Ultra slim laptops, convertibles that are easy to carry
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Thin and light are two monikers that will never go out of fashion when we refer to computing devices. Many years ago, Intel brought out its ever-so-slim laptops running Microsoft Windows under the “ultrabook” badging. In many ways, they were designed to compete against Apple, which pretty much led the way with the MacBook Air at the time. While Windows-based laptops have come close, Apple has extended the advantage with the new MacBook line-up. The good news in all this is that despite the ever-thinner form factors, these laptops are not short on power. We pick the best slim laptops and convertibles that are easy to carry and can take care of all your computing needs while you are on the move.
Apple iPad Pro
Rs50,800 onwards (Apple.com/in)
Apple has given the iPad Pro 10.5 and iPad Pro 12.9 a completely new positioning—as laptop alternatives. For, iOS 11 is now a completely different software on an iPad Pro (compared to an iPhone), optimized for multitasking and content creation. The ability to copy-paste content across apps and a new file manager app bring iOS 11 ever so close to the macOS (found on MacBooks) for productivity. Add the Smart Keyboard (around Rs14,990; Amazon.in), and this becomes a capable laptop replacement. The iPad Pro runs the latest-generation Apple A10X processors, which are more powerful than high-end laptops, has an excellent Retina Display, and battery life that will last an entire day of heavy usage. The 10.5-inch variant weighs upwards of 469g while the 12.9-inch variant tips the scales upwards of 677g.
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon
The ThinkPad line-up of laptops is the default option for many professionals and businesses, and has been so for many years now. The ThinkPad X1 Carbon, the flagship laptop, is now into its fifth iteration. It tips the scales at 1.13kg and is just 16mm thick. It is also 8% smaller than the previous X1 Carbon variant, though it retains the military-grade ruggedness—there are four layers of carbon-fibre reinforcements on the chassis, as well as a magnesium alloy roll-cage. For most kinds of use, the X1 Carbon battery will last around 12 hours. It runs the Intel Core i7-7500U processor, has 16 GB of RAM, a 512 GB solid state drive and a 14-inch (2,560x1,440 resolution) display.
Dell XPS 13
The flagship XPS 13 runs the newest eighth- generation Intel Core i5-8250U processor, with 8 GB RAM and a 256 GB solid state drive. There is a 13.3-inch Full HD Infinity Edge display—a reference to the minimal bezels. This is one of the best laptop displays in terms of contrast, colours and viewing angles. Battery life is around 12-14 hours, which means you can leave the charger at home and get through an entire day at work. The XPS 13 is made from a single block of aluminium and the palm rest has a carbon-fibre insert to prevent any heating from reaching your hands. It tips the scales at 1.2kg.
Acer Spin 7
It seems good things do come in small packages. The Spin 7 convertible computing device from Acer is just 10.98mm thick and weighs 1.6kg, but it doesn’t come up short on performance. The Intel Core i7-7Y75 processor, 8 GB RAM and 256 GB solid state drive should provide more than enough power for all kinds of use, except playing the latest graphic-intensive games. The 14-inch Full HD display can be pushed all the way back for use as a tablet, like most convertible computing devices. It has an aluminium body with a matte black finish and the rounded edges add a touch of sophistication.
The Apple MacBook
Rs1,04,800 onwards (Apple.com/in)
What you get with the most compact MacBook till date is the ideal balance between portability, usability and swanky looks. Available in Rose Gold, Space Grey, Gold and Silver options, the MacBook with the 12-inch IPS (in-plane switching) display is big enough to edit documents, mull over spreadsheets, create presentations, browse the web, edit images, and more. Every key press elicits a precise response, making this one of the best keyboards we have seen on laptops—only the slightly wider spread on the MacBook Pro 13 may feel better. There is all-day battery life to go with the portability too, which is real value addition.
HP Spectre x360
Pure luxury doesn’t come with an affordable price tag, and neither does the HP Spectre x360. It has, however, not just style, but plenty of substance too. The convertible laptop measures just 13mm in thickness. There is no shortage of power, with an Intel Core i7-7500U processor, 16 GB RAM and a 512 GB solid state drive. The 13.3-inch Full HD display is rich and crisp, though a tad reflective when brightness is reduced significantly. The battery lasts around 6 hours on a single charge, which is quite acceptable given its top-of-the-line processor. The HP Spectre x360 is more expensive than the new Dell XPS 13 (the equivalent variant runs an Intel Core i7-8550U processor with 8 GB RAM), which is priced at Rs1,43,990, but that is the price you pay for the gorgeous looks that accompany the fast performance.