Ultimate Guide to Choosing the Perfect Ultraportable Laptop in 2023

Laptops have continually evolved to become thinner, lighter, and more power-efficient over the years. These demands have led to the creation of ultraportable laptops, which represent the pinnacle of cutting-edge laptop design.

Ultraportable laptops are typically defined by their weight, screen size, and battery life. They usually weigh three pounds or less, have screens that are 14 inches or smaller, and provide enough battery life to last through a workday without needing to be plugged in. These laptops are known for their speed, making them excellent for travel, and they offer a range of features and display resolutions to suit various needs. Over the years, you might have heard them referred to as “ultrabooks” or “streambooks,” but these terms were mainly branding efforts for the same basic concept of an extremely lightweight laptop.

When it comes to ultraportable laptops, the design principles remain consistent: they should be thin, lightweight, and have a long-lasting battery. Below are our top picks for ultraportable laptops in 2023, along with some buying advice. Experts at PC Mag performed tests on several lightweight laptops and have come up with the top portable laptops to buy in 2023. Let’s discuss these laptops below together with their pros and cons.

HP Pavilion Plus 14 (Ultraportable Laptop) HP Pavilion Plus 14

The top choice for consumer ultraportable laptops in 2023 is the HP Pavilion Plus 14. It offers a sleek design, impressive performance, an optional 90Hz OLED display, up to 1TB of storage, and the option for a powerful Core i7 H-Series CPU—all at a reasonable price. Even the base model, priced at under $800, provides excellent value. We were impressed with the laptop’s build quality, a wide range of ports, and a high-quality 5-megapixel webcam. While the Pavilion Plus may have a few minor drawbacks, it stands out as a great choice for a well-designed and feature-rich ultraportable laptop.

Who is this Ultraportable Laptop Suitable For?

The HP Pavilion Plus 14 is an excellent choice for those seeking a fast, lightweight, and hassle-free ultraportable laptop. It’s suitable for students, professionals needing a lightweight daily-use laptop, or travelers looking for a durable and lightweight option. This slim and reliable laptop is a top contender in its class.

Pros of HP Pavilion Plus 14

  • Impressive 2.8K OLED display considering the price.
  • Thin and lightweight (although not the lightest on the list).
  • It has a good variety of ports and a 5-megapixel webcam.

Cons of HP Pavilion Plus 14

  • Battery Life not too good (Under 10hrs).
  • Lack of Privacy Shutter for Webcam.
  • Lacks Thunderbolt 4 ports.

Microsoft Surface Laptop Go 2 Microsoft Surface Laptop Go 2

The Microsoft Surface Laptop Go 2 is a budget-friendly ultraportable that offers a premium experience. It has a stylish design and starts at a price below $600. The laptop features a slightly smaller 12.4-inch screen with a 3:2 aspect ratio. It is built with an aluminum frame and is available in various colors. The device offers decent performance thanks to its 11th Generation Intel Core i5 processor and comes with an above-average webcam. Additionally, you can upgrade the SSD for more storage if needed.

Who is it Suitable For?

The Microsoft Surface Laptop Go 2 is an excellent choice if you’re on a budget but still want a reliable ultraportable laptop. It offers the perfect balance between portability and battery life, making it suitable for work, leisure, and travel. Despite its affordability, this laptop boasts a high-quality build and features that outshine many others in its price range. Weighing in at just 2.48 pounds, it’s incredibly lightweight and won’t weigh you down in your briefcase or bag.

Pros of the Microsoft Surface Laptop G02

  • Better performance due to upgraded CPU.
  • Modern, stylish and colorful design.
  • Built quality is strong with comfortable keyboard.
  • You can swap SSD and Chassis parts to prolong lifespan.
  • Good price.

Cons of the Microsoft Surface Laptop Go2

  • Lacks standard resolution which is less than 1080p.
  • Webcam upgraded but still lags behind other competitors.

