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.

We love our thin and light laptops here at T3.com and, as such, here we've rounded up the very best slim and stylish ultrabooks on the market. 

From the seasoned but still superb HP Spectre 13, through to the excellent 2018 edition of the Dell XPS 13, and on to the all round powerhouse that is Surface Book 2, these machines deliver excellent portable PC packages, with something for every shopper's budget.

We've not only listed the best thin and light laptops on the market either, but also supplied some valuable advice for shoppers looking to upgrade, detailing exactly what you should be looking for and how to get the right ultraportable for you.

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

HP Spectre 13

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

Best ultraportable laptop

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 ultraportable 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

Best ultraportable laptop

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

Lenovo Yoga 920

6. Lenovo Yoga 920

Performance meets design, Lenovo's laptop is a jewel

Specifications
CPU: 8th-generation Intel Core i5 – i7
Graphics: Intel UHD Graphics 620
RAM: 8GB – 16GB
Screen: 13.9-inch FHD (1,920 x 1,080) – UHD (3,840 x 2,160)
Storage: 256GB – 1TB SSD
Reasons to buy
+Gorgeous display+Quality internal hardware+Top sound quality
Reasons to avoid
-Lacks graphical power-Fans can be loud

If you're all about style and want very competitive power to back it up, things don't get much better than Lenovo's hot Yoga 920 hybrid. The specs are top rate, with 8th-gen Core processors partnered with up to a 4K UHD touchscreen display and spacious 1TB SSD, the design thin, attractive and light (1.37kg), and the price affordable. Yes, the Yoga 920 isn't a graphical powerhouse, but providing you aren't banking on the system to play demanding PC games or do heavy video editing then it's pretty much the ideal 2-in-1 hybrid.

Best ultraportable laptop

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.

Razer Blade Stealth

8. Razer Blade Stealth

The ultimate ultrabook for gamers

Specifications
CPU: Quad Core 8th Gen Intel Core i7
Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 620
RAM: 16GB
Screen: 13.3-inch QHD+ (3,200 x 1,800)
Storage: 256GB – 1TB PCIe SSD
Reasons to buy
+Premium look and feel+Top calibre performance
Reasons to avoid
-No 4K screen option

We liked the original Razer Blade Stealth when it was released a couple of years back and, while this new edition loses the ability to have a UHD 4K screen packed into its premium Gunmetal or Black chassis, it does deliver some absolutely smoking hot internal hardware, including a 8th Generation Intel® Core™ i7-8550U (up to 4.0 GHz), 16GB of RAM, and up to a 1TB PCIe SSD. It also weighs only 3lbs, delivers up to 10 hours of battery life, and thanks to its Thunderbolt 3 connection can be used alongside the Razer Core V2 external GPU enclosure, too.

Huawei MateBook X Pro

9. Huawei MateBook X Pro

A quality new entry to the ultrabook market

Specifications
CPU: 8th-generation Intel Core i5 – i7
Graphics: Nvidia GeForce MX150 (2GB), Intel UHD Graphics 620
RAM: 8GB – 16GB
Screen: 13.3-inch 3K (3,000 x 2,000; touch)
Storage: 256GB – 512GB SSD
Reasons to buy
+Super performance+Lush, modern design
Reasons to avoid
-No SD card slot

We loved the Huawei MateBook X Pro the moment we saw it thanks to its absolutely luxe chassis, clever in-keyboard pop-up camera, and MacBook Pro slaying internal hardware. The fact that the laptop also comes with a quality 3K touchscreen and only weighs 1.33 kilograms, too, makes it one of the most tempting ultraportables on the market today.

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