The best Ultrabooks 2018: top thin and light laptops reviewed

The best ultrabooks are the ultimate status symbol, especially if you’re a student or if you spend a lot of time in the local Coffee shop. While everyone has big and bulky Chromebooks or budget laptops, you’ll whip out a thinner, lighter and faster machine with the best SSDs and processors you can get in a laptop.

These thin and light beauties are as much about portability as sheer horsepower. You don’t need to worry about your Ultrabook freezing in the middle of an important project, or running out of juice on the road.

So, we thought it’d be best if we took the time to gather up the best Ultrabooks you can buy today. From brands that you know like Dell and HP, to those you might not be familiar with like Huawei, we reviewed all of these thin and light laptops for their designs, performance and battery life.

Sometimes, we’ll come across an Ultrabook that completely destroys everything that came before. The Huawei Matebook X Pro is one of these Ultrabooks. This gorgeous laptop brings high-end components into an elegantly-designed package that puts even the MacBook Pro to shame. And, with its 3K touchscreen, the Huawei MateBook X Pro has a display that’s just as nice to look at as the chassis. It’s really the best Ultrabook you can buy today. 

Read the full review: Huawei MateBook X Pro

Weighing just 2.67 lbs (1.21kg) and measuring just 0.3 inch at its narrowest point, the Dell XPS 13 is the essence of the best Ultrabooks. It’s not the most affordable option, but the Dell XPS 13 is a perfect example of what the best Ultrabooks can do. It wields 8th generation Kaby Lake Refresh processors, obviously, but it also features three USB Type-C ports and the option of a gorgeous Alpine white finish.

Read the full review: Dell XPS 13

The original Surface Laptop was one of the best Ultrabooks when it first came back, though it was held back from true greatness due to its relatively weak hardware and Windows 10 S. However, in 2018, the Surface Laptop 2 has come back with a vengeance – bringing stronger quad-core processors and the full-fat version of Windows 10. It’s through these core improvements that the Surface Laptop 2 is able to bring the purest Windows 10 experience on a laptop, at a price that won’t make you gasp in horror. 

Read the full review: Surface Laptop 2

Few Ultrabooks are as brilliantly designed as the Lenovo Yoga 920, a 2-in-1 laptop that’s as illustrious to look at as it is to use. In contrast to its nearest competitors, such as Microsoft’s Surface Book 2it’s also a far less expensive endeavor. For the modest price you pay, you’re getting a gorgeous, all-metal finish that can be flipped inside out for extended functionality. It also houses the latest 8th-generation Intel processors, just in case speed was a concern.

Read the full review: Lenovo Yoga 920

From the moment your eyes meet the HP Spectre 13, you’ll be impressed by its sheer beauty. HP has taken the already luxurious Spectre and dialed the design up to eleven with gold trim and packed it with internal specs that blow the competition out of the water. One of the first Ultrabooks rocking an 8th-generation Kaby Lake Refresh chip, the 2017 Spectre 13 more than doubles the CPU performance of most of its competitors. This added performance comes at the cost of battery life, but clocking in at just under 6 hours – the battery life is still passable.

Read the full review: HP Spectre 13 

Razer has been known as a gaming company for years now, but with the Razer Blade Stealth the green-themed manufacturer wants to dispel that. If you’re not convinced, this Ultrabook might change your mind by turning into a 13.3-inch, QHD+ beauty. You can no longer upgrade to 4K, but the performance this Ultrabook offers is more than worth that compromise – especially given how beautiful the chassis is.

Read the full review: Razer Blade Stealth

It’s rare that a manufacturer thinks of everything when creating one of the best Ultrabooks, but for what it’s worth, the HP Spectre x360 comes pretty close. It’s a 2-in-1 convertible laptop,, which by itself makes it a bit of a niche product. Still, for those right-brained users out there, the HP Spectre x360 comes bundled with a Windows Ink-compatible stylus, unlike the vast majority of hybrids. That would mean very little if the HP Spectre x360 didn’t have great sound and visuals – and it definitely does.

Read the full review: HP Spectre x360

Anyone familiar with Apple’s thinnest and lightest laptop would be wise to compare the Asus ZenBook 3 to the 12-inch MacBook. The similarities are obvious, but one look at the specs and the differences stand out too. Adorned with the choice of a U-series Intel Core i5 or i7 processor, the ZenBook 3 is awfully powerful considering it’s less than half an inch thick and weighs two pounds. The port selection is sparse, but ultimately it’s well worth the sacrifice.

Read the full review: Asus ZenBook 3

  • This product is only available in the US and UK at the time of this writing: Australian readers: check out a fine alternative in the Huawei MateBook X Pro

Best Ultrabooks

It’s no secret that Apple has all but neglected the MacBook Air recently, but in some cases a Windows Ultrabook can be just as good, if not better. Take the Asus ZenBook UX310, for example, the long awaited follow-up to the award-winning ZenBook UX305. Donning a 7th generation Intel Kaby Lake processor, a 178-degree rotating QHD+ screen, a USB-C port an and an all-aluminum shell, this truly a candidate for the MacBook Air’s throne. 

 Read the full review: Asus ZenBook UX310

If you’re looking to get your hands on an entry-level Ultrabook that can get some work done, without spending a fortune, the Lenovo Yoga 730 should be at the top of your list. Sure, it doesn’t have the longest battery life, but with how much (or how little) this device will set you back, it’s a worthy trade off – especially considering the speedy SSD, quad-core processor and 8GB of RAM you’re getting at the entry level. For anyone on a budget, the Lenovo Yoga 730 is certainly one of the best Ultrabooks around right now.

Read the full review: Lenovo Yoga 730 

  • Looking for back to school gear? We’ve picked out the best deals for you

Bill Thomas and Gabe Carey have also contributed to this article

Leave a Reply