Laptops are perceived as being portable units that modern people carry around wherever they go in order to work, play, cruise the internet, or watch movies on them. But the aspect of portability is quite tricky when it comes to these units because not all of them are convenient to carry in the backpack or the case wherever you go. This is where lightweight laptops shine, weighing less than classic models do. What’s great is that they don’t sacrifice quality to deliver this increased portability. If you’re interested in learning everything about them, check out the rest of this article.
|1. Dell XPS XPS9350-5341SLV||2. Asus ZenBook UX330UA-AH54||3. HP EliteBook Folio 9480m||4. Asus ZenBook UX305LA-AB51||5. Dell XPS XPS9350-4007SLV|
|Dimensions (L x W x H)||12″ x 7.9″ x 0.6″||12.7″ x 8.7″ x 0.5″||13.31″ x 9.09″ x 0.74″||12.7″ x 8.9″ x 0.58″||11.98″ x 7.88″ x 0.6″|
|Power Source||AC & Battery||AC & Battery||AC & Battery||AC & Battery||AC & Battery|
|Graphics Card||Intel Iris Graphics 540 Skylake GT3e||Intel HD Graphics 620||Intel HD Graphics 4400||Intel HD Graphics 5500||Intel HD Graphics 5500|
|Base Processor Frequency||2.1 GHz||2.5 GHz||2.1 GHz||2.2 GHz||2.3 GHz|
|Max Turbo Processor Frequency||3.3 GHz||3.1 GHz||3.3 GHz||2.7 GHz||2.8 GHz|
|Number of Cores||2||2||2||2||2|
|Number of Threads||4||4||4||4||4|
|Cache||4 MB SmartCache||3 MB SmartCache||4 MB SmartCache||3 MB||3 MB SmartCache|
|RAM Type||LPDDR3||LPDDR3||DDR3 SDRAM||DDR3 SDRAM||LPDDR3|
|RAM Size||8 GB||8 GB||8 GB||8 GB||8 GB|
|RAM Speed||1866 MHz||1600 MHz||1600 MHz||N/A||1866 MHz|
|Hard-Drive Size||256 GB Solid-State Drive||256 GB Solid-State Drive||256 GB Solid-State Drive||256 GB Solid-State Drive||256 GB Solid-State Drive|
|Hard-Drive Speed||501 MB/s Sequential Read; 303 MB/s Sequential Write||492 MB/s Sequential Read; 435 MB/s Sequential Write||500 MB/s Sequential Read; 260 MB/s Sequential Write||561 MB/s Sequential Read; 508 MB/s Sequential Write||425 MB/s Sequential Read; 153 MB/s Sequential Write|
|Display Technology||LED Backlight||Anti-Glare||LED Backlight; Anti-Glare||LED Backlight; Anti-Glare||LED Backlight|
|Display Resolution||3200 x 1800 (HD)||1920 x 1080 (HD)||1600 x 900 (HD)||1920 x 1080 (HD)||3200 x 1800 (HD)|
|Battery Type||56Wh 4-Cell Lithium-Ion||57Wh Lithium-Polymer||52Wh 4-Cell Lithium-Ion||56Wh 4-Cell Lithium-Ion||56Wh 4-Cell Lithium-Ion|
|Battery Life||18 Hours||11 Hours||13 Hours and 15 Minutes||10 Hours||11 Hours|
|Energy Star Certification|
Ports & Connectivity
|USB 2.0 Ports||1|
|USB 3.0 Ports||2||2||3||2||2|
|USB 3.1 Ports||1||1|
|Wireless Protocol||802.11 A/C||802.11 A/C||802.11 A/C||802.11 A/C||802.11 A/C|
|Headphone/Microphone Combo Jack|
|Platform||Windows 10 Home x64||Windows 10 Home x64||Windows 7 Professional x64||Windows 10 Home x64||Windows 10 Home x64|
|Webcam||720p HD||HD||720p HD||1.2MP HD||N/A|
|Keyboard||Backlit||Ergonomic; Full-Size; Rubberized Palm Rest||Backlit||Ergonomic; Full-Size||Backlit|
|Touchpad||Supports Multi-Touch Gestures||Supports Multi-Touch Gestures||Etched-Glass; Spill-Resistant; Multi-Gesture Support||Supports Multi-Touch Gestures||Supports Multi-Touch Gestures|
|Media Card Reader||SD, SDHC, SDXC||SD||SD||SDXC||SD, SDHC, SDXC|
|Embedded Security||TPM 1.2 and TPM 2.0||N/A||TPM 1.2 Security Chip; Fingerprint Reader; SmartCard Reader||N/A||TPM Security Chip|
|Warranty||1 Year||1 Year||3 Years||1 Year||1 Year|
