Folks looking for a top-notch Ultrabook should keep an eye out for Intel’s Evo certification. It guarantees that the certified laptop in question has all-day battery life, excellent responsiveness and performance on battery power, fast charging, instant wake, and other desirable features. Ultimately, you’re going to have a good experience regardless of which Intel Evo laptop you choose, but our favorite is the Dell XPS 13 Plus since it offers stellar specs, a phenomenal display, and a snazzy, premium design that’s sure to impress. There are also several specialized devices available as well, and each one will satisfy folks looking for something specific.
Dell’s legendary XPS 13 has been one of the best laptops available for many years, and with the Dell XPS 13 Plus, the manufacturer has elevated its 13-inch Ultrabook to even greater heights with the latest and greatest specs as well as a premium redesign. Up to a 12th Gen Intel Core i7-1280P is available on the CPU side of the equation, while you can opt for a maximum of 32GB of cutting-edge DDR5 RAM and up to a 2TB SSD for memory and storage. You get solid GPU performance from Intel’s integrated Iris Xe graphics, too, which is great. The Dell XPS 13 Plus also features Wi-Fi 6E compatibility and Bluetooth 5.2 connectivity, ensuring that you’ll have no issue taking advantage of speedy wireless internet or using your favorite peripheral accessories.
Like the standard Dell XPS 13 before it, the Dell XPS 13 Plus also has a superb selection of incredible displays from which to choose. An FHD+ 1920×1200 panel is available for folks who want to save some money or enjoy a longer battery life, while the UHD+ 3840×2400 screen is perfect for people who want unrivaled visual quality. Additionally, there’s also a balanced 3.5K OLED option for users who want something sharper than standard FHD+, but less power-hungry than full UHD+. All three displays have stellar contrast and color, and they also all support touch. Both the FHD+ and UHD+ panels have up to 500 nits of peak brightness, while the 3.5K screen’s max brightness is 400 nits.
What sets the Dell XPS 13 Plus apart the most is its redesign. It features an edge-to-edge keyboard with large keycaps, a massive haptic trackpad without visual edges, and two new upward-firing speakers that complement the XPS lineup’s standard down-firing ones. Both of these additions improve the user experience, making it easier and more enjoyable to type quickly, mouse around, and listen to audio. The function keys have also been replaced with capacitive touch buttons, which Dell says was necessary to keep the device’s thermals down. In terms of ports, you get dual Thunderbolt 4. This is great, though we would have liked to see the inclusion of a 3.5mm audio jack as well. Ultimately, though, the Dell XPS 13 Plus is a stellar Evo-certified laptop that we highly recommend. There’s no doubt in our minds that it’s the best Dell laptop available today, and it might just be the best laptop out there overall, too.
For folks who need something more flexible, the HP Spectre x360 13.5 is a fantastic option. Like the Dell XPS 13 Plus, this convertible 2-in-1 laptop comes with awesome specs, including the 12th Gen Intel Core i7-1255U, Intel Iris Xe graphics, up to 32GB of DDR4 memory (at 4266 MHz, at least, though DDR5 would be nice), and up to a 2TB SSD for storage. Other benefits include quad Bang & Olufsen speakers, Wi-Fi 6E and Bluetooth 5.2 support, and a large 66Wh battery.
The touch displays available with the HP Spectre x360 13.5 are fantastic. You can opt for a 400-nit 1920×1280 HD panel that’s less expensive, or alternatively, you can spend extra and get a 3K2K OLED screen that also features 400 nits and comes with HDR500. Additionally, there’s also a special privacy version of the HD display with HP’s Sure View Reflect technology and 1,000 nits of peak brightness. This panel will prevent prying eyes from peeking at your screen while looking at it from an off-angle.
The design of the Spectre x360 13.5 is bears resemblance to earlier Spectre models with its angular “gem cut” edges, though they’re noticeably smoother this time around. Still, the design looks incredibly stylish. The design also offers dual Thunderbolt 4, USB-A, a microSD card reader, and 3.5mm audio for ports, which gives users plenty to work with. The 5MP IR webcam is also pretty impressive, making the Spectre x360 13.5 a great pick if you need something for video conferencing.
The latest version of the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Nano is ideal for people in need of a laptop built for business. Its wide array of 12th Gen vPro-class CPUs offer enhanced security features on top of their top performance, and with Intel Iris Xe graphics, up to 32GB of DDR5 RAM, and up to 1TB of SSD storage, this laptop has the power and space to handle any business task you throw at it. Wi-Fi 6E and Bluetooth 5.2 guarantee top-notch connectivity, while the 13-hour battery life allows you to work all day without being tethered to an outlet.
