Looking for a top-of-the-range lightweight laptop to add to your professional arsenal? These our our top Ultrabook picks
If you’re willing to spend the big bucks on an Ultrabook – essentially, a thin and lightweight laptop that’s a cut above the average – well, you’re in for a treat. Where budget laptops or bargain bin Chromebooks are like driftwood, bobbing aimlessly off the coast of Skegness, Ultrabooks are the multi-million dollar yachts of the laptop world.
There are things to consider before splashing out, though. It’s worth thinking about whether you need a colour-accurate display for photo editing or design duties, especially long-lasting battery life for lengthy commutes, or specific connectivity or features which will come in handy whether you’re out and about or sat back at your desk.
Below, you’ll find a regularly updated list of our favourite Ultrabooks, each chosen after hours of testing – and after tackling our demanding suite of benchmarks. Whatever you’re searching for, you’ll find something here that suits your needs. Read on, and we’ll run through you all the key things you need to know.
READ NEXT: Best Chromebooks you can buy
How to choose the best lightweight laptop
What is an Ultrabook?
An Ultrabook – often referred to as a lightweight laptop – is a special category of laptop reserved for top-end devices. These laptops are typically fitted with the best current-generation processors, RAM and storage configurations that factory assembly lines have to offer, all squeezed inside a super-thin and ultralight device that’ll make it a joy to use. Not to mention the admiring glances it will earn from your fellow commuters on the train ride home.
Do I need an Ultrabook?
Whether or not you need an Ultrabook depends entirely on your needs. If you’ll only be using your laptop to keep tabs on your emails and drum up the occasional PowerPoint presentation, then look elsewhere – you can save a lot of money in the process. But, if you require processing grunt from a laptop that’s light and portable, and that can handle heavyweight apps without grinding to a halt, then an Ultrabook is the best choice for you.
How much do I need to spend?
Ultrabooks are not cheap. You’re getting the best that manufacturers have to offer after all, often with a suitably high asking price attached. While you don’t necessarily need to spend an absolute fortune – some configurations start off around the £700 mark – you’ll be spending close to £2,000 for models with Core i7 processors, the largest SSDs and top-notch 4K displays.
What criteria should I look out for?
There are many things to be wary of when making your decision. Of course, it all depends on what you’ll be using the laptop for, but you’ll need to make sure that its components are as up to date as possible – a quick Google search will tell you the manufacture date. To get a better feel for a device before you commit to your purchase you can always read our full in-depth reviews, which we’ve provided links to for all the laptops listed below.
The best lightweight laptops to buy in 2020
1. Razer Blade Stealth 13: The new lightweight laptop to beat
Price: £1,500 | Buy now from Amazon
Looking for the best of the best? The Razer Blade Stealth 13 is the ultimate portable laptop to own right now, offering phenomenal CPU and gaming performance inside a svelte, gorgeously designed chassis. At 1.31kg, the Razer Blade Stealth 13 is about as light laptops come, but it’s packed with heavyweight internals; an 8th-gen Intel Core i7-8565U processor, Nvidia GeForce MX150 graphics and 16GB of RAM make this the mightiest Ultrabook going. On top of its class-leading CPU, SSD and graphics abilities, the Razer Blade Stealth 13 has the most stunning display of any laptop on the market.
The 13.3in, 1,920 x 1,080 60Hz IPS panel is extraordinarily bright and has a matte finish which improves viewing angles further still. It also has fantastic sRGB gamut coverage and accurate colour reproduction, making photo editing or video streaming a true joy. Apart from disappointing battery life, there’s no downside to this phenomenal little laptop. Rest assured, this is one tech purchase you won’t regret.
