The ultrabook craze has everyone from big brands to up-and-comers bringing their A game in 2012. This burgeoning notebook breed combines high-end design and smooth functionality in a computing package so slim you could practically slip it into a manila folder. And these five lightweight contenders lead the pack.
Acer Aspire S3 Ultrabook The Aspire S3 delivers a sleek profile and serious power in the form of a 2nd gen Intel® Core™ processor. The solid-state drive provides instant on and connect capabilities to flawlessly multitask, while the clean brushed aluminum lid wins points in the beauty department. Plus, it weighs less than three pounds and is just half an inch thick. Starts at $799, us.acer.com/ultrabook
Asus Zenbook UX21E At 2.4 pounds, the Zenbook is light even by ultrabook standards. Highlights include amazing picture and sound thanks to the HDMI display and an audio collaboration with Bang & Olufsen. Like other ultrabooks, it also possesses great responsiveness and battery life: a mere two-second resume and two-week standby time. Starts at $999, zenbook.asus.com
HP Folio 13 The ultimate ultra-light ultrabook for business, the Folio 13 boasts a charge life of 9.5 hours thanks to the Energy Star lithium ion battery. A generous 4GB hard drive provides loads of space for all your documents (sans filing cabinet) in a notebook you can slide into your bag without sustaining a back injury. Starts at $999, hp.com
New MacBook Air Apple’s Air revamp includes serious hardware upgrades and improved functionality. The new Air features the latest i5 and i7 Intel Core processors for blazing processing speeds—it’s two-and-half times faster than the original. Choose from the 11- or 13-inch models at a new, lower price. Starts at $999, apple.com
Samsung Series 9 You want tough? The Series 9 is constructed out of advanced aircraft materials twice as strong as Apple’s aluminum. Meanwhile, the Intel Core i5 is built for speed and multitasking, and the SuperBright Plus display makes your video editing or gaming that much sharper/more fun. Starts at $999, samsung.com