In this video we’re breaking down the five best ultrabooks in 2021. I’ve included options for every type of consumer. If you’re looking for a versatile two-in-one ultrabook for school or an ultrabook geared towards professionals with enterprise level security, I’ll have the product for you.
The fifth product on our list is the HP Envy x360 13 from 2020. This is our best two-in-one ultrabook. The HP Envy x360 13has a stylish design, slim build and versatile two in one performance for around 850 dollars. The Intel Core I7 processor and Intel Iris XE graphics makes this a fast machine ready to use for online learning or working from home.
You’ll get a good amount of power in a portable lightweight casing that weighs just under three pounds perfect for putting in your bag and taking with you.
The glossy display looks great with excellent color and contrast. At 400 nits it gets bright but not bright enough to clearly see the screen outside on a bright day. But that’s okay because the thin bezel makes the screen comfortable to use as a tablet and the display supports both touch and pen inputs. Both exterior and interior have a clean minimalist design with a keyboard that’s comfortable to use and two-level backlight that I think adds a bit of style as well as functionality.
I also like that you can instantly mute your mic and block the webcam for privacy which is great if you’re working from home. Onboard is eight gigabytes of ddr4 ram to handle all your everyday tasks and more and a 512 gigabyte SSD which provides a good amount of storage.
On the sides you’ll find two USB A ports, a headphone jack, a micro-SD card, slot power input and a USB C port which can also be used to charge. I like that each side has a charging option giving you some versatility so that the charging cord doesn’t get in the way.
The battery lasts up to about 11 hours with mixed usage. With a 13.3-inch display that gives you room to write in sketch and tablet mode without being too big and a powerful processor I think the hp envy x360 13 is the best two in one ultrabook around. Whether you work from home, take classes online or enjoy being creative this is a great choice in a slim package.
The fourth product on our list is the MacBook Air with M1. This is our best MacBook for most. The MacBook Air with M1 offers improved performance over previous MacBook Air models with a fanless build that runs absolutely silent thanks to the M1 chip which combines CPU, GPU, memory and more onto the same chip for around 900.
The M1 CPU features four high performance cores and four high efficiency cores which lets it work quickly during intense tasks but saves energy when doing simple daily things. The CPU runs three times faster than the previous generation and because Apple designed and built this chip themselves IOS Apps now work on Mac OS meaning you’ll have access to a lot of apps on one system.
You can get a GPU with up to eight cores and five times faster graphics which I think is a great option if you’re creative and want to work on graphics intensive apps. You get eight gigabytes of ram and 256 gigabytes of fast SSD storage with options up to two terabytes.
I think the m1 chip is really exciting and the ability for it to let apps share data between the CPU, GPU and neural engine through its unified memory will make sure everything you do runs fast and fluid. The battery life is amazing, lasting up to 18 hours on a single charge which will get you through the day with ease.
There are two thunderbolt ports which support USB 3.1 and usb4 and either can be used for charging as well as a headphone jack. I think you’ll really like the 13.3-inch retina display with p3 wide color giving you vibrant images and incredible detail.
The screen will also adjust the white point of your display to the color temperature of your environment for a more natural viewing experience. I think this will go a long way to making you more comfortable while working, gaming, or creating for long stretches. The MacBook Air is powerful with fast performance and with its incredibly long battery life it’s going to appeal to a lot of people looking for a great ultrabook.
The third product on our list is the Microsoft Surface Laptop 4 15-inch AMD. This is our best 15-inch ultrabook. Starting at 1 000 the Microsoft Surface Laptop 4 is a very polished ultrabook fitted with a custom AMD processor that makes it more powerful than its predecessors.
The design is a clean slick look with rounded corners and comes in platinum or matte black which both look really stunning. It weighs just 3.4 pounds which is nice and light especially for a 15-inch laptop. The 15-inch touchscreen display has an aspect ratio of 3 to 2 and a 24.96 by 1664 resolution. I like that the aspect ratio makes the screen taller than the standard six to nine of most screens because it will allow you to see more of what you’re working on.