Read our full Razer Blade Stealth 13 review for more details
Key specs – Processor: Quad-core 1.8GHz Intel Core i7-8565U; RAM: 16GB; Storage: 256GB PCIe SSD; Screen resolution: 1,920 x 1,080; Weight: 1.31kg
2. Huawei MateBook X Pro: An underdog Ultrabook contender
Price: From £1,309 l Buy now from Amazon
Following the US trade ban on Huawei, it remains unclear whether or not Huawei laptops will continue to receive Microsoft Windows OS updates, which could have serious security implications for users. There’s been no ruling on Microsoft yet, but Google has already been ordered to end Android updates for Huawei and Honor phones.
A newcomer to the laptop scene, Huawei’s MateBook X Pro is a wonderful Ultrabook choice. While last year’s model failed to gain the recognition it deserved, this year’s MateBook X Pro is something particularly special. It’s better in almost every respect: it’s lighter, faster, has a great bezel-free display and it looks seriously good, too. The only issue, however, is that you won’t find the MateBook X Pro on store shelves in the UK, so you’ll have to find a grey import seller if this laptop tickles your fancy.
Read our full Huawei Matebook X Pro review for more details
Key specs – Processor: Quad-core 1.8GHz Intel Core i7-8550U; RAM: 16GB; Storage: 512GB; Screen resolution: 3,000 x 2,000; Weight: 1.33kg
You could argue that the MacBook Pro isn’t strictly an Ultrabook, but if Windows isn’t your thing then it’s the only choice. And what a choice it is: Apple’s recently refreshed MacBook Pros have a lot to offer, and threatens to empty bank accounts with a wide array of tempting upgrades, including up to 4TB of SSD storage – perfect for chomping through 4K video editing duties.
The latest MacBook Pro recently passed through our doors and smashed through our benchmark tests. In fact, it blew most Windows-powered Ultrabooks clear out of the water. If money is no object, well, you can spec out a MacBook Pro that will last you well after its cheaper alternatives have kicked the bucket.
Read our full Apple MacBook Pro review for more details
Key specs – Processor: Quad-core 2.7GHz Intel Core i7-8559U; RAM: 8GB; Storage: 2TB; Screen resolution: 2,560 x 1,600; Weight: 1.37kg
4. Microsoft Surface Book 2: A detachable delight
Price: From £1,149 l Buy now from Amazon
A truly unique laptop, Microsoft’s most recent Surface Book 2 isn’t to be trifled with. Available in either 13in or 15in configurations, this 2-in-1 device looks every inch the high-end Ultrabook – dab the button and the screen separates to become a giant tablet replete with a stylus.
The display is colour-accurate, there are a handful of configuration options to pick and choose from and it’s very well-priced given its top-shelf credentials. Get the Surface Book 2 if versatility is at the top of your agenda.
Read our full Microsoft Surface Book 2 review for more details
Key specs – Processor: Quad-core 2.11GHz Intel Core i7-8650U; RAM: 16GB; Storage: 1TB; Screen resolution: 3,000 x 2,000; Weight: 1.64kg
5. Lenovo Yoga C930: Lightweight and packed with features
Price: £1,300 | Buy now from Very
There are few laptops on the market right now more desirable than the Lenovo Yoga C930. At just under 1.4kg it’s extremely portable, tucking under the arm or into the rucksack with ease, but it doesn’t skimp on specs – far from it. With a nippy 8th-gen Intel Core i5-8250U (up to 1.8GHz) and 8GB RAM, it’s adept at multitasking, and easily handles image and video editing. Core i7 versions are also available.
The Yoga C930’s sleek chassis has a few tricks up its sleeve, including a self-charging garaged stylus and a webcam privacy shutter. The standout feature, though, is the rotating Dolby Atmos soundbar, which is built into the 360-degree hinge and produces some of the best audio we’ve ever heard from a notebook. To top it off, the Yoga C930 lasted over 10hrs in our battery test so can comfortably see you through a working day on a single charge.
Read our full Lenovo Yoga C930 review for more details
Key specs – Processor: Quad-core 11.6GHz Intel Core i5-8250U; RAM: 8GB; Storage: 512GB PCIe SSD; Screen resolution: 1,920 x 1,080; Weight: 1.38kg