The lightest laptops in 2018

Need a portable computer? These are the 5 lightest laptops you can buy

Every manufacturer likes to make ambitious claims about how light or thin its laptops are — they do, after all, have to compete with iPads and 2-in-1s. Because of that, designers and engineers do everything they can to lighten the load and make their laptops more portable. That often comes with its own set of compromises, whether it’s in the cooling system or in the sturdiness of the build.

But setting all that side, which laptops are actually the lightest of them all? Let’s take a look at the five lightest laptops on the market that really push the limit when it comes to shedding the pounds.

The lightest

Samsung Notebook 9

Samsung Notebook 9 screen
Bill Roberson/Digital Trends

Bill Roberson/Digital Trends

Although lacking the big focus on the stylus like its range companion, the Notebook 9 Pen, the Samsung Notebook 9 is an extremely lightweight and portable laptop. Weighing in at just 1.8 pounds, its powerful Core i7-7500U CPU, 16GB of RAM, and 256GB of solid-state storage mean it’s no slouch in the performance department either.

Its battery isn’t the best out there, so portability isn’t as great as some of the slightly heftier laptops out there if you’re looking for all day operation, but when it comes to saving your back as you lug around a laptop, the Notebook 9 is hard to beat. It also has a great selection of ports, so it’s incredibly functional considering its small size. Its display quality is excellent too.

Amazon Newegg

The rest

Apple 12-inch MacBook

The 12-inch MacBook updates the standard MacBook with a new screen and more storage, but the weight manages to stay extra-low, bringing this MacBook into the lists of the second lightest at 2.03 pounds (and before you ask: Yes the MacBook Air is actually heavier, names aside).

If you already have a Mac, you know what to expect here. There’s a choice between 1.1GHz and 1.2GHz Intel Core M processors, 8GB of RAM, and storage options ranging from 256GB of onboard flash storage to 512GB. It has just a single Thunderbolt 3 port, and its battery can last for around nine hours of web-surfing.

Of course, MacBooks aren’t exactly known for being cheap: This is one of the most expensive computers on our list, with prices starting at $1,300 and rising to $1,600 for the more advanced models.

Amazon Apple Store

LG Gram

LG Gram 15Z980 review
Bill Roberson/Digital Trends

Bill Roberson/Digital Trends

The LG Gram 15Z980 we reviewed weighs just 2.42 pounds despite its 15-inch form-factor, which makes it an exceptionally light for its size. The 13.3-inch version trims the fat even more, getting down to a slimline 2.13 pounds.

While the screen’s 1080p resolution doesn’t match the XPS 13, MacBook and others, it’s still reasonably sharp. Battery life is good, with most else only getting a passing grade. It doesn’t excel in any area, though it’s still the lightest 15-inch laptop you’ll find out there.

LG

Asus ZenBook 3 Deluxe

asus zenbook 3 deluxe ux490ua xs74 bl ux490u hero1
Bill Roberson/Digital Trends

Bill Roberson/Digital Trends

The Asus ZenBook 3 Deluxe is one of the lightest 14-inch laptops in the world at just 2.4 pounds, and yet it comes with an impressive array of hardware inside its stylish chassis. Along with its 14-inch, 1080P display, it has an eighth-generation Core i7 CPU, up to 16GB of RAM, and in our review unit, 512GB of solid-state storage too.

With a price tag of $1,700 it’s not the cheapest of laptops out there, but when it comes to powerful portability, it’s very capable. It’s a little lacking in terms of ports, though it does ship with a multi-port adaptor to make it more compatible than some of its comparably-streamlined contemporaries.

Amazon Newegg

HP Spectre 13

HP Spectre 13 2017 Review
Mark Coppock/Digital Trends

Mark Coppock/Digital Trends

As a laptop that has even threatened to steal away our hearts from the Dell XPS 13, the HP Spectre 13 is a fantastic laptop for a variety of reasons, but one of its best assets is its trim physique. Although there are smaller laptops out there in the 13-inch form factor, few are lighter. At just 2.45 pounds, it’s supremely portable and with solid eighth-generation Intel hardware under the hood and options for a 4K display, it has great performance too.

It has lost a little rigidity in its frame due to weight cuts, but it does sport a roughly 10-hour battery life during extended media viewing, which is enough to get anyone through a work day or a relatively long-haul flight.

Newegg

Special mention

Microsoft Surface Pro ($800)

Microsoft Surface Pro (2017)
Mark Coppock/Digital Trends

The Surface Pro isn’t technically a laptop – they’re hybrid tablets, but they’re functional as laptops. But if true lightness is what you’re looking for, it’s at least worthy of a mention. Hybrid tablets don’t meet all the qualifications of lightest laptops, and if we were to count them in this list it would be nothing but Surfaces and iPad Pros.

But hybrids still need to be mentioned: If you are really short on space and need a relatively simple machine that’s effortless to tote around, a hybrid is probably your best bet, and the new Surface Pro is one of the best. At 1.69 pounds at its lightest, it has a 12-inch screen with a 2,736 x 1,824 resolution, Windows 10, and a choice of processors up to an Intel i7 with up to 16GB of RAM. With a starting price of $800, it’s far from expensive either. The Surface Go is even smaller and lighter, weighing in at just 1.1 pounds.

Amazon

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