Ultrabooks were first defined by Intel almost a decade ago when a new type of laptop was introduced, and they are now among the best Windows laptop options available. While laptops have always been a trend towards a thinner, more compact body, Ultrabooks goes one step further. They achieve the slimmest body possible without sacrificing battery life or performance. And today, we are here with our list of the best Ultrabooks of 2020.
Whether you’re a student, a professional, or want to stay connected and productive, a laptop is one of the essential tools in the business. But some are better than others, with significant differences in keyboards, battery life, displays, and design. If you’re looking for a powerful laptop that fits easily in your bag and doesn’t break your back, you want an ultrabook. Of course, there’s always new technology in the pipeline.
Best Ultrabooks of 2020
With all this power, enough for photo editing and light 3D design, combined with the portable and elegant design, the best Ultrabooks are worth seriously considering for your next laptop. However, for more powerful options, do check our list of the Best Gaming Laptops.
Dell XPS 13 9300
The best ultrabook right now
Long regarded as one of the best ultrabooks out there, the Dell XPS 13 is easily recommended, especially if you want something very thin and light. If you want stronger performance, an alternative model with a Comet Lake processor may be for you. However, this design, which we reviewed with an Intel Core i7-1065G7 “Ice Lake” processor, is much more streamlined.
The switch to a 16:10 display gives more vertical space on the screen, which is excellent for productivity. Instead of a 1920 x 1080 (1080p) display on the base panel of the XPS 13, you get 1920 x 1200, which goes up to 3840 x 2400 (instead of 3840 x 2160) on the 4K screen. The XPS 13 also did very well on our battery test, which took over 13 hours on a model with a 1920 x 1200 display. The 4K display lasted a respectable 8 hours and 14 minutes on a charge.
HP Spectre x360
The best 2-in-1 ultrabook
The Spectre x360 13 is the best 2-in-1 laptop ever. Updated with a 10th generation CPU and a more modern design, the Spectre x360 13 has improved in almost every way over its excellent predecessor. Highlights of this laptop include a beautiful design that flaunts faceted edges and beveled corners. Those precision-cut details make the Spectre look more like a piece of jewelry than a gadget.
Along with that, stunning design is a bright 1080p display, epic 13+ hours of battery life, and fast overall performance. There’s almost nothing the Spectre x360 13 doesn’t do well, although the speakers could use some tuning. We set the Spectre x360 13 up against some of our other favorite 2-in-1 laptops, including the Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 and Lenovo Yoga C940, but none of these great competitors could dethrone the HP.
Asus ROG Zephyrus G14
A gaming ultrabook with an exceptional battery life
Asus is stepping up his game when it comes to gaming laptops. Example: the Asus ROG Zephyrus G14. Powered by AMD’s powerful Ryzen 9-4900HS processor, the laptop is a powerful multitasker. But when combined with an Nvidia RTX 2060 Max-Q GPU, the laptop is a force to be reckoned with when it comes to gaming. Equipped with a lightning-fast SSD, a bright 14-inch, 120Hz screen, a comfortable keyboard and strong speakers in a beautiful milky white magnesium alloy, and the ROG Zephyrus G14 is a near-perfect gaming laptop.
But where the Zephyrus G14 shines is the battery life. The top laptop lasted 11 hours and 32 minutes on our Laptop Mag Battery Test, making it the longest-lasting gaming laptop ever. It’s nearly three times the average length of a 4:26 gaming laptop. Ultimately, between its murderous AMD performance and epic battery life, the Zephyrus G14 is the gaming laptop to beat. And overall, this is one of the best ultrabooks right now.
HP Envy 13
A premium ultrabook under $1000
HP has a long tradition of making laptops you can rely on, and the HP Envy 13 is no different – it’s one of the best choices you’re going to find in the best ultrabooks under the $1000 range. We include it here because of its excellent balance between price and performance. This is a laptop that will last you a long time. The 13.3-inch, 1920 x 1080 resolution display is at the forefront here – bright and sharp and great for streaming video, surfing the web, and working on documents.
While creatives may want a little more in screen real estate, the smaller display size makes this a portable laptop, and thanks to its reliable build quality, it doesn’t feel like you have to be extra careful with it. With a choice of Intel’s Core processors inside and some compelling combinations of RAM and internal storage also available, this is a laptop ready to handle all but the most demanding tasks (don’t try to gamble on it). A special mention for the audio developed in collaboration with Bang and Olufsen, which sounds great.
