Aluminum unibody case very pleasant to the touch
Is it worth upgrading from the last generation? From our viewpoint, only if battery life is top on your priority list. The improved GPU performance is nice, and the new PCIe SSD is too, but these components only offer a significant advantage for specific applications. That's true of the new ac WLAN module too, as you'll need a corresponding router to take advantage of it.
Design and build quality are impeccable
We were worried about that 1.3 GHz clock speed at first, but the Haswell processor proves more than a match for its faster-looking Ivy Bridge predecessor while nearly a day's battery life. Combine that performance with the MacBook Air's lightweight, elegant design and you've got an ultraportable laptop that still sets the standard for its Windows rivals to copy.
Super solid yet slim
The MacBook Air remains one of our favorite ultraportable computers. It's built with incredible attention to detail, is strong yet thin and the backlit keyboard is excellent. Though the display won't win against recent full HD Windows 8 Ultrabooks or the 13" MacBook Pro with Retina Display, it's sharp, colorful and bright. And the battery life? It's simply off the charts and our Core i7 13" model routinely manages 10 to 12 hours of use time on a full charge. Wow.
First-rate casing rigidness and build
In any case, the 940X3G has overall really earned a purchase recommendation, although potential buyers can choose among many, not less attractive alternatives. Another serious contender might be the soon to be released Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga 2 Pro that features an even better configuration for a similar price. Samsung should not rest on its laurels.
Super High Resolution Display, Excellent Build Quality
Samsung's ATIV Book 9 Plus is an amazing ultrabook that features a few annoyances that keep it from being nearly perfect. The super high resolution touchscreen display is its standout feature that rivals even Apple's Retina displays. The battery life has also been helped tremendously but he new 4th generation processor.
Classy, premium feel with excellent build quality
The Samsung Ativ Book 9 is one of the nicer Windows Ultrabooks around at the moment with stylish design and impressive-looking specifications. But it comes at a high price and has disappointing battery life. Unless you specifically want Windows 8 and that super high-res display, you should bear in mind that the equivalent MacBook Air has better overall performance and is cheaper.
Not the fastest, but definitely the best ultrabook you can buy
Most of the people I've talked to see the 4GB and 128GB SSD as dealbreakers. I'm sure they know what's best for themselves. But I also know what I need, and this is perfectly fine. Samsung have created a wonderful ultrabook that's just as good as anything available right now in the market (including Apple products). The light weight and slim form make it a perfect traveling companion, or just a great notebook to carry around all day.
Incredible touchscreen, Thin, Light, Great battery life
If you absolutely must have that stunning display, then we would wholeheartedly recommend the Samsung Ativ Book 9 Plus. It's built to be future-proof, and you won't be disappointed with any aspect of its performance. Its price is the only area you'll need to convince yourself on.
Otherwise, you might want to consider some of its closest competitors.
Super-thin, well-made, Gorgeous 3,200 x 1,800 display
With the ATIV Book 9 Plus, Samsung can still lay claim to one of the best Ultrabooks on the market. As ever, it offers an attractive design and fast performance, but battery life is improved, and the 3,200 x 1,800 display is best in.
Fab screen, Great design, Decent battery life
It may not come cheap, but the Samsung Ativ 9 Plus looks and feels its money. It's a great looking laptop of near-flawless build quality and a brilliant screen. The superb screen resolution ensures that other laptops using similarly up-to-date components will offer better battery life, but thanks to the optimisation of the Intel Haswell CPU, it lasts for a full day of work anyway. Ultrabooks don't get much better than this.
Stunning as ever, high quality materials
The Samsung ATIV Book 9 Plus is one of the best Ultrabooks on the market, and as of this writing, still one of the few with Haswell. From a design perspective, nothing beats the 9 Plus, and it's more visually daring than the aging MacBook Air design yet it's stately enough for business.
