Picking the best laptop of 2013 was a tough task as there were many devices which could claim this throne. Finally, it was the Lenovo’s new ThinkPad Twist that took away the honours as it was the first ultrabook convertible that did the transitions without making it look like a gimmick. Its screen can turn 180 degrees, bend and fold back to become a tablet with four—laptop, stand, tent and tablet modes—like the Lenovo’s much acclaimed IdeaPad Yoga. It looks at all options a user might need and hence packs a track-point along with the touchscreen, as well as an unconventional touchpad with a scrolling button as well. The 13-inch device has a military grade 20 mm magnesium hybrid body weighing just 1.6 kg. Despite its slim fit, the device manages superb processing power and is one of the fastest Intel Core i5 devices around.
MACBOOK PRO 15
It is almost like a no-brainer to put a MacBook in a list of top laptops. However, this time the MacBook Pro 15-inch is at number two primarily because the Rupee fluctuations have once again made it terribly expensive. But when it comes to raw power, there is no comparison to the combination that gives you a 2.0 GHz quad-core Intel Core i7 processor with the latest Intel Iris Pro graphics on a retina display screen. Plus, there is the new operating system X Mavericks and bunch of free productivity software that makes this a compelling buy even at its upwardly mobile price tag. The only better option for creative professionals is the high end version of the same device.
DELL INSPIRON 14
Launched towards the fag end of the year, this stylish laptop is almost like a reference design for the ultrabook concept. It has a full aluminum body with diamond-cut edges and uniform thickness of 15.3 mm all through the body. It might be a bit heavy, but still managed to feel light and sleek due to the superb unibody design. The Inspiron 14 is also very powerful with a fourth-generation Intel Core i5 processor, though the 1366 x 768p screen is a bit of a put off despite the response touch panel. We give this one the top billing as it is a great one. However, it is still quite expensive for the average user.
SONY VAIO PRO 13
If this top five was picked just on style and design then this one would have won the race hands down. Weighing just over a kilo and a maximum thickness of 17.2 mm, this 13.3-inch ultrabook is almost like a blade. It also has a stunning Full HD touch display with Sony’s patented Triluminous technology that makes feel like a small size 4K television. The sound quality is good too, so it the backlit keyboard. This Windows 8 device is also powered by an Intel Core i5 processor and also comes with a high-end Core i7 version. It lost out to the ThinkPad Twist and the Dell Inspiron due to a stubborn trackpad and higher base price.
ACER C720 CHROMEBOOK
Chromebooks have been around for a while, but it is only this year that they have made their Africa debut. And what a debut, given that these sleek little computers will be the most affordable options for a lot of first time computer users. The Chromebook, as the name suggests, is powered by the Chrome browser and does not have an operating system as such. So almost everything happens online. Still it is a great device for consumption of knowledge and creation too, though you cannot do hard core computing on it. But at this price point, we wouldn’t care about that.