The 9 Best Ultrabooks of 2019

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The Rundown

  • Best Overall: Dell XPS 13 at Amazon, "With its thoughtful feature set and exceptional overall performance, this ultrabook ticks all the right boxes."
  • Runner-Up, Best Overall: Apple MacBook Air at Amazon, "If you're already invested into the macOS ecosystem and want a well-rounded ultrabook, look no further."
  • Best Budget: Lenovo IdeaPad 730s at Lenovo, "Hands down the best budget ultrabook available in the market today."
  • Best Splurge: Microsoft Surface Book 2 at Amazon, "Combines top-of-the-line hardware with fully-optimized software."
  • Best Value: ASUS Zenbook 14 at Amazon, "Having the right blend of design, features, and performance, this well-priced ultrabook offers a lot of bang for your buck."
  • Best Design: Huawei MateBook X Pro at Amazon, "Has a CNC machined metallic unibody with a premium sandblasted finish."
  • Best For Students: HP Envy 13t at Amazon, "Perfect for everything from classroom notes to homework assignments."
  • 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."
  • Best For Gaming: Razer Blade Stealth 13 at Amazon, "Packs in 4GB of discrete graphics memory, allowing you to play even the most demanding games with ease."

Our Top Picks

Best Overall: Dell XPS 13

Dell's computing products are generally regarded as being among the foremost in the business, and the XPS 13 is no exception. With its thoughtful feature set and exceptional overall performance, this is an ultrabook that ticks all the right boxes. Weighing 2.7 pounds, the XPS 13 sports a 13.3-inch Full-HD display with a resolution of 1920x1080 pixels and a 16:9 aspect ratio.

The Infinity Edge panel features minimal bezels on three of its four sides, giving the XPS 13 the physical footprint of a much smaller laptop. Our recommended configuration includes an 8th-generation Intel Quad-Core i5 processor, 8GB of RAM, and 512GB of SSD storage. Running 64-bit Windows 10 Home, Dell XPS 13 comes with a full-size backlit keyboard and a precision touchpad. For external inputs and outputs (also known as I/O), you get a USB Type-C port, two Thunderbolt 3 ports (with Power Delivery and DisplayPort support), a 3.5mm audio port, and a microSD card reader.

There's also a nifty battery gauge on the laptop's left side that lets you find out the remaining battery level with the press of a button, using an array of tiny LED lights. You won't have to check it very often, however, because you can get up to 13 hours on a single charge. Other notable inclusions are Wi-Fi 802.11 ac, Bluetooth 4.1, an HD webcam, a four-microphone array, and stereo speakers.

Check out our guide to the best Dell laptops you can buy today. 

Runner-Up, Best Overall: Apple MacBook Air

Apple's MacBook Air has always been one of the best lightweight laptops out there and having recently gotten a long-overdue hardware refresh, it's now better than ever. If you're already invested into the macOS ecosystem (or planning to jump ship from Windows) and want a well-rounded ultrabook, look no further. Made from 100 percent recycled aluminum, the new MacBook Air comes with a 13.3-inch Retina display, has a resolution of 2560x1600 pixels and a 16:10 aspect ratio. It's powered by Intel's 8th-generation Core i5 CPU, paired with 8GB of RAM and 128GB of SSD storage.

Thanks to the built-in Touch ID sensor, you can not only unlock the MacBook Air and secure confidential files, but also authenticate online purchases via Apple Pay. The ultrabook's backlit keyboard uses the latest-generation butterfly mechanism for a better typing experience (underneath the keys are sturdier by being shaped like butterflies), and the Force Touch trackpad supports enhanced multitouch gestures. For connectivity, the MacBook Air includes two Thunderbolt 3 ports (with Power Delivery and DisplayPort capabilities), and a 3.5mm audio port. There's also Wi-Fi 802.11 ac, Bluetooth 4.2, a 720p FaceTime camera, stereo speakers, and a triple-microphone array. To top it all off, it gets 13 hours of battery life, which isn't too shabby for such a powerful laptop.

Best Budget: Lenovo IdeaPad 730s

Lenovo IdeaPad 730s

Courtesy of Lenovo

Want a lightweight and feature-packed laptop that doesn't cost a fortune? Say hello to Lenovo's IdeaPad 730s. Hands down the best budget ultrabook available in the market today, it sports a sleek, aluminum chassis that's just 11.9mm in thickness and weighs a mere 2.43 pounds. Having a 13.3-inch Full-HD display with a resolution of 1920x1080 pixels and a 16:9 aspect ratio, our recommended build of the IdeaPad 730s is powered by an 8th-generation Intel Core i5 processor, along with 8GB of RAM and 128GB of SSD storage. This hardware makes it ideal for all kinds of computing tasks, such as web browsing, document processing, and even basic photo/video editing.