Bright Full HD IPS display with high contrast
Light, thin and elegant. Samsung Series 9, Apple MacBook Air 13, Acer Aspire S7 391 and Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon - all devices make compromises to meet these requirements. The Vaio 13 Pro is the lightest Ultrabook (1,066 grams/~2.4 pounds) within this competition; the just 10 mm (0.4 inches) thick base results in a reduced keyboard quality and problems with the torsion resistance. The case material of carbon fiber is unbreakable but still flexible.
Very light, easy to carry, yet comfortable to use
The Vaio Pro may fall short in some areas, but that's only because it aims so high. Its weight and size are truly impressive, and bode well for the coming generation of Haswell laptops. However, the flexible carbon fibre doesn't instill confidence and battery life isn't on a par with the MacBook Air.
Excellent Build Quality
Razer's new compact gaming laptop is an amazing feat. That they could pack in such performance into a system that is generally half as thick and a third lighter than most gaming rigs. The big drawback though is the display with its lower resolution and mediocre picture. It would have been nice to see a somewhat better panel especially given the price tag of the system which is just under $2000. Of course, you won't find a more capable gaming laptop with such compact dimensions.
Great looking laptop, Comfortable, responsive keyboard
In terms of performance, very few laptops of this shape and size are capable of rivaling what Razer has created. Even Apple's highest-end laptop-the 15-inch MacBook Pro with Retina Display-only has an Nvidia GeForce GT 650M as its dedicated graphics unit.
With all this in mind, we happily recommend the Razer Blade as an ideal gaming/work/road laptop.
Incredibly slim given the hardware
This leaves gamers with a choice. Big laptops like the Asus G-Series and Samsung Series 7 Gamer offer a better display and somewhat quicker hardware, yet the Blade is more portable and more usable as a day-to-day PC. Neither option is obviously superior, but at least Razer's laptop presents a strong alternative for those who don't want to lug around a brick.
Impressive portability, particularly for a gaming rig
I don't need to heap on the praise for this machine. It does everything it's designed to do and more. No hiccups or driver issues (a popular complaint with past Razer machines), no weird fit and finish problems. Yeah, it's a $1,999 laptop, but that's a dollar cheaper than Toshiba's far less interesting KIRABook, which didn't even have fancy green keyboard backlights. Come on!
Very thin and light, Strong build quality/sturdy materials
If you're looking for a svelte laptop to show off, yet still be able to do real work in Windows 8, the Acer Aspire S7-392-6411 is the ultrabook you want at the top of the list. It's the current pinnacle of the ultrabook trend and shows the brilliance that the PC makers can return under Intel's increasingly stringent standards for ultrabooks.
Looks good and feels good overall, Long battery life
Acer's premium Ultrabook gets a fourth-generation Core i7 CPU, which gives it much better overall battery life without really sacrificing performance. It's a very good unit, but it has some issues that could be annoying to some users, including touchpad that 'clicked' every time we picked up the laptop from the palm rest area.
Gorgeous design, very light, rigid frame, good performance
If your budget is generous and you have a taste for the best, the Acer Aspire S7 is a top contender. The glass lid, 0.51" slim design and 2.87 lb. weight make for a stylish and attractive Ultrabook that competes nicely with the also very light and chic Sony Vaio Pro 13. The Acer is a bit pricey, but you do get a nice set of upgrades: Core i7 rather than i5 CPU, 8 gigs of RAM and a 256 gig SSD drive that augment performance.
Performance with full Turbo clock
Lenovo improved the IdeaPad U410 Touch and the U430 Touch has many positive aspects and only a few drawbacks. Especially gamers can benefit from the performance increase of the Haswell processor and the GT 730M graphics. The cooling solution is sufficient and enables the maximum Turbo clocks, which is very uncommon for thin ultrabooks. The chassis is even more stable and leaves a higher-quality impression compared to the predecessor U410.
