This holiday's best thin portable computers, both Windows and Mac.
HP Envy Spectre XT
If you're looking for a thin, highly portable computer, you've got some gorgeous options this holiday season. Here are our favorites right now.
Slim, light, and sleekly designed, HP's $999 13-inch laptop takes a more practical approach than the all-glass Envy Spectre 14 from earlier this year. It doesn't have any surprising features, but it may be the best and most compact ultrabook we've seen recently.
Perhaps one of the best examples of a Windows 8 ultrabook in action, the S7 is a shockingly thin laptop with a glass touch-screen. The crisp 1,920x1,080-resolution display works extremely well with Windows 8's touch interface, although a $1,649 price tag for the Core i7 version definitely puts it in the "premium" territory.
Apple's ever-popular MacBook Air is the laptop that spiritually spawned the ultrabook category; the most recent 13-inch model is an excellent blend of construction quality, battery life, and performance. It's also Apple's go-to laptop of choice.
Apple MacBook Pro with Retina Display (15-inch, 2012)
The first redesigned Apple laptop in years, the very thin (but not MacBook Air-thin) Retina Display Pro isn't technically an ultrabook, but it manages to fit a quad-core processor and high-end graphics, along with the highest-resolution laptop display available, into an extremely slim body. If you can afford it, this is the best MacBook out there right now.
Affordably priced, the Inspiron 14z is an example of an ultrabook turned into an everyday, "normal" laptop. A DVD drive, larger-capacity hybrid hard drive, and still-thin-enough design make this an easy recommendation for everyday use.
Big-screened and equipped with both a DVD drive and higher-end Nvidia graphics, the M5's more like a very thin full-fledged laptop that's able to play games. Even better, the price is extremely reasonable.