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CostHelper > All Electronics > Laptops > 11" to 13" Laptops

11" to 13" Laptops Prices, Reviews and Specifications

     
 


Students and traveling professionals are often users of 11" to 13" laptops and ultrabooks (slim, light laptops without an optical drive). These small and light laptops often weigh less than 3 pounds, making them highly portable. Many lack the optical drives that can read and write CDs and DVDs, but do come with USB ports and SD card readers. Many also have mini HDMI ports for mirroring images on a larger screen or TV. Many of the best-selling models are 13.3" display laptops.

 
 
Acer C7 Chromebook
$199-$280

The Acer C7 Chromebook was released in late 2012 on the heels of Samsung's Chromebook release -- both Samsung and Acer created the ultrabooks with Google. The Acer C7 Chromebook is a basic lightweight laptop, or ultrabook, with limited capabilities, power and storage but with an appealing price tag. The C7 Chromebook works well for web browsing and writing email, but doesn't excel in productivity applications and multimedia use.

The Acer C7 Chromebook comes with a 320GB traditional hard drive and uses a Chrome operating system, which functions primarily as a browser. Users can access Google's extensive range of services, including Gmail to Google Docs. While apps from Google Play can be added, no software can be loaded.

There are plenty of connectivity options for Acer C7 Chromebook including VGA and HDMI ports for mirroring images on larger screens. The Chromebook also has three USB ports and a 2-in-1 card reader, but there is no optical drive for reading or writing CDs or DVDs. [See Prices, Reviews and Specifications]

 
Apple MacBook Air 11
$599-$1,199

The 11" MacBook Air is light and versatile, making it well-suited for traveling. It is designed primarily for web browsing and returning emails, but is not ideal for intensive multimedia use.

Updated in mid-2012, the current MacBook Air comes with an Intel Core i5 processor and a solid-state drive that starts at 64GB capacity. The 11.6" screen has a 1366x768 native resolution and a built-in web camera offers 720p Face time chats that can connect with other MacBooks or iPhone 4 or later.

The MacBook Air comes with a versatile Thunderbolt port that allows VGA, HDMI, and DVI outputs -- but adaptors for those tasks are sold separately.

The MacBook Air comes with OS X Mountain Lion installed, the most recent Apple operating system for MacBooks. Standard software includes Safari, FaceTime, iCloud, Calendar, Messages, access to the Mac App store and integration with Twitter and Facebook.

[See Prices, Reviews and Specifications]
 
Apple MacBook Air 13
$599-$1,299

The 13.3" MacBook Air is light and versatile, making it well-suited for travelling. It is designed primarily for web browsing and returning emails, but is not ideal for intensive multimedia use. The model is consistently a best-seller at national retailers including Best Buy and Amazon.

Updated in mid-2012, the current MacBook Air comes with an 1.8GHz Intel Core i5 processor and a solid-state drive that starts at 128GB capacity. The 13.3" screen has a 1440x800 native resolution and a built-in web camera offers 720p Face time chats that can connect with other MacBooks for video chatting.

The MacBook Air comes with a versatile Thunderbolt port that allows VGA, HDMI, and DVI outputs -- but adaptors for those tasks are sold separately. It also has a SD card reader, but it lacks at optical drive for reading and writing CDs and DVDs.

The MacBook Air comes with OS X Mountain Lion installed, the most recent Apple operating system for MacBooks. Standard software includes Safari, FaceTime, iCloud, Calendar, Messages, access to the Mac App store and integration with Twitter and Facebook. [See Prices, Reviews and Specifications]

 
Apple MacBook Pro 13
$1,050-$1,499

The 2012 MacBook Pro 13 laptop is a popular model for students and professionals alike, and is a best seller at several nationwide retail outlets.

There are two models of MacBook Pro 13 available: The base model comes with a 2.5Ghz Intel Core i5 processor while the faster and more powerful 2.9Ghz Intel Core i7 is packed inside the more expensive model. The 13.3" screen has a native 1280x800 screen resolution.

Customers can customize the memory and storage capacity of the MacBook Pro 13. Both models come with a standard hard drive: the base has 500GB, the upgraded model has 750GB. Customers have the option to upgrade to a solid-state drive (a hard drive without moveable parts) in sizes ranging from 128GB to 512GB.

