Five of the hottest Windows laptops available right now

Budget and practicality be damned, you want the best laptop out there. We're showcasing some of the most eye-popping, top-of-the-line laptops currently available. A lot of these high performers will be perfect for gamers, but others aim to stay reasonably powerful while remaining insanely thin.

Dell XPS 13

The Dell XPS 13 made a big splash at CES as an ultrabook with an exceptionally thin border around the display. Touch and non-touch varieties of the XPS 13 are available, and the whole package weighs in at about 2.6 pounds and 0.7 inches at its thickest. Under the hood of the base model is an i3 2.1 GHz processor, which can be bumped up to i5 2.7 GHz processors in the higher-end versions. That's paired up with 4 GB of DDR3 RAM, which can be upgraded to 8 GB in the top-of-the-line model. A 128 GB SSD should be enough to cover your storage needs, and two USB 3.0 ports can handle peripherals. The resolution of the 13.3-inch display comes in at 1920 x 1080.

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon

The newest Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon has a hard drive option that offers exceptional speed. Being 2.9 pounds and 0.6 inches thick, the X1 Carbon is well-suited for working on the road. You can get up to an i7 3.2 GHz processor and 8 GB of RAM if you need serious horsepower. 512 GB of SSD storage is available, depending on model. The 14-inch display starts at 1920 x 1080 and goes up to 2560 x 1440.

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Alienware 17

Dell Alienware 17

The latest Alienwares introduce a 4th generation i7 3.5 GHz processor, 3 GB GeForce GTX 970M video card, 8 GB of RAM, and a 1 TB hard drive. The 1920 x 1080 screen measures 17.3 inches diagonally and has the option for touch input. At the upper end, you can include a 512 GB SSD boot drive, an extra 8 GB of RAM, and upgrade the video card to 4 GB. Toss in the optional graphics amplifier for additional horsepower and the absolutely gaudy customizable color LED system under the keyboard, and you have a powerful, flashy gaming beast.

HP Spectre x360

HP Spectre X360

The HP Spectre x360 is one of the best-looking convertibles you'll find out there. The entry level model has an i5 2.2 GHz processor, 4 GB of RAM, and a 128 GB SSD. The 13.3-inch 1920 x 1080 display supports touch input, and can be upgraded to 2560 x 1440 (QHD) for those that really want to go all-out. Though the x360 is highly portable at 3.2 pounds and 16 mm thick, one of the more impressive features is the 12.5 hours of battery life. Needless to say, the x360 is a powerful, versatile workhorse.

Samsung Ativ Book 9

The Samsung Ativ Book 9 is a super slim and light ultrabook. It's under half an inch thick and is barely over two pounds. Under the hood is a 0.99 GHz Core M processor, 4 GB of RAM, and a 128 GB SSD for storage. Not only is this thing slim and light, the brightness on the 12.2-inch 2560 x 1600 touchscreen can be cranked up to 700 nits for perfect viewing outdoors. For those who want more, a pro version of the Book 9 includes a proper 2.2 GHz i5 processor, more RAM, sharper screen, and a bigger SSD.

Your favorite hot laptop?

There are lots of new Windows laptops worth ogling. Let us know in the comments which top-end computers have caught your attention!

Simon Sage