10 best ultraportable thin and light laptops 2018

Take advantage of Windows 10 or macOS with these awesome ultrabooks and lightweight laptops

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Welcome to our guide to the top ultraportables and the best ultrabooks 2018. 

Our favourite ultraportable laptop right now is the HP Spectre 13. The epic HP Spectre 13 is just an awesome experience that boasts both muscle and feather-like lightness. Its powerful specs are mightily impressive, too (there's a rapid Core i7 under the hood) and 256GB SSD, too. As we've said below, it really does feel like a laptop from the future. We love it and so will you.

Want something a little less delicate? Check out the also excellent Dell XPS 13.

Want something powerful enough to also play AAA PC games? Take a look at the Surface Book 2.

How to choose the best ultraportable laptop for you

These super-thin, feather-light ultrabooks are perfect for anyone who doesn't want the heft of a traditional laptop, but can't stand the idea of tapping out emails on a tablet or phone. 

The appearance of £200 – and sometimes lower – Chromebooks though, has forced other laptops down in price too. So now you can get laptops for some absurd prices, especially if you pick up a sale bargain.

But many of us are interested in a laptop that's not only lightweight, but looks good too. 

Many of the laptops featured here aren't interested in offering the best bank for your buck. But they do look the part and they offer plenty of style. They often sport all-metal construction, wafer-thin designs and internal guts that can chew through demanding tasks.

Also check out our guides to the best laptops, best Chromebooks, best student laptops, or best 2-in-1 laptops – those have their own buying guides – but let's have a look at all the best ultraportables right now!

The 10 best ultraportables you can buy today

Best ultraportable laptop

1. HP Spectre 13

A Windows laptop with the sleekness of a MacBook

Specifications
CPU: 2.5GHz Intel Core i7-6500U (dual-core, 4MB cache, up to 3.1GHz with Turbo Boost
Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 520
RAM: 8GB LPDDR3 SDRAM (1,866MHz)
Screen: 13.3-inch, 1,920 x 1,080 FHD IPS UWVA BrightView Corning Gorilla Glass WLED-backlit display
Storage: 256GB SSD (PCIe; NVMe; M.2)
Reasons to buy
+Sleek and lightweight+Tactile keyboard
Reasons to avoid
-Standard 1080p display-Mushy trackpad

HP's most luxurious laptop borrows the Lenovo Yoga 900S's style and the MacBook's bag-friendly dimensions. The Spectre 13 is so thin that tapping away on its tactile keyboard almost feels like your fingers are tap-dancing on the table. Its biggest advantage over the MacBook is its Intel Core-series processor inside, which lends it the winning combination of dazzling looks and computing muscle. Packing three USB-C ports for hooking up peripherals (note that you'll need a converter to use your old USB-A ones), the Spectre 13 doesn't just look like a laptop from the future - it has one eye trained on it too.

Read the full review: HP Spectre 13

2. Dell XPS 13

One of the best all-round Windows laptops on the market

Specifications
CPU: 1.8GHz Intel Core i7-8550U (quad-core, 8MB cache, up to 4.0GHz)
Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 620
RAM: 16GB DDR3 (2,133MHz)
Screen: 13.3-inch, Ultra HD (3,840 x 2,160) UltraSharp InfinityEdge touch display
Storage: 1TB PCIe SSD
Reasons to buy
+Gorgeous 4K display+Lightweight, compact design+Quality internal spec
Reasons to avoid
-White version costs more

We loved last year's Dell XPS 13 laptop and, unsurprisingly, we love this year's iteration as well, with a thinner and more powerful machine partnered beautifully with a 4K screen. The other big take-away this year is the 13's almost bezel-less new design, which manages - somehow - to pack a 13.3-inch screen size into a 11-inch frame. There's also a new Alpine White model that just looks superb, too. A superb all-round ultraportable that is easy to recommend.

