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Best 13-inch Laptops To Buy In 2020

Good things come in small packages. This phrase stands true even in the case of laptops.

A lot of laptop-users prefer 13-inch laptop due to the following reasons:

  1. Enhanced Portability: Since 13-inch laptops are smaller and lighter in weight, they are easy to carry while traveling.
  2. Better Battery Life: A research has shown that the battery life of a 13-inch laptop lasts longer than its larger counterparts.
  3. Cheaper: Many 13-inch laptops cost lesser but have the same features as any other bigger laptops.

Bigger is not always better. The 13-inch laptops are suitable for all kinds of usage ranging from multimedia streaming to gaming. You can totally rely on a 13-inch laptop to accomplish any task that lies ahead. Equipped with the following list of best 13-inch laptops, you can invest your hard-earned money at the right place.

Buying Guide

Not everyone is behind the large screen laptops. There’s a large community of laptop buyers who are quite comfortable using laptops with smaller screens. The 13-inch laptop is a frequently purchased product. If you are also in this league, you should quickly catch up with the factors to be kept in consideration while buying the best 13-inch laptop currently available in the market. Considerations while buying the device include the laptop’s weight, battery and price. You have to take into account more details for a deeper understanding.

  • Processor & RAM: Despite the size of the laptop’s display being smaller, you would still want a powerful processor and RAM support to go with it. If you go through the specifications of the laptops on offer, you will find many of them with the Intel Core i7 or i5 chipsets and 8GB RAM. This combination is quite good in enabling you to get a smooth performance while using the 13-inch laptop.
  • Graphics: The smaller size of the laptop may mean the manufacturer could not provide a separate slot for the graphics card. Some, like the Microsoft Surface Book 2, do have the graphics card slot. It can vary with the brand and the model. Graphics are otherwise good on these laptops since the area to be covered is less and a good display resolution takes care of any other shortcoming.
  • Touchscreen: You may feel more comfortable using a 13-inch laptop with a touchscreen feature. The keys maybe a little smaller and if you have large fingers, you could find typing a bit of a hassle. Touchscreen helps with many commands being directly given from the screen.
  • Keyboard: A backlit keyboard would be preferable than the one without the feature. Check if the 13-inch laptop model you are looking at buying has this feature.
  • Audio: You will need good audio delivery on the laptop, particularly if you intend to watch videos or listening to music on it. Just find out the audio arrangement as mentioned in the specs. You can always add external speakers whenever you want to.
  • Stylus Pen: If the laptop has the provision to use the pen it gives you more advantages. You may have to buy it separately.

Best 13-inch laptops

Empowered with Features

Dell XPS 13 9365:

Dell XPS 13 9365

Dell XPS 13 series has been winning the hearts of laptop-enthusiasts since its release. The latest offering of this series, Dell XPS 13 9365, has left everyone spellbound.

The laptop weighs around 1.24 kgs and is 13.7 mm thick. A slightly higher weight is due to the sturdy 360-degree convertible hinge which turns the laptop display into a tablet. The laptop, available in Black, looks sleek and has a body made of aluminum.

Due to its thin body, Dell had to trade-off a full USB port and an SD card slot. They have provided two USB Type-C Ports, a microSD card port and a Thunderbolt 3 Port. The back-lit keys are narrowly spaced but easy to type for long periods and the touchpad is sensitive and accurate. You also have a fingerprint scanner near the touchpad.

A dual-setup webcam is placed towards the bottom of the screen. The camera is good for video chats; however, due to the position of the camera, your companions will end up seeing the chin shots all the time. The audio from the laptop is very good and two 1-watt speakers give out clear sound even at louder volumes.

The Full HD display is marvelous with the InfintyEdge IPS touchscreen. The automatic brightness adjustment feature is annoying if you are not a fan of varying brightness with changing content.

The processor in the laptop is 7th generation Intel Core i7-7Y75 with 8 GB RAM and 256 GB storage. The core runs at 1.8 GHz and has a turbo boost of up to 3.6 GHz. The performance of the laptop is suitable for typical office workload and casual gaming. The 8 GB RAM maintains speed during multitasking. A stylus that works wonderfully on the display can be bought at an additional price.

Dell claims that the battery lasts for 15 hours with Office Tasks.

Dell XPS 13 9365 comes with a price tag of $998.

Why You Should Buy This?

  • This laptop is a rare combination of looks and performance which makes it a perfectly worthy buy.
  • For writers seeking some respite for their tired fingers, the easy-going keys on the Dell XPS 13 9365 make a strong case for it.
  • This is more of a laptop designed for professionals who have its beautifully designed body coupled with a strong core as a reason good enough for it to be the first choice.
  • The long lasting battery also presents a solid reason to buy this laptop for anyone who does have power issues troubling them.

Dell XPS 13 9365 Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Aesthetic display with a smooth touchscreen
  • Sleek with a 360° rotatable screen
  • Long-lasting battery life
  • Fast and noiseless performance
  • Crystal clear audio output

Cons

  • Poorly positioned webcam
  • Lacks a full USB port
  • Poor auto-brightness adjustments

See it on Amazon

Expensive but Worth it

 Microsoft Surface Book 2:

Microsoft Surface Book 2

The Surface series of laptops from Microsoft is giving a tough competition to older brands like Apple and Lenovo. This series is packed with excellent and versatile features.

Microsoft Surface Book 2 has a detachable screen and it doubles up as a tablet. This kind of flexibility is provided only by Microsoft.

This 13-inch model is available in gray with magnesium chassis and a unique fulcrum hinge. The laptop looks modern and premium. With 1.6 kg in weight, this laptop is heavier than Dell XPS 13 9365. The laptop has two USB 3.1 ports, an SD card reader, a USB Type-C port and a proprietary Surface Connect port for charging the device. There’s one more Surface Connect port on the bottom of the tablet, which allows you to charge the display separately. The headphone jack is on the right side of the tablet. However, unlike XPS 3, Surface Book 2 does not have Thunderbolt 3.

The 4K display is excellent and the best in its class. It is extremely colorful and aptly bright. The backlit keyboard is made of gray plastic and is convenient to type. The touchpad is smooth and responsive to the gestures. The Surface Pen, which comes at an additional cost, is almost lag-free. The Surface Dial is another accessory that can be bought separately. It has a disc-shaped dial that controls context-sensitive settings like volume, brightness or brush size. The audio of the laptop is good enough for multimedia consumption. Both the cameras provided are very good and click clear pictures.

The laptop houses an Intel Core i7-8650U CPU processor with 8 GB of RAM. It has 256 GB storage and an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 GPU with 2 GB of VRAM. The processor performs brilliantly during multitasking. It can handle games having a low graphic load. When used as a tablet, the dedicated GPU is not accessed, but the difference is negligible.

Microsoft reckons that the battery life lasts for 17 hours. Packed with powerful advantages, Surface Book 2 is highly-priced.

Microsoft Surface Book 12 comes with a price tag of $1739.99.

Why You Should Buy This?

  • The Microsoft Surface Book 2 packs the best available features any laptop can boast of at present.
  • Owing to the premium finish with highly efficient multitasking ability, the laptop stands as one of the best choices for students and professionals alike.
  • The accessories add an exclusivity quotient which adds a strong reason to buy it for people looking for style.

Microsoft Surface Book 2 Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Has an exquisite premium finish
  • Comes with a detachable screen
  • Comes with two full-sized USB ports
  • Has a highly responsive touchpad
  • Perfectly toned display
  • High battery life

Cons

  • Average sound output
  • Is slightly expensive
  • Thunderbolt 3 missing

See it on Amazon

One for Everyone

 Razer Blade Stealth:

 Razer Blade Stealth

Razer Blade Stealth is a laptop which is perfect for everyone. Its impressive processor performance is one of the best.

The gunmetal gray color of the laptop is very pleasant to the eyes. The outer, as well as the inner body, is made up of aluminum. Despite its robust design, the laptop weighs only 1.3 kg.

The Stealth has two USB 3.0 ports, one full HDMI 2.0-out port, one Thunderbolt 3 port and a headset jack. The display is a 13-inch QHD (3200 x 1800) IGZO touchscreen. The display delivers sharp images, has a good amount of brightness and renders almost true colors. The touchscreen is capacitive and responsive. The audio speakers, mounted on top of the display, are louder than expected. The preloaded Dolby Atmos software enhances the audio experience. The backlit keyboard is comfortable for typing in the absence of light. The touchpad is large and very sensitive.

The laptop’s 1.8-GHz Core i7-8550U processor with 16 GB of RAM performs extremely fast and is impressive. Stealth’s integrated Intel HD 620 GPU is good to play games but at low settings.

The battery life is at a subpar level and is the only feature that needs work. The battery lasts only for about 5 hours.

You can buy Razer Blade Stealth at a price tag of $1349.99.

Why You Should Buy This?

  • The Razer Blade Stealth boasts of having one of the best performing processors in any laptop, which is a reason good enough for students and professionals to buy it.
  • Professionals should buy this for the laptop’s supreme build and hardware quality which is primed to last long without causing much fuss.
  • The high-speed performance is an added feature which is why a coder or any other professional undertaking multitasking should buy this laptop.

Razer Blade Stealth Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Best in class performance
  • Lightweight yet has a strong body
  • Has both USB and Thunderbolt availability
  • Impressive audio output
  • Well spaced keyboard and touchpad

Cons

  • Poor battery life
  • Can’t handle high graphics level
  • Lacks a Full HD display

See it on Amazon

Lightest Laptop

 Samsung Notebook 9:

 Samsung Notebook 9

 Samsung has proved that “good things come in small packages.” This feature-rich laptop weighs just 1.28 kg.

The laptop has two USB 3.0 ports, one USB Type-C port and an SD memory reader. It also has a full HDMI out port and a headphone jack. Its Full HD display renders the true colors of the images. The brightness of the display is above average. The keyboard is comfortable to type, but it flexes if subjected to hard typing. The touchpad is accurate and responsive. The sensor of the fingerprint scanner is sensitive and works like a breeze.

Watching videos or movies on Notebook 9 is a delight as the audio is clear and loud. Webcam, however, fails to impress.

With Intel Core i7-7500U CPU and 16 GB of RAM, high-speed performance is guaranteed. The RAM makes multitasking extremely smooth. Running heavy-duty tasks does not slow down the machine. The Intel HD 620 graphics card helps Samsung score points with the gamers. The storage is 256 GB M.2 SATA SSD.

The battery life of Samsung Notebook 9 is a letdown and it discharges within 5 hours.

You can buy Samsung Notebook 9 at a price tag of $959.99.

Why You Should Buy This?

  • The price tag it carries for its high-end features makes it a bargain for any laptop buyer.
  • The superior processing speeds and output under high workloads make it one of the best buys in this price range.
  • The flashy looks and the soft-toned finish are reasons good enough for women to buy it.

Samsung Notebook 9 Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Lightweight, sleek and comfortable
  • Impressive display with above par brightness
  • Astonishing audio output quality
  • Smooth processing even under high workloads

Cons

  • Below-average battery life
  • Low-quality webcam
  • A feeble keyboard that can’t stand the pressure

See it on Amazon

Old is Gold

MacBook Air 13:

MacBook Air 13

The Apple’s 2017 offering is still counted amongst the best laptops. One cannot deny the fact that Apple’s relevance lasts longer than any other devices.

MacBook Air 13 has an iconic and trademark design. The change in design won’t harm as it has stayed the same with Apple for a long period. The laptop weighs around 1.3 kg like HP Spectre x360 and Razer Blade Stealth. It has 2 USB 3.0 ports, an SDXC memory reader and Thunderbolt 2 port. The display with resolution 1440 x 900 pixels, however, lacks luster. It does not have Full HD or vibrant colors.

The Air’s keyboard and touchpad are outstanding in its class. The smooth transition of keys while typing is a delight to hands. The touchpad is sensitive, accurate and each click has a solid feel. Apple’s track record of superior sonic quality can be experienced in this laptop.

What makes MacBook Air 13 withstand the tide of time is the power-packed in its processor. The laptop’s Intel Core i5-5350U CPU with 8 GB of RAM is not the best processor rating, yet it ensures smooth and speedy multitasking. The integrated Intel HD Graphics 6000 is suitable for games that are less graphic-intensive. The storage available is 128 GB SDD.

A webcam of 0.7 megapixels clicks astonishingly good pictures. The battery life is strong and can last through an entire day of work.

MacBook Air comes with a price tag of $949.99.

Why You Should Buy This?

  • Apple’s trademark quality is an attraction for any Apple lover to buy the MacBook Air 13.
  • For anyone who doesn’t know the MacBook Air yet, it is a power-packed high-quality performer that delivers on almost every front giving any professional or student enough inclination to buy it.
  • One important feature why you should buy the MacBook Air 13 is undoubtedly the aesthetics that boast of Apple’s classic tapered design coupled with smooth iOS functionality.
  • Connectivity is also good enough in the MacBook Air 13 which makes it a valid choice especially for students needing laptops remotely.

MacBook Air 13 Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Day-long battery life
  • Super sensitive touchpad and keyboard
  • Impeccable processing speeds
  • Unmatched audio quality
  • Classical tapered design

Cons

  • Average display quality with low-toned colors
  • Sub-par webcam quality
  • Not suited for high-end gaming

See it on Amazon

Frequently Asked Questions

What accessories are supplied with the 13-inch laptops?

Almost all laptops come with just the power adaptor for charging the laptop’s battery. This applies to the 13-inch laptops as well. Any accessory you wish to use with the laptop, like mouse or keyboard or speakers, you will have to buy separately.

How long does the battery last in 13-inch laptops?

Battery life varies from brand to brand and depends on the size of the battery. On smaller laptops, like the 13-inch ones, you can expect the charge to remain up to 12 hours of normal usage. Anything above that is a bonus for you.

Do you have a fingerprint sensor in 13-inch laptops?

There are 13-inch laptop models with the fingerprint sensor as well. It’s a useful security tool to have and you can check it out while placing the order. On Windows 10 laptops you have the security provision of logging in using a PIN. This prevents anyone other than you trying to log into your laptop.

Do laptops come with detachable keyboards?

Yes, the 2-in-1 laptops come with this design where the main display can be detached from the laptop and used as a tablet. If you wish to type on the tablet, you have to activate the virtual keyboard in it. Replacing the keyboard on a laptop is not a difficult task. You can connect a wired or wireless external keyboard also if you need it.

Is purchasing laptops online reliable?

As long as the seller is a reliable one, you should not be worried too much about it. After all, laptops are branded products and companies like HP, Dell and Lenovo are established players in the business. You can source the machines online from sellers whom you consider to have a good reputation.

Conclusion

Laptops of smaller screen sizes like 13-inches have their advantages as explained above. You can carry it with ease since it is light in weight. These compact machines are convenient to place on your lap and work. They offer very good performance and you can practically do all your regular computing activities on them. You also get a wide range in terms of their pricing. It helps you to arrive at the best choice based on your requirements and your budget.

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