best budget lightweight laptops

Best Budget lightweight laptops List

  1. Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon
  2. Huawei Matebook 13
  3. Apple MacBook Air 13.3″
  4. Dell Xps 13 (2020)
  5. Microsoft Surface laptop 3
  6. ASUS Zenbook UM431DA-AM077T
  7. ASUS Vivobook S S412DA-EK290T
  8. HP ENVY x360 13-ar0015nf
  9. Acer Swift 3 Laptop
  10. Razer Blade Stealth 13

1. Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon

best budget lightweight laptops

Features & Reviews

Here is an ultra portable computer… ultra powerful! The price may nevertheless sting a bit. At this level, we expect a lot from the machine in terms of speed, and clearly, the combination of the Core i7-8665U and 16 GB of RAM is excellent. In addition to its speed, the equipment clearly stands out from the competition in terms of autonomy : more than 18 hours on the clock! Of course, that goes for navigation, but the battery is still perfect even for media. You will be able to make the most of your films and series, especially since the IPS panel offers tremendous image quality.

Pros
  • Blazing speed!
  • Beauty of display
  • Impressive autonomy
  • User-friendly keyboard
Cons
  • Very high price
  • No micro SD port

2. Huawai Matebook 13

best budget  laptops

Features & Reviews

One of Apple’s direct competitors is also the challenger in this field. Huawei offers here a quality-price ratio at the top, under the bar of 900$, but achieving the essential. Its distinctive competitive advantage is certainly in the display. Its 3/2 ratio can certainly be unsettling at first but keep in mind that it offers more surface coverage than usual, at 88% against 80% in general. A great success that Huawei calls the “ FullView Display”! The use, meanwhile, is very pleasant (good stroke of the keys), even if the same cannot be said of the trackpad. Not very smooth, it mainly offers a mechanical click located only at the bottom of the trackpad. A habit to take! Finally, let us mention the existence of a more expensive variant, embedding an i7 CPU with 16 GB of RAM and – surprise – the touch screen!

Pros
  • Generous and beautiful 3/2 display
  • Pleasant to use and backlit keyboard
  • Includes a fingerprint sensor
  • Solid and aesthetic design
Cons
  • … But easily takes fingerprints
  • Weaknesses of the trackpad

3. Apple MacBook Air 13.3″

Macbook Air

Features & Reviews

Let’s go to the one to which we owe the launch of ultra-portable: Apple! Its famous MacBook, available in three colors, presents, as usual with the Californian firm, a design that is both robust and very aesthetic. It exudes quality! The same goes for the 13.3-inch screen, which is enhanced with True Tone technology for perfect color and contrast calibration. The resolution should be emphasized: we double the full HD for 2560 x 1600 pixels! Let us mention, the 2x Thunderbolt 3 and the DisplayPort in USB-C with the recharging of the laptop via these same ports. We would still have liked more connections but nothing prevents you from adding a Lil hub next to it. Finally, what is our general impression? For once, Apple values ​​quality from every angle, from design to use. However, we regret a high price compared to the relatively balanced config – a recurring Apple now.

Pros
  • Image quality
  • Processing speed
  • Microphone and audio quality
Cons
  • Expensive device
  • Not enough connections

4. Dell Xps 13 (2020)

 Dell Xps 13 (2020)

Features & Reviews

This Dell XPS 13 ultra-book plays in the big leagues! Compact and light, it deploys a magnificent screen with a surface coverage that is simply enormous! For comparison, the machine does better than Huawei’s Full View Display, yet acclaimed. The screen here is almost borderless – the display is therefore much more generous. Config side, we are also delighted, even if an i7 associated with 16 GB of RAM appears necessary in this price range. The small regret is ultimately on the autonomy: not bad in itself, it does not however exceed 10 hours . For reference, the 2019 ultrabook of the same model exceeded 12 hours, but this model is much more efficient.

Pros
  • Quality of finishes
  • Pleasant use of the keyboard
  • Fineness of the borders
  • Speed
Cons
  • No feats on autonomy
  • Keys easily leave marks

5. Microsoft Surface laptop 3

Microsoft Surface laptop 3

Features & Reviews

Microsoft is also coming to tackle Apple head-on, playing on similar ground with regard to the quality of construction and finishes, or even the durability of the material. A point put forward by many consumers! Although the config is adapted in comparison to the price, we can not help but point out some weaknesses, such as autonomy not exceeding 6-7h , or the connection, reduced to a single USB-C port and a USB-A port.

