Top 5 Best Ultrabooks (2016, budget & premium)
Hi, it’s HandyAndy Tech Tips here, and today I’m going to be counting down what are, in my opinion, the top 5 ultrabooks of late 2015 and early 2016. I’ve selected them on a couple of criteria, including performance, battery life, appearance and price, so they should be some of the best ultraportable laptops you can get at the moment. Alright, so at the #5 position is the LG Gram 14Z950. This 14 inch featherweight combines great design and performance with an almost impossibly light chassis. It weighs in at just pounds, which is 980 grams, just incredible. So the big thing about this laptop for me is the design. I’m a big fan of the magnesium chassis, it looks really premium, I also like the thin bezels on the screen and, surprisingly, the keyboard is really good; it provides great tactile feedback for something included in a half-inch thick laptop.
In terms of specs, it has a 2.4GHz Core i7 with 8GB RAM, a 256GB SATA SSD and a 14″ Full HD IPS screen. Overall, I think the LG Gram is really impressive, and it retails at $1400 US dollars. At the #4 spot is the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon. Now in terms of design, the ThinkPad goes for a more professional, business-grade look, and it’s actually one of the most durable ultrabooks in this list, with a lid that’s reinforced by carbon and glass fibres, and a carbon magnesium base. Despite this strength, it still measures to weigh in at only pounds, which is kilograms. Now, the X1 Carbon does have its problems, with a glossy screen that might prove to be annoying in the sun, and a meagre 4 hour battery life when tested by TechRadar.
But the positives do outweigh the negatives, with the spec sheet showing an impressive Core i7 CPU, Quad HD IPS display and 256GB SSD. Overall, I think that, even though there’s some tough competition, the X1 Carbon still holds its ground, and the top end model costs just a little over $1800 US dollars from Lenovo’s website. Moving to #3, and here we find the Dell XPS 13. This fantastic ultraportable has recently been upgraded to Intel’s new Skylake processor architecture, which means that it will be both faster and more power efficient than ever before.
The display has also been improved, with Dell’s InfinityEdge technology delivering this amazing screen which has ultra-thin borders, allowing the Quad HD panel to really shine. Now, of course, XPS always means quality, and this new model is no exception. The chassis measures 11mm at its thickest point, and it’s made of very high quality materials and feels really durable. The specs are also fantastic, with a Core i5, 8GB RAM and 256GB PCI express SSD. And in terms of battery life, Dell claims that the XPS 13 will last for 11 hours on a single charge, which is certainly a refreshing change. I think the XPS 13 is just a fantastic all-round notebook, and with all these features, the $1450 price tag seems quite reasonable. Now at #2 is the Samsung ATIV Book 9. This notebook has been described as offering “Apple-level aesthetics to the Windows crowd”, and it’s not hard to see why. It has an ultra thin, anodised aluminium body, which measures in at inches or 1.4cm. I’m a big fan of the pleasing dark blue finish, and I also like the tapered edge, which has allowed Samsung to include two full USB ports, unlike some other ultra-portables…
I’m looking at you, Apple. Anyway, the screen is razor sharp, with a inch Quad HD touch enabled panel that has deep, saturated colours and excellent viewing angles. The chicklet keyboard is not bad, and the internal specs measure up quite nicely, with a 2.2GHz Core i5 processor, 4GB RAM and 128GB SATA SSD. But what I can’t get over is just how good this notebook really is. It’s truly a premium product, a perfect combination of Apple design with PC-class specifications, and all at the price of $1300 US dollars. So now, we arrive at the #1 spot.
And to be honest, it wasn’t too hard to choose what is, in my opinion, the very best ultrabook available at the moment. And it is…. the Microsoft Surface Book. This is the culmination of Microsoft’s engineering efforts, and I think their hard work has really paid off, especially in the design department. You only need to look at the Fulcrum hinge, which is really unlike anything we’ve seen before. The hinge uses what Microsoft calls Muscle Wire locks to hold the display securely onto the keyboard… which is important, because the screen is detachable. All the components, including the cpu, storage, memory and battery, are integrated into the display unit, so it can also be used as a tablet. So you’re probably thinking, all right, sounds quite similar to the Surface Pro to me. But here’s where it starts to differ. In the base model Surface Book, the keyboard holds an extra battery, but in the Core i7 version, it actually includes a discrete Nvidia GPU.
And the design is fantastic. The body is magnesium alloy, and I think the keyboard especially looks more professional than either the Type Cover or the Touch Cover for the Surface Pro. So what about specs? Well, let’s start with the display, which is a 13.5″ 3000 x 2000 pixel panel. Behind this sits a Core i5 or i7 processor, depending on which model you choose, but both are based on the new Skylake architecture. You’ll also get between 128GB and 1TB of SSD storage, and 8 or 16GB of RAM. So for me, the Surface Book is a fantastic product, and really deserves the first place on this roundup.
But what do you think? Leake your thoughts in the comments below. So if you enjoyed this video, please subscribe to my channel, and feel free to give this video a like. I’m HandyAndy and thanks so much for watching!.