The MacBook Pro comes with a versatile Thunderbolt port that allows VGA, HDMI, and DVI outputs -- but adaptors for those tasks are sold separately.

The MacBook comes with OS X Mountain Lion installed, the most recent Apple operating system for MacBooks. Standard software includes Safari, FaceTime, iCloud, Calendar, Messages, access to the Mac App store and integration with Twitter and Facebook. [See Prices, Reviews and Specifications]

 
Apple MacBook Pro 13 with Retina Display
$1,399-$1,699

The MacBook Pro 13 with Retina Display was introduced late in 2012, ahead of the holiday shopping season.

There are two models of MacBook Pro 13 with Retina Display available: Both are equipped with a 2.5Ghz Intel Core i5 processor (upgradable to a 2.9Ghz Intel Core i7). The models have varying storage capacities, the base model has 128GB, the higher model has 256GB, but both can be upgraded with up to 768GB.

The 13.3" monitor with the touted Retina display has a native 2560x1600 high-definition resolution.

The MacBook Pro 13 with Retina Display comes with a two versatile Thunderbolt ports that allow VGA, HDMI, and DVI outputs -- but adaptors for those connections are sold separately.

The MacBook comes with OS X Mountain Lion installed, the most recent Apple operating system for MacBooks. Standard software includes Safari, FaceTime, iCloud, Calendar, Messages, access to the Mac App store and integration with Twitter and Facebook.

[See Prices, Reviews and Specifications]
 
Asus Zenbook Prime UX31A
$989-$1,499

The Asus Zenbook Prime UX31A is a light and portable 13.3" laptop with a solid-state drive. With the Zenbook Prime, Asus tries to combine work and play needs with features that boost productivity and entertainment value.

The Zenbook Prime can be configured with either a Intel Core i5 or i7 processor, making it perform tasks such as photo and video editing quickly. The 13.3" display has full 1080p resolution and functions well for consumers interested in gaming.

There are currently two models available: The UX31A-DB51 has an Intel Core i5 processor and a 128GB solid-state hard drive; the UX31A-DB71 has the more powerful Core i7 processor and the larger 256GB solid-state hard drive.

[See Prices, Reviews and Specifications]
 
Dell XPS 12
$1,000-$2,000

The Dell XPS 12 is a convertible 12.5" laptop with a flipping front screen that also doubles as a Windows 8 laptop. While the front screen can open as a traditional clamshell laptop, it also has a flip-and-fold motion that turns the model into a fully functional laptop.

The Dell XPS 12 runs Windows 8 operating system, which uses the touch-screen capabilities of the model. The base model comes with a 128GB solid-state hard drive and 4GB of RAM; the more expensive models upgrade RAM to 8GB and upgrade the hard drive to a 256GB solid-state drive. Customers can also pick between an Intel Core i5 processor or the more powerful Intel Core i7.

The model has fewer ports than most similarly sized laptops -- there is no HDMI port for mirror images on a larger screen and there is no memory card reader. Also, there is no optical drive for reading and writing CDs and DVDs.

[See Prices, Reviews and Specifications]
 
Dell XPS 13
$740-$2,000

The Dell XPS 13 is a compact 13.3" ultrabook that is highly rated and a best-seller at many retailers. It's a durable computer that is highly portable. While the base model is good for basic computing needs, the higher-priced configurations can handle more intensive tasks.

While there are still models available with the Windows 7 operating system, new models have Windows 8, the late-2012 release, installed. The model is available in different configurations, with a base model coming with 4GB of memory and a 128GB solid-state drive. Various configurations offer up to 8GB of memory and a 256GB solid-state drive.

The Dell XPS 13 strays from the standard aluminum composition of most laptops models, using instead a carbon fiber body and a sturdy Gorilla Glass screen. The XPS comes with two USB 3.0 ports, a headphone jack and a display port. The display port, a video connection, is not as commonly used as HDMI or VGA ports. The XPS 13 lacks a memory card slot, which is found on most 13" laptops. [See Prices, Reviews and Specifications]

 
Google Chromebook
$249-$249

The Google Chromebook, manufactured by Samsung, is a basic ultrabook with Web browsing capabilities that operates on Google's Chrome OS. With an 11.6" display, 2GB of memory and a 16GB storage capacity, the Chromebook is a no-frills machine. But it's lightweight and portable, making it a good travel companion.

