The best Ultrabooks are designed for those people who prioritize portability and battery life over performance but want something more powerful than a Chromebook. Given the small footprint inherent in the design, there are bound to be sacrifices made to minimize size and weight, so don't expect to play PC games on the same level as a gaming laptop.
Rather, these lightweight laptops are designed to get you through a full workday and then some. The good news is you still get a lot of perks from Ultrabooks like 4K displays and tactile keyboards along with the thin and light frame. Based on a combination of our personal testing experience, price, battery life, specs, and aesthetics, these are the best Ultrabooks on the market – and click here to see them in the UK.
TL;DR – These are the Best Ultrabook:
- Dell XPS 13 Plus
- Asus ZenBook 14
- Razer Blade 14
- Apple MacBook Air M2
- Lenovo Yoga 7i
- HP Envy x360
- Surface Laptop 5
- Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Nano Gen 3
- Surface Laptop Studio
Dell XPS 13 Plus
Dell has long maintained its dominance in the category of ultrabooks, and that continues with one of its latest models, the XPS 13 Plus. This machine somehow manages to be both thin and light than its, but it's packing a bigger battery and a more powerful CPU than its predecessor. You also get plenty of ports including a Thunderbolt 4, though you do lose the microSD slot and headphone jack. It still totes a 13.4", FHD+ IPS display with thin bezels for plenty of screen real estate. That display also has a 500 nit peak brightness and an anti-glare finish to ensure easy visibility from just about anywhere. As an added bonus, it’s even got touchscreen capabilities.
The Dell XPS 13 Plus base model comes running on an Intel Core i5-1240P processor and 8GB of RAM for a blend of performance and efficiency perfect for day-to-day work. However, you can upgrade to a 12th gen Intel Core i7 processor and up to 32GB of memory if you’re looking for a little more beef to do some light gaming. You do get an integrated GPU on this ultrabook with no upgrade option, but it's the Intel Iris Xe graphics, which can actually muster playable frame rates in some esports games. So, you'll have a laptop that can compile spreadsheets during the day and crush competition after work.
Asus ZenBook 14
Best Budget Ultrabook
If you’re on the hunt for a wildly capable yet affordable machine, look no further than the Asus ZenBook 14. At just $600, it's chock full of quality hardware, and Asus has done a solid job trimming down the bezels around the display to let the laptop maintain its compact dimensions while making it look like it cost way more. This particular model delivers a 14-inch OLED touch display offering a 2880 x 1800 resolution with a 90Hz refresh rate and 0.2ms response time for some impressive clarity. Beyond that, there’s a solid color performance with 100% coverage of the DCI-P3 color gamut, and it’s even rocking HDR600 True Black certification, so this display is sure to shine.
Under the hood, the Asus ZenBook 14 is powered by a 12th-gen Intel Core i5 processor and an integrated Intel Iris Xe Graphics GPU. This mobile processor makes it easy to zoom through all your work tasks, though it may struggle through gaming and video editing with no standalone graphics card. The 256GB of PCIe NVMe SSD on board should provide enough storage for most users, while the system offers a modest 8GB RAM but should still be able to multitask.
Razer Blade 14
Best Ultraportable Gaming Laptop
PC gaming and portability don’t usually go hand in hand. Oftentimes compromises need to be made, but with the Razer Blade 14, those are few and far between. The Razer Blade 14 has managed to squeeze some insane hardware into a laptop under four pounds and well below an inch thick. A 14-inch QHD display offers an impressive 165Hz refresh rate and FreeSync support, so you’re in for a great tear-free gaming experience. But it’s what’s on the inside that really blows us away with this gaming laptop.
That solid display is powered by an AMD Ryzen 9 6900HX processor with an equally impressive Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070 Ti graphics card. This machine is ready for whatever game you throw at it, and it’ll also handle video editing like a champ. Heck, you can even do some overclocking. Toting a 16GB DDR5 RAM and 1TB of SSD storage ensures it’ll speedily chug along. And, Wi-Fi 6E support lets you enjoy fast connectivity for your on-the-go battle station, or you can park this at your desk to play and connect it directly to a gaming monitor with the laptop's full-size HDMI port.
