Six of the best gadgets and gizmos on a theme. This week: Six of the best laptops.
By Peter Jenkinson
Microsoft Surface Pro 2 (128GB) - £715, from amazon.co.uk
More impressive than the touchscreen devices that purport to be tablets and laptops, this one actually manages to retain the robustness of the latter yet the ultra-portability of the former. It isn't any slouch under the bonnet either; processing speeds are slick, memory size impressive and free cloud data space comes with purchases. You can also convert this to a desktop style device with speakers, full-sized keyboard and more.
Apple MacBook Pro With Retina 15-inch - £1,699, from store.apple.com/uk
There is one thing near-guaranteed when you open this miracle in front of you; owners of any Apple product will slip you the cursory approval (and perhaps envious) glance. The intense pixel display (5.1 million of them) is an utter joy, while inside the model is a top-class 2GHz quad-core i7 processor, 8GB of RAM and 256GB of flash storage. Its slim, svelte and undoubtedly the one to beat.
HP Chromebook 11 - £249.99, from amazon.co.uk
This budget-end notebook trades under a slightly different moniker since its lowly internal memory of just 16GB lends it to more of a note-taker style. You can, though, take to the various number of cloud networks to expand your memory over WiFi, which to be honest might be more suitable and safe for valuable data anyway. Also available in a 14-inch screen version.
Samsung ATIV Book 9 - £579.95, from johnlewis.com
This Windows 8 loaded laptop offers ease of access using regular routes, but the touchscreen enables you to move around at hyper speed - well, with some practice at least. An extraordinarily thin and lightweight machine with a seven hour(ish) battery life, processing speeds of note and 128GB of memory. A very decent everyday machine.
Acer S3-391 Ultrabook- £859.98, from amazon.co.uk
This highly crafted aluminium outer-shelled computing device aims to set its stall out against the Apple offering, but the screen resolution just doesn't quite match up. What does tick a very big box though, is how this uber-slim laptop has a whopping 500GB of memory somehow shoehorned in it, alongside a decent stereo speaker set.
Sony Vaio Multi-flip - from £709, from sony.co.uk
For anyone looking for something a little different, this new breed of machines from Sony will make you smile - even if you're only a small percentage geek. A perfectly engineered motion will take this from slick looking laptop to touchscreen tablet, and it is, of course, pretty impressive in other performance areas (like HD graphics) too.
App of the week
Wordeo - free on iTunes and coming soon to Google Play
Fancy a new and exciting way to stay in touch with your nearest and dearest? Give the Wordeo app a whirl. Type away and let the app magically transform your text into a short video clip complete with soundtrack. It uses the picture library of Getty Images and then recognises the words to find a clip. Yes, thought you'd like that.
Top 10 paid for apps for Android phones
1. The Chase
2. Minecraft - Pocket Edition
3. Cut the Rope
4. XnExpress Pro
6. Bike Race
7. Temple Run: Oz
8. Survival Games
9. Cryptic Kingdoms
10. Catch Phrase
Top 10 free apps for Android phones
1. Cryptic Keep
2. Angry Birds Go!
3. Candy Crush Saga
4. BBC iPlayer
5. Jelly Splash
6. BBC Media Player
7. Word Search: World's Biggest Wordsearch
8. Can You Escape 2
(Both charts courtesy of Appstore on amazon.co.uk)