I use my laptop as a desktop, with external screen, mouse and keyboard. It needs to be fast: so as not to slow my working speed and light to protect my back should I want to take it with me. In short: I want the best of both worlds: laptop and desktop in one machine. Here's my selection and buying advice.
Best 13 Inch Laptop 2013
Deciding on what laptop to buy is tough. Personally I went with a 13 inch laptop because it's just large enough to make typing a decent experience, yet small enough to carry.
How to choose which 13 inch laptop suits you
What to factor into your decision
First off: 13 inch laptops are the smallest laptops that still come with desktop PC level hardware. Whether it's internal memory or hard drive size: you'll find mid-range quality components in most 13 inch laptops.
That's good news. It's also one reason why it's a better idea to buy a 13 inch laptop than a netbook (which is any laptop smaller than 13 inch).
Even though 13 inch is the size of laptop that's manufactured least, there is still plenty of choice. So how do you pick the best one? Well, I personally went with weight. Or rather:
Lightweight 13 inch laptops
When it comes to being lightweight, Samsung is the new winner. The 13.3 inch 5 series weighs only 3.2 pounds. The Asus Zenbook is even lighter: only 2.9 pounds, but then it's WAY more expensive. Where the Samsung has 500GB Hard Drive, the Zenbook comes with only 258GB. If the hard drive doesn't have to be big and money is an issue, the HP Folio should be considered: it weighs only 3.3 pounds and has a 128 GB drive.
The price you pay for lightweight laptops is that they do NOT come with an optical drive (aka: no DVD or CD drive). That's it.
I went with the Samsung 5 series 13.3 inch laptop. It has only about 5 hours of battery life, but is otherwise just what I need. I haven't used my laptop on the road much anyhow, so battery life is not as important to me as I thought it would be. Having an iPad probably has a lot to do with that.
It has a slightly sunk touchpad, so that accidental mouse movements are not an issue. It has a decent mat screen, 3 USB ports and HDMI as well as VGA connections for external screens.
Full Feature 13 inch laptops
If you want a laptop with everything in - optical drive (DVD and CD) as well, you'll have to pay the price in carrying it. However, you will have a very decent desktop PC out of it as well.
In this case I would recommend the 13 inch Acer or Apple laptops. You can use them to watch DVDs as well as do your work at home, in the work place and of course on the road.
Some of the top selling 13 inch laptops of today
|Samsung Series 5 NP530U3B-A01US 13.3-Inch Ultrabook (Silver)|
|ASUS U31SD-AH31 13.3-Inch Ultra-Portable Laptop (Black)|
|Apple MacBook Air MC965LL/A 13.3-Inch Laptop (NEWEST VERS...|
|Acer Aspire TimelineX AS3830T-6870 13.3-Inch Aluminum Lap...|
|ASUS Zenbook UX31E-DH72 13.3-Inch Thin and Light Ultraboo...|
|HP Folio 13-1020US 13.3-Inch Ultrabook (Steel Gray)|
My laptop setup. The laptop itself is on the right, external screen left etc.
My own picture, Copyright Katinka Hesselink
Operating system: Mac, PC, Chromebook or Linux?
More laptop buying tips
Best 13 Inch Laptop
This article also looks at what operating system you should pick, when choosing a laptop. At this time that would not be a consideration for me, because cross platform compatibility for office has improved so much over the past years.
Lightweight Netbooks and Laptops
A blog devoted to finding you the best light netbooks and laptops and helping you choose.
Best Laptop Backpack
THE best way to carry a laptop is a backpack: great for your back, and perfect protection for your notebook.
Buying a Tablet? Windows Surface, Android or iPad
Buying guide to help you choose which tablet to get.
Gifts guide: Laptops and Tablets
Whether you want a laptop as a desktop, a netbook, a tablet (iPad) for on the road or just a casual laptop for browsing and facebook, I've researched it all. As