The laptop industry has always strived to produce thinner, more portable, and power-efficient machines.
Courtesy of the unprecedentedly fast technological growth, ultraportable laptops aren’t difficult to find. And, you can get one for yourself right now.
But, what exactly is an ultraportable laptop? We are talking about a machine that’s lighter than 3 pounds, with a 14-inch or less screen size and a battery life that lasts a full workday.
All the laptops reviewed here are ultraportable and lightweight. But, as with any other digital purchase, you do need careful scrutiny of the machines before pulling your wallet out.
It’s important that you know everything about the product you are going to invest in. This is where today’s article will come in handy.
Let’s jump right in.
Table of Contents
- Let’s jump right in.
- 1. 2020 Apple MacBook Air Ultraportable Laptop
- 2. New XPS 13 9310 Dell Ultraportable
- 3. LG GRAM 17 (2021)
- 4. Microsoft Surface Laptop 4 Portable Laptop
- 5. Acer Swift 7 Ultraportable Laptop
- 6. Dell Latitude 9410 2 in 1 Notebook
- 7. SAMSUNG Galaxy Book S
- 8. Lenovo Yoga Slim 7 Lightweight Portable Laptop
- 9. Huawei MateBook X Pro Thin and Light
- 10. 2020 HP Envy x360
- How to Choose the Right Ultraportable, Lightweight Laptop?
Although the Apple MacBook Air carries a high price point, if you have the budget, this ultraportable laptop won’t disappoint you. The main reason for that is Apple’s new M1 processor.
While the MacBook Air may not look any different than the previous model, the internals are revolutionary.
On this model, Apple has combined the system memory and graphics memory, which are separate from other machines.
This lets the system deliver more processing power while keeping the size of the machine impressively portable.
While it’s normal to think that you are paying a high price for a laptop, the M1 processor gives tough time to much more expensive machines.
Moreover, the retina display is sharp and brilliant. From the pixel standpoint, it’s better than a 1080p resolution and falls short of a 4K.
However, that does add to the overall price of the laptop, and also affects the battery life. So, make sure a top-notch display is worth sacrificing a little battery life.
But, it’s not like you’d see a noticeable difference in the battery life while using this device. It boasts a battery life of more than 28 hours on a continuous run.
So, if you use it for mid-level tasks, you can utilize the juice for two days straight, without having to hook it to a power plug. This makes it an ideal choice for people that spend most of their time outdoors.
You might think that that should make the laptop bulky. Impressively, the Apple MacBook Air not only has a fantastic build quality but also is lighter than air, well, not literally.
Probably the only gripe with this Apple machine is the 720p webcam. Apple has probably cut corners on that aspect of their 2020 Apple MacBook Air.
The Dell ultraportable machine can handle virtually any task you throw at it courtesy of the Core i7 processor, 16 GB RAM, and 512 GB SSD. So, you get portability as well as power here.
As far as the display is concerned, you can go as high as 4K. But, the 1080p resolution might be more than enough for you, unless you are a videophile.
And, the display size of the laptop is 13.3 inches, so it’s not like you’d be compromising on the screen size.
Battery life is an important aspect of a laptop, especially when you are considering ultralightweight and portable ones.
Fortunately, the XPS 13 offers a generous battery life despite being a sleek and compact machine. So much so that you’d be able to use the laptop a whole day, at least.
You get a Wi-Fi 6 connection and Bluetooth 5 on it. This allows you to enjoy smooth and stable internet connectivity. You’ll be able to use a wireless keyboard and mouse without hiccups.
What’s more, there is a fingerprint reader on the power button at the top, allowing you to log into your device without entering a password every time.
The speakers of the XPS 13 offer more than you’d expect from such a compact laptop. The 4 watts of power would be enough to produce dimensional sound in a mid-sized room.
Although Dell claims that it has improved the quality of the 720p webcam, it still isn’t good enough for many use cases.
For instance, if you want to hold Skype sessions at night, you’d be better off with your mobile phone’s camera.
You might not feel a lot of weight while holding the LG GRAM 17, but there is nothing flimsy about the machine.
