Best Value Ultrabooks of 2017

Here are my recommended Ultrabooks or Notebooks that offer the best possible value for the price. The Ultrabooks listed here offer a balance of performance, great specs and user experience.

The Xiaomi Mi Air 12 Skylake version has been my trusty Notebook for about 8 months now and it has everything I want on an Ultrabook. It delivers great performance, awesome speakers, gorgeous display and top notch build quality. Not to mention, the keyboard and Touchpad is one of the best, closes experience I had to a Macbook.

There is already an upgraded version, basically the only change is the chipset, It now comes with Intel Core M3-7Y30 Kaby Lake which offers about 5-10% performance boost. It still has the same design and build quality of the original and includes the same display and 5-6 hours battery life.


  • Top Notch build quality (All aluminum)
  • Ultra light, whole notebook weighs just 1kg
  • Delivers great performance (Kaby Lake version offers 10% more raw performance)
  • One of the best screens available for a Notebook (Glass to Glass Sapphire Glass)
  • 12.5 inch IPS 1080p Screen
  • Fast Samsung SSD Storage (128/256 GB SSD) available
  • Expandable Memory and Supports M.2 SATA SSD Expansion
  • Fast and Stable Intel Dual Band 8265 Wireless AC
  • 6-7 hours Battery Life (with support for Quick Charging)
  • USB Type C 3.1 (includes video out support)
  • Multi-purpose USB Type C Ports
  • One of the best Touchpad and Keyboards I have ever tested (best experience I had)
  • Great thermals, does not overheat (maintains temps)
  • Can play Dota, LOL above 30fps at native 1080p
  • AKG Custom Speakers (High Quality Audio), 3.5mm Audio also top notch quality
  • Standard Size USB 3.0 (Fast Transfer speeds)
  • Standard HDMI Out Port


  • Chinese windows 10 only
  • Non touch screen (all versions don’t have touch panels)
  • Deliberately downclocks to maintain temps (Strick TDP)
  • Performance is slower than the Cube Mix Plus

Read more here: Xiaomi Mi Air 12 Kaby Lake (2017 edition)

Availability? Xiaomi Mi Air 12 (2017 Edition) 4+128 GB retails at $489 (Use Coupon Code: NEWMIAIR12)

Xiaomi Mi Air 12 (2017 Edition) 4+ 256 GB retails at $549 (Use Coupon Code: MIAIR256)


The Cube Thinker i35 is probably the best Surface Book Clone available. It has everything you want on it. A 3K Touch Screen with Support for Surface Book Stylus and also comes with Intel Kaby Lake Chipset. It also has top notch build quality and  offers also up to 5 hours of battery life.


  • 13.5 inch Fully Laminated 3K Display and Touchscreen, 3:2 Aspect Ratio
  • All Metal Premium Build and Design
  • 180 degree screen rotation
  • Powered by Intel KabyLake Core M3-7Y30 Quad Core Chipset (offers up to 5-10% performance boost)
  • Equipped with 8 GB (1867MHz)
  • 240 GB M.2 SATA3 SSD Foresee
  • Fingerprint Scanner (eLAN W)
  • 2.0 MP Front Camera @ 30fps (720p HD)
  • Dual Microphone support
  • Dual Band WiFi 802.11 AC 3165
  • Large Touchpad and good size keyboard (offers good overall typing experience)
  • USB Type C supports data and video out
  • HDMI Ports included that supports 4K video out
  • 5000mAh battery with a 12V 3A Charger (fast charging support)
  • USB Type C Data and supports External HDD
  • USB 3.0 (Standard Port) also supports External HDD
  • Stylus Support (1024 pressure sensitivity) Surface Book Stylus supported
  • Good loudspeakers but not the same quality with the Xiaomi Mi Air 12
  • Realtek Speakers below the screen
  • Battery life rated up to 6-7 hours on a single charge
  • No thermal throttling, maintains optimal performance even on heavy use
  • Good enough for moderate gaming (DOTA 2, LOL, CSGO and other non 3D intensive games)

Some Cons:

  • Typical Chinese version of Windows 10, if you activate it expect the Product key to be invalid
  • Can get hot (70-80C+ on mild to moderate use)
  • On Gaming, easily reaches 82C (but still acceptable)
  • SATA 3 SSD, not PCI-e
  • Cannot be opened one handed, firm hinge design
  • The keyboard is non backlit, and the Xiaomi Mi Air 12 offers better keyboard and touchpad experience
  • The speakers of the Xiaomi Mi Air are still better

Cube Thinker Notebook at $498 (Use Coupon Code: harvest195)Read more

There are other notebooks available, but so far the two here are the best value currently available.

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