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Top 10 Best 13 Inch Laptops of 2022 – Reviews & Size Comparison

In-depth guide to buying the best 13-inch laptop for yourself with comparison between 13-inch laptops & other laptop sizes to help you decide.
Best 13-Inch Laptops - featured image

After 15-inch laptops, the next most popular size for laptops is 13-inch laptops. You see, a lot of people prefer to buy a 13-inch laptop over other-size laptops for themselves. The reason? PORTABILITY.

The best 13-inch laptops are small enough to easily carry them in hand (while flaunting a nice sleeve) and powerful enough to handle everything from everyday jobs to light photo editing or programming, and some even have the horsepower to run modern games or do video editing!

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Also, they come in all various types (2-in-1s, touchscreen, traditional) and fit almost everyone’s budget (~ start from $300 and go up to $2000), so no matter what your needs are, there is a 13-inch laptop fitting your requirements and budget.

But we know many of you are still confused if the 13-inch laptop is too small and whether it will be the right choice for your needs. So, in this guide, first, we will compare the 13-inch laptops with all other sized laptops so that you can decide on the right size for your laptop according to your needs, and then we will talk one by one about all the best 13-inch laptops that we recommend right now.

So let’s get started.

Our Top 3 Picks in a Nutshell

Our Top Pick

Dell XPS 13 Plus - Featured

Dell XPS 13 Plus Laptop

“Offers great all-around performance with the latest 12th Gen Intel Core P-series processors in a futuristic laptop design with gorgeous 13” display.

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Runner-up

Asus ZenBook S13 OLED AMD Ultrabook - Featured

Asus ZenBook S13 OLED Ultrabook

“Powerful AMD RDNA2-based integrated graphics to play latest games or make intricate edits to photos and videos on the go.”

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Best 13 inch 2 in 1

HP Spectre x360 13 2 in 1 Laptop - Featured

HP Spectre x360 13″ 2 in 1 Laptop

“A feature rich, powerful and very well-built and designed 13 inch 2 in 1 laptop with excellent touchscreen display and Pen support.”

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Check out all top picks >>

13-inch Laptops vs. 14-inch & 15-inch Laptops: Why 13-inch Laptops Are Better and Why They Are Not?

Before we start this comparison, let’s quickly go over all the different sizes that laptops are available in right now.

So, in 2022 you will find most laptop brands offering their laptops in 6 different sizes, and they are;

  • 11-inch Laptops
  • 13-inch Laptops
  • 14-inch Laptops
  • 15-inch Laptops
  • 16-inch Laptops
  • 17-inch Laptops

Now you might think there are six different sizes, then why am I comparing the 13-inch laptops with only 14 and 15-inch laptops? What about the other three sizes?

That’s because we know you are looking for a “portable” laptop and 16″ and 17-inch laptops are too large to fit that criterion. While 11-inch laptops are even smaller and offer excellent portability, they cannot handle anything more than basic computing tasks.

So, it makes more sense to compare the 13-inch laptops to 14″ and 15-inch ones than other laptop sizes.

With that clear, let’s go through all the reasons why 13-inch laptops are better to buy than 14 and 15-inch laptops. After that, we will also discuss why you shouldn’t purchase 13-inch laptops and prefer larger ones instead.

4 Top Reasons to Go With 13-inch Laptops

Why Buy 13 inch Laptops

Portability

It’s pretty self-explanatory, but 13-inch laptops are smaller and lighter than 14-inch and 15-inch laptops. Therefore they are a more portable option if you are looking for a laptop to travel with every day.

Great Performance

Before we started this comparison, I told you that 11-inch laptops are even more portable options than 13-inch laptops, but they are underpowered. Well, the reason behind them being underpowered is their small size which does not allow manufacturers to put powerful components inside due to cooling constraints

However, if you go with 13-inch laptops, that’s not the case. The best 13-inch laptops offer great performance as they are powered by powerful and latest Intel and AMD processors. And, while not many, there are also 13-inch laptops with high-performance CPUs and dedicated GPUs available if you want to buy an ultraportable laptop for gaming or making intricate edits to photos and videos on the go.

Long Battery Life

The laptop’s screen is among the highest power-consuming parts on a laptop. Since 13-inch laptops have smaller displays in comparison to 14 and 15-inch ones, you will get much better battery life on 13-inch laptops than on 14-inch and 15-inch laptops.

Average laptop battery life by screen size

Besides portability, the long battery life is another reason why 13-inch laptops are the best choice for students or people who travel frequently.

Affordable

While the price of laptops depends on a lot of factors like the hardware, type of display, materials used to build it, and more, if you compare a 13-inch laptop with a 14-inch or 15-inch laptop of a similar caliber, you’ll almost always find 13-inch laptop to be a lower costing option. 

Again, that’s because 13-inch laptops are smaller than 14 and 15-inch laptops, so they need fewer materials and parts to be built. As a result, they are less costly to make for manufacturers and more affordable to us, the end consumers. Not to mention, the cost of a 13-inch display will also be less (for manufacturers) compared to that of larger 14, 15, 16, and 17-inch ones.

4 Reasons to Consider a Larger Laptop

Why Prefer Larger Laptops

Larger Display

13-inch display is more than enough for most tasks we do every day, like working in spreadsheets, browsing the web, or coding if you are a programmer. But we cannot deny the fact that working on 14″, 15″, or even larger 16″ and 17-inch displays would be more comfortable and productive. Even watching movies and playing games would be more enjoyable on a larger screen.

More Upgradeability Options

We all appreciate thin and light laptops, but do you know manufacturers attain this compactness by baking upgradeable parts like RAM and storage drive to the motherboard? That said, almost every 13-inch laptop has RAM soldered, leaving no scope to upgrade it later if your work becomes more demanding. On the other hand, the storage drive is upgradeable on some 13-inch laptops. 

