Microsoft has fundamentally changed the way Windows works with Windows 8, ensuring it works better with touchscreens and tablets.
But what about Windows 8 laptops, Ultrabooks and convertibles? They're all here, too.
One thing Windows 8 has in spades is convergence. A Windows 8 Ultrabook that has a touchscreen? Check. A laptop with a flip-around screen? Check. Tablet PCs that slide up to reveal a keyboard? Check.
It's tough differentiating some of these from tablets at times, but the one stipulation they have to be in this article is that they have a keyboard and also run x86 Intel or AMD processors. None of the machines in this article are ARM-based. They also come with keyboards in one way or another - for something more tablet-specific check out our Best Windows 8 tablet article.
That means they don't run Windows RT, the version of Windows for ARM systems. They do, however, run either Windows 8 or Windows 8 Pro. Check out our article on the different Windows 8 versions to get your head around which version you'd like.
So here's a rundown of the Windows 8 laptops, notebooks, convertibles and Ultrabooks we've looked at so far, to help you choose the right machine for you. And make sure you read our Windows 8 review, too and check out what's coming in the Windows 8.1 update.
Asus VivoBook S200 - £390/US$430/AU$400
Scoring five stars and an Editor's Choice award in a TechRadar review is pretty special. The 11.6-inch touchscreen Asus VivoBook S200 achieves this by offering good locks and hardware, an impressive performance, easy portability and a great price. The keyboard is faultless, and the trackpad is responsive and works well with Windows 8 touch gestures. An Intel Core i3 processor and 4GB of RAM give it the guts to perform without running the battery down too quickly, though the integrated graphics aren't cut out for fancy 3D games. It also comes with a 500GB hard drive, an SD card reader, HDMI port, two USB 2.0 ports, one USB 3.0 port, VGA and Ethernet connections. A 5MP webcam is handy for video calls, if you can take your eyes off the brushed metallic finish.
Read our full Asus VivoBook S200 review
Acer Aspire V5 - £310/AU$732/US$400
The Acer Aspire V5-122P is light and very portable and now comes with touchscreen input. As such, it works very well with Microsoft's Windows 8. You won't need to navigate using the touchpad's frustrating integrated click buttons because you can just reach up and swipe through options on the screen.
Although available in a wide range of specifications, our model arrived with an AMD A6-1460 processor with a clock speed of 1.0GHz and backed by 4GB of DDR3 RAM. While these components handled complex processes well on day one, we're not sure how well the V5-122P will hold up after a year's worth of program installation and software updates.
Read our Acer Aspire V5 review
Lenovo G505 - £380/AU$533/US$272
How much should a laptop cost? A laptop that can handle serious applications, surf like the best of them and also turn its hand to the odd game? How does £350 strike you?
That's the price tag that can be found hanging from Lenovo's latest offering, the potentially bargainous Lenovo G505. With the world and his dog jumping aboard on the Ultrabook bandwagon, it's good to see that there's still interest from system builders to manufacture value-focused machines.
Read our Lenovo G505 review
HP Pavilion Touchbook Sleekbook - £400/US$650/AU$800
Sporting an AMD A-Series processor, 6GB of RAM and 1TB of storage, the HP Pavilion Touchbook Sleekbook is pretty well specced to run full Windows 8. It also boasts a 15.6-inch touchscreen, which is responsive and works well with the OS, but has a low resolution and dull colours. Its lid is also sparkly and shiny, and the laptop has HDMI, USB 2.0 and USB 3.0 connections and a webcam. The keyboard doesn't feel that great to use, but the trackpad is great, with a hatched texture that feels nicely different.
Read our Hands on: HP Pavilion Touchbook Sleekbook review
Asus V550CA - £466 (around AU$650/US$750)
Mid-ranged laptops such as the Asus V550CA-CJ106H can sometimes be a mixed bag. They come with price tags that make it hard to overlook the sort of shortcomings you'd forgive a laptop £300 cheaper. And yet they still can't target the highest-end components for the best possible performance.
Sometimes these laptops can get the balance right, such as the Samsung Series 9 NP900X3D, but more often than not they can end up being rather underwhelming, like the MSI CX61 0NF. So how does the Asus V550CA-CJ106H fare?
Read our Asus V550CA review
Toshiba Satellite P845 - £475/US$550 (around AU$780)
Built with media people in mind, the Toshiba Satellite P845 has a 14-inch touchscreen that works as a great display for for editing photos and responds very well to Windows 8 gestures, plus a dedicated Nvidia GeForce graphics chip. With third-gen Intel core processors, 6GB of RAM, a 640GB hard drive, three USB 3.0 ports, Harmon Kardon speakers and an optional Blu-ray player, the laptop may not be dazzling to look at, but it does pack in some power. There's also a good trackpad, if you'd prefer to use that.