Good build quality and design, Great keyboard
Lenovo has managed to once again create budget Ultrabook magic with the Lenovo U430 Touch. At $699, this system is hard to beat, as it offers a decent display resolution, good keyboard, and adequate performance without sacrificing battery life.
This is not to say the U430 is perfect; it most certainly isn't. The low-contrast display saps media content of life, the touchpad feels a bit cheap, and some competitors last longer on a charge. But consumers buying on a budget canÃ? Â¢Ã? Â? Ã? Â?
Non-glare display with high contrast
All in all, the notebook leaves a very high-quality impression. Besides the materials the build quality can also convince us; keyboard and touchpad are also very convenient to use. Further unique features are the flat power supply unit and the comprehensive illumination. Despite the somewhat pretentious appearance of the case, the individuality of the notebook is unrivaled and not every manufacturer would try to integrate a GeForce GTX 765M into a 14-inch case.
Excellent performance, Beautiful 1080p IPS display
The Alienware 14 is a noticeable upgrade over its predecessors; it's a well-rounded notebook with very few cons. This notebook's highlights include outstanding performance thanks to its Intel quad-core processor and Nvidia graphics; a well-executed design and AlienFX customizable lighting system; excellent 1080p IPS display; superb build quality and chassis strength; good speakers; a plentiful port selection; a tolerable level of noise and respectable if not outstanding battery life.
Fantastically fast for a 14-incher
At $1,499 kitted out with the 1080p screen and Nvidia GeForce GTX 765M graphics that you'll definitely want, the Alienware isn't an inexpensive or a particularly stylish laptop. We've seen thinner machines that can vaguely play PC games for under $800. It's not particularly portable either, with bulk and battery life that might make you think twice about taking it to your local cafe.
Good performance, Great battery life, Digitizer support
The Sony VAIO Duo 13 is a slick-looking hybrid ultraportable that gives you solid performance and a full workday's worth of battery power. The 13.3 inch touch screen display delivers a crisp picture with brilliant colors but its viewing angle performance could be better.
Not too bulky in tablet mode, Good build quality
Sony has chosen the right direction constructing a 13-inch sibling to the 11-inch Duo 11. The ultrabook hardware is top-notch: A fast SSD, an economical yet fast Haswell generation CPU with an integrated GPU even better suited for casual gaming. The high-resolution Full HD IPS panel offers great brightness levels, vibrant colors and superb viewing angles (although falling short of covering all of sRGB space).
Great, but has room for improvement!
I like this convertible ultrabook very much and I can picture myself using it for years to come. I can recommend it to others .
- It is overpriced but you get what you pay for (powerful CPU/GPU, good battery life, beautiful display, quick SSD [probably the most expensive part], solid and thin build). This is a premium ultrabook .
- The battery life, screen, keyboard and weight could use some improvement to earn another star.
Increased battery life, Bigger screen looks fantastic
The Sony Vaio Duo 13 is an excellent product, and probably the best hybrid Ultrabook/tablet device we've seen, but with such a hefty price tag it's still not enough to convince us to ditch our separate laptops and tablets.
It's a shame, because for £500 less we wouldn't hesitate to recommend the Sony Vaio Duo 13 that ticks most of the boxes and improves on a lot of its predecessors faults.
Extremely light, No screen wobble when touched
If you value portability over all else, or need a tablet that handles handwriting with ease, the Duo 13 has a lot to commend it. However, measured alongside other highly portable transformers like the Dell XPS 12, the Duo 13's specs leave a lot to be desired. If you need a Windows 8 machine that you'll barely notice carrying all day, it doesn't get much lighter than this. But you'll end up paying a high price for a machine that is thoroughly out-specced by the competition.
Superb full HD display with wide color gamut, fast performance
As is often the case with Sony, we've got a groundbreaking great product that's not perfect, but it's so much closer than the Vaio Duo 11. Unless you're a digital artist, there really isn't a single fatal flaw. Quite the opposite, in fact: the machine is very fast for an Ultrabook thanks to Sony's use of cTDP to bring up performance above and beyond many Ultrabooks that don't surpass the 17 watt CPU power ceiling, the full HD display is one of the best on the market and the tablet has so...
