The best 14 and 15-inch portable laptops & ultrabooks of 2021

The best 14 and 15-inch portable laptops & ultrabooks of 2021
By Andrei Girbea , last updated on October 12, 2021

While you’ll find many excellent compact ultrabooks out there, some of you still favor full-size 15-inch or 14-inch laptops with larger screens and enough power to smoothly handle daily tasks, workloads, and even games.

However, I’m pretty sure you wouldn’t say no to a full-size laptop that’s actually thin and lightweight, as long as it still meets your requirements and falls within the right budget for you.

And here’s where this article comes in handy. Over the last 10+ years, we’ve tested here on UltraBookreview.com most of the laptops ever launched, of all kinds, and from all brands, and in this article I’ll tell you which are my favorite 14 and 15-inch ultraportable laptops available in stores these days. We’ll also cover the newer format 16-inch laptops in a future article.

To make it easier for you to find the device that best suits your needs and budget, I’ve split the article into a couple of sections:

You’ll find a selection of units in each of these sections, with links towards our detailed reviews and Amazon pages where you can find user reviews and updated configurations/prices for each specific model. Our content is user-supported and buying from our links allows us to continue to provide useful articles and reviews such as this one.

The Thinnest and Lightest 14/15-inch ultrabooks

While I wouldn’t primarily recommend going for the lightest and especially the thinnest laptop in a specific class without accounting for everything else, in here we’ll just touch on these ultraportable 14 and 15-inch models and talk about their particularities and potential quirks to consider.

The main issue with ultra-lightweight laptops is that some of the OEMs tend to sometimes sacrifice the build quality, features, and battery size in order to get their products under a certain weight limit.

The same happens on the thinner models, and that’s even more problematic if you’re looking for a thin performance/gaming notebook, as the thinner they go the less space is available inside for the components and the thermal designs required to run those components at full-blast in sustained loads.

So with that in mind, here’s a list of the lightest 14 and 15-inch options currently available. I’ve set the limit at 1.15 kilo (2.5 lbs) for the 14-inch ultrabooks and at 1.35 kilos (3 lbs) for the full-size 15-inch laptops, and we’re covering more options in our dedicated article about the lightest laptops in general, available over here.

Model Type Characteristics Weight
Acer Swift 7 Ultrabook 14″ matte, older Intel Core Y, 32 Wh battery 1.96 lbs / 0.89 kg
Asus ZenBook 14 Ultralight Ultrabook 14″ matte, recent Intel Core U + MX450, 63 Wh battery 2.16 lbs / 0.98 kg
Asus ExpertBook B9 Business 14″ matte, recent Intel Core U, 66 Wh battery 2.18 lbs / 0.98 kg
LG Gram 14 Ultrabook 14″ glossy, recent Intel Core U, 72 Wh battery 2.2 lbs / 0.99 kg
Acer Travelmate P6 Ultrabook 14″ 16:10 matte, recent Core U, 56 Wh battery 2.2 lbs / 0.99 kg
Acer Swift 5 15 Ultrabook 15.6″ matte, older Intel Core U, 54 Wh battery 2.2 lbs / 0.99 kg
Acer Swift 5 14 Ultrabook 14″ matte, recent Intel Core U, 56 Wh battery 2.27 lbs / 1.03 kg
Vaio Z Ultrabook 14″ matte up to 4K, recent Intel Core U + Iris Xe, 54 Wh battery 2.32 lbs / 1.06 kg
Samsung Galaxy Book Pro 15 Ultrabook 15″ AMOLED glossy, recent Intel Core U, 68 Wh battery 2.35 lbs / 1.07 kg
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon Business 14″ matte/touch, recent Intel Core U, 57 Wh battery 2.39 lbs / 1.08 kg
Schenker Via 14 Ultrabook 14″ matte, recent Intel Core U, 73 Wh battery 2.4 lbs / 1.09 kg
System76 Lemur Pro Ultrabook 14″ matte, recent Intel Core U, 73 Wh battery 2.4 lbs / 1.09 kg
LG Gram 15 Ultrabook 15″ glossy, recent Intel Core U, 72 Wh battery 2.42 lbs / 1.1 kg
Acer Swift 3 14 Ultrabook 14″ matte, recent Intel Core U, 48 Wh battery 2.5 lbs / 1.14 kg
LG Gram 16 Ultrabook 16″ glossy 16:10, recent Intel Core U + Iris Xe, 80 Wh battery 2.65 lbs / 1.2 kg
Samsung Galaxy Book Ion 15 Ultrabook 15″ touch, recent Intel Core U, 69 Wh battery 2.78 lbs / 1.26 kg

