Best Windows 8.1 laptops: Top deals in the UK

Take a look at our list of the best Windows 8.1 laptops and notebooks, including ultrabooks, desktop replacement laptops, and thin and light laptops.

Windows 8.1's new interface may have proved controversial, but it gave a new lease of life to laptop design with many models evolving to include touchscreens. What's more, Intel's new Haswell processors have also helped the latest generation of laptops to offer longer battery life, without having to rely on chunkier batteries.

Of course, there are lots of different models to choose from, ranging from desktop replacement laptops with good gaming prowess, to ultrabooks that are primarily designed for life on the move. Here we've rounded up five of our current favourite models.

Samsung Ativ Book 9 Plus

The Samsung Ativ Book 9 Plus can basically be thought of as a Windows 8.1 version of the Macbook Air. It's an extremely slim and beautifully designed Windows ultrabook with a super-high-resolution touch screen and an Intel Haswell processor that helps it deliver long battery-life and good performance.

The backlit keyboard is laid out with generous spaciousness and feels good to type on, while the wide trackpad is also excellent. This ultrabook is hugely expensive and doesn't covert to a tablet like some of its competitors. Nevertheless, it feels great to use, and so it's an easy pick for those who want one of the very best thin Windows 8.1 laptops out there.

Buy it for £1299 from Currys and read the full Samsung Ativ Book 9 Plus review on CNET.com.

HP Spectre XT Touchsmart

HP's Spectre XT Touchsmart might be just the ticket for those who want everything from a Windows 8.1 laptop. It's a touchscreen laptop with enough performance for everyday tasks and is petite enough to slip into a slim bag.

The brushed-metal lid helps give the machine a luxurious look and it has a generous number of ports including two USB 3.0 ports, one USB 2.0 port and an HDMI socket. It feels pretty swift to use and swapping between open apps using Windows 8.1's swiping gestures was immediate and didn't cause any lag. It's perhaps a bit pricey for its spec, but on the whole we think it's a good machine.

Buy it for £900 from Currys and read the full HP Spectre XT Touchsmart review on CNET.co.uk.

Asus G75VW

This is a monstrous, turbo-charged beast of a machine. It's a gaming-specific laptop that packs a potent Intel Core i7 processor, 8GB of RAM and an Nvidia GeForce graphics card inside a hulking great chassis that's reminiscent of a stealth bomber.

We like its Full HD screen, as it's bright and bold, and when it comes to performance its burly Core i7 processor tears through even more demanding tasks without a second thought. It's expensive, but then you do get plenty for your money. So if you're a gamer that wants good performance from more demanding games, the Asus G75VM is definitely worth checking out.

Buy it for £1,852 from Amazon and read the full Asus G75VW review on CNET.co.uk.

Acer Aspire S7-392

One of the best looking ultrabooks around at the moment, Acer's offering has a white minimalist chassis and a Gorilla Glass covered lid. The keyboard has island-style keys that have a deep feel and the large touch-pad has a great surface with just enough friction. We love the 1,920x1,080-pixel, 13.3-inch touch-screen display and its Intel Haswell chip helps it to put in a good showing both in terms of raw performance and battery life.

Despite its small size it has two video outputs, HDMI and Mini DisplayPort, and you also get a couple of USB 3.0 ports and an SD card slot. With its beautiful aesthetics and highly tuned feel, this is certainly a laptop that stands out from the crowd

Buy it for £1,240 from Laptops Direct and read the full Acer Aspire S7-392 review on CNET.com.

Sony Vaio Fit 14

If want a thin and light laptop, but your budget doesn't stretch to the high asking prices of some of the premium ultrabooks on the market, Sony's more affordable Fit 14 is a good bet. You don’t get the marathon battery-life and blisteringly fast performance of the more expensive models, but what it does offer is a thin-and-light design, good performance and strong all-round features set at an attractive price.

The touchscreen is very responsive and it has enough grunt under the bonnet to handle day-to-day tasks such as word processing, emailing and Web browsing. Basically, despite its lower price tag, the Vaio 14 is an easy laptop to like.

Buy it for £549 from Debenhams Plus and read the full Sony Vaio Fit 14 review on CNET.com.

About the author

Niall has been writing about technology for over 10 years, working for the UK's most prestigious newspapers, magazines and websites in the process. What he doesn't know about TVs and laptops isn't worth worrying about. It's a little known fact that if you stacked all the TVs and laptops he has ever reviewed on top of each other, the pile would reach all the way to the moon and back four times.

 

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