Acer Aspire S7 The Acer Aspire S7 is a premium-looking ultrabook, with great performance, strong battery life, and a high-res touch screen.We really liked the inclusion of the Intel Core i7-3517U processor, 13.3-inch Multi-touch FHD Acer CineCrystal LCD, and 256GB of storage. The battery life with this device is great and the fact that it's only 2.9lbs means that we'll be rocking this baby for a while.
But, The expensive S7 is priced well beyond most other touch-screen Windows 8 laptops. The touch pad is not as responsive as it should be.
The bottom line: One of the few standout products from the first wave of Windows 8 laptops, the Acer Aspire S7 proves that Apple does not have a monopoly on great design. Specifications
ProcessorIntel 3rd Gen Core i7 3517UB1.9 GHz ( 3 GHz ) ( Dual-Core )
Memory4 GB/ 4 GB (max)
Hard Drive256 GB
Operating SystemMicrosoft Windows 8
Display Type13.3 in
Max Resolution1920 x 1080 ( Full HD )
Graphics ProcessorIntel HD Graphics 4000
Optical DriveNone Price;$1,560.01 VS Lenovo ThinkPad Helix The ThinkPad Helix is powered by a third generation Intel Ivy Bridge processor, up to Core i7 and up to 8GB of DDR3 1600MHz RAM. Aiding performance is an SSD of up to 256GB so its performance is top-notch. You’ll be able to choose between Windows 8 and Windows 8 Pro.The Lenovo ThinkPad Helix will be available in an array of spec configurations, but the one we saw demonstrated was a mid-range example, with a Core i5 processor. Core i7 options will also be available. The ThinkPad Helix uses current Ivy Bridge-generation CULV Intel chips, backed-up by 8GB of RAM and a 256GB SSD. The screen and base are each under 2.0 pounds, but that's on the hefty side for an 11.6-inch system. That said, it's 20mm thin, qualifying for ultrabook status, and can run processors up to Intel's current-gen Core i7.Travel-friendly features include 3G/4G antenna options, NFC chip, and a spill-resistant keyboard.The Lenovo ThinkPad Helix feels like a hybrid roadwarrior. It's reasonably light, especially in its class, offers great build quality and careful attention to detail in its construction. It may not be a beauty, but it's one of the better full Windows 8 hybrid designs out there. Performance and battery life
A 1.8 GHz processor and 4GB of RAM may seem small on paper, but in practice the ThinkPad Helix is a surprisingly capable machine. Both the Windows 8 tiled interface and desktop ran smoothly on our review unit.
Browsing in either Chrome or Internet Explorer, we could get a dozen tabs going before performance started to chug. This is with the tablet docked in its helpful stand, which provides extra cooling and allows the processor to overclock a little.
The performance enhancement is noticeable, and the fans generate minimal noise. This is by no means a gaming machine, but we were able to play some Half Life 2: Episode 2 with an acceptable framerate.
The stand also provides additional battery life. With its help, we generally got 7 to 8 hours of web surfing and word processing. As just a tablet, the Helix got between 5 and 6 hours. That's not bad at all, certainly better than a Surface Pro, but one can't help but think of what Haswell could've done for this machine.
Price;$1,499 VS Dell XPS 13 The XPS 13 is a solidly built, lightweight laptop that's actually slightly smaller than the 13-inch Air. It has a usable, backlit keyboard and decent battery life. While it loses points for a low-end display, its $999 price point makes it a reasonable purchase as a more powerful go-anywhere computer to replace your aging netbook.The display is a full-HD panel (1920 x 1080) that features a 800:1 contrast ratio with an optional touch screen for navigating Windows 8.1's UI and apps.This is one area the XPS 13 falls short; it has just two USB ports, a headphone/microphone combo jack and DisplayPort video out. I’m chiefly disappointed in the lack of a media card reader. On the other hand, one nice feature is the inclusion of a battery status indicator which lets you check the amount of battery power you have left even if the laptop is powered off. All picture descriptions are shown from left to right.The Dell XPS 13 has a sharp new 1080p display, updated Intel processors, and the same sleek design as before.
But, Few ports; a high price; no touch-screen option.
The bottom line: Attractive and compact, the new Dell XPS 13 ultrabook isn't that much different from last year's model, aside from new processors and a higher-res non-touch screen. Specifications
ProcessorIntel Core i7 3rd Generation 3517U
Hard Drive256 GB
Operating SystemWindows 8, 64-bit, English
Graphics ProcessorIntel HD 4000 Price;$1,599.99