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Samsung Series 9: one of the first Ultrabooks
This was one of the very first Ultrabooks to reach the market, and I bought one shortly after it became available. The Series 9 did a good job of matching the portability and sleek design of a MacBook Air without ever feeling like a clone. Its illuminated keyboard was a key selling feature.
It originally shipped with Windows 7, and it upgraded easily to Windows 8. Eventually I found drivers that allowed the trackpad to work with Windows 8 edge gestures, which made it much more usable.
My biggest gripe with this model is the same one I have with many early Ultrabooks. The 1366x768 screen resolution is just not enough to get serious work done. After a year of faithful service, this PC was replaced with an even lighter touchscreen Ultrabook.
ASUS ZenBook UX31E: another early Ultrabook
This PC was another early entrant in the Ultrabook category. When I picked it up in February 2012, it was running Windows 7. I had no trouble installing a succession of Windows 8 preview releases on it, and it upgraded without incident to the RTM build of Windows 8.
There were other, cheaper Ultrabooks I could have chosen at the time. I picked this one because it offered a screen resolution of 1600x900, which was practically unheard of in its roughly $1000 price range at the time. Its keyboard was occasionally balky, and every time I covered an event in a dimly lit hall I wished the keyboard was backlit. It has since been replaced with a new, touchscreen-equipped Acer notebook.
Dell's 2009 Latitude Z600 flops on Windows 8
This was my favorite Windows 7 PC ever. It was amazingly thin and light for its era (late 2009/early 2010), with a big (16-inch) screen running at 1600x900, and it was one of the first SSD-equipped devices I owned.
So I was really looking forward to running Windows 8 on this device. Alas, it wasn't meant to happen. Although this device included 5 GB of RAM, it shipped with a 32-bit version of Windows 7, and its driver support for Windows 8 was nonexistent. I tried three times to make Windows 8 work on it, each time failing. I finally surrendered, restored the original Windows 7 image, and sold it at a garage sale a few months ago to someone who was looking for a great Windows 7 PC.