The best lightweight laptops you can buy

The best lightweight laptops you can buy

We rounded up some of the best and lightest laptops you can find from Apple, Samsung, HP, and even smartphone maker Huawei. The heaviest in our batch weighs a mere 2.45 pounds, and that’s feather-light compared to a gaming laptop from Alienware that could weigh a hefty 11 pounds. Of course, these lightweight laptops aren’t built for gaming, so they rely on hardware that produces minimal heat. 

For our list, we chose what we consider as the best you can purchase right now, along with three other solutions that should work just fine for any mobile computing need. The list includes two Windows 10 PCs, a MacBook, and a Chromebook to spread the love across three operating systems. 

The Best

Huawei MateBook X

Huawei Matebook X on a table front view

China-based Huawei is mostly known for its smartphones, but the company took a stab at the Windows laptop market in 2016 with the introduction of its very first MateBook. Nearly two years later, we now have the MateBook X weighing in at a mere 2.31 pounds and a thickness of 0.49 inches, making it a very portable laptop solution. That thin-and-light form factor plays host to a 13-inch screen based on IPS panel technology supporting 100 percent of the sRGB color space, a brightness of 350 nits, and a resolution of 2,160 x 1,440.

As the highlights show, it’s powered by a seventh-generation Intel Core processor and integrated graphics. These CPUs are complemented by up to 8GB of system memory, up to 512GB of storage, and a 41.4WHr battery. There are only two ports on this notebook, both of which are USB-C 3.1 Gen1 capable of file transfers of up to 5Gbps, thus you won’t find an Ethernet port for wired networking. Connectivity consists of Wireless AC (up to 867Mbps), Bluetooth 4.1, and the use of an Ethernet adapter via one of the USB-C ports.

As for other bells and whistles, the laptop provides two speakers backed by Dolby Atmos. There are a handful of sensors too including one for ambient light, and one for accessing Windows 10 via Windows Hello using just a fingerprint. Huawei sells this laptop in Space Grey, Prestige Gold, and Rose Gold to compete with Apple’s line of MacBooks. The company sells a “Signature Edition” model too, that includes the MateDock 2 for expanding the laptop’s connectivity with two USB ports, and two video ports.

You can read our full review here.

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The Rest

Apple MacBook

Apple MacBook-review-lid

If you look closely at the highlights, they’re similar to what you’ll find on Huawei’s MateBook X, at least in memory and storage. Both models rely on seventh-generation Intel processors, but Apple’s 12-inch MacBook is smaller in size and weight, sporting a 12-inch screen, a thickness of 0.52 inches, and a weight of a mere 2.03 pounds. Yet the similarities continue in color options, as the MacBook is also served up in Space Grey and Rose Gold colors along with standard Gold and Silver options.

The 12-inch screen is based on IPS technology Apple brands as “Retina,” promising deep colors and wide viewing angles. This screen provides a 2,304 x 1,440 resolution powered by Intel’s integrated graphics, and a 41.4WHr battery. Video output is handled by the MacBook’s single USB-C port, so you’ll need an adapter to add an external display. Two speakers complement the screen along with a headphone jack if you want to listen to content up close and in private.

As for other notable features, Apple’s MacBook includes Wireless AC and Bluetooth 4.2 connectivity, and a 480p camera optimized for FaceTime. The starting price depends on the configuration, with the $1,299 price consisting of the Core m3 processor, 8GB of system memory, and 256GB of storage. The $1,599 starting point begins with the Core i5 processor, but both configurations support the Core i7 chip and up to 16GB of memory. Unfortunately, the 512GB storage option is only available for the second, more expensive model.

You can read our full review here.

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HP Spectre 13

HP Spectre 13 2017 Review

This laptop is the heaviest on our list, but it’s definitely not even close to carrying a sack of potatoes. With a weight of 2.45 pounds, a thickness of just 0.41 inches, and a width of 11.06 inches, the HP Spectre 13 should be a joy to carry, whether you’re working on an airplane, or carrying it to your next class. The 12.3-inch screen is backed by an IPS panel providing a touch-enabled 2,400 x 1,600 resolution at a maximum brightness of 400 nits.

HP’s laptop is the only model in our group that relies on eighth-generation Intel Core processors: the i5-8250U and the i7-8550U. You can configure the laptop with either chip along with 8GB or 16GB of system memory, and up to 1TB of storage on a stick-shaped PCI Express-based NVMe M.2 SSD. The color options are Ash Silver and Ceramic White that complement the overall slim and light form factor.

Despite the laptop’s “thinness,” HP managed to cram in two Thunderbolt 3 ports, one USB-C 3.1 Gen1 port, and a headphone/microphone combo jack for a more robust connectivity portfolio than the two laptops previously listed in our roundup. Also packed inside is Wireless AC and Bluetooth 4.2 connectivity, a TrueVision IR camera supporting facial recognition in Windows Hello, two Bang & Olufsen speakers, and a 43.7WHr battery.

You can read our full review here.

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Samsung Chromebook Pro

Samsung Chromebook Pro review

Finally, we can’t have a laptop list without a solution based on Google’s Chrome OS platform. It’s the second-heaviest in our batch, but sports the lightest price of just $599. There’s nothing to configure either: what you see is what you get, including a sixth-generation Intel processor, 4GB of system memory, an a mere 32GB of storage. Given the web-based roots of Google’s operating system, the laptop doesn’t require tons of storage like Windows-based units. But the Chromebook supports Android apps served up on Google Play, and that’s where the Micro SD card slot comes in to ease your storage woes.

The Samsung Chromebook Pro features a 12.3-inch screen based on an IPS panel supporting a maximum brightness of 400 nits, a resolution of 2,400 x 1,600, and touch input. This screen is powered by a 39WHr battery, and Intel’s integrated HD Graphics 515 component built into the Core m3-6Y30 chip. Complementing the screen are two 1.5-watt speakers, a microphone/headphone combo jack, and two USB-C 3.1 Gen1 ports that you can use for video output. A 720p camera resides at the top of the screen, too.

Finally, this Chromebook provides Wireless AC connectivity supporting speeds of up to 867Mbps, and Bluetooth 4.1. It also includes a pen that slides directly into the laptop’s chassis, and a 360-degree hinge enabling you to convert the Chromebook into Tablet, Tent, Stand, and classic Clamshell form factors. Tablet mode presumably turns off the keyboard so you can sketch, edit photos, and more using the included pen or your finger.

You can read our full review here.

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via Digital Trends

January 21, 2018 at 09:58PM

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