In fact, these devices are so sleek and portable that it is almost unbelievable how performance-oriented and well-suited to business and entertainment they can be.
In 2011, Intel first started calling these devices Ultrabook. Today, Ultrabooks have been launched by most leading tech giants and computer manufacturers, such as Apple, Dell, HP, Microsoft, ASUS, Razer and Acer.
Back in the 1940s, when the first computer (ENIAC) was invented, it was a fantastically implausible idea ever to be able to carry a computer with you. Those machines weighed close to 27,000 Kg — a tad heavier, should we say, than the baggage you’re willing to tow along.
But times have changed and how, and several excellent modern-day lightweight laptops or “ultrabook”” weigh as little as 3 pounds. That’s only as much as a pair of boots or a thick hardcover book!
Indeed, one of the greatest technological innovations since the invention of the first computer has been compact, path-breaking chip design. The capability to fit more – features, processors, the works – in less.
The face of the computer marketplace has changed beyond recognition in the last decade. From once being dominated by hefty, stationery desktops that derived their power from their bulk, the market now abounds in robust but feather-light laptops, notebooks and tablets.
They are finding solutions to tenuous problems that once accompanied computer design, problems that could be solved only by bigger and heavier components.
Now, laptops come with speedy response and efficient handling of day-to-day tasks, even when they are the size of your favorite novel.
Cloud computing and storage let you carry massive files minus the body ache. Displays are bright and beautiful, and docking stations allow you to expand horizons when you’re at home or in the office.
Simply put, you have the potency of a full-sized beast of a computer in the niftiness of a laptop that can travel the world with you. To top it all, many of these innovative machines also look the part — utterly stylish and chic.
- Why Ultrabooks Are Gaining Popularity?
- Quick Tips for Buying an Ultrabook
- Our Picks: 10 Best Ultrabook 2021
- 1. Dell XPS 13 9310 – Recommended Ultrabook
- 2. New Apple MacBook Pro – Most Popular Ultrabook
- 3. Microsoft Surface Laptop 3 – Best Ultrabook Under $1000
- 4. Razer Blade Stealth 13 Ultrabook – Best Gaming Ultrabook
- 5. Apple Macbook Air – Best Mac Ultrabook
- 6. MSI Prestige 14 – Best 4K UHD Ultrabook
- 7. ASUS ZenBook 13 UX334FLC – Best ASUS Lightweight Laptop
- 8. ASUS ZenBook Duo UX481 – Best Ultrabook with Second Screen
- 9. Samsung Galaxy Book Flex – Best Ultrabook with QLED Display
- 10. Acer Swift 5 SF514-55TA-74EC Ultrabook
- Why Lightweight Laptop?
- Quite an impressive array of lightweight laptops, eh?
Why Ultrabooks Are Gaining Popularity?
In recent times, Ultrabooks have become wildly popular. They have also garnered a premium reputation; many are available at steep prices over $1000. Unifying these laptops is a common thread: they are all under one-inch thick and are infused with the latest technology in processing, build and speed. When you own an Ultrabook, you can be assured of good boot speed, a predisposition to portability and ease of unplugged usage. Since this kind of flexibility has become ingrained in the fabric of contemporary living, it is no wonder that Ultrabooks have become highly coveted.
Quick Tips for Buying an Ultrabook
While buying an Ultrabook, keep the following tips in handy:
- Clearly identify the purpose of your purchase. You can find Ultrabooks designed for gaming, campus life, business, etc. The specifications will vary based on the core purpose of your computer. For instance, if you primarily need a gaming Ultrabook, getting one with a refresh rate of at least 60Hz will be important.
- Get an Ultrabook with SSD storage. This is critical in light of responsiveness and fast read/write speeds. Even if you settle for a mid-range configuration, try to seek a device that offers an SSD. The difference in overall user experience will be considerable.
- Check that the laptop offers a long battery life. Most laptops in this league can run on a single charge for more than eight hours.
- Ensure that the computer is sturdy but lightweight and compact. Ideally, you should aim for a body weight under 4lbs and a thickness of less than 1”.
- The Ultrabook should be well-connected. Typically, look for USB ports; if you can find a Thunderbolt port, you can look forward to quick data transfer and rapid charging.
