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The best ultraportable laptops for 2016 are engineered to combine light weight with good efficiency. They are a compact substitute for tablet users needing a QWERTY keyboard, though with much smaller typing space and fewer features than normal laptops.

Most Ultraportables are fitted with screen sizes of 11 to 13 inches, and weigh less than 4 lb, and the latest ones even feature 14 inch screens with no impact on the weight.

Ultraportable laptops are available at $1100 and above for basic models and $2000 and higher for the higher end models, and are the best option for business travellers as they offer good security options along with excellent battery power.

Typically these laptops are integrated with good low voltage mobile processors with the best of them running on dual cores accompanied with at least 2 GB RAM and 100 GB HDD capacity. The best ultraportable laptops have an inbuilt Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, and perform efficiently enough to function as your day to day computer.

Browse All Top Ultraportable Notebooks of 2016 »

#1

#2

#3

#4

#5

Apple MacBook Air 13-Inch (2015)
Apple MacBook Air 11-Inch (2015)
Apple MacBook Pro 13-Inch (2015)
Microsoft Surface Book
Microsoft Surface Pro 4
Apple MacBook Air 13-Inch (2015)
Apple MacBook Air 11-Inch (2015)
Apple MacBook Pro 13-Inch (2015)
Microsoft Surface Book
Microsoft Surface Pro 4
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Release Date
Aug 2015
Aug 2015
Feb 2015
Sep 2015
Sep 2015
Display Size
13.3 in.
11.6 in.
13.3 in.
13.5 in.
12.3 in.
Weight
2.96 lb.
2.38 lb.
3.48 lb.
3.34 lb.
1.73 lb.
Display
13.3 inches, Widescreen, 1440 x 900
11.6 inches, Widescreen, 1366 x 768
13.3 inches, Widescreen, 2560 x 1600
13.5 inches, Widescreen, 3000 x 2000
12.3 inches, Standard, 2736 x 1824
Hard Drive
128 GB, Flash storage
128 GB, HDD
128 GB, Flash storage
256 GB, SSD
Installed Memory
4 GB
4 GB
8 GB
8 GB, 8 GB
Operating System
Apple OS X El Capitan
Mac OS X Yosemite
Apple OS X El Capitan
Windows 10
Processor
1.6 GHz, Intel Core i5-5250U
1.6 GHz, Intel Core i5-5250U
2.7 GHz, Intel Core i5-5257U
2.4 GHz, Intel Core i5-6300U
2.4 GHz, Intel Core m3
Laptop Type
Ultraportable, Flash storage
Ultraportable, HDD
Ultraportable
Ultraportable, Tablet

  • The latest upgrade of the 13-inch Apple MacBook Air brings a more powerful Core i5 processor and an astounding 17.5 hours of battery life. It remains our top choice for ultraportable laptops.


  • While we wish it had a better display, the 2015 MacBook Air is superfast and lasts longer on a charge than any other ultraportable today.


  • After some extensive testing, we found the MacBook Air (13-inch, Early 2015) to be little different overall to the 2014 model. The Thunderbolt 2 update will prove useful for connecting to high-resolution UHD displays, and a few percent of added processor power is never unwelcome. But hoped-for improvements in graphics performance and battery longevity did not arise in our testing, in spite of a new Intel processor which was expected to shepherd benefits in both areas.


  • The latest MacBook Air 11-inch is Apple's smallest and least expensive laptop, with good performance and more than 11 hours of battery power.


  • While the screen could be sharper, the updated 11-inch MacBook Air is a very light ultraportable that offers great performance and battery life for the price.


  • Available at the same price as last year, the new 11-inch MacBook Air has the same super-fast storage as before, and around 10 percent increase in processor performance. Gaming performance was always borderline, and now we find it no better and even fractionally slower. But overall battery runtime increased by almost a third in our tests, a very useful upgrade on the already very decent 10 hour-plus battery life of the previous generation.


  • Although the fifth-generation Intel Core i5 processor and Force Touch trackpad are minor updates, this year's 13-inch Retina Apple MacBook Pro is still an easy top pick for high-end ultraportables.


  • Blazing speed, an innovative new touchpad and super-long battery life put the updated 13-inch MacBook Pro in a class of its own.


  • The refreshed Retina display MacBook Pro brings faster performance and longer battery life, along with the same stunning screen and comfortable keyboard. This time around, though, Apple also traded in its already-best-in-class trackpad for a new, pressure-sensitive one. While it's almost as comfortable to use as its predecessor, we're not convinced these new touchpad tricks were worth making the switch.


  • The innovative Microsoft Surface Book offers comfortable ergonomics, a big, beautiful screen, more than 15 hours of battery life, and the power to make short work of everyday and multimedia tasks. It's the first premium detachable-hybrid tablet to earn our Editors' Choice.


  • An impressive display, superb battery life and 2-in-1 versatility make the Surface Book one of the most exciting laptops yet, but its high price narrows the appeal.


  • While it's not nearly as refined as the new fourth-gen Surface Pro, Microsoft's Surface Book is a powerful, feature-filled premium hybrid that doesn't forget it's a laptop first.


  • The Surface Pro 4 is the best version of Microsoft's tablet yet, with a stellar display, snappy performance, and more than 10 hours of battery life. With Windows 10, the Surface Pen, and optional Type Cover, it can replace your laptop.


  • While it might not look new on the outside, the Surface Pro 4 features a faster CPU, bright high-res screen and improved Type Cover but with much less battery life.


  • A host of small refinements cements the Surface Pro 4's position as the best-in-class Windows tablet -- so long as you're prepared to pay extra for the required keyboard cover accessory.


Top 5 ultraportable notebook of 2016:

  1. Apple MacBook Air 13-Inch (2015)
  2. Apple MacBook Air 11-Inch (2015)
  3. Apple MacBook Pro 13-Inch (2015)
  4. Microsoft Surface Book
  5. Microsoft Surface Pro 4