If you are looking for the best fanless laptops, you are not alone. We live in a mobile-first world, where we want lightweight everything without any performance compromises. With this one-dimensional thought process, we have started this article for our valuable readers.
Mainstream laptops have become thinner and lighter over the years. Laptop manufacturers have emphasized more on thin and light ultraportable notebooks over bulky desktop replacements. When Apple released their first MacBook Air back in January 2008, other PC manufacturers were making bulky PCs which primarily attracted business customers. Post-Macbook Air era, PC makers have taken design cues from it. Today we see the 13.3″ form factors quite common in the ultrabook category.
With thin and light notebook computers, comes space constraints and design restrictions. On top of that, the laptop needs to be adequately cooled, and we expect the battery to last for a good 10 hours. Plus, it’s 2017, and we have started hating bezels taking too much of space. With all of these expectations in place, we expect the laptops to run cooler and quieter. While there are no size restrictions imposed by Intel, most 13 inches or smaller ultrabooks weigh around 3 pounds or less, while the bigger 14 and 15-inch machines weigh approximately 4 – 4.5 pounds. So they are lighter higher than the average laptops in their classes.
Apart from Ultrabooks, the mainstream laptops have also become thinner and lighter, but at the cost of performance. Ultrabooks are more expensive in comparison to mainstream laptops, but they do come with top-notch specs and high performance. It is one of the major reasons why we have listed mostly ultrabooks on this list here.
Best Fanless Laptops
Most of the entry-level processors from Intel such as the Atom, Pentium or even Celeron based laptops come with fanless designs. It makes them suitable for embedded scenarios or HTPCs as well. With power consumptions between 4 Watts – 6 Watts, they work well with passive cooling solutions. But, as you go up the ladder, power consumption increased, and the presence of a fan becomes inevitable.
In this regard, Intel’s Core M series (m3-7Y30 Processor) comes with a TDP of 4.5 Watts and are found on many Laptops and convertibles. However, their performance is limited and is only suitable for light computing and browsing. If you want a perfect balance between performance and power consumption, then you would need to be in the 15 Watt processor category. The Core i3 and in some rare scenarios, the i5 series do feature a fanless design. A lot has been said. Now let us quickly jump right into our list of the best fanless laptops.
1. Microsoft Surface Pro 2017 Edition with Core i5, 8GB DDR4 RAM & 256 GB SSD
Microsoft Surface Pro is the most versatile laptop. We’re thrilled about its advancements over previous generations. It’s lighter and thinner than all the previous Surface Pros. It features an extended battery life of 13.5 hours. It’s a 50% improvement over the Surface Pro 4 & 68% more than the Surface Pro 3. You should prefer the 7th Generation (Kaby Lake) Processor or the 8th Gen Coffe Lake. The device comes with a laptop-grade processor rather than the Core-M’s that you will see on this list. Performance wise, the Surface Pro is 2.5 times faster than Surface Pro 3. The main product highlight, however, is the passive cooling. This model with i5 doesn’t have a fan (unlike the Surface Pro 3 & Pro 4), and the Core i7 model comes with advanced hybrid cooling. The newly redesigned front-facing speakers is a big plus. The next-generation hinge makes writing easier than its predecessors. It folds all the way down to 15 degrees in “Studio Mode” so you can use the Surface Pen or the Dial most easily.
In the box, you will get the Surface Pro, a Power Supply Unit, Quick-Start Guide, and some Safety instructions, along with warranty documents. The absence of cooling vents makes it a better design. Surface Pro is now more of a tablet than a laptop. We are glad that Microsoft accomplished to make it passively cooled. The Surface Pen offers lower latency than before. It doubles the previous generation’s pen sensitivity where the latency decreases from 45 ms to just 21 ms. With the lesser latency time, you get a more natural process of drawing. Originators who work with Pen will welcome this development.
The Surface kickstand is updated as well. You can instantly push it almost all the way back. Surface Pro can be applied at a 10-degree angle which is more of a bonus. Microsoft added support for the Surface Dial. The Surface Dial is an impressive device, and we are glad that Microsoft extended support for the Dial over the entire Surface lineup.
There is also a version with an embedded LTE modem from Qualcomm. It supports both a sim-slot, as well as support for E-SIM. Check out the Youtube video below, courtesy of Microsoft.