Keep in mind that these options are 14-inch and 15-inch ultrabooks built on low-power high-efficiency Intel and AMD hardware platforms, so ideally suitable for everyday chores and light multitasking. On top of that, due to their ultralight nature, many of these tend to get expensive and are not usually the best-value options in their classes, which is a topic we’re going to cover in the next section of this article.

As for the thinnest 14 and 15-inch laptops, this info is a bit more difficult to gather together. The Acer Swift 7 14 is still the thinnest Windows laptop in the world right now at less than 10 mm (.39″) in height, but it’s an older laptop that compromises on ergonomics, performance, and battery life in order to get that thin and lightweight. In the Chromebook world, the 13-inch Galaxy Chromebook is also about the same 10 mm (.39″) thick, and it’s a more viable and competitive option these days, but still sacrifices on battery life in comparison to other modern Chromebooks.

Smaller Windows laptops such as the Apple MacBook 12, Asus ZenBook UX390A, HP Spectre 13, or the Samsung ATIV Book 9 also tackled thinness in their time, a few years ago, but more recently the manufacturers strayed away from what proved to be a disappointing strategy that lead to compromises that users were righteously not willing to accept, as well as very high price tags.

That’s why most of the other 14 and 15-inch ultralight models stray away from being as thin as possible these days, most of them averaging between 12 to 17 mm in thickness, which is pretty much the sweet spot for a portable computer that won’t significantly cut any corners. For what is worth, the Samsung Galaxy Book Pro is right now the thinnest modern 15-inch laptop that you can find in stores, from what I could find, at roughly 12 mm (.47″) thick on both the clamshell Book Pro and the convertible Book Pro x360 model.

I haven’t properly reviewed them yet, but they seem viable ultralight options based on other reviews and buyers’ feedback.

The best-value all-around 15/14-inch laptops

This section includes portable all-around 14-inch and 15-inch laptops with modern designs, specs, and features.

Due to the vast number of good options, I’m going to split these between affordable models selling for under $1000, and more premium performance thin-and-lights going for a higher budget, with links to our detailed reviews and articles where you can find more about them.

Affordable options

Among the multitude of mid-range 14-inch ultrabooks out there, my go-to’s in the $500 to $1000 segment based on our detailed reviews are the:

  • Acer Swift 3 lineup – balanced all-rounders with fair builds, screens and inputs, Core U or Ryzen U hardware, 48-56 Wh batteries, from 1.15 kg / 2.5 lbs, competitively priced;
  • Asus Zenbook 14 lineup – more compact and premium all-rounders with better screens and keyboards/clickpads, Ryzen U or Core U hardware with optional MX graphics, 63 to 67 Wh batteries, from 1.1 kg / 2.4 lbs, more expensive;
  • Huawei MateBook 14 – an affordable all-rounder only available on some markets, metal build and excellent 3:2 high-res display, Intel Core U or AMD Ryzen H hardware, 56 Wh battery, heavier at 1.45 kg / 3.2 lbs;
  • Lenovo IdeaPad 5 (clamshell) and Flex 5 (2-in-1) – affordable all-rounders, heavier and mostly built out of plastic, Ryzen U or Core U hardware with optional MX graphics, IPS screens with lower-quality panels, 57/52 Wh batteries, from 1.4 kg / 3.1 lbs for the clamshell versions.

Keep in mind that most of these laptops are available in a couple of different versions and certain aspects such as the type of screen, inputs, memory, storage, wireless connection, etc. differ between them, and these differences impact the everyday experience with the laptops.