HP Spectre x360 13.5 (2022) HP Spectre X360

The HP Spectre x360 is the epitome of a premium 2-in-1 ultraportable laptop. With a stunning 13.5-inch OLED touch screen boasting a 3:2 aspect ratio, a lightweight and robust design, and exceptional battery life of over 15 hours, it stands out as the best in its class. This device delivers top-tier performance and comes packed with high-quality features, including a 5-megapixel webcam and Bang & Olufsen speakers. It even includes a convenient magnetic pen attachment for easy carrying. For those seeking an ultraportable laptop that seamlessly transforms into a tablet, it’s the Editors’ Choice pick.

Who is this Suitable For?

The HP Spectre x360 13.5 is a standout 2-in-1 convertible laptop that combines the sleek design and lightweight build of the best ultraportables available today. It offers exceptional performance and impressive battery life, making it ideal for on-the-go use or for enjoying extended periods of work or entertainment without needing to constantly charge it. Featuring a taller 3:2 aspect ratio display and a convenient stylus, the Spectre x360 is a premium 2-in-1 ultraportable that offers great value for its price.

Pros of the HP Spectr X360 13.5 (2022)

  • High quality 3:2 aspect ratio touch screen OLED display.
  • Durable, reliable and elegant design.
  • Excellent performance and good battery life.

Cons of the HP Spectre X360 13.5 (2022)

  • Even though it comes with a mini dock, it lacks a physical HDMI port.
  • It lacks LTE Mobile Broadband.

Acer Swift Go 14 Acer Swift

The Acer Swift Go 14 is an impressive laptop, weighing only 2.9 pounds and featuring a remarkable 16:10 aspect ratio OLED display and a high-quality 1440p webcam. It also comes equipped with a 13th Gen Intel Core i7 processor and 16GB of memory, providing excellent performance for productivity tasks. Despite some minor issues with the keyboard, the Swift Go is a great ultraportable laptop, especially for college and university students, with a starting price under $800.

Who is This Suitable For?

For students who need a powerful yet affordable ultraportable laptop, the Acer Swift Go 14 is an excellent option. It offers fast performance, a high-quality display, and a variety of useful ports. Whether you’re in a lecture hall or your dorm room, this laptop is a great choice that won’t weigh you down as you move around campus.

Pros of the Acer Swift Go 14

  • Great price-to-performance
  • Excellent display
  • Good input and output options despite being lightweight.

Cons of the Acer Swift Go 14

  • Keyboard not much comfortable.
  • Quite thicker than other competing brands.

Apple MacBook Air (2022, M2) Apple MacBook Air 2022

The Apple MacBook Air is an iconic and incredibly slim laptop that offers great value for most users. It features the powerful M2 chip, a sleek design, and a larger, more vibrant display while maintaining its slim profile. This MacBook Air is a significant update and the top choice for Mac users who want a portable and high-performing laptop.

Who is it Suitable For?

The 13-inch MacBook Air may not be the most powerful Mac laptop, but it offers excellent performance for everyday tasks like remote work or school projects. It strikes a balance between power and price, making it a great choice for macOS enthusiasts. If you’re looking for a budget-friendly option, the older M1-powered Air is still available, but this updated model is the preferred choice for macOS users.

Pros of the MacBook Air (2022 M2)

  • Beautiful Slim Design
  • Bigger and brighter 13.6-inch display.
  • More colors to choose from.
  • Excellent M2 performance.

Cons of the MacBook Air (2022 M2)

  • Shorter battery life than its predecessor.
  • Camera notch interferes with the display.
  • Thunderbolt connectors are limited to only 2 ports.

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon Gen 11 (2023) Lenovo ThinkPad X1

Lenovo’s flagship business ultraportable, the ThinkPad X1 Carbon Gen 11, is impressively lightweight without compromising on performance or connectivity. It’s constructed using carbon fiber, magnesium, and aluminum, weighing just 2.48 pounds, even lighter than some laptops with smaller screens. Business professionals can enjoy a wealth of ports, nearly 13 hours of battery life, and a 16:10 display with exceptional quality. Plus, it boasts the top-notch keyboard that ThinkPads are known for. If you’re in search of the best business ultraportable, this is the one to consider.

