When it comes to choosing the right laptop, everyone seeks three necessities: a sleek profile, high performance, and most importantly, portability. A weighty — or worse, bulky — portable computer can take a heavy toll on the body and make daily commuting a pain in the ass; yet everyone from business buffs to college grads wants a machine powerful enough to meet computing needs. We’re fortunate to bask in a beautiful balance of both virtues thanks to the latest leaps in laptop engineering.

Apple helped redefine the modern look and feel of the portable computer with the MacBook Air. Since its inception, the industry has welcomed a new category originally coined by IBM: the ultrabook. Every major computer hardware manufacturer and software developer has embraced this latest revolution of mobile PCs, each one introducing a variety of game-changing laptops that match the power of a mid-level desktop and make a standard textbook look like a lumbering hulk. From convertibles to high-end subnotebooks, we sifted through the market to find the best laptops weighing in at under four pounds. Just remember, they’ll probably make you look fat in comparison.

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