2. Asus 13.3-inch Full-HD Touchscreen (UX360CA-AH51T)
Incredibly fast computer. Pretty easy to learn and set up. With a slightly higher TDP of 7 Watts, this CPU can scale to 3.20 GHz in single threaded turbo mode. However, it still uses the old DDR3 memory @ LPDDR3-1866. The Intel HD 615 GPU does a decent job of playing basic games, and that’s about it. The main highlight of the PC is passively cooled, making it one of the best fanless laptops available on the market. The 512 GB NVMe storage is also generous, considering its price point. Here are main device highlights below:
- 13.3″ Wide-view FHD (1080p) Touch Panel with Microsoft Windows 10 preinstalled
- Kaby Lake 7th generation Intel Core i5-7Y54 1.2 GHz (Base) Processor (Turbo: 3.2 GHz).
- Product Dimensions of 12.7 x 8.8 x 0.7 and 0.8 inch thick (WxDxH)
- 3-cell Fast charging battery
- Fast NVMe 512GB SSD along with 8GB DDR3L RAM
- Comprehensive connectivity with HDMI-D-SUB & USB Type C, 802.11a-c WiFi, & SD Card Reader
- Sleek & lightweight design weighing 4.0 lbs aluminum body for easy portability
3. Lenovo Yoga 3 Pro (2016) QHD @ 3200×1800 display
It is a great 2-in-1 convertible laptop with a clear FHD screen. Plus, it is easy to use and carry due to its lightweight. It’s a magnificent tool for salespeople or whoever need to take a laptop and do a presentation on a daily basis. The only thing we are perplexed is that it can become slower when you multitask heavily. Other than that we haven’t crashed into any predicaments or technological issues.
- Windows 10 64-bit Home Edition
- Intel Core-M 5Y71 Broadwell Processor (2.90 GHz @ Turbo & 1.20 GHz Base, with 4MB Cache)
- 13.3″ (3200×1800) QHD LED Glossy-Multi-touch with integrated camera; Intel HD 5300 Graphics
- 8 GB DDR3L SDRAM @ 1600 MHz with 512GB Solid State Drive
- BackLite ‘AccuType’ Keyboard; Bluetooth 4.0; 720P HD Webcam; Dual-Band WiFi
3. ASUS VivoBook ‘E403SA-US21’ 14″ 1080p Laptop
This laptop comes with a 64-Bit Windows 10 Home Edition. The RAM is soldered, and you will not be able to increase the RAM or HDD. However, you can expand via MicroSD Card with built-in card slot. You can use a quick UHS-3 MicroSD card for good performance. The Laptop has a 32GB drive which had 17.9 GB of free space after Windows was pre-installed. It is more than adequate for just plain docs, etc. You can use the SD card for storing media files to keep the laptop speedy.
The battery of this unit lasts around 10 to 11 hours. Do note that the battery life fluctuates by configuration, operating circumstances, and other constituents. Highest battery capacity decreases with charging cycles, time and usage.
- 14-Inch Full HD 1080P Display, Windows 10 ‘Signature Edition’ Pre-Installed
- Intel Quad-Core N3700 @ 1.6 GHz, Turbo to @ 2.4 GHz
- Ultra-thin & light design: 0.7 Inch thin & 3.3 lbs. All day battery rated @ 57 Whrs
- 128 GB of eMMC Flash & 4GB RAM for fast boot time for good application performance
- Wi-Fi 802. 11-AC. Bluetooth 4.0. 1x USB 2.0 & 1x USB 3.0, plus, 1x USB3.1 Type C, 1 x HDMI.
4. Acer Spin 7 (SP714-51-M4YD) 256GB SSD, 14″ Full HD Touch
It is an extremely portable and usable ultrabook. I came to this machine from a Microsoft Surface Pro 3, which we loved, but which was limited in SSD space. The SP4 to be a bit expensive in comparison so that you can go with this instead.
Extremely light, with good aluminum build quality. This model is suitable for people that want a tablet occasionally but need a laptop most of the time. Surprisingly we got good performance on compute-intensive tasks, as long as you’re not demanding for continued performance. The low power Core-i7 can have low expectations, but we were pleasingly surprised. It is not the machine for gaming, but for everything else, it is plenty fast. It comes with a reasonable, but not astronomical battery life. It comes with an impressive display and very little bloatware. The keyboard is good and has a nice touchpad. From some of the teardown shots we have seen, it appears that this unit is easily repairable, should the need arise. It includes USB-C dongle adapters which seem to be a nice touch. We like the fanless, passively cooled design. In our tests, it ran stable with no driver or technical difficulties.