Read the full review: Dell XPS 13

Apple MacBook 12

3. Apple 12-inch MacBook

The most fashionable laptop around

Specifications
CPU: 1.1GHz or 1.2GHz dual-core Intel Core M processor
Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 5300
RAM: 8GB
Screen: 12-inch 2,304 x 1,440 pixel-resolution Retina display
Storage: 256GB or 512GB PCIe-based flash storage
Connectivity: USB-C (USB 3.1)
Camera: 480p FaceTime camera
Weight: 0.92 kg
Dimensions: 28.05cm x 19.65cm x 1.31cm (W x D x H)
Reasons to buy
+Thin and light+Retina display
Reasons to avoid
-One USB-C port-Shallow keyboard

Apple's 12-inch MacBook isn't just the most portable MacBook of them all, you won't find a more compact laptop with a high-resolution display full stop. Every inch of Apple's impossibly-thin machine is gorgeous, but it comes at the expense of usability. With just one USB Type-C port, the MacBook requires an adapter if you want to use multiple USB devices - or a combination of peripherals and a display - at the same time. If you don't mind carrying one around in a case, the MacBook's surprisingly punchy speakers, good battery life and catwalk looks make it a unique (and fun to use) laptop.

Read the full review: Apple MacBook

Best laptop

4. Lenovo Yoga 900S

Lightweight and beautiful, with a twist

Specifications
CPU: 1.1GHz Intel Core m5-6Y54 (dual core, 4MB cache, up to 2.7GHz with Turbo Boost)
Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 515
RAM: 4GB LPDDR3 (1600 MHz)
Screen: 12.5-inch, 1,920 x 1,080 FHD IPS LED glossy multi-touch display
Storage: 128GB PCIe SSD
Reasons to buy
+Elegant design+Twists and bends
Reasons to avoid
-Shallow keyboard-Small trackpad

Convertible laptops undoubtedly make better tablets when they're lightweight. The Yoga 900S is one such machine, weighing in at a svelte 2.2 pounds. What you get then, is a 12.5-inch laptop with a bright and colourful screen that can rotate into several different positions, making it easier to interact with touchscreen apps, do a bit of lightweight gaming or even a spot of reading laid back on the couch. In terms of design, the Yoga 900S borrows the Yoga 3 Pro's stylish watchband hinge design without charging the jewellery shop price tag. It's thinner too, while bringing the same pixel-packed 2,560 x 1,440 pixel-resolution display along for the ride.

Read the full review: Lenovo Yoga 900S

5. HP Spectre x360

Another Spectre that's oddly brilliant

Specifications
CPU: Intel Core i5 2.2 GHz
Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 5500
RAM: 4GB
Screen: 13.3 inches 1920x1080
Storage: 128GB SSD
Connectivity: 3x USB3
Camera: HD
Weight: 1.48kg
Dimensions: 12.79 x 8.6 x 0.63 inches
Reasons to buy
+Superbly thin+Vibrant, bright display
Reasons to avoid
-Too heavy to use as a tablet-Weird, wide trackpad

There's something oddly brilliant about HP's Spectre range. Clearly intended to compete with Apple in terms of build quality, but priced just a tiny bit lower to gain some traction with potential buyers. The X360 is another convertible that allows you to fold the screen backwards to create a tablet-style device. This is ideal for Windows 10, although you'll probably not use it much as a tablet because it's still a laptop-weight device.

Read the full review: HP Spectre x360

best ultrabook

6. Lenovo Yoga 900

Performance meets design, Lenovo's latest flagship is a jewel

Specifications
CPU: 2.5GHz Intel Core i7-6500U
Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 520
RAM: 8GB – 16GB
Screen: 13.3-inch QHD+ 3,200 x 1,800 IPS display
Storage: 256GB – 1TB SSD
Reasons to buy
+Gorgeous display+Slim design
Reasons to avoid
-Shallow keyboard-Display drivers issues

If you're all about style and want power to back it up, things don't get much better than Lenovo's latest flagship hybrid Ultrabook. It's much more punch than its Intel Core M-toting predecessor thanks to trading in Core i5 and i7 CPUs, and it has bigger batteries to boot.

