10 Lightweight Business Laptops Unveiled At CES 2021

We’ve rounded up 10 portable new business laptops at CES from HP, Dell, Lenovo and Dynabook, which offer lightweight designs for working from home.

Lightweight Business Laptops To Check Out

As 2021 gets underway, laptops are continuing to have their moment. Much of the workforce remains at home--or is at least splitting time between home and office--and that is fueling the ongoing demand for portable devices such as lightweight laptops. At CES 2021, top PC makers are responding to this demand with gusto: the all-digital show has seen a massive number of portable new business laptops announced. But some of the notebooks are a lot more portable than others--including lightweight new laptops for business users from HP, Lenovo, Dell and Dynabook. These ultra-portable laptops should come in handy both for those working from home--who will appreciate the lightweight designs when moving from room to room--as well as those now in the “hybrid workforce,” who are toting their laptop between the office and the home workspace.

At the CRN Test Center, we’ve pulled together a list of 10 lightweight business laptops unveiled at CES 2021--all of which weigh 2.75 pounds or less. And in the following slides, we’ve ranked these ultra-portable business laptops from heaviest to lightest (in terms of their starting weights).

HP EliteBook 835 G8

Starting weight: 2.75 pounds

Aimed at mainstream business users, HP’s EliteBook 835 G8 features a portable design along with AMD processors and key capabilities for enabling security and collaboration. The 13.3-inch notebook comes with a starting weight of 2.75 pounds and a thickness of 0.7 of an inch. The laptop features slim bezels around its FHD display for an 85 percent screen-to-body ratio, as well as an optional HP Sure View Reflect integrated privacy screen to prevent visual snooping. Other security features include HP Tamper Lock intrusion detection technology, which automatically locks the PC if it has been physically opened. The EliteBook 835 G8 is powered by the newest generation of AMD Ryzen Pro 5000 processors and integrated AMD Radeon graphics, and offers optional LTE connectivity. To assist with collaboration, the notebook comes with HP Dynamic Audio technology, which optimizes audio for speech, music or movies while reducing background noise. The HP EliteBook 835 G8 is planned for availability in March.

Lenovo ThinkBook 13x i

Starting weight: 2.65 pounds

Among the new models just announced for Lenovo’s SMB-focused ThinkBook lineup, the ThinkBook 13x i features the most emphasis on a portable design--with the notebook weighing 2.65 pounds and measuring just a half inch thick. The ThinkBook 13x i includes a 13.3-inch display with resolution of 2,560 x 1,600, a 16:10 aspect ratio, a 90 percent screen-to-body ratio and up to 400 nits of brightness. The notebook also offers up to 15 hours of battery life and 11th-gen Intel Core processors up to the Core i7. The ThinkBook 13x i includes an aluminum exterior with two color options -- Storm Gray or Cloud Gray. The Lenovo ThinkBook 13x i will be available during the first quarter.

Dell Latitude 7320

Starting weight: 2.57 pounds

Dell Technologies updated its premium Latitude business portfolio to kick off 2021, and among the most-portable new devices in the lineup is the Latitude 7320. The clamshell variant of the notebook weighs in at just 2.57 pounds, while measuring 0.67 of an inch thick. The Latitude 7320 offers a 13.3 inch FHD display with options for either a touch screen or non-touch, brightness of up to 400 nits and ComfortView Plus technology (which reduces blue light from the display). Other top features include optional LTE connectivity; adaptive thermal response to keep the laptop cooler; ExpressSign-in, which enables auto-wake and auto-lock; and ExpressConnect, which prioritizes conferencing apps for bandwidth. On performance, the Latitude 7320 offers 11th-gen Intel Core processors (up to Core i7 vPro) and up to 32 GB of RAM. And for the exterior of the notebook, the Latitude 7320 is available in either aluminum or carbon fiber. The Dell Latitude 7320 will be available Jan. 12.

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Titanium Yoga

Starting weight: 2.54 pounds

As the newest addition to Lenovo’s ThinkPad X1 line, the ThinkPad X1 Titanium Yoga ranks as the company’s thinnest ThinkPad device to date, at 0.45 of an inch thick. But the convertible laptop—which gets its name from the titanium material that covers the exterior of the device--is also lightweight at 2.54 pounds. The ThinkPad X1 Titanium Yoga comes with a 13.5-inch display with 2,256 x 1,504 resolution, 450 nits of brightness, a 3:2 aspect ratio and support for Dolby Vision HDR. Other key features include optional 5G or LTE connectivity, support for WiFi 6 and 11th-gen Intel Core processors (up to Core i7 vPro). And to assist with collaboration, the ThinkPad X1 Titanium Yoga includes four far-field microphones, a Dolby Atmos Speaker System and an HD camera. The Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Titanium Yoga will be available to order in January.

