The 10 best PCs of CES 2013

With fascinating interpretations of what a Windows 8 device can be, the CES gadget fest still offered high points for PC enthusiasts. Behold the 10 best machines we saw.

PCs can still dazzle

CES may spotlight powerful HDTVs, stylish phones, and goofy gadgets, but in 2013 the nation's largest tech show didn't forget about the good old PC.

Check out this sampling of some of the best PCs of CES, including Windows 8 hybrids, Ultrabooks, mini-PCs, and even an honest-to-gosh desktop.

From productivity to entertainment, big to small, practical to outrageous, these PCs cover the ever-widening gamut of what a Windows machine can be.

Let's start with a sexy gaming desktop.

Lenovo Erazer X700

What's that you say? Lenovo only makes business machines? Think again. The company surprised a lot of us at CES 2013 when it introduced the Erazer X700, an Intel Core i7-packing, water-cooled monster of a gaming desktop PC that looks like something straight out of the Mass Effect game series.

Lenovo offers you a choice between an Nvidia GeForce GTX660 or AMD Radeon HD 8950 GPU in this sexy desktop, and will include up to 16GB of RAM and 4TB of storage. It’s due out in June.

More info | $1500

Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga 11S

Lenovo's IdeaPad Yoga 13 wowed us in 2012 with its creative (and flexible) interpretation of what a Windows 8 laptop can be. Now it's available in a smaller package.

The IdeaPad Yoga 11S features the same industrial design as its bigger cousin, but weighs less at just over three pounds and features a touchscreen display with resolution of 1366 pixels by 768 pixels.

Looking up how to do the downward dog has never been easier, but perform it at your own risk.

More info | $799

Vizio MT 11x

Vizio moves into Windows 8 tablet territory with the MT 11x.

The company surprised us last year with something other than inexpensive TVs, making good on its promise for sleek ultraportable laptops and stylish all-in-one desktops.

Now, its incredibly thin 11.6-inch tablet manages to cram in some pretty neat components and specs (check “More info” for details).

On the more traditional PC side of its line-up, Vizio also updated its ultraportables and all-in-ones to include touchscreens.

More info | Price not available

Samsung Series 7 Ultra

With its 4G LTE connectivity and reported 8-hour battery life, the Samsung Series 7 Ultra just might be the ultimate Ultrabook for those who need to stay connected on the go.

Topping it all off is a 13.3-inch touchscreen with a resolution of 1920 pixels by 1080 pixels, making the Series 7 Ultra an ideal mobile multimedia center with Windows 8.

More info | Price not available

Lenovo IdeaCentre Horizon

My coffee table is boring. I mean, I can’t even check my Facebook on it and the board games I play on it require physical pieces! What’s that about?

Thank goodness Lenovo is here to save the day with the IdeaCentre Horizon Table PC, a 27-inch all-in-one that lays flat on coffee tables, comes with a 10-point multi-touch screen, and is bundled with physical game controllers that augment some games. Lenovo is calling the experience “phygital” (part physical, part digital).

Go get your Monopoly on!

More info | $1699

Panasonic Toughpad FZ-G1

This Toughpad packs a premium price tag, but at least you don’t have to worry about carrying this around in harsh environments—this tablet is built like a tank.

The 10.1-inch tablet runs on Windows 8 Pro, giving you the full PC experience no matter what outdoor excursion you’re on. It can take a 4-foot drop with ease, something we look forward to testing here in the lab. We’ll have our clumsiest editors on the case!

More info | $2899

HP Pavilion Sleekbook

Finally, even penny pinchers can get on board and get their hands on a mobile Windows 8 device.

The 15.6-inch Pavilion Sleekbook stays under $500 and comes equipped with an AMD A8 APU. Unfortunately it doesn’t have a touchscreen, but the Windows 8 touch interface can still be used with the multitouch trackpad.

Look for this economically sound machine starting around January 13.

More info | $479

Asus Transformer All-in-One P1801

This is neither your typical tablet nor your typical PC. Honestly, it can’t seem to make up its mind about what it wants to be, but we're smitten with its inclusion of two different processors and two different OSes.

This 18.4-inch all-in-one has dual functionality as a tablet and a desktop, dual operating systems (Windows 8 and Android 4.1 Jellybean), and dual processors (an Intel Core i5 or i7 in the base and an Nvidia Tegra 3 in the tablet portion).

Calling Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde!

More info | $1299

Razer Edge

No longer must you choose between staying inside to play a PC game, or enjoying fresh air on your patio or deck. Now you can do both with Razer’s Edge oh-so-portable gaming “tablet.”

The Edge looks like a tablet, but packs a discrete graphics card, an Intel Core i5 or i7 CPU, and the full version of Windows 8. Razer also offers myriad peripheral options, such as a keyboard and gamepads, but they won’t be cheap.

Now I’m off to level up, and work on my tan.

More info | $999 for the Standard version and $1300 for the Pro version

Xi3 Piston

Meet a PC that's as easy to misplace as your car keys. The Xi3 Piston is a prototype that's been optimized specifically for PC gaming on HD displays (such as your TV). We don't know too much more about the little box, but we like anything that gets us closer to playing PC games on an HDTV.

More info | Price not available

Bonus: Samsung Series 7 Chronos

Samsung shoehorns a quad core Ivy Bridge CPU into a 15.6 inch laptop less than 0.8 inches thick. Gamers will love the Radeon HD 8870M discrete graphics chip while video and photo editors will revel in the 10-plus hour battery life and 1080p display. At just over 5 pounds, it won't strain your back either.

More info | Price not available

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For more blogs, stories, photos, and video from the nation's largest consumer electronics show, check out complete coverage of CES 2013 from PCWorld and TechHive.

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