The all-new Sony VAIO T Series 15 has an attractive design, a beautiful 1080p HD touch display, long battery life and very good performance. It does lack a Blu-ray drive, which would have put it over the top, and the touch pad wasn't the best.
As affordable mainstream laptops go, the Samsung Series 3 NP300E5E-A05CA, manages to balance the demands of performance and pricing fairly well, offering a laptop with solid performance at a reasonable price. While it's not perfect—the port selection could stand to gain a USB 3.0 port—the overall package is quite good.
The Lenovo IdeaPad Z400 is a desktop replacement that hopes to bring some of the touch-friendly features of today's smaller Ultrabooks along with it. It has a 14-inch touch display, an optical drive and strong performance, but the keyboard could be better and the battery isn't removable.
The Asus VivoBook X202E-BH91T-CB attempts to hit the sweet spot by serving up a tiny Windows 8-equipped laptop that boasts a touchscreen, diminutive chassis, and—best of all—an affordable price tag. Make no mistake: the VivoBook X202E-BH91T-CB isn't designed to chug through intense applications.
The Sony VAIO Fit 14 is a mainstream laptop that comes as close as you can without being an official ultrabook, but it went over specification. It's nice to look at and somewhat powerful, but a couple of issues keeping it from scoring higher.
The Toshiba Kirabook is an attempt to conquer the Apple MacBook laptop. It is an upscale Ultrabook laptop that has a sleek, thin design and a Retina-like 13.3-inch touch screen display. With the Kirabook, you also get excellent battery life and a speedy solid-state drive.
Looking for an affordable gaming laptop? The Gigabyte P2742G-CF1 might fit the bill. In a category where prices regularly register in the thousands, it's nice to see a gaming rig that costs less than a used car. It will get you on the gaming grid, but the overall package isn't the best, even at the affordable price.
The Toshiba Qosmio X875 is a gaming laptop both inside and out thanks to its design and strong internal specs that include an Intel Core i7, 1080p display and 16GB of RAM. The display is also stereoscopic 3D-enabled and it also has a Blu-ray burner, which is a rarity.
The Acer Aspire V5-571PG-9814 is a slim and portable 15-inch laptop that has a DVD drive, strong graphics performance and a comfortable, backlit keyboard. It could have better battery life and the display's screen resolution could use an increase, but overall it's a good laptop for the money, especially if you want to play 3D games on-the-go.
The ASUS VivoBook S500CA is a Windows 8 touch screen laptop that offers a stylish, portable design, a great-looking display and solid overall performance. It does suffer from below average battery life and an overly sensitive touch pad.