Computing

The thinnest laptops you can buy

The thinnest laptops of today are paper-thin compared to their predecessors, and though they aren’t literally that trim, they’re getting pretty close. In recent several years, one of the biggest advances made to the modern laptop is that the chassis continues to shrink. Best of all, battery life and performance continue to improve. It’s a no-compromise situation — and we love it.

One of the thinnest laptops around is the Apple MacBook Air M2 at just 0.44 inches thick. It’s incredibly thin but provides awesome performance and battery life thanks to Apple’s excellent M2 CPUs. There are some other excellent laptops that are also incredibly thin. Here are some of our favorites.

Apple MacBook Air M2

Apple MacBook Air M2

One of the thinnest laptops ever, and it’s a MacBook


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Samsung Galaxy Book3 Pro 360

Samsung Galaxy Book3 Pro 360 (0.50 inches)

An ultra-thin convertible 2-in-1


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Apple MacBook Air 15

Apple MacBook Air 15 (0.45 inches)

The thinnest 15-inch laptop


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Alienware x14 R2

Alienware x14 R2 (0.57 inches)

A gaming laptop that’s both extremely thin and surprisingly fast


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Dell XPS 13

Dell XPS 13 (0.55 inches)

A redesigned classic that’s extremely thin


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Asus Zenbook S 13 OLED 2023

Asus ZenBook S 13 OLED (0.46 inches)

A 13-inch laptop that’s surprisingly powerful


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apple macbook air m2 review 1

Digital Trends

Apple MacBook Air M2

One of the thinnest laptops ever, and it’s a MacBook

Pros

  • Incredibly thin
  • Upgraded webcam and speakers
  • Shockingly good performance
  • Battery life stomps the competition
  • Screen and keyboard are world-class

Cons

  • Worryingly hot internal temperatures
  • Still only supports one monitor

Why should you buy this: It’s an incredibly powerful laptop packed into an incredibly thin chassis.

Who’s it for: Anyone looking for an incredibly portable MacBook without compromises.

What we thought of the Apple MacBook Air M2:

Apple’s MacBook Air M2 is a complete redesign of the venerable MacBook Air, incorporating the blockier chassis of the larger MacBook Pro machines and dropping the iconic MacBook Air wedge shape. But now it’s super-thin throughout at just 0.44 inches while weighing just 2.7 pounds.

Even though it’s incredibly thin, it’s a fast laptop sporting the Apple M2 CPU that’s a step up from the original M1 and considerably faster. It’s fanless, and so completely silent in operation, and it still manages to be an ultrafast thin and light machine. Its 13.6-inch Liquid Retina display is excellent, with a ton of brightness, wide and accurate colors, and excellent contrast. The MacBook Air M2 sports the same outstanding Magic Keyboard as its predecessor and a large haptic touchpad.

Just make sure you opt for a larger solid-state drive (SSD) than the entry-level 256GB version. You’ll get faster storage that maximizes overall performance.

Apple MacBook Air M2

Apple MacBook Air M2

One of the thinnest laptops ever, and it’s a MacBook

samsung galaxy book 2 pro 360 hands on news price photos 15 inch

Arif Bacchus/ Digital Trends

Samsung Galaxy Book3 Pro 360 (0.50 inches)

An ultra-thin convertible 2-in-1

Pros

  • Incredibly thin and light
  • OLED display
  • Intel 13th-generation CPUs
  • Up to 32GB RAM
  • Full HD webcam

Why should you buy this: It’s one of the thinnest laptops around and offers the Windows 11 2-in-1 experience.

Who’s it for: Anyone who wants a super-thin 2-in-1 with pen support.

What we thought of the Samsung Galaxy Book3 Pro 360:

Next to the MacBook Air M2, one of the thinnest laptops available today is the Samsung Galaxy Book3 360. It’s a 16-inch-inch convertible 2-in-1 with a spectacular 16.0-inch 16:10 2880 x 1800 OLED display and an Intel 13th-gen CPU that’s just 0.50 inches thick and weighs just 3.66 pounds. Some bold color options and a minimalist design provide a laptop that’s as good-looking as it is well-built.

You still get a solid build and Samsung’s S-Pen support. If you’re a Samsung phone and tablet user, then you can integrate the Galaxy Book3 Pro 360 into Samsung’s excellent ecosystem. Ports are a decent, with two USB-C ports with Thunderbolt 4 support, an HDMI port, a USB-C 3.2 port, and a microSD card reader.

A Full HD webcam with Auto Framing and Face Effect round out the niceties. Performance is provided by 28-watt Intel 13th-gen CPUs such as the 12-core/16-thread Core i7-1360P.

Samsung Galaxy Book3 Pro 360

Samsung Galaxy Book3 Pro 360 (0.50 inches)

An ultra-thin convertible 2-in-1

apple macbook air 15 inch review macbookair15 05

Luke Larsen / Digital Trends

Apple MacBook Air 15 (0.45 inches)

The thinnest 15-inch laptop

Pros

  • More screen!
  • Excellent speakers
  • Long lasting battery
  • Shockingly thin
  • Extra performance is welcome

Cons

  • Only supports one external display

Why should you buy this: It’s an incredible thin large-screen laptop.

Who’s it for: Anyone who wants extensive battery life and capable performance in a trim design.

What we thought of the Apple MacBook Air 15:

Apple introduced a new MacBook Air in 2023, a 15-inch model that takes the excellent build of the 13-inch version and blows it up. Somehow, while fitting in a 15.2-inch Liquid Retina display, Apple managed to keep the MacBook Air 15 an incredibly thin 0.45 inches. It’s the thinnest 15-inch laptop around, and it makes no compromises.

Performance is excellent thanks to its 8-core CPU/10-core GPU M2 processor. It’s not fast enough for serious creators, but for everyone else it will churn through the most demanding workflows. The display has wide and accurate colors, plenty of brightness, and deep contrast, and it’s sharp at 2880 x 1864 pixels.

And to top it all off, battery life is exceptional. It will keep you running for a day and a half, with at least twice as much longevity as you’ll find with most 15-inch machines.

Apple MacBook Air 15

Apple MacBook Air 15 (0.45 inches)

The thinnest 15-inch laptop

alienware x14 r2 review 03

Jacob Roach / Digital Trends

Alienware x14 R2 (0.57 inches)

A gaming laptop that’s both extremely thin and surprisingly fast

Pros

  • Thinnest 14-inch gaming laptop
  • Fantastic battery life
  • Solid performance
  • USB-C charging
  • Comfortable keyboard

Cons

  • Tiny trackpad
  • Only one USB-A port
  • Middling screen

Why should you buy this: It’s one of the thinnest gaming laptops around, and it’s plenty fast.

Who’s it for: Anyone who wants a gaming laptop without the usual thickness.

What we thought of the Alienware x14 R2:

Imagine packing a 45-watt Intel Core i7-13620H and an Nvidia GeForce RTX 4060 into a 0.57-inch chassis that weighs just 4.22 pounds, and you’ll have the Alienware x14 R2. It’s an incredible accomplishment, providing excellent gaming performance in a laptop that’s thinner and lighter than many mainstream ultrabooks.

It’s not the fastest gaming laptop, but that’s not the point. It manages to compete with some thicker and heavier laptops and, in fact, is among the fastest RTX 4060 laptops we’ve tested. That’s a testament to the excellent thermal design that manages to keep the CPU and GPU cool without the usual space inside.

The 14.0-inch 2560 x 1600 display provides surprisingly wide and accurate colors and tons of contrast, making it a great display for gaming and productivity work. If you’re looking for solid 1080p gaming in an incredibly thin and light laptop, then the Alienware x14 is the best option.

Alienware x14 R2

Alienware x14 R2 (0.57 inches)

A gaming laptop that’s both extremely thin and surprisingly fast

Dell XPS 13 front view showing display and keyboard deck.

Image used with permission by copyright holder

Dell XPS 13 (0.55 inches)

A redesigned classic that’s extremely thin

Pros

  • Thin and light chassis
  • Edge-to-edge keyboard
  • Modern, sleek aesthetic
  • Affordable

Cons

  • No 3.5mm audio jack
  • Limited to Intel 12th-gen CPUs

Why should you buy this: It’s a gorgeous redesign of one of the best laptops ever.

Who’s it for: Anyone who wants a great-looking, well-built 13-inch laptop.

What we thought of the Dell XPS 13:

The Dell XPS 13 has been one of the best laptops for several years, with its iconic aluminum and carbon fiber design. Dell mixed things up in the latest generation, creating an all-aluminum design that’s thinner and lighter than before. It’s just 0.55 inches thick and weighs 2.59 pounds.

You’ll find 15-watt Intel 12th-gen CPUs inside that balance performance and efficiency, along with an excellent Full HD+ display that offers wide and accurate colors and excellent contrast. Larger internal speakers promise improved bass and increased volume, making for an outstanding media-consumption device. Up to 32GB of RAM and a 1TB SSD offer plenty of memory and storage for the most demanding productivity users.

Dell XPS 13

Dell XPS 13 (0.55 inches)

A redesigned classic that’s extremely thin

asus zenbook s 13 oled 2023 review featured

Mark Coppock/Digital Trends

Asus ZenBook S 13 OLED (0.46 inches)

A 13-inch laptop that’s surprisingly powerful

Pros

  • Solid productivity performance
  • Above-average battery life
  • Attractive and solid design
  • Excellent keyboard and touchpad
  • Thin and light

Cons

  • Performance dropped from previous generation
  • Speakers are lackluster

Why should you buy this: It’s an incredibly speedy 13-inch laptop that’s still thin and light.

Who’s it for: Anyone who wants an easy-to-carry laptop that’s fast enough for real work.

What we thought of the Asus ZenBook S 13 OLED:

The latest version of the Zenbook S 13 OLED uses Intel’s Core i7-1355U, a CPU that blends performance and efficiency. Asus also trimmed the laptops thickness to 0.43 inches in front and 0.46 inches in back. That gives the MacBook Air M2 a run for its money.

The ZenBook S 13 OLED is a sleek and trim laptop that looks great and is just as well built. Its 13.3-inch 16:10 2.8K OLED display is spectacular and enables a tiny chassis, thanks to slim bezels. Even so, it manages to perform well in multithreaded applications like Handbrake and Cinebench R23, promising relatively strong performance in creative applications.

The laptop’s keyboard is outstanding, and the touchpad is surprisingly large and incorporates Asus’s NumberPad 2.0, which embeds an LED numeric keyboard for fast data entry. The Full HD webcam rounds out the modern features, and battery life is long for a thin and light laptop with such fast performance.

Asus Zenbook S 13 OLED 2023

Asus ZenBook S 13 OLED (0.46 inches)

A 13-inch laptop that’s surprisingly powerful

Editors’ Recommendations






Courtesy by: Digital Trends

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