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The best 13-inch laptop 2020: the top 13-inch laptops we've reviewed


PCHF Tech News
Jan 10, 2015
The best 13-inch laptops have mastered the craft of squeezing a lot of power in 13-inch svelte bodies. When it comes to these laptops, portability is the name of the game, something that a lot of users – from students looking for the most affordable portables to professionals who want a thin and light machine – appreciate.

While 15-inch laptops offer a bigger screen real estate and room for more powerful internals, the best 13-inch laptops offer a svelte form factor ideal for traveling light and smaller spaces. Though that doesn’t mean they can’t compete with the best of them in performance – they tout more than enough power in their small form to get you through demanding tasks like photo editing, music production and even light gaming. Many of them are powerful enough to make our best laptops, best business laptops, or best Ultrabooks lists.

Whether you’re in the market for a 2-in-1 laptop, looking for something specific like one of the best Acer laptops, or still deciding between the best Windows laptops or the best Macs, we’ve got the best candidates for the job right here. These are our top picks of the best 13-inch laptops in 2020.

HP Spectre x360 (2020)

(Image credit: HP)
1. HP Spectre x360 (2020)

HP’s flagship 2-in-1 gets a 2020 refresh

CPU: 8th-generation Intel Core i7 | Graphics: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050Ti with Max-Q design | RAM: 8GB – 16GB | Screen: 15.6-inch, 3840 x 2160 pixels touch | Storage: 512 GB – 2TB SSD

Stylish and high-quality finish
Great all-around performance
Built-in security features are useful
Battery life takes a hit
Can run hot at times

HP’s beloved and highly praised 2-in-1 is back with a vengeance, this time with more powerful components like the 10th-generation Intel Core processors and Intel Iris Plus graphics. Of course, that impeccable 2-in-1 design and pristine gem-cut chassis are back, as are its security features and Bang & Olufsen speakers. That killer combination makes it, now more than ever, one of the best Windows laptops out there. Is it a wonder that this is one of our favorite laptops of 2020? If you care about aesthetics as much as you do performance and overall quality, this is the laptop for you.

Read the full review: HP Spectre x360 (2020)

Google Pixelbook Go

Google Pixelbook Go boasts many of its high-quality features, but without that steep price tag. (Image credit: Google)
2. Google Pixelbook Go

The best mainstream Chromebook

CPU: Intel Core m3 – i7 | Graphics: Intel UHD Graphics 615 | RAM: 8GB – 16GB | Screen: 13.3-inch Full HD – 13.3-inch 4K Ultra HD Molecular Display | Storage: 64GB – 256GB

Amazing ‘Hush’ keyboard
Rare 1080p webcam
No biometric login

If you’ve long been admiring Google’s premium Chromebook but the price is holding you back, then you might want to consider the new Google Pixelbook Go instead. Freshly-baked by Google, this alternative to the manufacturer’s pricey Pixelbook boasts many of its high-quality features, but without that steep price tag – namely, an incredible battery life and that coveted keyboard. If your computing use is limited to sending and responding to emails, creating documents and excel sheets on Google Docs and Sheets, and streaming movies and videos after work, then this one’s a winner.

Read the full review: Google Pixelbook Go

Dell XPS 13 (2020)

(Image credit: Dell)
3. Dell XPS 13 (2020)

Still one of the best laptops of all time

CPU: 10th generation Intel Core i5 – i7 | Graphics: Intel Iris Plus | RAM: 8GB – 16GB | Screen: 13.3-inch FHD (1,920 x 1,080) – 4k (3840 x 2160) | Storage: 256GB – 2TB SSD

Gorgeous design
Excellent battery life
Lackluster audio

The Dell XPS 13 (2020), much like its predecessors, earns a well-deserved spot among the best Windows laptops. It keeps everything we've come to love from Dell's flagship 13-incher, from the gorgeous and light design, to the powerful modern components that power it. The Dell XPS 13 now rocks 10th-generation Intel Core i5 or i7 processors and a bezel-less ‘Infinity Edge’ display, which means the Dell XPS 13 (2020) is a brilliant performer, while remaining thin and light. What’s more, there’s a wide range of customization options, so you can really make the Dell XPS 13 the best laptop for your needs.

