Just a decade ago, if you wanted to buy a super-thin laptop, there were very limited choices, aside from the revolutionary MacBookAir. Today, though, every single computer manufacturer worth their name has now come up with a super slim and extra portable laptop that does not compromise power and keeps coming up with more and more new models every day.
Ultra thin laptops, also known as ultrabooks, are more stylish and luxurious than their bulkier counterparts and have become a sort of status symbol. If you are a student, businessman, designer, or any other professional who requires a laptop for work, lightweightedness is probably the top of your criteria. To help you out, we have reviewed some of the very best and new thin laptops trending in 2020 and have created a basic guide on what criteria you need to evaluate when buying these laptops.
What Should I Look For When Buying My Ultra Thin Laptop?
When deciding which portable new laptop to buy, you need to check a variety of factors, including portability, performance, power, memory, storage space, memory, graphics, and more. Let us take a look at some of the crucial factors that may affect your purchase decision:
Portability (Size and Weight)
Of course, the one major thing that sets slim laptops apart from their bigger and bulkier counterparts is their improved portability. Laptops and notebooks in this category are typically less than an inch thick and weigh within four pounds.
In addition, most machines that have a 13-inch or smaller screen typically weigh around 2 to 3 pounds, while those with 14 or 15-inch screens can weigh up to 4.5 pounds. Either way, these machines are more lightweight than your average laptop.
CPU-Performance and Speed
If you want smooth performance along with portability, you will need to choose a better configuration for your processor. The top processors are Intel Core i5 and Intel Core i7 processors, which are found in mid-range and premium models.
Most new ultrabooks laptops in 2020 use Intel’s 9th Generation processors, while the better ones have moved to 10th Generation and even 11th Generation. You may also find a smattering of laptops, which have the 8th Generation processor, though they may offer configuration upgrades.
If a laptop is equipped with an i5 processor and over 8 GB of RAM, it will give enough power to satisfy most people. However, some of the best new laptops come with a RAM of 16, 32, and 64 GB.
Storage Space (Solid-State Drive)
Many midrange and premium ultra thin laptops offer an SSD storage of 256 GB, which is enough for most users. People who want more storage room can boost their SSD capacity, to 512GB, 1 TB, 2 TB, and even a whopping 8TB. However, getting storage space will cost you.
Almost all lightweight new laptops depend on graphic processors. The most common type of graphic processors you will find include Intel’s UHDGraphics 620 and 630, which is fine for a casual user.
However, if you are interested in playing games or working on media-rich content, you will require discrete graphic chips like the Nvidia’s GTX and RTX cards. These GPUs are usually only ever seen in gaming laptops.
Any decent laptop should have a minimum of a full HD or 1920 x 1080display screen. There are some laptops that offer more advanced graphics options like Ultra HD or 4K (3,840 by 2,160), which offer true-to-life imagery.
Lower resolution displays are found in entry-level budget models, while 4K is found in gaming laptops or those that are designed for work on media.
Screen and Display Size
Typically, any laptop with a larger than 13.3-inch screen has to be about 21 mm thick or less than that. If it has a touchscreen, it can be 23 mm thick. Any machine with a 13.3-inch size or over should be about 18 mm thick or less to be considered a portable and lightweight laptop.
In addition, there are no big restrictions on the display screen size. That is why you can have slim, portable computers today that have an overall 11.6-inch to 15.6-inch diagonal screen size. Additionally, this range may expand even further in the future with the advancements in technology.
Ports and Connectivity
You need to choose the types of ports that are essential for you before investing in a laptop. Some ultrabooks only have USB Type-C ports or Thunderbolt 3. It is best to get a laptop that offers a mix of these, as well as USB Type-A and Type-B ports.
Keyboard (Full Size)
Whether you are using a small laptop to browse, stream videos, send emails, work, or play games, a full-sized keyboard is essential.
Make sure the keys are neither too mushy nor too stiff. Low-travel keyboards are alright if you feel comfortable using them, but it is best to not bottom out when you are typing.
