When it comes to the best 13-inch laptops, portability is the name of the game. While 15-inch laptops offer bigger screen real estate and space for more powerful internals, their 13-inch counterparts provide that compact and lightweight design that many users appreciate.
However, don’t take that to mean that 13-inch laptops can’t also compete in terms of performance. The best 13-inch laptops combine extreme portability with great power, so they’ll see you through demanding every day tasks without being a burden on your back when you’re on the go. They even boast enough power to get some light gaming, music editing and photo editing done.
Many of the best 13-inch laptops are powerful enough to make our best laptops or best Ultrabooks lists. So, whether you’re in the market for 2-in-1 laptop, looking something specific like one of the best Acer laptops, or still deciding between best Windows tablets or the best Macs, you’ll be happy going small. Stick to our list of the best 13-inch laptops, and you won’t be disappointed.
Best 13-inch laptop at a glance:
- Dell XPS 13
- Huawei MateBook 13
- Google Pixelbook Go
- HP Spectre x360
- Microsoft Surface Book 2 (13.5-inch)
- Razer Blade Stealth 13 (2019)
- HP Envy x360 13 (2019)
- Surface Laptop 2
- Lenovo Yoga C930
- MacBook Pro (13-inch, 2019)
1. Dell XPS 13
Best-in-class like you’ve never seen it before
CPU: Quad-core Intel Core i3 – i7 | Graphics: Intel UHD Graphics 620 | RAM: 8GB – 16GB | Screen: 13.3-inch FHD (1,920 x 1,080) – 4K (3,840 x 2,160) | Storage: 256GB – 2TB SSD
Gorgeous new design
White option is pricier
While its changes over last year’s model are subtle, there’s no doubt that the Dell XPS 13 is still one of the best 13-inch laptops money can buy. On the high end, the 4K display delivers a sharper picture across the board. But, even if you can’t afford the highest end model, the dashing design, long battery life and SD card slot aren’t going anywhere. More importantly, you’ve got a quad-core processor regardless of configuration you end up with. The Dell XPS 13 is, without a doubt, one of the best 13-inch laptops right now.
Read the full review: Dell XPS 13
2. Huawei MateBook 13
CPU: Quad-core Intel Core i5 – i7 | Graphics: Intel UHD Graphics 620; Nvidia GeForce MX150 (optional) | RAM: 8GB – 16GB | Screen: 13.3-inch QHD (2,560 x 1,440) | Storage: 256GB – 512GB SSD
Limited to 8GB RAM
It’s not often that we find a 13-inch laptop that ticks all the right boxes with very little compromise. The Huawei MateBook 13 is one of those very few devices. Rocking the latest Intel Whiskey Lake processors and Nvidia MX150 graphics in a chassis that really should be too small to fit them all in, the Huawei MateBook 13 is a powerful machine that can easily slip into most backpacks or medium-sized tote bags. Even better for users who cannot afford to splurge, it’s budget-friendly. What more could you ask for?
Read the full review: Huawei MateBook 13
3. Google Pixelbook Go
The best mainstream Chromebook
CPU: Intel Core m3 – i7 | Graphics: Intel UHD Graphics 615 | RAM: 8GB – 16GB | Screen: 13.3-inch Full HD – 13.3-inch 4K Ultra HD Molecular Display | Storage: 64GB – 256GB
Amazing ‘Hush’ keyboard
Rare 1080p webcam
No biometric login
If you’ve long been admiring Google’s premium Chromebook but the price is holding you back, then you might want to consider the new Google Pixelbook Go instead. Freshly-baked by Google, this alternative to the manufacturer’s pricey Pixelbook boasts many of its high-quality features, but without that steep price tag – namely, an incredible battery life and that coveted keyboard. If your computing use is limited to sending and responding to emails, creating documents and excel sheets on Google Docs and Sheets, and streaming movies and videos after work, then this one’s a winner.
Read the full review: Google Pixelbook Go
4. HP Spectre x360
CPU: Intel Core i5 – i7 | Graphics: Intel UHD Graphics 620 – Nvidia GeForce MX150 | RAM: 8GB – 16GB | Screen: 13.3-inch full HD (1,920 x 1,080) – UHD (3,840 x 2,160) touchscreen | Storage: 256GB – 2TB PCIe SSD
Long battery life
One look at the HP Spectre x360, and you’ll find it to deny that it’s one of the most beautiful laptops on the market today. That gem-cut build means it’ll get your work done in style. It’s not all skin-deep, however. This stunning 13-inch laptop is packed with the latest Intel hardware as well, so you know it can get your work done. And, if that’s not enough, it can also be flipped around into tablet mode. The HP Spectre x360 really is one of the best 13-inch laptops out there.
Read the full review: HP Spectre x360
5. Microsoft Surface Book 2 (13.5-inch)
Bigger isn’t always better: a memoir
CPU: Intel Core i5 – i7 | Graphics: Intel UHD 620 – Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 | RAM: 8GB – 16GB | Screen: 13.5-inch, 3,000 x 2,000 PixelSense display | Storage: 256GB – 1TB SSD
Very good battery life
Not as powerful as 15-inch model
While the 13-inch version isn’t the most powerful Surface Book 2, it still makes for one of the best 13-inch laptops on the market. Whether you’re a professional or a creative or even a student, the Surface Book 2 will handle your daily workload effortlessly and in style. What’s more, the dynamic fulcrum hinge is much improved this time around, complementing the robust quad-core processor. And, unlike many other 2-in-1 laptops, the keyboard is removable to make it much more manageable, as well as thinner, when in tablet mode.