Whereas in the case of larger-sized laptops than 13-inch, almost every laptop has upgradeable RAM and storage drive, making them better in terms of future-proofing.

More Ports

Another thing that gets slaughtered along with the upgradeability options in thin and light compact laptops is the number of ports you get. That said, some premium thin and light 13-inch laptops have just switched to offering USB-C ports, requiring dongles to connect standard USB-A peripherals or if you need to insert an SD card or use an Ethernet connection. Thankfully, this is not the case with every 13-inch laptop yet, and there are laptops that offer all the ports you’ll need. Still, the number of ports you get on 13-inch laptops is less compared to larger 14 or 15-inch laptops because of their small size.

Full-Size Keyboard

It’s not possible to fit a full-size keyboard with Numpad in 13-inch laptops. If that’s important to you, you’ll have to go with a larger laptop. Unfortunately, 14-inch laptops also cannot accommodate them, so if you absolutely need it, you will have to go with the 15-inch or larger laptops or have to settle with the workarounds like trackpad converting into Numpad like in some of the 13-inch Asus laptops.

Do We Recommend 13-inch Laptops?

So as you now know, there are quite a few “compromises” you’ve to make by going with 13-inch laptops, but at the same time, you’re also getting some pretty good benefits.

Know that this is the case with almost every laptop size. If a certain laptop size is good at some things, then there are also a few compromises to be made.

That said, the main USP of the 13-inch laptops is the portability they offer while being powerful enough for most tasks that people use the laptop for.

While that portability comes at the cost of less to no upgradeability options, fewer ports, a small display, and a keyboard with no numpad, I can tell you workarounds for almost every one of these shortcomings!

Like, you can buy the 13-inch laptop with enough RAM and storage you’ll need throughout its life so that there never arises a need to make upgrades in the future.

If you are not sure how much RAM and storage you’ll need, buy a laptop with 16GB RAM and 1TB of storage—this is more than enough for most users.

To get more ports, you can buy an all-in-one USB-C hub, which is not much expensive and provide almost every port and slot that bigger-sized notebooks offer in a small flash drive size device.

And as far as issues like working on a small display and keyboard with no numpad are concerned, you can buy 13-inch laptops with 3:2 or 16:10 display, which will display more lines of text or code on the screen, giving you a feeling of working on a larger display. If that’s not enough, you can buy an external monitor and keyboard and mouse and have a nice desk setup to work on comfortably when you’re at your home, office, or dorm room (if you’re a student).

So, there are workarounds for almost every compromise you’ll have to make by buying a 13-inch laptop. However, the same may not be the case for other-size laptops!

With that said, below are all the 13-inch laptops we recommend right now, with their in-depth reviews, pros and cons, and specs to help you select the right laptop for your needs.

Go through them one by one to make an informed purchase.

Best 13-inch Laptops – Our Top Picks

1. Dell XPS 13 Plus – The Best 13-inch Laptop 2022

Dell XPS 13 Plus - best 13 inch laptop 2022

PROS:

  • Futuristic design & superb build quality
  • Stunning display with super thin bezels
  • Good webcam & microphone quality
  • Keyboard is very comfortable to type
  • Powerful performance with good heat management
  • Great battery life (on full HD display variant)
  • Comes with a USB-C dongle inside the box

CONS:

  • Only two USB-C ports
  • Function row on keyboard is capacitive touch

The XPS are the most premium laptops that Dell makes. They come in three different sizes (13, 15, and 17) and are often ranked at the top in most “best laptops” lists and recommended as an alternative to Apple’s MacBooks for those who prefer using Windows.

The XPS 13 is the smallest of their lineup, and this year Dell has introduced the Plus variant of it, which comes with an all-new futuristic-looking design, which we’ll talk about in a bit, and it also packs quite phenomenal hardware for the laptop of its size.

The design, as I said, is very futuristic, with its keyboard stretched all the way to the edges and an invisible trackpad! Dell has embedded the trackpad on the XPS 13 Plus right into the palm rest area, so it’s nowhere to be seen, but it’s right there in the center with the haptic motor for a physical button-like click feel.

If you’re wondering how much of the area on the palm rest is a trackpad, then the trackpad on the XPS 13 Plus is of the same size as the non-plus XPS 13, which is pretty large. So you’ll not have to look for it, as it is designed in a way that your finger will naturally land at the right place if you want to move the cursor or use any gestures. It is very futuristic and, at the same time, intuitive and easy to use as well.

Dell XPS 13 Plus Futuristic Keyboard Deck

The keyboard is also quite unconventional, with large keys with no space in between, and as I said earlier, it’s stretched right to the edges, giving you a feel of typing on a full-size keyboard. Typing on it is a very comfortable experience, but on top it has capacitive touch buttons instead of a physical function row of keys, so there is no physical escape key!

However, due to this keyboard design, Dell could fit more powerful hardware and a cooling system inside it!

So, the XPS 13 Plus is powered by the latest 12th Gen Intel Core P-series processors, which are cut above the usual U-series processors that most 13-inch laptops have. That means you can do all sorts of demanding tasks on the XPS 13 Plus by configuring it with up to a 14-core Intel Core i7-1280P processor, 32GB RAM, and 2TB of storage, which is a lot of power for a 0.6″ thin and 2.7-pound 13-inch laptop!

Its price starts from $1,399, which is expensive, but for the kind of build quality, performance, and InfinityEdge 13.4-inch screen it offers, it kind of feels justified, and that’s why the XPS 13 Plus is the best 13-inch laptop you can buy right now.

