13-inch laptops are nifty little beasts, capable of fitting into almost every backpack and professional scenario. While we take nothing away from the conventional 15-inch notebooks and the insanely large 17-inch machines, Small machines are aesthetically pleasing and often brighter. However, selecting the best one for your usage isn’t easy as it looks, that’s why we’ve published this article.
Before purchasing a smallish or rather an eye-pleasing laptop, you must evaluate your preferences, budget, and willingness to future-proof your computing requirements. Mostly, individuals prefer 13-inch machines for portability (travel), the sleekness of form, minimal heat generation, and exceptional battery backup. In case you are a persistent traveler, a matte screen might just be yet another addition to the wishlist (for better sunlight visibility.)
As far as internals are concerned, the majority of the 13-inch notebooks feature Intel U, G1-G7, and even Y-series chipsets, courtesy of the lower TDP values. On the other hand, graphics-centric requirements are usually handled by integrated co-processors or high-end GTX variants, preferably the Max-Q models (on thin machines.) Memory allocation-wise, you can expect soldered RAM modules on these notebooks with minimal upgradeability options followed by SSD units.
As per compatibility and relevance, laptops with smaller footprint are mostly preferred by content creators, journalists, doctors, stock traders, college students and business users who are mostly on the move. Therefore, besides the processing conglomerate, you must note the keyboard travel, acoustic output, port arrangement, and wireless connectivity standards before taking the final buy call.
In terms of utility, these gadgets are the best globetrotting allies, with some even supporting detachable usage. Therefore, if you are serious about purchasing a 13-inch notebook, you can opt for standard clamshells, 2-in-1, or even detachable gadgets that can double down as tablets, if and when required.
As a user, you can always opt for 15-inch laptops if screen real-estate is one of your priorities. Then again, if you are invested in the perfect balance between productivity, power, and portability, nothing works better than the 13-inch laptops.
- Minimum & Recommended System Requirements
- The Best 13-inch Laptops in 2021
- 1. Best Overall: Razer Blade Stealth 13
- 2. Best with 32GB RAM: Dell XPS 13 7390
- 3. Best with Dedicated GPU: Surface Book 2
- 4. Best with MacOS: Apple MacBook Pro
- 5. Best 4K Laptop: HP Envy 13
- 6. Best 2-in-1 with Stylus: HP Spectre x360 13t
- 7. Best Ultrabook for College: Asus ZenBook 13
- 8. Best for Travelers: Microsoft Surface Laptop 3
- 9. Best Battery Life: LG Gram 13
- 10. Best Budget-Friendly: Lenovo Yoga 730
- 11. Best Chromebook: Google PixelBook Go
- 12. Cheapest Option: Asus VivoBook S13
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Are 13-inch notebooks worth the hype?
- Why do you not see many 9th gen i7 processors in 13-inch laptops?
- Why shouldn’t 13-inch gadgets be prioritized for gaming, even if they have the required set of features?
- Which kind of 13-inch screen is preferred by incessant globetrotters and travelers?
- Are keyboards spacious enough on 13-inch laptops, or do companies scale down?
- What is the most underrated, productivity-enhancing feature on the notebooks?
Minimum & Recommended System Requirements
13-inch laptops can flaunt a diverse range of specifications, depending on the price, operating system, and user preferences. Therefore, our minimum set of specifications aims to achieve the basic computing performances best suited for daily activities such as web browsing and photo editing. Also, anything comparable to or better than the recommended system requirements are capable of gaming and video editing.
|Minimum System Requirements||Recommended System Requirements|
|CPU||8th Gen Intel Core i5||9th Gen Intel Core i7|
|Storage||256GB SSD||512GB SSD|
|Display||13.3-inch FHD LCD (1920 x 1080)||13.5-inch FHD IPS (1920 x 1080)|
|GPU||Integrated Intel / AMD Graphics||2GB NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 or better|
|Battery||Up to 5 hours||Up to 10 hours|
The Best 13-inch Laptops in 2021
|Razer Blade Stealth 13|
|Dell XPS 13 7390|
|Surface Book 2|
|Apple MacBook Pro|
|HP Envy 13|
|HP Spectre x360 13t|
|Asus ZenBook 13|
|Microsoft Surface Laptop 3|
|LG Gram 13|
|Lenovo Yoga 730|
|Google PixelBook Go|
|Asus VivoBook S13|
Our experts were more than happy to test many 13-inch laptops before formulating a list featuring the best 11 options that you should consider, according to budget, preferences, and professional requirements. Besides, our list features standard laptops, ultrabooks, 2-in-1 models with touchscreen support, MacBooks, and even Chromebook flaunting the Chrome OS.
