The Toshiba Satellite U845T-S4165 offers a lightweight design, extra long battery life and a high-quality touch screen display. We were really pleased with performance thanks to the Intel Core i5 CPU and 128GB SSD hard drive.
The Lenovo IdeaPad Y500 is a powerhouse 15-inch laptop with a 1080p display, a comfortable backlit keyboard and an affordable price. It does suffer from below average-battery life and it does get quite hot, but overall it's a fantastic laptop for the money.
The Dell Inspiron 17-3721 is a budget-priced Windows 8 laptop that offers an attractive 17-inch display, good performance and a comfortable keyboard. It does have below average graphics performance, but this isn't really meant to be a gaming notebook.
The MSI GX60 1AC is a mid-sized, affordable gaming laptop that has a 1080p display, a Blu-ray optical drive, above average battery life and solid performance. It does lack a backlit keyboard and the touch pad is rather small for our liking.
The Lenovo IdeaPad S400 is a bargain-priced Windows 8 Ultrabook that offers solid performance and an attractive design. While it does lack battery life and display viewing angles, it does have a very comfortable keyboard.
The Toshiba Satellite C875-S7340 is a solid entry-level Windows 8-equipped laptop that belongs to Toshiba's value-oriented Satellite C series. It is capable of delivering decent performance for daily tasks and even packs a few niceties, including a large display, full-size keyboard and 6GB of RAM. For users on a budget, it's worth checking out.
In a rather strange twist, Dell has taken a normal-sized 17-inch laptop and fitted it with an Ultrabook processor and and discrete graphics. The Dell Inspiron 17R-5721 features a new exterior, a comfortable keyboard and solid performance.
The HP Pavilion Sleekbook 15z-b000 is an AMD quad-core powered Windows 8 Ultrabook laptop that has a lightweight chassis and decent performance. It does have below average battery life and mediocre graphics performance, but for some users, the latter won't matter much.
Dell has refreshed their XPS 13 Ultrabook with Windows 8, a 1080p display and a solid-state hard drive to speed up boot times. While it does deliver on performance, it falls short on battery life and lacks a touch screen, which is surprising considering the relatively high price.
The Samsung Series 5 UltraTouch NP540U3C-A01UB gives you a 13-inch ultrabook, married to a touch screen display and Microsoft's touch-friendly Windows 8 operating system. While it may not flip and fold like the Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga 13, the Samsung Series 5 is still a slim and slick-looking laptop.