10 best lightweight laptops 2018: find the best ultraportable laptop for you

No matter if you are looking for the best small laptop, or the best portable laptop, these are the best thin and light laptops on the market today

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Welcome to our guide to the best lightweight laptops and best small laptops in 2018. If, like us, you love super-thin laptops that run as good as they look, then you've come to the right place, as here we've got the best ultraportable laptops, best compact laptops, and best light laptops money can currently buy.

From the brilliant newcomer, the Huawei MateBook X Pro, to seasoned but still superb HP Spectre 13, and onto the excellent 2018 edition of the Dell XPS 13 and, finally, the all round powerhouse that is the Surface Book 2, these machines deliver excellent portable PC packages, with a lightweight laptop available for every shopper's budget.

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

How to choose the best lightweight 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 some of the world's best thin laptops and best ultraportable laptops for some  simply absurd prices, and especially so 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. 

As such, all the light laptops listed here in our curated best ultraportable laptop guide not only deliver on the specs front but they also look the part, too. They often sport all-metal constructions, wafer-thin designs and internal guts that can chew through demanding tasks in a breeze.

We absolute hate slow, poorly made technology here at T3.com, so you can be confident that these are the best lightweight laptops and best compact laptops for build quality, speed, and style.

Here are the 10 best ultraportable and lightweight laptops on the market today.

10 best lightweight laptops available today: the best ultraportable laptops in the world

Huawei MateBook X Pro best ultraportable laptops best lightweight laptops best thin laptop best small laptop best portable laptop best compact laptops

The Huawei MateBook X Pro is the overall best lightweight laptop in the world today.

1. Huawei MateBook X Pro

The overall best lightweight laptop in the world

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 MateBook X Pro also comes with a quality 3K touchscreen and only weighs 1.33 kilograms, too, makes it one of the absolute best ultraportable laptops and best small laptops on the market today.

It's not cheap, but as it retains the traditional laptop design, with no removable screens or on-trend 360-degree hinges, the MateBook X Pro still rings in far cheaper than, say, the Microsoft Surface Book 2, so we feel it is a premium, high-end sweet spot. Simply put, the best Ultrabook of 2018.

Best ultraportable laptop Dell XPS 13 best lightweight laptops best thin laptop best small laptop best portable laptop best compact laptops

The Dell XPS 13 is great option for anyone looking for one of the best ultraportable laptops on the market.

2. Dell XPS 13

A superb all-round system and one of the best lightweight laptops going

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 laptop that is easy to recommend.

Read the full review: Dell XPS 13

best ultraportable laptop HP Spectre 13 best lightweight laptops best thin laptop best small laptop best portable laptop best compact laptops

If you're looking for one of the best small laptops available today that features premium build quality, then the HP Spectre 13 will not disappoint.

3. HP Spectre 13

The best lightweight, ultraportable laptop for those content at 1080p

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+Premium HP build quality
Reasons to avoid
-Only 1080p display

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 Apple MacBook 12 best lightweight laptops best thin laptop best small laptop best portable laptop best compact laptops

Mac fans should look no further than the Apple MacBook (12-inch) for an ultraportable laptop in 2018.

4. Apple MacBook (12-inch)

The best light laptop for Apple lovers

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+Apple desirability
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. As such, it is one of the best compact laptops available today.

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. 

Regardless, though, the MacBook's surprisingly punchy speakers, good battery life and catwalk looks make it absolutely one of the best lightweight laptops going and an easy ultraportable recommendation for Apple fans.

Read the full review: Apple MacBook

best ultraportable laptop Asus Zenbook UX310 best lightweight laptops best thin laptop best small laptop best portable laptop best compact laptops

The budget friendly Asus ZenBook UX310 is the best small laptop for those shopping with around £600 to spend.

