Power meets portability: the best ultrabooks on the market

The average consumer demands a lot out of their laptop nowadays. Not only does it have to be able to handle intensive tasks, it has to be portable enough to be slipped into a backpack, have a design that’s easy on the eyes, and pack a powerful enough battery to last the entire day.

Just a few years ago, these conditions would have been impossible to fulfill. Fortunately, the latest offerings available on the market are truly worthy of the name “ultrabook” – slick, stylish inventions with some awe-inspiring components under the hood. Whether you’re a business executive, graphic designer, or college student, you can’t go wrong with any of these recommendations.

HP Spectre

Image: HP

At first glance, the HP Spectre looks more like a fashion accessory than it does a laptop. Decked out in sleek black and gold, it claims to be the thinnest laptop on the market, and it certainly is. Wafer-thin at just 10.4mm (by contrast, the Apple MacBook comes in at 13.1mm) at its thickest point, the HP Spectre somehow manages to fit a powerful 6th-generation i7 processor and a 512GB solid-state drive in its svelte frame.

With a speaker setup from venerated audio company Bang and Olufsen, as well as a backlit keyboard and glass trackpad, the Spectre doesn’t just look premium – it delivers on all fronts.

Apple MacBook

Image: Alphr

Need a miniscule laptop that you can slip into your handbag or satchel? The latest iteration of Apple’s MacBook has you covered. While its screen may be tiny, all 12 inches of it are packed full of eye-popping detail, with a pixel density of a whopping 226 pixels per square inch.

If you’re big on cosmetic customisation, not to worry – while previous entries in the MacBook series were limited to plain old silver, the MacBook comes in four different colours of Rose Gold, Silver, Gold and Space Grey. But the best part? The whole package weighs just 920g. Be careful you don’t lose its tiny frame inside a sheaf of loose paper!

Razer Blade Stealth

Image: Razer

Needless to say, for a company that’s cemented itself as the biggest name in gaming peripherals, the announcement of the Razer Blade Stealth raised many eyebrows. Aimed at “gamers who go”, the Blade Stealth forgoes its bigger brother’s Nvidia GeForce GTX 970M graphics card for a thinner, lighter package. Finished in matte black with glowing green accents, the Blade Stealth unmistakably bears the Razer pedigree.

But if you’re still looking to scratch that gaming itch, the Blade Stealth is compatible with Razer’s upcoming Core external graphics enclosure, which allows gamers to hook up a dedicated desktop-caliber graphics card to their laptop via a Thunderbolt 3 connection. Naturally, this will mean you’ll have to sacrifice some portability to tote around the Core enclosure, but for desktop graphics? Totally worth it.

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon

Image: Amazon

Lenovo is known for having the best keyboards in the business, and the X1 Carbon is no exception. The key travel on its keyboard is satisfyingly deep and provides excellent tactile feedback, perfect for typists who spend all day on their laptops.

But an excellent keyboard isn’t all that the X1 Carbon has to offer. Featuring an understated carbon-fiber finish, the X1 Carbon claims to be the lightest 14-inch laptop on the market, weighing in at just 1.17kg. With Intel’s latest i7 Skylake processors and up to a 1TB solid-state drive under the hood, this black beauty not only looks great, but performs lightning-fast as well.

Microsoft Surface Book

Image: Gizmodo AU

There was a lot of hype surrounding Microsoft’s first entry into the ultrabook arena, and not only did it live up to the hype, it exceeded expectations in every way. Whilst the tech giant had built a strong following with previous entries in the Surface series, the Surface Book was the first true convertible 2-in-1 laptop from them.

And what a convertible it is. Armed with a 10-point touchscreen and a nifty new Surface Pen stylus, the Surface Book is equal parts tablet, laptop and digital sketchpad. A proprietary graphics card from Nvidia makes graphics-intensive tasks like Photoshop and Lightroom a breeze, making this a must-consider for digital artists and photo editors. With an Intel i7 processor, a huge 1TB solid-state drive and plenty of RAM, Microsoft is looking to make all of your other devices instantly obsolete.

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