Best Ultrabooks 2015

If you’re looking for the thinnest and lightest PC laptops on the market, you’ll often find them labeled as Ultrabooks. A brainchild of Intel, Ultrabooks are designed to be svelte and last a long time on a charge. The category is very broad and includes many models at different prices and form factor, including hybrids that double as tablets for the ultimate in versatility. You’ll also find high-end machines with super-sharp, quad HD screens and speedy SSDs. Here’s our list of the Top Ultrabooks today.

Mark Spoonauer
Mark Spoonauer
Responsible for the editorial vision for Laptop Mag and Tom's Guide, Mark Spoonauer has been Editor in Chief of LAPTOP since 2003 and has covered technology for nearly 15 years. Mark speaks at key tech industry events and makes regular media appearances on CNBC, Fox and CNN. Mark was previously reviews editor at Mobile Computing, and his work has appeared in Wired, Popular Science and Inc.
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  1. Indoor Says:

    The first Ultrabook was created by Sony. Apple copied it later but most people in this planet is ignorant and believes in Apple marketing.

  2. Rawast.T Says:

    HP Spectre 14 is really something… tough days ahead for Macbook Air

  3. Craig Says:

    The best answer to the mac pro is the asus u36sd with ssd, it has better dimensions, its aluminum, and has an nvidia gt520 card, it blows the macpro away in performance..and looks just as good, or better.

  4. Boss Says:

    @Indoor That’s just what Apple does. They improve on everyone else’s ideas. No originality, but it works. Besides, Sony is sorry. They are struggling to stay afloat because they no longer inovate. They thought their name would carry them, but that only worked for so long.

  5. Trent Says:

    Indoor – Everything apparently was created by Apple (Example Tablet PC’s (iPad)) Bill Gates and Microsoft had a Tablet PC made back in 2002 and then Apple stole it, then Microsoft created the Surface and now everyone is saying Microsoft stole it from Apple… All Apple is, is shit products that cost you $2,000, its just ridiculously Expensive.

  6. deusEXmachina Says:

    they almost all look, feel & performs the same. but the OS is what really counts. based on user experience: Mac Os > Linux Ubuntu > Windows.

  7. Laary Jones Says:

    Apple Newton, their first touch tablet, was introduced in 1994.
    The first Palm PDA was introduced in 1996.
    Gates demo’d a tablet at Comdex in 2000.

  8. NotGoogleFan Says:

    Indoor – most people “on” this planet “are” ignorant and “believe” in “Apple’s” marketing.

    And the marketing genius has left this earth – where does that now leave Apple?

  9. Relax Says:

    Let us take a deep breath, shake off the anger, and forget the MacBook Air exists. Now, we can focus on the “Ultrabook,” a pc that meets standards set by Intel. Stay focused people. Looking forward to comments that are on topic. – Posted from my Macbook Air.

  10. Madalasa Baum Says:

    I am wondering why I haven’t seen a review of this Sony 15.5″ laptop in laptop magazine, especially since you reviewed the new Macbook Pro which costs $1000 more. I purchased the Sony a few months ago when it had just come out and assumed laptop magazine would be reviewing the product, especially since it had so much to offer and is very light. I’m an amateur photographer and I was looking for a light laptop with a hi resolution screen and lots of power to take with me while traveling and yet be able to do editing on my photos. Although the new Mac Pro has a much higher screen resolution it is also about $1000 more and out of my budget.

    As you can see below, the amount of RAM, quad-core performance, and great video card with discrete memory are great for a laptop this light. If your labs have reviewed this model please let me know where I can read the review.

    SONY VAIO S1511 SVS15116FX/S 15.5″ Notebook Computer (Silver)
    • 2.1GHz Intel Core i7-3612QM Quad-Core
    • 8GB of DDR3 RAM (4GB + 4GB)
    • 750GB Hard Drive (5400rpm)
    • nVIDIA GeForce GT 640M LE Graphics (2GB)
    • 15.5″ Widescreen LED-Backlit IPS Display
    • 1920 x 1080 Native Resolution
    • SuperMulti DVD Burner
    • 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0
    • Integrated Webcam, Microphone & Speakers
    • Windows 7 Home Premium (64-bit)
    Includes Free Sony Extended Sheet Battery for 15.5″ VAIO S / SE Series Laptops ($114.42 Value)

    Best regards,
    Madalasa Baum

  11. jason Says:

    @Craig The mac pro is not a laptop. Did you mean, macbook pro??? if so, then you should of said that. Please educate yourself. Learn the difference between a macbook pro and mac pro.

