8 Ultra-Portable Business Laptops From CES 2021

We’ve pulled together a list of the best thin and lightweight business laptops launched at CES 2021 by PC makers including Lenovo, Dell and HP.

Ultra-Portable Business Laptops

If you or your business are looking for a portable new laptop this year, you are in luck—because 2021 is shaping up to be a huge year for thin and lightweight laptops. At the digital CES 2021 conference, PC makers including Lenovo, Dell, HP and Dynabook launched a wide array of ultra-portable laptops for business. To aid in your search for a new laptop with a thin and lightweight design, we’ve rounded up eight of the best ultra-portable laptops that were unveiled at CES 2021. Those included lightweight new laptops such as the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon (Gen 9), the HP Elite Dragonfly G2 and the Dell Latitude 7320--as well as some of the thinnest laptops we’ve come across to date, such as Lenovo’s ThinkPad X1 Titanium Yoga. All of the laptops on our list weigh between 2 pounds and 2.65 pounds, and feature a thickness of between 0.45 of an inch and 0.71 of an inch.

In the following slides, we’ve assembled the key features and specs for eight of the best ultra-portable laptops from CES 2021.

Dell Latitude 7320

Display: 13.3 inches

Thickness: 0.67 of an inch

Starting weight: 2.57 pounds

Dell’s new Latitude 7320 offers an 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 Carbon (Gen 9)

Display: 14 inches

Thickness: 0.59 of an inch

Starting weight: 2.49 pounds

Updates on the ninth-gen edition of Lenovo’s ThinkPad X1 Carbon include a new 16:10 aspect ratio and reduced blue light on the 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.

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Titanium Yoga

Display: 13.5 inches

Thickness: 0.45 of an inch

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. The convertible laptop gets its name from the titanium material that covers the exterior of the device, while its display features 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.

Lenovo ThinkBook 13x i

Display: 13.3 inches

Thickness: 0.5 of an inch

Starting weight: 2.65 pounds

Among the new models just announced for Lenovo’s SMB-focused ThinkBook lineup, the ThinkBook 13x i includes the most emphasis on a portable design. The display on the ThinkBook 13x i features 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.

Dynabook Portégé X30L-J

Display: 13.3 inches

Thickness: 0.7 of an inch

Starting weight: 2 pounds

Dynabook’s Portégé X30L-J stands out as the lightest-weight notebook on our list of ultra-portable laptops. The Portégé X30L-J accomplishes this feat in part by using lightweight magnesium alloy for its chassis. The new laptop is 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.

HP EliteBook 840 Aero G8

Display: 14 inches

Thickness: 0.71 of an inch

Starting weight: 2.5 pounds

HP is bringing an upgrade to its midrange EliteBook notebooks with the debut of the ultra-portable new EliteBook 840 Aero G8. The notebook’s starting weight comes in at a half pound lighter than the standard EliteBook 840 G8, while the laptop also offers notable features such as optional 5G connectivity; an optional Sure View Reflect integrated privacy screen; 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.

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HP Elite Dragonfly G2

Display: 13.3 inches

Thickness: 0.63 of an inch

Starting weight: 2.2 pounds

With HP’s follow-up to its original Elite Dragonfly, the notebook remains ultra-portable--with a starting weight 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 FHD or UHD display 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.

HP Elite Dragonfly Max

Display: 13.3 inches

Thickness: 0.63 of an inch

Starting weight: 2.49 pounds

At CES 2021, HP also 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, but also aims to stand out from the other models with an emphasis on advanced collaboration features. Those collaboration capabilities on the Elite Dragonfly Max include 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 Elite Dragonfly Max will include HP’s Eye Ease display 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.