Although the CPU and GPU in most of the laptops cannot be accessed or replaced by the user, you get laptops that allow you to replace the RAM and storage. This way, you can buy a low priced laptop and then upgrade it with a bigger memory and hard drive. However, some ultrabooks may not have that option, so research wisely before you choose one.
A good laptop should have a battery life that can last for over 8 hours. However, gaming laptops may be an exception to these since they use a lot of applications that drain the battery. In regular ultra thin laptops, though, you can enjoy as long as 17 hours of battery life. Additionally, some manufacturers also add fast charging to laptops, which is a good bonus.
The Best Ultra Thin Laptops
#1: Dell XPS 13 2020: Best Overall #1
- Gorgeous 16:10 Infinity Edge display
- An amazingly compact and lightweight laptop
- High performance
- Great webcam positioned in the right spot
- Keyboard may get warm after extended use
- Limited ports
CPU: 8th-Gen Intel Core i3 – i7 processor
RAM: 4 -16 GB
Storage: 128 GB – 2TB SSD
Graphics: Intel UHD Graphics 620
Screen: 13.3 inch FHD (1920 x 1080; non-touch)– 4K (3,840 x 2,160; touchscreen)
The Dell XPS 13 2020 is known throughout the industry for its all-round performance. With a 13.3-inch touchscreen, it runs on Windows 10. It has a gorgeous InfinityEdge HD display and offers superb performance that is as close to perfection as you can get.
The XPS 13 laptop is super compact that at first glance it looks even smaller than its 13.-inch size. We could do with a few more ports but this issue can easily be solved with an adaptor. In the 2020 version, Dell has fixed its biggest issue by taking the camera from the bottom of the display back to the top.
With a high-quality aluminum body with a carbon fiber layer, the system boasts a good sound system. Although it may be a bit pricey, you are paying for quality. It’s easy to see why the Dell XPS 13 has remained the reigning king in the industry for so many years.
#2: ASUS ZenBook UX331UA: Best Overall # 2
- Beautiful design
- Great performance
- Excellent battery life
- Great audio
- Slower SSD than other laptops
- Webcam is subpar
CPU: Intel Core i7 processor
RAM: 8 GB
Storage:256 GB SSD
Graphics:Intel 620 UHD
Screen: 13.3 inch Full HD display screen (1920 x 1080)
Weight: 2.4 pounds
ASUS ZenBookUX331UA is one of the best laptops from the very excellent ZenBook series, which delivers the style, performance, and quality it promises. With theUX331UA, ASUS hit the nail on the head when it comes to creating a powerful laptop in a skinny body at a good price. Plus, it is extremely good-looking.
The ASUSZenBook runs on Windows 10 Home and is built with a high-quality aluminum frame and is equipped with an amazing full HD display screen. This 13.3-inch machine also has a battery time that can last you a whole workday, plus some to spare.
With an i7processor, 256 GB SSD, and 8 GB of RAM, it makes it one of the powerful laptops – small with a fair price.
#3: HP Spectre x360: Best Overall # 3
- 2 in 1 laptop
- Excellent battery life
- Gorgeous design
- Sublime keyboard
- Equipped with USB Type-A and Type-B ports
- Speakers shrill at high volume
- Contains bloatware
CPU:10th Gen Intel Core i7 –1065G7
RAM: 16GB LPDDR4 (3200MHz)
Storage: 256 GB
Graphics: Intel Iris Plus
Screen: 13.3 inch 1920 x 1080 touchscreen
Weight: 2.7 pounds
The 2 in 1designed HP Spectre x360 sports a gem-cut chassis and security features and with an Intel Core i7-1065G7 processor, is powerful enough for most people.
One of the biggest reasons people are so attracted to this 13.3-inch laptop is because of its extensive collection of ports, which is often neglected in most ultrabooks. With the Spectre x360, you can still get a USB Type-A 3.1 Gen 1, two Thunderbolt 3, a headphone jack and a micro SD card reader.
