These are pretty good times to be in the market for a new laptop, but depending on what you want, it may mean waiting several months for the latest features. This year, Ultrabook laptops--the Windows versions of Apple MacBook Air super-thin laptops--are coming out en masse. Here are 5 of them under $1,000 ranging from 11.6 inches to 13.3 inches from the business-oriented HP Folio 13 to the budget Toshiba Portege Z835 with DVD drive to the stunning Dell XPS 13 (pictured at right), which packs a 13.3 inch display in a 11-inch chassis (so you get the 11-inch portability but the 13-inch screen real estate).
The XPS 13 is one of the most attractive MacBook Air competitors to date. At $999, the XPS 13 is $300 less than the entry-level MacBook Air and has the same amount of memory and flash storage: 4GB of RAM and a 128 SSD. The XPS 13 also features a backlit keyboard, Gorilla Glass display, and aluminum and carbon fiber construction. All in all, solid specs and size for the price.
Still, while all of these thin and light mobile computing devices are great for work and reasonably priced at under $1,000, with Intel's 3rd-generation Ivy Bridge processor on the horizon (April or later), Apple's MacBook Air/MacBook laptop refreshes due in the Spring, and Windows 8 expected in the summer--this will be some year for new and more innovative laptops.
I can't wait to see what new Ivy Bridge laptops--especially new Windows 8 touchscreen laptops--will emerge. What are you on the lookout for?