2020 was a strange year for work. For many of us, it meant working from home, which also meant it became an even bigger part of our lives. Therefore, it is imperative that we have the best tools for the job. Nobody wants a notebook that takes minutes to boot up and ages to launch an app, and even lesser people wants to be stuck at home with a Wi-Fi network that's patchy and slow. For Tech Awards 2021, we have gathered and tested all the major devices that you need to help you do your best work. These are the award categories that the editors have assessed for this segment:-
Read on and find out who the winners are in each category! For this segment, we begin with the most indispensable tool in every mobile worker’s arsenal – the ultraportable notebook.
Advances in processor technologies and materials have made ultraportable notebooks incredibly thin, light, and powerful. Many ultraportable notebooks today only weigh a kilogram or less and can easily run for hours. Support for new technologies like Thunderbolt 4 also means these notebooks can be docked when users get home, which improves performance and functionality. Notebook manufacturers across the board have also made significant improvements in design and features, offering larger trackpads, better quality displays, and better connectivity options. Overall, these attributes make ultraportable notebooks the weapon of choice for many users.
To make the cut for this year’s awards, the notebook must be among the slimmest and lightest in the brand's lineup, and it must have been announced in the last 12 months. It can be a traditional notebook or a convertible or detachable. It can have discrete or integrated graphics and it must run Windows OS. After all, anyone who needs an Apple (or Mac) machine won't be needing comparisons like this. Finally, it must be powered by a full Intel Core processor (no ultra-low-voltage variants) or an AMD equivalent.
2020 had been an excellent year for ultraportable notebooks. Not only did they get thinner, lighter, more powerful, many also had excellent displays, features, and connectivity. It's hard to go wrong with any of them. However, one notebook stood tall among the competition and that notebook was the Lenovo Yoga Slim 7i Carbon.
Lenovo gave its notebook lineup a thorough revamp this year and the Yoga Slim 7i Carbon is arguably the jewel of the bunch. It does many things right and it checks a lot of boxes. To start, the design is clean and it's crazy light. Thanks to the use of magnesium alloy and carbon fibre, the Yoga Slim 7i Carbon weighs just 966g, making it the lightest notebook in its category. The 13.3-inch display is notable because it has a QHD resolution (2,560 x 1,440 pixels.) This offers a terrific blend of visual quality and power efficiency (without having to use a 4k panel). Performance is generally above average and battery life is great considering the high-resolution display. One could complain about the Yoga Slim 7i Carbon's lack of USB-A ports but at least it has three USB-C ports. All three ports support power-charging and two of which supports Thunderbolt 4. If that's not enough, Lenovo also throws in a port expander which gives you access to full-sized HDMI and USB-A ports. But best of all, it comes at a dollar under S$2,000, which makes it great value for money for all the good qualities it offers. Overall, the Lenovo Yoga Slim 7i Carbon is the most well-rounded ultraportable notebook we have tested so far.
Here's a small snapshot of results from our full shootout article:-
|Model||Acer Swift 5||ASUS ZenBook 14 Ultralight||Dell XPS 13||Huawei MateBook 14 AMD||Lenovo Slim 7i Carbon||LG gram 14||MSI Prestige 14||Razer Book 13|
|Price (as tested)||S$2,298||S$2,398||S$2599||S$1,298||S$1,999||S$2,299||S$2,349||S$3,299|
For more details on how we selected our winners, check out the full reviews and articles listed in the References section below.