If you’re going to be carrying around your computer often, one of the most important and underlooked factors is weight. The difference between a 2lb laptop and a 4lb laptop may not seem like a lot, but over the course of a day, having a lighter laptop can have a huge impact on one’s soreness, muscles, and general mood.
In this list we’ve included a variety of kinds of PCs including Chromebooks, Windows Laptops, and Apple PCs. There’s a light PC for pretty much any user out there, besides maybe one: the gamer. Since graphics cards tend to require fans, it’s tough to make a machine that’s under 3.5lbs with a video card. The closest we could find was MSI’s lovely Stealth Pro, an excellent machine by pretty much all standards but still weighing around 3.96lbs, too heavy to make this list. Still, if this is what you’re after, it’s $2,398.97 on Amazon and boasts an i7-7700HQ and a GTX 1070, and 120hz screen. It’s a monster, but it’s not exactly a balloon either.
That caveat out of the way, all of these PCs are great for student or office use. They’re great for people who want a practical PC that doesn’t add a lot of weight to their load. Aren’t our burdens heavy enough already?
Here’s the 10 best lightweight laptops from lowest to highest price.
1. Samsung Chromebook 3
Processor / Passmark Speed Celeron N3050 / 884 | RAM 2GB | Graphics Card Integrated | Hard Drive 16.0GB eMMC | Weight 1lb |
If you can handle a computer that is essentially only Google Chrome, this Chromebook may be the device for you. It’s the lightest on our list at a feather-light 1lb. Of course, to be realistic, this PC has some serious limitations. Editing video, watching 1080P movies, playing games, most of these things are pretty much off the table. That said, if you find yourself using Google Docs, Gmail, and know how to edit photos online (Pixlr.com is great!), this PC can do mostly anything for student or office use.
If you can handle a basic Chromebook experience, there is no lighter PC on this list. Chromebooks are great for portability, and having a fast PC with you at all times. Plus, at this price, the value is hard to argue with.
- Great for browsing the web, using Google docs, and other basic tasks
- Easy to setup and use
- Battery life is very good
- Price is unbeatable; weight is unparalleled
- Speakers are close to useless
- Will struggle with watching movies at full resolution; only for basic computing tasks
2. HP Stream Laptop PC
Processor / Passmark Speed Celeron N3060 / 997 | RAM 4GB | Graphics Card Integrated | Hard Drive 32GB eMMC | Weight 3.17lbs |
If the idea of a Chromebook seems too limiting, this HP Stream triples the weight, adds a bit of speed to the processor, and contains a full Windows 10 installation. This means that this PC is technically able to run full Windows apps like Photoshop, though it won’t be very smooth. Still, if you need some of these apps (or the apps you need aren’t as processor-intensive as Photoshop), this PC can get the job done. The other negative to this very affordable PC, is that Windows itself takes a lot of resources. That’s not true of Chrome OS. In other words, not only is this PC more capable because of Windows 10, it’s also quite a bit slower. Still, for a basic Windows PC and a reasonably low weight, this is a good deal for the bargain hunters.
- Great price for a full Windows PC
- Good build quality, nice keyboard
- Attractive blue look
- Includes Office 365 for 1 year
- Good for school and office use
- Processor is pretty slow; and machine is slower than Chromebook because of Windows
- Bloatware (included software) must be removed to maximize efficiency
3. Acer Chromebook R11 13″ Convertible
Processor / Passmark Speed Four Core ARM processor | RAM 4GB DDR3 | Graphics Card Integrated | Hard Drive 32GB | Weight 3.28lbs |
Going back to Chromebook land, this convertible PC doubles as a touch screen tablet, boasts unreal battery life, and has an extremely fast boot time. It’s pretty similar to the Samsung model, but it’s considerably heavier, at over 3lbs. If you want a Chromebook that runs a bit faster and works like a tablet at your whim, this PC may be better for you. Still, if lightweight is your number one goal, better to opt with the cheaper Samsung.
