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Windows 7 is more than what Vista should have been, it's where Microsoft needed to go. How much damage Vista did and whether Windows 7 is enough for people to finally abandon Windows XP are questions that nobody has the answers to right now.
There may not be a better full-fledged business ultraportable than the ThinkPad X230, but more efficient, less expensive, and thinner ultrabooks are the real future of this category.
The business-oriented Lenovo ThinkPad X1 has a few quirks, but is otherwise a very impressive business-oriented ultrabook with strong crossover potential.
Stuck between a budget model and a high-end, feature-filled model, this middle Asus Zenbook is a slim, slick ultrabook, but also a tough sell.
With a Core i7 CPU, discrete graphics, and a full HD screen, the Asus Zenbook UX23VD is pretty close to being the ultrabook that has it all, but you'll pay for all those features.
Sony's first ultrabook, the Vaio T, doesn't fall far from the tree of other thin Sony laptops like the Vaio Z, but it's far more affordable: this is ultrabook-as-budget-laptop, not ultrabook as high-end computer.
The Toshiba Satellite L755-S5166 is neither the best value nor the best total package, but it's a fine middle-of-the-road laptop. However, odds are that better, newer versions are right around the corner.
If you're still considering an Intel Celeron processor for a midsize laptop in 2012, the Toshiba Satellite C655-S5542 at least turns on and lets you surf the Web, if slowly.
The Lenovo ThinkPad T420 is as straight-up and unassuming as a business laptop can be on the surface, souped up with faster performance, long battery life, and a flexible selection of ports under the hood.
If you're looking for a lot of screen real estate and enough power for work and play, the HP Pavilion dv7-6b55dx is a good place to start.