Best for showing off
Asus Taichi 21
We like Asus’ thinking. It knew that any worthwhile Windows 8 laptop would need a touch-screen, but it also knew that the laptop form works rather well – so it just stuck a touchscreen on the back of a laptop.
The result is the Taichi, a high-spec Intel Core i7 Ultrabook with two 11.6in full HD screens. If you don’t need the keyboard you just close the lid and swipe (or draw with the included stylus) on the one on its outside.
And there’s more. You can mirror the inside display, so people looking at the back of your laptop can see whatever you’re looking at: handy for presentations, and for inadvertently showing everyone that you’re playing World of Warcraft instead of working. It’s an outstanding ultraportable, with a comfortable backlit keyboard and big, responsive touchpad, while the speakers – courtesy of B&O – sound pretty gutsy considering how slim it is.
However, the decision to make only its rear screen touch sensitive means fruitless prodding in laptop mode, and like its rivals below, it’s twice as thick and heavy as a tablet, with half the battery life (about five hours). A clever laptop, for sure – but you’ll want to keep your iPad too.
From £1500, www.asus.com