Best Ultrabooks 2018

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Dell XPS 13

Editor's Choice

The XPS 13 is the near-perfect ultraportable, offering a gorgeous, 13.3-inch InfinityEdge display with practically no bezels and up to 12.5 hours of battery life. The 8th-Gen Intel Core processor provides plenty of power for work and play, and this system ran cool during our testing. You do have to sacrifice some ports for the thin profile on this 2.65-pound system, and the webcam's positioning could be better, but, overall, this is the Ultrabook to beat. And it's now more affordable with a starting price of $899.

Dell XPS 13 Review

Best Ultrabooks 2018
Product: Use Case: Rating:
Dell XPS 13 4.5 out of 5
Asus Zenbook UX330UA Best Value 4 out of 5
Huawei MateBook X Pro Best MacBook Alternative 4.5 out of 5
Acer Swift 7 Thinnest Laptop 4 out of 5
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon Best for Business 5 out of 5
Microsoft Surface Laptop Best Design 4 out of 5
Lenovo Yoga 920 Best 2-in-1 4.5 out of 5
HP Spectre x360 Best 15-inch 4 out of 5
  • Best Value

    Asus Zenbook UX330UA

    Editor's Choice

    You won't find a lightweight laptop that provides more bang for your buck than this. The 2.7-pound Asus ZenBook UX330UA delivers a premium aluminum design, a bright and colorful full-HD display and speedy 8th-Gen Core performance for an aggressive price. Other highlights include powerful speakers and a generous array of ports. We just wish the touchpad were less stiff.

    Asus ZenBook UX330UA Review

  • Best MacBook Alternative

    Huawei MateBook X Pro

    Editor's Choice

    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.

    Huawei MateBook X Pro Review

  • Thinnest Laptop

    acerswift7small

    Editor's Choice

    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.

    Acer Swift 7 Full Review

  • Best for Business

    Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon

    Editor's Choice

    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.

    Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon Review

  • Best Design

    Microsoft Surface Laptop

    Editor's Choice

    The Surface Laptop gives you a lot for not a lot of dough, including a sharp and bright 13.5-inch touch screen, fast Core i5 performance and a cool design, complete with an Alcantara fabric deck around the keyboard. The 9 hours of battery life is strong, too. Getting the Surface Laptop in the sleeker burgundy, blue or gold costs extra, but that will also get you double the RAM and SSD storage.

    Microsoft Surface Laptop Review

  • Best 2-in-1

    Lenovo Yoga 920

    Featuring a dazzling 13.9-inch display and premium design with watchband hinge, the Yoga 920 is one sexy convertible. This 3-pound, 2-in-1 packs a quad-core, Intel 8th Gen Core i7 CPU and speedy PCIe SSD. The bundled Active Stylus 2 stylus is handy, and we love the more than 12 hours of battery life. While the keyboard is a bit shallow, overall the Yoga 920 is a winner.

    Lenovo Yoga 920 Review

  • Best 15-inch

    HP Spectre x360

    A beauty and a beast, the HP Spectre x360 is ready to plow through any workload with its Core i7 CPU. And it looks darn good doing it, thanks to its black-and-copper design and optional 4K display. This 2-in-1 also comes with an active stylus for drawing and taking notes. Add in strong sound and great battery life, and you have a creative force to be reckoned with.

    HP Spectre x360 Review

Update August 29

Dell is now offering the XPS 13 at a lower starting price of $899. That comes with an 8th-gen Core i3 processor.

How to Choose an 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 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:

  • Three Pounds or Less: If you want a system that's really easy on your arms, look for one that's under this threshold.
  • Nine+ 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 lasted at least 9 hours on the Laptop Mag Battery Test.
  • 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.

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.