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Best affordable laptops under $600 and under $1000 in 2018

By Andrei Girbea , last updated on October 3, 2018

This article is going to help you if you’re after a modern laptop and don’t want to spend a lot of money for it. We’ve reviewed most of the devices you can find in stores, and we’ll tell you which lines are worth your hard earned buck and why.

We’ve split the post in two main sections, with a selection of good-quality affordable notebooks that sell around $600 or less, as well as a list of the better ultra-portable laptops you can get for under $1000 these days.

These computers meet all the requirements of a modern thin-and-light ultrabook, which means they are sturdily built and yet portable, get good screens and keyboards, recent hardware and are powerful enough to handle everyday activities and some games, but also last for 5+ hours on each charge.

However, keep in mind that the lower the budget, the more compromises you’ll need to make.

With that in mind, let’s have a look at the best budget laptops you can get these days. You can go through the entire article or jump straight to the section of interest:

Affordable laptops under $600

You’ll find a fair bit of good laptops available for $600 or less, especially if you shop for them online and/or hunt for occasional discounts. We’ve split this section in two parts, first we’ll talk about options with full-size screens, and then we’ll talk about some of the lighter and smaller variants in this class.

Full-size laptops under $600

When shopping for a cheap full-size laptop you’l have to sacrifice on the weight, overall build and materials used for the outer case, as well as the screen-quality, hardware specs and battery life to some extent.

Even so, there are still a fair number of options out there that are worth your attention, and we’re going to give you a few different suggestions based on what they can do and their price.

First of all, if you’re on a very tight budget, I would suggest aiming for laptops with at least an Intel 7th or 8th gen Core i3 CPU and 4 GB of RAM, the minimum I’d get in an all-day computer these days. There are cheaper laptops built on Celeron/Pentium platforms, but those are rather slow for full-size allrounders and I personally wouldn’t recommend them in this class.

You’ll find those i3 configurations brand-new for around $400 to $450, or you can shop for refurbished and open-box units for as low as $300. Out of the existing options, I’d have my eye on the Acer Aspire E15 series, the Lenovo IdeaPad 320 / 330 or the Asus Vivobook Max lines.

Some of the most affordable 15-inch laptops worth buying

Some of the most affordable 15-inch laptops worth buying

At the same time, if you’re shopping for a basic all-day computer that you plan to primarily use for browsing, video streaming, Youtube, email and so on, you should definitely consider one of the existing 14 and 15-inch Chromebooks available for around $300 to $400. Go through this detailed article for more info about Chromebooks, what they can and cannot do, as well as recommendations of the best available units.

If you can spend a little more and plan to keep the computer for a few years, I’d advise you to get a configuration with at least 8 GB of RAM and preferably SSD storage. You can find those on Intel i3/i5 platforms, or you can consider some of the existing AMD APU Ryzen 3 and 5 options. These are actually a little faster with daily multitasking and can handle simpler or older games better than the existing Intel variants in this class, but with a toll on battery life, as they’re not as efficient.

You’ll find these models at around $500 in devices like the Asus VivoBook F505, Acer Aspire 3, Dell Inspiron 15 5000 and the Lenovo IdeaPad 330 lines, and some of them come with 8 GB of RAM and SSD storage. Follow this link for more info.

Some of the affordable AMD-based options

Some of the affordable AMD-based options

However, the majority of the options mentioned above get rather bulky plastic builds, TN screens and fairly small batteries, as mentioned earlier, but you will find smaller devices with backlit keyboards, IPS screens and better specs as you get closer to the $600 mark.

Specs wise, you can either go with one of the better AMD Ryzen 5 builds, or with some of the Intel Core i5 models without or with Nvidia MX150 dedicated graphics, if you’re interested in games. You’ll find such configurations on the 15-inch Acer Aspire 5, the Asus VivoBook Slim S15, HP Pavilion 15, Lenovo Ideapad 330s or the Dell Inspiron 15 5000, as well as in some versions of the 14-inch Acer Swift 3 SF314-52.

You’ll also find a few affordable 2-in-1 laptops with touchscreens at around the $600 mark, like the 14-inch Lenovo Flex, Acer Spin 3 or Asus VivoBook Flip. Follow this link for more details on the existing affordable hybrids.

Cheap ultraportable options (10 to 13 inchers) under $600

This section is reserved for the more portable options you can get for under $600 these days, but if you’re in the market for a compact laptop, you should also check out our dedicated posts on the available 13-inch options, as well as this post on the 12 inch and smaller models.

Chromebooks

We’ll mention these first, before getting to the Windows options, as there are many great 11 to 13-inch Chromebooks in the $150 to $400 price range in shops, and if they fit your requirements, you’re not going to find similar value in other modern notebooks.

Just make sure, and I cannot stress this enough, you understand what a Chromebook can and cannot do. This article explains that in depth, and this list analyses the best Chromebooks available at the time of this update.

Value Clamshell Chromebooks

Value Clamshell Chromebooks

Ultra-compact traditional laptops with Windows

The market offers a handful of Window running mini laptops that sell in the $150 to $300 price range at the time of this update. You can consider those as travel companions, notebooks for kids or inexpensive secondary computers that can deal with basic activities such as browsing, music, email and video content, but there’s always the argument whether a Chromebook is a better computer for such use cases. On one hand these do run Windows, so they are more capable than Chromebooks, but at the same time they’re not as snappy or as easy to use, so the average user will probably find better value in the Chromebooks mentioned above.

The performance is a limitation with these mini laptops, as they are built on low-power Intel platforms, with 2-4 GB of RAM and 32 to 64 GB of e MMC storage, thus can only handle basic tasks. They also get rather cramped keyboards (due to their small size), poor TN screens and various quality control issues that you might run into. That means you can get a unit that works as expected, or you can get defective ones or versions that stop working after a while, so it’s imperative to buy these from reputable stores that allow returns and offer solid post-sale services.

Some of the devices worth mentioning in this class are the Asus VivoBook X series (review here, more details here), the updated and better specked Asus VivoBook E series, the colorful HP Stream 11, or the more sober 11-inch Lenovo laptops.

Some of the affordable mini laptops

Some of the affordable mini laptops

Compact 2-in-1s and tablets

If you’re willing to spend a little more, somewhere between $250 and $500, you can get a few different compact 2-in-1s with touchscreens and convertible or detachable form factors. These are also built on low-power Intel platforms and can only handle basic daily activities, but are usually better built and pack touchscreens with IPS panels. Among these, the most popular series and models in this segment are:

  • the Asus Transformer Pad and Mini series – 2-in-1 detachable with a 10-inch IPS touchscreen, Intel Atom hardware and matching keyboard docks or folios. The basic Transformer Pad T100HA starts at around $200 (we reviewed it here), while the updated Transformer Mini T101HA sells for around $300 and the redesigned Mini T102HA for around $400 (we reviewed it here).
  • Microsoft Surface Go – a newer 10-inch tablet with a high-resolution 3:2 IPS screen and pen support, as well as updated hardware. It’s nicely built and fairly capable for its size, but it’s also a lot more expensive than the competition, as it starts at $399 and you’ll have to shove extra for the keyboard folio and the pen. Follow this link for more details.
  • the Dell Inspiron 11 3000 2-in-1 – a 2-in-1 convertible line with an 11-inch screen that rotates to 360 degrees. The latest Inspiron 11 3000 sells for between $200 and $450 based on configuration (more details via this link), is available in a few different colors and offers Intel Celeron, Pentium or Core m3 hardware, with up to 4 GB of RAM, a 2.5″ bay for storage and a 32 Wh battery. The screen can be a deal-breaker though, as it only gets a TN panel.

dell-inspiron-11-3000

  • the Acer Spin 11review – a compact 11-inch convertible built on Intel Apollo lake hardware. It gets a FHD IPS screen with pen support, a competitive price and a 36 Wh battery, all tucked inside a sturdy metallic build;
  • the Lenovo Flex 11  – Lenovo’s alternative to the Spin 11, with similar hardware and a more affordable price, but with a HD touchscreen, plastic build and smaller battery.