Processor12th Generation Intel Core i5-1240P (12 Cores, up to 4.4 GHz)
RAM16GB LPDDR5 RAM
Storage512GB PCIe Gen4 SSD
GraphicsIntel Iris Xe integrated graphics
Display13.4-inch Full HD+ Anti-Glare IPS Display (1920 x 1200, 16:10)
Operating SystemWindows 11 Home
Battery LifeUp to 13 hours
Weight2.7 lbs

ALTERNATIVE CHOICE: Dell XPS 13 (Non-Plus Variant)

If the Dell XPS 13 Plus is too steep for your budget and you’re looking to stay around $1000, then you can consider the non-plus variant of the XPS 13. It uses the chassis of last year’s XPS 13, but it’s still unrivaled by any other Windows laptop in terms of design and looks and feels just as premium as the XPS 13 Plus.

Image – Dell

You also get the power of the latest 12th Gen Intel processors on it, but it uses slightly less powerful U-series Intel Core processors instead of P-series. Don’t mistake these U-series processors as weak processing units, though, as they come with 10-cores! You can expect smooth performance with day-to-day jobs and ability to do light gaming and editing jobs with ease on the XPS 13 as well.

So overall, for the starting price of $999, XPS 13 is a great value for money 13-inch laptop, that’s as good as our top pick. | Click for Best Price

2. Asus ZenBook S13 OLED – Runner-up

Asus ZenBook S13 OLED 13 inch AMD Ultrabook

PROS:

  • Very well-built CNC-milled all-metal chassis
  • Punchy OLED screen
  • Can handle graphics intensive workloads
  • Battery lasts full day easily
  • Ergonomic keyboard with nice tactile feel to the keys
  • Trackpad doubles up as a Numpad
  • USB-C dongle & laptop sleeve included in the box

CONS:

  • Limited ports
  • Slightly expensive

The Asus ZenBook S13 is another very well-rounded 13-inch laptop with a premium design and great build quality, but the main USP of this laptop is its CPU’s powerful integrated graphics.

It is powered by the latest AMD Ryzen 6000 series processor, which comes with very powerful RDNA2-based integrated AMD Radeon graphics. This new AMD integrated graphics delivers better performance than Intel’s Iris Xe integrated graphics and even outperforms entry-level dedicated Nvidia GPUs like GeForce MX450!

Besides powerful graphics performance, another great highlight of these new AMD Ryzen 6000 series processors is their high efficiency. They sip less battery juice and deliver high performance to do anything from multitasking with regularly used apps to programming, gaming or media editing. So, you can also expect long battery life along with great performance on the ZenBook 13.

Apart from performance, its 13-inch OLED display with 2.8K resolution is also stunning, with ink blacks and incredible saturation. However, due to its glossy nature, glare is an issue on it, and its peak brightness is also a bit low at 360 nits. But you’ll have no issues working on it indoors, and because it’s a highly color-accurate panel (100% DCI-P3), editing content or watching movies on it is a very good experience. And its speakers are also pretty loud and deliver full sound (thanks to Dolby Atmos) with decent bass and treble.

Just like every thin and light 13-inch laptop, there are not enough ports on the ZenBook 13 as it offers only three USB-C ports and a headphone jack, but it comes with a USB-C to USB-A adapter in the box, and Asus also includes a laptop sleeve with it. SWEET!

Overall, with a luxurious CNC-milled all-metal chassis that weighs only 2.4 pounds and features like a fingerprint scanner and trackpad doubling up as Numpad, the Asus ZenBook 13 is a very feature-rich premium 13-inch laptop that is worth considering if you want powerful graphics performance or Numpad in an ultraportable 13-inch size laptop.

Hardware Specifications of Asus ZenBook S13 OLED:

ProcessorAMD Ryzen 7 6800U (8-Cores, up to 4.7 GHz)
RAM16GB LPDDR5 RAM
Storage1TB PCIe Gen4 SSD
GraphicsAMD Radeon 680M integrated
Display13.3-inch 2.8K OLED NanoEdge Touchscreen Display (2880 x 1800, 16:10)
Operating SystemWindows 11 Pro
Battery LifeUp to 12 hours
Weight2.4 lbs

3. HP Spectre x360 13 – Best 13-inch 2 in 1 Laptop

2022 HP Spectre x360 13 inch 2 in 1 Laptop

PROS:

  • Very premium and unique design & fantastic build quality
  • Bright vivid and responsive 13-inch touchscreen display
  • Great performance from powerful 10-core Intel processors
  • Long lasting battery
  • Decent selection of ports for a 13-inch laptop
  • Cheaper and better than competition
  • HP Tilt pen & USB-C dongle included in the box

CONS:

  • The screen can be glary depending upon the type you select

If you are looking for the best 13 inch 2 in 1 laptop, then the HP Spectre x360 13 is what we recommend you buy. The reason behind that is that it’s more affordable than its competitors Dell XPS 13 2 in 1 and Lenovo Yoga 9i 14, while having almost similar specs and features, so this is a better value overall.

As you would expect, its exterior is all-metal since it belongs to the Spectre, the most premium lineup of laptops by HP, and accordingly, it is also designed very well and has quite a unique shape. It is “more square than rectangular,” and its edges have angular cuts, which give this laptop a unique look, and they serve the purpose of housing the ports. The hinge is also very well-engineered and feels solid while rotating its screen.

Speaking of the screen, it’s just gorgeous, especially if you go with the 3K OLED option and its 3:2 aspect ratio is also great for productivity. But if you are on a budget, its full HD IPS panel is also very good looking, and it would also sip less power resulting in better battery life. Also, its backlit keyboard is very comfortable for typing, and its large glass trackpad is also one of the best you’ll find on a Windows laptop.