It also has a snappy keyboard as well as a whopping 13+ hours of battery life. Many of the Spectre x360 features match those of the HP Envy 13, but if you are able to spend some more, we recommend the Spectre x360 for better performance.
#4: MacBook Pro: Most Powerful
- New and improved Magic Keyboard
- Amazing audio
- Long battery life
- Strong and solid performance
- Needs more ports
- 32-bitapps and games don’t work
CPU: Intel Core i9-9980HK
RAM: 16 GB– 64 GB
Storage: 512GB – 8TB SSD
Graphics: AMD Radeon Pro 5300 M- Radeon Pro 5500MM
Screen: 16-inch Retina display with True Tone
The MacBook Pro is the most powerful premium laptop made byApple Inc. The system is equipped with a Magic Keyboard and it has an AMD Radeon Pro 550M graphic card.
One of its major draws is that it has an excellent sound system, so if you care about audio on your laptop, you won’t find a better one than the one in the MacBook Pro. It also offers a long battery life, and a bigger 16-inch Retina display screen, but because of its slim design, you won’t be losing any portability.
When it comes to performance, not many competitors can beat the MacBook Pro. This is the ultimate laptop made for creation and editing media and is just one of the very best laptops made by Apple or any other laptop company, for that matter.
#5: Razer Blade 15: Best for 4K Display
- Equipped with extremely bright and vivid full HD 4K LED
- Great gaming and overall performance
- Good battery life
- Keyboard remains cool
- Amazing audio
- Very expensive
- Keyboard does not travel well
CPU: 10th Gen Intel Core i7 10875 eight-core CPU
RAM: 16 GB dual channel DDR4 RAM
Storage: 128GB NVMe SSD with 1TB HDD/512GB NVMeSSD
Graphics: Nvidia GTX 1660 Ti/RTX 2080 Max-Q GPU
Weight: 4.9 pounds
The Razer Blade 15 runs on Windows 10 and offers you a choice of different display options, from a Nvidia GTX 1660 Ti to a RTX 2080 Max-Q GPU. With its gorgeous 4K display with G-Sync technology and 100% DCI-P3 color reproduction, 60Hzrefresh rate, and HDR400 certification, the Razer Blade 15 clocks in 438 nits of brightness and 243% of the sRGB color spectrum. This means that gaming is a feast for your eyes.
In addition, it offers top firing quad speakers with a loud and clear audio, which are comparable or better to your gaming headsets. The Razer Blade 15 is one good-looking laptop and is made to be long-lasting. Its keyboard travel time is relatively short but its huge Precision touchpad is perfect. It also comes with three USB-A 3.2 ports as well as Thunderbolt 3, HDMI 2.0, and Ethernet, depending on which model you choose.
#6: Microsoft Surface Laptop 2: Best Value
- A powerful laptop
- Comes in a range of beautiful colors
- Extended battery charge
- Keyboard is nicely spaced
- Equipped with a Windows Hello face authentication camera
- No USB C-ports
- Processor could be more updated
CPU: 8th Gen Intel Core i5 ori7 processor
RAM: 8GB – 16GB
Storage: 128GB, 256GB, 512GB or 1TB SSD
Graphics: Intel UHD Graphics 620
Screen: 13.5-inch, 2256 x 1504 (261 ppi)PixelSense display (3:2 aspect ratio)
The MicrosoftSurface Laptop 2 is one of the most value-adding lightweight and compact laptops out there. It has several features as the Surface Book 2, but performance-wise, it doesn’t deliver that much oomph.
The screen’s full HDdisplay is solid and good for browsing the internet, watching a movie or doing work on a high-contrast display screen without washing out the colors. However, itwon’t give you great results for any serious media editing work.
It has a maxbrightness of 379.33 nits, which is quite nice, though quite a bit away from the Razer Blade 15’s 438 nits. The alcantara cladding on the keyboard gives it a great feel and allows you to feel a satisfying crunch without annoying your colleagues.
All in all, for its price, this is a pretty solid laptop that gives you heaps of value for moderately-intensive work and entertainment for a decent price.
