Trusted Reviews is supported by its audience. If you purchase through links on our site, we may earn a commission. Learn more.

Best Ultrabooks 2024: Top ultra-portable laptops for work and play

Trusted Reviews tests and ranks the best lightweight laptops to help you find the ultrabook to suit your budget and needs.

If you’re frequently taking your laptop to and from the office, then you’ll want something as light and slender as possible. This is where our best ultrabook roundup comes in. 

While the term ‘ultrabook’ was initially coined by Intel, it has since been adopted by the wider market to refer to any laptop that is noticeably light and thin. As a result, we’ve made sure to include laptops, even if they’re using an AMD or Apple chip. 

For our best ultrabooks list, we’ve included high-scoring laptops with a maximum screen size of 14 inches, while ruling out any portable that’s either thicker than 20mm or weighs more than 1.5kg.

Our team of experts have reviewed countless laptops that meet these criteria, but we’ve picked out the very best options here to help narrow down your search. Every laptop we’ve reviewed has been tested for at least a week. We’ve not only taken into consideration the design but also tested the performance via benchmark software and measured the screen quality with professional equipment.

Can’t find an ultrabook you like enough to buy? No need to worry, as we’ll be updating this list on a regular basis as more and more laptop reviews are published on our website.

And if you’re happy to buy a laptop that doesn’t meet the ultrabook criteria, then check out our Best Laptop, Best Student Laptop, Best MacBook and Best Gaming Laptop pages too.

Best ultrabooks at a glance

How we test

Learn more about how we test laptops

Every laptop we review goes through a series of uniform checks designed to gauge key things including build quality, performance, screen quality and battery life. 

These include formal synthetic benchmarks and scripted tests, plus a series of real world checks, such as how well it runs the most frequently used apps. 

We also make sure to use every laptop we review as our primary device for at least a week to ensure our review is as accurate as possible.

Apple MacBook Air M2 (2022)

Best Apple-made ultrabook
rating-star rating-star rating-star rating-star rating-star


  • Fantastic performance
  • Sleek, updated design
  • Excellent keyboard and trackpad
  • Long battery life


  • Expensive starting price and upgrades
  • More colours would have been nice
  • The M1 version remains an excellent buy for less

It should come as no surprise that the latest MacBook Air is the very best ultrabook that Apple has to offer. It measures in at just 11.3mm, making it the skinniest laptop on this list and ensuring it’s extremely easy to slide inside your bag. 

And with the power of the new M2 chip, our benchmark results show that it not only flaunts breakneck processing speeds but also has enough graphics power for entry-level video editing. If high-performance power is a requirement, the MacBook Air is one of the very best ultrabook options. 

Apple has also given its design a refresh, with a sleeker design than its predecessor, and the inclusion of MagSafe charging connectors so your laptop won’t go flying off your desk if someone trips on the power cable. The screen is excellent too, and while it lacks the vibrancy of an OLED panel, still boasts a high 2560 x 1664 resolution and 500-nit brightness.

The only major drawback of this laptop is its price, with a base cost of $1199/£1249. But you can of course opt for the MacBook Air M1 instead, which has most of the same features and yet is available at a more affordable price. 

Reviewer: Max Parker
Full Review: Apple MacBook Air M2 (2022) Review

Microsoft Surface Laptop Go 2

The best 12-inch ultrabook
rating-star rating-star rating-star rating-star rating-star


  • Fantastic value for money
  • Extremely portable design
  • Smooth performance for basic tasks
  • Better battery life than the original


  • Low-resolution display
  • Lack of keyboard backlight
  • No fingerprint scanner on base configuration

The Microsoft Surface Laptop Go 2 is a tiny laptop, with a screen size of just 12 inches. This arguably makes it the most portable laptop on this best ultrabook list, even if it isn’t quite the lightest or thinnest. 

