The 10 Coolest Laptops Of 2015 (So Far)

Keeping It Cool

The laptop market is hot and still very competitive as the industry's top vendors vie for market share not just among consumers, but among enterprise users who continue to use the portable platform as the primary tool for business use.

This year's Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas served as a coming out party for the latest laptop tech, and several products introduced there are featured here. Check out those products and the rest of the machines deemed worthy of being included in our list of the coolest laptops of the year (so far).

For more on the "coolest" of 2015, check out "CRN's Tech Midyear In Review."

HP EliteBook Folio 1020

A business laptop that's got some style? That's certainly not the norm, but with the EliteBook Folio 1020, Hewlett-Packard brings a certain fashion sense to the category. The EliteBook Folio 1020 is a direct competitor to the Apple MacBook Air. It starts at $1,200 with Intel's latest fanless Core M processors, solid state drives and a 12.5-inch display. For an extra $200, users can add a touch screen.

Dell XPS 13

The industrial designers at Dell are proud of this machine, having jammed a 13-inch display into a chassis that's only the size of a typical 11-inch laptop. They managed that by making the XPS 13's display virtually borderless. The ultra-thin XPS 13 runs on Windows 8.1, is available with processor upgrades, a backlit keyboard and with Windows 8.1 Pro for an additional $50. A touch display is also optional, and it can be had with up to 8 GB of memory and up to a 256-GB solid state drive. The Dell XPS 13 is priced at $799.

HP ZBook 14

Earlier this year, HP introduced two new workstation-class Ultrabooks, the ZBook 14 G2 and the ZBook 15u. The 14-inch workstation is one of the lightest workstations around, weighing just 3.77 pounds, according to HP. Besides featuring Intel's latest fifth-generation processor, Broadwell-U, the laptops include high-end AMD FirePro graphics. The HP ZBook starts at $1,159.

Dell Venue 10 7000

Strictly speaking, the Dell Venue 10 is a tablet, but the Venue 10 7000 series makes a compelling pitch to bring the Android operating system to the enterprise with this extremely well-designed tablet and 2-in-1 laptop. The Dell Venue 10 7000 is the big brother to the Venue 8 -- with similar specs. But what sets the 10.5-inch Venue 10 7000 apart are its unique, barrel-edge design and an optional keyboard that can transform this good tablet into an excellent 2-in-1. The tablet-hybrid is available now with a starting price of $500; add $130 for the optional keyboard.

Lenovo La Vie Z

Earlier this year, Lenovo wowed CES attendees with a sneak peek at its upcoming featherweight laptop called La Vie Z. Lenovo claims the La Vie Z is the "world's lightest" laptop at 1.72 pounds. The Broadwell-based laptop is designed in partnership with NEC and achieves impressive low weight because of its use of a lithium-magnesium alloy case, NEC said. Lenovo said the laptop will be available in a 13-inch clamshell and convertible model that uses Lenovo's Yoga hinge and weighs 2.04 pounds. The Lenovo La Vie is priced starting at $1,699.

Apple MacBook

If design is important to you, Apple's MacBook is on the cutting edge. Released on the same day as the Apple Watch, this MacBook, slightly lighter and thinner than the MacBook Air, has a $1,300-and-up price tag and sports Retina display and a USB-C port. Despite criticism over its ultra-Spartan chassis, the laptop is receiving positive reviews for its "stunning" sleek design. The 12-inch MacBook is available with either 1.1GHz or 1.2GHz dual-core Intel Core M processors and 8 GB RAM with Intel HD Graphics 5300 featured in both. Each MacBook SKU ships with a minimum of 256 GB storage and has an advertised battery life of nine hours. The MacBook is available in silver, gold and "space gray."

Lenovo Carbon X1

With the release of the X1, Lenovo's flagship ThinkPad Carbon line of laptops received Intel's Broadwel processors. So, while it may look similar to last year's model, it's significantly more powerful, has a thinner and lighter chassis (weighing 2.8 pounds) and measures just 0.7 of an inch thin. Because of Intel's more energy-efficient chip design, this latest model Carbon has 10 hours of battery life, a one-hour improvement over the last Carbon model. The Lenovo Carbon X1 starts at $1,169.

Samsung Series 9 Ultrabook

Samsung designed the Series 9 13.3-inch Ultrabook for business users, especially the road warriors. The Intel Core i7-powered machine bows to the constantly changing demands of businesses, and is tough enough to stand up to frequent travel. The Ultrabook features Windows 8 Pro, a relatively large screen and a 256-GB solid state drive. The Samsun Seris 9 Ultrabrook is priced starting at $1,199.

Acer Chromebook 15

Acer breaks away from the Chromebook pack with a 15-inch display in a market where 12 inches is the norm. The Acer Chromebook 15 features Intel's latest Broadwell 5th Generation Intel Core i3 processor. Acer's Chromebook 15 comes with either 3 GB or 4 GB of RAM, and 16 GB or 32 GB of SSD storage. It also comes with a USB 2.0 and USB 3.0 port, Bluetooth 4.0, HDMI output, SD card reader and an HD webcam. The Acer Chrombeook starts at $179.

Toshiba Portege Z20t

The Toshiba Portege is officially a 2-in-1, but the Z20t is in a class of its own, giving Ultrabooks and thin-and-light laptops a run for their money. Weighing in at 3.3 pounds as a notebook, the z20t has a width of 11.8 inches and a depth of 7.6 inches, and is 0.85 inches thick. In tablet mode, the z20t slims down to 1.60 pounds and is 0.35 inches thick. The z20t features 8 GB of RAM, a 256-GB solid state drive, Bluetooth 4.0 and Windows 7 Professional -- Windows 8.1 is optional -- and a 5-megapixel camera with auto-focus, digital zoom on the back and a 2-megapixel camera with microphone on the front. The Toshiba Portege is priced starting at $1,491.