There are plenty of shapes, sizes, and prices on the market if you want a laptop in the $1,000 to $1,500 price bracket.
What's trickier is finding something that won't look dated in a year or so. Sure, you mightn't care about style, but sometimes you want something that doesn't look cheap and nasty.
There's already a few standout machines in this category that don't have the Apple logo on the chassis. Samsung's 11.6in Series 9 machine with a Core i3 chip won't beat Apple for value, but is a very sleek machine. Dell's XPS 15z is also a standout, as is ASUS' UX31.
Add to this list Toshiba's Satellite Z830 and Portege Z830 laptops - Ultrabook laptops with a similar minimalist look and a very light 1.2Kg weight.
Toshiba gave us a brief look at a sample Z830 unit at our office today (though photos weren't allowed - the photos you see here are stock shots provided by Toshiba). The biggest thing you notice is how the light the laptop is.
Unlike the flashy ASUS model we saw, which was made of a single piece of aluminum, Toshiba has chosen a magnesium alloy. Like the other Ultrabooks, it's still a cleaner, more minimalist look than the styling we're used to seeing - no stickers, and the palm rest unadorned by embellishments. Toshiba hasn't been able to resist a flash of shiny chrome-look on the trackpad buttons. But otherwise the Z830 is free of piano black and chrome.
The Z830 weighs 1.2Kg
The Ultrabook name is a marketing term for machines designed to be thin and light but still with relatively powerful chips, like Intel's latest Core i5 and even i7. Entry level Ultrabooks will start at under $1199 in Australia, Toshiba tells us.
The Satellite Z830 will be for home users, and will come with Core i3, i5 and i7 options. The business version will be the Portege Z830. The unit we saw had SSD and backlit keyboard. Toshiba said it has also increased the size of the speaker chamber.
Toshiba told us today their new Ultrabook will be hitting the market in the beginning of November. We'll bring you more information as it comes to hand.
Also read: Enter the Ultrabook: making the Windows laptop v MacBook decision
More photos: See the ASUS' UX31 Ultrabook up close in our photo gallery
Also read: MacBook Air vs Pro: Which Mac laptop should I get now?