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Who is this Suitable For?

The ThinkPad X1 Carbon Gen 11, while pricey for individual consumers, stands out as not only our top choice for ultraportable laptops but also the best business laptop overall. It provides speedy performance, long-lasting battery life, and an impressive array of six ports, surpassing competitors with two or three ports. Unless you require high-performance computing for intensive workstation tasks, it could be considered the best laptop available, particularly for Windows users in search of an ultraportable.

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Pros of the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon Gen1 (2023)

  • Good performance and longer battery life.
  • Great keyboard
  • Slim and lighter weight with more ports.
  • Vibrant 16:10 aspect ratio.

Cons of the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon Gen1

  • Lacks SD card slot.
  • More expensive.
  • Lacks 4K screen option.

HP Dragonfly G4 (Ultraportable Laptops to Buy in 2023)

Ultraportable Laptops 2023

The Dragonfly G4 by HP is a strong contender in the ultraportable laptop category, trailing closely behind the ThinkPad in terms of performance. It boasts a sleek and lightweight design, weighing just 2.2 pounds, along with an impressive 20-hour battery life. HP has equipped it with a high-quality 3:2 aspect ratio display, a comprehensive selection of ports, a top-notch 5-megapixel webcam, and an optional mobile broadband radio. These features make it a robust choice for business use, whether you’re working from home, in the office, or traveling for business purposes. The Dragonfly G4 stands as a top-tier business ultraportable, offering some of the finest features and specifications within its category.

Who is this Laptop Suitable For?

Designed specifically for business users, the HP Dragonfly G4 is an ultraportable laptop that offers the right combination of features and performance for professional needs. It serves as an excellent alternative for most business professionals. With an impressive battery life that can handle cross-country flights and more, a wide range of connectivity options, a display optimized for documents, and a lightweight build, this laptop is an intelligent choice for professionals who frequently travel for work.


  • Beautiful 3:2 aspect ratio display.
  • Long battery life.
  • Comes with more ports and LTE Mobile Broadband.
  • Sleep and very light in weight.
  • 5-megadpixels camera.

Cons of HP Dragonfly

  • Lack of SD card slot.
  • Expensive
  • Keyboard not comfortable and premium

Asus ZenBook 14X OLED (UX3404) (Ultraportable Laptops to Buy in 2023)

Asus Zenbook 14x

The Asus ZenBook 14X OLED (UX3404) is an exceptional OLED ultraportable laptop. It combines a brilliant OLED screen with a 13th Gen Intel Core i9 processor and even includes an entry-level discrete GPU, all packed into its slim 0.66-inch-thick design. This laptop offers a perfect blend of portability and performance. The powerful Intel Core i9 processor and Nvidia RTX 3050 GPU make it suitable for creative professionals. However, the real standout feature is the 120Hz OLED display, which delivers stunning visuals with its 2,880-by-1,800-pixel resolution. With a wide range of ports, a battery that lasts around 12 hours, and various affordable configurations to choose from, the Asus Zenbook 14X OLED is our top pick for an OLED-screen ultraportable laptop.

Who is this Laptop Suitable For?

The Asus Zenbook 14X OLED (UX3404) is an excellent choice for creative professionals and anyone seeking both power and a stunning OLED display. Its impressive processor and GPU, combined with the exceptional panel, make it an ideal ultraportable for tasks like video editing, graphic design, and other visual creative work.

Pros of Asus Zenbook 14X

  • Reasonable starting price.
  • Excellent CPU and GPU performance.
  • Slim design with compact finish.
  • 120Hz touch screen OLED display.
  • Longer battery life.
  • More ports selection.

Cons of the Asus ZenBook 14x

GPU has limited power (RTX-3050).

LG Gram Pro 17 (2023) (Ultraportable Laptops to Buy in 2023)

Ultraportable Laptops 2023

The LG Gram Pro 17 is the top choice for those seeking a large-screen ultraportable. It features a spacious 17-inch display with a 16:10 aspect ratio, impressive performance, and a long-lasting battery. Despite being slightly heavier than its predecessor due to the inclusion of an Nvidia GeForce RTX 3050 GPU, it remains highly portable at just 3.2 pounds. While it may feel a bit flimsy and come with a premium price tag, it offers a compelling combination of lightweight design and a sizable display for tasks like gaming and content creation.

