The best Ultrabook overall, 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|
|HP Envy 13 (2019)||Best Value||4.5 out of 5|
|Apple MacBook Air (2019)||Best MacBook||3.5 out of 5|
|Dell XPS 13 2-in-1||Best 2-in-1||4.5 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|
|Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon (7th Gen)||Best for Business||4.5 out of 5|
|Lenovo IdeaPad 730S||Best 13-inch||4 out of 5|
|Dell XPS 15 (2019)||Best 15-inch||4.5 out of 5|
|LG Gram 17||Best 17-inch||4 out of 5|
Starting at $799, the new HP Envy 13t is our favorite sub-$1,000 thanks to its sleek, portable design, bright 4K and 1080p display options, and fast performance. New to the 2019 model is a webcam kill switch and fingerprint sensor for those who value security and privacy. And unlike its predecessor the latest Envy 13 has great speakers.
The 2019 MacBook Air is almost identical to last year's refreshed version, but that's not a bad thing. Returning are a gorgeous 13.3-inch Retina display (now with True Tone), powerful speakers and a slim, elegant chassis with narrow display bezels. The only major changes to its impressive predecessor are some tweaks to the Butterfly-style keyboard and, most importantly, a lower price (now starting at $1,099).
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.
Look out for the Surface Laptop 3, which we should have a review for in the coming weeks.
The ideal Ultrabook for productivity, the superlightweight ThinkPad X1 Carbon (7th Gen) packs everything you could want in a take-anywhere business laptop. That includes a world-class keyboard with deep travel, a fast 8th Gen processor and impressive battery life. You'll get less endurance from the optional HDR screen, but that panel is simply draw-dropping.
The IdeaPad 730S dazzles with its razor-thin chassis and vibrant display, and I found its 8th Gen Core i5 CPU doesn't skimp on performance, either. Impressive speakers and a surprisingly competent webcam are the icing on the cake. And the aluminum chassis makes the IdeaPad 730S feel more expensive than it is. The IdeaPad 730S is an excellent laptop for students or frequent travelers, especially if you can find it on sale.
The Dell XPS 15 is one of the most powerful 15-inchers around, thanks to its 9th Gen Intel Core i7 processor and Nvidia GTX 1650 graphics. We also like its slim, modern industrial design, incredibly thin bezels and rich display. And now the webcam has finally returned to its rightful place above the screen, though battery life on the 4K model could be better.
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.
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.
Upcoming Ultrabook devices are looking to make innovative changes to the category. Samsung just announced the Galaxy Book S, which it claims will last for 23 hours on a single charge. Other interesting upcoming Ultrabooks include the Intel 10th Gen-equipped Dell Inspiron 14 7000 and HP Spectre x360. On the Chromebook front, Asus will release the Chromebook Flip C433 in October. Also, we just finished reviewing Lenovo's 7th Gen ThinkPad X1 Carbon and gave it high praise.
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.