Best Windows 8 laptops: the top Windows 8 notebooks we've reviewed

The latest Windows 8 Ultrabooks, notebooks, convertibles and laptops

Read our full Lenovo ThinkPad Yoga review

Dell XPS 18 - £1,000 / US$1,350 / AUS$1,650

Dell XPS 18

Essentially an 18-inch Windows 8 tablet crossed with an all-in-one PC, the Dell XPS 18 has a charging stand, Bluetooth mouse and keyboard that turns it into a desktop machine. It also has touchscreen controls and a kickstand, which means it works on its own, though it doesn't offer stylus support.

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.

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. Battery life is a little disappointing, largely due to the beautiful big screen sucking it all up.

Read our full Dell XPS 18 review

Lenovo ThinkPad Helix £1,007 / US$1,679 / AUS$1,878

Lenovo ThinkPad

Jack of both trades and master of neither laptop nor hybrid? In fact the ThinkPad Helix bravely squares off against the biggest challenge for a hybrid and does a good job for the most part.

The Helix ships with a keyboard attachment that has its own battery pack and airflow fans. Stamped as it is with the ThinkPad moniker, the truncated keyboard is the best we've tried on a hybrid laptop, and is particularly good for bashing out long documents.

That extra battery in the dock also means real day's worth of longevity. Our tests indicate that you'll get 7 hours from the Helix while docked and roughly 6 hours as a tablet. That fine result is largely down to the low power last-gen (Ivy Bridge) processor, which, we feel, should really have been a latest generation of Intel processor at this price.

Read our full Lenovo ThinkPad Helix review

Gigabyte P2742G - around £1,000 / US$1,607 / AU$1,706

Gigabyte P2742G

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 / US$1,200 / AU$1,350

Samsung Series 7

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 such 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 coming under our ultraportables section, coming up.

Read our Samsung Series 7 Ultra review

Asus Transformer Book TX300 - £1,159 / US$1,925 / AUS$2,147

Asus Transformer Book

We remember playing with a Transformer that turned into a microcassette recorder, which is probably why Hasbro took offence to Asus's stylish hybrids and tried to sue the company for trademark infringement. Fortunately, Hasbro's litigation failed and as a result we have a powerful 13-inch Ultrabook that transforms into a tablet quickly by unclipping the keyboard.