The 6 Best Ultrabooks of 2019

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The Rundown

  • Most Popular: Huawei MateBook X Pro at Amazon, "Has a CNC machined metallic unibody with a premium sandblasted finish."
  • 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, "It may be slim and sleek ... but it's no slouch when it comes to performance."
  • 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 Battery Life: LG Gram at Amazon, "Comes with a 72Wh battery that can go up to an astounding 21 hours on a single charge."

Our Top Picks

Most Popular: 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 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. 

Best Apple: MacBook Air

If not in name, Apple’s MacBook Air was actually the original “ultrabook” in design. At least three years before the term was even heard (it was coined and trademarked by Intel in 2011), Apple’s then-CEO Steve Jobs famously slid the company’s flagship ultra-portable MacBook out of a manila envelope. Since then, however, the MacBook Air has taken up its rightful place as the basis of Apple’s MacBook lineup.

It may be slim and sleek, weighing only 2.75 pounds and measuring just 0.61 inches at its thickest point, but it’s no slouch when it comes to performance. Apple has packed in an 8th-generation 1.6GHz dual-core Core i5 CPU that can burst up to 3.6 GHz, along with 8GB of RAM and a 128GB SSD, although you can pay a bit more for more memory of storage — up to 16GB RAM and a 1TB SSD, respectively. There are also two Thunderbolt 3 and USB-C ports for connecting more storage, external displays, or even an external GPU for more graphics power. 

The display is also something to be admired in a laptop of this class. Apple hasn’t pulled any punches in putting the best display that it can into the MacBook Air, featuring everything found in its MacBook Pro Retina display except the wider color gamut. But you still get a 2560x1600-pixel and 227 PPI native resolution, and with the latest model, Apple has even added the True Tone display feature for amazing color accuracy. 12 to 13 hours of battery life ought to keep you running for longer than most Windows ultrabooks, and Apple’s T2 security chip, as well as its Touch ID sensor, keep you more secure.

Otherwise, turn your head to one of the best MacBook Pro models of 2019.

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 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.

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.