But the most appealing factor of the Surface Laptop Go 2 is its price, making it the most affordable laptop on this list by a considerable margin. With a similar price to a Chromebook, this is an excellent choice for both students and those on a budget. 

Why is this laptop so cheap? Well, our benchmark results show it’s the slowest laptop on this list (but still fine enough for productivity tasks) while the low screen resolution makes it a poor choice for those who like to watch the likes of Netflix and Disney Plus on their laptop.

But considering the low price and its superb portability prowess, the Surface Laptop Go 2 is still a fantastic option for those looking for one of the best ultrabooks laptops available. 

Reviewer: Ryan Jones
Full Review: Microsoft Surface Laptop Go 2 Review

Apple MacBook Air 15-inch

Best 15-inch ultrabook
rating-star rating-star rating-star rating-star rating-star


  • Thin and light with a huge screen
  • The M2 remains a powerful chip for everyday tasks
  • Not a huge price increase over the 13-inch model


  • Annoying port placement
  • Internal upgrades are expensive
  • M2 not a massive jump over M1

Apple is known for producing reliably solid laptops and the MacBook Air 15-inch is no exception. This is the first MacBook Air to offer such a large screen, at 15-inches. The LCD 2880×1864 display is a slight downgrade from some of the more premium Apple laptops – most notably the MacBook Pro (2023) – but it managed to reach 500 nits of brightness in our tests and was dependable during day-to-day tasks. 

This laptop can be found in two base configurations – both with the M2 chipset – from third-party sellers, however, buy directly from Apple and you can configure almost all of the parts. This gives the MacBook Air a lot of wiggle room when it comes to customisation, but it’s worth noting that the more premium upgrades – like 24GB of unified memory or 2TB of storage – can result in a large price hike. 

We found that 4K video editing in both Adobe’s Premiere Pro and Apple’s Final Cut Pro is achievable, with fast export times and smooth scrolling through timelines. This amount of power makes the MacBook Air more than capable of taking on productivity tasks as well as more intensive workloads. To put things into perspective, the only way we were able to slow down this machine was by plugging it into Apple’s 5K Studio Display, making it a very reliable option for content creatives. 

The MacBook Air can easily last a workday thanks to its impressive battery life; we didn’t need to reach for a charger at all during a typical nine-to-five workday, which involved several hours of Zoom calls as well as intermittent use of Photoshop and Lightroom. In the same vein as other recent MacBook models, the MacBook Air can be charged up via USB-C, with the choice between a 35W or 70W solution. 

Overall, if you’re looking for a large ultrabook that can handle almost anything you throw at it, the Apple MacBook Air 15-inch is a fantastic choice. It’s fast, well-designed and has an excellent battery life, making it a great alternative to the pricy MacBook Pro. 

Reviewer: Max Parker
Full Review: Apple MacBook Air 15-inch

Samsung Galaxy Book 3 360

Best flexible utrabook
rating-star rating-star rating-star rating-star rating-star


  • Strong productivity performance
  • Best-in-class Full HD AMOLED display
  • High-quality design
  • Great typing experience


  • Awkward keyboard and trackpad placement
  • Basic speakers

The Samsung Galaxy Book 3 360 unfortunately lives in the shadow of the flagship Galaxy Book 3 Pro and Galaxy 3 Book 3 Ultra models, and it really shouldn’t. Its supremely thin, metal design is very high-quality, with the larger 15-inch model coming in at a reasonable 1.46kg and 13.7mm thin, while the smaller 13.3-inch offers a 1.16kg weight with a thickness of just 12.9mm. 

Being a 360 model, this laptop can be flipped around and used as a makeshift tablet. Pop it up in the tent position and watch media content, or flip it around completely and use the bundled S Pen to doodle or browse the web. We found that the S Pen offered accurate writing and drawing, with a nigh-flawless absence of lag, making it a great option for those who want to switch between productivity work to creative tasks. 