If you’re able to extend your budget closer to the $600 mark, you should also check out the HP Spectre 12 X2 (review – 12-inch tablet with Core M hardware, great screen and solid construction) and you might even find a 13-inch Dell Inspiron 13 7000 convertible if you search well enough (review of the previous generation).

Best-value laptops under $1000

There are many ultrabooks selling for between 600 and 1000 bucks these days, and we’re going to mention the better ones in this section. When choosing the right device for your needs, you can either look for a powerful laptop with solid specs, or look for an ultraportable with mid-tier specs, but a slimmer and nicer quality build. We’ll cover both cases below.

All day multimedia laptops under $1000

In this section you’ll find either refined mid-range laptops built on Core U hardware, or better specked versions of the lines mentioned in the sub-$600 category, with extra RAM, more storage and faster CPUs.

Our recommendations include primarily devices in the former subcategory, as all-day multimedia laptops with compact and nicely crafted builds, IPS screens, backlit keyboards, as well as good hardware specs and no major flaws. Performance wise these can smoothly handle daily chores, but also more demanding applications if needed, as well as some light games. They are not primarily gaming machines though, but rather a well balanced mix of performance, portability and features.

Here are some of the models I’d have on my radar, listed alphabetically:

  • Acer Swift 3 14-inch and 15-inch – 14/15 inch all-rounders with metallic builds, Core U hardware, optional Nvidia MX150 graphics, IPS matte screens with small bezels, fast keyboard, 48 Wh batteries, from 1.45 kg / 3.4 lbs, competitively priced;
  • Asus VivoBook S15 S530 – compact and slim 15-inch all-rounder with colorful designs, but mostly plastic build, Core U hardware, optional Nvidia MX150 graphics, IPS matte screen, just a 42 Wh battery, from 1.75 kg / 3.85 lbs, competitively priced;
  • Dell Inspiron 15 7000 compact and slim, metallic build, but heavier than the other options, Core U hardware, optional Nvidia MX150 graphics, IPS matte screen, just a 42 Wh battery, from 2 kg / 4.4 lbs, rather pricey in most regions;
  • HP Envy 17 – one of the very few good mid-range 17-inchers, Core U hardware and Nvidia MX150 graphics, IPS glossy screen, 56 Wh battery, from 3 kg / 6.7 lbs, fair priced;
  • Lenovo IdeaPad 530s – compact and slim 15-inch all-rounder, metallic build, Core U hardware, optional Nvidia MX150 graphics, IPS matte screen, 45 Wh battery, from 1.7 kg / 3.75 lbs, competitively priced;

You’ll find a few more suggestions in this list of recommended 14 and 15-inch laptops, as well as in this list of notebooks with Nvidia MX150 graphics.

Those of you interested in sub $1000 allrounders with a convertible touchscreen should also consider devices like the Acer Spin 5, Lenovo Yoga 730 or some of the other options mentioned in this dedicated article.

Some of the better mid-tier allrounders

Some of the better mid-tier allrounders

Gaming options under $1000

If you’re interested in a budget gaming laptop, your options are to either go for one of the full-size devices with powerful specs you can get for under $1000 these days, or put performance on a secondary plan and go for one of the very few sub-$1000 ultraportable laptops.

In the former case you’ll end up with 14 and 15-inch laptops built on Core H hardware and Nvidia GTX 1050 Ti and even GTX 1060 graphics, while in the latter you’ll mostly have to settle for Core U laptops with GTX 1050 graphics, but in smaller and nicer built packages. It’s up to you, and both sub-sections are covered in-depth in this dedicated article.

Mid-tier Ultraportables under $1000

If you’re after a premium thin-and-light ultrabook, $1000 can buy you base-level versions of the ultra-compact Dell XPS 13 and Microsoft Surface Laptop, the convertible HP Spectre X360 or the ultra-lights LG Gram 14 and Asus Zenbook UX391 series, to name just some of the top options. Those should be good enough for most users, as long as you can get a Core i5 configuration with 8 GB of RAM and preferably at least 256 GB of storage.

On the other hand, if you’d rather get better specs for your money or you’d rather spend less, there are a many other great options you could consider instead.

  • Asus Zenbook UX333 (13-inch) and 433(14-inch) – from $899 – light and compact options with narrow bezels, matte or touch screens, Core U hardware and optional MX150 graphics, 50 Wh batteries, from 1.1 kg (2.4 lbs);
  • Asus Zenbook UX331 – from $999 – 13-inch ultralight and slim model, matte IPS screen, Core U hardware and MX150 Max-Q, 50 Wh battery, 1.15 kg (2.5 lbs) ;
  • Acer Swift 3 SF314-55 – from $799 – 14-inch model, slightly heavier than others, but sturdily built, matte ISP screen, Core U hardware and MX150 Max-Q, 48 Wh battery, 1.35 kg (3 lbs);
  • Dell Inspiron 13 7000 2-in-1 – from $949 – 13-inch convertible with 360-degrees IPS touchscreen, compact metallic build, Core U hardware, 38 Wh battery, 1.4 kg (3.1 lbs);
  • HP Envy 13 from $799 – 13-inch light and compact model, matte or touch IPS screen, Core U hardware and optional MX150 Max-Q, 53 Wh battery, 1.25 kg (2.8 lbs) ;
  • Lenovo IdeaPad 720s – from $899 for a top-specked version – 14-inch model, well built and compact, but a bit heavier than the other options, Core U hardware and MX150, 55 Wh battery, 1.45 kg (3.5 lbs) ;
  • Lenovo ThinkPad T480 – from $849, but the base versions are poorly specked – 14-inch business laptop, highly configurable, solid build quality and great keyboard, Core U hardware and optional MX150, from 48 Wh battery, from 1.6 kg (3.6 lbs);
  • Microsoft Surface Pro – from $899 for base model without keyboard – 12.3-inch tablet with high-resolution 3:2 touchscreen, Core U hardware, 38 Wh battery, from 1.75 lbs (.8 kg) without keyboard;
And some of the mid-tier ultraportables under $1000

And some of the mid-tier ultraportables under $1000

Wrap up

All in all, there are a lot of great laptops available for under $1000 these days and quite a few good ones selling for between $300 and $600. You’ll still have to make some sacrifices if you go into the lower tiers, that’s true, but you can find something good-enough no matter what your budget is, as long as you have correct expectations.

We’ve mentioned some of our favorite recommendations above, but there are also others you might want to consider in certain regions, so if you need any help picking the best option for your needs and budget, don’t hesitate to get in touch in the comments section below, or check out some of the other articles on the site:

Keep in mind that I’m constantly updating this list of budget laptops under $1000, adding new models as they are launched and retiring the older versions as they become obsolete. We’re a small site though and there might be some delays, so if spot any units that should be in here and are not, just let us know in the comments section.

Andrei Girbea, Editor-in-Chief of Ultrabookreview.com. I've been covering mobile computers since the 2000s and you'll mostly find reviews and thorough guides written by me here on the site.

228 Comments

  1. Sajid

    November 11, 2014 at 5:46 am

    Hello Andrei, this is an amazing article, thank you.
    I need a laptop for business use, I travel a lot so would appreciate a lighter version, most of my work is on office, lots of emails with office attachments etc.
    Currently using a thinkpad edge 15 inch, budget is around $800, what are my options?