- Don’t compromise on the display. You will be traveling with this laptop and staring at the screen for hours on end. It helps to have a vivid, pleasing display with a rich color gamut, an IPS panel and an optimal screen resolution. Some Ultrabooks offers brightness up to 500 nits and color saturation of 100% sRGB. A narrow-bezel monitor is usually preferable since it delivers better screen-to-body ratios for immersive multimedia sessions.
- Get a laptop with extra portability features. For example, if your budget allows it, look for a backlit keyboard, a touchscreen or a fingerprint reader for secure login.
Our Picks: 10 Best Ultrabook 2021
For the customers, the outcome of this shift in perspective has been delightful. As of 2021, there exist numerous choices for a mobile computing companion, and the price points, too, have considerably come down.
Let’s look at the ten best ultrabooks 2021 that you can acquire in 2021, and what they each bring to the table.
Best Ultrabook – Recommended Specs
|Processor||11th Generation Intel Core i7-1185G7
(12MB Cache, up to 4.8 GHz)
|Graphics||Intel Iris Xe Graphics|
|Memory||16GB LPDDR4x 4267MHz RAM|
|Storage||512GB PCIe NVMe M.2 SSD|
|Display||13.4″ UHD+ (3840×2400) display|
|Weight||Under 3 lbs.|
|Battery||Up to 15 Hours|
|Keyboard||Backlit Keyboard with Fingerprint Reader|
|OS||Windows 10 Home 64-bit|
1. Dell XPS 13 9310 – Recommended Ultrabook
One of the finest Ultrabooks in the market today is the 13” Dell XPS 13 9310—a powerful device with a 11th gen Intel Core i7-1185G7 CPU and a brilliant narrow-bezel display.
This laptop offers the best of both worlds—performance and portability.
So, while it is fitted with 16GB RAM and a 512GB SSD, it also boasts of a lightweight chassis weighing 2.65lbs and measuring only 0.58” in thickness. It delivers many other mobility-friendly features as well, such as an inbuilt lid sensor, multi-device integration (through Dell Mobile Connect) and fingerprint-based login via Windows Hello.
The Dell XPS 13 9310 offers an FHD+ monitor with a brightness of 500 nits and an engaging screen to body ratio of 91.5%. You can choose to get a 4K Ultra HD+ screen too; this comes with a 90% DCI P3 color gamut. Thanks to Waves MaxxAudio Pro, the audio output is exemplary.
Bonus: This Dell Ultrabook comes with a unique webcam that has a 4-element lens and temporal noise reduction. Here’s to comfortable video calls on the go!
2. New Apple MacBook Pro – Most Popular Ultrabook
While listing the best ultrabooks, you can’t not mention the MacBook Pro.
This is possibly the bestselling ultrabook but is also quite a popular option among the masses.
The device is available in 3 variants in terms of the storage, ranging from 256GB to 1TB SSD.
The best factor about this device is the new Apple M1 chip that enables smoother work and productivity for the creators.
The backlit magic keyboard is also a highlight in the device that one wouldn’t regret spending their money on. The 13” bright retina display with the true tone technology ensures crisp and clear graphics and shields your eyes as well.
It is integrated with 8GB RAM that enables smoother multitasking without any hassle at all. In terms of the connectivity options, it is equipped with the regular ports and wireless connectivity for smoother performance.
3. Microsoft Surface Laptop 3 – Best Ultrabook Under $1000
Beautiful to behold and available in tone-on-tone colors like cobalt-blue and platinum, this laptop also travels well.
It weighs all of 2.79lbs and can run on a single charge for about 11.5 hours. Not only that, but it also supports quick-charging—up to 80% in one hour—and this liberates you from the need to stay plugged in.
A rich assortment of connections, including USB-C and USB-A ports, permits you to plug into external displays, keyboards and other peripherals.
That said, this laptop is by no means scanty on power. It is fueled by an Intel Core i7 processor and comes with 16GB RAM and a 1TB SSD.
This is adequate for standard computing activities like checking your e-mail, penning down notes and accessing multimedia content.
Plus, you can enjoy the easy familiarity of Windows as you work, from Microsoft Edge and OneDrive to Office 365.
