The year 2016 has been an incredible year for ultra-portable laptops. It is now possible for one to carry a two-pound laptop that not only has a beautiful screen, but plenty of power for graphic designers on the go. Let’s take a look at three laptops that, in 2016, proved that smaller and lighter isn’t necessarily worse.
MacBook Pro 2016 (13-inch, Touch Bar)
Apple has received a lot of criticism for their “overpriced” and “underpowered” MacBook Pro. But anybody who actually hasn’t bought into the negative hype and owns this new Pro will tell you that it may be overpriced, but it’s certainly not underpowered. Its 227 dpi screen may not have the most pixels, but it has the best color reproduction. There is also the outstanding keyboard that needs some getting used to. CNET called the new 13-inch MacBook Pro a “second-screen dream machine.”
“The inventive Touch Bar streamlines work and saves clicks, and Apple has improved almost every part of the thinner, lighter MacBook Pro, including a larger touchpad, faster components and a flatter keyboard. iPhone’s Touch ID is handy on the Mac, too.”
The entry-level version of the MacBook Pro with Touch Bar will cost you $1,499, but some people have reported getting deals that offer $200 off. On sale or not, the MacBook Pro (almost) justifies its high price.
Dell XPS 13 (2016 i7 Version)
In 2015, Dell released the borderless XPS 13 and changed the ultraportable laptop industry forever. Unfortunately, 2015’s model had some annoying bugs, but those were fixed in the 2016 version, which is one of the first laptops to run a seventh generation Intel i7 processor.
LaptopMagazine gives the latest Dell XPS 13 an almost perfect four-and-a-half-stars.
“The big trend in laptops right now is making your system as thin and light as possible but at the expense of shorter battery life and too few ports. The XPS 13 doesn’t cave to that peer pressure, and instead gives you nearly 14 hours of endurance and all the connection options you need in a design that’s plenty light and compact for travel.”
Lenovo Yoga 910
In 2015, Lenovo had a huge hit with the Yoga 900 convertible. Now, they’ve shortened the bezels and have put in a beautiful 13.9-inch 4K screen in place of the 13.3-inch screen. Best of all, they have not made this ultra-portable laptop any bigger. The Yoga 910 is one of those computers that you have to see to believe.
Digital Trends recently gave Lenovo’s new 2016 ultra-portable four stars.
“As the Yoga name tells you, it’s a 2-in-1 with a 360-degree hinge that folds the display over, turning the laptop into a tablet. The hardware puts priority on performance, not size,” said reviewer Matt Smith, praising the beautiful display, the large battery, the spacious keyboard, and the performance.
At the time of the review (November), Smith noted that the fan on this 2016 ultra-portable could get really loud. However, Lenovo has released a new BIOS update that should fix the problem. Judging by most user reviews (after the fan issue was solved), Lenovo has definitely hit a home run with their ultraportable convertible notebook.
The upcoming new year should be a great one for ultra-portables. The Surface Pro 5, which could come with a 4K screen, an improved keyboard, and a new seventh-generation Kaby Lake processor, is highly rumored to be released during the first quarter of 2016. There are also rumors that Dell will introduce a convertible XPS 13 that one can fold back and use as a tablet. And who knows what Apple has in store for their smallest ultra-portable, the MacBook, in 2016.
Out of all the ultra-portable notebooks listed in this article, which one do you think is the best? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section.
[Featured Image by Daryl Deino]