Apple MacBook Air M2
Best Ultralight Apple Laptop
After a couple of years, Apple has finally introduced the newest MacBook Air. Some big changes have been made inside and out. You now get a slightly larger display, coming in at 13.6 inches, though it still manages to be a super light 2.7 pounds. That makes this Apple’s most portable laptop, and it’s perfect for taking along to the office or sliding in your bag when traveling. There’s also a new 1080p camera, so you’ll look stellar during Zoom meetings, and MagSafe charging makes juicing up easy. However, the biggest upgrade is to the processors — you now get Apple’s own M2 chip.
The Apple M2 features four high-performance cores and four high-efficiency cores, letting it speed through some tasks while sipping energy when doing more basic work. Those processing cores also mean the new MacBook Air has a boost in battery life. For the integrated GPU, you get 8-cores that are even faster than the M1. Plus, the improved Neutral Engine should accelerate AI and machine learning. Finally, you can upgrade the laptop up to 24GB of memory and 2TB of storage, making it breeze through just about any task.
See more of the best MacBooks to buy right now.
Lenovo Yoga 7i
Best Convertible Ultrabook
Lenovo’s Yoga 7i earns its name as it provides a ton of flexibility in how you use this 2-in-1 laptop. This device shines in the traditional laptop mode, but if you want to switch it up, the screen rotates on a hinge, letting you use it as a tablet or as a stand-up display in the tent mode. The 14-inch 2,240 x 1,400 display gets plenty bright at 300 nits and has a 10-point multitouch screen that supports a stylus for ample control in whatever you’re doing. It's also got a 16:10 aspect ratio, rather than the usual 16:9, so you can see a bit more on your screen, which can be extra handy in tablet mode. Even with all these convenient ways to use this ultrabook, it remains sturdy, durable, and relatively lightweight.
Your main reason for purchasing the Yoga 7i might be that you want a convertible laptop, but it’s got plenty of oomph on the inside to keep up with the best ultrabooks. This machine comes powered by an Intel Core i5-1235U for solid performance in a wide variety of workloads and has Intel Iris Xe Graphics onboard to handle even some light gaming. The 8GB LPDDR5 RAM and 512GB PCIe SSD means it should start up quickly and launch programs just as fast. You’ll also enjoy an impressive battery life along with high-speed connectivity with Wi-Fi 6E and two Thunderbolt 4 ports.
HP Envy x360
Another Lightweight Convertible Laptop
If you like the sound of a convertible laptop like the Lenovo Yoga 7i but want something a little smaller and sleeker, check out the HP Envy x360. This machine weighs slightly over 3 pounds and is only 0.63 inches thick, but it still totes an all-metal chassis that acts as an added layer of protection from an accidental drop. Even when you’ve got the laptop flipped to tablet mode to do a bit of drawing or in tent mode for giving a presentation, you’ll have peace of mind that this device is durable enough to take on whatever you throw at it.
The HP Envy x360 has several different configurations, but our favorite offers an Intel Core i7-1250U CPU with an integrated GPU, 8GB of RAM, and 512GB NVMe SSD. Those internals should be more than enough to get through most workloads and not break a sweat. They also help power the 13.3-inch IPS display with a WUXGA resolution and intuitive touch screen that totes thin bezels, making the most of all the laptop’s available space. To top off this solid ultrabook option, you get two Thunderbolt 4 ports for speedy connectivity and long battery life for taking on the go.
Surface Laptop 5
Most Stylish Ultrabook
The Surface Laptop 5 delivers an exceptional ultrabook experience with a well-polished design, modest but dependable internals, and a great display. The sleek and simple metal chassis comes in a new sage green color that exudes class. Even with its durable frame, this laptop remains lightweight and ultraportable, weighing 2.8 pounds and measuring just over half an inch thick. The keyboard and trackpad are super smooth, perfectly sized, and highly responsive, while the 13.5-inch PixelSense Touch display offers a 3:2 aspect ratio and a sharp 2,256 x 1,504 resolution. That touchscreen totes some new handy features that can increase productivity and help with multitasking.