As a user, you can carefully look at each one of our product reviews before making the final decision of purchasing a 13-inch notebook.
1. Best Overall: Razer Blade Stealth 13
Gaming mobility is a trait that the Razer Blade Stealth 13 achieves with perfection. Besides, this 13-inch notebook goes against the popular opinion that laptops with a smaller footprint are mostly underpowered.
Under the hood, Razer flaunts the Intel Core i7-1065G7 processor, boasting turbo boost technology and a maximum clock speed of up to 3.9GHz. The excellent single-core performance ensures adherence to CAD designing, 3D modeling, audio production, and video editing requirements. The quad-core chipset is best complemented by the GTX 1650 Ti Max-Q GPU, capable of running almost every high-end, modern AAA title at 1080p ultra presets.
Hailed as a portable gaming masterpiece, our experts tested the Razer Blade Stealth 13 for some of the most demanding games like PUBG, Fortnite, WOW, LOL, SIMS 4, Civ 6, Escape from Tarkov, Control, and Assassin’s Creed Odyssey at ultra, high, and medium 1080p settings. While ultra settings did stretch the GPU courtesy of thermal throttling, high and medium 1080p gaming performances were more than adequate, with 40 FPS being the average count. Besides, complex gaming textures are best handled by the 4GB VRAM.
Memory allocation gets a positive nod from our experts with this ultrabook packing in 16GB of RAM. Dual-channel system memory is a refreshing addition for the sleekest possible form factor. Storage-centric requirements are handled by the 512GB SSD.
Despite flaunting a 13.3-inch screen, Razer doesn’t compromise one bit when gaming performances and rendering are concerned. In terms of resolution, you get 1920 x 1080 pixels to rely on, making way for sharper viewing angles and unmatched color accuracy levels. What stands out is the matte panel, boasting of excellent sunlight visibility.
As a gaming resource, the screen refresh rate of 120Hz ensures zero frame drops, in case you want to indulge in entry-level and mid-range games. Moreover, this gadget can also handle creative professional indulgences courtesy of the 100 percent sRGB color gamut.
Razer touches upon productivity like no other 13-inch laptop, courtesy of the Chroma keyboard, Precision Glass Touchpad, IR-supported webcam, studio-grade microphones, amplified speakers with Dolby Atmos support for enhanced music experience. From a structural point-of-view, the Blade Stealth 13 is a masterfully crafted ultrabook, flaunting an aluminum-clad, ultralight chassis.
At 3.11, it is one of the more portable gadgets on our list. However, the sleekness of profile doesn’t impact the port arrangement with it accommodating Thunderbolt 3, USB-C, Type-A, and other functional slots. Wireless connectivity is dependable enough with Wi-Fi 6 support leading the way. Furthermore, the battery also lives up to the hype and delivers almost 10 hours of autonomy before requiring a refill. Overall, the Blade Stealth 13 from Razer is the all-inclusive 13-inch notebook to consider, if budget isn’t an issue.
- Graphics optimized processor
- Decent Max-Q GPU
- Excellent battery
- Stellar display
- Upgradeable RAM
- Exceptional port arrangement
- Middling webcam
2. Best with 32GB RAM: Dell XPS 13 7390
The Dell XPS 13 7390 is purely a productivity-centric convertible that doesn’t take high-end gaming indulgences into consideration. Therefore, if you are a professional with zero inclination towards recreational gaming, this 13-inch notebook is probably the best choice for the given price range.
The graphics-optimized Intel Core i7-1065G7 persists, boasting a decent enough clock speed of up to 3.9GHz. It goes without saying that this chipset is more than capable of handling accounting, investment banking, and basic editing tasks with virtual ease. As far as graphics support is concerned, the Intel Iris integrated graphics processing unit makes an appearance.
Although the integrated processing unit is no good when high-end gaming titles are concerned, it holds its own when casual gaming and top-notch visual experiences are concerned. However, purchasing this high-end 2-in-1 is completely justified courtesy of the 32GB of ultrafast RAM. Dell also offers adequate storage cover with a 512GB NVMe SSD module to rely on. With four built-in slots to rely on, the storage capacity is completely upgradeable.
Dell brings home the Windows 10 operating system with the UI perfectly aligned for touch-centric usage. The 13.4-inch touchscreen looks enthralling with the FHD+ panel making way for exceptional viewing angles. Creatives can really relate well to the cumulative display resolution of 1920 x 1200 and the InfinityEdge paneling that readily enhances the display-to-body ratio. The anti-reflective screen makes this the perfect gadget to carry around, without having to worry about the glaring sunlight.
