The best 13-inch laptops are among the most portable laptops you can get. Surprisingly, they’re also very capable machines, able to keep up with a lot of their larger counterparts. Somehow, they manage to pack a lot of power into a very slim portable. That makes them ideal for anyone wanting something that can handle a workload and can be easily used on the go, whether that’s professionals who need a little more power or
students looking for the most affo rdable portables.
Obviously, 15-inch laptops would come with a wider screen and more space for powerful interiors, but if a smaller form factor and portability are priorities, even the better 13-inch laptops will not beat you. That’s not to say that these portable devices are small. They actually come fitted with a remarkable amount of performance, capable of taking on some light gaming, creation of music, and editing of photographs. There’s a reason why on the best corporate notebooks, best Ultrabooks, or best laptop lists, you’ll find more than a handful of them.
If you’re searching for a particular brand like the best Acer laptops, a particular form factor like a 2-in-1 laptop, whether you’re trying to pick between the best Windows laptops or the best Macs, you’re going to find one of the best 13-inch laptops to fit your needs.
Best 13-inch laptops
1. MacBook Air (M1, 2020)
Best laptop for students with a flexible budget
CPU: Apple M1 chip with 8‑core CPU | Graphics: Integrated 7-core – 8-core GPU | RAM: 8GB – 16GB unified memory | Screen: 13.3-inch 2560 x 1600 Retina display | Storage: 256GB – 2TB SSD
Apple topped 2020 off with a bang, rolling out their much-talked about M1 silicon chip that’s so far been a real game-changer. And, the first laptop to receive it is the company’s thinnest and lightest, putting it on the list of the most exciting Apple laptops of recent years. With this new chip, the MacBook Air is better than ever, touting excellent performance alongside its brilliant battery life – without raising the price to keep it (fairly) affordable still. It’s not going to be the cheapest option for students, but for those who have a slightly bigger budget, this is the best student laptop to get.
2. HP Spectre x360 (2020)
HP’s flagship 2-in-1 gets a 2020 refresh
CPU: 8th-generation Intel Core i7 | Graphics: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050Ti with Max-Q design | RAM: 8GB – 16GB | Screen: 15.6-inch, 3840 x 2160 pixels touch | Storage: 512 GB – 2TB SSD Stylish and high-quality finish
Great all-around performance
Built-in security features are useful
Battery life takes a hit
Can run hot at times
HP’s beloved and highly praised 2-in-1 is back with a vengeance, this time with more powerful components like the 10th-generation Intel Core processors and Intel Iris Plus graphics. Of course, that impeccable 2-in-1 design and pristine gem-cut chassis are back, as are its security features and Bang & Olufsen speakers. That killer combination makes it, now more than ever, one of the best Windows laptops out there. Is it a wonder that this is one of our favorite laptops of 2020? If you care about aesthetics as much as you do performance and overall quality, this is the laptop for you.
3. Google Pixelbook Go
The best mainstream Chromebook
CPU: Intel Core m3 – i7 | Graphics: Intel UHD Graphics 615 | RAM: 8GB – 16GB | Screen: 13.3-inch Full HD – 13.3-inch 4K Ultra HD Molecular Display | Storage: 64GB – 256GB
Amazing ‘Hush’ keyboard
Rare 1080p webcam
No biometric login
If you’ve long been admiring Google’s premium Chromebook but the price is holding you back, then you might want to consider the new Google Pixelbook Go instead. Freshly-baked by Google, this alternative to the manufacturer’s pricey Pixelbook boasts many of its high-quality features, but without that steep price tag – namely, an incredible battery life and that coveted keyboard. If your computing use is limited to sending and responding to emails, creating documents and excel sheets on Google Docs and Sheets, and streaming movies and videos after work, then this one’s a winner
4. MacBook Pro 13-inch (M1, 2020)
Apple’s little MacBook Pro gets a big refresh
CPU: Apple M1 chip with 8‑core CPU | Graphics: Integrated 8-core GPU | RAM: 8GB – 16GB unified memory | Screen: 13.3-inch 2560 x 1600 LED-backlit Retina display | Storage: 256GB – 2TB SSD | Dimensions (H x W x D): 30.41 x 21.24 x 1.56 cm Huge battery life
Can run iOS apps
Still lacks ports
The MacBook Pro 13-inch (M1, 2020) may not have gotten a massive design overhaul, but what it lacks in that department, it makes up for big time in performance and battery life. Thanks to Apple’s groundbreaking M1 chip, the new MacBook Pro 13-inch delivers excellent performance and exceptional battery life. Its performance is so impressive, in fact, that it can easily handle 4K – and even 8K – videos. If you’re looking for a powerful laptop that keeps things small and lightweight, this is the best 13-inch laptop money can buy.
