Get insider access
Preferred store
Your browser is not supported or outdated so some features of the site might not be available.

The 6 Best Lightweight Laptops - Spring 2024 Reviews

Best Lightweight Laptops

As most of us travel with our laptops, finding one that isn't overly bulky or heavy is essential. Thankfully, there are tons of lightweight laptops on the market these days. You can even find mobile workstations and gaming laptops with powerful components that are as lightweight as ultraportables. That said, you want to be careful not to over-prioritize weight, as manufacturers often sacrifice build quality to make the laptop as light as possible. You also want to consider other aspects of the laptop, like the quality of the screen, keyboard, and touchpad, as well as the port selection, overall performance, and battery life. Last but not least, don't forget about the power adapter, as some laptops come with a huge brick that's as heavy as the laptop itself.

We've tested over 115 laptops, and below, you'll find our recommendations for the best lightweight laptops. You can also check out our recommendations for the best laptops, the best laptops for college, and the best business laptops.

  1. Best Lightweight Laptop

    The best lightweight laptop we've tested is the Apple MacBook Air 13 (2024). This 13.6-inch model has a sleek and compact design, so it fits easily into a small bag, and it only weighs 2.7 lbs. It has an incredibly sturdy all-aluminum build and provides a great user experience with its sharp display, spacious keyboard, and haptic touchpad. Apple's M3 SoC can easily handle light productivity tasks and even some light video editing and 3D graphics. Plus, its remarkable power efficiency results in 11 to 12 hours of battery life in light uses. You get Wi-Fi 6E wireless connectivity, great-sounding speakers, and one of the best webcams on the market. Port selection is its biggest weakness, as it only has two USB-C/Thunderbolt 3 ports. Unlike its M2 predecessor, it can output to two external displays, but it can only do so with the lid closed.

    For Windows users, we recommend the LG gram 14 (2023). LG's gram laptops are well-known for their lightweight design, and it's no different here. This model weighs only 2.1 lbs, which is even lighter than the MacBook Air. Its portability does come at a cost, though, as its magnesium alloy chassis doesn't feel as sturdy as the MacBook's all-aluminum build. Also, its display isn't as sharp or bright as the MacBook Air. Battery life is about the same at around 10 to 11 hours of light use, and instead of a fingerprint sensor, you get a facial recognition IR camera.

    See our review

  2. Best Mid-Range Lightweight Laptop

    Our best mid-range pick is the Acer Chromebook Spin 714 (2022), one of the best portable laptops we've tested. This 14-inch model has a nice bright screen, and since it's a 2-in-1 convertible, you can flip the screen around and use it as a tablet. It also supports pen input and comes with a stylus that you can dock into the side of the laptop for transport. It has a comfortable keyboard, loud speakers, and a surprisingly good 1080p webcam.

    Regarding specs, you can configure this Chromebook with an Intel 12th Gen U-series Core i3, i5, or i7 CPU; they're all powerful enough for anything you'd need to do on a Chromebook. However, availability is scarce because it's an older 2022 model, and Acer has released a 2023 version. While we haven't tested the newer model, it looks similar design-wise, as it's mainly a spec bump. Upgrades include a faster Intel 13th Gen CPU and a 1440p webcam. You can get the 2023 model on Amazon or at Best Buy.

    See our review

  3. Best Budget Lightweight Laptop

    For those on a tighter budget, we recommend the Acer Swift 3 14 (2020), a 14-inch Windows ultraportable. Acer's Swift models are typically more expensive, but since this is a 2020 version, you can get it much cheaper. It's available with an Intel 11th Gen Core i5 or i7 CPU and up to 16GB of memory and 512GB of storage. The Intel 11th Gen CPUs are a few years old but can still easily handle general productivity tasks like web browsing and text processing. Plus, the battery lasts over 13 hours on a full charge.

    It has a nice FHD IPS display, a decent keyboard, and a wide port selection, including two USB-As, one USB-C/Thunderbolt 4, a full-size HDMI, and a headphone jack. Unfortunately, it isn't the best for video calls, as the webcam's image is too dark, and the microphone sounds staticky.

