The five best new Windows laptops from CES 2017

The five best new Windows laptops from CES 2017

In the market for a new Windows notebook? Last week's Consumer Electronics Show at Las Vegas showcased plenty of high-tech tempters, and here are the top five that are headed for Australia.

Lenovo ThinkPad Carbon X1

We love that this 14 inch ultrabook gives you more on-screen real estate than the clutch of 13.3 inchers, and now partners that with a touted 15.5 hour battery life.

But even if real-world usage scales closer to 10 hours that's a solid working day, or most international flights when the at-seat AC socket isn't working (as long as you charged up the X1 at the airport lounge).

2017 also brings a radical new colour for the Carbon X1, with look-at-me silver alongside traditional no-nonsense black.

The ThinkPad X1 Carbon will land in Australia in March 2017, with local pricing still TBA – but to give you some idea the stateside stickers start at US$1,349, so we'll be looking at upwards of $2,000.

Lenovo Miix 720

Lenovo's other 2017 newbie is the Miix 720, which will appeal more to the Microsoft Surface crowd with its ability to unclip the 12 inch touchscreen from the slim keyboard for use as a stand-alone tablet.

With the keyboard attached the Miix 720 is a still-svelte 1.46cm around the waist ad 1.1kg on the scales, with up to eight hours between each charge.

Thankfully there's no obsessive jihad on the standard USB ports, with the Miix 720 packing a full set of USB 2.0, USB 3.0 and USB-C / Thunderbolt 3 sockets plus a microSD card slot.

The Miix 720 will hit Aussie shelves in late January 2017 from $1,399 – a price which includes the keyboard and a colour choice between Champagne and Iron Gray, but not the digital 'Active Pen 2'.

HP EliteBook x360

For 2017 HP's 'business class' ultrabook gains the versatile twisting tablet-like 13.3 inch touchscreen of the more consumer-minded Spectre x360.

HP's stylistic renaissance may have seen the EliteBook tagged as a "MacBook Air for Windows" but this doesn't mean giving up on  connectivity, with two full-size USB 3.0 ports, a USB Type-C and HDMI ports, microSD card slot and even a 4G SIM slot all packed into its slender machined aluminium frame.

Standout feature for the business brigade? That's a toss-up between the 16+ hour battery life and the optional Sure View panel, which with the touch of a button limits the angled view to give you privacy from prying eyes.

HP Australia tells us to expect the EliteBook x360 "in early 2017" starting at $1,999.

Dell XPS 13

The XPS 13 is widely regarded as Dell's best laptop, and like the HP EliteBook x360 it's got a new trick in the shape of a convertible flip-and-fold 13 inch screen with a near-to-the-edge 'infinity display' (like the rooftop pool at a luxury Singapore hotel, but smaller and less wet).

Dell has also amped up the battery life to 15 hours at a stretch, mostly due to the use of Intel's more economy-minded Core Y series processors rather than the full-bottle mainstream Core slabs.

This makes for more modest performance but for most users who don't run anything heavier than Microsoft Office, that's an easy trade-off for such long battery life.

Dell's XPS 13 2-in-1 is already available locally from $2,299.

Acer Spin 7

This 14 inch ultrabook gets its name from the Intel Core i7 powerplant sandwiched between its 1.1cm all-aluminium body (we won't get the Spin 5, which relies on the more modest Core i5 chip).

The screen is coated in Corning Gorilla Glass for extra protection against the knocks, shops and drops of life on the road, although being rated at 'up to 8 hours of battery life' means you'll want to keep the AC adaptor close at hand.

Acer Australia has the Spin 7 starting $1,999.

David Flynn

David Flynn (David)

[email protected] / @djsflynn

David Flynn is the editor of Australian Business Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.
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