The HP Spectre x360, with its sturdy all-metal body, dazzling touch display, and powerful hardware, make it the best ultrabook you can buy right now.

Update 9 December 2016: This list has been refreshed with a new best ultrabook: the HP Spectre x360. We've also taken into account recent updates to the Dell XPS 13 and Microsoft Surface Book.

Best overall

HP Spectre x360

See at HP

The HP Spectre x360 has a fantastic build quality and a chassis that is only 0.54 inches (1.37cm) thick. The 13.3-inch, 1080p touch display works well while in tablet, stand, or tent modes, and the keyboard and touchpad are a joy to use while in notebook mode. Inside you get a 7th-generation Intel Core i7-7500U processor with a clock speed up to 3.5GHz, up to 16GB of RAM, and up to a 1TB solid-state drive.

Bottom line: For the best ultrabook out there, you have to go with the HP Spectre x360.

One more thing: The full review of the HP Spectre x360 has more details to help you decide if it's the laptop for you.

Why the HP Spectre x360 is the best ultrabook

HP's Spectre x360, updated for late 2016, has returned and impressed me all over again.

Everything about the new HP Spectre x360 screams quality. The solid, silver chassis doesn't show most scratches or fingerprints, and is only about a half-inch (1.38cm) thick when closed and weighs just 2.85 pounds (1.3kg). When opening the lid and rotating it back for tent, tablet, or stand modes, the hinges feel solid and there's no unnecessary wiggle.

As far as performance hardware, get up to a 7th-generation Intel Core i7-7500U processor with a clock speed up to 3.5GHz, 16GB of DDR3 RAM, and a 1TB PCIe solid-state drive. This laptop can handle whatever you throw at it with ease, and with a battery that lasts up to 10 hours, you won't get stuck looking for an outlet.

The 1080p touch display has deep color, excellent viewing angles, and near-perfect contrast. It reaches from edge to edge thanks to a reduced bezel, and the IR camera built into the top of the screen is compatible with Windows Hello for fast, secure sign-ins.

Configurations of the new HP Spectre x360 start at about $1000.

Runner-up

Microsoft Surface Book

See at Microsoft

The Microsoft's Surface Book's removable keyboard and touchpad, Surface Pen, and 13.5-inch touchscreen together create an amazing no matter what you use it for. Get up to an Intel Core i7 processor, 16GB of RAM, a discrete NVIDIA GPU, and a 1TB solid-state drive. Battery life is solid, the keyboard is pleasure to type on, and the touchpad is precise. What more could you ask for?

Bottom line: For a powerful desktop replacement with a beautiful display and removable keyboard, you have to go with the Surface Book.

One more thing: For more power, check out the Surface Book with Performance Base.

Best non-convertible

Dell XPS 13

See at Dell

The Dell XPS 13's near-complete lack of bezel really highlights the 13.3-inch touch display, especially if you opt for the beautiful 1800p option. The new 7th-generation Intel processor delivers increased performance and better battery life, and 16GB of DDR3 RAM ensures you can power through anything that comes your way. Configurations of this amazing ultrabook start at about $800.

Bottom line: The Dell XPS 13 is the best non-convertible ultrabook you can buy right now.

One more thing: The solid-state drive in the XPS 13 can be upgraded at a later time if you want to cut down on cost right now.

Best for mobility

Samsung Notebook 9

Samsung Notebook 9

See at Amazon

The Samsung Notebook 9 is like the best little ultrabook that no one talks about. Its 13.3-inch display, while only 1080p, is an absolute pleasure to look at — Samsung really knows what they're doing when it comes to displays. It has a battery that lasts upwards of 10 hours, which is not bad considering the hardware inside — you're getting a 6th-generation Intel Core i5 processor, 8GB of RAM, and a 256GB SSD. The all-metal design is incredibly durable, and also incredibly light: the whole package weighs only 1.9 pounds and is only 0.53 inches thick. The Samsung Notebook 9 starts at about $950.

Bottom line: For the most mobile ultrabook on the market, don't look any further than the Samsung Notebook 9.

One more thing: Despite its compact size, the Notebook 9 has the ports you want most, including HDMI, mini VGA, and two USB 3.0.

Conclusion

If you need a light, high-quality ultrabook, check out the Samsung Notebook 9. If you're looking for a desktop replacement in the form of a modular ultrabook, have a look at the Surface Book. Don't care about convertibles and just want the best classic laptop there is? Can't go wrong with Dell XPS 13. If you want the best ultrabook available right now, the HP Spectre x360 should be your first choice.

Best overall

HP Spectre x360

See at HP

The HP Spectre x360 has a fantastic build quality and a chassis that is only 0.54 inches (1.37cm) thick. The 13.3-inch, 1080p touch display works well while in tablet, stand, or tent modes, and the keyboard and touchpad are a joy to use while in notebook mode. Inside you get a 7th-generation Intel Core i7-7500U processor with a clock speed up to 3.5GHz, up to 16GB of RAM, and up to a 1TB solid-state drive.

Bottom line: For the best ultrabook out there, you have to go with the HP Spectre x360.

One more thing: The full review of the HP Spectre x360 has more details to help you decide if it's the laptop for you.