Read our Hands on: Toshiba Satellite P845 review
Asus VivoBook S400C - £500/US$630/AU$675
A dual-core Intel Core i3 processor at 1.8GHz powers the Asus VivoBook S400C, which doesn't sound that impressive but handles every day tasks well. The 14.1-inch touchscreen has edge-to-edge glass, so works well with Windows 8 gestures, though it's not a Full HD resolution. 4GB of RAM and a 500GB hard drive are reasonable, and there's an SD card slot, two USB 2.0 ports, one USB 3.0 port, Ethernet, VGA ad HDMI connections. Brushed aluminium on the lid is beautiful, while the keyboard is quite good, but the trackpad's gesture support is lacking. Battery is life isn't great, but sound is better than average, thanks to Asus's SonicMaster technology.
Read our full Asus VivoBook S400 review
Toshiba Satellite U920T - £500/US$760/AU$1,000
Sliding the screen backwards and lifting it up to reveal the keyboard underneath is how the Toshiba Satellite U920T converts from a tablet to a laptop. The 12.5-inch device runs full Windows 8 with its Intel Core i3/i5 processor, 4GB of RAM, 128GB/256GB SSD, two USB 3.0 ports, one HDMI port and one SD card slot. The hybrid device's touchscreen is low res and dull, and not as responsive as others, but Gorilla Glass protects its screen, which is always exposed. Its physical keyboard has short travel on the keys, and the device's general build quality and appearance is uninspiring, but battery life and usability are great.
Read our full Toshiba Satellite U920T review
Lenovo IdeaPad U310 - £600/US$650 (around AU$980)
The 13-inch Lenovo IdeaPad U310 comes in a choice of cool metallic finishes and has an Intel Core i3 processor at 1.8GHz, a 500GB hard drive, 24GB SSD, 4GB of RAM and full Windows 8. But it's not a touchscreen laptop, so you'll rely on the spacious trackpad and keyboard for navigation. This would be fine, but the Windows 8 gesture support on the trackpad is confusing and takes some getting used to. It comes with two USB 3.0 ports one USB 2.0, an Ethernet port, an SD/MMC card reader, an HDMI video output and a headphone jack. This Ultrabook looks great, but its performance is average.
Read our full Lenovo IdeaPad U310 review
HP Envy x2 - £630/US$700/AU$850
The keyboard dock of the HP Envy x2 offers a great selection of connections - including an HDMI port for hooking it up to a monitor - and a second battery, though the tablet on its own doesn't have so much as a single USB port of its own. The 11.6-inch laptop-tablet convertible runs full Windows 8, with a Windows Start button on the bottom of the tablet screen that wakes the whole thing up. As well as a front-facing webcam, the device features an 8MP rear camera with a flash and Beats Audio for your music, though the speakers are weak.
Read our full HP Envy X2 review
Lenovo Yoga 11S review - £680/AU$889/US$800
While other manufacturers are busy pointing fingers as to why the PC seems to be struggling in the face of competition from that Cupertino-based company and myriad tablets, Lenovo is both pumping out solid Windows 8 devices while at the same time, turning a profit. Which brings us to the Lenovo Yoga 11S.
Of course, this isn't Lenovo's first time on the yoga mat. The 13-inch Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga was released last year to very favorable reviews. The appropriately named 11s is a size down. At just 11.6-inches, it's the smallest form factor that can support a full QWERTY keyboard.
Acer Aspire P3 - £700/AU$1,250/US$900
Acer has upped its game in recent years, and it's easy to forget that just two years ago the Taiwanese giant made its money peddling identi-kit budget laptops by their millions.
The company has since turned around its reputation and is responsible for the glorious Acer Aspire S7 - one of finest Ultrabooks out there - and has also got chins wagging about the Acer Iconia W3 - the world's first 8-inch Windows 8 tablet - as well as the Acer Aspire R7 and Acer Aspire P3Acer Aspire P3 review
Microsoft Surface Pro - £720/US$900/AU$1,000
Microsoft's own full Windows 8 laptop-tablet hybrid, the Surface Pro, has the same look and the same VaporMg coat as the Surface RT, but has a tweaked kickstand and magnetic connectors for power and the two tear-off keyboards. It also has a higher resolution 10.6-inch touchscreen with excellent blacks, a smooth, pressure-sensitive stylus and an Intel Core i5 processor. It can run any application you throw at it, and has USB and DisplayPort connections. The clip-on Touch Cover feels very light, and typing on its flat surface takes some getting used to, or the more expensive Type Cover feels more like a normal laptop keyboard, which we prefer.
