The 8 Best Lightweight Laptops in 2018
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The whole point of having a laptop computer is to carry it around. The lighter it is, the more likely you are to take it with you everywhere. If you’re looking for the best lightweight laptops you should buy, this is the list for you.

This list covers netbooks, notebooks, 2-in-1s, and ultrabooks What Is the Difference Between a Netbook, Notebook, Ultrabook, Laptop, and Palmtop? What Is the Difference Between a Netbook, Notebook, Ultrabook, Laptop, and Palmtop? The term "laptop" encompasses so many different types of laptops these days. Here are the important differences between them all. Read More , so you will find something that fits your needs. The choices are broken down by screen size, as well as a gaming option. The list also doesn’t pedantically stick to the “lightest” in each category, and instead tells you the best lightweight laptop worth buying for that size.

1. HP Stream 11

Best Lightweight 11-inch laptop for Windows

hp stream 11 lightest 11 inch laptop

HP Stream 11-inch Laptop, Intel Celeron N4000 Processor, 4 GB RAM, 32 GB eMMC, Windows 10 S with Office 365 Personal for one year (11-ah110nr, Blue) HP Stream 11-inch Laptop, Intel Celeron N4000 Processor, 4 GB RAM, 32 GB eMMC, Windows 10 S with Office 365 Personal for one year (11-ah110nr, Blue) Buy Now At Amazon $199.99

  • Weight: 2.57 pounds
  • Operating System: Windows 10 S
  • Processor: Intel Celeron N4000
  • Touchscreen: No
  • Screen: 11.6-inch HD (1366x768pixels)
  • Memory: 4GB RAM
  • Storage: 32GB eMMC
  • Ports: 2xUSB 2.0, 1xHDMI
  • Notable Features: Above average battery life
  • Biggest Problem: Speakers’ volume is too low for multimedia

Years after it first launched, the HP Stream 11’s annual model remains one of the best netbooks you can buy. The 2018 version has improved its multi-tasking abilities from previous generations by adding 4GB RAM, but it’s still not great performance. But the battery life remains as great as ever, and you get a Windows operating system.

Who is it for? Buy the HP Stream 11 if you already have a desktop PC or some other primary computer, and want a cheap but reliable laptop to move around with.

2. Microsoft Surface Pro

Best Lightweight 12-inch Windows laptop and best 2-in-1 hybrid

Microsoft KJR-00001 Surface Pro (Intel Core i5, 8GB RAM, 128GB) - Newest Version Microsoft KJR-00001 Surface Pro (Intel Core i5, 8GB RAM, 128GB) - Newest Version Buy Now At Amazon $839.00

  • Weight: 2.4 pounds (1.75 pounds for tablet, 0.65 pounds for Type Cover)
  • Operating System: Windows 10
  • Processor: Intel Core i5 7th generation
  • Touchscreen: No
  • Screen: 13.3-inch Full HD (1920×1080 pixels)
  • Memory: 8GB RAM
  • Storage: 128GB SSD
  • Ports: 1xUSB 3.0, 1xMicro SD card reader
  • Notable Features: Best tablet-laptop hybrid today
  • Biggest Problem: Battery life is still not great, no USB-C port

Ideally, the best lightweight 12-inch laptop would be a laptop. But the Microsoft Surface Pro beats the competition so heavily that it’s hard to overlook it. It’s a fantastic tablet, and once you add the Type Cover, it’s a good laptop for most people. But the battery life doesn’t compare to more traditional laptops like the Dell XPS 13.

Who is it for? The Microsoft Surface Pro is all about those who want the best 2-in-1 hybrid running Windows The Best Mini Tablet PC or Convertible Hybrid The Best Mini Tablet PC or Convertible Hybrid Tablet sales have been declining. However, one category of tablet continues growing: tablets that transform into laptops when coupled with a keyboard. We call these 2-in-1 tablets. We rounded up the best convertibles around. Read More . It’s ideal for artists, designers, and others in similar arts industries.

Note: If you can wait to buy this, then wait. At the time of review, Microsoft hadn’t introduced Intel’s new 8th generation CPUs in the Surface Pro. Those offer a significant performance and battery boost.