Price: $234.99 (13 percent off MSRP)
- Convertible touch screen computer and tablet
- Boot time is very fast and often less than five seconds
- Battery life can be up to 12 hours
- Fanless. Computer is quite quiet
- Solid tablet/PC for editing docs and web browsing
- Not as light as it could be
- Some Google Play apps are wonky in tablet mode
- Too slow for some users
4. Acer Swift 3 (Editor’s Choice – Tie)
Processor / Passmark Speed i5-7200U / 4689 | RAM 8GB DDR4 | Graphics Card Integrated | Hard Drive 256GB SSD | Weight 3.31lbs |
Bumping up the price quite a bit, this Acer Swift 3 is essentially Acer’s answer to a Macbook. It’s actually almost 30% faster than Apple’s offering by processor speed. It boasts a fast SSD, enough RAM for basic multitasking, and is lighter than what Apple’s cooking (see item 8).
Still, at 3.31lbs, this PC is on the heavy side of light. That said, if you want a fully functional Windows PC, this is considerably faster than the HP Stream (almost 4x as fast of a processor) and it’s not too pricey. That said, for a better balance of features, if you can spare the extra $100, the unit below cuts the weight down significantly– though with a trade-off, the battery life of the Swift, this PC, is considerably better.
Given this, the Swift 3 and Zenbook tie for Editor’s Choice. Significantly better battery life is a great feature for certain users, and this laptop is $100 cheaper. It’s hard to argue with those numbers, unless you really need something lighter.
- Great buy for work or student PC
- Acceptable processor with enough RAM for multitasking
- A “poor man’s Macbook,” but it’s with better components and less than half the price
- Superb battery life of up to 10 hours
- 90 degree flexibility means screen be 180 degrees to keyboard
- Can be loud in terms of the fans
- Easy to press “on/off” button
5. ASUS Zenbook UX330 (Editor’s Choice – Tie)
Processor / Passmark Speed i5-7200U / 4686 | RAM 8GB DDR3 | Graphics Card Integrated | Hard Drive 256GB SSD | Weight 2.6lbs |
This Zenbook UX330 brings just as much to the table as the Swift, but it cuts off almost 20% of the weight. It boasts an elegant, Macbook-like form factor, solid audio quality, and a nice backlit keyboard. Plus, it has a built-in SD card slot. This is a great all-around PC for student or office use.
It does have a few limitations, however. The Zenbook’s don’t have the best battery life, around three hours. If you need longer battery life, it may be better to opt with the Swift. Beyond this, however, this laptop ties for the editor’s choice because it’s fast, light and has no compromises in terms of its aesthetics or functionality. If you’re fancy and you want as little weight as possible, the Zenbook is a better buy than the Swift. If you’re dependent on battery often, the Swift will be better.
Price: $699 (8 percent off MSRP)
- Backlit keyboard for using in dark rooms
- Built-in SD card slot
- “A poor man’s Macbook” but it actually looks as good and has better specs
- Audio quality is pretty good for a small laptop
- Construction is solid; keyboard is almost as good as Macbook
- 1080P screen is the one aspect that isn’t like a Macbook (which has more resolution)
- No video editing or gaming here, but at this weight and price point, that’s normal
6. Dell XPS 9350
Processor / Passmark Speed i5-6200U / 4006 | RAM 8GB DDR3 | Graphics Card Integrated | Hard Drive 128GB SSD | Weight 2.8lbs |
It’s not the lightest or most powerful on this list, but this XPS 9350 has a fast SSD. While the LG Gram below offers double the hard drive space and a faster processor, for many, these perks won’t have too much of an effect and may not be worth some user’s extra money.
This PC has a really nice bezzle-less display, solid battery life, and a pretty light weight. If you’re at the end of your spending, this XPS won’t let you down, just be aware that 128GB is pretty tight for capacity. If you can handle that, then it should be fine.
- Light weight
- Attractive, small laptop
- Great alternative to a Macbook
- Solid performer for student applications or office use
- Unique bezzle-less design makes for an attractive screen
- Trackpad can be glitchy
7. LG Gram 14″ Touchscreen (The Lightest High Performer)
Processor / Passmark Speed i5-7200U / 4689 | RAM 8GB | Graphics Card Integrated | Hard Drive 256GB SSD | Weight 2lbs |
This extremely light PC is the second lightest on the list, and boasts solid specs to boot. It has a fast 256GB SSD, 8GB of RAM, and weighs a mere 2lbs. Another cool feature: it has a touch screen and a bright IPS display. If this is within your price range, this is the lightest high performer on our list and will deliver in every way.
Sure, it’s pricey, but you get what you pay for. This PC is powerful, has a decent amount of space, good RAM, and weighing in at 2lbs makes a big difference for those long hauls.
