Nearly 60 percent of computers sold in 2011 were notebooks of one kind or another — desktop PCs, by contrast, accounted for less than 30 percent. Over the years, laptops have become generally slimmer, lighter and less power-hungry, and they will remain the staple tool of business workforces worldwide for the foreseeable future.
Articles about Laptops
The EliteBook Folio 9470m is a well-made ultrabook with a particularly good keyboard and touchpad. We like the removable battery and optional battery slice, but would prefer a higher screen resolution across the range. Windows 8 fans will also note the absence of a touchscreen option.
Although it's visually pleasing and well specified, particularly in the display department, the Chromebook Pixel's premium price tag makes it difficult for us to recommend.
I've just bought a new Aspire One 725 Acer sub-notebook/netbook - here's my take and my adventures loading it with three different flavours of Linux.
The swivel-screen XPS 12 offers clever design, solid build quality and a high-quality (if reflective) screen. Battery life is not great, though, and this system is severely lacking in connectivity — even by ultrabook standards.
The Core i5-based Surface Pro combines ultrabook components with a (chunky) 10.6in. tablet form factor to deliver decent performance and excellent build quality. However, a few design issues, missing features and, above all, disappointing battery life suggest you'd be wise to wait and see how this product develops.
When it's time to order new laptops, the New Laptop Checklist will help you avoid mistakes and oversights. We've created the checklist as an editable Excel worksheet and as a PDF. A sample version...
An ultrabook that can convert to a tablet when the occasion demands, the ThinkPad Twist has a lot going for it. The build quality is very good, and there are enough business-friendly features to make it acceptable as a BYOD system. Battery life may be an issue though.
Windows 8 is OUT on my next-generation Pavilion dm1, and Linux — in the shape of Fedora 18, openSuSE 12.3, Mint 14 and Ubuntu 12.10 — is IN.
The VAIO T13 ultrabook is attractively priced, but Sony has made a number of compromises to achieve this.
The Tecra R950 is a hefty 15.6in. business-grade notebook with an up-to-date set of security and manageability features, integrated mobile broadband and a solid but understated design. It performs well enough for its market, but we'd prefer a higher screen resolution.
The Latitude E6430s is a solidly built and highly configurable 14in. business notebook with excellent security and remote management features. However, some may find it just too big and heavy to take on their travels.
Toshiba's 13.3in. Portégé Z930 is a small, neat and lightweight business-grade ultrabook with mobile broadband support. However, it's expensive, and the screen could be better.
This lighter-than-MacBook-Air 11.6in. ultrabook has a slim but sturdy carbon-fibre chassis and performs well for a system with integrated graphics, although battery life is slightly disappointing.
The Satellite Pro L830 isn't a particularly lightweight, compact or powerful 13.3in. notebook, and the screen quality could be better. Still, it's quite solidly made, there's plenty of hard drive storage and the price is reasonable.
The Aspire S5 is an exceptionally slim, light and stylish ultrabook. However, it's also expensive: to blow us away, it needs a better screen, an Ethernet port and longer battery life — and a lower price.