Inside, the Surface Laptop 5 is powered by a capable Intel Core i5 processor offering two performance cores and eight efficient cores with multi-threading to cruise through everyday tasks. The system runs on 8GB of memory, though you can upgrade to 16GB for improved multitasking, while the 512GB of storage should be plenty of space for most users. As for connectivity, Wi-Fi 6 support lets you take advantage of everything from your typical Netflix streaming to Microsoft’s Xbox game streaming. However, this laptop does leave a bit more to desire as far as ports are concerned, offering just one Thunderbolt 4 and one USB-A.
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Nano Gen 3
The Thinnest and Lightest Ultrabook
When it comes to a thin and light Ultrabook that still packs a powerful punch, not much compares to the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Nano Gen 3. The laptop’s compact form factor is slightly over half an inch thick and weighs just over 2 pounds, but under the hood, it squeezes in an Intel Core i7-1360P processor and impressive 16GB RAM. You’ll be a multitasking maven with those internals. However, there are only Integrated Iris Xe graphics, so you’ll have limited image rendering when gaming or video editing.
The Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Nano delivers a stunning, colorful 13-inch, 2K display. You can easily view the screen from just about anywhere thanks to the IPS panel’s anti-glare coating and 450 nit brightness, which comes in handy since the laptop is super portable for use outside. Speaking of portability, it has a great battery life to make working on the go as simple as possible, while two Thunderbolt 4 ports and Wi-Fi 6E support mean you’re in for some speedy connections.
Surface Laptop Studio
Best Ultrabook for Creatives
Creating on a laptop takes a bit more than just processor muscle and a pretty display. Microsoft has figured that out and introduced the Surface Laptop Studio. This laptop certainly hits the performance levels you’ll want with an Intel Core i5-11300H and 16GB of LPDDR4x memory just to start, though there are configuration options to bump this up and even add dedicated graphics if your workload requires it.
Microsoft’s screen and flexible design are the real creative tools you’ll want. The 14.4-inch display has a sharp resolution at 2,400 x 1,600, and it has a smooth 120Hz refresh rate. The clarity and motion precision will be extra helpful when using the advanced stylus the computer supports. Microsoft has made it all the easier to quickly switch from typing and using the Surface Laptop Studio like a traditional laptop to using it with a stylus. The display portion can shift forward and tilt back, letting you get it closer and write or draw on it at a more natural angle — no slowing down that creativity.
What to look for in an Ultrabook
Shopping for an Ultrabook comes down to picking an ultraportable laptop and shaving many millimeters from its profile, without sacrificing performance too greatly. For the most part, the best Ultrabooks nowadays are pretty peppy machines that can handle all-day office work as well as some light video and image editing tasks too.
These modern machines mostly come with either Intel Core i5 or i7 processors, a minimum of 8GB of memory, and at least 128GB SSD for storage. There are, of course, always exceptions to this rule. For example, the Acer Swift 7 uses an Intel Core Y-series processor, which is its low-wattage CPU.
Prices for a capable Ultrabooks laptop usually hover above $1,000 and can easily increase to over $2,000, depending on specs and manufacturer. Don’t get overwhelmed when looking at specs and prices, because unless you are going to edit a lot of videos or use resource-intensive programs, most mid-range ultraportables will be just fine.
Where to Get the Best Ultrabook Laptops in the UK
Best UltrabookDell XPS 13 £849.99Best Budget UltrabookAsus ZenBook 14 £649.00MSIStealth 15M Best Ultraportable Gaming Laptop£2,245.93Best Ultralight Apple LaptopApple MacBook Air £899.00Best Convertible UltrabookLenovo Yoga 7i £921.64Great Lightweight Convertible LaptopHP Spectre x360 £1,399.00Most Stylish UltrabookSurface Laptop 4 £1,206.03The Thinnest and Lightest UltrabookAcer Swift 7 £1.00Best Ultrabook for CreativesSurface Laptop Studio £1,299.00