In addition to the regular USB type A and C ports you also get a Microsoft Surface connect port which is primarily used for charging and connecting some of Microsoft’s peripheral docs. I like that the included charging brick has an extra USB port to increase the number of ports you have available to use.
The Ryzen 7 SC processor along with the AMD Radeon SC graphics gives you great performance for work or school. You get 8 gigabytes of ram that can be bumped up to 32 gigabytes and for storage it starts at 256 gigabytes all the way to one terabyte. Microsoft worked with AMD to get the best battery life out of the chip which comes in at up to 17 and a half hours and fast charging of up to 80 in an hour.
The keyboard is great with clicky and responsive keys that are comfortable to type on. The touchpad is also responsive and precise using windows precision drivers to ensure multi-finger gestures are accurate and smooth. I think the Microsoft Surface Laptop 4 with the custom AMD processor makes this a winner with next-gen performance and a fantastic touch screen display making it easily the best 15-inch ultrabook around.
The second product on our list is the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon (Gen 8). This is our best ultrabook for business. The 8th gen Lenovo ThinkPad X1 carbon was built with business in mind but will keep anyone who wants to get work done staying productive.
At a starting price of 1320 running Linux or the windows version for a few dollars more the latest version of the ThinkPad comes standard with intel’s 10th gen comet lake processor up to 19 and a half hours of battery life and a keyboard that will keep up with heavy use.
The 14-inch display is 1920 by 1080p with an anti-glare finish and 400 nits of brightness so you can take your work with you and still see it comfortably. You can bump up the display to a UHD 3840×2160 for those that want to splurge on a 4k display.
It only weighs 2.4 pounds and is very thin at only 0.6 inches thick. You’ll also get 8 gigabytes of RAM, and 256 gigabytes of SSD space and Intel’s processor is speedy, so your ThinkPad won’t slow down your productivity, but if you need you can double the ram to 16 gigabytes and even expand your storage up to one terabyte.
I think the durable keyboard is a standout feature which is so important on a business ultrabook. It has ample travel and well-spaced keys, and the touchpad is paired with a TrackPoint system with red pointing nub and physical keys.
There are also two VoIP keys letting you easily take calls and meetings as you work. It also offers a great port selection which I think is great because you don’t have to worry about taking adapters with you including two thunderbolt 3 ports and even an HDMI port.
There are a number of security features including a fingerprint reader fido authentication privacy guard display layer and even a physical camera shutter for added privacy. With everything it offers the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon is the best ultrabook for business with lots of ports, an abundance of privacy features and a keyboard that you’ll want to keep using.
The first product on our list is the Dell XPS 13. This is our best overall ultrabook. The Dell XPS 13 has an incredibly sleek design and amazing display coupled with a compact form factor and solid build all starting around 930 dollars.
The casing is carved out of two pieces of CNC machined aluminum that give it a sturdy solid build which I really like. It’s resistant to damage including sides that resist scratches when plugging cables into the ports.
I love that the screen has an extended 16 to 10 aspect ratio and almost no bezel bringing the screen right down to the chassis. You’ll be able to see more of what you’re doing with the 91.5 percent screen to body ratio infinity edge 1920x1200p full HD plus display. For those that want a touchscreen you can also upgrade to an FHD 1920×1200 or a UHD plus 3840×2400 touch screen display.
The XPS 13 is powered by an intel core I3 CPU which can be upgraded to an I7 if you need added speed plus with the intel UHD with shared graphics memory helps the performance even if you want to do some gaming, but serious gamers may want to upgrade to the intel iris XE graphics for best performance.
You’ll get eight gigabytes of ram but upgradeable to 32 gigabytes and 256 gigabytes of SSD storage expandable up to two terabytes. For easier productivity the precision touchpad has been enlarged and the keys are very comfortable for typing on during extended work sessions and they run from edge to edge making for more accurate typing
The keyboard is also backlit making it easier to continue using after dark. There are two thunderbolt 4 ports either of which will charge a micro-SD card reader and a 35-millimeter audio jack. The battery life is fantastic with up to 14 hours 11 minutes on the full HD plus model. The Dell XPS 13 is able to put a lot of features inside its compact case making it the best overall ultrabook. It’s well built and has the power to back up the large bright screen.