Laptops:

Best ultrabooks

Updated

The latest hot buzzword, "ultrabook" is actually a trademarked Intel marketing term applied to thin laptops that meet certain size and component requirements. For this list, we're considering officially labeled ultrabooks, as well as other laptops, such as Apple's MacBook Air, that follow the same design aesthetic.

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Toshiba Satellite U845t

While it's not going to dazzle anyone, the Toshiba Satellite U845T is a great example of exactly how much laptop $799 should buy in 2013.

4 stars Excellent

Samsung Ativ Book 9 Plus

If you’re just looking for an all-around excellently made Windows touch ultrabook and don’t mind that it's on the expensive side (and doesn’t convert to a tablet), the improved Samsung Ativ Book 9 Plus is worth the investment.

Price: $1,269.00 - $1,523.30 Check prices

4 stars Excellent

Best battery life

Apple MacBook Air (2013, 13-inch)

Apple keeps the latest MacBook Air updates on the inside, but greatly improved battery life and a lower starting price make up for a lack of flashy design changes.

Price: $879.00 - $919.99 Check prices

4 stars Excellent

Dell XPS 13 (Fall 2013)

Early versions of the Dell XPS 13 had promise, but lacked must-have features. Over time, the system slowly added a high-res display, then a touch screen, making the new 2014 version an ultrabook that hits nearly all the marks.

Price: $1,599.99 - $1,599.99 Check prices

4 stars Excellent

Acer Aspire S7

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.

Price: $1,049.99 - $1,049.99 Check prices

4 stars Excellent
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