  12. Matt Says:

    Alan Kay came up with the idea for the “Dynabook” back in 1968, which could be argued was the forerunner of todays laptops and tablets. This was two years before the start of Xerox PARC, where Kay worked. He also worked for Apple for a while in the 1980’s. But he had nothing to do with the Newton, the MacBook Airs or iPhones and iPads. So UltraBooks are Inspired by Intel, which was Inspired by Apple, which was Inspired by Xerox PARC, which was inspired by Alan Kay. I find the trolls and idiots who post biased comments about things they know nothing about less than inspiring. And I don’t own a MacBook Air or Pro, or iPhone or iPad.

  13. mercyvelli Says:

    But to me l real love hp envy14 than other laptops . So there is no way other can take the position from hp ?

  14. Jan Says:

    missing the Aspire S7 in the list!!!!

  15. mac Says:

    please lets leave out Acer

  16. Chris Lawn Says:

    @Jason. You typed: “if so, then you should of said that.”

    Please educate yourself by changing this to “If so, then you should have said that.”

  17. Brock Says:

    Mac why do you want to leave out the Acer aspire S7? It looks like a fantastic piece of kit!

  18. whathe... Says:

    Did you all come to this site to bicker or as an AA group from Apple? If you have comments about the 10 laptops in the review I would love to hear smart, clever, insightful commentaries. Leave the rest of the refuse outside. I am trying to find the lightest, best suited to office work laptop and I am wondering how the X1 Carbon stacks up in the real world of hotel rooms with bad wifi to the others who can easily cable up to a large monitor?

  19. John Smith Says:

    I would never buy an ENVY because of its stupid name. Lenovo? Could have been “The Great Wall.” Sony use to have cool machines but I dunno, heavy corporate salary-men set in I guess. Asus comes close but at that price? look why buy a Toyota when a BMW costs the same?

  20. sid(apple sucks) Says:

    Apple isn’t a good option when we have a price fixed and envy spectre is really good

  21. Dwight Says:

    IBM had a tablet in ~1993. It was one of the very early ThinkPad’s (I think it was model 700T).

  22. Leo Says:

    Looks like this is the year everyone becomes dissatisfied with their machines, …makes the wrong choice, …and is even more dissatisfied next year, …, …the cubic yard around your butt determines your mediocrity and confinement, …, …for those slobs who like to spraal in the living room, broadcast multiplicity to high resolution retina displays around the house run by an unseen hockey puck will eventually determine closure around the 3 spot Apple remote. Buy resolution, and convience will soon follow. Portability closes out at $250.

  23. Bill Dalzell Says:

    In your list of the top ten ultrabooks have listed the ASUS Zenbook UX51VZ, which I agree, however the picture of the laptop shows a Toshiba laptop.

  24. Chinyere B. Nwoye Says:

    I honestly think that hp envy 6t should be the sixth best ultrabook. The OS is superb, the design is catchy and captivating, talk of performance; i’ll say it works for me.

  25. chibuzor Says:

    surprised no one mentioned toshiba portege z935 p390. nevertheless i think the primary criterion for choice is based on the need of the end-user.

  26. wellmarbledsteak Says:

    If you are going to use it for engineering application, get a Windows OS computer.

  27. pop Says:

    Apple or Microsoft were first? I will just remind you that the ten commandments were on a tablet.

  28. Netbook Guru Says:

    I feel that Windows 8 was built for touchscreen.

    Without the touch it just feels like Windows 7 and really would like to get the Yoga.

  29. chill222 Says:

    I just wanna say, that its almost left to the luck if the draw, as to which laptop will last you the longest. Yes, I wanted a Mac but their prices are dam ridiculous, so I refused to give them any money. It all depends on the hardware, and how well its ssembled. I help to build aircraft electronics, so believe me, I realise how parts, & assemblies effect outcome. Second of all, it depends on the user, and their needs in a laptop. For all we know, does pc mag. Get a bigger kickback from acer, than from Sony? We DO live in a money driven society. I choose a Sony. I just pray it lasts a while, for the price I’ve paid. Had a HP, not to impressed….

  30. tom Says:

    apple steal everything as the apple is stolen from God

  31. Portatili Says:

    We like it or not apple today has a really big share of the world’s technology pie. I’m not a pro apple person, I personally think samsung and asus produce high performance devices and could be the final winners of this market.

  32. DL Minecraft Says:

    Great list. I think Apple has already lost the tech wars and they’re just getting to realize that.

