The 9 Best Ultrabooks of 2020

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The Rundown
"Has a CNC machined metallic unibody with a premium sandblasted finish."
Runner-Up, Best Overall:
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon at Amazon
"Lenovo's ThinkPad line is an excellent choice for just about anyone looking to pick up a reliable new computer."
"One of the best hybrid laptops and tablets you can buy today."
Runner-Up, Best 2-in-1:
HP Spectre x360 15 at Amazon
"The HP Spectre x360 is a great choice for any Ultrabook user, thanks to its convertible nature."
"It may be slim and sleek ... but it's no slouch when it comes to performance."
"Combines top-of-the-line hardware with fully-optimized software."
Runner-Up, Best Splurge:
Microsoft Surface Laptop 3 at Amazon
"An improvement on the second iteration of the laptop for sure"
"Having the right blend of design, features, and performance, this well-priced ultrabook offers a lot of bang for your buck."
Best Battery Life:
LG Gram at Amazon
"Comes with a 72Wh battery that can go up to an astounding 21 hours on a single charge."

When you're working or learning on the go, an Ultrabook is the best and most productive computer you could be using. They're lightweight, portable, and powerful enough to tackle just about any task at hand. More powerful than tablets with the form factor of a regular laptop, they're a great choice for anyone who needs lightweight, sturdy computing power for a variety of different use cases. 

When it comes to choosing the right Ultrabook for you, there are certain factors you'll definitely need to focus on. That includes selecting a powerful CPU and enough RAM to handle the tasks that you'll throw at the computer. 

If you need assistance determining if an Ultrabook will fit your needs, be sure to check out our guide on the differences between Ultrabooks and the average laptop on the market. 

Most Popular: Huawei MateBook X Pro

What We Like
  • Respectable battery life

  • Gorgeous design

What We Don't Like
  • Subpar webcam

  • SD card slot not included

Huawei's MateBoox X Pro is an impressive specimen of an Ultrabook in and out. Not only does it include a premium casing with a machined metallic unibody and premium sandblasted finish, but it delivers in terms of visual fidelity as well. Its 13.9-inch display offers a 3000x2000 pixel resolution with a 3:2 aspect ratio. The viewing panel also includes 10-point multitouch support with dangerously thin bezels for a sleek, futuristic look. Of course, Huawei didn't skip on the internals, either.  

This Ultrabook is powered by Nvidia's GeForce MX 150 GPU with 2GB of dedicated graphics memory. It's also kitted out with a special pop-up webcam, a quad-speaker setup with Dolby Atmos support, and a variety of connectivity options, including the much sought-after USB Type-C. There isn't an SD card slot, but that's likely a small oversight most buyers won't notice. This is still very much an excellent choice for anyone needing an Ultrabook.

Runner-Up, Best Overall: Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon

What We Like
  • Sturdy and light

  • Sturdy and light

  • Long battery life

What We Don't Like
  • Touchpad not as good as control nub

  • Will want to use an external mouse

Lenovo's ThinkPad line is an excellent choice for just about anyone looking to pick up a reliable new computer. The thin, sturdy X1 Carbon comes packing a fantastic keyboard, a lavish 4K screen, and features synonymous with what you might expect from a high-end professional laptop. It weighs just 2.4 pounds and is ultraportable, but it does feature a magnesium underside with carbon fiber display lid to ensure it can withstand just about anything. 

Its keyboard is one of the most comfortable on the market, with a TrackPoint nub that can be used in place of a mouse or the trackpad, depending on your preference. It comes packing an Intel Core i5-8265U processor, 8GB RAM, and a 256GB NVMe SSD. It's excellent for a variety of tasks, from blogging to writing up reports. Plus, its rugged exterior will keep you going for a long time.

Best 2-in-1: Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 Laptop

What We Like
  • Fast CPU and GPU performance

  • Good battery life

  • Fast MicroSD reader

What We Don't Like
  • Very high core temperatures when running demanding loads

  • Lacks WAN, NFC

Dell also has a 2-in-1 ultrabook in its XPS line, and it just happens to be one of the best hybrid laptops and tablets you can buy today. Refreshed for 2019, the XPS 13 2-in-1 boasts a captivating display and great processing power while remaining lightweight and impressive in the battery life department. The XPS 2-in-1 has an awesome 1920x1200 resolution touchscreen display. Dell has tweaked InfinityEdge design, narrowing the bezels to provide 13.4 inches of screen real estate.

