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2012 was a great year to be an Ultrabook manufacturer. Sales figures increased around the world, and the Ultrabook is doing an admirable job of competing head-to-head against Apple products in the luxury laptop market.
If you haven’t heard of Ultrabooks, then you’re not alone. Think of an Ultrabook as a MacBook that doesn’t use Apple hardware or software. Ultrabooks are slim, sleek, and powerful. Many of them feature touch-screen support and they are generally cheaper than similarly-outfitted Apple MacBooks and MacBook Pros.
Today, we’re going to highlight the top 5 Ultrabooks available right now. Note that these Ultrabooks are not listed in any particular order, and each product will appeal to a different user depending on what you’re looking for in a laptop.
4) Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga
Lenovo’s IdeaPad Yoga is one of the most unique Ultrabooks on the market today. And you don’t have to look very far to figure out why. The IdeaPad Yoga is a convertible touchscreen Ultrabook. You can use it as a sleek laptop or flip the screen around to make it a large, 13-inch tablet. Since IdeaPads don’t pack the high-performance hardware of other Ultrabooks listed here, they’re not as expensive as you may think.
Check out Lenovo’s website to view the different IdeaPad Yoga models available today.
Good choice for: Budget users who want a sleek and powerful tablet/laptop combo
3) Samsung Series 5 Ultra
The Samsung Series 5 Ultrabook packs a decent hardware punch while being unbelievably thin at just 17.6mm. 14-inch and 13-inch screen sizes are available and shoppers can choose between a 128GB SSD and a 256GB SSD (or a 500GB traditional hard drive). The Series 5 Ultrabooks also feature fantastic displays with LED SuperBright technology.
There is one slight drawback to the Samsung Series 5 Ultra: battery life. It lasts for just about 3 hours, making it one of the lightest contenders listed here in that department.
Good choice for: Users who want powerful performance and a thin design but don’t need their laptop to last for more than 3 hours between charges.
2) Dell XPS 13
Dell arrived to the Ultrabook scene later than the other companies listed here. But by doing so, it was able to make one of the best Windows 8 tablet/laptop combinations we’ve ever seen. At its thinnest point, the XPS 13 is an incredible 6mm wide, and the screen flips around in order to be used as a slick tablet.
The XPS 13 can also keep up with some of the best Ultrabooks available today in terms of performance. Despite its thin size, the XPS 13 can be fitted with a Core i5 or i7 chip as well as 4GB of memory and a 128GB/256GB SSD.
Good choice for: Users who want the full Windows 8 touchscreen laptop/tablet hybrid experience without paying for top-tier hardware.
1) Samsung Series 9
The Samsung Series 9 is not only thinner than the Samsung Series 5 Ultrabooks, but the Series 9 models are also more powerful. At just 12.9mm in width, the Series 9 models are among the world’s thinnest laptops. And with a 1.7GHz i7 CPU, 8GB of RAM, and plenty of SSD storage, Samsung didn’t achieve that thinness through any compromise.
We’ve placed two Samsung Ultrabook series on this list. Why? Well, Samsung Ultrabooks combine fantastic displays and performance without a steep price tag. In fact, the only place where Samsung Ultrabooks suffer is in the aesthetics department – some people find Samsung Ultrabooks to be not as sleek and slim looking as other Ultrabooks.
Of course, many other people are perfectly happy with the Samsung Ultrabook case design. It’s up to you whether you want to sacrifice a little bit of design aesthetics for a high degree of performance power.
Good choice for: Power PC users who appreciate slim case design and fast computer speeds