For example, Asus puts a dimmer display and a mushier keyboard on the more affordable AMD-based ZenBook UM425, and a better screen and keyboard on the more expensive Intel-based ZenBook UX425. We highlight these differences and particularities in our reviews, which you should definitely check out before concluding on your purchase.

When it comes to affordable full-size 15-inch Windows multimedia notebooks, our recommendations go towards lineups such as the Acer Aspire 5 series, Asus VivoBook 15 X/K series, Dell Inspiron 15 3000, HP Laptop 15, or the Lenovo IdeaPad 3 15.

These are all fairly compact and lightweight computers mostly built out of plastic, and mostly equipped with rather dim and washed-out LED screens. They are available in a multitude of configurations, and preferably I’d aim for at least a recent Intel Core i3 or an AMD Ryzen 3 processor, 8 GB of RAM, and 256 GB of SSD storage on something that you plan to keep for a few years. Athlon/Celeron/Pentium configurations might also be available in the most inexpensive configurations, and most of these are fanless models, but don’t offer the same performance and versatility as the Core/Ryzen variants.

If you’re willing to go with a Chromebook instead, which are snappy and efficient options for casual use and multitasking, then the Acer Chromebook 715 is an excellent option to consider around $500 to $700 at the time of this update; this gets you a higher-tier metallic construction and an IPS screen, which you’ll hardly be able to find on a new Windows notebooks in this class.

Finally, as you expand your budget closer to the $1000 limit you will find a handful of higher-tier 15-inch ultraportables that are more compact, better made, and better equipped than those options mentioned earlier. Among these, I’d consider one of the options shortlisted down below:

  • Asus Vivobook 15 and S15 – compact aluminum-made models, available with higher-quality IPS/OLED screens and either AMD Ryzen or Intel Core hardware, with optional Nvidia MX graphics, 42 to 50 Wh batteries, start at 1.65 kg / 3.65 lbs, competitively priced;
  • Dell Inspiron 15 5000 – compact aluminum-made models, available with IPS matte or touch screens and either AMD Ryzen or Intel Core hardware, 54 Wh batteries, start at 1.62 kg / 3.6 lbs, competitively priced;
  • Huawei Matebook D 15 – solid aluminum-build and more affordable than most others where available (mostly in the UK and Europe), IPS screen, AMD Ryzen or Intel Core hardware, smaller 42 Wh battery, starts at 1.7 kg / 3.7 lbs.

Once more, make sure to read our reviews for more details on the potential hidden quirks of these laptops, such as the kind of IPS panels offered in each case and how they handle multitasking and more demanding loads.

I must also add that as of late-2021, OEMs have started to include 16-inch 16:10 screens on many of the laptops that would fall within this sub-niche, such as the Acer Swift 3 16, Huawei Matebook 16, or the Lenovo IdeaPad 5 Pro 16, and we’re going to cover those in a separate article.

Premium options

A multitude of higher-quality 15 and 14-inch laptops are available for you when you’re no longer limited by a tight budget, and we can mostly split them into two camps: More Portable/ Less Powerful and Less Portable / More Powerful.

First, we’ll go over our recommendations in the former subsection, the thinnest and lightest 14-inch  and 15-inch premium notebooks with an emphasis on the compact lightweight form factor, but without sacrificing quality craftsmanship, good inputs and display options, recent specs, or long battery life.

Many of the best business laptops of this generation get 14/15-inch displays, and we will cover these further down in a separate section.

As for the consumer products, I’d take a good look at the premium Samsung Galaxy Book Pro 15 and Book Pro x360 15 ultrabooks, as well as at the LG Gram 15, 16, and 17 series. All these are among the lightest full-size laptops on the market, weighing under or around 3 lbs (1.35 kg), are built on the latest Intel Core U hardware, and offer excellent screens and big batteries. The Galaxy Book series has an edge over the Grams by including AMOLED panel options and a slightly sturdier chassis.

Going slightly up in weight, the Acer Swift X 14 and the Asus VivoBook Pro 14X are two of the most competitive 14-inch laptops available for around $1000-$1200. Both are built on AMD Ryzen hardware with optional Nvidia RTX graphics chips, and the newer VivoBook Pro series offers an excellent OLED screen, a more advanced thermal module, and a bigger battery than what you’re getting with the Swift X.