Read the full review: Dell XPS 13

Microsoft Surface Book 2 (13-inch)

Surface Book 2 will handle your daily workload effortlessly and in style. (Image credit: Microsoft)
4. Microsoft Surface Book 2 (13.5-inch)

Bigger isn’t always better: a memoir

CPU: Intel Core i5 – i7 | Graphics: Intel UHD 620 – Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 | RAM: 8GB – 16GB | Screen: 13.5-inch, 3,000 x 2,000 PixelSense display | Storage: 256GB – 1TB SSD

Very good battery life
Very expensive
Not as powerful as 15-inch model

While the 13-inch version isn’t the most powerful Surface Book 2, it still makes for one of the best 13-inch laptops on the market. Whether you’re a professional or a creative or even a student, the Surface Book 2 will handle your daily workload effortlessly and in style. What’s more, the dynamic fulcrum hinge is much improved this time around, complementing the robust quad-core processor. And, unlike many other 2-in-1 laptops, the keyboard is removable to make it much more manageable, as well as thinner, when in tablet mode.

Read the full review: Microsoft Surface Book 2

Microsoft Surface Laptop 2

Surface Laptop 2 is one of the best 13-inch laptops right now. (Image credit: Microsoft)
5. Surface Laptop 2

Faster. Better. Stronger.

CPU: 8th generation Intel Core i5 – i7 | Graphics: Intel UHD Graphics 620 | RAM: 8GB – 16GB | Screen: 13.5-inch, 2,256 x 1,504 PixelSense display | Storage: 128GB – 1TB SSD

Improved power
New black color scheme
Still no Thunderbolt 3

The early Surface Laptop had our vote for one of the best 13-inch laptops, due to its stunning screen, competent internals and solid build quality. We are, therefore, happy to see its sequel, the Surface Laptop 2, doing everything better and taking some features to a new level. You won’t find any major changes, but the faster 8th-generation CPUs, 8GB of RAM and, most importantly, the removal of Windows 10 S all add up to making the Surface Laptop 2 one of the best 13-inch laptops right now.

Read the full review: Surface Laptop 2

Razer Blade Stealth 13 (2019)

Razer has spruced up its Blade Stealth 13 Ultrabook with the latest internal components without affecting its super-quiet operation. (Image credit: Razer)
6. Razer Blade Stealth 13 (2019)

Lightweight Razer style, now in white

CPU: 10th-generation Intel Core i7 | Graphics: Intel Iris Plus Graphics – GeForce GTX 1650 Max-Q | RAM: 16GB | Screen: 13.3" FHD Matte w/ 4.9mm slim side bezel – 13.3" 4K Touch w/ 4.9mm slim side bezel | Storage: 512GB SSD

Top-notch build quality
Runs quietly
Battery life is solid
Decidedly expensive
Limited storage space
Lacks a discrete GPU

The “world’s first gaming ultrabook” doesn't just talk the talk; it also walks the walk. Razer has spruced up its Blade Stealth 13 Ultrabook with the latest internal components without affecting its super-quiet operation. Packed with a 10th-generation Intel Core i7 processor and better graphic options, 13-inch laptop delivers and much better than its predecessor. In fact, it might just be the best gaming experience we’ve ever had on integrated graphics with the Iris Plus configuration. Round that out with extremely quiet fans, low thermal power, extended battery life and that delightful Mercury White color, and we are sold. You will be too, if you can afford the price.

Read the full review: Razer Blade Stealth 13 (2019)

Lenovo Yoga C930

Lenovo Yoga C930 has a few aces up its sleeve. (Image credit: Lenovo)
7. Lenovo Yoga C930

A 2-in-1 experience with little to no compromise

CPU: up to 8th-generation Intel Core i7 | Graphics: Intel UHD Graphics 620 | RAM: Up to 16 GB | Screen: 13.9-inch UHD (3840 x 2160) - 13.9-inch FHD (1920 x 1080) IPS Glossy Multi-touch with Dolby Vision | Storage: Up to 2 TB PCIe SSD

Strong build quality
Robust feature set
Excellent battery life
Weak graphics performance

While slightly bigger than your usual 13-inch laptop, this nearly 14-inch 2-in-1 challenger has a few aces up its sleeve – including longevity, power and durability. This means that the latest Lenovo Yoga C930 will last users long enough to get through their day-to-day workload and squeeze in some entertainment at the end of each day. To round it all out, this device also has a nice display with deep colors, a great keyboard and a decent trackpad. It may not have the best graphics performance, but it definitely more than makes up for that, making it one of the best 13-inch laptops 2020 has to offer.