Now, if we talk about its performance, then the HP Spectre x360 13 features Intel’s latest 12th Gen processors, and it is Intel Evo certified, meaning it will have great performance and battery life and feature the latest and fastest connectivity options.

Accordingly, you can configure the Spectre x360 13 as per your requirements with options to select up to Core i7 processor and 32GB RAM and 2TB of storage to go with it. Also, it features a large 66 WHr battery which gives this laptop a solid 10 hours of use on a single charge. And it also supports the latest Wi-Fi 6E and Bluetooth 5.3 and surprisingly offers a USB Type-A port along with two Thunderbolt 4 ports and a 3.5mm headphone/microphone combo port.

The inclusion of a USB Type-A port is another reason why we like this 2 in 1 laptop over its competitors, which offer only Type-C ports. So overall, the HP Spectre x360 13 is an excellent 2 in 1 laptop that delivers on every aspect and is also priced well, making it a no-brainer choice if you are on the hunt for the best convertible 13 inch laptop for yourself.

ProcessorIntel Core i5-1235U (10-Cores) 12th Gen Processor (with up to 4.4 GHz turbo boost)
RAM16GB LPDDR4 RAM
Storage512GB PCIe NVMe SSD
GraphicsIntel Iris Xe integrated graphics for 12th Gen Intel processors
Display13.5-inch multi-touch IPS Display with 1920 x 1280 (3:2) resolution and 400 nits peak brightness
Operating SystemWindows 11 Home
Battery LifeUp to 10 hours
Weight2.9 lbs

ALTERNATIVE CHOICE: HP ENVY x360 13″ 2 in 1 Laptop (Even better value!)

If you want to buy the above-mentioned HP Spectre x360 13 but it’s out of your budget, then check out this HP ENVY x360 13 2 in 1 laptop.

HP Envy x360 13 value for money HP 2 in 1 laptop
Image – HP

It also offers the latest 12th Gen Intel Core processor with options to select up to Core i7, 16GB RAM, and 1TB of SSD storage. The maxed-out ENVY x360 13 will cost you around $1,000 and the exact configuration on Spectre x360 or any other brand’s convertible laptop will cost you around $1500!

Also, this ENVY x360 is a well-built laptop with an all-metal exterior, and its design is also very beautiful and elegant. The 13.3-inch display of this ENVY x360 13 is also gorgeous as it is also configurable with up to touchscreen OLED with 2.8K resolution and 100% DCI-P3 color coverage, among other options.

An OLED display for around $1000 is quite rare.

Also, its keyboard and trackpad are pretty similar to that of the Spectre x360 13, and you get even more ports on this one with 2 USB Type-C Thunderbolt 4 ports and 2 USB Type-As, and it has a microSD card reader as well as a 3.5mm headphone jack.

So, the ENVY x360 13 is very well-specced 2 in 1, and it’s an excellent option for people who want to buy a powerful convertible laptop on a budget without compromising on any features. | Check Current Price

4. MacBook Air with M2 & 2022 MacBook Pro 13

2022 MacBook Air M2 & MacBook Pro 13 M2

PROS:

  • Strong and very premium unibody chassis made from recycled aluminum
  • Bright and color accurate Retina display
  • Mind boggling performance for a 13-inch ultraportable laptop
  • Longest lasting battery life of any laptops
  • Updated keyboard on the MacBook Air is excellent

CONS:

  • Gets very expensive as you spec it up with more memory and storage
  • Only USB-C ports for connectivity

Mac users looking for a 13-inch laptop have two options—the MacBook Air and the MacBook Pro 13.

The 2022 Apple MacBook Pro 13 sports an old MacBook design as it didn’t receive a design update like the new MacBook Air, but Apple did give both a spec bump with the latest M2 chip.

The new M2 chip is even more powerful and efficient than the already great and stupidly fast M1 chip. It has the same number of cores as the M1 but now runs at a higher clock speed. The GPU is also significantly better on the M2, with now 10-cores dedicated to it instead of 8-cores on the M1. And the neural engine on the M2 chip (responsible for tasks like voice recognition, image processing, etc.) is also 40% faster than the M1!

As mentioned earlier, the M1 chip is still plenty fast and offers excellent performance with day-to-day usage and content creation, but M2 is even faster and takes the graphical abilities of thin and light 13-inch MacBooks a step above. Not just that, it’s also more efficient and makes these MacBooks one of the longest lasting laptops offering up to 14 hours of use on a single charge!

Now we know that the MacBook Air is cheaper, and it also has the same chip and comes with a new design, display, and much better keyboard, but it is fanless, meaning, due to the cooling constraints, the M2 chip inside it would not be able to perform at its full potential. On the other hand, the 2022 MacBook Pro 2022 comes with “active cooling,” so it’s a better performer.

Which one should you buy between the 2022 MacBook Pro 13″ and MacBook Air?

Besides active cooling and design, there’s not much differentiating the 2022 MacBook Air and MacBook Pro 13. So, if you want to buy the fastest-performing 13-inch MacBook, then MacBook Pro 13 is the one you should get, and if you don’t mind a little performance loss and want the thinnest and lightest 13-inch MacBook, then MacBook Air is the right option for you.

ProcessorApple M2 chip (8-core CPU)
RAM16GB (unified memory)
Storage512GB SSD
Graphics10-Core GPU embedded on the chip
Display13.6-inch Liquid Retina Display with True Tone (2560 x 1664, 500-nits peak brightness, 100% DCI-P3 color)
Operating SystemmacOS Ventura
Battery LifeUp to 14 hours
Weight2.7 lbs

5. HP Pavilion Aero 13 – Best Budget 13-inch Laptop

HP Pavilion Aero 13 Affordable 13 inch Laptop

PROS:

  • Very lightweight and portable
  • Excellent display for work and watching or editing videos
  • Boots fast and performs buttery smooth
  • Battery easily lasts a full busy workday
  • Comfortable backlit keyboard & a smooth glass trackpad
  • Offers good number of ports for a 13-inch ultrabook
  • Affordable pricing

CONS:

  • No SD card slot
  • Average speakers

All the laptops we have talked about until now cost around or more than $1000, but we know not everyone can afford to spend a thousand dollars on their laptop.