Available in four different configurations, the XPS 13 2-in-1 offers versatility. Its starting configuration has a 10th-generation Intel Core i3 processor, 4GB of RAM, and a 256GB NVMe SSD. Don’t be scared off by the Core i3, as its 10th-generation analog packs more of a punch, and Dell used high-quality memory and storage to make the XPS 2-in-1 a fast, efficient machine. If you want more power, though, you can opt for the Core i5 version with 8GB of RAM. 

For those who regularly use their laptops with rigorous software, Dell has two Core i7 configurations, each with 16GB of RAM and better graphics. The top Core i7 configuration also comes with an Ultra HD display and 512GB of storage. The XPS 2-in-1 is sleek and alluring, and Dell claims the battery can run for up to 16 hours between charges.

Runner-Up, Best 2-in-1: HP Spectre x360 15

What We Like
  • Lack of extra ports

  • Responsive touch screen

  • Sturdy and reliable

What We Don't Like
  • Shorter battery life

  • Can occasionally run warm

The HP Spectre x360 is a great choice for any Ultrabook user, thanks to its convertible nature, sturdy build, and feature-rich option set. Flip it over to become a tablet with support for the HP Tilt Pen stylus, and open it up for the same performance you expect out of a laptop. Under the hood, it's rocking an Intel Core i7-1065G7 processor with a forgiving amount of RAM, and on the outside, it has a stunning 4K touch display even for its lower-cost options. 

Its slender chassis houses a surprisingly powerful unit that can handle just about any task, from word processing to video editing -- if you don't mind the system running a little hot. Plus, it feels as though it was built like a tank, with a variety of connections and ports and a 512GB SSD hard drive to make sure you can port all those important files you need everywhere with you.

Best Mac: Apple MacBook Air 13

What We Like
  • Beautiful Retina display

  • Slim, lightweight design

  • Solid battery life

What We Don't Like
  • Very stingy with ports

  • Not great for resource-intensive games/apps

Apple is no stranger to making excellent Ultrabooks. The MacBook Air is the quintessential format for the design, especially as it's tweaked further with every new iteration. The latest version of the MacBook Air features an 8th-generation 1.6GHz dual-core Core i5 CPU with 8GB of RAM and a 128GB SSD. These options are all configurable if you need additional power or storage, but can also be swapped out if you need to save some cash since the MacBook line as a whole can get expensive. 

It comes with USB-C ports for charging and additional connectivity, as well as a positively gorgeous display. It comes rocking a 2560x1600-pixel and 227 PPO native resolution with Apple's True Tone display feature for some amazingly realistic imagery. Plus, you get up to 13 hours of battery life on a charge, which is a win-win.

"At 2.75 pounds, the MacBook Air is very light, yet doesn't feel flimsy or unsubstantial." Andrew Hayward, Product Tester

Best Splurge: Microsoft Surface Book 2 15"

What We Like
  • Stylish, durable design

  • Crisp display

  • Stellar battery life

What We Don't Like
  • Very limited ports

  • Unremarkable sound quality

Microsoft's original Surface Book was a revolutionary machine when it came out: a high-powered laptop with a removable screen that acts as a fully-featured tablet computer, and unique input options aimed squarely at designers.
The second edition improved on almost every aspect, configurable with the latest CPUs, plenty of RAM and storage, and a high-end graphics card. No matter which version you buy, you can add the Surface Pen for drawing directly on the screen, and the Surface Dial, a puck-like device with customized shortcuts depending on the app you're using.
The Surface Book 2 is available in 13" and 15" versions, with the larger version also having the best graphics card (NVIDIA GTX 1060.) We'd recommend getting more storage than you think you'll need—those design files aren't small!
The crisp, high-resolution 3240 x 2160 screen has exceptional color accuracy and is easily calibrated for your specific requirements. You'll get up to 17 hours of battery life in laptop mode, so you can keep working late into the night if inspiration hits.
This is by no means an inexpensive machine, but there's nothing else on the market like it for graphic designers. For the ultimate power and flexibility, you can't go past the Surface Book 2.

