Best Ultrabook 2018: The finest high-end laptops you can buy today from Dell, Apple and Microsoft

If you’re willing to spend the big bucks on an Ultrabook – essentially, a thin and light laptop that’s a cut above the average – well, you’re in for a treat. Where a budget laptop or bargain bin Chromebook are like driftwood, bobbing aimlessly off the coast of Skegness, ultrabooks are the multi-million dollar yachts of the laptop world.

READ NEXT: The best Chromebooks you can buy

There are things to consider before splashing out, though. It’s worth thinking about whether you need a colour-accurate display for photo editing or design duties, especially long-lasting battery life for lengthy commutes, or specific connectivity or features which will come in handy whether you’re out and about or sat back at your desk.

Below, you’ll find a regularly updated list of our favourite Ultrabooks, each chosen after hours of testing – and after tackling our demanding suite of benchmarks. Whatever you’re searching for, you’ll find something here that suits your needs. Read on and we’ll run through all the key things you need to know.

How to choose the best Ultrabook

What is an Ultrabook?

An Ultrabook is a special category of laptop – a categorisation reserved solely for top-end devices.

These laptops are typically fitted with the best current-generation processors, RAM and storage configurations that factory assembly lines have to offer, all squeezed inside a super-thin and ultralight device that’ll make it a joy to use – and earn admiring glances from your fellow commuters on the train ride home.

Do I need an Ultrabook?

Whether or not you need an Ultrabook depends entirely on your needs. If you’ll only be using your laptop to keep tabs on your emails and drum up the occasional PowerPoint presentation, then look elsewhere – you can save a lot of money in the process. But, if you require processing grunt from a laptop that’s nice and portable, and that can handle heavyweight apps without grinding to a halt, then an Ultrabook is the right category of laptop for you.

How much do I need to spend?

Ultrabooks are not cheap.

You’re getting the best manufacturers have to offer after all, often with a suitably high asking price attached. While you don’t necessarily need to spend a lot – some configurations start off around the GBP700 mark – you’ll be spending nearer GBP2,000 for models with Core i7 processors, the largest SSDs and top-notch 4K displays.

What criteria should I look out for?

There are many things to be wary of when making your decision. Of course, it all depends what you’ll be using the laptop for on a day-to-day basis, but you’ll need to make sure that the laptop’s components are as up to date as possible – a quick Google search will tell you the manufacture date – and you better make sure to read our many in-depth laptop reviews to get a feel for the device before you buy.

The best Ultrabooks to buy from GBP1,099

Dell XPS 13: The best Ultrabook money can buy

Price from: GBP1,099 l Buy now from Amazon

The undisputed Ultrabook king, Dell’s XPS 13 has seen multiple upgrades over the years but has remained one of our favourite laptops throughout.

Intel’s top-end internals are squeezed inside its super-light, carbon-clad chassis, and we could stare into its superb bezel-less screen for hours. Best of all, the entry-level models are soon to be even cheaper thanks to Dell’s decision to add Core i3 options to the line-up. You no longer need to dip into your rainy day fund for the latest XPS 13 and, as a result, there’s simply no better all-round choice.

Not sure if it’s the right Ultrabook for you? Read our Dell XPS 13 review Key specs – Processor: Quad-core 1.8GHz Intel Core i7-8550U; RAM: 8GB; Storage: 256GB; Screen resolution: 1,920 x 1,080; Weight: 1.21Kg

2.

Huawei MateBook X Pro: The unknown ultrabook

Price from: GBP1,309 l Buy now from Amazon

Best Ultrabook 2018: The finest high-end laptops you can buy today from Dell, Apple and Microsoft

A newcomer to the laptop scene, Huawei’s MateBook X Pro is a wonderful ultrabook choice. While last year’s model failed to gain the recognition it deserved, this year’s MateBook X Pro is something particularly special. It’s better in almost every respect: It’s lighter, faster, has a great bezel-free display and it looks seriously good, too.