Dell takes productivity seriously and brings in the highly responsive Maglev keyboard, which further adds to the thinness of the profile. The smooth touchpad facilitates seamless navigation and is at least 19 percent larger, as compared to that on older models. Apart from that, you also get access to a nifty fingerprint scanner for added security, an intuitive 4-element webcam (highly suitable for Zoom), serviceable microphones, and amplified speakers. Furthermore, the exceptional thermal management with discretionary resource allocation also deserves a special mention.
The XPS 13 7390 is a structural marvel, flaunting a scratch-resistant chassis. When it comes to heft, this convertible is tagged at a mere 2.7 pounds. On the other hand, the port management is highly diversified, with Dell accommodating Thunderbolt 3 ports with charging support, USB 3.1, and a few other slots for added functionality. Therefore, if you are ever planning on playing high-end games on this gadget, the ultrafast Thunderbolt 3 port allows you to connect eGPUs with considerable ease.
Besides decent wireless connectivity standards, including Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5.0, Dell also packs in a standard battery module, capable of lasting up to 12 hours, on standard usage. Nevertheless, the XPS 13 7390 isn’t a typical gaming device but offers more than adequate multitasking support.
- Stellar display
- 10th gen processor
- A massive chunk of RAM
- Ultrafast SSD with upgradeable slots
- Exceptional port arrangement
- Innovative thermal layout
- Not meant for gaming
- Basic speakers
3. Best with Dedicated GPU: Surface Book 2
While convertibles are extremely productive gadgets, 13-inch detachables are the epitomes of functionality and innovation. This is why the Microsoft Surface Book 2 finds a place on our list, featuring a powerful processor, exceptional ease of usage, and dedicated graphics support.
For starters, the Intel Core i7-8650U chipset works just fine, courtesy of the quad-core architecture, HyperThreading support, and turbo boost clock speed of up to 4.2GHz. Graphics-intensive tasks, including graphic designing, 1080p video editing, and recreational gaming for sub-40 FPS, are possible with the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 GPU at the helm. The 2GB VRAM can handle some complex gaming textures and characters, especially when simulation and strategy games are concerned.
The concerned variant features 16GB of non-upgradeable system memory. Despite processing data at 1866MHz, the existing RAM can seamlessly meander through multitasking requirements. Files, apps, games, and the Windows 10 OS find their place within the 512GB PCIe solid-state drive. While the memory allocation is top-notch for the price, our experts expected an NVMe module for better ‘read & write’ speeds.
The PixelSense display is one of the Surface Book series highlights, bolstered further by the overall resolution of 3000 x 2000 pixels. What works perfectly for the creatives is the shaper viewing angles and the color accuracy of the existing 13.5-inch touchscreen display.
The detachable keyboard is smooth and ensures comfortable typing experiences. In addition to that, Microsoft also makes way for a dual-camera setup, tablet usage support, dual mics, front-firing stereo speakers, and an advanced TPM 2.0 security chip (required for lawyers) that ensures safe boot-ups.
The productivity-heavy specs sheet makes the Surface Book 2 a great professional gadget, which is also easy enough to carry around. At 3.38, this detachable is highly portable and even comes with a pretty diverse connectivity catalog, including USB-C, USB 3.1 Gen 1, Surface Connect ports, Wi-Fi ac, Bluetooth 4.1, and more.
Microsoft promises a maximum battery backup of up to 17 hours. However, our experts could easily churn out 14 hours and slightly more on normal usage. To sum it up, the Surface Book 3 from Microsoft achieves an exceptional balance between work and play whilst ensuring unmatched portability owing to the detachable layout.
- Exceptional single-core performances
- Standard GPU
- Stellar display
- Detachable form factor
- Lightweight gadget
- Long-lasting battery
- No Wi-Fi 6
- 8th gen processor isn’t future-proof
4. Best with MacOS: Apple MacBook Pro
The 13-inch MacBook Pro is our personal favorite, courtesy of the insane power, competitive pricing, and an amazing set of productivity-enhancing features.
Under the hood, the 13-inch MacBook Pro flaunts the elusive Intel Core i5-1038NG7 chipset. The quad-core processor is heavily graphics-optimized and can clock at the highest possible speeds of up to 3.8GHz. Most importantly, this is one of the best CPUs for medium to high requirements, involving 3D rendering, programming, web designing, and more. Besides, the Intel Iris Plus Graphics lends adequate support to the processor and also ensures stellar visuals.
Apple offers decent multitasking firepower, courtesy of the 16GB RAM. The significant chunk of system memory is ably complemented by the 512GB SSD. In terms of OS, macOS Catalina makes an appearance, and the ultrafast storage module ensures fastest possible boot-ups.
