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, the sturdiness of the build, or how much battery capacity is packed away inside.
But setting all that aside, which laptops are actually the lightest of them all? We utilized our extensive review experience — you learn a lot as a team when you review over 400 laptops — and isolated the Acer Swift 7 as the lightest laptop you’ll find on the market today. It doesn’t stand alone, though, and so we added in five other featherweight laptops that push the limit when it comes to shedding the pounds.
The lightest laptop you can buy: Acer Swift 7
The Acer Swift 7 isn’t the fastest laptop you can buy — it uses an 8th-gen Y-series low-power CPU whose entire purpose is to reduce heat and save on battery life. And the Swift 7 makes some compromises to be very thin and light, like packing in only 32 watt-hours of battery capacity and using very lightweight materials that are a bit too flexible.
But what it does right is keep the weight down. Fully configured with a Core i7-8500Y, 16GB of RAM, a 512GB PCIe solid-state drive (SSD), and a 14-inch touch display, the Swift 7 only weight 1.96 pounds. And, it’s just 0.39 inches thick, making it the thinnest touchscreen laptop as well.
The LG Gram 15 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.
Samsung Notebook 9
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. The latest version isn’t quite as light as the previous — that one tipped the scales at just 1.8 pounds — it’s just 2.2 pounds complete with an 8th-gen Core i5-8250U, 8GB of RAM, and 256GB PCIe SSD.
Some of the extra weight comes from a nice compliment of 75 watt-hours of battery capacity, so it’s more likely to last you a full working day. It also has a great selection of ports, so it’s incredibly functional considering its small size. Its display quality is excellent too.
Acer Swift 5
Acer’s Swift 7 isn’t the only very light laptop in its lineup. The Swift 5 also went on a diet, coming in at just 2.2 pounds — and that’s with a 15.6-inch Full HD display. The components inside our review unit were just fine for productivity performance, including a Core i5-8265U, 8GB of RAM, and a 256GB PCIe SSD.
Once again, it’s the materials used that contribute to the low weight, including a magnesium-lithium alloy used in the chassis that keeps the laptop light but also give a bit under pressure. There are 54 watt-hours of battery inside, which make this very close to an all-day workhorse. And you won’t pay too much for the privilege, at $1,000 as configured.
Asus ZenBook 3 Deluxe
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.
Its price has fallen significantly since it was first introduced, and so it’s even a bit of a bargain. 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.
Special mention: Microsoft Surface Pro 6 ($700)
The Surface Pro 6 isn’t technically a laptop – it’s a hybrid tablet, but it’s just as functional as a laptop. 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 1.70 pounds at its lightest (or 2.4 pounds with the Type Cover included), 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.
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