Read the full review: Lenovo Yoga C930

MacBook Pro (13-inch, 2020)

(Image credit: Apple)
8. MacBook Pro (13-inch, 2020)

Worth the upgrade at the highest configuration

CPU: 8th-generation Intel Core i5 – 10th-generation Intel Core i7 | Graphics: Intel Iris Plus Graphics 645 | RAM: up to 32GB | Screen: 13-inch Retina display with True Tone | Storage: 256GB – 4TB SSD | Dimensions (W x D x H): 11.97 x 8.36 x 0.61 inches

Improved specs (on some models)
Larger capacity SSD for starting model
New keyboard is great
Entry-level model still has 8th gen Intel CPU
You still only get Thunderbolt 3 ports

The MacBook Pro (13-inch, 2020)’s entry-level model may miss out on some of the lineup’s new toys. However, going for the higher-end configurations will get you new (and powerful) Intel processors and improved RAM speeds for better performance, all packed into the 13-inch incredibly svelte body. Apple rounds it all out with that incredible Magic Keyboard from the new 16-inch, finally getting rid of that problematic keyboard. Even if you don’t go for the 10th-generation Intel Core configurations, you might still appreciate the fact that all models come with more storage capacity for the same price as their predecessors.

Read the full review: MacBook Pro (13-inch, 2020)

Lenovo Yoga C630

(Image credit: Lenovo)
9. Lenovo Yoga C630

Windows on Snapdragon redeemed?

CPU: Qualcomm Snapdragon 850 Processor | Graphics: Integrated Qualcomm Graphics | RAM: up to 8GB | Screen: 13.3" FHD (1920 x 1080) IPS multi-touch | Storage: up to 256GB SSD | Connectivity: Qualcomm Snapdragon X20 LTE | Camera: 720p HD Camera

4G connectivity
Huge battery life
Thin and light design
Windows 10 S mode useless
Limited app compatibility

Though previous Snapdragon-powered Windows laptops have fallen short in terms of performance, the Lenovo Yoga C630 has proven otherwise, offering users with an excellent performance for daily workloads, power-hungry tasks and even intensive games. It’s not perfect, but it does the job. And the integration of 4G connectivity is highly useful when you’re on the go and need an Internet connection. If you’re looking for one of the best 13-inch laptops that’s lightweight, both inside and out, this is a top choice.

Read the full review: Lenovo Yoga C630

HP Envy x360 13 (2019)

HP Envy x360 13 (2019) boasts a premium build, 9 hours of video playback and a stellar performance. (Image credit: HP)
10. HP Envy x360 13 (2019)

HP gives its slimline laptop an AMD upgrade

CPU: AMD Ryzen 3 3300U – AMD Ryzen 7 3700U | Graphics: AMD Radeon Vega 6 – Radeon Vega 10 | RAM: 8GB – 16GB | Screen: 13.3" diagonal FHD IPS (1,920 x 1,080) | Storage: 256 GB – 1TB SSD

Slim and sleek for a 2-in-1
High quality chassis
Improved battery life
CPU performance merely adequate
Graphics performance disappointing

Thanks to its sleek 13-inch design, this 2-in-1 is slimmer that you would have expected, which works in your favor when using it in tablet mode. There are other excellent reasons why you must consider the HP Envy x360 (2019) when sorting through the best 13-inch laptops on the market. This one boasts a premium build, 9 hours of video playback and a performance that will get you through most of your schoolwork and project, all without burning a hole in your pocket.

Read the full review: HP Envy x360 (2019)

Bill Thomas, Gabe Carey and Michelle Rae Uy have also contributed to this article

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