Read our full Microsoft Surface Pro review
Lenovo IdeaPad U410 Touch - £722/AU$915/US$700
We first crossed paths with the Lenovo IdeaPad U410 around this time last year, finding it to be a very tidy little package, even if it strained the Ultrabook name a little. Its mid-range price belied some rather useful specs, though, such as a dedicated graphics card and an uncommonly large hard drive.
While the name change from the original Lenovo U410 to the Lenovo U410 Touch here might draw attention to the touchscreen, it's not the special part: it's everything else in it that's noticeable.
Read our Lenovo IdeaPad U410 Touch review
Lenovo ThinkPad Twist - £770/US$750/AU$800
Unlike traditional clamshell designed laptops, the Lenovo ThinkPad Twist's screen - as you may have guessed - twists away from its keyboard, transforming into a tablet. The twisting mechanism is elegant but sturdy, holding the screen at the angle you want away from the keyboard and twisting back into laptop position with a nice clunk. It's insides contain a dual-core Intel Core i5 processor at 1.7GHz, HD 4000 integrated graphics, 4GB of RAM and a 500GB hard drive. Gorilla Glass protects the 12.5-inch touchscreen, which works well with Windows 8 when you don't fancy using the keyboard, or when you want to use the device as a tablet.
Read our full Lenovo ThinkPad Twist review
Dell Inspiron 15z - £800/US$900/AU$1,500
Balancing price, performance and build, the Dell Inspiron 15z is a Windows 8 update to an older model but doesn't come with a touchscreen as standard, though one can be added. Easily upgradeable, it comes with a choice of Intel Core i3/i5/i7 processors and the option to add extra RAM and a dedicated graphics chip. Build quality on the 15.6-inch device is sturdy, and features a backlit keyboard with good travel and a responsive trackpad, a DVD drive, four USB ports, an HDMI port, Ethernet and SD card reader, though the screen isn't Full HD. Battery life isn't great, but general performance is reasonable, making it a good all-rounder for the family. We'd splash out on the touchscreen upgrade though.
Read our full Dell Inspiron 15z review
HP Envy TouchSmart 15 - £800/AU$1,100/US$990
HP's Envy line is the company's high-end range - the top-class stuff, in theory - but has produced mixed results recently. We were impressed by the Spectre XT and Envy X2, but weren't so sure about the Envy 6 or Envy 4.
But the HP Envy TouchSmart 15-j004ea is closer to what the Envy line originally stood for, so we always had high hopes for it. It's simply a highly spec'd machine, fitted into a smart chassis.
Indeed, at 29.9mm thick and weighing 2.56kg, it's far from being an Ultrabook. But what you get in exchange is a superb spec sheet. There's a quad-core Intel processor, a 2GB Nvidia graphics card, a colossal 16GB of RAM and a generous 1TB hard drive.
Read our HP Envy TouchSmart 15 review
Alienware 14 2013 - £854/AU$1,700/US$1,100
The Alienware 14 is an attempt to create a serious but portable gaming laptop.
It's been designed specifically for serious gamers - it has a roster of specs to die for and a price to match. This
Alienware is owned by Dell, and the gaming brand has benefited from the latter's prowess in building robust laptops, as well as its buying power.
As you'd hope, there's a full HD WLED Full HD anti-glare screen with superb viewing angles. The colours on the Windows 8 Start screen still look awesome even when viewed from an extremely acute angle. The anti-glare coating can make pale colours look a little grainy at first glance, but games look superb on it. Sadly, it's not a touchscreen.
Read our full Alienware 14 review
Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga 13 - £950/US$1,000 (around AU$1,560)
As the name suggests, the Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga is extremely flexible. Its special double hinge means its keyboard can flip 360 degrees, so you can use it in typical laptop position, tablet position, tent position or a stand position. The keyboard turns off when it's folded into a position where it won't be needed, so that you can just use the 13-inch screen as a large tablet without worrying about accidental key presses. The Windows 8-toting laptop-tablet hybrid also recognises and can be controlled by hand gestures via the 1MP webcam.
Read our full Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga 13 review
Samsung Ativ Smart PC Pro - £950/US$1,100 (around AU$1,560)
Outclassing its smaller brother, the Samsung Ativ Smart PC Pro runs full Windows 8 with a beefy Intel Core i5 processor and a hinged keyboard dock that turns the tablet element into a device that's almost an Ultrabook. A pen with a clickable right mouse button works well with the 11.6-inch touchscreen, which itself is crisp and colourful. The keyboard is substantial and its hinged lock feels sturdy and more flexible than the Microsoft Surface's kickstand, but the trackpad struggles with gestures.