4. Razer Blade Stealth 13 Ultrabook – Best Gaming Ultrabook
Technology has advanced so rapidly that it is now possible to build gaming laptops that are super light and portable.
Razer has achieved this with the fantastic Razer Blade Stealth 13 Ultrabook.
Driven by an Intel Core i7-1165G7 11th gen. processor, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 Ti Max-Q graphics, 16GB RAM and a 512GB SSD, this device adapts well to modern gaming titles.
You can enjoy rich imagery on the FHD monitor with a 100% sRGB color gamut and a refresh rate of 120Hz. Since you get eight hours of battery backup, it is possible to game while on the go.
Razer has ensured that this laptop is suitable for the rigors of travel. It is built with a durable, anodized aluminum frame that weighs only 3lbs. The profile of this computer measures 0.6”, which makes it simple to slide it into backpacks and get going.
5. Apple Macbook Air – Best Mac Ultrabook
Macbooks have evolved over time and are now also available as ultra-portable laptops like the Apple Macbook Air.
This glorious device comes with a Retina display infused with True Tone technology.
With 48% more colors than earlier models and amazing text clarity, this laptop guarantees an excellent viewing experience.
On the processing front, an apple m1 chip processor, 8GB RAM and a 512GB SSD bring you the power to handle both day-to-day tasks and more intensive endeavors like wireless streaming and multimedia editing.
Apple has endowed this MacBook with plenty of pro-portability features. The battery can last up to 12 hours on a single charge. You can avail of a unique Touch ID that lets you securely access sensitive data on the go.
The specially designed keyboard, with a butterfly mechanism, provides a stable typing experience. Despite its power-packed persona, this laptop is lightweight and sleek at 2.8lbs.
6. MSI Prestige 14 – Best 4K UHD Ultrabook
The device is quite a budget-friendly option and ensures smoother performance with the best processors and functions.
The 14” UHD IPS-level display with anti-glare enables the best visual experience for the users. It also comes with thin bezels on the sides, enhancing the screen to body ratio further.
The device is packed with a combination of Intel Core i7-10710U processor with NVIDIA GeForce GTX1650 GPU for smoother multitasking.
As for storage and memory options, the device is equipped with 1TB NVMe SSD for faster boot-up and storage and 16GB RAM for enhanced performance. It also runs on Windows 10 Pro operating system.
7. ASUS ZenBook 13 UX334FLC – Best ASUS Lightweight Laptop
This 13.3” laptop is fuelled by an Intel Core i7-10510U CPU, 16GB RAM and a 512GB SSD.
This is a configuration that can conveniently support business people, students and travelers alike. A unique feature of this computer is its “Screenpad”—a 5.65” interactive touchscreen trackpad that lets you multitask like a pro.
This is handy when you are working with multiple tabs, apps, etc., and need to switch back and forth quickly.
Display-wise, ASUS has got things down pat. The FHD monitor uses a narrow-bezel design that limits distortion and interference.
The sound department is superior too, enhanced further by the “ergolift” hinge that also boosts the typing experience and heat dissipation. ASUS has built this Ultrabook to be durable but lightweight; it adheres to MIL-STD-810G standards but weighs only 2.8lbs and is 0.7” thick.
8. ASUS ZenBook Duo UX481 – Best Ultrabook with Second Screen
We are all living in an era of advanced technology and smoother user experience.
The ASUS ZenBook Duo UX481 is the best example of hi-tech features packed in a budget-friendly price point.
The dual screen features take this device to the next level.
Apart from the standard 14” FHD nanoedge touchscreen display, it is also designed with a 12.6” matte touchscreen that enables easier multitasking without any hindrance.
This allows you to split the applications into two screens for better performance and productivity. It also runs on the 10th generation Intel Core i7-10510U Processor along with the NVIDIA GeForce MX250 GPU for improved functions.
The ZenBook Duo is also equipped with 1TB SSD for storage along with 16GB RAM for memory options. It runs on the Windows 10 Pro operating system.
9. Samsung Galaxy Book Flex – Best Ultrabook with QLED Display
It has a slim 360 design, one that allows you to carry the device around with ease.
The royal blue color of the device adds a stark contrast with the aluminum material that makes it durable and lightweight at the same time.
