Though Apple first started the trend, just about every company now makes their own aluminum laptop. The machines, while much heavier than traditional plastic computers, come with a range of benefits.
They are more durable, have better temperature control, and tend to be more attractive than traditional models. However, with so many great options to choose from, finding a good aluminum laptop is no easy task.
This guide breaks down some of the best models on the market, as well as analyzes their specs, to show what makes them so great.
Who Should Get This
Aluminum laptops are for people who don’t mind paying extra for a powerful machine. While there is nothing wrong with other materials, the metal outfits a computer with many benefits, including a strong chassis, lightweight body, and impressive look.
The devices, especially in today’s market, have all of the bells and whistles you could ever want. That makes them great for business, home, and school settings.
Aluminum options are also sturdy. If you find yourself in need of a more durable device, or if you live a hectic life, the devices can be a good way to ensure you get a protected investment that will last a long time.
It doesn’t matter why you go online or what programs you use, just about everyone with some extra spending money can take advantage of what aluminum laptops offer.
Best Aluminum Laptops: Our Picks
Here, I cover the best aluminum laptops and their various traits to explain where they fit into the larger market.
1. HP Spectre X360
- Best For: Overall
- Key Features: Strong battery. Sleek, modern shell. 2-in-1 functionality. Intel 520 graphics card. Strong processor.
- Screen Size: 13.3 inches
- Weight: 7.09 pounds
- Battery Life: 11 hours
The Spectre x360 is one of the slickest and most modern-looking aluminum laptops on the market. Not only does it come with a strong Intel Core i7 processor and 8GB of RAM, but the 13-inch display looks stunning and the 11-hour battery keeps it running all day long.
The full HD resolution is perfect for all tasks and the full-size backlit keyboard is incredibly tactical. It also comes with full 2-in-1 functionality for those who want more versatility out of their devices.
Despite the aluminum build, this is a heavy laptop. It’s not a great choice for those who need something extremely portable, but it’s perfect for anyone who wants a computer they can carry around the house.
2. Asus ZenBook 13
- Best For: Battery Life
- Key Features: Strong internal processor and connectivity. 13.3-inch wide view screen. NVIDIA Geforce MX150.
- Screen Size: 13.3 inches
- Weight: 2.5 pounds
- Battery Life: 14 hours
Outfitted with a powerful all-day battery, the ZenBook 13 is a long-lasting laptop that you can bring with you just about anywhere. It’s powered by an 8th generation Intel i5 processor, and comes with fast storage. Add on the NVIDIA processor and you get a ton of processing speed.
This model is easy to carry, thanks to the lightweight build, and it also gets high marks due to the backlit keyboard. The extensive connectivity, seen through both Bluetooth and WiFi, is useful as well. There’s even a built-in fingerprint sensor.
Though it’s not a huge deal, be aware that this model’s outer case and screen both smudge quite easily. This is definitely a laptop you’re going to spend some time cleaning every now and then.
3. MacBook Air
- Best For: Lightweight
- Key Features: Portable design. 10th generation Intel Core i3 processor. Fast SSD storage. Backlit Magic Keyboard. Retina Display
- Screen Size: 13 inches
- Weight: 2.8 pounds
- Battery Life: 10 hours
Coming with a beautiful 13.3-inch Retina display and a 10th generation Intel Core i3 processor, the MacBook Air is another excellent Apple product that packs a ton of premium specs and modern features into a light, easy-to-carry design.
This laptop is sleek, but still comes with a Backlit Magic Keyboard, Touch ID, and Iris Plus Graphics. Using it also gives you access to the App Store. The stereo speakers are clear, and the modern design is largely unmatched. Few models do so much with so little.
That being said, know this laptop is not cheap. Apple products always tend to be on the expensive side, and this is no exception. The shell isn’t the most durable either. Be careful when taking this on the go.
4. Razer Blade 15
- Best For: Gaming
- Key Features: Great graphics. 8-Core 10th-generation Intel processor. 4K OLED touch display. Thin and compact. Great cooling.
