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The 5 Best Lightweight Laptops of 2021

If your laptop happens to be entering its golden years, look to these new, shiny, skinny power players.

tech roundup

It's true that the tablet has stolen a bit of the laptop’s thunder these days, true productivity hounds know that getting stuff done still happens more effortlessly on the latter. Today, laptop users enjoy the twin perks of thin and powerful devices, and with modern, svelte designs, outstanding battery life and sinking price tags, the lightweight laptop’s entering its golden age.

If your laptop happens to be entering its golden years, look to these new, shiny, skinny power players. The current crop of laptops offers ultralight, ultra-potent computing that cranks with even the most demanding key tappers.

M1 MacBook Air


M1 MacBook Air

Apple apple.com

Weight: 2.8 pounds
Display size:
OS: macOS

Best for Apple users

Released in late 2020, the M1 MacBook Air is Apple's best-ever lightweight laptop. It has the exact same M1 processor that's found in the M1 MacBook Pro (as well as the new M1 iPad Pro and M1 iMac), which gives it the huge power and efficiency over its Intel-based predecessors. The lack of any type of fan also means that this M1 MacBook Air is also dead quiet. If you don't need to be running professional applications (to edit video or code), the M1 MacBook Air is a more affordable option than the M1 MacBook Pro.

Surface Laptop Go


Microsoft Surface Laptop Go

surface microsoft.com

Weight: 2.45 pounds
Display size:
OS: Windows

Best Budget

The Surface Laptop Go borrows many features from the company's Surface Laptop and pairs them with durable-yet-less-premium materials; the top is made of aluminum, while the bottom is made of polycarbonate resin. It comes with a 12.4-inch touchscreen display and a nice click-y keyboard. Its Intel Core i5 processor isn't upgradable, but you can upgrade your RAM and storage space (and you'll likely want to at least get the mid-tier model with at 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage, which runs for about $700). All-in-all, this one of the best budget Windows 10 laptops that you can buy.

Dell XPS 13


Dell XPS 13

Dell dell.com

Weight: 2.64 pounds
Display size:
OS: Windows

Best Upgrade

The Dell XPS 13 is beautiful and powerful machine. It has super thin bezels that make its 13-inch display — which is configurable up to 4K, although most people will be fine with a 1080p model — even more eye-catching that it already is. The 2020 model runs on an 11th-generation Intel processor and is configurable with up to Intel Iris Xe Graphics, 16GB of RAM and 512GB of onboard storage. It comes with two USB-C ports, a headphone jack and a microSD card reader (a rarity).

LG Gram 17


LG Gram 17

LG lg.com

Weight: 2.98
Display size:
OS: Windows

Biggest Screen

The LG Gram 17 is more than just its display. Yes, its 17-inch display is absolutely ginormous and it's great for viewing spreadsheets or watching immersive videos. But the LG Gram 17 is also very powerful, thanks to its 11-generation Intel processor, and it has a tremendous battery life (up to 19.5 hours). It also has more ports than most other lightweight laptops, including two USB-A, two USB-C, one HDMI and a microSD card reader. (It can power two 4K displays or one 8K display).

Razer Blade Stealth


Razer Blade Stealth

Razer walmart.com

Weight: 3.26 pounds
Display size:

Best Gaming

The Razer Blade Stealth is the best ultra-portable laptop for gaming. It packs a bunch of gaming- specs that are specific to gaming, such as a Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650 Ti graphics card and display with a 120Hz refresh rate. Its metal construction makes it feel premium without adding much weight, and its keyboard is nice and click-y (plus the backlighting is color customizable). That said, it's also just a really capable Windows 10 laptop, running a Intel Core i7 processor, so it's good for both work and play.

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