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Group test: what's the best ultraportable laptop?

The best ultraportables you can buy

As well as being easy to transport, an ultraportable laptop needs to be able to cope with the ever-increasing demands of those who are constantly on the move. PC Advisor reveals today's best five lightweight models.

5. HP EliteBook 840 G1

HP EliteBook 840 G1
  • Reviewed on: 11 December 13
  • RRP: £1344.00
  • Rating: Rated 8 out of 10

It's a shame that the EliteBook doesn't include a solid-state drive that can really make the most of its powerful processor and GPU, but this is still a well-designed and versatile laptop that will appeal to many business users. The high-quality display is particularly suitable for presentations, while its sturdy design, security features and battery life will appeal to anyone that spends a lot of time out on the road.

4. Dell Latitude 14 7000 Series

Dell Latitude 14 7000 Series
  • Reviewed on: 4 February 14
  • RRP: £1522 inc VAT
  • Rating: Rated 8 out of 10

The sturdy Dell Latitude 14 7000 Series is generally excellent, with rapid components, extensive connectivity, a good screen and comfortable keyboard, but it can’t quite become the ultimate office Ultrabook: the battery life can’t match the MacBook Air’s longevity, and its £1522 price makes it pricier too.

3. Acer Aspire S3-392G

Acer Aspire S3-392G
  • Reviewed on: 24 February 14
  • RRP: £900 inc. VAT
  • Rating: Rated 8 out of 10

The Acer Aspire S3 has a lot going for it, including an attractive, slimline design and high-quality IPS display. It also provides good performance for an Ultrabook in this price range, thanks to its hybrid storage drive and nVidia graphics. Battery life was respectable rather than outstanding, and some people might prefer to trade features such as the touch-screen and nVidia GPU for a longer-lasting battery.

2. Apple MacBook Air 13in (Mid-2012)

Apple MacBook Air 13in (Mid-2012)
  • Reviewed on: 9 October 12
  • RRP: £1249 inc VAT
  • Rating: Rated 9 out of 10

This revised 13in MacBook Air is a little bit faster in general speed, a lot faster in graphics speed – if only catching up with 2010’s Air – but with approaching an hour of extra battery life. We also appreciate the even quieter fan. This is the original ultrabook, and with extra details and quality touches it still beats all Ultrabooks we’ve seen so far.

1. Apple MacBook Pro 13in with Retina display

Apple MacBook Pro 13in with Retina display
  • Reviewed on: 7 December 12
  • RRP: £1699 inc VAT
  • Rating: Rated 9 out of 10

The essential specifications of the 13in Apple MacBook Pro with Retina display closely follow the groundbreaking original 15in version. Reduced size here necessitates integrated-only graphics, as well as a more efficient dual-core rather than quad-core processor. But this choice of components really delivers, and crucially in a state-of-the-art 13in notebook that takes the second-finest laptop display money can buy – beaten only by the 15in Retina model of the Apple MacBook Pro.

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