Dell's been waiting to show off how thin it could make a device and the XPS 13 didn't disappoint. The company's first Ultrabook tapers from 18 to 6mm and is made from aluminum and carbon fiber -- and with the attendant weight loss. The entry-level unit's got a Core i5 CPU, 128GB SSD, 4GB RAM and a backlit keyboard. It reeks of understated quality, even though it's only $1,000, but the port selection is pretty basic: it doesn't include an SD card slot, which we think is an unforgivable crime in the year 2012. Corporate IT buyers who need to be conscious of roaming-employees' luggage allowances: this is going to be a go-to product.
Samsung's revamped Series 9 shouldn't be on this list, because it's not an official Intel-sanctioned Ultrabook. That doesn't stop us giving it honorary status because of its extreme thinness. The company spent last year listening to user feedback from the original Series 9 and threw out everything customers hated. Gone are the soft touch finishes and launch buttons, so the dimensions are more like those belonging to a 12-inch device. The 15-inch Series 9 is also special, mostly because it's the only laptop that thin with that large a display.
Lenovo's IdeaPad Yoga is another device that isn't branded as an Ultrabook, but that's what it is: no tablet would weigh three times that of an iPad 2. The 17mm thick flip-over device can be used as a laptop, tablet or kickstand-tablet for movie watching. You'll want to watch movies on this thing, too: it's got a 1600 x 900 IPS multitouch display, unheard of in a device of this caliber. It'll retail for around $1,000 when Windows 8 arrives, but even the prototype models scream of quality. None of these other devices ship with a touchscreen and is cheaper than the less capable HP Envy -- if we were buying one of these devices today, our money would be on this device.
Dana Wollman and Jon Turi contributed to this report.