Windows 8 computers are catching up to their older Windows 7 counterparts, the latest tests from our labs show—likely at least partly due to manufacturers catching up with driver updates. In particular, two Dell laptops with Windows 8 turned in excellent performance, and a few more from other manufacturers were very good.
But what may perhaps be more interesting to some are the lingering Windows 7 computers. As a look at our Ratings will show, a good number of high-performing models with the older operating system are still available.
While Windows 8 has some fascinating new features, some consumers in the market for a new PC might have reason to want to stick with Windows 7 for now. And if you're one of them, you're in luck: Comparing prices of several Windows 7 machines tested for prior Ratings, I saw price drops of $90 and even more.
You might be interested, for example, in our top-rated 14-inch Acer laptop, which is listed for $130 less than it cost a month ago. It's an excellent performer and had an 11.25-hour battery life, the longest in this size category. And from our list of Best Buys, check out the Toshiba Satellite, a 14-inch laptop that's a very good performer, for just $550, about $90 less than before.
Take a look at our latest laptop and desktop Ratings to find the best performers running both Windows 8 and Windows 7.
—Donna L. Tapellini