This near-ultrabook packs in processing and graphics power, along with an optical drive, at a reasonable price. The only real knock against the Pavilion m6 is that some of HP's higher-end systems hardly cost more.
Pricing not available
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.
One of the few standout products from the first wave of Windows 8 laptops, the Acer Aspire S7 proves that Apple does not have a monopoly on great design.
Samsung's midprice Series 5 UltraTouch looks and feels like a more expensive machine, but keeps it simple by skipping the complex hybrid mechanics of so many new Windows 8 systems.
The $1,649 Samsung Series 9 NP900X3A certainly won't be for every wallet, but this light, well-featured, and striking 13-incher is the closest the Windows world will ever come to a MacBook Air. However, its higher-than-the-Air price will be hard to stomach.
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.
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.
A high-end big-screen multimedia laptop that's pretty portable (for a desktop replacement), the Samsung Series 7 Chronos is what we imagine a 17-inch ultrabook would look like.
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.
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.