Laptops have changed considerably, in the face of competition from the slimmer, lighter and more flexible convertible computing devices. From the look that resembled a thick black brick, and weighed what felt like a tonne, laptops have undergone a complete makeover. The recent crop of premium laptops focus on an ultra-slim form factor, without sacrificing on the looks, specifications or performance. We pick out the best options that you should consider, if budget is no bar.
At 13.1mm thick, and with a 12-inch Retina Display, the MacBook has a very compact footprint. It is available in silver, gold, space grey and rose gold colour options, giving you the option of colour-coordinating IT with your iPhone, iPad and Apple Watch. The Force Touch touchpad can detect differing pressures of the finger touch, and can execute certain functions in some apps. This was one of the first laptops to adopt the USB Type-C standard, and the removal of the USB ports, as we knew them, helped in the thickness reduction. You can get as much as 12 hours of battery life from the MacBook. If you go for the higher spec but marginally thicker MacBook Pro Touch Bar variants, you’ll also get the secondary touch display which sits above the keyboard and shows options and menus relevant to the app on the screen at that time.
Dressed in Gold, the Gram is just 13.4mm thick and weighs 980kg. The Carbon Magnesium Alloy chassis should hold it in good stead against the most established rivals. It runs the Intel Core i5-6200U processor, with 8GB RAM and a 256GB solid state drive. It runs Windows 10. The 14-inch display should do well, with the IPS technology that helps reproduce rich and accurate colours—the visual highlight is the 0.26mm measuring slim bezel around the display. It also has the Instant Booting feature, which switches on the laptop and boots into Windows, the moment you open the lid—this is something even the latest generation Apple MacBook Pro machines have. The Reading Mode reduces the blue light impact on the eyes, and makes reading more comfortable.
HP Spectre 13
There is no denying the sheer sexiness of the Spectre 13’s design. It is incredibly thin, measuring just 10.4mm thick. The piston-hinge design element stands out, and so does the dash of black and gold colour. Within this aluminium and carbon-fiber chassis are the latest generation Intel Core i5 and Intel Core i7 processor options, 8GB RAM, Windows 10 and 13.3-inch display. The Spectre 13’s battery lasts around 6 hours for most usage scenarios, which while not at the same levels as the Apple MacBooks, is still among the better figures in the Windows genre.
Asus Swift 7
This is the slimmest of them all—measuring just 10mm in thickness—and has rather understated looks and colour options. The other specs include an Intel Core i5-7Y54 processor, with 8 GB of RAM, 13-inch display and a 256 GB solid state drive (SSD) storage. If you aren’t extra careful with the brightness levels of the display, the battery life does suffer a bit—it lasts around 3.5 hours when stressed a bit, but that is the compromise for an ultra-thin form factor.
Razer Blade Stealth
$899.99 onwards (shipping extra)
Razer is better known for gaming accessories, but the Blade Stealth is an ultrabook that cannot be ignored. Dressed in black, it is just 13mm thick, yet doesn’t fall short in terms of power—available with the options of 7th Gen Intel Core i5-7200U and the Core i7-7500U processor options, with 8GB or 16GB RAM options and a 12.5-inch display. You will get Windows 10 preloaded and up to 1TB SSD storage options. The ideal laptop to get, if you are travelling.