Hi. We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. Click OK and continue to use the site.  OK

Ultrabook reviews, guides and comparisons

The best 14 and 15.6-inch portable laptops and ultrabooks of 2017

By Andrei Girbea , updated on May 20, 2017

While there are quite a few excellent compact ultrabooks out there, many of you still prefer full-size laptops with large screens and enough power to smoothly handle your daily demands.

However, I’m pretty sure you wouldn’t say no to a full-size laptop that’s actually thin and light, as long as it still meets the requirements and falls within the right budget. And here’s where this post comes into play, as a detailed list of what I consider to be the best 14 and 15-inch ultra-portable laptops available in stores these days.

Finding the right choice isn’t going to be just a walk in the park though, as the offer is vast, but in order to make your life a little easier I’ve split the available suggestions into a couple of different sections:

You can go through the entire post for the complete picture of what’s available out there, or just read the subsections of interest. You’ll find a wide selection of units in each of them, enough to accommodate all demands and expectations. You’ll also find links towards our detailed reviews where those are available and links towards user-reviews and the latest discounts on each specific model. Keep in mind there’s a fair chance you will find products that might initially look outside your budget selling for less at the time you’re reading this article, so those links are sure worth a look.

Affordable all-round laptops (under $600)

This section includes the best large-screen all-round laptops you can get for under $600, devices capable of handling everyday tasks and even games, to some extent. Expect to get great specs for the money, but don’t expect premium build quality, excellent craftsmanship or fancy features.

Acer Chromebook 14 and 15

If you want a simple, fast and inexpensive computer for daily tasks and especially Internet related activities, you should consider these Chromebooks.

The Acer Chromebook 15 is the most affordable option, starting at around $220. This kind of money will get you a fanless Celeron hardware platform, 2 GB of RAM, 16 GB of storage, a decent 15.6-inch IPS FHD screen and a rather small 32 Wh battery, yet enough to keep this going for around 6-8 hours of use on a charge. All these are tucked inside a rather chunky body that weighs 4.8 lbs, with plenty of ports on the sides and a fairly good non-backlit keyboard.

Overall, the Chromebook 15 is one of the simplest laptops that actually work great, as long as you understand what a Chromebook can and cannot do. You can speck it with more RAM and storage space, and even so it’s only going to cost around $300. Follow this link for more details and the latest pricing updates.

The Acer Chromebook 15 gets a rather bulky and heavy plastic body, but you're not going to find anything else like it for under $250

The Acer Chromebook 15 gets a rather bulky and heavy plastic body, but you’re not going to find a more capable full-size laptop for under $250

The 14-inch Chromebook is a more compact and more premium device. It gets an aluminum chassis and is more portable, weighing 3.4 lbs, but the IO was somewhat sacrificed for the aesthetics and this laptop lacks an SD card-reader. The keyboard is still non-backlit and the screen uses an IPS FHD panel.

The hardware is mostly similar to the one on the 15-inch model, with a minimally faster Celeron processor, but 4 GB of RAM are included on the base model and the battery is larger, 48 Wh, enough for 10+ hours of use on a charge.

The Acer Chromebook 14 is slightly more expensive than the Chromebook 15, but its $270 starting price is well justified by what it offers, making this an excellent buy for those on a really limited budget. Follow this link for more details, user reviews and the latest prices.

The Acer Chromebook 14 offers fast hardware, an ISP display and an aluminum body, but is heavier and less portable than the other options

The Acer Chromebook 14 offers fast hardware, an ISP display and an aluminum body, but is heavier and less portable than the other options

Acer Aspire E15 series

Acer offers a bunch of competitive 15-inch laptops with affordable prices, and you should have several of their series on your shortlist, like the Aspire E5-573G, E5-574G and E5-575G.

They are all built from hard-plastic, share a similar non-backlit keyboard and either a TN HD or a TN FHD matte non-touch screen. Hardware wise, these are powered by Intel Broadwell, Skylake or Kaby Lake dual-core processors with up to 16 GB of RAM with various types of storage and a 37 or 45 Wh battery; most options also get Nvidia GT 940M or 940MX graphics chips.

The Aspire E15 E5-575G is the most interesting configuration at the time of this article, selling for under $600 and including a Core i5 processor, Nvidia GT 940MX graphics, 8 GB of RAM, a 256 GB SSD and 1 TB HDD, plus the FHD panel. Follow this link for up-to-date info on prices and configurations and check out our review of the E15 E5-573G for a more in depth analysis of this series.

The Acer Aspire E5 offers modern hardware and mid-level Nvidia Graphics in an affordable package

The Acer Aspire E15 offers modern hardware and mid-level Nvidia Graphics in an affordable package

Asus F556/X556 series

This is Asus’s latest line of affordable 15-inch laptops, and the naming is extremely confusing because they are listed as the F556 in the US and the X556 in Europe and other regions.

The F556s/X556s are full-size notebooks with a 15.6-inch screen available with either a TN HD or FHD panel, Intel Skylake or Kabylake Core U hardware, up to 12 GB of RAM and 38 Wh batteries, all tucked inside multi-colored plastic cases that weigh around 5.1 lbs. Asus offers versions with Nvidia 920/940 dedicated graphics (F556UJ, F556UB) and models that rely on Intel HD graphics solutions only (F556UA).

The F556s/X556s start below $550 at the time of this post, for a base model with a Core i5 processor, the FHD screen, 8 GB of RAM, 256 GB of SSD and 1 TB of HDD storage. Lower specked configurations are available for less. Follow this link for more details, user reviews and up-to-date prices and configurations.

The F556s (US) or X556s (Europe) are Asus's offer in the 15-inch affordable laptop segment

The F556s (US) or X556s (Europe) are Asus’s offer in the 15-inch affordable laptop segment

HP Pavilion 15 series

The Pavilions are HPs entry-level laptop lines. The Pavilion 15 is their popular 15-inch model, available in a few different colors and entirely built out of plastic. It weighs 4.8 lbs, bundles an internal optical drive, a 41 Wh battery and backlit keyboard.

Hardware wise, the Pavilion 15 is built on the latest Intel Core U or HQ platforms, with up to 16 GB of RAM and optional Nvidia 950M graphics on the higher end configurations, plus either a HD TN or a FHD IPS screens.

The Pavilions are also competitive in terms of pricing, with base Core i5 models selling for under $500 and more compelling options with Core i7 processors, Nvidia graphics and the IPS screen going for around $600 at the time of this update.

Follow this link for more details and potential discounts.

The Pavilion 15s offers solid specs and are more affordable than the competition

The Pavilion 15s offers solid specs and are more affordable than the competition

Dell Inspiron 3000 and 5000 series

The Dell Inspiron 3000s are some of the better full-size clamshell laptops you can get for a very limited budget. They are durable built, despite having an all plastic case and chassis, they are fairly fast and easy to upgrade, if you decide to get a lower-end model and want to add more RAM or an SSD later.

The 15-inch model bundles an internal optical drive, but it’s rather bulky and heavy, weighing 5.25 pounds, while the 14-inch version is actually much more portable, weighing 3.9 lbs. Both variants settle for 1366 x 768 px TN displays, with options for matte non-touch panels or touchscreens. Both also get a 40Wh battery which is going to offer around 4-5 hours of use on a charge.

We reviewed the base Inspiron 15 3000 model with a Core i3 processor here on the site, in case you want to read more about it, and it turned out to to be a solid choice for the money. That base model sells for under $400, while the Core i5 configurations go for around $500. Follow this link for more details, as well as updated prices and potential discounts. The 14-incher starts at around $250, but Dell only bundles it with low-power Celeron/Pentium processors and limited amounts of eMMC storage.

The basic Dell Inspiron 15 3000 is not a looker, but offers plenty for the money

The basic Dell Inspiron 15 3000 is not a looker, but offers plenty for the money

The Inspiron 5000 series takes a step-up in terms of build quality and design, as these laptops are lighter, slightly more compact and available in a silver color scheme with a brushed-aluminum lid-cover. They also include an optical drive and backlit keyboard, which the 3000 series lacks. Besides these, potential buyers still have to settle for HD TN screens on the lower end versions of these laptops and 40Wh batteries, while higher end models get an IPS FHD display.

The Inspiron 15 5000 starts at around $500 for a Core i3 configuration, while a beefier everyday model with a Core i5 CPU, 8 GB of RAM and a 1 TB HDD sells for around $600. Follow this link for more configurations and up-to-date prices at the time you’re reading this post.

Dell also offers an 2-in-1 version of the Inspiron 15 5000, with a slightly slimmer and lighter body, a 360-degrees convertible touchscreen and a 42 Wh battery. These models start at around $600. You’ll find more about the Inspiron 15 5000 2-in-1 via this link.

The Inspiron 15 5000s are sleeker, better equipped and available in both a clamshell and a convertible form-factor

The Inspiron 15 5000s are sleeker, better equipped and available in both a clamshell and a convertible form-factor

The best 2-in-1 convertibles

This section includes 14 and 15-inch laptops with touchscreens that can flip to 360-degrees in one way or another.

HP Spectre x360 15 and Envy x360 15

The 15-inch Spectre x360 is my favorite convertible with a full-size screen, but it’s also a fairly expensive product and it might not fit everyone’s budget (don’t worry, we have more affordable suggestions down below).

The Spectre’s all-metal body is sturdy-built and light for a 15-inch 2-in-1 notebook, weighing just 4.2 lbs, and that’s one of its strong selling points, as it makes it easier to carry and hold than other similar computers. Others are the screen, available with either a FHD or an UHD IPS panel, but also the comfortable backlit keyboard with wide keys and no Numpad, the large and precise trackpad and the hardware inside. This laptop is built on Intel Core U platforms with up to 16 GB of RAM, SSD storage and a 64.5 Wh battery. There’s no option for dedicated graphics, so you shouldn’t get it for gaming, but it will handle all sorts of daily activities smoothly.

So overall the Spectre x360 15 is a solid all-round computer for daily use and an option for those who don’t mind paying extra for premium looks and construction, as HP charges between $1100 and $1500 for this device, based on configuration. You’ll probably find ti cheaper online though, follow this link for more details and updated configurations and prices.

If you’re looking to pay less for a good 15-inch 2-in-1 and don’t care that much about portability, you should check out the HP Envy x360 15 instead. This device gets similar hardware specs, a FHD IPS screen, a backlit keyboard and a 48 Wh, but also a bulkier and heavier plastic case with some aluminum inserts (5.1 lbs, 0.93″ thick) and a starting price of around $750. Follow this link for more details.

The HP Spectre 15 is a premium 15-inch convertible, but its high price might put it out of reach for many potential buyers

The HP Spectre 15 is a premium 15-inch convertible, but its high price might put it out of reach for many potential buyers

Lenovo Yoga 710 series

This is Lenovo’s line of mid-range 14 and 15-inch convertibles, with devices that strike that desired balance between size, specs and price.

