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Powerful & Lightweight Ultra Portables Under 1.2kg: pulling its weight at less than 2.6 pounds

Ultraportable that are super light and ultra slim, yet powerful are made possible with Intel’s 11th generation processors. Together, with other energy efficient components (integrated GPU, WiFi and super fast connectivity) they carry the Intel Evo badge. We look at 8 of the best powerful and light laptops weighing less under 1.2kg.

Manufacturers have been jumping on the Intel Evo platform wagon by introducing their own take on the premium ultraportable bearing the badge. These powerful and lightweight laptops also have one main task at hand, to ensure that its battery can last more than 9 hours on a charge. And, manufacturers delivered with battery life reaching over 20 hours. You don’t just get a light and slim laptop but one that powers you through the day (and night).

Intel Core i5 versus Intel Core i7: Which processor to go for?

Among the 11th generation Intel mobile processors in use among our thinnest and lightest laptops are the following processors:

When looking at the CPU performance alone, based on Average CPU Mark scores by PassMark Software at the time of writing, here is how each of those processors scores.

Mobile ProcessorBaseTurboAve CPUSingle Thread
Intel® Core™ i7-1185G734.8109792906
Intel® Core™ i7-1165G72.84.7106472886
Intel® Core™ i5-1135G72.44.2101822733

Apart from the Microsoft Surface Pro 8 that uses Intel® Core™ i7-1185G7 processor, the other laptops are offered with a choice of Intel Core i7-1165G7 or Intel Core i5-1165G7. So the real question is, which of these two processors to go for? And, how much of a performance gain do you get going for the more expensive Intel Core i7 over the Intel Core i5?

Taking the Intel Core i5-1135G7 as baseline, the Intel Core i7-1165G7 is just 4.6% faster in the Average CPU Mark score and 5.6% faster in Single Thread performance. There isn’t a lot to gain unless you pick the Surface Pro 8 with Intel Core i7-1185G7. This edges slightly higher with a gain of 7.8% and 6.3% respectively compared to our baseline. These again are not great jumps in performance so depending on your budget, you might want to give the Intel Core i7 option a miss.

Comparing Core i5 vs Core i7 mobile processors

Top 8 Ultraportables that are both Powerful and Lightweight

UltraportablesDisplayWeightHeight
Samsung Galaxy Book Pro 1313.3-inch883g11.7mm
Samsung Galaxy Book Pro 360 1313.3-inch1.04kg11.5mm
LG Gram 14Z90P 1414-inch1kg16.8mm
Acer Swift 5 SF514-55T 1414-inch1.04g14.95mm
Dell XPS 13 930513.3-inch1.16kg15.8mm
ASUS ZenBook UX425 1414-inch1.13kg13.9mm
ASUS ZenBook 13 UX32513.3-inch1.07kg13.9mm
Surface Pro 8 + keyboard cover13-inch1.17(891+280)g14.2(9.3+4.9)mm

 

1. Samsung Galaxy Book Pro 13.3-inch 883grams 11.7mm – LIGHTEST

The king of lightweight laptops in our list is the Samsung Galaxy Book Pro 13.3. It is even lighter than the Surface Pro 8 tablet on its own without the keyboard. The laptop comes with a 13.3-inch AMOLED display and as premium laptops it is matched with an excellent design and impossibly slim chassis. Measuring only 11.7mm thin, it is as slim as a tablet when you have the lid open. For its processor, you have a choice of Intel Core i5 above or Intel Core i7-1165G7. We would take the latter any day but if you are working on a budget, the Core i5 is nearly just as powerful chalking just 5.6% slower on the Cinebench 20 Multicore score (Source: laptopmedia.com).

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2. LG Gram 14Z90P 14-inch 1kg 16.8mm – LONGEST BATTERY LIFE

Coming in at close second is this LG Gram 14Z90P weighing just 1kg. Not only is this laptop light and powerful, it also has the longest battery life of up to 25.5 hours, enough to last you through the day and night. While this unit is powered by Intel Core i7-1165G7, you can also get one with Intel Core i5-1135G7. And, if you like the Gram series from LG, they also do a 16-inch and a 17-inch version all based on the powerful and efficient Intel Evo platform.

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3. Samsung Galaxy Book Pro 360 13.3-inch 1.04kg 11.5mm – SLIMMEST, CONVERTIBLE

The convertible 2 in 1 edition of the lightest laptop in our list above.

