The best Ultrabooks 2021: the best thin and light laptops


The best Ultrabooks of 2021 have redefined what a quality computing experience looks like. It’s for good reason that these machines sit at the higher end of the market, after all. They often rank among the best laptops available and are more than worth the cost, though. Whether it’s high-end internals like the best processors, the best SSDs, and even graphics cards, the elegant design, or the included feature sets, these are premium inside and out.

What’s most striking about the best Ultrabooks is how they pack all that performance, not to mention long battery life, in such a slender form factor. It’s no wonder they’ve become the status symbols of the laptop world. Essentially, get one of these if you care about a lightweight, slim machine that can keep up with all your computing needs while also delivering fantastic battery life.

It’s true they’re some of the priciest portables out there, not including the best gaming laptops, but the Best Ultrabooks are the cutting edge of Windows laptops and are the most viable alternatives to the best MacBooks. If this sounds like what you’ve been looking for, read on to see our picks for the best Ultrabooks 2021 has to offer.

On the budget? A Chromebook might be a better fit.

Dell XPS 15

(Image credit: Dell)

1. Dell XPS 15 (2020)

The ultimate laptop has arrived

Specifications

CPU: 10th Gen Intel Core i5 – i7

Graphics: Intel UHD Graphics – NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 Ti

RAM: 8GB – 64GB

Screen: 15.6″ FHD+ (1920 x 1200) InfinityEdge Non-Touch Anti-Glare 500-Nit – 15.6″ UHD+ (3840 x 2400) InfinityEdge Touch Anti-Reflective 500-Nit Display

Storage: 256GB – 2TB M.2 PCIe NVMe

Reasons to buy

+Amazing speakers+Beautiful display+Comfy keyboard

Reasons to avoid

GTX 1650 Ti is a little weak

The Dell XPS 15 might just be incredible enough to tempt hardcore Mac users. It’s easily the best Ultrabook in 2021, and in a lot of ways, the best laptop (period). Combining staggering power in a stylish thin and light chassis, this laptop doesn’t hold back when it comes to internals and features that improve your computing experience overall. Among those amazing features are a gorgeous bright display with 500 nits of brightness, an extremely comfortable keyboard, impressive speakers, and a terrific trackpad. We’re not saying that this laptop is perfect, but our coveted 5 out of 5 rating should speak for itself.

Read the full review: Dell XPS 15

HP Elite Dragonfly G2

The HP Elite Dragonfly G2 is as close to being the perfect business laptop as any manufacturer can get. (Image credit: HP)

2. HP Elite Dragonfly G2

Can HP make lightning strike twice?

Specifications

CPU: 11th-generation Intel Core i3 – i7

Graphics: Intel Iris Xe Graphics

RAM: 8GB – 32GB

Screen: 13.3-inch diagonal BrightView LED FHD, 400 nits – 13.3-inch diagonal BrightView LED 4K UHD HDR-400 550 nits

Storage: up to 2TB SSD

Reasons to buy

+Great design+Comfortable keyboard+Excellent screen

Reasons to avoid

ExpensiveUSB-C ports on only one side

The second-generation HP Elite Dragonfly has kept its status as one of the best Ultrabooks. HP’s impressive business laptop is back with its smart design, great battery life, and 2-in-1 prowess. Of course, it’s more powerful now than it’s ever been, touting 11th-gen Intel Core chips, Intel Iris Xe graphics, and now a 4K display, upgrading from its previous Full HD models. There’s a lot to love here, and it might just be as close to being the perfect business laptop as any manufacturer can get. If you can afford it. However, as it is meant for professionals, it’s definitely worth the investment. 

Read the full review: HP Elite Dragonfly G2 

HP Spectre x360 (2021)

(Image credit: HP)

3. HP Spectre x360 (2021)

This year’s model is a brilliant 13-inch laptop

Specifications

CPU: 11th-generation Intel Core i5 – i7

Graphics: Intel Iris Xe Graphics

RAM: 8GB – 16GB

Screen: 13.3″ FHD (1920 x 1080) IPS BrightView micro-edge WLED-backlit multitouch – 13.3″ diagonal 4K (3840 x 2160) UWVA BrightView micro-edge AMOLED multitouch

Storage: 256GB – 2TB SSD

Reasons to buy

+Gorgeous design+Excellent battery life

Reasons to avoid

Fans can get noisyPricey

The HP Spectre x360 has been one of the best laptops for years now, and the 2021 model is no different. Now coming with 11th-generation Intel Core processors, which offer a decent performance boost, and feature better integrated Intel Iris Xe graphics, the HP Spectre x360 (2021) is better than ever. It still features the impeccable 2-in-1 design and pristine gem-cut chassis that these laptops are known for, meaning that the HP Spectre x360 (2021) is one of the best looking Ultrabooks ever made, and when it comes to build quality. While it’s certainly pricey, you’re getting some excellent extras, such as formidable security features and Bang & Olufsen speakers. If you care about aesthetics as much as you do performance and overall quality, this is the best Ultrabook for you.

