As the world enters its post-Covid era and commuting and international travel resumes, laptop manufacturers are keen to capitalize on businesses looking to equip their hybrid teams with the lightest notebooks in the market. Not surprisingly, these rank amongst the best business laptops. More often than not, ultra-portability is a desirable feature and comes with a significant premium that only deep-pocket organizations can afford.
We’ve put together a list of the lightest laptops you can actually buy right now. All of them are Intel-powered, Windows based (no Mac here) and the nine entries come from nine different manufacturers with one very notable absentee. Can you guess what laptop vendor has failed to deliver a single notebook weighing less than 2.2Lbs? The answer at the end of this feature.
Remarkably, 17g separates the lightest laptop in sale from the 5th entrant; that’s a mere 2%. For the purpose of this piece, we will be looking at traditional laptops but exclude the following:
- Detachables (tablets with an attached keyboard)
- Laptops without a touchpad (common in devices with sub-10-inch displays)
- Windows laptops based on ARM
- Laptops based on older technology (10th generation Intel or prior)
Read our write up on the best ultrabooks on the market, where performance and general value for money pip weight.
At 868g, The Galaxy Book Pro from Samsung is the lightest laptop you can buy right but only just, thanks to its magnesium alloy body. When we reviewed it back in August 2021, we found out that it was a “powerful and nicely designed Ultrabook that comes with cutting-edge Intel processors, Wi-Fi 6 and immense battery life. It’s pricey, but you’re getting a fantastic laptop – and it’s a great choice for people with other Samsung devices. ”
While it does come with Windows 10 Home by default, it would make a great business laptop thanks to the presence of Samsung DeX, a hardware TPM chip and a fingerprint reader. You can always upgrade to Windows 11 Pro. Check out the review of the Samsung Galaxy Book Pro.
The Japanese laptop vendor formerly known as Toshiba has produced some stunning thin-and-light laptops even before these became fashionable: the Booklet range and the AC100 were stuff of legend and heralded a golden age for Nippon laptop manufacturers. Unlike the Galaxy Book Pro, the X30L is resolutely targeted at a business audience.
We reviewed the earlier iteration of the X30L Portable Dynabook, which is based on a 10th generation Core processor and marginally loses out for the title of lightest laptop on sale. The newer models, powered by 12th generation CPUs are slightly heavier but come with improved technologies like Thunderbolt 4 or Windows 11 Pro. Worth noting that Dynabook is, by far, the best light laptop when it comes to expansion capabilities. It even has a GbE LAN port.
The only other non-Japanese brand in the list, the Asus Expertbook, ties at second place. We haven’t reviewed this business laptop yet but it does, on paper, appear to be a formidable contender. It has a 14-inch display (which will appeal to some) and has an extra expansion slot to boost its storage capacity by adding a second SSD. Just bear in mind that, like the Dynabook Portégé above, it hasn’t been updated to Intel’s latest and finest. So you’d still need to live with Thunderbolt 3, PCIe Gen3 and DDR3 memory.
Next at number 4 is a Japanese only brand which sadly isn’t yet available in other countries. NEC was and still is a popular brand in its home country and counts Lenovo as one major investor. The XC550-DA, which we haven’t tested yet, uses carbon fiber for its chassis and adheres to MIL-STD standards like the rest of the field. It is limited to 8GB of RAM (not good enough for some) and a Core i5 processor. LaVie claims that the laptop can last up to 24 hours, a barely believable number especially as we couldn’t find its battery capacity anywhere. The XC550-DA is possibly the weakest candidate of this line-up.
We’re keeping the best for last. The U9311 is another laptop from Japan that shines by how light it is. It competes with the Dynabook when it comes to the amount of expansion ports it offers and you can even add 5G connectivity via an integrated modem. ITDMs looking for a bit more oomph will be glad to know that it supports up to 32GB of RAM, more than anyone else on the list.
It is also the only one whose LAN port supports 2.5Gbps speeds, has an infrared camera and comes optionally in red. Its only weak spot is a lower-than-expected 50WHr battery but even this didn’t prevent Fujitsu from claiming double-digit battery life; note that there is a variant, called U9311a which is powered by AMD processors, worth considering if you’re after a more powerful model.
The rest of the entries weigh more than 900g (two pounds) but less than 1Kg. Dell, one of the world’s largest laptops and the brand behind the XPS13 laptop is the only one that doesn’t have an entry in this category.
- Lenovo Thinkpad X1 Nano (907g)
- Vaio SX12 2022 (948g)
- Gigabyte U4 (990g)
- HP Pavilion Aero 13 (960g)