, the Swift Go 14 is a productivity powerhouse – and an excellent Windows alternative to Apple's iconic clamshell.

If it's not the impressive performance, satisfying keyboard, or the incredibly bright and vivid 2.8K, 14-inch display that wins you over, then the Acer Swift Go 14's affording pricing absolutely will. Offering a compelling MacBook alternative for less, while at times delivering even more.

See our full Acer Swift Go 14 review.

Best 15-inch Ultrabook

(Image credit: Future)
Best 15-inch Ultrabook

Specifications

CPU: Intel Core Core i7-1360p
GPU: Intel Iris Xe
RAM: 32GB
Storage: 512GB SSD
Display: 15.6-inch, 1080p, OLED
Size : 4 x 8.95 x 0.43~0.49 inches
Weight: 2.18 pounds

Reasons to buy

+
Great battery life
+
Unbelievably thin and light
+
Crisp, rich display
+
Competition-beating performance
+
MacBook Air killer

Reasons to avoid

-
Shallow keyboard

LG's 15-inch Ultrabook is a superlative magnate. Not only is the SuperSlim, super-slim, it's also  super-light, super-fast, super-portable, and super-long-lasting. It's the ideal thin and light companion for those on the move, but still a solid option for those looking for a solid machine with a preference for the laptop form factor.

Powered by a 13th Gen Intel Core i7 processor with 32GB of RAM, 512GB of SSD storage, and Intel Iris Xe graphics, the SuperSlim showcases competition-beating performance. And, a 15-inch, 1080p, OLED panel only pushes this laptop's awesome potential further with its phenomenally rich and crisp pictures.

See our full LG Gram SuperSlim review.

Best 13-inch Ultrabook

(Image credit: Laptop Mag)
Best 13-inch Ultrabook

Specifications

CPU: Intel Core i7-1280P
GPU: Intel Iris Xe Graphics
RAM: 16GB
Storage: 512GB M.2 PCIe NVMe Gen 4 SSD
Display: 13.4-inch (3456 x 2160) OLED touchscreen
Size: 11.6 x 7.8 x 0.6 inches
Weight: 2.7 pounds

Reasons to buy

+
Sleek, minimalist design
+
Great performance
+
Comfortable keyboard

Reasons to avoid

-
The design is highly polarizing
-
Below-average battery life

Are you ready for the future? Dell certainly is, and for them, the future is the XPS 13 Plus. Although the laptop sports an incredibly minimalistic and polarizing design, it doesn’t skimp in the power department — thanks to its Core i7 processor. The 4K OLED display is a vision of loveliness and the keyboard is comfortable, which just serves to sweeten the pot. 

Some will be drawn to the ultra-minimalistic aesthetic while others will take issue with the invisible touchpad and absent headset jack. Either way, you're getting a sleek, uber minimalist Ultrabook worth checking out. Dell does what it does best, streamlining and optimizing to create one of the best portable powerhouses on the market.

See our full Dell XPS 13 Plus review.

Best Ultrabook Alternative

(Image credit: Future)
Best Ultrabook alternative

Specifications

CPU: Apple M2
GPU: Apple M2 GPU
RAM: 8 GB
Storage: 1TB SSD
Display: 13-inch, 1664p
Size: 12 x 8.5 x 0.4 inches
Weight: 2.7 pounds

Reasons to buy

+
Elegant redesign
+
Good performance
+
Excellent battery life

Reasons to avoid

-
Only two ports
-
SSD somewhat slower than M1 Air

We know. While not technically an Ultrabook, seeing as it doesn't sport an Intel CPU, it's still a brilliant option as a portable laptop — and that's the main takeaway for Ultrabooks. 

The latest chapter in the MacBook Air’s saga is compelling, to say the least. The laptop eschews the wedge design of old for a look that puts it squarely in MacBook Pro territory. But staying true to its name, the Air is 20% smaller than its predecessor in terms of volume. You even get some snazzy new colors to choose from this time around. Apple’s also added a few other new goodies such as a 1080p webcam, a new speaker setup, and a bigger display. 