    See our review

  4. Best Lightweight 2-In-1 Tablet

    The best lightweight 2-in-1 tablet we've tested is the Microsoft Surface Pro 8 (2021). With this form factor, you can use the device as a tablet to draw, take handwritten notes, watch videos, or attach the keyboard when typing something out. Its 3:2 IPS display looks incredibly sharp, gets bright enough to combat glare, and has a 120Hz refresh rate to make pen input feel more responsive. The type cover keyboard feels good to type on, but you need to buy it separately, and the same goes for the stylus.

    The drawback of such a compact device is that there isn't much space for a wide port selection. You get two USB-C/Thunderbolt 4s, a headphone jack, and a Surface Connect charging port. If you're considering buying a Surface Pro, know that Microsoft has released a newer version, the Surface Pro 9. It's essentially the same device but with faster Intel 12th Gen processors. It's always nice to have better performance, but the difference might not be noticeable if you only do light productivity tasks. Also, since the Surface Pro 8 is older, you can likely find it at a deeply discounted price.

    Get the Microsoft Surface Go 3 (2021) if you want something compact for on-the-go use. It's essentially a miniature Surface Pro that weighs 1.7 lbs. This device is meant for light use, like web browsing, emails, and video playback, so don't expect to do anything intensive. If your budget allows, we recommend getting a model with 8GB of memory, as you'll get a much smoother experience when multitasking. You still get a nice display, an excellent webcam, and a facial recognition IR camera. You can use the USB-C port to charge the device instead of the Surface Connect port, but you'd lose the only USB port available, which means you'll likely need a dock.

    See our review

  5. Best Lightweight Workstation

    For demanding tasks like video editing or 3D graphics, we recommend the Apple MacBook Pro 14 (M3, 2023), a premium mobile workstation. This laptop has a solid all-aluminum build but only weighs 3.5 lbs, making it one of the lightest mobile workstations on the market. It has a gorgeous Mini LED display with full DCI P3 coverage, a comfortable keyboard, and a gigantic, easy-to-use haptic touchpad. You get plenty of ports for peripherals and external displays, including three USB-C/Thunderbolt 4s, an HDMI, and a full-size SD card reader. The speakers are among the best on the market, and the same goes for its 1080p webcam.

    You can configure this laptop with an M3 Pro or M3 Max SoC; both can easily handle intensive workloads. These chips are also incredibly power-efficient, resulting in all-day battery life. Thermal throttling is minimal, and the laptop doesn't get hot or loud under load. There's a base M3 model, too, similar to the discontinued 13-inch MacBook Pro with Touch Bar, which can be a great option if you don't need a lot of processing power but still want the 'Pro' features like the Mini LED display. The base M3 model only has two USB-C ports, though, and unlike the Pro/Max models, it can only support a single external monitor.

    See our review

  6. Best Lightweight Gaming Laptop

    If you want a lightweight laptop for gaming on the go, get the Razer Blade 14 (2022), a compact 14-inch model that weighs only 3.9 lbs. You can choose between three preset configurations: a 144Hz FHD display with an NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060 GPU, a 165Hz QHD display with an RTX 3070 Ti, or a 165Hz QHD display with an RTX 3080 Ti. All three configurations provide a smooth gaming experience in demanding AAA titles. The SSD is user-replaceable but not the RAM, as all models have 16GB of soldered memory. The keyboard has a good amount of travel and tactility, and there are plenty of ports to plug in a mouse dongle or other peripherals. Unfortunately, the laptop gets pretty hot under load, and the battery lasts only around an hour when gaming.

    Before you make any purchasing decision, know that there's a newer model of the Blade 14. Its design remains largely the same, as the changes are mostly internal. The CPU gets upgraded to AMD Ryzen 9 8945HS, and GPU options now include NVIDIA's 40-series processors, up to an RTX 4070. These new GPUs are slightly faster than their predecessors, and they support Frame Generation, a feature that boosts performance by inserting AI-generated frames. See here for more details about the new Razer Blade 14.

