Consumers today are spoiled for choice when it comes to laptops. With ultrabooks, crossover devices between laptops and tablets, and desktop-replacement laptops on the market, there has never been a better time to buy a top of the line laptop. When it comes to laptops under £1000, the choices are vast. Here is our pick of the top three:
1. Apple 11.6" MacBook Air MD223B/A
Before there was the iPad, there was MacBook Air. When Apple unveiled the MacBook Air to an unsuspecting public in 2008, few would have guessed that it would create an altogether new product category and pave the way for the tablet revolution of today. The first MacBook was delightfully thin, a sleek machine straight from the future weighing just about 1kg and eschewing many conventions - including the exclusion of an optical drive and use of SSD hard disks.
Four years later, Apple inspired 'Ultrabooks' are common but the original MacBook Air remains the category dominating product. The 11.6" MacBook Air is one of the finest laptops for its size, running a dual-core Intel i5 processor with 4GB of RAM, Intel HD Graphics 4000 graphics adaptor, 64GB of flash storage and a gorgeous 11.6" high resolution LED backlit screen. The best part, though, is the thin profile: the Air measures just 1.7cm at its thickest point. Combined with trademark Apple build quality, this makes the MacBook Air one of the best laptops under £1000.
Pros: Extremely thin profile, low weight, fast hard disk, excellent build quality.
2. Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga 13 13.3" Convertible Ultrabook
Is it a laptop, or is it a tablet? The one thing we can be sure of is that the IdeaPad is one of the finest mobile computing devices around, bringing the best of two worlds - tablet and laptop - into a sleek package. The specs are impressive enough: Intel i7 processor, 4GB RAM, 128GB solid state hard drive, and a weight just above 1.5kg along with 8 hours of battery backup.
The IdeaPad is essentially a chameleon: swivel the device on its hinge, and you can turn it into a gigantic touchscreen tablet. Swivel it the other way, and you can turn it back into a laptop. Think of it as business in the front, party at the back. Want to work on a presentation? Why, turn it into a laptop. Want to watch movies and surf the web while relaxing on the couch? Swivel it the other way for a tablet experience. The laptop runs Windows 8 which bridges the gap between the laptop/tablet experience, giving you the best of both. For its price, the IdeaPad Yoga is truly a revolutionary device.
Pros: Flexibility, solid build quality, bridge between tablet and laptop.
3. HP Envy DV7-7204EA 17.3" Laptop
Small screens and tiny footprints aren't for you. You like your laptops to pack in the power of desktops, and you want huge screen real estate to get things done, fast. In that case, the HP Envy 17.3" laptop is for you. Boasting an ultra powerful Intel i7 processor clocked at 2.4Ghz with 6MB of L3 cache, 8GB of RAM, NVIDIA GeForce GT 650M graphics card with 2GB of memory, 1TB hard drive, a Blu-Ray drive and a gigantic 17.3" LED screen, this is a laptop to conquer the world in. With specs like these, running Windows 8 on the HP Envy is a delightful experience.
The HP Envy 17.3" is not merely a laptop; it is a desktop replacement device. It is fast, it is heavy (weighing in at 3.14kg) and expensive. But if you care about performance and not portability, this is the laptop for you.
Pros: Huge hard drive, excellent processor, graphics card.