Read our Asus V550CA review

HP Pavilion Touchbook Sleekbook - £400 / US$650 / AUS$800

HP Pavilion Touchbook

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 full HP Pavilion Touchbook Sleekbook review

Lenovo IdeaPad Z500 Touch - £439 / US$729 / AUS$813

Lenovo ideaPad

The biggest surprise about the Z500 is that Lenovo decided to pack in discrete graphics, where most laptops rely on the integrated graphics.

This decision, coupled with the lower resolution 15.6-inch screen that enables the graphics to work more optimally, makes it a decent little games machine. For instance, BioShock Infinite can run smoothly at a medium graphics setting, which is quite impressive.

However, the caveat, which usually follows good gaming performance, is that the Z500 is on the chunky side and battery life takes a hit, averaging about three hours.

There are lighter laptops, but they don't offer as much performance or, indeed, as much storage, and there a better gaming portables, like the MSI GS70 Stealth, but they cost substantially more.

Read our full Lenovo IdeaPad Z500 Touch review

Acer Aspire P3 - £529 / US$600 / AUS$979

Acer Aspire P3

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 the 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 P3.

Read our full Acer Aspire P3 review

Lenovo Yoga 11S - £549 / US$912 / AUS$1,017

Lenovo Yoga 11S

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 solidWindows 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 favourable 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.

Read our full Lenovo Yoga 11S review

Lenovo ThinkPad S431 Touch - £571 / US$949 / AUS$1,056

Lenovo ThinkPad

Lenovo faces some difficult challenges with the ThinkPad. As well as trying not to upset zealous followers of the range, it has to balance both price and performance to appease business users. On the most part, Lenovo succeeds in doing this with the 13-inch S431, rattling off a workman-like performance.

The results could have been better, though. A current-generation Haswell processor from Intel, instead of a third-generation chip, would have helped both the raw power and battery results, which, even though charging the S431 is swift, saw a single charge struggling to last a working day.

The Lenovo ThinkPad S431 Touch isn't flashy, but it's a solid performer at a price that will appeal to frugal IT managers.

Read our full Lenovo ThinkPad S431 Touch review

Toshiba Satellite U50T - £669 / US$1,115 / AUS$1,244

Toshiba Satellite

The Toshiba Satellite is a nice Windows 8 machine for the money, which doesn't cut too many corners for its Ultrabook status.

It loses a few points for a low-res screen and heaviness at 2.3kg, and while that weight means it's not going to offer the Ultrabook experience you may be after, it's powerful enough for general office work because of the Intel Core i5 (Haswell) processor.