Battle of the Ultrabooks

These 9 Windows laptops take on the MacBook Air with Intel's Ultrabook technology. Let the battle begin!
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Credit: NASA (background image)

Equipping the Ultrabook battleships

Apple's MacBook Air in 2008 made people rethink what a laptop could be: thin, light, capable, energy-efficient, and powerful. It quickly became a best seller, attracting many Windows users. In 2011, Intel came up with its Ultrabook specification to let Windows PC makers create laptops that could compete with the Air. Here are the main contenders available for purchase, configured as closely as possible (for vendors that offer custom configurations).

All have integrated webcams, 4GB of RAM, and 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi, but many use the older Intel "Sandy Bridge" processors, and supported ports vary widely.

The big surprise: Apple's MacBook Air offers more for the price than most Ultrabook competitors. Its only real competition (so far) are the HP Spectre XT, Toshiba Portegé Z930, and Vizio Thin+Light.

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