These days, it’s hard to really get by without one of the best laptops, as they’re essential for so many reasons. However, there’s only one real reason to go for one of the best 13-inch laptops: they’re the ideal size. 15-inch laptops are too large, while anything less than 12-inches will leave you squinting. The best 13-inch laptops, on the other hand, hit that sweet spot – they’re perfect for getting your work done as well as watching movies on Netflix at the end of the day.
We still love the Dell XPS 13, but it’s not the only choice out there. It wouldn’t be surprising that some folks would take to the new MacBook Air, or prefer the Huawei MateBook 13. Sure, the XPS is beautiful, but the other options are more than appealing as well. The best 13-inch laptops all excel in different ways.
Still, the best 13-inch laptop for you will ultimately depend on your individual preference and needs. Do you just want a regular laptop, without any of the fancy bells and whistles? Or, do you need a 2-in-1 laptop that can switch to one of the best Windows tablets with just a flip of the display? Or maybe you want to skip Windows 10 entirely, and opt for one of the best Macs, backed up by macOS Mojave (or soon, macOS Catalina). No matter what your needs are, you’ll find a great laptop here, as there are many to choose from.
It’s not often that we run into a 13-inch laptops that ticks all the right boxes, without having to compromise on anything. The Huawei MateBook 13 is one of the very few that does exactly that. Packed with the latest Intel Whiskey Lake processors and Nvidia MX150 graphics in a chassis that really should be too small to handle them, the Huawei MateBook 13 is a powerhouse that will fit in most backpacks or a medium-sized tote bag. Even better, it’s affordable – what more could you ask for?
Read the full review: Huawei MateBook 13
While its changes over last year’s model are subtle, the Dell XPS 13 is still one of the best 13-inch laptops. On the high end, the 4K display offers a sharper picture across the board. But, even if you can’t afford the top end model, the dashing design, lengthy battery life and SD card slot aren’t going anywhere – plus, you’ve got a quad-core processor no matter what poison you pick. No matter which configuration you go for, the Dell XPS 13 is, without a doubt, one of the best 13-inch laptops right now.
Read the full review: Dell XPS 13
Calling a laptop is beautiful might seem like a cliche; but just look at the HP Spectre x360, and you’ll understand why we can’t stop staring at it. This beautiful 13-inch laptop is packed with the latest Intel hardware, so you know it can get your work done. And that gem-cut build means it’ll get your work done in style. If that’s not enough, it can also be flipped around into tablet mode – it really is one of the best 13-inch laptops out there.
Read the full review: HP Spectre x360
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, the Surface Book 2 will dominate your daily workload in style. What’s more, the dynamic fulcrum hinge is much more improved this time around, which only complements the robust quad-core processor. Plus, unlike many other 2-in-1 laptops, the keyboard is removable to make it much more manageable when you need to use it in tablet mode.
Read the full review: Microsoft Surface Book 2
You may be expecting a gaming laptop, especially given Razer’s reputation, but the Razer Blade Stealth is one of the best 13-inch laptops you can buy today. It’s thin, light, and packed with the latest Ultrabook-class hardware – including dedicated MX150 graphics. The 8th-generation Intel Whiskey Lake Processor makes this laptop a force to be reckoned with. Of course, that comes at a cost, but the sheer style and build quality might be worth it.
Read the full review: Razer Blade Stealth
If you’re looking for a thin, fast and svelte 13-inch laptop to lug around with you – and you don’t mind compromising on some premium features, then you’ll fall in love with the Asus ZenBook 13. Coming in at just half an inch thick and weighing just 2.5 pounds, this is the idea laptop to take with you when traveling. And, don’t think you have to give up on power with all this portability, either. The Asus ZenBook 13 boasts quad-core Intel processors, 8GB of RAM and up to 1TB SSD. Its combination of power, portability and style easily makes it one of the best Asus laptops around. The only thing you’re missing here is a USB-C port, but while it’s a nice feature to have, it’s easy to overlook especially on a laptop as stylish as this.
Read the full review: Asus Zenbook 13
No one likes change, we get it. Still, the 15.6-inch frame of the Samsung Notebook 7 Spin we once knew will soon be erased from our memories forever. On the bright side, the new 13.3-inch model doesn’t seem like an awful upgrade. It’s bounced two generations into the future in terms of processing power. And even though there are no discrete graphics, we’re happy to see a keyboard that can compete with some of the heavy hitters. It’s not going to blow your mind, yet as far as hybrid notebooks go, this one ain’t too shabby. Plus, it’s cheaper than a mid-range MacBook Pro.
Read the full review: Samsung Notebook 7 Spin
- This product is only available in the US and UK at the time of writing. Australian readers: check out a fine alternative in the HP Spectre x360
The early Surface Laptop already had our vote for one of the best 13-inch laptops – it had a gorgeous screen, competent internals and fantastic build quality. It shouldn’t be surprising, then, that the sequel, the Surface Laptop 2, does everything better. Yuu won’t find any radical changes, but the speedy 8th-generation CPUs, 8GB of RAM and most importantly, the removal of Windows 10 S all add up to make the Surface Laptop 2 one of the best 13-inch laptops right now.
Read the full review: Surface Laptop 2
While slightly bigger than your typical 13-inch laptop, this nearly 14-inch 2-in-1 contender has several aces up its sleeve – namely, longevity, power and durability. This means that the newest Lenovo Yoga C930 will last users a while for their day-to-day workload and some entertainment at the end of the day. To round it all out, this device also features a lovely display with deep colors, a solid keyboard and a decent trackpad. It may not have the best graphics performance, but it more than makes up for that, making it one of the best 13-inch laptops 2019 has to offer.
Read the full review: Lenovo Yoga C930
The MacBook Pro 2018 feels like the final form of Apple’s pro series laptop since its 2016 redesign. It keeps the thin and light design, while also bringing a wealth of improvements both to the hardware within and the Butterfly keyboard to making it quieter and more reliable. With this new keyboard, you won’t need to worry about it breaking because a piece of dust appeared under the spacebar. If you need an ultra-portable workhorse running macOS Mojave and can justify the cost, the 2018 MacBook Pro won’t let you down. Keep in mind, though, the model without the Touch Bar is still running last year’s hardware.
Read the full review: MacBook Pro (13-inch Mid-2018)
Bill Thomas, Gabe Carey and Michelle Rae Uy have also contributed to this article
- Want more choices? Check out our list of the best laptop 2019