The best lightweight laptop on the market at the moment is definitely the Dell XPS XPS9350-5341SLV. This high-end model produced by Dell measures 12 inches in length, 7.9 inches in width, and 0.6 inches in height. It weighs only 2.80 pounds, so you can rest assured that it will be a breeze to carry it with you wherever you go. The 13.3-inch screen size and the fact that it features the impressive Intel Iris Graphics 540 Skylake GT3e graphics card ensure that you will get some great visuals when using it. At the heart of this device stands the i7-6560U processor produced by none other than Intel. This processor has a base frequency of 2.1 GHz and a max turbo frequency of 3.3 GHz. It features 8 GB of LPDDR3 RAM, ensuring that it will run as smoothly as possible when you switch between tabs. Of course, it comes with a high-performance 256 GB solid-state drive. This SSD boasts an impressive 501 MB/s sequential read and a 303 MB/s sequential write speed. The resolution of the display is 3200 x 1800 (HD), and the display of this model features the LED backlight technology. The 56Wh 4-cell lithium-ion battery that powers it delivers up to 18 hours of continuous use. It runs on the Windows 10 Home x64 operating system, the keyboard is backlit, and the touchpad supports multi-touch gestures. In addition, it’s accompanied by a 1-year warranty.
This model that comes from Asus measures 12.7 inches in length, 8.7 inches in width, and 0.5 inches is height, and it weighs only 2.60 pounds, making it a highly portable unit that you will easily carry with you everywhere you go. The 13.3-inch screen and the fact that it features the Intel HD Graphics 620 graphics card shows that this model will provide impressive graphics on an easy to follow display. The processor that gives it its impressive performance is none other than the i5-7200U produced by Intel. It boasts a base frequency of 2.5 GHz and a max turbo frequency of 3.1 GHz. It offers 8 GB of LPDDR3 RAM to ensure users that it will run fast and smooth no matter how many processes are active. The 256 GB solid-state drive has a great 492 MB/s sequential read and a 435 MB/s sequential write. The Anti-Glare display has a 1920 x 1080 (HD) resolution. It’s powered by a 57Wh lithium-polymer battery that lasts for up to 11 hours before the AC adapter needs to be plugged in. It comes with the Windows 10 Home x64 operating system, the keyboard is ergonomic and it features a rubberized palm rest, and the touchpad supports multi-touch gestures. Also, it is backed up by a 1-year warranty.
The HP EliteBook Folio 9480m measures 13.31 inches in length, 9.09 inches in width, and 0.74 inches in height. It weighs only 3.44, so you won’t have a hard time at all when you’ll carry it with you. It features a 14-inch display that comes with the LED backlight and Anti-Glare technologies, and that has a 1600 x 900 (HD) resolution. The graphics card that it features is the amazing Intel HD Graphics 4400, ensuring that the graphics shown on the display will be of a great quality. It comes with the i7-4600U processor produced by Intel, a model that has a base frequency of 2.1 GHz and a max turbo frequency of 3.3 GHz. The 8 GB of DDR3 SDRAM ensure a smooth operation. It features a 256 GB solid-state drive that has a 500 MB/s sequential read and a 260 MB/s sequential write speed. The 52Wh 4-cell lithium-ion battery ensures 13 hours and 15 minutes of continuous operation. It comes with the Windows 7 Professional x64 operating system installed on it, the keyboard is backlit, and the etched-glass touchpad supports multi-touch gestures. Also, it’s covered by an impressive 3-year warranty.