The laptop is sturdy and can take shocks, vibration, high temperatures, and humidity with ease. It’s ultraportable as well as well-made.
Moreover, LG has put a generous amount of USB ports on the device such as 2 USB 3.2 Type-A ports and 2 USB Type-C ports. Not only that but LG GRAM 17 also features an HDMI port and a microSD card slot.
Plus, Bluetooth 5.1 and Wi-Fi 6 offer seamless Bluetooth and internet connectivity, respectively.
As for the display, the LG GRAM 17 is equipped with a resolution of 2,560 by 1,600 pixels. This falls between the full HD and 4K resolutions, making the display quite crisp.
You do, however, have to compromise on the battery life a bit as higher resolution means more energy consumption.
What’s more, the keyboard offers a comfortable travel distance and sturdy key switches. The power button has a fingerprint reader, so you can log into the laptop without having to enter the password.
You can rest assured that the laptop can handle virtually any task thrown at it thanks to the i7 processor and 16 GB RAM.
The cooling fan might produce a little noise, but it’s not annoying or distracting.
And, despite the high-end display, the laptop offers a generous battery timing of around 19 hours.
However, the sound performance of the LG GRAM 17 isn’t the best. While the 2-watt power is enough for the volume, the sound isn’t that clear.
The Microsoft Surface Laptop 4 is a lightweight portable laptop that’s capable enough to perform the most demanding tasks.
The Surface Laptop 4, although not as slim as Apple MacBook Air or Dell XPS 13, is still pretty slim and you can slide it into your backpack with ease.
Plus, while you get a USB Type-C port, a Type-A port, and a headphone jack on it, there is no Thunderbolt 4.
The 13.5-inch, 2256 x 1504 pixels display is another great attraction of the Surface Laptop 4, especially if top-notch visuals are on your priorities list.
You also get a comfortable keyboard with plenty of travel for a smooth typing experience on this laptop. The touchpad is accurate and smooth.
As far as the audio performance is concerned, the Microsoft Surface Laptop 4 offers a pretty clear and loud voice for such a compact machine. The depth in the audio is because of the Dolby Atmos support.
What’s more, you can’t ask for more powerful performance from an ultraportable laptop. The 11th generation Intel Core i7 and a 16 GB RAM enable a pretty solid performance.
And, with 720p resolution, the webcam is decent enough, however, it could have been better. It features the Windows Hello face login as well.
You also get a pretty generous battery life on this one. Although it doesn’t last as long as some other laptops on our list, it does offer an impressive 11-hour battery juice to get you through the day.
However, Microsoft hasn’t been very generous in the ports department.
Thanks to the ultrathin battery and its fanless design, the Acer Swift 7 is one of the best portable notebooks out there.
Moreover, the battery life is incredible, especially considering that the battery doesn’t take virtually any space in the chassis.
On one full charge, you can use the Acer Swift 7 for about 9 hours straight. This provides enough juice to last a full workday.
You get a generous amount of ports as well, including two Thunderbolt 3 ports. There is no microSD card slot though.
The webcam is situated at the top of the keyboard, which is a unique location. It pops out when you need it, and provides a low-angled view of the user.
As far as the performance goes, the Acer Swift 7 does lack a bit, because of the fanless design. But, it’s not like it can’t take routine tasks like web browsing and media playback.
It’s just that you won’t be able to perform high-end, information-intensive tasks on it, like video editing. But, you do get ultra-portability as a tradeoff.
And, that’s not it. The battery, despite being ultrathin, provides an incredible runtime of around 14 hours. More than what you’d need for a full day’s work.
The Dell Latitude 9410, unlike other lightweight laptops on our list today, offers 2-in-1 flexibility. So, you can either use it as a laptop or a tablet.
And, it’s impressively thin and lightweight as well. The Dell Latitude 9410 weighs a mere 1.36 kg, which makes it an ultraportable machine.
The 360-degree rotating screen is a major attraction here. This even allows you to use this laptop in the mobile orientation in the V shape.
The Dell ultraportable laptop comes with a powerful interior as well. With a 10th gen Intel processor and 16 GB RAM, the machine can perform virtually any task thrown at it.
