The line between traditional clamshell laptops and shape-shifting hybrids has blurred over the past couple of years. Today, many hybrids can pass for everyday laptops, which is great for productivity, while laptops add touchscreens and other forward-looking features.

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Apple MacBook Air (13-inch, April 2014)

The 13-inch MacBook Air is, despite not being the newest design on the block, still one of the most universally useful laptops you can buy. And, now that it starts at a very reasonable $999, it should be the go-to starting point for anyone looking for an excellent midprice portable computer.

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Samsung Ativ Book 9 2014 Edition

This slim Windows PC feels like a cross between a slim MacBook Air, and larger-screen MacBook Pro, all while running Windows 8 in a slim aluminum chassis. The only caveat is the still $1,500 price.

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Toshiba Satellite P50T

One of the only 4K laptops you can buy, the P50t looks stunning when paired with high-def photos or video. As long as you're already thinking of buying a premium, it doesn't cost much more than a plain-Jane 1,920x1,080 version.

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HP Stream

The low-end Stream is meant to operate almost as a Chromebook would, accessing remote cloud-based apps and services, but with the ability to perform normal Windows 8 functions (such as running installed software) in a pinch. At only $199, we can see this making its way onto a lot of wish lists.

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Acer Aspire Switch 10

The Switch 10 hybrid uses a powerful magnetic catch that connects two prongs on the top of the hinge to two openings on the bottom of the tablet screen. Sounds simple, but it's a much better system than every other pull-apart hybrid we've tried.

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Lenovo Yoga 3 Pro

Lenovo is changing up the popular Yoga hybrid with some design tweaks for a thinner, lighter system. The difference is that the new hinge that has the look and feel of a long section of watchband material and is constructed of more than 800 individual pieces of steel and aluminum.

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