We did not test any new notebooks in late 2019 with eighth-generation chips. When these chips are perfectly fine for most people’s requirements and we continue to urge laptops together, they are being replaced by newer versions with 10th-generation processors. We also eliminated some notebooks which were too large or heavy to compete with our selections.
The Dell XPS 13 (9380) is the former version of our top pick, and it is almost identical except for the older, eighth-generation chip, and it had slightly shorter battery life in our tests. It’s a fantastic option if you discover it on sale for less than the 7390 version we now advocate, but for the same price there is no reason to purchase the old version anymore.
However, the XPS 13 2-in-1 is generally more expensive, it had around two hours battery life in our tests, and its maglev keyboard is disagreeable to type on.
The Lenovo Yoga C930 is the former version of our convertible selection, the Yoga C940. It is a good laptop if you discover a persuasive sale, but we urge the newer C940 version since it’s a little lighter and more compact, it’s smaller bezels and a slightly bigger screen, and it’s longer battery life.
The Razer Blade Stealth 13 begins at $1,500 with 10th-generation chips, and compared with the XPS 13 it is bigger and heavier, and it lasted around four hours in our battery life test. It’s an exceptional laptop with a fun RGB keyboard and a responsive trackpad, but most people should not pay over the XPS 13 for this.
Additionally, it has a dim screen and comes packaged with bloatware.
We analyzed the Microsoft Surface Notebook two before in 2019, but we did not like its cloth palm rest or absence of USB-C and Thunderbolt 3 vents. The Surface Notebook 3 fixed both of these issues and has newer chips and improved battery life.
The keyboard and trackpad on the 13.3-inch LG Gram were somewhat shallower than we’d have liked, and this ultrabook does not support Thunderbolt 3. Because it’s eighth-generation chips and costs around $1,200, we do not recommend it over our selections.
The Asus ZenBook 13 UX331UA was our past budget choice, but its battery life lasted almost three hours less than that of the UX333FA, and its keyboard felt mushier than we would have liked. As soon as I hit the spacebar on its rightmost centimeter–under the M key–it often did not register the inputsignal, causing me to stringabunchofwordstogether. We exchanged this ZenBook 13 to get a replacement that didn’t have the identical issue, but a staffer’s relative received one with a faulty spacebar–and we have read Amazon reviews to the identical effect.
At 12.9 by 9.3 by 0.4 inches, the Acer Swift 7 is truly thin–it is the thinnest laptop we’ve analyzed by 0.1 inch. Sad to say, the Swift 7 was not comfortable to use, and because of its lack of depth it did not feel very sturdy when we used it. This notebook also has a very broad trackpad that we did not like up to the Dell XPS 13’s. Additionally, it offers just two Thunderbolt 3 interfaces, and it costs around $1,700.
Though it had a sturdy build, its secrets felt a little mushy to us, and its trackpad sometimes got stuck. We definitely suggest purchasing the ZenBook 13 UX333FA within the ZenBook 14.
Even though the LG Gram 13 Z990 lasted almost as long as the Asus ZenBook 13 UX333FA in our battery life tests, its display was flimsy and its trackpad was undependable, doing a poor job of monitoring our finger movements and reacting to them.
Oh, HP Envy 13tWe thought you were going to be an excellent budget option. This notebook’s edge-to-edge keyboard was comfortable and appealing, its trackpad was true, and it offered many different ports. But its battery life once we tested it in ancient 2019 was subpar–surviving for only 6 hours 19 minutes, the battery lasted hours less than its competitors. We’re rooting for you, Envy 13t. We’re all rooting for you.
The Folio 13’s case is made from leather as opposed to aluminum; this leather looks appealing once the notebook is closed but clashes with the notebook’s metal frame and keyboard. We don’t believe the leather will age well, either; you will need to use the notebook carefully to make sure it doesn’t pick up any weird smells or sustain any dings or rips as you transfer it between places. Its battery life was fair in our ancient 2019 evaluation, lasting for just 6 hours 2 minutes, and it’s just two Thunderbolt 3 ports and one USB 3.0 port.