  2. Jerry

    November 22, 2014 at 2:48 pm

    Hi Andrei, I am thankful for you hard work to make a list like this.
    I am currently looking for a fairly fast and powerful laptop to do some video editing some photoshop and do on. I would like the nvidia grafics card in it, touchscreen, i7 processor, a 15 inch screen and my budget would be under 1100 dollars.

    Thank you.

    • Andrei Girbea

      November 23, 2014 at 4:40 pm

      Does it have to be an ultraportable? If not, check out the Asus G551 series, Lenovo’s Y50s and there are also a few Acer models as well with GTX 850M graphics or higher within your budget

  3. Abdul

    November 27, 2014 at 5:25 pm

    Need your opinion in purchasing a laptop –
    Option 1: Acer Aspire V7 482PG , Core i5, NVidia GT750M 4Gb DDR3, 8Gb RAM, 1080p IPS touchscreen laptop refurbished for $510
    Option 2: Thinkpad Yoga 14, Core i5, NVidia GT840M 2Gb, 8Gb RAM, 1080p IPS touchscreen laptop for $880

    What would your preference be?

    • Andrei Girbea

      November 27, 2014 at 5:31 pm

      I’d get the Yoga if the budget is not vbery important. Better built, better looking, 2-in-1 form factor, more recent graphics, new. If you’re on a tight budget though, that Acer looks solid for the money.

  4. Vibhu

    December 30, 2014 at 11:40 am

    Hi Andrei,

    1.Can you please suggest me a Laptop within $700. I want best video & audio performance in this range, good gaming experience and bit of office work as well. ( this is going to be my new year Gift for my self :D)

    2. Which one is better HP or Levovo??

    3. Which is better 14, 15 or pavillion??

    Looking forward to your reply. Cheers Mate. Happy New Year.

  5. arnie

    January 17, 2015 at 7:03 pm

    Hi
    Thank you very much for your post.i’m looking for a 13″, and I’m having some trouble to choose between the Asus ux303la and Toshiba z30-a-1D0. Both cost around 900€.the Asus just have 6gb RAM and 128gb SSD and the Toshiba has 8gb RAM and 256gb SSD.they both use I5. The Asus is better on the sound and the Toshiba is better on image. I’ll use the computer to work and to see some movies occasionally (mkv). Could you give me your opinion? I saw that you don’t mention the Toshiba Z30 in your post.
    Thanks

  6. monika

    January 21, 2015 at 1:12 pm

    Hi Andrei,

    This is a very useful article. Thanks for putting it together. I am planning to buy a ultraportable 13 inch laptop for office purpose. No gaming butq would be extensively working on microsoft office, pdfs, big word docs. Cud u plz suggest somethng under 1000
    Dollars..thanks a lot

  7. Jone

    February 14, 2015 at 1:45 am

    I am planning to get one laptop from USA. It will be mainly for my wife and 7 year old son. It will be mainly used for casual browsing, movies, some word processing and low end games.

    I am considering the below spec:
    1. Budget max $450 (Happy if I get for lesser also )
    2. Touch not required (as touch increases the price)
    3. Min of 4 GB RAM and 256 GB hard disk
    4. Screen-size between 13″ to 15″
    5. Best value for money
    6. Processor – Intel Core i3 onwards
    7. Lighter the better
    8. Would prefer: HP, Dell, Asus, Toshiba, Lenovo. May be Acer also.
    9. Do not prefer the flip and convertibles.

    Please could you suggest few options? I

    • John

      June 10, 2016 at 3:51 am

      You should use an Hp laptop and it matches your specs pretty close
      -AMD dual core
      -500 gb of ram
      -4gb of ram
      -no touch
      -not convertible
      It looks nice and it only costs 430 dollars for the specs. Heres the link
      amazon.ca/Hewlett-Packard-Laptop-Dual-Core-Windows/dp/B016LKDSZ6/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1465530530&sr=8-2&keywords=hp+laptop

  8. chris

    February 19, 2015 at 7:02 pm

    Hi Andrei,

    I am having trouble deciding between ultrabooks. I am looking for something around $1000 or $1200, 13 inch, that has long battery life (I travel alot) and the ability to use photoshop and occasional video editing. Also I want all metal construction or the equivalent as I am moving around a lot and it will take some bumps. Right now, I am between a 13in MacBook Air (8gigs ram, i7) or the Aspire s7. Also looked at the xps 13. I am not really sure how much value to put on a touch screen; I think the only benefit would be in apps like photoshop no? Thanks for your help in advance (and cheaper options are always appreciated)

    • Andrei Girbea

      February 19, 2015 at 9:32 pm

      The touchscreen won’t help much with Photoshop, as most of these screens are optimized for finger use, like on an iPad. They’re ok ti switch between apps, select certain things, etc.

      You’re looking at the right devices. The MBA offers unbeatable battery life. The XPS 13 2015 would be second in my list as well. Then I’d have devices like the Aspire S7 and maybe the Asus Zenbook UX301LA.

      If you’re interested in battery life, you could pick a device with Broadwell hardware, could make a difference. The MBA hasn’t been yet updated to this new platform, but all the Windows laptops were.

      • chris landis

        February 20, 2015 at 6:30 pm

        Thanks! Yes I figure it is worth it to go with the latest and greatest as I need my compu to last me for at least 3 years…. Speaking of, what would your opinion be on buying the MBA now vs waiting for the rumored retina version.

        I’m leaning towards the Mac due to the bang to buck ratio, and I figure I should learn Apple OS at some point. Plus the ability to also run windows means its kind of the best of both worlds, right?

        • Andrei Girbea

          February 21, 2015 at 2:10 pm

          Well, you’re not going to get the same battery life or touchpad experience with Windows, but it can run it nonetheless.

          If you’re not in a hurry, you could wait. The Macbook updates are scheduled for March from what the latest rumors are saying. And when those pop out, these current MBA models should get a slight price cut.

  9. keith

    February 25, 2015 at 2:33 am

    I am looking at the dell xps 13. Do you think it is worth the extra $$ to buy a signature model from the Microsoft store?
    Thanks

    • keith

      February 25, 2015 at 2:37 am

      Besides looking at the xps 13, I am also interested in the Acer v15 nitro.
      Which is better for the $$.
      Thanks

      • Andrei Girbea

        February 25, 2015 at 2:50 pm

        The Nitro is a different kind of laptop. You need to set your priorities straight and decide based on those.

    • Andrei Girbea

      February 25, 2015 at 2:49 pm

      Well, I own an XPS 13 Signature Edition and I’m pretty happy with it. You can find my review here on the site.

  10. Marcus

    March 1, 2015 at 11:46 pm

    I have narrowed it down to these two: Dell Inspiron 13 7000 i5 or the Asus TP300LA Signature Edition…any advice or tips on either of these? Thanks

    • Andrei Girbea

      March 2, 2015 at 8:38 am

      I’ve reviewed both these laptops here on the site, check out the posts for more details, in the reviews section.

      The Dell is slightly better built imo and looks a bit better. However, I’ve heard reports that its rubbery coating is wearing off in time, as well as reports of ghost touches on the screen.

      The TP300 has a slightly poorer keyboard, but a larger battery. It’s also a bit bulkier, but should be cheaper.

      • Marcus

        March 2, 2015 at 12:07 pm

        Thanks for the feedback. Guess my search will continue. My budget is about 1,000 and I wanted something portable and with no less than a fhd screen and it doesn’t necessarily have to be a 2 in 1. Screen size I wanted to keep it between 13 and 15 inches and processor no less than an i5. Any reccomendations? Thanks

        • Andrei Girbea

          March 2, 2015 at 12:19 pm

          Those are good options. The Dell XPS 13 with the i5 CPU and 8 GB of RAM will also fit your budget, the FHD version, and it’s a good device.