    Also worth considering is the HP OMEN Transcend 14 (2024). This model is available with newer Intel Meteor Lake CPUs and NVIDIA RTX 40-series GPUs, so you get slightly more processing power and Frame Generation support for a smoother gaming experience. The main drawback is its OLED display. It can produce deeper blacks for a better dark room viewing experience, but it has a lower refresh rate of 120Hz and a rather slow response time, resulting in a blurrier image with more visible ghosting in fast-moving scenes. Also, it doesn't support VRR to reduce screen tearing.

    See our review

Notable Mentions

  • HP Spectre x360 14 (2024): The HP Spectre x360 14 (2024) is also a good Windows alternative if you want a 2-in-1 convertible or a better display than the LG gram 14 (2023). It feels more premium than the LG and sports a sharper 120Hz 2.8k OLED display with touch and pen input support; however, it's significantly more expensive and weighs a full pound more. See our review
  • ASUS Zenbook 14 OLED (2024): The ASUS Zenbook 14 OLED (2024) is also a good Windows alternative to the Apple MacBook Air 13 (2024) if you want a device with a better build and display than the LG gram 14 (2023). However, it weighs a bit more at 2.8 lbs, and its battery life is shorter at eight to nine hours of light use. See our review
  • Lenovo IdeaPad Slim 3i 15 (2023): The Lenovo IdeaPad Slim 3i 15 (2023) is a cheaper alternative to the Acer Swift 3 14 (2020). It has a better keyboard and webcam, and it's available with faster Intel 13th Gen processors; however, it doesn't support Thunderbolt 4, and its battery lasts only six to seven hours of light use. See our review
  • Lenovo Chromebook Duet 5 (2021): The Lenovo Chromebook Duet is a good alternative to the Microsoft Surface Pro 8 (2021) if you need a device mainly for media consumption. It has a nice OLED display, and its battery lasts over seven hours of video playback. See our review
  • Dell XPS 15 (2023): The Dell XPS 15 (2023) is a good Windows alternative to the Apple MacBook Pro 14 (M3, 2023). It's also a premium model that provides a great user experience. However, its webcam is significantly worse, and its port selection is more limited. While it weighs the same as the MacBook Pro 14, it's a bigger 15.6-inch device, so it may not fit as easily into smaller bags. See our review

Recent Updates

  1. May 10, 2024: Replaced the M2 Apple MacBook Air 13 (2022) with the M3 Apple MacBook Air 13 (2024). Added the HP Spectre x360 14 (2024) as a Notable Mention. Removed the Microsoft Surface Laptop 5 (2022) as a Notable Mention because there are many other better options.

  2. Mar 11, 2024: Replaced the Apple MacBook Pro 14 (M2, 2023) with the M3 model. Added the Lenovo IdeaPad Slim 3i 15 (2023) as a Notable Mention. Removed the ASUS Zenbook 14 Flip OLED (2023) as a Notable Mention and replaced it with the ASUS Zenbook 14 OLED (2024) because the 2024 non-flip model is lighter and sports a 120Hz display.

  3. Jan 15, 2024: Replaced the ASUS ROG Zephyrus G14 (2022) with the Razer Blade 14 (2022) because the ASUS is hard to find. Minor text changes to provide information about the M3 Apple MacBook Pro 14.

  4. Nov 10, 2023: Small text changes to add the Dell XPS 15 (2023) as an alternative to the Apple MacBook Pro 14 (2023). Added the Lenovo Slim Pro 7 14 (2023) as a Notable Mention.

  5. Sep 13, 2023: Replaced the Lenovo Chromebook C340 15 (2020) with the Acer Swift 3 14 (2020) because it performs better and is more portable. Replaced the Apple MacBook Pro 14 (2021) with the Apple MacBook Pro 14 (2023) because the M1 models are no longer available. Added the Lenovo Yoga 7i 16 (2023) as a Notable Mention.

All Reviews

Our recommendations above are what we think are currently the best portable laptops you can get. We factor in the price (a cheaper laptop wins over a pricier one if the difference isn't worth it), feedback from our visitors, and availability (no laptops that are difficult to find or almost out of stock everywhere).

If you prefer to make your own decision, here’s the list of all of our laptop reviews. Keep in mind that most laptops are available in various configurations, and the table only shows the results of the model we tested, so it’s best to see the full review for information about other variants.