The 13.3-inch screen is distinctively sharp and flaunts an overall resolution of 2560 x 1600 pixels. It is important to understand that the MacBook Pro offers Native resolution, and there are no performance downgrades for varying images and rendered videos. Furthermore, the Retina Display panel is one of the brightest and boasts of an extensive sRGB color palette, precisely for the creative professionals.
The 13-inch Pro is an asset to the content creators, on-boarding a Magic backlit keyboard with 1mm of key travel. Besides that, Apple also strikes the perfect balance between security and functionality by pairing a Touch ID sensor and an accessible Touch Bar, all at once. You also get access to stereo speakers, a FaceTime-powered webcam, Force trackpad, and studio-grade microphones.
Despite being a light gadget at 3.1 pounds, the MacBook Pro takes the port arrangement quite seriously. Regardless of the USB 3.1 Gen 2 ports, this notebook is best characterized by four Thunderbolt 3.0 slots, which also double down as charging outlets or DisplayPort, if and when required. The battery on it lasts up to 10 hours, thereby qualifying this as one of the more productive choices to consider.
If the Pro is slightly over-budgeted for you, the 13-inch MacBook Air is also an option. While the Retina Display persists along with Touch ID and Magic Keyboard, you get a graphics-optimized i3 chipset, 8GB RAM, and a 256GB SSD module. In case your connectivity requirements are trivial enough, the Two Thunderbolt 3 ports are expected to suffice.
- Stellar display
- Powerful 10th gen processor
- Magic keyboard
- TouchID offers enhanced security
- Four Thunderbolt 3 ports
- Predictable design
- Not meant for heavy graphics-intensive tasks
5. Best 4K Laptop: HP Envy 13
An all-inclusive 13-inch notebook with touch support is hard to find. However, HP Envy 13 lives up to the user expectations and accommodates every possible productivity-enhancing attribute, albeit at a decent price tag.
The Intel Core i7-8565U CPU lends adequate processing support and ensures that a majority of mid-range graphics-intensive tasks, accounting workload via QuickBooks, and other single-core processes are handled with seamless precision. Most importantly, the turbo clock speed of 4.6GHz qualifies this as a capable quad-core, power-efficient processor.
Besides that, the entry-level graphics chipset in NVIDIA GeForce MX250 is a decent-enough addition that allows you to whet your creative indulgences sans bottlenecks. Understandably, the featured GPU is slightly underpowered for gaming but holds its own if you are willing to play games like Fifa 2019, Doom Eternal, and other minimally demanding AAA titles at 720p.
Multitasking workload isn’t an issue for the Envy 13 with 16GB of non-upgradeable RAM on-board. In terms of storage, there is a 512GB PCIe NVMe SSD module to account for, ensuring the fastest possible boot-ups. If and when the OS is concerned, you get Windows 10 Home edition, straight out of the closet.
The 4K Ultra HD panel validates our insistence towards this crafty little device. Despite a 13.3-inch touch screen, the micro-edge paneling ensures that the display real-estate is never an issue. Besides, the IPS panel is adequately bright, courtesy of the overall resolution of 3840 x 2160 pixels. As the Envy 13 flaunts a touchscreen display, HP takes care of the durability quotient with the pre-existing Gorilla Glass protective layer.
HP also makes room for an ergonomic backlit keyboard, followed by a smooth touchpad and responsive fingerprint scanner. You also get access to a decent webcam with a privacy-enhancing kill switch, geometrically aligned B&O speakers, and an innovative thermal layout.
The Envy 13 is also a structural masterpiece, flaunting a metal-clad chassis and a decent set of connectivity specs, including USB Type-C, Type-A, and more. When it comes to portability, this notebook weighs a mere 2.8 pounds and ensures a steady battery backup of up to 13 hours. In conclusion, the HP Envy 13 is one of the better laptops to purchase if you prefer sharp touch panels, sleek chassis, and adequate graphics support for handling moderately-demanding creative tasks.
- Decent graphics support
- Stellar touch panel
- Wide-angle viewing experience
- 13-hour battery backup
- Fingerprint scanner
- Metal-clad structure
- No Wi-Fi 6
- 8th gen chipset is slightly redundant
6. Best 2-in-1 with Stylus: HP Spectre x360 13t
If you seek a powerful convertible that offers ample storage support for a smaller footprint, the HP Spectre x360 13t is the gadget to consider.
