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Slim and ultraportable laptops

CNET's top picks for the best little laptops you can find this holiday season.

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Scott Stein

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Dan Ackerman

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Samsung Series 3 (11.6-inch)

Samsung's tiny laptop isn’t an "Ultrabook," but it's more affordable and just as powerful. A rose by any other name, in this case, is a budget portable laptop that might be the perfect fit for those who can't stomach a $1,000 MacBook Air.
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Apple MacBook Air (11-inch, Summer 2011)

Apple's latest generation of superthin Airs are faster and flat-out better than they've ever been, and add backlit keyboards. This 11-incher isn't cheap, but it's the best 11-inch computer we’ve ever seen, and it's lightning-fast to boot up.
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HP Pavilion dm1z (Fall 2011)

Our favorite 11-inch budget laptop of the fall gets a holiday upgrade with a new processor that's a bit zippier. At under $500, this is like a souped-up Netbook with all the storage space and video-streaming capabilities that Atom Netbooks lack.
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Lenovo Ultrabook U300s

Ultrabooks are like Windows' answer to the MacBook Air. The Lenovo IdeaPad U300s is a sleek, aggressively designed superthin Windows 7 laptop that doesn’t have an optical drive, but is far more bag-friendly for it.
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Sony Vaio Z

Even more wafer-thin and superpowered than its predecessor, the new Vaio Z is a more affordable laptop, too. It's still miles beyond the budget of most shoppers, but over-the-top features and external Blu-ray drive with offboard gaming graphics add up to a true executive supercomputer.
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Asus Zenbook UX31

If your idea of an Ultrabook is a Windows version of a MacBook Air with a slightly lower price, then consider the Zenbook your product.

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