For connecting external peripherals, Lenovo IdeaPad 730s includes a USB Type-C port, two Thunderbolt 3 ports (with Power Delivery and DisplayPort support), and a 3.5mm combo audio port. There's also Wi-Fi 802.11 ac and Bluetooth 4.1 for wireless connectivity. Running 64-bit Windows 10 Home, the ultrabook sports stereo speakers, a 720p HD webcam, and a fingerprint reader for secure authentication. It's also has a battery life of up to 10 hours on a single charge.

Best Splurge: Microsoft Surface Book 2

Combining top-of-the-line hardware with fully-optimized software, Microsoft's Surface-branded devices are all about a premium computing experience. If that's what you're looking for, and money is no object, the Surface Book 2 is exactly what you need. Crafted from magnesium, Microsoft's flagship ultrabook has a 13.5-inch Pixel Sense display with a resolution of 3000x2000 pixels and a 3:2 aspect ratio. The 10-point multitouch panel works great with Surface Pen stylus and is also compatible with Surface Dial for both on-screen and off-screen interactions. Due to its detachable upper module, the Surface Book 2 can be used in a variety of modes (e.g. Laptop, Tablet, Studio, and View).

As far as hardware goes, our recommended configuration comes with an 8th-generation Intel Core i7 processor, 16GB of RAM, 1TB of SSD storage, and NVIDIA's GeForce GTX 1050 GPU with 2GB of discrete graphics memory. Connectivity ports include USB Type-A (x2), USB Type-C (with Power Delivery), 3.5mm audio, and Surface Connect (x2). There's also a full-size SDXC card reader, Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, and Bluetooth 4.1 included in the mix. Microsoft Surface Book 2 comes with 64-bit Windows 10 Pro and can get up to 17 hours of video playback without needing a charge.

Best Value: ASUS Zenbook 14

Although ASUS makes a lot of great laptops, some of the Taiwanese company's offerings stand out more than the others, a case in point being the Zenbook 14. Having the right blend of design, features, and performance, this well-priced ultrabook offers a lot of bang for your buck. ASUS Zenbook 14 comes with a 14-inch Full-HD display, having a resolution of 1920x1080 pixels and a 16:9 aspect ratio. The Nano Edge panel sports minimal side bezels, resulting in the ultrabook having an impressive 92 percent screen-to-body ratio. Delivering horsepower to the Zenbook 14 is Intel's 8th-generation Core i7 CPU, paired with 16GB of RAM and 512GB of SSD storage.

The unique Ergo Lift hinge automatically tilts the keyboard upwards by 3 degrees whenever the lid is opened; this not only enhances the typing experience but also improves cooling by increasing airflow around the underside of the laptop's chassis. Another interesting feature of the Zenbook 14 is its dual-function touchpad, which doubles up as a touch-enabled number pad. You also get USB Type-A (x2), USB Type-C, HDMI, 3.5mm audio and a MicroSD card reader for I/O, as well as Wi-Fi 802.11 ac, Bluetooth 5.0 for wireless connectivity, and 14-hour battery life.

Read more reviews of the best ASUS laptops available to purchase online.

Best Design: Huawei MateBook X Pro

If you think Huawei's hardware design chops are limited to their smartphones, just wait till you gaze upon the MateBook X Pro. Having a CNC (Computer Numerical Controlled) machined metallic unibody with a premium sandblasted finish, this is an ultrabook that looks gorgeous from every angle. Up front, it features a crisp, 13.9-inch display with a resolution of 3000x2000 pixels and a 3:2 aspect ratio. The panel has 10-point multitouch support and comes with ultra-thin bezels, giving the laptop a screen-to-body ratio of 91 percent. Powering the MateBook X Pro is Intel's 8th-generation Core i7 CPU, helped by 16GB of RAM and 512GB of SSD storage.