The Yoga 710 14 is the more portable option of the two, with an aluminum case and a total weight of 3.55 lbs. It gets a backlit keyboard, a solid set of ports on the sides and an IPS FHD display that rotates to 360-degrees on the back, while the hardware includes Intel Core U platforms with either SSD or HDD storage, optional Nvidia GT 940MX graphics and a 53 Wh battery.

The 14-inch Yoga 710 is a really good allrounder with very few flaws and it sells $800 and up. Follow this link for more details.

A redesigned 15-inch Yoga 710 is also available in stores, with a thin aluminum body and a total weight of 4.2 lbs. This computer does somewhat sacrifice the IO for the slim profile, but otherwise it’s another great pick for those of you who need a 15.6-inch display in a convertible form-factor. The features and specs list is identical to that of the Yoga 710 14, with similar hardware, a FHD screen and 53 Wh battery, but this bigger option is not available with dedicated graphics at the time of this update.

The Yoga 710 15 also sells for a bit less than its smaller sibling, with a mid-range configuration with a Core i5 CPU, 8 GB of RAM and a 256 GB SSD going for around $750. Follow this link for more details and updated configurations and prices.

The Yoga 710 14 and 15 offer solid specs for the money, including dedicated Nvidia graphics, and are lighter than most other laptops in their classes

The Yoga 710 14 and 15 offer solid specs for the money, including dedicated Nvidia graphics, and are lighter than most other laptops in their classes

Dell Inspiron 15 7000 2-in-1

This one is Dell’s alternative for the Yogas above, aiming at the same mid-range buyers that want a good 15-inch convertible for around $800.

On paper, it check most of the needed boxes, with modern Core U hardware, DDR4 RAM support, SSD storage, a FHD 360-degrees IPS display, a slim metallic body that weighs 4.6 lbs. However, Dell only put a 42 Wh battery inside, which is just too small for a 15-incher, and I’ve seen some complains about the keyboard’s feedback, the dim panel and even the lack of quality control, with some units failing just days after they were bought.

That doesn’t mean this Inspiron 15 7000 can’t be a good pick, but I do advise you to buy from reputable places that allow easy returns, just in case you draw a short stick. Follow this link for more details and updated configurations and prices.

Toshiba Satellite Fusion L55W

The Toshiba Satellite C55 is one of the best selling 15-inch laptops in the world, and that’s because it’s overall a good pick with solid features and an affordable price.

A little over $600 can get you a Core i5 configuration with 8 GB of RAM and 1 TB HDD, a FHD IPS touchscreen, a 45 Wh battery, backlit keyboard and decent ports. Core i3 models are cheaper. The L55W is of course a convertible, but at the same time it’s mostly built out of plastic and not the most rugged out there, but that’s acceptable considering what you’ll be paying for it. Follow this link for more details, up-to-date configurations and potential discounts.

The Toshiba Satellite Fusion L55W offers fairly fast hardware and a 15.6-inch convertible display for under $500

The Toshiba Satellite Fusion L55W offers fairly fast hardware and a 15.6-inch convertible display for under $600

Asus Transformer Book Flip and Vivobook Flip series

The Asus Transformer Book Flip, or the Asus Flip 15.6 as it’s called in some regions, is another affordable 15-inch convertible with a 360-degrees display.

My full review of the TP500LA version is available over here. I tested a basic version with a rather poor HD screen, but Asus also offers it with a superior FHD display and that’s the one you should search for.

The TP500LA bundles Core U processors and the cheapest Core i3 configurations sell for as little as $500, while Core i5 versions with 8 GB of RAM, 1 TB HDDs and the FHD screen sell for around $650. Follow this link for more details and potential discounts.

That kind of money buys you an aluminum body, a decent keyboard/trackpad, a fair selection of ports and a 48 Wh battery. There’s no optical drive on the TP500 series, but Asus does offer a TP550 model in some regions which includes an optical drive and is still a hybrid, but is also heavier, larger and entirely made out of plastic. And since we’re talking about variations, Asus also has a Transformer Book TP500LN version in stores, with dedicated Nvidia graphics.

The TP500 is a 2-in-1 convertible 15 incher with an excellent price

The TP500 is a 2-in-1 convertible 15 incher with an excellent price

Lenovo Flex series

The Flexes are Lenovo’s take at the affordable 14 and 15-inch convertible.

Just like the Asus and Toshiba notebooks above, these include a 360-degrees flipable touchscreen, with a 1920 x 1080 px IPS panel for both versions and metallic bodies. The specs list is filled up with a variety of Intel Core configurations, up to 8 GB of RAM and HDD/SSD storage, a 52.5 Wh battery and fairly good backlit keyboards. There are no optical drives, but the 15-inch version can be paired with AMD Radeon R7 460 graphics.

Both these series start at around $500 for Core i3 configurations with 4 GB of RAM and a 500 GB HDD. Higher end models include Core i5 and i7 processors, up to 8 GB of RAM and SSD storage, with prices between $600 and $1000, but both lines can be found discounted online, as you’ll see from this link.

Lenovo ThinkPad Yoga series and X1 Yoga

Lenovo’s ThinkPad Yoga 460 is a sturdily built convertible with solid specs and a fair price.

It gets a strong and simple looking outer case, good the IO, a backlit Lenovo AccuType keyboard and a reinforced 360-degree convertible display, while on the inside you’ll find Core U hardware, an IPS WQHD panel and a 53 Wh battery, all tucked inside a 3.9 lbs package.

The Yoga 460 starts at around $1000, but some older versions can be found for less. Follow this link for more details and potential discounts at the time you’re reading this post.

Those with a bigger budget at hand who’d rather get a thinner and lighter 14-incher should check out the ThinkPad X1 Yoga which is a convertible with similar specs that weighs just 2.8 lbs and still meets the durability requirements expected from a ThinkPad. The X1 Yoga starts at around $1400, and higher end models can be specked with an OLED display, among others. Follow this link for more details.

The ThinkPad Yoga 460 is one of the most interesting Skylake ultraportables that we know of at the time of this update

The ThinkPad Yoga 460 is one of the most interesting Skylake ultraportables that we know of at the time of this update

The best gaming and high-performance options

The devices in this section sell for over $1000, but offer the best features and specs you can expect to get on a laptop these days. In other words, these are the best portable full-size laptops, with high-resolution screens, powerful internals and premium chassis. A more detailed list of gaming ultraportables is available over here, or in this lists of notebooks with Nvidia 1060 and 1070/1080 graphics.

Razer Blade 14 and Razer Blade Pro

The Blades are pretty much the norm in terms of gaming ultra-portables of the moment, with powerful hardware, high-end features and premium construction.

The Blade 14 is a compact 14-incher that weighs between 4.15 and 4.3 lbs (the version with a non-touch display is lighter) and is about 0.7 of an inch thick. It gets two choices of displays (FHD matte or QHD+ touch), a chroma backlit keyboard, a quad-core Intel HQ processor, up to 16 GB of DDR4 RAM, M.2 SSD storage, Nvidia GTX 1060 graphics, a 70 Wh built-in battery and solid IO, including HDMI 2.0 and TB3.

The Blade 14 isn’t cheap though, albeit it sells for less than in the past years, for $1799 and up (follow this link for more details, updated configurations and potential discounts), but if you want a highly portable gaming machine that’s built well and performs smoothly with daily use and games, this is one of your best bets. Our own Derek owns a Blade 14 and you can find his review right here.

The Razer Blade Pro is a larger device, with a 17-inch display. The latest update comes with an UHD touchscreen, a mechanical keyboard with chroma keys, a quad-core processor, up to 32 GB of RAM and Nvidia 1080 graphics, with a starting price of $3799 (you could check for some potential discounts though).

The Razer Blades are some of the best portable gaming laptops of the moment

The Razer Blades are some of the best portable gaming laptops of the moment

MSI GS63 Stealth Pro and GS43 Phantom Pro

Weighing 3.9 lbs, the MSI GS63 is the lightest and one of the most compact 15-inch gaming ultraportables you could get these days, as you can read in our detailed review.

This laptops offers latest generation quad-core Intel processors, Nvidia 1060 graphics, a few different screen options (including a 120 HZ one) and an excellent SteelSeries keyboard, all tucked inside a thin and light body. However, in order to keep the weight down, MSI only put a 57 Wh battery inside the laptop and the build quality is only average, as the sheets of metal and plastic used for the case are rather thin. The GS63 does perform great though and it’s an overall solid pick in this sub-section.

It starts at around $1800 these days, for a beefy configurations with a Core i7 HQ processor, the Nvidia 1060 graphics and SSD storage. Follow this link for up-to-date configurations and prices at the time you’re reading this post.

The MSI GS60 is light and compact, yet packs powerful hardware and an excellent keyboard

The MSI GS63 is light and compact, yet packs powerful hardware and an excellent keyboard

The GS43 Phantom Pro is a more compact version of the GS63 mentioned above, and you can read all about it in our detailed review.

In very few words, it bundles the same Core i7 HQ processors and Nvidia 1060 graphics, but in a smaller, yet thicker and actually a little heavier 14-inch package. This laptop weighs 4.1 lbs and includes a 14-inch IPS matte FHD display, a Steelseries keyboard and a 61Wh battery. The base version starts at $1499, and you can find more about the available configurations via this link.

The MSI GS40 packs the latest Intel HQ processors with Nvidia 970M graphics

The MSI GS44 packs the latest Intel HQ processors with Nvidia 1060 graphics

Asus FX502VM, ROG Strix GL502VM and GL502VY

Asus offers some of the best priced devices in this category, including what’s at the time of this post the most affordable 15-inch laptop with Nvidia 1060 graphics, the FX502VM. It starts at around $1250 and for that kind of money you’ll get a Core i5 HQ processor, Nvidia GTX 1060 graphics (the 3 GB VRAM version though, not the 6 GB version that’s available on most other notebooks), 16 GB of RAM and HDD storage, plus a backlit keyboard and FHD matte screen. You can find more about this unit by following this link.

If you’d rather spend a little more and get more powerful hardware, the Asus ROG Strix GL502VM gets you a Core i7 HQ processor, the Nvidia GTX 1060 6GB chip, up to 32 GB of RAM and a 1 TB HDD for around $1350. This laptop is however a little bulkier and heavier than the FX502 model, and gets a FHD screen with GSync, which means it’s better suited for gaming, but the battery life is sacrificed. Follow this link for more details,, updated configurations and user reviews.