If you are creative then you will be very pleased to know that the Galaxy Book 3 360 managed to score 100%, 96% and 100% in our sRGB, Adobe RGB and DCI-P3 tests, respectively, making it more than serviceable for colour-sensitive workloads. Samsung opted for a Full HD (1920×1080) resolution, but that is massively enhanced by the underlying AMOLED technology, which made media content look sharp and vibrant. 

That being said, the internals of the Galaxy Book 3 360 do limit it slightly, but you should still be able to delve into some light creative tasks. The inclusion of the Raptor Lake Intel Core i5 processor makes it a fantastic productivity pick, though, with our reviewer noting that it ate up these tasks with ease. It had no trouble getting up to 20 browser tabs alongside multitasking without any hiccups, meaning that you will have no trouble taking it into your school or workplace. 

If you’re after a lightweight, hybrid laptop that won’t break the bank then the Samsung Galaxy Book 3 360 is one of the best recommendations you can find. It offers almost everything you could ask for when it comes to productivity and can handle smaller creative tasks thanks to its colour-accurate screen, with all the benefits of a two-in-one design.

Reviewer: Adam Speight
Full Review: Samsung Galaxy Book 3 360

HP Dragonfly Pro Chromebook (2023)

Best Chrome OS ultrabook
rating-star rating-star rating-star rating-star rating-star


  • Excellent performance
  • Top quality build and great keyboard
  • Super bright display with capable touchscreen
  • Surprisingly good (and loud) speakers


  • Middling battery life
  • No headphone jack
  • Twice the price of other good Chromebooks

While Windows may be the default operating system that we all turn to, the HP Dragonfly Pro Chromebook (2023) is still a fantastic ultrabook that should not be passed over. It runs on Chrome OS and comes with the Intel Evo certification, meaning that it has passed a number of tests set by Intel and is deemed to be the cream of the crop of lightweight laptops. 

In our tests, we found that the 12th-gen Intel Core i5 processor was more than powerful enough for a Chromebook. Unless you’re planning to do some serious multitasking and take on AAA games at a high frame rate, the Dragonfly Pro Chromebook has you covered, putting it quite far beyond the Chromebook’s traditional remit. 

The 14-inch touchscreen housed on the Dragonfly Pro Chromebook is seriously bright, at 1200 nits. It also packs a Quad HD+ resolution (2560×1600) that makes for a crisp and vibrant media experience. The multi-touch capabilities of the display worked very well for zooming in on photos, scrolling through web content and even playing touchscreen games from the Google Play Store, giving it a lot of versatility. 

Another interesting feature of the Dragonfly Pro Chromebook is the inclusion of RGB backlighting. Even though it’s not inherently geared towards gamers, it’s the first “non-gaming” Chromebook to have an RGB keyboard, adding an extra layer of customisation. The keyboard is lined with a pair of Bang & Olufsen speakers on either side of the keys, which we found had a great level of separation. The sound was very detailed and nuanced with plenty of discernable bass, meaning that you shouldn’t have to splurge on any external audio devices. 

As far as high-end Chromebooks go, the HP Dragonfly Pro Chromebook ticks almost every box. The reliable performance, great display and excellent audio quality make it a solid choice for productivity workers and one of the best Chromebooks on the market. 

Reviewer: Chris Smith
Full Review: HP Dragonfly Pro Chromebook (2023)

HP Chromebook x2 11

Best budget ultrabook
rating-star rating-star rating-star rating-star rating-star


  • Good looks and build
  • Tactile keyboard
  • Excellent display
  • Solid productivity performance


  • Meagre port selection
  • Lower battery life than expected

Not everyone can afford to splash out on the most expensive productivity laptop, which is why we’ve made sure to include one of the best budget ultrabooks on the market right now; the HP Chromebook x2 11

At just £499, it comes with a two-in-one design, allowing it to be used as both a tablet and a laptop. The tablet portion of the Chromebook x2 11 felt very solid to use and the detachable keyboard and rear cover attach via magnets, allowing for a secure connection during use.

