The next generation of touchscreen laptops puts gestures front and center.
The first generation of touchscreen laptops never took off, partly because the Windows 7 operating system powering them treated gestures as an afterthought. This holiday season, manufacturers are rolling out sleek ultrabook laptops that run on Microsoft's new touch-centric Windows 8 platform. Here are four to consider.
Acer Aspire S7 (13.3 Inch)
This 2.9-pound ultrabook has a 1920- by 1080-pixel touchscreen that tilts back 180 degrees. It also has a backlit keyboard that adjusts automatically to lighting conditions. Like the other laptops here, it is equipped with Bluetooth 4.0 technology. It also comes with a touch-friendly app for holding video chats on the HD webcam. The battery lasts about six hours. Cost: Starts at $1,399 for an Intel Core i5 processor, 4GB ofRAM, and a 128GB solid-state drive
HP SpectreXT TouchSmart Ultrabook (15.6 inch)
The 4.8-pound SpectreXT has a 1920- by 1080-pixel touchscreen, an HD webcam, and a Thunderbolt port for connecting external drives at high speeds. It also comes with Intel Wireless Display technology and several touch apps, including one for playing music. (Battery life was not available at presstime.) Cost: $1,399 for an Intel Core i5 processor, 8GB of RAM, and a 500GB hard drive
Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga (13.3 inch)
The Yoga's 1600- by 900-pixel screen folds back 360 degrees for use as a tablet. It has a backlit keyboard that adjusts automatically to lighting conditions and several touch-friendly apps, including one for holding Web chats using the device's HD camera. The battery lasts about eight hours. Cost: Starts at $1,099 for an Intel Core i3 processor, 4GB of RAM, and a 128GB solid-state drive
Toshiba Satellite U925t (12.5 inch)
This 3.2-pound ultrabook has two cameras, near-field-communication technology for transferring data with a tap, and Intel Wireless Display for streaming your screen to a projector or HDTV. You can slide the Satellite's 1366- by 768-pixel touchscreen down and over the keyboard to switch to tablet mode. It also comes with several touch apps, including an e-book reader. (Battery life was not available at presstime.) Cost: $1,000 for an Intel Core i5 processor, 4GB of RAM, and a 128GB solid-state drive