Well, you don’t need to because the HP Pavilion Aero 13, our best budget 13-inch laptop pick, offers all the features and similarly capable specs as the above-mentioned expensive models for almost half the price!

That said, its price starts at just a little above $500! And for the price, it offers a powerful AMD Ryzen 5 processor with 6-cores. Its 8GB RAM and 256GB SSD storage on the base variant are also decent for the price and would allow you to easily do all your day-to-day tasks or play less demanding games if you want to. If you think these specs won’t cut your requirements, then Pavilion Aero 13 is customizable per your needs. You can spec it with the more powerful 8-core AMD Ryzen 7 processor and bump up its RAM and storage to 16GB and 512GB, respectively, and you’d still be paying less than $800 for this config!

So, it’s a very well-priced laptop and would allow you to buy a powerful 13-inch ultrabook even if you are on a budget. And you’ll be surprised to know that it’s one of the lightest laptops on our list at just 2.2 pounds despite the fact that it’s also the cheapest!

Also, it’s built very well and has an aluminum lid and a strong polycarbonate keyboard deck. The keyboard is also excellent, with a perfect layout for my taste, and it also has a glass trackpad, which is quite rare on budget laptops.

That’s not it. It also has all the required ports, which include two USB Type-A ports, one USB Type-C, an HDMI port, and a headphone jack. And its 16:10 13.3-inch display also wowed us with its high peak brightness and color accuracy.

So, the list goes on and on, but still, we cannot find anything to complain about it. Sure there’s no SD card slot available on it, and its speakers also does not sound that great, but it feels wrong to ask for more for the price. So overall, the HP Pavilion Aero 13 is an excellent budget 13-inch laptop that’s perfect for those looking to get the “best bang for the buck.”

ProcessorAMD Ryzen 5 5625U (6-cores, up to 4.3 GHz)
RAM16GB LPDDR4x
Storage512GB PCIe NVMe SSD
GraphicsAMD Radeon Vega 6
Display13.3-inch full HD IPS Anti-Glare Display (1920 x 1200, up to 400-nits brightness, 100% sRGB)
Operating SystemWindows 11 Home
Battery LifeUp to 10 hours
Weight2.2 lbs

6. Asus ROG Flow X13 13-inch Gaming Laptop

Asus ROG Flow X13 - Best 13 inch Gaming Laptop

PROS:

  • Packs a lot of punch for a 13-inch laptop
  • Converts into a desktop-replacement with the XG Mobile eGPU
  • High refresh rate 16:10 display with good color accuracy is great for gaming, everyday work and editing
  • Strong metal build that looks and feels premium in hands
  • Full day of battery life when you are not doing graphics-intensive tasks
  • Superb keyboard with deep traveling keys and great trackpad as well
  • Decent connectivity options

CONS:

  • Expensive

If you are looking for the best 13-inch gaming laptop, then there are not many options available. Because gaming requires powerful graphics performance, and it’s not possible to cool a powerful dedicated GPU efficiently inside such a small form factor. Still, there are manufacturers like Asus who make the impossible possible, and this Asus ROG Flow X13 is the perfect testament to that.

You asked for a 13-inch ultraportable gaming laptop, and Asus also added a 2 in 1 functionality to it so that you cannot just game on it but also use it as your daily work machine. That said, the ROG Flow x13 features a 13.4-inch full HD+ (1920 by 1200) 120Hz high refresh rate touchscreen display, which is perfect for gaming and everyday work, and with high color accuracy it’s also good for editing or viewing content. If you want more eye candy, you can also get it with the UHD+ touchscreen display, but that panel comes with a standard 60Hz refresh rate, which is not that great for gaming.

As far as performance is concerned, the ROG Flow X13 packs enough to handle almost every modern game, but it might not be able to run them at very high settings. That said, it is powered by the AMD Ryzen 9 6900HS, a pretty flagship-level processor, and sports a dedicated Nvidia GeForce RTX 3050 Ti GPU inside to handle gaming and other heavy graphics workloads. And this CPU & GPU is accompanied by 16GB of LPDDR4 RAM and 512GB of high-performance SSD for storage. These are not the mountain-moving specs in the world of gaming laptops. However, for a 13-inch one, they definitely are!

And the Flow X13 also comes with a great “party trick” which makes it a complete beast of a gaming machine. That said, you can buy the Flow X13 with the XG Mobile eGPU and connect it via the XG Mobile connector provided on the laptop and have the power of up to AMD Radeon RX 6850M XT on the go. That’s a lot of graphics power, and it would make the ROG Flow X13 capable of handling even the most demanding graphical workloads and AAA games at the highest settings.

Besides that, it’s also a well-built convertible laptop running the latest Windows 11, and it offers all the ports and slots, and its battery life is also pretty good to use as your daily driver.

Now, if we talk about the pricing, then it’s on the expensive side (as you would have expected), and with the XG Mobile eGPU, it completely goes through the roof.

But if you want to buy the most mobile gaming machine, one that provides you the desktop-level graphical performance in a 13-inch form factor, then the ROG Flow X13 with the XG Mobile is the most portable high performance 13-inch gaming laptop you can buy right now.

