Best mainstream laptop
A MacBook Pro is a significant investment, especially when adding in optional upgrades. Cost aside, there’s not a better choice (there are, however, some close ties) for an all-around powerhouse that will work in the home, the office, and in between.
Best thin 13-inch laptop
The latest version of the 13-inch MacBook Air vastly outperforms its predecessor, and can finally be called suitable for mainstream use, instead of relegated as a niche product.
Best Windows ultrabook
The HP Folio 13 is the best of the bunch in terms of performance, price, and ergonomics, provided you can live with a less-than-razor-thin design. This laptop is targeted at small businesses but it’s really for anyone who wants a reliable ultrabook that isn’t a MacBook Air.
Best high-end Windows laptop
Samsung’s Series 7 Chronos 700Z5A-S03 is the closest Windows equivalent to a MacBook Pro in terms of specs, power, and design and even nearly matches on battery life, but it’s $500 less expensive than an entry-level Apple 15-incher.
Best budget ultraportable
There have been plenty of 11-inch AMD-powered ultraportables this year, but HP’s Pavilion dm1z was the first, and this updated version puts it back in the lead in this crowded category.