3. Apple MacBook

Best Lightweight 12-inch laptop and best MacBook

  • Weight: 2.03 pounds
  • Operating System: macOS
  • Processor: Intel Core m3 7th generation
  • Touchscreen: No
  • Screen: 12-inch Retina (2300×1440 pixels)
  • Memory: 8GB RAM
  • Storage: 256GB SSD
  • Ports: 1xUSB 3.0
  • Notable Features: Lightest laptop, best screen, amazing battery life
  • Biggest Problem: Only a single USB-C port, could be refreshed soon

If it’s a MacBook you are after, then it’s a no-brainer. The Apple MacBook is the lightest laptop the company has ever made, and among the lightest anyone else has too. Despite that, it has amazing battery life.

The only real compromise is the lack of legacy ports. In fact, the MacBook has only one USB-C port Should the New MacBook's Single Port Scare You Away? Should the New MacBook's Single Port Scare You Away? Apple recently revealed the new MacBook, and it's a jaw-dropper — but it also has only a single port. Was this a blunder, or a sign of the future? Read More , which is also used for charging. It’s a pain for many users but if you’re looking for this level of portability, you have to sacrifice something.

Who is it for? Anyone who wants the lightest MacBook shouldn’t even think about the MacBook Air or MacBook Pro any more.

4. Dell XPS 13 9370

Best Lightweight 13-inch laptop and the best overall Windows laptop

Dell XPS 13 9370 13.3" FHD InfinityEdge - 8th Gen Intel Core i5 - 8GB Memory - 128GB SSD - Intel UHD Graphics 620 - Rose Gold Dell XPS 13 9370 13.3" FHD InfinityEdge - 8th Gen Intel Core i5 - 8GB Memory - 128GB SSD - Intel UHD Graphics 620 - Rose Gold Buy Now At Amazon $1,029.49

  • Weight: 2.67 pounds
  • Operating System: Windows 10 Pro
  • Processor: Intel Core i5 8250u
  • Touchscreen: No
  • Screen: 13.3-inch Full HD (1920×1080 pixels)
  • Memory: 8GB RAM
  • Storage: 128GB SSD
  • Ports: 1xUSB-C, 2xThunderbolt 3 or USB-C, 1xMicro SD card reader
  • Notable Features: Thinnest and lightest in its class
  • Biggest Problem: The weird camera position

The Dell XPS 13 keeps winning every “best Windows laptop” race year after year. The 2018 model, called the XPS 13 9370, introduces a few changes that make it lighter than before. Dell has removed legacy ports (like full-size USB) for new USB Type-C and Thunderbolt ports. The battery is also a bit smaller than before. But don’t worry, it’s still better than most ultrabooks, and you can charge the laptop with a power bank The 10 Best Laptops You Can Charge With a Power Bank The 10 Best Laptops You Can Charge With a Power Bank Want a laptop you can charge with a power bank while on the go? Here are several great choices you can charge anywhere. Read More .

The webcam at the bottom of the screen is still bothersome, but that’s the only real drawback of what is otherwise the best Windows laptop in balancing screen quality, battery life, performance, portability, and price.

Who is it for? The Dell XPS 13 is the best ultrabook you can buy. It is the laptop for anyone who can live without the old USB ports, although Dell has included a USB-C to USB-A dongle in the package.

5. Asus Zenbook 14 UX430UN

Best Lightweight 14-inch laptop you should buy

ASUS ZenBook UX430UN UltraBook Laptop: 14" Matte NanoEdge FHD (1920x1080), 8th Gen Intel Core i7-8550U, 512GB SSD, 16GB RAM, NVIDIA MX150 Graphics, Backlit Keyboard, FingerPrint Reader, Windows 10 ASUS ZenBook UX430UN UltraBook Laptop: 14" Matte NanoEdge FHD (1920x1080), 8th Gen Intel Core i7-8550U, 512GB SSD, 16GB RAM, NVIDIA MX150 Graphics, Backlit Keyboard, FingerPrint Reader, Windows 10 Buy Now At Amazon $1,179.94

  • Weight: 2.9 pounds
  • Operating System: Windows 10
  • Processor: Intel Core i7 8550u
  • Touchscreen: No
  • Screen: 14-inch Full HD (1920×1080 pixels)
  • Memory: 16GB RAM
  • Storage: 512GB SSD
  • Ports: 2xUSB 3.0, 1xUSB-C, 1xMini HDMI, 1xSD card reader
  • Notable Features: 14-inch screen in 13-inch chassis
  • Biggest Problem: Trackpad and keyboard problems

