Best Windows 8 laptops
What is Windows 8?
The latest operating system from Microsoft, Windows 8 represents the biggest change in the software since the launch of Windows 95. A new touchscreen focused user interface, improved security and the removal of the start button are some of the new elements of the operating system.
The best Windows 8 laptops
We’ve rounded-up some of the first laptops to emerge from our test lab running Windows 8. Windows 8 is designed to suit touch operation, but touchscreens make for a more expensive laptop.
One of the laptops here – the Asus S200E – is reasonably priced and includes a touch interface. The others are non-touch models, so you have to navigate using the trackpad and keyboard. The lack of a touch interface does take something away from the Windows 8 experience, but it’s easy to scroll along the tiled interface using a two-finger swipe on the track pad.
Windows 8 has added benefits of faster start up speeds and generally a little lift in performance for your money. However, unlike Windows 7 laptops which came with a starter version of Windows Office which you could use for as long as you like, these Windows 8 laptops only have a trial version of Windows Office 2010 installed. You’ll have to pay for full Office software if you want to continue using Microsoft Office when the trial ends.
Asus Vivobook S200E – £450
Best for: Touch capability at an affordable price.
The S200E-CT158H has a touchscreen interface so you can really make the most of the Windows 8 tiled layout.
It has an 11.6-inch screen, 4GB of ram and 500GB of hard disk space. Even though it’s using an entry level 1.8GHz processor you’ll have no problems with everyday word processing and web browsing tasks.
The Asus S200E costs around £450 and is available to buy now.
Asus S200E – read the full review
Asus S56CA – £500
Best for: An affordable top-spec laptop
A smart looking ultrabook with a 15.6-inch screen, the S56CA might not have the catchiest name but it’s a decent laptop.
It’s quick thanks to a 1.8GHz processor, 4GB of Ram and a 24GB solid state drive (SSD), while Asus also claim that it can boot up in just 2 seconds so you can quickly get to work.
The Asus S56CA-XX024H is available to buy now for around £500.
Asus S56CA – read the full review
Samsung Series 5 NP530U3C – £600
Best for: A stylish, powerful laptop
A thin and stylish 13.3-inch screen laptop from Samsung, the Series 5 is not just impressive on the outside but also has impressive specs inside.
A 1.8GHz processor and 6GB of Ram means it will be fast and capable of handling complicated tasks easily, while a bright, anti-reflective HD screen should make it a pleasure to use.
You can buy the Samsung Series 5 NP530U3C running Windows 8 now for around £600.
Samsung Series 5 NP530U3C – read the full review
Acer Aspire S3-391 – £750
Best for: Speedy and stylish laptop
Like many other ultrabooks, the aluminium body of the S3-391 is slim and gives it a premium look and feel.
A 1.9GHz processor and 4GB of Ram means it can tackle everyday tasks with ease, while the smaller 13.3-inch screen means it will easily fit into a compact bag.
The S3-391 costs around £750 and is available to buy now.
Acer Aspire S3-391 – read the full review
Sony Vaio S SVS1312P9E – £800
Best for: Portability, with a DVD drive.
This 13.3-inch screen Sony weighs less than 2kg – only around 80 grams more than a 13-inch Macbook Pro Retina – and includes a DVD drive, so you get portability without having to sacrifice your disks.
The 2.5GHz processor, generous 6GB Ram and 500GB of hard disk space make it a good all-rounder.
The SVS1312P9E costs around £800 and is available to buy now.
Sony Vaio S SVS1312P9E – read the full review
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