The keyboard itself offered solid travel and a decent level of tactility, unlike some more affordable Chromebooks that we have tried. The downside is that it has been squished down to fit into an eleven-inch tablet chassis, so it might be an adjustment for those currently using a larger laptop. Thankfully, the touchpad offered excellent real estate for your fingers and provided some tactile feedback, even if it did feel a little hollow on occasion. 

The 11-inch display comes with an impressive Quad HD (1440p) resolution and a quoted 400 nits of brightness. It managed to produce some excellent detail with generally vibrant images and solid colours while streaming video content. 

Inside of the Chromebook x2 11 is the Qualcomm Snapdragon 7c processor. This chip is a couple of years old but it provides enough power for day-to-day tasks that Chromebooks are designed for; the laptop didn’t falter with multiple tabs open or during our industry-standard benchmark tests. 

Overall, if you’re looking for something that can handle intensive graphical workloads then the Apple MacBook Air 15-inch may be the better option, but for simple productivity workers, this laptop will work a treat. The solid keyboard, vibrant display and reliable performance combine to make a very capable laptop that has an easy-to-digest price to boot. 

Reviewer: Reece Bithrey
Full Review: HP Chromebook x2 11

We also considered…

We’ve reviewed

See all reviews


What is an ultrabook?

Intel originally coined the word to represent lightweight Windows laptops with a speedy performance provided by Intel Core chips. But the term has since been adopted by the wider market to represent any productivity laptop that is light and slender. For this list, we’ve set our own criteria: every laptop needs to have a screen size 14 inches or smaller, weigh no more than 1.5kg and be thinner than 20mm when closed. Both MacBooks and Chromebooks can be included as long as they meet those criteria.

What is an ultrabook good for?

Ultrabooks are great for on-the-go work since they’re light and small enough to carry around in a compact bag. If you frequently take your laptop to work or university, you’ll want an ultrabook that doesn’t add unnecessary weight.

Can you game on an ultrabook?

Ultrabooks are usually not built for gaming, as dedicated GPUs generally weigh a lot. There are of course exceptions, such as the Asus ROG Flox X13, but you still not going to get a high-end gaming performance by opting for an ultrabook. You can still use cloud-streaming services such as GeForce Now, Google Stadia and Game Pass Ultimate though.

Specs compared

Screen Size
Storage Capacity
Front Camera
Battery Hours
Size (Dimensions)
Operating System
Release Date
First Reviewed Date
Refresh Rate
Audio (Power output)
Display Technology
Screen Technology
Touch Screen

Trusted Reviews test data

PCMark 10
Cinebench R23 multi core
Cinebench R23 single core
Geekbench 5 single core
Geekbench 5 multi core
Geekbench 6 single core
Geekbench 6 multi core
3DMark Time Spy
CrystalDiskMark Read speed
CrystalDiskMark Write Speed
Brightness (SDR)
Black level
Contrast ratio
White Visual Colour Temperature
Adobe RGB
PCMark Battery (office)
Battery Life
Battery recharge time

Why trust our journalism?

Founded in 2003, Trusted Reviews exists to give our readers thorough, unbiased and independent advice on what to buy.

Today, we have millions of users a month from around the world, and assess more than 1,000 products a year.

author icon

Editorial independence

Editorial independence means being able to give an unbiased verdict about a product or company, with the avoidance of conflicts of interest. To ensure this is possible, every member of the editorial staff follows a clear code of conduct.

author icon

Professional conduct

We also expect our journalists to follow clear ethical standards in their work. Our staff members must strive for honesty and accuracy in everything they do. We follow the IPSO Editors’ code of practice to underpin these standards.

Trusted Reviews Logo

Sign up to our newsletter

Get the best of Trusted Reviews delivered right to your inbox.

This is a test error message with some extra words