If the GTX 1060 graphics are still not enough for your needs, Asus also offer the ROG Strix GL502VS, which gets you the exact same specs as the VM above, but with Nvidia GTX 1070 8 GB graphics and with a 256 GB SSD included with the base configuration. This version weighs 5.7 lbs and starts at around $1650, which makes it one of the most affordable GTX 1070 notebooks out there. Follow this link for more details on the GL502VS.

Asus offers some of the best priced 15-inch laptops with Nvidia 1060 and 1070 graphics

Asus offers some of the best priced 15-inch laptops with Nvidia 1060 and 1070 graphics

Gigabyte P35X

Gigabyte offers a few portable and laptops these days, although they are only available on select markets.

The Gigabyte P35X sparks the interest as the lightest 15-incher with dedicated Nvidia 1070 8GB graphics. It weighs 5.3 lbs and is about .9″, so it’s not as thin or light as some of the other options here, but that’s understandable considering the hardware inside. The P35X gets a Core HQ processor, up to 32 GB of RAM, triple-storage options, an internal optical drive as well as a 75Wh battery. For the screen buyers can choose between a FHD or UHD IPS panel, but there’s no GSync option and this laptop also lacks a Thunderbolt 3 port.

On the other hand, Gigabyte could have done a better job with the keyboard and overall build quality. But you should be able to deal with these if you want the performance and don’t have an infinite budget at hand, as the P35X starts at around $2100. Follow this link for more details and potential discounts.

If you’re looking for a 17-incher, Gigabyte also offers the P37X series, and oversized version of the P35X with similar specs and a total weight of around 6 lbs, and on the other hand if you’re on a tighter budget you can also consider the bulkier Gigabyte P55W, which comes with Nvidia 1060 graphics.

The Gigabyte P35X and P37X are some of the lightest and most compact laptops with Nvidia 1070 graphics

The Gigabyte P35X and P37X are some of the lightest and most compact laptops with Nvidia 1070 graphics

Other laptops worth mentioning here are the Gigabyte Aero 14 (14-incher with Nvidia 1060 graphics) or the Aorus X5 (compact 15-incher with Nvidia 1070 graphics), as well as the others gathered in this article.

Best all-round (multimedia) options

This section includes a few different all-round laptops with traditional form-factors, with both portable options and those picks that will offer the best specs and features for the money, while sacrificing portability.

Give me the features, I don’t care about the size

If you want a 15-inch laptop with fast modern hardware, dedicated graphics, a good screen and a fair price, but you don’t mind a slightly bulkier body and heavier weight, then this section is for you.

There are many such all-round multimedia notebooks worth buying, and we’re going to list them below based on their starting prices, with links to our reviews and other sources with more details, updated configurations and prices. They share a few common traits, including the Intel HQ hardware platform, Nvidia 960M/1050 graphics and IPS FHD screens, but each have their particularities, their pros and their cons.

  • HP Pavilion 15 Gamer – starts at under $750, Core i5 and HDD on base model, 5.3 lbs and plastic body, 48 Wh battery;
  • Dell Inspiron 7559 Gamer – starts at under $800, plastic case, rather heavy (5.9 lbs, 1″ thick), 74 Wh battery, only a Core i5 processor and no SSD included on the base configurations, not the best keyboard;
  • Asus ZX53VW – starts at under $800, Core i5 HQ CPU and SSD on base model, 5.5 lbs and plastic body, 48 Wh battery;
  • Acer Aspire V15 Nitro – starts at $800, Core i5 HQ CPU and HDD on base model, more portable than most others – 4.9 lbs and .9″ thick, 52.3 Wh battery, Thunderbolt 3 port;
  • Lenovo Y700 – starts at around $850, Core i7 HQ and SSD included on the base model, heavy for its size – 6.2 lbs and 1″ thick, 50 Wh battery
  • Asus ROG GL552VW – starts at around $950, plastic case with metallic lid, weighs 5.7 lbs and is 1.36″ thick, Core i7 CPU on the base model but not SSD, 48 Wh battery;
  • MSI GE62 Apache Pro – starts at $999, plastic chassis with metallic lid and interior, Steelseries keyboard, Core i7 CPU, 16 GB RAM and HDD on base model, weighs 5.3 lbs and is 1.06″ thick, 51 Wh battery;

There’s also small subclass of multimedia laptops built on Intel Core U hardware with similar Nvidia 960M/1050 graphics, and these are the options to take if you’d rather get a thinner computer that you plan on mostly using for daily tasks, if you care about long battery life in such daily use scenarios or if your budget doesn’t allow to reach for the Intel HQ configurations above.

Among them you should check out the Asus K501UW series (4.4 lbs, plastic case, Core i7 U processor, SSD storage, Nvidia GTX 960M graphics, 48 Wh battery, TN FHD matte screen), with a starting price of under $900 and geat marks and reviews from previous buyers (mode details via this link), as well as the premium Zenbook UX510 (3.9 lbs, all-aluminum case, IPS FHD screen, 48 Wh battery), which starts at around $1000 and we’ve reviewed in depth over here.

Dell XPS 15 with Infinity Display

The XPS 15 is a mix of premium construction, compact form-factor and powerful specs, but these come at a price.

On the inside it bundles Core HQ processors, Nvidia dedicated graphics and a few different combinations of storage drives and batteries (up to 97 Wh), while on the outside this laptop looks and feels excellent. It’s built out of thick sheets of aluminum and smooth carbon-fiber, the narrow bezel around the screen stand as proof of its small footprint and so does its keyboard without a NumPad section. But despite these the XPS still packs a good keyboard and solid IO on the sides, including a Thunderbolt 3 connector.

You’ll find more about this laptop from our detailed review, which actually focuses on the tiny details and issues you’ll want to be ware of before deciding to buy one, and hopefully won’t scare you away.

We mentioned earlier that the XPS 15 isn’t cheap, but it actually starts at $999. However, that will only get you a Core i3 configuration with integrated graphics, 8 GB of RAM and a HDD, plus a FHD screen and the 56 Wh battery. If you want the Core i7 CPU, the Nvidia graphics, SSD storage, the UHD touchscreen or the 97 Wh battery, you’ll have to pay between $1500 and $2000 for it. Follow this link for more details, as well as the latest configurations and potential discounts at the time you’re reading this section.

Dell's XPS 15 with Infinity Display is more compact than most other premium 15-inchers

Dell’s XPS 15 with Infinity Display is more compact than most other premium 15-inchers

Apple Macbook Pro 15 with Retina Display

The Macbook Pro is for sure one of the most impressive thin-and-light 15-inch laptops of the moment and should be on every list of premium 15-inch all-rounders.

The latest version of the 15-inch Macbook Pro weighs 4.02 pounds, is 0.63″ thick and gets an aluminum unibody construction. On the inside you’ll find a 15.4-inch IPS 2880 x 1800 display with a 16:10 aspect ration, Intel quad-core processors with Iris HD graphics (optional AMD Radeon dedicated chips on some configuration), up to 16 GB of RAM, fast PCI-E SSDs and a 76Wh battery.

However, compared to the previous Macbooks, this latest iteration only offers Thunderbolt 3 IO – four slots (so you’ll need adapters for most peripherals), a low-travel keyboard with Butterfly switches and a Touchbar instead of the classic function keys, as well as Apple’s awesome force trackpad that we’ve also seen on the Macbooks. These particularities, alongside the fact that the amount of RAM is only limited to 16 GB and the high prices, might steer some of you towards something else.

The base version of the Macbook Pro starts at $2400 and you can find more details about the available configurations from Apple’s website, but keep in mind that if you’re OK with buying a preconfigured model, you’ll usually find these cheaper in other webstores.

Apple's 15-inch Macbook Pro is thinner and lighter than ever before, buts it particularities, IO and high price might steer you towards something else

Apple’s 15-inch Macbook Pro is thinner and lighter than ever before, buts it particularities, IO and high price might steer you towards something else


Asus Zenbooks UX501/G501

Asus have offered high-end 15-inch Zenbooks for a while, and these these days they simultaneously sell a Zenbook multimedia line, with a raw-aluminum finishing, called the Zenbook Pro UX501, and a very similar ROG G-line, with a black and red theme and a few internal tweaks here and there, called the ROG G501.

Both are thin and fairly-light 15-inchers with IPS matte displays, built on Intel quad-core platforms and Nvidia dedicated graphics (960M at the time of this update, but GTX 1050 updates are due in the near future) dual PCI-E storage solutions and up to 32 GB of RAM. I’ve reviewed the Pro UX501 in this post, in case you’re interested in more details.

Both versions start at under $1500 for some solid configurations (quad-core processors, 16 GB of RAM, 256 GB SSDs, Nvidia 960M graphics and a FHD panel). Just keep in mind to stay away from the 4K screen which displays highly innacurate color and look for the options with a FHD panel, if available in your region.

Follow this link for more details and potential discounts on the multimedia Zenbook Pro UX501 or on the black/red gaming themed ROG G501.


The 15 inch Haswell Zenbooks: NX500 and GX500, from left to right

The 15-inch Asus premium options, the UX501 (left) and the GX501 (right)

The best business notebooks and workstations

When it comes to business notebooks we’re looking at computer with simple/sober aesthetics, very good build quality, excellent keyboards and features like vPro, TPM and fingerprint-readers. These are mostly meant for business environments, but they can do well for individual use as well, if within your budget. There are a few different models to consider here and I’ll tell you a few things about each of them below:

  • Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon more details and discounts – the X1 Carbon has the looks, the build quality, the performance, the keyboard and the screen required from a top-of-the-line ultrabook. The latest generation gets a traditional form-factor with a thin and light 14-inch body, weighing 2.6 lbs. Previous versions were 2-in-1s, but these were more recently with the ThinkPad X1 Yoga line. You’ll have to compromise on battery and IO to some extent when going for one of these, plus the X1 Carbon is expensive, with the base configuration starting at around $1200 and beefier versions getting close to 2G.
  • Lenovo ThinkPad T470 – more details and discounts – this is Lenovo’s standard clamshell business notebook and bundles the hardware and the features you’d expect from a work-computer, with a big battery. There are several options available, with the largest having a capacity of 95 Wh, enough for around 15 hours of daily-use. Despite that, the T470 is still compact and fairly light (3.5 lbs), gets an excellent keyboard and solid IO, and starts at around $800.
  • Lenovo ThinkPad T470s – more details and discounts – the more portable version of the T470, weighs 2.9 lbs, is thinner and starts at $1000.
  • Dell Latitude 14 7000 – more details and discounts – an alternative for the Lenovo T400 lines, these laptops are available in a few different configurations, and top tier models include matte FHD matte screens, good IO, the latest Intel Core U hardware and a 55Wh battery. The Latitudes are on the pricey side though, with the cheapest Core i3 models starting at around $1100. You should also check out this article for my impressions on the Latitude 12 and 14-inchers.
  • HP EliteBook Folio 1040 series – more details and discounts –  unlike the dark-colored devices above, the EliteBook Folios get a crude aluminum body, so they could appeal for those who want the traits of a business machine in different clothes. These are also available a in a bunch of different configurations and include an excellent keyboard, Core U hardware and a 45.6 Wh battery in 3.15 lbs bodies. The Folios are very expensive though, starting at $1250 for basic configurations, and that could kill them for regular customers.
  • Fujitsu Lifebook U9054– this 14-incher weighs 2.9 lbs and gets a sturdy magnesium chassis and case. It bundles the latest Intel Core U hardware inside, a WQHD+ IGZO touchscreen and a 45 Wh battery. The slightly awkward keyboard and the throttling under load are however tough to accept on a computer that sells for between $1500 and $3000.