          • Marcus

            March 2, 2015 at 5:14 pm

            I appreciate the feedback and your time. I went to best buy and they showed me the Asus Q502LA-BBl5t12. I was wondering if you know anything about this one? The person I spoke with just said they sold a lot of this 2 in 1. Thanks

          • Andrei Girbea

            March 2, 2015 at 6:52 pm

            see my review of the Asus tp500, it’s the same model, but the Q502 is black, not silver.

  11. Diego Avila

    March 2, 2015 at 8:35 pm

    Andrei,

    Looking for a laptop that will be able to run programs like SPSS and MPlus (basically, statistical analysis – minimum reqs around 1 GHz processor, 1GB Ram). Budget around $750 or less. Not as concerned with touchscreen, but portability for travel is nice. Long battery life would be bonus, but not necessary.

    • Andrei Girbea

      March 3, 2015 at 8:55 am

      Hi Diego. You should squeeze a Core i5 and maybe 8 GB of RAM inside that kind of money in a device like the Dell Inspiron 13 7000, Lenovo Yoga 2 13 or the Asus TP300LA. If you want something even cheaper and smaller, the COre i3 powered version of the Dell Inspiron 11 3000 could be a nice option for under $500.

  12. Stefan Borcea

    March 10, 2015 at 11:19 am

    Hi Andrei, I need to buy a laptop,and I am a little bit confused;it is for family use ,work,pictures,downloads ;the budget is up to 1000$ ;it has to be good for a long term acquisition.

    • Andrei Girbea

      March 12, 2015 at 12:05 pm

      Screen size? DO you want something slim and light, or a regular sized laptop?

  13. Katy

    March 11, 2015 at 10:07 pm

    Andrei,

    I am trying to decide between the Dell Inspiron 13 7000 and the Asus flip TP300la. On Amazon, the Dell is about $70 more than the Asus and I don’t see a huge difference between the two. Any ideas?

    • Andrei Girbea

      March 12, 2015 at 12:21 pm

      WEll, the Asus has a bigger battery and perhaps a slightly better trackpad. The Dell looks and feel better imo, but it’s not without its fair share of issues. I’ve tested both these laptops, you can find them in the reviews section.

  14. Michael

    March 15, 2015 at 11:45 pm

    Hi Andrei,

    I am looking for an 13″ ultrabook with 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD and good battery life as a very portable work machine – i.e. processing power is not a priority as long as it can run Office, browsers, and the occasional video etc, although of course many web pages are beasts these days. Touchscreen and tablet features are not important either. But at least the battery (possibly other parts too) will have to be replaceable by the user without warrantee implications. I can’t believe how many machines these days are designed to be thrown away after 2 years. Anyway, the idea is that with an external monitor and a mouse it could also be a desktop PC substitute. I’ve been looking at Dell Inspiron 7000 13″. Any other suggestions? Oh, and it can’t be anything from Apple. I have issues with their attitude. Thanks.

    • Andrei Girbea

      March 16, 2015 at 5:25 pm

      Well, that Dell and the Lenovo Yoga 2 13 and Asus TP300 are swimming in the same waters.

      The Asus Zenbook UX303LA and the Dell XPS 13 2015 are more premium options, but pricier. Battery is replaceable on all these computers, if you’ll be able to find a spare one ofc. You’ll have to take the back plates apart for that though, so it’s not a basic operation, but it doesn’t require advanced technical skills either.

      • Michael

        March 16, 2015 at 8:49 pm

        Both the UX303LA and the XPS 13 2015 are interesting. For some reason the XPS is more appealing (and you kept it!), and it’s only slightly more expensive that the Inspiron 7000 13″ (and very significantly cheaper than the UX303LA). Dell don’t make it clear they are selling the 2015 model, but the one they are selling comes with ‘5th Generation Intel® Core™ i5-5200U Processor (3M Cache, up to 2.70 GHz)’. That’s the new one, isn’t it? Many thanks.

        • Andrei Girbea

          March 16, 2015 at 8:52 pm

          Yes, that’s the new one. You can also tell by the small screen bezel. The previous versions had a larger one.

          • Michael

            March 21, 2015 at 12:02 pm

            I nearly ordered an XPS 13, when I thought I would Dell about battery and SSD swapping. They say this is a fixed config machine and you can’t change anything. Only they can. Battery costs £70-90 but they wouldn’t give me cost of labour/p&p and estimated time wasted for a simple battery swap. I made my thoughts clear to them and reminded them other manufacturers can do swappable batteries on theirs ultrabooks. The new levels of designed obsolescence are shocking.

          • Michael

            March 21, 2015 at 12:29 pm

            I forgot to say I know you can replace the battery (assuming you can find one), SSD and more, by removing a few screws (and there is a myfixguide page for that too), but Dell are clearly not happy with us doing it.

          • Andrei Girbea

            March 23, 2015 at 3:44 pm

            Most manufacturers aren’t from what I know. Some (like Asus) will even void warranty if you replace the SSD. I’m not sure if that’s the case with the XPS 13, these policies seems to vary from region to region.

          • Michael

            June 7, 2015 at 12:18 pm

            Readers may wish to know that the SSD for Dell XPS 13 does not support hardware encryption. Software encryption impacts on performance of course. Without any SSD encryption, the SSD can be removed and read as normal on another computer.

            More importantly, I went ahead and ordered one. They messed up my order at least three times and the machine would be delivered more than a month late. Fortunately, I had given them a deadline and when I cancelled the order eventually, they had to give me full refund on my Amex. That took them another two weeks after repeated reminders from me! With their zero stock policy, Dell have a very serious structural business model problem, particularly when the slightest thing goes wrong — they simply can’t address missed orders until the next shipment from China. Their staff were trying to be helpful, but there was nothing they could do. In short, it’s not just the hardware that counts. Customer support and even delivery are very important, but people may wish to gamble.

  15. Matt

    March 18, 2015 at 2:17 am

    Hey, I’m looking for a good laptop for college in the fall. My budget is sub-$1000. I’d like to be able to do some gaming, besides the general college stuff, so something that could run a game like skyrim would be great. I dont need max settings. Just low-mid with a good fps. Should I look at an ultrabook, or go for something bulkier?

  16. vilma

    April 3, 2015 at 5:03 am

    Hi, great reviews!
    How are the 4th and 5th gen different and does an 8RAM is much faster than a 4RAM.
    I’m looking for a fast/light/slim/durable laptop. I’m a working mom on the run and use my computer everywhere (office, home, even in the car and outdoors). I multitask all the time. Now I have open 40+ internet tabs open including 2 tv channel streaming live, in 2 web browsers, 4 excels and 2 powerpoint files and pictures. no video games. I barely turn it off. My last laptop was 11″ Asus (slim/light) that felt and screen crack but work fine after removing touch screen feature until motherboard burned out. It cost less than $500 USD 1.5 years ago. Although more expensive and bigger I think I will have to settle for Dell I7347-10051 LSV or do you have a better sugestion for me?

    • Andrei Girbea

      April 3, 2015 at 8:18 am

      The I7347 is a good buy overall, but make sure to read my review and others’ , cause it’s not without some shortcomings. Alternatives in the same price-range would be the Asus TP300 / Q302 series or the Lenovo Yoga 2 13 (with Haswell).

      The only major difference between 4th and 5th gen Intel hardware is the graphics, with the Intel HD 5500 being considerably faster than the HD 4400. That’s going to be mostly visible in games though and not in other daily activities. On the other hand, RAM is important, so I’d advice to go for 8 GB if possible.

      • vilma

        April 4, 2015 at 9:38 am

        Thanks! The Dell I7347 i5, 8G price drop to $600 and the Asus and Levano are $150-$300 more. I have got used to low battery life, but I’ll have to keep an eye for the trackpad. I appreciate a lot your prompt response and your excellent reviews and help!!!

