The year's top-performing ultraportables have commandeered this week's best laptop deals, kicking off with the Editors' Choice 2014 MacBook Air 13" for $750. If you're not a Mac fan, we've also got the remarkable Acer S7 and Dell XPS 13, both of which pack 1080p screens, from $899. But we understand not everyone wants an ultraportable, so we've dug up deals on beefier systems like the Lenovo Z50 and HP TouchSmart 15t-j100 Quad Edition, all from $705.
Apple MacBook Air Intel Haswell Core i5 1.4GHz 13.3" LED-Backlit Laptop
Store: Best Buy
Price: $749.99 via this link with free shipping
Lowest By: $150
Is It Worth It?: Only for students or faculty with an active .edu e-mail address, Best Buy offers the 2014 MacBook Air 13" for $750. Input your address here and you'll get a coupon code that takes $100 off Best Buy's price. Compare that to Apple's back-to-school price for this machine ($949 bundled with a $100 Apple gift card) and you'll spend less money at Best Buy, which makes this deal an Editors' Choice pick. The 2.9-lb. machine features an Intel Core i5 1.4GHz dual-core processor, 13.3" 1440x900 LED-backlit LCD, 4GB RAM, 128GB SSD, and 802.11ac wireless.
Acer Aspire Intel Haswell Core i5 1.6GHz 13.3" Touchscreen Ultrabook
Store: Microsoft Store
Price: $899 (click "PC only" to see this price) with free shipping
Lowest By: $95
Is It Worth It?: "If you want a laptop that packs both beauty and brawn, Acer's new Aspire S7-392-6807 is a strong contender," says Laptop. Back in our roundup for the third consecutive week, this system is a refresh of last year's model and serious contender for ultraportable of the year. It was recently called a "nearly perfect piece of equipment" on Engadget's Back-to-School list . The 2014 S7 packs a 13" WQHD 2560x1440 touchscreen, an Intel Core i5-4200U Haswell 1.6GHz dual-core processor, 8GB RAM, and a 128GB SSD. At 2.9-lbs., it keeps its predecessor's barely-there profile and it's again the cheapest price we could find for this Editors' Choice deal by $95.
Dell XPS Intel Haswell Core i7 2GHz 1080p 13.3" Touchscreen Laptop
Store: Microsoft Store
Price: $1,199 (click "PC only" to see this price) with free shipping
Lowest By: $220
Expires: September 18
Is It Worth It?: "Dell gets it mostly right with this tiny, tough-as-nails notebook," says PC World. The 2014 refresh of the XPS 13 features everything you'd want from a current-generation laptop like a Core i7-4510U 2GHz Haswell dual-core processor, 13.3" 1080p touchscreen LCD, 8GB RAM, and a 256GB SSD. PC World says the 3-lb. notebook struggles on games like Bioshock Infinite, but is an otherwise "terrific little machine."
Lenovo Z50 Intel Haswell Core i7 2GHz 15.6" 1080p LED-Backlit Laptop
Price: $729 via coupon code "Z50DEAL" with free shipping
Lowest By: $370
Is It Worth It?: The newly-released Z50 is Lenovo's attempt to offer a better multimedia experience in a mainstream, budget-minded laptop. Currently $370 off, the 5.3-lb. Z50 features an Intel Core i7-4510U 2GHz Haswell dual-core processor, 8GB RAM, 1TB hard drive with 8GB SSD, and an NVIDIA GeForce GT 820M 2GB video card. Topping off the respectable spec sheet is a 1080p LCD, which should make any multimedia experience on this laptop top-notch.
ASUS Celeron 2.16GHz 15.6" LED-Backlit Laptop bundled with Webroot Secure Anywhere 3-User 6-Month for Windows and Mac
Store: Best Buy
Price: $229.99 with free shipping
Lowest By: $36
Is It Worth It?: There's nothing glamorous about the ASUS X551MAV. This 4.7-lb. laptop is a budget-minded machine, so in place of a fancy display or ultra-fast CPU you get an Intel Celeron N2830 2.16GHz dual-core processor, 15.6" 1366x768 LCD, 4GB RAM, and a 500GB hard drive. It may not outperform the other machines in our roundup, but at $249 this bargain bin laptop easily undercuts all of its competitors.
HP ENVY TS 15t-j100 Quad Edition Intel Haswell Core i7 2.4GHz 15.6" Laptop
Store: HP Home & Home Office
Price: $704.99 via coupon code "PC599Q2" with free shipping
Lowest By: $195
Is It Worth It?: "The HP TouchSmart 15t-j100 Quad Edition gives you the power of a multimedia desktop in a semi-portable laptop," says PC Mag. It's the machine you buy if you "need to replace a $2,000 desktop you purchased back in 2010" and feel that "$500 budget laptops are just too darn slow." For your money, you get an Intel Core i7-4700MQ 2.4GHz Haswell quad-core processor, 15.6" 1366x768 LCD, 8GB RAM, 1TB hard drive, and an NVIDIA GeForce GT 740M 2GB video card.