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The thinnest laptops you can buy in 2020

In recent several years, one of the biggest advances made to the modern laptop is that chassis continue to shrink. Best of all, laptops keep getting thinner and thinner, and yet battery life and performance continue to improve. It’s a no-compromise situation — and we love it.

The thinnest laptop around is the Samsung Galaxy Chromebook, at just 0.39 inches thick. It’s a Chromebook, but unlike most of the ones you’ve seen, thanks to a 10th-gen Core CPU, a 4K display, and S Pen stylus support. But the stubnningly diminutive size of the laptop is its greatest strength

The best laptops for battery life at a glance:

  • The thinnest laptop: Samsung Galaxy Chromebook (0.39 inches)
  • The thinnest 15-inch laptop: Microsoft Surface Laptop 3 (0.57 inches)
  • The thinnest MacBook: Apple MacBook Pro 13 (0.59 inches)
  • The thinnest budget laptop: Acer Swift 3 (0.63 inches)
  • The thinnest gaming laptop: Razer Blade Stealth 13 (0.6 inches)

The thinnest laptop: Samsung Galaxy Chromebook (0.39 inches)

Samsung’s Galaxy Chromebook is the thinnest laptop we could find, coming in at 0.39 inches. We had to switch to millimeters to discover that it was, indeed, thinner than the previous thinnest laptop, Acer’s Swift 7 (9.9mm versus 9.95mm). What’s remarkable about the Galaxy Chromebook is that in being so thin, it actually wins in four different categories: Thinnest overall, thinnest 13-inch laptop, thinnest 2-in-1, and thinnest Chromebook.

And you’re not sacrificing anything to get so thin. The Galaxy Chromebook is one of the first Chromebooks to offer a 4K display, it’s powered by a 10th-gen Intel Core i5-1021oU CPU, and it has 256GB of storage. Oh, and the Samsung S Pen is tucked away in its slot and ready for some inking action. The only downside is that it’s a very expensive Chromebook at $1,000 — but that’s the price of a laptop that’s so thin, offers so much, and weighs only 2.2 pounds.

It would be unfair to completely count out the Acer Swift 7 from this list. The 14-inch laptop takes the prize as the thinnest Windows 10 laptop and still weighs just 2.2 pounds. It hasn’t been updated this year yet, though, and so it’s still stuck with an older 8th-gen dual-core processor. The Acer Swift 7 starts at $1,700.

The thinnest 15-inch laptop: Microsoft Surface Laptop 3 (0.57 inches)

Microsoft Surface Laptop 3 13-inch in Sandstone Joel Chokkattu / Digital Trends

Microsoft’s Surface Laptop 3 is the company’s third try at producing a competitive clamshell machine — which comes in both an Intel and AMD variant. This is a very thin laptop at just 0.57 inches, placing it ahead of competitors like the Dell XPS 15 and the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Extreme. It’s not as powerful as those rivals, featuring only up to a quad-core processor, but when it comes to portability, the Surface Laptop 3 is the winner.

The Surface Laptop 3 sports the brand’s usual excellent high-resolution IPS display in the productivity-friendly 3:2 aspect ratio, and a rock-solid build that screams quality. You’ll love the no-compromise keyboard and touchpad, as well as the excellent audio quality. This is one large and thin laptop that won’t force you to give anything up by fitting in a very svelte chassis.

Read our in-depth Microsoft Surface Laptop 3 review

The thinnest MacBook: Apple MacBook Pro 13 (0.59 inches)

MacBooks are generally thin, and there was a time when the MacBook Air was the thinnest laptop you could buy — no Windows machine came close. Today, Windows laptops are thinner. And while the tapered MacBook Air is thinner at its thinnest point (0.16 inches), it’s 0.63 at its thickest, while the MacBook Pro 13 is 0.59 inches across the board.

Not only is the MacBook Pro 13 thinner, but it’s also significantly more powerful. It packs in full-speed CPUs compared to the MacBook Air’s low-powered processors, to go with more RAM, more storage, and generally more powerful components across the board. The Pro’s display is also better, with wider and more accurate colors and more brightness.