The only issue, however, is that you won’t find the MateBook X Pro on store shelves in the UK, so you’ll have to find a grey import seller if this laptop tickles your fancy. Not sure if it’s the right Ultrabook for you? Read our Huawei Matebook X Pro review

Key specs – Processor: Quad-core 1.8GHz Intel Core i7-8550U; RAM: 16GB; Storage: 512GB; Screen resolution: 3,000 x 2,000; Weight: 1.33Kg

3. LG Gram: The best big-screened Ultrabook

Price from: GBP1,099 l Buy now from Currys PC World

Best Ultrabook 2018: The finest high-end laptops you can buy today from Dell, Apple and Microsoft

Almost faultless, the LG Gram is the best large-screened Ultrabook money can buy. What’s so special?

Well, the clue is in the name: despite its massive screen, the Gram is nice and backpack-friendly without any performance compromises. Its 15.6in display is as accurate as the very best professional-grade monitors, it lasts up to two days on a single charge, and performance is as good as many other modern laptops. Squeeze all that inside the lightest 15in laptop to date, and the Gram is a surefire success.

Not sure if it’s the right Ultrabook for you? Read our LG Gram review Buy it now from Currys PC World

Key specs – Processor: Quad-core 1.8GHz Intel Core i7-8550U; RAM: 16GB; Storage: 1TB; Screen resolution: 1,920 x 1,080; Weight: 1.09Kg

4. Apple MacBook Pro: Apple’s Ultrabook alternative

Price from: GBP1,249 l Buy now from Currys PC World

Best Ultrabook 2018: The finest high-end laptops you can buy today from Dell, Apple and Microsoft

You could argue that the MacBook Pro isn’t strictly an Ultrabook, but if Windows isn’t your thing then it’s the only choice. And what a choice it is: Apple’s recently-refreshed MacBook Pros have a lot to offer, and can empty bank accounts with a wide array of tempting upgrades, including up to 4TB of SSD storage – perfect for chomping through 4K video editing duties.

The latest MacBook Pro recently passed through our doors and smashed through our benchmark tests. In fact, it blew most Windows-powered Ultrabooks clear out of the water. If money is no object, well, you can spec out a MacBook Pro that will last you well after its cheaper alternatives have kicked the bucket.

Not sure if it’s the right Ultrabook for you? Read our Apple MacBook Pro review Buy it now from Currys PC World

Key specs – Processor: Quad-core 2.7GHz Intel Core i7-8559U; RAM: 8GB; Storage: 2TB; Screen resolution: 2,560 x 1,600; Weight: 1.37Kg

5. Microsoft Surface Book 2: A detachable delight

Price from: GBP1,149 l Buy now from Amazon

Best Ultrabook 2018: The finest high-end laptops you can buy today from Dell, Apple and Microsoft

A truly unique laptop, Microsoft’s most recent Surface Book 2 isn’t to be trifled with. Available in either 13in or 15in configurations, this 2-in-1 device looks every inch the high-end Ultrabook – dab the button and the screen separates to become a giant tablet replete with stylus.

The display is colour-accurate, there are a handful of configuration options to pick and choose from and it’s very well-priced given its top-shelf credentials. Get the Surface Book 2 if versatility is at the top of your agenda. Not sure if it’s the right Ultrabook for you?

Read our Microsoft Surface Book 2 review Key specs – Processor: Quad-core 2.11GHz Intel Core i7-8650U; RAM: 16GB; Storage: 1TB; Screen resolution: 3,000 x 2,000; Weight: 1.64Kg

6. Razer Blade: Great for both work and play

Price from: GBP1,699 l Buy now from Razer

Best Ultrabook 2018: The finest high-end laptops you can buy today from Dell, Apple and Microsoft

All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.

Thankfully, with the newly-refreshed Razer Blade, you can recover from the interminable barrage of spreadsheets and work emails with a spot of gaming once 5pm comes around. Sure, the Razer Blade is an excellent choice for work – it’s just as well-equipped as any other of the Ultrabooks here – but what’s particularly special here is its gaming capabilities. With a choice of dedicated Nvidia GPUs to choose from, as well as the option to upgrade to a 144Hz or 4K screen, the Razer Blade is a gamer’s dream device.

Not sure if it’s the right Ultrabook for you? Read our Razer Blade review Buy it now from Razer

Key specs – Processor: Hexa-core 2.2GHz Intel Core i7-8750H; RAM: 16GB; Storage: 512GB; Screen resolution: 1,920 x 1,080; Weight: 2.1Kg

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