Hardware Specifications of Asus ROG Flow X13:

ProcessorAMD Ryzen 9 6900HS (8-cores, up to 4.9 GHz)
RAM16GB LPDDR5
Storage512GB PCIe NVMe SSD
GraphicsNvidia GeForce RTX 3050 Ti GPU (4GB DDR6 VRAM)
Display13.4-inch full HD+ 120Hz Display (1920 x 1200, up to 500-nits brightness, 100% RGB)
Operating SystemWindows 11 Home
Battery LifeUp to 8 hours
Weight2.8 lbs

ALTERNATIVE CHOICE: Asus ROG Flow Z13 13″ Detachable Gaming Laptop

Asus is known to make some pretty bold design moves in their laptops, and if you think that the above-mentioned 13-inch convertible gaming laptop was not bold enough, here’s the ROG Flow Z13, a “detachable” 13-inch 2 in 1 gaming laptop!

Yes, you read that right! It’s a 13-inch detachable tablet that can be attached or detached from its keyboard. However, unlike the ROG Flow X13, this is an Intel-powered device boasting the latest 12th Gen Intel Core processors, and you can spec it all the way up to i9-12900H, and for graphics, it sports the Nvidia GeForce RTX 3050 GPU, which provides it the 4GB of discrete graphics memory.

2022 Asus ROG Flow Z13 Detachable 13 inch 2 in 1 Laptop
Image – Asus

If you are wondering what thermals are like for such a powerful and small 13-inch tablet, then it’s very well-engineered by Asus and boasts quite a powerful cooling system that exhausts the heat out from the vents on the top of the tablet.

If we talk about its design, it has full gaming aesthetics and has a transparent cut-out on the back, revealing its internals, and it’s highlighted by the RGB lights. And it also offers a pretty good port selection for its form factor, featuring a USB Type-C Thunderbolt 4 port, a USB Type-A port, and a microSD card reader!

Overall, it’s a very powerful 13-inch laptop for gaming that’s highly versatile, and its 13-inch touchscreen also has a high refresh rate and good color accuracy, making it a suitable device for content creators too. With the support of XG Mobile eGPU, it’s also a worth considering 13-inch gaming laptop if you prefer a detachable design or Intel hardware. | Check Current Price

7. Microsoft Surface Laptop 5

Microsoft Surface Laptop 5 13 inch

PROS:

  • Great build quality and very premium feel with optional super comfy Alcantara keyboard deck
  • 12th Gen U-series Intel processors are enough powerful for most user’s everyday needs
  • Excellent touchscreen display with decent peak brightness, good color accuracy and 3:2 aspect ratio
  • One of the best keyboards and trackpad on Windows laptop
  • The base model is a great value
  • Long enough battery life to last an entire day filled with productivity

CONS:

  • Not enough ports
  • For higher variants pricing is higher than the competition

If you want the best Windows experience possible from your laptop and do not want to deal with issues related to drivers, Windows updates, or bloatware, then you should buy the Microsoft Surface Laptop 5 13″ for yourself.

Since it is made by Microsoft, it offers the best Windows experience you can get from any laptop.

That said, Microsoft recently gave it a refresh, and now it comes with the latest 12th Generation Intel processors. You can buy it with either a Core i5-1235U or Core i7-1255U processor. Both are 10-core CPUs featuring 2-performance and 8-efficiency cores and are able enough to deliver smooth performance with everyday productivity tasks and also capable of handling light gaming and photo or video editing. You can pair the CPU with up to 16GB of LPDDR5 RAM and 512GB of Gen4 SSD, depending on your multitasking and storage needs.

Besides hardware, the design and build quality of the Surface Laptop 5 are also very premium. Microsoft has used aluminum to build its chassis and offers an optional Alcantara keyboard deck, which feels luxurious when resting your palms while typing. Speaking of typing, the keyboard of the Surface Laptop 5 is also excellent. It is a chiclet-style keyboard with a perfect layout, and its backlit keys feel tactile and require just the right amount of actuation force. It is a very comfortable experience typing on the Surface Laptop 5 13″ for long hours, and if you are a writer or just have to type a lot every day, this is a highly recommended 13-inch laptop from us.

However, just like most 13-inch laptops, you only get a few options for connectivity, and the Surface Laptop 5 offers just one USB Type-C Thunderbolt 4 port, one USB Type-A, and a 3.5mm headphone jack. While it is great that it has a Type-A port as you will not need a dongle if you want to connect a flash drive or use a mouse, but it would have been more convenient if it had one more Type-C or -A port.

But overall, the Surface Laptop 5 is a very good option if you are looking for a 13-inch laptop for everyday productivity and would not be dealing with very high-intensive tasks like gaming or photo and video editing on a regular basis. It has a high-resolution 13-inch touchscreen display with a 3:2 aspect ratio that’s great for work and watching movies, and it’s also pretty lightweight, and its battery also lasts an entire workday easily. And at the starting price of $999, we also think it’s priced pretty well!

Processor12th Gen Intel Core i5-1235U 10-core Processor (2P and 8E cores, up to 4.4 GHz)
RAM8GB LPDDR5
Storage256GB PCIe NVMe SSD
GraphicsIntel Iris Xe integrated
Display13.5-inch Touchscreen Display (2256 x 1504 resolution 3:2) with Gorilla Glass Protection
Operating SystemWindows 11 Home
Battery LifeUp to 9 hours
Weight2.8 lbs

8. Lenovo Flex 5i 13″ 2 in 1 Chromebook

Lenovo Flex 5i 13 inch Chromebook

PROS:

  • Boots very fast and provides smooth performance with day-to-day jobs
  • Decent quality touchscreen display with pen support
  • Backlit keyboard is very satisfying to type on
  • Good overall build quality with strong 360-degree display hinges
  • Offers enough ports
  • Battery life is good and laptop also charges pretty fast

CONS:

  • Storage can be less for some users
  • Chrome OS does not support third party apps

If your needs are basic, like web browsing, editing word documents, managing sheets, creating presentations, etc., or you have a powerful laptop or a PC lying around and need a secondary laptop for when you are traveling, then Lenovo Flex 5i 13-inch Chromebook is for you.

