Just three years ago, Apple had the ultraportable laptop market on hold with its MacBook Air, MacBook, and 13-inch MacBook Pro laptops. That’s not so much the case anymore, especially since many companies, such as Dell, have made ultraportable laptops that match the quality control built in Apple’s products.
It’s also important to note that Windows 10 has become almost as good as macOS. With that said, here are the top three ultraportable laptops on the market today.
3. MacBook Pro (2017, 13-inch, Touch Bar)
It’s true that the latest MacBook Pro has not lived up to the hype. Many people think that Apple has sacrificed the keyboard, battery, and other things in order to make an ultraportable device even more portable. And that gimmicky Touch Bar? Who needs it?
However, although overpriced, the 13-inch MacBook Pro not only delivers a beautiful screen with perfect color representation, but it’s also a powerful laptop that can even be used to edit 4K videos (though the 15-inch MacBook Pro is certainly recommended more for this).
Don’t like the fact that you will need dongles to plug in your USB-A devices? Well, get used to it. And back to that Touch Bar — you have to admit that it’s still cool and makes the MacBook Pro feel futuristic. Still, in the present, the 13-inch MacBook Pro offers outstanding battery life and, perhaps, the best speakers ever put in a 13-inch device.
Best value: 13-inch Pro with Intel Core i5 (3.1 GHz) processor, 8GB RAM, and 256 SSD)
$1599 at Fry’s Electronics
2. Surface Pro (2017)
Each version of the Surface Pro has become better since Microsoft first introduced the device in 2013. The latest version not only gives you a choice of a 7th-gen Intel Core i3, i5, or i7 processor, but offers a crisp 12.3-inch 2736 x 1824 (267 pixels-per-inch) screen. It’s true that you have to buy the Type Cover separately, but it’s worth the price. However, the $99 Surface Pen, which has some reliability issues, should be included in the package.
Best value: Surface Pro with Intel Core i5 processor, 8GB RAM, and 256GB SSD.
$1099 at Best Buy. The Surface Pen and Type Cover are not included.
1. Dell XPS 13 (2018 Version)
The Dell XPS 13 isn’t a laptop hybrid, but it doesn’t need to be. It’s simply the best ultraportable laptop ever made.
The nearly border-less 4K screen (you can buy a 1080p version that saves battery life) is the best that has ever been put on a PC device. Dell’s previous XPS 13 laptops had color and saturation problems, but those have been fixed.
Even better, Dell has been able to include a great keyboard (no “butterfly” type keys) on it’s razor-thin laptop. They’ve also been able to include an 8th-gen Intel Core i7 processor (you can get an i5 if you want to save a little memory), and a touchpad that works as well as one does on the MacBook Pro.
Best Value: XPS 13 with 8th-gen Intel Core i7 processor, 8GB RAM, and 256 SSD.
$1349 at Microsoft Store