Our personal favorite, the Asus ZenBook UX305LA-AB51, measures 12.7 inches in length, 8.9 inches in width, and 0.58 inches in height. This compact and light model weighs only 2.90 pounds, and it features a 13.3-inch display that comes with the innovative LED backlight and Anti-Glare technologies, and that has a 1920 x 1080 (HD) resolution. The Intel HD Graphics 5500 graphics card, and the i5-5200U processor that has a base frequency of 2.2 GHz and a max turbo frequency of 2.7 GHz ensure an astounding performance that is hard to top. It features 8 GB of DDR3 SDRAM, so switching between processes will go extremely fast. The 256 GB solid-state drive has a 561 MB/s sequential read and a 508 MB/s sequential write speed. The 56Wh 4-cell lithium-ion battery that it comes with enables it to operate continuously for up to 10 hours before the AC adapter needs to be plugged in to charge it. It features the Windows 10 Home x64 operating system, the keyboard has a comfy ergonomic design, and the touchpad supports multi-touch gestures. In addition, it’s backed up by a 1-year warranty.
The Dell XPS XPS9350-4007SLV measures 11.98 inches in length, 7.88 inches in width, and 0.6 inches in height. When it comes to the weight of this model, the fact that it stands at only 2.80 pounds ensures that it’s easily portable. It boasts a 13.3-inch display that features the LED backlight technology and that has an impressive 3200 x 1800 (HD) resolution. The two components that make it stand among the greatest models of the moment are the top tier Intel HD Graphics 5500 graphics card and the i5-6200U processor. This processor is produced by Intel and it has a base frequency of 2.3 GHz and a max turbo frequency of 2.8 GHz. It features 8 GB of LPDDR3 RAM, ensuring that it will switch between programs fast and smooth. The 256 GB solid-state drive has a 425 MB/s sequential read and a 153 MB/s sequential write speed. The 56Wh 4-cell lithium-ion battery that it features allows it to operate continuously for 11 hours before it runs out of power. It features the Windows 10 Home x64 operating system, a backlit keyboard, and a touchpad that can support multi-gestures. In addition, it comes with a 1-year warranty from the manufacturer.
A Chromebook is a laptop powered by Google’s Chrome operating system that is designed to update itself automatically for free so that you will always enjoy the latest version of everything. The main advantage of a lightweight laptop is portability and this one is the perfect embodiment of portability, performance, and great system features. For starters, it’s a very compact and stylish laptop that weighs 3 pounds, being the perfect choice for children or for traveling. Despite the small weight and slim design, the battery lasts for 9 hours, which is a very long time. Plus, it starts up in seconds thanks to the Intel Celeron processor and it works at high speeds so you can use it for games, movies, or office work. It has a 13.3” display that delivers crisp images. If you think it’s too small, you can always connect the laptop to a television and watch movies at a larger scale. The sound quality is as impressive as the image quality and you can now enjoy video chats and voice-powered apps thanks to the dual-array mics and the HD webcam.
These laptops are called lightweight for a good reason, weighing a lot less when compared to classic models. This makes them more desirable for those who are always on the go and who want to take their laptops with them in order to work, play, watch a movie, listen to music, or cruise the internet. They are discrete and stylish, being a definite must have for modern, busy people.
What makes them so interesting, in addition to the fact that they weigh next to nothing, is the fact that they offer an impressive overall performance. Therefore, don’t let their appearance trick you because their thin body actually hides an impressive computing power. Of course, as with any other products out there, some perform better than others, this being the reason why we have thoroughly researched the market, delivering you the useful top 5 of the best models at the moment that you can see in the table above.
The main advantage that these products bring is the fact that they are highly portable, so they can be taken anywhere without presenting an inconvenience to those who carry them. What makes them ideal when it comes to mobility is the fact that they weigh so little that the users will barely feel them in their bags. This increased portability makes them especially great for those who don’t spend much time at home and who are always on the go. The fact that they are so compact and light is going to allow those who use them to take the devices to coffee shops or wherever they want to go and work or entertain themselves with them.