You should also check out this post for more options on business ultrabooks with internal 4G/LTE connectivity.

Wrap up

There you have it, these are some of the best 14 and 15 inch ultrabooks you should consider these days. They are thinner and lighter than regular laptops, they offer the performance required by your daily activities and more (multimedia, games, demanding software) and they last for quite a few hours on each charge.

You’ve got plenty of options to choose from from, with or without touchscreens, with or without dedicated graphics, with premium metallic bodies or more affordable price tags. So if you do want one of these larger format ultrabooks, you should find one in this article.

Just in case you haven’t found what you were looking for, these posts might also help:

I’m constantly updating this list of the best 14 and 15 inch ultraportables and I’m also here to reply to your questions and help you in any way possible, so if you do want to ask something or add to the post, the comments section is open

Andrei Girbea, aka Mike, Editor-in-Chief and a huge fan of mobile computers. Since 2007, I've only owned smaller than 12.5" laptops and I've been testing tens, if not hundreds of mini laptops. You'll find mostly reviews and guides written by me here on the site.


  1. paul mitrevski

    May 26, 2015 at 12:10 pm

    I’m in the process if buying a laptop. I’m not much of a technical geek about these machines. I need something for everyday use,I’m not a gamer. I want something reliable that can handle software like video editing but not heavy use and something that will last a while. Mostly microsoft office,emails,web surfing,youtube and occasional video editing and photoshop type programs.
    size would be between 13-15 inch. Budget $1000-$1500. I also need some advice about going for a macbook or pc,I’ve never used a mac either.
    Regards Paul

    • Andrei Girbea

      May 26, 2015 at 8:42 pm

      Any laptop with a Core i5 Broadwell U processor, 8 GB of RAM and a 256 GB SSD should be enough for you. Which one and whether you should go for a Mac or a Windows machine is entirely up to you. Try to narrow things down to what you need and then I could help with the final decision. Use this post as a starting point: http://www.ultrabookreview.com/5165-broadwell-ultrabooks/#a1 , as well as the other lists her eon the site.

  2. Tomer

    May 28, 2015 at 5:43 am

    I too am searching for a new laptop to buy. I have been browsing the internet and your website for some time, but havent found yet anything that suits me. I hope that you could recommand a brand that will suit my needs. which are:
    *An SSD drive of at least 256GB
    *Broadwell chip
    *pretty strong graphic card (I want to run decent games)
    *8 GB of Ram
    *No DealBreakers
    my budget is around 1000$
    thanks, Tomer

  3. Slavka

    June 9, 2015 at 11:41 am

    Hi Andrei
    Hi Andrei
    My Dell Inspiron 14z Ultrabook needs replacing – the letters 2 w s x don’t work anymore and a repair man tells me the delicate wires are broken and cannot be repaired as changing the keyboard for a new one did not work.
    Anyway, I really liked it – so I am looking for an ultrabook (or lighter laptop) but with an optical drive, that’s why I bought it in the first place.
    I don’t do gaming, I use it for internet browsing, email, and general office work, 500G memory is enough for me.
    Can you recommend anything for me?
    Thank you very much.

  4. Gary Reysa

    June 12, 2015 at 11:20 pm

    Hi Andrei,
    Thanks for your excellent website and reviews — very helpful.

    Looking for a laptop to replace BOTH my current laptop and desktop.

    Wondering what you think about the Lenovo Flex 3 – 14. With I7, NVIDA GT940M, FHD touch display,1tb hybrid drive, 8gb RAM, 4 lbs at $900 — lenovo.com/us/en/laptops/lenovo/flex-series/flex-3-14/

    I don’t game much but use some CAD (Sketchup pro), Dreamweaver, some software development, and some engineering analysis software.

    Must haves: 2 in 1 type, 13 or 14 FHD touch screen, able to hook up to my two 24 inch monitors in the office via port replicator.

    I’ve run the PassMark suite of benchmarks on my desktop and its 1150 overall and 600 on the 3d graphics test. From the PassMark data base, it looks like an I7 ultrabook with HD5500 graphics would score about 50% better overall (fine) but about 20% worse on 3d graphics (not so fine). This is why I’m thinking the NVIDIA graphics on the Flex 3 might be a plus for me?

    My other choice is the Dell 13-7000 which I can actually put my hands on at Costco and I like — but it only has the HD5500 Intel graphics.

    My main hesitation on the Lenovo Flex 3 is that I can’t find one to look at in person and I’ve not seen any reviews anywhere (wonder why?).

    Any thoughts on the Flex 3 or any alternative you could suggest would be much appreciated.


    • Andrei Girbea

      June 16, 2015 at 11:21 am

      You won’t need the dedicated graphics for those programs but it will make a big difference in games, if you plan to play anything from time to time.

      that being said, I haven’t reviewed the Flex 3 14 either. The Flex is an entry to low-level series for Lenovo and it’s usually more wonky built than their higher end lines, with more cheap plastic used for the case. The battery life isn’t going to be very good and I can’t tell whether that 1080p screen uses an IPS panel or not. If it does then it should be a nice pick, as long as there are no hidden flaws. Since I haven’t tested it, there’s nothing I can say about that.

      The Dell 13 7000 is a bit older and there are plenty of reviews available online, including one here on the site. It has some problems, but they’ve been well documented and with a bit of research you can find exactly what to expect from it.

  5. Adil_Rehman

    June 18, 2015 at 4:13 pm

    Hii Andrei,

    Articles on this website are very helping.You are doing a great job.I am a student of software engineering and wants a laptop which can run heavy software developing tools just like unity game engine or visual studio smoothly.I have been browsing the internet from some days. finally concluded that these two are best for me Lenovo y50 or Asus ux501. Please help me to decide one of them or another which will meet my requirements.
    waiting for your reply !!

    • Andrei Girbea

      June 20, 2015 at 8:18 am

      Both should be OK. The Lenovo is cheaper. However, make sure you read more about the screens, they are pretty bad on both options. You could look at the Zenbook NX500 as an alternative, which has a much better screen.

  6. Julie

    June 20, 2015 at 8:43 pm

    Hi Andrei,

    Thank you for posting great information on ultrabooks/laptops. I’ve been looking for an ultrabook or laptop for some time and I haven’t found one with my requirements and want to know what you would recommend.

    I’m looking for a performance ultrabook/laptop for personal use. I’m not a gamer.

    Must haves:
    *At least 128GB SSD (I can upgrade after purchase but I’d prefer to have it installed when purchasing)
    *8 GB RAM
    *10 key number pad

    Would like:
    *Display to have very good color contrast
    *Very good keyboard/trackpad
    *It would be a bonus if the machine had all this and was convertible; however, I realize with the number pad I’m pretty much limited to 15″ machines, and there aren’t a lot of 15″ convertible machines.

    I don’t have a set budget. I’m really looking for the most bang for my buck but willing to pay more, if by doing so, I get a much better machine. I’ve looked at Lenovo but it seems like you get a good economical machine or a pricey so-so machine, and lately I’ve been looking at and leaning towards an HP.

    I appreciate any information and insight you can provide.

    Thank you,

    • Andrei Girbea

      June 22, 2015 at 8:29 pm

      The Lenovo ThinkPad Yoga 15 checks all the right boxes for you. There’s also the newly launched Toshiba Satellite Radius 15 and I think HP have a 15 inch convertible as well.

  7. Holly

    July 22, 2015 at 11:06 am

    Hi Andrei,

    I have been searching for the past couple of months for a new laptop, and can’t quite find exactly what I want. We don’t have a tv, so all of our media viewing will be on this laptop. Therefore, it needs to be no smaller than 15-inches, and with the best possible display I can get for the money – no more than about $1000. I would prefer a touch screen, and an optical drive built in. A bonus would be a screen that can flip to behind the keyboard. Any suggestions? Thanks, Holly

    • Andrei Girbea

      July 22, 2015 at 1:24 pm

      Hi Holly.

      Well, I don’t think there are any devices that would check all those boxes. The optical drive is the issue here if you want a 2-in-1. Manufacturers leave those out in order to make the laptops as thin and light as possible, and they are right to do so, because a 5+ lbs device can’t make for a good tablet… The good news is that you can actually buy an external USB powered DVD drive instead and just connect it to the laptop when needed.

      Anyway, if you’re willing to cut the optical drive from the list, then the Lenovo ThinkPad Yoga 15, the Lenovo Flex 3 15 or the Asus Transformer Pad TP500 should be good options. Aim for a Core i5 processor, 8 GB of RAM if possible and definitely an IPS 1920 x 1080 px display.

  8. Thomas

    August 22, 2015 at 11:37 pm

    Thanks for this really helpful site! I’m looking for an ultrabook and quite decide. It will mainly be used for web browsing and MSO, I know these are not demanding tasks, but it could be that some more demand task could occur. My requirements are: 256 ssd (or more), compact and light, good battery performance, 13-15 inch high quality screen and a decent keyboard . I have looked at Dell xps 13, Asus zenbook pro ux501, Samsung ativbook 9 15 inch and thought of the upcoming Dell xps 15, though I think it’s too pricey. What would recommend some of these mentioned or other options


    • Andrei Girbea

      August 23, 2015 at 9:55 am

      You can’t go wrong with any of these, although each have their pros and cons. Just be careful about the Zenbook UX501, the 4K screen is not color accurate and I wouldn’t recommend it for any work that requires an accurate display (photo/video editing, etc). If you can get the model with the 1080p screen though, it will be a good buy.

  9. Craig

    September 4, 2015 at 1:38 pm

    Hey Andrei, great reviews. I’m in the process of looking for a new laptop and was wondering what you think of the toshiba kira 109? I’m based in the UK and this one seems like a great value option at £675 after cashback. It’s a lot cheaper than most of the competitors that I have seen such as the Dell XPS13, the Macbook and the HP SPectre.

    i5-5200U processor
    8GB Ram
    128GB SSD
    Full HD Screen
    Backlit Keyboard
    Up to 13 hours Battery life (or so they say)


    I was also considering the Asus Vivobook s551LN at £550 as a cheaper option but I feel like the toshiba kira might give me a better quality and more durable machine for not a lot of extra money?

