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Gigabyte Ultrablade Gaming Laptops
Gaming laptops don't always have to be monstrosities. Witness Gigabyte's new "Ultrablade" notebooks, which combine fragging prowess with slim form factors. The 15.6-inch P35K weighs a mere 4.2 pounds, while the 14-inch P34G tips the scales at just 3.7 pounds. They still retain plenty of pixel-pushing power, thanks to Haswell quad-core Core i7 processors options (TBD) and Nvidia GeForce GTX 765M (P35k) or 760M (P34G) discrete graphics. Incredibly, the P35K can hold up to four drives to maximize storage: two 512GB mSATA SSD drives plus a pair of 1TB traditional hard drives. The P34G can "only" handle a 256GB mSATA SSD and a 1TB hard drive. Unfortunately, no word from Gigabyte yet on how much these svelte but brawny systems will set you back, or when you can get your hands on one.
Like the Dell XPS 11, the U21M is a Windows 8 convertible device that can flip between laptop and tablet modes. Roughly 0.8 inches thick and weighing in at 3.3 pounds, the 11.6-inch U21M lacks the high-res screen of the XPS 11, settling for 1,366x768 resolution instead. But it still packs a slate of Haswell processor options, 4GB or 8GB of RAM, and dual-storage choices ranging from 128GB SSD to 1TB hard drives (with many options in between). The touchscreen can swivel up to 180 degrees and, of course, lay flat to use as a tablet. As with its Ultrablade laptops, Gigabyte has not yet provided pricing or availability info for the U21M.
Acer Aspire S7 Ultrabook
Acer has updated the Aspire S7 beyond the expected Haswell processor options, making some minor tweaks to the design and keyboard, but the new chips promise to improve performance and battery life significantly. There's also an option to upgrade to a ultra-high-res 2,560x1,440 screen. For $1,399, you get a full 1080p 13.3-inch IPS display, 8GB of RAM, 128GB SSD, and Core i5-4200U Haswell processor. The company has also updated the step-down S3, which keeps the same screen but loses the Gorilla Glass lid, though it does add Nvidia GeForce GT 735M graphics. It weighs more than the S7, but costs a few hundred dollars less for the trouble.