Though it isn’t as impressive as some displays you can find on alternative options, the panel on the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Nano is still awesome. The 2K 2160×1350 resolution is pretty sharp, and the screen’s high contrast ratio, wide color gamut, and 450 nits of peak brightness are all great. An option for a display with a higher resolution would be nice, but it’s far from being a dealbreaker.
The design of the ThinkPad X1 Nano is thin and light even compared to many other Ultrabooks, making it exceptionally easy to slip into a bag and carry around while traveling. The FHD webcam above the screen is also quite clear and features human presence detection, an excellent security feature that locks the laptop down whenever it detects that you’re not in front of it. Port-wise, the X1 Nano comes with dual Thunderbolt 4 slots and a 3.5mm jack, giving users a good amount of peripheral connectivity.
While 17-inch laptops offer amazing performance and tons of screen space, they’re typically also heavier than 13- and 15-inch Ultrabooks. This isn’t the case with the Intel Evo-certified LG Gram 17, though. It weighs just 2.98 pounds (1.35kg), making it just as light as most premium 13-inch devices. On top of that, the latest variant comes with up to a 12th Gen i7-1260P, Intel Iris Xe graphics, up to 32GB of DDR5, and up to 2TB of SSD storage space. A discrete GPU option would be nice, but regardless, there’s still plenty of power here. Notably, the LG Gram 17 also achieves 10 hours of battery life despite its large size, which is rare for 17-inch laptops.
The 2560×1600 display is excellent, featuring great contrast and top-notch color accuracy. It’s not the sharpest panel out there, and a 350-nit peak brightness is dimmer than what you’ll find on some other devices, but it’s still a beautiful screen. The lack of an option for touch support is a downside, though if you don’t care about inking, it won’t be a problem at all.
The design of the LG Gram 17 is incredibly light, but it’s also very slim, too, which makes carrying it around a breeze. Both the keyboard and trackpad are very comfortable as well, and the inclusion of dual Thunderbolt 4 and dual USB-A alongside 3.5mm audio and a microSD card reader is fantastic for hooking up peripherals.
While many Intel Evo laptops are expensive, a handful of them are on the affordable side. One such device is the SF314 model of the Acer Swift 3, which comes with an 11th Gen Intel Core i7-1165G7 CPU, Intel Iris Xe graphics, up to 16GB of DDR4 RAM, and up to 1TB of SSD space. It’s less performant than 12th Gen-equipped laptops, but it’s also less expensive, making it a great option if you’re on a tight budget. Its 13-hour battery life is fantastic, and you get support for Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5.0, too.
The 14-inch FHD 1920×1080 display is good, too, offering nice color accuracy, good contrast, and up to 325 nits of peak brightness. The color gamut and brightness aren’t as impressive as what you’ll get with the other devices on this list, but for something that’s significantly less pricey, it’s hard to complain.
The Acer Swift 3’s design is smooth and sleek, and its keyboard is very enjoyable to use, though its trackpad feels a little hollow. The device’s webcam is also on the grainy side, but it’s far from unusable. Surprisingly, you get Thunderbolt 4, dual USB-A, HDMI, and 3.5mm audio for ports, which is an excellent amount of peripheral connectivity for a budget-friendly device.
If we had to choose …
All of the Intel Evo laptops in this roundup are fantastic, but our overall favorite is the Dell XPS 13 Plus. With its top-of-the-line specs, jaw-droppingly beautiful display options, all-day battery life, and premium new design, the successor to Dell’s traditional XPS 13 is an incredible laptop that won’t disappoint in the slightest. If you’re looking for a 13-inch Ultrabook that can do it all, you’ll be hard-pressed to find something better than this.
If you’re in need of a convertible 2-in-1, though, you should look no further than the HP Spectre x360 13.5. Like the Dell XPS 13 Plus, it has phenomenal hardware and an incredible design, and its displays look great and offer a strong inking experience. It also comes with a large 66Wh battery and a 5MP webcam, making it great for all-day use and video conferencing.
Finally, you should go with the SF314 model of the Acer Swift 3 if you want something budget-friendly. Its 11th Gen CPU and FHD display are less advanced than the specs you’ll get with the other laptops on this list, but the tradeoff is that the Acer Swift 3 is significantly less expensive. This makes it one of the best Windows laptops to choose if you can’t afford a more premium device, but still want something Evo-certified.