At Microsoft stores across the country, shoppers are checking out the newest Windows 8 computers.
Consumer Reports tested dozens of new Windows 8 laptops. Testers shined lights at computer screens to measure glare and help evaluate displays. Among the features tested, keyboards were also evaluated. Testers assessed keyboards for ergonomics and to see how comfortable they were 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," said Paul Reynolds of Consumer Reports.
Some laptops can actually turn into a tablet. Testers say these convertible computers are lightweight for laptops, but fairly heavy for a tablet. Other laptops are offering touch screens where you can simply tap a tile to open a program.
"In our tests we found that using a laptop with a touch screen is the best way to experience what's different and most appealing about Windows 8," said Reynolds.
If you're looking for a touch screen enabled laptop, Consumer Reports recommends Samsung's 13-inch Ultrabook for $850. For those wanting to save money, Consumer Reports says a laptop with just a traditional touchpad and no touch screen is your best bet.
"Testers found that the touchpad works fine with Windows 8, but it isn't as intuitive to use as a touch screen," said Reynolds.
Consumer Reports named two non-touch screen laptops best buys. Among the recommended laptops are Acer's 15-inch Ultrabook for $600 and Sony's 13-inch Vaio Ultrabook for $750.
What about upgrading your Windows 7 computer to Windows 8? Consumer Reports says that option is best for people whose current computer has a touch screen. Otherwise you're better off sticking to Windows 7 and saving the upgrade cost.