Read our full Samsung Ativ Smart PC Pro review
Sony Vaio Duo 11 - £950/US$1,200/AU$1,300
Lifting and sliding the Full HD screen back reveals a keyboard on the 11.6-inch Sony Vaio Duo 11, which is all held together by a weighty hinge, making the screen/tablet and its keyboard inseparable. The full Windows 8 laptop-tablet hybrid also boasts an Intel Core i5 processor and a stylus, offering more for creatives and business people. Swipes through the interface are quick and easy, and the tablet can run full intensity Windows apps such as Photoshop. The keyboard lacks a trackpad though, offering just a nub, so you'll rely on the touchscreen or a separate mouse here. An SD card slot can expand the 128GB SSD storage space, plus there are USB 3.0, Ethernet, HDMI and VGA ports.
Read our full Sony Vaio Duo 11 review
Dell XPS 18 - £1,000/US$1,350 (around AU$1,650)
Essentially an 18-inch Windows 8 tablet crossed with an all-in-one PC, the Dell XPS 18 has a charging stand and Bluetooth mouse and keyboard that turns it into a desktop machine, and touchscreen controls and a kickstand that means it works on its own, though it doesn't offer stylus support. Its screen is Full HD, and the machine packs an Intel Core i5 processor, 8GB of RAM, a 500GB hard drive and speedy 32GB SSD into a slim 18mm body. It just offers two USB 3.0 ports, an SD card slot and an audio jack, with no more connections in the charging dock. The system feels quick, if not the most powerful around, and the keyboard is comfortable to use, though trackpads are better than mice when using Windows 8, so we often tended to navigate with the touchscreen instead of the mouse. Battery life is a little disappointing, largely due to the beautiful big screen sucking it all up.
Read our full Dell XPS 18 review
Acer Aspire S7 - £1,000/US$1,400/AU$1,550
Shockingly thin, the touchscreen Acer Aspire S7's unibody shell is protected by Gorilla Glass on the back. The 13.3-inch display is Full HD and works beautifully with Windows 8 gesture control. They keyboard is fairly small and keys have shallow travel, while the included Bluetooth mouse is fairly flimsy, but the Intel Core i7 processor at 2.4GHz and 4GB of RAM ensure that the Ultrabook has power. Connection-wise, there are two USB 3.0s, a micro HDMI and an SD card port, but not Ethernet or VGA ports, although given its small size this isn't terribly surprising.
Read our full Acer Aspire S7 Ultrabook review
26. Gigabyte P2742G - around £1,000/AU$1,706/US$1,607
Graphics. It's the final frontier for mobile computing. We'll come to the reasons why momentarily. But the bottom line is that it means going after a laptop with 3D grunt is going to cost you. And that makes the new Gigabyte P2742G actually look like something of a bargain.
It's a big, brash 17-inch portable gaming rig with a full-HD screen, a quad-core CPU and - critically - a dedicated graphics chip.
The problem for mobile gaming goes something like this. CPU performance is stagnating. In fact, Intel bases most of its desktop CPUs on mobile designs these days, so the performance gap is tolerable.
Read our Gigabyte P2742G review
Samsung Series 7 Ultra - £1,020/AU$1,350/US$1,200
Pretty much everything about the 13-inch Samsung Series 7 Ultra shouts premium. And so it should, given the price.
The cost alone butts it up against rivals sucha as the Asus Zenbook, Dell XPS 13 and Apple MacBook Air - remember that the latter model, while running Apple's OS X straight out of the box, can have Windows 7 or Windows 8 installed on it should you wish.
The Series 7 Ultra runs Windows 8 Pro. The main reason for the price is the presence of so many premium features, chief among them an AMD Radeon HD 8500M graphics chip, which Samsung has taken the rather unusual Ultrabook step of including, alongside the 1.8GHz Intel Core i5 processor.
That extra graphics chip is why it's among our high end laptops rather than being overleaf with our ultraportables.
Read our Samsung Series 7 Ultra review
Dell XPS 12 - £1,200/US$1,300/AU$1,600
Taking a leaf out of the Dell Inspiron Duo's design book, the Dell XPS 12 is a laptop-tablet hybrid with a swivelling screen that folds back on itself so you can use it like a tablet. Running Windows 8, the 12.5-inch device has a touchscreen and a spacious keyboard and trackpad, so you can choose whether to use on-screen gestures or the trackpad in laptop mode. As a laptop it's powerful, with a fast processor, 8GB of RAM and 256GB SSD drive, but as a tablet it's heavy, although it does have a Full HD screen. The tablet functionality is best treated as an added bonus rather than its main purpose.