The Chromebook is ideal for web browsing and using many of Google's cloud-based services, but not meant for intensive multimedia work. The Chromebook makes use of Google's various platforms -- easily moving from Gmail to Google Docs to YouTube. It also has pre-installed virus and malware protection, which Google touts as worry-free.

Google advertises the shareability of the Chromebook, noting it can switch between multiple customizable user profiles in seconds.

A 3G Chromebook is in the works and will be available with a two-year wireless plan. While it is available for pre-order, a release date has not yet been announced. The 3G model will cost $330.

[See Prices, Reviews and Specifications]
 
Google Chromebook Pixel
$1,299-$1,449

Chromebook Pixel is aimed at users who operate mostly online, and it comes with 3TB of Google cloud space. With 32GB-64Gb of solid-state hard drive space, space for personal documents is limited.

The Google Chromebook Pixel follows the release of several low-priced Chromebook options. However, the Chromebook Pixel is not one of those light-weight, low-cost laptops. With a starting price of nearly $1,300, Chromebook Pixel is clad in a tougher aluminum exterior than its predecessors.

[See Prices, Reviews and Specifications]
 
Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga 13
$899-$1,549

The IdeaPad Yoga 13 is an aptly named laptop because it comes with a hinge that allows 360 degrees of movement, so the entire screen can fold back and lie flat like a tablet. The Yoga 13 bridges the gap between tablet and laptop, allowing users to take advantage of both modes.

The model is good for everyday tasks such as surfing the web and writing emails; it also functions well for streaming HD movies and editing photos in Photoshop. But, it is not intended for any heavy gaming use.

The Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga 13 has a 13.3" display screen and runs Windows 8. It takes advantage of the touch-screen capabilities that the Windows 8 operating system offers and allows users to personalize how apps and software function on the device.

The base model of the Yoga 13 has a 128GB solid-state drive, 4GB of memory and an Intel Core i3 processor. Stepping up $100 doubles the memory and the boosts the processor to an Intel Core i5. The two higher-end models have an Intel Core i7 processor. [See Prices, Reviews and Specifications]

 
Lenovo ThinkPad X230
$774-$961

The Lenovo ThinkPad X230 is a versatile small laptop with a 12.5" screen and plenty of connectivity options. There are ports for VGA, HDMI and DisplayPort video connections as well as a 4-in-1 SD card reader and multiple USB connections. Unlike most other small laptops, the Lenovo ThinkPad has a TrackPoint nub in the center of the keyboard in addition to a touchpad mouse.

The ThinkPad X230 is configurable with either Windows 7 or Windows 8. The base model has an Intel Core i5 processor, but it can be configured with the more powerful Intel Core i7 processor.

The ThinkPad is designed for work at all hours of the day: It features a backlit keyboard and an overhead light allows for reading of documents.

Lenovo catered the ThinkPad X230 for professionals, making it highly portable at less than 3 pounds. It has security features than include a fingerprint scanner and a 30-day Norton Security trial. In addition, the ThinkPad X230 comes preloaded with software packages including a Microsoft Office starter pack and Skype. [See Prices, Reviews and Specifications]

 
Samsung 9 Series Ultrabook NP900X3C-A01US
$1,116-$1,704

The Samsung 9 Series Ultrabook is a compact, lightweight and fast laptop that works well for a variety of needs: It's half an inch thick and weighs less than 3 pounds, making it highly portable. In addition, the 9-hour battery life can make it through a professional's work day and the speedy processor can handle a heavy gamer's needs. The machine is so fast, Samsung claims it boots up in 8.4 seconds.

The Ultrabook has a 128GB solid-state hard drive, which has no moving parts and accesses information more quickly than a standard hard drive. But, there is no optical drive for reading or writing CDs and DVDs. A peripheral drive can be purchased separately and connected through the one of the two available USB ports.

[See Prices, Reviews and Specifications]