  33. Horsecrabs(dont by ASUS) Says:

    I am a ex Asus User(Now use Samsung NP900X3 Ultrabook) and seeing Asus on the list I have to say I find this article misleading and incorrect. The fact that Laptopmag thought of adding Asus or Dell to the list and ignoring Samsung series 9 ultrabooks which has far more build quality, durability, and power is really disappointing at best. Although I have never had any experience with Dell products I have used Asus in the past and I have to say its the worst netbooks. I’ve read reviews about ASUS, which hadn’t given me a clear picture being naïve I took a trial and error only to find out that they build the worst computers on the market. ASUS is a horrid company it I found its laptops shuts off at random without displaying any warnings beforehand or telling me afterward what went wrong, the language changes on the keyboard. The lighting changes, the sleep timer turns back on after I turn it off. I’ve also had a hard time connecting to the internet I found its Wi-Fi to be under par slow, and weak. sometimes, Whole system will slowdown and lag out and I have to turn it off and restart it several times before it kicks in, I could go on and on but these are just a few things off the top of my head that I found truly disappointing. I have a hard time taking any ASUS product seriously I’m not sure if this was a one off event but I thought I should warn any Buyer looking into ASUS products that the grass is not green on the other side. ASUS= Colossal piece of ***. I wouldn’t recommend buying one in this series or even giving money to the company I now use Samsung NP900X3 Ultrabook and I must say its one of the best in the market right now. I’ve never had any problems with Samsung yet. I recommend anyone in the market who’s looking into upgrading to seriously consider the Samsung range you wont regret it

  34. Peter Demel Says:

    Very interesting list, but I have got a Samsung Serie 5 Ultra 530U3C A0L 13,3 Zoll Ultrabook (Intel Core i7 3517U, 1,9GHz, 8GB RAM, 128GB SSD, Intel HD 4000, Win 8) silver. In my opinion, it is the best one.

  35. henry grady harmon Says:

    always amazed at the apple whores. I guess bias media is not just for the left wing radical hard news people.

  36. SpeakEasy Says:

    I also am a very satisfied Toshiba user, in my case the Portage Z835-P330. It is a solid piece of tech, light and well built. What takes it from really good to great is dumping Windows right out of the box and installing Linux (Mint 14). The unbloated OS and the SSD are super fast on boot up, during operation and during shut down. I think Linux will eventually out pace all the other OS versions in the next generation or two. The younger crowd being weaned on computers and more apt to customize their worlds.
    I have used all brands and have found branding is a snapshot of the current market, they rise and wane over time. Not a hater of any of them, just know what I like.

  37. Egon Says:

    Is there an option to buy any of those ultrabooks with Windows 7? I do not want to touch Win8 with a 10 feet pole.

  38. jdiz Says:

    Apple is more expensive b/c the build quality is much higher. You don’t actually lose money either, as the resale value for apple products is great. OS X is also solid, far better than windows. I prefer linux, but I need adobe and ms suites along with a few other apps and better connectivity.

    I’ve had several laptops and all of them broke or had major issues at some point and batteries get crappier faster.

    HP – keys fell off, battery went completely dead.

    Toshiba – 2 dead batteries, power plug broke, dvd drive broke. had to replace them all for another 200 bucks.

    Dell – hinge on screen came completely off exposing wiring.

    Acer – didn’t break, but didn’t keep it more than a year. It felt like such a cheap piece of plastic and the touch pad was so terrible I had to get rid of it.

    All of these laptops were purchased for about 700 bucks.

    The only good windows laptops I have used was an old BRICK weight IBM Thinkpad and a Panasonic Toughbook. Name of the game now is LIGHT since these are ultrabooks.

    I don’t have budget for a new mac laptop either, I just buy used and do my heavy lifting on a desktop with dual screens. But if you actually carry your laptop around a lot and travel with it, mac is much better build quality.

  39. MarketingSkeptic Says:

    Mr. Spoonauer,
    With the recent release (and aggressive marketing) of the Microsoft Surface Pro 3 as the ‘laptop replacement’, would you place the Surface Pro 3 anywhere in this top 10?

  40. kris Says:

    It does have solid state
    here’s a spec from bestbuy
    Hard Drive Capacity 500 GB + 24 GB (Solid State)

  41. marilyn caissy Says:

    Thank you for the excellent article.
    We need a business laptop for photos, graphics and business letters–no Microsoft office needed. Photoshop elements will be installed.
    We wanted Windows 7.
    Can you help?

  42. Katrina Says:

    Samsung and Nokia o

  43. Guest Says:

    While I appreciate the thought put into this article, I am dismayed to find the prices of most of these (save 1?) to be equal to or higher than the Macbook Air. This page was the 1st result on a search for “cheaper alternatives to macbook air” — I’m not sure what sort of SEO magic led me to this site, but I’d appreciate a series of reviews of less expensive alternatives. If I’m going to drop $1,200 on a laptop, it’s going to be a mac, so the PC alternative would need to be cheaper. Thanks in advance for creating an alternative slideshow with less-expensive alternatives.