Very good keyboard, Stable performance under load
The ThinkPad Edge E431 may not be exciting, but it's a solid performer. It's a business-grade notebook with lots of power, excellent build quality, adequate battery life, and a strong keyboard. It's also quite durable and light enough (thanks to its ABS plastic frame) to fill a bag without overburdening its owner. The clever proprietary charging/OneLink Dock port design is also a nifty addition if you're frequently in search of better docking options.
Portable OneLink Dock, Good durability
The Lenovo ThinkPad Edge E431 provides an impressive offering for its price. Starting at $500 (NBR's configuration was priced at $648) users will receive a durable attractive chassis, with excellent usability thanks to Lenovo's high quality keyboard and touchpad, along with ample performance capable of handling most business tasks with relative ease.
The only area where the E431 suffers is portability.
Excellent spill-resistant keyboard
The Lenovo ThinkPad Edge E431 isn't without its sacrifices, but with a starting price for a business laptop that starts at less than $550, that's to be expected. You'll have to pay extra for solid-state cache or storage. And you'll have to live without a touchscreen, HD resolution, or backlit keys. And the screen's color and contrast washes out quickly if you aren't sitting dead center.
Comfortable keyboard and touchpad, Strong performance levels
The Dell Latitude 6430u is an ideal unit for users who want a mix of portability and productivity. The sleek ergonomic design makes the notebook easy to hold and traverse with, while the extensive battery life ensures that the device will last while in the absence of a power supply.
Offering good performance, and great ergonomics and feel
I rarely get this enthusiastic over a corporate product of any sort, but I'm a sucker for products that are tactilely and ergonomically superior. The Latitude 6430u is expensive, but most truly superb things are. Even consumers should seriously consider this ultrabook, since the entry-level configuration is more than adequate for most purposes, and the three-year warranty makes a big-box store's extended warranty unnecessary.
Solid design, Comfortable backlit keyboard
The Dell Latitude 6430u is an impressive entry into Dell's business lineup. It proves that within the boundaries of the Ultrabook classification, there is the option to include extra connectivity and a removable battery, which are both features that are useful in a business setting.
Lovely design, removable battery and serviceable parts
The Dell Latitude 6430u is a business Ultrabook that's good enough looking for executives yet durable enough to drag to off site sales calls month after month. It offers solid Ultrabook level performance with ULV Intel third generation CPUs and it's powerful enough for business tasks and downtime with HD movies and even some light gaming. It's not as thin and light as classic 3 pound Ultrabooks like Dell's own XPS 13, but it is significantly lighter than the Dell XPS 14.
Erratic performance issues, Dismal screen quality and brightness
Strangely, while performance was ultimately exceptional, it took some doing to get it there. My testing experience with the 6430u was marred by more than its fair share of hangs and crashes and other strange behavior. My first run of the PC Mark 7 benchmark (my standard first stop for performance testing) ended with results 30 percent below its eventual high point.
Fast 2D and reasonable 3D performance
The Dell Latitude 6430u is heavier than the average Ultrabook, and doesn't have the compelling desirability of the slimmest 13in options, such as the Samsung Series 9 900X3B. But it has plenty of functionality to make up for this, with great general performance, an excellent screen, a robust chassis, decent battery life, a choice of pointing devices, and a healthy array of ports.
Terrific battery life
The Dell Latitude 6430u isn't the flashiest Ultrabook on the market. True to its intended audience of workaday professionals, it's a well-designed and well-built laptop that gets excellent battery life and is a pleasure to use. It's a great choice for anyone whose first priority is getting things done.
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Reviews and Ratings for 13 to 15 in. Display Size Notebooks from ReviewGist