Though it's no longer one of the lightest Windows laptops to date, the Yoga 900 still retains an incredibly sharp and thin design. Although it comes at a steep price, such panache will be worth it for style nuts.

7. Samsung Notebook 9

One stellar entry-level Ultrabook

Specifications
CPU: 2.3GHz Intel Core i5-6200U
Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 520
RAM: 8GB DDR3 1866
Screen: 13.3-inch, FHD (1,920 x 1,080) LED anti-reflective display
Storage: 256GB m.2 SSD
Reasons to buy
+Thin, smart styling+Nearly perfect display
Reasons to avoid
-Micro-sized video ports-Short battery life

The Samsung Notebook 9 retains the paper-thin (not literally) design of the Series 9 notebook we all came to know and love back in 2012.

This time, however, we're greeted with a considerably competent Core i5 Skylake processor in addition to an attractive screen, design, and - unlike past Samsung ultrabooks - an approachable price.

Best ultraportable laptop

8. Acer Aspire S 13

One of the most affordable ways to get into Ultrabooks

Specifications
CPU: 6th Gen Intel Core i5 – i7
Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 520
RAM: 4 – 8GB
Screen: 13.3-inch FHD (1,920 x 1,080) touchscreen
Storage: 256GB – 512GB SSD
Reasons to buy
+High performance for a low price+Non-reflective touchscreen
Reasons to avoid
-Exterior feels a little cheap-Disappointing battery life

The Acer Aspire S 13 may not win prizes for being the thinnest nor the  lightest Ultrabook around, nor does it offer more than 10 hours of battery life. But it's an impressive machine none the less with speedy and reliable performance. It's nearly as affordable as the Asus ZenBook UX305 and the touchscreen comes standard, something you won't find on most budget Ultrabooks.

Best ultraportable laptop

9. Dell Latitude 13 7000

A higher class of business laptop we deserve

Specifications
CPU: Intel Core m3 – m7
Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 515
RAM: 4GB – 8GB
Screen: 13.3-inch FHD (1,920 x 1,080) – QHD (3,200 x 1,800) InfinityEdge display
Storage: 128GB - 256GB PCIe SSD
Reasons to buy
+Tactile keyboard+Thin and light
Reasons to avoid
-Intel Core M only-Unusual webcam placement

Following in the footsteps of the king of Ultrabooks, Dell has revamped its Latitude series of business notebooks with the Infinity display redesign. With a compact chassis, the best keyboards ever and great build quality, the Dell Latitude 13 7000 is one of the best Windows laptops to take on the road.

However, thanks to only Intel's Core M chip inside, it isn't the fastest business brain on the block. Still, if you're looking for a reliable machine, you'll be pleased with the Latitude 13 7000's seven hour battery life.

Microsoft Surface Book 2

10. Microsoft Surface Book 2

The ultimate Windows 10 hybrid laptop

Specifications
CPU: 1.9GHz Intel Core i7-8650U (quad-core, 8MB cache, up to 4.2GHz with Turbo Boost)
Graphics: Intel UHD Graphics 620; Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 (6GB GDDR5 VRAM)
RAM: 16GB LPDDR3 (1866Mhz)
Screen: 15-inch, 3,240 x 2,160 (260 ppi) PixelSense display (3:2 aspect ratio; 1600:1 contrast ratio)
Storage: 512 GB PCIe 3.0 SSD
Reasons to buy
+All-round powerhouse+Top rate battery life+Excellent screen
Reasons to avoid
-Grey finish is uninspiring-Ding ding ding

If you want absolutely massive ultraportable power then you should definitely consider the Microsoft Surface Book 2. The second edition of this ultra-premium (and ultra-expensive) 2-in-1 laptop-tablet is a marked improvement in every respect, with a suite of powerful internal hardware including an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 GPU, stunning 15-inch 3,240 x 2,160 resolution display, and excellent battery life combining to deliver a superb all-round computing package. You don't get a stylus included to full make the most of the device in tablet mode, but if you can stretch to the Surface Book 2's very high price point, then you can probably spend a little extra to complete the dream setup.

Read the full review: Microsoft Surface Book 2