Apple MacBook Air 11.6-inch$999.99+
Considering how many times Apple has claimed that it will never build a netbook, this one kind of came out of left field in the fall. But considering we’ve never met a netbook that would make short work of games like the 11.6-inch MacBook Air, we won’t cry foul. Apple’s super-premium spin on a traditional ultraportable redefines thin without abandoning practical features like Nvidia graphics and a luxuriously large touchpad, making it our go-to travel machine of choice.
Read the full Apple MacBook Air 11.6-inch review.
HP EliteBook 2540p$1,099+
For those who still love to travel but need to do a notebook to do a little more than locate the nearest Starbucks and carouse through Facebook profiles, HP’s EliteBook 2540p made us realize that work actually can be fun… if you do on one of these. The super-sturdy magnesium chassis and bulletproof keyboard both promise to keep working long after your caffeine-addled brain is ready to quit, and a Core i7 processor provides plenty of muscle for shoveling data but still turns in decent battery life thanks to strategic underclocking.
Read the full HP EliteBook 2540p review.
How is it that overclockers figured out how to cool CPUs with liquid nitrogen before simply trying to move air from bottom to top to work with the natural flow of heat? Beats us, but Maingear’s custom Shift puts the well-known property of hot air to use, and we’re thoroughly smitten with both the unusual design and blistering performance.
Read the full Maingear Shift review.