The Best Lightweight Laptops 2022: Reviews, Top Brands, Specs - Rolling Stone
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RS Recommends: These Lightweight Laptops Pack a Ton of Power in Streamlined Shells

Lightweight doesn’t have to mean sacrificing processing power. These five laptops prove that slim can still keep up with everything you need

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Nowadays, people are looking for powerful, portable machines without the need for big, clunky fans or overheating issues. Tech companies listened to their customers and delivered, with Apple’s MacBook dominating the scene and even LG releasing a high-performing 17-inch laptop that proved to be surprisingly light.

What Are the Best Lightweight Laptops?

Whether you’re working remotely or want something that’s easy to move from room to room (or couch to counter) in your house, the best lightweight laptops pack the performance features of a regular laptop into slim and portable packages. The best lightweight laptops are easily transportable, and won’t weigh down your briefcase or bag. Want to get work done on the plane (or back of your Uber)? These laptops are ideal for powering up without the pounds.

The bulk of a laptop’s weight comes from its processor, and companies are making much more efficient processors these days, that takes up less space in your laptop housing. Things like materials used can also affect weight. Of course, lightweight isn’t everything in a laptop, and your machine of choice will still need speed to perform its best.

According to Apple’s claims, the M1 chip “has the world’s fastest CPU core ‘in low power silicon’ and the world’s best CPU performance per watt.” The M1 boasts an 8-Core CPU, as well as an 8-Core GPU, and includes four of the fastest, high-performance cores ever. With a total of 16 billion transistors, the efficiency is off-the-charts, as it shares the RAM, CPU and GPU to reduce power consumption, giving the best CPU performance-per-watt through their Unified Memory Architecture. At their debut presentation, Apple said its MacBook with the M1 chip can deliver twice the performance of a regular laptop, while using a third of the power, or sometimes even less. That means significantly

In any light laptop, a powerful graphics card – often referred to as a GPU, is a must-have, especially for gamers. The same goes for a quick processor, a healthy amount of RAM (8 to 16GB is preferred), and a solid-state drive that can keep up with your programs, projects and presentations. Make sure the screen supports 1080p and has a fast refresh rate too.

While our top pick for the lightest laptop is the MacBook Air with the M1 chip, we’ve also selected four other fast laptops that are still light and loaded with helpful features and varying attributes. Our picks for the best lightweight laptops start at just over two pounds, making it super easy to carry around with you.

Keep in mind that many of these are also available with customizable parts and sizes, so if one looks good but has a too-small solid-state drive, check to see if there’s a model with what you want. And if even the lightest of these is still too heavy or bulky, we suggest seeking out a tablet with a foldable keyboard option.

1. Apple MacBook Air

Even those of us who aren’t tech-savvy have probably heard about Apple’s new M1 chip and what it’s bringing to the table.

The chip, designed exclusively by Apple, is up to five times faster and supercharges the new MacBook Air which weighs in at only 2.8 pounds.

It’s up to 60% more energy-efficient to produce less heat. The Apple 8-Core GPU powers graphics and videos, while the large trackpad still gives plenty of room to comfortably move around. It’s also silent – totally silent. Despite not having a fan inside, it still manages an 18-hour battery life and an eye-popping 13.3-inch Retina display, with 2560×1600 native resolution and support for millions of colors.

According to users, the only letdown was the camera – which shouldn’t surprise anyone who’s gotten an Air in the past few generations. The quality is years behind where it should be, especially for a machine as modern as this. So if you’ll be taking video conferences all day, it’s best to invest in an external webcam if this one’s not up to your standard. But compared to everything else here, it’s a minor setback in a sea of cutting-edge tech and a machine that’s pushing boundaries with its weight and performance.

Hit the Touch ID and you’re ready to experience it all.

 New Apple MacBook Air with Apple M1 Chip

Amazon

Buy: Apple MacBook Air at $983.94

2. LG Gram 17

Not only is this 17-inch LG laptop a dream to look at, but it’s also designed to perform while far from a power source with an impressive 19.5 hours of battery life. The full metal chassis can handle the roughness of being in a backpack, and any minor bumps and bruises during your daily use. The fingerprint-powered power button is a nice touch too, allowing you to quickly boot up your new device.

The integrated Intel Iris graphics are powerful too, delivering faster graphics performance and a more streamlined experience when you’re creating content or editing video. There’s 1TB of storage along with 16GB of RAM to keep it running smoothly, while the two USB-C ports are a nice touch in an era where they’re disappearing and requiring dongles.

This LG laptop also features Alexa built-in so you can easily access your calendar, appointments or other notifications hands-free.

lg gram 17

Amazon

Buy: LG Gram 17 at $2,384.95

3. Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon

The newest Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon comes with an 11th Generation Intel Core i7 processor and can easily support multitasking, whether you’re shifting between gaming and creating or working on multiple work presentations at once.

This pick features a wide 14-inch FHD screen with up to 400 nits of brightness. It’s also got integrated Intel Iris XE graphics for smooth performance and eye-catching visuals. There’s a decent port selection too with two thunderbolt ports plus an HDMI input and various USB ports to boot.

The keyboard is backlit so you can work on your red-eye flight with ease and it’s got a fingerprint reader for added privacy. Storage on this option peaks a 512 GB and you get a hefty 16GB of RAM for lag-free, quiet performance. The battery lasts all day too for all your streaming needs.

All this is packed into a laptop that weighs just about three pounds, making this one of the most powerful yet portable picks on this list.

lenovo thinkpax X1 carbon

Amazon

Buy: Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon at $2,079.93

4. Dell XPS 13

The XPS 13, Dell’s 13.4-inch aluminum-bodied laptop, packs a dazzling display, and an Intel Core i7 11th Gen processor that clocks high-performance speeds, with 16GB of RAM, and the one-touch power button responds quickly every time. The pair of fans keep things cool under pressure, as they’re separated to spread heat over a larger area, routing through dual heat pipes to a hidden exhaust vent.

The lack of ports could be a problem for some users, but other than that there are no cons to this laptop.

It’s also light and thin at just 2.8 pounds and offers a long, all-day battery life. Plus, the touchscreen display is extremely responsive adding to this laptop’s allure.

Dell New XPS 13 9300 13.4-inch FHD InfinityEdge Touchscreen Laptop

Amazon

Buy: Dell XPS 13 at $1,692.99

5. Razer Blade 15 Gaming Laptop

Much like its cousin, the Razer Blade Stealth, this one also seems to live up to its name and slip under the radar.

Don’t let that be an indicator of poor performance though – the Razer Blade 15 is anything but. With a 10th Gen Intel Core i7-10750H 6-Core processor reaching up to 5GHz max turbo, an NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060, and a 144Hz 15.6-inch full HD display, there’s a lot here in a small footprint – only 0.78 inches thin and 4.7 pounds.

The whip-fast processing speeds make gaming a breeze, but this goes way beyond just gamers, and can handle heavy web browsing and creative applications too. It start to get hot when overwhelmed though, so a cooling platform may be a good idea if this will be the main device in your work (or battle) station.

 Razer Blade 15 Base Gaming Laptop

Amazon

Buy: Razer Blade 15 Gaming Laptop at $1,615.00

In This Article: Apple, laptops, RS Recommends

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