Moving up, the Lenovo IdeaPad 5 Pro wins my recommendation for a 15+ inch all-purpose mid-range model. This is a classic IdeaPad design but now built on either Intel Core H or AMD Ryzen H full-power hardware and optional Nvidia GTX/RTX graphics chip, paired with a matching thermal module and a 16-inch QHD+ 16:10 display with 350+ nits of brightness, 120Hz refresh rate and 100% sRGB color coverage. I know I’ve said we’re going to cover 16-inch laptops in a separate article, but this IdeaPad 5 Pro 16 is just too good in its class to not include it here.

Follow this link for more details and the latest configurations and prices.

 

With few exceptions, most of the options above are merely large-sized ultrabooks and not ideal as multi-purpose computers able to also handle professional workloads or maybe even gaming, to some extent. These higher-end professional-grade ultraportables down below, on the other hand, can do all that, as long as you can squeeze them into your budgets:

  • Apple Macbook Pro – the Apple silicon updates are expected shortly, and we’ll update once we know more;
  • Asus Zenbook Pro 15 – newer premium design built on Ryzen H and up to RTX 3050Ti graphics, with IPS/OLED screen options and 63/90 Wh battery;
  • Asus Zenbook Pro DUO OLED – still one of the very few dual-screen laptops on the market, built exclusively on Intel hardware with RTX 3060 graphics and an OLED panel for the main screen;
  • Dell XPS 15 – the popular XPS premium ultraportable with 16:10 displays, Intel Core H + RTX 3050Ti MQ graphics and an 86 Wh battery;
  • Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Extreme – the updated versions of the ThinkPad X1E, now with a 16-inch 16:10 display, a new internal design and configuration options up to Core i9 with RTX 3080 graphics, plus a 90Wh battery.
And some of the premium 15-inch options: Dell XPS 15, Asus Zenbook UX580 and HP EliteBook 1050

And some of the premium 15-inch options: Dell XPS 15, Asus Zenbook UX580 and HP EliteBook 1050

Gaming and high-performance 15/14-inch laptops

We’re not going to cover full-size gaming and performance laptops such as the Acer Predator, Asus ROG, HP Omen or Lenovo Legion series in this article, but we’ve tested most of those and you’ll find our thoughts and impressions in our reviews.

Instead, this section will briefly touch on the portable 14/15 inch gaming units out there, and point you towards our detailed gaming ultrabook buying guide for a more in-depth look at this sub-genre of modern computers.

You can game on many of the units already mentioned in the previous chapters, especially if you opt for one of the RTX 3050Ti configurations with powerful processors. However, the experience will greatly improve once you’re willing to step up to a more powerful configuration and a fast and high-refresh display specifically designed for gaming.

The Razer Blade 14 is by far the most powerful 14-inch gaming laptop currently available in stores, configurable with up to a Ryzen 9 processor and an RTX 3080 graphics chip, the kind of hardware normally offered in 15-inch chassis by the other manufacturers. This doesn’t come cheap, though, not even in the lower-tier versions with RTX 3060 GPUs.

The Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 and the Acer Predator Triton 300 SE, on the other hand, are somewhat more affordable and more widely available 14-inchers that top at RTX 3060 MQ graphics chips and 144Hz FHD/120Hz QHD screen options. You’ll find more about all these laptops from our detailed reviews.

As for the 15+ inch premium performance ultraportables available on the market, I’d advise you to go through our reviews of the following options:

  • Acer Predator Triton 500 SE – 16-inch 16:10 QHD+ 165Hz screen, Intel exclusive with up to RTX 3080 100W graphics, 99Wh battery, 2.35 kg/ 5.15 lbs;
  • Asus ROG Zephyrus G15 – 15.6-inch 16:9 QHD 165Hz, AMD exclusive with up to RTX 3080 100W graphics, 76 Wh battery, 2 kg/ 4.4 lbs;
  • Asus ROG Zephyrus M16 – 16-inch 16:10 QHD+ 165Hz, Intel exclusive with up to RTX 3070 100W graphics, 90 Wh battery, 2.05 kg/ 4.5 lbs;
  • Gigabyte Aero 15 – 15.6-inch 16:9 4K OLED 60Hz, Intel exclusive with up to RTX 3080 90W graphics, 94 Wh battery, 2.2 kg/ 4.8 lbs;
  • MSI GS66 Stealth – 15.6-inch 16:9 QHD 240Hz, Intel exclusive with up to RTX 3080 90W graphics, 99 Wh battery, 2.2 kg/ 4.8 lbs;
  • Lenovo Legion Slim 7 – 15.6-inch 16:9 FHD 165Hz, AMD exclusive with up to RTX 3060 90W graphics, 71 Wh battery, 1.9 kg/ 4.2 lbs;
  • Razer Blade 15 Advanced – 15.6-inch 16:9 QHD 240Hz, Intel exclusive with up to RTX 3080 105W graphics, 80 Wh battery, from 2 kg/ 4.4 lbs.

All of these are premium computers with the latest specs and features currently available, pretty much the best each OEM has to offer in a thin-and-light chassis these days. You won’t go wrong with any of them, just make sure you understand the particularities and quirks of each series before deciding on one.

Portable 15-inch and 14-inch business laptops

While the laptops in this section are generally referred as “meant for business’ and they indeed offer certain features that allow for better security, control and reliability in business environments, they also make for excellent all-purpose options and will attract potential users with studier builds and inputs, better IO, simpler designs, and a few extra nits and bits that might not be available on consumer products. Just be aware that most of these business models are expensive premium options.

Not all of them, though, as in recent year most OEMs have developed some mid-range business lineups alongside their premium tiers. Among those, I’d look at the Acer TraveMate P6, the Asus ExpertBook B5, the Dell Vostro, the HP EliteBook 800, or the Lenovo ThinkBook lineups, in various implementations ranging between 13 to 17 inches in size.

At the other end, the premium business lineups are the Asus ExpertBook B9, the Dell Latitude 7000, the HP EliteBook 1000 and EliteBook Dragonfly, or the Lenovo ThinkPads, which are also available in a multitude of varieties and sub-lineups. Among these, the ExpertBook B9, ThinkPad X1 Carbon, Dell Latitude 7000, and the HP Elitebook Dragonfly are the superlatives of what the 14-inch portable business laptop segment can offer these days.

You’ll find reviews of most of these laptops on the site, even if our main focus are primarily the consumer products that regular people can easily find and afford.

Some of the business options: Lenovo ThinkPad T480s, Dell Latitude 7000 and HP EliteBook 1040

Some of the business options: Lenovo ThinkPad T series, Dell Latitude 7000 and HP EliteBook 1040

Wrap up

There you have it, these are some of the best 14 and 15-inch ultrabooks that you should consider these days. They are thinner and lighter than most regular laptops, they offer the ergonomics and performance required by your daily activities and occasional sustained loads, and they last for quite a few hours on each charge.

You’ve got plenty of options to choose from, with or without touchscreens, with or without dedicated graphics, with premium builds and features, or more basic and more affordable designs. So if you do want one of these large-format ultrabooks, you should find the right one for you in this article.

However, 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, get in touch in the comments section below.

Disclaimer: Our content is reader-supported. If you buy through some of the links on our site, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
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.

230 Comments

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

    Tommaso

    • 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: https://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.

  3. 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
    -Ben

  4. 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?

  5. Kristian

    December 9, 2016 at 3:23 am

    Hello,
    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. ;)

  6. 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?

    Thanks,

    Ann

  7. 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.
    Regards
    Hieu

    • 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?
        Regards

        Hieu

      • 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.

  8. Anna

    March 15, 2017 at 10:44 am

    Hi!

    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: https://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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. Tim

    June 1, 2017 at 1:11 pm

    Wow that is a lot of work you have done to build the lists and maintain them.
    Thank you so much.
    I will keep an eye on here, looking for just the right fit for me. Unfortunately it is a challenge but I expect that soon there will be a system to fit so I will just check back regularly.

