When a laptop is designated an Ultrabook you can trust that it will be thin and lightweight yet offer long battery life. But as these ultraportable laptops grow in popularity, it becomes more difficult to choose the right one. Fortunately, we've done the hard work for you and ranked the best Ultrabooks on the market.
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. Upcoming Ultrabook devices are looking to make innovative changes to the category, like the Samsung Galaxy Book S. Other interesting upcoming Ultrabooks include the Intel 10th Gen-equipped Dell Inspiron 14 7000 and HP Spectre x360.
What you need to know about Black Friday 2019
Buying yourself one of the Ultrabooks on this list? You can save some money by visiting our best Black Friday deals page, where we'll be posting all the best discounts as they go live. Black Friday kicks off on Nov. 28 and deals will continue through Cyber Monday (Dec 2).
The best overall laptop
CPU: Intel Core i3/Core i5/Core i7 (10th Gen) | GPU: Intel UHD | 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
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
The best value laptop
CPU: Intel Core i5/Core i7 | GPU: Intel UHD Graphics 620/Nvidia GeForce MX250 | RAM: 8GB/16GB | Storage: 256GB/512GB/1TB | Display: 13.3-inch, 1080p or 4K | Size: 12.1 x 8.3 x 0.6 inches | Weight: 2.8 pounds
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.
See our full HP Envy 13 (2019) Review
The best MacBook
CPU: Intel Core i5 (Y-series) | GPU: Intel UHD Graphics 617 | RAM: 8GB/16GB | Storage: 128GB/256GB/512GB/1TB | Display: 13.3-inch, 2560 x 1600-pixel | Size: 12 x 8.4 x 0.6 inches | Weight: 2.8 pounds
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).
See our full MacBook Air (2019) Review
The best 2-in-1 laptop
CPU: Intel Core i3/Core i5/Core i7 | GPU: Intel Iris Plus | RAM: 8GB/16GB/32GB | Storage: 256GB/512GB/1TB | Display: 13.4-inch, 1920 x 1200-pixel or 4K | Size: 11.7 x 8.2 x 0.5 inches | Weight: 2.9 pounds
Dell's XPS 13 2-in-1 tops the excellent HP Spectre x360 13 in this category by giving you everything we love about the clamshell XPS 13 --- a premium design, bright 1080p or 4K display, fast performance and long battery life --- in a more flexible chassis.
See our full Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 Review
The best MacBook alternative
CPU: Intel Core i5/Core i7 | GPU: Nvidia GeForce MX150 | RAM: 8GB/16GB | Storage: 256GB/512GB | Display: 13.9-inch, 3000 x 2000 | Size: 12 x 8.5 x 0.6 inches | Weight: 2.9 pounds
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.
See our full Huawei MateBook X Pro Review
The best business laptop
CPU: Intel Core i5/Core i7 | GPU: Intel UHD 620 | RAM: 8GB/16GB | Storage: 256GB/512GB/1TB SSD | Display: 14-inch, 1080p or 4K | Size: 12.7 x 8.5 x 0.6 inches | Weight: 2.5 pounds
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 best 13-inch laptop
CPU: Intel Core i5 | GPU: Intel UHD 620 | RAM: 8GB/16GB | Storage: 256GB | Display: 13.3-inch, 1080p | Size: 12.1 x 8.3 x 0.5 inches | Weight: 2.4 pounds
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.
See our full Lenovo IdeaPad 730S review
The best 15-inch laptop
CPU: Intel Core i9-9980HK | GPU: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650/Intel UHD 630 Graphics | RAM: 32GB | Storage: 1TB m.2 NVMe PCIe SSD | Display: 15.6 inches, 1080 or 4K | Size: 14.1 x 9.3 x 0.7 inches | Weight: 4.5 pounds
The Dell XPS 15 is one of the most powerful 15-inch laptops 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 saturated 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.
Read our full Dell XPS 15 (2019) review
The best 17-inch laptop
CPU: Up to Intel Core i7 | GPU: Intel UHD 620 Graphics | RAM: 16GB | Storage: 512GB SSD | Display: 17-inch, 2560 x 1600-pixel | Size: 15 x 10.5 x 0.7 inches | Weight: 2.95 pounds
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.
See our full LG Gram 17 review
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.
- 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 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.