Apple MacBook Air
It makes sense to start off with the MacBook Air, as it has certainly garnered the most adoration from the media. But this arguably revolutionary device was kept out of a lot of hands, as it started out at $1,799 when it was first released in 2008. Fast-forward three years and you've got two models in the line, with the smaller 11" one starting at just $999. Both are powered by Intel's latest Core i5 processors.
HP Pavilion dm1z series
HP's dm1z series will set you back just $399.99 for the base configuration. Dubbed "more mobile than a full-size laptop with more muscle than a netbook," it's got an 11.6" screen and weighs 3.52 pounds. It's got a dual-core AMD Fusion processor. And it will give you an impressive 9.5 hours of battery life, according to HP.
Lenovo IdeaPad U260
Starting at three pounds and $849, the IdeaPad U260 is designed with, well, design in mind. The 12.5" notebook has a magnesium-alloy shell available in several unique colors like clementine orange. It's powered by an Intel Core i5, low-voltage processor.
Dell Alienware M11x
While it weighs in at 4.5 pounds and isn't quite as thin as the others here, this gaming beast deserves a mention for its impressive internals in a small 11-inch footprint. The Alienware M11x sports up to a 2GB Nvidia 540M graphics chip and up to a second-generation Core i7 processor. It starts at $699, but you'll want to jack that up a little to get the higher-end components if you're a gamer.
Gateway ID Series
Gateway's ID series laptops will let you compute ‘til the cows come home (pun intended), with its 8-hour battery life and Core i5 processor. The ID series laptops manage to cram in a DVD-Writer drive, unlike many other ultra-portable machines, and is just 0.85 inches thin. The line starts at $679.99, but for the i5, you'll need to bump that up to $699.99.
Perhaps the era of ultraportable and ultrapriced notebook computers has ended, as Apple and other computer makers finally have some decently-powered superthin models under the $1,000 mark.