- 7th Gen Intel-Core i7-7Y75 Processor Up to 3.6GHz in Turbo
- 14″ Full HD 1920 x 1080 Multi-touch IPS Panel with Gorilla Glass 4
- 8GB of LPDDR3 Memory and 256GB SSD
- Windows 10 Home Edition
- Up to 8-hours of Battery Life
5. Dell XPS 9365 2-in-1 13.3″ 1080p Display
Just like the others on the list, the Dell XPS laptop comes with a high-performance Intel Core i7-7Y75 processor. The rated TDP is 7 watts, which is slightly higher than the Core-M parts. Check out its specifications below:
- 13.3″ LED display; 1920 x 1080 Touch Display
- Intel i7-7Y75 Processor 1.3Ghz (4M Cache, 3.60GHz Turbo Speed)
- 16gb DDR4 RAM; 512GB SSD
- Intel HD Integrated Graphics
- Microsoft Windows 10 Home
6. HP EliteBook Folio W0S06UT G1 12.5″ Notebook
This 12.5-Inch HP EliteBook Folio G1 model highlights a sleek and elegant silver design With its ultra-thin & light aluminum unibody frame, comes with a crisp and vibrant 1920x1080p Full-HD anti-glare non-touch IPS display. We felt that the laptop has an excellent keyboard and trackpad. It also comes with excellent connectivity including two versatile USB Type-C Thunderbolt ports, 8GB of system memory, and a 256GB solid-state drive. With business-ready encryption, as well as the biometric protection provided by an infra-red facial recognition camera.
Also, it has been ruggedized according to military specs. With the capability of enduring a four-foot drop and absorb significant shock and vibration, and extremes of temperature and altitude. The laptop is powered by a sixth-generation 1.1GHz Intel Core-m5-6Y54 ultra-low-voltage processor. It delivers excellent performance and energy efficiency and a low power consumption, long battery life and runtime. It makes little heat generation and a fanless silent system. It is an ideal laptop for anyone who needs a very portable, capable, and versatile device. The 12.5-Inch HP EliteBook Folio G1 model is an excellent mobile workstation, and we give it a five-star rating, along with our highest recommendation.
What makes this laptop different and better than every other one I’ve researched on the market is the following
- 2x USB-c thunderbolts 3x ports (Most Models come with USB-c but no Thunderbolt 3, forget 2 of them)
- Cognitive facial recognition cameras with Windows Hello support
- Easy, removable cover so components can be repaired
- Availability of a nvme SSD storage option.
- All substantial with state-no moving parts or thermal fans
- Small & lightweight build
- Moderately long battery life of >7 hrs, depending on workloads.
7. Huawei 13″ Laptop MateBook X ‘Signature Edition’
The Huawei Matebook X comes with a Intel Core-i7-7500U processor @ 2.7GHz & 8GB @ 1866 MHz. Storage options include up to 512GB of NVMe based storage. With just 12.5mm in thickness and weighing 2.31 lbs, the Mate Book X is a fully functioning Windows 10 PC.
With 2K display @ 2160×1440 pixels and Corning Gorilla Glass protection, the 4.4mm narrow bezel with 88% screen to body ratio is one of the best of any laptop computer. The absence of a fan makes it virtually soundless, and just like the MacBook, this laptop does not get heated up either. Overall a good buy if you have a thousand bucks to spare.
8. Samsung Galaxy Book 10.6″ (4 GB RAM / 128 GM ROM)
The Samsung Galaxy Book comes in a compact 10.6″ form factor and provides you an S-Pen in the box. You get various storage options (64, 128, 256 GB) to choose from, but we recommend the 256 GB version, since you are using Windows 10. Just like Apple, Samsung also maintains a tight ecosystem across its devices. Using Samsung Flow, you can seamlessly connect to you Galaxy smartphone with the click of a button. Samsung claims a battery life of 11 hours and real-world tests gives you around 8, which is not a bad number either.
What we don’t like is the thick bezels which somehow looks dates these days, especially when devices like the Huawei Matebook is around. However, the completely fanless design ensures that the laptop runs quitely and you can safely carry it around.
We see great potential with fanless laptops. Most of the users will not use the extra performance available on high-end devices. For them, these laptops should fit in well. We hope you like our article on the best fanless laptops available on the market. Questions or suggestions are welcome in the comment section below.