You also get NVIDIA's GeForce MX 150 GPU with 2GB of dedicated graphics memory. External ports include USB Type-A, USB Type-C, Thunderbolt 3, and 3.5mm audio, with Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac and Bluetooth 4.1 taking care of wireless connectivity. Perhaps the most interesting design element of Huawei MateBook X Pro is its pop-up webcam, which stays hidden underneath a key when not in use and thus provides additional privacy. Speaking of which, the ultrabook has a fingerprint sensor built right into its power button. Other perks include a quad-speaker setup with Dolby Atmos, a four-microphone array, 15 hours of battery for web surfing, and Windows 10 Home (Signature Edition).

Best For Students: HP Envy 13t

Whether you're starting college for the first time or heading back after a break, having a reliable laptop is extremely important. You need something that's lightweight, powerful enough for handling day-to-day academic work, and most importantly, doesn't cost an arm and a leg. HP's Envy 13t is all that, and then some more. It comes with a 13.3-inch display with a resolution of 1920x1080 pixels, a 16:9 aspect ratio, and 10-point multitouch support. For hardware, the ultrabook has an 8th-generation Intel Core i7 processor, paired with 8GB of RAM and 256GB of SSD storage. As such, the Envy 13t is perfect for everything from classroom notes to homework assignments.

Running 64-bit Windows 10 Home, the ultrabook comes with a variety of ports, including two USB Type-A ports, a USB Type-C port (with Power Delivery), and a 3.5mm audio port. There's also a MicroSD card reader, Wi-Fi 802.11 ac, and Bluetooth 4.2 included in the mix. HP Envy 13t sports a quad-speaker system tuned by Bang & Olufsen and comes with an HD webcam, a dual-array microphone, and a fingerprint sensor for secure authentication. It weighs around 2.71 pounds and can give you 14 hours before it needs a charge.

Need some more help finding what you're looking for? Read through our best laptops for college students article.

Best Battery Life: LG Gram

LG's Gram-branded laptops are renowned for being ridiculously lightweight. If you're in the market for a feature-laden ultrabook that can be used all day without needing to be plugged in, you're going to love LG Gram. It sports a 13.3-inch touch-enabled display, having a resolution of 1920x1080 pixels and a 16:9 aspect ratio. At the helm is Intel's 8th-generation Core i7 CPU, alongside 16GB of RAM and 256GB of SSD storage.

Despite its svelte profile, the Gram runs the gamut of ports, including USB Type-A (x2), Thunderbolt 3 (with DisplayPort compatibility), HDMI, and 3.5mm audio. You also get a MicroSD card reader, stereo speakers, an HD webcam, and a fingerprint sensor (integrated into the power button). Running 64-bit Windows 10 Home, LG Gram comes with Wi-Fi 802.11 ac and Bluetooth 5.0 for wireless connectivity. However, as you would expect, the best thing about the Gram is its battery life. LG's ultrabook comes with a 72Wh battery that can go up to an astounding 21 hours on a single charge.

Best For Gaming: Razer Blade Stealth 13

Ultrabooks generally aren't intended to be used for gaming, but that shouldn't stop you from enjoying your favorite AAA titles while on the move. There are a handful of lightweight gaming laptops you can choose from, but our vote goes to the Blade Stealth 13 from Razer, a company that needs no introduction when it comes to gaming hardware. As the name suggests, the Blade Stealth 13 wields a 13.3-inch Full-HD display with a resolution of 1920x1080 pixels and a 16:9 aspect ratio. Having slim side bezels, the matte panel is factory calibrated (individually for each unit) and covers 100 percent of the sRGB color space.

When it comes to hardware, Razer Blade Stealth 13 has an 8th-generation Intel Core i7 processor, 16GB of RAM, and 256GB of SSD storage. It also packs in NVIDIA's GeForce MX150 GPU with 4GB of discrete graphics memory, allowing you to play even the most demanding games with ease. The keyboard supports Razer's Chroma single-zone RGB lighting effects, and the precision glass touchpad provides enhanced gesture-based control. And for ports, the Blade Stealth 13 includes two USB Type-A ports, a USB Type-C port, a Thunderbolt 3 port, and a 3.5mm combo audio port. You also get Wi-Fi 802.11 ac, Bluetooth 5.0, an HD webcam (with Windows Hello support), an array microphone, and a four-speaker system.

Take a peek at some of the other best gaming laptops you can buy.

Our Process

Our writers spent 14 hours researching the most popular ultrabooks on the market. Before making their final recommendations, they considered 15 different ultrabooks overall, screened options from 9 different brands and manufacturers, and read over 350 user reviews (both positive and negative). All of this research adds up to recommendations you can trust.