Plus, it’s equipped with SSD storage, which makes it snappy and more efficient at performing information-intensive tasks.
As far as connectivity options are concerned, it features a lot of ports. This includes a couple of Thunderbolt 3s, a USB 3.1, and an HDMI port.
Moreover, it’s one of the best portable student laptops because of its extraordinary battery life. On a single charge, you can use this machine for more than 27 hours straight. This also makes it ideal for business owners that need a computer on the go.
Despite being lightweight and portable, the Latitude is pretty durable and well-built. And, the chassis is quite attractive as well.
One of the coolest things about this machine is that you get a three-year warranty. This lets you invest in this laptop confidently and use it with peace of mind.
However, the Dell Latitude 9410 is a bit expensive, and you don’t have a 4K screen option.
The Samsung Galaxy Book S is extraordinarily thin and lightweight. So, if you carry your laptop around all day, this one is ideal for you.
Samsung hasn’t compromised on the build quality either. Despite being incredibly thin, the ultraportable laptop has a sturdy construction. And, the protection surface prevents scratches.
You do have to sacrifice on something when you go with an ultraportable, and that’s connectivity options. See, there isn’t much space for ports when the laptop is this thin.
The Samsung Galaxy Book S comes with a couple of USB Type-Cs because of that. It does have a headphone jack and a memory card slot.
The keyboard is fairly large with generously sized keys. However, the travel is pretty shallow, which can take some getting used to, especially if you are a mechanical keyboard user.
There is a keyboard backlight that’s bright enough to show every key in the dark. Plus, the power button is also a fingerprint sensor.
You’ll also be able to use this book under the sun because of the well-lit display. The display is also pretty crisp.
Moreover, you’d be amazed how a super-thin machine can fit such a powerful sound. The speakers are pretty loud and clear.
Although the 720p webcam doesn’t offer the best resolution, it’s decent for Skype or Zoom calls. And, while you can do medium-level gaming on it, it’s not built for modern games.
You get about 10 hours of consistent use on a single charge. And, it takes about 2 hours to get recharged.
This one is one of the best Lenovo portable laptops in the market. It’s virtually impossible to create the most powerful machine while at the same time keep it ultrathin.
But, some machines do find the sweet spot between performance and portability; the Lenovo Yoga Slim 7 is one of them.
The keys of the keyboard are fairly large, so even if you have large hands, you’ll get comfortable with them quickly.
Moreover, the laptop comes with a 4K display option as well. But, the 1080p resolution would be more than enough even for a visual enthusiast.
You can use this laptop out in the open without having difficulty seeing your screen thanks to its high-brightness screen.
The processing performance is smooth too. You will be able to get through daily routine tasks without any hiccups. This means smooth web browsing, media playback, and word processing.
But, the performance also depends on the specs you go with. The laptop is available in a variety of specifications.
And, you won’t be recharging the Lenovo Yoga 7 twice a day. The long-lasting battery provides enough juice to let you work on it for a whole day. It can last as long as 12 hours on normal use.
You also get a generous amount of ports on the Yoga Slim 7. There are two Type-A USB 3.1 ports, an HDMI, a microSD card, and a Type-C port with a Thunderbolt 3.
Huawei MateBook X Pro is an ultraportable lightweight laptop that has seen quite a few improvements since its inception in 2018.
Moreover, the MateBook comes in two different color options now. Originally, it was only space grey, now, you can get the one with the Emerald green color too.
You get a fingerprint reader on top of the power button. So, you don’t have to enter the password every time you want to log in.
Plus, the MateBook features two small speakers as well as two large ones. The sound they produce is not only powerful but also high-quality.
And, although the laptop is quite thin, Huawei has managed to place a USB Type-A port on the left edge. Something that’s rare to see in other ultrathin laptops.
Not only that, but it also features a couple of Type C ports, both of which can be used for charging. They also support Thunderbolt and USB 4. There is a headphone jack too if you want to connect wired headsets.
As far as performance goes, there should be no problem with basic tasks like web browsing, video conferencing, and word processing.
