Dell XPS 13 2015
With the release of the latest XPS Ultrabook, Dell has suddenly become cool again. This is mainly down to the jaw dropping Infinity Display, which boasts a QHD+ resolution and a crazy, almost, bezelless design. Having such thin bezels and taking advantage of Intel’s new Broadwell processors let Dell cram a full 13-inch laptop into the body of an 11-inch one, making this one of the most compact ultrabooks on the market. There are three models available, each with Windows 8.1, 8GB RAM, Intel HD Graphics 5500, Dual Band WiFi and the typical array of ports, though you can pony up a little more cash to upgrade from the 256GB SSD to a larger 512GB version. There’s a nifty portable charger available too that’ll give you some extra juice not only for your XPS, but also for your phone or tablet.
From £1,099 | Dell
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon 3rd Gen
Still clad in that durable carbon fibre, the latest update to Lenovo’s business focussed ultrabook packs Intel’s latest 5th gen processors, a 14-inch FHD display and new battery tech that’ll give you more juice per charge. If FHD isn’t quite enough pixels for you, you can pimp this machine out with a QHD touchscreen version. 128GB of SSD storage is standard, as is 4GB of RAM, 2 USB 3.0 ports and Intel HD Graphics 5500. One particularly cool accessory is the OneLink Dock, which is a desktop stand that gives you added ports, Gigabit Ethernet and direct connection to your monitor.
From £1,199.99 | Lenovo
Toshiba Z20t Ultrabook
Packing Intel’s new Core M processor, Toshiba’s latest hybrid ditches the fans and can run for a whopping 17 hours. That battery life claim is in the laptop mode, but you can pull the 12.5-inch screen off for a true tablet experience. Unlike many other thin ultrabooks, Toshiba has kitted the Z20t out with a whole load of ports like ethernet, full HDMI, microSD and a bevy of USB ports, which is always a nice touch. Specs wise, the top end model packs 8GB RAM, a 256GB SSD, AC wireless and a 5MP snapper.
$1,399 | Toshiba
Asus Transformer Book T300 Chi
While Asus launched three iterations of the Transformer Book Chi at CES earlier this year, the T300 is the clear headline act. Running on Intel’s new Core M, this ultrabook packs a 12.5-inch LED WQHD display, 64GB or 128GB of internal storage and 4/8GB of RAM. There’s a 2MP snapper up top for video chats and a battery life that stands at about eight hours.
Lenovo Yoga 3 Pro
Lenovo’s Yoga line has always been pretty inventive, letting you use the ultrabook in a bevy of different positions, including our favourite ‘tent’ mode which is great for watching videos. The latest model is pretty well specced out too, with a QHD+ glossy IPS multi-touch display, 256GB of SSD in the base model and Intel’s Core M processor. It’s thin, lightweight and pretty darn good looking.
From £999 | Lenovo
By no means the cheapest, but the Toshiba Kira-101 has a highly detailed 2,540x1,400-pixel IPS display, 256GB SSD, 8GB of RAM and an Intel i7. The all-metal magnesium construction only adds to the appeal. Expensive, but it feels as such.
Microsoft Surface Pro 3
The Microsoft Surface Pro 3 is technically a tablet hybrid, but it can act as an ultrabook. The detachable keyboard with trackpad, full Windows 8.1 experience and touchscreen make it difficult to ignore. It's reasonably priced alongside the Apple MacBook Air, too, and arguably as stylish and well built. Powerful, too, thanks to yet more Intel action.
Dell XPS 11
Perhaps not the best ultrabook in the world, but its cheap price and hybrid tablet ways will find a home. It has a really sharp display (2,560x1,440-pixel) and a reliably sensitive touchscreen, which compliments Windows 8 nicely. The carbon fibre body and svelte proportions, meanwhile, help combat Dell's lack of trendiness.
Lenovo ThinkPad Yoga
Yoga may seem a strange name for an ultrabook, but the reasoning is sound. The Lenovo ThinkPad Yoga can be used in four different ways, ranging from laptop to a stand. This is down to a rotatable 12.5-inch display. Processing is taken care of by an Intel i3 or i5 and a minimum of 4GB of RAM so expect strong performance.
Acer Aspire S7
Another pricey ultrabook, but you get a lot for your money. The 2,560x1,440-pixel IPS display is, frankly, a stunner, while the proportions are enviably svelte. A Haswell Intel processor means it can handle tasks without issue and is more energy efficient, improving battery life. Illuminated keys, a stylish design and a near-silent computing experience make it a winner.
Sony Vaio Duo 13
The Vaio Duo is so called because it has a little trick up its sleeve – it’s a hybrid Ultrabook with a keyboard that slides under the screen so you can use it as a tablet. It’s an alternative to the 360-degree hinge of an Ultrabook like the Lenovo Yoga. When it first appeared on the scene, it was borderline as to whether we could recommend it because of the price. Now that the price has dropped, it’s a far better buy, while the hardware is terrific. It’s a supreme portable device for those who need to present or demo while on the move but who also need the power and reliability of a traditional clamshell laptop.
Samsung ATIV Book 9 Plus
Another Ultrabook focusing on high design, the strangely-monikered ATIV Book 9 Plus only loses marks for its high price and the included bloatware. The chassis hasn’t change much compared to the previous model, but this really doesn’t matter. It is incredible, especially with the excellent build quality we’ve come to expect from Samsung. We loved using it, carrying it (it’s less than 1.4kg) and showing the retina display-beating 3,200 x 1,800 display off to people. It’s also extremely thin at less than 14mm. The first of the super-HD resolution Ultrabooks, it hasn’t lost any of its shine. However, the price tag might convince you otherwise.