Read our in-depth Apple MacBook Pro 13 review

The thinnest budget laptop: Acer Swift 3 (0.63 inches)

You don’t have to spend a lot of money to get a reasonably thin laptop. The Acer Swift 3 proves the point, giving you solid productivity performance with some optional gaming on the side thanks to an Nvidia MX350 GPU. If you don’t want to game, then you can spend as little as $680 for a 10th-gen Core i5 CPU, 8GB of RAM, a 256GB SSD, and a 14-inch IPS display.

You’ll also enjoy a build quality that’s good enough for the price, very good battery life, and a comfortable keyboard and touchpad. And best of all, you’ll fill up less of your backpack when you take the Swift 3 on the road.

Read our in-depth Acer Swift 3 review

The thinnest gaming laptop: Razer Blade Stealth 13 (0.6 inches)

Joel Chokkattu/Digital Trends

Most gaming laptops are relatively thick laptops because they have to fit in complex cooling systems that allow the CPU and GPU to run at full tilt for intense gaming sessions. Razer worked some magic with the Blade Stealth 13, managing to pack a real gaming laptop into a very diminutive chassis that’s only 0.6 inches thick.

Inside, you’ll find a quad-core 10th-gen Intel Core i7 CPU to go with a legit Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 Ti GPU that can manage modern titles at 1080p and reasonable graphics. And like some other gaming laptops, you get the option of a fast 120Hz display (or a high-quality 4K panel) and RGB keyboard that supports 16.8 million colors and customizable lighting effects.

Read our in-depth Razer Blade Stealth 13 review

Latest

Nixplay Smart Photo Frame review

The Nixplay Smart Photo Frame, available in a variety of sizes, is a Wi-Fi digital picture frame that displays your favorite images. Similar to traditional picture frames you can hang it on a wall or prop it up on a table. Unlike the one on your grandmother’s wall, it can cycle through more than 2,000 pictures.This is the sort of product you’d gift to parents and grandparents as you can send photos or playlists directly to them. Additionally, it might be a good product for new parents, newlyweds, or college students who might want to keep an eye on things back home. It works just as well to give one of these to someone as it would be to receive on.There are a different sizes and finishes available so it ought to be no problem finding the right fit for your home. And because of its flexibility, you can move it to different rooms or environments without hassle.The 10.1-inch version features a 1280 x 800 HD image that’s bright, easy to see from a variety of angles, and works in both landscape and portrait orientation. As one might expect from a device like this in 2020, there is support for Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa.The built-in motion sensor is able to identify whether there are people in the room which means it automatically turns itself off.Configuration and SetupSetting up the Nixplay Frame includes creating an account, pairing your frame to it, and adding photos. Using the mobile app you can manually add photos, but we found it easier to manage it from the website.Once logged in, you can pair your social media accounts with their respective library or albums. That includes Google Photos, Facebook, Instagram, Dropbox, Flickr, and Verizon Cloud.It’s also in this dashboard where you can set up timers to turn on and off the frame. Additionally, you can shuffle the playlist, opt to display a clock, adjust the transitions between photos, and more.If you’re purchasing one of these for a family member or friend, you’ll be able to set it all up and essentially make it a turn-key gift. All you’ll have to do is set it on the right Wi-Fi network.We appreciate that you can make as many adjustments that you can, especially to keep things updated. There’s no need to insert a microSD card or plug into the frame. Anything done in the cloud is automatically updated.As for the Google Assistant stuff, it’s more or less just being able to turn the frame on and off using your voice. It’s handy, but not necessary. Amazon Alexa appears to have a little deeper integration with options to pull up specific playlists. 1 of 4 The viewing angles on the frame are really good and we found it to provide sharp color and high contrast. Some of the transitions do feel a tad dated, however, they are quick. Fortunately, you can opt for longer delays between changing and decide which transition you want.Where to BuyYou can learn more about the Nixplay Smart Photo Frame at the company’s official website. There, you’ll find it available to purchase for about $180. A limited time discount sees the company taking $27 off, bringing the total to just $153.There are also other sizes to choose from, ranging from 9.7-inches up to 15.6-inches. From the looks of it, there are often chances to save on your frame. Be it centered around a holiday or just an instant discount, it pays to look.

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