A lightweight convertible that is just over 1kg, you’ve got to be joking. But that is precisely what the Samsung Galaxy Book Pro is and it even manages a super slim 11.5mm chassis, slimmer than some of the smartphones or tablets out there. What really stands out with the Galaxy Book Pro series is the Super AMOLED display. This one cover 120% sRGB colours (DCI-P3) and together with AKG tuned audio that supports Dolby Atmos surround, it is an amazing entertainment laptop too. And it doesn’t stop there. Out of the box, the S Pen is included, so you don’t need to fork out for a stylus. If I have to find a bad point, it would be the 720p web cam.

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4. Acer Swift 5 Pro SF514-55T 14-inch 1.04g 14.95mm – TOUCHSCREEN

Also at 1.04kg is this 14-inch laptop from Acer, the Swift 5 Pro with Intel Core i7-1165G7. The laptop also comes with a touchscreen but can only muster a more average battery life of 15 hours, which is still long but no where near 25.5 hours. The ultra thin device is wrapped in a blend of magnesium-lithium and magnesium aluminium alloys body making it strong yet light weighing just over 1kg. Underneath the Gorilla glass is an IPS panel capable of 340 nits brightness and 100% sRGB gamut and it extends to the edge pushing 90% screen-to-body ratio. If you want a laptop with a touchscreen, the Swift 5 Pro is for you.

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5. Dell XPS 13 9305 13.3-inch 1.16kg 15.8mm

No ultra light and super slim list is complete without Dell XPS 13. Now in two iterations, 13.3-inch here and 13.4-inch display below, they are equally powerful laptops powered by Intel Core i7-1165G7. Those after long battery life will have to choose the Intel Core i5-1135G7 model with up to 19 hours on a charge. The InfinityEdge Full HD display offers plenty of brightness at 400nits with equally small bezels top and sides owing to the small and innovative web cam. Finally, the chassis is made from premium material and the palm rest comes with one of a kind black carbon fibre finish.

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6. ASUS ZenBook UX425 14-inch 1.13kg 13.9mm

ASUS’s entries, and there are two in our line-up are the only thin and light laptops that feature a mix of 8GB RAM memory and 32GB Intel Optane memory. They are certainly better and multi-tasking and app switching than others who rely solely on their 8GB RAM memory. The 14-inch near frameless NanoEdge display achieves a 90% screen-to-body ratio making this no bigger than a standard 13.3-inch laptop. Another feature unique to the ZenBook is it dual purpose touchpad, called the ASUS NumberPad 2.0. It has integrated LED illuminated numerical keypad that can be summoned by tapping the top right corner. Even when enabled it is clever enough to switch to cursor mode in use. Depending on your regions, Intel Core i7 model is also available.

Search ASUS ZenBook UX425 on Amazon

 

7. ASUS ZenBook 13 UX325 13.3-inch 1.14kg 13.9mm

For an even smaller and lighter ZenBook, pick the ASUS ZenBook 13. Not only is it smaller and lighter, it still manages to pack an 13.3-inch FullHD OLED display. Your eyes will thank me for making this downside.  The panel has a super quick 0.2ms response time, a peak brightness of 550 nits and a wide 100% DCI-P3 colour gamut with HDR True Black 500 certification and 1M:1 contrast ratio. For professionals and creators, you will be happy to know that the colourful panel is PANTONE validated and comes with Eye Care tech to keep your sights happy.

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8. Surface Pro 8 + Keyboard Cover 1.17kg 14.2mm

Like all the ultraportables here, the new Surface Pro 8 is built on the powerful yet efficient Intel Evo platform. Available with Intel Core i5-1135G7 or this chart topping Intel Core i7-1185G7, the Surface Pro 8 also gained a bigger 13-inch touchscreen from the 12.3-inch in the Surface Pro 7.

But it goes further than that, wrapping it in a new chassis with smaller side bezels with a kickstand around the back that now supports low tilted writing angles, down to 15 degrees. Other improvements include Dolby Vision on the display, two Thunderbolt 4 ports, far field studio microphones, Dolby Atmos speakers and up to 16 hours battery life.

To complete the tablet and to turn it into a laptop, you will need the new Surface Pro keyboard with built-in storage for Surface Slim Pen 2. While the tablet itself only measures 9.2mm thin and weighs under 1kg at 891 grams, for purpose of this article, we added the weight (280g) and thickness (4.9mm) of the keyboard. This gives it an overall weight of 1.17kg and height of 14.2mm.

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