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Best 13 inch Laptop

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Best 13" laptops roundup

Also read our related round-ups:
Best Laptop
Best Tablet
Best Ultrabook
Best Netbook


Like people, laptops come in all sorts of different shapes and sizes. On one end of the spectrum there are weighty 17in desktop replacements which are good for use around the house. On the other we have 10in netbooks, which is as portable as you can get without going for a convertible tablet.

With most 15in laptops still being a little on the heavy and large side for convenient all-day portability, 13in notebooks arguably provide the ideal middle ground. It’s certainly the category where we’ve seen a lot of growth with the introduction of Intel’s Ultrabook standard.

But if this is the size you’re after, which one should you go for? We help you choose the best 13in laptop for your needs, whether you’re after an affordable ultraportable, premium Ultrabook, business or consumer machine.


Round-up Items

Samsung Series 9 900X3B

19 August 2012

Clad in sleek brushed aluminium, Samsung's latest Series 9 is the lightest, thinnest 13in laptop around, yet still packs in generous connectivity, excellent usability and decent specs. However, the real highlight is the best screen we've yet seen on any ultraportable, a stunning matt PLS affair with a 1,600 x 900 resolution. You pay a premium price, but this is a lot of laptop for the money.

Our rating:

Apple MacBook Air 13-inch 2012

03 July 2012

Even without a Retina Display, the new MacBook Air is well worth considering.

Our rating:

HP Folio 13

15 March 2012

Since its price has come down to a mere £650, the Folio 13 has to be the bargain of the 13in Ultrabook bunch. We have very few complaints with this well-built machine, and since it's one of the cheapest models going, those it does have a re easy to forgive.

Our rating:

Acer Aspire S3

16 November 2011

Until HP's Folio 13 dropped drastically in price, this was the most affordable 13in Ultrabook around. It's still worth considering if you fancy something with more of a tapering edge than the relatively blocky Folio.

Our rating:

Dell XPS 13 Ultrabook

23 April 2012

Built with aluminium, magnesium alloy, gorilla glass and carbon fibre, Dell's high-end 13in Ultrabook crams in more premium materials than any other laptop. Build, design and usability are all top notch, though limited connectivity and a sub-par screen do let the side down a little. So while we would recommend spending the extra to get the 900X3B, if for some reason you don't fancy Samsung's contestant or you're after an Ultrabook with TPM, this XPS is well worth considering.

Our rating:
Samsung Series 9 900X3A

Samsung Series 9 900X3A

08 April 2011

It's getting a little long in the tooth but this previous-generation Series 9 model still has it where it counts. A duraluminum chassis, fold-out connectivity, backlit keyboard and still the best TN screen we've seen all combine into a pretty attractive whole, especially since it manages to beat the 900X3B in battery life.

Our rating:
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