This powerhouse processor is everything that you possibly want in a device with the Intel Core i7 processor that enables faster boot-up and smoother performance. The best thing about this device is the long-lasting battery life. This enables you to use it even when you are on the go.
It hosts a combination of 512GB SSD for storage along with 8GB RAM for memory options. The best part of this device is likely the price point, which is quite affordable even with the wide range of functions.
10. Acer Swift 5 SF514-55TA-74EC Ultrabook
Brilliant processing performance
The victories of the Acer Swift 5 SF514-55TA-74EC are many, and all of them bode very well for your search of a ultrabook. On the outside, this $1,299.99 and 2.31 lbs machine looks very sleek and compact in a magnesium-lithium alloy body.
The covers are metallic and strong, making it anxiety-free to carry the laptop along wherever you go. The device-support and connectivity are also incredible: two USB 3.2 gen 1 ports, one USB type-c USB 3.2 gen 2 port and an HDMI.
Things get even better when you start working; the laptop boots almost instantly. The winning combination of an 11th Intel Core i7-1065G7 processor, 16GB RAM and 1TB SSD storage ensures you’ve undeterred assistance at blazing speeds.
Windows 10 Home, the operating system of choice, is handy to streamline different tasks such as sign in with Windows Hello and glitch-free video over Skype-certified components. The battery backup on this one is fair — up to 15 hours.
The Acer Swift 5 SF514-55TA-74EC also delivers an enjoyable multimedia experience. The Dolby Audio Premium sound system (with Acer TrueHarmony) is vivid and loud, elevating your movie-watching- as well as gaming time. The full High-Definition display (Intel Iris Xe Graphics, 1920 x 1080) is a pleasure to behold, especially with the Acer Color Intelligence technology that brings to life utterly precise coloring.
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Why Lightweight Laptop?
Wait a minute, though. How important, really, are lightweight laptops? Does their utility extend beyond the contemporary fad to carry the world with oneself and stay forever connected to the “network”?
To answer that, one need only look at the swiftly changing dynamics in homes, workplaces and lifestyles. Offices now extend from one end of the globe to the other; people take up remote and freelancing positions that need them to be attuned, to be able to work from varied geographical terrain.
Traveling is an integral part of many jobs; the number of people mesmerized by wanderlust is also on the rise. In these fascinating times of collaboration and momentum, staying glued to a cubicle, working on a desktop that detests movement, is a severely limiting proposition.
Lightweight laptops offer the ease of portability and accessibility, often fitting into purses and being adaptable to multi-format use (say, tablet or notebook). To be able to commit to an on-the-go population, such laptops are designed with extra durability and a display undeterred by the elements.
They also have specially crafted features for glitch-free sharing and security. But their best quality is their very core: processing mettle and storage. Superior lightweight laptops succeed in a happy tradeoff wherein portability and power coexist.
The price range of ultrabooks is vast and alluring. As a smart consumer, though, it would serve you well to view the price tag with a pinch of salt and assess the purchase as a package. While some entry-level ultrabooks may be available for even under $500, getting a mid-range ($900 to $1250) or premium (above $1250) system will be lucrative in the long run.
The extra bucks go towards a more robust processor (say, an Intel eighth-generation Core over Celeron), a speedier SSD over eMMC storage, and a high-resolution full-HD, ultra-HD or 4k screen. If you seek a lightweight laptop for business or extensive travel, as opposed to using it only as a family-entertainment device, it is worthwhile going the extra mile.
Quite an impressive array of lightweight laptops, eh?
For enthusiasts of swift, on-the-go computing, 2021 is turning out to be a spectacular year. The marketplace is choc-a-bloc with lightweight laptops that can beautifully — and productively —partner with you for personal and professional endeavors.
While choosing a ultrabook for your needs, you’d be well-advised to consider not only the price point and the dimensions, but also the capacity of the computer in terms of processing power, storage, security and resilience. When weighing your options, look for a device with superior display and graphics and better device support.
Lightweight laptops are in perfect contrast with the cold, distant computers of yore that were operated only by a select few and designed never to be uprooted. Ultra-portable-books are pulsating, eager to see the world, and built to be more buddy than baggage. Choose one that advocates a lifestyle similar to yours, and who can tell, perhaps the leanness of these mean machines will inspire us all to follow suit.