Dell Inspiron 5567 15.6-inch Laptop (Core i7 Gen 7, 16GB RAM, 2TB SATA HDD, Windows)[/easyazon_link]The XPS 13 configuration we recommend costs around $1,100 and has a seventh-generation Intel Core i5-7200U processor, 8 GB of RAM, a 256 GB solid-state drive, a fingerprint reader, a Thunderbolt 3 port, and a 13.3-inch 1080p display. Dell packed all this into a 12-inch chassis by shrinking the bezel around the screen to a teensy 5 millimeters—a couple years ago this was revolutionary, but it’s become the standard as other manufacturers have ditched the bezel to make smaller, lighter laptops. But the XPS 13’s tiny bezel shunts the webcam to the left corner beneath the screen, so you should be prepared for some unflattering nostril and chin angles during video calls. (Our runner-up also has a skinny bezel but keeps the webcam in the top center, so if you use a webcam all the time, skip ahead.) That minor flaw aside, the Dell XPS 13’s excellent battery life, comfortable keyboard, good trackpad, and reasonable price make it the best ultrabook for getting work done in the office or on the go.
If you want a convertible laptop—one with a 360-degree hinge that allows you to flip the screen around to use the laptop like a tablet, or in any intermediate position—and don’t mind sacrificing some battery life and carrying a larger, slightly heavier laptop, you should get the HP Spectre x360. Specifically, we recommend the model with a 1080p touchscreen, an Intel Core i5-7200U processor, 8 GB of RAM, and a 256 GB solid-state drive. The Spectre x360 typically costs a bit less than the XPS 13 for similar specs and build quality, plus its webcam is in the right place. Its keyboard, trackpad, and screen are all as good as the XPS 13’s, but the x360’s shorter battery life—6 hours, 27 minutes in our test, about an hour short of the Dell XPS 13—and slightly larger, heavier body keep it from being our top pick for most people.
Budget Laptop Deal :
If you’re on a budget but still need a quality ultrabook, the Asus ZenBook UX330UA is fantastic for its price. Slim and light, it has great battery life, a good backlit keyboard, and a fingerprint reader. Its specs are nearly identical to those of our top pick—except for a slower solid-state drive—but it costs about $350 less. The only things holding the ZenBook back from being our top pick are its less reliable trackpad, larger size, and lack of Thunderbolt 3. But if those features aren’t worth several hundred dollars to you, you should get the ZenBook.