Is there any better computing device than a laptop? We don't think so. Perfect for working, traveling, typing in bed or at a coffee shop, the core concept of the notebook computer hasn't gotten any less appealing even three decades after it was introduced. What it has gotten is leagues thinner, lighter and faster than ever before.

With Apple's double revamp of the MacBook Air this year and last, and a recent push by Intel on the PC side for an all new category called "Ultrabooks," the latest laptops are reinvesting in the device's greatest attraction (portability) while holding on to the bleeding edge performance consumers demand. Pretend the netbook craze never happened: These six laptops, most a scant 0.7 inches or less in thickness with an optimal 13 inch screen and superfast start-up times, represent the pinacle of the laptop ideal. All are either available now or dropping this fall.