HP EliteBook 840 Aero G8

Starting weight: 2.5 pounds

HP is bringing an upgrade to its midrange EliteBook notebooks with the debut of the EliteBook 840 Aero G8. The notebook features a starting weight of 2.5 pounds—a half pound lighter than the standard EliteBook 840 G8—as well as optional 5G connectivity and numerous other notable features. Those include an optional Sure View Reflect integrated privacy screen on the 14-inch display; integrated Tile tracking; an HD camera and three microphones; and optional 11th-generation Intel Core processors. The HP EliteBook 840 Aero G8 is expected to be available in March.

HP Elite Dragonfly Max

Starting weight: 2.49 pounds

At CES 2021, HP expanded its business-focused Elite Dragonfly portfolio with a brand-new model, the Elite Dragonfly Max. The new convertible notebook continues the emphasis on portability with its starting weight of just 2.49 pounds and thickness of 0.63 of an inch. The Elite Dragonfly Max aims to stand out with an emphasis on advanced collaboration features, HP said--including a 5-megapixel camera (compared with a 1.2-megapixel camera on the Elite Dragonfly G2) and four wide-range microphones that are optimized for conferencing (compared with three on the G2 model). Meanwhile, the 13.3-inch display on the Elite Dragonfly Max will include HP’s Eye Ease technology for reduced blue light, support for 5G connectivity and 11th-generation Intel Core processors. The HP Elite Dragonfly Max is expected to be available in January.

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon (Gen 9)

Starting weight: 2.49 pounds

For the ninth-gen edition of the ThinkPad X1 Carbon, Lenovo has rolled out a number of changes--but one thing that hasn’t changed is the notebook’s ultra-portable form factor, which remains at just 2.49 pounds. Updates on the forthcoming X1 Carbon include a new 16:10 aspect ratio and reduced blue light on the 14-inch display, which will offer a choice between UHD or FHD resolution (up to 500 nits of brightness). Other new features and capabilities include an integrated fingerprint reader on the power button; optional 5G or LTE connectivity; a wider touchpad; and support for Dolby Voice, which optimizes the performance of the notebook’s microphones and speakers. Dolby Voice features include dynamic levelling, which automatically adapts to voices that are quieter or far away and provides noise suppression to limit background noises and echo.

The new X1 Carbon will also include a larger battery than the previous model, at 57 Whr, to enable battery life of up to 16 hours. On performance, the notebook will be powered by 11th-gen Intel Core processors (up to Core i7 vPro) and be configurable with up to 32 GB of RAM. The Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon, Gen 9, will be available in February.

HP ProBook 635 Aero G8

Starting weight: 2.2 pounds

For HP’s SMB-focused ProBook lineup, HP is using CES 2021 to unveil a new model offering an ultra-portable design—the ProBook 635 Aero G8. The 13.3-inch notebook has a starting weight of just 2.2 pounds, with a thickness of 0.7 of an inch. In terms of performance and connectivity, the ProBook 635 Aero G8 is powered by the latest generation of AMD Ryzen processors along with AMD Radeon graphics, while also offering optional LTE connectivity. Other key capabilities include an optional HP Sure View Reflect integrated privacy screen, a spill-resistant and quiet keyboard (with optional backlighting) and HP QuickDrop software, which enables wireless transferring of files and photos from a smartphone. The HP ProBook 635 Aero G8 is planned for availability in April.

HP Elite Dragonfly G2

Starting weight: 2.2 pounds

With HP’s follow-up to its original Elite Dragonfly, the notebook remains ultra-portable--with a weight of just 2.2 pounds that makes it the “world’s lightest compact business convertible,” according to HP. In terms of updates for the Elite Dragonfly G2, HP has added 5G connectivity, integrated Tile tracking (in the event the laptop goes missing) and the company’s Tamper Lock intrusion detection technology. The 2-in-1 notebook continues to offer the Dragonfly Blue magnesium chassis along with a 13.3-inch display with FHD or UHD resolution. On performance, the second-gen Elite Dragonfly moves up to 11th-generation Intel Core vPro processors and is configurable with up to 32 GB of RAM (compared to 16 GB on the original model). Other new features include the Sure Shutter privacy shutter on the webcam, which is operated using a dedicated key on the keyboard rather than the manual slider on the first-generation model of the notebook. The HP Elite Dragonfly G2 is planned for availability in January.

Dynabook Portégé X30L-J

Starting weight: 2 pounds

Even on a list of ultra-portable laptops, Dynabook’s Portégé X30L-J stands out with its weight of just 2 pounds. The 13.3-inch notebook accomplishes this feat in part by using lightweight magnesium alloy for its chassis (though the notebook does not actually rank among the thinnest on this list, with its thickness of 0.7 of an inch). For the new model of the Portégé X30L-J announced this week at CES, the laptop is now configurable with 11th-gen Intel Core vPro processor options--up to the Core i7-1185G with vPro (quad-core, up to 4.8GHz). The notebook’s display is configurable with FHD or HD resolution, as well as with touch screen or non-touch and with an optional integrated privacy screen. Other key specs for the X30L-J include up to 32 GB of RAM, an IR webcam for Windows Hello facial authentication and a wide selection of ports (including USB-A, USB-C, HDMI and Ethernet, as well as a microSD card slot). The Dynabook Portégé X30L-J is available now.