#7: Lenovo Ideapad S130: Best Affordable
- Price point is very attractive
- Equipped with all major features and ports
- Good performance
- Impeccable design
- Upgrading issues
- Dim display
- Hardware issues
CPU: Intel Celeron Dual Core
RAM: 4 GB
Storage: 32 GB SSD
Graphics: Intel UHD 600
Screen: 11.6-inch, 1,366 x 768 pixels(upgradable to 14-inch)
Weight: 2.54 pounds
The Lenovo IdeaPad S130 is one of the most affordable laptops out there, though don’t expect it to win any benchmarking races. The machine may not be the best choice for heavy tasks like gaming or video editing, but whenit comes to the price, it takes the cake.
With an 11.6-inch display screen, the laptop is supercompact and featherweight that you can haul with you anywhere you go. It is also built with a solid material, which means if things get bumpy, you can stillr ely on your laptop.
The machine is installed with a Windows 10 in S mode, which means the operating system is designed based on fast and light usage, including the running of basic applications, such as browsing the internet, sending emails, streaming NetFlix, and playing the odd Facebook games.
As such, if you are short on money but need a reliable laptopfor your work, the Lenovo IdeaPad S130 is one on our shortlist.
#8: Acer Swift 5: Best Budget
- Very affordable
- Solid performance
- Runs quietly
- Very slim and light
- Can multi-task very well
- Integrated fingerprint reader
- Clicky keyboard
CPU: 11th Gen Intel Corei5-1035G1 or Core i7-1065G7
RAM: 8GB of RAM
Storage: 512GB SSD
Graphics: NVIDIA® GeForce® MX350 card
Screen: 14-inch, 1920 x 1080 p
Weight: 2.18 pounds
Equipped with a 11th Generation Intel Core processor and the antimicrobial Corning Gorilla glass, the Acer Swift 5 is practically a steal. The laptop has decent performance and amount of power, but it is its size and its price that keeps customers coming back for more.
Despite its low price, Acer Swift 5 does not compromise on quality. It has a whopping battery life of 17 hours, and boasts some updated features like the Thunderbolt 3, Wi-Fi 6 support, and an option of a dedicated graphics card.
The only drawback we see is that the keyboard is not as sublime as some others and may require firmer taps. The design is also understated, though a lot of people prefer it. All in all, the Acer Swift 5 is a pretty great laptop for its price.
#9: Samsung Galaxy Book Ion: Best for Portability
- Ultra portable
- Extended battery life
- Wonderful QLED screen
- Excellent port selection
- Relatively expensive
- Graphic performance isn’t great
- Keyboard could be better
CPU: 10th Generation Intel Core i710510U
RAM: 8GB DDR
Storage: 512 GB
Graphics: Intel UHD graphics
Screen: 13.3-inch FHD (1920 x 1080) QLED
Weight: 2.13 pounds
The Samsung Galaxy Book Ion is the lightest, skinniest, and smallest laptops out there, weighing at just over 2 pounds. If you do not want to haul a heavy-weight laptop with you on the go, you can’t go wrong with the Samsung Galaxy Book Ion.
Its major benefit is that it has a long battery life from our list of laptops at a whopping 14 hours. This means it has almost double the stamina of many of the other computers in our list. Plus, its 13.3 inch full HD QLED screen offers a stunning display for YouTube, NetFlix and other media-heavy apps. It also runs on Windows 10 Home.
However, with its slim size came a few issues like the lack of Intel Iris Plus graphics, which means this is not the ideal laptop for gaming or video content creation. The keyboard is also less than impressive, considering the laptop’s price.