5. Dell XPS 13 (Late 2020)
CPU: Up to 11th Generation Intel Core i7-1165G7 | Graphics: Up to Intel Iris Xe Graphics | RAM: Up to 32GB 4267MHz LPDDR4x | Screen: 13.4″ FHD+ (1920 x 1200) InfinityEdge Non-Touch Anti-Glare 500-Nit – 13.4″ UHD+ (3840 x 2400) InfinityEdge Touch Anti-Reflective 500-Nit Display | Storage: Up to 2TB M.2 PCIe NVMe
Gorgeous 16:10 display
Excellent battery life
Sound quality is just OK
At this point, we doubt that the Dell XPS line can do anything wrong. Its yearly updates have consistently made it to our best laptops list, and they’re only getting better. The Dell XPS 13 (2020) is not only a gorgeous piece of kit. It also comes, as expected, with excellent performance, a stunning display and long battery life, alongside a few others. Much like its predecessor, it’s a pricey investment – but that is barely reason enough for us to discourage Ultrabook fans. This is among the best 13-inch laptops of 2020, and it’s worth every penny.
6. Microsoft Surface Book 2 (13.5-inch)
Bigger isn’t always better: a memoir
CPU: Intel Core i5 – i7 | Graphics: Intel UHD 620 – Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 | RAM: 8GB – 16GB | Screen: 13.5-inch, 3,000 x 2,000 PixelSense display | Storage: 256GB – 1TB SSD
Very good battery life
Not as powerful as 15-inch model
While the 13-inch version isn’t the most powerful Surface Book 2, it still makes for one of the best 13-inch laptops on the market. Whether you’re a professional or a creative or even a student, the Surface Book 2 will handle your daily workload effortlessly and in style. What’s more, the dynamic fulcrum hinge is much improved this time around, complementing the robust quad-core processor. And, unlike many other 2-in-1 laptops, the keyboard is removable to make it much more manageable, as well as thinner, when in tablet mode.
7. Surface Laptop 2
Faster. Better. Stronger.
CPU: 8th generation Intel Core i5 – i7 | Graphics: Intel UHD Graphics 620 | RAM: 8GB – 16GB | Screen: 13.5-inch, 2,256 x 1,504 PixelSense display | Storage: 128GB – 1TB SSD
New black color scheme
Still no Thunderbolt 3
The early Surface Laptop had our vote for one of the best 13-inch laptops, due to its stunning screen, competent internals and solid build quality. We are, therefore, happy to see its sequel, the Surface Laptop 2, doing everything better and taking some features to a new level. You won’t find any major changes, but the faster 8th-generation CPUs, 8GB of RAM and, most importantly, the removal of Windows 10 S all add up to making the Surface Laptop 2 one of the best 13-inch laptops right now.
8. Razer Blade Stealth 13 (2019)
Lightweight Razer style, now in white
CPU: 10th-generation Intel Core i7 | Graphics: Intel Iris Plus Graphics – GeForce GTX 1650 Max-Q | RAM: 16GB | Screen: 13.3″ FHD Matte w/ 4.9mm slim side bezel – 13.3″ 4K Touch w/ 4.9mm slim side bezel | Storage: 512GB SSD Top-notch build quality
Battery life is solid
Limited storage space
Lacks a discrete GPU
The “world’s first gaming ultrabook” doesn’t just talk the talk; it also walks the walk. Razer has spruced up its Blade Stealth 13 Ultrabook with the latest internal components without affecting its super-quiet operation. Packed with a 10th-generation Intel Core i7 processor and better graphic options, 13-inch laptop delivers and much better than its predecessor. In fact, it might just be the best gaming experience we’ve ever had on integrated graphics with the Iris Plus configuration. Round that out with extremely quiet fans, low thermal power, extended battery life and that delightful Mercury White color, and we are sold. You will be too, if you can afford the price.
9. Lenovo Yoga C940
The Lenovo Yoga is back and it means business
CPU: up to 10th-generation Intel Core i7 | Graphics: Intel Iris Plus Graphics | RAM: up to 16GB | Screen: 14” FHD (1920 x 1080) IPS, touchscreen, glossy, 400 nits –14″ UHD (3840 x 2160) IPS, touchscreen, glossy, HDR 400, 500 nits | Storage: up to 2TB SSD PCIe Excellent design
With the Lenovo Yoga C940, the company continues with its tradition of making elegant and stunning Ultrabooks. And, don’t be thrown off by its looks, there’s plenty of power hiding inside. With a comfortable keyboard, stylus, TrueBlock Privacy Shutter and rotating soundbar, it’s quite a feature rich machine as well. It’s not perfect – that soundbar is a work in progress and the battery life could be better – but it’s a great portable that can stand up to the competition.