    Another option I am considering is the Asus Zenbook ux303LA at £625 (. It has an i7-5500U processor, 6GB Ram, 128 SSD, Full HD Screen and backlit keyboard with 7 hours battery life (or so they claim).

    I want something with good build quality, battery life and screen. And also the keyboard and touchpad are very important to me on a laptop.

    • Andrei Girbea

      September 4, 2015 at 2:42 pm

      Hi Craig, my experience with the Toshibas is really limited in the last years, I don’t have a good relationship with their PR department.

      The Kira 109 2015 seems like a solid choice though, based on this review: notebookcheck.net/Toshiba-KIRAbook-KIRA-10D-2015-Notebook-Review.142823.0.html

      The S551 is a larger and heavier device. Does to come with Broadwell hardware as well? And keep an eye on the screen. I’d stay away from the HD option.

      The UX303LA is pretty good too. It gets a touchscreen, slightly worse keyboard and smaller battery.

      I’d probably choose between the Kira and the UX303LA. Like I said, I can’t offer a definite answer since I haven’t tested the Toshiba.

      • Craig

        September 6, 2015 at 10:45 am

        Thanks for the reply Andrei. The s551 actually uses Haswell hardware (i7-4500U DUAL Core Processor) and doesn’t have a full HD screen. It was just a cheaper option initially but I’m not considering it anymore, even though I quite liked it.

        I’d love the kirabook because I think it’s really good value and has good hardware and battery life. But a few things are putting me off it to be honest. I’ve seen that the keyboard isn’t reviewed well and a bad keyboard would be a deal-breaker for me. I’ve also seen that some reviews say that it runs quite hot and noisy so I’m a little bit worried by that as I want something long-term – at least for 3-4 years – and I think heat is probably the main thing that causes laptops to fail longer term?

        • Andrei Girbea

          September 7, 2015 at 7:51 am

          WEll, yes, heat can lead to certain parts failing. However, most thin and lights get hot these days. If you want to be safe, maybe you can just get extended warranty. Not sure how expensive it is though and whether it’s worth it or not

  10. Phil

    September 10, 2015 at 6:31 am

    I’m new to your site Andrei, and I must say what a comprehensive wrap up it provides….great job.

    Personally I’m hoping you can assist with my query. I’m looking to buy a new untrabook later this year (early Christmas present).

    It has to be windows based (not Apple and able to run office and lots of web browsing and streaming) and I’m looking to get the most powerful, well built, sleek and thin option I can.

    Money is not a limiting factor.

    On this basis what would your expert opinion be?

    • Andrei Girbea

      September 10, 2015 at 7:12 am

      Hi Phil/ I’m going to need a few more details from you. First, do you have a screen size in mind? And second, what else matters to you on a laptop, besides power and the thin form factor? Perhaps a touchscreen? Great keyboard? ports? Also, do you plan to run any games? Please be a bit more specific.

      • Phil

        September 10, 2015 at 7:25 am

        Thanks for the quick response Andrei.

        Touch screen – yes (14′ or 15′ high quality), great keyboard yes, possibility of running some games in the future, I’d also like it to have the latest and most powerful processing capability. I guess I’m looking for the top end specification

        not fussed about ports.

        Hope that helps?

        • Andrei Girbea

          September 10, 2015 at 7:43 am

          Hi Phil. In this case I’d have the Razer Pro 14 at the top of my list. The updated Skylake model should be available by Christmas. You could ask Doug about it here: http://www.ultrabookreview.com/8110-razer-blade-gigabyte-p34wv3/

          The MSI GS60 Ghost Pro is also an interesting option, we have a few posts about it here on the site and Derek is really into these compact, high-power machines and you could get in touch with him in the GS60 reviews: http://www.ultrabookreview.com/7942-msi-gs60-ghost-pro-4k-review/ and http://www.ultrabookreview.com/5337-msi-gs60-ghost-pro-3k-review/ . This one lacks a touchscreen though.

          • Phil

            September 10, 2015 at 12:10 pm

            Thanks for the info Anderi, I followed the links you provided and read the reviews. Was particularly excited by the Razer, it looked great.

            It seemed to be focused on game playing, was that what it was designed for? Or the fact that it had great screen, powerful processing meant it was more suited to gaming than other ultra books? I assume that it’ll run all the usual business apps such as office etc very fast, and do all (non Apple) ultra books use windows as their out of the box operating system?

            I live in Australia and it seems that local stockists are not prevalent, is there anything I should look out for with buying such a premium product on line?

            Thanks in advance

          • Andrei Girbea

            September 10, 2015 at 1:44 pm

            It is primarily a gaming machine, due to the 970M Nvidia chip inside. But it is also overall one of the better laptops out there, period, so it’s not meant just for gaming, it can handle everyday tasks as well.

            Now, if you don’t want to pay for the Nvidia chip and don’t plan to play any games, you could also consider something like the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon. Wait for a 4th gen Skylake upgrade though, which should include 16 GB of RAM. Performance wise, this one is not going to be as fast as the Razer, nor in games or in everyday apps. So if you really want the fastest compact computer, the RazerBlade is going to be tough to beat.

  11. Daniel

    September 10, 2015 at 7:31 pm

    Hi Andrei, loving the reviews on this site!
    I’ve been looking for an ultrabook/notebook for a while and can’t really find anything to fit my needs.
    I’m looking to buy something used/refurbished for ~£600 (~$1000) which is thin, light, has an i5/i7, has a matte IPS display and has a dedicated graphics card (atleast as good as an 840m)
    Using this list http://www.ultrabookreview.com/3331-haswell-ultrabooks/ the Acer TravelMate P645 seemed like a great match but it’s impossible to find the model you listed in the UK.
    Could you recommend some another ultrabooks or a thin laptop/notebook which meets my needs?

    • Andrei Girbea

      September 10, 2015 at 8:52 pm

      Hi Daniel. I had a quick look on Amazon and I don’t think there’s any 14-incher or smaller out there that could meet your requirements. You might find some older models like the P645 refurbished, but I’m not familiar with UK shops and I don’t know where to look. If you can increase your budget, perhaps you might find the ThinkPad 14 discounted somewhere, but I don’t think you can find it for under 600 pounds. Worth a try though.

      Anyway, if you can step up to 15 inchers, the Acer V3-572G or the Asus Q551LN (or V551LN) should offer you that graphics in your budget. They weigh a bit over 5 pounds and the Asus is a convertible.

      You could also look for the Acer E5-573G or the Asus X555 series with Nvidia 940M, and I think Lenovo has an Edge 550 model with a similar chip.

  12. Peter

    October 14, 2015 at 1:22 pm

    Hey Andrei,
    I am searching for a new laptop with the specs below:
    -256 gb ssd or greater
    -Nvidia graphics
    -intel i5 or i7 Skylake
    -8gb ram
    I also wanted to play some games like fifa 16, dota, LoL. I am also considering the dell xps 15 9550, but I don’t know if it’s too big/bulky. Please help me to find the suitable laptop.

    • Andrei Girbea

      October 14, 2015 at 3:50 pm

      You haven’t mentioned a screen size or a maximum budget. If you’re saying the XPS 15 is took bulky, then perhaps something like the Zenbook UX303UB could be a good choice. I’d recommend the Gigabyte P34W or the MSI GS40 for serious gaming, but those titles you mentioned should run fine on a 940M on 1080p with Medium/High details.

  13. Matt

    October 15, 2015 at 9:23 pm

    Hello Andrei:

    I’m getting ready to retire my Dell 6520 Latitude (purchased fall 2011) as its wearing out. I have a number of specifications and price is only sort-of an object.
    1. high performance. I’m totally blind and so the accessibility tool plus OS Plus applications run the processor ragged. I burned out two HP machines before going to my Dell.
    2. durability!
    3. at least 500 gb of ssd storage.
    4. built in number pad comparable to the Dell is essential.
    5. quality of screen obviously not important.
    Price only marginal object. I’d get nervous over $2k. I have an educational affiliation.

    • Andrei Girbea

      October 16, 2015 at 12:22 pm

      HI Matt.

      I don’t know how demanding that software you’re mentioning is, and since you want a NUmPad I’d reckon you’re aiming for a full-size laptop with a 15-inch screen.

      Now, if you were happy with the Dell Latitude, you could aim for their latest release in this segment. The Latitude E5550 is their top 15-incher, but it has not yet been updated to Skylake. Something like the Dell Inspiron 15 7000 would be a nice pick as well, for less money, but probably not as strong built. The HP Elitebooks are a decent alternative, and so are the Lenovo ThinkPads. However, Lenovo have yet to announce SKylke updates for their ThinkPads, but if you can wait for their T560, it could be a good buy.

      Aim for a Core i5 or i7 quad-core processor and 16 GB of RAM to make this futureproof. SSD storage will help with the speed as well.

      If there’s anything else I can do to assist you, let me know.

  14. Diego

    October 25, 2015 at 2:18 am

    Hola muy bueno el sitio, actualmente estoy siguiendo ingenieria de sistemas y uso bastante el desarrollo de software, me ha gustado una ultrabook acer s7 en general me parece que tiene un buen sistema pero me gustaria conocer tu opinion acerca de esta ultrabook y si me ayudaria en mi desarrollo de software

  15. Daniel

    October 27, 2015 at 1:47 pm

    Hey Andrei,
    Seems like you know your stuff!
    Perhaps you can give me some suggestions? I’m looking for a nice Ultrabook, professional looking with an i7 and a 4K screen. Ideally around the 15″ mark.

    I’ve tried the ASUS UX501, and as you mentioned the screen was a real let down. Everything looks washed.


    • Andrei Girbea

      October 27, 2015 at 2:50 pm

      The new Acer Aspire V15 Nitro Black will get a 4K wide gamut screen from what I know, so that could be an option. There’s also that new Dell XPS 15 9550, but it’s too early to tell how good any of these will be.

      You could also consider the older Asus Zenbook NX500, with an IGZO 15 inch 4K screen. But it’s damn expensive.

      • Daniel

        October 27, 2015 at 6:32 pm

        Hi Andrei,

        The red backlight really puts be off the Nitro black, it’s a shame you can’t change the colour really.
        I’ve got my eye on the XPS 9550, but I’m unsure how it will cope with the heat. The home key is also a small frustration on that keyboard, as I used that very often to highlight lines of code at a single time.

        My colleague has the Zenbook NX500, which is why we opted for the UX501, the “upgrade” – but it was certainly more a downgrade!

