(WMC TV) - With the release of Windows 8, Microsoft's new operating system, a wave of laptops has hit store shelves. They are designed to take advantage of the system's bold new
Consumer Reports just rated dozens of the latest choices.
To help evaluate their displays, testers shined lights at the computer screens and measured glare. Keyboards were evaluated, too. Testers assessed them for ergonomics -- how comfortable they are to use.
All the new laptops take advantage of Windows 8's tablet-like features, most notably
the tiles that allow you to display live content or reach apps easily. Some laptops can
actually turn into a tablet. Testers said those convertible computers are lightweight for
laptops, but fairly heavy for a tablet.
Other Windows 8 laptops offer touch screens. You simply tap a tile to open a program.
Consumer Reports found that using a laptop with a touch screen is the best way to
experience what's different and most appealing about Windows 8. One touch-screen laptop it recommended is Samsung's 13-inch Ultrabook NP540U3C-A01UB, $850.
But you will save money if you get a laptop with just a traditional touch-pad --no touch screen. Testers found that the touch-pad works fine with Windows 8, but it isn't as intuitive to use as a touch screen.
Consumer Reports named two non-touch-screen laptops "Best Buys": Acer's 15-inch Ultrabook M5-581T-6807, $600, and Sony's 13-inch Vaio Ultrabook SVT13122CXS, $700.
Consumer Reports also noted upgrading from Windows 7 to Windows 8 is best for people whose current computers have touch screens. You can download the free Windows 8 Upgrade Assistant from Microsoft to be sure your computer can handle it.