Tablets are all the rage right now, but you can’t do everything on them. Laptops are still in demand.

When Windows 8 was released, a wave of new laptops, many with touch-screen options, hit store shelves designed to take advantage of the new design. Consumer Reports just rated dozens of the latest choices.

Thinking about a new laptop? Your options are endless.

Consumer Reports put dozens of them to the test. They looked at things like glare from the screen, and how comfortable the keyboards are to use.


“All the new laptops take advantage of Windows 8’s tablet-like features, most notably the tiles that allow you to display live content or reach apps easily,” said Consumer Reports’ Paul Reynolds.

Looking for a convertible option? Some laptops can turn into a tablet. Testers say they’re lightweight for laptops, but fairly heavy for a tablet.

Other laptops offer touch screens. Simply tap a tile to open a program.

“In our tests we found that using a laptop with a touch screen is the best way to experience what’s different and most appealing about Windows 8,” Reynolds said.

The Samsung 13-inch Ultrabook (model No. NP540U3C-A01UB) is recommended by Consumer Reports. It costs $850! You can save some money if you opt for a laptop with a traditional touch pad instead of a touch screen.

“Testers found that the touch pad works fine with Windows 8, but it isn’t as intuitive to use as a touch screen,” Reynolds said.

Consumer Reports named two Windows 8 laptops as Best Buys: Acer’s 15-inch Ultrabook for $600 (Model M5-581T-6807) and, for $700, Sony’s 13-inch Vaio Ultrabook (Model SVT13122CXS).

Computer owners can also upgrade any Windows 7 computer to Windows 8. Consumer Reports says it’s best if you already have a computer with a touch screen. Download the free Windows 8 Upgrade Assistant from Microsoft to be sure your PC is eligible.