- Screen Size: 15.6 inches
- Weight: 4.9 pounds
- Battery Life: 6 hours
The Razer Blade 15 is for those who want an aluminum model that allows them to game at a high level. This model comes with everything you’d expect from a modern relaxation machine, including a compact frame, NVIDIA graphics, and a fast 8-core Intel i7 processor.
Something else worth noting here is the innovative cooling system. While some laptops tend to run hot when playing high-end games, the 15 uses a vacuum sealed system that keeps heat-generating comments cold. There are solid port options as well.
This is a more expensive laptop, which is important for users looking to go with something a bit more affordable, and it doesn’t have the best durability. Be careful when using it out of the house.
5. Dell XPS 13
- Best For: Functionality
- Key Features: WiFi 6 technology. Advanced thermal engineering. Intel Iris Plus graphics. Lightweight. Responsive touchscreen.
- Screen Size: 13.4 inches
- Weight: 2.8 pounds
- Battery Life: 9 hours
If you want a lighter aluminum laptop with a strong shell, the Dell XPS 13 is a solid choice. Outfitted with unique 2-in-1 functionality, the entire design is easy to use in numerous ways. The crisp graphics and strong wireless capabilities simply add to that versatility.
Another useful feature is the responsive touchscreen. The 13.4-inch display looks great for games as well as casual use, and the internal 11th-generation core processor delivers time and time again. There’s also Dell Migrate if you need to move data from a similar laptop.
Just know that this machine tends to run hot every now and then. You won’t notice that for smaller tasks, however. The speakers are on the weaker side too, but that’s easily fixed with good headphones.
6. Acer Spin 311
- Best For: Budget
- Key Features: Innovative design. Responsive. Strong battery. Bright display and strong internal processor. Plenty of ports.
- Screen Size: 11.6 inches
- Weight: 2.65 pounds
- Battery Life: 13 hours
If you’re after a sleek, modern device that won’t run you too much, the Acer Spin 311 is a solid way to go. This model comes cheap, but never feels that way. The 11.6-inch HD touchscreen display is LED backlit and incredibly crisp. There’s a lot of internal power too.
You also get access to various USB ports for better connection and versatility, as well as some of the best security on the market. The multi-mode is also useful, as is the 360 hinge that lets you switch between different modes based on how you want to use the computer.
The only issue with this model is the graphics. There’s a lot of speed, but going with a more affordable computer means higher-powered games or programs won’t be as clear as they could be.
Best Aluminum Laptops: What to Consider
When buying a laptop, aluminum or otherwise, you need to pay attention to size. Portability is an incredibly important aspect for any portable device, and that goes double for people who take their computer to work or school every day.
Always check the screen size as well. Though some people don’t mind going smaller, it is important to have a big viewing space if you need one to work.
A laptop is only as good as its screen. Pay attention to your computer’s resolution to see how many pixels it can hold. HD options are fantastic, but they tend to be more expensive too.
Non-HD options can still look great, especially when coming from trusted brands. You just want the lines to be sharp and colors to pop.
While not as obvious as other qualities, functionality matters. Many high-end laptops come with a lot of fun features or exciting upgrades. However, such aspects are not always easy to use.
A streamlined interface is critical when it comes to usability, and it makes the entire device much more pleasant to operate. Always look for laptops that do their best to integrate functionality directly into the interface.
Useful Tips and Resources
No matter what laptop you buy, it always helps to protect your data. There are many ways to keep your information safe, but the main ways are outlined in this handy guide.
It can also help to support your laptop with some fun or useful accessories. This video breaks down some of the best ones from recent years.
Aluminum laptops are incredibly well-built machines. They have a great finish, look fantastic, feel great to use, and often come with benefits similar computers don’t have. Though many companies make their own, the above three models stand out from the pack.
When it comes to aluminum laptops, there are many ways to go. You can focus on one quality, or try to get the most versatile machine possible. At the end of the day, as long as you get one of the above machines, that choice is up to you.