    Price – not the issue
    Processor – i5/i7 7th generation
    Display Size – 14/15 inch
    Display Resolution – 1080p (4K isn't important for me as battery life is higher priority)
    Battery – 6+ hours of real world use not what manufacturers state
    Weight – low if possible such as 1-1.4kg
    USB – minimum 2 with Thunderbolt support preferred to drive 2 external monitors more easily
    Memory – 16GB
    Storage – 512GB SSD
    Keyboard – backlit – no need to separate numeric keypad

    At the moment I am looking at the ASUS B9440, LG GRAM, ASUS Zenbook 3 Delux UX490UA, Lenovo Yoga 910.

    None fit everything but they are getting there, so please keep up the great work you are doing.

    • Mark

      June 13, 2017 at 2:19 am

      who wins? :)

  12. Vicki

    June 18, 2017 at 9:45 pm

    Thank you for focussing on weight. Now that most airlines stipulate laptops in luggage, weight becomes crucial for everyone not just us wimps with OOS elbows and wrists, so really appreciated the weight info. Been hunting for an under 2k laptop with large screen for a longtime.
    Apteryx

  13. Andre

    July 31, 2017 at 8:40 pm

    Hi, I'm trying to replace my 15 inchmac after that I have had for about 4 years. However, apple has gotten way too expensive with their 15 inchers so I was wondering which do you think is better the 15.6 360 spectre or the 15 xps?

    • Andrei Girbea

      August 1, 2017 at 4:57 am

      The XPS is faster, built on Intel HQ processors and with dedicated graphics. It's a great laptop, but you're payign premium or the looks and has its share of flaws. We have a review here on the site for more details.
      The Spextre x360 is built on slower Intel U processors and is a convertible.

      If you need a computer for everyday use (browsing, movies, texts, etc), both will do fine. For more demanding loads, I'd get the XPS or another laptop with a quad-core processors and 16 GB of RAM.

  14. luis

    September 23, 2017 at 1:08 pm

    Hi Andrei.
    Great list you've got there. So much choice for everyone. Or, at least, for almost everyone. I feel there's something missing. Not your fault, though.
    A machine I'd call "the 15-inch MBA". It'd have a core i5 8250u CPU, 8-16GB of RAM, 250-500GB of SSD, a 15-inch full-hd screen with small besels (like xps15) and a 80-90Wh battery. 2 TB3 ports supporting charging, 2-3 USB-A ports, card reader and headphone slot.
    Just that. No DGPU, no 2,5" HDD slot. That'd be my dream machine. Sadly, no OEM thinks it'd be profitable to build such machine.

    In the bigger body, there'd be space for a better keyboard, and the machine would run cooler than smaller ultrabooks. And I bet it could get into 1,5-1,7kg, which wouldn't be sooooooo much.

    Ok, enough with thhis rant.

    Keep up the great work!

    • Andrei Girbea

      September 24, 2017 at 5:31 am

      That sounds like a very solid option, and hopefully we'll see some devices that come close, but probably with much smaller batteries. I look forward for an updated version of the LG Gram 15, for instance. Not sure about other OEMs, as far as I can tell the KB-R quad-cores are mostly bundled with smaller laptops or entry level 15-inchers. Still, with Coffee Lake and Canon Lake in Q1 2018, we should see some interesting new options.

      • luis

        October 2, 2017 at 1:10 pm

        Hi Andrei. Unfortunately, if OEMs keep doing what they've done these years, you're right. But if it doesn't get a bigger battery, it'd not be sooo interesting to me. If it gets just around 55-60Wh battery, I'd prefer the ux330ua or the xps 13 which also get the same battery but are smaller.

        About the LG gram 15, LG sacrifices everything just to market it as the lightest 15" laptop.

        For example, if asus or dell took the ux330ua or the xps13, made them bigger so they could fit a 15" screen and filled the space inside with a bigger battery, it'd be enough. If they put a slightly better keyboard on it, it'd be perfect.

        There are big, heavy, powerful laptops and there are smaller, not so heavy but still powerful laptops (like some MSI and Razer 14" which I don't remember the model names).
        So I don't understand why any of the OEMs sells a relatively light machine with the longest battery of the market.

      • Roee Mazor

        November 2, 2017 at 1:17 pm

        I would definitely buy this 15" ultrabook!