        • Andrei Girbea

          October 27, 2015 at 8:41 pm

          Thu UX501 is a later released model, but it’s not an upgrade, as you saw. Poorer screen, keyboard and speakers, but also about $500 cheaper :)

  16. James

    November 10, 2015 at 3:38 am

    Hey, what do you think of the new Dell Vostro Series 5000? dell.com/ed/business/p/vostro-14-5459-laptop/pd

    Is it better than the new lenoyo yoga 700 (14inch)?

    • Andrei Girbea

      November 10, 2015 at 4:01 pm

      I have no experience with the latest Vostros, so can’t tell you anything about it yet. Haven’t reviewed the Yoga 700 either yet

  17. Jose

    November 22, 2015 at 1:15 pm

    Hi Andrei,

    I’ve found this article extremeyly helpful, thank you!
    Can you help me find any ultrabook that has a full keyboard, 15 inch screen, and are lighter than 4lbs or close to it? I’ve been looking everywhere, and would really appreciate your help.

    I have an HP Envy dv6 and at 5.77lbs, I am tired of schlepping it everywhere. Thank you!!

  18. Liviu

    November 22, 2015 at 6:12 pm

    Hi Andrei… I am looking at XPS 15, it ticks all my requirements but one – I would have liked a full keyboard (win numpad), but I guess for that size it couldnt have worked. I do like the portability, the battery, the power (I am looking at usa website for an i7 with 512 ssd m2, 16 gb of ram, fhd matte screen. In Europe they dont sell this screen which gives better battery life, I wont need touchscreen. I will be using it for graphic design and web coding. Any competitors I should compare this xps? The budget: around £1500. Thank you.

    • Andrei Girbea

      November 22, 2015 at 7:52 pm

      Well, there’s nothing as compact with a Full-Size keyboard. The Zenbook UX501 could be an option, but stay away from the UHD+ screen with skewed colors. There’s also the MSI GS60 you could consider, but it might not be what you want, since this one bundles Nvidia 970 graphics and you haven’t mentioned you’re into gaming.

    • Jose

      November 23, 2015 at 1:02 am

      Have you taken a look at the Toshiba Tecra Z50? I’m also looking for a 15″ lightweight (<4.0lbs/1.81kg), full keyboard ultrabook. This is the only ultra book I have found that covers everything, except for the weight, but I think with an SSD it gets there. Keep in mind that it doesn't have an optical drive (CD drive). I think it looks good on paper, although customization varies. ~USD$1,000-1,700. Maybe Andrei can weigh in if he's heard something about it.

      • Andrei Girbea

        November 23, 2015 at 10:29 am

        Hi, I haven’t come across the Tecra Z50 yet, will look into it.

    • Tony Brown

      March 13, 2016 at 9:36 pm

      John Lewis sell what you want with a 1080 screen. It’s not on Dell’s website, but I saw it in John Lewis 3 weeks ago.
      Just hope you never need to deal directly with Dell when it falls apart!

  19. Yessika

    November 26, 2015 at 4:21 am

    Hey Andrei,

    I’ve been looking to get a nice Ultrabook/notebook but I just can’t find the right one for me. I’m in med school, I need a laptop that is light/thin/slim to carry around, 13″-14″ with good battery life, professional looking. I need it mostly for school work, with good memory 8GB at least, touchscreen would be nice and hopefully lightweight <3lb. I don't like Macs, anything else would be fine.
    It's not for gaming or editing videos, is for everyday use like music social media and school work, word and lots of downloading books.
    I Hope you can help me find the right laptop for me, thank you.

    • Andrei Girbea

      November 26, 2015 at 9:40 am

      Hi, there are many options that would meet you requirements. DO you have a budget in mind?

      • Yessika

        November 30, 2015 at 11:51 pm

        I was thinking around USD$600. I really like the dell XPS13 but is around USD$1200. I wish I could find an ultrabook sort of like that one, I like how it looks, is small and light, definitely looking for portability but also a good machine, I want a computer that will be with me for a good amount of time. Thanks for writing back.

  20. Genna

    November 29, 2015 at 12:40 am

    Hello, wondering if you could provide some advice. I’m going to be going back to school taking online only courses. My main uses would be video streaming, word processing and internet browsing. Not concerned with weight as I would only be caring to the library and not class to class. I’d like at least a 14″ screen. Here’s the kicker…my budget is very low. I don’t want to go over $350, but really I’d prefer to stay under $300. I know it’s not much, but needing something that will be reliable and last at least two years. I am considering a Dell scratch and dent…any experience with those?

    • Andrei Girbea

      November 29, 2015 at 10:02 am

      I’m not in the US so I can’t tell you much about Dell’s refurbished units. But if they offer decent warranty, those could be a good option.

      For what you need, I’d probably look at the Dell Inspiron 15 3000 series and try to get a Core i3 processor with 8 GB of RAM. We reviewed one here on the site and it’s a good deal for the money: http://www.ultrabookreview.com/7793-dell-inspiron-15-3543-review/

  21. Bruce Woolford

    November 29, 2015 at 11:19 pm

    Hi, I just ran across your site. I’m in the market for a lap top around the $1500 dollar range. I need it for 2d and 3d cad/cam work. The software I use is autodesk inventor 2016 and autocad. I was looking at the Lenovo Y700. What are your thouhts. Thank you

    • Andrei Girbea

      November 30, 2015 at 12:16 am

      Hi, I actually haven’t yet come in contact with the Lenovo Y700 and haven’t seen any solid reviews for it either. I’m concerned about the screen, the Y50 was its predecessor and came with really poor screens, both the FHD and the UHD options. I’d probably hold on for more details, or if you do go for it, make sure you buy it from places that allow easy returns.

      You can get similar specs in other laptops too, like the Acer Aspire V15 Nitro Black Edition, the Asus GL552VW and the soon the be launched N5552 or the MSI GE62. I’ve reviewed some of them here on the site.

  22. Sid

    November 30, 2015 at 3:42 pm

    Do any of these laptops support windows Hello?

  23. Keith

    November 30, 2015 at 9:35 pm

    Can you offer an comments on the Toshiba P50T-C-104 vs the P50T-C-10Q available in the UK.



  24. alin

    December 4, 2015 at 6:53 am

    Hi Andrei. I have to say I admire you answeing everybody’s questions. I would likewise appreciate some help since my laptop just died and I’ve been doing everything on cellphone including writing this and it’s tough : /

    I’m looking for a laptop that’s built solid with an amazing display, at least 500 gigs storage, 8gb ram, preferrably an i7. Also a good solid keyboard (don’t care about the number pad BUT if the shift key is short or split, I will go BONKERS since I type a lot and I HATE short /split shift keys.) I don’t care about ports or optical drives or gaming, but I want something fast for everyday usage. Video watching and internet usage would be my biggest things. So something with amazing wireless capabilities would be essential.

    Any help would be super appreciated!

    • Andrei Girbea

      December 4, 2015 at 6:01 pm

      Hi Alin. any budget or screen size in mind?

  25. Ratna Srivastava

    December 17, 2015 at 12:07 am

    Hi Andrei,

    Thanks for an in-depth article, very helpful!

    Could you please help narrowing down a new laptop for my work?
    I use graphics program like Photoshop/Illustrator etc.

    Price range: $1500- $1800 max.

    – Light weight
    – 15” display
    – 16GB of memory
    – Fast
    – Quick start-up
    – Good graphic quality
    – Small/light battery pack
    – A lot of storage
    – NO touch screen

    Thank you for your recommendation!

  26. Krishna Sammeta

    December 17, 2015 at 7:59 pm

    Hi Andrei,
    Thank you for your review and replies to individual questions. They are immensely helpful. I am a retired Finance/MIS person, looking to replace my 5+ year old laptop. I want a light weight, reliable laptop with a good key board, under $1000 (preferably around $800). I use it for emails, finance tracking, spreadsheets and light investment tracking. I am looking at Lenovo Ideapad 500s and Lenovo T450s. I have not come across a good review of ideapad 500s – are there any drawbacks. If so, I could go for Thinkpad T45os unless you think it is an overkill or some other laptop. Desired configuration: screen size 13/13.3/14, 8 GB I5 ram, 258 GB SSd, at least FHD screen, don’t need touch screen or 2 in 1 capability.
    Thanks you very much
    Krishna (USA)

  27. Cris

    January 4, 2016 at 10:36 am


    I was wondering if you can give me a feedback regarding the HP Envy notebook 13-d000ne with:

    i7-6200U 2.4GHZ
    512GB SSD
    Intel HD Graphics 5500

    It has pretty decent like mac air and really thin at 12.9mm. Is it worth the money or is there other possible better choice than this?

    • Andrei Girbea

      January 4, 2016 at 2:59 pm

      How much does it cost? and is that the i7-6500U or the i5-6200U CPU?

  28. Frank Harris

    January 25, 2016 at 9:05 pm

    Hello Andrei
    I don’t do much except web surfing, playing a bit of music from YOU TUBE, and showing a few picture I have taken. This happens in a location without power.
    I am looking for a 15 in with a 9 or 12 cell a user replaceable battery. Also weight is not a concern.
    Hopefully I can find something under $500. But again battery life in most important. Can you recommend a unit?
    Thanks Frank USA

  29. sailendra deka

    February 25, 2016 at 4:10 am

    Dear Sir

    I am from India. I am searching for a 14 inch laptop/notebook etc with all advance features and better configuration for purchasing at an affordable price below 40 thousand. But in the market, there are several models, therefore i am in puzzle. Lets me help.

  30. Mark

    March 5, 2016 at 9:52 pm

    Hello Andrei,
    I want to buy a new ultrabook and I need some advice. Here are some specs I need:

    – Numpad (So I guess I’ll have to buy a 15″, unless there is a 14″ with numpad)
    – Full HD screen, NON-touch (I don’t need QHD nor touch, but it’s not an issue if it has those).
    – At least 8 gb RAM (If I can upgrade, better).
    – i7 processor, but I can also deal with a decent i5.
    – Preferably, no HP brand (I had bad experience with them).
    – SSD storage unit.

    I’ll really appreciate your help.
    Thanks in advance,

    • Andrei Girbea

      March 7, 2016 at 5:32 pm

      There are many good options for you in this post, try to narrow them down and I can help with the final selection

      • Mark

        March 11, 2016 at 12:13 am

        Thanks! I’ve searching in amazon to see what models are available. Do you have any advice regarding ASUS X555UB? It doesn’t bring ssd but I can probably add a new one after buying…

  31. Brett

    March 10, 2016 at 1:40 pm

    I would like to get your thoughts on which laptops have the best potential to upgrade to large SSD hard drives. I have a large music collection that currently sits on a NAS at home which is not helpful outside of home.

    Some of these laptops have 512gb SSD however it still seems quite rare and expensive. Is it worth considering a model with lower capacity Ssd and then upgrade with an aftermarket drive?

