At 17.8mm thick, and weighing 1.6kg, it's not the most svelte Ultrabook model on the catwalk but its tough, square edges set it apart from the rest of the bunch. The chassis is made up of a mix of aluminium and magnesium alloy, with the lid's brushed aluminium finish creating a reassuring sense of robustness.

Powering the cheapest T13 is a second-gen i3 dual-core processor clocked at 1.4GHz, with Intel HD 3000 integrated graphics and 4GB of RAM. There are third-generation Intel Ivy Bridge versions available but these will cost you at least £100 more.

The response time from sleep mode is very quick thanks to the hybrid storage system made up of a 320GB HDD and a 32GB SSD. The SSD aspect allows the Intel Smart Response Technology and Sony's Rapid Wake to kick into action, meaning almost instantaneous wake times.

Read the full TechRadar review of the Sony Vaio T13

Lenovo IdeaPad U410
Lenovo IdeaPad U410

5/ Lenovo IdeaPad U410

Lenovo

From £649

The Lenovo IdeaPad U410 is a 14-inch Ultrabook that offers a top-end hardware setup, in a decent looking chassis, for a reasonable price-tag.

At 21mm thick and with a weight of almost 2kg, the U410 isn't likely to worry the ultra-skinny Ultrabooks in terms of build but where it does trump many of its competitors is value for money.

For less than £700 you can equip yourself, or your employees, with an Ivy Bridge i5 powered ultraportable boasting 6GB of RAM, discrete graphics from Nvidia and a healthy 750GB HDD and a 32GB SSD too.

Intel HD Graphics 4000 are part of the Ivy Bridge package but, in what is still quite a rare-occurrence in the Ultrabook market, you also have access to discrete graphics courtesy of the included 1GB Nvidia GeForce 610M GPU.

The result is a raw benchmarking score for general performance that is as good as we've ever seen on an Ultrabook. The U410 has no issues playing back HD and casual media editors shouldn't worry that the i5 chip isn't up to the task; we edited large image files with little fuss and basic video editing is also a breeze.

You won't be disappointed by the audio quality on this small machine either. Powered by Dolby Home Theatre V4 tech, the stereo speakers perform with aplomb and there is a reassuring bass response.

The only major downside to the U410 is the battery. In our stress test, it only managed a disappointing 181 minutes.

Read the full TechRadar review of the Lenovo IdeaPad U410

HP Envy 6
HP Envy 6

4/ HP Envy 6

Hewlett Packard

From £399

The HP Envy 6 comes with a price-tag that is almost half the price of the original HP Ultrabook – the HP Spectre – but offers a pretty impressive tech setup.

Inside the brushed black metallic chassis you'll find a dual-core third-generation i5 CPU running the show, complete with Intel HD Graphics 4000 and 4GB of RAM.

In regular day-to-day use, in areas such as document editing, web browsing, social networking, movie streaming and listening to your music collection the Envy 6 excels.

Audio is also one of the Envy 6's strong points courtesy of its Beats Audio speakers and control panel. The 15.6-inch, 1,366 x 768, display impresses as well, with decent viewing angles - although the contrast ratio could be a little better.

On the sides you'll find three USB ports (two of which are of the quicker 3.0 variety) an Ethernet port for wired Internet and a HDMI port that makes it a doddle to hook this Ultrabook up to a big screen TV for business presentations.

Battery life is great – it managed almost five hours in our intensity test; you can add a couple more on for real world usage.