Read our full Dell XPS Duo 12 review
Dell XPS 13 - £1,200/US$1,300 (around AU$1,965)
A Windows 8 upgrade of the laptop of the same name, the 13-inch Dell XPS 13 looks like a MacBook on first glance, though under the lid is a soft rubber coating and lots of black. An Intel Core i7 processor is top of the line, able to handle picture and video editing and multitasking with ease. 8GB of RAM and a 256GB SSD also ensure performance is quick, while battery life is seriously impressive. However, the laptop's screen isn't touch-sensitive, so you can't make the most of Windows 8 gestures, and it's not Full HD resolution either. If you don't mind ditching a touchscreen, the keyboard and trackpad are comfortable to use for long periods, and the overall performance is impressive.
Read our full Dell XPS 13 review
Samsung ATIV Book 9 Plus -- £1,300/AU$1,600/US$1,400
Samsung was one of the very first PC manufacturers to jump on the Ultrabook bandwagon. It's done a fine job of representing Intel's baby ever since, with some stunning offerings, including the Series 5 Ultra Touch and, more recently, the top of the range Series 9 NP900X3D.
Samsung certainly knows its stuff when it comes to Ultrabooks, but the goal posts are always moving. So what new trick can it pull out of its sleeve for late 2013?
Asus G750JX - £1,400/AU$2,500/US$1,900
When you buy a high-end gaming laptop like this, you're not only buying something that's physically large, you're also buying power - and a considerable amount of power at that.
The Asus G750JX boasts top-end components across the board, but nowhere more so than at its hugely capable heart - there's a Core i7-4700HQ processor on board from Intel in there. Launched mere months ago, this 2.4Ghz quad-core processor has plenty to offer gamers.
MSI GS70 Stealth - £1,600/AU$2,300/US$2,000
The MSI GS70 Stealth breaks away from familiar desktop replacement conventions: instead of being bulky, heavy and ugly, it's little thicker than an Ultrabook and half the weight of some rivals - and it's one of the best-looking laptops we've seen for quite some time.
The GS70's vital statistics are backed up by great quality. It's mostly made from brushed aluminium, and the gunmetal-grey finish is paired with slick design. The MSI's lid and base gently contour toward subtle curves at each edge, and we like the little details: milled speaker grilles and air vents, discreet status LEDs on the front edge, and the total absence of garish stickers that usually disturb wrist-rests.
Build quality is excellent, too - impressive when the GS70's dimensions are considered. The base is sturdy and, while there's a little flex in the lid, it's what we expect from machines with a 17-inch screen.
Read our MSI GS70 Stealth review
Asus Taichi - £1,430/US$1,480/AU$1,500
Uniquely, the Asus Taichi doesn't just have one screen, but two - one on the front and one on the lid. The laptop runs full Windows 8 on both screens, with the lid screen taking over from the main screen when the device is closed or you manually switch between them with a keyboard button. You can also choose to run both screens at once, to do two separate tasks, though this slows the system down. The secondary screen's coating gives extra depth to colours, showing that it's designed for more tablet-like uses such as watching TV shows, while the front laptop screen counters reflections well so you can concentrate on work documents.
Read our full Asus Taichi review
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon Touch - £1,500/US$1,750 (around AU$2,455)
A touchscreen version of last year's excellent Lenovo ThinkPad Carbon X1, we had high hopes for the Windows 8-toting Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon Touch. Choose an Intel i5 or i7 processor and 4GB or 8GB of SDRAM for power, and there's a 128GB SSD for Ultrabook-quick boot times. The business-focused laptop also has an impressive battery life and 3G connectivity as well as Wi-Fi, though no Ethernet port. Embracing touch tech, as well as the responsive touchscreen there's a sensitive touchpad and a fingerprint scanner. The matt display is a little dull, though it has strong viewing angles, and there are USB ports and an SD card slot, but no display ports.
Read our Hands on: Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon Touch review
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon Touch - £1,779/US$2,139 (around AU$2,538)
The original 2012 Lenovo X1 Carbon was the best ThinkPad money could buy, but now Lenovo has added a touchscreen panel and changed Windows 7 Professional for Windows 8, bringing last year's model right up to date.
The result is a formidable machine that not only offers the best usability and performance, but also a fantastic Windows 8 experience. However, the eye-watering price tag means this experience doesn't come cheap.