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Best 13 inch Laptop

Ardjuna Seghers


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.

Samsung Series 9 900X3B
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.
Apple MacBook Air 13-inch 2012
Even without a Retina Display, the new MacBook Air is well worth considering.
Sony VAIO S 13 7
While we haven't actually fully tested the new VAIO S in our lab, we came away from our hands-on time impressed and going by the previous model (the VAIO S 13 2011) it's going to be a neat little machine. We'll update this roundup as soon as we have the full review.
HP Folio 13
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.
Acer Aspire S3
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.
Samsung Series 9 900X3A
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.
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