The laptop that arguably started it all - but faster. Apple updated its popular wedgy MacBook Air (HK$9,199) last week with faster processors, faster graphics, faster storage and, for the first time, two USB 3.0 ports. Inside the same old aluminium unibody enclosure, the new MacBook Air packs an Intel 'Ivy Bridge' Core i5 1.8GHz processor, Intel HD Graphics 4000 and a 128GB solid state drive that runs almost twice as fast as its predecessor. You can opt to upgrade further, with up to 512GB solid state storage, 8GB ram, and Intel Core i7 2.0GHz processor. Weighing 1.35kg and measuring 1.7cm at its thickest, this is the best 13-inch laptop Apple has produced so far.
Samsung Series 9 900X3C
The fight between Apple and Samsung continues on the ultra-book battlefield. Weighing even less (1.16kg) than the MacBook Air, the Samsung Series 9 is a skinny but powerful beast. The Series 9 ultrabook has the same Intel HD Graphics 4000 and 4GB ram as the Air. But the PC counterpart offers an Intel 'Ivy Bridge' Core i7 1.9GHz processor, 256GB solid state drive and a 1600 x 900 display. The extra power comes with a higher price tag (HK$13,780), though the extra money won't buy you the high-resolution display you'll get with the MacBook Air.
Asus Zenbook Prime
Imitation may be the sincerest form of flattery. The Zenbook Prime (inquiries: 3582 4738) may look familiar, but it shows a trait impressive enough that you might consider turning a blind eye to its past. The new Zenbook packs a gorgeous 1920 x 1080 high resolution display; it is full HD, meaning you can enjoy your favourite summer blockbusters in their full resolution on the 13.3-inch screen. As light as the Air (1.3kg), the Zenbook is powered similarly by an Intel 'Ivy Bridge' Core i5 processor, 4GB ram, Intel HD Graphics 4000 and a 128GB solid state drive.