Shopping around for the best 13-inch laptop? It’s hard to get by without one of the best laptops these days, as they’re essential for so many reasons. To go for one of the best 13-inch laptops, however, there’s only one real reason: they’re just the perfect size. 15-inch laptops are too large, while anything less than 12-inches will leave you squinting.
Acer Aspire 1
$249 $199 at Amazon
With just an Intel Celeron processor, 4GB of RAM and an EMMC storage drive, the Acer Aspire 1 aims to be the cheapest 14-inch laptop available in the US. When it comes to value, the Aspire 1 is a beast of its own, as you can save 20% on Amazon Prime Day.View Deal
The best 13-inch laptops, on the other hand, hit that sweet, space-saving 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.
Ultimately, the best 13-inch laptop for you will depend on your individual preference and needs. Do you just want a simple and straightforward laptop, or are you partial to one with all the fancy bells and whistles? 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).
There are many excellent 13-inch laptops to choose from, but no matter what your needs are, you’ll find the ideal match on this list.
1. Huawei MateBook 13
Coming for the throne
CPU: Quad-core Intel Core i5 – i7 | Graphics: Intel UHD Graphics 620; Nvidia GeForce MX150 (optional) | RAM: 8GB – 16GB | Screen: 13.3-inch QHD (2,560 x 1,440) | Storage: 256GB – 512GB SSD
It’s not often that we find a 13-inch laptop that ticks all the right boxes, one that doesn’t compromise on anything. The Huawei MateBook 13 is one of the very few that does exactly that. Fitted 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 can easily slip into most backpacks or a medium-sized tote bag. Even better for budget users, it’s affordable – what more could you ask for?
Read the full review: Huawei MateBook 13
2. Dell XPS 13
Best-in-class like you’ve never seen it before
CPU: Quad-core Intel Core i3 – i7 | Graphics: Intel UHD Graphics 620 | RAM: 8GB – 16GB | Screen: 13.3-inch FHD (1,920 x 1,080) – 4K (3,840 x 2,160) | Storage: 256GB – 2TB SSD
While its changes over last year’s model are subtle, there’s still no doubt that 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. Even if you can’t afford the top end model, the dashing design, lengthy battery life and SD card slot aren’t going anywhere. More importantly, you’ve got a quad-core processor regardless of 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
3. HP Spectre x360
Working in style
CPU: Intel Core i5 – i7 | Graphics: Intel UHD Graphics 620 – Nvidia GeForce MX150 | RAM: 8GB – 16GB | Screen: 13.3-inch full HD (1,920 x 1,080) – UHD (3,840 x 2,160) touchscreen | Storage: 256GB – 2TB PCIe SSD
Calling a laptop beautiful might seem like a cliche, but one look at the HP Spectre x360, and you’ll be hard-pressed to argue. That gem-cut build means it’ll get your work done in style. This stunning 13-inch laptop is packed with the latest Intel hardware as well, so you know it can get your work done. And, 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
4. 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
While the 13-inch version isn’t the most powerful Surface Book 2 right now, 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 handle your daily workload in style. What’s more, the dynamic fulcrum hinge is much improved this time around, which complements the robust quad-core processor. That’s not all – 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.
Read the full review: Microsoft Surface Book 2
5. Razer Blade Stealth
Fancy an Ultrabook for more than just gamers
CPU: Quad-core Intel Core i7 | Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 620; Nvidia GeForce MX150 (optional) | RAM: 8-16GB | Screen: 13.3-inch FHD - 4K UHD (3,840 x 2,160) touchscreen | Storage: 256GB – 512GB SSD
You may be expecting a gaming laptop, especially given Razer’s reputation, but the Razer Blade Stealth just happens to be 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, which means you can play your favorite titles on the go. 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
6. Asus ZenBook 13
Thin. Blue. Beautiful.
CPU: Intel Core i5-8250U | Graphics: Intel UHD 620; Nvidia GeForce MX150 | RAM: 8GB | Screen: 13.3-inch, FHD (1,920 x 1,080) wide view touch display | Storage: 256GB – 1TB SSD
If you’re looking for a speedy and svelte 13-inch laptop to schlep around with you – and you don’t mind giving up some premium features, then you’ll love the Asus ZenBook 13. Coming in at just half an inch thick and weighing just 2.5 pounds, this is the ideal laptop to take with you when traveling. Don’t think you have to give up on power with all this portability, either. The Asus ZenBook 13 has 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 it’s easy to overlook especially on a laptop as stylish as this.
Read the full review: Asus Zenbook 13
7. Samsung Notebook 7 Spin
Different, but not forgotten
CPU: Quad-core Intel Core i5 | Graphics: Intel UHD Graphics 620 | RAM: 8GB | Screen: 13.3-inch FHD (1,920 x 1,080) LED with touch panel | Storage: 256GB SSD
We get it; no one likes change. Still, the 15.6-inch frame of the Samsung Notebook 7 Spin we once knew will soon be erased from our memories forever. On a positive note, 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 while 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 shabby. Did we mention that 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
8. 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
The early Surface Laptop had our vote for one of the best 13-inch laptops, thanks to its gorgeous screen, competent internals and fantastic build quality. And we’re happy to find its sequel, the Surface Laptop 2, doing everything better and taking things to a new level. You won’t find any radical 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.
Read the full review: Surface Laptop 2
9. Lenovo Yoga C930
A 2-in-1 experience with little to no compromise
CPU: up to 8th-generation Intel Core i7 | Graphics: Intel UHD Graphics 620 | RAM: Up to 16 GB | Screen: 13.9-inch UHD (3840 x 2160) - 13.9-inch FHD (1920 x 1080) IPS Glossy Multi-touch with Dolby Vision | Storage: Up to 2 TB PCIe SSD
Though a tad bigger than your typical 13-inch laptop, this nearly 14-inch 2-in-1 contender boasts several aces up its sleeve – namely, longevity, power and durability. This means that the newest Lenovo Yoga C930 will last users long enough to get through their day-to-day workload and some entertainment at the end of the day. To round it all out, this device also has a lovely display with deep colors, a solid keyboard and a decent trackpad. It may not have the best graphics performance, but it definitely 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
10. MacBook Pro (13-inch; mid-2018)
Powerful. Elegant. Expensive
CPU: Quad-core Intel Core i5 - i7 | Graphics: Intel Iris Plus Graphics 640 - 655 | RAM: 8GB - 16GB | Screen: 13.3-inch, 2,560 x 1,600 Retina display | Storage: 256GB – 2TB SSD
The MacBook Pro 2018 feels like the final form of Apple’s pro series laptop since its 2016 redesign. It still touts that thin and light design, while also bringing a wealth of improvements both to the hardware within and the Butterfly keyboard outside to making it quieter and more reliable. With this redesigned keyboard, you won’t need to worry about it breaking all 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.
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