3 Best Values in Laptop Computers

The latest portable PCs are sleek and powerful—and easier to lug around.

Say so long to your aching back. Like Apple's razor-thin MacBook Air, the new Windows machines called Ultrabooks are ultralight—most weigh in at 4 pounds or less. Many eschew hard drives and DVD drives, saving space, reducing noise and conserving power. Like tablets and smart phones, they start up instantly and save files and apps on a flash memory chip, also known as a solid-state drive (SSD).

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Contributing Writer, Kiplinger's Personal Finance