    I have noticed that the dell xps 15 was quoting up to 1tb SSD however initial reviews have been poor.

    Also the new Lenvo X1 carbon (2016) and t460s are also promising upto 1tb SSD from factory. X1 Carbon has now released in uk but only with low specs. I am probably leaning to waiting for the X11 carbon full release.

    Given I am in the market for a new laptop I think my minimum criteria is latest sky lake processsors but not necessarily top end and a laptop that also has the option to upgrade ram at a later stage.

    I would welcome any suggestions.



    • Andrei Girbea

      March 13, 2016 at 3:46 pm

      Well, do you want an uptraportable laptop or could you do with something a bit bulkier?

      The XPS 15 for instance is available in two options, one with an M:2 slot and a larger battery, another with an M.2 slot, but also a 2.5″ 7 mm bay, plus a smaller battery. You can find 1 TB 2.5″ SSDs for around 250 pounds.

      Of you’re aiming for something smaller based just on M.2 storage, then it woudl be most affordable to get one of the lower end configurations and just upgrade those with a larger SSD. The 1 TB M.2 (PCIe or NVMe) are not yet available in stores from what I know, at least they weren’t last time I checked. That means you’d have to pick a laptop with mSATA SSDs, and the options are very limited (Acer have a few such devices).

      So you’d either have to wait a bit or just get a laptop that can fit a 2.5″ storage drive. The former option would mean you’d buy a slightly heavier machine, but also more affordable (512 GB NVMe sticks cost about the same as a 2.5″ 1 TB SSD right now, and you won’t really need the extra speed in your case) .

      Hope this helps

      • Brett

        March 13, 2016 at 9:28 pm

        HI Andrei

        I just got word of a friend travelling from Uk to USA where laptops are significantly more expensive, so I went for the Carbon X1 512 GB PCIe option as it seems it will be some time before high capacity version come out but thought I would get max specs given the savings and then just hold off until cheaper versions of 1tb or hopefully greater become available in the future, thanks for your response

  32. Tony Brown

    March 10, 2016 at 4:55 pm

    I’ve just rejected a Dell XPS 15 9550. IT arrived at 2pm, and by 3.30 I’d made problem 10 new telephone friends in India as I was passed from depth to depth, each time having to start my repetitive of a faulty, ill fitting trackpad from the beginning. Eventually it was agreed a replacement would be sent out. 48 hours later I’ve received no information from them regatding the whatsoever, in spite of repeated calls an emails from myself. The build quality and customer service go hand in hand as being amongst the worst I’ve experienced, once they gave your money, they seem to naked the support process as difficult to navigate as possible, unlike the sales side which, unsurprisingly, is quite slick.

    • Tony Brown

      March 13, 2016 at 5:03 pm

      It took 4 days to get confirmation of exchange date. I’ll have to wait another two weeks. They’ve thrown in a soft case but is a pathetic gesture of appeasement. Their after sales customer care is almost as poor as Apple.

  33. Tony Brown

    March 10, 2016 at 4:57 pm

    Apologies for the illegible rubbish previously posted, I didn’t realise it was altering so many of my chosen words. In a nutshell, avoid Dell

  34. Meesho

    March 13, 2016 at 6:18 am

    Hi Andrei

    I’ wondering if you could help me with your advice on buying a new laptop. I’m a photographer who is only use laptop for photo editing and album designing. The laptop I’m using now is HP 17.3″ with TN screen which’s a nightmare. I’m looking for a new one, I don’t care about anything but IPS between 15 and 15.6″, DVD burner, good for a graphic designer and under $700.

    Thanks in advance.

  35. peterh

    June 4, 2016 at 9:38 am

    Dell – not an xps but I ordered one and on arrival it wouldn’t work at all but it is now more than 2 weeks later and I still don’t have a refund/returns number despite numerous calls – at this rate I’ll need to charge them storage costs – hopeless and though I was going to buy an xps 15 too I have now changed my mind.

  36. Sijan

    June 26, 2016 at 6:04 am

    Hello Andrei,

    I have been looking for a laptop for some time now but I am still as confused as ever. I want to use it for everyday purpose, I don’t do gaming. My budget is around $650. I want small screen size, 15.6″ that most laptops have is too big for me. Anything smaller than that would be great. It should have good battery life and good storage space. Please suggest some.
    Desperately in need of your help.


  37. Osnat

    June 28, 2016 at 4:53 pm

    Hello Andrei,
    I also belong to the confused – I am shopping for a laptop with 15.6″ screen. My work involves a lot of video conferencing and I need to have several programs open concurrently to share screen without taxing the system and slowing down the connection. What are the main considerations for selecting the best unit? My budget is up to $1500 and I would like to keep the laptop working for at least 3 years.

  38. Matt

    July 14, 2016 at 2:02 am

    Hi Andrei:
    I checked in with you about a year ago about getting a new machine to replace my Dell 6520 15 inch laptop bought in late 2011. The machine continues to work but a variety of factors are pushing for replacement even more now than then.
    You may remember that I am blind and use JAWS as a screen reder. the HP laptops I’d used before the Dell didn’t seem to do well with JAWS (there is even online data suggesting that JAWS and the HP Pavillion series machines running I3 and I5 series processors just don’t like each other), and the Dell (with an SSD and I7 processor) has been happy for a long time.
    So: I need a machine with minimal graphics capability but
    I7 processor, ssd of at least 512 GB as people are doing a lot of video work for me, so I’m storing a lot of larger files either onboard or via dropbox.
    At least 8 GB of ram, 16 would not be a totally bad idea.
    a numeric keypad built in (barring this requirement I’d look at a MacBook but no such luck there),
    durable construction,
    and at least two USB ports. As with most people longer battery life is preferred.
    I’ve heard lots of good things about the newer Latitude machines and a friend in Tech strongly recommended an “ASIUS” (I think he means ASUS) machine.
    budget is not a concern though obviously if I can get a great machine that doesn’t cost $10K that would be great….:)
    Thanks in advance for any thoughts or recommendations,

    • Andrei Girbea

      July 18, 2016 at 4:16 pm

      Hi Matt and sorry for the late reply.

      The need for a Numeric Pad kills a few of your better options, like the Razer Blade 14 or the Dell XPS 15 9550.

      The Latitudes should be good options, but pricey. The 15-inch E5570 is the “cheaper” option, at $1600-$1700, while the more portable E7470 in your desired configs looks like it will set you down around $2200.

      Since HP is not an option, I would also suggest the Lenovo THinkPads, like the ThinkPad T560 or the ThinkPad P50s. The later is a bit too much for what you need though, since it’s mostly a workstation.

      As for the last part of you message, Asus makes good multimedia and gaming laptops. Their high-end gaming series are especially well appreciated, but these are usually big, heavy and come with dedicated graphics you’re probably not going to need. Another aspect to consider when looking at consumers laptops from OEMs like Asus, Acer, MSI or even Dell, HP or Lenovo, is that these might not offer the same kind of support business notebooks get, which won’t matter at all if you end up with a good product, but can make a whole of a difference if you draw a short straw. And based on what I’m hearing from other readers or reading on the forums, quality issues are common these days on laptops, cheap or expensive.

      Hope this helps to some extent, let me know if you have other questions.

      • Matt

        July 24, 2016 at 5:51 pm

        Thanks loads for your help on this, My own research is leading me toward a Dell machine since they seem to be the best mix of storage, sturdiness, and capability. Thanks again for your excellent advice and the great information you and your readers provide all of us.

  39. Cristina breccia

    July 14, 2016 at 1:37 pm

    Hi Andrai,

    Thanks for all your details reviews. But the more i read the more i get confused on what i need. i hope than you can give me your PERSONAL opinion.

    Lets say i urgently need an ultrabook to replace my struggling with the ipad. ( my 20 years old sony vayo is lying dead on my desk) my Idea is to buy a well built and proven performing machine, usable and light ( no more the 1,85 kg) that will last me for the next 5 to 10 years when laptops will be replaced by an interactive space.
    So for that i am sure i now need a machine able to cope with the VR, AR and simulations functionalities as well as portablility, design and user friendly object basically an hybrid between a business(design+light) and gaming ( quadcore and. Nvidia) laptop. i don t care about the technical requirements that i leave to your knowldge just to know if you had any
    experience under 1500 euro?

    Thanks Andrei in advance

    • Andrei Girbea

      July 18, 2016 at 4:20 pm

      That’s a tough one.

      You want the performance, the portability and the quality control in a single product, so I’d probably suggest the latest Razer Blade 14 as a good option, but it’s significantly above your budget.

      Another fairly good option is the MSI GS60, a little heavier and bigger, but again you might not be able to squeeze it in your budget.

      So I think you should prioritize what you need more from that long list of requirements, or up the budget for that Blade. Hope this helps.

  40. mark

    August 17, 2016 at 4:37 pm

    i want to buy a 15,6 inch laptop. if money is not an issue, what would be my best choice? i plan to play games but not massive. i want something with a decent graphic card (4gb ram?), 16gb ram, 512 ssd hd.. , im currently looking at gigabyte x35, msi gs60, macbook pro 15 and xps15. weight is important too, close to 2kg would be great.

    • Andrei Girbea

      August 17, 2016 at 5:45 pm

      All those are good laptops. The Gigabyte gets really good specs, but it’s not very well built, you might want to read some reviews to know exactly what you’re getting.

      Also, you could look at the MSi GS63, the updated version of the GS60 with much faster Nvidia 1060 graphics. It’s going to be about 50% faster in games than the MSI GS60 with the 970M graphics.

  41. mark

    August 18, 2016 at 9:39 am

    i dont think i can buy gs63 yet.. at least not here in europe. and gigabyte is out of the picture. I also read the xps15 review and after a short research Its out of the list because of many bugs reported. how about the asus zenbook ux510uw? i added that to the list, together with lenovo ideapad y700. If I could just get the macbook with a better video card.. but 2gb card will fall short for most modern games right? thank you for your help

    • Andrei Girbea

      August 18, 2016 at 10:35 am

      The GS63 is not yet available, you’d have to wait till early October for it, maybe a little sooner. The UX510UW isn’t available either, I have a review scheduled but it’s going to take around 3 more weeks til I get to it. Should be available Late September too.

      Opinion on the Ideapad Y700 are kind of mixed up. I haven’t properly tested it, so can’t share much about hidden flaws. If you’re looking at this class though, you could also consider the MSI GE62 and Acer Aspire V15 VN5-592G Nitro. Also, MSI GS60 and Asus GL502VT with faster graphics, although these might be outside budget.

      The rMBP is a great device, but not that much for gaming and the hardware in it is old, Apple haven’t updated the series since Spring 2015 if I’m not mistaken. They are bound for an update in the next few months.