Pros
  • Robustness and durability
  • Large screen coverage
  • Balanced config
  • Touchscreen
Cons
  • Limited connectivity
  • Restricted autonomy

6. ASUS Zenbook UM431DA-AM077T

ASUS Zenbook UM431DA-AM077T

Features & Reviews

As it does with many of its equipment, Asus is aiming for a good price-performance ratio here – for example, when using a Ryzen 7 CPU from AMD instead of the Intel. We also appreciate the generosity of Asus in terms of 512 GB SSD storage or the presence of 3 USB ports. Zenbook innovation: the ultra-portable computer can be used as a tablet, with automatic image switching to portrait or landscape format, depending on what you want. However, we would have liked a slightly more elegant design, on the one hand, and extended autonomy, on the other.

Pros
  • Price-performance ratio
  • Modular design
  • Important connectivity
  • SSD storage
Cons
  • Autonomy of 5-6h approximately
  • A little rough design

7. ASUS Vivobook S S412DA-EK290T

ASUS Vivobook S S412DA-EK290T

Features & Reviews

Like the Zenbook, the Vivobook also aims for balance, at an even more affordable price! The configuration is certainly less efficient, being satisfied with an AMD R5 CPU with 8 GB of RAM. The SSD also falls to 256 GB against 512 GB. However, the essential is preserved, while the 3 USB ports and the 14-inch screen are preserved. Note all the same that, the price difference being of the order of a hundred dollar between the two models, the Zenbook appears more interested until then.

Pros
  • Excellent value
  • Good configuration
  • Large screen size
Cons
  • Constitution a little too plastic?
  • Little effort on the design

8. HP ENVY x360 13-ar0015nf

best ultrabooks

Features & Reviews

This HP ultrabook plays the accessibility niche, in the same mindset as Asus. The configuration is quite solid, like what we do in this price range, like the AMD Ryzen 5 CPU and its 8 GB of RAM , or the 512 GB storage in SSD. If, at the top and at the bottom, the edges are wide enough, they are on the other hand much thinner on the sides: the screen therefore occupies a larger area of ​​the panel. Moreover, it is an IPS panel : you will have plenty of eyes! However, be careful not to push it too far into its limits: it tends to heat up quite quickly and the fans suddenly go into airplane turbine mode.

Pros
  • Solid metal construction
  • Beauty of the IPS panel
  • Comfortable use: keys, trackpad …
  • Touchscreen…
Cons
  • Sometimes a little capricious
  • Fan noise

9. Acer Swift 3 Laptop

Acer Swift 3

Features & Reviews

Acer is also targeting a cheap ultrabook, with a balanced configuration: note the AMD Ryzen 5 and its 8 GB of RAM , for quite respectable performance. The same goes for autonomy, the battery being fully sufficient for a day’s work outdoors. The design immediately inspires us with its very classy aesthetic properties, even if the structure suffers from its sensitivity to scratches and fingerprints. A small weakness concerning the screen: the IPS panel is welcome, but the result is below our expectations because of too little light. Fortunately, the matte panel minimizes reflections.

Pros
  • Good value for money
  • 8 / 9h autonomy
  • Elegant and robust design
Cons
  • but sensitive to marks and scratches
  • Slightly pronounced weight
  • Average brightness

10. Razer Blade Stealth 13

Razer Blade Stealth 13

Features & Reviews

An ultra-portable gaming computer, are you interested? The price is certainly exhaustive, almost 2000$, but then you benefit from a solid configuration. Embedding the Nvidia GTX 1650 GPU, the machine allows you to play many recent games, such as GTA 5 or Counter-Strike: Global Offensive. Depending on the resources required, you will sometimes have to lower the graphics options for more fluidity: this is particularly the case of The Witcher 3, which does not exceed 33 FPS with maximum graphics. The rest of the configuration is placed in this perspective of performance, as evidenced by the Core i7 CPU or the 16 GB of RAM, essential for gaming. But here it is: keep in mind that the ultrabook format comes at a price, so the price remains high compared to a classic gaming laptop.

Pros
  • For gaming
  • Solid config
  • RGB keyboard
  • Great speed
Cons
  • Important price

Best budget lightweight laptops and Ultra-portable – Buyer’s Guide and Criteria

You can lightweight laptops at all prices, with all kinds of configuration, and often making your choice is not easy when certain data escapes us. By definition, the best ultrabook means the equipment most suited not only to your expectations but also to your budget. In this part, we, therefore, discuss the technical elements as well as the selection process.

Comparative Table of AMD and Intel processors

There are so many CPU models that it is sometimes difficult to navigate. In addition to the price differences, performance must be analyzed in the light of various uses: computer graphics, gaming, the office and navigation … Some equipment will be more dedicated to some than to others, while others ‘others will play the balance card.