Read the full review: Microsoft Surface Book 2
6. Razer Blade Stealth 13 (2019)
Lightweight Razer style, now in white
CPU: 10th-generation Intel Core i7 | Graphics: Intel Iris Plus Graphics – GeForce GTX 1650 Max-Q | RAM: 16GB | Screen: 13.3″ FHD Matte w/ 4.9mm slim side bezel – 13.3″ 4K Touch w/ 4.9mm slim side bezel | Storage: 512GB SSD
Top-notch build quality
Battery life is solid
Limited storage space
Lacks a discrete GPU
The “world’s first gaming ultrabook” doesn’t just talk the talk; it also walks the walk. Razer has spruced up its Blade Stealth 13 Ultrabook with the latest internal components without affecting its super-quiet operation. Packed with a 10th-generation Intel Core i7 processor and better graphic options, 13-inch laptop delivers and much better than its predecessor. In fact, it might just be the best gaming experience we’ve ever had on integrated graphics with the Iris Plus configuration. Round that out with extremely quiet fans, low thermal power, extended battery life and that delightful Mercury White color, and we are sold. You will be too, if you can afford the price.
Read the full review: Razer Blade Stealth 13 (2019)
7. HP Envy x360 13 (2019)
HP gives its slimline laptop an AMD upgrade
CPU: AMD Ryzen 3 3300U – AMD Ryzen 7 3700U | Graphics: AMD Radeon Vega 6 – Radeon Vega 10 | RAM: 8GB – 16GB | Screen: 13.3″ diagonal FHD IPS (1,920 x 1,080) | Storage: 256 GB – 1TB SSD
Slim and sleek for a 2-in-1
High quality chassis
Improved battery life
CPU performance merely adequate
Graphics performance disappointing
Thanks to its sleek 13-inch design, this 2-in-1 is slimmer that you would have expected, which works in your favor when using it in tablet mode. There are other excellent reasons why you must consider the HP Envy x360 (2019) when sorting through the best 13-inch laptops on the market. This one boasts a premium build, 9 hours of video playback and a performance that will get you through most of your schoolwork and project, all without burning a hole in your pocket.
Read the full review: HP Envy x360 (2019)
8. Surface Laptop 2
Faster. Better. Stronger.
CPU: 8th generation Intel Core i5 – i7 | Graphics: Intel UHD Graphics 620 | RAM: 8GB – 16GB | Screen: 13.5-inch, 2,256 x 1,504 PixelSense display | Storage: 128GB – 1TB SSD
New black color scheme
Still no Thunderbolt 3
The early Surface Laptop had our vote for one of the best 13-inch laptops, due to its stunning screen, competent internals and solid build quality. We are, therefore, happy to see its sequel, the Surface Laptop 2, doing everything better and taking some features to a new level. You won’t find any major changes, but the faster 8th-generation CPUs, 8GB of RAM and, most importantly, the removal of Windows 10 S all add up to making the Surface Laptop 2 one of the best 13-inch laptops right now.
Read the full review: Surface Laptop 2
9. Lenovo Yoga C930
A 2-in-1 experience with little to no compromise
CPU: up to 8th-generation Intel Core i7 | Graphics: Intel UHD Graphics 620 | RAM: Up to 16 GB | Screen: 13.9-inch UHD (3840 x 2160) – 13.9-inch FHD (1920 x 1080) IPS Glossy Multi-touch with Dolby Vision | Storage: Up to 2 TB PCIe SSD
Strong build quality
Robust feature set
Excellent battery life
Weak graphics performance
While slightly bigger than your usual 13-inch laptop, this nearly 14-inch 2-in-1 challenger has a few aces up its sleeve – including longevity, power and durability. This means that the latest Lenovo Yoga C930 will last users long enough to get through their day-to-day workload and squeeze in some entertainment at the end of each day. To round it all out, this device also has a nice display with deep colors, a great keyboard and a decent trackpad. It may not have the best graphics performance, but it definitely more than makes up for that, making it one of the best 13-inch laptops 2020 has to offer.
Read the full review: Lenovo Yoga C930
10. MacBook Pro (13-inch, 2019)
CPU: 1.4GHz quad-core Intel Core i5 – 2.8GHz quad-core Intel Core i7 | Graphics: Intel Iris Plus Graphics 645 – 655 | RAM: 8GB – 16GB | Screen: 13.3-inch (diagonal) 2560 x 1600 LED-backlit display with IPS technology | Storage: 128GB – 2TB SSD | Dimensions (H x W x D): 0.59 x 11.97 x 8.36 inches
Good build quality
Thin and light design
Excellent battery life
Not the most powerful laptop
The MacBook Pro (13-inch, 2019) is a minor update to last year’s model, with slightly tweaked internals. However, seeing as the 2018 model took a spot on our best 13-inch laptops list, the 2019 refresh with its small improvements is just as deserving of that spot. The design remains the same, which is good news if you’re a fan of previous MacBook Pros, but with slightly more powerful components so if you’ve been looking to upgrade your aging MacBook Pro, this one affords you that chance.
Read the full review: MacBook Pro (13-inch, 2019)
Bill Thomas, Gabe Carey and Michelle Rae Uy have also contributed to this article