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Latest Windows 8 laptops can be low-priced—and loaded with features

Latest Windows 8 laptops can be low-priced—and loaded with features

Price-conscious computer shoppers, take heart. Consumer Reports’ tests of the latest laptops and desktops show you can get a lot of bang for your buck.

We’ve just finished testing some of the lowest-priced Windows 8 laptops yet, including a $500 11-inch Asus VivoBook that’s priced very low for a touchscreen model. Hopefully, that’s a sign that more inexpensive touch screen laptops are coming soon.

While that Asus scored just so-so overall, several larger models that also won’t bust your budget fared better. The 15-inch Asus S56CA-DH51 ($650) had very good performance and excellent ergonomics. And two Ultrabooks—the 13-inch Sony VAIO SVT-13122CXS ($62), and 15.6-inch Acer M5-581T-6807 ($600)—both had excellent performance and respectable battery life.


For help in deciding which features count, check out our Computer buying guide.

Also new to our computer Ratings is the dual-screen convertible Asus Taichi 21-DH51, which has a unique design that you can use in a variety of configurations. We first saw the Taichi at CES 2013.

Another pair of Ultrabook laptops that caught our eye were the 14-inch Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon ($1,250) and Carbon Touch ($1,500) whose carbon-fiber cases and solid-state drives help make them lighter than most other models that size.

If you’re shopping for a portable computer, be sure to check the latest laptop Ratings, which include more than 20 models that are Recommended. And if a new desktop is on your list, use our latest desktop computer Ratings to find out which of more than 30 models we tested excelled and which fell flat.

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