MacBook Air 2020
The best portable MacBook
It’s incredible what a difference the right keyboard makes. Since 1999 the MacBook Air 2020 has the improved Magic Keyboard, which replaces the butterfly switch with a scissor mechanism that allows you to type much more comfortably. Apple has also upgraded the Air to the 10th generation Intel Core processors (from 8th generation). It’s a Y-Series chip (which is not as powerful as the U-Series CPUs), but it turned out to be enough for everyday use and basic multitasking.
Apple not only lowered the price by $100, but it also doubled the standard MacBook Air storage, from a 128GB SSD to a 256GB drive, which still offers lightning-fast read speeds. The MacBook Air also has great endurance, with a battery that lasts all day. It took 9 hours and 31 minutes (almost 50 minutes longer than the regular system) for our web surfing test to charge the MacBook Air fully. Add to that Apple’s relatively bright and colorful Retina display and surprisingly powerful speakers, and you have the best ultrabook for most Apple fans.
Lenovo Yoga C940
The best 14-inch 2-in-1 ultrabook
With the Yoga C940, Lenovo took a formula and refined it. Subtle design improvements, long battery life (up to 11:46), and updated 10th generation Intel’s processors make the Lenovo Yoga C940 a worthy successor to last year’s excellent Yoga C930. As you would expect from a Yoga series laptop, the C940 has a premium, ultra-portable chassis and a unique hinge that also serves as a soundbar speaker. As a 2-in-1, that hinge can rotate 360 degrees to turn the Yoga C940 into a real tablet.
When it comes to viewing content, the Yoga C940’s 1080p and 4K displays are clear, rich, and vibrant; beware, the Ultra-HD display takes the battery out of sight. For the basics, my favorite things about the Yoga C940 are the extra features. These include a webcam cover (no more tape needed), a slot for the included stylus, and a fingerprint sensor. Overall, this is one of the best ultrabooks that you can buy right now.
Microsoft Surface Pro 7
The best detachable 2-in-1 ultrabook
Surface Pro 7 makes an excellent laptop in last year’s Surface Pro 6 and gives it a power boost. While the battery life is a hit, the new 10th generation CPU delivers outstanding performance. The design hasn’t changed at all, but the Surface Pro 7 now has a USB-C port for charging and connecting peripherals. Microsoft still sells the comfortable Alcantara Type Cover and super-responsive Surface Pen, making it easy to draw or take notes on the tablet’s vibrant and bright 12.3-inch display. Overall, this is one of the best ultrabooks right now.
Asus ZenBook 14
Good specs and tasteful design make this robust all-round laptop
A simply gorgeous laptop from Asus that we like to have in our best ultrabooks list; if you want the perfect combination of power and style, this might be the case, and as a bonus, you get a trackpad that can also be used as a handy secondary display. If you look at the specs, you’ll see that this is a laptop that more than lends itself to any task you want to perform, even some low-resolution video editing and gaming (note the Nvidia GeForce option).
Despite all this raw power, the price is not too high. And then there’s the design: this is one of the best looking laptops we’ve seen, and even the display hinge is a work of art. It will rotate everything you need with aplomb, and it will look the part as you do it – what more do you need?
MacBook Pro 16-inch
The most powerful MacBook for power users
The 16-inch MacBook Pro is your type if you’ve been waiting for Apple to make the right keyboard. The Magic Keyboard on this premium laptop swallows up the Butterfly mechanism in favor of the scissor switches, and the result is a much more comfortable typing experience. You’ll also get a crisp and sharp 16-inch display with slimmer edges, powerful performance from an available Intel’s Core i9 CPU, and robust AMD’s Radeon 5300M or 5500M graphics.
You can also configure the laptop with up to 64GB RAM and 8TB storage if you want to splurge. The 11-hours of battery life is another advantage of this laptop that doesn’t fall into the runtimes of its competitors. The 16-inch MacBook Pro is expensive, and Apple still doesn’t have full-size USB ports, but overall this is one of the best ultrabooks for creative professionals.
Acer Aspire 5
The best budget ultrabook
The Acer Aspire 5 proves that you don’t have to spend a lot to get a great laptop. This notebook has a full HD screen that is pretty bright, so it’s great for surfing the web, doing quick photo editing, and watching videos on Netflix, YouTube, or Disney Plus. And it has all the power you want for everyday tasks and multitasking, thanks to a 10th generation Core i5 processor, 8GB of RAM, and 256GB of SSD. It’s all packed in a pretty lightweight 3.8-pound package.
The biggest surprise with the Aspire 5 is battery life. This laptop lasted almost 9 hours on our web surf battery test, which is very good for a 15-inch system. There are a few things we don’t like about this budget laptop; while the lid is a premium aluminum, the rest of the laptop is made of plastic. You shouldn’t expect to play the latest games either. But overall, the Aspire 5 is one of the best ultrabooks that you can buy right now.