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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.
Asus makes some of the most full-featured ultrabooks available, but this stripped-down Zenbook UX32A version is missing those extras and faces tough competition in its price range.
With only a handful of 11-inch laptops still available, serious travelers are flocking to ultrathin 13-inch models instead. But the low price and good battery life of the Sony Vaio E keep it from being counted out.
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.
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 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.
Pricing not available
With slim 13-inch SSD laptops now well under $1,000, Sony's expensive, high-end Z series laptop is a tough sell, although the long-life slice battery and unique GPU/optical dock help make its case.
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.