#10: ASUS ROG Zephyrus G14: Best for Gamers
- Incredible CPU
- Offers a wonderful full HD gaming experience
- Very portable
- Amazing battery life
- No integrated webcam
- No RGB lighting
- SSD speeds are not so great
CPU: Intel Core i7 processor
RAM: 8 GB – 24 GB
Storage: 1 TB
Graphics: Nvidia GeForce RTX 2060 – GeForce GTX2080 Max-Q (8GB GDDR6 VRAM)
Screen: 17.3-inch FHD (1920 x 1080) 144Hzpanel with G-Sync
Weight: 3.7 pounds
It was very difficult for us to decide between the RazerBlade 15 and the ASUS ROG Zephyrus G14 when it comes to the best gaming laptop, but finally, we decided to go with the latter.
At about two-thirds the price of the Razer Blade, the ASUSROG Zephyrus G14 resolves two of the major issues in the world of gaming laptops: weight and price.
The Zephyrus G14 weighs 3.7 pounds but does not compromise on power, thanks to the exciting combination of the AMD Ryzen 4000 processor and Nvidia GeForce RTX 2060 graphic card that has ray-tracing capabilities.
The laptop has a great keyboard, beautiful 120Hz display, a huge 1 TB SSD, and a decent battery life. All full HD games are playable with good frame rates exceeding 60fps, with CPU-focused games displaying impressive performance as well as creative applications like video editing.
Since it does not have RGB lighting, the laptop can easily be used in the office as well and is one of the most versatile laptops on our list.
#11: Google Pixelbook Go: Best for Students
- Amazing keyboard
- Simple but attractive design
- Android apps on Chrome offer a lot of usability
- Battery life is impressive
- No fingerprint scanner or facial recognition unlock
CPU: 1.5-GHz Core i5 to i7-8500Y dual-core CPU
RAM: 16 GB
Storage: 256 GB
Graphics: Intel UHD Graphics 615 (300MHz)
Screen: 13.3-inch Full HD (1920 x 1080; 166 ppi)LCD touchscreen (16:9; 72% NTS)
Weight: 2.3 pounds
Google Pixelbook Go makes the list because it offers laptop-grade components while running on the ChromeOS operating system. Lightweight and portable, the Pixelbook Go is one of the best options out there for students who are looking for a computer that offers excellent performance for key tasks like web streaming and web browsing — and who are a fan of the ChromeOS and some of the limitations it provides.
However, if that is not an issue, the Pixelbook Go comes at an affordable price of $629, which can be very attractive for students. If you want, it also offers a higher configuration with some additions in price.
#12: HP Elite Dragonfly: Best for Business Users
- Stylish and svelte look
- Great HD display
- Long battery life
- Great for traveling professionals
- Multiple configuration options
- Flexible modes
CPU: 8th Generation Intel Core i5-i7-8565U
RAM: 8- 16 GB
Storage: 512 GB
Graphics: Intel UHD Graphics 620
Screen: 13.3-inch 4K (3,840 X 2,160 px)
Weight: 2.18 pounds
The HP EliteDragonfly is a wonderful 2 in 1 laptop for businessmen who travel frequently. This premium 13-inch laptop offers a combination of amazing features like an incredible keyboard to increase type speed and fabulous speakers for web conferences as well as superior portability, long battery life, gorgeous design and pure power.
Although the HP Elite Dragonfly is a bit on the pricey side, we believe that it is worth it. Working professionals may be hard-pressed to find a better laptop than this, but it is an overall great laptop that can be a joy to use by anyone.
At just 2.18 pounds, the laptop is extremely flexible and can fold over, so you can use it in tablet or tent mode. In addition, it comes with a stylus that offers more accuracy than operating the touchscreen.
Depending on your preference, you can choose its CPU configuration and RAM. The HP EliteDragonfly offers you a choice of an Intel Core i5 processor or Intel Core i7 processor, as well as 8 to 16 GB RAM. Moreover, the laptop also offers multiple options up to 4K when it comes to display.
None of these laptops here are perfect for all users; however, they have come a long way from their predecessors and now offer improved functionality, which can help you decide which one is the most suited to you.
You know what you want in a laptop, so you should evaluate your options and your budget when it comes to buying an ultrabook. Rest assured though: all the above ones are winners and we have high hopes you will find your perfect laptop from one of these.