2012 is, without a doubt, the year of the ultrabook. These slim but powerful machines are popping up everywhere, and from a multiplicity of manufacturers. With Intel’s second-generation Intel Core processors, they represent the crème de la crème when it comes to cutting-edge devices. The best part is, they don’t cost a fortune – so hopping on the ultra-bandwagon is easier than ever.

But which to choose? To help you decide, here’s a mini guide to some of the best ultrabooks around:

Dell XPS 13: With a 13” display snuggly-fit into a 12” chassis, this ultrabook is even more compact than the MacBook Air and just as sleek, with an aluminum top, soft-touch magnesium alloy deck and a backlit keyboard. It also sports Intel’s Smart Connect Technology, which allows for updates to occur on the computer, even when the lid is closed. An 8-hour battery life and a 128GB SSD that wakes this lappy in under two seconds are other perks.

HP Envy 14 Spectre: If you’re amongst the more careless of users, you’ll be green for the Envy because it’s got scratch-resistant glass everywhere including the lid, display, palm rest and touchpad. The glass factor, alongside its chic measurements of 0.8” thick and less than 4 pounds makes it a fashionable device, too. Perks include a 14” HD Radiance display, support for two mSATA SSD drives, booming Beats Audio, and CoolSense Tecnhology.

Lenovo ThinkPad T430u: This notebook’s the business person’s dream. The 14” slim book sports Lenovo’s Small Business Advantage. Plus it can be configured with up to a Core i7 processor, 1TB of storage and Ndvidia graphics – and its battery will provide up to 6 hours of work-time at full charge.

Samsung Series 9: A true status symbol amidst commuters, the Series 9 is quite a sight. Not only does she weigh a waif-ish 2.4 pounds, but she ports a 13” display within a 12” body. It also boasts a zippy boot-up time with a Core i5 processor and a 128GB SSD. This lappy’s bonus point: its SuperBright Plus display with 1600 X 900 resolution and top-class brightness and contrast.

At CPS, you can select from several different extended warranties for your ultrabook-of-choice, as well as any accessories you may purchase along with it.