  42. Tommaso Santojanni

    August 22, 2016 at 9:03 am

    Hello Andrei,

    After years of bliss with a Vaio VPCSA, I need to look for a new laptop as my Sony died on me. Would you offer your expertise and time to suggest me 3 alternatives that cover these requirements (in order of importance):

    50% RELIABILITY (if no statistic data is available then disregard this requirement)

    20% Least possible weight 1.5KG MAX (I like thin too, if possible but not a requirement)
    10% Display quality (watching films)
    10% Keyboard & touchpad quality (must be backlit and I need to feel the “click”)
    10% Build quality

    Must have:
    Minimum Display size 13″ but preferably 14″ or, better, 15 as long as under or near 1.5Kg
    Minmum memory: 500GB
    Minmum RAM: 8GB
    Memory Type: SSD
    CPU: i7/5th (or better) or equivalent i5
    Win 10 (better pro)

    I categorically refuse to be imprisoned into Apple system, so please do not include any of their products in your recommendations.

    Again compliments for your excellent posts and for your advice.


    • Andrei Girbea

      August 22, 2016 at 6:26 pm

      Do you also have a budget in mind? There are a few good 14-inch options and I’m looking at the Lenovo Carbon X1, Lenovo THinkPad T460s, Dell latitude 14 7000 and a few others, as mentioned in this post which was recently updated, but you didn’t mention your budget so I can’t tell if these are what you’re looking for or not :)

      • Tommaso

        August 22, 2016 at 11:45 pm

        3,000$ is the budget but I can go a bit higher for a really light, slim and solid 14″ or 15″ laptop. 1.5kg is the goal. I am tempted by the Zenbook 3 UX390 because of its weight and thin profile. I’m just afraid that it’s too small.

        • Andrei Girbea

          August 23, 2016 at 7:19 pm

          Then those mentioned in thew previous comment are within your reach. 15-inchers in that weight are hard to find. There’s a list of the lightest ones here: http://www.ultrabookreview.com/4219-the-lightest-ultrabooks/

          As for the Zenbook UX390, it’s really small. I’d say check it out first before committing, or you can check out the Macbook in an Apple store, it’s the same size.

  43. Ben Ben

    September 19, 2016 at 11:09 pm

    Hi Andrei,
    Thank you for the amazing article!

    Would you mind giving me a recommendation on a laptop I can use for photoshop editing, 14-15.6 inch touch screen and fhd with ok battery life under 900$?

    I’m so confused from the list :(

    Thank you very much in advance

  44. Andy K

    October 24, 2016 at 12:37 am

    Hi Andrei,

    Big fan of your works! I'm looking for a laptop for day to day use and some light gaming (Fifa Manager 14), but I'd like a bit more power behind it to make sure it's running smoothly. Any recommendations?

  45. Kristian

    December 9, 2016 at 3:23 am

    I'm in process of choosing a new laptop and so far nothing suits me well enough.
    Budget: 1500$
    Purpose: Graphic/Industria design, Photoshop, 3Ds Max, Music creation (FL Studio)…

    I'm not a gamer. I need something light and thin, but with a nice large screen. Preferably touch. And a good pergormance (battery life doesn't matter much.).

    I'm really into Asus UX510 (no touch) or UX501 (a little over my budget). Also I was considering Dell Inspiron 15z or 17z.

    What would you suggest?

    • Andrei Girbea

      December 9, 2016 at 11:43 am

      I'd get something with a Core i7 HQ processor and at least 16 GB of RAM. Dedicated graphics come included by default and NVMe storage is also appreciated. You'll also want a good screen.

      That means the UX510 shouldn't be on the list. The UX501 is an option, just stay out of the models with an UHD screen. Can't comment on the Inspirons, they're pretty solid options, but not that protable imo.

      I'd also consider devices like the MSI GS60 (or the newer GS63 if you can find it somewhere withign the budget) or the Acer Aspire V15 Nitro Black Edition, which is fairly thin and not very heavy. The Dell XPS15 is another great option, but probably outside your budget. None of these has a touchscreen, except for the Dell.

      • Kristian

        December 9, 2016 at 1:52 pm

        Thaks for a quick reply, Andrei! It's nice to see a working website.

        I guess I decided to stick with the new Inspiron 17z. It has pretty much all the bells and whistles I was looking for. Newest i7, 16Gb of RAM, 512Gb of SSD storage, Graphic card is, too, efficient in my opinion (Geforce 940MX) It's not a GTX, but I guess it'll do it's job well enough (I'm not gonna play anything anyway…) Also, even if it's not an ultraportable, It's not that heavy compared to what I tried in the past. And comes with a big screen. Haven't seen a 2-in-1 convertible this big yet. And has a 3.1 C port, which is nice. Never had one. I heard you can stick an external (eGPU) graphic card into it and amplify graphic performance, is it true?

        Anyway, If I get this semi aluminium beauty, I'd gladly comment on it here. Say, share my user expirience… :D

        • Andrei Girbea

          December 10, 2016 at 4:27 pm

          Great, your feedback on the 17z would be greatly appreciated.

          • Kristian

            December 18, 2016 at 10:36 am

            So, here I am.
            Got my Dell on Friday.
            Man, I've literally never been this impressed by a new computer! First thought when i boot it up was – damn, 1500 $ is cheap for this guy!
            So a brief review – for someone who has been using a smartphone for more than a year only, having a laptop (or a hugeass 17,3 inch glass touch panel) is amazing.
            The laptop is fast! Very fast. Windows Hello speeds upmthe start up time.
            Build quality is great! Metal casing makes it feel sturdy. And it's relatively light.
            Screen is Gorgeous! As gorgeous as on my phone. And touch is precise.

            You can definitely have some work done on it. As well as some relax. music plays loud and clear as well.

            Also – here you can seethe true power of windows 10. It feels more intuitive on 2-in-1 than a conventional laptop. I barely used a touchpad or a keyboard since i got it. :D

            So for me – I suggest everyone looking for a new generation of laptops to get this Big beauty. ;)

  46. Ann

    January 2, 2017 at 6:47 pm

    Hi Andrei,

    I'm also looking for a new laptop. Wanted to ask your advice. I'd like to get a 14 inch, but slightly smaller would be OK too. Wanted to get a i5 or i7. I am only surfing the internet and using Office (Excel, Word, and PP). I handle a lot of files, so I don't think I want to get a Chromebook. My head/eyes are very sensitive to light and flicker. I'm concerned about the additional glare on the glossy screens and the 2 in 1s. I think a matte display would be better for me. I was eyeing the Lenovo T460, but the price didn't drop since Thanksgiving and it's expensive. Am also considering the Acer Swift 3, which seems to meet the basic requirements at half the price. Any other suggestions?



  47. Hieu

    February 26, 2017 at 4:55 am

    Hi Andrei,
    I am an architect and considering buying a new laptop workstation really soon to replace my old desktop. I do light CAD drafting and medium use of Revit on my projects as well as some photoshop. I am torn between the Dell Precision 15 5510 and 15" HP Zbook Studio, by the way I read your review on the Precision 5510 very informative but could not find any on the HP Zbook Studio. I am currently using 2-23" Apple CinemaHD monitors with 1920 X 1200 native resolution and like to keep them
    My budget is $2000
    My consideration for the configuration:
    i5 6300 HP or i7 6700HQ
    NVIDIA Quatro M100 or Equivalent
    256GB SSD
    16 GB RAM
    I certainly appreciate your recommendation. I like the physical design of both models.

    • Andrei Girbea

      February 27, 2017 at 9:44 am

      Hi, unfortunately I can't comment on the HP Zbook because I've never tested or seen one in action, it's not available in my country. There should be good reviews on sites like netbookcheck.net and also a forum thread on notebookreview.com, perhaps you can find more details there. The Precision is a nice option, but if you've read the review carefully, it throttles at certain high loads, so you are trading some performance for the form factor. Just make sure you're fine with this particular and important, imo, aspect :)

      • Hieu

        February 27, 2017 at 2:38 pm

        Hi Andrei,
        Thank you very much for your reply.
        I am not sure what "throttle" means if it impacts the performance of the laptop.
        Would the Dell XPS 15 suitable for light AutoCAD /Revit works?


        • Andrei Girbea

          February 27, 2017 at 5:27 pm

          Throttling is explained here: http://www.computerhope.com/jargon/p/procthro.htm . Due to reaching high temperatures, the CPU runs at lower clock frequencies for a while, thus i doens't perform as well as it can. That usually happens with thin format notebooks. The XPS 15 is similar, but we're working on a review of the Kaby lake XPS 9560 model, should be available in about a week or so. We'll talk about any potential issues there.

  48. Anna

    March 15, 2017 at 10:44 am


    I am looking for a 15 inch or higher laptop that is the best, the newest technology. Price does not matter. Could you, please, recommend something? :-)

    • Charlie

      March 16, 2017 at 2:42 pm

      I got myself a Dell inspiron 17z touch 7779. And couldn't be any happier.

      • Andrei Girbea

        March 16, 2017 at 2:51 pm

        Hi Charlie. That's a very nice laptop and unfortunately I never got the chance to spend time with it myself. Would you be interested in sharing some thoughts and pictures with us? I'd put them in a dedicated post (like this one: http://www.ultrabookreview.com/9207-samsung-ativ-book-9-spin-review/ ) and I'm sure many other readers would find it very useful. If that sounds like something you'd be interested in, please let me know and I'll get back to you on email.

        • Charlie

          March 16, 2017 at 3:00 pm

          Definitely, Andrew! I'll be glad to help people find more information about it and help dell with sales ;)
          What would you like to know?

          • Andrei Girbea

            March 16, 2017 at 3:07 pm

            Thank you. I'll get in touch by email.

  49. Marc

    March 25, 2017 at 10:05 am

    This is a great and detailed review with nearly the full gamut of great ultrabooks. Should readers consider the ASUS Zenbook UX430 as well? In my opinion, that is the best ultrabook for build quality, aesthetic, performance, and value.

    • Andrei Girbea

      March 28, 2017 at 6:57 am

      Yes, for sure, it's one of the better 14-inchers out there and will be included in the next major update.

  50. Dv

    April 6, 2017 at 11:55 am

    Tough week of deadlines and my 4yr old DELL Laptop Inspiron 13z (i13z-8864sLV) Intel Core i3 3rd Gen 3217U (1.80 GHz) 6 GB Memory 500 GB HDD Intel HD Graphics 4000 13.3" Windows 8 was damaged and not worth repairing. I'm looking for a replacement below $400, max $500, 13" or 14", less than 3.5 lbs, primarily for Internet and word processing work but with enough storage. Would you have recommendations. Have wasted 2 days searching. Need to decide asap.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *