Thin, light, functional and portable, all these attributes make an ultrabook and this year we saw some really good ones. This year, the category got a lot thinner thanks to the premium HP Spectre 13 and the ultra thin Acer Swift 7. We also saw refreshed ultrabook designs with the Asus ZenBook 3, while others like the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon retained their signature design.
All these laptops offer good functionality, portability and most importantly, decent performance. Now, these razor thin laptops are not meant for heavy duty workloads. We can’t really expect them to run Doom at 1080p, but most of them will play 2K content on your television quite easily.
This year ,we also saw laptops finally adopting the USB Type-C I/O port. In fact, some of these laptops are so thin, a normal USB port won’t be able to exist in those thin chassis. Hence, many of these ultrabooks come with USB Type-C port only.
Thinner form factor also means, new cooling systems, keyboards with lesser travel and heating woes, but not all ultrabooks have become victim to these underlying issues. Some of these laptops are just better designed to offer the convenience of an ultrabook without its compromises.
Zero1 Winner: Lenovo Ideapad 710s
The most uncompromised ultrabook of them all is the Lenovo Ideapad 710s. A thin body, 1.1 Kg weight and good performance – this laptop has everything. Compared to last year’s Dell XPS 13, the Ideapad 710s, is much lighter and offers a similar bezel less display. What makes it better though, is the fact that it is a matte display, which makes viewing content on it much easier.
Even with the thinner profile, Lenovo hasn’t compromised on I/O ports and the laptop offers all the essential ports you may require in day to day use. The backlit keyboard is good and so is the trackpad. We would have loved to see a USB Type-C port on the machine as well, but unfortunately that has been given a miss.
Inside, you get the latest Intel Core i7-7500U processor with 8GB of RAM, which takes care of all kinds of tasks and applications you might want to run on this device. Out of all the ultrabooks we tested this year, the Ideapad 710s came out on the top.
Good performance of this machine is further complimented by the respectable battery life it offers. On a full charge, the Ideapad 710s can easily manage 6 to 7 hours of usage quite easily. Even if streaming videos all day, the laptop will last for more than 5 hours on a single charge, which is quite good for a portable laptop.
Runner up: Lenovo Thinkpad X1 Carbon
Losing the top position by a hair, is the Thinkpad X1 Carbon. The new and improved X1 Carbon, brings the same iconic yet elegant design of the Thinkpad with newer hardware. The latest edition to the Carbon series is a bit lighter than the last gen model, but in essence the design and form factor remains the same.
Another thing which hasn’t changed is the large 14-inch display, that offers really good viewing angles and a 1080p resolution. You also get the premium carbon fibre construction, which can withstand dust, cold, water, humidity, altitude and even vibration.
This Intel Core i5 powered laptop performs as good as many other laptops, which feature beefier Intel Core i7 chips. This makes it one of the better laptops in this category. Like the Ideapad 710s, the X1 Carbon can also handle day to day task well and is easily one of this better performers in the thin and light category.
Overall, the Lenovo Thinkpad X1 Carbon is a really good machine. It performs as well as the Ideapad 710s, has really good battery life and to top it all off, it even comes with a 3 year warranty. But that’s just icing on the cake.