Lenovo Yoga 900
Lenovo's Yoga 900 is one of the most eye-catching laptops around thanks to its watchband style hinge design. Made from more than 813 pieces of steel, its six metal hinges are both attractive and sturdy, allowing the display to rotate 360-degrees. There's plenty of muscle under the hood to complement the shiny exterior, and you'll get the full power of Intel's sixth-generation Core-series processors backed up to 8GB of RAM. If you liked the Yoga 3 Pro's design but need a laptop with more power, the Yoga Pro is its still attractive but much beefier cousin,
£1,999 | John Lewis
Asus Zenbook UX301LA
Next time you’re at your trendy members-only office club, whip out this slither of black beauty and watch as your fellow creatives’ eyes peer inquisitively over their sorry little laptops. ‘Hey Phil, there’s one of those Asus Zenbook things I read about. Apparently it costs fifteen hundred quid, has a 4th gen Intel Core i7 processor, a 13.3-inch Gorilla Glass touch-screen WQHD display, a dual 512GB solid state drive, high-quality SonicMaster audio technology and it comes with 32GB of free web storage, too. Do you get all that with your MacBook Pro?’. ‘No, but thanks for reminding me’.
£1,500 | Asus
Samsung ARM Series 3 Chromebook
If you’re always connected to a wi-fi signal and rarely venture beyond a browser or email (Gmail especially), consider Samsung’s sleek Chromebook. Although Google’s ChromeOS is more like a glorified web browser than a bona fide operating system, it has allowed manufacturers to produce slim, light and very cheap laptops that boot up in seconds and don’t slow down with age.
This well-appointed 11.6”, track pad-operated model comes with two USB ports and runs on a speedy Dual Core ARM processor that loads web pages at warp speed. But one of the Samsung’s most desirable attributes is that, from a distance, it looks a bit similar to a Macbook Air – and for just £229. Sure it’s a bit plasticy but the keyboard’s excellent and the battery lasts at least six hours. This is a superb budget choice – but don’t forget that it’s near useless away from a wi-fi signal.
£229 | Samsung
Macbook Air 11-inch
Laptops don’t come much slimmer and lighter than Apple’s svelte champion of the café set. This gorgeous aluminium-clad sliver of charm employs the ample services of an Intel Core i5 data buster and up to 256GB of flash storage. The Air doesn’t have a touch screen and it doesn’t even have an ultra high-res Retina screen. In fact, next to so many of the laptops in this roundup, it’s been left behind in quite a few departments.
Except for three: Apple’s amazingly intuitive and beautifully designed OS X operating system; a battery that runs for up to 12 hours; and, of course, Apple’s impeccable attention to even the minutest of details. A 13-inch version is also available, but for web surfing and most other tasks, 11 inches is plenty enough. Besides, you’ll find far more places to accommodate it when travelling.
From £749 | Apple
Sony Vaio Fit 15A multi-flip PC
Sony’s VAIO range of laptops is still among the most elegant on the market. Well here’s a hybrid 15” touch display model to wow your fellow surfers. Its design is perhaps closest to the Acer Aspire in the way its screen articulates midway to provide three different viewing platforms: laptop, viewer and tablet. However, the design is not without fault since you need space behind the screen to perform the transformation which also involves a switch to lock the screen in place.
Nevertheless, this is a stonking portable that no self-respecting Americano lover should ignore. Like many of the laptops in this test, the Sony runs Windows 8 through an Intel Core i5 processor. You also get a whopping 1TB of hard disk space and 16GB of flash storage for rapid software launch and control. If 15 inches of screen seems too big, you’re in luck because the Japanese giant has also produced 13.3” and 14” versions.
£1,000 | Sony
Macbook Pro 15-inch
When you buy an Apple product you’re buying into fuss-free integration with the company’s other products. You’re also buying into OCD levels of build quality and extraordinary attention to detail. You don’t need us to tell you that Apple’s OS X is still far and away the tidiest and most intuitive operating system available. Use it on Apple’s flagship laptop and you’ll be incontrovertibly hooked.
The 15-inch Macbook Pro comes armed with Apple’s stunningly sharp Retina display, a blisteringly quick 2.0GHz Intel Core i7 processor and an equally fast 256GB flash drive. If there’s one laptop that tells everyone you really do have discerning taste, are creative and probably very rich, this is it. A 13” model is also available.
From £1.099 | Apple
If you love the look of a Macbook Air but refuse to use any operating system other than Windows 8, consider this luxurious magnesium bodied beauty from the house of Toshiba. The 13-inch Kira costs around £300 more than the similarly-styled Macbook Air but, hey, it has something the Apple doesn’t: an ultra-crisp fingerprint-resistant touch screen display.
The high-performance Intel Core i7 processor and 256GB SSD, meanwhile, ensure that heavy duty tasks like video and photo editing are handled with lightning speed and efficiency. A slightly noisy fan notwithstanding, the Kira is the perfect accompaniment to a barrista-style latte.
£1,299 | Toshiba