"If you're just planning on playing casually, the Surface Laptop 2 can handle some modern 3D games well enough." Andrew Hayward, Product Tester

Black Friday Deal

Runner-Up, Best Splurge: Microsoft Surface Laptop 3

What We Like
  • Excellent keyboard and touchpad

  • Lengthy battery life

  • Admirable display

What We Don't Like
  • Admirable display

  • Lack of extra ports

Microsoft's Surface family has something for just about everyone. The Surface Laptop 3 is no different. It's an improvement on the second iteration of the laptop for sure, and that means an already well-designed Ultrabook has been tweaked considerably to positive effect. It comes with a capable Intel Core i7 processor and a comfortable weight at just 2.83 pounds. The keyboard doesn't add any significant heft, either. It feels comfortable to type it, with great key travel and keys themselves that feel satisfying to press in on. Its touch display makes it simple to create graphics, and the touchpad is just as good as the keyboard. Microsoft clearly knows what it's doing year over year with the Surface line, and the laptop form factor is the best way to get in on the name if you're looking to get an Ultrabook.

Best Value: ASUS Zenbook 14

What We Like
  • Compact and durable design

  • Solid productivity performance

  • Competitive price

What We Don't Like
  • Dim display

  • No Thunderbolt 3

ASUS can be relied on for a number of excellent computers and tech products, and its ASUS Zenbook 14 is no different. It's a fantastic option if you've got your eyes set on an Ultrabook. It comes packing a 14-inch Full-HD with a resolution of 1920x1080 pixels and a 16:9 aspect ratio. It's brought to life with an Intel 8th-generation Core i7 CPU with 16GB of RAM and 512GB of SSD storage. Interestingly enough, it features a special keyboard that can be tilted to your liking, which is a great addition, especially for the price. Sprinkle in a variety of different types of connection with a lengthy 14-hour battery life, and you've got an Ultrabook that truly can't be beaten for the price.

Best Battery Life: LG Gram

What We Like
  • As fast as heavier ultrabooks

  • Trackpad is smooth and accurate

What We Don't Like
  • Screen is incredibly reflective

  • Keyboard isn't comfortable for typing

If a lightweight Ultrabook is the most important item on your shopping list, the LG Gram has to be a stop you make on your way to finding the perfect one for you. It's not only light as a feather, but it can perform just as well as the heavier Ultrabooks on this list and on the market. It features a 13.3-inch touch-enabled display with a 1920x1080 pixel resolution and 16:9 aspect ratio. Though it may be little, it's still "loud," so to speak, with 16GB RAm and 256GB of SSD storage to play around with. Even though it's on the smaller side, it also still comes with all the connections you'd expect, including a fingerprint sensor, MicroSD card reader, HD webcam, and Thunderbolt 3 and USB Type-A ports. Best of all, its battery life seems to last and last. It can stay juiced up for up to 21 hours on a single charge, for instance, which should get you through several classes or work shifts.

Final Verdict

For an Ultrabook that fits the bill with both a slim profile and reliable performance, you can't go wrong with the Huawei MateBook X Pro. It can handle just about anything thrown at it, and there's no sacrificing any particular aspect for the price.

About our Trusted Experts

Rajat Sharma started as a blogger, writing for well-known technology portals like I Love Free Software and Beebom. He then went on to work as a technology journalist with The Times Group, India’s largest media conglomerate.

Andrew Hayward is a Chicago-based writer who has been covering technology and video games since 2006. His areas of expertise include smartphones, wearable gadgets, smart home devices, video games, and esports. 

What to Look for in an Ultrabook

Performance - While even the best Ultrabook won't exactly do laps around a gaming laptop, you're going to want a machine that can still handle a variety of productivity tasks without much trouble. This means making sure that the CPU and RAM are up to snuff as well as making sure that it can support a solid Wi-Fi connection.

Battery Life - Ultrabooks are intended to be portable, but that won't mean much if you have to lug a charger along with you. Some Ultrabooks can last over 20 hours on a single charge but barring that, a laptop that can be charged via USB-C offers a little more versatility.

Weight - An Ultrabook that weighs more than 5 pounds is just a laptop. If you're going to be toting a machine around with you everywhere, it'd better be slim and light.