Put to the test: Windows 8-powered laptops

Consumer Reports is out today with its first test of laptops powered by Windows 8 and we have the results for you.

All of the laptops tested have tablet-like features, most notably tiles to reach apps or access live content. Some of these Windows 8 laptops can actually turn into a tablet.

The magazine's Paul Reynolds says testers found the convertible computers are lightweight for laptops, but fairly heavy for a tablet.

Other Windows 8 laptops offer touch screens. You simply tap a tile to open a program.

"In our tests we found that using a laptop with a touch screen is the best way to experience what's different and most appealing about Windows 8," Reynolds said.

One touch-screen-enabled laptop Consumer Reports recommends: Samsung's 13-inch Ultrabook for $850.

But you'll save money if you get a laptop with just a traditional touchpad and no touch screen.

"Testers found that the touchpad works fine with Windows 8, but it isn't as intuitive to use as a touch screen," said Reynolds.

Consumer Reports named two non-touch-screen laptops Best Buys: Acer's 15-inch Ultrabook for $600 and Sony's 13-inch Vaio Ultrabook for $700.

What about upgrading your Windows 7 computer to Windows 8? Consumer Reports says that option is best for people whose current computer has a touch screen.

You can download the free Windows 8 Upgrade Assistant from Microsoft to be sure your PC is eligible.