Thin, Light and Powerful: The 10 Best Ultrabooks of 2017
If you're a power user who cares more about how long your battery lasts than how many frames per second you can play games at, you've come to the right place: the home of the best Ultrabooks around. Modest in size, but exceptional in style and performance, these machines are virtually unparalleled and powered by Windows.
And if you think some, like the HP Spectre x360 [seen here] or the Acer Aspire S 13, look a bit like the MacBook Air that used to be our friend, you aren't mistaken. When Intel came up with the Ultrabook brand, it was to give Apple a host of competitors in the 'ultraportable' laptop space that, at the time, Tim Cook and the gang were dominating.
So, of course, in our rankings leading up to the best Ultrabook you can buy right now, every single one of them uses an Intel processor -- none of those AMD shenanigans. They also exclusively use SSDs, meaning Windows 10 boots quite a bit faster than it would on a regular ol' phat laptop. With that, here are the thinnest, lightest and most effective Ultrabooks around.
Dell XPS 13
In terms of looks, specs and pricing, the Dell XPS 13 is nothing short of a miracle. Once again, Dell has done the universe a favor by squeezing a 13.3-inch InfinityEdge display into a measly 11-inch figure, and weighing in at only 2.9 pounds (1.29kg), the XPS 13 is blessed with extravagance. The Dell XPS 13 not only bears a lengthy battery life, but it's even sold in a variety of different flavors, all the way up to an i7-7700U model.
Razer Blade Stealth
Potential and temporary issues aside, the Razer Blade Stealth is an Ultrabook that -- hence the branding -- slants towards gaming. In favor of a dedicated graphics card, though, this little 12-inch laptop is all about an extensive battery life and up to Intel's 8th-gen CPUs. Of course, you can play games on it, but it won't do much without an external GPU attachment, which luckily it's ready for.
HP Spectre x360
Among the first to sport 7th generation Kaby Lake processors, the HP Spectre x360 is more than a CPU upgrade. Sure, the 2-in-1 zips by faster than it did last year, but it's also thinner and lighter than it was before -- not to mention more stylish. From the revamped HP logo on the outer shell to the higher quality keyboard, the Spectre x360 is a force to be reckoned with, even if the port selection is limited.
Asus ZenBook UX310
It's no secret that Apple has all but neglected the MacBook Air recently, but in some cases a Windows Ultrabook can be just as good, if not better. Take the Asus ZenBook UX310, for example, the long awaited follow-up to the award-winning ZenBook UX305. Donning a 7th generation Intel Kaby Lake processor, a 178-degree rotating QHD+ screen, a USB-C port an and an all-aluminum shell, this truly a candidate for the MacBook Air's throne.
Acer Aspire S 13
The Acer Aspire S 13 may not win prizes for being the thinnest nor the lightest Ultrabook around, but it's an impressive machine none the less with speedy and reliable performance. Although the battery life fails to exceed 10 hours, it's nearly as affordable as the Asus ZenBook UX305 and the touchscreen comes standard, an anomaly when it comes to laptops in this price range. Add in the fact that the display is non-reflective and we have ourselves a winner.
Microsoft Surface Laptop
No, it's not another Surface Book-- this is a full-on traditional laptop (albeit with a touchscreen) designed by Microsoft. From the Italian imported Alcantara fabric material decorating the keyboard to its gorgeous 13.5-inch, 3:2 PixelSense display, there's no questioning the Surface Laptop's appeal at face value, but dig even deeper and you'll find a notebook that's arguably more competent than Apple's more expensive 12-inch MacBook.
Acer Swift 7
It's no surprise that the world's thinnest laptop doesn't come without its own share of port shortages; however, it's also unfair to judge the Acer Swift 7 by its pair of USB-C twins alone. Sporting an Core i5 processor from Intel's 7th gen Y series lineup (previously Core M), the Swift 7 is by no means a powerhouse, but it doesn't have to be, either, when it looks this damn good. Despite being short-lived in the battery life department, the Acer Swift 7 thrives.
Lenovo Yoga 910
As a follow-up to the Yoga 900, we couldn't have asked for better than the Yoga 910. Shaking up the style of its predecessor completely in favor of an all-aluminum unibody shell, this is a 2-in-1 laptop that's as fashionable as it is utilitarian. Though it's heavier and colder to the touch, the fact that Lenovo decided to keep the Yoga 900's same frame size and fit a larger 14-inch screen inside it is a design marvel.
Huawei MateBook X
Embellished with the looks and price of a 12-inch MacBook, you'll be surprised when you find out the MateBook X is more of a Pro when it comes to performance. Donning full-fledged “U” series Intel Core i processors, this Ultrabook is more than the Chinese knock-off you might have assumed it to be. It's made by Huawei after all, the third biggest smartphone maker in the world, and with the MateBook X, it's hoping to replicate that success with its laptops as well.
One glance at the HP Spectre, and you'd think it belongs in a mansion. As if looks weren't enough, this gilded machine is more powerful than the latest MacBook and for a lower price at that. You won't find laptops thinner than this and with an optional Intel Core i7 configuration to the trio of USB-C ports, it's supremely capable and not to mention future-proof. We only hope you don't mind a laptop that cranks up the heat a notch as it's battery life hastily boils away.
© 2017 T-break Tech under contract with NewsEdge/Acquire Media. All rights reserved.
Image credit: Product shot by HP.
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