        • vilma

          April 9, 2015 at 6:12 pm

          I got it and I find it too big and heavy specially to use it as a tablet. Unfortunately, I’m not able to find a smaller laptop 8RAM core i5 for a similar price. Although I found surface pro 10″ 4RAM for $523 amazon.com/gp/product/B00BE5T2TA/ref=ox_sc_act_title_2?ie=UTF8&psc=1&smid=A1DCUPUVBU7LFA But I’m concern it will not be as fast and practical to use on the lap.
          What concerns me the most about the Dell is that it is hot all the time. I cannot use it as a laptop because it burns my lap, even closed as a tablet: the hot air coming from the sides burns me. I hear the fan/processor all the time that it is on. Is this normal?
          thank in advance for all your savvy advices.

          • Andrei Girbea

            April 9, 2015 at 11:15 pm

            It shouldn’t be that noisy and hot. Perhaps it’s running updates or something?

            On the other hand, yes, this thing is heavy.

            If you’re willing to sacrifice performance to some extent, check out the Asus T300 Chi, it might be what you want. But read the review here on the site first, battery life and temperatures are something to keep an eye on.

            I don’t think that Surface Pro is worth that kind of money, it’s an older model with quite a few quirks. The Surface Pro 3 on the other hand, that’s a great machine, BUT it’s more expensive.

  17. Tom Hartley

    April 12, 2015 at 9:50 pm

    Hi!

    Thanks a lot for the article! It’s really helpful! Could you possibly give me your verdict on these laptops? I’ve tried to narrow it down..it’s hard!

    Dell 15 7000 – for some time I’ve been wanting a well priced UHD laptop, and this I think is the only one. However it seems from a few youtube videos that 15″ laptops possibly aren’t suited to anything above FHD yet? It seemed to make the icons, etc. fairly small? So I may be thinking just a FHD :)

    Lenovo U430

    Lenovo Thinkpad Yoga 2/3 14 or Lenovo Flex 2

    Asus N550JK or Asus V551, or Asus TP500LA

    I’m wanting it for studying but also multimedia tasks, and my budget is around £600-700 (sorry I’m British :S)

    Thanks a lot!

    • Andrei Girbea

      April 14, 2015 at 10:07 am

      I wouldn’t get a screen above FHD on a budget laptop. Besides the scaling issues you’ll get with 3rd party app, the hardware also needs to push more pixels, thus lower-end specs will struggle more than with a lower res screen.

      That being said, among those you chose, I’d personally look at the Lenovo Yoga 3 14 , Yoga 2 13 or one of the Asus laptops. The latter I’ve tested here on the site or on tlbhd.com, you can check out my detailed reviews for info. And are you sure the ThinkPad Yoga 14 is withing your range, as you said?

  18. Sajeed

    May 8, 2015 at 1:54 pm

    My requirements: a ‘thin’ laptop with great display,above average graphics,power for designing software,backlid keboard,14/15 in display,good battery life.
    Please please suggest me for which laptop should i go!

    • Sajeed

      May 8, 2015 at 2:04 pm

      And not too price too

  19. Luke Byrd

    May 21, 2015 at 11:06 pm

    Im looking for a ultra-portable laptop for under 1,000 , i need a lot of battery life, and a good screen and keyboard what should i get?

  20. JOY

    June 1, 2015 at 7:46 am

    Hi Andrei,
    I’m looking for a 14 inch laptop with matt screen (non touch), light weight around 1.7 kg (3.7 pounds) for intensive office work and internet. I need a comfortable and as big keyboard as possible. silence and cooler whith 4 hours battery. was thinking about dell vostro 5480 but couldn’t find any review about it (dell service in Israel is consider to be very good) but open to other brands as well. Does an integrated battery is considered an advantage or disadvantage? and what is the true work hours of 3 cell battery?
    would appreciate your help and recommendations,
    Joy

    • Andrei Girbea

      June 1, 2015 at 9:59 am

      I haven’t reviewed that Dell and haven’t reviewed a Vostro in a long time, so can’t say much about it. The 3-cell battery has a capacity of 51 Wh so it should be fairly good. The screen though is a 1366 x 768 px TN panel from what I can tell, which sucks. You should also consider Lenovo’s THinkPad 14 inchers, those can be equipped with IPS panels and might be more affordable.

      • JOY

        June 1, 2015 at 11:41 am

        Thank you Andrei for the quick response. do you have in mind more models that can can fit my specifications?
        Joy

        • Andrei Girbea

          June 1, 2015 at 3:54 pm

          What’s you max budget?

          • JOY

            June 3, 2015 at 8:16 am

            my max budget is 1500$

          • Andrei Girbea

            June 3, 2015 at 3:09 pm

            Hmm, that should allow all sort of options. Check out the Lenovo ThinkPad T450s and maybe the X1 Carbon 3rd gen .

  21. Jared

    June 17, 2015 at 7:41 pm

    Andrei, your website and reviews have been a great resource for my girlfriend and I.

    She is looking for a 2-1 ultrabook for $1000 or less that has atleast a 13inch ips screen, above average battery life, good keyboard, decent storage, atleast i5, and lighter than 5lbs.

    We’ve narrowed it down to the Yoga Pro 2 13, the Thinkpad 13 but the battery life and storage space offered is lackluster.

  22. Jared

    June 18, 2015 at 2:24 am

    Upon further research we’ve added the HP Spectre x360 T13 and Dell Inspiron 7000 13 Special edition to the list of options. What do you think of those, Andrei? Both have great battery life and great screens but I’m worried about ghost touching with the Dell and both supposedly get over 100 degrees on bottom easily.

    • Andrei Girbea

      June 18, 2015 at 10:03 am

      Out of all these I’d get the HP Spectre X360, it’s the better of them all but also the most expensive.

      The Lenovo Yoga 2 Pro offers the best bang for the buck, but it has some issues with screen colors and potential wi-fi disconnects and fan noise. You should look into them.

      The Dell 13 7000 is the most affordable of the bunch and a good machine overall, but it’s also heavier and has some issues with ghost touches.

      Bottom point, no device is perfect, just make sure you know what to expect from each of them. A quick search on Google by “Product name problems” should be revealing. DOn’t expect things to be as bad as they might seem, happy buyers don’t usually post their feedback online. But like I said, it’s best to know what to expect in a worse case scanario.

      • Jared

        June 18, 2015 at 11:13 pm

        Thanks for the swift reply, Andrei.

        Still haven’t made any headway between the spectre and inspiron 7000. Both are neck and neck almost and I think we’ve nixxed the yoga pri 2 since the resolution is so high and it has so few ports as well as lower tech wifi capabilities.

        I feel like we’re running out of options! The price point for the pro 2 sure is attractive on Lenovo’s site right now. (i7 for $899)

        Have any other suggestions? the latitude is too expensive and the other ultrabooks in the spectre class just don’t seem to measure up..

        Battery life, screen quality, & storage are uber important, as well as upgradebility.

        Thanks again.

        Jp

        • Andrei Girbea

          June 20, 2015 at 8:20 am

          WEll, no, those are your best picks. The Asus TP300 and the Lenovo Yoga 3 14 are alternatives to the Inspiron 7000, but the HP plays in a slightly different class and it’s really tough to outmatch right now.

  23. Jared

    June 19, 2015 at 12:35 am

    I think it bears mentioning that the inspiron I speak of is the 7000 special edition which has a significantly better battery life and no mention of an awful trackpad.

    • Andrei Girbea

      June 20, 2015 at 8:22 am

      I wouldn’t say significantly better. It’s still the same size as on the 2014 model and while the Broadwell CPUs are more efficient, don’t expect to gain more than 30 to 60 minutes on daily tasks. Also, I don’t think they changed the trackpad.