Read the full review: HP Spectre x360 (2021)

Dell XPS 13 (Late 2020)

(Image credit: Dell)

4. Dell XPS 13 (Late 2020)

Dell does it again

Specifications

CPU: Up to 11th Generation Intel Core i7-1165G7

Graphics: Up to Intel Iris Xe Graphics

RAM: Up to 32GB 4267MHz LPDDR4x

Screen: 13.4″ FHD+ (1920 x 1200) InfinityEdge Non-Touch Anti-Glare 500-Nit – 13.4″ UHD+ (3840 x 2400) InfinityEdge Touch Anti-Reflective 500-Nit Display

Storage: Up to 2TB M.2 PCIe NVMe

Reasons to buy

+Stunning design+Gorgeous 16:10 display+Excellent battery life

Reasons to avoid

Sound quality is just OKPricey

At this point, we doubt that the Dell XPS line can do anything wrong. Its yearly updates have consistently made it to our best laptops list, and they’re only getting better. The Dell XPS 13 (2020) is not only a gorgeous piece of kit. It also comes, as expected, with excellent performance, a stunning display and long battery life, alongside a few others. Much like its predecessor, it’s a pricey investment – but that is barely reason enough for us to discourage Ultrabook fans. This is among the best Ultrabooks of 2021, and it’s worth every penny.

Read the full review: Dell XPS 13 (2020) 

HP Envy 14-eb0000na

(Image credit: HP)

5. HP Envy 14-eb0000na

Excellent productivity in a slim package

Specifications

CPU: Intel Core i7-1165G7

Graphics: Max-Q Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650 Ti, Intel Iris Xe

RAM: 8GB – 32GB

Screen: 14-inch 1920 x 1200 (16:10 ratio) IPS micro-edge display with multi-touch

Storage: 1TB PCIe NVMe TLC SSD

Reasons to buy

+Understated elegant design+Great thermal management+Lots of power

Reasons to avoid

Touchscreen slightly buggyExpensive

A little bit Ultrabook, a little bit productivity powerhouse, the sleek HP Envy 14-eb0000na is an ideal choice for any professional that wants a little more performance out of their laptop. Not only does it come with discrete graphics, but also a gorgeous 1200p 16:10 screen that gives you extra screen real estate. And, while there are a few bugs with the touchscreen capabilities and it comes with a hefty price tag, the Envy is overall an excellent portable with plenty of power, great cooling, and the kind of looks that will fit in with the more premium machines out there.

Read the full review: HP Envy 14-eb0000na

LG Gram 16 (2021)

(Image credit: LG)

6. LG Gram 17 (2021)

A productivity powerhouse

Specifications

CPU: 11th-generation Intel Core i7

Graphics: Intel Iris Xe Graphics

RAM: 16GB LPDDR4X

Screen: 17-inch WQXGA (2560 x 1600) IPS LCD

Storage: up to 2TB NVMe SSD

Reasons to buy

+Excellent battery life+Large, high-quality display+Very light

Reasons to avoid

ExpensiveSubject to screen glare

Laptops for work are rejoining the 17-inch fray and leading them is the much-lauded LG Gram 17, whose amazingly thin and light form factor has won awards and makes it among the best Ultrabooks on the market. It’s back in 2021 and better than ever, with more powerful internals like the 11th-generation Intel chips and the Iris Xe graphics as well as two Thunderbolt 4 USB-C ports. The long battery life and stunner of a screen are back, though as is its steep price tag. It’s worth it though if you want the power and portability of Ultrabooks yet also need a bigger screen.

