Laptops:

Best 13-inch laptops of 2014

Updated

This category is reserved for 13-inch laptops, which are a perfect hybrid for globe-trotting business types (or campus-trotting students). They hit the sweet spot of portability, performance, and features. Most 13-inch laptops today are ultrabooks, but not all, so you'll occasionally find a heftier "performance" 13-inch laptop. To explore the best in all categories, check our list of the best laptops overall.

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Toshiba Kirabook (2014)

Kirabook 13-i7s-touch Ultrabook

A new CPU and much-improved battery life make the Kirabook easier to recommend.

4 stars Excellent

Apple MacBook Pro with Retina Display (2013, 13-inch screen)

There are other high-res laptops out there, but this year’s more powerful and affordable 13-inch Retina MacBook Pro is one of the best of the bunch, and makes a compelling case for upgrading from the 13-inch Air.

4 stars Excellent

Best battery life

Apple MacBook Air (13-inch)

The 13-inch MacBook Air looks and feels just like last year's but runs for more than 12 hours.

4 stars Excellent

Acer Aspire S7

One of the few standout products from the first wave of Windows 8 laptops, the Acer Aspire S7 proves that Apple does not have a monopoly on great design.

4 stars Excellent

HP Spectre 13t-h200 x2

A rare larger-screen hybrid, the HP Spectre x2 aims to be both a portable laptop and a video-friendly slate. The price is right, but the design feels awkward and the wonky touch pad makes it hard to use as a full-time laptop.

3.5 stars Very good