But, of course, you shouldn’t be expecting an ultraportable laptop to offer a high-end gaming experience. You can, however, perform a little less intensive tasks like image editing on it.
What’s more, the MateBook X Pro won’t disappoint you in terms of battery timing. On average, it offers 9 hours on a single charge, allowing you to get through a full day.
This HP portable laptop offers above-average performance and a lightweight and stylish chassis. The 2-in-1 functionality makes it a versatile machine.
So, you can use it as a laptop and fold up the hinge to convert it into a tablet. And, although the chassis isn’t the thinnest, it’s still very portable.
You get an i7 processor, 8 GB RAM, and 512 GB SSD storage on this HP portable laptop. This makes it suitable for almost every type of user.
The HP Envy x360 comes with a full HD display, keeping the visuals as clear and crisp as it gets. However, you may sometimes see slightly fuzzy text.
The keyboard of the laptop offers a comfortable typing experience with well-spaced and sturdy keys. Moreover, the keyboard is backlit, making typing easy in the dark.
The HP laptop offers an above-average processing performance. While it’s not the ideal option for high-end software and modern games, it can do basic video transcoding, image editing, and other medium-level tasks smoothly.
As far as the battery timing is concerned, the HP Envy x360 doesn’t disappoint. On average, you’d get a 13-hour battery life, so you won’t be recharging it often.
However, the touchpad might feel a little cramped up. You’d have to get used to it.
How to Choose the Right Ultraportable, Lightweight Laptop?
If you move around with your laptop during the day, it’s easy to assume that you need a laptop that’s lightweight and compact.
However, you also don’t want to watch a video or work on your files on a tiny screen. You need the perfect compromise between the two.
Fortunately, you can easily get an ultrathin and ultraportable laptop for yourself. But, few things need your attention before you land on the right one for yourself.
Let’s talk about them.
While you can get a decent enough machine for $400, if your processing needs are high, it won’t offer the required capability.
So, you need to have an eye on the capabilities as well. For instance, the screen clarity, storage space, and processing power are lower in cheaper laptops, no matter how similar they are aesthetical.
That said, a $500 ultraportable laptop is more than enough for routine tasks like web browsing and media playback.
If you are looking for the best portable college laptops, a $500-machine would be more than enough to cover your needs.
But, you need to invest more if you are planning to perform intensive tasks like video editing or enjoy a full HD display.
An average processor is more than capable of handling day-to-day tasks. But, you need to be choosy if you want speed.
Intel Core i5 and i7 processors are at the top of the heaps. And, when you couple them with the latest generation, you get the whole package.
RAM and storage space are other two factors that affect your laptop’s speed and performance. A higher RAM, say 16 GB and faster storage like an SSD will boost your laptop’s performance.
The graphics power is also important if you want a higher frame rate, smooth gaming performance, and do more with media.
The best portable gaming laptops come with integrated graphics, so choose the one with the right amount of power.
Your software needs to be up to the mark, but what about your digital stuff? You need to have reliable storage space for that.
Almost all ultraportable laptops come with an SSD (Solid State Drive). SSDs are durable and compact, making them an ideal option for portable laptops.
Plus, SSDs are pretty fast as they don’t have any moving parts to read the information.
Even the ultrathin laptops can have an ultrahigh-resolution display these days. Want a 4K display on an ultraportable machine? You can have it.
However, of course, you’d have to invest more for it. That said, even a mid-range PC offers a 1080p resolution these days, which is more than enough for most users. So, having a perfect display won’t cost you an arm and a leg.
The demand for ultraportable laptops has been increasing by the day. You just can’t replace the convenience of a portable machine. And, the laptop industry has been pretty efficient at producing ultrathin and portable laptops.
But, while it’s a major factor, portability shouldn’t be your only concern as a laptop user. There are other features that you need to dig into before you decide on a laptop for yourself.
All the laptops discussed above are ultraportables; other important features to consider are:
If you are looking for an ultraportable laptop that also offers other desirable features, you don’t need to go anywhere else.
Go through the in-depth reviews and buying guide to land on the right machine for yourself. After all, a well-informed decision is a right decision.