      Still, my biggest concern for the 7000 are potential ghost touches and uneven back-lightning. You might want to look into those

  24. vilma

    June 20, 2015 at 1:20 pm

    Hi! I’m looking for a extremely light, small, strong and portable laptop that will last some years for my 8 year old daughter to take everyday to school. The school suggested a chromebook but I consider is not worth it. The Toshiba radius 11 seems to be the best value with 4/500G and 2 in 1 although the price and weight (2.9#) are a little higher. On the other hand is Asus transformer (2.4#) 2g/32 flash which has the best size/portability and is touch but I’m afraid I will not be able to run my Office 2010. Although it comes with 1yr Office 365 but I don’t want to have to buy a license every year, Also, since is for a girl using it at school I’m concern about it falling and the 2 pieces flying away. Yesterday’s price drop is making me rethink about this option. What do you think? I also considered Asus X205TA-SATM0404G (2.14#) and HP stream 11-d001dx which seem a little more sturdy, but no touch screen.

    • Andrei Girbea

      June 22, 2015 at 8:26 pm

      Hmmm, I would have suggested either the Asus X205 or the Hp Stream 11 as well, as they are simpler and rather inexpensive.

      If you do want a touchscreen though the Asus T Book T100TA is your best pick under $250. Some of the older versions came with Office Home and Student for life, maybe you can find one of those versions, although I don’t know if they are sold anymore.

  25. vilma

    June 22, 2015 at 4:05 pm

    Hi!

    Basically my main concern is: in a year when Office 365 (that comes with the ASUS Transformer Book – Intel Atom Quad-Core Z3735E 1.33GHz Processor, 2GB Memory, 32GB SSD) expires I can uninstall it and install office 2010 and it will run without problems.

    thanks!

    • Andrei Girbea

      June 22, 2015 at 8:34 pm

      Office 2010 will run fine on those Atom processors as long as you keep thing simple and don’t open large excel files or presentations. You’ll just need to make sure the license allows you to install the software on multiple computers. I assume you already have it on another and you then plan to put it on the TBook as well, right?

  26. Kate

    July 1, 2015 at 3:46 am

    Hello Andrei,
    Your site is most informative as i am looking to purchase an ultra book.
    Can you please advise if you have much information on the Australian ‘Leader’ range?
    Thank you in advance.
    Regards
    Katie

    • Andrei Girbea

      July 1, 2015 at 8:25 am

      Hi Katie. I’m going to need more from you. Do you have a screen size in mind? And what to you plan to use is for? Also, what’s you max budget?

  27. Suzanne

    July 11, 2015 at 2:24 pm

    Hi Andrei,

    Your site is great. I’m acually wondering if you could give me some advice. I’m looking for a 13 inch ultrabook that costs under €1000,- wich would be a ultrabook of about 800 US Dollar, due to lower prices in the US. I’m still a highscool student, but going to university next year. This means that it has to be portable and it has to offer great all-round performance. So what’s the best I can buy?

    • Andrei Girbea

      July 13, 2015 at 5:35 pm

      If 800 USD is your top budget I’d aim for something with a Core i5 processor, 8 GB of RAM and SSD storage. I’d look at the Lenovo Yoga 2 Pro, Lenovo Yoga 3 14, Asus Transformer Book TP300, Dell XPS 13 7000 series and, if you’re willing to sacrifice performance for portability and a noiseless experience, the Asus Zenbook UX305FA.

      Each has some shortcomings, so make sure you read reviews in advance so you’ll know what to expect.

      • Francesco

        July 24, 2015 at 7:43 am

        Hi Andrei, i’m also in the same situation as Suzanne, speaking about budget and performance requirements.
        I’m reading a lot about the Yoga and Yoga pro lines. I’m also reading quite a lot about the general “disappointment”, so to speak, about the new Pro 3, specifically in comparison to the previous one.
        I see you are also suggesting the Yoga 3 14…which would be quite perfect for me…a little bigger and probably cheaper than the Pro…do you find the same “compromises” as when you were comparing the Pro 3 with the Pro 2 or you would definitely suggest it as a good choice?

        • Andrei Girbea

          July 24, 2015 at 8:40 am

          Hi Francesco,

          The Yoga 3 Pro is built on lower-power hardware than the usual ultrabooks. The platform is called Core M and it’s usually found in more affordable fanless computers. The Y3P is nor affordable, nor fanless. It’s also meant for light use. But it is light and sleek. So if you don’t mind paying premium and only plan to use this for simple daily chores, it could be an option to consider.

          The Yoga 2 Pro is going to be somewhat faster, despite having an older generation processor. It’s heavier, a bit thicker and has a poorer screen (search for Yoga 2 Pro screen problems and you’ll see exactly what yo expect – it’s basically a problem with color accuracy).

          The Yoga 3 14 is even bigger and significantly heavier, but much more affordable. It’s a mainsteam device and not a premium option like the others.

          If you want a capable 2-in-1 with powerful hardware, aim for the HP Spectre x360 right now, if you can get it within your budget.

  28. Jonathan

    August 4, 2015 at 4:17 am

    Hello Andrei!

    By the way, great post, lots of top quality information.

    Right now I’m in high school and I’m willing to buy an ultrabook/laptop because of mine stopped working this summer.

    I’m looking for a 15′, Intel i5 Core (latest generation if possible), with 8GB of RAM and 1TB of storage. No need to be 2 in 1.
    One aspect that really matters for me is the display resolution. I do think that FullHD (1920 x 1080) is fine for its size. As an extra, I’d like a powerful battery that can take at least 8 hours of writing, composing, browsing, watching videos, and use Office without a problem. My budget is around $800 but not more than that.

    Thanks! I’ll be looking forward for your reply. Keep doing top quality content and reviews.

  29. Jonathan

    August 4, 2015 at 4:27 am

    Oh! And I almost forgot, I’d like it to have a DVD Disc Drive so that I can download content that my school gives us via DVD. Thanks!

  30. Bibs

    August 6, 2015 at 7:13 am

    Hello,
    I’m currently entering my senior year and I know that I will be needing a light, portable, good performance laptop with a long battery life (8+). I will mainly be using it for some online college courses, as well as studying, and researching along with some light browsing. Im looking at the Asus Zenbook UX305FA, however, I’m concerned about the lack of dvd drive and the screen quality. My budget is under $720. Could you offer any choices because I’ve done my research and I only ended up with the Asus Zenbook UX305FA, when I realized that I should get help from an expert so I could make the best choice. I need this laptop to last me 4 or more years

    • Andrei Girbea

      August 12, 2015 at 1:08 pm

      The screen should not be a concern and the lack of an optical unit is pretty much a given on such a thin and light computer. You can buy an external USB powered DVD drive for under $50 and use that when needed.

      The UX305FA is great for the money, but keep in mind it’s not very powerful. In fact, it’s mostly made for casual everyday activities and won’t handle complex tasks or serious multitasking.

  31. Keti

    August 20, 2015 at 2:36 pm

    Hello,
    The site is great and the posts are really helpful!
    I am starting college this year so I’ ll need an ultrabook. The budget is up to 300$. I want it to support Office 2010 and way not with a touchscreen. Any ideas?
    Thank you in advance!

  32. John

    August 29, 2015 at 5:00 am

    I’m dying to know what this will tell me!

    Quote:

    *I’m currently working on completely updating this post. Please come back in a day or two for the final version.

  33. Rodrigo Soares

    September 4, 2015 at 10:21 am

    Hi there. First of all, thanks for this nice informations about laptops.
    I would like to ask your advice for the following: i am interested in buying an ultrabook for the following tasks: general daily use, like e-mail and internet, and to check on my favourite game, world of warcraft (for this task, i don’t mind the graphics or resolution, since i can play more seriuosly on my desktop when i want, will just use the ultrabook to see my daily stuff ingame). My budget is € 1.000,00, so what do you recommend? Thanks in advance.