  44. SHIRLEY Says:

    I’m saving months for sa oink or purple sony 15 in.. But I love your Apple Mac too… Is this everything u sell or have u a gallery online 1 had the money but twins went with the angels and was so madly so set up a charity in their name?.. This is not a pled this is positivity… Hove u ant laptops in 300 price rang into I I will save and save… Your prices are hig but right for the quality. Sony or a mac..have I pad but can’t do detailed work I do all sots if printing?.. If I have to sell a while I will I pay for quality are u on face book shared u on f book I will keep an eye out once a week until I can payn?. WHOEVER IS GIVING THIS CONPANY GUFF COP ON… I SAW SOMESONE ACCUSING COMPANT FRFROM SSTEALING APPDE ECT…. THE WAY I SEE IT AS THEY ARE UPDATED AND ARE AS GOOD AS APPLE .

  45. pjcamp Says:

    Th HP 13t is discontinued. Perhaps you should revise your list.

  46. Ian Walker Says:

    I use the macbook air and although there are some really good alternatives around with more power and some even edging close to the beauty of the mac air.
    I have yet to find one thats as smooth and with a battery life as good.

  47. The Grammar Police Says:

    Accepting that english grammar is a sorely wounded animal these days, your sentence “There’s a lot of models from which to choose…” adds another blow. “There’s” is a contraction of “There is” and is singular. The subject “Models” is plural. Thus, you wouldn’t write “There is models” but rather “There are models”.

    With due respect, many illiterates these days wouldn’t know or care – but a professional writer should.

  48. Gesina Says:

    Top 10 Ultrabooks, nice, but after 2 (two) THE END, what happend to the other 8 mr. Mark Spoonauer, LAPTOP Editor in Chief ?
    On this page I’m talking about, or are they hidden somewhere els on your site ?

  49. mm Says:

    maybe i am being hypercritical but when title best ultrabook and this is published on 1jan 2015….iseems ‘odd’ to have opening comment with a date of jan 2012, and a little sloppy to include unavailable ultrabooks…..also a lot of the comments are irrelevant, because they seem to be about apple laptops but ultrabooks are a intel [and only intel] reg product

  50. grady harmon Says:

    I just bought a Sony Z phone. I think it is superior to apple which a friend of mine has and he agrees with me. Not to mention the fact that the Sony looks much sexier. Sony forever.

  51. grady harmon Says:

    What does it mean?? Comment awaiting moderation.

  52. aboobacker Says:


  53. BALYAN Says:

    very good

  54. Jay Says:

    How is this an article on 2015 yet all the comments are from 2012?

  55. Joe Bananas Says:

    Don’t call them ultrabooks, call them MacBook Air wannabes. If only the Windows laptop makers could make a touchpad that wasn’t crap I would be impressed. What’s funny is that whenever a Windows laptop maker thinks they have something to compete with a Macbook they charge as much or more. Apple puts all that money into R&D and marketing and when they’re successful the Windows laptop makers merely copy their products and ride Apple’s success with none of their own R&D expense. WTF? They could afford to charge half what Apple does but would rather give million dollar bonuses to their “ingenious” management team. Disgusting!

  56. Marc Says:

    “Article” from 2015, comments from 2012… I guess if all you do is just replace the individual paragraphs with the latest model from each manufacturer you could keep this column up, forever. Pretty useless as a place of research though. No actual comparison, no “winner”.

  57. Cosmin Says:

    The new (2015) Samsung book 9, with the Core M chip (12 inches) is the one I bought, seduced by its looks. Well, beware, the battery clocks at about 5.5 hours for videoplayback at around 33 % brightness… That’s way too low, imho, especially for a fairly expensive laptop.

  58. Ruturaj Says:

    Why yoga 3 14 is not in list?

  59. Adeyeye Segun Says:

    Need laptops

  60. Noah Says:

    Hp Spectre x360 should be on that list. It’s everything the XPS 13 is without the price. And with their upcoming quad HD version, it’s going to be a real XPS 13 competitor.

  61. ds1111 Says:

    The best ultrabook out there at this moment (March 2015) is the Samsung Ativ 9 (2015) 12.2″ display(NP930X2K-K01US): super light, quiet (no fan), bright and beautiful WQXGA display, great battery life. I’m surprised I can’t find any in-depth review of this Ultrabook. I think is the only challenger of the new Macbook in the windows world. I’m just waiting for some in depth review to pull the trigger and get one.

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