Price: $999 (8 percent off MSRP)
- Backlit keyboard
- Full IPS touchscreen display
- Can use USB Type C input for charging
- Great battery life
- Slim bezel
- One of the lightest laptops
- Not very powerful for the price
- No dedicated graphics card
- Not for gaming
8. Apple Macbook 12″
Processor / Passmark Speed M-5Y71 / 3047 | RAM 8GB | Graphics Card Intel HD 615 (integrated) | Hard Drive 256GB SSD | Weight 3.4lbs |
This Macbook is one of the thinnest PCs out there, but it’s pretty dense, still coming in at a relatively hefty 3.4lbs. This Mac is essentially a Chromebook in terms of performance because its processor isn’t very powerful. Of course, it still has Mac OSX and in many ways, this operating system makes up for this deficit in the specs department.
Beyond this, this Mac boasts a beautiful display with tons of resolution (“Retina”) and has a fast SSD. It’s a great buy for those who want a Mac, and don’t need the lightest of the light. Still, don’t expect the high price tag to mean this is a great PC for video editing or photo editing, it is very much a web-browsing and student or office work kind of machine.
Price: $1198 (8 percent off MSRP)
- Keyboard is responsive and easy
- Thin, attractive laptop with outstanding construction
- Great for web browsing and document editing in full Mac OSX environment
- 10/10 ergonomics due to its responsive, large trackpad and
- Battery life is great
- Keyboard takes some adjustment
- Dongles are necessary to use USB ports for all devices
9. Macbook Pro
Processor / Passmark Speed Dual core i5 | RAM 8gb DDR3 | Graphics Card Integrated | Hard Drive 128gb SSD | Weight 3.48lbs |
Surprisingly, Apple’s Macbook Pro isn’t too heavy and with a Dual Core i5, it’s a lot more powerful than the dinky m3 Macbook above.
While this Mac isn’t exactly affordable, if you want to use a Macintosh, 3.48lbs isn’t too bad. It can be used for video editing at 1080P and in general, has a much more robust set of specs. While it won’t be up to snuff for gaming, this PC is definitely more capable for things like Photoshop et al.
Some general benefits to paying the price premium for a Mac include that they generally last longer than PCs and always have the best screens. This Macbook Pro’s display resolution is a stunning 2560 x 1600. Plus, it has great battery life of up to 9 hours. If you’re willing to spring for a Mac, this computer is by no means the lightest, but its biggest flaw is its low SSD space. Since the OS takes up quite a bit of room, your data may feel cramped. Beyond this, this Mac is a solid deal if you’re into the OS.
Price: $1397.79 (8 percent off MSRP)
- Macs are usually more reliable and stable than PCs
- Can be used for video editing at 1080p
- Macs tend to last longer than PCs
- Solid state drive is snappy
- Attractive appearance with high resolution
- No CD/DVD drive
- Built-in speakers aren’t good
- Can’t be upgraded or souped-up
10. Asus Zenbook 3 Deluxe
Processor / Passmark Speed i7-7500U / 5220 | RAM 16GB LPDDR3 | Graphics Card Integrated | Hard Drive 512GB pcie m.2SSD | Weight 2.4lbs |
The souped up bigger brother of the Zenbook 3, The Zenbook 3 Deluxe, boasts some really impressive features at a somehow even lighter weight. This is the luxury PC lightweight fans are looking for.
Boasting a fast i7 processor, tons of RAM for multitasking and a reasonably spacious 512GB SSD, what more can you ask? This PC feels like a Macbook and runs like a fast PC. The backlit keyboard is nice and has a good feel to it. The trackpad is easy to use and very responsive. All-in-all, this is a great PC for people whose priorities are lightweight and good performance. It’s not the most powerful PC out there, but if you want a good looking PC that won’t break your back, this is a great way to go.
My only gripe with this PC is that its battery life isn’t the best; it only last about two or three hours without a charge. That said, in terms of chargers, this PC has a small one that’s USB-C, so it’s about as easy as it could be.
- Fast SSD with attractive build quality
- Look and feel of a Mac but much cheaper
- Fast i7 processor
- Bright screen and decent trackpad
- Keyboard takes some adjustment, but feels light and fast after some time
- Very thin and light; small charger
- Battery life is low, only up to three hours
- Fingerprint reader feels like an afterthought with its weird placement