A major issue of traditional, bulky models is that they don’t have a big battery lifespan, their batteries generally being able to deliver up to 6 hours of power. When you don’t have a socket to put the AC adapter in for you to continue to use the laptop even after the battery has lost all of its power, this short lifespan is a great inconvenience. On the other hand, lightweight units come with an extreme battery life, this being one of the many reasons why they are so popular. For example, the estimated 18-hour battery life of the Dell XPS XPS9350-5341SLV ensures that you won’t need to plug in the AC adapter until you get home, despite the fact that you will use it throughout the entire day without charging it.
As we have mentioned before, you might get tricked into thinking that these units don’t deliver a great performance because of their light weight. Fortunately, this is completely false, top of the line lightweight laptops like the ones that can be found in the top 5 comparison table above delivering an impressive overall performance. Therefore, no matter if you’re interested in purchasing the device in order to use it for work purposes or gaming purposes, a high-end lightweight model will provide you with all the performance specs needed to ensure that you will be satisfied and that you won’t have a hard time carrying the unit around either.
Due to the increased portability that these units offer, you have to take the aspect of design into consideration as well. After all, you wouldn’t want to go to a local coffee shop and work on your new laptop that looks bulky and aesthetically unpleasant. When you will open the bag or backpack and pull out a slim laptop, the stylish design that this unit boasts will surely impress those around you, and you will feel proud of your choice.
First of all, when looking for such a device, you have to take its weight and dimensions into consideration. Only by doing this you ensure that you will actually choose a highly portable model. Therefore, as soon as you hit the stores or go online to check various websites and search for the perfect model to go with, look at these specifications when comparing the products that interest you.
The heart of a laptop is the processor, this component responding to the basic instructions that make the unit work and processing the instructions as well. For the processor to be of a great quality, it must be as fast as possible when doing these tasks. You will have to conduct a little research work to figure out what units have the best processors, but we assure you that if you go with any of the models that we have ranked as being the best on the market, you will surely make a smart choice when it comes to the performance of the processor. All of the processors are from Intel, the leading manufacturer of such components, and they all belong to newer generations that deliver a high-quality performance.
The classic hard-disk drives are not desirable anymore due to the fact that they have been surpassed in performance by solid-state drives. In the beginning, when solid-state drives or SSDs first appeared, they came at exuberant prices that made them unapproachable for those who didn’t have large budgets. Fortunately, as time has passed, SSDs have managed to get better and better, earning their popularity and respect in the community due to their high quality, thus their price has decreased as well. As you have probably already noticed, all of the models in our top feature 256 GB SSDs, a fact that shows how great their access time is and how low their latency is, meaning that you won’t waste any of your precious time when using the slim laptop.
No matter how great of a processor the unit has and what other wonderful specs it boasts, they are rendered useless if the laptop doesn’t have good ergonomics. After all, the most probable reason why you are buying a lightweight model is because you work a lot and you need to do it from any location you’re in. Therefore, it’s essential for the touchpad and keyboard to be responsive and comfortable to use. Make sure that the keyboard has a solid tactile feedback and that the vertical travel is wide enough to make it easy for you to write. Also, make sure that the touchpad is accurate and that the cursor isn’t jumpy.
You can’t say that a certain platform is better than the others because each platform comes with its own set of advantages. As you have probably already noticed, all the models in our top feature the Windows platform. The reason why we consider this platform to be the better choice is because it offers an incomparable versatility, being ideal no matter what you intend to do with the lightweight laptop. Therefore, no matter if you’re using the unit to play, work, or simply watch movies, the Windows platform is the most optimal choice to go with, not wasting too many resources and offering the best speed.
With a lightweight model, one of the main attributes that you should look for is how long the battery lasts until it gets completely depleted of power and needs to be recharged. This ensures that you won’t be in the situation where the device will shut down when you need it the most because the battery has lost all of its power and there’s no socket to insert the AC adapter in. What we advise you to do is to look for a generous battery life such as the 13 hours and 15 minutes offered by the HP EliteBook Folio 9480m, this impressive model surely resisting throughout an entire day of use.
Extra space is never bad when it comes to laptops, especially for those who tend to fill the memory of the devices with movies and other documents that take up a lot of space. For your convenience and to make sure that you will never run out of space, purchase a portable hard drive for the laptop. This way, when you have little space left on the device, you can simply plug the external hard drive and store what you need on it. If you do buy this accessory, make sure that you keep a backup of the important files and documents on the laptop on it. By doing this, in case the laptop is damaged, you won’t lose everything that’s inside it.