    • D Pao

      October 1, 2017 at 5:45 am

      Hi, Luis.
      Just wondering what is this "15in MBA" laptop name?

      • luis

        October 2, 2017 at 12:59 pm

        Hi D Pao. It was just a name I made up to try to sumarize the machine I was thinking of. Something with a ULV CPU, no DGPU and loads of battery, like the 11" and 13" mackbook airs but with a 15" screen so it could fit a better keyboard and even more battery capacity, while running cooler than smaller laptops.

  15. Jana

    November 19, 2017 at 2:57 pm

    Hi Andrei,
    I have owned four laptops since the late '90s: 1 Apple, 2 HPs and 1 Asus. I like the Asus I have now, but it's old, slow, and the screen has broken away from the body (!) so it's time for a new one. I have bought previous laptops by just going to a shop and explaining what I want and getting it. Now I'm reading so many online reviews that I'm at a standstill. As soon as I think I've decided on one, I read a review with cons that put me off. Maybe you can help. I use my laptop as my main computer, for personal and work business. The Asus I've had for about four or five years is Q501LA (mine doesn't seem to have the A on it), 15.6" screen. My main job is writing, so I want a keyboard you would recommend as 'excellent'. Just so it's easy to type. A good touchpad is good, too, but I usually use a USB mouse anyway. I had an HP that overheated so badly it burned my hands and I had to get rid of it. I am happy with this Asus as it stays cool, and there is never fan noise or noise of any other kind (also important). For work sometimes I have to have videos playing as well as about 15 tabs open in my browser. So graphics are more important now than they used to be. My computer hangs a lot these days. This screen is 'anti-glare' but not matte. It's also important the screen is clear and easy to read. I do not care if it's touch screen or not, or if it's a 2-in-1 or not.
    The reviews of yours I have read have led me back and forth to Lenovo Yoga, the Dell you seem to mention a lot (XP.. woops, forgot the number, brain fried), and Asus computers I've looked a lot at the ZenBooks, VivoBooks, multimedia laptops, basically the whole line. Then I read reviews and am confused again.
    Can you help at all? Feel free to email me privately or ask here for more information. I really appreciate your time if you can help. Sorry if I'm rambling. I've been at this for ages and feel like I've actually got TOO much choice.
    Oh, price max is around 1,500 USD, and it'd be nice to have a separate number pad, but not essential. I would like something relatively light. I don't travel a lot with my laptop, but occasionally I need to. Durable is good!
    Thanks, I'll stop now!
    Jana

    • Jana

      November 19, 2017 at 3:12 pm

      PS… I don't want a gaming machine or one that has the look of a gaming machine (though I have been tempted by their specs!). I'm a writer/editor, not a gamer. I just have to access a lot of videos and websites at once sometimes. thanks!

    • Andrei Girbea

      November 20, 2017 at 5:53 am

      Hi, a few ideas:

      1. The whole keyboard experience is very subjective. I for one prefer short travel keyboards lately, but with stiff clicks. Unfortunately each laptop OEM uses a few different keyboards on their machines, so I can't recommend a certain brand and be sure you'd like the keyboard. It's best you give these a try in a physical shop if possible, once you narrowed your options.
      2. As far as your requirements and hardware go, I'd look for one of the newer laptops with an Intel core i5-8250 or i7-8550u processors, preferably 16 GB of RAM and SSD storage (256 or 512 GB). You can get these within your budget. There's a list of such devices here: https://www.ultrabookreview.com/17655-kabylake-r-laptops/
      3. You don't need dedicated graphics if you don't play games.

      Try to narrow down your options from that list, read a few reviews, and get back if you need help selecting between a few final options. There's no perfect laptop, each has pros and cons, but some are better than others and your budget will allow you to pick one of the best models. Hope this helps.

      • Jana

        November 21, 2017 at 5:24 am

        Andrei, thank you very much for taking the time! I'll have a look!
        -jana

  16. Anas

    January 31, 2018 at 2:32 am

    Hi Andrei,
    thank you very much for your excellent review and listing such kind of laptops, I am very interested in Asus ux530, but when I want to enter the link I found Asus ux430, any help plz!

    • John

      February 26, 2018 at 6:34 am

      Me too..

