When every ounce and inch counts for business travel, these ultraslim laptops pack a lot of performance per pound.
At a time when 2-in-1 tablets are coming of age in business, ultraslim laptops with traditional clamshell designs are staging a comeback with sales gains in an otherwise flat market, according to IDC. These systems deliver top performance in a thin, light, and sophisticated package.
Once luxury items meant for inhabitants of the C-suite (and often called “executive laptops” for that reason), today’s ultraslim notebooks can be a cheaper alternative to high-end detachable tablets. The 12.9-in. iPad Pro tablet, for instance, starts at $1,000, but after you add a stylus, keyboard case and adapters, the up-front cost can soar to nearly $1,500.
At about $1,200, ultraslim laptops are more powerful, sport bigger screens, and have a better assortment of apps than the typical tablet. If you’re deploying hundreds or thousands of computers throughout an organization, the price advantage of getting clamshell laptops can add up quickly.
I set up a shoot-out between the latest generation of thin and light executive notebooks from Apple and Microsoft. While the $1,200 Apple MacBook Air is smaller and more traditional, Microsoft’s $1,300 Surface Laptop 2 for Business points to the future with a touch screen and all-out performance.
Each weighs a bit less than 3 lbs., is powered by an 8th-generation Intel Core i5 processor, and has a 13-in. screen. While both displays show UHD resolution, the Laptop 2’s is touch-sensitive and offers an optional stylus for sketching, drawing and doodling, making it the more user-friendly of the two.
I tested, measured and benchmarked their performance in the office, and they became my temporary travel mates on the road. In a series of business trips, they were my constant companions, allowing me to write emails, go through spreadsheets, develop new products, research competitors, and stay in touch with my fellow workers.