A wireless mouse is a definite must-have when it comes to laptops as it allows a convenient manner to use the devices. Mice come in various styles, shapes, and designs, but we recommend that you go with a wireless model to not be inconvenienced by the cable that is featured in traditional models. Additionally, we recommend that you ditch old-style battery models and go with USB mice that draw their power directly from the laptop. This way, you won’t have to carry extra batteries with you as well.
Sometimes, the ports that the laptop features aren’t enough. To make sure that you’ll be prepared for a situation like this, always carry a multiport adapter in the laptop bag. This way, if you have more than one USB sticks that you need to copy documents on or from, you will be able to simultaneously use them as you won’t be limited to the 2-3 ports featured by the device anymore.
A stand will position the laptop perfectly so that it might sit at the perfect angle, allowing you to more easily see what’s on the screen and to write easier as well. Additionally, if the stand that you go with features an integrated cooler, it will help prolong the laptop battery’s life by not allowing it to overheat. Also, depending on the design of the stand, it might even make it easy to sit in bed while using the device. To enjoy this perk, go with a model that features retractable table legs.
When you’re working on the laptop, you tend to focus on the task at hand and not on the processes that are occurring in the background. Unfortunately, this common mistake is one of the biggest enemies of battery power, depleting it rapidly. All units of this kind run maintenance programs that do system checks on a regular basis. When you know that you need the battery to last for a longer time, make sure that you check if these programs are running or not, and close them in case they are opened.
If you want to use work on the device for as long as possible but there is no power source in which you can plug the AC adapter in, then you have to rely solely on the battery of the unit. A great way to ensure that the battery will last for as long as possible is to limit or even turn off some of the power-draining processes that aren’t of an actual use for you. These processes include the WiFi, the sound, and the brightness of the screen. In case you don’t need to use the internet to work on the laptop at that moment, make sure that you turn off the WiFi feature to save battery life. Also, if you’re not listening to tutorials or if you’re not in a Skype meeting with your boss, turn the sound off. Last but not least, the most important process that needs to be limited is surely the brightness of the screen. What you must do is to set it as low as possible, finding a low percentage of brightness at which you can see clearly what’s on the screen without consuming too much power.
When referring to extreme temperatures and laptops, we actually talk about both extremely high and extremely low temperatures. Obviously, high temperatures do a lot more damage than low temperatures. For example, if you leave the unit in a hot environment such as your car when it’s summer, you will find that the battery has lost half of its power when you turn it on or that it has been fully depleted.
When you’re working on the device and you have to interrupt your action to go somewhere or do something else completely, a lot of battery power will be lost if you leave the laptop open. What you must do to save as much battery power as possible is to turn it to the “sleep” or the “hibernate” mode. To make sure that you won’t forget to do this, configure the settings of the device, more precisely setting it to turn to the “sleep” mode if you have been idle for a certain amount of time.
What we recommend that you do as soon as you bring the laptop home is to install a program that will help you track the device’s temperature. By doing this, you will be aware of the issues that appear at all times, getting the chance to act and repair them fast. Another advice that you need to take into consideration is to avoid overclocking as it inevitably makes the laptop overheat. Also, you should lower the maximum processor states. This means that you should change certain settings, such as the brightness setting. It’s recommended to keep it at around 70 percent for the ultimate performance and to avoid having to squint your eyes at the screen.
Another method to go with in order to prevent overheating is to keep the laptop cool. You can do this in several ways. One of the methods that you can turn to is to keep the device in an air-conditioned or cool area as the environment that you keep it in has the biggest impact on the laptop. Another method that you can use is to place a cooling mat under the device or place it on a computer stand that has ventilation. By doing this, you help the fan and the cooling process of the device go smoother due to the extra help provided.
Of course, you have to pay attention to the way you position the laptop on the table or desk as a full impact with the surface means that the fan won’t be able to circulate the air. What you can do is to place a small book or any other small object under the battery of the laptop to keep it in a perfect tilted position. Just make sure that you don’t block the bottom fan hole when positioning the object underneath the device.
