Ten Windows 8 Ultrabooks
A selection of sexy slimline laptops for your mobile computing pleasure
Dell Latitude 6430u
A business-oriented Ultrabook, the 6430u boasts a toughened chassis that’s been designed to survive the American Department of Belligerence’s MIL-STD-810G military-grade abuse test. Looks like it too. I’ve no doubt the 1.63kg 6430u could survive being driven over by a Bradley or, more realistically, dropped to the floor, but heavens above, it’s a brutal and stark bit of design. The soft-touch magnesium alloy body doesn’t half feel good, though. At 22mm thick there’s room for Gigabit Ethernet, HDMI, VGA and three USB ports: two 3.0s and one USB 2.0/eSATA combo.
Inside you’ll find build-to-order Core i3 or i5 chippery and a 128GB SSD. The standard matte 14-inch 1366 x 768 screen, though bright, is a bit wishy-washy and nudging very close to the ‘too low a resolution for a panel this size’ line. The keyboard and touchpad are very good, and while there’s no touchscreen option if you phone Dell it will quote you for a 1600 x 900 panel. As with all Dell business laptops you can spec it up to suite: £96 adds a 3G modem while £120 adds another 128GB of storage.
More Info Dell
HP Spectre XT TouchSmart 15-4000ea
At the time of writing, HP is offering its new XT TouchSmart at a £200 discount and for just under a bag of sand it’s not a half bad deal. Uniquely here, it’s got a good old fashioned 500GB HDD as well as a 32GB SSD which will appeal to anyone who’s had enough of teeny weeny SSD storage capacities. The 15.6-inch, 1920 x 1080 display is rather impressive too: it’s clear and very bright. But the 1.7-2.6GHz Core i5-3317U CPU with 4GB of Ram won’t blow your socks off, and there’s currently no i7 option.
With three USB ports - two of which are USB 3.0 - Ethernet and Thunderbolt, the XT’s connectivity array is more akin to regular laptop, though at 2.25kg and over 22mm thick it arguably is a regular laptop rather than an Ultrabook, despite the branding. It’s a solid and attractive machine, though, and I especially like the edge-to-edge glass covering the screen panel. The one disappointment is the Beats Audio speaker system, which sounded altogether rather low rent by the standards of other similarly branded HP notebooks.
More Info HP
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