This Acer Aspire S13 isn't the most inspiring thin notebook, but it's a remarkably practical and cost-effective choice.
The business-oriented Lenovo ThinkPad X1 adds must-have features for 2013, and remains a very impressive business-oriented ultrabook with strong crossover appeal.
The third version of Lenovo's ultralight 14-inch laptop, the X1 Carbon, gets nearly all the basics right while adding a few new twists, including a function key row that changes app by app.
New CPUs and a better-than-HD screen make this 2.8-pound ultrabook a top crossover contender.
Slightly less conservative-feeling than the average ThinkPad, the well-made ThinkPad Twist offers one of the better tablet modes from the first wave of Windows 8 convertibles.
A buttoned-down T-series with some modern touches, the Lenovo ThinkPad T431s is a business laptop you won't mind traveling with unless you need the latest and greatest components.
The Acer Aspire S3 is the closest you can get to the look and feel of a MacBook Air for less than $1,000, but it requires a few compromises.
The business-oriented Lenovo ThinkPad X1 has a few quirks, but is otherwise a very impressive business-oriented ultrabook with strong crossover potential.
The HP Envy TouchSmart Ultrabook 4 is a good gateway to the Windows 8 experience with a responsive touch screen in a traditional laptop body.
The Asus Zenbook UX51Vz-DH71 is a nice fit for anyone looking for premium looks and performance in a Windows 8 laptop who is willing to pay for it.
You get a decent 14-inch laptop package in the Asus VivoBook, especially given that it has a touch screen, but it doesn't add up to anything particularly impressive that you can't get elsewhere either with better design or for a lower price.
The VivoBook S500CA offers a big-screened touch-screen Windows 8 laptop for a bargain price -- and without many extras.
If you like the idea of having a touch screen on your Windows 8 laptop, the Sony Vaio T13 Touch isn't a bad way to go.
Sony's first ultrabook, the Vaio T, doesn't fall far from the tree of other thin Sony laptops like the Vaio Z, but it's far more affordable: this is ultrabook-as-budget-laptop, not ultrabook as high-end computer.
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.
The media-geared Toshiba Satellite U845W has an extra-wide 21:9 screen and Harman Kardon speakers, but no DVD or Blu-ray player. The screen is a novelty act that offers some benefits, but it's really no better than your standard laptop for most uses.
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.
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.