The 10 best Ultrabooks of 2017: top thin and light laptops reviewed

Tablets are on the decline, so it’s time to start talking about why you should make the switch to one of the best Ultrabooks. Originally devised by Intel to compete with Apple’s MacBook Air, an Ultrabook is a power-efficient clamshell computer intended for portability rather than explicitly for performance. 

  • Ultrabook not for you? These are the best laptops across every category

Rather than hoisting heavier, louder and less reliable hard drives, all of the top Ultrabooks take advantage of faster and typically lower capacity SSDs, effectively making them slender and resilient. At the same time, Intel promises that their CPUs consume less power, so while they’re not quite as fast as bulkier laptops, they boast excellent battery lives.

Souped up with all-aluminum chassis and unibody designs, what’s the best Ultrabook for you? The affordable yet practical Acer Aspire S 13 or the glistening HP Spectre? Maybe even the MacBook-inspired Huawei MateBook X. No matter your budget and performance preferences, you’ll find that the best Ultrabook for you is right here on this list.

  • Dell XPS 13
  • Razer Blade Stealth
  • HP Spectre x360
  • Asus ZenBook UX310
  • Acer Aspire S 13
  • Microsoft Surface Laptop
  • Acer Swift 7
  • Lenovo Yoga 910
  • Huawei MateBook X
  • HP Spectre

Best Ultrabooks

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, sporting all the way up to an i7-7700U model. 

Read the full review: Dell XPS 13

When we think of Razer, instantly our heads turn to gaming. While a case can be made for the Razer Blade Stealth as a gaming notebook, the lack of a discrete GPU suggests otherwise. When paired with a Razer Core external graphics card enclosure, however, the Blade Stealth goes from powerful to unparalleled. On the upside, even without it, this laptop packs zippy processing performance and nets a lengthy battery life nearing six hours.

Read the full review: Razer Blade Stealth

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.

Read the full review: HP Spectre x360 

Best Ultrabooks

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. 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. 

 Read the full review: Asus ZenBook UX310

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.

Read the full review: Acer Aspire S 13

  • This product is only available in the US and UK as of this writing. Australian readers: check out a fine alternative in the Asus ZenBook UX310

best ultrabook

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. 

Read the full review: Microsoft Surface Laptop

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 need to be, really, when it looks this damn good. Despite being short-lived in the battery life department, the Acer Swift 7 thrives.

Read the full review: Acer Swift 7

  • This product is only available in the US and UK as of this writing. Australian readers: check out a fine alternative in the Microsoft Surface Laptop.

The Lenovo Yoga 910 is a fine example of a laptop that takes two steps forward and one step back. It may be heavier and colder to the touch than the Yoga 900, no thanks to its aluminum finish, but it’s also substantially more stylish. Not only that, but Lenovo even managed to keep the same frame size and fit a larger, 14-inch screen inside it. As a result, it’s still not perfect, but the Yoga 910 is a clear upgrade over its predecessor. 

Read the full review: Lenovo Yoga 910

From Huawei, a Chinese company that’s still little known in the laptop space, the MateBook X doesn’t do itself any favors with its high price tag and strikingly similar looks to Apple’s 12-inch MacBook. Still, it’s dollar to performance ratio rivals that of even the MacBook Pro. Featuring the option of full-on Intel Core i5 or i7 “U” series processors and weighing only 2.3 pounds (1kg), the MateBook X is well-versed in balancing horsepower with portability.

Read the full review: Huawei MateBook X

  • This product is only available in the US as of this writing. UK and Australian readers: check out a fine alternative in the HP Spectre.

Best Ultrabooks

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 actually 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. If there were ever a such thing as a MacBook killer, it would be called the HP Spectre. 

Read the full review: HP Spectre

Gabe Carey has also contributed to this article