Who is this Suitable For?

If you’re in search of a laptop that combines the portability of an ultraportable with the larger display of a desktop-replacement laptop, the LG Gram Pro 17 is the ideal choice. It offers a spacious screen without significantly increasing the weight and includes a gaming-class GPU for enhanced performance, all within a convenient and lightweight design.

Pros of the LG Gram Pro 17

  • 17-inch yet very light.
  • 16:10 display with variable refresh rate.
  • Long battery life.
  • Suitable for gaming due to its GeForce GPU.

Cons of the LG Gram Pro 17

  • Odd-looking top-row keyboard.
  • Bad audio quality.
  • Built quality only relies on flexibility.

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Nano Gen 2 (2022) (Ultraportable Laptops to Buy in 2023)

Ultraportable Laptops 2023

Lenovo’s ThinkPad X1 Nano Gen 2 stands out on this list of ultraportable favorites because it’s the lightest, weighing just 2.13 pounds. Despite its incredibly light design, it doesn’t compromise on build quality and offers an excellent keyboard, a bright display with a resolution better than 1080p, and the option for 4G LTE or 5G mobile broadband connectivity. While its performance and battery life are decent, and it has a somewhat limited selection of ports, if you’re seeking an exceptionally lightweight laptop with a solid build, great keyboard, and impressive display, the Nano is the lightest option available.

Who Needs it?

If you’re in need of an ultraportable laptop that won’t burden you during business trips or when moving around campus, we highly recommend Lenovo’s ThinkPad X1 Nano Gen 2. It’s the lightest ThinkPad available and offers excellent portability. It allows you to stay productive without the added weight, although it does come with a few sacrifices, such as limited ports and somewhat reduced battery life. This laptop is an ideal choice when every ounce matters.

Pros of Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Nano Gen 2

  • Light weight with strong build quality
  • Bright and colorful 2k display.
  • World class keyboard.
  • 4G and 5G available.


  • System performance and battery performance not too good.
  • Some ports not available.

Lenovo Flex 3 Chromebook (Ultraportable Laptops to Buy in 2023)

Ultraportable laptops 2023

Our favorite ultraportable Chromebook is also a budget leader: the affordable Lenovo Flex 3 Chromebook. This 12-inch laptop is compact and lightweight, with a convertible design that works as both laptop and tablet. The port selection is above average, and the performance is fast enough for Chrome’s browser-centric approach. Longer battery life would be nice, but this Chromebook will still get you through the day, making it ideal for casual users who want something that’s easy to bring along and quick at web browsing and running apps.

Who is this Laptop Suitable for?

If you’re looking for an affordable ultraportable option, the Lenovo Flex 3 Chromebook is a wise decision. Whether you’re using it for note-taking, streaming movies, or taking advantage of the various online tools and apps available through ChromeOS, the Lenovo Flex 3 Chromebook offers excellent value for its price.

Pros of the Lenovo Flex 3 Chromebook

  • 12.2-inch responsive display.
  • Affordable price
  • Portable and lightweight.
  • More ports available.
  • 2-in-1 design


  • Intel N100 Processor lacks top performance.
  • 64GB eMMC limited storage.
  • Battery life not satisfactory.
  • Cheap plastic finish.

Conclusion (Ultraportable Laptops to Buy in 2023)

As you can see, all the laptops we have discussed above have their own strengths and weaknesses. However, there is one thing similar amongst all of them, which is weight. Even though the main focus here is about portability, people may still have their own preferences. While some may prefer a more performing portable laptop, others may go for design quality or affordability. Irrespective of where you stand, you should still get your choice here.

Disclaimer: We may be compensated by some of the companies whose products we talk about, but our articles and reviews are always our honest opinions. For more details, you can check out our editorial guidelines and learn about how we use affiliate links.

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