Choosing the best laptop can be difficult these days. With companies like Dell, HP, Acer, and Asus continually launching updates of popular notebooks and expansions of product lines, weâ€™re all but swimming in options right now.
Summer has pushed even more convertibles, 2-in-1s, and traditional notebooks onto store shelves. The most interesting ones poke holes in existing assumptions about certain categories. Microsoftâ€™sÂ Surface Laptop, for example, is an attempt to revive the companyâ€™s battle with Chromebooks, whileÂ Dellâ€™s Inspiron 15 7000 Gamingâ€”our â€śBest budget gaming laptopâ€ť pickâ€”offers 1080p gaming for just $850. Vendors also are serious about squeezing AMDâ€™s new CPUs into their lineups, with Asus recently debutingÂ the first Ryzen laptopÂ at Computex.
Given the number of choices out there, weâ€™re hard at work evaluating more laptops. For our latest update, weâ€™ve added â€śBest MacBookâ€ť as a category, in order to better help you compare the full range of laptops available.
Dell might be sticking to the adage of â€śIf it ainâ€™t broke, donâ€™t fix itâ€ť when it comes to the XPS 13, but that strategy keeps producing the best ultrabook of the bunch. TheÂ Kaby Lake XPS 13Â shares the same design as its predecessors: a quality aluminium exterior and carbon-fiber top, and that wonderfully compact, bezel-free 13-inch screen.
Dell actually released two updates to the XPS 13 in 2016: The one at the start of the year swapped in a Skylake CPU, added a USB Type-C port that served as an alternative charging port, and offered upgraded storage options. The most recent refreshâ€”and our new pick for Best Ultrabookâ€”keeps the same chassis changes as the Skylake XPS 13, features a jump to Intelâ€™s new Kaby Lake processor, and sports a slightly larger battery. You get improved performance across the board, with a nice bump of an extra half-hour of battery life during video playback.
Our only lingering complaint is the small keyboard, but overall, you canâ€™t lose with the newest XPS 13. Itâ€™s a truly compact ultrabook that punches out of its class.