When it comes to the production of such devices, Dell is the leading brand on the market. As you already know, the best performing model of the moment is brought by Dell, a fact that shows just how much work and passion Dell devotes to delivering only top tier products to customers. The seriosity and the fact that this company constantly focuses on innovating the market has made it the best out there, and it doesn’t seem like anyone else will take Dell’s spot anytime soon.
The Asus brand delivers no less than two top tier lightweight laptops to its customers. But don’t think that the Asus ZenBook UX330UA-AH54 and the Asus ZenBook UX305LA-AB51 are the only high-performing models of this kind that they offer, this brand actually priding itself on delivering only quality devices to those who buy from them. Since they have been founded back in 1989, they have focused solely on innovating this market and topping their competition, this being the reason why they are so popular these days.
Of course, you can’t talk about such products without mentioning HP. This brand is among the most well-known names in the tech industry due to the fact that it’s very old on the market, and it has never failed loyal customers. Looking at products such as the great HP EliteBook Folio 9480m, it’s easy to understand why this brand has managed to stay at the top for such a long time.
The weight and dimensions of these units are of an extremely high importance because these are the specifications that show how portable the models actually are. Therefore, we had to put emphasis on these two specs when rating the best devices on the market because only by doing this we were able to find the lightest and most convenient to carry models out there. For you to better understand how important the weight and dimensions are when it comes to these products, just take a look a the Asus ZenBook UX330UA-AH54, a unit that weighs only 2.60 pounds and that measures 12.7″ in length, 8.7″ in width, and an astounding 0.5″ in height. Due to its discrete and compact design and the fact that it’s extremely light, it’s easy to see why this model is among the best lightweight units on the market.
The graphics cards of lightweight laptops are the components that control and enhance the way that graphics are shown on the screen. It’s clear that top of the line models must come with top tier graphics cards as well for them to be able to handle any graphics oriented games or programs. Keeping this aspect in mind, we had to give extra credit to the Dell XPS XPS9350-5341SLV model due to the fact that it features the impressive Intel Iris Graphics 540 Skylake GT3e graphics card. With this device, you will see astounding imagery when playing on the laptop, a benefit that only comes with top of the line units like this one.
The processor of such a device is basically the heart of the unit. To make it clearer how important the processor is, know that this logic circuitry is the one that responds to and processes the basic instructions that make the unit work. Therefore, unless you want to waste your time waiting for the unit to process all the commands that it receives, you have to go with one that uses a top tier processor that will handle all the processes fast. This is one of the reasons why we ranked the Asus ZenBook UX330UA-AH54 so well, this model featuring the high-performance i5-7200U processor from Intel.
The cores are the independent central processing units that can be found in a single computing component. For a device of this kind to be of a great quality when it comes to performance, it must feature as many cores as possible. This is the reason why all the models on our list have no less than 2 cores. When it comes to the number of threads, you will notice that all the top models on the market have at least 4 threads. What the threads represent is the number of instructions that can be passed through or processed by a single core.
RAM is the memory of the unit that can be accessed randomly, any byte of memory being accessible without affecting the preceding bytes for the processes that the laptop goes through to go fast and smooth. When it comes to the size and speed of the RAMs, it’s best for these stats to be as high as possible for a certain unit to be of a great quality. Knowing this, we gave the Dell XPS XPS9350-4007SLV extra points when ranking it due to the fact that it features 8 GB of RAM with an impressive speed of 1866 MHz.
In our top, you will find only models that feature solid-state drives. The reason why we had to rank them higher than the models on the market that feature hard-disk drives is because SSDs have much faster access times when compared to HDDs. Also, they boast a lower latency, meaning that you won’t waste a second when you’re working.
As we have already mentioned, with such products, battery life is an aspect of an extreme importance. Being highly portable, you will take this device with you wherever you go and you will most likely want to use it non-stop. But this won’t be possible without it having a battery that can last for a long time without being charged because you won’t find sockets to plug the AC adapter in everywhere you go. Of course, when we looked at the top model on our list, the Dell XPS XPS9350-5341SLV, we gave it a boost precisely due to the fact that it can last for 18 hours turned on before the battery dies.