Having a good laptop is a basic necessity for any individual in 2019. But the only reason for anyone to buy a 13-inch laptop would be its ideal size. While 12-inch is still a size that leaves you squinting, a 15-inch laptop is just too big. The 13-inch laptop fall in a sweet spot, where they are decent for consuming content and fit most backpacks as well.
We still love the Dell XPS 13, but it’s not the only ‘right’ choice. We’d get it if you wanted the new MacBook Air, or even the HP Spectre x360. Yeah, the XPS 13 is beautiful, but you don’t have to worry about awkward camera placement on those other laptops. The best 13-inch laptops all excel in different ways.
Dell XPS 13
If it ain’t broke, make it handsome
CPU: Quad-core Intel Core i5 – i7 | Graphics: Intel UHD Graphics 620 | RAM: 8GB – 16GB | Screen: 13.3-inch FHD (1,920 x 1,080) – 4K (3,840 x 2,160) | Storage: 256GB – 1TB SSD
Impressive new design
Awkward webcam placement
Its changes are subtle, and yet the Dell XPS 13 is still the best 13-inch laptop you can buy. On the high end, it now offers a 4K display, for a sharper picture across the board. But even if you can’t afford higher tier configurations, the beautiful design, lengthy battery life and even the SD card slot are still there – plus you’ve got a quad-core processor no matter what poison you pick. Better yet, the 13.3-inch display of the XPS 13 has been squeezed into a smaller frame, which explains Dell’s marketing line: ‘the world’s smallest 13-inch laptop.’ Now stew on that, as you admire the Dell XPS 13’s gorgeous, albeit more expensive, Alpine White finish.
Read the full review: Dell XPS 13
Microsoft Surface Book 2 (13.5-inch)
Bigger isn’t always better: a memoir
CPU: Intel Core i5 – i7 | Graphics: Intel UHD 620 – Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 | RAM: 8GB – 16GB | Screen: 13.5-inch, 3,000 x 2,000 PixelSense display | Storage: 256GB – 1TB SSD
Impressive battery life
It’s not as powerful as its 15-inch counterpart, but everything else about the 13.5-inch version of the Surface Book 2 makes for one of the best 13-inch laptops for anyone looking for a mobile workhorse. No matter if you’re a professional or creative, the Microsoft Surface Book 2, with its more compact form factor, rocks an aesthetic that’s just as gorgeous as its predecessor. What’s more, the dynamic fulcrum hinge is even stronger now, which only complements its robust, quad-core processor.
Read the full review: Microsoft Surface Book 2
Razer Blade Stealth
Fancy an Ultrabook for more than just gamers
CPU: Dual-core – quad-core Intel Core i7 | Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 620 – Intel UHD Graphics 620 | RAM: 16GB | Screen: 13.3-inch QHD+ (3,200 x 1,800) LED-backlit IGZO touchscreen | Storage: 256GB – 1TB SSD
Larger, brighter display
Subtler aesthetics on gunmetal version
Shorter and shorter battery life
No 4K display option in sight
You wouldn’t expect a Razer laptop to be prettier, thinner and lighter than a MacBook Pro, but this is the world we live in. The Razer Blade Stealth – in its all new gunmetal finish – rocks not only a gorgeous and practical aesthetic with its 400-nit display brightness and full-size USB 3.0 ports, but it also has a few tricks up its sleeve to make it a performance beast. The 8th-generation Kaby Lake R U-series processor makes the Razer Blade Stealth a force to be reckoned with. It doesn’t have the best battery life in the business, but it’s worth the 16 minutes of battery life to have one of the best 13-inch laptops.
Read the full review: Razer Blade Stealth
HP Spectre x360
HP’s flagship 2-in-1 goes ultra-thin with style
CPU: Dual-core Intel Core i3 – Core i7 | Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 620 – Nvidia GeForce 940MX 2GB | RAM: 8GB – 16GB | Screen: 13.3-inch, FHD (1,920 x 1,080) – UHD (3,840 x 2,160) IPS UWVA LED-backlit multi-touch display | Storage: 256GB – 1TB SSD
Ultra-thin and light styling
Long-lasting and quick-charging battery
Lacks SD card reader
Especially thick bottom bezel
The HP Spectre x360 is the one you introduce to your parents. It’s strikingly well-crafted, boasting a silvery design that makes it every bit as cutting-edge on the outside as it is within. Given the choice between a 7th-generation i5 or i7 Ultrabook-class processor and a 1080p or 4K screen, HP has given plenty of room for customisation.
It’s not under powered, nor does its battery life suffer from overcompensation. In fact, in our own video loop test, the HP Spectre x360 lasted a whole 8 hours and 45 minutes. The only real catch is that like a lot of its competitors, the Spectre x360 lacks an SD card slot, opting instead for a pair of USB Type-C ports.
Read the full review: HP Spectre x360
Asus ZenBook Flip UX360 CA
A budget-friendly, thin-and-light powerhouse
CPU: Intel Core M6Y30 | Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 515 | RAM: 4GB | Screen: 13.3-inch FHD (1,920 x 1,080) | Storage: 128GB – 512GB SSD
Lacks backlit keyboard
Only 4GB RAM
Asus extended its ZenBook lineup in September 2016 with its very own UX360 CA. Though it carries similar features as its predecessors, its 2-in-1 flexibility is what makes it stand out.
The laptop is powered by a sixth-generation Intel Core M6Y30 processor and 4GB RAM. It’s also available with 8GB RAM in the international market, but Indian customers will have to satisfy themselves with a 4GB variant.
The laptop’s capabilities of bending backwards that allows users to experience both laptop and tablet form is an added edge.
Lenovo Yoga 910
Versatile with a generous helping of elegance
CPU: Dual-core Intel Core i7 | Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 620 | RAM: 8GB – 16GB | Screen: 13.9-inch FHD (1,920 x 1,080) – UHD (3,840 x 2,160) IPS multi-touch | Storage: 256GB – 1TB SSD
Substantially larger screen
Heats up (and gets loud) fast
Disappointing battery life
The Lenovo Yoga 910 is all about second chances. The company reimagined the design with this one, opting in favour of a more pristine outward appearance and a heavy duty Intel Core i7 processor, as well as a 4K display.
Lenovo also managed to squeeze in a larger, nearly 14-inch screen into the 13-inch chassis of the Yoga 900.
Even with the implementation of USB-C ports, the Lenovo Yoga 910 doesn’t completely neglect USB Type-A, dragging the precious connection standard of the past along with it.
Read the full review: Lenovo Yoga 910
MacBook Pro (13-inch; mid-2018)
Powerful. Elegant. Expensive
CPU: Quad-core Intel Core i5 – Core i7 | Graphics: Intel Iris Plus Graphics 655 | RAM: 8GB – 16GB | Screen: 13.3-inch, 2,560 x 1,600 Retina display | Storage: 256GB – 2TB SSD
The MacBook Pro 2018 feels like the final form of Apple’s pro series laptop since its 2016 redesign. It keeps the thin and light design, but brings a wealth of improvements, both to the hardware within and, more importantly, Apple has vastly improved the Butterfly keyboard – making it quieter and more reliable. So, you no longer have to worry about it breaking cause a piece of dust appeared under the spacebar. So, if you need an ultra-portable workhorse running macOS Mojave and you can justify the cost, the 2018 MacBook Pro won’t let you down. Keep in mind, though, the model without the Touch Bar is still running last year’s hardware.
Read the full review: MacBook Pro (13-inch Mid-2018)