The Zenbook 14 UX430UN’s specifications are fantastic for the price it offers, especially the discrete graphics card for gaming 10 Ways to Improve Gaming Performance on Your Laptop 10 Ways to Improve Gaming Performance on Your Laptop Looking to improve gaming performance on your laptop? Here are 10 easy tips you can try right now to make sure your laptop has no problem running the games you want to play. Read More . The engineers at Asus have also managed to make really thin bezels so that the laptop’s overall size is that of a 13-inch notebook, but it still sports a 14-inch screen.

Every reviewer who has used the Asus Zenbook 14 UX430UN has criticized its keyboard and trackpad, claiming it feels stiff or it doesn’t register taps. But remember, you will always get used to those after a month of usage. The screen is accurate, but it doesn’t get as bright as others at this price.

Who is it for? If you’re looking for a 14-inch ultrabook with top of the line hardware, it doesn’t get cheaper and lighter than the Zenbook 14 UX430UN.

6. LG Gram

Best Lightweight 15-inch laptop you should buy

LG gram Thin & Light Laptop - 15.6" FHD IPS Touch, 8th Gen Core i7, 16GB RAM, 1TB (2x500GB SSD), 2.5lbs, Up to 16.5 hrs, Thunderbolt 3, Finger Print Reader, Windows 10 Home - 15Z980-R.AAS9U1 (2018) LG gram Thin & Light Laptop - 15.6" FHD IPS Touch, 8th Gen Core i7, 16GB RAM, 1TB (2x500GB SSD), 2.5lbs, Up to 16.5 hrs, Thunderbolt 3, Finger Print Reader, Windows 10 Home - 15Z980-R.AAS9U1 (2018) Buy Now At Amazon Too low to display

  • Weight: 2.4 pounds
  • Operating System: Windows 10
  • Processor: Intel Core i7 8550u
  • Touchscreen: No
  • Screen: 14-inch Full HD (1920×1080 pixels)
  • Memory: 16GB RAM
  • Storage: 2x512GB SSD
  • Ports: 3xUSB 3.0, 1xUSB-C, 1xHDMI, 1xMicro SD card reader
  • Notable Features: Best battery life in a laptop
  • Biggest Problem: It’s expensive

The LG Gram is an engineering marvel. It’s downright shocking that LG has managed to build a 15.6-inch laptop at less than 2.5 pounds, without compromising on anything. In fact, it has the best battery life among laptops 7 Laptops With the Best Battery Life 7 Laptops With the Best Battery Life What laptops offer the best battery life? It depends on your budget and what kind of operating system you need. We've rounded up eight of the longest-lasting laptops around! Read More , while still being ultra-portable.

The only issue, if you want to call it an issue, is that it doesn’t feel premium. Hold the LG Gram and you will feel your fingers pinching the case, much like what you feel on budget laptops. For a laptop this expensive, that’s not particularly nice. But it’s not a deal-breaker.

Who is it for? If you want a large screen and long-lasting battery life, it doesn’t get better than the LG Gram.

7. Asus Vivobook Pro

Best Lightweight 17-inch laptop you should buy

asus vivobook pro lightest 17 inch laptop

ASUS VivoBook Pro Thin & Light Laptop, 17" Full HD , Intel i7-8550U Processor, 16GB RAM, 256GB SSD + 1TB HDD, NVIDIA Gaming GeForce GTX 1050,Backlit Keys, Windows 10, Star Gray, N705UD-EH76 ASUS VivoBook Pro Thin & Light Laptop, 17" Full HD , Intel i7-8550U Processor, 16GB RAM, 256GB SSD + 1TB HDD, NVIDIA Gaming GeForce GTX 1050,Backlit Keys, Windows 10, Star Gray, N705UD-EH76 Buy Now At Amazon $1,099.00

  • Weight: 4.6 pounds
  • Operating System: Windows 10
  • Processor: Intel Core i7 8550u
  • Touchscreen: No
  • Screen: 17.3-inch Full HD (1920×1080 pixels)
  • Memory: 16GB RAM
  • Storage: 256GB SSD + 1TB HDD
  • Ports: 2xUSB 3.0, 1xUSB-C, 1xMini HDMI, 1xSD card reader
  • Notable Features: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 discrete graphics
  • Biggest Problem: Low battery leads to low performance

Laptops with 17-inch screens are basically desktop replacements, so they should have all the features of a desktop computer. That includes a discrete graphics card, tons of storage space, and all the connectivity ports you will need. The Asus Vivobook Pro is the only 17-inch laptop to give you all of that, while still weighing less than 5 pounds.