As you can tell from the name, it is a 13-inch chromebook, and therefore it runs Chrome operating system. Now Chrome OS does not support “third-party apps” like Windows or macOS, but it comes with Google Chrome, and these days it is possible to do almost everything in the web browser, and if you need other apps, it supports apps available in the Chrome Web Store and also Android apps available in Google Play Store.

It will suffice if you want a laptop to do regular office work and don’t have to use proprietary software like Adobe Photoshop or others. But it does support the Adobe Photoshop Express app available in the Play store!

So you get the idea. While app support is limited, Chrome OS is a very secure operating system, and it’s also very lightweight, meaning it does not require powerful hardware to run smoothly.

This Lenovo Flex 5i 13 has an Intel Core i3 processor inside, which is considered to be a very powerful processor for a Chromebook, and it is paired with 8GB RAM and 128GB of the storage drive. It performs very smoothly and handles even heavy multitasking with dozens of tabs open in Chrome without any issues. And the battery life is also pretty good on this one, easily reaching the end of the day without needing a charge in between.

Its 13.3-inch display is also pretty decent, with full HD resolution and pen support. While it’s not accurate enough to do color-sensitive edits, it is vivid enough to deliver an enjoyable movie-watching experience. Also, its backlit keyboard and trackpad are pretty good. Its trackpad provides a smooth tracking experience with gesture support, and its keyboard has a good layout and tactile feel to the keys.

Overall, for the price tag of below $400, the Flex 5i 13″ is a powerful and feature-rich inexpensive 13-inch laptop that would be an excellent choice for students and professionals who can manage their everyday work within the boundaries of Chrome OS.

Hardware Specifications of Lenovo Flex 5i 13″ 2 in 1 Chromebook:

Processor11th Gen Intel Core i3-1115G4 Dual Core Processor (up to 4.1 GHz)
RAM8GB LPDDR4
Storage128GB PCIe SSD
GraphicsIntel UHD integrated
Display13.3-inch Full HD Touchscreen IPS Display with Pen support(up to 350 nits)
Operating SystemChrome OS
Battery LifeUp to 10 hours
Weight2.9 lbs

9. Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Nano 13 – Best 13-inch Business Laptop

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Nano 13" Business Laptop

PROS:

  • Super thin and lightweight but chassis is strong and military-standard tested
  • Display excels in all the verticals
  • Boasts powerful 12th Gen Intel Core P-series processors and supports up to 32GB RAM
  • Good enough battery life
  • A very satisfying to type backlit keyboard
  • Great privacy and security features

CONS:

  • Limited ports
  • Pricey

While the Dell XPS 13 (our top pick) and MacBook Pro 13 can also be great options if you are looking for 13-inch business laptops, but if you find them too flashy and want something that blends well into the “corporate” environment, then a ThinkPad is what you need.

The Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Nano 13 is one of the smallest ThinkPad laptops Lenovo makes right now, and since it belongs to their most premium ThinkPad X-series, these have the most premium feel, latest and greatest internals, excellent screen, and great security features.

Accordingly, the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Nano’s exterior is made from magnesium alloy, which is a strong and lightweight metal, and its lid has a Carbon Fiber weave to provide grip and even more rigidity to its chassis. It measures only 0.57″ on the sides, which is very thin, and the whole package weighs less than 2 pounds, making it the most portable laptop among its competitors.

For such a thin and lightweight laptop, it also packs a lot of punch inside to handle almost all of your computing needs. That said, it is powered by the latest 12th Gen Intel Core P-series processors, and you can configure it with up to Core i7-1280P, a 14-core processor! Moreover, it also supports up to 32GB of high-performance LPDDR5 RAM and 1TB of SSD storage.

A maxed-out X1 Nano 13 will cost you a pretty penny, but it’s an impressive piece of engineering as it offers enough power while maintaining its ultraportable form factor to handle almost anything you throw at it, including compiling large coding projects, modern games and professional editing software!

Its 13-inch display is also perfect for professionals with 2K resolution and a tall 3:2 aspect ratio. Apart from work, the display is also excellent for watching movies with Dolby Vision support, and its 100% sRGB color coverage also makes it good enough for doing color-sensitive editing on it.

However, due to its ultra-thin profile, you get only two Thunderbolt 4 ports and a headphone jack on this laptop for connectivity. On the other hand, wireless connectivity is very well managed with the latest Wi-Fi 6E and Bluetooth 5.1 support, and there’s also an optional 5G support available if you want fast and reliable internet connectivity everywhere you go.

With excellent privacy and security features like auto sleep and wake based on user presence, fingerprint scanner, and privacy shutter on webcam, the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Nano 13 has everything that a highly valuable person’s business laptop should have.

ProcessorIntel Core i5-1240P 12 Core 16 Thread Processor with 4P cores (up to 4.4 GHz) and 8E cores (up to 3.3 GHz)
RAM16GB LPDDR5
Storage512GB PCIe SSD
GraphicsIntegrated Intel Iris Xe graphics
Display13.0-inch 2K IPS IPS Anti-Glare Display (up to 450 nits, 100% sRGB)
Operating SystemWindows 11 Pro
Battery LifeUp to 9 hours
Weight2.1 lbs

10. Samsung GalaxyBook2 Pro 13″ – Honorable Mention

Samsung GalaxyBook2 Pro 13 Ultra Thin and Light 13 inch Laptop

PROS:

  • One of the thinnest and lightest 13-inch laptop available
  • Very good build quality
  • Offers very impressive I/O options
  • Gorgeous AMOLED display
  • Powerful 12th Gen Intel Core P-series processor
  • Well priced

CONS:

  • Comes pre-installed with useless Samsung apps

The Samsung GalaxyBook 2 Pro 13 is a superb 13-inch ultrabook that often gets overshadowed by other premium laptops like Dell XPS 13 and HP Spectre x360 13. But it is an equally great laptop as them and, in a few cases, even better! Here’s why.