Find in the table below the equivalences between Intel and AMD processors.

Intel processorAMD processor
Core i9-9900K, i7-1065G7Ryzen 7-3700U
Core i7 8665URyzen 7-3700U
Core i5 8265U; Core i5 4260U; Core i5 3470Ryzen 5 3500U
  • On the high-end, Intel continues to mark time with the i9-9900K and i7-1065G7. These are not only faster but also much more efficient for gaming, for example. The price differences are, however, substantial, the R7-3700U being more accessible.
  • Between the i7 8665U and the Ryzen 7 3500U, the differences are already smaller, while the price variation remains significant. Intel’s CPU is nevertheless a bit faster and, above all, continues to excel in gaming.
  • Finally, for the latest models, the i5 3470 has the fastest chip, also suitable for video games. The finding is the same when comparing with the i5 8265U, although less powerful than the model mentioned above. A slight advantage goes to AMD about the i5 4260U (the R5 CPU is then a bit faster), although Intel once again differentiates itself on video games.

How to choose an ultra book? Selection criteria

The Best budget lightweight laptops is obviously to be considered, but above all, you have to match technical characteristics and desired use. We are therefore looking at the most important criteria to keep in mind before conducting the comparison and then making your choice.

Screen

Since the goal is to obtain a device at the same time and light, the size of the screen is necessarily contained. An ultra-portable computer will therefore offer a 14 inch, 13.5 / 3 inch and even 13 inch screen . The differences remain slim, although a larger screen obviously has the advantage of a larger display. However, don’t forget the screen cover.

The resolution directly means the image quality, based on the number of pixels. Today, full HD is a minimum (1080p), but we find computers in WQHD (1440p) and even in 4K.

IPS panel 

The most expensive, but also the one displaying the most beautiful images

TN panel 

The embodiment of speed, with a transmission speed close to 1 / 0ms.

VA panel 

A good mix between the two previous panels in addition to being quite economical; its refreshment remains average when the images scroll quickly.

Refresh rate

Finally, let’s talk about the refresh rate . Expressed in Hz, it is standardized at 60 Hz. For the purchase of an ultraportable gamer, like the Razer Blade Stealth 13 for example, this one can be important. At 144Hz and 240Hz, for example, the picture is much smoother – perfect for FPS, MMO / MOBA, and even action movies!

The processor and graphics card

The above table reveals the different processors ( CPUs ) you can turn to depending on your budget and the expected usage of the machine. Combine the processor with the RAM : a powerful PC, like the Razer Blade Stealth 13, will require a minimum of 16 GB. For other more accessible machines, 8 GB will be more than enough.

  • What fineness of engraving for the processor? Besides raw performance, consider architecture well. CPUs engraved in 12nm, 10nm and even 7nm for the Ryzen 7-3700U: the more it is reduced, the better the energy performance.

Regarding the choice of graphics card (GPU), it will not be of great importance for non-gamers. Intel HD Graphics chips will then fulfill their role perfectly. “Value for money” alternatives are welcome for casual gamers, as demonstrated by the Nvidia GeForce MX250 graphics card, an entry-level GPU.

Autonomy

As you will see in the FAQ part, an ultra-book requires a minimum battery life of 5 hours . Ideally, the computer is better able to last for a day’s work, at least for navigation. Tests and customer reviews will provide you with more precise information on autonomy depending on use, films, gaming and graphics and computer graphics work requiring much more the beast than simple navigation.

Storage

Today, the mechanical hard drive has been replaced by the SSD. Very fast, it has become essential for many configurations such as ultrabooks, in particular thanks to its compact format and its instantaneous start of the computer. There are sometimes hybrid configurations, including an SSD and an HDD; you then choose the storage according to the resources requested by the program. A 256 GB or 512 GB SSD is ideal.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Below we provide synthetic answers to the most common questions asked by users for this type of equipment.

Why choose an ultra portable?

If this format is so popular, it is because it has strong advantages in terms of mobility and practicality. The slim dimensions make the machine compact and light. Some devices are even modular, usable as a tablet for example. Their design is also regularly valued for its aesthetics and robustness.

What are the best brands of ultra portable?

Manufacturers of computer equipment found in other machines also excel in this market. Among our favorites are Lenovo, Dell and Asus.

What is the price of an ultra book?

For a cheap ultra portable, count at least 500-600 $. However, you will get excellent value for money by investing a little more, in the order of 700-800 $. The most efficient machines, including an overpowering processor, for example, will easily go up to 1800-2000 $.

Related Article: Huawei Matebook 13 Review

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