Pick the ultrabook or tablet that works, or plays, the way you do.
DESKTOP POWER THAT FITS IN YOUR BAG
HP Envy TouchSmart Ultrabook 4
Cost: $750; 4GB memory, 500GB hard drive
Size: 9.3 inches tall, 13.4 inches wide
How it excels: At 0.78-inch thick and less than four pounds, the Envy qualifies as an "ultrabook," the featherweight laptops that now make up 28% of the notebook market, says researcher IHS iSuppli.
The Envy has a seven-hour battery, one HDMI and three USB ports, and, for an extra $20, a backlit keyboard. Windows 8 fans will like its touchscreen, which lets you navigate with the swipe of a finger.
THE BASICS, FAST
Cost: $249; 2GB memory, 16GB hard drive
Size: 8.1 inches tall, 11.4 inches wide
How it excels: The 2.4-pound Chromebook runs only a web browser and apps, keeping it light and zippy, but unlike most Internet-centric devices, it has a full-size keyboard for comfortable typing.
The device requires a Google account and Wi-Fi for most tasks, though some programs, like word processing, can be used offline. You get 100GB of online storage free for two years, then for $5 a month.
Microsoft Surface Pro
Cost: $899 for 64GB
Size: 6.8 inches tall, 10.8 inches wide
How it excels: Road warriors like tablets for cramped planes and passing around in meetings, but most slates aren't designed for getting work done. This two-pounder, though, can handle PowerPoint and spreadsheets.
Clip on a keyboard ($120 and up) to turn the device into a laptop, or use the stylus to take notes. Like most tablets, it has flash memory rather than a hard drive, but you can add storage with a microSDXC card.
Apple iPad mini
Cost: $329 for 16GB
Size: 5.3 inches tall, 7.9 inches wide
How it excels: This 0.7-pound tablet is a star at web browsing, managing music, and playing video and games -- all with up to 10 hours of battery. To add to its 16GB memory, users can store 5GB on iCloud free.
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