To start with, you get access to a 1.3GHz Intel Core i7-1065G7 chipset that turbo clocks at up to 3.9GHz. Nifty processing performances are guaranteed courtesy of the 8MB cache support, HyperThreading technology, and the availability of four cores to work with. Graphics are handled by the Iris Plus integrated support. Despite this not being a gamer-friendly gadget, the Spectre x360 can be quite a handful, if high-end accounting and software usage is concerned.
Memory allocation is top-notch, courtesy of the 16GB RAM, and a sizable 1TB SSD storage module. HP offers one of the largest storage capacities in 13-inch notebooks and that too with NVMe compatibility. The ultrafast storage support loads apps, files, and the Windows 10 OS faster than a standard SATA or PCIe unit.
Next in line is the enthralling 13.3-inch display, boasting of the elusive Ultra Wide-viewing angle technology. Therefore, this gadget caters to every creative requirement with ease, more so with an overall display resolution of 3840 x 2160 pixels.
While some might consider 13-inch 4K panels as overkill, the detailing and display scaling capabilities get a massive boost with UHD support to rely on. Besides, HP also makes way for an AMOLED multi-touch panel that is exceptionally vibrant and adequately responsive.
The Spectre x360 brings forth a backlit keyboard, smoothest possible Precision touchpad, integrated fingerprint scanner, B&O speakers, and a serviceable webcam with a dedicated kill switch. Acoustics on this gadget get an additional boost with the Audio Boost technology at the helm. Besides, HP also features a pretty diversified port arrangement, including USB 3.1 Gen 1, Gen 2 Type-C, Thunderbolt 3 with charging support, DisplayPort 1.4, and more.
In terms of heft, this 13-inch 2-in-1 is tagged at 2.80 pounds, which is manageable enough for single-handed usage. The portability factor gets an additional boost with the 10-hour battery backup. Overall, the Spectre x360 13t from HP makes room for every essential feature that a 13-inch gadget can supposedly boast of, including a path-breaking processor, stellar display, and even Wi-Fi 6 connectivity.
- 10th gen processor
- 4K UWVA display
- Fingerprint scanner
- Light and portable
- Exceptional battery
- Top-notch port arrangement
- Stylus pen support
- Not meant for high-end 3D tasks
- The keyboard lacks decent key travel
7. Best Ultrabook for College: Asus ZenBook 13
As a content creator on the move, you would be best served by the Asus ZenBook 13. This engineering marvel might not have the best graphics-intensive hardware, but it can certainly hold its own when multitasking, audio processing, content creation, and academic indulgences are concerned.
The Intel Core i7-10510U processor makes an appearance, capable of clocking at 4.9GHz. The single-core processing performance is top-notch and allows you to seamlessly handle Clio, QuickBooks, Excel, and other tools from Microsoft Office. When it comes to graphics, the standard UHD support is available, capable of managing casual online games.
Assisting the quad-core CPU is the 16GB RAM unit. In terms of storage memory allocation, the ZenBook comes equipped with a 512GB solid-state drive. The NVMe PCIe compatibility ensures blazing speeds, thereby ensuring that the Windows 10 Pro OS, demanding apps, and files load faster than usual.
The 13.3-inch display is enthralling, to say the least. Asus offers a wide-angle viewing experience, an attribute that comes in handy for avid media consumers. Besides, the NanoEdge bezels amplify the screen real-estate to up to 95 percent. In terms of resolution, the Asus flaunts 1920 x 1080 pixels, to be exact.
Professional productivity isn’t an issue despite the sub-$1000 price tag as Asus brings a dual-utility touchpad that doubles down as a quick access Numpad. Besides, the backlit keyboard is also a resourceful addition and ensures optimal typing experiences, in cohesion with the ErgoLift design. Other innovative specs include a strategic cooling design, amplified speakers for a better music listening experience, advanced IR-powered webcam, and serviceable speakers.
From a structural perspective, this is one of the lightest 13-inch ultrabooks to invest in, tagged at a feathery 2.6 pounds. Our experts did miss the Thunderbolt support in terms of connectivity but were amazed to see the diverse range of ports, including USB 3.1 Type-C, Type-A, and other essential slots. The battery on this sleekest possible gadget offers up to 14 hours of autonomy, even on moderate usage.
To sum it up, the ZenBook 13 is one of the better 13-inch marvels to consider, provided you are invested in portability and comfortable typing performances.
- 10th gen processor
- Excellent keyboard with 1.4mm travel
- Feathery chassis
- Anti-glare display
- Innovative cooling tech
- Futuristic touchpad
- MIL-STD certified chassis
- Wi-Fi 6
- No Thunderbolt 3 support
- Not meant for indulgent gamers
8. Best for Travelers: Microsoft Surface Laptop 3
Surface 3 from Microsoft features a 10th Gen processor, Integrated Iris Plus graphics, and a Pixel sense touch display. It makes the Surface Laptop 3 amongst the best-rated 13-inch laptops available in the market. The processing power combined with the lightweight design gives you the power and portability to shuffle between home and work.