But the real star of the show is Apple’s M2 chip, which offers great performance for an ultraportable laptop. It’s faster and more powerful than the previous model and is ideal for anyone looking for a super-light workhorse. Plus, it lasted over 14 hours on our battery test and has fast charging. It’s a tantalizing mix of portability and performance that makes it perfect for work and play.

See our full MacBook Air M2 review

How to choose the best Ultrabook

The word "Ultrabook" officially refers to notebooks that meet Intel's strict standards for weight, thickness and usability. These days, nonbusiness laptops rarely carry the chipmaker's official Ultrabook label, but many people still use the term to describe super thin and light laptops of all kinds.

However, the successor to Intel's Ultrabook standard is likely seen as the Intel Evo certified lineup of devices. Intel Evo certification has its own requirements that closely relate to the Ultrabook standards of old and has the same expectations of a laptop to be fast, powerful, and long lasting.

Intel Evo certification usually presumes that you're using integrated graphics such as Intel Iris Xe, which means some of our selection may vary from Intel's standards if it makes use of a discrete GPU. That being said, these laptops will otherwise perform at the threshold Intel expects of its Evo platform.

We've listed our favorite lightweight, Intel Evo certified Ultrabooks on this page. If you're shopping for one, consider the following:

  • Three Pounds or Less: If you want a system that's really easy on your arms, look for one that's under this threshold.
  • 9+ Hours of Battery Life: What good is a highly portable laptop if you need to re-charge it every few hours? Look for systems that last at least 9 hours on the Laptop Mag Battery Test (check out the laptops with the best battery life).
  • The Right Ports: Decide what ports you absolutely need, before you buy. Some Ultrabooks only have USB Type-C or Thunderbolt 3 ports, while others have a mix of both next-gen and legacy connectors.
  • Touch or Non-Touch?: If you're buying a 2-in-1, a touch screen comes standard. However, if you're getting a clamshell laptop, touch may cost extra and could drain battery life.

How We Test the best Ultrabooks

We put each laptop through extensive benchmark testing — both synthetic and real-world — before they end up in the hands of our reviewers. We evaluate each aspect of the laptop, including its performance, battery life, display, speakers and heat management.

In our benchmark testing, we use a Klein K10 colorimeter to detect the brightness and sRGB color gamut of the laptop's display. For performance testing, we run the laptop through a gauntlet of benchmarks, including Geekbench 4.3 and 5.0 and 3DMark professional graphics tests. 

To determine real-world performance, we task the laptop to convert a 4K video to 1080p resolution and to duplicate a 4.97GB multimedia file. Our real-world graphics test is the Dirt 3 benchmark with medium settings at 1080p resolution.

We also run heat tests by playing a 15-minute full-screen video and measuring temperatures in different areas of the laptop. Last but not least, our battery test consists of continuous web surfing over Wi-Fi at 150 nits of brightness. For MacBooks and premium Windows 10 laptops, a runtime of over 9 hours is considered a good result whereas gaming laptops and workstations that can stay powered for longer than 5 hours deserve praise. 

These tests are complemented with extensive hands-on testing from our reviewers who critique everything from the laptop's materials to the feel of its touchpad.

See this page on how we test laptops for more details on our benchmarking procedures.

Why Trust Laptop Mag

Laptop Mag reviews over one hundred different laptops every year, from paperweight ultralights to everyday workhorses to lumbering gaming notebooks that scorch the frame rates of even the hottest AAA games. We're not just experts in the laptop field, as we go one step further by meticulously testing smartphones, tablets, headphones, PC accessories, software, and even the latest in gaming. 

We are 100% independent and have decades of experience to help you buy with confidence. In fact, Laptop Mag has been testing and reviewing products for three decades, and we continue to deliver trustworthy reviews you can rely on. 

Our experienced team of writers and editors scour the available information about the laptop and put it through its paces to determine which is best for you. But before they start, the testing team subjects each system to a rigorous regimen of synthetic and real-world tests to see how a system handles the type of work and games you’re most likely to throw at it. 

Our editorial trustworthiness is enforced by one of the world's largest technology publishers, Future Publishing. As a company, we have unrivaled experience across every tech sector — and we're the group's specialist for all things mobile tech.