Read the full review: LG Gram 17 (2021) 

Surface Laptop 3

(Image credit: Microsoft)

7. Surface Laptop 3

Longer-lasting than most

Specifications

CPU: Quad-core 10th Gen Intel Core i5 – i7

Graphics: Intel Iris Plus Graphics

RAM: 8GB – 32GB

Screen: 15” 2496 x 1664 PixelSense Touch Display

Storage: 128GB – 1TB

Reasons to buy

+Excellent battery life+Exciting AMD flagship debut

Reasons to avoid

Far too few portsLacking in power

With an impressive, reasonable price tag and some of the best battery life we’ve experienced in a 15-inch laptop, the Surface Laptop 3 certainly has a lot going for it. That also includes the fact that it’s got a great look and feel, as well as a weight that surprisingly light for a product its size. Performance-wise, it certainly knocks it out of the park. While it isn’t the most powerful 15-inch laptop out there, it has Intel’s 10th-generation chips and the Iris Plus graphics. That’s more than enough to make it one of the best Ultrabooks out there for 2021.

Read the full review: Surface Laptop 3 

Razer Blade Stealth 13 (2019)

(Image credit: Razer)

8. Razer Blade Stealth 13 (2019)

Lightweight Razer style, now in white

Specifications

CPU: 10th-generation Intel Core i7

Graphics: Intel Iris Plus Graphics – GeForce GTX 1650 Max-Q

RAM: 16GB

Screen: 13.3″ FHD Matte w/ 4.9mm slim side bezel – 13.3″ 4K Touch w/ 4.9mm slim side bezel

Storage: 512GB SSD

Reasons to buy

+Top-notch build quality+Runs quietly+Battery life is solid

Reasons to avoid

Decidedly expensiveLimited storage spaceLacks a discrete GPU

The “world’s first gaming ultrabook” doesn’t just talk the talk; it also walks the walk as one of the best Ultrabooks 2021 has to offer. Razer has spruced up its Blade Stealth 13 Ultrabook with the latest internal components without affecting its super-quiet operation. Packed with a 10th-generation Intel Core i7 processor and better graphic options, 13-inch laptop delivers and much better than its predecessor. In fact, it might just be the best gaming experience we’ve ever had on integrated graphics with the Iris Plus configuration. Round that out with extremely quiet fans, low thermal power, extended battery life and that delightful Mercury White color, and we are sold.

Read the full review: Razer Blade Stealth 13 (2019) 

Microsoft Surface Book 3

(Image credit: Microsoft)

9. Microsoft Surface Book 3

An extremely premium piece of kit

Specifications

CPU: 10th Gen Intel Core i5-1035G7 – i7-1065G7

Graphics: Intel Iris Plus Graphics – NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660 Ti with Max-Q Design

RAM: 8GB – 32GB 3733Mhz LPDDR4x

Screen: 13.5-inch 3000 x 2000 (267 PPI) – 15-inch 3240 x 2160 (260 PPI) PixelSense Display

Storage: 256GB, 512GB, 1TB, or 2TB PCIe SSD

Reasons to buy

+Beautiful design+Comfortable keyboard+Gorgeous screen

Reasons to avoid

Weak U-series processorTiny trackpadLackluster speakers

In many ways, the Surface Book 3 is an example of just how far the best laptops have come in just a few short years. It has an extremely premium piece of kit – with one of the best displays we’ve used in a laptop, a keyboard that will put the MacBook Pro’s new Magic Keyboards to shame, and a hybrid design with a removable screen. At less than an inch thick, and only 12.3 x 9.14 inches for its 13-inch model and 13.5 x 9.87 inches for its 15-inch version, this is also among the best Ultrabooks 2021 has to offer. Unfortunately, it’s held back by a weaker processor (next to its rivals), lacklust speakers and a high price tag. Still, it’s an excellent portable, if you’ve got the money for it and don’t.

Read the full review: Microsoft Surface Book 3

Lenovo ThinkBook 14S Yoga

(Image credit: Lenovo)

10. Lenovo ThinkBook 14S Yoga

An excellent 2-in-1

Specifications

CPU: 11th Gen Intel Core i5 – i7

Graphics: Intel Iris Xe Graphics

RAM: up to 24 GB DDR4 3200MHz

Screen: 14.0” FHD (1920 x 1080) IPS, glossy, touchscreen, 300 nits

Storage: up to 1TB PCIe SSD

Reasons to buy

+Great performance+Garaged stylus 

Reasons to avoid

Battery life is just OK

Lenovo’s latest release, the ThinkBook 14S Yoga, is a solid and affordable convertible that comes with some great features and a terrific performance – not to mention that coveted 2-in-1 design and a garaged pen, which doesn’t come standard on every hybrid. There’s a lot to love here, starting with its great price-to-performance ratio, even though admittedly, it isn’t perfect. That battery life, for example, is no match to the competition. Still, this is among the best 2-in-1 laptops out there.

Read the full review: Lenovo Thinkpad 14S Yoga

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