5. ASUS ZENBOOK UX310

The best lightweight laptop for those looking for a top ultrabook on a budget

Specifications
CPU: Intel Core i3 – Core i7
Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 620
RAM: 4GB – 16GB
Screen: 13.3-inch, FHD (1,920 x 1,080) – QHD+ (3,200 x 1,800)
Storage: 500GB – 1TB HDD; 500GB – 1TB SSD
Reasons to buy
+Brilliant anti-glare display+Another thin design from Asus
Reasons to avoid
-GPU isn't knockout, even for an ultrabook

Asus' entry-level offering, the ZenBook UX310, is a mixed bag of a device, but one that's still going to hold up to most tasks. That 13.3-inch FHD display (with anti-glare properties, naturally) makes this great for use outdoors, as does the impressively svelte design ethos you've come to expect from Asus.

That Intel HD Graphics 620 doesn't provide the beefiest of graphical performance, but then again this is an ultrabook you can largely pick up below £500 so it's a cutback we can accept considering the strengths of its 13.3-inch display and a lovely thin and lightweight build.

Microsoft Surface Book 2 best ultraportable laptop best lightweight laptops best thin laptop best small laptop best portable laptop best compact laptops

If you've got a large budget to play and want one of the best ultraportable laptops on the market today with 2-in-1 functionality, then the Surface Book 2 is the best-in-class option.

6. Microsoft Surface Book 2

The best lightweight laptop if you need premium hybrid functionality

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

best ultraportable laptop Lenovo Yoga 920

7. Lenovo Yoga 920

The best ultraportable laptop if you need 2-in-1 but can't stretch to the Surface Book 2

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 Razer Blade Stealth best lightweight laptops best thin laptop best small laptop best portable laptop best compact laptops

The best lightweight laptop for gamers in 2018 is the Razer Blade Stealth.

8. Razer Blade Stealth

The best lightweight laptop 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. As such, it is easily the best ultraportable laptop for gamers in 2018.

Acer Swift 7 best ultraportable laptop best lightweight laptops best thin laptop best small laptop best portable laptop best compact laptops

Need maximum compactness in your laptop? Then the Acer Swift 7 is the best light laptop for you thanks to its remarkable thinness.

9. Acer Swift 7

In terms of thinness, the best compact laptop on the market today

Specifications
CPU: Intel Core i5-7Y54
Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 615
RAM: 8GB
Screen: 13.3-inch FHD 1,920 x 1,080
Storage: 256GB SATA SSD
Reasons to buy
+Impressively thin build+Strong battery life
Reasons to avoid
-Very expensive for an ultrabook

Acer has laid claim to the 'thinnest ultabook' mantle for a while now with its ever-svelte Swift range, and the latest addition - is the slightest one yet. It's a gorgeous-looking piece of kit, and you'll barely notice you're even carrying it. With an LTE modem and fingerprint scanner, and got plenty going for it.

There are some concessions, though. To get a device this thin, Acer has had to stick with much older components, and the result is a GPU and GPU that are going to struggle to hold a torch to ultrabooks with far more agreeable price points.

Asus ZenBook 3 best lightweight laptops best thin laptop best small laptop best portable laptop best compact laptops

If you want MacBook-style aesthetics but the Windows 10 OS then the Asus ZenBook 3 is the best ultraportable laptop going right now.

10. ASUS ZENBOOK 3

MacBook aesthetics, better than MacBook internals

Specifications
CPU: Intel Core i5 – i7
Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 620
RAM: 16GB
Screen: 12.5-inch FHD (1,920 x 1,080)
Storage: 512GB SATA SSD
Reasons to buy
+Impressive nano edge display+True thin and lightweight build
Reasons to avoid
-Port selection is underwhelming

Asus really isn't messing around with the ZenBook 3. With one of the best looking designs on this list, the model nails the ultrabook aesthetic with elegance and a lightweight construction that is normally the preserve of Apple.

It's one of the most powerful ultrabooks Asus has entered into the market, and it's only held back by a wishy-washy keyboard and a surprisingly spartan approach to ports. 

Still, for the price, you're getting a thin laptop that rise to any challenge you throw at it, and if you love the Apple MacBook look but really prefer Windows as your OS then this really is the best lightweight laptop and best ultraportable laptop you can pick up right now.