The Intel Core i7-1065G7 operates with four cores clocking at a base speed of 1.3GHz. The capacity to turbo boost up to 3.9GHz makes this a powerful processor. The Integrated Iris Plus Graphics processor shares the system’s memory and keeps you entertained at home.
The synergy of operating and storage memory (16GB DDR4 RAM and 512GB SSD) gives Surface 3 the ability to handle the operations smoothly. The Windows 10 Home edition has a user-friendly interface and comes with facial recognition. It enables a quick login option and gives an additional layer of security.
The 13.5-inch, pixel sense display screen delivers visuals at a resolution of 2256 x 1504 pixels. The additional pixel improves the clarity and sharpness of images and videos. The display comes with ten touch points, giving an extra modality of operation; either through finger touch or a surface pen.
Microsoft puts on a full-sized keyboard without the dedicated numeric pad. It gives ample space for the keys for error-free typing. The 1.3 mm key-travel adds comfort to the user with a crisp feedback system. Microsoft sticks to the standard touchpad design with a smooth response system for multi-touch gestures.
At 2.8 lbs, the laptop is slim and lightweight, making it portable. The platinum chassis is minimalistic in design, carrying the trademark windows logo. It has one USB-C port, one USB-A port, a Surface Connect port, and a 3.5mm audio jack. While Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5 offer high-speed wireless connectivity, users may find the wired connectivity options a little underwhelming.
The Surface 3 claims a long battery back up of 11.5 hours, conditional to optimized usage and minimum brightness. Microsoft offers fast-charging up to 80 percent in one hour. The tenth generation processor, sufficient operating/storage memory, dual-mode operability are crucial to this sleek Mic.
- Interactive touch screen
- 10th Gen processor
- Wi-Fi 6 support
- Fast charging support
- Windows Hello Face authentication
- No fingerprint reader
- Limited ports
9. Best Battery Life: LG Gram 13
Although we did talk about quite a few 13-inch notebooks, nothing comes close to the LG Gram 13 when battery life is concerned.
Performance-wise, LG stacks the Intel Core i7-8565U processor under the hood, focusing on octa-threaded processing and a turbo clock speed of up to 4.6GHz. Needless to say, the low-power, U-series processor is a seasoned campaigner when lag-free professional tasks are to be handled. The integrated UHD graphics, however, leaves a lot to be desired and can only make way for a decent visual experience, amongst other things.
The Gram 13 takes good care of the multitasking needs with 16GB of RAM at the helm. Therefore, you need not worry about those humongous spreadsheets, accounting data sets, and 30+ browser tabs while working on this crafty little beast. Storage-wise, we expected a bit more than the existing 256GB SSD storage capacity. It also features a bloatware-free version of the Windows 10 Home Edition.
The display on this 13.3-inch notebook is sharp, color-accurate, and exceedingly vibrant. Despite LG not officially projecting an anti-glare panel, our experts identified the touchscreen to be extremely soothing to look at, despite the overall resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels. Besides, the IPS screen with LCD paneling ensures decent viewing angles and crisp visuals, even in direct sunlight.
Next in line is the backlit keyboard, responsive trackpad, HD webcam, and amplified speakers with the DTS: X acoustic enhancement. LG also takes good care of the security standards with a responsive fingerprint scanner. Most importantly, despite being a sleek gadget that weighs close to 2.10 pounds, the Gram 13 is enviously durable, courtesy of the alloyed-chassis.
In terms of ports and connectivity, this feathery gadget makes zero compromises and allows you access to Type-C, USB 3.0, HDMI, and other legacy slots. You also get Wi-Fi 5 standard for establishing faster internet connections. The portability quotient gets the much-needed validation with a class-leading battery, capable of churning out almost 20.5 hours, on minimal usage.
Overall, the Gram 13 might not be your first choice in terms of processor or display, but if you prefer gadgets with insanely powerful power reserves, this seems like a pretty good investment.
- Ultra-light gadget
- Long-lasting battery
- Decent keyboard
- Exceptional speakers
- Decent display
- Alloyed and durable chassis
- No Wi-Fi support
- Lack of Thunderbolt 3 port
- 7th gen processor
10. Best Budget-Friendly: Lenovo Yoga 730
The Lenovo Yoga 730 is one of the budget 13-inch convertibles, best characterized by a decent-enough processor and color-accurate display.
