The Best Windows Ultrabook

The Best Windows Ultrabook

Our pick

Dell XPS 13 (9300)

Dell XPS 13 (9300)

The best ultrabook

The Dell XPS 13 is thin and light, and it has long battery life, a great keyboard, a reliable trackpad, and a spacious screen.

Buying Options

$1,200 from Dell

Recommended configuration

Processor: Intel Core i5-1035G1 Screen: 13.4-inch 1920×1200 non-touch
Memory: 8 GB Weight: 2.65 pounds
Storage: 256 GB SSD Tested battery life: 10.5 hours

The Dell XPS 13 (9300) is exceptionally light and compact—even compared with other laptops in this category—it has long battery life, and it has a quality keyboard and trackpad. It also offers fast performance and a spacious screen with a taller aspect ratio ideal for Web browsing and document work. The XPS 13 has only two Thunderbolt 3/USB-C ports to transfer data, connect an external display, or charge the laptop; we wish it had a USB-A port, as well, but it does come with a USB-C–to–A adapter, and if you need more ports you can get a USB-C hub or dock.

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Also great

HP Spectre x360 13

HP Spectre x360 13

The best convertible laptop

The HP Spectre x360 13 has a stylus and a touchscreen and can flip into tablet mode, but it’s heavier than our top pick. While our preferred configuration is unavailable, we recommend the Core i7-1065G7 model linked here.

Buying Options

$1,320 from HP
$1300 $1200 from HP (Intel Core i7)

You save $100 (8%)

Processor: Intel Core i5-1035G4 Screen: 13.3-inch 1920×1080 touch
Memory: 8 GB Weight: 2.88 pounds
Storage: 256 GB SSD Tested battery life: 10.5 hours
If our recommended configuration is unavailable, we recommend the Core i7-1065G7 model or the Lenovo Yoga C940 (14”).

If you want a laptop with a stylus and a 360-degree hinge that lets you flip the screen all the way around to use the system as a tablet (or in any intermediate position, such as tent mode) and you don’t mind carrying something a little heavier than our top pick, get the HP Spectre x360 13. It’s similar in size to the XPS 13, and it offers solid battery life, comparable performance, a reliable keyboard and trackpad, and a vibrant touchscreen. Plus, it has two Thunderbolt 3/USB-C ports, one USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type-A port for connecting older devices, and a fingerprint reader for easy logins.

Budget pick

Lenovo Yoga C740 (14″)

Lenovo Yoga C740 (14″)

The best value

The Yoga C740 is the best laptop you can get for the price. It offers performance similar to that of our top pick, but it’s larger and heavier, and it has shorter battery life.

Buying Options

$820 from Lenovo

Recommended configuration

Processor: Intel Core i5-10210U Screen: 14-inch 1920×1080 touch
Memory: 8 GB Weight: 3.09 pounds
Storage: 256 GB SSD Tested battery life: 9.5 hours

If you want a great ultrabook but don’t have a thousand dollars to spend, we recommend the Lenovo Yoga C740 (14″). Compared with the XPS 13, the C740 is larger and heavier, it has shorter battery life, and its keyboard isn’t quite as enjoyable to type on. But it’s powerful and portable enough to use for a full day of work or classes. And unlike most cheap ultrabooks, the C740 is sturdy, has a fingerprint reader, and comes with a USB-C charger.

Upgrade pick

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon Gen 7

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon Gen 7

A businesslike ultrabook

The Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon is extremely light, and it has our favorite laptop keyboard and more ports than our top pick. But it costs more than you need to pay to get something great.

Buying Options

Recommended configuration

Processor: Intel Core i5-10210U Screen: 14-inch 1920×1080 non-touch
Memory: 8 GB Weight: 2.4 pounds
Storage: 256 GB SSD Tested battery life: 10 hours
We tested the X1 Carbon Gen 7 with an Intel Core i5-8265U processor, not the Core i5-10210U processor we now recommend. Battery life may differ with the newer processor, but we expect it to be in the same ballpark.

The Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon Gen 7 is the best laptop we’ve tested in the past few years; it’s just several hundred dollars more than most people should pay for an ultrabook. But if you don’t mind spending more, you get a lighter laptop with a stellar keyboard, a 14-inch screen, and a more useful array of ports than on our top pick—including two Thunderbolt 3/USB-C ports, two USB 3.0 Type-A ports, and an HDMI port. It comes with a fingerprint reader and a handy webcam cover, and although its battery doesn’t last quite as long as the XPS 13’s, it still survives long enough for a full day or work or classes. We recommend the model with a 10th-generation Intel processor, but the version with an Intel Core i5-8265U processor is still a great option if you find it on sale for less.

A few other ultrabooks we tested are good, although they each suffer from at least one setback that keeps them from matching our top picks’ excellence.

source: NY Times – Wirecutter

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