Firstly it’s an incredibly thin and lightweight laptop measuring only 0.4″ and weighing only 1.9 pounds. That’s the most portable laptop on our list, thinner and lighter than even Dell XPS 13 Plus and Apple MacBook Air!

Despite it being such a thin device, it houses a USB Type-A port, an HDMI port, and two USB Type-C ports, one of which is Thunderbolt 4, and also a microSD card reader and a 3.5mm audio jack! That’s a very impressive I/O for such a size ultrabook. Other manufacturers should definitely take some notes here.

That’s not it, by the way. The GalaxyBook2 Pro again defies the norm of thin and light laptops by fitting the powerful 12th Gen Intel Core P-series processors inside it. That makes this ultraportable 13-inch laptop not just capable machine for doing everyday tasks but also demanding workloads like photo and video editing, gaming or music production! And you don’t have to worry about cooling either, as it’s smartly managed by Samsung by offering enough cooling vents.

Now, if we come to the heart of the matter, then its 13-inch display is also just brilliant. It’s an FHD AMOLED panel that gets bright enough to watch HDR content, and it has excellent contrast and color reproduction capabilities. Also, the keyboard and trackpad on the GalaxyBook2 Pro are fantastic and makes working on it a great experience.

So, all in all, the Samsung GalaxyBook 2 Pro is a very impressive 13-inch ultrabook that is highly portable and capable for its size, and its features like the AMOLED display and long list of I/O make it a worth considering option if you are willing to spend around $1000 on your new laptop.

Processor12th Gen Intel Core i7-1260P 14-Core Processor (4 Performance Cores & 8 Efficiency Cores)
RAM16GB LPDDR5
Storage512GB PCIe SSD
GraphicsIntel Iris Xe integrated graphics
Display13.3-inch Full HD AMOLED Display
Operating SystemWindows 11 Home
Battery LifeUp to 10 hours
Weight1.9 lbs

That concludes our list of best 13-inch laptops that we recommend buying right now. Below we have answered some frequently asked questions that buyers often have at the time of selecting and buying the best 13-inch laptop for them.

Go through them if you still have any questions and if you don’t get the answer to your query from there, let us know it in the comments below, we will answer it as soon as we can.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is 13 inch laptop too small?

It depends on your use case. If you are a student and want something that is light and portable, then a 13-inch is the best choice for you. On the other hand, if you want something that is fast and comes with a large screen and powerful graphics performance, then you will need to buy a 15 or larger size laptop. In this guide, we have made an in-depth comparison between 13-inch laptops and other laptop sizes above. Refer to it if you are confused between 13″ or 15″ or other laptop sizes.

Is 13 inch good for a laptop?

A 13 inch laptop comes with a lot of advantages. The biggest advantage of a 13 inch laptop is that it is small and lightweight so that you can carry it anywhere easily, and generally, they also have better battery life than other size laptops and enough performance to handle all the everyday tasks smoothly.

Are 13 inch laptops good for gaming?

The 13 inch laptops are good for light gaming, but if you want to buy a laptop for playing AAA games and purposes like streaming your gameplay on Twitch or YouTube, then we do not recommend buying 13-inch laptops because they are too small to cool a high-end GPU properly. We’d recommend going with 15″ or larger gaming laptops because for the same price as a few 13-inch gaming laptops that are available, you can get much better specs and a larger display to enjoy gaming.

Can I use a 13 inch laptop for video editing?

A 13 inch laptop makes for a good video editing laptop. We have already mentioned some of the best 13 inch laptops for video editing in our guide. Nowadays, even 13 inch laptops have quite capable processors, and even the integrated GPUs in them are good at video editing. The smaller size also makes it easier to edit on the go.

Check out our guide on: Best Laptops for Video Editing Right Now

Is a 4K display worth it on a 13 inch laptop?

13-inches is a very small screen size. 1080p and 1440p provide you with enough pixels that it is not worth getting a 4K panel on a 13-inch laptop. Not to mention, the 4K screen will also stress the laptop’s CPU more, resulting in more power consumption and poorer battery life. We think QHD resolution is a good middle ground between full HD and 4K if you want a great visual experience on your 13 inch laptop.

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5 comments
  1. My preference is to have a 8th gen i7 U series OR i5 H series processor. With this I want a 13.3 touchscreen detachable/convertible business laptop. I am confused which one is best.

    Lenovo yoga review is not good on the hinge rotatability part otherwise Lenovo yoga is fitting my taste. Please suggest.

  2. I’m torn between Dell XPS 13 and LG Gram 13. I will be doing photo and some video editing. Which would you recommend? Thank you.

    1. If you need a touchscreen with full HD resolution display, then LG Gram 13 is the easy choice, as XPS 13 offers touchscreen with 4K display only and it’s very costly. As far as color accuracy is concerned, LG Gram 13 is slightly ahead covering 128% of sRGB color gamut while XPS 13 covers 117%. Not a huge difference, but it does matter as you would be using it for editing photos. If you would be using your laptop outdoors or in highly lit areas, then Dell XPS 13 would be the better choice as its display is brighter at 372 nits than the LG Gram’s 307 nits bright display. Both the laptops are very good overall, and despite these small differences, both are very good picks for photo editing and occasional video editing work.

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