The XPS 13 has been a nearly perfect ultraportable for a while, and this year, Dell got even closer to the ideal laptop. The 2019 XPS 13 gives you the same awesome 13.3-inch InfinityEdge display -- which has practically no bezels -- that we're used to, but they managed to improve it. 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. The XPS 13's 8th-Gen 'Whiskey Lake' Intel Core processors provide plenty of speed, as well. But if you want more than 8 hours of battery life, get the 1080p version, as the 4K model we tested didn't last as long as some may need.
|Best Ultrabooks 2019|
|Dell XPS 13 (2019)||Best Overall||4 out of 5|
|Asus ZenBook 13 UX333FA||Best Value||4 out of 5|
|Huawei MateBook X Pro||Best MacBook Alternative||4.5 out of 5|
|Microsoft Surface Laptop 2||Best Design||4 out of 5|
|Acer Swift 7||Thinnest Laptop||4 out of 5|
|Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon||Best for Business||5 out of 5|
|Lenovo Yoga C930||Best 2-in-1||4.5 out of 5|
|Dell XPS 15||Best 15-inch||4.5 out of 5|
|LG Gram 17||Best 17-inch||4 out of 5|
|Apple MacBook Air (2018)||Best MacBook||3.5 out of 5|
For a very affordable $849, the ZenBook 13 provides great specs and excellent battery life for your money. You get a Core i5 8th-gen Core processor, 8GB of RAM and a 256GB SSD. Plus, this 2.7-pound system lasted a very long 11.5 hours on a charge. The 1080p display could be brighter, but otherwise this laptop is a winner.
If you like the look and feel of Apple's MacBooks but you want a better keyboard and more ports, Huawei's 14-inch MateBook X Pro has you covered. This 2.9-pound system packs a serious punch with its 8th-Gen Core CPU and Nvidia graphics, and it lasts nearly 10 hours on a charge. We also like that this system includes both USB-A and USB-C ports, and that the sharp 3000 x 2000-pixel display is a touch screen.
Microsoft's wonderfully minimalist Surface Laptop 2 is more than just a sleek notebook with an elegant lid that comes in a stylish black colorway. It also packs a sharp, bright 13.5-inch touch screen, speedy 8th Gen Intel CPU performance and an Alcantara fabric deck around the keyboard. Its 9-plus hours of battery life is another feature worth boasting about. Getting the Surface Laptop 2 in that black, sleeker burgundy or blue costs extra, but you also get twice as much SSD storage.
The Acer Swift 7 is so thin that you'll wonder how this laptop squeezed in a battery, and yet this 0.35-inch system lasted over 9 hours on our tests. The design isn't just slim, it's very light at 2.6 pounds. Other highlights include LTE support for staying connected on the go, a vibrant full HD 14-inch display and a surprisingly comfy keyboard. Just don't expect a lot of power from its 7th generation Y series CPU.
The ideal Ultrabook for productivity, the 2.5-pound ThinkPad X1 Carbon packs everything you could want in a take-anywhere business laptop. That includes a world-class keyboard with deep travel, a fast quad-core Core i5 processor and an epic 11 hours of battery life. You'll get less endurance from the optional HDR screen, but that panel is simply draw-dropping.
The Lenovo Yoga C930 improves on the best 2-in-1 with an even sleeker design that swaps the watchband hinge for a soundbar, so you'll get great sound in any mode. There's also a built-in slot for the included stylus and webcam cover. Other highlights include over 10 hours of battery life, a vibrant 13.9-inch screen and a swift Core i7 CPU.
The Dell XPS 15 is one of the most powerful 15-inchers around, thanks to its Intel Core i7 processor and Nvidia GTX 1050 Ti graphics. We also like its slim, modern industrial design, incredibly thin bezels and rich display. The webcam placement could be better, but when you add in over 11 hours of battery life you have a winner.
The LG Gram 17 is an engineering feat, as it crams a 17-inch 2K display into a design that's under 3 pounds. That's the lightest big-screen laptop ever. You also get nearly 12 hours of battery life, plenty of ports and a comfy keyboard along with solid Core i7 performance. It's a big pricey at $1,699, and the SSD could be faster, but overall this laptop is a winner.
Apple took the MacBook Air and shaved down its size, weight and bezels, all while adding a sharp new Retina display. This 13.3-inch laptop lasts over 9 hours on a single charge, and packs other perks like a Touch ID sensor and Apple's T2 chip for SSD encryption. Also, while this laptop is smaller than it's ever been, its speakers pack a big punch, with enough sound to fill a large room.
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 superthin and light laptops of all kinds.
We've listed our favorite Ultrabooks on this page. If you're shopping for one, consider the following:
Whatever Ultrabook you choose, you should always prioritize functionality over design. Some systems trade battery life, performance or keyboard quality for bragging rights and an ever-so-slightly thinner chassis. Don't do the same.