For starters, there is an Intel Core i5-8250U processor at the helm, flaunting a turbo clock speed of up to 3.4GHz. Despite not being insanely powerful, the 8250U is still a standard, mid-range CPU with more than adequate processing capabilities, quad-core architecture, and 6MB of cache memory. Visuals, computing graphics, and casual games are handled by the integrated Intel UHD 620 graphics processing unit.
As the Yoga 730 is a budget 2-in-1, you need to make a few memory-centric compromises. However, 8GB RAM is often more than enough for handling demanding multitasking requirements, including accounting software, CRM platforms, and more. The 256GB solid-state storage drive is fast but leaves a lot to be desired when capacity is concerned.
The memory allocation might not be the strongest traits of the Yoga 730, but it flaunts an extremely vibrant and responsive, 13.3-inch Full HD touchscreen. The IPS display brings 1920 x 1080 pixels as the cumulative resolution and boasts of relatively sharper viewing angles. Lenovo doesn’t compromise on productivity and on-boards a backlit keyboard for the writers to work in minimally illuminated scenarios.
Other specs include a silky touchpad, integrated JBL speakers, HD webcam, fingerprint scanner, and excellent microphones. However, it is the structural brilliance that justifies purchasing the Lenovo Yoga 730. The convertible is only 0.6-inch thick and weighs a respectable 2.9 pounds. However, the port arrangement is worth applauding courtesy of the Type-C with Thunderbolt support, USB 3.0, and other essential slots.
In terms of connectivity, you get Wi-Fi 5 and Bluetooth 4.1 for establishing faster connections. Lenovo doesn’t promise an insanely powerful battery like some of the other gadgets on our list. Instead, you get almost 8 hours of backup, which is still decent enough from the professional standards.
The Yoga 730 is one of the best budget selections, in case you want a smallish notebook with responsive touch support.
- Ultraportable and light
- Thunderbolt 3 support
- Vibrant display
- Ergonomic keyboard
- Integrated fingerprint scanner
- No Wi-Fi 6
- Restricted storage
11. Best Chromebook: Google PixelBook Go
If you have a penchant for 13-inch gadgets, the Google PixelBook Go might be of interest. The only Chromebook on our list, the PixelBook, is loaded with features, preferably for users who are more inclined towards online activities.
When it comes to processing requirements, the Intel Core i5-8200Y is adequately powered, and even turbo clocks at 3.9GHz. The ultra-low-power processor churns out exceptional performances, despite the lowest possible TDP of 7W. Casual online games and basic graphics-intensive tasks are handled by the Intel UHD 615 integrated graphics coprocessor.
Memory management is way better as compared to a random Chromebook with Google accommodating 8GB RAM for handling multiple browsers at once. The 128GB SSD module is quite an increment over the usual eMMC, firmware-less storage units, mostly seen in conventional and more affordable Chromebooks. The PixelBook Go features the minimalistic Chrome OS, which is fast, integrated with security specs, and supports automatic and timely updates.
You get access to a 13.3-inch touchscreen on the PixelBook Go, bolstered further by an overall resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels. While the viewing angles are sharp, Google also boasts of decent sunlight visibility. Productivity-management is easier than ever with a backlit, Hush keyboard added into the mix followed by a responsive trackpad.
This Chromebook is one of the most sought-after gadgets for the leisure fanatics, featuring dual speakers with stereo effect. Furthermore, you also get access to a 1080p webcam and serviceable microphones. Not just that, the PixelBook Go also brings class-leading security standards into the mix, including a Titan C chip for secure logins.
As far as the structural innovation goes, this gadget weighs 2.3 pounds and flaunts a metallic finish. Besides, the magnesium-clad chassis accommodates a decent set of ports and connectivity options, including two USB Type-C slots and Wi-Fi 5 support with 2×2 MIMO compatibility. Furthermore, Google promises a 12-hour battery backup, and our experts were more than satisfied with the claim.
Therefore, if you want to whet your online and cloud-based professional skills without exceeding the budget, consider giving Windows OS a miss and opt for the feature-packed Google PixelBook Go; a Chromebook par-excellence.
- Extremely light
- Dependable battery
- Titan C Security chip
- Backlit ‘Hush’ keyboard
- Fast charging support
- Not meant for heavy usage
- Chrome OS is slightly restrictive for offline usage
12. Cheapest Option: Asus VivoBook S13
In case you are looking for an all-inclusive budget notebook that doesn’t offer much room for complaints, the Asus VivoBook S13 is the one to consider.
