An Ultrabook is the must have device when shopping for a new Windows PC in the laptop market today. They’re super thin, usually less than 21 mm thick, and very lightweight, under 4 pounds, and yet they can pack top-notch horse-power to take on almost any task. These new type of ultra-mobile devices often can also deliver great battery life, thanks to Intel’s Haswell 4th generation, and now more PC makers are finally adding touch-enabled and high-resolution displays, which makes them even more functional, attractive, and stylish.
At first there was just a few models, but now there are many Ultrabook models in the market and for those looking to spend serious cash to use a computer with a great design and style, the real question is: which one is the best? Or which is the best Ultrabook with Windows 8.1 that I can buy under $1000? The list below will help you to narrow down your decision-making to the top Ultrabooks in the market today. However, before choosing you should make sure to consider a few hardware specs, which will decide your overall experience, as such look up for: great design, battery life, screen resolution — the larger the better, and don’t worry, Windows 8.1 will make sure elements on the screen don’t look too small –, processor (Intel Core i3, i5, i7, or AMD), fast and roomy SSD storage, USB 3.0, fast boot or instant-on, conformable keyboard (backlit when possible), great trackpad, and weight.
Best Windows 8.1 Ultrabooks of 2013 under $1000
Sony VAIO Pro 11 Touch Ultrabook (SVP11213CXB): First up is Sony’s very clean and professional 17.78 mm thick VAIO Pro 11 running Windows 8.1 64-bit. This is a 11.6-inch 1920 x 1080 full-HD IPS 10-point multitouch display Ultrabook featuring, 4GB of RAM, 128GB of SSD internal storage, 2 USB 3.0, HDMI port, Flash Reader (SD), up to 8 hours of battery — Sony also offers all day battery life with optional extended sheet battery –, 1MP front-facing camera, Intel Core i5-4200U dual-core 1.6-2.6GHz Haswell ULT processor and Intel HD Graphics 4400, and a total weight of 2.34 pounds. Priced at $929, this is a great Ultrabook with great features despite the 1MP camera resolution and it’s also worth considering its beautiful and flexible Carbon Fiber body.
Dell XPS 12 Ultrabook Touch (DNCWI16B): This is a 20.066 mm thick convertible Ultrabook and it features a 12.5-inch 1920 x 1080 pixels full-HD multitouch display, 4GB of RAM, 128GB of SSD internal storage, no media card reader, 1 USB 3.0, up to 7.5 hours of battery life, 1.3MB front-facing camera, Intel Core i5-4200U dual-core up to 2.6 GHz Haswell processor and Intel HD Graphics 4400, and a total weight of 3.35 pounds. Priced at $961, although this is a 2-in-1 Ultrabook, you’re getting a great machine with a unique design.
Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga 2 Pro (59386391): Here is also a 15.5 mm thick 2-in-1 Ultrabook, but with the difference that you have to flip the screen around its hinges to convert it into a tablet. The Yoga 2 Pro features a stunning 13.3-inch 3200 x 1800 pixels QHD+ multitouch display, 4GB of RAM, 128GB of Solid-State Drive internal storage, USB 3.0, micro HDMI out, up to 9 hours of battery life, 720p resolution front-facing camera, Intel Core i3-4010U clocked at 1.7GHz and Intel HD Graphics 4400, Windows 8.1 64-bit, and a total weight of 3.06 pounds. Priced at $949, despite of the low power Core i3 processor, you’re getting an amazing device, not only because of battery life, but also because of the stunning screen resolution display and very comfortable keyboard. The Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga 2 Pro is worth considering.
Acer Aspire S7 (S7-391-6812): The Aspire S7 is a Windows 8.1 Ultrabook that features a 13.3-inch 1920 x 1080 pixels full-HD touch-enabled display, 4GB of RAM, 256GB of SSD internal storage, digital media card reader, 2 USB 3.0, HD webcam, micro HDMI, up to 6 hours of battery life, Intel Core i5-3337U Processor 1.8GHz with Turbo Boost Technology up to 2.7GHz and Intel HD Graphics 4400, and a total weight of 2.87 pounds. Priced at $950, the Aspire S7 is a great Ultrabook considering that ships with the 3rd generation of Intel processor and not the latest 4th-gen like in all the other Ultrabooks listed in this guide, but it’s a beautiful Ultrabook design with a very room Solid-State Drive.
HP Spectre 13 Ultrabook (13t-3000): Last but not least is the Spectre 13 from HP, this is a gorgeous 15 mm thick Ultrabook, very thin, elegant and it features a 13.3-inch 1920 x 1080 pixels multitouch display — worth noting that for an extra $70, you can also get a 2560 x 1440 pixels display –, 4GB of RAM, 128GB of Solid-State Drive internal storage, USB 3.0, mini Display and HDMI port, up to 9 hours of battery life, front-facing camera, Intel Core i5-4200U with speeds up to 2.6GHz and Intel HD Graphics 4400, Windows 8.1 64-bit, and a total weight of 3.2 pounds. Priced at $1000, the HP Spectre 13 is an excellent Ultrabook worth to spend the extra cash to get the 2560 x 1440 pixels display.
Here are a few things to keep in mind: each of the Ultrabooks mentioned in this guide can be configured with different hardware such as more RAM, bigger SSD, better processor like Intel’s 4th generation Core i7, and more, but because we’re talking about keeping the price under $1000, I am only showing you what’s the best you can get with this budget. Also all the devices on this list come with backlit keyboard, which means that the keyboard keys will illuminate, in this case automatically, on low lightweight. Remember that Ultrabooks in general don’t feature a disc drive to save space, weight, and battery life, but you can always get an external disc-combo drive for a cheap price, like this Samsung USB 2.0 Ultra Portable External DVD Writer selling for $32 on Amazon. Finally every Ultrabook in this list is compatible with Windows 8.1.