The best compact notebooks on the go

© Dell

Number 1 on the connect leaderboard: Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 (7390)

Are you looking for a really good notebook with optimal mobile usability? Then take a look at our leaderboard: Here are the test winners from connect!

Ideal travel companion

Our standardized test procedure focuses less on primarily stationary devices such as desktop replacements, gaming notebooks and mobile workstations, but on laptops that are actually designed for use on the go. So on classic ultrabooks and flexible 2-in-1 devices.

The big challenge for manufacturers is to pack as much notebook as possible in a compact housing. This compromise works best with particularly high-quality components, which is why the devices in the top positions of our leaderboard naturally have their price. For smaller budgets you will also find cheap mobile computers with an optimal price-performance ratio.

What are the best mobile notebooks?

First of all we give you an overview of the current top 5 of the connect best list, i.e. the notebooks with the highest overall rating in our laboratory test. On the following pages we also present the mobile computers with the best performance, the best endurance, the best equipment and the price-performance winners.

Please note that the test result always refers to the tested configuration. Almost all notebook models are available in some very different configurations, which not only differ in price, but also in terms of handling, endurance and performance.

Since the evaluation criteria have changed due to the last test reform, the test ratings mentioned here may differ from the points in the original test. This does not change the basic statements of the tests.

1st: Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 (7390)

The pole position of the connect leaderboard is currently occupied by the current convertible version of the Dell classic. Thanks to its versatility, excellent equipment and the fact that it shows no weaknesses, the Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 also trumps the classic model version that opens.

2nd place: Hewlett-Packard Elite Dragonfly

The business convertible is on the heels of Dell’s leader and even outperforms it in the test categories of endurance and handling. In addition, the blue “dragonfly” is a real lightweight. There are slight drawbacks in terms of performance – however, this is criticism at a very high level.

3rd place: Lenovo Yoga C930-13IKB

The third podium is also due to a variable 2-in-1 notebook with a 360-degree hinge. The fourth generation of the premium convertible even keeps the successor model Yoga C940 at bay in the best list – to save its honor it should be mentioned that this is the variant with a 4K display, which leaves a few points in terms of endurance.

4th: Dell XPS 13 (9380)

Although this is the previous year’s model, the cult notebook with the striking wedge shape persists in the top group of the connect best list – by the way, it is the only device with a classic design. Thanks to the moderate street price of around 1,100 euros, the folding computer in the tested configuration also achieved a top rating from a price-performance perspective.

4th place: Fujitsu Lifebook U939X

Even if the former Siemens partner has become a little quieter, the Japanese still manage to use their business devices to set an exclamation mark. The Convertible Lifebook U939X scores equally in all test categories and not least because of its numerous security features it deserves to be in the top 5.

What you should consider when buying

Check configuration
Almost all notebook models are available in very different configurations, which have a direct impact on the price. If you make functional cuts at one point or another, you can often save three-digit amounts.

Intel or AMD?
For a decent performance in the Intel world you need a Core i processor. Several notebook models are alternatively equipped with one of the almost equivalent Ryzen CPUs from AMD, some of which are noticeably cheaper.

GPU vs. Chipset graphics
Those who neither cut videos nor create elaborate 3D graphics can save a lot of money by foregoing an independent graphics card and buying a computer that uses a chipset with integrated graphics.

Price of compactness
The more compact and lighter, the more expensive: this simple formula almost always applies. On the other hand, more spacious housings offer more space inside and allow manufacturers to install less expensive components. Often, more voluminous notebooks offer even more connections despite the lower price.

Previous year’s models
You can save a lot by using the previous year’s model instead of the current device generation (see XPS 13).

Battery size
The higher the battery capacity, the longer the endurance. This formula sounds obvious, but is only partially true. Because processor, display and data storage have a huge impact on endurance. As a benchmark, the capacity of the battery (for notebooks usually stated in watt hours, Wh) is still interesting.

Resolution, aspect ratio, touchscreen, matt or glossy – not only the size is relevant. With 2-in-1 devices, touch-sensitive screens are a must, but compact notebooks of conventional design are also increasingly equipped with touch screens. There are enormous differences in brightness – the values ​​determined in the connect test fluctuate between 200 and more than 500 cd / m². Matte displays are practically glare-free, but usually have to cut back on color brilliance. Full HD resolution (1920 x 1080 pixels) is usually sufficient, but it shouldn’t be less.

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About the Author: Jan Gruber

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