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HolidayBuyer's Guide

Apple MacBook (12-inch, 2015)

Lenovo LaVie Z HZ550

Asus T300 Chi

Lenovo Flex 3

Intel Compute Stick

New USB-C accessories

New computers are coming this spring, in both high-end and budget-minded offerings. Many claim to be among the slimmest and lightest laptops ever, which means some will have to cut the number of included ports, perhaps down to a single USB-C connection.

Caption by / Photo by James Martin/CNET

Price: $1,299

Availability: April

The outlook: It's always a big deal when Apple releases a brand-new laptop design. The 12-inch MacBook (minus the Air or Pro designations) will run Intel's low-power Core M processor in a slim, fanless body, and include a new trackpad that mimics the feel of a click without actually clicking down.

Caption by / Photo by James Martin/CNET

Price: $1,299

Availability: May

The outlook:Lenovo is making a big push toward even lighter systems with the new LaVie Z series, which promises a 13-inch clamshell laptop at 1.72 pounds, and a Yoga-style 13-inch hybrid at 2.04 pounds.

Caption by / Photo by Sarah Tew/CNET

Price: $699

Availability: Late March

The outlook:The relatively low price and flexible design make it hard not to like the T300 Chi hybrid, despite a few design rough edges. Plus, it costs hundreds less than other Core M systems.

Caption by / Photo by Sarah Tew/CNET

Price: $399 and up

Availability: May

The outlook:Lenovo's Flex series is pivoting to a new design. This time, the Flex hinge folds back a full 360 degrees, allowing you to use the system in laptop, kiosk and tablet modes, just as one would with a Yoga, but for much less.

Caption by / Photo by Sarah Tew/CNET

Price: $149

Availability: Late March

The outlook:The Atom-powered Intel Compute Stick is very light and not too much bigger than a Google Chromecast. The Stick plugs into a display by way of its HDMI 1.4a port, which will handle streaming duties. Bluetooth 4.0 connectivity lets you pair peripherals like a mouse and keyboard, while 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi gets you onto the Web.

Caption by / Photo by Nate Ralph/CNET

Price: Varies

Availability: Now

The outlook:Get ready for all manner of USB-C accessories, from simple dongles to connection blocks combining power, video, and storage ports. Apple will drive much of the interest with its new MacBook, but Google has already added dual USB-C ports to its new Pixel Chromebook.

Caption by / Photo by Josh Miller/CNET
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