There's never been a better Christmas to buy a laptop. With falling prices, lots of very good hardware and a variety of operating systems on the market you're pretty much spoiled for choice.

But with that variety comes a problem - how do you decide which one to pick?

Laptops still come in as many types as ever - from thin, light Ultrabooks to chunkier gaming PCs, internet-only Chromebooks and Apple's range of OS X Macbook Airs and Pros. And within those categories are a number of different options - from CPUs and graphics chips to RAM, hard disk space (or solid-state memory), screen size and pixel resolution.

To help cut through the clutter, we've come up with our list of the 9 best laptop computers you can buy in this Christmas, based on scores registered by GDGT, other tech blogs and our own impressions.

Take a look at our choices below.

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  • Apple Macbook Air 13 Inch

    <a href="http://www.apple.com/uk/" target="_blank">A light but powerful compromise</a> between the heavier-duty Macbook Pro, the new 13-inch Macbook Air has an incredible 12-hour battery, a new Intel Haswell chip and is just as light and portable as ever. A stunning machine.

  • Google Chromebook Pixel

    <a href="http://www.google.com/intl/en_uk/chrome/devices/chromebook-pixel/" target="_blank">Google's ChromeBook Pixel</a> has the best screen we've ever seen on a laptop - and features stunning hardware design. It only runs the browser-based Chrome OS, however, and as such is severely limited in what it can actually do. But for the right kind of user, it's a wonderful machine.

  • Apple Macbook Pro 15-Inch With Retina Display

    The Macbook with Retina display is just a beautiful, capable machine in every respect. WIth its elegant OS X software, stunning looks and lightweight, portable design, <a href="http://store.apple.com/uk/buy-mac/macbook-pro" target="_blank">it's an all-around classic.</a>

  • Samsung Series 7 Ultra

    Samsung makes thin, beautiful, hard-wearing laptops, and this is no exception. It has an i% chip , a brilliant 1080P touchscreen and runs the always-improving Windows 8.1 OS. It starts at £1,000 and if you want a Windows machine at the same price-point as a Macbook Air, it's a good place to start.

  • Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga 13-inch

    <a href="http://www.laptopmag.com/review/laptops/lenovo-ideapad-yoga.aspx#review">Laptop Magazine said</a> "the IdeaPad Yoga is an able contortionist, blurring the line between laptop and tablet, while enabling users to explore the full capabilities of Windows 8". We agree. With a bright touchscreen, an 180-degree rotating display and an all-important sturdy hinge, it's a decent bridge between tablet and laptop.

  • HP Chromebook 11

    Like the bigger, and much more expensive Pixel, the Chromebook 11 only runs Google's very limited browser-based OS. But it also costs just £229, has a genuinely excellent screen and keyboard, and charges via MiniUSB rather than a traditional laptop charger. It's a storming machine for the price, as long as you're able to live within Google's walled garden.

  • ACER Aspire S7

    The S7 is the same weight as the Macbook Air, has a great 1920 x 1080 pixels (touch) screen and is actually a little thinner than Apple's signature laptop. It has a lower-quality battery, though, and while it's cheaper by about £60 you might want to make sure Windows is that crucial for your workflow before making your choice.

  • Alienware M17X

    For gamers you can't go far wrong with the <a href="http://www.dell.com/uk/p/alienware-17/pd?ST=alienware%20m17x&dgc=ST&cid=41141&lid=1069630&acd=239715600820560" target="_blank">Alienware M17x</a>. It's hefty, yes - you're not going to want to carry this around on the Tube too often. But it has a brilliant graphics card, as you'd expect, a 1080p 17-inch screen and runs an Intel Core i7. (Starts at around £1315)

  • Sony Vaio Pro

    Sony's Vaio Pro line-up has all the basic high-quality features you want: they're light and thin, with decent battery life and excellent displays. They also have Sony's trademark black-ninja design and a few decent extras. They're not perfect - <a href="http://www.theverge.com/2013/6/4/4395926/sony-vaio-pro-review-were-going-to-war-with-the-macbook-air" target="_blank">The Verge notes they tend to feel a bit "flexible" in the middle</a> - but they're an excellent pro laptop range.