  17. Mary

    February 4, 2018 at 9:27 am

    Hello Andrei,

    This list is most impressive given the time you must spend compiling it. Thank you. Wonderiing if you can help me. I’ve been looking for over a year, and like someone said above, am worried I’ll buy the wrong one. I’m looking for a laptop that I can work remotely very part time with a couple of business clients, and then personal finance etc. I want a number pad as I do bookkeeping. Then would like ssd i5+, long battery life, and trying to stay under 1000. Can you help?

    Thank you,
    Mary

  18. M. M. Arsiwala

    February 21, 2018 at 2:16 am

    I am planning to buy Dell XPS 13 i5 (7th Gen) for my daily use. I need complete portability along with good battery life. My use is going to be only browsing, drafting agreements on microsoft word and movies, etc. Suggest me is my choice good enough or should I consider any other laptops too? I am not considering the 8th Gen i5 processor since my usage is very less and I dont think I need that much of processor.

  19. Pedro

    May 6, 2018 at 10:16 am

    Hi,

    I am REALLY considering the Samsung Notebook 9 15" (not the 2-in-1) i7-8550U for $1300 instead of the Dell XPS 15 because of the weight difference…. Do you think it is worth it?

    As a PhD in engineering who codes and writes a lot, I need a big screen and the 2.7 lbs Samsung offers is quite tempting… Battery life seems to better than the XPS 15 too.

    Could you tell something about the Samsung 9 15"?

    Thanks! Great work on this list!

    • Andrei Girbea

      May 7, 2018 at 9:59 am

      I don't have any experience with Samsung laptops lately, so no, I can't tell much more than you'll find online about this one.

  20. Mark Augstine

    October 7, 2018 at 6:34 pm

    HP Spectre X360 series is one of the best laptops ever made, along with the Asus Zenbook UX433 and Asus Swift 3

  21. Shane Maguire

    October 30, 2018 at 8:16 pm

    Great comparison. Though are you sure the version of the MX150 in the Lenovo 720s is the Max-Q version? Other users online have used diagnostic tools and it seems to come with the full powered version.

    • Andrei Girbea

      October 30, 2018 at 8:28 pm

      Hi. You're right, the 720s gets the full-power version of the MX150. Thanks for pointing it out.

  22. Saran

    November 25, 2018 at 2:31 am

    I have a question about the screen size.
    I'm used nearly 6 years to a 15.6" inch screen, but noticed that 14" nowadays are really competitive and I can get the same specs and a slightly more portability. Which is good for me as a student. But I don't also go for a small one, cause streaming isn't nice on small screens.
    So my question is, shall I go for a 14 incher, even I'm used to a 15.6"?
    Will the difference gonna be big and noticeable, or wouldn't I even notice?!
    I'm really struggling with the size decision..
    Thanks for any help! :)

    • Andrei Girbea

      November 25, 2018 at 1:48 pm

      Ie'd say the difference is noticeable, a 15.6 inch screen is 34.5 x 19.53 cm, while a 14-inch screen is 28.6 x 14.5 cm . If the budget allows, you can look for a 15-inch laptop with narrow bezels, that should be a sweetspot between overall footprint and screen size. There are many such devices out there these days

    • Emmanuel victor

      June 7, 2019 at 5:54 pm

      So between the Asus Vivobook s15 and the lg Gram which is better

      • Andrei Girbea

        June 10, 2019 at 12:04 pm

        The Gram is a better product imo, but I'd reckon it's also more expensive

  23. Dave P

    March 18, 2019 at 12:57 pm

    All I want is a 14" laptop / netbook whose BIOS allows legacy drive (IDE) use and that has XP drivers — not everyone is interested in learning a new OS every 36-months, and I don't really want to dredge through all the knackered old VAIOs to find something that uses XP

    Does anyone know from experience what the latest and greatest XP-compatible laptop was (the Precisions by Dell spring to mind, but the Ebay parasites usually want £400 for these decade-old laptops), and I read repeatedly about XP netbooks — 14", 2GB RAM and 1.6 GHz or more is all that is required.

    Any hardware recommendations?

Leave a Reply

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