  34. Howard

    September 6, 2015 at 8:47 pm

    What are my choices for ultrabook, with backlit keyboard and internal dvd/cd drive, if any? Thanks

  35. Muude

    September 13, 2015 at 8:46 am

    Hi Andrie
    Am So confused bro and am now on my sophomore year in computer science, university.
    i need a laptop which is convertible and light, and pretty battery life and in less $1000.
    suggest me one brooo
    am commenting this soo late but i have to.

  36. Sara

    September 17, 2015 at 8:10 am

    Hi Andrei,

    I hugely appreciate your website! I have practically spent every hour of the past 3 days researching which computer to buy, and I have found your website to be enormously helpful. And yet, I have come to no conclusion due to my lack of computer knowledge.
    The candidates I have selected are far too many, I seem to find a problem with all of them, and I find myself reading the same things over and over. What confuses me most is the myriad of processors! I can’t judge how fast the various computers are. I hope it’s OK that I am now asking you for concrete recommendations.
    I know in technology-ignorant terms what I’m looking for:
    I want it to be small, light, and FAST. I don’t do gaming or programming, I just want it to respond fast when i browse the web, edit documents and run other programs while listening to music or watching videos, all at the same time, and I want to be able to use it a lot without it overheating or getting slow. I also want it to cost less than 1000 USD.
    Those are my requirements. Other priorities are that a noisy fan would bother me and I’d like the touchpad to be cooperative.
    I don’t care about design and looks, I don’t need a high resolution screen (in fact, I’ve ben trying to find out if there is a less hyped version of the Dell XPS 13?), and the speakers don’t need to be good since I’ll have speakers or headphones plugged in when I need the sound.
    I don’t know about form. I’m reluctant to get a convertible or a hybrid since I’m afraid that this fancy style will either compromise my top priorities or shoot the price up. But if that’s not the case, then I’m open to those. I’ll be perfectly happy with a clamshell though.

    I know I’m asking a lot to have you give me private computer-purchase-aid, and I really hope I am not wasting your time. Would you be willing to take the time to help me out with this?

    All the best,
    Sara

    • Andrei Girbea

      September 18, 2015 at 10:47 am

      Hi Sara.

      You’re saying you want this to be small, but how small? I’d reckon a 13-incher (laptop with a 13-inch screen) would be OK? If yes, then your best bets would be the Dell XPS 13 and the HP Spectre x360. I have similar requirements from my laptop and I ended up choosing the XPS for the compact form factor. It’s a good laptop, but to be frank I don’t know if I’d buy it again. You might want to read this post: https://www.ultrabookreview.com/8142-8-months-dell-xps-13/ . I’m not saying it’s not a good buy, but there are these tiny aspects that you might bump into.

      As for the HP, this article should help: https://www.ultrabookreview.com/8042-hp-spectre-x360-review/ . The spctre is a convertible, gets a touchscreen and a better keyboard and battery. It’s larger and heavier though.

      Both of these are available for around $1000 with a Core i5-5200U processor, 8 GB of RAM and 128/256 GB SSD. This config should be enough for what you need. Get the 8 GB of RAM and the 256 GB SSD, 4 GB of RAM are not enough for smooth performance and the models with only 128 GB of storage space will quickly run out of space. The Dell seems to be a bit more expensive right now, but hunt for deals and you should get it under 1G.

      If you’re willing to go with something even smaller, then I’d suggest the Macbook Air 11 . You’ll compromise on screen quality, but the performance and battery life are top notch. You mgith struggle to find a config with 8 GB of RAM and 256 GB Storage, but you could look at refurbished units on Apple’s Store, those are usually pretty good deals.

      At the end of the day, keep in mind there is not such thing as the perfect laptop, so you’ll have to compromise here and there with any of the available options.

      • Sara

        September 19, 2015 at 11:51 am

        Thank you for your reply, Andrei, I appreciate it! I might get back to you again if I have a specific question or two :)

      • Sara

        September 21, 2015 at 11:13 am

        hey, i’m here again.
        i have a couple more questions. which processor should i go for? what i have read has led me to avoid the M and Y ones, and to look for U-types of either haswell or broadwell, and also for the i5-ones. am i right to do this, or would i3 still be fast enough?
        also, the dell xps 13 is definitely on my mind, but i would get something cheaper if i can find it as good. i mean, the screen is not my priority, so i don’t want that to be what i pay extra for.
        13 inch is the largest i would go. the dell appeals to me because it is small despite its screen size. so if there are any of the smaller (and perhaps cheaper?) ones that you would recommend for my needs, i’d be happy to know!
        another question: do you know which of these computers it is possible to buy without an operating system on it? that would save me a lot of money and i would like to do that if possible. i just haven’t been able to find any information on where and how and which ones… :)
        thank you once again!
        sara

        • Andrei Girbea

          September 21, 2015 at 12:17 pm

          I would get the Core i5 processors. Not sure about how you can buy these without an OS, they might be available that way in some regions. the Dell for instance comes with Ubuntu and that’s free.

          • Sara

            September 29, 2015 at 10:44 am

            Would you say it’s a big disadvantage to get HDD instead of SSD? I’m asking because I have found two similar configurations of the same laptop with this as the only difference and the HDD much much cheaper…

          • Andrei Girbea

            September 29, 2015 at 11:08 am

            Speed is greatly helped by SSDs. Laptops with HDDs are slower and noisier (HDDs have spinning components). Besides these, HDDs require more energy than SSDs as well, thus laptops with SSDs will last a bit longer on a charge.

  37. muude

    September 20, 2015 at 9:18 am

    Andrei Girbea
    this is my second time that i am asking you for suggestion.
    man am so confused what to buy which is worth it, so bro any laptop which is thin, light, pretty good battery life, convertible and touch screen under $1000.
    I am computer science student.
    it will mean so much alot to me if u suggest me, and i will appreciate it bro thank you.
    #sorryformyenglish.

    • Andrei Girbea

      September 20, 2015 at 1:08 pm

      the HP Spectre X360 would fit your needs really well. The Acer Asprie R13, Dell Inspiron 13 7000, Asus TP300 and the Lenovo Yoga 3 14 are other options you could consider.

  38. Bilal

    September 24, 2015 at 4:02 pm

    Hi andrei (are you romanian btw?),
    thanks for the articles, just wanna ask your suggestion on something…i would like an ultraportable laptop no bigger than 13.3″ (could be 2-in-1 or a simple laptop)…im gonna be using it daily for work which includes general browsing, word processing etc and a but of photo editing on photoshop too
    my price range is around £300, what would you suggest?

    Regards
    Bilal

    • Andrei Girbea

      September 24, 2015 at 8:29 pm

      Hi, your budget is really limited and I don’t think you can get anything that would cope well with Photoshop within that budget. I’d aim for at least a Core i3 processor, Asus, Acer, Dell, Lenovo and HP might have something for you but I’m not very familiar with the UK market.

  39. Bilal

    September 25, 2015 at 1:13 am

    What do you think of something like this for example?
    amazon.co.uk/dp/B00ZUGXO34

    • Andrei Girbea

      September 25, 2015 at 7:38 am

      Never heard about that brand and it has no reviews. I’d stay away.

  40. adir haziz

    September 30, 2015 at 1:46 am

    hey, i am looking for a new laptop and hope you could help me find the right one for me in attractive price.
    the new laptop will be used mostly for school needs, and i will take him with me to school.
    allso i will use him for watching movies, programing in visual studio, editing in photoshop and maby light games.
    i think what i need in the laptop is:
    – good battery
    – 14-13 inch screen
    – not very heavy
    – run the softwares i need for programing and editing.
    – can connect hdmi
    – around 250 gb storage

    i prefer 2 in 1 laptop but if there is better one for my needs that not 2 in 1 its ok

    my budget is 800-550$

    thank you for your time!