Despite being a pretty affordable machine, the VivoBook comes equipped with a 10th gen Intel Core i5-1035G1 GPU. The graphics-optimized consumes minimal power and can turbo clock at almost 3.6GHz, if and when necessary. The featured chipset is further characterized by a lower 25W TDP and an integrated UHD graphics support for casual online gaming.
The 8GB LPDDR4 RAM is worth paying attention to, courtesy of the excellent multitasking outreach. From a storage-centric perspective, you get access to a sizable, 512GB SSD unit. The NVMe module is high-speed and ensures that the Windows 10 Home edition OS and other demanding apps like Photoshop, Illustrator, AutoCAD, etc., load in a heartbeat.
The NanoEdge display makes way for almost 88 percent screen-to-chassis ratio. What stands out though is the color accurate 13.3-inch screen, flaunting an overall resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels. Asus scales beyond the rest when keyboard quality is concerned. You get access to a full-size keyboard with backlit support and a decent key travel of 1.4mm.
In addition to that, you have Harman Kardon speakers, a one-touch fingerprint scanner, a smoothest possible touchpad, a serviceable webcam-microphone combo for diverse professional and leisure requirements. This gadget weighs close to 2.6 pounds and accommodates almost every standard connectivity spec in the book. These include USB Type-C, Gen 1. HDMI, USB 2.0, Wi-Fi 6, and more.
Although Asus promises a more-than-decent battery backup of almost 12 hours, it is the fast charging support and the VivoBook’s ability to reach almost 60 percent of autonomy in less than 50 minutes that piques our interest. Overall, this gadget has every essential targeting productivity, portability, and performance, rolled into a competitive price tag.
- 10th gen processor
- Metal-clad chassis
- Fast charging support
- Wi-Fi 6
- Revolutionary keyboard
- Fingerprint sensor
- No Thunderbolt 3 support
- Not meant for heavy users
Frequently Asked Questions
Are 13-inch notebooks worth the hype?
13-inch notebooks, both clamshells, and convertibles are extremely resourceful entities. Firstly, they are easy to carry around, especially for individuals who are always on the move. Besides, 13-inch gadgets are inherently sleek, thereby facilitating one-handed usage. Certain similarly-sized notebooks come with stylus support, which further enhances the productivity-quotient.
Why do you not see many 9th gen i7 processors in 13-inch laptops?
9th gen Intel Core i7 processors usually have higher TDPs courtesy of the inclination towards the H-series chipset. As 13-inch notebooks cannot accommodate sizable thermal hardware, heat dissipation might be an issue if 9th gen, H-series, i7 processors are used. Heat management or the lack thereof is the reason why AMD processors aren’t usually incorporated with 13-inch notebooks.
Why shouldn’t 13-inch gadgets be prioritized for gaming, even if they have the required set of features?
Gaming requires extraordinary thermal design, with strategically placed vents, heat pipes, and bigger fans. A 13-inch gadget is inherently sleek, and it would be almost impossible to accommodate these components on a smaller footprint.
Which kind of 13-inch screen is preferred by incessant globetrotters and travelers?
Almost every traveler prefers a matte touch display on the 13-inch notebooks or convertibles. If you travel around a lot, you might have to use the gadget in glaring sunlight, and this is where an anti-reflective matte panel can improve the productivity-quotient.
Are keyboards spacious enough on 13-inch laptops, or do companies scale down?
In most cases, we get smaller keyboards on 13-inch notebooks, especially detachables like the Surface Book 2. However, you can always search for gadgets offering full-size keyboard access with a minimum key travel of 1.4mm for achieving optimal typing performances.
What is the most underrated, productivity-enhancing feature on the notebooks?
Although we have covered every essential aspect that requires attention, you should try and get a laptop that comes with fast charging support. This feature takes care of your forgetfulness, common in professionals who always have multiple things on their mind. Besides fast charging, you can also opt for USB charging support to reduce reliance on the power adapter.
Each of the 13-inch gadgets is currently retailing over online and offline stores. However, before selecting the perfect gadget, according to budget, preference, and added utilities, you must ascertain each’s strong points and weaknesses.
- If we were to recommend, Razer Blade Stealth 13 would be our primary choice. This all-encompassing gadget is probably the best one for indulging in a bit of professional gaming.
- In case you are looking for a detachable with exceptional processing performances, Surface Book 2 comes across as a reliable choice.
- If battery backup is your priority, the LG Gram 13 is probably the best gadget in the existing retail space.
- For budget-seekers, the Asus VivoBook S13 strikes the perfect balance between price, power, and productivity.
- If the operating system isn’t of the essence and you are more into SaaS platforms and online professional tasks, the PixelBook Go from Google is an admirable gadget or rather Chromebook to consider.