Back in the 2010s, we saw computer manufacturers clambering to flatten their laptops and clinch the superlative of “thinnest and lightest.” (See: CNET’s YouTube compilation of “Every time Apple says ‘This is the thinnest and lightest MacBook ever'” spanning the past 15 years.) But as laptops have bottomed out at under half an inch, it looks like the race to “the thinnest” has run its course: A computer can’t get much skinnier without being, well, a sheet of paper. So, companies have pivoted the focus of their hot pursuit — and now they’re just vying to produce a laptop they can call “the lightest.”
HP doesn’t say its upcoming 13.3-inch Pavilion Aero 13, announced Tuesday, is the lightest laptop on the market. Instead the claim is that this is the lightest consumer laptop HP has ever produced, weighing less than 1 kilogram, or about 2 pounds. That’s about 1 pound lighter than the 13-inch MacBook Pro. Starting at $749 on HP.com, the Pavilion Aero 13 will likely make its US debut in July. (HP predicts availability in the UK and Australia in August, starting at £750 and AU$1,599, respectively.) HP says it’s expected to be compatible with Windows 11, which could roll out as early as October.
In a press briefing, HP touted how this lightweight laptop caters specifically to the post-pandemic mobility needs of younger people, who shuttle their computers between school, work, coffee shops and home. The Pavilion Aero 13 should last 10.5 hours on a full charge, and its display is visible even in outdoor sunlight. It comes in trendy color options like pale rose gold and ceramic white.
For a featherweight device, this laptop seems to pack a punch: The AMD Ryzen 5000 processors provide speed, the 2.5K resolution enables crisp visuals and a unique 16:10 aspect ratio offers 10% more size than 16:9 competitors. Plus, HP says the design prioritizes sustainability, incorporating materials you can recycle and plastics that would have otherwise hit the oceans.
The HP Pavilion Aero 13 is reasonably priced, and it seems as if it should suit those who need a smooth-running laptop that they can plunk into a backpack and carry from place to place. Once we grab one to review, we’ll see if it’s stricken with the same plasticky feel as the similar-weight Lenovo LaVie Z, or if it successfully balances portability with durability.