    • Andrei Girbea

      September 30, 2015 at 11:26 am

      You’ve got many articles that will help you narrow down your options here on the site. Please go through them and I can then help you with he final decision.

      • adir haziz

        September 30, 2015 at 11:39 am

        i read them all and still dont know who is the best for me.. that why i asked you.

        i considered the tp300la with the i7,but he cost a little bit to much for me..
        therefor i was thinking maby to go with the zenbook 303, but i dont sure if he can run the softwares i need.

        so can you help me find 2 in 1 laptop that portable for school, have good battery and can run my softwares smoothly around 650$?

  41. Miso

    November 24, 2015 at 9:19 am

    Hello.
    Thank you for the article. It was very informative.
    I am a college student studying computer science and I am looking for a laptop that will be good for programming. I will be using mostly eclispe and IntelliJ for Java and Scala.

    I am considering the Dell i7559
    amazon.com/Dell-Inspiron-i7559-763BLK-Full-HD-GeForce/dp/B015PYYDMQ/ref=cm_cr_pr_product_top?ie=UTF8

    I also like to play games too so I think it might be good.
    I have seen some other laptops with similar specs and price with the main difference in CPU. How does an i5 skylake compare to an i7 broadwell?
    My budget is $800.
    Please let me know if you have insight/advice.
    Thank you.

    • Andrei Girbea

      November 25, 2015 at 8:42 pm

      Hi, that’s a good pick for the money, especially since you get that IPS screen as well.

      The Core I7-4710/4720HQ is overall faster than the Core i7-6300HQ and gets HyperThreading, which the Core i5 lacks. So it will perform better in multithread tasks. How much more expensive ar those Core i7 options?

  42. Daniel

    May 7, 2016 at 9:52 pm

    Hello,
    I came across this because I am on a tight budget.
    I’m looking for a laptop that’s thin+light and has a 1080p screen.
    I’m only using it for word and videos so I won’t need anything that fast.
    The Skylake ultrabooks seem good with the iGPUs but they are still quite pricey.

    Would you know any cheaper models (doesn’t have to be 2016) that would be good?

    Thanks

    • Andrei Girbea

      May 9, 2016 at 4:05 pm

      well, how tight? I’m going to need a number :)

      • Daniel

        May 9, 2016 at 8:01 pm

        Well I’m looking at £300, used, refurb or new.

        People say a thin laptop with a 1080p screen is £600 new but I really find it hard to believe, I don’t need crazy specs or anything.

        Just 1080p, 13.3″-15.6″, thin and light.
        By thin I’m thinking macbook/zenbook/sony vaio pro 13
        As long as it doesn’t look like an alienware that’d be nice too :)
        Thanks

        • Andrei Girbea

          May 9, 2016 at 8:10 pm

          Well, that’s unrealistic. You can’t get a Macbook like body and a 1080p IPS screen for that much in a new device. It’s not going to get you a thin and light 15 incher either.

          I would suggest something like an used Asus UX31A or the Lenovo Yoga 13 with a Core i5-3317U processor, perhaps you might find some on ebay, but there are risks to buying such old computers.

          Personally, I’d save up for something like this: amazon.co.uk/ASUS-Zenbook-Notebook-Integrated-Graphics/dp/B019KZVESM/ref=sr_1_2 , or maybe the older UX305FA model, if you can find it anywhere.

          • Daniel

            May 12, 2016 at 9:57 am

            The Lenovo laptops are going for a reasonable price. Especially the yoga 2 pro, yoga 500 and yoga 13.
            Would you advise against any of these?
            Thanks

          • Andrei Girbea

            May 12, 2016 at 11:50 am

            Not really, they are pretty solid options. You might want to read a few reviews before buying though, as each has some shortcomings.

  43. Roe

    July 11, 2016 at 12:26 pm

    Hi,
    I’m looking for a Acer ultrabook.
    I have found those 3 on Amazon that are o.k for my budget.. for around $300. Can you please tell me which one should I buy?

    Thank you!

    • Andrei Girbea

      July 12, 2016 at 3:47 pm

      They are the same. The Aspire S3 is an old laptop with quite a few flaws, so you should read a few reviews and know in advance what to expect/.

  44. Ina

    December 13, 2016 at 3:34 pm

    Hi Andrei,

    I am so glad I found zour Website so I hope I get some help with what to buy. I have spent many hours of the past month researching which computer to buy, and your website seems to be enormously helpful. I have not come to any conclusion so far. Can you please help?

    Maybe oversimplified what I am looking for:

    I want it to be small, light, and FAST. I don’t do gaming or programming, I just want it to respond fast when I browse the web, edit documents and run other programs while listening to music or watching videos, or Skyping all at the same time, and I want to be able to use it a lot without it overheating or getting slow. I could afford around 1000euros.
    Noisy fan would bother me and I’d like the touchpad to be cooperative.

    A high resolution screen would be great, and maybe a Touchscreen.

    I would greatly appreciate it if you would help.

    • Andrei Girbea

      December 14, 2016 at 2:16 pm

      You have options in this post and in others here on the site, you'd have to narrow down your options yourself, because you're the only one who knows exactly what you need in terms of screen size and certain features. In your budget I'd look at the Asus Zenbook UX330/UX360, Acer Swift 3, Lenovo ThinkPad 13, HP Envy 13 and others.

  45. helper

    April 21, 2017 at 11:09 am

    Surface Pro 4 has a 12.3" screen, not 10.8" as listed in this post. Keep up the good work Andrei, glad I could be a bit of help ;)

    • Andrei Girbea

      April 21, 2017 at 11:30 am

      Hey, thanks for the heads-up. Much appreciated ;)

  46. Aysu

    June 6, 2017 at 5:36 pm

    Hey! It is very great article. Helped me a lot. But I am interested in buying Samsung notebook 9 2017 edition, and cannot see it among the options. Could you please review it? Well, I actually want to buy smth portable, good-looking, 13-15", with good processor. I would like to know what my alternatives are. Thank you

  47. arthur

    October 11, 2017 at 4:43 am

    hi. Which one of these three laptops is better for game?
    acer nitro 5 an 51551
    lenovo y 520
    dell inspiron 15 7000
    and all of the Specifications are the same all of them have gtx 1050 and i5 7300hq and 8gb ram
    thank u

    • Andrei Girbea

      October 11, 2017 at 3:10 pm

      You can find all our reviews here on the site.

  48. Alana

    August 11, 2018 at 11:52 am

    Hello!
    I'm looking for a new laptop and I can't decide between the Asus Zenbook UX410UA i7 – 8gb RAM – 128gb SSD + 500gb HDD or the Acer Swift 3 i5 – 8gb RAM – 256gb SSD.
    I'm a student so my new laptop has to be light, thin and portable, max 14". I'm also getting into photography and my new laptop should be able to handle photoshop and lightroom without any trouble. I would also prefer a laptop that isn't too loud when you're making it work pretty hard because I often study in a library and it might bother the other students. Which one would you recommend? Thanks!

    • Andrei Girbea

      August 11, 2018 at 1:21 pm

      HI Alana. I'd probably go with the UX410, it's a nicer computer, smaller and also gets a slightly better screen, which should matter for Photoshop. It's still not a premium-tier screen, but it would be unrealistic to ask for one in this price range.

      Our full review of the UX410 (different configuration, but similar build, keyboard, screen, etc) is available here: https://www.ultrabookreview.com/15697-asus-zenbook-ux410-ux3410-review/ . Your would run a little cooler, but all the other conclusions apply. You can also find reviews of the Swift 3s on the site.

  49. Asif khan

    August 24, 2018 at 8:48 pm

    It is great post.I learn more about ultrabook from this post

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