A major issue with the Asus Vivobook Pro is its aggressive battery-enhancement. When the battery goes below 50%, the laptop cuts down performance tremendously to make it last longer.

Who is it for? The Asus Vivobook Pro is best for those who want a desktop replacement to watch movies, play games, and still carry the laptop around to classes or office.

8. MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

Best Lightweight gaming laptop you should buy

MSI GS65 Stealth THIN-051 15.6" 144Hz 7ms Ultra Thin Gaming Laptop GTX 1060 6G, i7-8750H 6 Core, 16GB RAM, 256GB SSD, RGB KB VR Ready, Metal, Black w/ Gold Diamond Cut, Win 10 Home 64bit MSI GS65 Stealth THIN-051 15.6" 144Hz 7ms Ultra Thin Gaming Laptop GTX 1060 6G, i7-8750H 6 Core, 16GB RAM, 256GB SSD, RGB KB VR Ready, Metal, Black w/ Gold Diamond Cut, Win 10 Home 64bit Buy Now At Amazon $1,749.00

  • Operating System: Windows 10 Pro
  • Processor: Intel Core i7 8750H
  • Touchscreen: No
  • Screen: 15.6-inch Full HD (1920×1080 pixels)
  • Memory: 16GB RAM
  • Storage: 256GB SSD
  • Ports: 3xUSB 3.0, 1xThunderbolt 3.0 or USB-C, 1xHDMI, 1xMini DisplayPort, 1xEthernet
  • Notable Features: Fantastic screen and speakers, discrete graphics card
  • Biggest Problem: Heats up a lot while gaming, no 4K screen

Gamers, the lightest laptop isn’t the much-vaunted Razer Blade. MSI GS65 Stealth Thin’s 4.1 pounds makes the Blade’s 4.6 pounds look heavy. Plus it has some of the best hardware available for gaming, including a fantastic screen.

That said, the screen is’t 4K, which might be a put-off for some. The laptop also heats up while playing games, so it’s best if you keep it on a desk at such times.

Who is it for? Gamers who want the lightest laptop without spending the premium of a Razer Blade, look no further. It’s the best ultrabook for gaming The Best Ultrabooks for Lightening Your Load The Best Ultrabooks for Lightening Your Load Ultrabooks cost more than budget notebook computers. But they are also lightweight. Choose one from our top picks for ultrabooks. Read More .

What About Chromebooks?

This list was all about lightweight laptops with full-fledged desktop operating systems like Windows and macOS. You can install Linux on most of these notebooks if you want. If you’re willing to go beyond those choices, consider a Chromebook, which is almost always cheaper and lighter.

The best lightweight Chromebook today is the Google Pixelbook, weighing in at 2.4 pounds. Most of the other good Chromebooks today aren’t too far apart, usually tipping the scale at less than 3 pounds. Pick from our list of the best Chromebooks today The 5 Best Chromebooks to Buy in 2018 The 5 Best Chromebooks to Buy in 2018 Looking for the best Chromebook on the market? Look no further, we've rounded up the best Chromebooks around! Read More or the best 2-in-1 Chromebooks The Best Chromebook 2-in-1 Convertible Laptops The Best Chromebook 2-in-1 Convertible Laptops Looking for the best convertible Chromebook 2-in-1 laptop? We've got a list of the best models, some of which can run Android apps! Read More and you won’t be disappointed.

Image Credit: billiondigital/Depositphotos

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  1. Luca Vignando
    September 8, 2018 at 5:52 am

    I think that some of the tech specs are wrong. Have a look at MS Surface: no touch screen and just full HD resolution? It is just the one for which I am sure, but I noticed several strange values else where in this article. It would be useful to add also a note about the kind of screen (matte or glossy)