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Best Ultraportable Notebook: Tech Awards 2023 Editor's Choice series

By Kenny Yeo - 1 Mar 2023

Tech Awards 2023: Best Ultraportable Notebook

Tech Awards 2023: Best Ultraportable Notebook

Continual advances in processor and material technologies have made ultraportable notebooks incredibly portable and capable machines. Notebook manufacturers have also paid more attention to a notebook’s design and features, introducing better displays, more effective speakers, and offering better keyboards and trackpads. Because of its blend of performance, features, and convenience, the ultraportable notebook has become the primary computing device for many users.

To make the cut for this year’s awards, the notebooks must be one of the slimmest and lightest in the brand’s lineup, and it must have been announced in the last 12 months (more specifically, between February 2022 and January 2023 which is our qualification period). It can be a traditional clamshell-style design or a convertible or detachable. As for the processor, it must be powered by a full Intel Core processor (that means no ultra-low-voltage variants) or an equivalent AMD processor. For graphics, it can be integrated graphics or an equivalent entry-level discrete solution. Finally, we are only considering Windows notebooks because anyone needing an Apple notebook or macOS won’t need a comparison like this.


  • Acer Swift 5
  • ASUS ZenBook 14 OLED UX3402
  • HP Envy x360 13
  • Huawei MateBook X Pro
  • Lenovo Yoga 9i
  • Microsoft Surface Pro 9
  • MSI Summit E13 Flip Evo

Fans of LG’s ultra-light gram series of notebooks will notice that the gram 14 is conspicuously missing; that’s because LG wasn’t able to provide us with a comparable unit for evaluation.


And the winner is …

ASUS ZenBook 14 OLED UX3402

With the ZenBook 14 OLED UX3402, ASUS’ has finally nailed the winning formula for what it takes to make a genuinely class-leading ultraportable notebook.

One key reason for its success is its fantastic OLED display. In the past year or so, ASUS has made a big push for OLED displays in notebooks and once you’ve had the chance to experience it in person, it’s easy to see why. Modern LCD displays are very good but OLED displays are just better. They are brighter and look noticeably more vibrant and life-like. And if you care about visual quality, they are capable of displaying true blacks. It may not sound like much but watch any Batman movie on an OLED and LCD display side by side, and you’ll instantly see why an OLED display is superior. Besides visual prowesss, to bulk up its credibility, the display is also Pantone Validated, VESA DisplayHDR True Black 500 certified and has low blue-light levels that's easier on your eyes as certified by both SGS and TÜV Rheinland.

Display aside, the ZenBook 14 OLED UX3402 is also fast. It may not be the fastest in its class, but it’s right up there. It’s thin and light too, which, coupled with its remarkable battery life, makes it a fantastic notebook for those who are always moving about. Port selection is also good. On top of its two USB-C Thunderbolt 4 ports, it also has a USB-A port and a full-sized HDMI 2.0b port. It even has a microSD card reader. 

The cherry on the cake, however, has to be its price. OLED displays are typically marketed as a premium type of display, so you’d expect the ZenBook 14 OLED UX3402 to come with a premium price tag. However, it’s the only notebook in this category that’s below two grand. Granted that it doesn't have a convertible design that adds to the cost, the ASUS ZenBook 14 OLED UX3402 does have touchscreen capabilities, so it's still convenient to use. And when you add this affordability to its blend of performance, features, and portability, it’s easy to see why the ASUS ZenBook 14 OLED UX3402 is the best ultraportable notebook we’ve tested to date.

See how it performs against its competitors here in a few choice benchmarks we've extracted from our full reviews:-

Ratings Breakdown
Model Design Features Performance Value Mobility Overall Price (as tested)
Acer Swift 5 (2022) 7.5 8.5 8.5 8.5 8.5 8.5 S$2,398
ASUS ZenBook 14 OLED UX3402 8.5 8.5 8.0 9.0 8.0 8.5 S$1,899
Dell XPS 13 Plus 7.0 7.5 7.0 6.0 7.0 6.5 S$2,799
HP Envy x360 13 7.5 8.0 8.0 8.5 9.0 8.5 S$2,299
Huawei MateBook X Pro (2022) 8.0 8.0 8.0 6.5 8.5 7.5 S$2,798
Lenovo Yoga 9i (2022) 8.5 8.5 8.5 7.0 8.0 8.0 S$2,799
Microsoft Surface Pro 9 8.5 8.0 8.0 7.0 7.5 8.0 S$2,488
MSI Summit E13 Flip Evo 8.5 8.0 8.5 7.0 7.0 7.5 S$2,825

For more details on how we rated our nominees and to find out our usage experience of each notebook, check out the full reviews and articles listed in the References section below.

Meanwhile, check out our other Tech Awards 2023 Editor's Choice winners from the team behind HardwareZone and HWM.



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